Foraging: Dandelion Greens

So what have we been up to at Zara’s Hungry? Foraging my friends! It’s that amazing time of the year when we can actually supplement our diet with things we find in the wild (if you know me, wild is a relative term).

I desperately wanted to start the season with wild ramps and garlic, but could not find any local (We now have a place in Privincetown thanks to Lola!)

Instead I decided to focus on an easy forage. Dandelions. Everyone hates them right? SO WRONG. If you knew of the deliciousness they contained…you would never sneer at another one again. So with promises of playgrounds and homemade soda, Z, B and I dug up all the dandelions in our yard by the root. We’re visiting two neighbors yards tomorrow. We also stopped by Forges Field. The town doesn’t spray the areas that aren’t playing fields so we gave it a wide berth and picked about 6 cups of dandelion heads. More on that another day. As for today, the greens. Similar in taste to arugula (if it married watercress) with an amazing crunch. I added these greens to our bean and cheese burritos. They are also fantastic as a salad (think slightly wilted with goats cheese, walnuts and bacon with a lemon dressing…yum!).

Z loved every minute of our foraging, I can’t wait for what’s next!!

  

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Weekly Round Up

Today was BEAUTIFUL out!! We spent the day cleaning out gardens, tilling our brand new fairy garden for Miss Z and…running away from a fisher cat. Yup,it was a little crazy. But we seem to be the yard where they like to hang (this is our second sighting). 

I decided some comfort food was in order so I made chicken noodle soup while the kids facetimed with grandparents. 

Anyway-this is what my week of meals looks like…

Sunday-Chicken Noodle Soup

Monday-Grilled lime steak tips with coconut rice and plantain 

Tuesday-Bean and Cheese burritos

Wednesday-Chicken and Onion Tagine

Thursday-Tuna Melts

Friday-Ham Omelette

Saturday-Ham and Pea Pasta

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Chicken Mahkani Revisited

I made this dish for probably the millionth time but this time…Zara ATE IT ALL! And said it was the best curry. I’m psyched! I’m looking forward to the Panang Curry I’m making next week… 

Want the recipe? Check it out here http://zarashungry.com/2014/03/17/chicken-makhani/

 
    

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Naanchiladas: Curry-Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Enchiladas

Originally posted on food to glow:

Naanchiladas-curry-spiced-enchiladas by food to glowAs with some television shows, where an entire episode seems to be based round a joke that came up in a production meeting, this recipe was a weird idea of mine that grew into a recipe. I started with the hybrid name and it kind of went from there.

But unlike some TV shows, this works. No joke.

Just a couple of notes: about the sauce, if you wish to use garam masala or another curry powder that you like, that would be just fine. Use about two tablespoons, but be prepared to add more if the flavour seems “thin.” And as for the naan, use roti or chapati if you wish, or even commercial naan, although the latter may be too thick and will tear/break (and really aren’t very nice when compared to homemade). Heck you could even add curry spices to a bought red enchilada sauce. Whatever way you do this…

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Weekly Round Up

Sunday-Pizza two ways (Hawaiian & Chicken and yellow pepper)

Monday-Tortellii Soup

Tuesday-Asian Pork Buns & Fried Rice

Wednesday-Tuna Melts

Thursday- Ham Omelette

Friday- Tom Yum Soup

Saturday- Lentil Salad

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Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

It’s finally spring (well at least the date tells us it is) and all the beautiful vegetables and fruits are starting to make an appearance at our grocery store. Our friend had brought some tomatillos over the other day, and we forgot to cook with them. Kinda sacrilegious, I know. 

So today, on a day where my heat is kicking on automatically but the birds are out, I thought I would make some fresh salsa. (I also thought my dad would love it and I’m seeing him tomorrow!)

This is a very easy, very child friendly recipe. B sat in the high hair while Z and I got down to business.

This is what you’ll need:

3 large, fresh tomatillos

1/2 medium yellow onion

2 large garlic cloves

1 whole lime, juiced

1/3 fresh jalepeno

1/2 tea salt

In a food processor, blend de-husked and washed tomatillos, onion and garlic until smooth.

Add lime juice and jalepeno and blend until jalepeno is fully incorporated. 

Put in saucepan and cook over low heat for about 15 minutes. Salsa will reduce about 1/4. Add salt, stir and taste.

That’s it!

To incorporate your kids, (Z is almost 5) I gave her a knife and let her quarter the tomatillos (teaches a little math) and let her add all the ingredients and blend. She then stirred the salsa on the stovetop, and added the salt. She made it really.

  
 

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Gumbo

There are times when I really want to make something I’ve never made before. Something that isn’t even close to my (perceived) comfort zone. On those days, I like to invite friends over. Because who else will tell you if a new recipe is a bust or amazing, if not your friends?

Gumbo has always seemed intimidating to me. I know it’s a stew (with a roux…can you tell I’m watching cat in the hat?) but southern cooking often evades me. Maybe it’s all that buttermilk I never seem to have on hand. Or the mason Dixon line. I don’t know. So creole cooking has become my new obsession and with my sister about to go down to New Orleans I figured I would try my hand at one of the more popular dishes.

I used the traditional chicken, shrimp and andouille sausage. And okra, you gotta have okra.

This is what you’ll need: (Serves 8 adults)

3 cups rice

1 lb shrimp

3 chicken breasts

1 lb andouille sausage

7 tbsp. butter

1/2 lb fresh okra, 1/4 in. slices

1 medium onion, diced

8 garlic cloves, minced

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup flour

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

lg handful fresh, flat leafed parsley, chopped

4 cups beef stock

First, add your oil and the chicken. Cook until the chicken is brown on both sides (about 5 minutes a side). Remove and set aside for later. Next add your Andouille. Cook, browning each side, and remove to the cooked chicken plate. Now add 2 tbsp. of butter and flour. Whisk until a thicken paste (or roux) is formed. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

Once roux has cooled, add all chopped vegetables (celery, garlic, onion and pepper) into the roux and turn on medium heat. Add remaining butter and stir, coating the vegetables in the roux. Cook for about 10 minutes (vegetables should smell HEAVENLY and onions should be just translucent). Add Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 the chopped parsley, stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes. During this 10 minutes you’ll need to watch the veggies to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add the stock, whisking constantly. Next add the chicken and the Andouille (I cut the Andouille into thirds and the chicken into slices). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover for 45 minutes. Next add tomatoes and okra. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Make rice 20-30 minutes before gumbo is done. When you start rice, you need to add your shrimp to the gumbo!! Serve gumbo over rice and top with parsley.  I added a few hits of hot sauce before eating.

Kinda labor intensive during a couple of moments but SO worth it!

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Mason Jar Cup O Soup

Remember those? They were styrofoam cups filled with freeze dried vegetables, maybe some jerky-type meat and LOTS of salty bouillon powder. Yeah, I loved them too. But I love my heart a little more, so I improved upon them, with a little help from GOOP who featured a similar soup idea. What can I say? Great minds my friends.

Originally I intended to give this to my friend who was headed to the hospital to give birth because snacks are hard to come by on the labor ward, but hot water is not. Of course, this didn’t make it to her in time (so I ate it). 

This is what you’ll need;

1 tea soy sauce

1/4 tea ginger powder

1 cup rice noodle stick

1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1/4 cup shredded carrot

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tea dried vegetable stock

Place in a large mason jar and close. When you are ready to eat, add 2 cups hot (boiling) water, seal and turn upside down for 2 minutes. Shake well and serve. YUM! 

 

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DIY: CHOCOLATE BIRD’S NEST

Originally posted on LE ZOE MUSINGS:

How is it possible that Easter is already around the corner? The weather here in Boston is as cold as ever. Regardless, I’m a mom and as much as I want to hide under the blanket until it’s 70 degrees outside; I can’t. Mommy duties require being really really excited for just about any holiday. The kids don’t care that you’re not feeling enthusiastic. And for their childhood memories’ sake, I have to do my part. That’s to make every holiday as fun and memorable as possible.

Zoey is very excited about the annual Easter egg hunt in our neighborhood. She also loves surprises. Each day, she has several surprises coming her way. There’s a surprise if she brushes her teeth, if she’s good at school, if she eats her dinner, if she reads a book. Sometimes there’s even a surprise just for waking up in the morning. Because you…

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Cranberry Orange Bread

Are you looking for something delicious and easy to make for Easter morning? Yes? Me too. Sooooo, I went to my freezer to see what frozen goodies I had. The answer, nothing sweet. Boo. But I did have some beautiful cranberries that my friend Nicole had given me. It doesn’t take much for an idea to form when you have something so beautiful to work with!

This bread is SO easy to make, but super dense. So it really does only make one loaf. A big loaf, but one.  I used a recipe from www.oceanspray.com and modified it a bit (as you do).

This is what you’ll need;

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 tea baking powder

1 tea salt

1/2 tea baking soda

3/4 cups orange juice

1 tbsp. grated orange peel

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 egg

1 1/2 cups cranberries, washed

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Spray a loaf pan.

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in orange juice, orange peel, oil and egg. Mix until blended. Fold in cranberries and walnuts.

Add to your prepared loaf pan. Dot the top with cranberries.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Serve. If you wish to freeze, let cook completely, wrap in tin foil and then place in a Ziploc freezer bag. This should keep up to 3 months in the freezer!

  

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