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
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
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!
Spicy tangy flavors seem to make everything better for me….the sense of the spice, the heat and the sour is a dance on the taste buds.
In a quest to make gluten free tostadas I have experimented with flours quite a bit which have resulted in as many fails as successes. A combination of coconut flour with some almond flour added in seems to hold it’s own for me. I have seen people add xanthan gum so the dough becomes pliable but I did not have any so went without.
There are layers of flavors in this recipe.
With the dough in place, I started with grated beets and carrots and marinated them with lemon juice and salt for 5 mins.
The steak is grass fed organic and turns out just amazing
The Cilantro sauce is a staple in my kitchen and I have used it as a marinade and topping. You can find the recipe below and another version here.
Now to the fermented red cabbage….just delicious and so good for you. This add the right amount of tanginess and crunch.
This dish is topped with fresh watercress and a sprinkle of goat cheese.
A easy oil free curry recipe is possible. The richness of the cashews is what elevates the taste and makes it rich and creamy. Quick and simple enough to be made on weekdays. I actually make the curry paste in a large batch and use it over the week with different vegetables and cheese (paneer) dishes. In this recipe I have used cauliflower, peas and mushrooms. Served with home made Naan (made with wheat, spelt and rye) but it will be equally delicious with rice and a side of pickles.
For the curry, blend together:
1/2 cup of soaked cashews
1 small red onion
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 inch of ginger
1 tsp coriander pwd, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp tumeric, 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 whole green chili, 1/2 tsp chili pwd, salt to taste
1/2 cup Kefir ( or yoghurt, i used kefir to give it a tangy taste)
1/2 cup water( if needed)
Pour the paste in a heavy bottomed pan and let it cook until it thicken probably about 15 minutes, stir occasionally
Add chopped cauliflower, peas and chopped mushrooms ( all organic). Cook on medium heat until the veggies are cooked and the curry has come together. Squeeze half a lime and top with fresh cilantro before serving.
Weekend brunch: All organic wholesome and delicious brunch for a spring morning…one of those weekends when a dose of vitamin rich organic food will infuse your whole day with energy. The juice is green, freshly made with Kale, Apples, Celery, Carrots and Aloe…..the plate has a Bulgar and Flax Pulao made in cinnamon and vegetable broth and infused with onions and tomatoes….the side are scrambled eggs with earthy mushrooms topped with fresh watercress. A brunch like this warms your soul.