Lentil salad with mint and green onions
July 5, 2011, 4:39 pm
Filed under: herbs, recipe, salad | Tags: , , , , ,

We have a nice crop of green onions and a bumper crop of mint. Was there a way to combine the two??? Time for a salad, methinks! A quick hunt around the web and the most promising recipe was at Adrienneeats. She served it over lettuce, which would be great. We don’t have tomatoes yet, so we upped the pepper by 1/2. It was a really tasty salad, kid approved! We ate it for our July 4th celebration. So healthy!! (Of course we also had a 4 avo. guac!!), and a klondike bar!!

Lentil salad with mint green onions, red pepper and feta

1 cup lentils, rinsed
1/4 c mint, chopped
1/4 c parsley, chopped
5 green onions, diced
1 red pepper, diced
4 oz. feta
2 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook up one cup of small de puy lentils (it’s worth it to track these down!). Rinse with cold water. Chop up mint and parsley and mix into the lentils. Add diced veggies and mix all together.
Mix up dressing and pour over. Mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.


who knew you could love quinoa?
February 4, 2011, 11:16 am
Filed under: beans, quinoa, recipe, salad

Especially not the folks around here. Quinoa is derisively talked about in these circles, usually along the lines of “oh no, not the ancient grain!”
But in spite of their stated dislike, I persist. I mean it has all the amino acids in one perfect little grain!! Come on people, get with the grain.
And last night, I found the ticket.

Quinoa Salad with Feta Chickpeas and Veggies

1 cup quinoa
1 15 oz can chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 green pepper diced
1/3 cup parsley chopped
1 handful broccoli chopped
5 oz feta

1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
splash of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dijon mustard
lots of pepper

Ok, so I bought a box of quinoa that had two cups in it (7.5 serving). I made the whole thing. 2 cups quinoa/ 4 cups water. Bring to boil for 5 mins covered. Let sit covered for 15 minutes. Rinse with cold water. (I have about half left for another recipe day in the freezer).
I added the broccoli to the water a tad too soon. Next time I’ll add the smallish salad like pieces to the sit time alone.
Put other ingredients in bowl. Mix up dressing in a jar with lid and shake well. S & P to taste.

You can see where I was going with this recipe. We know they likes chickpeas. Check. We know they like the greek pasta salad. Check. Whoops no kalamata olives on hand. Waaa. But feta, good. Check. Pepper. Good. Check. Nice healthy dinner. Yum. Bodies are happy.

cauliflower salad, yes really
October 19, 2010, 11:35 am
Filed under: beans, cauliflower, dahlias, recipe, salad | Tags: ,

I wanted to make something with cauliflower and something different. We love the roasted cauliflower, indian style with potatoes, and we love the mashed cauliflower with boursin (bad rachel ray, bad!).

But I needed something, I don’t know, salady. We were going to have some boiled fingerlings just dug. What goes with that? Ta da.. Cauliflower salad! Of course. The surprising thing was that it was actually pretty good. And fits the bill for vegetable + protein. A nice crunchy winter salad.

cauliflower salad and dahlias

Inspired by this recipe.
Feta Cauliflower and White Bean Salad
I head cauliflower diced small
1 15 oz can white beans rinsed and drained
2 stems of celery chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta
1/2 cup parsley chopped
2 tbsp chopped chives
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1/3 cup olive oil
juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp lemon peel grated
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan heat up oil and rosemary until you can smell the rosemary. Set aside to cool. Pour over cauliflower and the rest of stuff in a large salad bowl. Mix up lemon juice vinegar and lemon peel in a small bowl. Pour over top and toss. Season with salt and pepper.

Our other “white” salad is Dama Bianca.

barley, beet, arugula and feta salad
September 17, 2010, 7:49 pm
Filed under: barley, recipe, salad

This is a favorite salad recipe. Not sure the doode loves it, but everyone else sure does! I’ve been making a variation of it for years now. A real keeper! I love barley!

Barley Beet Arugula Feta Salad

Inspired by this recipe.
1 pound beets
3 cups water or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked pearl barley
2 cups trimmed arugula
1 cup trimmed and chopped green beans (optional and good if you don’t have enough arugula on hand)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
3 garlic cloves, minced


Cook the beets and barley in two pots. Or you could use canned beets I guess and cut that step out! Canned beets are pretty good actually. If you had some roasted beets leftover in the fridge, this is your fast recipe!

While you are cooking the barley and beets you will also need to toast up the walnuts on the stove in a fry pan. Wait til they smell good, but watch that they don’t burn!

Here’s how to prepare the barley and beet part:

Leave root and 1 inch stem on beets; brush clean. Place in a medium saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water. Trim off beet roots, and rub off skins. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-wide wedges.

Boil barley in broth or water as per directions on box–about 25-30 minutes. Simmer gently. Test for doneness–not hard, not falling apart, just tender. If you’re using green beans add them into the water about 5 or 6 minutes from end of cooking time. Then rinse with cold water in a sieve.

Ok so that was the hard part, now you just mix it all up! Combine the barley, arugula, beans walnuts, and cheese in a large bowl. Add dressing ingredients–fennel is the key thing here don’t skip it! Toss to coat. Top with beets. YUM.

our view on fish–and mock tuna salad
July 19, 2010, 8:25 pm
Filed under: beans, food issues, meat, recipe, salad | Tags: , ,

Here at the acres we eat a vegetarian diet. I really hate having that conversation with people–well do you eat ___? how about ___? It just ends up getting into a place where you’re feeling like you’re not militant enough, or something. And it’s weird when you think about it. You don’t ask a meatarian that many questions about their diet do you? How many meals have you had without meat meatarian? Are you really a meatarian? Ugh. Dislike this convo.

Anyhow for the record, we’re living a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet. We’ve got the chickens to get serious about it. Can we deal with the ethical issues around keeping an animal and using its products? That’s the challenge.

Our commitment is pretty pure I think, no gelatin in the yogurt and that kind of thing. But who knows there’s lots of animal products hiding in some difficult to pronounce ingredients I’m sure. And then, if you eat out, who knows what’s in there. I ask about the kind of stock in innocuous sounding things, cause it’s always in there somewhere. But we do what we can. See I’m feeling bad just writing it. We could be better. And I know I make an exception for a marshmallow or two in the summer for a smore. But I don’t feel good about it!

And then there’s the fish. Ok, so now we sound even worse. Fish tacos are good. I like fish tacos. That’s the only fish we cook at home–a couple of times a year. We haven’t had them this year, as I’m trying to really get more serious about no fish no where. Fish fry, well that’s ok to have out now and again. Of course, it’s hard to find a good one in Pittsburgh.

Well for what it’s worth, that’s the story. We eat what we eat and try to be thoughtful about it. And on that note, this article about Tuna is worth sharing. I think it’s a good argument for being more serious about avoiding fish. We have other options to eat so why don’t we eat more of that? I sure wish restaurants would help us with that. We have no trouble at home, but dining out, it’s just plain annoying to see that in many cities it’s unnecessarily difficult to find a good vegetarian option on the menu. And why is there no great vegetarian cooking show on food network?? How hard is it? The food is fantastic people!!! There are unlimited options for great vegetarian food. Is the food network sponsored so heavily by the meat industry or what?? Please explain?!

Oh and read the article on tuna. It’ll make you think twice about your tuna sandwich, or fishburger.

I’m going to try this tuna-free tuna salad recipe and work to eliminate tuna from my diet.

Mock Tuna Salad Turdacres Style
1 15 oz can chickpeas drained
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 small dill pickles (1/4 cup?)
1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp soy sauce
2 green onions chopped
1 tsp dill
pepper to taste
enough mayonnaise to suit you at least 1/3 cup
1 tbsp bottled lemon juice

Mash up all ingredient in bowl. Serve as you would a tuna sandwich. It’s pretty good.
The original recipe creates a big of a smoky kind of taste. Maybe the kelp would brighten it up a bit. Anyhow I made it up the original way and then decided to doctor it up as we like our tuna salad–lots of pickles, more green onion, lemon for some zip and dill. The kids and I pronounced it pretty good! Definitely a keeper. You should try it and save a tuna!

the bean salad–3 bean, plus tomato and celery
July 17, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: beans, recipe, salad | Tags: ,

I went out to the garden to see what I could find for lunch. Here’s what I came in with.

lunch time?

I needed lunch for 6. Hmmm. Aha. Time for a bean salad. This is the entire (days) harvest of sungold tomatoes, and all the yellow beans I could find. A sprig of greek basil and parsley. Little doode loves this salad (almost as much as the kale pasta salad). He’s a vegetarian and his growing body is probably really craving the beans!

Bean Salad

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1 15 oz. can kidney beans
handful green beans cooked 5 mins and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 stalk celery chopped
1 big handful cherry tomatoes
parsley chopped
basil chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar or more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil or more to taste
1 tsp salt
good amount of pepper
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tsp dijon mustard

Mix all ingredients in bowl. Best if it stands for an hour or two in the fridge. Adjust seasonings to taste–usually this means more vinegar or mustard.

Zucchini time–great grated salad with herbs and feta
July 5, 2010, 2:34 pm
Filed under: herbs, recipe, salad, zucchini

It’s interesting how a simple change can make all the difference. Take zucchini. Not so exciting when it’s chunked up and sautéed with tomato and garlic (in my opinion–kind of yucky and mushy). On the other hand, the revelation that we came to last summer was—-the grater. Holy toledo can you make a zucchini taste great simply by grating it. I’ll post our favorite summer quesadilla recipe soon, but here’s another great way to eat your zuc.

so refreshing!

Zucchini with mixed herbs and feta
makes a bowl for 4 as side dish

one half medium zucchini grated coarsely
two green onions chopped
5 sprigs italian parsley
3 sprigs mint
6 basil leaves
juice of one lemon
2 oz. feta crumbled
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Chop herbs and mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Enjoy! It was best on the first go round–gets a bit soggy on day two. Feta seems pretty important here. Yum!