Cooking Club: Week 50

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I think this about a lot of the weeks to be honest, given that I am choosing the menus ha, but I reallllllyyyy like this week. I am in a major peach phase, and these skewers are just dreamy - sweet, herby, pretty. The carrot cashew sauce is unique - different than the mostly herb based sauces we’ve done lately. I’ve texted with my mom a dozen times about how to make these eggplant roll-ups so mom, hi! now it is written down here so you can reference it. I’ll teach you how to use the archives. xo. And cake! Some of you asked for “light” and I realize there is a decent amount of butter here for how I typically write recipes but ohmygoodness. It’s so so good, and a large cake, so I promise it doesn’t actually taste heavy. Speaking of my peach phase, I made it again last night for friends and subbed one of the sticks of butter for whole plain yogurt and peeled peaches instead of berries. I can’t eat dairy boo but reports were that is turned out great. So there’s that for you too.

Next week is our last week of summer, so Curran is helping me make a bucket list of all the things he wants to do before Kindergarten starts. So crazy to me. Still processing how I feel about it. I am going to try to be a better instagrammer this week and share some back to school lunchbox bits and recipes on my regular @sproutedkitchen instagram so stay tuned there if you find yourself in the same boat. When did I become a grown up!?! Don’t answer that. Love you! Eat cake! Have a great weekend!


1-hr. Prep

DO THIS

  1. Rinse and cook rice (Recipe 1) and quinoa (Recipe 3) per package instructions to have on hand to serve with the Rice Bowls tomorrow night and the Skewers later in the week. Store in airtight containers.

  2. Make Cashew Carrot Sauce and store in an airtight container. Rinse out your blender (Recipe 1).

  3. Blend together Cilantro Mint Sauce (Recipe 3).

  4. Cut and salt your eggplant (Recipe 2).

  5. Mix and marinate chicken, store in a gallon zip baggie or glass container. Plan on making the Rice Bowls tomorrow (Recipe 1).

  6. Assemble filling for the eggplant roll-ups (Recipe 2).

  7. Continue on with the Eggplant Roll-Ups and have those for din.

GET THIS

  1. Cooked grains for #1 & #3.

  2. Cashew Carrot Sauce #1.

  3. Cilantro Mint Sauce #3.

  4. Marinated chicken for #1.

  5. Eggplant Roll-Ups for dinner.


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

rice bowls w/ cashew carrot sauce eggplant roll-ups grilled summer skewers w/ peach & cilantro mint sauce strawberry bundt cake

produce

Pantry

Meat & Dairy


recipe 01: rice bowls w/ cashew carrot sauce

serves 4

I know there are three different steps here, but they layer. The sauce can be made in advance and the chicken can sit overnight in the marinade. Veg friends, check out the tofu notes in the sidebar. While the rice cooks, pull your marinated chicken from the fridge. Heat the grill. Start your broccoli. Grill the chicken. I always start with the item that has the longest cooking time or needs to marinate, then work towards the quickest to prep or to cook. 

If you have purchased miso paste for other recipes, this carrot sauce is a good place to use it! Add a tsp. of miso paste in if you have it and if you don’t, no big deal.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The carrot sauce can be made three days in advance. Note that it will get a bit thicker in the fridge. If using chicken, marinate it the evening before you want to grill it.

Use it twice: The carrot sauce could be used on noodles with some thinly sliced vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers etc.) to make a cold noodle salad.

Kid Friendly: I chopped everything small and mixed it all together. I know these are all flavors mine like, I just didn’t even want to give the option for them to turn their noses up at the sauce.

Vegetarian Swap: Use extra firm tofu in place of the chicken. Press the water out of the tofu. Toss it in the marinade (swap in 2 tsp. maple for the orange juice so it’s not quite so thin). Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400’ for 25 minutes.


Ingredients
 

For the CHICKEN MARINADE

2 tsp. sriracha
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. avocado oil
2 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup orange juice
Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

1.5 lbs. chicken thighs, boneless & skinless

For the CASHEW CARROT SAUCE

1/3 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup filtered water
2 cloves garlic
Juice of two limes
2 inch nub of ginger, peeled
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Dash of cayenne

For the SESAME BROCCOLI

1 lb. broccoli florets
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. avocado or olive oil
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds

2 cups cooked rice or quinoa
Avocado, for serving

Instructions

Marinate the chicken. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, stir. Add the chicken thighs and let them marinate for an hour at room temperature, or for a few hours or ideally up to overnight in the fridge. Preheat the grill to medium high heat. 

Put all the carrot dressing ingredients in a high-powdered blender. Let it sit for 15 minutes until the cashews to soften a bit. Blend on high until completely smooth. Taste and adjust to taste - more salt? cayenne? lime? 

Preheat the oven to 400’. Spread the broccoli florets on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the sesame oil, avocado oil, salt and sesame seeds. Massage everything to coat. Roast on the middle rack for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, grill the chicken for 8-10 minutes per side. Remove to rest for a few minutes, chop it all small. 

Assemble the bowls. A puddle of carrot sauce, scoop of rice, broccoli, chicken and avocado for garnish. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    769
  • fat i
    52 g
  • carbs i
    39 g
  • protein
    38 g

recipe 02: eggplant roll-ups

serves 4

I am giving you the oven version but know that this can all be done on the grill as well. You would grill, instead of roast, the eggplants. Assemble them as directed, then turn off your grill and use the residual heat as an oven to warm up the cheese and sauce. This also works efficiently if you’re adding grilled sausages on the side for a protein.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: The filling can be made a few days in advance. The eggplant can be salted the morning prior to cooking.

Use it Twice: If you don’t roll them up, the same ingredients are great in a panini or warm sandwich. Eliminate the egg and use the ricotta spread on one side of the bread, marinara on the other, a roasted eggplant in between and warm everything up.

Kid Friendly: I have better luck with this in a sandwich, as noted above, for the kids. Or chop all the bits up and mix it with some noodles for a pasta bake.

Dairy Free: Kite Hill makes a dairy-free ricotta - it’s pricey, but it exists and works.

Carnivore Addition: Grill your favorite Italian sausages on the side.


Ingredients

2 large (3 medium) eggplants
Sea salt

1 egg
1 1/3 cups whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. dried Italian seasonings
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup chopped parsley and basil, plus more for garnish
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper

2 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
Toasted pine nuts, for garnish

Instructions

tip:

Ideally allow 30 minutes of eggplant-salting time to get the extra water out. Not crucial!

Trim the head/stem off the eggplant, turn it on its head and slice it lengthwise into 1/2” slices. Think of a long lasagna style noodle. Lay them all on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes.

While you wait, make the filling. Combine the egg, ricotta, parmesan, seasoning, parsley/basil, lemon zest, pepper flakes and a few grinds of fresh ground pepper. This can be made a day in advance. 

Preheat the oven to 400’. Dab excess water off the eggplant. Brush the eggplant strips olive oil on both sides. On a rimmed baking sheet, roast for 12 minutes, flipping halfway through, until just softened. Remove to cool to the touch (this can be done up to a day in advance). 

Spread the ricotta mixture over the face of the roasted eggplant, and roll it up like a little taquito, starting with the skinnier end, down towards the larger end. Put a layer of marinara on the bottom of a baking dish, and line the eggplant rollups up in there. Repeat with remaining eggplants and ricotta mixture.  Pour more marinara over the top (think enchiladas, just enough to coat), sprinkle parm on top, and pop them back in the oven for 15-17 minutes to warm through. 

Garnish with fresh herbs, some toasted pine nuts if you have them, and enjoy warm.

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    337
  • fat i
    17 g
  • carbs i
    31 g
  • protein
    19 g

recipe 03: summer skewers w/ peaches & cilantro mint sauce

serves 4

A gorgeous picture of a skewer like this caught my eye in Sunset magazine last month, so I tinkered with the original, only because I don’t stock many Indian spices. You all had mixed opinions on Instagram about halloumi, so I tried these with extra firm tofu and feel like you could go either way…or chunks of any protein really. 

Some have told me there is still halloumi at Trader Joes (which will be the most affordable). A cheese shop or Whole Foods will have it as well. It may be labeled under another name, but it should claim that it is a “grillable cheese” somewhere on the package.

I think the point here is that you layer the peaches, onions, wipe it all down with some seasoned oil before grilling and slather it in the delicious sauce.

Not shown in the photo, I served these with some quinoa and a handful of baby kale because: always greens. You push the bits off the skewers, add a little more sauce, feta for those who want it, and it becomes kind of a bowl food thing. The warm peaches, minty sauce. I loved this.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: You can make the cilantro mint sauce a few days in advance. The skewers can be assembled a few hours in advance but more than that and the peaches get weird.

Use it Twice: Save any leftover bits and add them to a salad the next day. The cilantro mint sauce can be mixed with mayo to make a great burger sauce (we’re actually doing this on next weeks’ menu!).

Kid Friendly: Mine don’t go for onions, so I did sub in some bell pepper chunks on their skewers.


 Ingredients

Skewers, if wooden, soaked in water
2 peaches, (not overly ripe!) pitted, cut in 2” chunks
1 small red onion, cut in 2” chunks
1 lb. Halloumi, extra firm tofu, or other protein of choice

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. each sea salt and pepper

CILANTRO MINT SAUCE

2 cloves garlic
1 bundle cilantro
1 big handful of fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
2 tsp. honey
Juice of one lime
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt

Cooked quinoa and baby kale, for serving
Feta cheese, for serving

Instructions

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water. Preheat the grill to medium heat. 

Lay out your skewering ingredients and thread them onto the skewers in a pattern, not overfilling them. 

Mix the oil, oregano, salt and pepper together and use a brush to paint the seasoned oil all over the skewered ingredients. Transfer skewers to the grill. Grill them for about 4-5 minutes, flip, and hit the other side. Adjust your time up or down if your protein needs more time to cook through. 

While they grill, combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor and run to combine. Taste and adjust.

Remove skewers from the grill, and generously brush the mint sauce all over the cooked skewers.

Serve them with some cooked quinoa and greens, and a sprinkle of feta cheese on top. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    574
  • fat i
    49 g
  • carbs i
    19 g
  • protein
    17 g

recipe 04: summer strawberry bundt cake

Serves 10

Perhaps you’ve heard of the more recent cookbook from Sarah Copeland called Everyday is Saturday. The photography and design of the book is just gorgeous. It amazes me what works of art cookbooks can be. The recipes are practical, and it is packed with information.

Anyway, this cake caught my eye when I was planning on baking with my niece a couple weeks ago so we used it as a jumping off point. It originally hails from The Vanilla Bean Blog with fresh cranberries and bitters in it. But we’re going to use those ruby red summer strawberries, per request. Fresh berries do make little dimple throughout the cake, but I don’t mind it. The crumb is tight, so I think it could hold little pieces of whatever fruit you fancy. 

I know people are all about fresh baked goods, but I thought this was actually better the next day. Serve it with a soft whipped cream or even ice cream, but Copeland suggested a powdered sugar glaze. 

If you do not have a 10-12 cup bundt pan, you could do this in a 9x13 pan but reduce the cooking time.

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Tips of The Week

Make Ahead: Chop the berries in advance. Everything else comes together quite easily in the stand mixer.

Gluten Free: 1 GF blend like Bobs Red Mill or Cup for Cup. I suppose you could use more almond meal but it’ll be pretty dense.

Dairy Free: You could use Miyokos butter sub available at Traders, Ralphs, Target (!), Whole Foods etc. You can also use coconut oil in place of the butter, in which case skip the avocado oil. It will be plenty moist.


Ingredients

1 cup/ 2 sticks of salted butter
1 1/4 cups cane sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
4 eggs, room temperature
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup avocado oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 2/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, plus a little more for the pan
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 cups hulled and diced strawberries

Powdered sugar, for topping
Fresh whipping cream, for serving


Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350’. Position the rack to the middle rack. Butter and flour a 10-12 cup, nonstick bundt pan.

In an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and orange zest on high until light and fluffy. About 2 minutes. Add one egg at a time, beating after each one until all the golden streaks are gone. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the orange and lemon juices, avocado oil, vanilla and almond extracts and stir again to combine. 

Stir together the flours, baking soda, pinch of salt. With the motor going, slowly add in the dry mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Stir in the strawberry pieces. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan. Bake on the middle rack for about 50 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean. Remove to a rack and let it cool completely. Tip: It helps to place a large plate on the bottom of the cake pan and flip it over that way so there is less chance of the crumb ripping if by chance it sticks. Invert the cake and sprinkle powdered sugar over the top. 

Serve the cake with freshly whipped whipping cream.

Any leftovers can be kept at room temperature for a day or two or wrapped and stored in the fridge for up to five days. 

Nutrition Information

per serving

  • calories
    485
  • fat i
    31 g
  • carbs i
    46 g
  • protein
    7 g