Tzatziki

Ingredients:

1 english cucumber, cut into small dice

16 oz plain whole milk yogurt

2 tbsp fresh chopped or 1 tbsp dried dill, optional

Juice of ¼ of a lemon

1 clove garlic, crushed

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  That’s it. You’re done. Use this on chicken, lamb, in a pita sandwich, with grains, wherever you want a little healthy tang and crunch!

Quick Pickled Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 cups of preferred vegetables: red onion, radish, cucumber, fennel are all good choices, a mix or just one

½ cup white vinegar

1 cup water

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp salt

Method:

Cut your chosen vegetables into thin slices and place them into a bowl.  Place water, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Add the vinegar and stir. Pour this pickling liquid over the vegetables and let it sit.  These will last in the refrigerator for 5 days to a week.

Minimal Effort, Maximum Impact: Buttery Herbed Rice

Minimal Effort, Maximum Impact: Buttery Herbed Rice

Buttery Herbed Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup white or brown rice (or cauli-rice), cooked according to package directions

2-3 tbsps butter

One large or two small shallots, minced if you have the patience, or a fine chop is acceptable

¼ cup total of any mix of chopped fresh herbs – parsley, chives, basil, oregano, tarragon, thyme, etc, 1 tbsp if using dried

Salt

pepper

Method:

Cook rice according to package directions.  In a small saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the shallots and cook until softened and translucent, 3-4 minute.  It is fine if they start to brown a bit on the edges. Remove from heat and stir in the herbs.  Stir this whole mixture into the rice and add salt and pepper to your liking.

So Fresh! So Clean! Mexican Bean and Fruit Salad

So Fresh! So Clean! Mexican Bean and Fruit Salad

Mexican Corn Bean and Fruit Salad

Serves 4-6 as a side

Ingredients:

1 small to medium english cucumber, cut into roughly ½ inch pieces

1 can black bean, well drained and rinsed

1 mango, or about 6 oz pre-cut, cut into roughly ½ inch pieces

6-8 oz pineapple, cut into roughly ½ inch pieces

2 cups corn (frozen and thawed is fine, even better if you can find the roasted sort)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup grated cotija cheese

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

Juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

Method:  Mix it all.  Enjoy. Works well also as a salsa on top of fish or chicken, or just to scoop up with chips.

Easy Flatbread Recipe

Easy Flatbread Recipe

Wow, it’s June already. Since we are tied in to the school year schedule, this is an exciting, exhausting, transitional time. The school is packing in all the last learning, field trips, fun days, evening activities – more than seems possible. The weather is calling up excitement and readiness for pools and beaches and ice cream and steamy streets. And cook outs, of course. We cook on the grill for just about every dinner throughout the summer to maximize outside time and minimize hot kitchen time. It couldn’t be easier – pick a protein or two, some veggies, a marinade or just oil, salt and pepper, and dinner is on. A great addition, though, if you want a little something else, is to have a stack of flatbreads on the table for folks to pile their grill goodies onto. Last week in the Meal Plans by JuliaCooks plan I included this recipe for flatbreads that is super easy and can be made in batches so they are available practically anytime. When you want to mix it up, add fresh herbs or spices!

Easy Flatbreads

Ingredients:
2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil of your choosing (I usually use olive or avocado)
1 cup (or a little more but start with this) water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Add more flour or water, if needed. You want it to come together but not be sticky or with a bunch of flour at the bottom of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead for 2-3 minutes for it to come together into a smooth ball. Let this rest for 5-10 minutes. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces for large breads, 10-12 for smaller. Roll each piece out into a rough circle shape (no worries about it being perfectly round). Roll it thinner than you think you should as it puffs a bit with cooking. Heat a skillet over medium high heat. If you are using non-stick, no need for oil. If not, brush a small amount of oil over the bottom of the pan. Place one bread at a time in the pan and cook for about a minute and a half – 2 minutes on the first side and a minute to a minute and a half on the other. Be sure not to stack them as they come off the pan and cool, so they don’t get soggy. Serve with your choice of toppings, or enjoy as is.

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