Category Archives: Main Dish

Farro Fever

Ok, I admit it.  I’m obsessed with farro.

Isn’t it pretty?  It’s also nutty, chewey deliciousness that’s the perfect base for ANYTHING.

Whole grain dontcha know.

It owns rice…sorry.

Also pasta….sorry again.

This is a meal I was SURE Daniel dearest would hate….but he didn’t!!

(Man test: passed)

This grain salad brought to you by SPRING!!!!

Helloooooo asparagus…long time no see.

While those guys are busy getting roasty toasty in the oven, mushrooms and garlic come out to play

Into a pan with a little bit o’ this and a little bit o’ that

Yes, that’s a raisin. That was on purpose.

Also rosemary (sorry, mama).

And wine!

Toss it all together with some fresh bell pepper for crunch.  Make sure it’s a color!

(The color this isn’t actually an emergency…I’m just trying to save you from a mostly brown meal…)

Remember these guys?

Caramelized onions take everything up at least three notches.

Plus some chicken/beef/shrimp/or crispy tofu and you’ve got yourself a meal!

Seriously.  Do not be intimidated by the apparent hippie vibe of this dish…it’s seriously good eats.

Now go outside and Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Pssst….I found somebody on a walk who wants to wish you happy spring

Oh hey guy!

See you around I guess.

Farro Spring Salad

I’m going to attempt measurements for you…this is mostly just an idea not really a recipe…roll with it

1 cup of farro
1 8 oz container mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 a bell pepper…I used orange…I’m partial to red, diced
1 onion, caramelized (see how here!)
1/2 a bunch of asparagus
Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup white cooking whine
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil for the pan and to coat the asparagus
Chicken/Beef/Shrimp/Tofu…one of those not all. ((Or all if you really want to…but beef and tofu seems like an odd combination.)) Cooked somehow…I recommend including rosemary in your preparation unless you hate it (*cough*mom)
salt n’ peppa to taste

1. If you don’t already have caramelized onions in your refrigerator (silly…that should be a staple) then you should start those guys first…they take a while.  See the best recipe in the link from the ingredient list!

2. Next start the farro.  Prepare according to package directions. I would strategically choose the kind of farro that doesn’t need to soak for hours before cooking..just saying.  You basically make it like rice.  Boil until tender!

3. Preheat oven to 350 degreen F.  Wash/dry the asparagus and snap off the woody ends.  Toss them in just enough olive oil to coat evenly, arrange on a baking sheet (making sure they have room to breathe), sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 10-15 minutes or until tender.  Remove from the oven, grate some Parmesan cheese over them and bake for another minute

3. Heat some oil in a saute pan over medium heat and throw the mushrooms in there.  Cook for maybe 7 minutes until they are tender and start to brown.  Add the garlic, raisins and thyme and cook for about a minute longer.

4. Add the wine to the pan and cook until most of the liquid has cooked out.

5. Toss everything together, salt and pepper the whole situation to taste and serve!

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Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Hey!

I’ve got something delicious for you if you’re feeling splurge-y

Balsamic glazed salmon.

This was a big favorite for my roommates and me during my 4th year of school.

I don’t even know where the recipe came from…any ideas Erk or Jenn?

All I know is it’s super easy and super delicious.

We’re talking tongue tingly tasty.

Yeah..that good.  Alliteratively good. (groan)

First you’ll need some salmon.

((These guys aren’t winning any beauty contests.  It’s ok, though, they make up for it with they’re amazing personality.))

This particular version featured something awesome:

That, my friends, is Dijon mustard.  From Dijon, France.

Real. Life. Dijon.

((!!!!))

My friend Laura, (that girl who went to France… remember?), brought it back from her semester abroad.

Lucky for me, she doesn’t like mustard. (Thanks, Laura!)

Anyway…if you don’t have real life Dijon it’s really gonna be ok.  That imitation stuff will work just fine 😉

So my fancy pants mustard stopped putting on airs long enough to hang out with balsamic vinegar, white wine, mustard honey and garlic and make some serious magic together.

Their powers combined…plus a sprinkle of oregano…they are

balsamic glaze!!

A bake and an extra drizzle later..you’ve got dinner!

Serve with smashed potatoes, a beer and something green.

Because tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day…

and green things, potatoes and alcohol are more or less required.

Cheers!

❤ Ellen

Balsamic Glazed Salmon

3 salmon filets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons white wine
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano for sprinkling
salt and pepper to taste
oil of choice for saute

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking

2. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan and saute the minced garlic until soft (about 1-2 minutes)

3. Add wine, honey, vinegar, mustard, salt n’ peppa.  Combine thoroughly, cook until heated through and SLIGHTLY reduced

4. Arrange the filets on the prepared baking sheet.  Brush with the balsamic reduction (reserving some to drizzle later) and sprinkle with oregano

5. Bake 10-14 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  You can put them under the broiler for a bit if you want more of a crust

6.  Brush filets with remaining glaze and serve!

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Cashew “Cream” of Mushroom Soup

Am I allowed to squeeze in one more soup recipe?

It’s looking more and more like spring time every day!!!

I’m trying not to get too giddy.  It’s that teaser time of year when the flowers start peeking and you get a couple of glorious 70 degree days….

…but the weather could turn on you any second and you just never know when it’s gonna snow.

Think of this soup as insurance.  When that freak March snowstorm hits, you will be prepared with some coziness.

Love this soup.  It fits my quick and easy criteria.  I did  throw in some ingredients that don’t really fit my “cheap and probably already in your pantry” criteria but LUCKILY! they’re unnecessary.  Delicious, though. Highly recommend.

((what can I say…the Whole Foods bulk bins got me))

I know what you’re thinking. The title “cream of mushroom soup” conjures images of jiggly greyish goop….

I have not made jiggly goop for you.

No glop that holds the shape of a can here!

It’s “creamy” but it’s sneaky….there’s no actual cream involved!  ((I know that sounds weird too…trust me on this.))

It’s warm comforting soup that feels a little lighter….because spring is coming!

Spring!!!

Warmth and sunshine!!!

I’m so excited!!!

Can you tell?

I’ll stay calm, it’s still cold.

Here’s some warmth for your belly while we wait.

The secret:

Those guys become nutty delicious cream.

I know.

It’s pretty cool.

They need to soak for a bit, though. You can just dump them in some water before you start preparing the rest of the soup.  They’ll be ready by the time you need them. ((You are SO cooperative cashews, thank you.))

((Afraid of cashew cream? Can’t afford it? Flat out don’t wanna?
Ok. Then don’t.  Regular cream works just fine! ))

Here’s the other thing that’s a little bit different:

Dried porcini mushrooms.  These guys will make sure the soup smacks you upside the head with mushroom flavor.  It’s a deep, earthy, means business kind of thing that you just don’t get with regular mushroom.

((Again…unnecessary…but seriously delicious))

They’re dried so they need to rehydrate.  Let them soak up the sun (er…water)

Ok now that the divas are taken care of…it’s time to get chopping.

Slice

and dice

Onions in a pot

now garlic

Baby bellas and celery…plus Worcestershire and soy sauces

Broth and pepper…rosemary and thyme…porcinis in their soaking juice…simmer down now…

While it simmers…you can deal with the cashew cream.  Just dump the cashews and water in a blender and blend until it’s smooth.

Oh hey look…

Cream of Mushroom.

Enjoy!

❤ Ellen

Cashew Cream of Mushroom Soup

Recipe adapted from Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

olive oil (to saute)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
about 1/2-3/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms (measured when dried)
1 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups broth of choice (vegetable suggested)
salt to taste (though I don’t think it needs any more…the soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce took care of that…)
1/2 cup raw cashews
2 1/2 cups hot water, divided

1. Place the cashews in 1/2 cup water and set aside to soften

2. Place the dried porcini mushrooms in 2 cups of water and set aside to soften

3. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add the diced onions and cook until softened and beginning to brown.  Add the celery and minced garlic and cook for 1 minute.

4. Add the baby bella mushrooms, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook until the mushrooms begin to break down and brown, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the broth, black pepper, rosemary, thyme and porcini mushrooms (including the water they soaked in).  Allow the soup to simmer until the mushrooms are completely softened.

6.  While the soup simmers, put the cashews and 1/2 cup of water in a blender and blend on high until smooth.  Pour the resulting cream into the soup and stir to combine.

**If you want you could make truly creamy soup using and immersion blender or by blending the whole soup in a regular blender in batches.  In that case, stir the cashew cream into the soup AFTER it has been pureed.  We like chunky soup in this house.  To each his own =)

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