Wednesday, February 25, 2015

What's Cookin' Wednesday - Kale Salad Bowl with Tahini

makes 4 bowls

For the roasted sweet potatoes:
2 sweet potatoes
olive oil
salt & fresh pepper

For the tahini:
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp coarse salt
3/4 cup tahini paste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp warm water
2 tsp chopped parsley

For the lemon dressing:
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh pepper
2/3 cup olive oil

For the bowls:
4 cups chopped kale, stems removed
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
sesame seeds
salt & fresh pepper

For the roasted sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400˚F. Prepare a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking oil. Peel the potatoes and cut then into small cubes (1/2″-1″). Toss in a bowl with enough olive oil to coat all the pieces. Season GENEROUSLY with salt and fresh pepper. Lay the cubes out on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes flipping the potatoes half way through.

To brown and crisp them a bit more, broil on high for 2-4 minutes. Careful not to burn them!

For the tahini: In a pestle & mortar, crush the garlic and coarse salt until it is completely paste-y. There should be no chunks. Add the tahini paste and lemon and mix until combined. Add water, parsley and mix again. It should be fairly loose. If the tahini is too thick, add another tablespoon of water until you’ve achieved desired consistency.

You can also do this in a food processor if you either don’t own a pestle & mortar, or if yours isn’t big enough to hold all the ingredients.

For the lemon dressing: Whisk all the ingredients together.

For the bowls: Toss the chickpeas with about 2 tablespoons of lemon dressing in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss & massage the kale with the remaining lemon dressing, some salt, and fresh pepper. Massaging the kale will break down some of those tough fibers and make the kale a bit softer.
Top with the roasted potatoes, quinoa, chickpeas, and crumbled feta. Drizzle with tahini. Use as much or as little as you like. You can serve the rest of the tahini on the side as well. Garnish with sesame seeds and season with salt and fresh pepper.

Treat each add on as it’s own little dish, making sure each component is delicious before adding it all together. This is called a “composed salad”.

YUM!  YUM! YUM!  Even the Mister liked it - which totally surprised me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What's Cookin Wednesday - Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

This recipe was influenced by

2 Tbl dark brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile pepper
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp salt
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs

2 Tbls canola oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tbl dark brown sugar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry mustard (I used regular, it's all I had!)
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbls cider vinegar

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare chicken, combine first 6 ingredients; rub evenly over chicken.  Place chicken non a grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 15 minutes or until a thermometer registers 180, turning occasionally.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Shred with 2 forks.

To prepare sauce, while chicken grills, heat canola oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Stir in 1 Tbls sugar and next 5 ingredients (through ground red pepper); cook 30 seconds.  Stir in ketchup and vinegar; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.  Stir in chicken; cook 2 minutes.  

Place 1/3 cup chicken mixture on bottom half of each bun; top each with 2 pickle chips and top of bun.

This was a super quick, super easy way to make pulled BBQ chicken.  We both added hot sauce to our sandwiches - but YUM!