My salad days! You may recall the line from Shakespeare, “My salad days/When I was green in judgment.” Today, many think of a salad day as a way to compensate for poor eating or exercising habits. But this salad day refers to something desirable and good for you! I consider this one of my go-to salads because I can fix this dressing to serve over greens, quinoa, rice, vegetables or as I’ve done here, over greens with grilled vegetables.
It all comes together using the Grillet; how handy is that? You can have a grilled meal anytime regardless of the weather.
I have also made this by cutting a head of Romaine lettuce lengthwise, leaving on the stem to hold the leaves together, and grilling the Romaine before preparing this dressing. As they say, you make the call, but either way you’re sure to enjoy it!
To prepare salad:
3 chopped Romaine lettuce, divided onto two plates
1 tblsp olive oil
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 zucchini, sliced into 1/4” rounds
1 cup sugar snap peas
Turn on grillet to 325 degrees.
Add olive oil and saute the cauliflower florets for a minute before adding the zucchini and snap peas for an additional 3 minutes or until crisp tender.
Place on top of chopped lettuce.
1/2 cup grapefruit juice
2 tblsp vinegar
1 tsp agave nectar or honey
1 grapefruit, peeled with segments cut in half
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup toasted walnuts for garnish
To prepare salad dressing:
Combine all ingredients and cook on low heat until warmed and slightly reduced, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Taste for seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Drizzle warm dressing on top of salads and garnish with walnuts.
Want to live a healthier life? Eat less processed food and more vegetables and fish!
We all know we should eat more foods that are prepared in healthy ways and steaming is one of the best cooking methods to do so. When steaming, foods retain up to 50% more nutrients and maximizes taste and color. Best of all, the Steam feature of your Rice Cooker will cook your food at a higher temperature allowing the meal to come together more quickly than alternative cooking processes.
Keep in mind that using a healthy cooking technique, like steaming, does not mean your fish will taste bland. The simple addition of seasonings will give your fish the extra flavor you crave.
Another handy hint: steam the vegetables at the same time as the fish to create a filling and nutritious meal even when there is little time to spare!
SALMON ASIAN STYLE
12 oz salmon, skinless
1 small lime, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tblsp hoisin sauce
1 tblsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, finely shredded or minced
Chopped green onion and cilantro for garnish.
Add two cups of water to the inner pot of the Aroma Rice Cooker.
Place a single layer of lime slices on foil lined steam tray.
Rinse fish in cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
Cut fish into pieces to fit inside the steam tray and place on top of the lime.
Combine the black pepper, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and brush onto fish.
Close lid and steam for 8-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Place fish on serving plate and garnish with green onions and cilantro.
One of the things many of us try to do is to plan, cook and eat both locally and seasonally. This soup, which is a spin-off of a French soup, has the addition of pistou. This adds flavor and distinction to an otherwise ordinary soup.
Much like its Italian cousin pesto, this sauce is made by crushing herbs in a mortar with garlic, salt and olive oil and most often that herb is basil. The word pistou means “pounded” but unlike pesto, there are no nuts in the mix. Either pistou or pesto are always made to taste based on the ingredients you have on hand.
You choose how to add it to the soup; mix it in soup after you’ve prepared it, put a dollop on top of the soup or serve it on the side to be added in whatever manner/amount is preferred by those enjoying the soup!
While this dish can be made with beans, potatoes or pasta, I chose to make it strictly with vegetables. If you choose not to make the fresh French pistou, then go Italian and enjoy it with some pre-made pesto. Either one will perk up an otherwise simple soup.
SOUPE AU PISTOU
1 tblsp olive oil
4 baby squash, sliced 1/4″ rounds
3 mini bell peppers, sliced 1/4″ rounds
1 yellow squash, sliced 1/4″
1/4 cup Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup carrots, sliced 1/4″
2 quarts vegetable broth
Prepared pistou or pesto.
Set your rice cooker to saute then simmer, add olive oil and saute all vegetables until crisp tender.
Add the vegetable broth and cook until heated through.
Ladle soup into bowls, adding a spoonful of pistou to each serving.
As frozen dinners and other quick meal solutions became common place in the U.S., the use of a pressure cooker diminished. By the 1970’s, cooking with a pressure cooker was rarely considered. Well, the pressure cooker is no longer a thing of the past and I have one! And I must tell you I was delighted with it for many reasons.
The fact that it cooks food about 70% faster was definitely one, but there are also health reasons, too. I discovered that pressure-cooked foods retain more vitamins, minerals and flavor because there is less water or moisture into which the nutrients can dissolve. Who knew?
So, for a recipe with my new Pressure Cooker I decided to go with something that would feature different vegetables and meat (or not!) that would become a well-seasoned dish, but not a stew. I found my answer in a variation on a Mediterranean dish that is served over rice or couscous. Choose firm vegetables and don’t cut them in small pieces. You want even cooking.
MEDITERRANEAN BEEF AND VEGETABLE PLATTER
2 lbs beef chuck, cubed into 2” cubes
2 tblsp Garam Masala
2 tblsp olive oil
1 cup baby carrots
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 zucchini, cut in large pieces
2 cups assorted baby squash, whole
1 cup beef broth
1 cup pearl onions
1 cup mushrooms, halved
Place oil in the bottom of the inner cooking pot and heat with the Brown setting. Rub the Garam Masala seasoning over the cubed meat and brown on all sides. Turn pressure cooker off.
Wrap carrots, bell pepper, zucchini and baby squash in individual foil packets. Add broth to the pot and place vegetable packets on top of the meat. Close the lid securely and set the steam vent to “closed.” Set to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes. Release the pressure.
Remove vegetable packets and set aside until ready to plate.
Place meat in a bowl and cover with some of the meat juices. Add pearl onions and mushrooms to the inner pot and quickly saute in 2 tblsp of the meat juices.
Place the meat and vegetables over rice, noodles or couscous and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Some of my family and friends do not like curries as hot as I do, yet I wanted them to experience the great aromas and flavors of India. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to share a kitchen with an Indian woman from New Delhi for a few months and she introduced me to this very mild curry.
All curries do not taste the same nor are they made with the usual blend of curry powder found in your grocery spice aisle. This fact turned out to be a selling point that encouraged a number of people to give Indian curries a try. With this recipe, I’ve converted a good number to Indian cooking!
You will also find that whole coriander seeds and cloves are rendered quite mild and less pungent in flavor after they’ve cooked; you can actually bite into them without trepidation.
The Saute-Then-Simmer function on the Aroma Rice Cooker is perfect for making this dish. After the liquid ingredients are added, just close the lid and enjoy visiting with your guests until it’s ready to be served. You will be pleased with the results!
NEW DELHI CHICKEN CURRY
4 skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2” pieces
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp salt
3 tblsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 inches of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp turmeric
1 Bay leaf
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped in have then lengthwise
1 large russet potato, cut into 2” pieces with skin on
2 cups cilantro, chopped
2 tsp whole coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
1 13.5oz can coconut milk
4 oz can roasted mild chiles, chopped
1/3 c chicken broth
non-stick cooking spray
In a bowl, combine the cut chicken pieces, cardamom and salt. Add the oil, toss and set aside.
In second bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and bay leaf with the chopped onions, carrots, potato and cilantro. Save the mild chilies, coconut milk and chicken broth to be added last.
Set your Rice Cooker to Sauté then Simmer. Dry toast the coriander seeds and whole cloves until aromatic; remove to a small bowl.
Spray a small amount of oil to the pan; add chicken mixture and lightly sauté all the pieces. Add in your second bowl of vegetable ingredients and stir to combine. Add chicken broth, milk and chilies. Place the lid on and simmer for about 30 minutes.
Serve with Naan bread.
There is something about a good grilled vegetable sandwich that, for me, puts it above all others. Perhaps it is the special taste grilled vegetables have or the warm cheese oozing out between the layers. And why is it that the vegetable combinations are tastier when served this way than when they appear together in a bowl? I don’t know, maybe some or all of that. I do know that when I see those vegetables and greens in my refrigerator, I start lining up my spices and then hunt up the right cheese that will bring them all together for one great warm and fragrant sandwich. Thanks to the Grillet, it all comes together in no time.
And with that indoor grill it matters not what the weather is like outside; I know some of you still have snow. So here is a way to get into the promise of springtime weather with a tasty sandwich from the grill! Get a good book, settle in and enjoy this sandwich!
THE GREAT GRILLED VEGGIE SANDWICH
2 tblsp olive oil
1 Italian squash, sliced lengthwise in ¼ “strips
1 Portobello mushroom, 1/4 inch slices
1 sweet red onion, sliced thin
Greek seasoning (I prefer Cavender’s for this for the finer grind)
honey wheat bread, sliced and brushed with olive oil
cheese slices – such as fresh Mozzarella, Havarti, Swiss or Provolone
Brush olive oil over the vegetables, sprinkle with the Greek seasoning and saute until crisp tender. Remove from pan and lightly toast the bread. Place vegetables on top of bread, adding the lettuce and cheese slices. Top with another slice of bread and cook until cheese melts, turning once.
Well, the time came again and I needed something to prepare for a large group function. As it often happens, my week was already full to bursting with other commitments.
Naturally, I gave thought to what I could do using the slow cooker function of my Rice Cooker. As I’ve mentioned before, I take great pleasure getting more than one thing done at a time. In this case, transportation was also an issue. But, no worries, this Savory Bread Pudding was the answer.
If you have not thought of a savory bread pudding as a great side or a luncheon main dish, it is time you do so. Once you have made it, you will likely have it as a regular go-to recipe. It also lends itself to your creative touch! I usually serve this with a roasted bell pepper and sun-dried tomato sauce but even there you have lots of options, so go for it!
SUNDRIED TOMATO, FETA, OLIVE AND ARTICHOKE BREAD PUDDING
8 cups stale bread cut into 1″ cubes, using any type or mixture of breads (wheat, sour dough, whole grain, etc.)
8 eggs, beaten well
2 ½ cups chicken broth
2 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup artichoke bottoms, drained well, blotted and chopped
½ cup pimiento stuffed green olives, sliced
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 cup feta cheese
Toast the bread cubes in a 350 degree oven until dry, stirring often.
Place bread cubes in a large bowl and add the beaten eggs, chicken broth, cream, artichokes, olives and dried tomatoes. Stir well to incorporate, cover and place in refrigerator for at least an hour or up to 24 hours, the longer the better.
When ready to cook, add the feta cheese and place the mixture into the inner pot which has been lightly buttered. Set to slow cook for 4-5 hours. Let cool for an additional hour and remove.