From Root to Leaf: Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Chimichurri

Why carrot tops are not eaten in our country has been a mystery to me. I grew up eating them in soups, stews and who knows what else. I was not a fan, but I ate them. A lot! And contrary to what some people may think, carrot tops aren’t toxic. I’m happy I lived to tell you about it!

Now, carrot tops texture and strong flavor may be a challenge to some people’s palates. It’s not the kind of greens I would use on a plain salad. However, when used as a herb–such as parsley or cilantro–it can add texture and flavor to any dish.

There are plenty of carrot top chimichurri recipes out there. All are pretty much the same with slight variations. Is what you do with your chimichurri that matters most. And because I believe on ‘what grows together goes together’, I topped roasted rainbow carrots with it. It tasted so good. Perfect combination of sweet, smoky and tangy flavors.


Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Chimichurri
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch of medium rainbow carrots
  • 1 cup carrot tops, chopped fine
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (can be replaced by 1 teaspoon of dry oregano)
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small shallot minced (can be replaced with regular or purple onions. Approximately 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ teaspoon of chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Some fresh ground pepper
Instructions
  1. For the carrots: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the green top and reserve for the Chimichurri. Wash and peel the carrots. Place them on a baking sheet. Toss the carrots with some olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes or until tender.
  2. For the Chimichurri sauce: Wash and dry your carrot tops well before chopping them as they tend to have lots of dirt. Combine all the ingredients in the order they appear leaving the vinegar and olive oil for less. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Notes
Serve with roasted carrots, toasted bread, or over grilled flank steak.

 

Falafel Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Mint Sauce

I love falafel and I love eggplant. Putting them together this intimately was one of the best things it ever happen in my kitchen. No exaggeration here. And topping it all up with a creamy and tangy yogurt sauce makes this combo even better. Sounds like vegan porn to me.

Here is how you make it:

Wash and dry 2 medium eggplants. Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and score cut sides with a crosshatch pattern. Drizzle some olive oil and salt on the eggplant halves. Place them cut sides down, on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil. Bake at 475° for 7 minutes or until slightly tender.

While the eggplant halves are baking prepare the falafel mixture according to box directions–I used a whole box of Cashab Falafel Mix for this recipe and it was almost the perfect amount of stuffing. I overfilled mine halves and, if you love falafel as much as I do, you should overfilled yours too!

Remove from oven and carefully scoop out pulp, leaving a 3/4-inch shell. You can reserve the pulp for another use or you can shamelessly eat it right away just like it did!

  

Spoon the falafel mixture into each eggplant shell. Bake at 450° for 25-30 minutes or until the falafel is browned and crispy.

To make the Mint Yogurt Sauce, follow the recipe below. You can serve the sauce on the side or drizzle it all over the eggplant. Why not do both?

Since I made this recipe I keep thinking what else can I possibly stuff with falafel. I’m obsessed!


Yogurt Mint Sauce
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt. No regrets!)
  • ¼ cup minced mint
  • ½ clove garlic, finely diced or grated
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste (Start with a little and add as much as you like, always tasting in between. I'm horrible when it comes to salting my recipes. Still learning!)
Instructions
  1. Place yogurt, mint, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and cayenne in a small bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. It'll be best to let sit for 30 minutes but it can be served right away. Store on an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

 

Hot weather calls for cold noodles

Oriental Cold Noodles for dealiciouscooking.com

It’s searing hot and it has been that way for a while. The kids are perpetually cranky, the dog doesn’t know what to do with himself and even my tropical self can take this weather anymore.

Cold noodles are just perfect for lunch or dinner when the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. They’re easy to cook, delicious eaten straight out of the fridge and the perfect leftover to pack in the kid’s lunchboxes.

For these recipe I used the veggies I had available (spinach, celery, tomatoes and green onions) but anything goes. The noodles were regular Barilla angel hair but it can be done with any type of noodles oriental or not.

Start by chopping the veggies and mixing it in a large bowl.

Cold Oriental Noodles for dealiciouscooking.com

Prepare the dressing while the noodles are cooking.

Cold Oriental Noodles for dealiciouscooking.com

Rinse the cooked noodles with water until cold. Mix noodles, veggies and dressing. Refrigerate for at least one hour allowing the noodles suck in all the flavors. Eat it straight out of the fridge. Repeat!

Cold Oriental Noodles
 
Author:
Cuisine: Fake Asian
 
Ingredients
  • For the noodles:
  • 4 cups chopped fresh raw vegetables: spinach, celery,snow peas, bell peppers, scallions
  • 16 ounces Chinese egg noodles or long pasta like linguine or angel hair
  • For the dressing:
  • 1 small garlic clove (minced or crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup (or 1 tbsp sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Sriracha or Tabasco sauce to taste (optional)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Prepare the vegetables: wash, trim, peel as necessary and cut into sizes and shapes of your choice. Mix in a large bowl.
  2. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. When they’re done, drain and rinse with cold water. Reserve.
  3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  4. Toss the cold noodles and veggies; top with sauce and stir to coat.
  5. Refrigerate for one hour before serving.
Notes
This dressing goes wonderfully with chopped salads too!

 

Slow roasted tomato relish and whipped lemon truffle ricotta crostini

Roasted Tomato Relish and whipped truffle ricotta crostini

This idea is all about the whipped ricotta. It really doesn’t matter what the topping is, because this creamy and tangy base can handle anything. I just happened to have a fresh batch of Roasted Tomato Relish and it was a dealicious topping to this easy to make appetizer. Other toppings that may work well with the whipped ricotta are: roasted pears with basil, fresh figs and walnuts, prosciutto and arugula or even smashed green peas and bacon.

This “whipped ricotta recipe” is hardly a recipe and just requires a few steps for a fluffy. I used truffle salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and  pepper with the ricotta.

Roasted Tomato Relish and whipped truffle ricotta crostini

I placed the ricotta cheese, lemon juice an truffle salt in the food processor and whipped until smooth – about 1 minute. I manually mixed the lemon zest to the whipped ricotta and started to assembled the crostini. For the crostini I used pre-sliced ciabatta bread, brushed with some olive oil and baked for 15 minutes at 380F.

Topped with the roasted tomato relish, balsamic glaze and baby basil leaves and flowers from our garden bed.

Dealiciouscooking.com

Whipped lemon truffle ricotta
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta
  • ¼ truffle salt
  • ¼ lemon juice
  • dash of lemon zest
Instructions
  1. See post for details.

 

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Steaks

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Steaks

Although there’s no better way to eat cauliflower than deep-fried or swimming in a creamy cheese sauce, this roasted cauliflower recipe is pretty satisfying and ‘dealicious’ (yup, this unpopular veggie is usually affordable and I’m totally surprised that it didn’t make the Gwyneth’s SNAP challenge list.)

This recipe is more of a ‘way to prepare’ than an exact recipe. If you like heat, I recommend using a hot curry powder like Madras. Try it with a splash of lime juice. The citrus highlights all the flavors and adds the perfect zing!

Start by preheating the oven at 400F. Wash the cauliflower and remove some or all of the leaves. Slice the cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick slices. And yes, you’re seeing right, I didn’t core the cauliflower and you don’t have to do it either. The core holds the florets together and tastes as good as the rest of the cauliflower to me.

Cauliflower Steaks

In a small bowl, mix the curry powder, turmeric, cardamom and salt.

Cauliflower Steaks

Place the cauliflower steaks on a non-stick baking sheet (or a baking sheet lined with foil.) Coat the steaks with refined coconut oil (it can be substituted with olive oil or any oil of your choice) on both sides. Sprinkle the spice mix on both sides.

Cauliflower Steaks

Roast it 15-20 minutes each side. I broiled each side an additional 2 minutes just to give the florets a bit of a sexy tan. This step is totally optional.

Roasted Curried Cauliflower Steaks
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 large head cauliflower
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Wash the cauliflower and shake it dry.
  2. Cut the cauliflower in long slices, about ½ inch thick.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the spices.
  4. Spread steaks in a single layer in a large non stick baking sheet or a baking sheet lined with foil.
  5. Coat the cauliflower steaks with the coconut oil on both sides and sprinkle the spice mix generously also on both sides.
  6. Bake until cauliflower 20 to 30 minutes. Stir after 15 minutes, flipping the slices over.
Notes
Served with a splash of lime.

 

 

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

I’m excited to share this idea here. It’s pretty simple to make and so delicious.  I’m a big fan of chickpeas but they do need a lot of love to really get their flavors going. Mash them up with some cumin, lemon and a touch of heat and you have a delicious salad to tuck into pita bread, roll on a tortilla or kale leaf, serve as a dip or as a base for a tartine.

This is how I made this batch, but you can add or hold ingredients to taste.

Use one can of chickpeas, drain and mash it slightly to keep a bit of a crunch.

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

In a separate bowl mix well until creamy:

  • 1 tbsp pure tahini
  • 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice 1/2 lemon (aprox. 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp of Huy-Fong Chili Garlic Sauce (it can be replaced with Sriracha or fresh chopped garlic and chili flakes)

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

Mix the sauce with the mashed chickpeas.

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

I spread half of the salad evenly on top of a slightly toasted bread. Added some thin sliced cucumbers, watermelon radishes, chopped parsley, toasted almonds and lunch was ready.

I was so hungry…Taking the pictures was pure torture.

Spicy Mashed Chickpea Salad

I ate the other half of the salad as a dip for the extra cucumber slices and I finger licked the bowl.

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush 5 ingredients dealiciouscooking.com

I first remember tasting Baba Ganoush when I was about 7-years-old. Our neighbors in Brazil had Syrian roots and they were pretty much responsible for my first taste of Middle Eastern food. Birthday parties in their home were, in one word, scrumptious. Best of both countries. Baba Ganoush, Hummus, mini Kibbees, Dolmas, Brigadeiros (Brazilian chocolate fudge bites), and coxinhas (Brazilian chicken fried dumpling.)

I don’t think I tasted Baba Ganoush again until I moved to the States.  Every time I eat Baba Ganoush I go back to my neighbors Claudia and Andreia’s birthday parties and Sunday suppers. I see their dad, Senhor Luis, in the kitchen mixing some Za’tar and proclaiming I would never taste anything like it.

I wish I could share this Baba Ganoush with Senhor Luis and tell him “thank you” for the delicious memories.

THE DEAL: I used 4 small eggplants (2 Casper and 2 Szechwan) from our garden for this recipe. It was the perfect amount and use for our fresh picked eggplants.

Fresh Eggplants from Garden dealiciouscooking.com

Roast the eggplant and garlic with the skin on. I dressed the eggplant slices with Trader Joe’s Pacific Smoked Salt and black pepper for extra flavor.

Roasted Eggplants for Baba Ganoush

Add all the ingredients to the food processor. Since the eggplants were so tender I didn’t remove the skin. I used pure Tahini sauce and I needed to add a little water to the final mixture to thin it out a bit.

Baba Ganoush dealiciouscooking.com

 

Baba Ganoush
 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 small Chinese eggplants or 1 medium regular eggplant
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peel on
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice according to taste
  • ¼ cup tahini sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus extra depending on size of eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus some extra for drizzling
  • Pinch of paprika for garnishing
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Slice eggplants in small pieces. In a bowl, toss eggplant slices with salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil. Place it on a baking sheet along with the unpeeled garlic. Roast until tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove the eggplant and garlic from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the garlic peel.
  2. Place the eggplant, garlic, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and process until fairly smooth. Add the olive oil and salt and process it briefly. Scrape the mixture into a bowl, taste and add more lemon juice or salt to taste.
  3. With the back of a spoon, make a swirl in the top of the baba ganoush, drizzle olive oil in the swirl grooves, and sprinkle with paprika.

 

 

Black Rice with Kale, Mushrooms, Marsala Wine and Feta Cheese

Heirloom Forbidden Rice Package

This ‘black rice’ came in my Easter basket and to tell you the truth I thought it was just wild rice. I was not excited. Disappointed even.  As I put the bag in the pantry, I briefly read the package description…which led to Google search…that proved I live under a rock. As it turns out this Heirloom forbidden rice is NOT wild rice and it’s the healthiest rice in the world.  How haven’t I heard of it?

Down to the facts. Heirloom forbidden rice (aka black rice) has high level of minerals, antioxidants, is rich in a class of flavonoid antioxidants called anthocyanins, which are potent anti-inflammatories and have specifically been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer as well as improvements in memory.

Best of all, black rice taste a zillion times better than white or brown rice. It’s nutty, slightly sweet and it looks way sexier than any other rice.

This rice is not cheap so if you want to make it ‘dealicious’ keep checking the Whole Foods bulk section (it goes on sale sometimes) or try Cost Plus World Market where the one I got seems to come from.

There are good recipes out there for black rice but I had to use the kale and mushrooms in the fridge, so I came up with this recipe. It was the perfect side for our baked salmon.  Any type of kale would work for this recipe, but I used Earthbound Organic Baby Kale from Costco. Broccoli rabe (Rapini) or spinach would work too.

Black Rice, Kale, Mushroom with Marsala rice and Feta

 

Black Rice with Kale, Mushrooms, Marsala Wine and Feta Cheese
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked heirloom forbidden rice
  • ½ medium purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cups crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups of raw baby kale
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup of crumbed goat cheese or feta cheese
  • 2¾ cups of beef broth or water (to cook the rice)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • black pepper
Instructions
  1. Start by cooking the rice with the beef broth in the rice cook. If you don’t have a rice cook, simply follow the directions in the package replacing the water with beef broth. If you don’t have directions (bought it in bulk) bring beef broth to a boil and add the rice. Cover and cook for 20-30 minutes in medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand covered. Reserve.
  2. On a separate pan, sauté the onion in the olive oil until it becomes translucent. Add mushrooms and Marsala wine. Cook for about 3 minutes and add kale, salt and some pepper. Cook until kale reduces its size and looks fully steamed. Turn heat off. Add the cooked black rice mixing it well. Taste and adjust with more salt and/or pepper. Cover and let it stand for a few minutes, allowing the rice to absorb the kale/mushrooms/Marsala wine juice. Sprinkle the cheese over the rice before serving.

 

Tofu and Spinach Crustless Quiche Gluten Free

Easy Tofu and Spinach Crustless Quiche Gluten Free

This is the first recipe I’ve created using coconut flour.  Normally, I’d use regular flour or whole-wheat flour but I wanted to make a wheat free side dish for our vegetarian dinner tonight. It turned out really good for such a easy and healthy dinner fix. The coconut flavor it’s really noticeable but the kids didn’t mind. They actually really enjoyed it so I’ll be packing some in their lunch boxes tomorrow.

The more I learn about wheat and gluten the more I feel like banning it it from our diet. Also, I’ve been noticing that the less gluten I have on a daily basis the better I feel – less bloated, more alert, less cravings, etc.

Here is what got me really fired up about coconut flour: it’s gluten, grain free, high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. Though it is free from gluten proteins, coconut flour contains an impressive number of other proteins.

I’m still researching and learning about cooking and baking with coconut flour but for this recipe I knew I’d need more eggs and almond milk because coconut flour is very dry and substituting other flours with it doesn’t exactly work. Ditchthewheat has this quick tips & tricks post on dealing with coconut flour.

Coconut flour is way more expensive than regular flour but that’s ok because it goes a long way and it’s healthier. Sprouts sells it in bulk ($3.99 lb. ) so I got a small amount to experiment with.

Here is to a healthy week!

TOFU & SPINACH CRUSTLESS QUICHE – Gluten Free

  • 4 cups of fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cup of almond milk
  • ¼ coconut flour
  • 1 half of Trader Joe’s Organic Sprouted Tofu (Extra Firm) or ½ of one Extra firm tofu block (water drained)
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of onion powder
  • ½ tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of Paprika
  • 1 tsp of cayenne pepper

Chop spinach slightly and quickly sautéed it in a little bit of olive oil OR cook it in the Microwave for 1 minute (reserve). Blend all the wet ingredients until smooth. Add everything else except for spinach. Blend it well, stopping a couple of times to mix and scoop unmixed ingredients from blender cup walls (coconut flour can get really lumpy.) Lastly, mix spinach with the blended mixture. Spray a small Pyrex or oven dish with spray oil or coat the dish with olive OR coconut oil (use your hands or a sheet of paper towel to spread the oil). Pour the mixture and top with shredded cheese (totally optional). Bake it at 400F for about 20-30 minutes or until top is firm, brown and crusty. Let it cool off before cutting.

Tofu and Spinach Crustless Quiche Gluten Free

 

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

When I found the nutritional power of quinoa some years ago I went on a quinoa frenzy. The kids really like it and the possibilities were endless. Quinoa with baked beans, quinoa salads, and quinoa patties were among some of our family favorites.  But one fine day the quinoa magic was gone. “Mom can we just have rice instead?” I was devastated but determined to make them fall in love with it all over again.

And so it happened tonight.

This was a total spontaneous quick fix and a great side dish for our roasted pork loin.

Here is how I brought the quinoa magic back.

I cooked 1 cup of quinoa with some salt, granulated garlic and cumin. While the quinoa was cooking I sautéed one small shallot in some extra virgin olive oil on a skillet.

Sauteed Shallots

I added approximately 3 cups of raw chopped kale.

Chopped Kale

Next, I added approximately 1 cup of organic black beans from a can (rinsed),1 cup of organic frozen corn (rinsed in hot water), salt and pepper.

Black Beans and Corn

I turned the heat off and added the cooked quinoa plus 1 cup of medium heat salsa from a jar. I mixed it well and finished by patting it into an even shape carving a little bit deeper in the center for the eggs.

DSC_0305

I spread some more salsa over the top, sprinkled some Mexican style shredded cheese and cracked two eggs in the middle (one of the yolks didn’t make it. As you see this is the real deal and I was too hungry to care.)

Eggs over quinoa

It baked at 400F until the egg looked cooked then I broiled for just a couple of minutes to get the cheese crispy. I garnished it with chopped green onions and cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa Skillet

 THE DEALs

 Sprouts: Organic curly kale for 98c each this week

Frozen Corn and all frozen brands 20% off ends 03/26

Ralphs: Dozen large eggs grade AA  $1.99