Wish Upon A Dish: March 2016

March 22, 2016

Petits Pois a la Francaise (Tiny Peas French Style) ♥ 7 Ingredient Recipe - #thereciperedux Challenge March 2016

In my family I am known as the Vegetable Queen.
I really do not mind, because then I know I will be eating well prepared vegetables at each family get together.

Since the poster veggies for Easter & Spring are peas and asparagus, making a decision this year was easy. My SIL always makes her fried asparagus and this year, I am bringing the peas.

I could go the easiest route and make Peas in Butter Sauce, or maybe Peas in a Lemon Vinaigrette but I was looking for one of those dishes that screams "really?...peas and lettuce".

If you want a simple side that is a one pot, easy but fabulous tasting side dish, this is for you.
Takes less than 30 minutes, all the ingredients can be bought in every market in the world and it is light and perfect for any ham or lamb dish served on your Easter table.

The French have a way with making miracles with simple ingredients. Who can argue with that?
Tell you something else. This would be perfect served with grilled salmon, broiled flounder, seared scallops and don't forget a few shrimp skewers.

Most would wonder why saute lettuce at all?
I can think of a few reasons.
1. It's nutritious. Green leaf lettuces have Vitamin A & C, along with Calcium & Magnesium. Add in Potassium, Fiber and Protein...what's not to love?
2. It's sweet. A great way to sweeten sour vegetables without added sugars.
3. A great way to use that lettuce that just isn't pretty enough for a salad and a good way to stay on a food budget.

When I saw the Recipe ReDux monthly challenge this month, I thought this Easter side would be perfect.

"7-Ingredient (Or Less) Recipes"
It’s Income Tax Season, so our brains could use some easy arithmetic; as in seven-ingredient-or-less recipes. Show us the healthy, no-brainer dish you fix for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

I was skeptical at first and decided a preview was in order and since the cost was minimal ($5.00 for 6-8 servings) I had nothing to lose. Plus I would have enough for sides all week.

Let's get cooking.....

Petits Pois a la Franchaise 
makes 8 servings as a side

* 4 large scallions, green and white parts, sliced
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 teaspoon garlic infused oil
* 1 head Boston, Butter or Little Gem, 1" shred
* 1 large bag frozen peas
* 1/2 cup low sodium chicken stock
* salt & pepper to taste

Melt the butter and garlic oil in a large lidded skillet. Add the scallions and saute until soft. Stir in the lettuce and when it wilts, add the peas and stock. Cover and cook for 4 minutes, Remove the lid and simmer on high until the liquid evaporates and there is a mice butter sauce on the bottom.

Season with salt & pepper to taste.



March 11, 2016

Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale

This is the first recipe I am posting since I have started my new "rest of my life"-style diet.
I now have a comprehensive list of foods that I can eat and those I should not.

At the top of the GOOD list is high fiber foods. Fiber is instrumental in keeping those cravings from popping up. No bad snacking for me and instead of grabbing that bag of chips or cheese and crackers, I can take the time to plan everything I eat.

I will save the particulars for a later post because right now I want to talk about this dish I made the other night that was sooooo good that I just had to snap a few pics and share with you. It didn't hurt that it was a most beautiful day and the lighting was perfect.

One diet must was to only prepare two servings for dinner. No more leftovers for lunch.
I invested in America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking For Two cookbook. 650 recipes for anything I could possibly want to make and then some.

When I saw this recipe as written I knew I could make it work to fit into my new diet. I would put this into a main dish category and by adding an extra 1/2 cup of quinoa, I had enough leftover to use as a stuffing for two beautiful artichokes. Tomorrow night's dinner is already in the bag.

I almost subbed in farro for the quinoa but at the last minute I changed my mind (farro was more wheat than I wanted). I think most of us are tired of quinoa recipes, but I had to trust the staff at America's Test Kitchen and the quinoa won out. I was happy I did.
Two protein-packed vegetarian staples in one pot for a pilaf-style dish. I added red pepper and asparagus to the mix and instead of pine nuts, I used sliced almonds.

Need a dish for a pot luck picnic, this is it!
Can be eaten hot or at room temperature, making it perfect for a buffet.
I loved that it did not use a vinegar based dressing, only spices, citrus and stock. It is so simple, I was blown away at the flavors.

If your family won't eat chickpeas but loves black beans, add those with some corn and use taco seasoning instead of the Moroccan spices, along with queso fresco or Pepper Jack for a complete Tex Mex transformation.

Let's get cooking.....

Moroccan-Style Quinoa and Kale with Chickpeas, Currants and Feta Cheese
Adapted from America's Test Kitchen Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook
Serves 2 (I made extra for another dish)

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 small white onion finely chopped
* 1 large carrot, cut into 1/4" cubes
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
* 1 1/2 cup vegetable stock
* 3/4 can chickpeas, drained
* 2 tablespoons currants, soaked in 2 tablespoons warm white wine
* Salt and pepper
* 6 ounces Dinosaur kale, stemmed and chopped into 1" pieces
* 6 asparagus spears, bottoms peeled and cut into 1" pieces
* 1/2 red pepper cut into 1" strips
* 3 tablespoons roasted sliced almonds
* Zest of one lemon plus juice of half
* 3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. You are looking for color on the onions. Add coriander and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant. Stir in quinoa and lightly toast.
2. Stir in stock, chickpeas, currants and salt. Place kale & peppers on top and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Add asparagus and stir. Add lemon zest and juice, along with the almonds and ground pepper. Remove from the heat and add the feta. Let the quinoa mixture sit for a few minutes before stirring and serving.