Archive of ‘Cooking’ category

Quick Reference Herb Chart

| Cooking, Printables

Herb Chart

Quick Reference Herb Chart for Cooking

Who doesn’t love the multitude of flavors that fresh herbs add to a meal. I’m so lucky to live in a climate where I can grow a variety of herbs year round. I try to use them whenever I get the opportunity. Not only are they incredibly tasty but many herbs also offer great health benefits. Parsley for example relaxes muscles and aids in digestion, rosemary boosts brainpower, oregano fights inflammation and thyme and sage are full of antioxidants.

Sometimes the thing that prevents us from using these wonderful herbs is our lack of knowledge of which herbs go with which foods. I’ve created a printable quick reference chart for you to keep in your cookbook or stick on the inside of your cupboard. This chart helps to layout what herbs goes best with the various meats, salads, soups, etc.

To download and print off your own herb chart, click here.

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Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps

| Cooking

Portobello Stuffed Mushroom

Portobello Stuffed Mushroom

Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps – Brussels sprouts and I have never been friends, not even acquaintances for that matter.  I can safely say that out of all the vegetables, brussels sprouts are all the bottom of my favorites list…until recently that is.  I came up with this recipe for brussels sprouts that is amazing (if I do say so myself).  Today’s recipe for lemon walnut brussels sprout Stuffed portobello mushrooms is a modified and enhanced version of my original recipe (post still to come).  All I’m going to say is that this recipe will turn those brussels sprout haters into lovers and “may I have more please” askers. And, the portobello mushroom is simply the icing on top of the cake (or the fungus on the bottom of the stuffing in this case). This recipe is super easy and it only takes a few minutes to put it together. It’s cooked in the oven but could also be done on the grill. Serve this at your next dinner party and they’ll think you slaved for hours on this dish.

Lemon Walnut Brussels Sprout Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Caps – makes 4 caps

Download/print recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2-3 brussels sprouts, chopped finely
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/8 cup of walnuts, chopped
  • 1/8 cup of almonds, slivered
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp steak spice or seasoning salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Gently wash and remove stem from the mushrooms. Place mushrooms bottom-side up on a baking sheet.
  3. Put all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and gently mix everything together.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the mushroom caps, dividing the mixture evenly between the four caps.
  5. Place into oven and cook for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

 

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Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

| Cooking

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad – This salad has become my new lunchtime favorite.  I came across this hand typed recipe on Facebook. It sounded so good I had to give it a try – wow is all I can say. It’s such a healthy, flavorful salad and it has a really interesting smoky flavor thanks to the smoked Spanish paprika. Everyone who’s tried it has asked me for the recipe. If you’re not familiar with quinoa, it’s quite a fantastic food or superfood to be more precise.  Quinoa is the seed of a plant belonging to the same family as other favored super-veggies including spinach, swiss chard, and beets. It’s one of the most nutritionally dense foods available, provides all nine essential amino acids and has twice the fiber of most other grains. It has a mild flavor so it can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. As per usual, I rarely leave a recipe unmodified from the original and this recipe is no different; I’ve added a few little extras. Sadly, I don’t know where this recipe originated so if anyone knows who to credit please let me know.

Smoky Quinoa Chickpea Salad Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cucumber, chopped unpeeled
  • 1 pint cherry or baby tomatoes, halved
  • 4-5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 2 tsp smoked Spanish paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional:  I like to lay it on a bed of salad greens or kale. I’ve also added minced green olives and cauliflower which I thought made nice additions to the salad.

Directions:

  1. Rinse quinoa. Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for about 12-15 minutes. Take off heat and let sit covered in saucepan.
  2. Combine chickpeas, cucumber, parsley, onions, and half the feta in a large bowl. Toss until well mixed.
  3. Gently toss with cooled quinoa.
  4. Wisk vinegar, honey, oil, grainy mustard and olive oil together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over the combined salad ingredients.
  5. Add tomatoes, and gently toss, being careful not to over mix.
  6. Top with feta and serve.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe.  Check out some of my other recipes including: Best salad everNo bake energy balls,  the best chicken soup you’ll ever eatBailey’s dipped toasted marshmallowszucchini quinoa pattiesperfect chocolate chip cookiesmarinated feta cheesemediterranean hummus.

You may also want to checkout my popular Pinterest Boards and Follow me on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

~ Jamey

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Homemade Preserved Lemons

| Cooking, Crafts & DIY

Preserved Lemons make great gifts.

Preserved lemons make a great gift.

Homemade Preserved Lemons – Every year, I try to make a number of homemade Christmas gifts for my family and friends and over the next few weeks I’ll be posting a number of DIY gift ideas on my blog.  To my family and friends, avert your eyes, forget you saw any of these photos and back away from your computer.

As you’ve probably already noticed, I really enjoy cooking.  I am particularly drawn to really flavorful dishes (my chicken noodle soup recipe is a great example). I love adding sauces, flavored vinegars, fresh herbs and spices, etc to my food to enhance the taste.  This year I’ve decided to make lemon preserve, a traditional North African staple that often goes with food like Moroccan chicken, festive salads or tagines (a stew like dish that’s named after the pot it’s cooked in). Preserved lemons are also great in grain salads, salad dressings, sauces, salsa, dips and pasta. These preserved lemons are bursting with rich flavor and are also beautiful to look at in the jar. I’m also including free printable gift tags here to go with the jars as well as printable recipe ideas here.

Ingredients:

  • Lemons (organic if possible):  2-3 lemons for a small jar, 3-4 lemons for a medium jar and 5-6 lemons for a large jar + a couple extra for any extra lemon juice you need to fill the jar
  • Sea or Kosher salt: 1 tbsp + 1 tsp for each lemon
  • Cinnamon stick: 1 for each jar (broken in half for the smaller jars)
  • Coriander seeds: 8-10 seeds for a small jar, 14-16 seeds for a medium jar and 20-24 seeds for a large jar
  • Black peppercorns: 3-4 peppercorns for small jar, 6-8 peppercorns for medium jar and 10-12 for a large jar
  • Cloves: 3-4 cloves for small jar, 6-8 cloves for medium jar and 8-10 cloves for a large jar
  • Bay leaf: 1 leaf for a small jar, 2 leaves for a medium jar and 2 leaves for a large jar

Equipment:

    • Sharp knife and cutting board
    • Sterile mason jars (I used a variety of sizes but the medium or larger jars are easier to work with)

Directions:

  1. Scrub lemons clean and then dry them off completely.
  2. Cut off the little nub on the ends of the lemon and then ¼ the lemons to within ½” of the bottom (so it makes an X shape), making sure that the lemon pieces remain connected.
  3. Take your jar and add 1 tbsp of salt to the bottom of the jar.
  4. Pull your lemon open and pack about 1 tsp of salt into the lemon and then push the salted lemon into the bottom of the jar, squishing it down as much as possible. Add a few coriander seeds, peppercorns and cloves (I like them along the side of the jar so you can see them). Add a bay leaf and cinnamon stick (on the side it possible). Repeat this until your jar is pretty much full (feel free to cut the last few pieces of lemon into individual separated 1/4’s so that you can stuff the jar as full as possible).
  5. If your lemons aren’t completely covered with juice, add a little extra fresh squeezed juice until everything is covered in liquid. Throw in a last sprinkling of salt over the top.
  6. Seal the jar and let sit (in a cool or refrigerated spot if possible) for at least 1 month (if this is a Christmas gift, feel free to put a note with the jar that says: “not to be opened before day/month/year” – see photos below).
Preserved lemons

Learn how to make these tasty and beautiful jars of preserved lemons.

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