Few months ago my friend introduced me to the cookbook called “It’s All Good” written by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen. I sat in Barnes and Noble and after I read first few pages I was hooked. The recipes just looked so fresh and simple but not boring.
As I was using this cookbook from week to week I realized that there are some ingredients that are used very often in these recipes: dijon mustard, seeded mustard, lemon juice, fresh parsley, fresh cilantro, white wine vinegar and olive oil. Marinades and dressings that are made by using these ingredients are very versatile and can be used for many different meats and vegetables so it is nice to have them on hand. You will see some of the examples below where I used a certain dressing the following day for a completely different dish.
The very first dish I made from here was the Roasted Cauliflower With Chickpeas and Mustard Dressing. This dish is so easy to make and so delicious! I probably make this now once a week and it is my go to recipe when I wanna make cauliflower as a side. The marinade can be used as a glaze for many other vegetables as well. I tried it over the grilled zucchini and it was outstanding.
You can find the recipe here:
The next dish I made was the Lentil Salad with Mustard and Tomatoes. The dressing here is very similar to the one in the dish above except it has lemon juice as well. I never had lentils this way before. I usually cook them with onions and lots of cumin, the middle-eastern way. This is a very nice and refreshing way to enjoy lentils. I even tried it with the egg on top the next day for lunch and it was delicious!
Here is the recipe : http://www.self.com/food/recipes/2013/04/lentil-salad-mustard-tomatoes
Up next, Japanese Restaurant- Style salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing. The dressing is really what makes this salad superb. Salad is rather simple: Bibb lettuce, cucumbers, onions and tomatoes. The dressing is rather intimidating with over 10 ingredients but once you have all the ingredients its all about blending them. This totally reminds me of the mixed greens salad with ginger dressing from the Japanese restaurants!
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sweet white miso
1/4 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1/2 cup grape-seed oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Blend everything in Vitamix or blender of your choice until very smooth. If you use measurements above you will get about half of the medium size mason jar and you can store it in the fridge for about 10 days. I made this salad one week, stored dressing and used it for a different salad the next week. It was delicious!
For the first salad (as per GP book recipe): Chop one head of Bibb lettuce, add chopped tomatoes, cucumber and red onion. Add few tablespoons of prepared dressing above, add some sesame seeds and mix. Note: recipe calls for specialized seaweed sesame sprinkles but I used regular sesame seeds to top it all off and it was excellent.
The second week I made this yummy kale salad and used the stored dressing. Toss kale and carrots in a salad bowl and add few tablespoons of dressing. Top with pine nuts and enjoy!
What about the meat dishes? I made few, but my favorite were the chicken kabobs! This type of meat is very practical because it can be prepared ahead of time and then just grilled at dinner time. And the possibilities for pairing this type of meat dishes with sides are endless! Kabobs are also great for school lunches because they can pack nicely and no fork is needed.
The original recipe calls for turkey meat but I used chicken breast because that is what I had on hand. I also replaced goat’s milk yogurt with plain greek yogurt, but I do not think it made a difference. The purpose of the yogurt is to make the meat moist so it doesn’t really matter the type of yogurt you use.
For the Turkey or Chicken Kabob marinade combine the following:
1/2 cup of sheep/goat or plain greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon of minced fresh ginger
1/2 of each -coriander, cumin, turmeric and sea salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of cilantro (for serving)
Mix all ingredients above (except cilantro) and add zest from one lime. Reserve lime juice for later. Cut the chicken in cubes and pour the prepared marinated all over until the chicken is coated well. Place the chicken in the ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least one hour. I marinated mine for over 4 hours. I do think the longer you marinate the better it will be.
Once you are ready to grill, take the chicken out of the marinade, arrange on the skewers and grill.
As a last step, squeeze lime juice and scatter cilantro when you are ready to serve it.
I was planning on sharing just the 4 recipes above and then last night I made this yummy quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash and it was so good that I had to share it today as well! I served the salad with some lemon garlic shrimp (this recipe coming up soon) and it was just perfect. Very light but satisfying meal. The salad was great the next day for lunch as well. I added an egg on top, sunny side up, for extra protein.
Quinoa With Butternut Squash, Scallions and Parsley
Take 2 cups of diced butternut squash (I used little more) and toss with olive oil (about 2 tbsp) and pinch of salt. Roast at 400 degrees until soft. After about 20 min, put it under broiler so it gets little crispy. Take out of the oven when done and let it cool down to room temperature.
Cook 1 cup of quinoa, cool and set aside (1 cup of quinoa coverts to almost 3 cooked cups. Use about 2 cups for this dish and reserve 1 cup for the next day). I used SuperGrains which is the blend of red and white quinoa, buckwheat and millet. I like the mix of the colors in this blend and it’s little more nutritious so this is why I prefer to use it over plain quinoa.
Chop 3 scallions, hand full of fresh parsley and add about 1 tbsp of lemon juice. Mix well.
Take the quinoa and mix with prepared dressing above. Slowly fold in the butternut squash. Serve with your favorite protein or have it as is!
I have yet to explore breakfast and dessert sections but thus far I am loving every page of this book. It is a really good cookbook to have on hand. It is definitely not one of those books where you make one recipe and then it collects dust!
I hope you try some of these recipes and if you do, I would love to hear back!
Until Next Time,