Panamanian Garbanzos with Kale Pita Pockets

Panamanian Garbanzos with Kale Pita Pockets
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 Pouch Fillo’s Garbanzos with Panamanian Red Sofrito
  2. 1 Packed cup of baby kale
  3. 2 Whole wheat pita pockets
Instructions
  1. Pour contents of Fillo’s pouch into a small pot and warm over medium heat. Add kale until wilted. Stir through. Fill split whole wheat pita halves with mixture and serve.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Roasted Vegetable Paella

Roasted Vegetable Paella
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 pounds bell peppers (red, yellow and orange), cored, seeded, cut into ½” wide strips
  2. 2 pounds fennel bulbs, tops and cores removed, sliced ¼” thick
  3. 1 pound baby eggplants, unpeeled, sliced crosswise ¼” thick
  4. 1 large red onion, ¾” diced
  5. 2 cups yellow onions (2 onions), ¾” diced
  6. 2 tablespoons minced garlic (6 cloves)
  7. 1 teaspoon saffron
  8. 1 ½ cups Spanish paella rice
  9. 1 (12 oz.) jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  10. 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  11. 5-6 cups simmering chicken stock
  12. 3 ounces freshly grated aged Manchego cheese
  13. ½ cup pitted Manzanilla or Cerignola olives, halved
  14. ½ cup thinly sliced scallions
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Position racks evenly spaced in the oven.
  2. Place the peppers, fennel, eggplant, and red onion in a large bowl, and add ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of black pepper, and toss. Divide the vegetables between 2 sheet pans and spread in one layer. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a 14-16” paella pan or large Dutch oven. Add the yellow onions and sauté for 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and saffron and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes stirring to coat the rice with oil. Place the jarred peppers with liquid and paprika in a food processor and process until pureed. Pour the mixture into the paella pan, stirring to combine, and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of the hot stock and 2 teaspoons of salt and cook uncovered over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is mostly absorbed, like a risotto. Continue to cook the rice over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring in 1 cup of the hot stock at a time whenever the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is al dente. Add the vegetables to the paella, add one more cup of stock, and stir carefully.
  4. Off the heat, stir in the Manchego cheese, olives, and scallions. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Chef Talk: Something for Everyone at the Holiday Table: What to Serve Guests with Food Allergies and Diet Restrictions by Lynn Dugan

Your family will be together in a few short weeks and you are already stressing about the holiday meal you are hosting.  Aunt Susie is newly gluten free.  You also think your brother’s girlfriend is a vegan.  What should you do to accommodate these dietary restrictions? Most importantly, how can you be a good host while managing the menu and keeping your sanity?

I can help!  As a Registered Dietitian, I know about meal restrictions and accommodations. I also love to entertain and know the challenges in meal planning and food preparation when dealing with different diet demands.  And, my oldest son has a life threatening nut allergy.  Every holiday, I work with the host to understand the menu and determine what I need to make to supplement the meal for his benefit.

So, here is your game plan in three simple steps:

  1. Understand your guest’s dietary restrictions. 2. Work out the base menu. 3. Communicate the menu and recruit help with preparation.
  1. Don’t begin meal planning until you understand the dietary restrictions. After making it clear to your guests that you look forward to being together, ask the questions necessary to best understand the restrictions. Vegan is a diet free of animal products (including meats, fish, dairy, butter, eggs) but does your vegan guest avoid honey, too? How sensitive is the gluten restriction? I have gluten-free friends who eat bread on occasion but none of my celiac friends can tolerate even cross contamination from cutting boards, knives, toasters, measuring cups, frying oil and baking sheets. The conversations you have with step one are a good place to begin as it shows your concern for your guests, that their well-being is your priority. You can also gauge how open they will be to making and bringing a dish to supplement your meal. That takes us to step #2.
  1. Plan the menu. Your guiding principle for menu planning is to have something for everyone at the Holiday table but not everything has to be for everyone. Consider what I call the ‘red light’ foods for each dietary restriction and pick a menu item that suits everyone.  Red lights for gluten free are always anything made with wheat flour: regular bread, stuffing, crackers, pasta, and rolls.  You’ll be able to offer a gluten-free side dish when using rice, wild rice, potatoes, corn or quinoa to replace wheat.

As already mentioned, the red light for vegans are any animal products – meats and poultry, fish, dairy products, honey. Make sure you offer a menu item that contains a significant protein source like adding beans or legumes to a wild rice casserole, or offering a quinoa-based dish or any dish featuring legumes or lentils. A bowl of mixed nuts on the table can also offer an additional source of protein for the vegan diet.

Side dishes that can work for everyone are typically potatoes, vegetables, salads, fruits and nuts when prepared without the red-light ingredients and prepared with dairy substitutes like soymilk and vegetable oil spreads.

  1. Share the menu with your guests and recruit help. Most people like to bring something. And they are best able to adapt to their own dietary restrictions. While sharing the menu, it is important to communicate any diet restrictions that they might not be familiar with (like telling the gluten-free aunt you have a vegan guest coming). Let your guest know you’ll need them to keep track of any ‘red light’ ingredients in their dishes so you can communicate those during the holiday meal. If your party is small, you can easily point out acceptable dishes. If your party is large, it may be helpful to mark foods as GF or Vegan using a tented name card/place card. Remember, your goal is to have something for everyone but not everything has to be for everyone! 

By following these three steps and making some easy adaptations to the traditional Holiday dinner, your guests will feel welcomed, special and included.

I have highlighted my Warm Sweet Potato Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl.  It is vegan and gluten-free.  Each step of the recipe can be made in advance and assembled warm just before mealtime.  Happy Holidays!

Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl
Serves 4
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 2 pounds sweet potatoes peel and dice
  3. 1 small red onion, large dice
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  5. Salt and pepper
  6. 8 ounces mushrooms (button or cremini), sliced
  7. 2 cloves minced garlic
  8. 2 stalks celery, sliced
  9. 4 small tart apples (Jonathon or Cortland), dice
  10. 1 cup cooked lentils
  11. 1 cup balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees.
  2. Make balsamic glaze: place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan and gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes until the glaze is reduced by half, is thick and coats the back of a spoon (consistency of chocolate syrup). Set aside.
  3. Place potatoes and onions on baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast high in oven for 20 minutes, until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms, garlic and celery in 1/2 tablespoon oil until mushrooms and celery are softened. Salt and pepper, to taste. Add apples and cook until just warm.
  5. Pour contents of sauté pan into a large bowl. Add roasted potatoes and lentils; stir to combine. Garnish with balsamic glaze.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl

Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Serves 2
Print
Ingredients
  1. Vegetables
  2. 2 tablespoons of olive, melted coconut, or grape seed oil
  3. 1/2 red onion, sliced in wedges
  4. 2 large sweet potatoes, halved
  5. 1 bundle (227 g) broccolini, large stems removed, chopped
  6. 2 big handfuls kale, larger stems removed
  7. 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  8. Chickpeas
  9. 1 15-ounce (425 g) chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  10. 1 teaspoon cumin
  11. 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  12. 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  13. 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  14. optional: 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  15. optional: 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  16. Tahini Sauce (optional)
  17. 1/4 cup (56 g) tahini
  18. 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  19. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  20. 2-4 tablespoons hot water to thin
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and arrange sweet potatoes and onions on a bare baking sheet. Drizzle both with a bit of oil, making sure the flesh of the sweet potatoes are well coated and placed skin side down on the sheet.
  2. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven flip sweet potatoes and add broccolini. Drizzle broccolini with a bit of oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper.
  3. Bake for another 8-10 minutes, then remove from oven and add kale. Drizzle kale with a touch more oil and season with a pinch each salt and pepper. Bake for another 4-5 minutes then set aside.
  4. While vegetables are roasting, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with seasonings.
  5. Once hot, add 1 Tbsp oil and chickpeas and sauté, stirring frequently. If they’re browning too quickly, turn down heat. If there isn’t much browning going on, increase heat. I found 10 minutes total at slightly over medium heat was perfect. Once the chickpeas are browned and fragrant, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Prepare sauce by adding tahini, maple syrup and lemon juice to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add hot water until a pourable sauce is formed. Set aside.
  7. To serve: Slice sweet potatoes into bite size pieces. Divide vegetables between 3 serving bowls and top with chickpeas and tahini sauce.
  8. Best when fresh, though leftovers will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Notes
  1. Provided by Minimalist Baker
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Print
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoon Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning mix
  3. 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  4. 1 medium onion
  5. 1 zucchini
  6. 1 red pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together oil and seasoning mix. Add chicken cut into chunks. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat.
  3. Cut vegetables into chunks and toss with some more olive oil and TOSA mix to coat.
  4. Thread chicken and vegetables on skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked and vegetables are crisp tender.
  5. Serve with saffron rice.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Garden Bounty by Julie Szimon

I love vegetable gardening!  Well, let me rephrase that.  I love to get organic plants or seeds and plant them in my garden with organic soil, water them, weed them and see what happens.  I don’t know what the PH level of my soil is.  I don’t use any chemicals to make things grow bigger.  I just plant. 

Growing up in the city, we never had a garden.  We lived in a two-flat on the north side of Chicago.  We did have an apple tree in the back yard that took up most of the space.  Each year I was allowed to climb up the tree and pick the apples on top that no one could reach.  Those apples were then cooked down by my grandmother and made into applesauce.  She would can the applesauce in mason jars so we could enjoy it all winter long. 

When we moved to the suburbs I started a small 4’x8’ vegetable garden.  As time went on, my vegetable garden grew to a 25’x35’ enclosed area with 8 raised beds and an open space for berry bushes.  Each Spring I plan out what worked well last year and I try to add something new.  I love to see how the new plants grow and what culinary creations I can come up with when they are ready for harvest. 

I like to plant peppers and the garden always produces an abundance of them.  Some sweet ones and some hot ones.  I have used them in salsas and salads and I have even pickled them.  Last year I decided to make hot pepper jelly with them.  It was so good!  I made several batches and canned it for myself and gave some as gifts.  My favorite way to enjoy the jelly is on toasted bread or crackers along with some goat cheese.  It’s sweet and hot and delicious! It also came in handy over the winter months when friends dropped in for a glass of holiday cheer. 

This year the peppers are looking good, so another batch of hot pepper jelly will be coming.  The recipe I use is great just the way it is but don’t be afraid to be creative with the pepper mixture.  I added some red peppers for color, cracked black pepper, fresh thyme and some dried lemon peel.

Hot Pepper Jelly
Print
Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. of jalapeno (or variety of) peppers
  2. 2 cups cider vinegar, divided
  3. 6 cups of sugar
  4. 2 - 3 oz. pouches of liquid pectin
  5. 5 - 8 oz. half pint glass-preserving jars with lids and bands
Instructions
  1. Prepare/sanitize glass jars, lids and bands per manufacturers directions.
  2. Puree peppers in a food processor with 1 cup of cider vinegar until smooth. Do not strain puree.
  3. Combine puree with remaining 1 cup of cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add liquid pectin and continue to boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
  4. Ladle hot pepper jelly into hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace. Wipe rim. Secure lid and band. Process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when pressed in the center.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Smears and Dips, Slathers and Spreads; Ode to the Condiment by Kelly Sears

I confess, I have a condiment problem.  At any given time, our refrigerator looks more like an apothecary than a cooling unit, filled mostly with big jars, little jars, half-filled jars, and jars chock full. There are smears and dips, slathers and spreads all just begging for the star protein or vegetable to give it life and make it shine.

 

We all have our favorites.  Bright, spicy, smooth, silky, or chunky, condiments are the pop, the surprise, the little something extra that elevates ordinary to extraordinary.  Condiments work because they help us achieve balance.  When making any dish, we strive for balance to make that dish a success.  Balance comes from the ying and yang of tastes like bitter vs. sweet (dark chocolate brownies) or sour vs. salty (sour cream onion dip with chips).  Richness, temperature, and texture also play a part in keeping the palate scale level.  Yet balance can’t always be achieved by one component alone; enter the condiment!

 

Let’s start easy.  Ketchup and mustard are two of America’s most popular condiments so let’s examine why they work.  Vinegar give both their tang, both are bitter and acidic with sugar, salt and spices in the blend.  Usually served with burgers, brats, sausages or other grilled meats, the richness of the meat gets relief from the acidity (so you don’t feel like you are eating a stick of butter straight up!).  The meat is usually hot, the condiments cold; ketchup and mustard are smooth while the meats have some tooth.  Thus without even knowing it, balance is achieved just by eating a burger with the works.

 

Now let’s take another step up, relish, pickles, mayonnaise, and barbeque sauce. Again, these work just like ketchup and mustard to even out the flavors of the base component.  Fatty ribs love barbeque sauce, creamy mayonnaise and blt’s are great friends, and what perfect Chicago dog isn’t topped with a pickle or relish.  Starting to make sense?

 

Okay, we’re on a roll, so let’s not stop there.  A condiment doesn’t have to be just a store-bought accompaniment to food; a condiment can also couple as a solid component to a dish.  A condiment can be a dip, drizzle or dollop over a vegetable, a slice of meat, or on grilled toast to add sparkle and spice to the final dish.

 

I feel you starting to apply the brakes – work zone ahead!  I know its summer and the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of time in the kitchen. So don’t!  Make a stop at the butcher and pick up some proteins for the week, visit your favorite farmers market for fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables and you’re almost there. We can whittle the kitchen time down to about an hour for two of my favorite condiments. Each one can be made and stored in the refrigerator for at least a week and each has multiple uses depending on your main course selection and meal time constraints.

 

Pepperonata plays nice with chicken, beef, and pork; it’s delicious added to Italian sausage, both on a bun or on a plate.  It can be a stand-alone side dish (although the true definition of a condiment is that it isn’t eaten by itself. Sssh, I won’t tell) or I like to serve it on grilled toast with a smear of ricotta or burrata.

 

The green goddess, although technically a dressing, qualifies as a smear, a dollop or a slather. It wears so many hats. This creamy green goodness is the perfect match for summer’s first bacon, lettuce and tomato; add a slice of avocado and a hard-boiled egg for an extra dose of flavor. Green goddess skips happily along when drizzled over garden fresh (or someone else’s garden!) lettuce, dolloped on cold shrimp, slathered on a roast beef sandwich, or served as a dip for roasted or raw farmer’s market fresh vegetables. A great way to utilize those fresh herbs in your garden, green goddess will make your taste buds happy.

 

The simplest definition of a condiment is that “it imparts flavor onto another food.” Beyond that, it gets subjective.  Make your own rules, combine your own flavors, find your own balance and enjoy a dip, a drizzle, a smear or a dollop of your favorite condiment.

Pepperonata (Caramelized Onions & Peppers) & Green Goddess Dressing
Print
Ingredients
  1. Pepperonata
  2. 2 large onions, julienne
  3. 3 large red peppers, julienne
  4. 3 large yellow peppers, julienne
  5. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  6. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  7. 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  8. 5 basil leaves, chiffonade
  9. 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  11. Green Goddess Dressing
  12. 1 ½ cup mayonnaise
  13. ¼ cup chopped fresh chives
  14. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  15. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  16. 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  17. 1 garlic clove, rough chop
  18. 1 anchovy filet
  19. Buttermilk for thinning (or regular milk works fine too but I like the tang buttermilk brings to the dish)
Instructions
  1. Pepperonata
  2. Heat olive oil in a sauté pan and sauté the onion, oregano, red pepper flakes, and peppers until lightly golden; this should take about 20-25 minutes, longer if you want them super caramelized and sweet. Add garlic and sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in basil, parsley, and thyme.
  3. Green Goddess Dressing
  4. Blend mayonnaise and all other ingredients in a food processor or immersion blender. Thin with buttermilk. The consistency should work for your intended purpose. This will vary per application, thicker for a smear or a dollop, thinner for a dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Taste, adjust and enjoy!
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs
Print
Ingredients
  1. ½ cup olive oil
  2. 2 tablespoons Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning mix*
  3. 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  4. 1 medium onion
  5. 1 zucchini
  6. 1 red pepper
Instructions
  1. Whisk together oil and seasoning mix. Add chicken cut into chunks. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat grill to medium high heat.
  3. Cut vegetables into chunks and toss with some more olive oil and TOSA mix to coat. Thread chicken and vegetables on skewers. Grill until chicken is cooked and vegetables are crisp tender.
  4. Serve with saffron rice.
  5. *Lemaster Family Kitchen TOSA seasoning blend available at Marcels
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/
 

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil

Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai with Peanuts and Basil
Print
For the Pad Thai
  1. 4 ounces brown rice noodles (you can get stir-fry type noodles or Pad Thai noodles - and usually that's half a box)
  2. 1 zucchini
  3. 1 red pepper
  4. half of a yellow onion
  5. 2 carrots
  6. 2 tablespoons oil
  7. 1 egg, beaten
  8. ½ cup peanuts, chopped
  9. ½ cup fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, and basil, chopped
For the Sauce
  1. 3 tablespoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce substitute)
  2. 3 tablespoons brown sugar (or sub another sweetener)
  3. 3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
  4. 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  5. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
Instructions
  1. Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of cold water to soak.
  2. Spiralize the zucchini, red pepper, and onion into noodle-like shapes. Cut the carrots into very small pieces (or spiralize them, too, if they're big enough).
  3. Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
  4. Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies - stir fry with tongs for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp (if they are not spiralized, they might need longer). Be careful not to overcook them - they'll get soggy and heavy. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
  5. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Drain the noodles - they should be softened by now. Add the noodles to the hot pan and stir fry for a minute, using tongs to toss. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute or two, until the sauce is starting to thicken and stick to the noodles. Push the noodles aside to make a little room for the egg - pour the beaten egg into the pan and let it sit for 30 seconds or so. Toss everything around with the tongs. The egg mixture will stick to the noodles and everything will start getting sticky.
  6. Add in the vegetables, toss together, and remove from heat. Stir in the peanuts and herbs and serve immediately.
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/

Bacon Caramelized Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Caramelized Brussels Sprouts
Print
Ingredients
  1. 5 slices thick cut bacon, cut into roughly 1/2-inch squares
  2. 1 pound brussels sprouts, each sprout cut in half
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and sauté until slightly cooked but not crispy. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon or spatula and set aside.
  2. Add the brussels sprouts, olive oil, salt, and pepper and sauté until the brussels sprouts soften and turn a brighter and deeper shade of green, about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the bacon to the pan and stir to combine. Continue cooking until the bacon is crispy and the brussels sprouts have turned golden around the tips and are relatively soft when pierced with a fork, about 6 to 8 minutes more, stirring every 2 minutes.
Adapted from FINEX USA
Adapted from FINEX USA
Marcel's Culinary Experience https://www.marcelsculinaryexperience.com/