Tag Archives: parsley

Quinoa Tabbouleh

24 Sep

I am a lover of Middle-eastern food… ever since I visited Israel 15 years ago, I have been a fan of falafels, hummus, pita bread, rice pilaf, dolmades, among others.

Tabbouleh would be part of that fan list, however, the tabboulehs made usually in Middle-Eastern restaurants are too heavy on the parsley for my taste.  And now that I am trying to avoid wheat sometimes, well I rather order the arab salad of tomatoes, cucumbers and onions and skip the tabbouleh all together.  Traditionally, tabbouleh is made with cracked wheat.

For the last time I cooked in the Yoga Center, I wanted to make a Middle-Eastern inspired menu and it all revolved around the fact I wanted to make this salad.  We made hummus, a salad with mixed herbs including mint, rice with spinach, mushrooms and nuts, which is not like the rice pilafs I am used to having at middle-eastern restaurants, but it fit better for the Yoga appetites.

This recipe also makes use of the abundance of avocados we have right now in Puerto Rico…  and what dish is not instantly improved by adding avocado to it??

 

Recipe by KarmaFree Cooking

QUINOA TABBOULEH with Avocado

2 cups of quinoa

1 vegetable bouillon cube

The zest and juice of 6 yellow lemons

2 bunches of scallions, thinly sliced

1 large red onion, finely chopped

1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

1 cup of fresh spearmint leaves, julienned

4 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

2 seedless cucumbers, unpeeled and diced

1 avocado, diced

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

 

  1. Cook the quinoa first… by adding 4 cups of water to a medium saucepan with the vegetable bouillon cube.  When the water reaches a boiling point, add the quinoa.  Add a drizzle of olive oil, just like you would when making rice.  Cover and lower the heat to simmer until the quinoa cooks, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. After the quinoa is done, fluff it with a fork and season with ¼ cup of the olive oil and the zest and juice of 3 lemons.  Set aside.  If you are making this ahead of time, you can stop here and store the cooked quinoa in the refrigerator after it has had a chance to cool off a bit.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the scallions, onions, parsley, spearmint leaves, tomatoes, and cucumbers.  Add the cooked quinoa and toss all the ingredients together.  Season the whole salad with the additional ¼ cup of olive oil, the zest and juice of the remaining 3 lemons, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss again well to combine.  Let all the flavors combine about 30mins – 1 hour before serving.

When you’re about to serve, garnish with the pieces of avocado.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold.

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Avocado Pasta

22 Sep

Avocado season is here…  and even though a few slices of avocado is the perfect accompaniment to any meal, and with so many ripening all at the same time, I’ve had to find creative ways to eat them all by myself…

This Avocado Pasta has become the last few weeks in my go-to lunch… it’s easy to make, mainly an assembly of flavors, because all you are cooking is the pasta.  Think of it like a pasta salad meets a guacamole and they decide to hang out together…  It’s refreshing because of the addition of the spearmint leaves.  Do not skip them… it’s partly what makes this dish special.  Trust… and your taste buds will be rewarded.

Recipe by KarmaFree Cooking

 

AVOCADO PASTA

2 cups uncooked pasta, I use gluten-free quinoa pasta

2 medium avocados, chopped

1 shallot, minced

15-20 grape tomatoes, halved

15 spearmint leaves and 5 extra ones, all julienned and separated

5-6 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

The juice of 1 lime

3 large handfuls arugula

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Garlic Salt

Salt and Pepper

 

  1. Cook by boiling your desired pasta in salty water according to the package directions…  I used quinoa pasta this time around.  I buy it at Costco.
  2. While the water boils and past cooks, prepare the avocado mixture – in a bowl mix together the avocados, shallot, lime juice, tomatoes, parsley, 15 spearmint leaves.  Season with olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well to combine the flavors.

Recipe by KarmaFree Cooking

3.  When the pasta is fully cooked, drain it well and add to the bowl where the avocados and tomatoes have been marinating.  Toss well to combine.  Add the arugula leaves, a light sprinkle of garlic salt and extra spearmint leaves and toss one final time to combine and for the arugula to wilt a bit.

Serve immediately.

Recipe by KarmaFree Cooking

Lomi Tomato

9 May

Lomi Tomato is the vegetarian version of Lomi Salmon, without the salmon.  This reminded me so much of when I used to order in Chinese restaurants Chicken with Cashew Nuts, without the Chicken.  Somehow people would understand it better when explained like that.

This was the salad portion of our Hawaiian Vegetarian Festival at the Devanand Yoga Center a few weeks ago.  To me it’s really important to include in a menu a salad, but I couldn’t find a typical salad in all the searches I did on Hawaiian cuisine.  So I adapted a version of this very popular dish and made it vegetarian.

I have never tasted the original… to me it sounded very similar to a tartar or a ceviche, both of which I’ve had.  But I thought that by adding macadamia nuts it could be made very interesting.  The audience agreed…  and you??

 

Hawaiian Tomato Salad

LOMI TOMATO

4 cups grape tomatoes, halved

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup macadamia nuts, chopped

½ cup fresh Italian leaf parsley, chopped finely

½ cup olive oil

1 tbs toasted sesame oil

The juice of 2 limes

Salt and Freshly Cracked Pepper

 A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

 

  1. Just place tomatoes, scallions, macadamias and parsley in a large bowl.
  2. In a measuring cup combine the ingredients for the dressing – olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Whisk well to combine.  Add over the tomato salad and toss to combine.
  3. Allow flavors to marinate tomatoes for about 30 minutes before serving.

 

We served it over a bad of mixed greens…  somehow, a salad is more of an salad when lettuces and something leafy is involved, no?

Parsley Dressing

27 Sep

There’s more to curly parsley than just a chain restaurant garnish…  Just like there’s more to my friend Tania than meets the eye.

Perejil y Ajo

This is a recipe I learned from her. Tania is a hair stylist but, every time you go to her salon, you get your hair done and your tummy full. The last time I was there she fed me lunch… and as any typical yogi would do, half the plate she gave me was salad. But this salad was special… it had a special dressing.

Tania tells me this parsley dressing is her go-to salad dressing at home. It’s super easy to make and she always has a bottle of it on top of her kitchen counter. I bragged so much about it to another friend in our running group that Tania had to make a dressing batch just for this other friend to try.

I have been dreaming of making salads with this dressing for a while now… and this is my homage to Tania’s Parsley Dressing. I hope I make it justice. A bottle of this is standing on my kitchen counter as I type!!

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PARSLEY DRESSING

1 bunch of curly parsley, thicker stems removed and coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove
½ tbs kosher salt
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup water

This is the time to take out your immersion blender… I first used my food processor, but just a bunch of parsley is too small to use a large processor. Tania makes it in her Vitamix blender…

  1. In a glass measuring cup measure the olive oil and the water. Add the garlic clove, salt and the coarsely chopped parsley to the large measuring cup. Start pureeing with the immersion blender until the oil emulsifies and turns creamy.
  2. The measuring cup is nice because the spout will help you decant it into a bottle where you can keep the dressing for future use.

The dressing is chunky… but it’s super flavorful. Pour it over a green salad or even boiled potatoes or rice. It’s very, very versatile.

This is a great use of all that curly parsley that goes on sale frequently. I tend to prefer flat-leaf parsley in recipes, but for this preparation, curly works just fine.

Potato Zucchini Gratin

4 Jul

I got the inspiration for this dish by a recent post from Heidi from 101 Cookbooks.  When I read her recipe I realized I had most the necessary ingredients waiting for me in my kitchen.  And what I didn’t have, I would substitute and improvise…

I had received a couple of great zucchinis from my CSA box that I was wondering how to cook…  Heidi and her recipe came to the rescue.  Thanks a lot.

 

 Potato Zucinni Gratin

POTATO ZUCHINNI GRATIN

3 medium russet potatoes, washed well and peeled
1 medium sized zucchini
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
About 1 ½ tbs of basil/parsley oil
About ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese
About ¼ cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Canola Oil Spray
About 2 tbs of fresh whole wheat breadcrumbs
Some additional sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Spray a medium-sized pyrex dish with canola oil spray and sprinkle with about 1 tbs of breadcrumbs.  Shake the pyrex so the breadcrumbs coat the dish as much as possible… just as if you were flouring a pan to bake a cake…  Set aside.
  2. Using a mandoline, slice as thinly as possible the zucchini.  Place in a colander and sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of sea salt and let them drain some if its moisture out. 
  3. Sliced Zuchinni
  4. Using the same mandoline, slice as thinly as possible the potatoes. 
  5. Sliced Potatoes
  6. Place in a bowl and add the basil/parsley oil, the grated parmesan cheese, the Pecorino Romano, some salt and pepper.  
  7.  After about 5 minutes after salting the zucchini, squeeze them to release as much moisture as possible.  Using a paper towel pat them dry.  And add them to the bowl with the potatoes.  Toss well to combine potatoes, zucchini and seasonings.
  8. Place the seasoned veggies into the breaded pyrex dish.  Place them with your hands trying to create layers after layers of potato and zucchini.  It does not need to be perfect, but try to lay them all flat.
  9. Potato Zuchinni Casserole - Prep
  10. Sprinkle some added breadcrumbs over the top and add a bit more parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese to create a nice crust on top.
  11. Because I do this in a toaster oven, I never preheat… but place it in a 400F oven for about 30-45 minutes – the perfect amount of time to allow you to take a shower and meditate.

 

I had this with some goat cheese toasts on the side… The potatoes cook well and the zucchini tastes perfect in it.  It was super good. 

Thanks again to Heidi at 101 Cookbooks… this will definitely be a go-to recipe from now on…

                Gratin and Goat Cheese 2

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