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Have you ever eaten fregola? The little toasted rounds of pasta look like Israeli couscous–relatively large, dried balls of semolina flour baked until golden. They get that color not just from time spent under heat, but often a bit of saffron. Fregola’s home base is Sardinia, one of those Italian islands in the Mediterranean Sea. You’ll find this imported pasta at specialty markets or high end grocery stores. Although fregola is not the most inexpensive pasta on the shelf, it is worth at least one round on your dinner table. Fregola is the base of this salad perfect for your end of summer cookouts or grilling parties, including the quickly approaching Labor Day weekend. Bring the fregola, and your guests will be impressed.
Continue reading “Fregola, Chicken and Kale Salad”
If you’re the kind of person who equates salad with lettuce and only lettuce, then today’s recipe will be a lovely change of pace for you. If you are the kind of person who adores couscous, then today’s recipe will be one that you must make now. Don’t waste another second. Two friends hosted a Moroccan-themed dinner party, and the side dish requirement needed to be filled. Couscous is a versatile, quick grain that you can make in less than 5 minutes and dress up however you like. Plus, it’s good for you! You can’t go wrong with this one. That’s why you can’t go wrong with this salad.
Continue reading “Swap Out Your Salad”
The best part of trying new ethnic dishes is the unknown. Most of the time, when we want to recreate a new cuisine, it’s based on a version we’ve had before or at least something close to it. Of course, there are those times when you don’t have the opportunity to do a taste test, and you run on the idea that if all of the ingredients taste good on their own, there’s no reason why they won’t work well together. That’s usually all you need to know when you’re cooking. The rest will fall into place. There can also be a desire to steer away from ethnic dishes that require what seem like one-time use ingredients. (There’s still a full bottle of pomegranate molasses in the fridge from a late summer recipe, but it will be used again very soon! Just you wait and see.) We like to either choose dishes with ingredients we can use again or with ingredients we already have. It makes the venture much easier.
The time had come again for another dinner party with old coworkers, and the theme was food of East or West Africa. The continent is a very large one, and food varies from coast to coast and tip to tip. To that end, the options were plentiful, and there was room to bend the rules and adapt traditional recipes to our own tastes. The main dish chosen is one of the most popular Senegalese meals–poulet yassa–and it fit all of our criteria for an easy ethnic dish to reproduce.
Continue reading “There’s No Fear Here”
We all know the benefits of healthier eating, so we won’t bore you with the blah, blah, blah. We will say that there is a completely different satisfaction that comes from eating healthier. We love our cheesey pizzas, fluffy cakes, buttery cookies, crispy calzones, and ketchup dipped French fries as much, if not more, than you, but usually those meals and snacks can leave you feeling empty. Sounds odd that heavy, high calorie foods can do that, but it’s true. A belly full of empty calories affects you immediately (hello, sugar high or deathly stomachaches!), but a belly full of the good stuff leaves you vibrant, satisfied and guiltless. It’s nice to have those types of meals to remind you that eating smart can still taste good. Might as well squeeze a few healthy meals in between those pizza slices and French fries when you can.
Continue reading “Loading Up on Good Stuff”