Cooking Club: Week 35

Happy Friday! Hope you have recovered from the Easter weekend candy binge and are ready for these strawberry crumble bars because they are SO good. A few of you have asked about entertaining recipes, or how to expand some of these for groups, and I feel like all the dinners this week can do that well. A number of make-ahead components and family-friendly options that can make these meals work for a group. We love having people over, and only with practice have I learned how to get ahead on food so I am not stuck in the kitchen while my friends are here. I’ve made a few of those notes, but holler if you need any help in breaking it down. I know so many of you are in the throws with young kids and trying to keep your head above water so ignore what I am saying. You don’t need pressure to keep up with one more thing. Enjoying food with people is such a special gift, and whether it’s now or later, people will always need to eat.

Love you all! Have a good one!

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News:

- We updated the Sauces & Dressings page, and renamed it as the Condiment Index, with a few new non-dressing & sauce requests, including the quick pickled onions, spicy maple pepitas, and the green tahini sauce.

- Comments, questions or suggestions? Submit your feedback here.


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

BBQ huli-huli chicken sandwiches w/ pineapple salsa salmon w/ green goddess & potato smashies mezze bowls w/ quinoa tabbouleh strawberry crumble bars

Produce

Pantry

Meat + Dairy + Fridge


recipe 01: BBQ huli-huli chicken sandwiches w/ pineapple salsa

serves 4

Heads up! This recipe benefits from an overnight marinade.

If you like those small Hawaiian rolls, this would be cute on those, and could be nice to offer as an early-summer appetizer or pack for a kid’s lunch. If making the Hawaiian BBQ sauce sounds like too much, use your favorite store-bought BBQ sauce, no big deal. A rotisserie chicken, shredded, and lacquered in the BBQ sauce is also a time saver. 

This basic method for roasting, inspired by Ina Garten, is foolproof for juicy, shredded chicken. If you want extra protein for the week, you could double the chicken, and roast it on two pans. Shred it all up and save half for later. Any of the sauces from the past few weeks could be great mix-ins to give your eaters a few different flavor profiles. 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: You can make all the sauces this week 3 days in advance and use when you’re ready for them. This will cut back on the nightly prep time and cleanup. The pineapple salsa will keep well a few days as well, and the chicken can be shredded in advance. Don’t add the BBQ sauce in advance. The enzymes in the pineapple will break down the meat too much.

Use it Twice: You’ll have leftover chicken and salsa, so serve it up as a stuffed sweet potato the next night. The chicken and salsa would be great over greens and cabbage for lunch.

Vegetarian Friendly: Cauliflower florets or sweet potato chunks smothered in the sauce could be a great swap. I haven’t personally tried jackfruit but have heard it is shreddy like slow roasted pork or chicken. You can find it in the canned section in Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. The sauce could also be brushed on tofu or tempeh and grilled.

Low Carb: This is great as a lettuce wrap, served over a quick cabbage slaw, or served alongside the Ginger Garlic Cauli Rice from Week 28.

Extra Credit: Make the pickled onions. You should just make a jar every week!


Ingredients
 

FOR THE CHICKEN

2 lbs. bone in, skin on chicken thighs and breasts
1 ½ tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. sea salt
2 Tbsp. avocado oil

FOR THE HAWAIIAN BBQ SAUCE

½ cup ketchup, unsweetened
¼ cup tamari or coconut aminos
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
½ cup pineapple, chopped
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. honey
1” piece fresh ginger (1 ½ tsp.), grated
2 cloves garlic, grated
Pinch of red pepper flakes

FOR THE PINEAPPLE SALSA

2 cups fresh pineapple, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded + chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
⅓ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt + pepper

FOR SERVING

2 avocados, mashed 
Juice of 1 lime
Salt + pepper

Quick pickled onions (optional)*
Hawaiian sweet rolls or hamburger buns, warmed

Instructions

On a large plate, pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle with salt, garlic powder, and paprika. Rub the seasoning onto the chicken, making sure it gets under the skin and the flesh is well coated. Drizzle with oil on both sides, continuing to massage the seasoning into the chicken. Transfer to the fridge uncovered and allow the chicken to marinade for at least one hour, preferably overnight.

In a food processor, add ketchup, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, pineapple, honey, ginger, and garlic. Puree until smooth and well combined. Taste for seasoning and salt to taste. Want it sweeter? Add 1 Tbsp. honey. Spicy? Add red chile flake. Salt? Add a dash of fish sauce. Set aside 1/4 cup of the mixture for serving, and pop it in the fridge. The rest will go on the chicken. 

Preheat oven to 375’. Prepare a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Place seasoned chicken skin side up on the baking sheet. Roast the chicken on the top rack for 35-40 minutes, until meat is cooked all the way to the bone, and the skin has started to render.

At the 35-40-minute mark, remove the sheet pan from the oven. Turn the broiler on low. Brush the chicken with the BBQ sauce. Make sure you get both sides, and up under the skin. Return to the oven and broil until the sauce has caramelized and is charred in a few places. This will take about 4 minutes but watch it carefully. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. 

While the chicken is cooling, assemble the salsa. In a medium bowl, stir together pineapple, red onion, green onion, lime juice, cilantro, and jalapeño. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Mash your avocados with the lime juice and a bit of salt. Toast your buns.

Once the chicken is cool, remove the skin and bones and discard. Shred the chicken on the sheet pan, making sure you use up all the juices and sauce still left on the baking sheet. The crispy bits are the best part! If desired, add the reserved sauce and mix well.

To assemble, slather each bun with the avocado mash, a bit of BBQ sauce, a portion of the shredded chicken, and top with the pineapple salsa and onions if using.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    810
  • fat i
    48 g
  • carbs i
    65 g
  • protein
    34 g

recipe 02: salmon w/ green goddess & potato smashies

serves 4

This sauce! So good. Make the Green Goddess “base” and re-work it into a Tzatziki sauce for the Mezze Bowls in Recipe 03. If the weather calls you outdoors, light up the grill, and throw on the salmon. If spring is still too blustery for you, the way this is written makes it all work on a sheet-pan, and cleanup easy for any weeknight.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Make the Green Goddess “base” the day before. The potatoes can be par-boiled, and roasted day of.

Use it Twice: Use the Green Goddess “base” to make the Tzatziki. Double or triple the seasoning for the potatoes and use it as your go-to roasting or grilling seasoning blend for quick weeknight cooking.

Kid Friendly: throw the salmon in a tortilla.

Vegetarian Swap: Grill a portobello mushroom in place of the salmon. You could also make a bowl with some mixed greens, lentils, and the potatoes and sauce from above.

Low Carb: Swap out the potatoes for roasted cauliflower florets tossed in olive oil and the seasoning blend.



 Ingredients

FOR THE SALMON

4 4-6 oz. center cut salmon filets
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. Kosher salt
½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper
Aleppo or red pepper flakes
Zest of one lemon, juice reserved for serving

FOR THE POTATOES

1 lb. baby fingerling potatoes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
⅓ cup grated parmesan (optional) 
Zest of one lemon

FOR THE GREEN GODDESS BASE

1 cup whole milk, plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic
Zest + juice of 1 large lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 tbsp. white or red wine vinegar

GREEN GODDESS ADD INS

2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon, chopped
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp. capers, drained

for serving

Arugula

Instructions

In a large pot, add potatoes, 1 tsp. salt, and enough water to generously cover them. Bring to a boil, and cook for 8-12 minutes, until fork tender. You want them to be smash-able, but not falling apart. They will continue to cook in the oven. Drain and allow to cool completely.

 Preheat the oven to 400’. Transfer cooled potatoes to the baking sheet, and smash lightly with the palm of your hand or bottom of a drinking glass. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, paprika, and garlic powder. Drizzle potatoes with ½ of the olive oil, and sprinkle with half the seasoning. Flip potatoes over and repeat. Roast for 12 minutes, flip the potatoes, and cook for an additional 12 minutes until crispy. 

Drizzle the salmon filets with olive oil, salt, pepper, pepper flakes/aleppo and lemon zest over the top.

Remove sheet pan from the oven, turn the heat down to 350’, shuffle the potatoes over, and place the salmon on the other side of the pan. Roast for another 10-15 minutes to cook through (time varies based on the size of your filets). Remove from the oven, and lightly toss the potatoes with fresh parsley, lemon zest, and optional grated parmesan.

For the Green Goddess, in a food processor, add yogurt, mayo, garlic, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, parsley, green onions, and vinegar. Blend until smooth. Set aside ½ the mixture for the Tzatziki sauce in Recipe 3. 

To the food processor with the remaining “base,” add in basil, tarragon, and capers. If you’re an anchovy fan, you could swap capers for 2-3 anchovy fillets. Blend until pale green and mostly smooth

To serve, squeeze lemon over the salmon, and serve alongside the smashed potatoes, a handful of arugula, and a puddle of green goddess.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    600
  • fat i
    42 g
  • carbs i
    27 g
  • protein
    29 g

recipe 03: Mezze bowls w/ quinoa tabbouleh

serves 4

This uses up half of the Green Goddess “base” from Recipe 02 to save you time and switch up the flavors in your leftovers. The tabbouleh can be made in advance and doubled if you’d like to use it as a side while hosting your first “summer” dinner party. The idea would be to have each of your guests bring a tub of their favorite hummus, muhamarra, dolmades, olives, etc. The Spicy Avocado hummus from Trader Joe’s is great, and Whole Foods has lots of options in the refrigerated section.

The veggies could be thrown on the grill if you’re in the mood. A simple protein like grilled salmon, herby shrimp, or lemony chicken would all be great additions. Add warmed pitas, and a few friends who aren’t above a Costco sized container of hummus.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The tabbouleh can be made 3 days in advance, just leave out the cucumber until the serving day.

Use it Twice: The wonder of this is that the sauce is basically already made, just make sure you make the Green Goddess “base” first. The salad can be eaten for lunch the next day or spread into a wrap for an on-the-go lunch.

Kid Friendly: Stuff the bits into a pita pocket.

Carnivore Addition: Grilled salmon, chicken, and shrimp would all be great here. If you are a lamb eater, try the meatballs from Bon Appetit found here. You can also swap in ground dark turkey meat and they are still great without the panko.

Lower Carb: The quinoa can be swapped for 2 cups of sautéed cauliflower rice. Cook 2 cups of riced cauliflower in a bit of olive oil, salt and a pinch of pepper in a skillet over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes. Cool, and proceed with the recipe.


 Ingredients

FOR THE VEGGIES

2 red bell peppers, chopped into ½” pieces
1 small red onion, chopped into ½” pieces
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp.  olive oil
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

FOR THE “TABBOULEH”

2 cups quinoa, cooked and cooled
Zest of one lemon
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. freshly cracked pepper
½ tsp. sea salt, to taste
1 tsp. sumac (optional)
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups parsley, chopped 
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered 
½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
2 Persian cucumber, seeded and chopped

4 oz. feta, crumbled or cubed

FOR THE TZATZIKI

½ recipe of the Green Goddess “base”
2 Persian cucumbers, seeded and chopped
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

OPTIONS FOR SERVING

Hummus, Babagaboush, or Muhammara 
Lemon juice
Fresh parsley, chopped
Pitas, warmed

instructions

Note:

If grilling, preheat the grill to medium high. Assemble skewers, alternating the peppers and onions. Brush with olive oil and seasonings. Grill for 10 minutes, rotating half way through.

Preheat oven to 425’. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add the peppers and onions, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and oregano, and toss to coat. Roast for 25 minutes until browned and caramelized. 

In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper, and sumac. Add cooked quinoa, scallions, parsley, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber. Toss together. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper. Set aside.

For the tzatziki, add ½ of the Green Goddess “base” (see recipe 2) to a medium bowl. Mix in cucumber, dill, and mint. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble your bowl, swoosh a generous helping of hummus or baba ghanoush, top with a few spoonfuls of the tabbouleh, the roasted/grilled veggies, and drizzle with tzatziki. Finish with a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of parsley, and the crumbled feta. Serve with warmed pita, and any other toppings. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    463
  • fat i
    30 g
  • carbs i
    39 g
  • protein
    13 g

recipe 04: Strawberry Crumble Bars

Makes 12 bars

Like a strawberry pie and crumble, but in handheld form. These are tender and sweet and nutty and can be swapped with another seasonal fruit should you need it. If strawberries aren’t great near you yet, you could use a good quality jam as the fruit layer and continue with the crumble from there. This will leave you with a sweeter bar, but still great! These would be AMAZING a la mode.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The bars will last in an airtight container for one week. They can also be portioned and frozen.

Extra Credit: Make them PB&J style by adding ½ cup creamy peanut or almond butter to the crust after it has baked for the twelve minutes, then add the filling.


Ingredients

FOR THE CRUST

1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup gluten-free flour or all-purpose flour
½ cup slivered almonds
1/2  cup coconut oil, as a solid (1 stick cold butter or vegan butter works too!)
1/3 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. water, cold, only if needed

FOR THE FILLING

1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped small
1/4 cup light brown sugar or coconut sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. cornstarch or arrowroot

¼ cup slivered almonds ( for topping)


Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 8” baking pan with parchment paper, and grease with cooking spray or butter. 

In a food processor, pulse together oats, flour, coconut oil, almonds, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse just a few times, we still want to see flecks of oats, it should look crumbly. Add water if needed, and pulse until the dough will press together and stick when you press it between your fingers.

Transfer ½ of the crust mixture to the prepared pan and press it down into an even layer. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the top is just toasted.

Meanwhile, mix together strawberries, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon zest. In a small bowl, dissolve arrowroot/cornstarch with lemon juice, and whisk with a fork until it is smooth. Add to the strawberries. The sugar amount will be dependent on how ripe your berries are, so if they seem tart, add another sprinkle of sugar.

Remove the crust from the oven, let it cool a few minutes. Spread the filling evenly over the surface. Stir the additional slivered almonds into the remaining crumble/crust mixture and sprinkle it over the top. Return to the oven and cook for an additional 30-35 minutes until golden brown.

Allow to cool completely. They’re actually easier to cut if you refrigerate them. Using the edges of the parchment, remove the bars carefully. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 12 large squares. You can cut them smaller, but they are crumbly and may fall apart more easily. They will stay together a bit better if refrigerated as well. 

Nutrition Information

per bar

  • calories
    256
  • fat i
    13 g
  • carbs i
    32 g
  • protein
    6 g