Strawberry and Spinach Salad

We love to make strawberry and spinach salad at our house because it looks nice and it tastes amazing. I played with the ingredients until I came up with the following recipe.

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp red balsamic vinegar
2 tsp white granulated sugar
2 tsp poppy seeds
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
3 green onions, finely chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
Pinch of smoked paprika

1 large bag of baby spinach
2 cups sliced ripe strawberries
1/2 cup pecan or walnut peaces

1. Place all dressing ingredients in a small container and mix well. Dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.
2. Wash the spinach, discarding tough stems, and wash and cut up strawberries. Place spinach and strawberries in a large bowl. Refrigerate if not serving right away.
3. Just before serving, toss the salad with prepared dressing, and then add walnut or pecan pieces.


Sweet Teriyaki Tofu

There hasn’t been much time to cook around these parts, so we’ll leave you with a simple yet delicious teriyaki tofu recipe.

Sweet Teriyaki Tofu

1 package extra firm tofu
1/4 cup sodium-reduced soy sauce
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 slices fresh ginger, sliced
3 tbsp pure maple syrup
Canola oil as needed
Cornstarch as needed

1. Drain tofu by squeezing excess water out with a paper towel, then by wrapping the tofu in a kitchen towel. Place wrapped tofu on a cutting board or plate, with two more kitchen towels; one resting underneath the tofu and one on top of the tofu. Place two or three heavy cookbooks on top and leave for 20 minutes. Taking out the excess moisture will allow for a better texture.
2. Cut tofu into 8 big pieces, cutting vertically four times and horizontally once.
3. Heat canola oil on medium high in a large frying pan. You’ll want enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan, at least half an inch high.
4. Make sauce by mixing soy sauce, water, garlic, ginger and maple syrup in a blender. Blend for about a minute. Set aside.
5. Fill a medium-sized bowl about halfway with corn starch. Prepare an empty second bowl. Roll tofu in corn starch until coated, then shake off excess cornstarch in second bowl. Once oil is hot, place tofu in oil and cook tofu until it is lightly browned. Turn each piece, cooking until all sides are browned. This is basically the method for agedashi tofu, often served in sushi restaurants, except there it’s dunked in a deep fryer.
6. When done, wait until oil cools, then pour out the oil and pour in the sauce. Or, prepare a second frying pan in place of the first one and pour in sauce. Wait until the sauce starts to bubble.
7. Cook tofu in sauce. Turn tofu to ensure all sides are coated with sauce. Serve with a big salad.

Prep: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Serves two.

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

This is one of our favorite curry recipes. It’s so delicious we’ve been making it every week. DJ adapted this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen’s Eggplant and Black Eyed Pea Curry.

Chickpea and Eggplant Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
Fresh ground black pepper
A dash of cayenne (leave out if you don’t like spicy, increase if you do)
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth
1 can organic chick peas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tomato sauce

1. Preheat a pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in olive oil until translucent for about 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt, ginger, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cayenne, and black pepper along with one cup of the vegetable broth. Cook the eggplant for a couple of minutes.
3. Add lentils and the remaining 4 cups of vegetable broth. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, lover heat to a simmer and cook for about 40 minutes, until lentils are tender and the eggplant is soft. Add the chickpeas and heat through, then stir in tomato sauce and lemon.
4. Serve with brown rice, quinoa, couscous, or with naan bread and cucumber salad.

BANANAS for Banana Bread!

I always get excited when there’s a few bananas in the fruit bowl that are starting to brown. That means it’s time for BANANA BREAD!!! This banana bread is sooooo good. It’s hard to eat just one slice, so take two. Or three.

BANANAS for Banana Bread!

4 very ripe large bananas
1/3 cup melted organic coconut oil
1 cup cane sugar
1 free run egg, beaten or egg replacer equal to one egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Add melted coconut oil and mix well with a wooden spoon.
3. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla, walnuts and chocolate chips.
4. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl, mix and add to the large bowl. Mix well and pour into a greased and floured loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees F.
5. It’s done when a toothpick inserted in the middle of banana bread comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes and then take the bread out of the pan. Cool completely before slicing.