Summer brings inspiration and love, it brings the abundance of fresh vegetables in your garden or the farmers market. Veggies like broccolini and cauliflower are so rich for your mind and soul that they need the simplest of preparation.
So what I have here is a simple roasted and charred presentation that is a sensory gift to the taste buds. The fact that it is plant based and has plenty of protein is something wonderful. I have roasted the beets separately wrapped in a foil for 30 mins in a 375-degree oven. These stay in the fridge for multiple uses throughout the week.
The sauce is a kicker…soaked walnuts, wasabi powder, garlic and garden herbs. This can showcase just about anything you put on a plate.
So here goes
- Slice I head of organic cauliflower in steaks.
- Take a bunch of broccolini
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano and some olive oil
- Mix well with your hands and lay it out on a baking tray
Roast at 425 degrees for 20 mins. The idea is to char it and still keep it somewhat crunchy
For the sauce
- 1 cup soaked walnuts ( 1 hr)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 avocado
- 1 tsp wasabi powder
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 sprigs of basil
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Blend together and adjust the oil and salt to taste.
Plate with roasted beets and fresh radishes.
Moroccan flavors favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander, saffron, and cumin. I love these aromatic spices and the heavenly aroma. I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco, It makes such a beautiful presentation and keeps the dish juicy and moist.
A tajine or tagine is a Maghrebi dish which is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. The pot has a unique conical shape which helps make your dish moist by letting the steam rise, condense and trickle back down into the shallow base.
I used my tagine right on the burner but have experimented with putting it directly in the oven at 300 degrees F. Of course then you can’t see the beautiful pot simmering on your stove 🙂
Onions are a must in a tagine using them as a bed for the chicken, also layer in cut carrots and fresh cut fennel. Chicken thighs and leg are the best pieces to use to keep it all moist and juicy
The spices are simple, ground coriander, cumin, fennel, cayenne and some ras-el-hanout if you have it.
Watch this 20 sec video to get the real cooking experience of using a tagine.
Tajine: Chicken i
a beautifully slow cooked chicken immersed in fragrant spices
- 10 pieces of chicken legs and thighs
- 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 2 tsp fresh ground ginger
- ½ tsp saffron, bloomed in a little warm water
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground fennel
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ras-el-hanout
- 1 tsp harissa paste
- 2 carrots chopped in 1 inch pieces
- 1 fennel bulb chopped in large pieces
- 5 – 10 pieces of dried apricots
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro
- About 1 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- Pink salt
- Marinate the chicken pieces for a couple of hours ( overnight is best) in 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tbsp fennel powder, 1 tsp cayenne, 1 tsp garlic, and salt.
- Lightly brown the chicken pieces in olive oil and set aside
- Heat a tagine on low/medium heat.
- Add 2-3 tbsp oil, ghee and then the onions. Let the onions sweat for about 5 mins.
- Add the remaining crushed garlic and ginger and then add the turmeric and harissa paste and ras-el-hanout
- Add chicken pieces and pour in the saffron
- Put the tajine on a diffuser ( I used a small baking pan) and turn down the heat to low-medium
- Cover and let it cook at low for about 2 hrs. Adjust the salt as you go.
- In the last 20 mins or so add the apricots.
- Add lemon juice and serve sprinkled with parsley with a side of rice or bread
- It tastes even better the next day!
Who doesn’t love falafels?? A plant-based vegan protein-packed food that is ever so delicious. Whether it is in sandwiches or salad toppings or cooked in sauce, falafels are versatile and very easy to make at home.
Did you know Chickpeas are the oldest consumed crop in the world? Besides the historical fact, they do help keep you full and balance your blood sugar levels. Add spinach and fresh herbs to that and you are looking at a nutrient loaded food that is so good for your body.
I was experimenting with a healthier version that is not deep fried and these turned out amazing.
A nutrient and power packed versatile food .
A nutrient and power packed versatile food .
A beautiful filet of wild salmon, some fresh organic zucchini and arugula were the inspiration for this plate.
I am always looking to add spices and tastes from my heritage to my cooking when I can.
I also grew up with beautiful large walnuts trees which first gave the succulent raw walnuts which are white in the interior and then the beautiful dried ones that we all know so well. Walnuts are a staple in my pantry, I buy in bulk and keep them in the freezer.
The sauce is a play on the flavors of cumin and mustard to start with and then the flesh spiciness of arugula an garlic pulls it all together. It will stay in the fridge for a while to be used on salads and others dishes during the week so do invest in making a batch.
I have used 3 organic zucchinis so you will have leftovers for the week. The zucchini is inspired by Ayurveda which calls for simple ingredients. I have used clarified butter, cumin, mustard and fresh curry leaves….. the flavor is just amazing
Salmon with Arugula Walnut Sauce
A simple pan-seared Salmon served with Zucchini and a Walnut Arugula Pesto .
- 2 fillets of wild salmon
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoon Grapeseed oil
- 3 organic zucchini
- 1 tablespoon Ghee ( clarified butter)
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 mustard seeds
- 10 pieces curry leaves
- Himalayan salt to taste
- 1 bunch Arugula
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2 garlic cloves
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 red o1-inch
- inch piece of Feta cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pat fillets dry with a paper towel. Season on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Run the ingredients for the sauce through the food processor adding water if needed and set aside. I like the taste Feta brings to this sauce but do adjust to your own taste
- Chop the zucchini into bite size pieces. In a skillet, add Ghee, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- When the spice starts to splutter add the cut zucchini and sauté on medium heat until tender. Salt to taste as you go,
- Put a cast-iron skillet or heavy pan over high heat. Add grapeseed oil and when the oil is hot the fillets in the pan, flesh side down and let sear for 1 minute. Flip to skin side down and let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the skin is crisp.
- To serve, plate the sauce and layer on the zucchini topped with the Salmon.
We are waiting for spring on the east coast so patiently but it keeps testing our patience. The first day of spring has come and gone bringing beautiful snow with it…..cold days, blossoms annoyed to be out in this cold and leaves struggling to show their faces.. I am trying to brighten up the “almost spring” spirit with some amazing fresh ingredients and flavorful spices like Za’atar.
Za’atar is a blend of herbs and seeds often used in the Middle Eastern cooking. I bought my Za’atar mix from a local middle eastern store but you can always make it at home and use your variations of this herb and spice blend. Typically, za’atar is a blend of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and salt. Mine also included roasted flour.
The lemon zest is a key ingredient enhancing the flavors so beautifully so don’t skip that.
The chicken comes out tender and juicy, and you can prep this recipe a day or 2 ahead on time, keeping it in the fridge until you are ready to roast
The cauliflower steak is also as simple as it can be, sliced, sprinkled with the spice blend and roasted until brown. It is a delicious, healthy and gluten-free side for any occasion.
I do tend to make and store a lot of fermented foods so served it with a side of grated Daikon radish pickle. You can find some of my pickle recipes on my blog
Za’atar Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower
A spice and lemon roasted chicken, tender and juicy accompanied by roasted cauliflower .
- I whole chicken skin on cut up in pieces
- 2 tablespoon Za’atar spice blend
- 1 1/2 tablespoon crushed garlic
- 1 tablespoon crushed fresh ginger
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- Pink Himalayan salt – to taste
- Zest of 2 lemons
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 1 head of organic cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon Za’atar
- 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil
- Pink salt to taste
- Make some knife incisions or cuts in the chicken pieces for the marinade to get in. Pat dry.
- Mix all the ingredient together for the chicken and rub it in the chicken pieces thoroughly.
- Store overnight or longer
- Roast at 400 degrees for 45 -55 minutes until golden brown
- Slice the cauliflower like large steak pieces
- Sprinkle with the Zataar spice and some grapeseed oil on both sides.
- Roast at 400 degrees for 30 mins or until browned slightly
- Serve beautifully
You can serve this with a salad or pickles. I have here some Diakon Pickle with fresh radishes and an arugula walnut pesto ( will post the recipe soon).
This is a fun week for another reason. There is a fab party at Angie’s Fiesta Friday and I am co-hosting with Petra. Petra’s blog has one of the most creative recipes with fresh ingredients that I have seen and so do check it out!
Ok…. so this is not much of a recipe but more of the art of putting it all together…but I just had to post. Such an amazing crunch and taste that it leaves you craving for more. And it is healthy, nutritious and scrumptious. If Gluten bothers you, this is GF.
My cauliflower pizza base is Cauliflower and Corn flour from Trader Joes or Moms Organic market. On my trip to MOMs, I brought back beautiful garlic, asparagus, fresh Kale, Jalapeño, and mushrooms. I had some Parmesan and Halloumi in the fridge so putting this together was a breeze.
Note this is not a typical pizza smothering in tomato sauce and cheese. This one showcases the beautiful vegetables so adjust if you need more of the cheeses or add some tomato sauce.
The Kale and chopped mushrooms need to be sautéed in chopped garlic with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Slice or chop some Asparagus, Jalapeño, Roma tomato and set aside
Slice the cheeses.
Cook the crust according to instruction until it is firm and slightly crisp. The TJ version had me cook at 450 degrees and flip the crust to cook 12 mins on each side. That was perfect
Top the crust with veggies and cheese and put under a broiler for 3-4 mins.
Douse with some good avocado or olive oil and red chili flakes.