dinner

Falafel Rice Bowls and Tzatziki Sauce

Falafel Rice Bowl and Tzatziki Sauce

These are a spin on the Greek Lamb Rice Bowls I posted a few weeks ago. On Mondays, much to my husband’s dismay, I try to make either a vegetarian or seafood dish (he’s generally not a huge fan of either). Falafel is one of the few vegetarian dishes that I can get away with serving. Usually I’ll serve falafel in some store-bought naan bread, with homemade tzatziki and a side salad. On this past Monday, however, I decided to change things up and apply the rice bowl model to our falafel dinner. It worked perfectly, and I loved the rice with the tzatziki sauce. Read More

Greek Rice Bowls

greek lamb rice bowl

Rice bowls are definitely having a moment (although it’s been going on for a while, so maybe it’s more than just a “moment”). Anyhow, I am a huge fan – we eat them once or twice a week. There’s obviously a template – rice, protein and/or cheese, veggies, beans, and some kind of sauce. But there’s so much room for creativity and experimentation with that.

For me, the sauce of a rice bowl is so key. Often it’s something pretty simple – like a thinned out guacamole. But sometimes I’ll put a bit more effort into it. Take this Greek rice bowl, for example. I went with the obvious sauce (and one of my faves): tzatziki sauce. I’ve posted the recipe on here before. It takes a little bit of work (mainly just planning ahead), but so worth it. This bowl would be awesome with souvlaki-style chicken, but since I had lamb on hand, I went with that.

Greek Rice Bowls

Serves 4

2 cups of prepared brown rice
1 14 oz can of chickpeas
1 lb of ground lamb
2 tsp Cavender’s seasoning

1/2 cup of feta cheese

1 recipe of tzatziki sauce

Cucumber-Tomato Salad
1/2 English cucumber, small chop
1 cup of tomatoes, small chop
1/4 cup of diced red onion
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Parsley and lemon, for garnish

When I make this recipe, I generally make most of the components ahead of time. The tzatziki is best if it’s sat for at least four hours, in my opinion. And the cucumber tomato salad is best when it’s had a few hours for the flavors to meld.

For the salad, chop the tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion in approximately the same sized dice. Mix the vinaigrette (the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey and salt) and toss with the veggies and parsley.

Prepare brown rice according to package directions. Brown ground lamb in skillet. Drain excess fat and return lamb to pan. Add Cavender’s seasoning.

Arrange the bowls. Start with rice, top with cucumber-tomato salad, chickpeas, and lamb. Drizzle with tzatziki sauce and sprinkle with feta cheese. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges.

 

Chicken and Butternut Squash Coconut Curry

chicken butternut squash coconut curry

We had a bit of a cold snap last week. Meaning that the day temps were in the fifties. Which feels sooo cold once you get used to the early, warm springs in the South. Anyway, the “cold” weather had me craving something warm and hearty. We probably eat curry (or other Indian food) at least once a week. It’s always so satisfying and three out of four of us love it. Still working on the fourth.

I think part of the reason that I make curries so often is that they help me use up the random vegetables that I have on hand. (As discussed before I HATE waste!!)  I had a butternut squash that had been in the pantry for at least a couple of weeks and was on my “use up” hit list, so that went in. As did some spinach for color. And a can of diced tomatoes. And coconut milk  So, so good.

Chicken and Butternut Squash Coconut Curry
Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp curry powder
2 tsp paprika
1 onion, medium dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks
1 tsp salt
2 cups of chopped butternut squash
1 can of coconut milk
1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (with juice)
2 tbsp sugar
handful of chopped cashews, for garnish

Directions

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add curry and paprika and warm/toast spices for a couple of minutes. Add onion, garlic and ginger, and stir until softened. Toss chicken chunks with salt and then add to pan. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, then add the rest of your ingredients. Turn heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve over jasmine rice and top with some roughly chopped cashews for added texture. (Note: I’ve served it over spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles, which is a great option if you’re serving friends with dietary restrictions)

chicken butternut squash coconut curry

 

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

I’m actually not a huge lasagna lover, I’d much rather have some kind of linguine or angel hair dish. But THIS lasagna recipe, chock full of veggies and made with a white (béchamel) sauce instead of the traditional red, is right up my alley. As with any lasagna, there are several steps, but it’s definitely worth it. AND it freezes well, so make a couple and freeze one for a busy future day.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Makes one 9×9 lasagna



Ingredients

2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
8 ounces of spinach
2 tsp olive oil
salt
pepper
1 box of lasagna noodles (you won’t use the whole thing, but my kids love to eat the leftovers)
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded fontina
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Béchamel Sauce
2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups of milk
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop up your zucchini and yellow squash into a small dice. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay out in a baking pan.
Roast veggies for about 20-25 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the water for the lasagna noodles. To start your béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the flour to make a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk, and then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. Set aside.
When vegetables have finished roasting and lasagna noodles are cooked, you are ready to start assembly.
Smooth a small amount of the béchamel sauce onto the bottom of the lasagna dish, to prevent sticking. Lay down a layer of lasagna noodles, top with béchamel, then (uncooked) spinach, then roasted veggies, , then part of the cheese (a mixture of the mozzarella and fontina).

 

 

 

 

Repeat two more layers. When you reach the top layer, spread some béchamel on top of the top noodle layer and then top with parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-35 minutes, until nicely browned on top. Enjoy it!

Salmon, Wilted Spinach & Polenta Cakes

Salmon, spinach and polenta cakes
I recommend this dish for three reasons. One, it looks relatively impressive for an at-home dish Two, it’s easy and a lot of the steps can be done in advance. And three, it’s really delicious. Oh, and there’s a fourth…it’s pretty healthy. It’s a great meal to make for company.

 

 Pan Seared Salmon over Wilted Spinach and Polenta Cakes
Serves 2




Ingredients

2 4 oz. salmon fillets
3 cups of baby spinach
2 cloves of garlic
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup of instant polenta
1 3/4 cup of water
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup of grated asiago cheese
2 tbsp creme fraiche
Chopped fresh herbs of your choice (such as basil, chives or dill)

Directions

Start by making your polenta. I use instant polenta because it’s super quick (as the name implies…). Put your water, salt and polenta in a small saucepan and cook per package directions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

When it’s finished cooking, remove from heat and stir in asiago cheese.

Prepare a small baking tray / jelly pan with parchment paper.
Spread polenta evenly in pan and chill for at least an hour.

 


When polenta has cooled, measure out spinach and give it a rough chop.

Pat salmon dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

 

Add 2 tsp of olive oil to your saute pan and add spinach and garlic, cooking for just a few minutes until spinach is just wilted. Set aside.

 

Simultaneously sear your salmon fillets in the remaining olive oil (2 tsp). Cook to desired doneness.

 

Cut cooled polenta into rectangular shapes slightly larger than the size of your fillets.
Plate it up. Put the polenta cake in the center of your plate. Spread out the wilted spinach over top and then carefully place the salmon filet on the spinach. Finally, top with a tablespoon of creme fraiche and some fresh herbs (I used basil).

Enjoy!!