Rain was predicted for today, and thunder. Instead, it’s hot outside here in DC! Summer is just around the corner, yay! We’ll enjoy it for today- outdoors!
Every month 2 of my friends and I meet up at each other’s places and make dinner. We switch off between our homes and the themes for the dinners, and the person who hosts also does the cooking. Others bring the wine/beer. Every month I really look forward to my time with A* and C* just because we always end up having fabulous conversations, and have tons of fun. =) Last night I hosted, and we had an array of wonderful food (if I do say so myself), which I will write about later in future posts. But for now, I’ll give you some hints: dinner rolls, a Nutella bar, orzo salad and vegetable soup with parsley crisps.
Although, wonderful company makes food taste even better!
Barley Salad with Veggies
Adapted from: Cooking Light
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 cups arugula, lightly chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large roasted red bell pepper, chopped
1 15oz chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 cup pistachios
Cook barley according to package directions.
Once the barley is cooked, combine: barley, arugula, red bell pepper, roasted red bell pepper and chickpeas in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl mix: lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and stir. Sprinkle the top of the salad with pistachios.
Posted in arugula, barley, chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, pistachios, red pepper, roasted red pepper, salad
Tagged arugula, barley, chickpeas, crushed red pepper, lemon juice, olive oil, pistachios, red bell pepper, roasted red bell pepper, salad, vegetables
This will be a dish we’ll have to remake. It was amazingly delicious- and healthy (recipe was from Cooking Light). And it was beautiful to look at (colorful and vibrant), I almost didn’t want to eat it since it would ruin it! And it was spicy and had cilantro- so we both enjoyed it. Do I need to convince you any more? Just try it, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with it too.
Spicy Vegetable Noodles
Adapted from: Cooking Light Magazine
10 oz rice noodles
4 tbsp peanut oil
2 cups carrots, julienne cut
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, cut into slices
1 cup green bell pepper, cut into slices
10oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp lemongrass, chopped
1 tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp ground cumin
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
5 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
3 green onions, sliced
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp peanut oil on a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots and garlic to the pan, saute for 2 minutes. Add bell peppers to the pan and saute for another 2 minutes. Remove the mixture from the pan, set aside. Heat the rest of the peanut oil in the pan. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Add the lemongrass, ginger, curry paste and cumin. Cook for 1 minute and stir constantly. Add the broth, water, soy sauce and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens. Finally, combine the noodles, carrot mixture, green onions and the sauce. Divide between 4 bowls and top with cilantro.
During the winter I crave warm, home-cooked meals. And a versatile dish is even better. This cabbage can be a side dish, or an entrée. We enjoyed it for a Sunday dinner with some fresh bread. It’s fairly easy to make, and it’s easy to increase or decrease its spiciness.
Adapted from: New York Times Fitness & Nutrition
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs), cored & diced
1 small dried red chili pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp paprika
1-2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and stir often until it is tender (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and bell pepper. Continue cooking, stirring until the pepper is softened. Add the cabbage. Cook and stir until the cabbage is softened slightly, and lost its volume. Add the chili pepper, sugar, tomatoes, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes. Raise the heat, and cook until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly; about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring often. Add the vinegar and pepper. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
Once it’s finished cooking, serve with thick slices of country bread.
As I have mentioned, I love salads. Easy salads that take less than 30 minute to throw together and they can be a meal. Growing up, my mom used to make a chinese cabbage salad, which included Ramen noodles as an extra crunch- and I loved it! So when I saw this recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook, I definitely wanted to try it to see this salad satisfied my love for the crunchy cabbage salad. Simililar ingredients, but there are some fun additions. I did change it just a bit, more of some stuff, less of others- but it is crunchy and refreshing. My favorite was putting the sesame seeds on it!
Cabbage Thai Salad
Adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
Juice of 2 limes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 fresh hot red chile, minced
1 carrot, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 Chinese cabbage, chopped
2 handfuls of snow peas, chopped
5-7 radishes, chopped
1 handful of cashews
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
8 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
6 leaves of fresh mint, chopped
Mix all of these ingredients in a large bowl. Toss, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Although, this can get a big soggy, so it’s better to eat it right away.
Posted in basil, cabbage, carrot, cashews, Herbs, lime, mint, Nuts, radish, red pepper, salad, sesame seeds, snow peas, Thai, Veggies
Tagged basil, carrot, cashew, chinese cabbage, crunchy, dinner ideas, lime, Mark Bittman, mint, radish, red chile, salad, sesame seeds, snow peas, soy sauce, thai, The Food Matters Cookbook