Friday, April 24, 2015

Cashew Mustard Vinaigrette

I'm not inventive when it comes to salad. We've reviewed this. We've also reviewed how the proof is in the pudding or dressing, rather. So this lovely kale salad I made previously was just fine with hummus but was even better with this dressing (and with spinach instead of kale...).

I improvised a little bit with this recipe. I didn't have regular balsamic vinaigrette but I did have a raspberry variety which I got for Christmas (along with a chocolate vinaigrette, haven't experimented with that one yet). I also don't keep mustard around. I have some right now from deviled eggs making and then also from Christmas (I'm sensing a theme to my gifts). My nickname in my family is Monkey so there's often an exchange of monkey-themed gifts.

Salad dressing is super easy to make and it's reassuring to know what exactly is in this situation. Cashews are on the brink of being a vice of mine. Everything in moderation but I had to restrain myself from eating all of the cashews before making this dressing. I even had backup peanuts ready to go, just in case.

Cashews and a little bit of water are processed together until very chopped. The rest of the ingredients are added and blended until smooth. I used my lesser of two food processors so there were still some nut pieces in the final product but we put nuts on top of salads all the time so what's the harm in a little crunch? If you used a super blender, I'm sure your dressing will be perfectly liquefied.

The mustard I used gave a little spiciness to the dressing but the raspberry evened it out so it wasn't actually spicy, just the right amount of zing. I'm inspired to use this mustard on something else like chicken or something where I can taste the flavor more...perhaps another round of deviled eggs are in order.

  • 1/4 cup of cashews
  • 2 Tablespoons red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard (spicy or Dijon)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a food processor, combine the cashews, onion and water. Blend until nearly smooth.
  2. Add the vinaigrette, mustard and spices. If you prefer a spicier dressing and are using regular mustard, you can add some paprika or chili powder for kick (or even sriracha).
  3. Blend everything until smooth. You can see that my cashews didn't turn into oblivion but the dressing was still good.
  4. Pour over salad of your choice and enjoy! 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Avocado Hummus

I probably shouldn't start a food post talking about food spoilage but have you ever noticed that when hummus molds, the mold is the same color as the hummus? This makes it alarmingly difficult to tell when hummus has gone bad until you take a whiff and then you really know it's done for.

Well, my hummus went bad. And I had all these raw veggies to consume. What's a girl to do? With all those chickpeas I keep around, I busted out the food processor. I'm one of those people who think cilantro is amazing and doesn't taste like soap. I'm super pumped this required a whole bunch of cilantro.

This is really a hybrid of hummus and guacamole--what could go wrong?! I saved some of the avocado for a smoothie (more to come on that). I also added two cloves of garlic but could have gone for more garlicy flavor. 

Chickpeas, cilantro, avocado, garlic, some lemon juice and olive oil are all crushed and blended in a food processor. I chopped the cilantro a little bit because it was starting to look pretty full in my food processor. But it triumphed! I don't think you can quite get the store-bought consistency but maybe you have a super blender unlike me. It's still delicious with crackers, chips or fresh veggies! I also shamelessly ate this by the spoonful.

  • 1 can (15oz) garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 avocado (I used just under a whole one)
  • 3 cups chopped cilantro 
  • 2 cloves of garlic (more if you'd like more garlicy flavor)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  1. Combine the chickpeas, avocado, cilantro (chopped slightly), garlic, oil and juice in a food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth or smooth enough. I've heard removing the shells of the chickpeas is the key to smooth hummus. I'll have to try that.
  3. Dip fresh veggies or crackers in the guacamole-hummus and enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Sriracha Chicken

Last year was like the year of the sriracha sauce. The number of Halloween costumes I saw of sriracha was alarming. When did this become a thing? I'd never really given the spicy sauce much thought, or use, but am definitely now a convert. I might set my face on fire with sauces at Indian restaurants but never really considered adding spice to anything else of my own free will.

Shutterbean has definitely changed this. Ever since she added sriracha to her carrot soup, it's become a staple in my kitchen. I'm not surprised she came out with a barbecue chicken recipe using this sauce and it inspired me to do some marinading of my own.

I actually tested this recipe out and then re-made it with measurements for the blog. What is this planning madness? When I made it the first time, it was literally a dash of this, a glug of that (glug is the technical term for that sound a bottle of liquid makes when you're pouring it). And I was pretty satisfied with the result.

I used a baking dish instead of a sheet for this so the chicken could really bathe in the flavor. In a glass measuring cup, simply combine vegetable (or corn) oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and the sriracha sauce. Whisk vigorously so all those oils come together.

Pour over the chicken and allow to marinate while the oven preheats. I cooked these suckers covered, flipping them over half-way through cooking to make sure both sides got some sauce. The result was a sweet and spicy flavor but not too much heat. I also found using a covered baking pan keeps the chicken from drying out and is really delicious this way.


Alternatively, you can shake and bake some drumsticks or grill 'em but for me, these paired with some veggies makes for an easy weeknight meal!

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or corn oil)
  • 1 teaspoon fish oil
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha sauce (more for more heat)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350. 
  2. Add all ingredients to a bowl or measuring cup and whisk vigorously until everything is well mixed.
  3. Place chicken in a baking dish (if you're using a baking sheet, marinate the chicken in a bowl first).
  4. You can sample the marinade for heat before pouring over chicken but cover your poultry with the sauce. Stir the chicken a little to make sure both sides are coated.
  5. Bake covered for 20-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Flip the chicken half-way through. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Matzoh Granola

So we've covered Easter with some deviled eggs (and dyed eggs) but don't forget some chocolate bunnies and marshmallow peeps! Now let's move to Passover treats. My memories of Passover as a kid involve being very hungry, looking longingly at the coconut macaroons, and my mom making matzoh kugel. I'm not going to try and recreate that but I will make some matzoh granola.

I had friends who had matzoh peanut butter and jelly as well as matzoh French toast, all of which seemed so creative. Matzoh granola is pretty low on the creative spectrum but definitely packed with flavor! You can add whatever nuts or dried fruits you'd like, the key is to glue it all together with a nice syrup of honey and spices.

Let's begin: crumbled matzoh and chopped nuts are mixed together in a large bowl. After heating the honey, some olive oil, sugar and spice (cinnamon and allspice, to be precise), carefully pour your syrup over the dried ingredients and stir to coat. My mom has no fewer than five bags of brown sugar, each rock harder than the next, but I finally found one that was a little crumbly. Pro tip: put a slice of bread or a marshmallow into the brown sugar bag to absorb the moisture and reverse the rock-process.

You can add some dried fruit like raisins, cranberries or dates if you'd like. The whole mix is spread out on a baking sheet and baked in the oven until crunchy. The matzoh becomes visibly darker but I found it took longer for the rest of the granola to toast. Served over plain yogurt or with milk, it's a great Passover snack!

What do you like in your granola? I go for some pecans and almonds and this time around some dates. I don't like when the dried fruit gets too chewy in yogurt granola but this will do.

Adapted from Food52

  • 2 cups matzoh, crumbled
  • 3/4 cups chopped or sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cups chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup dried dates
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped nuts and crumbled matzoh.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the honey, olive oil, spices and brown sugar over medium heat. Stir and heat until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Carefully pour the honey mixture over the nuts and matzoh. Stir until the ingredients are coated.
  5. Add the dates and fold together.
  6. Pour everything onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading the ingredients out so they are not clustered.
  7. Bake for 20 minute increments until the granola is toasted through and through. The matzoh will turn a toasted brown when it's close to done.
  8. Allow to cool slightly before serving over yogurt or eating plain. 

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Deviled Eggs

Happy Easter! Happy Pesach! Happy Spring! Whatever you're celebrating this weekend, happy that! My Easter traditions are less food-oriented and more egg hunt related so in the spirit of eggy things, we're making deviled eggs. I also hated the Easter bunny so naturally, my dad always encouraged the monster to come give me a hug. Thanks, dad!

I don't think I ate deviled eggs until I was an adult. They probably seemed odd to me or were sitting out in the sun at one too many barbecue to venture trying. But I'm addicted. I could eat a dozen eggs (that's 24 deviled eggs), I'm sure of it. Are there deviled egg eating competitions? That could get messy.

At any rate, I decided to stick to the traditional recipe with mustard and mayo (I also didn't like mustard when I was a kid but it's growing on me). After already having collected the ingredients, I saw a recipe for guacamole deviled eggs. Holy guacamole, you had me at guac. An adventure for another day!

One other thing besides egg hunts that was big for me as a kid was the actual egg dyeing. I feel like there were always thoughts on making little stickers and decorations but ultimately, I'm a purist. Give me some food coloring and away we go! You also really don't need those little kits with the color tablets if you're in a jam, you can mix 1/2 cup of hot water with a teaspoon of white vinegar and food coloring to dye eggs. I'm not sure why the water has to be warm but I'm guessing the vinegar helps keep the dye on the shell. Let's go with that.

I'll be returning with a Passover-inspired recipe soon so if you're observing Passover, stay tuned! And even if you're not, stay tuned anyways. 


  • 6 Hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (aka: a dash)
  • Sprinkle of black pepper
  • Paprika for garnishing
  1. Hard boil and peel the eggs. I dyed some eggs for Easter and then peeled. It's okay if the eggs aren't peeled perfectly, mine definitely weren't.
  2. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half (long-ways), placing the cooked yolks into a medium bowl. Crush the yolks until crumbled and powdery.
  3. Combine the egg yolks with the mayo, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix everything until smoothly combined. 
  4. Fill each half egg with about a teaspoon of filling but really as much as you'd like. 
  5. Sprinkle with paprika and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 
  6. Put on some pearls and hang up your apron. Change your name to June Cleaver. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Kale Salad

When I was growing up, my brother had a pet iguana. His name was George (the iguana, not my brother) and we nicknamed him George of the Jungle. He was a pretty chill lizard, strictly vegetarian, enjoyed baths and being combed. Sometimes, my brother would let me feed George which was a fun thing to watch, like a frog in slow motion.

As I made this salad, I was reminded of preparing food for George. Chopping up vegetables and kale (George was on the kale train before it was cool) like nobody's business. Forget rabbit food, this is iguana food. This isn't meant to discourage you from this salad, merely that there are other animals we can compare ourselves to when eating very healthy, green salads.

I've struggled with making salads before because it seems so uneventful to just have a bowl of vegetables. I came to realize that the secret is in the sauce...dressing. Without that added zest, you really are just eating iguana food. 

My other problem with salad is the mixing. I always make a mess (see picture above) and end up with layers so hopefully I proportioned it out alright!

Lots of veggies are chopped, some chickpeas are rinsed/drained, and if you want, you can also top with some nuts.

Because dressing is not exactly my forte and I forgot to make it, I just used hummus to flavor this. This involved dipping my fork in hummus before taking a bite of hummus or swiping a fork of salad into a tub of hummus. Whichever you prefer!

inspired by my name doppelganger, Love & Lemons
  • 1 bundle of Kale
  • 2 carrots, chopped or shredded
  • 1/2 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 green squash, chopped
  • Toasted nuts, if desired