Archive for the ‘lemon’ Category

Here’s a delicious pasta salad that was easy to adapt to nondairy. I went to my local health food store, where they sell frozen soy ravioli, but this would also taste good with gnocchi, which is usually made nondairy also. Instead of feta cheese, which was called for, I grated some soy mozzarella. The flavors blend nicely in this dish – it’s not over-powering zing; just nicely seasoned and spiced.

Spinach, artichoke, and soy ravioli pasta salad (inspired by this recipe)

20 ounces soy ravioli (I used frozen), or gnocchi

2 tablespoons oil


8 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper, minced

1 14-ounce can baby artichoke hearts, quartered

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, julienned

1/4 cup soy mozzarella, grated

Boil a large pot of water. Add oil and salt to water. Add ravioli and boil 4 – 5 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain pasta and spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, add chopped spinach, red pepper, artichoke hearts, and olives. Toss.

On a cutting board, sprinkle minced garlic with coarse salt. Mash garlic with the flat of your knife, scraping back and forth until garlic becomes a paste. Scrape up the garlic paste with your knife and add it to a small jar. Add red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, and black pepper. Shake or whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over spinach. Toss well. Add cooled pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Toss again and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 cups.

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I just loved the idea of this soup, but we both found it to be a bit too tangy. Perhaps the size of the lemons? Maybe only one lemon next time. A very healthy soup.

Tabbouleh soup

28 ounces vegetable stock

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and extra for drizzling before serving

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large green onions, green and white parts chopped

1 large tomato, de-seeded and diced

juice of 2 large lemons

1 cup chopped fresh parsley, halved into two portions

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup bulghur

For the bulghur: in a large bowl, combine 1 cup dried bulghur with enough very hot water to cover (about 2 cups). Allow to sit until tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Drain through a fine mesh strainer, cover and set aside.

For the soup: in a medium stock pot, heat up olive oil. Add garlic and green onions and saute for 1 – 2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic brown. Add vegetable stock, mint, half of the chopped parsley, and lemon juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking. Stir in diced tomatoes and allow to cook for another minute or two.

To serve: place a large spoonful of the bulghur in the bottom of an empty soup bowl. Ladle the warm broth over the grains. Sprinkle the soup with the remainder of the fresh chopped parsley and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil for garnish. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

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Inspired by Food&Wine, this dish was a great winter recipe. Spaghetti squash is the South Beach diet answer to pasta. I made this my own by adding some cooked chicken and shredded soy mozzarella. It was light and filling and a great main dish.

Warm spaghetti squash salad

1 4-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeds scraped

1 cup sliced almonds, toasted

1/2 cup chopped pitted green olives

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallion whites

1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese

kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti squash and cook until it is al dente, about 12 minutes; drain. Place the spaghetti squash halves cut side down on a rack and let cool for 15 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the chopped olive with the sliced scallions, lemon zest, lemon juice, and canola oil, and pulse until finely chopped.

Working over a medium bowl and using a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash into the bowl, separating the strands. Add the dressing along with the chicken and toasted almonds and mozzarella, and season with salt and pepper. Toss the spaghetti squash salad and serve warm.

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I love cabbage-anything, and on a cold night, nothing is better than soup with cabbage in it. This is a vegetarian version, and a little sweet and sour, which is just the way I like it. Not quite like my grandmother used to make, but close enough to be comforting, and delicious.

Cabbage soup (from the NY Times)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 cupĀ  minced or grated onion

1 cup peeled thinly sliced carrots

1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes in puree

1 cup tomato paste

1/2 cup tomato ketchup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup lemon juice

3 pounds cabbage (tough outer leaves, core, and ribs removed), sliced into 1/4″ wide ribbons

1/2 cup golden raisins

fresh ground black pepper

soy sour cream, optional

In a 6-quart pot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil and add garlic. Cover and cook until garlic is tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add onion, and saute until translucent. Add 3 cups water, carrots, tomatoes and puree, tomato paste, ketchup, brown sugar, and bay leaf. Simmer at a lively bubble for 10 minutes, then crush whole tomatoes with potato masher or fork. Continue to simmer until carrots are tender, about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Using an immersion blender, process mixture until it is coarse, not pureed. Add lemon juice, cabbage ribbons, and 3 cups water to pot. Place over medium-high heat and cook at a lively simmer until cabbage is cooked to taste, from al dente to meltingly soft, 1 – 2 hours. Add 3 – 6 cups water, to thin to desired consistency. Ten minutes before serving, stir in raisins and a few twists of black pepper. If desiered, garnish each serving with a dollop of soy sour cream. Makes 8 – 12 servings.

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Missing salads in the winter. This is what I would call a “hearty” salad, with the chewy bulgur wheat and lush herbs. Easy to make, and I added some grilled chicken from Trader Joe’s that I cut up.

Tabbouleh (by Chef Jim Coleman)

1 cup bulgur wheat

3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (I used a pint of grape tomatoes, chopped)

3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh mint

Place the bulgur wheat in a bowl and pour in enough hot water to cover it completely. Let it soak for 20 minutes, then drain in a colander lined with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth.

Wrap the bulgur in the cheesecloth and squeeze it until all the extra moisture is removed.

Put the bulgur in a dry bowl and add the tomatoes, parsley, lemon juice, and salt, and toss gently but thoroughly with a fork.

Just before serving, stir in the olive oil and mint and taste for seasoning. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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My biggest weakness is probably for MiddleEastern cooking. This is perfectly wonderful winter salad, which can be eaten either hot or cold. No matter what the season, the colors are just beautiful, and the flavors work together perfectly.

Eggplant with pomegranate molasses (from Arabesque by Claudia Roden)

2 – 3 eggplants (weighing 2 pounds)

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

1 – 2 garlic cloves, crushed

salt and black pepper

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

seeds of 1/2 pomegranate

Prick the eggplants in a few places with a pointed knife to prevent them from exploding. Place them on a sheet of foil on an oven tray and roast them in an oven preheated to 475 degrees F for 45 – 55 minutes, until the skins are wrinkled and they are very soft.

When cool enough to handle, peel and drop them into a colander or strainer with small holes. Press them very gently to allow their juices to run out. Then, on a serving plate, cut them up into large pieces and dress them quickly so that the flesh does not have time to discolor.

Mix the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil, pour over the eggplants, and turn them to coat them all over with the dressing.

Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley and, if you like, pomegranate seeds. Serves 4 to 6.

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This dish had me at first glance. But upon tasting it, this dish grabbed me. The flavors all come through and work well together. This is not a mush of vegetables; it is an outstanding chewy-like stew of wonderful textures and bites, sitting in a pool of flavorful, light gravy. Can you tell we liked this? Highly recommend. I went a little light on the addition of black pepper – other than that, I completely followed the recipe. PS – her food photography is beautiful and crisp.

Lentil mushroom tagine (from Polwig.com, who got it from Whole Foods)

1 1/2 cups chopped onions

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

4 cups assorted mushrooms

1 1/2 cups chopped portobello mushrooms

1 cup sliced assorted peppers

1 pound spinach

2 cups canned diced tomatoes

lemon zest for garnish

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons paprika

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

2 teaspoons fennel seeds

2 cups lentils

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Heat olive oil in a very large pot, on medium, and add onions; cook until softened and slightly golden, about 3 – 5 minutes.

Add garlic, carrots, and celery, and continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the mushrooms and cider vinegar, topping off with spices. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the lentils, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender and most liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. At that time, add the colorful bell peppers and spinach, and cook till the spinach is wilted. Stir in the lemon zest.

Serve with warm pita bread, coucous, and a drop of hot sauce. Serves 8 – 10.

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