Fava beans

IMG_2049Fava beans are in season! I don’t know why I love these so much as they are a bit of a pain to deal with. But the end result is so worth it. So fresh and creamy, tastes just like spring should.

We have tried to grow fava beans in our garden, but have only had one successful season. This year we have ONE bean pod growing so far…image

Thankfully these were in my CSA box this past week.

IMG_2051First you peel off the tough outer pods, and get big beans inside. Boil these for about 7-10 minutes, depending on if you are planning on cooking them additionally later, and how soft you want them to be. For me, 8 minutes was long enough to soften them up, but they still had a nice al dente bite to them. Let them cool, and peel away the waxy light green covering.

IMG_2052You end up with this beautiful bowl of favas. I like to keep things simple so that you can still taste them.

IMG_2054I tossed these with a lemon olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh mint, and salt and pepper. At this point you can eat them as is, mash them up a bit to spread on toast, toss with pasta, you name it!

IMG_2055I added some cooked farro, and mixed the whole thing together for a satisfying side dish. This dish is good warm or cold.

Enjoy!

Fava Bean and Farro Salad

  • Servings: 4 as a side
  • Time: 30 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
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INGREDIENTS
1 bunch fava beans, approximately 16 pods
2 Tb lemon olive oil, or regular extra virgin olive oil will work well too
Zest of one lemon
Juice of half a lemon
1 cup cooked farro
2 Tb chopped mint
Salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

Peel all of the fava beans out of their pods. Boil the beans for 7-10 minutes, let cool, and peel off the waxy coating. Toss shelled fava beans with olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, mint and farro. Serve warm or cold.

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Belgian Waffles

IMG_2038One of our favorite weekend traditions is to have one sleep in day, with a fancy breakfast, home made lattes, and lounge on the couch for an episode of Scandal while we enjoy. A top contender for lazy Sunday breakfast is Belgian Waffles. Our favorite recipe is actually a make ahead yeasted waffle recipe from Ina Garten that I hope to share later, but alas we aren’t always that prepared. This past weekend we tried Emeril Lagasse’s recipe for Belgian Waffles and loved it. You separate the eggs and beat the whites, which really helps to make the batter light and fluffy. A few tips: melt your butter ahead of time and let it cool, and let the eggs and milk come to room temperature. This will help when adding the butter to your liquids if everything is closer to the same temperature.

IMG_2042What are some of your favorite lazy, loungey weekend breakfast recipes?

Belgian Waffles

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Recipe from Emeril Lagasse

INGREDIENTS
2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk
non-stick cooking spray

DIRECTIONS
Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In 1 medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl use the wooden spoon to beat together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Combine the liquid mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix. In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Do not overmix! Coat the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grid. Close and cook as per manufacturer’s instructions until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Oven Roasted Salmon over Pasta with Greens

imageA quick and easy weeknight dinner that has a little bit of carby goodness to keep you warm at night, but can easily transition to a light summer meal. Perfect for this time of year.

Also, we’ve got swiss chard growing so happily in the yard that we’ve got to incorporate it into every meal :). Feel free to sub any kind of green.

Oven Roasted Salmon over Pasta with Greens

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 15 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS
2 fillets of salmon
1 lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and chopped
2 servings of pasta
Parmesan cheese to taste
2 Tb prepared pesto

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray. Add the salmon, and season with salt and pepper. Thinly slice a 1/2 a lemon and layer slices over the salmon. Roast in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes, turn the oven to the BROIL setting and broil for 2 additional minutes.

While the salmon is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the pasta until almost al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the swiss chard and boil for one more minute. Scoop out 1/2 c of cooking water, and drain pasta and chard. Return to the pot.

Mix the 1/c of cooking water with 2 Tb of prepared pesto, and add to the pot of pasta and greens. Add the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon. Stir to mix well.

Plate up pasta and greens and top with a fair amount of grated parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. Plate your salmon on top and enjoy!

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Pickled Radishes

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Our garden is very happy lately. A little bit of rain, a little bit of sunshine…  We ended up with a ton of radishes that needed to be pulled right before heading out of town. We figured the best way to keep them fresh was to pickle them. Pickled radishes are so good on salads, tacos, sauteed cabbage…and so much more.

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Super easy: slice the radishes thinly and fill a mason jar.

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Add desired seasonings.

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Bring water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil, and pour over radishes.

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Let cool, cover and store in your fridge.  You could use this bring with a variety of thinly sliced vegetables (I’m thinking carrots, cauliflower) and experiment with the spices to see what you like best.

Pickled Radishes

  • Servings: many
  • Time: 10 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS
1 large bunch of radishes, thinly sliced
1 pinches of red pepper flakes
1 tsp mustard seed
whole peppercorns
4 garlic cloves, sliced
6 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 c white vinegar
1 1/2 c water
4 tsp salt

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine radishes and seasonings in a jar. Bring vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil and pour over radishes. Let cool before storing in your fridge. These should last about a month in your fridge (if you can keep from eating them all before then!).

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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Olives and Artichoke

IMG_1183One pot meals are just the greatest, aren’t they? So much flavor and so little clean up. This one is full of Mediterranean flavors of artichokes and olives, and results in a super tender chicken. 
IMG_1181Pretty simple preparation: Sear your bone in-skin on chicken thighs skin side down to get them nice and crispy. Flip them over and fill the pan with veggies, and toss the whole thing in the oven. Dinner is served!IMG_1190Plate this up with some crusty bread and some fresh parsley. Enjoy!IMG_1180

Crispy Chicken Thighs with Olives and Artichoke

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: 50 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Adapted from Crispy Chicken Skillet with Artichokes, Beets, Lemon, Olives

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
7 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
Salt, pepper, granulated garlic to taste
Zest from 1 lemon
I cup chicken stock
2 cups chopped mushrooms
8 oz artichoke hearts, chopped
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
Juice of 1 lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Heat up olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium to high heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan, and sautee for about 10 minutes while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Season the chicken liberally with salt, pepper and granulated garlic on all sides. Place the thighs skin down into the hot skillet, and leave them for 5-7 minutes to develop a nice crispy skin. Flip the chicken thighs and add the remaining ingredients to the skillet.
Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes, and then transfer the whole skillet into the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until the juices of the thighs run clear and the chicken is cooked through. Finish by squeezing a lemon over the whole dish to brighten up the flavors.

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Game of Thrones Dinner Party

IMG_1205Who here is a Game of Thrones fan?? I certainly am. For the season premier this past weekend, I invited a few friends over for a Game of Thrones inspired dinner. IMG_1202A snack of hard salami and cheese, you know something you can pack on your horse.IMG_6099Roasted Chicken, to eat with your hands, the juices running down your chin.IMG_1203“Dornish” peppers – the prep anyways (it was a little chaotic once everyone showed up). A mix of onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, and spicy anaheim chilis from my garden. IMG_1204Round it out with some green salad, crusty bread, and some delicious bulgarian pastries. IMG_1208Finish with Sansa’s Lemon Cakes

imageand some Game of Thrones beer to wash it all down.  Happy viewing fans. 

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Turmeric and Ginger Sweet Potatoes

IMG_1102I love potatoes. Who doesn’t love potatoes? And what I really love are sweet potatoes. The bright orange delicious ones.IMG_1095I was inspired by Gina of So…Let’s Hang Out and these Turmeric Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Parsley Tahini Sauce. Sadly, when I was meal planning I did NOT check the weather, and it was way too hot to turn on the oven the day I decided to make these.  So, I improvised and went with big slices of potato that could be cooked on the grill. Also, I only have whole cloves in my pantry and was feeling a bit too lazy to grind them up (on a Tuesday, forgive me!). So I tossed slices of yams with coconut oil, ginger, turmeric, salt and pepper, and threw them on the grill with some asparagus and fish. So delicious! Honestly might be my new favorite way to cook potatoes. Such a great combination of sweet, salty and earthy. Thanks Gina for the inspiration! One note: if your potatoes are cold out of the fridge, the coconut oil will harden as you toss it with the cold potatoes. Nothing wrong with this, but it does make it harder to evenly distribute the oil and spices.IMG_1097Of course, if it is not 80 degrees at 8 pm at your house, feel free to cube the potatoes and roast them in a 400 degree oven.IMG_1101I did make the Parsley Tahini Sauce, but honestly I didn’t think the potatoes needed it. They were just so good on their own. However, it was a nice addition to the salmon and asparagus, so all in all a good endeavor.IMG_1103

Grilled Turmeric and Ginger Sweet Potatoes

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 20 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
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INGREDIENTS

  • Approximately 3 sweet potatoes or yams sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Toss all of the ingredients together, and lay out on a perforated pan for your grill. Cook the potatoes for approximately 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

The message that I hope to convey to you with this post is to be inspired, and never feel held back by the circumstances of your kitchen. Don’t have a spice or an herb? Substitute another! Too hot to cook something you were dying to try? Take it outside! Don’t have a grill? See if you can pan sear or broil whatever it is that inspires you.

I’d love to hear about how you make substitutions in a pinch.

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