Tag Archives: make ahead

Lunch in a Jar, Pt. 3: Coconut Barley w/ Zucchini, Asparagus & Feta

4 Apr

I love kitchen tools whether they’re essential or absurd (who DOESN’T need a hot dog slicer??). On that note, I think spiralizers fall right in the middle: you don’t neeeeeeed one but they’re neat! Why not have fun with your food and eat it in a different way? Inspired to bust out this particular gadget, I based my next lunch jar on using it on some zucchini. I also made up some chewy coconut and lime barley, tossed in some salty feta and added in bright, blanched asparagus and corn. Lots of flavour and super filling, I’m making it again next week!

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Makes 3.

Ingredients

1 zucchini, peeled and spiralized (or, in a pinch, use a peeler to cut into ribbons and then slice those ribbons thinly)
5-10 stalks of asparagus, diced
1 c corn
1c barley
3 tb shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 lime, juiced
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/3 c feta, crumbled
drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Directions

1.Place 3 cups of liquid (water, broth, coconut milk) in a pot along with 1 cup of uncooked barley and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Once cooked to desired chewiness, add in the shredded coconut, lime juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference. Set aside to cool.

2. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil to blanch the corn and asparagus. Once the water has boiled, toss in the veggies and cook for just a couple of minutes. Drain the pot and put the veggies into ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove and set aside.

3. Layer your ingredients: barley, asparagus, corn, zucchini & feta. If you’ve got any leftover cilantro, you can toss that on top, too. When you’re ready to eat, toss in a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar and you’re set!

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

5 Jun

If your eyebrow is raised archly at the prospect of zucchini in a muffin as mine initially was, let me assure you that it’s delicious. Or, perhaps more accurately, it makes the muffin delicious. The actual flavour disappears entirely because the zucchini is so finely grated. Instead, you get wonderfully moist muffins that have a punch of goodness and just a handful of chocolate chips. This is my current favourite muffin recipe – I make it nearly every other week and always eat one before I put them away for breakfast the next morning.

These would be good with half a cup of chopped walnuts if you were so inclined!

Makes 12.

Ingredients

1 1/2c all-purpose flour
2/3c white sugar
1 ts baking soda
1 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 c milk
1 ts vanilla
1 c zucchini, finely grated
1 handful chocolate chips – feel free to be as stingy or as generous as you like

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line or grease muffin cups.
2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine the egg, oil, milk and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and then toss in the grated carrot.
3. Stir everything together until just combined and then spoon into the muffin cups.
4. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Leave for 5 minutes then pop onto a rack to cool off completely.

muffin

Braised Pork Stew

27 Jan

Because I just can’t stop buying cookbooks, Michael Smith’s latest, Family Meals, has appeared on my shelf. I’ve always liked Smith: he was my gateway into cooking fish for the first time and his recipes (while sometimes a bit short on the salt for my taste) never fail me. I like his philosophy that a recipe is simply somewhere to start, a thing to be played with, an idea upon which to expound. I feel the same way: when I come across a new recipe, I’ll generally leave the fundamentals alone but will alter things like seasoning and heat levels to suit my taste.

This particular book has some fantastic slow cooker recipes and quite a few vegetarian recipes that look enticing. I tried out the slow-cooked pork shoulder stew this weekend it’s a keeper. We added a few dashes of hot sauce to our bowls but kept it out of the main pot to avoid burning foodNURDling’s little tongue. It’s a simple recipe that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients. It’s hearty, filling and healthy. This recipe also makes a TON so you will definitely have leftovers. Cook once, eat many times. Works for me.

Serves 4

Ingredients

3lb pork shoulder, halved
salt & pepper
2 tb vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 potatoes, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 ts dried thyme and/or rosemary
2 ts salt
7c water
1c white wine (or, if you don’t want to use alcohol, skip it and add 8 cups of water instead of splitting it)

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (a Dutch oven is perfect) to medium-high heat. Add the oil and watch for it become shimmery. Season the pork generously with salt & pepper and the two pieces of pork to the pan, searing on all sides until nicely browned.
3. Add in the celery, potatoes, carrots, onions, herbs, salt and liquid. Bring to a simmer. Cover with  a tightly-fitting lid and place in the oven for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove the pot from the oven. The pork will now be fork-tender; shred or cube the meat. Serve and enjoy!

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