Category Archives: Grains

Lemony Tabbouleh

Lemony Tabbouleh

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

vegan

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To so many, parsley is thought of as just a garnish, but not I.  To me, parsley is an ingredient to be celebrated as much as other favorite herbs like basil or salad greens such as arugula, field greens and others.  It shows up regularly, pretty much daily in my meals, sprinkled atop sliced eggs on toast or over pasta or mixed into any number of recipes, it adds a freshness like no other to just about any savory dish.  But here, parsley becomes the star, no longer a mere garnish, parsley is the main ingredient in this simple lovely salad.  This truly is traditionally a parsley salad with bulgur, mint and tomatoes playing the supporting roles.  I like my tabbouleh with extra lemon, so feel free to add less if that’s not to your liking.  Either way, this is a quick, simple, yet wonderfully delicious dish that itself could be the star of the meal. 

Ingredients:IMG_4451

2/3 cup fine Bulgur wheat (medium or coarse grain can be substituted) *see notes – or Quinoa for a gluten free option

Zest of 1 Lemon

About 4 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice, from about 1- 2 lemons (less if you prefer)

About 4 -6 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 large bunch (about 3-4 cups) Flat Leaf Italian Parsley (so much more flavorful than curly parsley)

1 small bunch Mint (about ½ – 1 cup)

About ½ – 1 whole pint of small Tomatoes, such as grape or cherry

Optional: 2-3 chopped Scallions

Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste

 

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Directions:

Rinse bulgur in a tight mesh strainer under cold water and then drain thoroughly.  Pour into a medium bowl.  *See notes below if you wish to use Quinoa. Zest your lemon (before juicing).  Add lemon juice and olive oil to the bulgur, add less to start with as you can always add more lemon juice after tasting, but you can’t take it out.  Allow to sit for a few minutes to absorb the dressing.  If using medium or coarse grain bulgur, you’ll need to add a little hot water to soften the grain, before adding the dressing.

Meanwhile, wash and dry parsley and mint leaves and chop.  Add to the bulgur along with the lemon zest, salt and pepper and scallions if using.  Stir to combine.

Cut the tomatoes in half or quarters, depending upon the size and what you like.  Add the tomatoes to the salad and gently stir.

Taste, adding more lemon juice or salt and pepper as you like.

Can be served chilled or at room temperature.  Enjoy! IMG_4476IMG_4482

Recipe Notes:  

It’s best to let the salad sit for a bit of time before eating to allow the grain to soften and fully absorb all the flavors of the dressing, herbs and tomatoes.  If I have time and actually think ahead, I mix the bulgur with the olive oil and lemon juice and leave in the fridge overnight, before adding the remaining ingredients, but this is not necessary.

 Tabbouleh can be served in so many wonderful ways.  I like it simply in Romaine lettuce cups or added to a hummus wrap or falafel sandwich or atop a larger green salad or served alongside your favorite fish. It was also my contribution to the family Easter brunch, served along side my dad’s amazing quiche and goat cheese tart.  

Ingredient Notes: 

Parsley has numerous health benefits.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins K (one half cup serving provides over 500% of your daily value!) and C and also a very good source of Vitamin A, folic acid and iron. It is high in numerous healthy flavonoids.  All of which means parsley is good for your heart, joints, digestion and more.   

Bulgur wheat also goes by the name cracked wheat, it is high in protein and fiber and low in fat and calories, an excellent substitution for other grains such as brown rice or oats. 

*BUT, if you can’t find bulgur or wish to make this wheat/gluten free, I find Quinoa makes a perfect substitute for the bulgur.  If you do use Quinoa, you’ll have to pre cook it, I would probably use about 1/3 cup uncooked to 2/3 cup water, brought to a boil and then covered on a low simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Quinoa increases in volume by a lot, so don’t be concerned by the small amount at the start.   

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Oatmeal Blackberry Almond Scones

IMG_3680 Blackberry Almond Oatmeal Scone

Oatmeal Blackberry Almond Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Endorsed by my four year old, who took one bite and pronounced (unsolicited, I might add) “mmm, these are really tasty”, what more could you ask for.  I make a lot of different scones and these are my latest variation.  These are by no means traditional Irish scones, but my very Americanized version with whole grains and less fat, I would agree with the four year old they are “really tasty”, but also a little bit healthy to boot.  A nice breakfast treat, perhaps with a little yogurt or a lovely afternoon “teatime” or after school snack.  I use frozen blackberries here which stay intact a little bit more than fresh berries would, plus using frozen berries makes it a great year round recipe when perfect summer berries are not available.

Heart shapes seemed to be in order since the blackberries “bleed” quite a bit into the dough, coloring it a nice pinkish red. I resisted the urge to title this recipe “Bleeding Hearts”, but maybe for Halloween…Otherwise you can share the love all year long with these tasty little scones.

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Ingredients:

1 Cup Unbleached White Flour

½ Cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 Cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (not instant)

¼ Cup Almond Flour (see note below)

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

¼ teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon Ground Ginger

Zest of 1 Lemon

¼ Cup Sugar (I use a minimally processed and Organic sugar)

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

 

3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (Solid) OR cold Butter OR Vegan Butter

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¼ Cup Slivered Almonds

1 Cup Partially Defrosted Frozen Blackberries

 

½ Cup Buttermilk (I use lowfat)

1 Extra Large Egg

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 teaspoon Almond Extract

About 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

 

Directions:

Measure out 1 cup Frozen Blackberries and set aside in a small bowl.  Leave at room temperature while preparing other ingredients.

Preheat Oven to 400 F

In a medium – large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (Flour through Sugars) with a whisk.

Next, measure out the Coconut Oil or Butter and cut into small pieces.  Add to the flour mixture and incorporate through using a pastry cutter or I find a potato masher works great too or even the back of a fork, leaving small pieces throughout, about the size of peas. 

Next, stir in Almond slivers.  Then add in the partially defrosted Blackberries, do not mix in.

IMG_3567 Blackberry Almond Oatmeal Scone dry mix

In a separate bowl or directly in the liquid measuring cup, mix together Buttermilk, Egg, Lemon Juice and Vanilla and Almond Extracts. 

Add the liquids to the flour mixture.  Stir to combine.  At this point, the Blackberries will mash up a bit and color the batter a pinkish hue, try not to completely annihilate them, you want to still be left with some pieces and even a few whole berries is nice.  IMG_3649

Place the batter in the refrigerator for about 15-20 minutes to chill a bit so it will be easier to form into shapes.  

 

I cut my scones into heart shapes, using a 2 ½ inch heart shaped cookie cutter.  I get about 13-14 scones.  If you plan to cut the scones into shapes as I do, sprinkle a little bit of flour onto a pastry mat.  Pour the batter out onto the mat, it will be very wet.  Spread the batter out using the back of a spoon, spatula or your hands, to about 1 inch thick.  Carefully cut shapes out of the batter and transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.  I find it easiest to cut out the dough and then move the cutter over to the baking sheet and gently press the batter out of the cutter directly onto the parchment.  Continue and reshape the dough to cut more shapes. IMG_3651

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Alternatively, you can make “drop” scones, by scooping out some batter with an ice cream scoop or large soup spoon and drop it onto the parchment.

Depending upon the size of your cutter or drop scones you should end up with about 12-16 scones. 

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 12-16 minutes.  Remove from the oven, cool on the pan for about a minute and then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Any leftover cooled scones can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or frozen in a zip top bag.  Enjoy!

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Ingredient Note: If you don’t have almond flour on hand, you can make your own by grinding whole or sliced almonds in a spice grinder or food processor.  They should be finely ground when done, just be sure not to process so long that the almonds turn into paste, which would be Almond Butter, also quite tasty.

Crispy Quinoa Fritters

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It’s Meatless Monday! Truth be told it’s Meatless Monday every day of the week around here, but whether you embrace a Vegetarian lifestyle all of the time or you just try to eat a little less meat here and there, this recipe is perfect.  Quinoa is the only plant based complete protein and with the addition of eggs and cheese, this makes a delicious protein packed Vegetarian main dish, which also wouldn’t be bad as a side dish when you’re not embracing the meat free world.  Bonus, they’re even gluten free. If you have leftover quinoa or cook it the day or two before, these fritters come together quickly, with a cheesy, crispy exterior, complete the meal with a salad and/or roasted veggies, yum.IMG_3689

        

Crispy Quinoa Fritters

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from one of my favorite recipe books, Heidi Swanson’s “Super Natural Every Day”, Little Quinoa Patties.

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked Quinoa (from 1 cup uncooked)

4 extra large Eggs (I use Organic)

Chopped Red Onion – 1 small or ½ of one large OR about 4 Shallots

3 cloves Garlic – minced

¼ cup chopped Parsley

½ teaspoon Sea Salt, or more to taste

¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes, or more to taste

½ cup Chick Pea (Garbanzo) Flour OR ½ cup dried Bread Crumbs

½ cup grated Asiago Cheese (Gruyere would also be good)

1 cup (divided) grated Pecorino Romano OR Parmesan

About 1 – 2 Tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil or a combo

Optional:

Zest of one Lemon

Juice of ½ Lemon

Chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes

Fresh Herbs – about 1 teaspoon Thyme or Oregano

 

Directions:

In a medium bowl combine the Quinoa, Eggs, Onion, Garlic, Parsley, Salt & Red Pepper, Chick Pea Flour or Bread Crumbs, Asiago Cheese, ½ cup of the Romano cheese and any of the optional ingredients you like.  Chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or longer (sometimes I mix it up in the morning and then it’s ready to go when I get home at night).IMG_3686 Quinoa Fritter mix

After 15 minutes, heat the butter and/or olive oil (I like a combo of both) in a large non stick skillet.  Scoop out about ¼ cup of the quinoa mixture (I use a spring loaded ice cream scoop, pressing it against the inside of the bowl to help it hold together a little more) and drop it into the heated skillet.  About 6 – 7 fritters should fit in the pan.  Cover and cook over medium heat for 7 – 10 minutes until the bottoms are browned.  Adjust the flame if not browning quickly enough.

IMG_2465 Quinoa Fritters in the panIMG_2466 Qunioa Fritters flipped

Sprinkle some of the remaining ½ cup of Romano cheese on top of each fritter and then flip over in the pan and flatten out a bit with the spatula.  Cover the pan and cook for another 7 minutes or so until browned on the other side.

Remove from the skillet and place on a serving platter and then continue to cook the rest.  Adding a little more butter or olive oil to the pan as needed

Makes about 12-15 fritters, serve 2-3 per person. 

Leftovers keep great in the fridge for a few days, they’re good cold or heated up.  Enjoy them over a salad or in a wrap, if you like with a little hummus and hot sauce as Colin does.     

Note: we’ve tried these with all types of different sauces and finally came to the conclusion they’re perfect all on their own.

 

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