Cooking Club: Week 48

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Happy friday! I’m happy that you guys liked how simple last week was. This week isn’t quiittteeee the same, but we need to keep changing it up. Per request of some different proteins, we’re trying a lamb meatball this week. I know I know, it’s not summery, but one can only eat so many salads. The taco “meat” is a veg alternative to classic. taco-seasoned ground beef, and works in a taco, stuffed into a sweet potato, into a taco salad etc. There will be a short video showing you how it’s done coming up soon.
Hugh is still working on the new site and all the updates to improve things around here, so we’re hoping to have things rolling by October. Thanks for your patience and feedback!


1-hr. Prep

DO THIS

1. In a food processor, make the Lentil Cauli Taco Meat as directed in Recipe 1. Continue to cook as directed and pop in the oven. Maybe throw in a few sweet potatoes in on the lower 1/3 of the oven if you’d like to serve those with the taco “meat.” 

2. Give the food processor a quick rinse, make your Green Sauce for the pizzas in Recipe 3. Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge.

3. While the taco “meat” is still cooking in the oven, use the time to mix together the meatballs for Recipe 2. Put the meat mixture in an airtight glass container. Plan on meatballs for tomorrow.

4. Get your taco station together, chop some avocados, dress some greens, warm tortillas if using.

GET THIS

1. Lentil Cauli Taco “Meat” for dinner tonight #1.

2. Green Sauce for pizza in #3 and salads throughout the week.

3. Meatball mix assembled from #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

lentil cauli taco “meat” moroccan lamb meatballs emerald pizzas (member favorite) breakfast peaches

produce

pantry

meat & dairy


recipe 01: lentil cauli taco “meat”

serves 6

I made this without measuring one night when the fridge was bare. This mixture is similar to the walnut chorizo we made weeks back, where we used the oven to dry and crisp up an otherwise wet mixture. Things ebb and flow through our fridge and pantry, but I would say cauli, lentils, tomato sauce, and tortillas are usually stocked.

If this food processor project feels like a hassle, you can you use a 12 oz. bag of cauli-rice in its place, as well as the pre-steamed lentils they sell at Trader Joe’s in the produce section. 

This makes a pretty generous amount, but I stretched it for 2 dinners and a lunch. Once as tacos, once into roasted sweet potatoes, and then into a taco salad. Avocados and greens can make anything a meal

If you don’t stock these spices, a taco seasoning (being mindful if it includes salt or not) works in its place.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The entire mixture can last for 3-5 days and also be frozen.

Use it Twice: Try it in a taco, sweet potato or in a taco salad with avocado, tomatoes, avocado, greens etc.

Kid Friendly: This is not super spicy so it is kid friendly. If you don’t feed little people, a few dashes of chipotle or ancho powder in with the spice mixture will give you some welcome heat.


Ingredients
 

2 Tbsp. avocado or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a yellow onion, roughly chopped 
3 garlic cloves
1 (1.5 lb.) head of cauli, leaves and core removed, broken into florets
1 tsp. Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 cup canned tomato sauce=
1 cup cooked lentils, black or green drained

For tacos

tortillas, shredded cabbage, cilantro, avocado

Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Preheat the oven to 425’ and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment.

Into a food processor, add the onions and garlic. Pulse a few times to chop well. Transfer to the pot with the hot oil and give it a quick stir. Put the cauli florets into the food processor and pulse, scraping down the sides every few times until it’s in tiny rice-like pieces. Add it to the pot along with salt and pepper, sauté about 5 minutes until things soften and get golden in places. 

Add the cumin, chili powder, coriander (or about 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning) and stir. Add the tomato sauce and lentils, stir again. You’re going to think it looks like a soggy mess, but press on! Turn off the heat, let the mixture cool down. 

Transfer the cauli mixture to the baking sheet and spread it in an even layer. Let it cool a bit until the steam dissipates, then bake it in the upper third portion of the oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once or twice during the baking time. Turn off the oven but leave the tray in there for another 10-15 minutes to dry it out further. The moisture level will be different per person because older cauli can be pretty watery, lentils can have different textures etc. It should look a little charred in spots. 

Assemble as you wish - into a taco or roasted sweet potato or room temp into a taco salad. We didn’t make it super spicy so it would be kid-friendly too. 

Store covered in the fridge for up to five days, or freeze for up to a few months.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    127
  • fat i
    5 g
  • carbs i
    16 g
  • protein
    6 g

recipe 02: moroccan lamb meatballs

serves 6

There was a request for lamb so let’s give this a whirl. I love meatballs for a group too - they are forgiving as far as timing goes. 

We use the harissa paste from Trader Joe’s which is inexpensive and pretty spicy. The amount below makes for mild meatballs, add more if you aren’t feeding kids and want like a kick. Some markets stock a dry spice, or a more “mild” paste, so you may be able to get away with more. Taste it! The Mina brand has a nice mild option.

Regular cous cous, Israeli cous cous (the larger balls), quinoa, or no grain at all work for serving. 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The mixture can be made the morning of, the flavor gets better with a little rest, or even the day before.

Use it Twice: Once over cous cous, once in a bun!

Kid Friendly: Put the warm meatballs in a toasted bun.

Gluten Free: I used the new “rice crumbs” from Trader Joes with success here.

Low Carb: Skip the grain and serve this over cauliflower rice.


Ingredients

for the MEATBALLS

1 egg
3 large garlic cloves, grated
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup panko or GF breadcrumbs 
2 tsp. Harissa paste
1/3 cup milk or non-dairy milk
1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 cup well chopped parsley

For the TOMATO SAUCE

1 13.5 oz. can tomato sauce
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp. salted butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. coriander
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper

for the cous cous

1 cup cooked Israeli cous cous
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice
Handful of fresh parsley and mint, chopped

Feta cheese, for garnish, optional 

Instructions

In a large mixing bowl, whisk up the egg, grate in the garlic, add salt, breadcrumbs, harissa paste, milk, parsley, and stir everything to combine. Add the ground lamb and fold things in to combine. We don’t want to over work this, so if you can do this by hand, do it. Let the mixture chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably a few hours if you prepped ahead. 

Heat a generous slick of oil in a large pan, I prefer cast iron because it is more non-stick than a stainless-steel pan. Roll the meatballs into generous tablespoon sized balls - if they are difficult to work with, add another sprinkle of breadcrumbs. Continue with the remaining meat and sear the balls until browned on all sides. 

Turn the heat down to low. In a separate bowl, stir the tomato sauce, broth, butter, spices together and add this to the pan. Put a lid on ajar and simmer for 15 minutes until warmed through. 

In a large bowl, stir the cous cous, garbanzos, oil, and lemon juice together. Stir in the herbs and a big pinch of salt and pepper.

Serve each portion with a scoop of the cous cous, a few meatballs, and a sprinkle of feta (if using) and parsley on top. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    487
  • fat i
    27 g
  • carbs i
    39 g
  • protein
    23 g

recipe 03: emerald city pizza

serves 4

The base is part pesto, part chimichurri. It doesn’t really fit in a culinary box, but it’s bright and feels like early summer. If you’re pressed for time use a pre-made pizza dough or use a store-bought pesto or Zhoug sauce from Trader Joes if you like things spicy. Early season asparagus is usually pretty skinny, but if yours seem thick, slice them in half lengthwise first. 

My kids will eat veggies on pizza if they are chopped small and have some melty cheese on top of said vegetables. We wrote goat cheese in below, but mozzarella is great too. 

If you have the time for an extra step, you can salt the zucchini and press out some of its moisture, if you’re pressed for time, it will still turn out okay if you skip this step: 

In a small bowl fitted with a colander covered in a paper towel, place in the zucchini slices and sprinkle with 1 tsp. salt. Toss to coat, cover with the rest of the paper towel, and set aside while you prepare the other ingredients. We are trying to get some of the water out of the zucchini so it does not make the crust soggy.

(Heads up, as written, this the sauce will make more than you need. We re-used it for the shawarma bowls originally in week 31).

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The green herb sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. All veggies can be prepped ahead, and the pizza dough (if making your own) can be made the night before.

Use it Twice: The green herb sauce works twice as a drizzle on the Shawarma, or, you can spread it on sammies, serve it with salmon, or spread or over crispy toasts for a springy bruschetta.

Kid Friendly: Chop the vegetables into smaller pieces. Looks pretty when they’re big and springy looking, but my kids do better with a small chop.

Carnivore Addition: Prosciutto would be great here, or cooked, crumbled sausage works too.

Gluten Free: For grain-free options, I think that Capello’s has a great version. Their “Naked” crust crisps up well, just follow the package instructions. We also like the Caulipower brand. Simple Mills also has a boxed pizza crust.

Extra Credit: Make your own pizza crust! Try to make it the night before to allow rising and resting time. If you have the wherewithal to do this on a weeknight, I salute you.


 Ingredients

For the herb sauce

2 cups fresh basil, chopped 
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced shallot
1-2 cloves of garlic
Zest & juice of one lemon
½ cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp. kosher salt
Pinch of red chili flakes

for the pizza

Pizza dough (fresh dough, made or store-bought, or a prepared crust)
Flour or cornmeal
Olive oil

1 small zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, sliced in half
2 oz. asparagus (10 stalks), cut into 2” pieces on the bias
5 oz. goat cheese, crumbled or mozzarella
2 oz. parmesan cheese, grated
Cracked black pepper or chili flakes

Arugula (optional)
Olive oil

Instructions

Using a mandolin, slice the zucchini into thin rounds. Set aside or drain (see headnote).

To make the green sauce, pour olive oil, vinegar, lemon zest, juice, basil, parsley, shallot, garlic, chili flake, and salt into a high speed blender or food processor. Pulse in 10 second increments, scraping down the bowl intermittently. Continue to pulse until you have reached your desired consistency. For a thick, smooth sauce, blend for about 1 minute on low-medium. It should be a bright green color and thick.

Preheat the oven to 450. Place your baking sheet in the oven to get it hot. 

Prepare your toppings, chopping the asparagus and artichoke hearts. Drain off any excess water from the zucchini. Make sure all of your toppings are ready to go once you begin to roll out the dough. 

On a cutting board, sprinkle on flour, begin shaping your dough. Use your hands to push and stretch the pizza dough super thin. Use a rolling pin if needed. The dough will rise as it cooks, so the thinner the better. Don’t overwork the dough, or the gluten will make the crust dense and chewy. Alternatively put your pre-made crust on the baking sheet. 

Carefully remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and drizzle a bit of olive oil on the pan. Transfer your dough from the cutting board to the hot pan.

Bake the crust for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the toppings.

Moving quickly, spread about ½ cup of the green sauce onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2” border. Layer on the zucchini, artichoke hearts, and asparagus. Sprinkle on goat cheese or mozzarella, and drizzle the top with olive oil. 

Return to the oven, and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes. Depending on how crispy you like your crust, you could always hit it with the broiler for about 2 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and top with a sprinkle of parmesan, arugula or fresh herbs and a pinch of red pepper. Cut into slices, and serve immediately. Serve with a side salad if desired. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    628
  • fat i
    46 g
  • carbs i
    41 g
  • protein
    7 g

recipe 04: breakfast peaches

Serves 4

A 10-minute breakfast idea. I give the peaches a quick roast in the oven to caramelize the tops because we have a toaster oven that doesn’t heat the house up. You can skip this step, warm them face down in a skillet, or grill them if you’re making these as a dessert. 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: If you are making the granola from scratch, that can be done in advance (there is one from week 14, or if you have SK Bowl + Spoon cookbook, luvvvv the seedy coconut one in there).

Use it Twice: These are also so good with vanilla ice cream as dessert…and maybe caramel if you’re getting wild.

Kid Friendly: Mine are a bit young and apprehensive to go after a big peach, but if I cut it into smaller pieces, it works.

Low Carb: There is a recipe for nut’nola (a no-oat granola) on the blog.


Ingredients

2 large, ripe peaches
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. butter, warmed to a liquid
Pinch of salt
1 cup yogurt, cow or dairy-free
1 cup of your favorite granola, see notes below


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 450’. Halve and pit the peaches, mix the maple and butter together and brush the flesh side. Sprinkle with salt. Pop them on a small, parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes until just warmed and browning on the top.

Make a puddle of yogurt, rest the peach half on top and sprinkle a good scoop of granola on top.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    268
  • fat i
    13 g
  • carbs i
    33 g
  • protein
    8 g