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I know, I know–I need to be focusing on recording ingredient quantities, but this one really doesn’t need much more than a list of ingredients. Crunchy raw vegetables are highlighted by a tart lemon vinaigrette, and the whole thing is soothed by creamy, gooey burrata. I love summer.

snap or snow peas, julienne
celery, thinly sliced on a bias
lemon vinaigrette (lemon juice, minced garlic or shallots, evoo, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper)
burrata
freshly ground black pepper

Toss the snap or snow peas and celery with the vinaigrette and plate. Tear burrata and arrange on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with more vinaigrette and garnish with black pepper. Consume ferociously and with fervor, either as a starter, a side, or main dish.

snap peas and celery with burrata

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A rendition on one of my absolute favorites, Vegan Kitchen Sink Salad, which was originally inspired by the Abundant Harvest Salad I gorged on at Dandelion Communitea┬áCafe in Orlando, Florida. Make this huge salad at the beginning of the week and enjoy for quick lunches and last-minute dinners all week long. Not only is it vegan and chock full of vegetables and fiber, it is a great allergen-free dish. I usually make it with quinoa, but this time I experimented with millet, a gluten-free grain-like seed that is more commonly known as bird feed. Literally. We’re eating bird food. Feel skinny yet?

1 1/2 cups millet, prepared according to package’s directions, cooled
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on a bias
3 celery stalks, thinly sliced in a bias
1 small head broccoli, cut into small florets
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
3 oz sprig mix, or other salad green
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
Lemon tahini dressing, for drizzling (though I made a bigger batch, 1/2 cup tahini and 1/2 cup water, to accommodate this bigger recipe)
Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, to garnish, toasted or raw

1. Combine cooked millet with carrots, celery, broccoli, chick peas, corn kernels, spring mix, and tomatoes.
2. Drizzle with tahini dressing and garnish with seeds. (Leave the salad undressed and drizzle just before serving.)

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1 tablespoon canola oil
1 leek (or 1 small onion, or 2-3 shallots), thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 heart of romaine lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup brown rice, prepared according to package directions
1 bag kimchi
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (omit to make it vegan)
1 teaspoon soy sauce (or Tamari, to make it gluten-free)

1. Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Saute leeks and celery until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add romaine lettuce and cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until just wilted.
3. Add brown rice, kimchi, frozen peas and cook until heated through, about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in fish sauce and soy sauce and serve alongside fish, or alone as an entree. (I served it with tuna, which I encrusted with homemade gomasio–a seasoning of ground sesame seeds and salt–and seared.) Alternately you can top with a fried or poached egg for a savory, umami-rich breakfast or brunch (this is what I did with the leftovers).

Notes: YUM. Maybe add edamame, or garnish with sesame seeds.

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This is an attempt to recreate a recipe from my old job. It’s ridiculously good.

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
2 stalks celery, small dice
1 jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, rough chop
1/4 cup fresh dill, rough chop
Juice of 2 large limes
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 3.75-oz cans sardines packed in water, drained

1. Combine all ingredients except for the sardines.
2. Spoon the salad into two shallow bowls and top each with sardine fillets.

Serves 2 as a light entree.

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This is attempt #2 at testing this recipe. I think this newer version is better than this previous attempt.

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 stalks celery, medium dice
1 medium onion, medium dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch knob fresh ginger, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 1/2 avocados, sliced or diced, for garnish (optional, but highly recommended)
Lime juice, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes, or until dark brown and tender.
3. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add the carrots to the pot and cover by 1 inch with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
5. Puree the soup using an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and stir in coconut milk.
6. Garnish soup with avocado and freshly squeezed lime juice (optional). Fresh chopped cilantro would also be a great garnish.

Serves 4 (entree)-6 (appetizer)

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1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp curry powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup lentils
1 small bunch parsley (or cilantro), roughly chopped
1 pomegranate, seeded
Lemon juice, for garnish
Extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Toss cauliflower florets with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, curry powder, salt, and black pepper. Spread out on a sheet pan and roast for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly crispy.
3. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a pot over medium high heat. Saute the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.
4. Add broth (or water) and lentils to the pot. Bring to a rapid simmer and then reduce to a low simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Stir in the parsley (or cilantro).
5. To plate, place lentils on plate or in bowl. Top with curried cauliflower, drizzle with lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil, and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Hopefully this recipe tests well the second time around, because it was ridiculously delicious, filling, and terribly healthy.

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2 tsp olive oil
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 medium leek, finely chopped (or 1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices white bread
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Parmesan, grated
1 pound ground meat (lean turkey or beef)
1/2 cup ketchup

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Heat oil over medium heat in a pan and add the carrots, celery, leek, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Cool and add to a medium bowl.
3. Soak the bread in warm water until the bread is very soft. Gently squeeze, leaving a good amount of water in the bread. Place in the bowl.
4. Add the egg, thyme, oregano and Parmesan to the bowl and stir.
5. Add the meat to the bowl and gently mix with your hands until just combined (do not overmix).
6. Form into a loaf on a sheet pan, or place into a loaf pan.
7. Spread ketchup over the top of the meatloaf and cover pan with foil.
8. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes.

Serve with sauteed hearty greens and mashed cauliflower.

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Note: this recipe was adapted from a recipe my parents made. Theirs, as they claim, was perfectly moist; mine was a bit dried out. I forgot to add tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce, for which I was reprimanded by my mother. I estimate you will need 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Will try it again soon!