simplelittlespaces

Keeping things simple in a not so simple world


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gluten-free, garden fresh tabbouleh

I love tabbouleh.  I love its freshness, its lemony zing and parsley…oh, I love parsley.  As always, I am looking for ways to make it more healthy.  And as we eat gluten-free, I’m looking for other grains that give a comparable texture to the traditional wheat bulgher.  I think I’ve figured it out…

Gluten-free, vegetable tabbouleh

1 large bunch of kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces (remove stems before chopping)
1 large bunch of parsley, (curly or flat) chopped into small pieces
1 pepper finely chopped
1 cucumber, seeded, peeled and chopped finely (I even seed english cucumbers)
1 and 1/2 cups cooked millet
1 tomato chopped finely

Mix ingredients. Remember, traditional tabbouleh is dominantly herbs, not grain, so keep the millet on the lighter side.
You can also add chopped mint, which is traditional. I didn’t have any, but do love it.

Drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, a small pinch of kosher or sea salt and black pepper and sprinkle with a generous helping of sumac. Sumac is a dried berry found in the Middle East. It has a tart lemony flavor. I get mine at Whole Foods.
Start with a small amount of the dressing, mix and add more if necessary. You don’t want your kale dripping with oil.

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loving

Things I’m loving lately…

-Trader Joe’s Greek Apricot Mango Yogurt

-Kale from the garden (fresh kale, shredded golden beets and purple carrots, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle of sumac)

-My next embroidery project, for my husband’s office, here and this one, here, for a friend

-Excited to try this

-My daughter is drooling over this

-Awaiting the arrival of my new bag

-Scouting out Nashville for parks, restaurants and coffee shops for our two week vacation.  I love exploring a new city!


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avocado dressings

As a way to boost flavor and add nutrients, these two dressings are amazing.  One sweet, one savory and both so very perfect in their own way.

Savory avocado dressing – Avocado pesto
This recipe is really simple! Homemade pesto is much better than store bought. I make mine vegan, without parmesan and sometimes with walnuts or almonds instead of pine nuts.

Half one avocado and add it to a blender or food processor with 1/4 to 1/2 cup pesto (depending on how strong). Blend.
We served this over a bed of millet with lentils and lightly sautéed zucchini and kale.  But it would be good with anything – including pasta.

Another variation would be to make a coriander pesto version:  In a food processor, blend a bunch of cilantro with 1/2 cup almonds, olive oil and a small amount of jalapeno.  Mix the pesto with an avocado.

Sweet avocado dressing

In a food processor or blender, mix:
1 avocado
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
2-3 tablespoons grape fruit juice
Touch of agave, if needed

Adjust the dressing liquid to preferred consistency.

We served this over a bed of arugula with roasted red and golden beets. I found this a bit on the sweet side. While it was good with the beets, I would have preferred it to be on a salad with more savory items. But if you like sweet on sweet, I highly recommend it. And so do my kids, who totally inhaled it!

This would also be awesome on ice cream!


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red summer bliss

Our master gardener friend and neighbor has red currant bushes; about six of them. And if he gets to them before the birds do, these lovely red fruit make a lovely jam. This year, he allowed my daughter and I to pick a bucket.

Combing the internet for a simple jam recipe, I came across this gem.

I added a bit less sugar (about 3/4 cup to every kilo). And I did not have nearly as much jam because we had a lot less berries. But this was quite fantastic. Best of All? It was really simple and really quick. No messing with gelatin or canning. Just simple red berry bliss!

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going garlic

This past winter holiday, we received a lovely card with a picture of a garden plot full of garlic and the caption, “Ajo up the Wajo!”  (Ajo is Spanish for garlic.)  This card was announcing a very sweet gift of a plot of garlic.  Can I just say that this was the best holiday present ever?!?!?!


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Well, that lovely plot has flourished!  And this week we harvested some of the scapes.

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These lovely plants have all the flavor of garlic and are great for pesto.  I made a large batch, freezing two jars and keeping the other for a recipe I hope to share with you tomorrow.

Garlic Scape Pesto

The amount of pesto you make depends on how many scapes you have. I recommend about 6-8 for one good jar.
You should be able to purchase scapes at your local farmer’s market.

6-8 garlic scapes, cut into large pieces
1/8 cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup nuts – pine, almond or walnuts

In a food processor, process all ingredients together, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides. Adjust ingredients as needed.
Store in a glass jar. Freeze for up to eight months.

Serving suggestions:
Use like basil pesto on pasta.
Mix with eggs or in a frittata.

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