Posts

Afghan Eggplant & Tomato Casserole ♥ (Borani Banjan)

Today's eggplant recipe: An explosion of tastes and textures and temperatures, just eggplant and tomato slices baked in a smoky tomato sauce and topped with a garlicky yogurt-mint sauce. Serve this great summer dish as a side dish or for a Meatless Monday entrée – or maybe like me, to explore Afghan cuisine.
Weight Watchers Friendly, just PointsPlus 3. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.
So. As if there weren't already enough good reasons to belong to a book club. You know, like hanging out with life-long friends talking about books while drinking a nice glass of wine. And now? Discovering Afghan food. WOW.

My book club is a small group of women in our 40s, 50s and now, even 60s. We've been reading together for 21 years! (Here's our book list, for others looking for a great collection of book-club books.) We rarely tie our meal to the book we're reading but for some reason (fate? good luck? I must've done something right?), last month when we read A…

Rhubarb Pudding Cake ♥ Recipe

Today's sweet treat for some night when dinner's a little skimpy, a warm rhubarb-orange cake, not quite a crumble, not quite a cake, something in between.
So you know those magic pudding cakes, right? They're the ones where you throw together all the usual suspects for cake, but once it's baked, out comes pudding topped with cake. It's as if somebody sneaked some pudding into the bottom of the pan while you weren't looking!

Well, "pudding cake" is the idea here although the "pudding" on the bottom is less pudding and more like a rhubarb sauce without the need to actually cook one. (Although word to the wise, a rhubarb sauce is totally wonderful, here's how I make it, Custard with Rhubarb Sauce. Hmm, dessert tomorrow, methinks.)

This is a rustic cake, but the kind that makes a table turn silent, that is, until there's the clink-clink of spoons scraping out the very last crumbs, sad but satisfied it's gone.

Spiral Zucchini Noodle “Zoodle” Greek Salad ♥ Recipe

Today's latest "zoodle" recipe: A Greek salad gone spiral, a big jumble of zucchini noodles, tomatoes and olives tossed in an oil-free Creamy Feta Vinaigrette. It's the salad of the summer, people! And you won't believe that those noodles aren't pasta! Weight Watchers Friendly, WW 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Vegetarian.
So here's a salad – if our tastes are similar, and they are, right? that's why you're reading? – that you'll make all summer long and might even dream about in-between times.

The first time I made the salad, we were rushing out the door, pleased to spend a lazy Saturday with friends basking in late-summer sunshine in the silence of the Missouri countryside. Honestly? I just winged it that day, hapdash-style throwing a few "Greek style" vegetables into a bowl. For the dressing, I went for a tried 'n' true recipe, the Creamy Feta Vinaigrette works so well in a real Greek pasta salad, made w…

Simple Zucchini Ribbon Salad ♥

A simple-simple zucchini salad, just thin-sliced ribbons of young, small summer squash tossed in a simple vinaigrette and dusted with parmesan. WW 2 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real".
Are you noticing, too? It's just spring here in Missouri, but I can tell, It's summer, somewhere. That's because the vegetables, even at the grocery store, are so sweet and perfect, miracle of miracles emerging somewhere from the earth. And small! You can tell, these were picked young. Usually, we must wait for vegetables like this until July or August, either from our own garden or the farmers market. But for a short window, the grocery store's produce department is a vegetable lover's heaven.

Cauliflower Rice with Ginger Vinaigrette ♥

Once again, cauliflower turns into something amazing, this time not quite cauliflower and not quite rice – maybe more like couscous? It's easy to make and to my taste, totally addictive.

Weight Watchers Friendly, just 1 PointsPlus. Low Cal. Low Carb. Gluten Free. Paleo. Whole 30 Compliant. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". And Totally Tasty. (There should be a program for that, too!)
Three grants, count 'em. Granted, Cauliflower Rice doesn't look like much. Granted, Cauliflower Rice is no more than grated cauliflower tossed in a surprising ginger-y vinaigrette. Granted, Cauliflower Rice got so-so attention on Easter Sunday. (In its defense on this last grant, there was tons of competition!)

But by Monday, when we played afternoon-hooky and headed to the country for a little late-winter/early-spring hiking? On the trip back at dark, Cauliflower Rice was all I could think of. We could've stopped for fried chicken at our Mondays-only fried-chicken dive. We…

Finnish Rosolli Salad ♥ Traditional at Christmas (and Now Easter?)

Today's beet salad recipe: The traditional Christmas salad in Finland called Rosolli Salad, a rainbow of grated beet, carrot and potato, served here in layers almost like a Scandinavian Seven-Layer Salad. Rosolli Salad is great for parties, especially since it not only may but should be made up to a whole day ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld. Low-Carb and Gluten-Free. With homemade mayonnaise, Paleo and Whole30.
Um. So yes. A Finnish Rosolli Salad is traditional at Christmas, not Easter. In fact, last Christmas, we served Rosolli Salad in small, individual serving cups to start a traditional Finnish Christmas meal. Gorgeous!

But y'know what? To my taste, the taste and colors of beets and carrots are just so spring-y! So Easter it is, Easter and Christmas, that is, for I will make Rosolli Salad again and again.

There are many, many, m-a-n-y variations of Rosolli Salad even if a trio of root vegetables (that's beet, carrot and potato) are the near-always consta…

Creamy Spinach with Artichokes ♥

Spinach artichoke dip meets steakhouse creamed spinach, an easy casserole made with pantry ingredients. This Southern Living "Party Cookbook" recipe is simple enough for a weeknight, special enough for company or a holiday meal like Easter or Thanksgiving.
Three Guesses. What are the most-requested restaurant recipes for my column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch? Mac 'n 'cheese? Right. Salad dressing? That too. Bread pudding? Absolutely. (And oh man, St. Louisans do love their bread pudding. The best I've tasted so far? The Apple Rum Raisin Breading Pudding from Cicero's in the Delmar Loop.)

But after those top three? The next most-requested recipe is for spinach and artichoke dip, what the restaurants call "spin dip". I've written about four different recipes in the four years I've written the column. (Four years! Really! Best yet? It's still fun! I.Digress.) People love-love-love their spin dip!

This recipe for spinach and artichoke …