DDD #54 – Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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To watch the video – click the image above.

Living alone can make eating all the food I buy difficult.  I buy produce with a thousand inspirations in my head – often forgetting that I have to eat everything I make myself.  That can get difficult – especially with produce like avocados & leafy greens that have a short shelf life.  Yesterday – I made a Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry (seen above) that used a lot of the veggies I had around – but – it did not use everything.  I also had a lot of leftover basmati rice.  So – I dreamed up this salad.  I used a little (1 cup) of the rice I had.  You could use more – or less – depending on how light you want this to be.  You could also use quinoa or brown rice or some ancient grain of your choice.  Or – as I do in the video – use grated cauliflower in place of rice.  Whatever you decide – this salad is full of nutrients & tastes clean & light & fresh.  If you do not add the avocado – this salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just add the avocado just before serving.

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 cup cooked rice or other grain (optional) or 1 medium head of cauliflower – grated

1 head broccoli – grated or pulsed in a food processor

1 cucumber – chopped

1 zucchini – chopped

Avocado – amount at your discretion – sliced

2-3 scallions – sliced

1 bunch (6-8 leaves) rainbow chard (or other greens of your choice) – ribs removed & chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil – chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint – chopped

Pepitas (or other nuts) – amount at your discretion

GARNISH: basil, mint, lime wedges

for the dressing

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS cider vinegar

2 TBS fresh lime (or lemon) juice (or a combination)

1 tsp lemon or lime zest

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 or 2 TBS agave (I used 2 but might go less next time)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the dressing together & adjust flavors to suit your tastes.

Pulse the broccoli in a food processor or grate it (grating is very messy).  Do the same with the cauliflower – if you are using it n place of rice.

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the broccoli & cauliflower/rice & toss.  Add the zucchini & chard.  Add a few TBS water & cover the pan & remove from heat.  You just want to warm everything through & get the chard & broccoli & zucchini wilt a bit.

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In 5 minutes or so – put the rice mixture in a large bowl (or in the pan) & toss in the scallions, mint & basil & cucumber & some (not all) the dressing.

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Put some of the warm salad on plates & garnish with avocado slices, pepitas, extra basil and/or mint, lime wedges, additional dressing & freshly cracked pepper.

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DDD #46 – St. Germain Gin Fizz Cocktail

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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Click the image below to watch the video.


St. Germain Gin Fizz Cocktail

Makes one real cocktail or two minis

INGREDIENTS

2 oz gin

1 oz St. Germain

1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 oz club soda

1/2 oz simple syrup

Garnish options: sliced cucumber, mint sprigs, cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS

Shake the gin, St. Germain, lemon juice & simple syrup in ice for 30 seconds.  Pour into glasses filled with ice & cucumber slices.  Top with club soda & garnish with cucumber & mint.

Consume!  Make more!

DDD Ep. #9 – Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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I am reposting this recipe from last year here again because it is episode #9 on my cooking show on Youtube – Video Vegan.  The newer recipe is 100% vegan.  Check out the video here & please subscribe!

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From November 17, 2016:

I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

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

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Living alone can make eating all the food I buy difficult.  I buy produce with a thousand inspirations in my head – often forgetting that I have to eat everything I make myself.  That can get difficult – especially with produce like avocados & leafy greens that have a short shelf life.  Yesterday – I made a Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry (seen above) that used a lot of the veggies I had around – but – it did not use everything.  I also had a lot of leftover basmati rice.  So – I dreamed up this salad.  I used a little (1 cup) of the rice I had.  You could use more – or less – depending on how light you want this to be.  You could also use quinoa or brown rice or some ancient grain of your choice.  Whatever you decide – this salad is full of nutrients & tastes clean & light & fresh.  If you do not add the avocado – this salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just add the avocado just before serving.

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 cup cooked rice or other grain (optional)

1 head broccoli – grated or pulsed in a food processor

1 cucumber – chopped

1 zucchini – chopped

Avocado – amount at your discretion – sliced

2-3 scallions – sliced

1 bunch (6-8 leaves) rainbow chard (or other greens of your choice) – ribs removed & chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil – chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint – chopped

Pepitas (or other nuts) – amount at your discretion

GARNISH: basil, mint, lime wedges

for the dressing

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS cider vinegar

2 TBS fresh lime (or lemon) juice (or a combination)

1 tsp lemon or lime zest

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 or 2 TBS agave (I used 2 but might go less next time)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the dressing together & adjust flavors to suit your tastes.

Pulse the broccoli in a food processor or grate it (grating is very messy).

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the broccoli & rice & toss.  Add the zucchini & chard.  Add a few TBS water & cover the pan & remove from heat.  You just want to warm everything through & get the chard & broccoli & zucchini wilt a bit.

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In 5 minutes or so – put the rice mixture in a large bowl (or in the pan) & toss in the scallions, mint & basil & cucumber & some (not all) the dressing.

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Put some of the warm salad on plates & garnish with avocado slices, pepitas, extra basil and/or mint, lime wedges, additional dressing & freshly cracked pepper.

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Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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OK – this is another fast & easy one.  If feta & watermelon seem like an odd mix – just think of the popularity of salting watermelon.  It might seem, initially, like an odd combo but it works really well.  It it refreshing & clean & and the water density of the watermelon makes it surprisingly satisfying.

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Watermelon, Feta & Mint Salad

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 cups diced watermelon

1/4-1/2 (or more) diced feta cheese

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/4 red onion sliced paper thin

1-3 tsp olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lime

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Mix & serve.

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Vegan Mega Lemon and Garlic Chicken and White Beans with Mint-Basil Pesto for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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OK, kids – it’s another easy slow cooker meal.  I added a little fresh Mint-Basil Pesto – but you need not.  I used a fuckton of garlic & a shitload of lemon – but you can tone these down, if you prefer.  I used the always awesome Beyond Meat – of which (full disclosure) – I am not officially a SuperFan!  Check it out HERE – but you can use real chicken, if that’s your bag.  I served it over pasta but rice would work, too, or this could be served as a sort of white chili.  It is all up to you!  Isn’t that nice?

Mint-Basil Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2 cups fresh basil

1/2 to 1 cup fresh mint leaves (depending on your passion for mint)

1/4 cup almonds (or walnuts or cashews)

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup Parmesan (or vegan alternative)

Olive oil (Use just as much as you need to get the pesto to the consistency you like. I used very little – maybe 1/8 cup – but you might like your pesto thinner.)

1 TBS lemon juice

S&P

DIRECTIONS

Puree all in a food processor.  Season with S&P.

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Vegan Mega Lemon and Garlic Chicken and White Beans for the Slow Cooker

Serves 6-8 with rice or pasta

INGREDIENTS

2 cups dry white beans (or canned)

9 oz vegan chicken – thawed & shredded

1 onion – sliced or chopped

20 cloves of garlic – smashed

zest of one lemon

juice of two lemons

5 cups vegetable stock

1 TBS crushed red pepper (or less – to taste)

S&P

Cornstarch

Garnish – Mint-Basil Pesto (recipe above), lemon wedges, fresh basil, cooked pasta or cooked rice.

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DIRECTIONS

Do not put the lemon halves in your slow cooker – like you see above.  I think this added a touch of bitterness.

Put everything except the cornstarch into a slow cooker & leave it on high for 6 hours.  If it is too thin – add 1 2 TBS cornstarch to 1/4 cup water & whisk together.  Add to the slow cooker – on high – and it should thicken nicely.  If it is too thick – add a bit of water.  Season with S&P.

Or..

Stove-top – just use canned beans & cook until the onions are tender & the flavors meld – maybe 45 minutes.

Serve with rice or pasta or on its own.  Top with the pesto & garnish as you desire.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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Did you perhaps make my Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpeas for the Slow Cooker – seen above?  Do you have boat loads left over – like I do?  Why not try this Indian take on a burrito?    The Mint & Cilantro chutney is genuinely spicy & insanely delicious & takes this curry to new heights.   The pickled onions add a little snap & they are SO EASY to make.  You could add paneer or feta or cotija or some cheese to this – if you eat cheese – but it really doesn’t need it.

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The recipe for that mint & cilantro chutney above is HERE.

The recipe for the pickled red onions above is HERE.

The recipe for the Butter Chicken & Chickpeas above is HERE.

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Vegan Butter Chicken and Chickpea Burrito with Pickled Onions and Mint Cilantro Chutney

INGREDIENTS

Mint & cilantro chutney is HERE

Pickled red onions are HERE

Butter Chicken & Chickpeas is HERE

Cooked rice

Large tortillas

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DIRECTIONS

Warm the curry.  Assemble the burrito.  Grill on a dry grill pan until it looks good to you.  Dip it in extra chutney & shove it into your motherfuckin’ pie hole.  Mmmmmmm!

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Spicy Cilantro and Mint Chutney

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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

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I have posted a recipe for this chutney before but I like this version better.  Simple ingredients & a blender.  Easy & I could eat it with a spoon.  It goes great with Indian foods & as a naan dip.

Cilantro & Mint Chutney

INGREDIENTS

1 cup fresh mint leaves

1 1/2 cups cilantro

1 jalapeno (I used a huge one & left the seeds in & this came out quite spicy!)

1 TBS fresh ginger

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 TBS lime juice (this helps the chutney stay vibrant green)

pinch of salt (I used black salt but any salt will do)

DIRECTIONS

Puree in a blender using JUST ENOUGH water to get it to mix.  Be careful not to add too much of the chutney will be too thin.  I used maybe 1/4 cup water.

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

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I am a huge fan of the zucchini & mint combination.  I got the original recipe from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It was one of my earliest posts on this blog. Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan – seen above.

I later adapted it to a Fresh Mint and Zucchini Mac and Cheese version – which was rather lovely – seen below.

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Today, I found myself looking at 4 huge but wilting zucchinis & a bunch of wilting mint – so – I decided to try this experiment.  It is sauceless because the zucchini & mint are such delicate flavors that you don’t want to offer too much competition for them but, if you like wetter enchiladas & don’t mind cream sauces, I would recommend a light Alfredo or something.  They are very easy to make & cook up in about 45 minutes total – prep & baking included.  Light & fresh – they are breadier than most enchiladas seem because of the lack of sauce & because I filled them sparingly.    Still – I would call them a success!

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

Makes 8 enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

8 flour tortillas

4 large zucchini (or more for fatter enchiladas) – grated

6 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup Parmesan – grated – or vegan alternative

1 cup mozzarella – grated (or fresh mozzarella – sliced) – or vegan alternative

1 bunch fresh mint (about a cup) – chopped

S&P

Garnish – extra mint and/or cheese

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate the zucchini & cheeses.

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the garlic & about 30 seconds later – add the zucchini.  Garlic burns easily & tastes bitter when it does so be quick here.

Saute about 15 minutes or until it becomes a bit of a mush.  Add the mint & 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.  Season with S&P.

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Assemble the enchiladas by rolling 1/8 of your zucchini into each of eight tortillas.  Treat a baking pan with coking spray (or olive oil) & line the enchiladas up, seam-side down.

Cover with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan & the mozzarella.

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Bake for 20 minutes or so or until the cheese is melted to your taste.

Serve with extra cheese and/or mint as garnish.  Easy peasy!

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Fresh Mint and Zucchini Mac and Cheese

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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 mac & cheese is the easiest of the three I posted this week.  I already posted Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko and Chipotle Gouda and Guinness (Stout) Mac and Cheese with Vegan Pulled Chicken (or Pork) in Homemade Chipotle Apricot BBQ Sauce – seen above, respectively.

I have also posted another version of mint & zucchini pasta in one of my earliest recipes in the first week or so of my food porn blogging adventure – Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan – seen below in a rather underwhelming photo.

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That recipe was stolen from my friend Naomi but this mac & cheese is all mine.  Mint & zucchini might sound odd but they add a light & refreshing taste to pasta – which is sort of the opposite of what you think of when you think pasta.

This mac & cheese was easiest because I did not bother with a roux.  This can come together very quickly  – like – the time it takes to cook the pasta – and then sit waiting on your counter (or fridge) until you are thirty minutes away from serving dinner.

Alas – my photos of THIS mint & zucchini dish are also underwhelming because 1) I didn’t photograph the leftovers until the next day (as these three mac & cheeses were made for a birthday dinner) and more importantly 2) I tripped over a dog gate as I carried the ramekins to a nicely lit spot & I took quite a fall.  I broke a little table:

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and hot mac & cheese flew all over a nutmeg leather & brocade love seat & all over the floor, too.  My self-pity knew no bounds & the photo session was over.  So – I had to settle for what I had taken so far.  But – trust me – this dish is far yummier than the photos suggest & it really is easy.

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Fresh Mint and Zucchini Mac and Cheese

INGREDIENTS

1/2 to 3/4  lb macaroni (or pasta of your choice)

6 very large zucchini or 12 regular ones

1 bunch fresh mint

6 garlic cloves

2 TBS olive oil

2 cups pepper jack – grated

2 cup mozzarella – grated

1 cup Parmesan

4 oz cream cheese

S&P

Extra Parmesan for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta.

Meanwhile, using a cheese grater or a food processor – grate all but one large (or 2 small) zucchinis.  Slice the remaining ones into 1/4 inch thick rounds to be used to top the pasta – like you see on the one on the far right.

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Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan.  Drop in the garlic cloves.  I left mine whole because they were small but you can chop yours first – if the idea of biting into a whole clove later bums you out.

Add the zucchini & saute until soft.  Season with S&P.

Chop the mint.  Reserve some for garnish later & toss the rest into the zucchini pan.  Stir to combine.

When the pasta is done, drain it & toss it with the zucchini mixture.  Reserve 1 cup of mozzarella & the cup of grated Parmesan & mix the pepper jack, cream cheese & remaining one cup of mozzarella with the pasta.

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Treat a casserole pan (or ramekins) with cooking spray & put the pasta mix in.  Top with zucchini rounds & then with the 1 cup each of mozzarella & Parmesan.

Heat for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melted & bubbling & beginning to turn golden.

Let it rest 5-10 minutes, serve & garnish with more mint (and Parmesan) and lots of freshly ground pepper & then dig in.

Delicious, no?    Told ya so!

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Zucchini Squash Blossom Pizza with Garlic Zucchini, Tomatoes & Herbs

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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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Zucchini blossoms!  I fucking love zucchini blossoms!  Look how gorgeous they are!  Delicate & delicately flavored – they are a lovely addition to many dishes – if only for the splash of color they add.  They do have a flavor, though, and finding a dish that uses them that is tasty but doesn’t overwhelm the blossoms can be tricky.  I have posted another pizza yesterday, my Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella.

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It was yummy – but I think I prefer the one I am posting here now.  Today’s pizza is colorful & flavorful & moist & easy & wonderful.  With pizzas, I seldom give quantities for the ingredients because I feel that is really up to you.  Some folks like lots of cheese – others do not. I used a lot of LARGE chunks of garlic in this.  Some might find that heavy-handed.  So – use this as a guideline & make your own decisions but – if you find zucchini blossoms – buy them & try them in something because they are a pure delight & only around for a few weeks.

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Zucchini Squash Blossom Pizza with Garlic Zucchini, Tomatoes & Herbs

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use THIS & make it in my bread machine)

Zucchini blossoms (I used about 10)

1 tomato – diced

1 zucchini – sliced thin

4-5 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

Grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Fresh mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Olive oil

Salt (you gotta try the Pink Himalayan)

Herbs (I used a mix of chopped basil, mint and parsley – with the fresh MINT being extra special here)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.

Remove the stems & center thingy from the blossoms.

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Chop the blossoms up.

Heat some live oil in a saute pan & saute the zucchini rounds & chopped garlic over medium heat until the rounds soften.   Reserve the olive oil & garlic & drain the zucchini on a paper towel.

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Roll the dough out & place it on a cooking sheet with either parchment paper or treat the pan with cooking spray.

Brush the olive oil from the zucchini onto the crust & add the garlic.  Pierce the crust in several places so it doesn’t bubble up & bake for 5-10 minutes.

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Take it from the oven & top it with a layer of grated mozzarella, the zucchini rounds (add a little salt here), some diced tomato, fresh mozzarella & most of the chopped blossoms (reserve some for garnish).

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Bake this pretty fucker for another 10-15 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.  Garnish with more chopped blossoms & the chopped herbs.  Yyyyymmmmm!

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Grilled Caramelized Peaches with Burrata and Mint Pistachio Pesto

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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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These are pretty easy & really special.  I added brown sugar to caramelize the peaches but, in the future, I will not as I think they are plenty sweet on their own.  I caramelized them in butter but olive oil is just as good.

Burrata is basically a ball of fresh mozzarella filed with a creamier & softer version of the same cheese.  If you haven’t tried it you must!  If you cannot find it (TRader Joe’s & Costco both typically carry it) – just use the best grade fresh mozzarella you can find.

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Grilled Caramelized Peaches with Burrata and Mint Pistachio Pesto

This serves two as an appetizer

INGREDIENTS

2 peaches cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 burrata balls

butter or olive oil

Brown sugar (optional)

Mint Pistachio Pesto

Basil micro greens as garnish – if you want to be SUPER fancy & spend $5 on garnish

Extra pistachios as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Make the Mint Pistachio pesto (and thin it with water a bit).

You can grill the peaches on a grill or in a grill pan – or even in a saute pan.  If you want the peaches caramelized – press them into some brown sugar & caramelize them over med-high heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side in some melted butter – or just rub olive oil on them & grill them until they get grill marks & soften a bit.  Your call.  They will be great either way.

Then just plate them up with the burrata (or sliced fresh mozzarella) & drizzle with the mint & pistachio pesto.  Lots of cracked pepper & a far amount of sea salt really bring the flavors together.  I promise!

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Mint Pistachio Pesto

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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.

images (1)download (1)

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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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I never use pine nuts anymore because 1) they are too expensive but more importantly 2) PINE MOUTH!  Click that link & read up.  You might opt to eschew them in the future yourselves.

Pesto can be made with nearly anything & I have posted a lot of options in the past.  This one is clean & fresh & would work on pasta or crostini or fish or lost of other things – like the grilled peaches & burrata I intend to post next.

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Mint Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

1 packed cup fresh mint

1/2 packed cup basil

1/4 cup pistachios

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 TBS lemon juice

(water to thin it – depending on how you intend to use it)

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DIRECTIONS

Blend it all up in a food processor.  Use it thick for crostini etc or thin it out with water to use as a drizzle (as I did on the peaches & burrata).

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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vromans back

 

Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous & Waterfront Film Festival!

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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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I have been shirking my blogging duties lately because last weekend was year 16 of the AWESOME Waterfront Film Festival (Waterfront on Facebook) – a festival I have programmed for every year.  This year was our second season in South Haven, Michigan – having been in Saugatuck for 14 years before that.  We screened a ton of amazing films & the weather was gorgeous & I got to meet a lot of new folks & reunite with some old friends.  Internationally acclaimed artist Ron English did our poster again this year

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and he even came early & painted this mural – IN A DAY.  That is my stepdad, Alvan Long, in the black get-up.

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Besides beaches & murals & movies – there were lots of parties & lotsa this kinda thing:

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As you might imagine, it takes a few days to recover from such debauchery – but recovered I am!  Sorta.  Still too lazy to get nuts in the kitchen but I made this soup today & it came together in about 20-30 minutes & tastes amazing!  EASY & healthy & vegan.  I used these products from Trader Joe’s:

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but you could use any vegan (or not) meatball or another grain – like barley or something.   So easy & flavorful – I hope you try it!

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Vegan Moroccan Meatball Soup with Israeli Couscous

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

1 1/4 cup uncooked Israeli couscous

1/2 lb vegan meatballs

1-2 TBS olive oil

1 medium onion – minced

6 garlic cloves – minced

4 cups vegetable stock

2 TBS mint – chopped (plus more as garnish)

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/2 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp chili powder

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

NOTE – I tried the leftovers of this soup the next day & by day two – the spices seemed heavy-handed.  So – if you are going to eat this immediately – spice it up.  If you expect leftovers or intend to let it simmer long time – maybe reduce the spices by half and season it more (if it needs it) before serving.

Despite the photos above – keep your vegan meatballs OUT until the end to prevent them from falling apart.

Cook your couscous according to the package & set aside.  This should take 15 minutes.

Meanwhile – heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat & saute the onion (not the garlic) with the dry spices until the onion softens – a few minutes.  Add the garlic for one minute & then add the stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer & add the couscous & meatballs.  Season with S&P – add some mint – and you are pretty much good to go.  The longer it gets to simmer – the better the flavors meld but be careful not to break up your meatballs.  If it gets too thick – add water.

Serve with more chopped mint & slurp it up!

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Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

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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.

images (1)download (1)

~

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 very easy recipe & you can tweak it any way you desire.   Lose the cheese for a vegan version or add other veggies or pomegranate seeds or nuts.  Go crazy!  The jar is a nice way to bring the salad to work or a picnic.

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Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Vinaigrette – in a Mason Jar

Feeds 2 well as a main course or 4 as a side

INGREDIENTS

Orange Vinaigrette

2 cups cooked wheat berries

1 cup cooked (or canned) black-eyed peas – rinsed

1 cup dried cranberries (or other dry fruit)

1/2 cup red cabbage – chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese – crumbled

1/2 cup red onion – diced

1/2 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Toss that salad!   Add dressing in small increments until you get it like you like it.  MMMMM!

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