Friday, July 20, 2012

Chard and Cookies

Do you ever buy something from Costco and not realize how gigantic it is until you get it home? Or is that just me?! I bought a bag (5 lb!) of Israeli couscous awhile back and I'm pretty sure it's going to last a lifetime. I found this yummy looking recipe for Israeli Couscous with Chard on The Kitchn and gave it a try (love that blog!) and it was really quite good! The kids both ate it although I'm not sure how much chard actually made it into Owen's stomach but oh well.

Israeli Couscous with Chard
via The Kitchn
Serves 2 (we doubled it)

Chard and Cous Cous

1 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/4 cup Harvest Grain Blend or Israeli couscous
Drizzle olive oil
3 large cloves garlic
1 teaspoon whole white cumin
1 dried red chili pepper (optional)
4 cups chopped chard
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Heat the broth to boiling in a small saucepan. Stir in the grains and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 10-14 minutes. Remove the lid and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Sliver the garlic and cook it on low heat with the cumin and chili pepper until soft and fragrant. Don't let it brown.

Add the chopped chard and turn the heat to medium. Saut' for about 5 minutes, or until it is beginning to wilt. Add the cooked couscous and the 1/4 cup of broth. Cook for another five minutes, stirring, until the broth has cooked off and the chard is fully wilted.

Add salt to taste, and vinegar (we drizzled vinegar on top of our individual plates since the kids didn't want any), and serve.

Whole Grain Breakfast Cookies
via All Recipes

I think the next best thing after cake (or should that be pizza?) for breakfast is cookies for breakfast. We love this recipe so much that I thought I should share. I do a few things differently as noted in the recipe below.

Breakfast Cookies

1 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond butter (sometimes I sub peanut butter or sun butter)
1/4 cup canola oil (I use applesauce)
1/4 cup blue agave nectar (I use honey - I think agave is a racket) 1/3 cup brown sugar (I've thought about skipping this and seeing what happens)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper (I use silpat).

Pulse the walnuts in a food processor several times to chop; continue processing until the walnuts are ground into flour; transfer to a bowl. Mix in the rolled oats, whole wheat flour, flax meal, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.

Combine the almond butter, canola oil, agave nectar, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla extract in the food processor (I mix by hand) and process a few seconds to blend the ingredients well; transfer the almond butter mixture to a large bowl and fold in the dried cherries and chocolate chips. Mix the walnut-oatmeal mixture into the almond butter mixture (dough will be very thick).

Scoop up heaping teaspoons (mine are usually more like tablespoons) of dough, and form into balls; lay the dough balls onto the prepared baking sheets (I then flatten them a bit), about 2 inches apart.

Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes (10 minutes for tablespoon sized scoops). Remove from oven and flatten the cookies with a spatula. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheets before removing to finish cooling on wire racks.

Dan Dan Noodles
via Serious Eats

Here it is - one of the recipes that pops up every few weeks around here. I'm actually cooking something more than once! I think I've made these Dan Dan Noodles four times now - that might just be a record for me (actually I think I've made pasta fagioli more times and greek salad, of course). I didn't even know that Dan Dan Noodles existed until my friend Kate mentioned them on facebook! Mmmm, they're so good.

Dan Dan Noodles

12 ounces Shanghai-style noodles or udon (I prefer the frozen udon)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound ground pork (we usually use a pound)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped peeled ginger
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons chili oil, or to taste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 teaspoons Sichuan peppercorns, ground in a mortar and pestle (I found these at United Noodle)
Pinch of sugar (I sometimes forget this and it's fine)
4 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the noodles. Cook until tender but still slightly firm to the bite, then drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to quickly chill (I just rinse with cold water). Drain well.

In a large (12-inch) skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add pork and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until partially cooked but still half pink. Add ginger and continue cooking until pork is cooked through and starting to brown.

Stir in chicken stock, chili oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, tahini, and sichuan peppercorns. Season with a little sugar, then bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce thickens, 7-10 minutes (usually only takes a few minutes for me).

Add noodles to the skillet and toss well in the sauce. Once noodles are heated through, taste for salt and sugar. Transfer to bowls and top with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.


  1. Yum yum. Can I claim partial credit for sharing with you two things that have made it into your awesome blog?! ;)

  2. Totally! I was thinking of doing a shout-out. :)