Tag Archives: side dish

Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under comfort food, Grains

Orzo-kale-feta Salad

Use any orzo or firm rice, along with any dark green tender greens.

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole wheat orzo pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained well, and cooled (may substitute with brown rice)
  • 4 cups kale, chopped (OR baby spinach or baby kale, chopped) 
  • 1 tsp. olive oil, only if using large kale
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained well
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
  • 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

  • The zest and juice of one large lemon (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or 1-2 small cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar (or substitute any type of mild vinegar)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together the olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, balsamic vinegar, cumin, salt, and pepper. 
  2. IF using large kale: cut leaves away from the stalks and coarsely chop; discard stems. Heat the tsp. of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat, add the kale all at once and turn over until it wilts, not more than 1-2 minutes. Put the kale into a large salad bowl.
  3. IF you’re using baby spinach or baby kale:  do not cook it! Just put the chopped, raw leaves into a large salad bowl.
  4. Gently mix the rest of the salad ingredients into the bowl with the kale.
  5. Pour salad dressing over the salad, and toss to combine.

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Filed under food, Grains, Salads, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Zucchini with Almonds (it’s good)

My zucchini hater likes this.  She tells me it’s because the zucchini is in such tiny pieces, not in big chunks, so it’s a texture thing.  I suspect that it’s because it has shaved Parmesan cheese scattered on top (she’s been known to go to the fridge to hack chunks off of the block for a snack)!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced almonds
  • 2 small zucchinis (courgettes), julienned (1/8-inch matchsticks)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Few ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved

Heat the oil on high in a large skillet or wok. When it is hot but not smoking, add the almonds to the pan. Cook and stir, until the almonds are golden-brown, approximately a minute or two.

Add the zucchini to the pan, tossing it with the oil and almonds until it is tender-crisp.   This will only take a minute or two!  Season with salt and pepper, and toss.   Pour into a serving dish, and throw the cheese over top.  Serve immediately.

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Filed under food, Main Course, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Cauliflower with Green Onions and Seeds

This is not an “old” recipe for us, but it is so good; it is also remarkably simple!  Supposedly it comes from a chef by the name of Julie Sahni, who I understand is the owner of a couple of Indian restaurants, is a cookbook author, and has a renowned cooking school.

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 small bunches of green onions, cleaned and chopped (include all of the green!)
  • 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • ¼ cup ghee
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (I often use just a few cubes of Kosher frozen cilantro)

Separate and cut the cauliflower into 1-inch florets.  Peel the cauliflower stem and cut into thin slices.  Set aside.

Measure out the seeds into a small bowl, measure the turmeric into a separate small bowl (or have it and the measuring spoon ready – or eyeball it), as well as the water, and place them right beside the stove.

Heat the ghee, over high heat, in a wok or large sauté pan that has a lid of some kind.  When the ghee is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds.  Keep the lid handy because the seeds may spatter and pop when added.  When the seeds top sputtering, add the turmeric and immediately add the cauliflower.

Stir-fry the cauliflower until it’s evenly coated with spice-infused ghee.   Add the green onions, salt, and water; mix and cover with the lid.  Cook over medium heat and toss a couple of times until the cauliflower is soft, about ten minutes.  Uncover, fold in the cilantro, and continue stir-frying until the excess moisture evaporates and the cauliflower looks glazed, about five minutes.  Turn off heat and serve.

Note: the original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in addition to the mustard and cumin seeds but certain people in our home don’t like them, so I omit them.  It tastes fabulous without!

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Filed under food, Main Course, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)