Book Review, Main Dishes, Sides

Hemsley + Hemsley Green Goddess Noodle Salad

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If you’ve ever made a zucchini noodle, gnawed on refined sugar-free chocolate fudge, or dug a fork into a mason jar salad, give a nod to all the health bloggers and wellness sites out there, but mostly thank the Hemsley sisters. Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley‚ÄĒknown more commonly as Hemsley + Hemsley‚ÄĒlaunched their brand¬†in 2010, focusing on flavor and relying less on¬†gluten, grains and refined sugar. Lovers of cooking and eating, the Hemsleys began as healthy cooks and caterers for private clients and events, but soon proved to be working towards a larger goal.

To improve their clients’¬†relationships with food, the Hemsleys emphasize the importance of digestive¬†health, and are generally on a mission to make eating well a joyful experience. Their first book, The Art of Eating Well,¬†solidified the Hemsley + Hemsley name as a go-to for all foodstuffs related to making healthier choices, without perpetuating a culture of deprivation. The ladies’ sophomore book is¬†Good + Simple, which dives deeper into their aim to “coach people away from fad diets and unhealthy eating towards an appreciation of the power of real food, properly sourced and correctly prepared.”

The ingenuity behind the¬†Hemsley + Hemsley philosophy is that these women understand that in order to maintain any sort of lifestyle, (“healthy” or otherwise) the methodology must be simple enough to participate in not just often, but every day. Jasmine and Melissa do not suggest¬†that their audience throw out all evidence of bread in their kitchens and become spiral-slicing,¬†grain- and refined sugar-free droids. But they do want to advocate that their practice is attainable enough to introduce into anyone’s routine. Yes, there is a green juice recipe in this book, and zucchini noodles aplenty; but flip a few pages and you’ll find¬†pulled pork and plum clafoutis.

Further, there’s a¬†notion to emphasize a¬†deeper thought process behind eating and cooking: The food we put into our mouths shouldn’t just taste good and look good, it should be thoughtfully¬†sourced. Their¬†holistic approach to food is broken down¬†to three simple words‚ÄĒdelicious, nutritious, sustainable. H + H uses a 15-principle guide, which I find to be refreshingly contrary to the plethora of touters of Health-with-a-capital-H that are so easily lumped together:

  1. Gut instinct
  2. Boil your bones
  3. Forget calories, think nutrients
  4. Meat and two veg
  5. Going against the grain
  6. Fat is your friend
  7. Sweet enough
  8. Drink to think
  9. The real deal
  10. Know your onions
  11. Prepare, chew and combine
  12. Be mindful
  13. Stress less
  14. Tune in
  15. The “better than” rule

I won’t go into what each point means, but I hope you read through them¬†if you find yourself a copy of the book. (In fact, read through all the text¬†that doesn’t precede a recipe. They have something to say; something I can’t paraphrase in a short review.) ¬†The very fact that there are so many “principles” affirms that the Hemsleys¬†understand there’s more to¬†eating than one defining term for everything one puts in their body.¬†Relying¬†on food guidelines rather than restrictions is not only more attainable, but makes for happier eaters.

In addition to the recipes, Good + Simple includes advice for stocking a kitchen, two weekly menu plans (and shopping lists!), and suggestions for lifestyle habits like having a nighttime routine, drinking water, and making time for gentle exercise.

Good + Simple¬†is a cookbook you can actually cook from, which can be a rarity these days. The following recipe is the first I cooked from this book, and I strongly recommend it‚ÄĒfor dinner tonight, lunch next week, or for any upcoming potlucks. While I was slightly turned off by the title, (“green goddess” dressing is a¬†thick,¬†mint-colored substance I truly despise) the photos led me to believe I was not going to be pur√©eing anything¬†creamy. It’s a fresh and immensely flavor-packed¬†dish that was as satisfying to put in my mouth as it was to look at. After three servings for dinner, I went right back to the (plentiful) leftovers for the next two days. The recipe is¬†a keeper, as is the book.

Green Goddess Noodle Salad [from Hemsley Hemsley Good + Simple, by Jasmine Hemsley and Melissa Hemsley, serves 4 as main]

SALAD
10 ounces buckwheat (soba) noodles
1 tablespoon extra-version olive oil
10 ounces broccoli florets or purple-sprouting broccoli, asparagus, or green beans
1 medium green cabbage or bok choy, leaves shredded
1 meduim fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeds scooped out, and flesh chopped
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 large avocado, sliced
2 handfuls fresh greens (watercress, baby spinach, lettuce, leftover cooked kale)
1 small handful of nuts (cashews, peanuts, or almonds) or seeds (sesame, sunflower, or poppy)
4 handfuls fresh herbs (cilantro, mint, or basil), roughly chopped

DRESSING
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, grated
1¬Ĺ -inch piece of fresh root ginger (unpeeled if organic), finely grated
2 teaspoons tamari
A pinch of cayenne pepper or chili flakes (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper

Cook the buckwheat noodles in a large pan of boiling water according to the packet instructions (about 7 minutes). Use two forks to tease the noodles apart during the first minute of cooking.

When they are tender, drain and rinse under cold water for 15 seconds. Drain again and then toss in the EVOO in a large serving bowl to stop the noodles sticking together. Set aside.

Using the same pan, after a quick rinse, steam the broccoli (or other vegetable), covered with a lid, in 4 tablespoons of boiling water for 4 minutes until tender.

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a jam jar with the lid on. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then drain.

Add the raw vegetables, spring onions and avocado to the noodles with the greens and steamed broccoli. Pour over the dressing and mix everything together. Top with the nuts or seeds, toasted in a dry pan for a minute if you like, and the fresh herbs.

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NOTE: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. Check out this review on their website too!

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Main Dishes, Sides

Millet Salad with Turmeric Vinaigrette

Sundays in summer last forever and not long enough. You get up. You rub your eyes, trying to get them to focus. Maybe you had one (or two) more cocktails last night than you’d originally intended to have, but it’s okay. You stumble around looking for socks because you kicked them off in your sleep –how one possesses the ability to remove socks while unconscious remains a mystery– and go on autopilot to the kitchen. Scoop coffee into the pot. Scoop an extra scoop for good luck, like you always do. You like patterns and routine in the morning. Listen to the pot gurgle and hiss and sputter and drip drip drip. Drink a mug of coffee. Drink another. Another. Realize you accidentally drank all six cups and your family will not be amused. Make another pot. Rinse a week’s worth of quinoa because you like to eat it¬†and WHO CARES if people look in the fridge and ask why you made so darn¬†much. It’s your fridge. Spill roughly 1/8 cup quinoa all over the floor and then realize the floor is the same color as the quinoa and finding seven billion grain-beads is not how you wanted to spend the morning. Sweep.

Walk to the park¬†in pjs and birkenstocks¬†¬†becuase running requires too much effort (and a shower afterwards.)¬†Wish you’d remembered to put on sunscreen. Let your mind wander a bit, because that’s okay sometimes. Find yourself smiling again. It feels nice. Notice that it’s getting late (read: 8am) and you have shit to do and people coming over. Get home. Get distracted reading Molly Yeh’s¬†grub street¬†diet. Only be sad for a few minutes that you don’t also have a chicken to share a cucumber with.

Make brunch. Notice that two bunches of swiss chard sautés down to roughly enough to feed yourself. Wash more chard. Remind yourself that everyone always says never to try out a new recipe for guests in case something goes wrong. Remember how you thought this to yourself at the grocery store the other day but then did one of these. Shrug and add more cream to the chard. Cream makes everything better.

Finish cooking with four minutes to get dressed. Drink another cup of coffee. Spend the rest of the day brunching, then having a “business meeting” (because you’re a “grownup” now,) then drink beers on the hammock outside with someone you like to sit next to. Don’t spend all night watching Friends on Netflix because you have work in the morning. And next Sunday will be here sooner than you think.

Salad (serves 3-4 as main, 6 as side)

1 cup millet
1/2 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 large zucchini, diced
~10 brussels sprouts, sliced very thinly
1 can chickpeas (reserving the water to do crazy shit like this)

2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
~2 teaspoons fresh thyme
lots of freshly ground black pepper
tiny dollop maple syrup or honey
3 tablespoons olive oil

Rinse the millet well and cook according to package directions (when in doubt, go with the ol’ 1:2 grain-water ratio. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 10-15 minutes, then turn off heat and let stand for 5ish minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.) Transfer to serving bowl. Saut√© onion in coconut oil until tender, then add to millet. Add zucchini, brussels sprouts, and chickpeas to millet. Make the vinaigrette by combining all ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl. Slowly stream in the oil, whisking constantly. Pour over millet mixture and toss well. Serve cold or at room temperature, depending on your preference!

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Winter Farro Salad (V)

Hi guys, it’s Emily, here to share another guest post! I was first introduced to farro last spring while studying abroad in Italy. During the colder months, we had soup for lunch almost every day. It was the perfect thing to warm us up after site visits in the rain (which happened a lot). As the weather warmed up though, we switched to salads. One day, after a long morning of running around Rome looking at all of the antiquity (life was rough, guys), my classmates and I were famished. You can imagine the joy we felt when we had farro salad made with cherry tomatoes, arugula, mozzarella, and basil dressing for lunch that day. It was fresh yet filling, and I have never been so sad to see a lunch end.

When I came home I made it my mission recreate this perfect food. Maybe when it gets warmer out I will share my version of that salad with you (*hint* *cough* hey Becca!). Thus began my extensive experimentation with possibility of grain salads. Farro, wheat berries, wild rice, quinoa, millet, and other hearty grains are perfect for showcasing seasonal vegetables and flavorful dressings. Even better, they only improve as they sit and the flavors get to know each other.During the warmer months, these types of dishes are perfect for barbecues and light lunches. They can be made ahead and are great at room temperature. Once the weather began to cool off though, I stopped making grain salads. I poked around for recipes that utilized winter flavors, but never really found anything that struck me. This was until I was gifted David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen over the holidays. His wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate fit the bill. During a season that is ruled by hearty stews and anything with tomato sauce and loads of cheese, this salad is much needed. Now, I love stuffed shells probably more than the average person, but sometimes I just need something a little brighter and lighter. I made this for dinner one night as a side to a roasted chicken. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t eating it out of the bowl with the serving spoon while the chicken cooked. The next day, I mixed some with shredded leftover chicken and brought it to work for lunch. Everyone was jealous.

Winter Farro Salad (Serves 6 to 8; barely adapted from My Paris Kitchen)

1 c. uncooked semi-pearled farro
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 pounds mixed root vegetables (I used carrots, parsnips, and turnips) and winter squash
olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
4 cups coarsely chopped radicchio
1/2 c. chopped parsley
seeds from 1 pomegranate (I use this method to remove them)
fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. honey
1/4 c. olive oil

Cook the Farro: Rinse farro and put in a large saucepan. Add bay leaf and cover with water. Cook until tender according to packaging instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Remove bay leaf and place farro in large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Roast the Veggies: Preheat oven to 375o F. Peel vegetables and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place in ovenproof dish (I used a large pyrex pan). Coat with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until fork tender, about 35 min. Spread radicchio over vegetables and return to the oven for another few minutes, until the radicchio is wilted.

Make the Dressing: Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover, and shake until combined. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.

Put it All Together: Put vegetables in bowl with farro and stir together. Toss with dressing. I like to use about two thirds of it to start, taste, and adjust to my liking. You can always add more dressing, but you can’t take it away. Any extra is good on a salad tomorrow. Gently toss in parsley, pomegranate seeds, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a few grinds of pepper.

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Quinoa Tabbouleh (V, GF)

Tabbouleh is easily one of my favorite foods. It’s pretty strange, because I actually have a habit of saying of I’m not a big fan of parsley or tomatoes (ingredients that make up about 7/8 of this recipe) but there’s just something about tabbouleh. It changes singular ingredients into one wonderful magical thing. Tomatoes are no longer tomatoes. Parsley is no longer parsley. Everything is tabbouleh. Okay this is getting a little Dadaist for me so I’m just going to move on. My journey this year is to put together as many one bowl dinners as I can, in hopes of fulfilling my ultimate quest: to wash less than five dishes/silverware/cups a day. It’s not working out so well, but hey, it’s only been like a month in the land-of-no-dishwasher! I’ll get there!¬†I’ve already made a few one bowl dishes, but was so hungry I didn’t bother photographing them..oops. But in hopes of getting my readers as excited about these OBD’s -get it?- as I am, here are a few I’ve made and definitely have my stamp of approval¬†(side note- who misses How I Met Your Mother as much as I do?):

These barbeque baked lentils¬†are making me so glad I sprung for a 2-gallon mason jar’s worth of french lentils in bulk at Whole Foods.

Who says it needs to be breakfast time to eat steel cut oat and quinoa cereal? It lasts for days and is delicious hot or cold!

I don’t know if you’d call this a full OBD, but this mustardy carrot slaw was AWESOME (and got even awesomer after I diced a gala apple up in there too).

Eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce¬†(the first recipe in this big list o’ sandwiches) is all I’ve ever wanted. I didn’t have any pita, as I have yet to sneakily liberate some from a dining hall¬†acquire some in an ethically sound manner, but it was just as delicious in a bowl with sliced avocado.

And now here are some I really want to make in the near future:

This Thai sweet potato soup is making me wish it could get colder so I can eat it all.

I love romesco and I can’t believe I have yet to put it on a pizza with chickpeas and kalamata olives.¬†(Oh and also the Lunch Box Fund is super important you can read more on that too by clicking ^¬†link.)

If poutine is made with sweet potatoes and is vegan it’s healthy right? But there is a real chance I will add cheese to this when I make it. I can’t help it.

There’s literally nothing I like more than a big ass salad with kale and veggies and protein (because it’s a never ending meal and I am a notorious scarfer. Seriously. You should see me with sushi. There’s honestly no point in using a plate because it’s gone in 45 seconds).

Stay tuned for more, but in the meantime, y’all ready for some quinoa? The lighting was a dream come true for food photography..

Tabbouleh (serves 8-10 as a side, 3-4 as a main; from The Kitchn)

1 c uncooked quinoa

1/2 medium red onion, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 1/2 to 2 c minced fresh parsley

1/2 c minced fresh mint

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 c olive oil

2 tbsp lemon juice + extra

1 + tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to tasta

8 oz feta (optional)

Rinse the quinoa well and place in a saucepan with 2 cups of water and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Cook for about 20 minutes, then transfer to a glass bowl or baking tray to cool.

Meanwhile, soak the chopped onion in a bowl of cold water to lessen their bite (this is my new favorite trick because I love raw onions but they’re always a little too strong). Place the chopped tomatoes, parsley, mint, and garlic in a large bowl. When the quinoa is cool, drain the onions and add both the bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together minced garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over salad and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your preferences! In my opinion, this salad only gets better as time passes; the dressing really soaks into the quinoa. Before serving, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and feta! Serve with pita or lentil chips and hummus!

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Orange Arugula Salad (with Shallot Vinaigrette)

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It’s beginning to look a lot like summer in Jersey! And with that comes picnics and other outdoor events (note: “events” often = dinner outside with my parents I am so #popular) Anyway, these aforementioned events often call for something green and healthy. Therefore I give you this salad! It’s¬†is so simple, fresh, and delicious. The sweet oranges go perfectly with the peppery arugula and crunchy almonds. I may or may not have eaten the whole bowl of the pictured finished product. I dare you not to do the same.

 

Salad

2 bunches arugula, washed and torn

1/2 c. slivered almonds

1 large orange (or 3 clementines)

Slice the orange and add all ingredients to a large bowl.

 

Vinaigrette

1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1 shallot, mined

2/3 c. olive oil

salt and pepper

Add all ingredients to a mason jar and shake well. Pour over salad and toss!

 

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Mixed Greens Salad and Vinaigrette  (with goat cheese, dried cranberries, walnuts, and apples) (aka, how to make salad not boring)

So this dish is a combination of a great many things, ending with a retro recipe of my (and others’) own creation: 1. Making a version of this slammin’ salad for dinner with a friend¬† 2. Wanting to blog about it because it was so delicious 3. Deciding to spend a great deal of spare time I really don’t have scouring the interwebs for a vintage vinaigrette so I can [more or less] honestly call this a retro recipe¬† 4. Discovering that the majority of salads from the 50s and 60s involve an inordinate amount of gelatin and Miracle Whip, two things I can’t say I have ever really associated with salad [side note: one of these so-called “salads” did involve a sliced banana sitting atop a bed of lettuce in between layers of peanut butter and mayo. I’ll just leave that there] ¬† 5. Morphing the few recipes I did find that did not in fact sound like something a hungry teenage boy creates out of leftovers in the fridge into something wonderful!

Salad

– Several packages of mixed greens (or your favorite kind of lettuce)

– 1/2+ cup walnuts

– 1/4- as-much-as-you-want cup fresh or precrumbled goat cheese

– 1/2+ cup dried cranberries

– 1 large apple, sliced into thin strips

Make sure the lettuce is WASHED and then assemble. If you can’t do this without further instruction…I……I..just…don’t know how to help you.

Dressing

If you want to get technical, the magic ratio of vinegar to oil in vinaigrette is 3:1, so apply this to however much you think you’ll need. In all honesty, I usually eyeball the crap out of stuff like this..

– Red wine vinegar

– Extra virgin olive oil (Anthony Bourdain, if you happen to be reading my blog, I promise you I do NOT refer to this as EVOO like your arch-nemesis Rachel Ray. Wanna go to dinner sometime?)

– 1+ tsp. Dijon mustard

– 1 clove garlic, minced OR 1 shallot, minced

– salt and pepper

Place all aforementioned ingredients in a large mason jar (no, this isn’t a hipster thing, it’s a really-freaking-helpful thing) and shake it all up. Pour over the previously assembled salad and enjoy!

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