elevating the status of the salad

Tag Archives: mint

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I’ve started this post multiple times, but keep deleting the first sentence. I wanted to lead with how the runny yolk makes the rice velvety. However, “runny yolk” just doesn’t sound as good as it tastes. Trust me on this one. You can prepare the egg however you like, runny or sedentary. We tried over easy and poached. 

Ingredients:

I don’t know how much of each rice bowl topping you want. You decide. The amount listed for each dressing ingredient was enough for 2 rice bowls. 

  • brown rice
  • raw peanuts
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 T chopped mint
  • 1 T chopped cilantro
  • 1 t soy sauce
  • shredded carrots
  • chopped scallions
  • seeded and diced cucumbers
  • bean sprouts
  • steamed and chopped baby bok choy (or other greens)

Instructions

1. Prepare brown rice as directed.

2. Roast peanuts in a heavy, dry skillet, stirring constantly. Let cool. Chop peanuts (I put them in a bag and used the side of a large wooden spoon to crush)

3. Combine the next 6 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a medium bowl, and stir.

3. Divide the rice into the number of servings you’re making. Top with the carrots, scallions, cucumbers, bean sprouts, and bok choy. I think it looks pretty to make sections for each vegetable. Pour 1-2 teaspoons of the dressing over each bowl of rice/vegetables.

4. Prepare the egg as desired. Place it in the center, on top of the vegetables.

5. Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately. If you like it spicy, serve with a side of chili garlic sauce.

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This recipe came from Cooking Light magazine. It’s a perfect addition to a fall meal. It brightens up the plate and has a great flavor.

All of the herbs came from my garden. However, the cilantro was special. A few months ago in the heat of summer, I was frustrated that my cilantro kept bolting. I decided to let it flower and turn to seed so I could make my very own coriander seed. Once the plants got to the right point (for us, the right point was when we were sick of the constant swarm of bees who adored our cilantro flowers), I cut and then dried the plants in a paper bag. Then, I hung the bag inside for a few weeks. After a few weeks, I gave the bag a few shakes. Amazingly, there were some coriander seeds at the bottom of my bag. However, the yield was less than I hoped for: just a few tablespoons. I think I should have waited a bit longer to chop down the flowering cilantro before letting it dry.

Rather than save the coriander, I continued on with my experiment. I planted the coriander a few inches deep in the empty pot that used to house the cilantro. A few week later….little baby cilantro plants started popping up. I watered them gently at first. A few weeks later than that…carrot salad with a hit of heat features my very own “circle of life” cilantro. I know this is basic stuff to some people, but I was amazed that this process actually works. 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste)
  • 4 cups coarsely grated carrot (about 1 pound)
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh chives (optional)

Directions:

  1.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add carrot and salt; toss to coat. Let stand 30 minutes. Just before serving, add cilantro, mint, and chives, if desired; toss to combine.

 

This is a basic tabbouleh recipe that does not require a lot of ingredients. If you are looking for more of a meal, check out my tabbouleh with chicken and tahini recipe here. This week, we got a lot of parsley from the CSA, and tabbouleh is my favorite way to use it all up. Thanks to Simply Recipes for the original recipe. I revised the amounts when I made it myself. Feel free to increase the herbs and decrease the bulgur or the other way around, depending on the ratio you prefer. (I like more herbs when eating it with pita, more bulgur when eating it as a stand-alone salad). Do you have another favorite recipe that highlights parsley? Send it along!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  •  1/4 cup olive oil
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • 5-6 Roma or plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used about a cup of mixed tomatoes, including cherry tomatoes–but I left the seeds in the little guys)
  • 2 scallions, chopped, including the greens
  • 1 1/2-2 cups parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place the bulgur in a medium sized bowl. Bring water and the teaspoon of salt to a boil, pour it over the bulgur. Let sit for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, bulgur and mix well. Add in all the other ingredients and mix to combine.
  3. Taste the tabbouleh, and add more salt, olive oil or more lemon juice to taste. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Will keep chilled for several days.

 


My parents went out east to go for a bike ride. They came back with a bushel of corn. Apparently it was a bargain. As a result, I got a fridge full of corn! (Yes, you are supposed to refrigerate corn if you are not going to use it that day.) 

What to do with the surplus of corn? I wanted to make a corn chowder that didn’t require me to drink a cup of heavy cream. Enter coconut milk. This chowder would go really well with a side of basmati rice. This recipe comes from The Food Network’s site

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears corn
  • 2 cups diced red-skinned potatoes (about 12 ounces)
  • 3/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 tablespoons grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, cut into thirds (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 red jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced ( I used green jalapeño–keep the seeds in if you want some more heat)
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I used the light version)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 1 tomato, seeded and diced

Directions

  1. Cut off the corn kernels; set aside. Combine the cobs, 1 cup potatoes, 1/2 cup scallions, 1 tablespoon ginger, the garlic, peppercorns and 5 cups water in a pot. Smash the lemongrass, if using, and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. About 10 minutes before the broth is finished, melt the butter over medium-high heat in a separate pot. Add the remaining 1 cup potatoes, season with salt and cook until slightly soft, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon ginger and the jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Add the corn kernels; cook until the vegetables are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Strain the broth, pressing out as much liquid as possible; discard the solids. Add 2 cups of the strained broth to the potatoes and corn; bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the coconut milk, basil and mint; season with salt. Stir until simmering. Remove from the heat and add the radishes, cilantro and lime juice. Top with diced tomato and the remaining 1/4 cup scallions and serve with lime wedges.

Are you familiar with Whole Foods’ Step System for animal welfare ratings? If you haven’t already heard me or someone else going on and on about it, here’s the link. What’s tricky is that they don’t have all of their cuts available in all levels at all times, so one has to be flexible. I’m still too new at buying meat to know about good substitutions, but I’m slowly learning. I went to get flank steak, as this Cooking Light recipe called for, but they did not have any steps 4-5 of that kind. The butcher suggested skirt steak, which they had in a Level 4. Great! Thanks, helpful butcher! I ended up bringing home entirely too much steak because I got flustered ordering it, and froze half for fajitas another night.

Also, this recipe calls for fish sauce. So do most Thai recipes that I find. Since I don’t eat fish, I just omitted it. However, when I took a Thai cooking class, I was told you can substitute “this mushroom sauce” for the fish sauce. However, I was in Thailand at the time and could not read the label on “this mushroom sauce.” Oh well. I should look for it in an Asian market one of these days. In the meantime, I usually just taste my food and add more soy sauce if I think it needs more salty flavor.

This gave me a chance to use some of my fresh herbs: mint, basil, and cilantro.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound skirt steak
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup julienne-cut carrots
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle steak evenly with pepper and salt. Add steak to pan; cook 6 minutes each side or until desired degree of doneness. Remove steak from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices.
  2.  Combine juice and next 4 ingredients (through Sriracha) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
  3.  Combine cabbage and remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add 6 tablespoons juice mixture to cabbage mixture; toss well. Toss steak in remaining 2 tablespoons juice mixture. Add steak to cabbage mixture; toss to combine.

This recipe from Cooking Light’s September, 2011 magazine was great for dinner and then even better for lunch the next day. I’ll admit that my “drizzle” turned into more of a thicker sauce. It may not have looked as pretty, but it tasted delicious. For those who missed the memo: yes, I am eating meat. I can hardly believe it still myself. To make this vegetarian, use chickpeas instead of chicken. The recipe called for chicken thighs. I got this chicken at Forager’s in DUMBO, where they get all their meat locally. They also only have chiken breasts, so I used those instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tahini (roasted sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon water

Preparation

1. Combine 1 1/4 cups water, 1 cup bulgur, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes (do not stir) or until the liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; fluff with a fork. Place bulgur in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Sauté for 4 minutes on each side or until done; shred chicken. Combine bulgur, chicken, tomato, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; toss gently.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, tahini, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad.


This soup is so refreshing! It is also extremely easy to make. You should prepare this at least a few hours in advance and then allow the flavors to chill in the fridge before serving. The ingredient list is definitely flexible, so feel free to adapt according to taste. Let me know if you make any good adjustments. 

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Ingredients

  • 4 cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used fage 2%)
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mint, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dill, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 cup water (depending on how much you need to thin it out)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
Place all ingredients in a large food processor, starting with only 1/4 cup water. Process until it is very smooth. If it is too thick, add more water until it is the consistency you want.