Cooking Club: Week 59

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Heyo.

This week, we are making one main sauce (a “boss sauce”) that will carry through all three of the meals. It is a basic green herb sauce, like we’ve done before, and it gets tweaked in each recipe to taste a bit different. I am hoping this saves you time and also gives you an idea of how to reinvent things a few times. The sauce does stand in for the treat/snack, so if you’re feeling a sweet, peek back in the archives for your favorites!

Have a great weekend, friends!

PS. Reminder to Seattle folks! See you at Oddfellows at 11am this Sunday!


1-hr. Prep

  1. Make the Green Herb Sauce #4

  2. Cook the quinoa for recipes #1 and #3

  3. Cook the lentils for recipe #2


groceries

I am assuming you have sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a higher heat oil, such as avocado oil or coconut oil. Check your stock on these before you head to the market, and check off any other items you may already have. As you continue to use these recipes, you will see repetition of my favorite ingredients. For example, while real maple and pine nuts are pricey pantry staples, they won’t sit in the pantry, you’ll use them in upcoming weeks. Use bulk bins at your local health food store to buy in smaller quantities if you prefer.

Your List i

pan seared halibut w/ quinoa & caramelized fennel delicata squash salad w/ pistachios & marinated lentils quinoa cakes w/ smashed avocado sauce boss sauce: herby green sauce

produce

pantry

meat + dairy


recipe 01: pan seared halibut w/ quinoa & caramelized fennel

Serves 4

Fennel is one of my favorite vegetables - both raw and roasted. I think you’ll really like it here as it gets golden and caramelized in the oven. I find most grocery store and farmers market bulbs are small, and Trader Joes are fairly large. You’ll have to use your judgement here but assume about 1 bulb per person.

We are using quinoa in recipe #1 and #3 this week, so if you are planning to make both, make extra for that recipe too.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The green sauce can be made in advance. The quinoa may be cooked up to three days in advance and reheated.

Use it twice: The halibut is not seasoned any which way because you are drizzling with the green sauce at the end. Any leftovers can be stuffed in a taco or put on top of a salad for lunch the next day.

Kid Friendly: If you chop the fennel into smaller pieces, you can stir it into the quinoa and it will be less distinguishable (it will take less time in smaller pieces). When roasted, it becomes sweet and tender and is totally likeable! The challenge is getting them to try new things.

Vegetarian Swap: You could make a meal of the quinoa, fennel and sauce! Perhaps stir in some cooked lentils to bulk it up or add avocado wedges.


Ingredients

Green Herb Sauce, see recipe #4

3 bulbs of fennel
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. Aleppo or paprika, optional
Sea salt and pepper

1 1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed2 cups broth

1 1/4 lbs. halibut, portioned into 4 fillets 
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil, for cooking

Instructions

If you do not have the green sauce already made, start there. 

Preheat the oven to 375’. Trim the ends, and slice the fennel in half, top to bottom, and then into wedges, keeping the core intact. Put the wedges on a baking sheet and drizzle them with the oil, oregano, salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper if using. Roast them in the oven for 25 minutes under tender and caramelized around the edges. 

While the fennel roasts, cook your quinoa. Combine the quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring it up to a boil, turn it down to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes until cooked through. Turn off the heat, fluff it with a fork and set aside. 

In a large skillet, heat a generous slick of coconut oil. Use a paper towel to dab both sides of the fish dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. When the coconut oil is hot, add the fillets. Do this in shifts if needed to not crowd the pan. Sear, undisturbed, for about 2 minutes until you can see from the side that the fish is turning opaque about halfway through. Gently flip the fish and sear the other side for a minute or two. You want to pull it before it is completely cooked through as it will continue to cook from residual heat. 

Stir in a few spoonfuls of the green sauce into the quinoa. Plate your meal with a scoop of the quinoa, some of the roasted fennel and a portion of the fish. Drizzle green sauce over everything and garnish with fresh herbs. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    414
  • fat i
    9 g
  • carbs i
    48 g
  • protein
    36 g

recipe 02: delicata squash salad w/ pistachios & marinated lentils

serves 4

We’re at the beginning of fall when squash is exciting, and I want it on everything. The burnout is impending, but not yet. To those of you not into squash, sweet potatoes are a great substitute. 

A vegetarian salad is often times tough to pull off as filling - but this one does. Delicata squash have a thinner skin that you can eat after roasting, making it an easy weeknight meal to prepare. 

Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The squash can be roasted and cooled in advance. You likely have your herby green sauce made.

Use it Twice: This is a sturdy salad and can be packed for lunch the following day. All the bits are also great in a wrap if you need them more hand held.

Kid friendly: The delicata squash is completely kid-friendly. Involve them by giving them a small spoon to remove some of the seeds before roasting.

Carnivore Addition: Add shredded rotisserie chicken to the salads.


Ingredients

1 cup cooked lentils
3 Tbsp. herby green sauce (recipe #4)

2 medium-size delicata squash
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt and pepper

6 cups of your favorite greens - something sturdy like kale or romaine
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Maple syrup
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Sprinkle of salt and pepper

pom seeds or dried cherries, for garnish
feta cheese, for garnish
1/2 cup toasted pistachios, roughly chopped

Instructions

In a mixing bowl, combine the cooked lentils with the herby green sauce, and set aside. 

Preheat oven to 400’ and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Wash the squash and cut it into 1” rings. Use a spoon to remove the seeds. Collect the squash rings on the rimmed baking sheet and drizzle on the oil, maple, cinnamon, chili powder, a sprinkle of salt, and pepper. Toss everything to coat and spread it in an even layer. Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping halfway through, until tender. 

Put your greens in a large bowl and drizzle on the oil, maple, cider vinegar and pinch of salt and pepper. Toss well to coat. If you are using kale, massage it in to soften the greens. Add the lentils and their green sauce, a sprinkle of cheese and toss everything to coat. 

Arrange your salads with a pile of greens, a scoop of lentils, a few rings of squash, feta, poms/dried cherries and toasted pistachios. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    347
  • fat i
    18 g
  • carbs i
    43 g
  • protein
    11 g

recipe 03: quinoa cakes w/ smashed avocado sauce

serves 4

These are an easy dinner on their own or served under a runny egg. They can also act as a veggie burger patty between a bun of your kids would like that better. I put mine on a pile of greens. 

The egg, cheese and breadcrumbs are keeping these together. If it is necessary for you to eliminate one of those, increase the yield of one of the other binders. My egg free people, you can up the cheese and breadcrumbs slightly.

Base recipe riffed from 101cookbooks.com

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The quinoa can be cooked in advance. The mixture for the patties can be prepared a day in advance. The avocado sauce should be made no more than the morning prior to avoid browning. The quinoa cakes in their entirety are easy to reheat in a skillet or in the oven.

Use it Twice: Treat the patties like veggie burgers and put them between an English muffin or lettuce wrap.

Kid Friendly: See above! Otherwise, my kids like these when I make them on the smaller side, about half the size of the photo, so they are easy for dipping. Call them nuggets, serve with ketchup ;)

Carnivore Addition: Use the cakes as a side to a main protein of choice.

Dairy Free: You can do these without the cheese no problem, just add another sprinkle of breadcrumbs to help them stick and some nutritional yeast for a faux cheese flavor.


 Ingredients

QUINOA PATTIES

2 packed cups spinach, steamed, squeezed and chopped
3 eggs
1 tsp. coriander
Pinch of cayenne or red pepper flakes
2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
2 cloves garlic, grated
Zest of one lemon
1/2 of a medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated white cheese (cheddar, gruyere, and manchego are all great)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, panko or gluten free
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

Avocado oil, for cooking

AVOCADO SAUCE

2 large, ripe avocados
1/4 cup fresh green herbs (parsley, basil, cilantro, chives etc.)
2 Tbsp. green sauce (see recipe #4)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and pepper

Baby arugula, for serving

instructions

Completely squeeze the water from the spinach and chop it small. 

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and coriander with a pinch of cayenne or pepper flakes. Add the chopped spinach, quinoa, grated garlic, lemon zest, onion, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and paprika. Let everything rest in the fridge for 10-20 minutes to firm up. 

While you wait, smash the avocados with the fresh green herbs, chimichurri, lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper. You want sort of a chunky guacamole texture. Set aside. 

Heat the oil in a non-stick or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Form the quinoa mixture into 2-3” wide patties and cook for 5 minutes per side. Do not move them while cooking, they are delicate. Set aside and repeat with remaining mixture, heating up more oil in between. 

Serve the patties with the avocado sauce and arugula. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    427
  • fat i
    24 g
  • carbs i
    43 g
  • protein
    15 g

recipe 04: Boss Sauce - Herby Green Sauce

Makes 1.5 cups

We are making a generous amount of this sauce and repurposing it in each of the dinners this week. You are all looking for more time savers, and I think having multiple ways to use a single sauce, will help us be efficient with dinners.  I do not want each meal to taste the same, so tried to change the sauce a bit to avoid burn out. Look forward to hearing how you use it!

I usually do a blend of two of three most versatile herbs: basil, cilantro or parsley. Use your favorites. They will all work in context of the other recipes as well. 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The sauce can be made and kept for a week.


Ingredients

1 small shallot
2 cloves garlic
1 small jalapeño, partial seeds removed
2 packed cups basil leaves
1 bundle of parsley
Zest and juice of one lemon, about 1/4 cup
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt

Instructions

Put the shallot, garlic and jalapeño in a food processor or blender and give it a few pulses to chop. Add both herbs, lemon zest and juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Blitz everything until well combined.

Use the sauce for whichever recipe you are starting with, and keep the rest in an airtight container. It will keep covered in the fridge for a week. 

Nutrition Information

per tablespoon

  • calories
    42
  • fat i
    5 g
  • carbs i
    0 g
  • protein
    0 g