Tabbouleh with Quinoa

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is hardly a recipe because all you do is mix everything up but it is so light & yummy & pretty – I am posting.  Traditionally, this is made with bulgar but I had quinoa (keen-wah) around & used that.  The ration of ingredients is no science and pretty open to tweaking.  It is great to eat with chunks of pita bread or as a sandwich spread.  It is a light & salady thing & you don’t eat it in huge portions.  It is kind of like a palate cleanser when eating other foods of the region like shawarma, gyros & hummus.

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Tabbouleh with Quinoa

Makes about 2 cups

3/4 cup dry quinoa – cooked according to packaging (for me – that was 2 parts water to 1 part quinoa – boiled & left off heat, covered, for 12 minutes.  OR – 1 1/2 cups or so of cooked & cooled quinoa.

1/2 cucumber – peeled & diced

2 cups parsley – chopped finely (one large bunch)

1/2 cup fresh mint – chopped finely

3 scallions – chopped finely

2 tomatoes or 15 cherry tomatoes – diced

2 TBS olive oil

1-2 TBS fresh lemon juice

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & cool the quinoa.

Mix everything up.  Season to taste.  Questions?

I think not!

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Easy Basic Hummus with Spicy Jalapeno (If You Please!)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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I am kind of on a Mediterranean kick & am VERY excited to attempt a vegan gyro later today but for now – I post this hummus.  My mother always made her own & it is really so easy – nobody should ever buy any that is prepackaged.  All this requires is 8 simple ingredients & a blender.  I added jalapeno because I like them but you need not.  Tahini is a sauce that comes bottled & is readily available at most large grocery stores and it has a refrigerated shelf life like peanut butter – FOREVER.  So go ahead & buy some.

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Easy Basic Hummus with Spicy Jalapeno

INGREDIENTS

1 can chick peas – drained

1/4 cup tahini

juice of 1 lemon

2 tsp cumin

1-3 cloves of garlic – to taste

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS olive oil

1-4 TBS water (depending on how thick you like your hummus)

1/2 – 1 jalapeno – use half for a little spice, all for more spice and use even the seeds for a powerfully spicy hummus – or use none at all

Whip that shit up in a blender or food processor.

Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika, parsley or diced jalapeno.  Serve with naan or pita or veggies!

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Chicken Shawarma with Garlic Paste (Toum) & Tzatziki Sauce (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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OK!  There are not a lot of foods I really miss since I gave up meat 25 years ago but gyros & shawarma are two things definitely on the “miss list.”

I used Beyond Meat vegan chicken & I recommend it very highly – though you can use another brand or even real dead chicken (if you have a taste for hormones & cruelty).  At any rate – whatever you use – the longer you marinate if for the better – overnight being optimal.

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I made the garlic paste (or a version of it) that they serve at Zankou chicken, here in LA.  It is a bright, white paste that has a bit of a gritty texture & seems to be just mashed garlic.  I was HORRIFIED to discover – it does have a lot of garlic but it has even more OIL!  It is basically an aioli.  Or a mayonnaise.  Damn.  So – it is not a guiltless pleasure but you don’t need tons before you run the risk of setting things ablaze just by breathing your garlic shit storm on them – so do not sweat the calories too much.

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I used real yogurt in my tzatziki but they DO make vegan yogurts so – if you are vegan – just use one of those.

There are a lot of ingredients in the chicken marinade but only the cardamom is remotely exotic & you probably already have most of them in your cabinets – so do not be intimidated.  If you do not have or cannot find ground cardamom – never fear!  Substitutes: equal parts ground nutmeg and cinnamon OR equal parts ground cloves and cinnamon OR nutmeg OR cinnamon

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Garlic Paste (Toum)

This makes quite a bit but it should keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 small potato (I used a Yukon Gold) – boiled until soft & cooled

1 full cup garlic cloves (peel fresh ones & do not use the pre-peeled cloves as they have been frozen & are not as flavorful)

1 tsp salt

2 tsp lemon juice

1 1/2 cups grapeseed oil (or sunflower oil)

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DIRECTIONS

In your food processor, pulse the garlic, potato, lemon juice & salt until they are pureed.  You might need to scrape the sides of the bowl down a few times.  Then, VERY SLOWLY drizzle the oil in as the pureed is being spun about.  Do this in a very slow & steady stream.  Lots of recipes suggested it should take ten minutes.  I got it done in under five but if you add the oil too fast – it will not emulsify properly.  Check it as you go & if it begins to separate – stop adding oil & keep processing it until it comes together again.

That’s it!  You MIGHT want to experiment with an increased quantity of potato & a lesser quantity of oil.   I think I will the next time.

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Tzatziki 

Makes about 1.5 cups

INGREDIENTS

6 oz yogurt (vegan or not – your call) – I used thick Greek Fage.

1 TBS lemon juice

1 garlic clove – minced

1/4 – 1/3  cucumber – peeled & diced

pinch of salt

1 tsp or more fresh dill – chopped

DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit up!  Add water if you think it is too thick – but not a lot.

Done!

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Vegan Chicken Shawarma

Serves 2 or 3

INGREDIENTS

Pita bread or wraps or tortillas or naan

9 oz vegan chicken

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 TBS smoked paprika (or regular)

1 TBS ground cumin

1 TBS ground cardamom (or substitute from the note above)

1 TBS chili powder

1 TBS ground coriander

1 tsp pepper

Olive oil

juice & zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup yogurt (optional)

Garnish ideas: sliced red onion, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, parsley, cucumber slices

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DIRECTIONS

Mix the spices in a large glass container with the vinegar, lemon juice & zest, 2 TBS olive oil & yogurt (if using).   This is pretty thick stuff.  Feel free to thin it with water if you like.  Add the chicken & marinate it for at least an hour or overnight.  Try not to use a plastic container as it could get stained or left stinky from the spices.

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When you are ready to eat – heat a little olive oil in a pan & heat the chicken.  Allow the marinade to come away as you likely won’t want as much in the actual sandwich.  When it is warm, assemble the wrap.  Slather some garlic paste on the bread & layer the ingredients on top.  Add some tzatziki & chow the fuck down!

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Vegan White Chicken Chili (Chowder)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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www.BathingBook.com

OK – first of all – I have to admit I am home.  Alone.  A LOT.  And sometimes a gal has to amuse herself any way she can.  A few months ago – I found this HILARIOUS thong on Ebay:

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They come from China & cost about $5 including shipping.  I sent one to the badass, Miles Miller & one to my stepdad – anonymously.  I wonder if they can even figure out what it is.  I bet my stepdad is using it as a headband while he does cardio at the gym.  I will never know but still I laughed & laughed!

I crack myself up!

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Now – onto this chili.  I have never had real white chicken chili.  I gave up chicken 25 years ago or so – so I had no idea what to expect with this stuff.  Having made it the other day – I can tell you this is just a glorified & very thick chowder.  I love chowder – so that is cool – but come on.  It is not a very summery meal – that’s all I am saying.  But it sure tasted good & is REALLY EASY!   I made this vegetarian but it can easily be vegan – or – if you are a sissy – you can put dead birds in it.  I recommend the faux chicken.  It is cruelty-free & you can confidently engage in staring matches with chickens without flinching from the weight of your guilt.

I used real cream cheese but they make a vegan one – so don’t get your panties in a bunch.  If you are vegan – use the vegan version.  Wasn’t that easy?  🙂

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Vegan White Chicken Chili (Chowder)

Serves a lot – like – 6?

INGREDIENTS

1/2 – 1 lb faux chicken (depending on how dense you like it) – chopped into cubes

5 (15 oz) cans white beans

1 onion – diced

4 celery stalks – diced

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob

1-2 TBS olive oil

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup vegetable stock (or more – depending on how thick you want the chili)

4 oz can diced green chiles (hotness of your desire – double it for more flavor) – I used HOT

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper

8 oz cream cheese (or vegan alternative)

S&P to taste

Potential garnishes: Lime wedges, chopped fresh jalapenos, chopped cilantro, avocado, grated jack cheese (or, you got it!  Vegan alternative)

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DIRECTIONS

If you want a creamier base for the chili – puree two of the five cans of beans.  Drain first for thicker chili – or not if you like it more chowdery.  Set the puree aside.  If you want thick chili, add the stock in small increments (when that time comes) or not at all.  Depending on the consistency you want – you can use lots of stock or none at all.  Drain the beans for thick chili, do not if you want a chowder.

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over med-high heat.  Add the onions, celery & faux chicken.  If you use real chicken – cut it small & brown it.

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Once the vegetables are soft & the chicken begins to brown a bit add the garlic FOR THIRTY SECONDS.  Garlic burns fast & you do not want burnt garlic.

Add 1/2 of the cup of stock (or less – if you want a very thick chili), chiles & spices & bring to a boil then lower to a simmer.

Add the cream cheese, corn, whole beans (drained & rinsed for thick chili – or with the water for a chowder) & the pureed beans.  DO NOT FREAK OUT when the cream cheese starts to look curdled.

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That looks fucking nasty but, trust, the cheese WILL melt & become creamy.  In twenty minutes of so – it should all come together nicely.  If it is too thick, add more stock.  If it is too thin, raise the heat & cook it down.

Season with S&P & garnish as you please.  MMMMM!   Now get on Ebay & buy your man some hilarious panties!

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Vegan Spicy Key Lime Chicken Tacos

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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I adapted this recipe from one that used real chicken.  I made tacos to avoid using cheese but this key lime chicken would go very well in a quesadilla or over rice.

Vegan Spicy Key Lime Chicken Tacos

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

9 oz vegan chicken

3 TBS soy sauce

2 TBS agave nectar (or organic honey – if you are not vegan)

1 TBS olive oil

zest of one lime

juice of one lime

3 garlic cloves – chopped

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2 TBS Sriracha sauce

1 tsp salt

Avocado – sliced & lime squeezed on it

Pico de gallo (salsa)

Cilantro – as garnish

Lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

In your blender – make a marinade by mixing the soy sauce, agave (or honey), olive oil, zest & juice from the lime, garlic, ginger, sriracha & salt into a sort of puree.

You can leave the chicken in big pieces or dice it up.  Either way – pour the marinade over the chicken.  I did this right in the bag the chicken came in & I let mine sit overnight but 30 minutes is fine.

Heat the chicken in a pan treated with cooking spray (or a little olive oil) until it begins to brown.  I actually heated the extra marinade in a separate pan.  Do this if you think you want to add a bit of sauce to your tacos.  DO NOT do this if you used real chicken!!!  Fake chicken is perfectly safe.

I heat my tortillas on the grill (or over the burners) on my stove to soften them & get some little golden spots on them.

Now – assemble the tacos.  Warm tortilla, faux chicken, a drizzle of marinade, avocado slices, pico de gallo & a squeeze of lime.  Sprinkle with cilantro & shove these spicy little fuckers down your gullet!

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Spicy Asian Lemon Chicken with Bok Choy (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

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Very easy!  Very yummy!  Very healthy!  Very vegan!  No downside at all!

I have a lemon tree in my yard & I love lemony recipes – so – expect more stuff featuring these fragrant, clean & flavorful fruits!

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Spicy Asian Lemon Chicken with Bok Choy (Vegan)

Serves 2 with rice or noodles

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice or noodles for two

5 heads bok choy – ends cut off & washed

9 oz vegan chicken

Zest & juice of 1 lemon (at least 3 TBS lemon juice)

1 tsp ground coriander

1-3 tsp crushed red pepper (spice to your tolerance level)

Pinch of salt

1 TBS olive oil

1 cup vegetable stock

1 TBS sesame oil

1-3 tsp sriracha (to suit your heat tolerance)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 tsp soy sauce

1 TBS cornstarch dissolved (whisked) into 1/4 cup warm water

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your rice or noodles.

Toss the chicken with the lemon zest, coriander, crushed red pepper & salt.  Set aside.

Over med-high, heat the olive oil & brown the faux chicken.  Feel free to cube it up in the pan – or leave it in strips.  When browned a bit – put it on a plate & set aside.

Add the stock to the pan & bring to a boil.  Lower heat a bit & add the bok choy.  Steam for about 3-4 minutes & put it on the plate with the chicken.

Return the stock to a boil.  Add the sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce & sriracha.  Then add the cornstarch dissolved in water.  Boil until it thickens – a few minutes.  Lower heat to lowest setting or turn it off.

Now – plate it up layering some rice then bok choy & then chicken & then generously douse the contents of each plate with the lemon glaze.

Serve with lemon wedges – or not.  Your call.  ENJOY!

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Pasta with Roasted Endive & Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is a dish I have sorta mixed feelings about.  The roasted endive was kind of odd – in that – it made the endive far wetter than it is raw & it had a texture I wasn’t totally in love with.  Like cooked cabbage – the endive got wet & soggy-like.  If that appeals to you – go for it.  The Brussels sprouts were, of course, divine – so this dish could easily be made with just those & without endive – and be a crowd pleaser.  I used no cheese but a bit of shaved Parmesan would likely add another dimension of lovely to this.

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Pasta with Roasted Endive & Brussels Sprouts (Vegan)

Serves 2 well

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb dry pasta (I used rigatoni)

3 endive heads – halved (read comments above regarding endive)

6+ Brussels sprouts – halved

8 garlic cloves – minced

4+ TBS olive oil

S&P

4 scallions – sliced

1 TBS (or to taste) crushed red pepper

1 large handful of parsley – chopped

Garnish: lemon wedges or Parmesan (or vegan alternative) – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 475 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to directions, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile, toss the endive & Brussels sprouts in FOUR Tbs olive oil & 4 chopped cloves of garlic.  Sprinkle with S&P & roast for 12 minutes on one side.  Flip the vegetables & roast another 8-9 minutes or until they are a bit golden.

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Set the veggies aside.

In a large saute pan, heat another TBS olive oil over med-high heat & add crushed red pepper, scallions & another 3 chopped cloves of garlic.  After about a minute, add the pasta & endive & Brussels sprouts.  Once it is all heated through – serve with more parsley & maybe a squeeze of lemon or some saved Parmesan.  And LOTS of freshly ground pepper.

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