Tag Archives: side-dishes

Tabouleh… gesundheit…?

Tabouleh is an awesome snack, exotic salad or side dish that’s relatively simple to prepare and sure to impress. You can use traditional bulgur if you want but I can’t make any recommendations on how to prepare it.I make mine with quinoa because of the whole gluten thing and this is my interpretation of the traditional dish. Parsley is the star in this dish: it’s a great home remedy for bad breath (truly, it works… don’t tell my boyfriend) so if you’re inviting that good looking soul with the gnarly breath over for dinner, consider this bad boy for your appetizer. You’ll need the following:

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cupĀ  water

1/2 lemon

1 generous bunch of parsley

1 tomato, diced

2 tbsp chopped mint (optional, but makes it very authentic)

pinch of sea salt

pinch of pepper (optional)

1 tsp olive oil

Combine the quinoa, olive oil and the water in a microwave safe dish and microwave at 2 minute intervals until the water is absorbed. Here’s my quinoa in the microwave… don’t judge me. I’m a little lazy.

Meanwhile, chop up the parsley (make sure it’s well rinsed so there’s no grit in your tabouleh), mint if you’re adding it, tomato and onion.

Put the tomato and greens in a bowl.

Add the onion to the quinoa after the liquid is absorbed and microwave another 2 minutes, until it starts to get soft. The onion will add some sweetness to balance the tart lemon and herbal parsley. Combine the tomato and parsley with the hot quinoa, sprinkle salt, and squeeze the lemon over the top. The heat will cause the parsley to wilt slightly and take on the flavors of the dish.

Mix again and refrigerate until you’re ready. I think it’s better cold, but warm pleases too.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Potato… wonder-food fantastic!

Potatoes get a bit of a bad rap. With the Atkins fad, people think potato and they think carbs. There’s really nothing wrong with potatoes except how we prepare them. Oily hash browns, French fried, baked and smothered with butter, bacon, sour cream and cheese… that’s probably not good for you. Potatoes by themselves are rich in vitamin C, niacin, B6, and folate and are a good source of iron, fiber and balanced protein. There are also so many different varieties: buttery Yukon Gold, creamy Caribe, all Blue, whatever. They’re kind of amazing. These are banana fingerlings.

Tonight, I’m making some roasted garlic rosemary potatoes. I sliced about 8 cloves of garlic, a handful of fingerling potatoes, a sprinkling of rosemary and a generous splash of white wine (I’m a fat-phobe, olive oil works great too… maybe I need to de-Atkins my thinking) I roasted them at 325F/160C for 30-40 minutes, wrapped in foil, until they browned around the edges and are tender. Insert into face, enjoy.

This is Christie, signing off.

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Tostones… vegan junk food, not a party game.

Plantains are like bananas in appearance but they’re not as sweet. Usually they’re cooked (fried, boiled, grilled, baked, whatever) green when their texture and flavor resembles that of a potato. When overripe they’re either eaten raw or fried in thin chips. Plantains are basically the Inspector Gadget of the banana world.

Here’s me peeling one… they’re a little stubborn. I’m going to make them into tostones, a regional specialty, sometimes called patacones.

Most recipes for tostones call for twice fried plantains, but I prefer to boil for the first round instead of frying. This results in a tostone that remains soft after it cools. Traditional recipes can get hard and unpalatable when cool. Anyways, I chopped my plantains into inch long sections (2-3cm) at a slight angle. I dropped them into water, brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to a low boil and allowed to simmer for another 25 minutes.

After boiling, they should be soft and yellow. I poured the water over a strainer to collect the plantain pieces.

One by one I placed each piece onto a clean plate that I moistened with warm water…

… and SMASHED it with a clean damp glass jar. Do this carefully to maintain the aesthetic or just smoosh them for the fun of it.

Then I fried it on each side for about a minute in grapeseed oil, until golden brown. You can use whatever kind of oil you like as long as it’s suitable for frying. I know Melissa likes safflower oil. I place them onto a clean dry paper towel to drain off some of the oil. They’re great with hot sauce, mojo (a garlic and parsley sauce) or just salt. They’re also rich in vitamins A and C as well as magnesium and potassium.

Let me know how you like them!

This is Christie, signing off!

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