Creamy Avocado Sauce/Dip

This recipe came to me one night when my mom had made a spicy dinner and we had a huge about-to-go bad reed avocado sitting around. I used spices to compliment the flavors of her dish. It was great as a cooling agent and it was just as good the next day as a snack on crackers.

Avocado Sauce/Dip:

  • 1 lg reed avocado
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pinch dried ginger
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • a pinch salt
  • 3 tbsp plain nonfat/lowfat yogurt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  1. blend all ingredients in a food processor

 

 

 

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Summer Sangria

My cousin recently moved to San Diego to get her Master’s degree. When she was moving in, her parents gave her a hand-me-down punch bowl that had been an unused wedding present. We quickly came up with a new future use for the clandestine punch bowl as a sangria bowl. That same week, Jess came over with the bowl and we came up with this summery sangria recipe. The bowl even has matching glasses that hang off the side.
summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

Summer Sangria:

  • 2 bottles red wine (blends)
  • 4 cups sparkling water
  • 1 bag frozen cherries
  • 2 large, firm peaches
  • 2 passion fruits
  • lotsa ice

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Heirloom Tomato Bulgur Salad

summer bulgur-heirloom tomato salad

I found this recipe on the whole foods website and decided to spice it up. It’s a great idea for summer because you don’t have to cook it and it really utilized the flavors and natural juices of superripe heirloom tomatoes.

Heirloom Tomato Bulgur Salad:

  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • a few sprigs thyme and rosemary
  • a few squirts mustard
  1. Cut tomatoes into large dices, saving juices
  2. gently mix the tomatoes and their juices into the bulgur and let sit for three hours or more
  3. add capers, herbs and mustard

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Sesame Balls

hiking the NA PALI coast...

When my mom got a vitamix we went into a crazed vitamixin’ phase. One sunday when my dad was making breakfast we realized we’d finished the peanut butter. After breakfast he likes to have some peanut butter. Not one to just spoon it out of the jar, he artfully modifies his spoonfuls with honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, sometimes some nuts or seeds. Anyways I decided I would whip up (or grind up) some peanut butter in the new handy contraption. The peanut butter was great but it only lasts up to a week and I guess I got a bit overzealous because I made a bit more than we really needed. So, towards the end of the week I solved that problem and turned the leftover peanut butter into these no-bake dessert/energy snacks.

Peanut Butter:      (I used my vitamix but it would probably work in a food processor)

  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • a splash H2O
  • dash vanilla extract
  • dash cinnamon
  1. blend peanuts w/ a little water until it turns into a paste. eat peanut butter

Aforementioned Dessert/Snacks:

  • peanut butter (you can use store bought if you don’t have home-ground)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • a few more dashes on cinnamon
  • a dash of salt
  1. spread sesame seeds on a mini baking sheet and toast them for a couple of minutes. not long.
  2. mix the cinnamon with the hot seeds (to bring out the aroma)
  3. add salt to the mix
  4. roll peanut butter into balls then roll in the mixture
  5. keep in fridge

 

© 2014 – 2016, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

I love figs. so. much. We’ve had a big ole fig tree in our front yard for as long as I can remember. I used to take my first-day-of-school photos in front of it every year. Last year when I went back to school in SLO my friend and I realized how many figs were going uneaten on our fellow community members’ bountiful trees. We decided it was not only tragic but a crime against humanity so we started doing nighttime missions to relieve their trees and transport the fat figs to a more happy home, with us. Where they would be thoroughly appreciated*. Although they aren’t the black mission figs I am used to from my tree in San Diego, they are free and we do it for the figs sake, so I’m not going to complain. BUT the late summer months at home when our tree produces, are some of my favorite days of the year. I check the tree daily, sometimes two or three times. I will not let a fig go to waste. I’ve made many a fig recipe this year but this is one of the simplest and tastiest.

Fig & Olive Tapenade

  • 10 ripe figs
  • 2 cups pitted kalamata olives
  • a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 sprigs rosemary and or thyme

Blend ingredients together and get some good crackers or bread. It’s also divine on top of roast chicken or next to herby lamb meatballs.

*we have also been asked to leave our schools’ orchards, for sneaking into the fig tree enclosure

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Brussels, Edamame and Tahini Salad

Sometimes when I don’t feel like going out or going grocery shipping, I pretend I’m on Chopped and turn it into a cooking challenge to figure out a meal using what’s on hand. It’s quite a skill to have, if I may say so myself.

One night my mom and I came home with no specific dinner plan but some pretty great things came out of it. We had some trusty brussels sprouts on hand. Knowing you have a stash of brussels at home is always reassuring because they’re versatile and they last a long time. You can roast them, sauté them or slice them up raw for a substantial salad, which is what I decided to do on said night.

 

Recipe:

  • 1 lb brussels cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen edamame
  • 3 shallots
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins/golden berries/dates/dried apricots
  • 1 tbsp yellow miso  *note
  • 1/3 cup pistachios
  • 2 tbsp tahini **
  • generous splash tamari (soy sauce is ok too)
  • a few generous squirts sriracha
  • couple of tsps black and/or white sesame seeds
  1. heat a small pat of butter in a nonstick pan and caramelize shallots
  2. clean and slice brussels, leaving out bitter, white cores
  3. cook edamames
  4. soak your dried fruit of choice in hot water to plump them up, drain and add to sliced brussels along with the edamames
  5. heat miso in the pan used for caramelization, add pistachios, don’t worry if it’s gooey, it will be fine once it joins the other ingredients  *
  6. add the miso/pistachios, tahini **, tamari, sriracha and sesame seeds, toss

* you can skip the miso pistachio step and just use slivered almonds or plain pistachios if you’re not feelin it

**my favorite tahini (especially for this recipe) is the whole foods brand because it’s more viscous than your average thick, sticky tahini. it’s also usually the cheapest

We’ve remade this salad a few times and switched up the nuts and dried fruits depending on what’s available and/or on what sounds appealing to the chefs at the moment.

Speaking of tahini and this salad, this is one of the things we showed our neighbor how to make in an impromptu “what makes good leftovers” cooking class at her house. We also made this tempeh-tahini bake creation that is one of my all time favorite comfort food dinners. We actually adapted the recipe from a lamb dish in “Jerusalem” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi.  I will have to remake it to figure out proportions and measurements. I’ve never paid much attention because I am too focused on eating it. RECIPE COMING SOON

 

© 2014, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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