Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Kale Tabbouleh with Chickpeas and Pomegranate Seeds

My friend Julie recently encouraged me to try a the Kale Tabbouleh recipe she had just posted on her blog Weekend Table. I hadn't felt inspired by kale recently so I gave this recipe a shot to see if I could figure out how to get it back into my weekly menu.

Mission accomplished. This is an awesome recipe! I tweaked it a bit to meet my dietary requirements and to use some of the ingredients I had on hand but stuck to the heart of the recipe.

1. Cook one cup of bulgar, millet, or other small grain. Set aside and cool.
2. In a small bowl, mix 3 tbsp lemon juice, one shallot or half a red onion, 2 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp paprika and a heaping tsp of salt. Whisk in 1/2 cup of olive oil.
3. In a large bowl, combine the grains, 5-6 cups VERY finely chopped kale, 1/3 cup of chopped mint and a cup of chickpeas. Julie added two cups of diced tomatoes and I added a generous handful of pomegranate seeds I had on hand. Both add color and both work very well.

This hearty salad lasts easily for three days in the fridge. Refresh with some olive oil and a splash of lemon juice. Its colors also provides good evidence against Fox News' claims about the War on Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Slow Cooker Black Beans and Holiday Budgets

A few days ago I analyzed my spending patterns for groceries in November. Gulp. My new diet is not cheap! Fresh cashew milk, lamb, and chia seeds add up quickly and don't leave a lot of room for buying Christmas presents and stocking stuffers.

Luckily I love black beans and so does my family. Xavier, following in his mother's ''wanna-be-latino'' footsteps, chants rice and beans the way most kids say mac n' cheese. The new Smitten Kitchen Cookbook has a simple recipe for black beans in the slow cooker that I have put into rotation about once a week. If you feel like splurging (or are annoyed with the relatives on your holiday list), you can serve this with pickled red onions, avocado, cilantro, etc. but it works well on its own too.

In a large 6-quart slow cooker, combine one chopped onion, 3-5 minced garlic gloves, 1 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 dried chile, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, and 1 lb ( 2 1/4 cups) of dried black beans. Cover with 8-10 cups of broth or water depending on how soupy you like your beans. Cook for about 6 hours on high and then mix in a tablespoon of lime juice.