Chicken & Egg Donburi

I get a lot of fantastic and healthy recipes from a magazine called Women's Health and Fitness. This particular recipe came from the October 2008 issue. There was an article on healthy Japanese food and since most of my experience with Japanese food is limited to Sushi I decided to have a look.

Donburi is the fast food of Japan and this version is pretty filling. It's also very easy but be sure and have your mis-en-place ready as it comes together quickly.

I think this could have used a bit more flavor-maybe salt or more soy. It was good but maybe I'm used to more bold flavors.

Anyway I'll make it again and experiment a bit.

Recipe HERE

Scampi Fra Diavolo

My photo isn't half as pretty as the photo in Bon Appetit. But mine was very tasty. I cut back on the butter and skipped the olive oil.

Easy meal. This would be good over pasta.

My picture


Bon Appetit's photo and recipe

Farro, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad

I'm continuing my farro love and I want to thank Ashley for bringing this salad to my attention. It's perfect for a busy weeknight And Ashley you were right-the vinaigrette rocks!

This will definitely be on my regular rotation!!

STC_0379 by you.

Farro, Avocado, Cucumber, and Cherry Tomato Salad
Cooking Light July 2008

Farro is a whole grain with a pleasantly chewy texture. Look for it at specialty markets and gourmet grocers or health food stores. With crunchy cucumber, sweet cherry tomatoes, and buttery avocado, this dish makes a refreshing lunch. Pair it with a simple starter soup and whole-grain crackers for dinner.

1 cup uncooked farro or spelt
4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon fresh grated lime rind
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 cups red, orange, and yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1 ¾ cups chopped seeded English cucumber (about 1 small)
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¾ cup sliced peeled avocado (about 1 small)

1. Place farro in a large saucepan; cover with water to 2 inches above farro. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain well.

2. Combine oil, rind, juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add farro, tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro; toss gently to coat. Place about 1 cup farro mixture on each of 5 plates; garnish evenly with avocado. Serve immediately.

5 servings

Farro-Mushroom Soup and Runner Cannellini Salad

I've decided to start working my way through all the Rancho Gordo beans and various grains I have squirreled away.

I decided to start with RG's runner cannellini beans. I pre-soaked a cup of these bad boys for 2 hours, bringing the water to a boil first and keeping them covered.

Those I used in a salad inspired by THIS recipe on the RG website. I used fresh basil instead of oregano, canned tomatoes and olive oil and white wine vinegar. I spooned it on a bed of greens for lunch. It would also be a good filling in a whole wheat pita.


I soaked another half cup for the Farro-Mushroom soup.

Farro is my favorite grain and I need to eat more of it so choosing this recipe was a no brainer.

The farro-mushroom soup comes from Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. He says it's from Lucca, Italy. I've been to Lucca and loved it. Anything that reminds me of Tuscany is a good thing.

The recipe actually starts as a farro soup with a mushroom adaptation. Lo and behold I had some dried porcini's so there was another item liberated from my pantry.


The soup is excellent but next time I'll use canned beans to reduce the cook time. I did use canned tomatoes.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup farro, spelt or barley
1 cup dried white beans, soaked for several hours or overnight
2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; do not drain)
6 cups stock or water, more as necessary
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil,
optional Freshly grated Parmesan

Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a large pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro, beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.

Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve with lots of Parmesan

Nepali Grilled Chicken and Nepali Green Bean Sesame Salad

I confess that when I think if Nepal I think of Mount Everest and the Himalaya. And the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Nepali food is yak.

Reading Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duquid I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out Nepali chefs are highly regarded. There are no yak recipes in this book.

Neither of these recipes require a trip to the ethnic grocery store. They're both very easy too.

I loved the marinade on the chicken. Unfortunately I burned the skin but I plan on making this again this week and being more attentive to the grill.

The green beans were awesome! I think it would be a really pretty presentation using red Thai or a red jalepeno pepper.



Nepali Green-Bean-Sesame Salad

1 pound green beans or yardlong beans

3 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil (I used sesame oil)

2 green cayenne chilies, seeded and sliced into rings (I used serrano chilies)

2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Several leaves cilantro or mint, finely chopped (optional-but I used cilantro).

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the beans until just tender, about 4 minutes. Drain, refresh in cold water and drain again. Trim the ends of the beans and slice on the diagonal into ½-inch lengths. Place in a large bowl.

2. Place a dry, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sesame seeds and dry-roast, shaking the pan continuously, until aromatic and lightly golden. Transfer to a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder.

3. Heat the oil in a small, heavy skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Toss in the chilies and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, or until they just start to brown. Pour the chilies and hot oil over the beans and toss. Sprinkle with the ground sesame seeds and ½ teaspoon salt and toss. Add the lemon juice a little at a time, to taste, and toss. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you choose, sprinkle with the chopped cilantro or mint just before serving. Serves 4.

Nepali Grilled Chicken

One 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut into 12 to 16 pieces, or 3 to 3 1/2 pounds chicken legs and breasts, cut into smaller serving pieces*

1 cup chopped ripe tomatoes or canned tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 tablespoons minced ginger
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Wash the chicken well in cold water and set aside.
Place all the marinade ingredients except the oil in a blender or food processor and process to a paste. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the oil. Place the chicken pieces in the bowl and rub to coat them with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Prepare a charcoal or gas grill or preheat the broiler.
To grill the chicken, place it on a rack about 5 inches from the coals or flame and grill, turning several times (tongs work well), until cooked through, about 20 minutes.
To broil the chicken, place it on a lightly oiled rack in a broiler pan and put the pan in the oven so the meat is about 5 inches below the broiler element. Prop the door open slightly and broil for about 20 minutes, turning the chicken once after about 7 minutes, and again after about 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a skewer: The juices should run clear.
Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve hot.

Adapted from “Mangoes and Curry Leaves,” by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid.

Do I like beets?

That's one question I set out to answer. As a kid the answer would have been a firm NO WAY! But I hated brussels sprouts too and have since decided I quite like them drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and roasted.

So I researched beets and how to prepare them. I decided my first beet experience should be simple and in the form of roasted golden beets. A quick search in Epicurious turned up this recipe for Beet Salad which was originally published in Self magazine.

Roasting beets does smell good and I was thinking I was really going to like them. Before assembling the salad I bit into a wedge of unadulterated beet. Not bad. But not great. I didn't hate it. So I proceeded to assemble the salad (subbing olive oil for sesame oil)and dug in. Turns out beets are great when tossed with balsamic vinegar and topped with goat cheese and walnuts.

I'd definitely make this again and make it pretty for company like the Self picture.

So while I don't love beets I'm no longer opposed to them.

Tomorrow dinner is coming from an unexpected country. I can't wait!

Recipe Here

My sad photo here