Cooking Club: Week 54

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hi , loves! And welcome new friends! I often speak to you all like you’ve been here the whole year plus we’ve been doing this, and I forget that this is new for some of you. This week errs on the easy side of what we’re used to, and I feel like there are seasons of when I feel up for a dinner project, and many nights I do not. You’ve been hustling a lot of dinners, you deserve a simple week!

The English muffin pizzas are a nod to my childhood - my mom made these. I can still imagine the solid layer of pepperoni we managed to fit on top of those small muffs :) All you back to school folks may appreciate a 15-minute dinner this week. Many of you have mentioned loving those citrus shrimp bowls, so we’re bringing those back this week. The fattoush is simple, and leaves room for your taste. The notes are in there to add feta, grilled chicken or what not to fill it out. I buy the lavash from Trader Joes and use those for the crispy bits - they also make great wraps for kids lunches. And I made these frozen bananas for after school treats and I’ve eaten most of them. Maybe make extra.
Never hesitate with questions, big or small. Have a great weekend!


1-hr. Prep

DO THIS

  1. Cook coconut rice for #3. Allow to cool completely before storing.

  2. Mix together marinade for shrimp bowls in #3. 

  3. Sauté some vegetables to use as pizza toppings for #1. Store in an airtight container until ready to use. 

  4. Shake up the vinaigrette for #2.

  5. Prep and freeze your bananas for #4.

  6. Keep rolling with the shrimp bowls and have those for dinner. 

GET THIS

  1. Coconut rice and marinade ready for the shrimp bowls in #3.

  2. English Muffin Pizza toppings finished for #1.

  3. Vinaigrette finished for Fattoush in #2.

  4. Bananas half-way done for desserts this week #4.

  5. Dinner! Either the shrimp bowls or the pizzas are almost done.


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

english muffin pizzas fattoush w/ spiced lavash shrimp avocado citrus rice bowls (member favorite) frozen bananas on a stick

produce

pantry

meat + dairy


recipe 01: english muffin pizzas

serves 4

It’s time for a good 5-ingredient dinner. I know this is silly-easy and doesn’t need a “recipe” but I wanted to give you a break from over-thinking your dinner. My mom made these when I was young, and I’m using them now as a vehicle to get more vegetables into my kids. If more veggies are tangled into foods they love, there is less resistance.


I am writing you a blueprint, but top them with whatever your family likes. Just remember mini crusts need mini toppings. Chop up tiny topping bits and let your little people decorate their own.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: You can sauté whatever vegetable or sausage, if using, in advance.

Use it twice: Save any leftovers and pack them for lunch the next day. These go great in a lunch box!

Kid Friendly: as is!

Dairy Free: Use your favorite dairy-free cheese.

Gluten Free: Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse make a gluten free English muffin.


Ingredients 

extra virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced

6 English muffins
8 oz. pizza sauce
2 cups of a mixed Italian cheeses (quatro fromaggio at TJ’s, fresh mozzarella, just something melty)

Fresh grated parmesan, for garnish
Fresh thyme or parsley, for garnish

Italian Side Salad

arugula
butter lettuce
shaved fennel
toasted pine nuts
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 425’. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Heat a generous drizzle of olive oil in a large pan, sauté the zucchini and garlic with a pinch of salt and pepper for a few minutes.

Split the muffs and gently toast them in the oven or toaster oven. Top them with a swoop of pizza sauce, sprinkle a little cheese, then some toppings, then a little more cheese. Bake them in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is getting bubbly.

Garnish with a little parm and fresh herbs. Serve with a side salad.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    453
  • fat i
    17 g
  • carbs i
    47 g
  • protein
    30 g

recipe 02: fattoush w/ spiced lavash

serves 4

Sumac is tough to find, at least where I grocery shop. It’s a middle eastern spice that is acidic in the best way, kind of lemony, and adds nice flavor to the lavash. Every za’atar blend is slightly different, and may even have sumac in it, so skip the addition if it does. And if BOTH of those sound tough, just use some dried thyme and a little cayenne.

If you do have a Whole Foods nearby, they sell sumac in clear packets in the spice isle. Look for a deep red. Za’atar blends can be found online, Sprouts, or you can make your own by mixing sesame seeds, fresh or dried thyme and sumac. If you can only find one or the other, all will turn out just fine.

The lavash or pita can be made a day in advance but don’t mix them with the vegetables until just ready to serve.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Make the dressing and crispy lavash/pita in advance

Use it Twice: The pitas get weird amongst the moisture of the veg and dressing so if you think you’ll have leftovers, wait to add the crisp pita.

Kid friendly: Chop all the vegetables small, dress them, and put them in a lavash wrap with hummus and shredded chicken. Think Mediterranean burritos.

Carnivore Addition: Add shredded rotisserie chicken to the mixture. If you’re a lamb fan the fattoush would be a great side to those meatballs we made a few weeks ago (week 48)


Ingredients

2 lavash wraps or pita breads, ripped into pieces
2 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. za’atar
1/2 tsp. sumac

LEMON HERB DRESSING

1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. tahini
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of sugar
1 large clove garlic, grated
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper

1.5 lbs. assorted tomatoes
1 English cucumber
1/2 a small red onion, shaved thin
4 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese or olives
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
sea salt and pepper
1 cup torn flat leaf parsley
1 cup torn mint leaves

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375’ and line a baking sheet with parchment. Rip up the lavash or pita into pieces and spread them on the baking sheet. Rub or brush the olive oil on both sides and spread them out so there is minimal overlap. Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of sugar and the sea salt, followed by the za’atar and sumac, if using. Toast the lavash for 3ish minutes, keeping a close eye so they don’t burn. Remove to cool.

For the dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small mason jar and shake to combine.

Chop the tomatoes in halves and quarters. Halve, seed and dice the cucumber. Put the tomatoes, cucumber and shaved onion into a mixing bowl, drizzle with a bit of dressing and toss to coat. Add both herbs, half the feta cheese and/or olives, and lavash crisps and toss again. Finish the salad with the remaining cheese, if using.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    956
  • fat i
    68 g
  • carbs i
    54 g
  • protein
    37 g

recipe 03: Citrus shrimp coconut rice bowls

serves 4

It’s a wee bit early for the best citrus, but I know so many of you loved this one so we are going to push it. I think we could even use peaches with success if you want to stay seasonal. 

If you are note a shrimp person, sub in any protein you like. This marinade works great on chicken, tofu, over slow cooked salmon etc. 

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: You can make the dressing/marinade and rice in advance. Do not over marinate the shrimp or the citrus will cook it.

Use it Twice: Leftover shrimp is a little weird for me, but maybe permissible on a salad?

Kid Friendly: Halve the amount of sriracha if yours are sensitive to spice.

Vegetarian Swap: Replace the shrimp with cubes of extra firm tofu or tempeh. For the tofu, you’ll want to press out excess moisture, let it sit in the marinade for a while, then I prefer to bake it on a parchment lined sheet at 400’ for 25 minutes. The same goes for the tempeh, but it benefits from a longer soak in the marinade.

Low Carb: Replace the rice with sautéed cauli rice.


 Ingredients

for the rice

1 cup brown rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cup water or broth
Big pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger

for the shrimp

1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp. sriracha
1 Tbsp. honey
2 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 1/2 lbs. jumbo or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt

for the salad

3 oranges, different varieties
3 Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1/2” thick
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 bundle of cilantro

for serving

2 large avocados
Toasted sesame seeds

instructions

Start your rice. Rinse the rice. Put it in a pot with the coconut milk, water, a big pinch of salt and the ginger. Give it a stir, bring it up to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. About 30 minutes. 

Whisk orange juice, sriracha, honey, soy sauce, oil, and 1 Tbsp. lime juice in a bowl. Set aside half the dressing for serving. Add shrimp to the remaining sauce and toss to coat; season with salt. Let it sit, tossing occasionally, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the citrus salad. Use a sharp knife to peel the citrus away from the peel and pith. Cut the citrus into 1” pieces. Transfer it to a bowl along with the cucumber, scallions, and remaining lime juice. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix. 

Heat 2 Tbsp. of a neutral oil (avocado, grapeseed, or sesame work) in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, char the shrimp, about 3 minutes per side. This can also be done on the grill. 

Arrange your bowls with coconut rice, a few shrimp, citrus salad, and some sliced avocado. Spoon more sauce over the top, top with toasted sesame seeds, and enjoy warm. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    621
  • fat i
    29 g
  • carbs i
    63 g
  • protein
    30 g

recipe 04: frozen banana pops

Serves 6

I know the popsicles from a few weeks ago only worked for people with molds, so hopefully these are more user friendly. You do need popsicle sticks, but you should be able to find those easily online, or a well-stocked grocery store, craft store etc.


I rolled ours in peanuts, but if there is an allergy, just skip the nut butter in the dip or use sunflower butter and use a nut free granola.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: These pops will last for a week or longer in the freezer. Wrap them in plastic wrap if you don’t have the storage space for a small sheet pan.


Ingredients

Popsicle sticks
3 bananas, ripe but still firm
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped


Instructions

Cut the banana into 2 or 3 pieces each, depending on size. Line a small baking sheet or plate with parchment paper. Impale them with a popsicle stick and freeze until firm. 
While they freeze, make your dip. Melt the coconut oil, peanut butter and maple together and stir to mix. Stir in the cocoa powder to combine.

Dip the bananas into the chocolate and roll them around in the chopped peanuts to coat, you may need to use a spoon. Freeze them again to firm for 30 minutes. Pops will keep covered for a couple weeks.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    178
  • fat i
    11 g
  • carbs i
    21 g
  • protein
    4 g