Cauliflower Quesadillas

Slightly modified from Charred Cauliflower Quesadillas from Smitten Kitchen

Deb writes: Poblanos are very mild hot peppers. You could use fewer or swap them with a small bell pepper for less heat, or swap one or both with a hotter jalapeño or other chile for more heat.
Kristin says: I didn’t have a poblano on hand, and didn’t want the heat of a jalapeno, so I substituted a small can of chopped fire-roasted green chiles and it was delicious (and made the recipe even easier and quicker).

Yield: 6 quesadillas, serves 6

2 small or 1 large fresh poblano chiles OR 1 can (small or large, as you choose) chopped fire-roasted green chiles
1 small head cauliflower, cored and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking quesadillas
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups (about 8 ounces) coarsely grated Monterey jack cheese
12 small (7-inch) flour tortillas OR 6 burrito-sized tortillas, cut in half

If using fresh peppers:
Char peppers: Over a gas burner turned to high, hold the poblanos over the flame with tongs and char them until they are black and blistered all over. Alternatively, you could do this under a broiler, turning them frequently for even blistering. Transfer hot chiles to a bowl and cover tightly with foil. Set aside to steam and let their skins loosen while you cook the cauliflower.

Char cauliflower: In a large bowl, toss cauliflower with 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, until it’s evenly coated. Heat your largest heaviest frying pan over high heat until almost smoking, add cauliflower, and let it cook until each piece has a few black spots but is not mushy, turning and moving it frequently to ensure even cooking. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer florets to cutting board to rest.

Mix filling:
If using fresh peppers:
When poblanos are cool enough to handle, peel the charred skin off with your fingertips or a paring knife. Pull out and discard stems and seed clusters, and slice peppers into 1/4-inch wide strips.

Add (fresh or canned) peppers to cauliflower on board and give both a rough chop together, reducing the cauliflower to no bigger than 1/2-inch chunks. Return cauliflower and peppers to the large bowl, add scallions, lime juice and salt to taste. You should have about 2 cups of cauliflower filling.

Assemble and cook quesadillas: Lay out 6 tortillas and spread 1/3 cup cauliflower filling and 1/3 cup shredded cheese on each. Place second 6 tortillas on top as lids. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, coat lightly with olive oil and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook quesadillas until browned underneath, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully a flip — a large, thin spatula helps here — and repeat on the second side. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.

To serve: Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with your choice of fixings. Two choices are below.

Cumin-Lime Crema

1/2 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
A few gratings fresh lime zest
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Pinch of salt

Combine, adjust seasonings to taste, and serve alongside quesadillas.

Lazy Taco Slaw

1 bag coleslaw mix, or 3 cups finely shredded red cabbage and 1 coarsely grated carrot
Coarse salt
Juice of half a lime
2 scallions, sliced thin
A dollop of mayonnaise, sour cream or plain yogurt
A dash of hot sauce (optional)
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves

Toss cabbage mix, salt and lime together in a large bowl; set aside for 5 minutes. It will shrink down a bit. Stir in scallions, then mayo and hot sauce. Adjust seasonings/ingredients to taste, then stir in cilantro leaves. Serve alongside quesadillas or any of your favorite tortilla-clad meals.

Published in: on June 5, 2021 at 1:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Meyer Lemon Loaf Cake

Modified from recipe by Erin McDowell on PureWow

Just delicious, and the perfect texture.

Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf (about 8 servings)

½ cup (113g) butter, at room temperature
¼ cup (60g) vegetable oil
1 cup (212g) light brown sugar
½ cup (99g) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
3 large (170g) eggs
½ teaspoon lemon extract
2 cups + 2 Tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup (170g) light sour cream
demerara sugar

Glaze – optional (I didn’t use it)

1 cup (113g) confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon heavy cream, plus more as needed
Meyer lemon zest, as needed for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Or make 8 mini-loaves (bake for 25 minutes); or 4 mini-loaves (bake for 25 minutes) and 6-8 cupcakes (bake for 20 minutes).

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar and lemon zest until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition until fully incorporated, then scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next. Add the lemon extract and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Add the sour cream and mix until incorporated, then add the remaining flour and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread into an even layer. If you won’t be glazing the cake, sprinkle the top with demerara sugar. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with just a few moist crumbs), 50 minutes to 1 hour. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Make the Glaze (If Using): In a medium bowl, whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and cream to form a thick glaze. It should fall off the spoon in a thick drizzle, but if it’s too thick, add more cream 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches the desired consistency. Spoon over the cooled loaf, then garnish with lemon zest. Let set 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 11:46 am  Leave a Comment  

Whole Wheat Biscuits

These did not rise much, but they were tasty and easy.

2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, cold, cut into small pieces.
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup milk

Put the dry ingredients into a medium-sized bowl. Stir them together with your pastry blender until evenly mixed.

Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (with the occasional lump).

Add the milk and buttermilk and mix with a rubber spatula until the dough just holds together. Do not overmix. Dump onto a floured board or smooth counter.

Pat it out flat with your hands into ¾-inch thick square or rectangle (sprinkle with a little flour if necessary).

Using a sharp knife, cut the into 12 equal squares/rectangles.

Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet and bake at 450 degrees for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy while warm.

Published in: on March 10, 2021 at 5:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ellie Krieger’s Zucchini-Walnut Bread

From “Comfort Food Fix”.
This bread is barely sweet and quite delicious for a healthy treat.

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoonbaking soda
1/2 teaspoonnutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs
1 small zucchini (6 oz), coarsely grated (about 1 1/4 c)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 350° F. Coat 9″x5″ loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together oil, applesauce, and eggs. Stir in zucchini. Add wet ingredients into dry ingredients, add the walnuts, and stir with a rubber spatula just enough to combine.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until wooden skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in pan, then transfer bread to rack to cool completely before slicing.

NUTRITION (per serving: 1″ thick slice) 270 cal, 5 g pro, 33 g carb, 3 g fiber, 14 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 250 mg sodium

Published in: on February 21, 2021 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  

Ellie Krieger’s One-Skillet Grain Bowl with Chicken, Spinach, and Tahini Dressing

From Whole in One

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2″ thickness
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided, plus lemon wedges for serving
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking (fine) bulgur wheat
1/4 cup tahini
1 cup diced cucumber (or more)
1 cup chopped fresh tomato (or more)
1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves

Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, then lower the heat to medium and cook until the the chicken is browned and cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5 minutes, then slice it across the grain and drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the lemon juice.

Heat the remaining Tablespoon of oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Then, stir in the spinach and cook until it is just wilted, 1 minute more. Transfer the spinach mixture to a bowl. Season it with 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

Add the broth to the skillet and bring to a boil, then stir in the bulgur. Lower the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to steam, covered, until the bulgur is tender, 5-7 minutes more. Fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, make the tahini dressing: stir together the tahini and the remaining 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice with 2 Tablespoons of water, then add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is the consistency of a thin pancake batter. (The mixture will seize up at first, but don’t worry — it will become smooth again as you add the water.) Stir in the remaining 1/8 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper.

To serve, put 1 cup of the bulgur into each of four bowls and top with a few slices of chicken, some spinach, cucumber, tomato, and olives. Drizzle with the tahini dressing and top with the parsley leaves.

Each of the elements will keep in the refrigerator in separate containers for up to 4 days.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: Calories 490: Total fat 20 g (Sat Fat 3 g, Mono Fat 16 g, Poly Fat 6 g); Protein 37 g; Carb 43g; Fiber 8 g; Cholesterol 85 mg; Sodium 520 mg; Total Sugar 2g (Added Sugar 0 g.)

Excellent source of: copper, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorous, potassium, protein, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K.

Good source of: calcium, riboflavin, zinc.

Published in: on February 7, 2021 at 6:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Easy Caesar Dressing

Slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen

2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 small garlic clove, minced (I used powder the first time and will try fresh next time)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce or 1 to 2 anchovies, minced
1 teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons canola oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shake it all up in a small jar.

Published in: on January 16, 2021 at 6:56 am  Leave a Comment  

Pan-Seared Pork Tenderloin Medallions

From Cooking Light

Serves 3-4

1 pork tenderloin
olive oil
garlic powder

Remove the silverskin from the pork.  Film a 12″ skillet (I prefer cast iron) with olive oil and place it over medium-high heat.  Slice the pork crosswise into 12 equal pieces.  Press the slices down with your palms to flatten.  Sprinkle the tops with salt, pepper and garlic powder according to your preference.  Place 6 slices in the skillet, seasoning side down.  Set a timer for 3 minutes.  Season the tops with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  When the timer goes off, turn and cook another 3 minutes.  Let rest a minute or two, then serve.

Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 7:45 am  Leave a Comment  

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

From Eating Well Test Kitchen

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
½ teaspoon ground chipotle chile (or smoked paprika)
¼ teaspoon salt
2½ cups water
2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes (or tomatoes with chiles)
4 teaspoons lime juice
optional toppings:
chopped fresh cilantro
sour cream (for non-vegans)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle or smoked paprika 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.  (I actually cooked it for much longer – like an hour.)

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.

Published in: on December 2, 2019 at 3:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Easy Butter Chicken

Based on a recipe at  

1 lb. (2 cups) boneless & skinless chicken breast cubes, or chopped cooked chicken

2 Tablespoons plain yogurt
1 Tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon Garam Masala

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1 can petite-diced tomatoes in juice
2 Tablespoons – 1/3 cup half & half or cream
2 Tablespoons butter (optional)
Fresh Cilantro (optional)
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt

Combine chicken, yogurt and spices. Stir well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Heat butter and oil over medium-low heat in a large pan. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until the chicken is mostly cooked, about 15 minutes. (If using cooked chicken, heat just long enough to warm everything through.)  Add the tomatoes and their juice, stir well, cover and cook 20 minutes, until the tomatoes have broken down and thickened the sauce. If there is still a lot of liquid, remove cover, raise heat and cook until liquid is reduced. Stir in the cream and optional 2 Tablespoons butter. Simmer over low heat until combined. Taste and add salt as desired. Serve with rice and top with cilantro if desired.

Published in: on November 28, 2019 at 8:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Curried Chicken Salad

rough quantities

1/3 cup mayo
2 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon curry powder
3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
salt & pepper
2-3 cups chopped cooked skinless chicken breast
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup of red grapes, halved
chopped parsley


Published in: on July 14, 2019 at 12:12 pm  Leave a Comment