Monday, January 31, 2011

Two Fresh Winter Salads

 We had a wonderful  run of our children's show Circle Cycle! Now we prepare for some touring, teaching, and choreographing. If you missed the show you can catch our next home show the Alwin Nikolais Centennial April 21-23, 2011.  Today is a day off for us which is much needed because last week was so exhausting! It's a good exhaustion though! I wanted to post a few salads I've made recently that can be filling main dish meals or great side salads. For the squash salad I saved time by using pre-cut and chopped butternut squash from Costco. I did make my own pomegranate molasses because I couldn't find any locally. You can buy it online at The Spice House
   The scallop salad is really easy and quick! I used frozen wild caught scallops, also from Costco! The vinaigrette is so delicious that I made a big batch of it to use for my other salads. The roasted walnut oil mixed with the honey is so yummy! I put the individual dressing recipe here too in case you just want a healthy and fast salad dressing recipe! I'll be back soon with Truffle Recipe #2 and also another special discovery I just made!! Ciao

Winter Salad with Roasted Squash and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

*adapted slightly from Eating Well



  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme 
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons water


  • 11/2-2 pounds winter squash, such as butternut or buttercup, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 6 cups torn frisée or curly endive
  • 6 cups torn radicchio
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds 
  • 1/3 cup pistachios or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Blue Cheese, sprinkled on top


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. To prepare vinaigrette: Mix shallot, pomegranate molasses, vinegar, lemon juice, thyme and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in 1/4 cup oil, then water.
  3. To prepare squash: Place squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer and sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. Roast, stirring once or twice, until fork-tender, 15 to 25 minutes (depending on the type of squash). Let cool.
  4. To prepare salad: Place frisée (or endive), radicchio and the squash in a large bowl. Add the vinaigrette and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, toasted walnuts, and blue cheese.

NOTE: Make your own Pomegranate Molasses. Simmer 4 cups pomegranate juice, uncovered, in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, 45 to 50 minutes. (Do not let the syrup reduce too much or it will darken and become very sticky.) Makes about 1/2 cup. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Arugula Salad with
Seared Scallops


1 medium head Boston or Butter lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces  (used Green Leaf)
2 cups packed arugula leaves, torn into bite-size pieces 
1 cup sliced red radishes 
1/3 cup roasted walnut oil 
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
1 small shallot, finely chopped 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey (optional) 
Salt and pepper 
1 pound sea scallops 
Granulated garlic to taste 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


Toss lettuce, arugula and radishes together in a large salad bowl and set aside. Whisk together walnut oil, vinegar, shallots, honey, and salt and pepper to make a dressing and set aside. 

Season scallops all over with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add scallops, arranging them in a single layer, and cook for about 2 1/2 minutes per side, until cooked through, seasoning again with more salt, pepper and granulated garlic while they're cooking, if you like. 

Toss greens with dressing and transfer to individual plates. Top with scallops and serve immediately.


1/3 cup roasted walnut oil
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, finely chopped
½ to 1 teaspoon honey
salt and pepper

whisk together oil,vinegar, shallots, honey, s&P!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Show Week....Crazy Busy

Monday started our show week for Ririe Woodbury's Circle Cycle! If you live in Salt Lake City come on down to the the Capitol Theatre and see a fun and educational dance performance! It runs January 28-29th at 7pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturday. It's so important to expose children to the arts and this is a wonderful opportunity for that and to support your local arts groups! Plus, there will be free cookies after each show in the lobby for everyone!
That's me leaping!!

We perform shows in the mornings for local school children and on some days we do two shows so by the time I get home I am ready for a nap! Therefore my evening meals have to be easy and especially healthy since we are wearing unitards (tight long legged leotards!) in most of the pieces! While we don't have all of the snow that back east is getting it still has been quite cold here. This following recipe is an Eating Well chili  recipe with black beans and sweet potatoes. To pair with the chili I baked up some blue corn bread from my Ladle, Leaf, & Loaf cookbook. If you haven't tried blue corn flour yet I highly recommend it! It makes great pancakes, muffins, tortillas, etc. I have a delicious recipe for blue corn pancakes which is from Hell's Backbone Grill. If you are ever in Boulder, Utah or Capitol Reef National Park you must go to this restaurant. Our Education Director Gigi Arrington (who narrates Circle Cycle!)  introduced us to this restaurant and we recently went there while on one of our rural Utah tours. I'll post some recipes from their amazing cookbook later! Meanwhile, enjoy this chili and corn bread on a cold maybe snowy, January day!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili
adapted from Eating Well Magazine

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile  or 2 chopped chipotle peppers in adobe sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro. (See Note)

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle peppers and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
The final yummy bowl!!

    Note: Garnish with cheddar cheese, green onions, radishes, and sour cream!

    from  Ladle, Leaf, & Loaf by Lisa Cowden

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 cup blue cornmeal
    3 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon kosher salt
    3/4 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 cup pine nuts (optional)
    1 cup skim milk
    1 large egg
    2 tablespoons canola oil
    1 1/2 teaspoons honey

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a 10-inch pie plate with vegetable spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients, including the milk, egg, oil, and honey. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to make a smooth batter. Pour the batter into the pie plate. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top of the bread is lightly browned. Cool briefly before serving. Serve with honey butter!

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Truffle Recipe #1

       It's been a little crazy around here lately. I went back to work after vacation and we had two weeks to put together our children's show which will start it's run this coming week. On top of that I worked a couple of shifts at Sur La Table. My final two shifts are this weekend which is good and bad. It's good because I really need my weekends free because my dance company job keeps me busy and I love my days off. It's also good because I really get too tempted to buy things by working there!! Customers say all the time how the store must be a dangerous place to work, and it is!! However, it's bad because I do like working there. I love learning about all of the new products and gadgets. Maybe in the future if I ever get a part time job again it should be at a hardware store or some place I wouldn't 

    want to buy anything. But then I wouldn't enjoy the actual job part and it wouldn't be worth it! 
       Friday night was my only night off this weekend so I decided to make homemade pizza but that post will come next! The pizza includes Yukon Gold potatoes and since I had leftover potatoes I thought I would julienne cut some on the mandoline and bake some fries up for snacking on this busy weekend! These are not your average fries. First of all they are baked, not fried so they are healthier!! Secondly, the special ingredient is Fusion brand black truffle salt! I had a friend generously give this to me as a gift awhile back. The great thing is it lasts because you only need to use a little bit for some great flavor! I know she bought mine at Sur La Table. However, I have found their products like the curry one in the picture, at TJ Maxx for a great deal. I would recommend using this brand because it tastes so good!

    4 servings


    4 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, julienne cut on a mandoline
    4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 teaspoon Fusion brand Black Truffle Salt 
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    *extra teaspoon salt for tossing when done baking(optional)


    1. Preheat oven to 450° F
    2. Toss potatoes slices with oil, salt, and thyme. Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet.
    3. Bake about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are brown and tender, turning once.
    4. Take out of oven an if desired, toss with remaining teaspoon of salt. 

    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    The Golden Globes, a Mighty Manhattan, Samosas, and Eggplant Curry

     I love Award shows and last year I missed the Golden Globes so this year I thought I would watch them in style! I really have been enjoying bourbon lately! It must run in my family. I have a grandmother who  loves Bourbon and my mother introduced me to a good tasty Manhattan. Plus, my brother has great bartender skills and I've gotten to try many of his wonderful creations. So we will start the night with an apertif of a Mighty Manhattan. Awhile back I picked up a bottle of Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters at TJ Maxx. It looked good and my review of it is an A+!  This is a recipe on the front of the bottle and it's a great way to do a Manhattan. You can buy this online or I'm sure you could find it at a local specialty store. So here is a toast to Hollywood!  Cheers!!

    Mighty Manhattan

    2 oz Bourbon
    1/2 oz sweet vermouth
    dash Stirrings Blood Orange bitters

    Add the ingredients to a shaker half full of ice cubes. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry if desired!

         Last night we were wasting time before meeting friends for dinner at Barnes and Noble. I've been wanting to get Mollie Katzen's classic the Moosewood Cookbook for a long time. I have two other cookbooks by her but this one seems like such a must have for cooks to have in the kitchen. They had one copy left on the shelf and I had leftover Christmas money to spend so I bought it!! I was going to make pizza tonight but had a change of plans when I couldn't find all of the ingredients. Instead I picked up the ingredients for two recipes from the cookbook and gave them a try! I was very impressed and had lots of fun making these two entrees. I slightly adapted the curry recipe because I didn't have any brown rice in my pantry. I cooked up some Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf and mixed it in with the curry which was a perfect match. I hope you can try them too! Bon Appetit!

    *adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook
    Makes about 6-8 servings

    1 packet Kashi Pilaf (follow package directions)

    2-3 tablespoons butter
    1 tablespoon mustard seeds
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    2 teaspoons cumin seeds
    1 1/2 cups chopped onion
    1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons turmeric
    1/4  teaspoon cayenne
    2 medium eggplants (8 inches long with 4-inch diameter at roundest point) cut into 1-inch cubes
    water, as needed
    2 cups fresh or frozen green peas
    1 small bunch fresh cilantro, minced  (optional)

    1) Cook the Kashi Pilaf. This will take about 25 minutes.

    2) Heat butter over medium heat in large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add seeds and saute for about 5 minutes until they begin to pop.

    3) Add onion, salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.

    4) Add eggplant and a little salt. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring from the bottom regularly, until the eggplant is soft. Cover the pan between stirrings. (Add water as needed, if mixture gets too dry and sticks to pan.)
    5) Steam the peas in a separate pot until they are just tender and bright green. Add to the eggplant mixture and Kashi Pilaf. Serve the curry  topped with freshly minced cilantro.

    *from The New Moosewood Cookbook


    The Dough:

    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup buttermilk or yogurt (Instant buttermilk: Mix 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice with 1 cup milk!!)
    • Extra flour as needed

    The Filling:

    • 2 large potatoes (the size of a large person's fist)
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 cup finely minced onion
    • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 teaspoon dried coriander (if available)
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups uncooked green peas (frozen, thawed=fine)
    • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
    • Cayenne, to taste


    Dough 1) Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl. Mix in the salt. 2) Make a well in the center, and add the buttermilk or yogurt. Mix first with a spoon and then with your hand, to make a smooth dough. 3) Add extra flour, as needed, to keep the dough from being sticky. The dough will be quite soft. knead in the bowl for about 5 minutes. Cover tightly and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the pastries.
    Filling: 1) Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1-inch pieces. Place in a saucepan, cover with water, and boil until very soft. Drain and transfer to a medium-sized bowl. Mash and set aside. 2)Melt the butter in a heavy skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, coriander, and salt. Saute over medium heat about 8 to 10 minutes, or until onions are quite soft. Add this to the mashed potatoes, along with the remaining ingredients. Mix well, but try not to smash the peas. Cool for at least 15 minutes before filling the pastries.
    To Assemble and Bake: 1) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Generously oil a baking sheet. 
    2) Keep a small container of flour, a fork, a small bowl of water, and a pastry brush close at hand. Flour a clean surface, and, one by one, roll 1-inch balls of dough into 5-inch circles, using a rolling pin.
    5) Serve within 5 minutes of baking, with Dipping Sauce. A nice way to serve the sauce is in individual saucers or tiny bowls, so each person can hold both samosa and sauce directly under his or her face while eating, and the sauce bowl can catch the drips. (It does drip, but that's one of the charms of this ritual.)

    The Dipping Sauce:

    • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 small clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    1) Place all ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. 2) Heat to boiling, then let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes. it will reduce slightly. 3) Serve warm or at room temperature with hot samosas.

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Caramelized onions and lasagna...count me in!!

        My husband and I like good wine and we recently picked up a bottle of wine at the store that was not one of our favorites. It was a cheap red shiraz and really was not enjoyable to drink. We like the quote "Life is too short to drink bad wine." It's even posted on one of our kitchen walls. Since I don't like to waste things I thought I should  just use the wine for cooking instead. This following recipe is another one I adapted from Eating Well Magazine. It uses caramelized onions and portobello mushrooms which happen to be some of my favorites.  Lasagna can always be a little time consuming but you know when you take that first bite that the  process was worth it!  You could always make the caramelized onion filling ahead of time. I love to make lasagna too because I get to use my favorite green Emile Henry dish! 

    Caramelized Onion Lasagna


    8 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles


    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
    4 medium portobello mushroom caps,
       gills removed and diced
    1/2 cup red wine
    1 teaspoon salt
    Freshly ground pepper


    4 cups baby spinach
    2 cups nonfat ricotta cheese
    1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
    1/2 teaspoon salt


    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    2 cups low-fat milk
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 ounces crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
    1/3 cup chopped walnuts
    1/4 cup chopped fresh basil 


    1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles until almost al dente, about 2 
    minutes less than the package directions. Drain; Return noodles to pot and cover with cold water. 

    2. To prepare onion filling: Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook stirring frequently but not too much until golden brown and very soft,
    about 25 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until just beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine and 1 teaspooon salt and continue cooking until most of the liquid is 
    absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in pepper. 

    3. To prepare spinach filling: Place spinach, ricotta, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food
    processor and process until smooth. 

    4. To prepare white sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until bubbling, about 30 second. Gradually whisk in mile and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, until the sauce has the consistency of thick gravy, about 1 minute. Add Gorgonzola and gently whisk until is melted. Remove from the heat. 


    Preheat oven to 375º F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Drain the noodles. Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in the prepared pan. Place a layer of noodles over the sauce. Spread half of the spinach filling over the noodles and top with 1/3 of the onion filling. Evenly spread 1/2 cup white sauce over the onions. Repeat with another layer of noodles, the remaining spinach filling, half the remaining onion filling and half remaining white sauce. To finish, top with 1/3 of noodles, spread the remaining onion filling over the noodles and then spread or dollop the remaining white sauce on top. Sprinkle with walnuts and basil. 

    Bake until hot a bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. 

    Cooking notes:

        Caramelizing onions can be tricky. You don't want to burn the onions but you don't want them to still look the color of a white of sweet onion. The trick to getting that beautiful caramelized color is to first use a good quality skillet. I prefer my stainless steel pan compared to my nonstick for this job. Next, add your oil and heat it up. Then add you onions and stir once. Let them stand for awhile. Don't over stir these because the process will take much longer. Watch them and stir every now and then using a metal spatula to scrape up the browned goodies on the bottom of the pan. Continue watching, then scraping and stirring until the color changes to a beautiful brown but not burned. 

    This technique takes some practice but they can 
    be such a great addition to your dishes!

      Portobello mushrooms: Removing the gills on portobello mushrooms caps is easy. Flip them over so you can see the underside. Take a spoon and just scrape the dark gills away. The gills taste good but in some dishes they can dye your food an unappealing color that you might not want, especially when serving to guests!


    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...