On a quest for healthy meals for the family, I came across a recipe for a soba noodle soup. Heavy on the ginger, with the addition of spicy sriracha baked tofu, it became the favorite dish I make for Coda. When summer came along, I wanted to be able to serve the same flavors but without the warm broth, and that is where this salad was born. It is very versatile, you can add whatever seasonal veggies are available. In this particular version I was able to add the snow peas and golden zucchini that I grew in the garden this summer.
I recently made this quick and healthy white bean dip with chive blossoms for the Rocky Mountain Gardening Forum’s spring plant exchange and potluck. You just never know at a potluck what kind of diet people have to adhere to, could be vegan, gluten free or vegetarian, you just never know! Not that I try to please everyone, but I do want as many people as possible to enjoy the food I make. So this dip with gluten free chips and veggies seemed like just the thing. Plus I found this cute basket and bowl set that was begging to go to a potluck.
I am lucky to have kids that are adventurous eaters from the time they were little. Perhaps it was just what they were exposed to and what they are used to having that have given them their advanced palates for trying new things. Hummus happens to be one of those easy classic dips that they have liked from the first time they tried it. We usually have some on hand to dip veggies and pretzel chips into for a healthy snack. Often times with tight schedules I don’ t take the time to make it from scratch, even though it is not really hard to make. It is the cleaning of the blender that usually makes up my mind to buy the various store bought brands available. If you are thinking of throwing your own bohemian tea party or other gathering and are tight on time, there are many good pre made versions out there. But if you prefer to make it yourself so you can add whatever ingredients that you want to put your personal twist on it, go for it! Here is the recipe I used for our party. It made a thick and fairly chunky version, though you can make it smoother to your preference.
When it comes to sweets and desserts, I am admittedly not a baker. I do try from time to time to bake up a treat, usually around one of the girls birthdays or when I want to challenge myself in the kitchen. When I came across some ideas for stuffed dates, I was immediately inspired to create a recipe that takes those flavors on a Moroccan journey for our bohemian tea party, and no bake was something I am totally down for. In planning the party, I was thinking influences from India, Morocco, Turkey, and England. I wanted something vegetarian, since my good friend Rosie was coming and I thought about the traditional almond paste used in Moroccan cooking would be tasty stuffed in a date. There are traditional recipes for this treat, but being of bohemian spirit and liking to try out my own spin on the traditional, I decided to try it with almond butter. Adding the orange blossom water and honey to it gives it a sweet a light floral taste that is slightly mysterious. The amounts of almond butter, honey and orange blossom water are going to vary a little by how big your dates are. I used a couple tablespoons per date, since I was able to find these big medjool dates at the international market.
With the same bunch of kale I used in the angel hair pasta dish the other night, I was able to make this side dish for our pork chops. With the addition of green apples, it added an unexpected tart sweetness to the dish. The trick is to time when you put the different ingredients into the skillet. Experiment with different combinations of veggies with this. I used what we had on hand, enjoying the crunchiness of this combination.
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced