Fluffy, heart-healthy grain quinoa is dressed with pomegranate balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Kids will have fun crumbling feta cheese into tiny pieces and whisking the vinaigrette. This recipe comes to us from Colleen Levine of Foodie Tots.
Inspired by our friends Stacie Billis, Rachael Hutchings and Marc Matsumoto and their Peko Peko cookbook (read previous post here), today I’m sharing an Asian inspired rice bowl recipe with you.
Two dinners in one. Simple, fast and fun. Here is a rice-bowl “recipe” (it is really more an inspiration) that you can assemble in no time. I am giving you a few suggestions for toppings, like the very cool pinwheel omelet, but do cook with the seasons that surround you, and with your family’s favorite vegetables.
This is another of the participation meals we love so much. Tonight let your family add the finishing touches to their own dish at the table. Everyone gets a bowl of rice, then you all add all your favorite toppings — a little carrot and some peanuts for crunch, some edamame, a drizzle of this, a sprinkle of that — and before you know it everyone has created their very own masterpiece…
Trying to do family meals is not about adding more “should” to your life. We are all crazy busy and overwhelmed. But a ritual, regular meal, whatever time of the day you do it, will make your life better, more manageable and enrich your life as well as your kids. It will actually make your day better because you will know how everyone is feeling, what they are eating and what they are thinking.
So breakfast, lunch, dinner, after school snack or before bedtime tea…whatever your family ritual, keep doing them! For those of you out there who make breakfast your not-to-mess-with meal, here’s a fabulous “muffilettes” recipe from Kirstin! (They are a special combination of an omelette and a muffin!) And for those of you who have more time on the weekend and like to do a special Sunday brunch this recipe is for you too!…
We cooked some fish on the barbecue and it was dry and overcooked, any ideas? — O. Cross
Two ideas. First, blame the fish. It might not have been that great. Not much you can do then, so in the future, buy the freshest fish you can. Second, blame the cook, and gently remind him next time to:
1. Have patience. Wait until the coals have burned down, or use a lower flame on the the gas grill.
2. Use a good clean grate that has been oiled.
3. Flip the fish only once, (save the fancy flipping for pancakes).
4. Cook the fish just about 7 minutes per inch of thickness.
5. Take its temperature, use your thermometer, the fish is done at 140º (120º if you want to cook a fish like tuna rare), or poke a pointy knife into the thickest part of the fish, then touch the knife, if it is warm the fish is done.
6. But here is the tricky part, remember the fish continues to be hot/cook a bit after you take it off the grill, so take it off just before it is completely done, and let it sit and relax a few minutes before you serve it.
I have a few pounds of peanuts left over from a party, can I make my own peanut butter? — Jen B.
Nut-butters are so easy to make! The only thing you need is a food processor, unsalted toasted nuts (I like to leave the skins on), a little honey, and patience, as processing can take as long as 8 minutes. Peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds and macadamias, all make delicious butters.
Put 2 cups nuts in the food processor and start it running. First the nuts will become chopped, (remove a few tablespoons now, to add later if you want chunky nut butter). Scrape down the sides. Then they will become meal. Scrape down the sides again. Then they will become a dough ball… keep going. Then they will suddenly relax and become nut-butter. Scrape out into a bowl!
Just keep an eye on the food processor, you don’t want it to overheat. Sweeten with a little honey if you’d like to, add a little salt if you need too. Fold in the chopped nuts if you want “chunky style”. Add cinnamon for spice, or a little melted chocolate to be extra nice. Store in the refrigerator.
Can I make risotto with brown rice? — R.J.P.
Well… not really, the whole magic about risotto rice it that the outer starch melts into creaminess, and that won’t happen much with brown rice as it is still encased in its healthy hull. That said, I have cheated by first cooking short grain brown rice, then continuing as if I am making regular risotto, with onions, garlic, a little wine, vigorously stirring in a bit of broth to loosen it up, then vegetables, cheese and butter… it won’t be classic but it will be good.
Quesadillas are delicious! And easy to make! And with a whole grain tortilla and a few chops of cabbage they can be crunchily nutritious as well. We use the Cooks Illustrated clever method of folding and flipping the quesadillas, less mess more joy. Serve them with guacamole and salsa, and lunch (or dinner) is a happy place to be…