Soup dumplings! These are hands down, one of my favorite things to snack on…especially on gloomy, rainy days.
My obsession with xiao long bao (let’s just call them XLB for short) began, appropriately, during a trip to Shanghai. I flagged a couple of restaurants I had seen on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and on the top of that list was Yang’s Fry Dumplings at the Wujiang Road night market. I can’t tell you exactly where it was, but it had a bright neon yellow sign and there was a guy frying up some XLB in a giant pan outside.
These pan fried parcels of meat were AMAZING. Slightly crisp on the outside, a moderately thick skin and such delicious savory broth and meat inside. Totally worth the mouth burn! The best part of it all, they were incredibly cheap at like $2 for 6…or something close to that. AHHHH! My mouth is watering just thinking about these dumplings!
That same trip, we sampled steamed XLB as well, but in a larger format (as in, you are given a straw to drink the soup). Either way, still delicious.
Fast forward a couple years to when I first move to San Francisco. A friend introduces me to Shanghai House in the Outer Richmond. OMG. Next best thing to eating them in Shanghai! Too bad it’s always such a trek from my neighborhood :(
Once we decided to throw the dumpling party, I thought I should at least see what went into making XLB. I mean, how hard could it be to make these at home? Apparently pretty difficult. Well, for me, the dough was the most challenging. The rest was just all about planning and timing.
I found a pretty easy recipe to follow on Steamy Kitchen and the filling/broth were fantastic. I ended up doing 2 batches of the dough b/c the measurements were in grams and the silly internet conversion calculators were off, so I modified it here. My big issue with the dough was rolling it out and getting it to the perfect thickness. You may have to play around with it. Most of mine ended up being just a little too thick.
Xiao Long Bao (adapted from Steamy Kitchen)
9 c water
2 lbs chicken wings
4 oz boneless, smoked ham cut into 4 pieces
3/4 lb pork ribs (I grabbed the fattiest ones I could find and they were labeled ‘for sweet & sour’)
4-5 slices, fresh ginger
3 green onions, cut into 3” pieces
2 large garlic cloves, smashed with side of your knife
2 teaspoons dry sherry
1 packet unflavored gelatin (one packet of Knox yielded just under 1 tbsp, which was perfect)
Heat a large pot over medium high heat. Brown pork ribs, followed by chicken wings, followed by ham, keeping all ingredients in the pot. Add ginger, onions, garlic and sherry. Cover with 9 c water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours or until meat and skin easily separate from the bones.
Remove solids and strain soup into a large bowl. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the layer of white fat that has formed on the top and discard. Place remaining soup into a pot (it will likely be pretty gelatinous) and heat. Once soup has re-liquefied, season with salt to taste.
Bring soup to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in unflavored gelatin until dissolved. Pour into large rectangular vessels to cool (I used 2 9x13 dishes so there was about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of liquid in each). Refrigerate until set.
Once soup has set, run a knife or fork through to form small cubes. I used one of the blades with lots of teeth from my mandoline to speed things up.
1 1/4 lb ground pork
1/4 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined and minced finely
3 stalks green onion, finely minced
2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 kosher salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (use rasp grater)
1 1/2 tsp dry sherry
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 3/4 c soup cubes (see above)
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Add soup cubes until well combined. I think hands are best for all of this. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Hot Water Dough
3 c all purpose flour, plus about 1/2 c extra
3/4 c boiling hot water
1/4 c cold water
1 tbsp cooking oil
Put 3 c flour in a large bowl. Pour about a third of the hot water in the flour. Use a pair of chopsticks to stir vigorously. Add more hot water. Stir more. Add the last bit of the water and stir vigorously until the dough begins to form. Add the cold water and oil. Keep stirring vigorously with chopsticks. Stop when you can’t stir anymore.
Dust counter with a portion of the remaining flour. Place dough on floured surface, use your hands to knead the dough for 8 -10 minutes, until it becomes soft, smooth and bounces back slowly when you poke with your finger. You’ll find that you’ll need to add flour as it gets sticky in the early stages of kneading. You may or may not end up using the full 1/2 c of extra flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Take one piece (cover the remaining 3 pieces with plastic wrap) and roll it into a long log, about 1-1/4” diameter. Using pastry scraper or knife, cut dough into pieces about the size of a golf ball. Roll one of the balls between your palms to get a nice, round, smooth ball. Using a rolling pin, roll it out flat. Use 3” cookie cutter or improvise with my ghetto version of a cutter to cut out the dough circle. **Note, you may need more flour as your are rolling out your dough. I always keep the counter dusted and a small pile of flour nearby so I can quickly nudge some over if I need it.
Fill with 1 tablespoon of filling, pinch pleat by following this video. Repeat with rest. Make sure that you cover any dough that you aren’t currently using and cover the dumplings with a towel to prevent drying.
Place a sheet of parchment paper in a bamboo steamer. Steam over medium heat for 2 minutes to warm up the steamer. Place dumplings in the steamer, leaving 1 1/2” space between each dumpling. Steam for 12 minutes.
Serve immediately with a mixture of black vinegar and finely shredded ginger.
Who doesn’t love a good dumpling? I can’t think of a single person that would say no to a piping hot parcel of savory meat! Note: I’m stealing photos from a friend since I slacked off on the photography.
Manfriend and I hosted a dumpling party this past weekend and I like to think everyone had a fun and delicious time. We were all dumpling making newbies, with the exception of one quasi-pro. I’m pretty sure she saved us all.
After several years of saying ‘I really want to host a dumpling party’, I was finally inspired to make it happen when I saw a Food & Wine email with a yummy Pork & Kimchi Pancake Dumpling recipe. They looked fantastic and, more importantly, pretty easy to make.
I provided fixins for 3 different kinds of dumplings and had everyone bring a green vegetable to balance out the pork overload. Overall, quite a successful evening!
The fillings I list here are just for the panfried dumplings. Stay tuned for the not so beautiful xiao long bao experiment. Yeesh.
Shrimp & Scallion Filling
1/2 lb prawns, peeled, deveined and minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2-3 scallions, minced
3 tbsp shiitake mushrooms, minced
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp water chestnuts, minced
Pork & Kimchi Filling (adapted from Food & Wine)
1 1/4 lb ground pork
3 scallions, minced
3/4 c kimchi, drained and finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 c, plus 1 tbsp firm tofu, minced
For each of these, you’ll need a ton of round gyoza wrappers, some eggwash for sealing and oil for pan frying.
For each type of filling, combine the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of a round wrapper. Brush eggwash around 1/2 of the wrapper and fold the other side up to seal. You can get fancy and pleat it, or keep it simple. Repeat until all of the filling is used (or until you get tired).
You can also freeze the formed dumplings for later use.
Have I mentioned that I am a big fan of the Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend? Well, I am. I stumbled across this delightful blend a few years ago and I may have made many a dinner bowl from it. I usually like to mix it with greens and kabocha squash, but this time I tried a slightly different route.
Note: the ham I used was incredibly salty, so I didn’t add any salt to this dish.
Veggie Harvest Grain Bowl
3/4 c ham, diced
1 c portobello mushrooms, diced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 1/2 c baby spinach/arugula mix
1 1/4 c Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend
2 c low sodium chicken broth, plus 2 tbsp
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp chili garlic paste
Cook ham in a medium saucepan until it starts to brown. Stir in olive oil and onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of chicken broth and cook for another minute.
Stir in grains and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
In a separate pan, cook mushrooms slowly over medium heat until they start to soften. Add zucchini and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes. Stir in greens and chili garlic paste and cook until greens are wilted.
Stir veggies into the grain mixture and continue cooking until all the liquid has been absorbed. Serve immediately.
Manfriend and I just hopped on the CSA bandwagon. Exciting! I’ve been wanting to get back on the CSA thing for awhile, but have been overwhelmed by all the options. A coworker of mine raved about her Capay Valley Farms experience so I thought I’d explore that. I was mostly sold by their price (we’re doing the Peck for $20 every 2 weeks) and pick up options. Their site is super easy to use and so far, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve gotten.
I will say that winter CSA boxes are challenging. They’re usually full of things I never know what to do with like chard, rutabegas and turnips. I mean, seriously. The only things I can think of are soups and pickles. EEKS. Thankfully, Capay Valley’s site offers some recipe ideas. One day I will use them. Maybe.
This recipe uses some turnips and green garlic that came in our box and I think it turned out pretty well. I tried to keep it on the healthier side by not adding butter and subbing in full fat greek yogurt for sour cream. It’s not the most attractive dish, especially with that green tint, but it’s a nice slightly sweeter option to mashed potatoes.
Turnip, Parsnip and Potato Puree
2 purple top turnips, peeled and cut into small pieces
3 yukon gold potatoes, cut into small pieces
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into small pieces
2 tbsp greek yogurt
1 stalk green garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
Place turnips, potatoes and parsnips in a large pot of salted water. Boil until softened. Drain and set aside.
Trim bulb off green garlic and cut stalk in half. Place in a small foil pouch and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Fold foil and roast until fragrant. Coarsely chop roasted green garlic and set aside.
Place potatoes, turnips, parsnips and green garlic in a large bowl and puree for 2 mintues with an immersion blender. Add greek yogurt and puree until fairly smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
I had a bunch of cabbage leftover from the curtido, so I figured it was time to give cabbage rolls a go. I’ve been wanting to make this for a few years now, but could never really commit to it. I found a recipe on Manu’s Menu that seemed pretty easy to follow, plus it didn’t require too many extra ingredients. Unfortunately, the store was out of ground pork so I opted to sub in turkey for the pork and beef mix. Do I think it would be better with the beef and pork? Definitely. That being said, I used a mix of lean turkey and regular ground turkey and thought it was just fine.
Note that this recipe doesn’t use a lot of extra salt, so the cabbage rolls alone will be pretty mild. I made my sauce super garlicky by adding one more clove and running them all through a garlic press. After a couple tastes, I thought it needed something a little more acidic so I did the unthinkable…I added ketchup. Don’t judge. I love ketchup. Sometimes it adds exactly what you need to a tomato dish.
Give these a try next time you have cabbage on hand. Be forewarned though, this recipe makes A TON. I gave up after awhile with the cabbage leaves and ended up turning the rest into a giant cabbage loaf.
Turkey Cabbage Rolls (adapted from Manu’s Menu)
1 green cabbage, halved and cored
2 lb ground turkey
1 1/2 c dry rice (I used basmati)
2 small onions
2 medium carrots, coarsely grated
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 15 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, pureed
1 8 oz can tomato paste
2 tbsp ketchup
4 c water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 bay leaves
To make the tomato sauce:
Saute crushed garlic in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add tomato paste and puree and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add 4 c water, bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add ketchup, bay leaves, salt, sugar and pepper to sauce and simmer for 20 minutes.
To make the rice:
In a large pot, bring 1 3/4 c water to a boil. Add rice and simmer covered for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
To prepare the cabbage:
In a large pot, boil enough water to cover cabbage. Place cabbage into the boiling water, reduce heat and let the cabbage simmer for about 5 minutes. Separate the leaves and place them on a plate to cool. Once the leaves are cool enough to handle, trim the thick, rough ribs. Set aside.
To prepare the filling:
Mince one of the onions and set aside. Puree the other onion in a food processor and add 2 tbsp water.
Saute grated carrot and minced onion in 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil until vegetables start to soften. Add to rice, stir to combine.
In a large bowl, combine ground turkey, onion puree, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add rice mixture to meat and gently knead mixture until combined.
Take a handful of the meat mixture and roll it into an oblong shape. Place in center of a cabbage leaf and fold the bottom leaf up. Fold the sides in and roll up tightly. Place in a baking dish and repeat until all leaves are used.
Pour tomato sauce on top of cabbage rolls to coat and tightly cover with foil. Place in a 375 degree oven for 1 1/2 hrs and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
I used this recipe from the Kitchn to pair with bean/cheese and pork/cheese pupusas I made. I made a few modifications for my tastebuds (I don’t care for a lot of oregano and I like mine just a little sweeter), so feel free to go with the original recipe.
This is great with pupusas but also fantastic on its own if you like anything pickled.
Curtido (adapted from The Kitchn)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, grated
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1/4 c water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Combine the cabbage, carrot, and onion in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and then pour over the cabbage mixture and stir.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and preferably at least a day before serving.
Just a follow up to last week’s homebrew post. We let the remaining bottles sit for another week to see if the flavor would develop more and if the bubbles would subside a bit. I actually forgot about it for awhile.
We popped one in the fridge and did a (sort of) side by side comparison with one of the bottles we refrigerated the week before. The 3 week bottle was definitely less bubbly and the flavor seemed mellower. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but this one smelled and tasted like a regular beer while the 2 week one smelled and tasted a little off (yeasty?)…like it was still working. FERMENTING?!
I’ll say this brew was a success for first timers. On to the next one!
Let me start this off by saying I am not so skilled with doughy things. I am also not so great at forming beautiful parcels of meat.
I was inspired to make pupusas after that superbowl corndog incident and I thought they’d be fantastic stuffed with the Lagunitas Braised Pork Shoulder. I found a recipe on The Kitchn, but as I started going through the recipe, it didn’t seem to match the instructions on my bag of masa. So, I followed the recipe on my bag of masa. It worked out well. I suggest you do the same.
I filled mine with some of the pulled pork and cheese and then did another batch of six that were stuffed with pinto beans and cheese.
3 c masa harina
2 2/3 c warm water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1/2 c chopped pork
1/4 c grated gouda
1/4 c grated mozzarella
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 c water
In a small saucepan, heat pinto beans, garlic and chili powder. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and cook for 4 minutes, smashing lightly with the back of your spoon. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine salt and warm water. Slowly stir in masa. Knead masa lightly until a ball forms. With moist hands, form balls about 1 1/2” - 2” in diameter. Form balls into small bowls by lightly pressing in the center with your thumb.
Place a bit of the pork and cheese in the ball and gently seal the ball. Flatten the ball out into a patty and set aside. Repeat with remaining pork and switch to bean and cheese halfway through. You’ll probably have more filling than dough, so snack away.
Heat oil in a large skillet and fry each patty for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve immediately with a side of curtido or salsa.
Remember that Lagunitas Braised Pork Shoulder I made last year? Well, it was such a hit that someone made a request for a repeat appearance. There was just one little problem. I accidentally bought a boneless pork shoulder. EEKS. I figured it wouldn’t make too much of a difference since the bone in the last one wasn’t that big anyway.
For some reason this batch seemed really oily. Maybe I got a super fatty cut? Maybe I didn’t skim enough fat fast enough? I also think the meat got a little too mushy. That could be due to the fact that I followed all the instructions for the bone-in shoulder. Hmph.
Anyway, I divided the results into two flavor options. Half was cooked with my absolute favorite barbecue sauce ever: Sticky Fingers Carolina Classic.
AAAHHH OBSESSED! I love the sweet, tangy mustard paired with meats. I may have ordered a 6 pack on Amazon…since it is nowhere to be found in the state of California. WTF.
The second half was cooked with a summer barbecue sauce discovery: Puckett’s Spicy BBQ Sauce. Manfriend and I stumbled across this while in Nashville for a wedding. We ate at the Puckett’s restaurant and thankfully they sold their tasty creations at the restaurant. It’s a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce that is great for when you want a classic bbq flavor.
Pulled Pork BBQ, 2 Ways
For each half of the braised pork shoulder, I used 1/4-1/2 c of bbq sauce. Let meat simmer with sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to cook mine with just enough sauce to get the flavor going and serve with extra sauce on the side for dipping.
I’ve only recently been introduced to the leafy green known as chard. Since being introduced, I’ve pretty much treated it like kale, chopping it up and adding it to dishes like breakfast casseroles and pasta bakes. Pretty much anything that seems like it needs a dark leafy green to balance out the other stuff. I’m sorry if I’m not using you to your full potential, chard. One day I will. I promise.
In addition to that eggplant I bought, I also acquired a bunch of red chard. Apparently I wanted a challenge this week. I gave Manfriend two options for dinner: a pasta dish or breakfast. He chose breakfast. GAH!
Here’s what I whipped up, sort of intentionally, sort of by accident. I had something else going on in the oven, so I couldn’t bake this sucker and make the top all pretty.
Potato & Chard Fritatta
1 russet potato, grated
2 c red chard, finely chopped
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
3 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
1/2 c 2% milk
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp water
freshly ground pepper
In a small skillet, brown Canadian bacon. Add onion to the pan and cook on low for 2-3 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add chard and water and cook another 3-4 minutes or until greens are soft. Transfer mixture to a bowl.
In the same skillet heat olive oil and place grated potato in the pan in a thin layer. Cook on low for about 5-7 minutes, flipping at the halfway mark. Add chard mixture to pan and combine well.
Whisk together eggs, milk, cheese, garlic powder and pepper. Pour into the skillet and stir to combine. Cover skillet and cook on low for 10-15 minutes. Your fritatta is done when the top is no longer runny. Serve immediately.
Remember way back in the day when I mentioned that Manfriend and I were working on our very first batch of home brewed beer? Here’s the story, morning glory.
Once upon a time there were two kids that enjoyed beer very much. They were fortunate enough to live in a city where (and during a time when) home brewing was a thing and all the cool kids were doing it.
Girl goes on internet. Girl finds cute home brew shopping site. Girl gets sucked into all the cute packaging. Girl buys an Everyday IPA kit for Boy. Girl can’t wait ‘til Christmas and nags Boy to open it. Every. Day.
Boy opens gift and puts it in the corner. Boy and Girl get their snow on in the midwest. Boy and Girl come back and decide it’s time to make beer. Boy and Girl make the mistake of starting at 7pm on a Saturday.
Soooo yeah…we had no idea how much work went into making a batch of beer. I think we spent a solid 4 hours (not all active) brewing! There was a whole lot of temperature checking, stirring, adding hops at different points, straining, measuring, WOAH. Just a whole lot of work.
Don’t get me wrong, it was fun, but I’m sure we would have had more fun if we weren’t so paranoid about messing things up.
Then there’s the waiting. Ohhhh the waiting! First we had to let it sit for a couple days in the closet. Then the real waiting started. TWO WHOLE WEEKS IN THE DARK! Absurd. It was rough, but we made it. In fact, we made it just over the two weeks so we could borrow some bottling doodads from a friend.
Bottling wasn’t as intense as the brewing, but it did have its fair share of frustrating points. For example, siphoning is not as you’d think it would be. We (and by we, I mean Manfriend) had to try at least 4 times before we got the flow going, but you can bet we jumped for joy when that beer finally got moving.
It looked like beer and definitely smelled like beer, but we didn’t take a moment to see if it tasted like beer. Wruhwroh. Oh well. Another TWO weeks in the dark for you, little bottle family.
I think this was the toughest waiting period for me. Just knowing that the beer was in the bottles almost ready for consumption was TORTURE. I may have stared at them longingly on a couple occasions…
SF Beer Week arrives and oh, look at that, it’s time to try our beer. We open a bottle and it’s like a foam volcano! D’oh! This can’t be right. It can’t. But let’s try it anyway.
BUBBLES. SO. MANY. BUBBLES. Maybe those need to be in the dark for another week. Maybe the bubbles will calm down. Maybe the flavor will get better. Hm. We’ll check on you again in a bit…
So this is the other eggplant dish/flavor I tend to make (or at least try to make) whenever I have an eggplant on hand. It’s delicious and comforting, but after awhile it’s like ‘JEEZ, can’t you do something else with that stupid eggplant??’
This particular experiment is my best so far.
2 small eggplants, cubed
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 anchovy fillets, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp capers
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1/2 lb rigatoni, cooked
salt & pepper
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion starts to soften. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for another minute. Stir in anchovies, tomatoes and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add eggplant and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add capers and red pepper flakes
Stir and cover for 3 minutes.
Add basil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 2-3 minutes before adding to pasta.
Toss with pasta and serve with shaved parmesan and additional basil (optional).
I bought an eggplant the other day and I have no idea why. Eggplant is a vegetable that I struggle with. I really only make two things with it: a roasted eggplant dip/spread and caponata anything. BORING.
I’ve actually tried to make other things with eggplant, but nothing seems to work out. There are a ton of Asian dishes I love that incorporate eggplant, but I never seem to have the appropriate ingredients on hand. Thanks to the Google (seriously, where would I be without it??), I found inspiration in a Chinese Braised Eggplant with Tofu recipe. It reminded me of something I had in the past, with fried tofu puffs in place of the silken tofu. Oh, and I’m pretty sure it had Thai basil. Oh wait, it was at a Thai restaurant.
OH! Just a heads up, this dish is SUUUUPER garlicky (in case you didn’t catch that from the ingredient list). I couldn’t get the garlic stink out of the apartment all night! That being said, I love garlic and thought it was delish. The only thing that I would have added - bok choy. Mostly b/c I think this dish (and every dish) needs a vegetable.
Eggplant with Black Bean Garlic Sauce
1 small eggplant, diced (about 2 cups)
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1 block silken tofu, cut into bite sized cubes
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp black bean paste
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp chili garlic paste
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp ponzu
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c warm water
1/2 tsp tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
1-2 tbsp scallions
In a bowl, whisk together 1 clove crushed garlic, black bean paste, vinegar, mirin, chili garlic paste, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, ponzu, water and tapioca starch. Set aside.
Brown turkey in a large skillet. Stir in remaining garlic and eggplant. Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes or until eggplant starts to soften. Stir in sauce to coat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Gently fold in tofu and cook for 2 minutes. Garnish with scallions and serve over brown rice.
I struggled earlier this week on what to make for dinner. Shocking, right? I knew I wanted to make something light and maybe salad-y, but I also wanted something a little starchy. I also had a bunch of leftover ingredients in the fridge that needed to be used ASAP, so that made things even more challenging. GAH!
Here’s what I came up with. The St. Andre was a last minute addition after I pulled out a not so fresh piece of feta and I knew that St. Andre wedge had to be eaten. Do I think it contributed a lot of flavor to this dish? Nope. If you have feta on hand, by all means use it. No need to go out and buy a wedge of St. Andre. Unless, of course, you plan on gorging out on some wine and cheese later…no judgements here.
You know what this salad is missing? RED ONION. Which is why I threw in some dried minced onion into the dressing. Shame on me for not having any on hand. I didn’t even have scallions! What’s a salad without an oniony element?!
Chopped Greek Salad with Orzo
2 c chopped salad greens (I had some romaine and arugula that needed to be used)
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 c roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 - 1/2 c kalamata olives
1/2 avocado, diced
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 c orzo, cooked according to package directions and kept warm
1 tbsp (heaping) St. Andre cheese
1/4 - 1/2 c ham, diced (optional)
1/4 c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried minced onion
salt & pepper to taste
Shake together red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic powder and minced onion. Set aside.
Combine garbanzo beans, red peppers, olives, cucumber and ham in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl (or in the same pot you cooked the orzo in), gently fold St. Andre cheese into orzo until it has completely melted. Pour orzo into veggie bowl and toss with half the dressing. Add salad greens and remaining dressing and toss to coat. Add avocado and season with salt and pepper to taste.