Category: Side Dish

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette

Sorghum, Lentil and Brie Salad with Orange Maple Vinaigrette – so yes, I know this is a mouthful, however I feel like each flavor is integral which is why I included all of these ingredients in the title.  I felt it was important to give you an idea of all the deliciousness that is packed into this mouth watering salad.  I must re-iterate…this salad is mouth watering.

First I need to start with what exactly sorghum is.  Up until about a month ago I had no idea that this grain even existed.  I came across an article when going through my Flipboard that was titled, “Could 2017 be the breakout year for home-grown ancient grain sorghum?”  I highly recommend reading it, the article is very informative and describes the many health benefits.  A brief run down is that this grain is gluten-free, non GMO, rich in fiber, protein, iron magnesium and B6.   Sorghum also has a delicious, slightly nutty flavor and I would compare the grain to Israeli couscous.

Sorghum has one major drawback – it takes a while to cook, one hour to be precise.  I usually cook this over the weekend while I am milling around the house and keep it in the fridge to eat for lunch or if I want to make this salad.  Generally I am in a mad rush with everything so if I don’t cook this ahead of time, this salad is not getting made.  That said, if the sorghum is cooked, this dish will come together in a flash.

Now down to business, the recipe.   The very start of the recipe begins with bacon.  Yum!

PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad – Vegan and Delicious

We have been having our home remodeled which has been a massive pain.  Now that it has been completed I am thrilled with the end result, however the process was painful.  Since my ability to cook was sidelined I searched for delicious and healthy options to curb my hunger, which is how I stumbled across a salad at my local PCC store called, the Perfect Protein Salad.  I instantly became addicted and wanted to share my version, which tastes extremely similar to PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad.

One of my favorite parts of cooking is the ability to customize recipes.  In this case the recipe calls for lemon, dill and garlic.  Since I am crazy about these three flavors I upped the amounts to make them more pronounced.   The base for this salad is garbanzo beans and spelt berries which provide both a creamy texture and a chewy texture.  Since I am huge on texture the crunch of numerous veggies, including cucumbers, celery, peppers and onions are also a complete bonus.

In a nutshell, this has become one of my go to salads.  I love enjoying it for a quick lunch, enjoying it at dinner with a grilled piece of chicken or fish and it also makes a great salad to take to a friends house.  In the event you have someone in your life that is vegan, this version is made with vegan mayonnaise* which is an added bonus.   I hope that if you live in the Northwest you stop by PCC and try their Perfect Protein Salad or make it at home for yourself.

Perfect Protein Salad (inspired by PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad)
(serves 2 for a main dish or 4 as a side dish)

Ingredients
1 – 15 ounce can of Garbanzo Beans
2 stalks cucumber, diced
1 cup cooked spelt berries
1/3 c. Vegenaise
2 carrots, diced
1/4 c. green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. red onion, small dice
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. italian parsley, thinly sliced
1 T. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
2 T. fresh dill weed or 1 t. dried dill weed
2 T. fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Combine all ingredients.  Put in refrigerator and let flavors meld together for a couple of hours if possible.  More often than not I am rushed and not able to do this, but if you can, definitely do this.  This salad is very easy to make and lasts for a day or two in the fridge so you can make it ahead and enjoy leftovers later.

* Side note, vegenaise tastes great! If you have never tried it, I would recommend doing so. I was extremely hesitant at first, but now I really love it.)

PCC's Perfect Protein Salad Recipe

The Neiman Marcus Popover with Strawberry Butter

I was talking with two of my very close friends recently and they were talking about their amazing lunch at Neiman Marcus and in particular the Neiman Marcus Popovers with Strawberry Butter they enjoyed.  It immediately took me back to lunches that I used to share with my mom at the luxe Neiman Marcus restaurants and all of the memories I shared with her.

My mom was old school and loved the crisp tablecloths, fine napkins and of course the doting that comes with all things Neiman Marcus.  After hearing my friends speaking of these heavenly bites I found the recipe in my Neiman Marcus Cookbook and made my own batch of these scrumptious, eggy, airy bites of heaven.

A few of the chef’s notes in the cookbook states that it is important to make sure to have the eggs and milk warm before mixing.  Also, make sure to let the batter sit for an hour before baking them and always make these fresh.  Popovers that are frozen or trying to make popovers from batter that has been pre-made tends to not work well.  So, in a nutshell, you must commit when making these.  No shortcuts for these little babies.

There is something that is irreplaceable when recollecting memories with loved ones that have passed on.  I will never forget the lunches I shared with my mom at Neiman’s and making these delicious popovers brings back so many memories filled with love, nostalgia and deliciousness.

Popovers
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions
To make this recipe, you will need a Teflon-lined popover pan with a 12-cup capacity. These are available at kitchen equipment and specialty stores, and some cooking mail-order catalogs.

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the milk in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until warm to the touch. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.

Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until foamy and pale in color. Turn down the mixer to low and add the warm milk. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Spray a popover tin generously with nonstick spray. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with the batter and place the popover tin on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 375° F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until the popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside and airy on the inside. Turn out the popovers and serve hot with strawberry butter. Yields 1 dozen popovers.

Strawberry Butter
Ingredients

1 pound butter
1 1/4 c. strawberry preserves

Directions
In an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy.  Add the preserves and mix until just combined.

Homemade crunchy buttery popovers

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Yogurt Dressing

There is a Mediterranean restaurant that my husband and I absolutely love going to called, Mediterranean Kitchen. The food is so flavorful (think super garlicky and lemony) and although it isn’t the place to go if you are on a first date (unless you are into that sort of thing) it is definitely the place to go if you want something crazy garlicky good.

I love Mediterranean food which is why I am so excited to share my recipe for a Greek Quinoa Salad that I created.   I am always looking for new ways to incorporate these fresh flavors into my cooking so when I found a recipe for a greek salad with yogurt dressing I knew it would be a winner.

The dressing itself is delicious and not only is great as a dressing but also is amazing utilized as a sauce as well.  I did create this recipe to be a little more garlicky, a lot more lemony and a touch lighter (in calories) by adding both olive oil and chicken stock then traditional dressings/sauces.   I used Greek yogurt for its added protein punch and added quinoa and garbanzo beans to make this salad super filling.

Creamy Coleslaw Recipe

Coleslaw.   My first recollection of this heavy and sometimes goopy salad was from Kentucky Fried Chicken.  I remember waiting for my Extra Crispy Kernel Sanders Chicken while watching my parents order sides of coleslaw along with the mashed potatoes and gravy.  I loved KFC (actually I still do when I am nursing a hangover) but I never understood the allure of their coleslaw, or any coleslaw for that matter – until now.

I developed a love of coleslaw while enjoying it fresh, crisp and when accompanied within a sandwich.  In particular in a hamburger or a pulled pork sandwich.  Something about the crisp, cold coleslaw served with the warm, luscious meat creates a flarvorful masterpiece.

I have adapted the recipe below from Bobby Flay’s recipe that can be found on the Food Network.  This is the best one I have ever tried and I hope you agree.

Perfect Creamy Coleslaw
adapted from Bobby Flay
Ingredients

1 head green cabbage, finely shredded
2 large carrots, finely shredded
3/4 cup best-quality mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons grated onion
2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon dry mustard
2 teaspoons celery salt
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Variations
For a southwest version, I add juice of 1 fresh lime and 1 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder to the mixture

Directions
Combine the shredded cabbage and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, sugar, vinegar, mustard, celery salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl, and then add to the cabbage mixture. Mix well to combine and taste for seasoning; add more salt, pepper, or sugar if desired.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy Perfect Creamy Coleslaw, on a burger…

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