Harvest Bowl is one of my favorite recipes of all times. There are a multiple of flavors and textures to enjoy. I added bits cooked pork roast, a delicious addition. However, the bowl with a meat addition is equally delicious. The best temperature for serving is slightly warm. Leftovers are great for 3-4 days, slightly warmed in the microwave. This the first time I’ve cooked with fig jam and I loved it. For a different twist, it could be interesting to try apple butter. Anyway you make it, you’ll love it!
Wild Rice Harvest Bowls with Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 cup wild-brown rice blend (I recommend Lundberg)
1-3/4 cup gluten-free chicken broth
3 cups 1” butternut squash cubes (about 1 small squash)
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon
salt and pepper
9 oz thinly shredded brussels sprouts
1 large or 2 small apples, chopped
3 oz white cheddar cheese, cut into cubes
1/3 cup sliced almonds or pepitas
1/3 cup dried cranberries
For the Fig Dressing:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, microplaned or minced
2 Tablespoons fig jam
salt and pepper
Add rice and chicken broth to a small saucepan then bring to a boil, place a lid on top, then turn heat down to a simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes or until rice is al dente (verify liquid amount and cooking method with rice package directions.) Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add butternut squash cubes, 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, garlic powder, chili powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is tender, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool slightly – can be done a day ahead of time.
Meanwhile, line another half sheet pan with a silpat or foil then spray with nonstick spray if using foil. Add shredded brussels sprouts, remaining 1-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper then toss with your fingers to evenly coat. Add to oven after stirring the squash then roast together for 8-10 minutes or until brussels sprouts are tender and golden brown.
For the Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette: Combine ingredients in a bowl or jar with a tight fitting lid then whisk or shake to combine (might need to microwave for 15-20 seconds to help melt the fig jam.) Taste then add more salt, pepper, and/or fig jam if desired.
In a large bowl combine cooked rice, butternut squash, brussels sprouts, apples, cheese, almonds, and dried cranberries. Drizzle Fig Balsamic Vinaigrette on top then toss to coat and serve. Leftovers are good for 3-4 days.
Lemon Garlic Kale Salad is a favorite salad, especially when I had fresh kale from my garden but it is wonderful with kale from the grocery store, as well. My good friend, Maribeth, introduced this recipe to me a few years ago and it continues to be a favorite.
Lemon Garlic Kale Salad
2 cups almond slices, toasted
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon Juice (2-4 lemons)
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed with the flat side of a knife, peeled and left whole
10 to 12 ounces washed and dried kale leaves, thick stems removed
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
In a toaster oven or oven, toast almonds until golden brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, combine lemon juice and 1 heaping teaspoon salt.
Slowly whisk in olive oil.
Add garlic cloves and set aside to steep.
Working in batches, cut the kale into thin ribbons: gather a large handful of leaves, bunch together tightly, and use the other hand to slice into 1/4 inch thick pieces. This need not be done very precisely or neatly; the idea is to end up with a kind of slaw. (Recipe can be made up to this point 1 day ahead. Keep kale and dressing refrigerated separately.)
Place chopped kale in a very large bowl. Sprinkle with almonds and then cheese.
Remove and discard garlic cloves from dressing. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss. Taste for dressin and salt and add more as needed, tossing to coat thoroughly. Serve within 1 hour.
NOTE: I typically make a much smaller salad. The dressing keeps well in the refrigerator. I have also minced the garlic and added to the dressing.
Mango Shrikhand was a recipe made by my friend, Diane, for Book Club now over a year ago. It was delicious and I wanted to try to make it at home. I made it with Greek Yogurt and cut the cardamon in half.
For those who don’t love Greek Yogurt, I would recommend using Vanilla yogurt. If you don’t like cardamom, try using cinnamon. If you don’t like mango, try another fruit. It’s a versatile recipe and healthy dessert.
2 1/2 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup mango puree
5 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 1/8 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds
Line a colander with a clean piece of cheesecloth. Place colander over a tall vessel to collect the dripping water.
Pour yogurt onto the cheesecloth and gently twist the ends. Tie the ends into a knot above the yogurt. Let drain and thicken in the refrigerator, 5 hours to overnight.
Whisk yogurt, mango puree, confectioners’ sugar, and cardamom in a bowl until well blended.
Refrigerate Shrikhand for 1 to 2 hours. Garnish with crushed almonds and serve chilled.
I was craving green beans and our book club was meeting to discuss ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn. Our hostess served Tom Yum Koong Soup, favored by one of the characters in the book when fighting off a cold. Others brought bar food and I brought green beans…never mentioned in the book but satisfied my craving.
This is a simple and absolutely delicious recipe. I’ll be making it again, and again, and again.
GARLIC ROASTED GREEN BEANS WITH SHALLOTS & ALMONDS
2 lb. fresh green beans
5-6 shallots, peeled, and cut into thin slivers
5 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut into thin slices
3 T olive oil
1 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, very finely chopped
1/2 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
Preheat oven to 450 F.
Trim ends from green beans. Peel and cut shallots and garlic, then place with beans in plastic bowl. Add olive oil, salt & pepper, parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Toss until ingredients are well coated with oil.
Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil, then arrange the vegetables in a single layer. (I used parchment paper for roasting vegetables and the results are great). Roast 12-15 minutes for thin beans, or slightly longer for regular beans, until beans are slightly shriveled, and shallots and garlic are lightly browned.
Cranberry and Mango Quinoa Salad is a favorite salad shared by friend, Chris, at many of our Book Club and pot luck dinners. Finally, I decided to prepare it and savored every serving. I’ve also tried adding other ingredients to add variety, including bits of turkey or slices or fresh avocado.
This salad is great for summer meals and gatherings.
CRANBERRY AND MANGO QUINOA SALAD
2 cups of water
1 cup of quinoa
1 cup fresh kale or spinach in bite size pieces
1.5 cup fresh or frozen mango chunks (one to two fresh mangos should yield just about 1.5 cups)
1.5 c cubed melon (I used Honeydew)
1/2 cup slivered almonds (toasted/optional)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
pinch of salt
Bring water to boil and cook quinoa per the instructions. Cool.
Add kale (or spinach), mango, melon, almonds, and cranberries to quinoa.
Mix together Lemon poppy seed ingredients and pour over quinoa salad.
Serving Option: Slice fresh avocado slices over top of salad.
Mandarin Salad, Colorado Cache Cookbook, is a staple for my friends and I. It is so yummy and refreshing and perfect with BBQ chicken (check out my coming post on June 29, 2012).
It’s perfect any time of year. Experiment with it when other fresh fruits are available. This time, I added kiwi and Craisins and loved it! The tangy kiwi and Craisins with the sugary almonds are delightful.
KIWI MANDARIN SALAD
1/2 cup sliced almonds, `
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 head iceberg lettuce
1/2 head romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped celery
2 whole green onions, chopped
11 ounces can mandarin oranges, drained
3 fresh kiwi, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup Craisins
In a small pan over medium heat, cook almonds and sugar, stirring constantly until almonds are coated and sugar dissolved. Watch carefully as they will burn easily. Cool and store in air-tight container.
Mix all dressing ingredients and chill.
Mix lettuces, celery and onions.
Just before serving, add almonds, mandarins, kiwi and Craisins. Toss with the dressing.
Adapted from Colorado Cache Cookbook, Mandarin Salad
Everyone in my life knows I’m a little nuts about nuts. Last week I purchased a box of cocoa roasted almonds at my local King Soopers and loved them! The bit of sweetness along with the nut crunch and cocoa blast was divine.
They were easy to make and store well. I had dry ingredients left over, so I tried the recipe with English Walnuts. They were equally wonderful! Cocoa roasted almonds and walnuts are my new, favorite afternoon snack!
COCOA ROASTED ALMONDS
1 pound raw, shelled almonds
8 Stevia sweetener packets (next time, I’ll try it with powdered sugar)
1/4 teaspoon popcorn salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pour the almonds in a large bowl. Spray the almonds lightly. Toss the almonds and spray again, to assure that the almonds are lightly coated.
In a small bowl, combine the Stevia, salt, cornstarch and cocoa powder. Pour the dry ingredients over the almonds and toss to thoroughly coat the almonds.
Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Bake at 250 degrees for 25 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the almonds (or walnuts) on paper towels. Cool.
Each almond has about 7 calories.
Nuttin’ to it!
Recipe adapted from ehow.com Cocoa Roasted Almonds
When I want my daughters to come home for a meal, THIS is the ticket. They both love this dish and the sides have also become tradition, serving a wild rice blend, steamed broccoli, salad and rolls.
My sister-in-law, Betty, gave me this recipe early in my marriage and it is truly fabulous. The chicken is oh, so tender, and the combination of the flavors is fabulous. In an effort to make this dish a tad healthier, I precook the bacon to remove a good part of the grease and use low-fat (or no-fat) sour cream and soup.
This recipe is a wonderful dish to serve at a dinner party. The majority of the work is done far before the guests arrive and you will have more time to enjoy the party.
CHICKEN BREASTS SUPREME
12 half chicken breasts, boned
12 strips bacon (I cook slightly to remove some of fat)
1 large jar dried beef
1 can mushroom soup
1/2 carton low-fat sour cream
sliced almonds and paprika
Grease a 9×13″ baking dish.
Brown bacon until bacon is about 70% cooked. Drain bacon on paper towels.
Cover bottom of dish generously with dried beef. Wrap chicken with bacon. Place chicken in single layer over the beef.
Cover with mixture of soup and sour cream. Sprinkle with almonds. No salt needed.
Bake uncovered at 250 degrees for 4 hours. Cover the last hour.