Basics

Basics, Entrée, Gluten Free, Pantry Staples, Salad

MEAL PREP SAUCES

sprouted kitchen - meal prep sauces

MEAL PREP SAUCES

Thanks to those of you who commented and asked for the sauce ideas. I hear you! Let's make dinner better.
In this season of life, our meals are riffs on the same sort of thing, all made special by the rotation of a few sauces. As a girlfriend mentioned to me, "I can chop things for a salad or roast some vegetables, I just need to know how to make the sauces" - so hopefully this is helpful. The vinaigrette works on any sort of green salad, the mexi bowl sauce is what we put on tacos, stuffed peppers or burrito bowls, which happen weekly here. It is also great with scrambled eggs. The citrus tahini miso is the crowd favorite recipe from Bowl + Spoon. We use it over grain or noodle bowls, or any neutral seasoned roasted vegetable. They all are super easy, only one requires a blender, and they make meals come together so quick. Prep them on a Sunday, they store fine in the fridge for the week and use as needed. I also love this Vegan Caesar or this Green Harissa from the recipe index too.

I lean towards sauces being on the more acidic, zingy side. A few tips for "fixing" them when you wing it, or you misjudged the heat in your jalapeno, or perhaps my measurements here aren't to your taste:

too spicy? more sweetener
too salty? more of all the other ingredients, aside from the salty ones (soy, miso, parm, olives etc.)
too oily? more acid and herbs
flavorless? more acid and salt
too thick? water or citrus
too thin? blend in nuts, herbs, greek yogurt, avocado

// back pocket vinaigrette //

I put everything here in a jar with a lid and shake it up to mix. You could also whisk everything in a bowl or even whiz it in a blender, if preferred. I call for ACV here to use a pantry staple, but a squeeze of fresh lemon helps brighten everything here. I heart you forever, lemons.

2 Tbsp. minced shallot or red onion
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. sea salt
fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley (1/2 tsp. dried oregano as a sub)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Into a jar with an available matching lid, combine the shallot, dijon, honey, salt, a few grinds of pepper, cider vinegar, parmesan, parsley and give it all a little swirl. Add the olive oil and shake it around to mix. Season to taste. 
Dressing will keep at room temperature for a day or two (the parm is fine), or in the fridge for a week. If the oil solidifies, just leave it at room temp for a few minutes before using. 

// mexi bowl sauce //

1 jalapeno, roasted over gas burners or broiled for 5 minutes
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup toasted pepitas
1 anchovy (optional but delicious, you wont even know its there)
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1 cup fresh cilantro
juice of one large lime
1 Tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 ripe avocado

Do a quicky roast to your jalapeno, I do this over the stovetop. Chop it up, avoiding some of the seeds in the center. Put the jalapeno in your blender, along with the garlic, pepitas, anchovy (if using), sea salt, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, water and avocado. Blitz until smooth. Use citrus or vinegar to thin it if you prefer it thinner. It will firm up in the fridge. 
Best used within a few days. Will keep covered in the fridge for 5 days. 

// citrus tahini miso //
from Sprouted Kitchen Bowl + Spoon
I will say this yields enough for one meal? Depends how saucy you are. Double it if you'd like it on hand for more than one meal. 

1/2 cup tahini
2 Tbsp. yellow or white miso paste
1 Tbsp. honey or agave
2 tsp. sriracha
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 garlic clove, grated
1/4 cup citrus juice (orange or lime preferred)
2 Tbsp. water, more as needed
minced cilantro, optional
sea salt and pepper to taste

Into a bowl, combine the tahini, miso, honey, sriracha, sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic, citrus juice, water and whisk everything until evenly combined. Taste and adjust as you wish. Whisk in fresh cilantro, if using. 
Keep the dressing stored in the fridge for a week. 

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Entrée, Gluten Free, Soup, Winter, Basics

BASICS: EVERYDAY LENTIL SOUP

Your day may be filled with potatoes and pecans and cranberries but dinner tonight may not have crossed your mind. And maybe this is not just a Thanksgiving eve problem, I get stuck with less than exciting options in my fridge to throw a dinner together but I usually have the staples for a simple bowl of lentil soup. I am excited to build up that "basics" section I mentioned and I absolutely believe that lentil soup has a place there. This soup builds off of a dependable mirepoix with the addition of sweet potato. I use two types of lentils for their texture differences and a gentle hand with the spices and then it's hands off while the dutch oven works it comfy, warm meal magic. There is maybe an Indian background from the turmeric and just enough spice to keep it from being bland. Add and get creative as you wish, but hope that this quick soup of pantry staples can make meal time a little easier some night soon. 

EVERYDAY LENTIL SOUP // Serves 4
I did not use two types of lentils to make it complicated for you, I believe they add a different texture and color. The reds will break down and add some heartiness to the broth where the green will hold their individual shape. Both are lovely, but if you find this to be a hassle, go with just green. Once you blend a bit of the soup, the broth with still get some bulk to it regardless. The color will be a little more murky. If you like a bit of heat, add one chopped jalapeno to the vegetable mixture.

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion
1 large carrot, peeled
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
2 stalks of celery
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper (or something similar, like Mrs. Dash)
1 tsp. Italian herbs
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup green or dePuy Lentils
1/2 cup split red lentils
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth*
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or olive oil
3 cups roughly chopped kale

squeeze of lemon, optional
1/2 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
1/2-3/4 cup grated parmesan or something similar (dry and sharp)
fresh, toasted baguette, for serving

In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Chop the onion, carrot, sweet potato and celery into roughly 1/4" pieces. Put all of the vegetables, including garlic, into the warm pot with the sea salt and saute until just softened, about 5-6 minutes. Stir in the lemon pepper, Italian herbs, red pepper and both lentils. Add the broth and stir. Turn the heat to low and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes until everything is tender but not mushy. Using an immersion or regular blender, blend up about half of the soup just so it gets thicker but nowhere close to purees. You still want the texture of the vegetables to come through. Turn off the heat. Stir in the turmeric, butter/oil and kale and stir for the greens to just soften and marry into the soup. Taste for seasoning. 
Serve each bowl with a squeeze of lemon, parsley and generous sprinkle of parmesan. Best served with crusty baguette on the side. 

*Soup texture is a personal preference. I don't really like them stewy, but it's always easier to add liquid than go back. I found five cups to be about right after blending and letting it cool down a bit (where it thickens slightly), you may adjust to taste. 



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Breakfast, Fall, Gluten Free, Side, Spring, Basics

BASICS : MIXED ROASTED POTATOES

We all come to the kitchen with a different level of experience. Maybe you grew up around the stove with your mom or you've taught yourself through trial and error and many Food Network episodes or you've stayed away completely because you're scared of failing. I think our audience here is largely somewhere in the middle of all that, a practiced homecook, but I thought it'd be nice to incorporate a number of posts that are cornerstones of our families table. This may seem redundant and boring for some or maybe a step forward for those that want to be confident in a few recipes so they can feel good about cooking for other people. I also feel like having basics down helps you to experiment just outside of them. You mastered roasted potatoes? You can do the same thing with cauliflower or other root vegetables, no problem. Now you basically have three sides down, perhaps change up the seasonings next time? Go, you. I took a Food Science class in college and read a book called  What Einstein Told His Cook (wish I knew where that was now) and it helped me to understand the why about food, instead of just blindly following a recipe. I've made A LOT of bad potatoes before consistently making good ones. 


These potatoes look pretty basic at first glance, but it's a few details that make them delicious every time. A few notes from the field:

- I use a mix of potatoes for flavor and texture and because they look pretty. You can use all one kind in the same volume with the same results. I wouldn't use more than one sweet potato if you go for the mix because they have a higher water content which means they'll cook faster and keep the potatoes from crisping. This is also why I par boil any other potatoes besides the sweet, it allows the potatoes to get ahead so you can roast them at a higher heat for browning without burning them before the centers are cooked through. 

- Do not overcrowd! Leave the potatoes enough space for the edges to brown. Overcrowding = steaming = no crisping. It's also good to let them give off a little steam before transferring to a serving dish if you're going to pile them on top of each other. We usually just scoop from the sheet pan because we're very fancy.

- Potatoes love salt, don't be shy, but remember it's always easier to add than take away so I will finish with a little more if I didn't add enough before the roast. I use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic because the later burns with 40 minutes in the oven. The herbs are better after for the same reason, and because the vibrant green is pretty on brown foods. 

In other news, I am hosting a book event with Heritage Mercantile in Costa Mesa, CA on 11/13 from 3-5pm. You can sign up on that link so we can get a head count. Would love to meet you if you're in the area!

MIXED ROASTED POTATOES // Serves 4

This recipe can be doubled but you will for sure need two large sheet pans. The garlic here will roast with the potatoes to be smooth and delicious, we smush some out of the skin and dip our fork in it before taking a bite of potato.
The par boil and chopping may be done in advance. I don't like to keep them in the fridge but you can do this morning of or even the night before and let them sit out at room temp until you are ready to roast. 
These love a little sprinkle of parmesan in the last minute of roasting too if you're into that sort of thing. 

2.5-3 lbs. mixed potatoes*
3 whole garlic cloves, whole, in peel
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

3 Tbsp. rosemary
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
zest of one small lemon

In a large pot, combine the baby red, white, purple potatoes and the larger fingerlings - if they're the volume of a ping pong ball or more, the smaller ones can stay raw. Bring the water to a gentle boil and cook for 10 minutes, drain and cool to the touch. Preheat the oven to 400'.
Peel the sweet potato and cut it into larger 2" chunks. Leave smaller fingerlings whole and hack larger ones in half or thirds. Cut the remaining baby potatoes into 1" and 2" chunks - go for uneven, imperfect chunks for lots of edges. Collect all the potatoes and the garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil, garlic powder, smoked paprika, pepper and salt and toss everything to coat. The potatoes should be generously coated, add a little more oil if needed. Sprinkle a little more salt on top.
Bake in the upper third of the oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring once, gently, halfway through, until browned on the edges and the largest potato chunk can be easily pierced.
While the potatoes roast, chop your rosemary, parsley and lemon zest. 
Pull the potatoes and let them cool for a moment. Add the herbs and lemon zest to the baking tray and stir to mix. Taste for salt. Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy warm. 
 

* I use one medium sweet potato, and the rest a mixture of baby red, baby white, baby purple and fingerlings. Trader Joes sells a small medley bag.



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