Risotto does require some babysitting, which is why I think people avoid making it during the week and with good reason.
But, what I discovered is that it freezes really well, so I often double down on the recipe and freeze half. The only tweak to unfreezing and reviving the risotto is to add a little stock and salt and perhaps some fresh cheese. It doesn't exactly spread on the plate as it would if it were made fresh, but for the five seconds it takes to move the container from the freezer to the fridge the night before and the other three minutes it takes to reheat it on the stove, I've spared myself some significant time in the kitchen and once again deciding what to make.
Lobster, monkfish, or shrimp would taste fantastic with this recipe. Or if I are trying to stay lower carb, I add more asparagus, peas, and protein to my portion so I'm eating more vegetables with only a little bit of risotto peeking through--just enough to keep me satisfied.
Time: 45 minutes to 1 hour Servings: Four bowls Level: Medium
This recipe pulls together faster than your family deciding where to order in from and for the food to arrive. But, what I like most about this vegetable-studded dish is that it uses up leftover or half-used vegetables that I have sitting around in my refrigerator so they don't go to waste.
As a bonus, this dish gives people perspective on how much oil is being used in foods prepared in restaurants. I've said it before and I'll say it again, they use a lot!
1 ¼ cup rice, cooked according to directions, then cooled
2 tablespoons sesame oil or avocado oil, divided
½ yellow onion, diced
½ cup grated carrots
½ cup frozen peas, thawed
½ cup frozen corn, thawed
½ cup frozen edamame, thawed
3 scallions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
½-inch knob ginger, finely minced or grated
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 egg (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Make rice, let cool and refrigerate overnight. Break up rice clumps before pan-frying.
In a large wok, heat ½ tablespoon of sesame oil and onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add carrots, peas, corn, edamame, and green onionsand cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove vegetables from wok, set aside, and wipe down pan.
Add ½ tablespoon of sesame oil and add garlic and gingeruntil fragrant, usually less than 30 seconds.
Add rice to the wok and start to toss gently.
Create a well in the rice and place remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in the center. Slowly toss the rice into the well so grains are coated.
Drizzle tamari on the rice and toss until it evenly coats the rice.
If you want to incorporate egginto the dish, create a well, place a beaten egg in the center and scramble well. Toss the rice into the well and distribute the egg.
Add the vegetables back into the wok and toss. Add rice vinegar. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired. (Mine needed another ½ teaspoon of salt.)
Optional egg on the side: in a non-stick skillet place the scrambled egg and swirl the pan. Once the edges are cooked, flip the egg over and cook the other side. Cut the egg-crepe into thin strips and serve on top of the rice.
I'm always finding half-used vegetables in the fridge--bell peppers, zucchini, etc. One of my favorite ways to use these morsels and simultaneously create a family-pleaser is to julienne this bounty and dunk them in a gluten-free batter to make a version of Pajeon, a classic Korean green scallion pancake. In this recipe I used zucchini, red bell pepper, spinach leaves, carrots, and scallions of course to create a light and crispy pancake. But honestly, that is what I had in my fridge.
The batter is gluten-free. It consists of a blend of cassava flour plus rice flour and I've added corn starch (feel free to substitute arrow root powder if you are not using corn starch) to get that right crispy outer texture. The key is to use very cold sparking water and to keep the batter as cold as possible before it hits that sizzling pan.
Time: 30 minutes Servings: Four pancakes Level: Easy
A very unlikely and random combination of ingredients, but I can't credit for the ingenuity. I had this dish at KYU in Miami and I dreamed about for months on end. While I'd love to hop on a plane and have a meal there every week, I decided to replicate these flavors in the kitchen because I had just that little spot of leftover heavy cream that I never know quite what to do with so we ended up with Japanese Miso-Glazed Yams with Parmesan Cream Sauce for dinner one night.
The only feedback I received was that the yams could have been a bit more slathered with sauce, but I was happy with just a drizzle.
Time: 1 1/2 hours (but don't let this scare you as most of the time is in the oven!) Servings: Four Level: Easy
The South of France seemed like an unlikely place to find the most delicious, pillowy ricotta gnocchi, but indeed that is where we found it--at L'Atelier du Port in Nice. The words farm-to-table do not exist there because everything is fresh from the farm and prepared daily. The baskets of fresh (non-GMO) produce arrive in their natural, disfigured state and taste quite different than the sitting-on-the-shelves-for-weeks but perfectly symmetrical counterparts in the US.
Ricotta Gnocchi in this recipe is gluten-free and I've used cassava flour--which is naturally, slightly gummy and adds a potato-like consistency holding the delicate pillow together.
Once the batter is complete you could spoon out dumpling-like drops into a pot of salted boiling water or pipe them out for a more even look.
Yakisoba is a classic Japanese stir-fry noodle doused with a sweet and savory sauce. The key to this dish is its versatility--almost any vegetable, meat or fish will work with it--even if it takes it a step away from the classic. Here I used cabbage, scallions, and mushrooms, but you could easily add spinach, kale, chicken, shrimp or whatever you have leftover and ready to use in your refrigerator. The sauce pairs well with just about any food.
1 package Yakisoba Noodles (fresh or dried, use only 2/3 package)
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ yellow onion, cut into thin slices
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 scallions, sliced
4 cabbage leaves, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (use cornstarch as a substitute)
Remove two packs of yakisoba noodles and place in a colander. Run warm water over them for 4-5 minutes and let them loosen up. Set aside. (Make sure to let the water run for a bit or the noodles might break.)
Make the sauce by placing 1 ½ cups water, prunes, tomato paste, onion powder, and garlic powder in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place sauce into a blender then add soy sauce, honeyand arrowroot and blend through until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a skillet or wok to medium and add olive oil.
Add onions and cook for 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms, scallions, and cabbage and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Season with ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper. Remove vegetables from wok and wipe down pan.
Heat the wok again to medium and add oil. Immediately add the noodles and toss with tongs.
Add half of the yakisoba sauce. (Add more sauce if necessary or freeze the other half for later!)
Add the vegetables back into the wok and toss until well coated.
Cauli-POWER. It is everywhere from rice to pizza and with good reason--it is a highly versatile vegetable that takes on just about any flavor or texture you want it to.
I've seen cauliflower rice used before as tabbouleh, but we decided to roast ours first. Caramelized cauliflower makes all the difference to his recipe which you first roast and then dice into rice. Parsley acts as a natural detoxing agent and this recipe is one of the best ways to get loads of it.
Time: 45 minutes Servings: 2 main or 4 side Level: Easy
I'm not sure I even need to mention the good-for-you kale, cabbage, and beets because the Tahini-Tarragon dressing is something you'll want to dunk these healthy vegetables into let alone have it by itself. This salad combines two of the great cruciferous detoxifiers and combines them with a dressing that is herbaceous and delicious.
If you are having trouble digesting your extra dose of vegetables, try roasting the red cabbage in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 375 degrees or until crisp and then add it to the kale.
Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes Servings: Four Level: Easy
Wrap beets in aluminum foil or parchment paper and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on size. A paring knife should cut through beets easily. Let cool when done. Peel and dice the beets.
While the beets are roasting, make the dressing, by placing garlic and lemon in a bowl. Let the mixture sit for 2 minutes to take the raw bite off the garlic.
To the bowl add tahini and olive oil and mix well. Slowly add 1-2 tablespoons of waterto get a nice consistency.
Add tarragon, parsley, salt,and pepper to the bowl. Adjust seasoning according to taste.
After washing the kale, squeeze a quarter of a lemonon to the leaves and then with your hands massage the kalefor 2-3 minutes or until the leaves turn darker. (Depending on how much water is released from the kale, you might want to drain or spin the leaves.)
Place the kale and cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the dressing.
Need a little reset, but don't feel like juicing or starving yourself? Chicken broth evokes such memories of comfort and childhood and pairing it with ginger--which is the mother of all detox ingredients--as well as a few favorite vegetables (I used spinach, broccoli, and carrots, but your imagination is the limit on this!) helps reset your system in a comforting rather than I'm-dying-of-starvation kind of way.
Over the past few years celery juice has hailed as a cure all for many digestive or inflammatory issues. I personally, just like the way it tastes, especially when it's cut with a little cucumber--another super hydrating vegetable.
After a few days of overindulging or traveling, I find that Celery Cucumber juice helps reset my system in a way that plain old water just cannot. I invested in a quality juicer that is very easy to clean, which makes the cumbersome project of juicing a lot more manageable in the mornings.
Time: 10 minutes Servings: Two glasses Level: Easy