Sunday, July 31, 2011

What I Bought Last Week

You're all invited to a Linky Party celebrating what's in season. To start things off, I wanted to share what I bought at my local mega-mart  in Central Israel last week.

Mango, mini pears, & avocado.  Green lemon from our tree.

Curried Watermelon Rind & Mango Salad

This dish was inspired by Penniless Parenting's "Watermelon Rind Salad (Moroccan Inspired)."
Penniless Parenting's adventures in extreme frugality lead to lots of interesting recipes, like "Banana Peel Chutney."  Her "Zero Food Waste Challenge"  goes way beyond composting to "Eating Food Scraps" my wasteful American tastes have trouble comprehending.  Check it out for things you never knew you could eat and other money saving tips.

Now for my recipe:
Watermelon Rind Prep:
  1. Start with 1/2 a medium-large watermelon, after the insides have been eaten or frozen.
  2. Slice  the rind into manageable slices about 1.5 inches wide.  Using a sharp knife, peel off the tough green skin and scrape off most of the pink inside.
  3. Cut into squares and steam.  I steamed in my pressure cooker for 2-3 minutes on high pressure with natural release.

Dressing: Mix rind with:
  • 1 Tbs (or less to taste) curry powder 
  • 1/2 Tbs garlic powder (or fresh crushed garlic if you like)
  • 1/2 Tbs ginger powder or crushed fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • juice from 1/2 a fresh lemon
  • fresh chopped scallions  

Salad: When rind has cooled, or right before serving:
  • Chop watermelon rind pieces smaller (optional) 
  • Add chopped fresh mango (alternatives could include oranges, peaches, or even strawberries)

Serve chilled plain or on top of lettuce of bulgur wheat.

Also check out my recipe for the easiest pickled melon rind on the web

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Red Beans and Rice in the Pressure Cooker

My version was mild enough for every member of my very white family.  Even both my picky kids liked it and asked for seconds and thirds!  Look at the end for tips to spice it up and a low-glycemic version.

Ingredients:
  • 1-2 red onions
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • olive oil
  • cherry tomatoes (or other ripe or canned, drained tomatoes)
  • 1-2 dry bay leaves
  • 1-2 large dry hot peppers - seeded, no need to chop or pre-soak
  • dry or fresh chopped thyme
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice, rinsed
  • 1 cup red/kidney beans (See step 1 for soaking tips.)
  • 3.5 cups water or broth, plus water for rinsing and soaking
  • smoked paprika
  • salt

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

5 Days Remain to Enter Apron Giveaway

Update: WINNER ANNOUNCED 
 
Giveaway ends July 31, 11:15 pm California time (UTC -7) .  Entering is EASY:


  1. Subscribe (follow, like, join, tweet, share, etc.) any way you want.
  2. Comment telling me what you did.  (Make sure to enter your e-mail address, or e-mail me: nonrecipe (at) gmail .com.) 

 For full details see original contest post. Worldwide entries accepted!



My First Linky Entry

If you're a regular blog reader, you know that many blogs have a weekly Blog Party or Blog Carnival that they run where other bloggers can link recipes or posts that fit the topic.  Today I joined "Slightly Indulgent Tuesday" on a blog I just found, Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday is a collection of recipes that are not necessarily Sugar or Gluten Free, but they are in some way healthier than the standard option.  I posted "No Sugar Added, Whole Wheat Carrot Zucchini Muffins".  There are lots of exciting recipes worth checking out.  I'm looking forward to trying "Dairy-Free Chocolate / Carob Almond Fudge (with Sugar-Free option)" on Whole. New. Mom.

On a related note, I'm planning to start my own monthly Linky on what's is season!  This is a great place to share whatever foods you are currently enjoying wherever you live.  There will be no recipes required, all food-related pictures, thoughts, and love-notes are welcome.  Come back at the beginning of August to link up.  If you are not a blogger, or don't have a post to link, send your pictures and stories to nonrecipe@gmail.com and I will include them!  (Make sure to include whatever bio info you want me to include.)  You can also send me links from the last month on this topic.

I have also started reading some new blogs and plan to update my blogroll soon.  What are your favorite food-related blogs?  What Link Parties do you enjoy?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Artist Video: Food About You by Alexandre DUBOSC

I saw this on one of my favorite crafty blogs, MiniEco.  It made me smile.  Very clever and artistic.


Food about you - Annecy festival 2010 from Alexandre DUBOSC on Vimeo.
Film de / by Alexandre DUBOSC (France, 1' 37", 2010)

Alexandre DUBOSC is a French atist/photographer/stop action filmmaker in France.  You can see more of his work on his website.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

One Pan Roasted Chicken and Veggies

I hope you will see this as a great technique, not a recipe.  Each individual ingredient is optional.  What matters is the layering and the size of the raw vegetables.  Your goal is to cut the veggies to a size where they will be cooked to your preference exactly when the chicken is done.

Optional Layer 0:  White rice with water or partially cooked brown rice.  If you skip this layer, you will want to serve this with a grain that can soak up all the incredible juices.  I served this over medium grain brown rice.

Layer 1: Olive oil, fresh green beans, mushrooms, finely chopped garlic, white part of scallions (I use the more mild green part for raw things), shallot, seasoning such as crushed red pepper and ground coriander seeds.

Layer 2: Chicken (see why I like dark meat) brushed with tomato paste and seasonings of choice.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cooking With Preschoolers

Check out my guest post on CookingManager.com, titled Cooking with Preschoolers: Distraction or Interaction?

I discuss various tips to both keep your youngsters safely out from underfoot, as well as great ways to involve them including counting, tasting, smelling, and seasoning.  Here's the intro:

Cooking with preschoolers, even a single child, can feel like running a circus.  You have to balance their attention and their safety on top of timing the courses to be cooked, not burnt, at the right time.  First, choose your goal: distract or involve.  Sometimes the choice is obvious.  If you are constantly putting things in and out of the oven, or you have many things boiling on the stove, you will want to distance your child from the action.  Other times the food prep is G-rated, but you simply don’t have time for explaining and teaching.  Read more...


You may also enjoy:
Frozen Fruit PLUS More Ice Pop Ideas
Tehina Health Cookies 
Fruit Leather Flowers 
Kids in the Kitchen
Feeding Picky Eaters 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rigatoni a la Vodka - Non-dairy

This was so delicious, I have to share!  Very non-restaurant ingredients with restaurant-worthy flavor.  I used leftover rigatoni and rewarmed it in my semi-homemade thick, creamy sauce.

What I did this time:
  1. Pulse in a food processor: 1 medium red onion, 2-3 cloves garlic.  While blade is spinning, quickly drop in about 10 fresh cherry tomatoes and then stop food processor.  (You can add bell pepper or mushrooms if you like...whatever you want to use up.)
  2. Add to pan/pot with hot olive oil and sauté briefly.
  3. Add a jar/box/can of crushed tomatoesI used a small carton of very smooth "strained crushed tomatoes."  But you can use whatever you have in the house, be it tomato juice, tomato paste, or stewed tomatoes.  Just play with the consistency by blending or adding additional liquid.
  4. Simmer sauce and season to taste.  My fresh herbs couldn't take this heat, so I used ground coriander seeds, dry basil, ground red pepper flakes, and salt. 
  5. Add Vodka.  Yes, real vodka.  However much you can afford... maybe 1/4 cup.  Tomatoes contain alcohol soluble flavors that can only be thoroughly enjoyed when cooked with alcohol.  There is no way to scientifically determine how much alcohol has "cooked off," so consider your audience and pour responsibly.*
  6. Continue to simmer.  Then stir in the secret ingredient... 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Roasted Beet & Walnut Salad

I love beets!  I got the original recipe through my mom from Marilynn Clark in Florida.  This is a great autumn salad, and I love dishes you can mostly prepare long before guests arrive or just keep in the fridge until you get hungry.

8 to 10 med beets (2 lbs) rinsed, trim stem ends to 1”
2 Tbls. Cider vinegar
1-½ teasp Dijon mustard
½ teasp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
(optional) 4 oz. Blue cheese, crumbled
(optional) Mixed baby greans, Belgian endive, or greens of your choice

Friday, July 15, 2011

Frozen Fruit PLUS More Ice Pop Ideas

UPDATE: One of my kids' favorite summer activities is picking grapes from the fridge, putting them in a cup and waiting for them to freeze.  (Then they eat them.) Go figure.  I also froze half bananas on popsicle sticks and my kids LOVED them.

Fruit almost too ripe?  Freeze it!  Is that too obvious?  It's surprising how much my kids enjoy eating frozen bananas and frozen grapes.  And now I never have to worry about buying more than we can eat. 

Besides bananas and grapes, I've frozen strawberries, apricots, watermelon and cherries.  I froze the watermelon in silicon muffin trays with a pitted cherry on top.  The strawberries I froze in half and quarter pieces spread out in a single layer on a tray.  Then I transferred them to a zip-top bag.

Going away this summer?  Freeze any produce you won't have time to eat.  Wash and prep fruits and veggetables so they are ready to eat or cook when you get home.  It will be nice to have some healthy food awaiting your return, and the washed and cut veggies will save you time when you are catching up on laundry and work.

Bananas and strawberries make great shakes, "ice cream," and ice pops.  (I add yogurt and milk for pops.)  Ice pops can also be stored in a zip-top bag or container after they are solid.

Want to involve your kids?  Have them add tiny pieces of frozen fruit (or fresh or canned fruit) to ice pop molds.  They can make different fruit layers or mix fruit together.  Then pour juice or milk over the top and freeze.  What else can you put in popsicles?  Chocolate, sprinkles, vitamin D drops... ?

Also see my post on Adult-Worthy Ice Pops.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Are You a Poultry Racist?

McCormick Rosemary Chicken
Maybe it's just my pregnancy hormones, but I'm been craving dark meat chicken lately.  In general, I barely eat meat once a week, but when I do, I want it to taste good!

I used to only buy boneless, skinless chicken breast, but this year I started putting taste and simplicity before health (so I thought) and chose whole chicken or legs and thighs, skin on.  Now, I keep hearing about the benefits of dark meat, so I thought I'd share with you.

Why is dark meat dark?  The leg and thigh muscles of a chicken contain more of the protein myoglobin, which plays a key role in oxygen uptake within cells.  Myoglobin is high in iron.  It is necessary for sustained activity like walking.  Birds that fly, like ducks, have this tasty muscle through their chest.

Turkey and chicken dark meat has more B vitamins, iron, and zinc than their lighter counterparts, and dark meat is an excellent source of the antioxidant selenium. Ounce per ounce, dark meat has more nutritional value than white meat (source link).  White meat contains no iron.  The fat in dark meat may also aid in the absorption of nutrients in the chicken and your whole meal.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Immigrant Moment - How to prepare Jell-o/Jelly/Geli

My six-year-old daughter had a tonsillectomy this Sunday.  My husband stayed in the hospital with her while I came home to hold down the fort.  I wanted everything to be perfect for their return, right down to a full selection of sorbet, ice pops and jello.

Sunday night after all my cleaning (in honor of my husband's birthday) I went to read the directions to our Osem Gelli mix.  The Hebrew was way over my head!  I thought it said something about two cups of boiling water, but I didn't know if I needed to add ice or cold water, like Jell-o brand, etc.  So I SMS-ed a couple friends and ended up scanning the box.

The answer:

How to make Osem Gelli:
Add two cups boiling water, mix until all powder is dissolved.  Store in the fridge.

Happy Birthday Aaron!  And get well soon Adele! (Who sounds like she's been sucking on helium balloons.)

UPDATE: Adele informed me she doesn't like jello!  Who doesn't like jello?!?  She prefers rice cakes.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Alfalfa Sprout Salad

Quick Tip: If you make a non-lettuce salad with sprouts and parsley, you can dress it ahead with no wilting.

My good friend Leor shared this recipe with me.  Her pictures are included.  She says, "You have to triple/quadruple the dressing for a big salad."

Ingredients 
romaine lettuce
alfalfa sprouts
purple onion
cucumber
strawberries
candied almonds

Dressing:
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
 2 tbls almond oil or canola oil

Did you know that the recent E. Coli outbreak in Germany was traced to organic bean sprouts (not cucumbers)?  Sprouts have been known to be problematic for harboring food-born illness.  If you are worried, grow your own sprouts!  It's easy and exciting.  Check out my post on growing alfalfa sprouts.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Jerusalem Vacation cont. - Two more reviews

If it sounds like I'm focusing too much on the food, it's partly because this is a food blag, and partly because I really like food.  So where did we leave off...

Tuesday night we ate at an overpriced Asian restaurant - Sheyan.   The atmosphere was lovely.  The service was great.  Like all the restaurants we saw, they had an English menu.  The food was not much better than you could get at a take-out place like Sini Speed for a lot less money.  (See my review and take-out tips.)  We paid 300 NIS ($88) for two wanton soups, two little cups of hot Saki, and two entrees.  There was nothing wrong with the food, it just didn't have the subtle gourmet flavors I would expect from such a restaurant.  I did see some very pretty things coming from the kitchen, though.

On our last day we worked up an appetite all morning to we could get Belgian Waffles for a late lunch before heading home.  We stopped at Katzefet, where we found a nice selection of ice cream, soft serve "bio" frozen yogurt, and an array of shake ingredients.  For 25 NIS ($7.30) you get a large Belgian waffle with all the syrup and topping you want, plus whip cream and a scoop of ice cream, any flavor.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Balabasta Festival

Food, music, art, and everything in between - what more could you ask for?  If you will be in Jerusalem this July, check out the Balabasta Festival, every night in Machne Yehuda Market.  You will surely find something to make you smile!
Here is a video showing the happenings in the shuk, plus the 'usual' things being sold in the shuk.


Balabasta Video Link

You may also enjoy my Jerusalem restaurant reviews: Rimon & Gabriela and Sheyan & Katzefet or my photo essay of Shvil Izzim Dairy Restaraunt posted on Facebook. Don't forget to 'Like' Cooking Outside the Box!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Two Jerusalem Dairy Restaurants

Thanks to my my brave and generous in-laws, my husband and I are on vacation right now!  I'm still reminiscing about our gustatory delights yesterday, so I thought I'd share.
Lemonana
For lunch we went to Rimon, which a friend had highly recommended.  It has a great location in the Mamilla shopping center with a balcony overlooking Jerusalem city center.  The large indoor and outdoor seating was very full on this summer Sunday afternoon, and thank G-d, there was a large outdoor non-smoking area.  Unfortunately, the smokers got the best tables along the terrace.  The menu was pretty standard for an Israeli dairy cafe.  The pesto in my husband's quesadilla was excellent.  I would definitely recommend anything with pesto. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Kosher Cooking Carnival - Tammuz

I am honored to host this month's edition of Kosher Cooking Carnival (KCC), a monthly round-up of kosher cooking ideas and eats.

If you're new to Cooking Outside the Box, bruchim habayim, welcome!  I hope you'll browse my blog while you're here.  Check out my blogroll for other great food and Jewish blogs.



Looking for something to cook?  

This Shabbat my In-Laws, including my vegetarian sister-in-law came for dinner.  I made upside-down stuffed peppers and an avocado dip with cherry tomatoes, cumin, garlic, and some red pepper.  I discovered that the cold leftovers are good mixed together!  I am also hosting a designer apron giveaway.

Rivki's rhubarb ginger muffins
At Kosher Cooking for Ordinary People,  Rivki Locker makes Rhubarb Ginger Muffins (right) and an Onion Tart.

At for Your honor, Lizard makes a simple Summer Squash Salad with avocado.  I like her instructions in the form of a slide show.  For dessert,  Lizard makes a delicious looking Berry Rhubarb Pie with a beautiful lattice work crust.

Mrs. S. makes her own DIY Vanilla at Our Shiputzim: A Work In Progress..  I like her commentary on olim getting things from the states.  My in-laws just brought me Zip Lock bags!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Upside-Down Stuffed Peppers with Vegetarian Stuffing

Is it so wrong that I fancy myself a genius for cooking the peppers on top of the stuffing?  The peppers get more roasted, the rice stays moister, they are easier to stuff, and the half-pepper is a better portion for a side dish.

This is really two recipes in one.  First I'll tell you about the stuffing, a pilaf which is an excellent balanced food for vegetarians.  Then I'll tell you about the stuffed peppers.  You can serve the pilaf by itself, or stuff the peppers with waterever mostly-cooked grains you have.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Apron Giveaway!

Update: WINNER ANNOUNCED 

I have a selection of five adult and two child designer aprons finally ready to giveaway!  I will give at least one away this month.  The winner(s) will choose their favorite and I will ship it.  Multiple entries per person are possible.  To enter:

  • Follow me on Blogger/Google Reader, Facebook, and/or Twitter.  Comment* telling me where you are following me, and you will get one entry for each.  (It still counts as an entry if you were following me before the contest, just leave a comment.)
  • #1: Recycled jeans. Tie waist
  • Tell your friends, tweet, and post on your blog or Facebook.  Comment* claiming your friends when they follow me, or have them comment including your name or blog.  One entry per referral.
# 2: Recycled jeans, patch logo
#2 detail: adjustable button waist

#1 Detail:   button neck, chest pocket, patch logo.  



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