Well Dined

5Sep/161

Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Shrimp and Strawberry?  Do you think I sound crazy right now?  Trust, young padawans, and learn the ways of combining sweet and savory.  Rice noodles, pickled veg (and mango!), basil, mint, scallions, shrimp, and strawberries are combined in a rice wrapper for the ultimate summer freshness.  Served with a delicious peanut sauce for dipping - get in my face!

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

I had seen a blog photo ages ago that I loved on this site, but I was scared to try it because I had never made summer rolls before and it seemed finicky.  Then I was over at a friend's house for dinner and that is what we made!  It was a bit tricky, but not as scary as I had imagined.  She was a pro, so I asked her to help me make my shrimp and strawberry rolls.  Then I looked at the recipe for the photo I loved, and wasn't a big fan of the ingredients.  I wanted noodles instead of cabbage, and mango instead of bell pepper.  So I switched some things around.

Well Dined | Shrimp and Strawberry Summer Rolls

Then we got to work!  She was skeptical of my flavor combo, but ended up loving it.  You can see the progression here from back to front where I put the ingredients on in the wrong order so the pretty parts didn't show, then exploded one, then finally got some decent rolls.  The good news is - it doesn't matter if you don't get the best looking rolls, they still taste amazing!

11Sep/152

Try The World Marrakesh

Well Dined | Moroccan Stew with Couscous

Earlier this week I talked about my Marrakesh box from Try The World, and what I did with the sardines from it.  Now I'd like to tell you what I did with the rest of the items, which was to make this beautiful lamb and couscous dish!

Well Dined | Moroccan Stew with Couscous

First I took cubed lamb and tossed it with some of the kefta rub, then browned it in batches.

30Jul/150

Vegan Three Bean Chili

Well Dined | Vegan Three Bean Chili

I was making dinner for a vegan friend of mine and found this quick and easy recipe that sounded good.  Using mostly canned products, I was not expecting it to turn out as well as it did (hence no preparation photos).  We were both surprised at how much flavor this chili had.  I added in some chopped leftover steak for Jasper, and he loved it too.  This is definitely going into my records as cheap, easy, customizeable, and well-loved.

Vegan Three Bean Chili with Pesto
adapted from Real Simple
serves 4

1 tbsp plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian spices, including liquid
kosher salt and black pepper
1 15.5oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15.5oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 15.5oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp pine nuts (you can use a less expensive nut)
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and their liquid, 2 cups water, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper and bring to a boil.

Add the beans and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Either finely chop the garlic, pine nuts, and parsley and combine with remaining 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper in a small bowl OR put everything into a mini food processor and pulse.

Divide the chili among individual bowls and top with the pesto.

One Year Ago - Greek Style Zucchini Salad
Two Years Ago - Meat Ravioli
Three Years Ago - 4th of July
Four Years Ago - CSA Week 9

3Jun/151

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  It's kind of weird to eat flowers, right?  But these delicate blooms (stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs, battered, and fried) are so, so delicious.  They are also extremely perishable and only last a few hours at home.  So it is best to cook them right away.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I've only ever had squash blossoms in restaurants before, but as soon as I saw them at the farmers market, I knew that I had to try making them myself.  I really wanted to go with a stuffed and fried recipe, which is what I'm used to eating.  But I found a bunch of other cool recipes I'd like to try if they still have them at the market next week - soup, quesadilla, fritatta.

21Apr/154

Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

I have made this salad multiple times in the past two years, but never managed to photograph it or blog about it - until now!  Which is a shame, because it is so delicious and satisfying, and you could have been making it, too.  I'm so sorry!  But I'm sharing it with you now, and I hope that you know how serious I am about loving this salad, because I rarely ever make things more than once.  I even bought pomegranate molasses for my parents so that I could make this for them!

Special thanks to Melissa at Smells Like Brownies, for making it with me again two years after our first time making it together so that we could photograph it.

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

First thing is first, you must cook some lentils! I use French lentils for pretty much everything because they retain their shape and texture.  Plus, they are a pretty green.

Well Dined | Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Herbs

Meanwhile - prep your other ingredients.  Chop your vegetables: onion, garlic, bell peppers.  I love how colorful the bell peppers are, and how pretty they make the salad.  So buy one of those 3 packs that has red, yellow, and orange.  It will make you so happy.  We also had a little bit of a green pepper left over, so we threw that in.

Also use this time to rehydrate some sun-dried tomatoes in boiling water.  The water will become infused with tomato flavor, and will later become part of the dressing - neat!  Not pictured - toast some walnuts.  It releases the oils and makes them so much more flavorful.

30Jul/141

Greek Style Zucchini Salad

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

On Monday, I promised you a recipe for the side dish I served with the Garlic Butter Salmon with Dill.  And here it is - a Greek style salad made with shredded raw zucchini, so healthy!  The dill in this dish helps tie it in with the flavors in the salmon (plus it helps me get rid of more dill).

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

The raw zucchini - along with mint, dill, green onions, and feta - is marinated in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic.  The original recipe recommends chilling for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together, but we found that 30 minutes was enough.

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

This salad is bright and fresh, perfect on it's own or as a side.  Make it all summer, take it with you anywhere, and enjoy!

5May/142

Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

 

Hello, Spring!  I am so glad that you have finally come to stay!  I'd like to welcome you with this lovely little tart made with fresh peas, creamy homemade ricotta, scallions, herbs, and lemon.  Please stick around for a bit.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well, Spring, I know that fresh English peas are kind of your thing, so I used them two ways just for you!  I pureed some peas and ricotta together with lemon juice, mint, and basil to make a creamy spread.  Then I mixed some whole peas with scallions, more mint and basil, and lemon zest.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

I baked some puff pastry until golden, puffed, and crispy; then I spread the creamy ricotta mixture over the top; and sprinkled the whole pea mixture over that.  Look at all that green!

12Aug/130

Tabbouleh

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Smells Like Brownies!  I've never really liked tabbouleh.  Maybe because it's usually cold, or there's too much parsley, or there's raw red onion, or it just isn't that filling - I don't know why.  As it turns out, Melissa doesn't like it either!  So when she suggested we try to conquer it, I was skeptical.  But making something yourself means that you get to adjust it until it is the way you like it.

Well Dined | Tabbouleh

Upping the bulgur, balancing the parsley with mint, and using scallions instead of onion certainly helped this dish out.  But what really sent it into yummy land was serving it warm, stuffed inside pitas, with a generous amount of feta.  We managed to turn something we both disliked into something we both loved!  It may not be traditional, but it sure is delicious.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

I bought extra pita pockets and feta to go with my leftover tabbouleh, but ended up with too much!  Melissa had given me some of her CSA cucumbers (since she was drowning in them), so I threw together a quick cucumber salad with feta, mint from my garden, olive oil, and champagne vinegar.

Well Dined | Cucumber Feta Pitas

Because everything is more fun in a pita pocket!  (Except for peanut butter and jelly - I just found out the hard way that that doesn't work.)

Tabbouleh Pitas with Feta
adapted from Mad Hungry
serves 6

1 cup dry bulgur wheat
2 cups water
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced (about 1½ cups)
1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups minced fresh curly parsley
1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt, or to taste
6 pita pocket rounds
8 oz feta, crumbled

Rinse the bulgur.  Cook in the water over medium heat for 12–15 minutes, or until soft and chewy.  Remove from the heat and stir in the garlic.  Drain of any excess water and transfer to a large bowl.
Add the cucumbers, tomatoes, scallions, parsley, and mint.  Toss together.
Whisk together the lemon zest, juice, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir the dressing into the salad to fully combine.
Serve stuffed inside pitas, layered with feta to taste.

Cucumber Pitas
serves 1

1 cucumber, chopped
4 oz feta, crumbled
1 tbsp chopped mint
salt and pepper to taste
splash of olive oil
splash of champagne or rice wine vinegar
pitas

Mix ingredients together, serve with pitas.

14May/130

Grilled Halloumi & Quinoa Salad

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Halloumi is a salty, dense Greek cheese that is super amazing when grilled.  My friend Melissa, from Smells Like Brownies, is a big fan so she was pretty excited when I showed her this recipe.  Hearty quinoa mixed with lettuce and veggies and topped with warm cheese - delish!

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We didn't end up having the cucumbers the original recipe called for, so we used tomatoes instead and they were great.  I do really like cucumbers, though, so I would say to use both.  The more veg, the better, right?  The dressing includes red wine vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and scallion - yum!

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We also discovered (by oiling one side and not the other of an electric grill) that the cheese gets better grill marks when the grill is not oiled.  Don't worry, though, it won't stick!

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This is a very satisfying (and light!) vegetarian lunch that is sure to make even meat eaters happy.

20Dec/120

International Burgers

Just because it's cold outside, doesn't mean you can't still make burgers.  And they don't have to be the standard plain burgers, either.  Here are two recipes that put a bit of a twist on the classic burger.

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First up - a Middle Eastern inspired spiced lamb burger with a creamy yogurt sauce.

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To make the patties, combine bread crumbs, lamb, turkey, onion, an egg, parsley, garlic, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and pepper.  Use a grill pan, griddle, or electric grill to cook the burgers.

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Make a sauce with yogurt, scallions, parsley, mint, oregano, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, sugar, and pepper.

Place the burgers inside pitas and stuff with fresh tomatoes and the yogurt sauce.

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For a Southwestern twist, we have Salsa Verde Turkey Burgers with Avocado Mayonnaise.

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To form the burgers, simply combine ground turkey, jarred salsa verde, breadcrumbs, and an egg.  Combine avocado, mayonnaise, and garlic to make a sauce.  Cook the burgers on a griddle (turkey falls apart too much to grill) and top with Pepperjack cheese and the sauce.  If they are in season - green tomatoes are also an excellent topper.