Kale & Delicata Squash Salad with Lentils, Toasted Walnuts & Quinoa

 

This is a wonderful warming and unique winter salad that will fill you up and make you feel oh so good for your day. I like to roast a bunch of squash or different kinds of vegetables all in one go, and then have them on hand to throw together salads like this. It might look like a number of steps in the recipe below, but if you do this once a week, then many of these components can be re-used and re-created into new and different meals all week long.

Cook once, and assemble several interesting, delicious and good-for-you meals. That’s what makes life simpler mentally, and is good for your physical health too.

If you roast some of this delicata squash, you can use some to make soup, add to a risotto, serve as a side to chicken or fish, or use in any variety of salads. I’m sure there are so many other ways to use it too! Let me know in the comments what dishes you like to make with it.  I hope you love the recipe below.

This is how to cook more efficiently. Quinoa top left. Lentils top right. Roasted squash half moons on bottom left. The start of a delicata squash soup bottom right. The soup can be made and frozen for future weeks if desired, but you’ve maximized the use of your time and the heat of your oven by roasted the squash all at once and cooking multiple meals in one session.

Feel free to play around with the spices in this dish and change out the rosemary. Moroccan spice blends also go great with the squash and lentil combination. Yum!

Kale & Delicata Squash Salad with Lentils, Toasted Walnuts & Quinoa

Yields: 6 hearty salads

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale, you want about 8 cups of torn leaves (Lacinato or curly leaf)

½ – ¾ cups walnuts

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoon safflower, sunflower or grapeseed oil

1 small/medium delicata squash

1 cup dried lentils

½ cup raisins (optional)

1 cup dry quinoa 

6-8 ounces feta cheese (optional)

Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Toasted delicata squash seeds for garnish

½ cup Honey Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe below)

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut off the stem of the delicata squash and then slice it down the middle longways. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place squash guts and seeds in a colander to rinse under water so you can separate the seeds. Save the seeds for toasting later. There is no need to peel the delicata, as you can eat the peel. Remove the seeds and separate from the strings. Discard the strings/guts and compost if you have access to compost. * Now slice each of the sides of delicata squash into ½ inch half moons. Place the half moons in a bowl and coat with the safflower, sunflower or grapeseed oil, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. You can add dried or fresh rosemary or thyme if you’d like.

Once coated, place squash half moons on baking sheet and spread them out so they don’t touch too much. This helps them caramelize better. Roast for about 15-25 minutes, or until pieces are golden brown and cooked to your liking. A fork will go easily through the pieces. Check them after 15 minutes, and according to how hot your oven runs. Flip them at 15 minutes so they cook evenly.

While squash is roasting, rinse and dry the squash seeds. Coat with a bit of the sunflower or other oil, salt and pepper to your taste. You can always adjust the flavor of these with spice blends of your choice. Spread seeds evenly on a baking sheet and place in oven for 8 minutes. Check at 5 minutes if your oven runs hot. Flip or toss with a wooden spoon if needed. They’re toasted when lightly golden brown, but watch them because they can burn quickly. Remove from oven and set aside on a plate to stop them from cooking further.

Prepare the quinoa and lentils according to package directions. It’s best to rinse quinoa and to cook it with 2.5 cups of water for every 1 cup of dry quinoa. Lentils can be cooked to your liking. I prefer them still with a tiny bit of firmness. 

Prepare vinaigrette:

*See instructions below.

Assemble Salad:

Hold the stem of the kale and use your other hand to pull the leaf from the stem. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces. You can save the stems to compost them, or freeze in a sealed bag to make vegetable broth later. 

Place the leaves in a large salad bowl. Coat with olive oil and massage the kale leaves with your hands, crushing the leaves and massaging the oil into the leaves well. This breaks down the cellulose and makes the kale much more palatable. 

Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts to the dry pan and toast for 5-8 minutes, or until barely golden brown and fragrant. Turn off the heat and set aside. Add walnuts, raisins, lentils, and quinoa to the kale and toss with a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Taste and adjust dressing. Add black pepper, toasted squash seeds, and feta cheese if desired and enjoy! 

Any extra quinoa and/or lentils can be saved and used for other meals. 

If making salads for 2-3 days of lunches, follow these directions:

Tear the leaves and massage with oil. Then add to your meal prep containers. Add the walnuts and raisins to the salad. Put cooked quinoa and lentils on the side or in a separate compartment from the salad. 

The morning you are going to eat your salad you can combine the quinoa and lentils with the rest of the ingredients.

Take the vinaigrette and optional feta in small containers with you to lunch and dress your salad with a few tablespoons when ready to eat. Enjoy a hearty lunch or dinner!

 

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Yields: 1 cup vinaigrette

Serves: Covers about 10-12 salads. 

Ingredients:

2 large lemons 

⅔ cup olive oil

½ small shallot (optional)

1 or 2 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)

3 teaspoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon or brown mustard (optional)

¼ cup parsley leaves

½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

 

Directions:

Mince garlic cloves. Remove the parsley stems and save for stock. Rough chop the parsley. 

Roll lemons under your forearm to release juices before slicing in half. [Tip: Zest them first if you need zest for another recipe. Can keep in a small amount of oil in the fridge for a week or so until use.]

Juice lemons and add to small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Taste with a lettuce leaf and adjust ingredients to your taste. 

Label and date before refrigeration. 

Empowered Kitchen Tip:

I recommend doubling this recipe so you always have a stock of it in your refrigerator.

Winter Squash Soup with Green Apple & Spices

We’re (thankfully) nearing the end of winter, but I always love me some winter squash soup! Mmm…this one is the best I’ve ever made, with the beautiful warming flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg that combine with the squash and apple to make a perfect marriage. 🙂 Maybe I’m going a little overboard, but this soup is seriously delicious. It would be great with a couple dashes of freshly ground cardamom too. 

It’s so fun and easy to experiment with roasted, pureed soups for meal prep. I do this all the time, so I always have some in the freezer, ready to thaw out and enjoy for lunch the next day with a salad or a sandwich.  Try meal prepping by just making 2 kinds of roasted soups that taste really different and freezing half of each. You’ll be so glad you did in a few weeks when you can thaw some out and have a fabulously satisfying and hearty meal.

Winter Squash Soup With Green Apple & Spices

Yields: 12-14 cups

Serves: 12 as a starter or 6 as an entrée

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large pumpkin, butternut or kabocha squash
  • 2 tablespoons canola or safflower oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 inch fresh ginger
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ lemon

Directions:

Heat oven to 425°F. Cut squash into large chunks and remove the strings and seeds. Place squash pieces on baking sheet. Coat lightly with canola or safflower oil and salt. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes, or until soft and cooked through. Once cooled, remove the flesh from the peel with a spoon.

Heat a large saucepan to medium heat. Thinly slice onion. Heat the butter in the pan until barely melted. Add sliced onions to the hot pan and stir occasionally until transparent, for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, peel and core the apple and cut into wedges.  Peel and mince the ginger and garlic. Then add ginger and garlic to the onion. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, and saute for 1 minute.

Add the squash, apples, broth, water and salt. Raise the heat to bring to a slow boil. Then lower heat to simmer and cover for 15-30 minutes. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust salt and liquid amounts as needed. Add the heavy cream and juiced ½ of a lemon.

Blend again and taste. Adjust as needed. Enjoy topped with roasted squash seeds, cilantro, pomegranate molasses, croutons, or freshly cracked black pepper.

Butternut & Kale Salad with Feta & Honey

I LOVE this kale salad recipe. This is a wonderful meal prep recipe because you can roast a butternut squash and make 2 or 3 different recipes out of it. That way you don’t get tired of the same flavors all week, but you’re still getting great nutrition and even better….great tasting food! 🙂

I’ve kept this salad in my fridge for up to 5 days, even with the dressing on it, and it’s held up really well. Just leave out the cheese until you’re ready to eat it that day, and don’t put in ahead of time.

Butternut & Kale Salad with Feta & Honey

Butternut & Kale Salad With Feta & Honey

Yields: 12 cups salad

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 medium butternut squash
  • 2 bunches kale
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 ounces feta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut butternut squash in half, at the part where the skinny end meets the fat end. Use a spoon to remove seeds. Set seeds aside on a separate pan. Coat them in oil, sprinkle with salt and seasonings if desired and toast for 6-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Watch closely with the oven light on.

Use a vegetable peeler to carefully peel the squash, scraping the peel away from you. Alternatively you can peel the squash with a knife. When cutting always keep a flat end of squash on a cutting board.

Dice peeled squash into 1 inch pieces and place on baking sheet. Coat lightly in olive oil and place in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and coat with sesame seeds.

Return to oven for 10 minutes. While roasting, mix honey, balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes in small bowl and stir to combine well. Remove stems from kale leaves. Tear leaves into bite sized pieces and place in large salad bowl. Coat leaves with light coating of olive oil and massage oil into all leaves to soften them.

Remove squash from oven and drizzle with honey and vinegar mixture. Coat all pieces with liquid. Add squash to salad bowl with kale. Top salad with feta and toss gently.

This dish is great served hot or cold and kale salads last well for several days refrigerated.

Adapted from: http://www.notquitenigella.com/2013/10/10/roast-pumpkin-recipe/

Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

This hearty, winter bean soup is the perfect Italian comfort food on a cold February night. You can make it vegetarian or with some Italian sausage. Either get ground sausage and cook it up in a skillet with some oil and add to the soup for the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Or you can slice sausage (remove the casings first) and cook it in a pan with a bit of oil and add to the soup for the last 10 minutes it’s simmering.  Mmmm….enjoy a little slice of easy, satisfying and warming comfort food.

Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

Tuscan Kale & Bean Soup

Yields: 8 cups of soup

Serves: 4 heartily

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch curly leaf or lacinato kale
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini or white navy beans (canned or cooked from dry beans)
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1  (28 ounce) can whole tomatoes or 3-4 large fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano and/or dried basil
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¾ cup heavy cream (optional)
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese (optional for serving)

 

Directions:

Slice the onions thinly. Heat a large saucepan or stockpot (with lid) over medium heat and add the oil. Saute the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent. You can saute longer if you want the onion to be sweeter. Mince the garlic and add to the onion.

Cook for 30 seconds and then add cooked (drained) beans, vegetable or chicken broth, tomatoes (crush them in bowl first if using fresh tomatoes), dried herbs, salt and red pepper flakes if using. Season with black pepper. Start with 1 teaspoon of salt and you can always add more later if needed.

Bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove the stems from the kale and then tear the kale into 2 inch pieces. Add kale pieces to the soup for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed. Remove from heat and add heavy cream. Juice the lemon and add ½ the juice of the lemon to the soup. Taste and add more lemon if needed. Serve hot. It’s great with crusty bread for dipping! You can even drizzle the soup with a little olive oil and top with parmesan or more red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

The Empowered Kitchen Tips:

To make this a meat dish, you can add cooked Italian sausage to this dish near the end, about 5-10 minutes before the end of the simmering time. You can also substitute 1 inch cubes of potato for the beans if you prefer to make it a potato soup. This soup doesn’t freeze well, so you can enjoy it for the next 5 days when kept in your refrigerator.

Summer Squash, Tomato, Goat Cheese & Mustard Tart

This is a beautiful, French-inspired, summer tart. It’s a great way to use up all that extra zucchini and yellow squash laying around this time of year. 🙂 Make the most of it before it’s all gone for the season!

What the final tart looks like. Yum! 🙂 (This was right before we took two slices, left the kitchen for 5 minutes, and when I came back my dog had eaten about half of it. 🙁 Lesson learned…again.

Roll out the crust and gently place in tart pan. Carefully form to the pan and smooth out any folds. Leave a little extra crust around the edges to allow for the crust to shrink up a bit.

Sliced veggies and rounds. At this point you would place pie weights in the crust, poke it with a fork a few times in the flat part of the crust and then bake it for 12-15 minutes. (I forgot to bake it before spreading with mustard in these pictures, so please bake it before adding any filling.)

There is one mistake in this picture. Please bake the crust for 12-15 minutes before spreading with mustard and adding the other fillings.

Here is the filled tart before it goes into the oven. You can use any kind of goat cheese or cow’s cheese that you like. I also dotted it with fresh rosemary and sprinkled the top with a little salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Yum! The taste of summer. 🙂

Tomato, Zucchini & Goat Cheese Tart

Yields: 2 tarts

Serves: 8 as an entree, 16 as a side dish

Ingredients:

Crust

 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold butter
  • 6-8 tablespoons cold (ice) water

 

 

Tart

 

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 5-6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 12 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Cornmeal Crust

Cut butter into ½ inch cubes. Stir flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt into a bowl. Add butter cubes and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or use your fingers until the mixture resembles small peas.

Add the cold ice water by starting with 4 tablespoons. Incorporate that water into the dough. Add 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is a soft consistency, and pliable, but not too sticky. You want it to come together into a ball.

Place the dough in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Assembling the Tarts

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Divide the chilled dough in half. Roll out the dough to about ¼ inch thick and gently form to tart pan. Pierce gently with a fork and place pie weights on the dough. Repeat with second crust. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the pie weights without burning yourself.

While the crusts are baking, slice the zucchini, yellow squash and tomato into ¼ inch slices. Slice the cheese into chunks and pull the rosemary off the stems.

When the crusts come out of the oven, spread them with a layer of mustard to your liking. At least thinly cover the entire crust. Then layer with multiple layers of the vegetables. Top with pieces of goat cheese and sprinkle with rosemary. Sprinkle with a few small pinches of salt.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown and the fully cooked through. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper. Serve hot and enjoy!

Seared Tempeh with Cashews, Edamame on Greens with Asian Dressing

Trying out tempeh for the first time, or just looking for a fresh take on it? Well, this is your recipe. It’s been a huge hit every time I’ve made it and gives tempeh so much great flavor, you’ll be sure to keep this recipe in your back pocket. 

Tempeh is a fermented cake of soybeans that includes the entire bean, thereby giving it more nutritional value in the form of more vitamins, protein and fiber. It’s a great food to add to your diet, whether or not you’re a vegetarian. This recipes is a great one to give it a try if this is your first time. It’s very affordable and satiating.

I want to acknowledge that there are a number of ingredients to make the Honey Sesame Dressing, but once you have them on hand, it’s quick and easy to put together a variety of Asian dressings, dipping sauces and marinades. Having these items stocked in your pantry will greatly increase the diversity of flavors available to you in your cooking. 

Once you have some of this dressing made, it will keep for about a week plus a few days in your refrigerator. You can the ingredients directly below. Now let’s get cooking!

Seared Tempeh With Cashews, Edamame On Greens With Asian Dressing 

Yields: 3 salads and Serves: 3 heartily

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 6 cups baby greens, arugula or spinach
  • ¾ cup cashews (raw or toasted)
  • ¾ cup edamame or fava beans (shelled)
  • 8 ounces tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons safflower or avocado oil

 

Marinade

  • ¼ cup tamari
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 Spice

 

Honey Sesame Dressing

(Yields ~ 1 ¼ cups)

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, optional

 

Directions:

Marinade

Combine all the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together to combine well.

Braise and Marinate the Tempeh

Cube tempeh into 1 inch cubes. Soak in marinade and toss to coat well. Let marinate for 5 minutes.

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil to hot skillet. Once oil is hot, add tempeh cubes. Stir occasionally to sear on each side until golden brown. This will take about 1 minute on each side. 

Make Dressing

Mince the garlic. Peel ginger with a spoon and grate it using a microplane or box grater. 

Combine all dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Label, date and keep excess in refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Steam Edamame and Assemble Salad

Put a small saucepan, fitted with a steamer basket, and filled with 2 inches of water over medium heat. Cover with a lid. When water is boiling, after about 2-3 minutes, place edamame in a steamer basket. Steam for about 5 minutes, or until cooked, but still maintain some firmness. Drain and rinse to cool if desired. 

Assemble salad greens on plate with slices of marinated tempeh, cashews, edamame and honey sesame dressing.  

The tempeh will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. Enjoy on salads or with rice and vegetables until then!

Enjoy!

Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a wonderful, savory and filling dish to serve for brunch, lunch or dinner. It goes great with a side of bread, couscous or a Mediterranean-style salad. This dish originates from North Africa and the Middle East and is very common in Israel. 

It can be adapted to include what you have on hand, making it a great end of the week, clean-out-the-fridge dish. Vegetables such as summer squash, eggplant, broccoli or carrots can easily be added to cook down with the sauce and make it your own. If you buy a bunch of parsley for another dish, this is a great way to use up the rest of it. Shakshuka is a great way to use up bumper crops of your fresh garden produce.

Give this a try for your next brunch for something new and different. It’s so satisfying! 

Shakshuka

Yields 4 cups sauce plus an egg (Serves 4)

Ingredients

 

  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh tomatoes or 32 ounce can San Marzano whole tomatoes
  • 4-6 eggs (based on your preference)
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout (substitute cumin if you don’t have this spice blend)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (more if you like it spicier)
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (start with 1 teaspoon salt)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley (for garnish and added flavor)

 

Optional

 

  • Zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, hot peppers, carrots, broccoli and green beans are all possible additions to this dish and a great way to minimize food waste by using up odds and ends of leftover vegetables. 

 

Shakshuka ingredients

Directions

Thinly slice the onions and mince the garlic. Heat a medium cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once heated add oil and then place sliced onions in hot oil. Sauté for 8 -10 minutes until translucent and beginning to slightly caramelize. While onion is cooking, dice the eggplant and any other vegetables you’re using into a medium dice, about 1/2 inch cubes. There is no need to peel the eggplant. 

Add garlic, eggplant and any other vegetables to sauté with the onions for 5 minutes to slightly brown the vegetables. You can add some minced jalapeño or Serrano at this time if you like extra spice.

Add tomatoes. If using whole tomatoes, crush them in a bowl before adding to the skillet. Or you can do what I did and squeeze them with your hands as you add them to the skillet. Add the spices and sugar to the pan and stir to combine well. Let simmer over medium low for 10 minutes. Carefully taste and adjust salt to your preference.

While simmering you can rough chop the parsley leaves to have them ready. Keep the stems to either add to a pesto, chimichurri sauce or freeze them with your other vegetable scraps to make a simple, homemade broth. 

After 10 minutes, gently crack the eggs onto the shakshuka while it’s still cooking. Let cook for another 10 minutes, or until the eggs are fully cooked to your liking. You can cover with a lid to cook the eggs faster if you’d like. 

Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and parsley for serving. Serve hot with a side of hearty, crusty bread, pita or couscous. Goes well with a fresh salad topped with feta cheese. 

Enjoy! I’d love to know how you like it and how you adapt it to make it your own. You can easily add sausage to this dish. Just cook it while cooking the vegetables and before adding the tomatoes. Another spice that is a great addition is Aleppo pepper, which adds a warm earthy spiciness to the dish.

Shakshuka simmering in tomatoes

Eggs cooking in shakshuka

Turkey Burgers with Zucchini & Topped with Beet Salsa

Great summer burger a little on the lighter side. Healthy, gourmet and super tasty! Plus they’re really easy to make and you get some extra veggies in with your burger.

When you have zucchinis coming out of your ears later this summer remember this recipe and add some delightfully fresh ingredients to your turkey burgers.  

For a lighter, gluten free lunch put your turkey burgers over a bed of lettuce. Light, filling and delish!

Turkey Burgers With Grated Zucchini & Topped With Beet Salsa

Yields about 12-13 burgers

Ingredients

 

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey (sustainably raised)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 medium carrot, grated (optional – I did not include in pictured burgers)
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil

 

Optional Topping

 

 

Directions

 

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and combine well with a spoon or your hands. 

 

Make about 12 patties. Each 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

Preheat cast iron or nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add coconut oil to pan and let heat up. Carefully place patties in hot oil in skillet.

Cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side or until fully cooked on the inside and turning slightly golden brown on the outside. 

 

Serve on top of plain salad, on a bun or in a pita. Top with beet salsa or condiment of your choice. 

The Empowered Kitchen Tips

This is a great recipe for meal prep because you can use the burgers in different meals for up to 5 days after they’re cooked. You can make a couple lunches for the week with turkey burgers on greens, as a burger on a bun, in a pita with greens, fresh tomato, cucumber and tahini sauce or tzatziki. You can even crumble and put on top of pesto pasta.

They freeze well too! Make a double batch and freeze half of them. Place in a well-sealed container in the freezer with a label and date. Lasts up to 6 months in a freezer. 

Greek Lamb Meatballs

If you haven’t cooked with lamb before, give this recipe a try and I bet you’ll be hooked. I heard about it on NPR and have loved the recipe all spring.  It’s great on a salad, on pasta or over rice. Give it a try with pita and sides like hummus, baba ganoush, tahini sauce or tzatziki.  

Easy and great for meal prep. You can make extra to freeze in a tightly sealed container for up to 3 months. Just remember to date and label well. You can also store them in a bit of red sauce if you prefer. 

Always look for humanely and sustainably raised meats. If we eat less meat, but higher quality meats we can have healthier people and a healthier planet. 

Greek meatballs with lamb and feta cheese

Greek Meatballs

*Recipe From Kathy Gunst On WBUR’s Here And Now*

Yields: 12-15 meatballs

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried and crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs or panko
  • 3 tablespoons fresh mint
  • ¼ to ½ cup feta or goat cheese cheese, finely crumbled, or cut into small cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground lamb (sustainably sourced and humanely raised)
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or olive)

 

Optional for Serving

 

  • Toasted Walnuts

 

Directions:

Mince the garlic. In a medium skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and golden brown. Be careful not to burn. Add the thyme and remove from the heat. Let cool.

Beat the egg and rough chop the mint. In a large bowl thoroughly mix the oil and cooked garlic and thyme with the egg, breadcrumbs, mint, cheese, salt, pepper and ground lamb.

Divide the mixture into 12-15 meatballs. The mixture can be covered and refrigerated for up to 12 hours ahead of cooking.

Heat a large skillet heat over medium or medium high heat. Once heated, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the canola oil.

Working in batches, cook the meatballs about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until brown and cooked through (there should be no sign of pink). Drain on paper towels if desired or pour drippings into pitas.

To serve, spread the tzatziki onto a serving platter and top with the warm meatballs. Scatter with toasted walnuts, if using.

Goes well with pita, hummus, some rough chopped parsley and/or tahini sauce.

**Recipe from Kathy Gunst on WBUR’s Here and Now**

Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza with Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Oh baby. Summer is almost here! I’m so ready. Celebrate the arrival of warmer weather with this pizza and enjoy it outside if you can. It will taste much better that way. 😉 

This cauliflower crust is best eaten with a fork. It’s still delicious, but if you want a cauliflower crust you can pick up, you’ll have to wait for that one coming soon.  

Test out this recipe to get ready for summer parties! 

Cauliflower Crust Pesto Pizza With Tuna, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Arugula

Serves: 4 people 2-3 slices each

Yields: 1 pizza (12-18 inches)

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated mozzarella
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons cornmeal 

 

Optional for Crust

 

  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasonings or oregano

 

Toppings

 

  • 1/2 – 1 cup mozzarella or parmesan (to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 can tuna in olive oil (sustainably caught)
  • 1/4 cup Honey Lemon Vinaigrette* (Recipe below)

 

Directions

Place a saucepan filled with 3 inches of water and fitted with a steamer basket over medium heat. Slice cauliflower (florets and stems) into quarters and place in basket. Steam the cauliflower for 6-10 minutes, or until softened and cooked through.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Carefully remove cooled cauliflower from steamer and place in large bowl or food processor.

Mash cauliflower with a potato masher or blend in food processor. Beat egg in small bowl.

Add the beaten egg, flour, salt, pepper and optional spices. Mix together well with your hands. 

Sprinkle baking sheet or baking stone with thin layer of cornmeal. 

Place the crust mixture in middle of pan and press outwards with your hands until you have an even layer covering the pan.

Place in heated oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and top with pesto and toppings, except the arugula and vinaigrette.

Bake for 5-10 more minutes. Meanwhile toss arugula with a light coating of the vinaigrette of your choice. I like using this Honey Lemon Vinaigrette recipe. * (See below)

When pizza is finished cooking remove from oven and top with arugula salad. You have your pizza and salad in one! Enjoy! Lovely with someone special and a cold summer wheat beer or Belgian tripel. 

Bon app!

First day of the season eating outdoors! 🙂 Such a delight to enjoy these first worm days of the season, especially with someone I love.

Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

 

Yields: 1 cup vinaigrette

Serves: Covers about 10-12 salads.

Ingredients:

 

  • 2 large lemons
  • ⅔ cup olive oil
  • ½ small shallot
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (adjust to taste)
  • 3 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)

 

Directions:

Mince garlic cloves and shallot. Remove the parsley stems and save for stock. Rough chop the parsley.

Roll lemons under your forearm to release juices before slicing in half. [Tip: Zest them first if you need zest for another recipe. Can keep in a small amount of oil in the fridge for a week or so until use.]

Juice lemons and add to small bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk well to emulsify. Taste with a lettuce leaf and adjust ingredients to your taste.

Label and date before refrigeration. Keeps well for about 2 weeks in fridge.

 

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