Mujaddara: Lebanese style Lentils and Rice

photo copyEach culture has their own take on grains and legumes. Italians have Pasta e Fagioli, Indian families enjoy Dal, and Latin Americans dig into Frijoles y Arroz.

In my family growing up, we had Mujaddara, a gently cooked lentil and caramelized onion dish. This hearty side was often an accompaniment to fish, especially during Lent. My mother often made it super thick, with just lentils and sweet onions, which we would then devour with loaves of warm Syrian bread. #comfortfood.

As I moved into my own home and started cooking for myself; this was one of the first dishes I made consistently. By adding brown rice (as is common); this little dish-that-could became a cheap, filling and nutritious staple to my early 20’s steady diet of beer I mean salad.

In this version, I’ve dressed up the basic ingredients of caramelized onions, lentils and rice with kale and tomatoes to make it more of a one-dish meal. Make good use of your summer produce and toss in here to add more color and flavor. Warming cumin adds earthiness and depth to the flavor. It’s perfect served warm as a side dish to grilled steak or fish. I personally love it best cold with a big scoop of plain yogurt, which makes it such a satisfying dish in the summer. It’s also divine when sneaking a spoonful out of fridge in the middle of the night. Mmmujaddara:

Summer Mujaddara
Time: 70 minutes  – Serves: 8 (as a side)
We’re using chicken broth and butter for flavor; but by using vegetable broth and oil; this dish is completely Vegan if that’s your bag.

1 tbs butter
1 tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 large sweet onion
2 c. kale (heaping)
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved (or 1 can (14.5oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes)
1 c. brown lentils
2 c. brown rice
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
6 c. chicken broth
Sea Salt & Black Pepper

Before you begin, be sure to pick over your lentils carefully; as they’re a natural product, the occasional tiny pebble or bit of organic matter can be in the bag, so just give them a once-over and rinse. Peel garlic and onion, trimming ends and dicing both finely. Clean kale thoroughly and remove the tough inner ribs. Chop kale into 1″ pieces.  Clean tomatoes and halve (or open the can).

In a large, deep stockpot, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sprinkling liberally with salt and pepper. Saute until lightly golden. Mix in kale and tomatoes, toss until wilted. Stir in cumin and paprika (if using). Finally stir in lentils and rice, mixing together until rice is translucent, only about 3-5 minutes.

Slowly add chicken broth (lentils and rice should be covered; if not, add more liquid). Cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook covered until tender, about 50 minutes. All liquid should be absorbed, if not, allow to cook longer. Taste and add more seasoning as needed. Serve warm or cold. Serves 8 as a side dish or makes tons of delicious leftovers for 2. Yes, it’s even more awesome the next day.

Serving suggestions:  Plain yogurt, crispy fried onions or fresh tomatoes & cucumbers drizzled with oil.

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BRB: Going to stick a spoon in the fridge.

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#TBT Salamander Resort & Spa

Try as I might,  I often start blog posts, get distracted by something else I want to write and the original post languishes, sad and unread. NO MORE! In honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT), I’m finishing these forgotten gems (?) and sharing them. Some are from a couple of months ago, some are from years ago (fun!). Enjoy taking a look back at some awesome travel and eats.

Way back in December 2013 (when my hair was behaving and my pants fit better), my friend, Jen and I took a girls’ spa weekend to Salamander Resort and Spa in Middleburg, Virginia.  About 30 minutes outside DC, this new-to-us-then resort (they opened in September 2013) seemed like a perfect fit.
IMG_7481– Gorgeous spa? CHECK
– Walking distance to downtown? CHECK
– Cozy bar area? CHECK
– Horses? CHECK – what? Yes, you read that right, HORSES.

Giddyup, we were in.

The resort and grounds are absolutely gorgeous, idyllic and classic Virgina country.
We were escorted to our cozy 4th floor room, where we found an inviting, well-appointed room with…

IMG_7441…stinkbugs. YES, STINKBUGS.

We didn’t realize it at first; and just saw little critters on the floor and bed…and well, we screamed, grabbed our bags and ran to the front desk, ready to have a meltdown.

After a round of drinks on the house; and some soothing tones from the Guest manager, we got the scoop:

Apparently, the Virgina countryside where the resort is had a terrible season (2013) for stinkbugs; and despite the resort’s best efforts; they’re everywhere.  They are nature-bugs and are no indication of the cleanliness of the resort or rooms; it’s just you know, nature.

I appreciated their attitude and calm; but it was still disconcerting. We were given another room (that had been checked for the little Virginia treats) and settled in (It must be said, we did not have nay other experience with nature-bugs in our room for the rest of the trip).
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(cozy fireplace, comfy seating, wine within arm’s length. Yup, all the makings of a girls’ weekend!)

It was Christmas Parade weekend in Middleburg; so we walked the 10 minutes from the resort into town and wandered through the throngs of people enjoying the parade, food  and hot drinks. We had missed the horse and hound parade  (where horses and hounds simulate a typical fox hunt by zipping down main street) and opted just for lunch (and wine).

In an effort to avoid the crowds, we stepped off the main road and into The French Hound.
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Set up like a country house, we were escorted to a window seat and promptly ordered glasses of wine to start the afternoon.
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We enjoyed all manner of “classic” French dishes. Charcuterie, cornichon and lovely French breakfast radishes with sea salt and butter (so simple and so good). I opted for a luscious, drippy, rich and creamy Croque Madame for lunch. Viva la France.  A beautiful spot and a quaint lunch. Don’t miss it.

During our weekend it snowed in DC.
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(yes, you can still see the grass).

Us Boston girls weren’t deterred by the 1/2″ of snow; but our Virginia neighbors were a bit more cautious. We had wanted to visit several of the local (literally within 3 miles) wineries but were told they were probably closed due to the “weather. However, we were feeling adventurous and had a lovely valet man who was happy to fire up the on-property SUVs (for guest transportation) to see if any wineries were open. Sadly, none were. We had to settle for a glass of wine back at the resort, enjoyed fireside in the library. Shucks.
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However, we did get to visit the stables! Again, the weather prevented any riding (and um, I don’t know how to ride a horse unless you count the pony rides at my hometown library during elementary school where they had “Timmy the Pony” at all library events. Doesn’t count? Didn’t think so). But we fed our equine friends carrots and gave them snuggles.  IMG_7461
The terrified look in this horse’s eye should be no indication of my comfort level with the animal kingdom. He was fine, I swear.

Because we were wiped out from the SUV riding and the horse hugging, we opted to get into cozy clothes, cue up everything on Bravo and order room service!
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Mushroom soup, corn fritters, crab cakes and sautéed kale. Oh heck yes. Enjoyed all the more while wearing ripped hospital pants and old college t-shirts from 1998.

Sunday morning dawned cold and bit more snowy. We headed to the on-site fine dining restaurant, Harriman’s for brunch.
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I’ll take my champagne with a side of winter ambiance, thankyouverymymuch.

There was some confusion over the “bottomless” champagne advertised but we spoke to a couple of different servers and it all worked out. (In Salamander’s defense, they had been opened 2 months at the time of our visit; and most likely our visit was one of their first “tourist” weekends due to the Christmas events. I’m sure they’ve since worked out the service bugs).

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A Bloody Mary WITH BACON and a gorgeous quinoa salad for Jen….IMG_7451
….nonstop champagne and the brunch buffet for me. A beautiful selection of all manner of brunch and lunch options were available. Feeling more lunch than brunch, I tried shrimp and grits, biscuits and gravy, bacon and collard greens. How this Boston girl loves and craves shrimp and grits,  I’ll never know. I just know I like it. ALOT.      IMG_7476
After a leisurely stroll around the property, a super relaxing massages in the clean, comfortable and elegant spa, we finished off the weekend with hot drinks and a gorgeous toffee pudding in the bar area. Fact: I will always order the toffee option. Always.  Relaxed, stuffed and happy, we rolled ourselves into taxi and off to DCA.
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Another girls’ weekend on the books. (2 years late).

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Ginger Poached Cod over Hot & Cold Noodle Salad with Mint Lime Vinaigrette

Best friends, I have such a light and lovely meal to share with you.

This is my riff on a Bun cha, a Vietnamese noodle salad. Rather than the traditional fatty pork (drool); we’re gently poaching cod in a savory miso ginger broth. We’re taking the tender ginger cod and serving it with crisp, crunchy vegetables, stir fried vegetables and thin, chewy rice noodles that are perfect for sopping up our incredibly flavorful homemade Mint Lime Vinaigrette. Oooh boy, this is a good one.

Though the ingredient list and steps may seem lengthy, I promise this whole meal came together in under 20 minutes and the presentation is just so pretty as a composed salad. The weirdly organized Gemini-freak in me loves a composed salad.

As a kid (and still pretty much now) I hated my food to touch. Anyone else like that? Like if I was having salad, chicken, rice and green beans, they needed to be on separate sections of the plate and heaven help you if the salad wasn’t in it’s own bowl. I would eat my (separate) salad first then green beans, then chicken, then rice (saving the best aka carbs for last). Always finishing one item before starting another. I know, I’m a spazz. The amount of sighing from my parents at the dinner table in 1985 can still be heard today. While I’ve certainly gotten better about food touching and mixing in my old age, the asethetic and simplistic quality of a composed salad speaks to my (freakish) soul.

I also organize my closet by clothing item occasion. I never said this blog was normal.

Ginger Poached Cod over Hot & Cold Noodle Salad with Mint Lime Vinaigrette
Time: 20 minutes Serves: 2
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Ginger Poached Cod
2 8oz fillets of white fish (Cod, Hake, Haddock)
4 c. Miso Ginger Broth (or Pho Broth or Vegetable Broth)
1″ piece of fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled & minced

Unwrap fish. Pat dry with paper towels. In a wide, deep saucepan (or stockpot), bring broth, ginger and garlic to a simmer (you can see steam, but is not bubbling). Ensure that your liquid is deep enough to cover fillets, this is crucial. Add fish fillets, ensuring that they are covered. Cover the saucepan with the lid. Allow fish to poach, gently turning once. If broth boils, reduce heat slightly. (Poaching rather than boiling keeps the fish tender). Fish is done when completely opaque, about 10-12 minutes at most.  Using a slotted spoon, gently remove fish from poaching liquid and set aside. Discard poaching liquid once cool.

Hot and Cold Noodle Salad
4 oz rice noodles (white or brown rice)
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 daikon radish, peeled and sliced into half-moons
1 shallot, peeled and minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 carrot, cleaned and peeled
2 Persian (seedless) cucumbers, ends trimmed
2 c. Romaine lettuce, cleaned, ends trimmed
Garnish: Parsley and/or cilantro, cleaned, roughly chopped
Garnish: Lime wedges

Cook noodles according to package instructions. Rinse in cool water, drain and allow to cool.
In a medium saucepan, heat sesame oil and soy sauce.  Add radish, garlic and shallot. Saute until vegetables are soft and have a bit of color, about 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat. Spiralize carrot (or just slice thinly). Dice cucumber. Roughly chop greens. Set all the cold vegetables aside as well.

Mint Lime Vinaigrette
1 lime, zest and juice
2 tbs fresh mint, minced (1 large stalk of leaves only)
1 tbs sesame oil
2 tbs safflower (or other light oil)
1/4″ tsp Sriracha
light soy sauce (to taste)

Add all ingredients except soy sauce to a small jar, cover and shake  until emulsified. Taste here. You may want to add soy sauce for a more salty flavor and/or add more heat. Tinker with it until you have the flavor you’d like.  You can’t mess it up, promise. Note: the sesame oil can be rather overpowering so taste before you add more of this oil.

Assembly:
On a large platter or shallow bowl, divide the serving dish into quarters. Spiralized carrots to one corner, cucumbers to another, cooked vegetables to another, mixed greens in the last quadrant. Drizzle each section with dressing.

In a small bowl, toss cold noodles with a bit of dressing so they’re coated. Plate noodles on top of mixed greens. Spoon fish to the center of the serving dish. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cilantro/parsley. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 2

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Food and Other Stories

A busy few weeks stuffed with family, friends, downright silly moments, puppy love, good music and awesome food. So in other words, life.

Here’s what my life has been looking like.

But first, let’s start with a cocktail.
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That would be a luscious refreshing grapefruit margarita from the always lovely Nada. Summer drinks are here.

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I discovered this gem at my local Kroger. Toasted Coconut and Sea Salt?! Martha Stewart, you just get ME. These are definitely sweet with that great punch of salt and the usual Triscuit crunch. I’ve enjoyed them best with mild cheese (hello, Brie lover) and the occasional swim in the peanut butter jar, not mention, just straight out of Compton the box. Have you tried these yet? Love? Hate?

IMG_3513I recently tried The Growler House; a local tap-room specializing in all kinds of local and craft beers. After sampling about 10 different beers, I went with a flight of my favorites: a grapefruit beer, a lighter ale, an amber and two stouts. Growler House is small, but cozy with a terrific beer selection. You can order in pizza or bring in other food, which makes lounging and drinking that much easier.

IMG_3535I attempt to grow things. If you remember Bazil and GTB you know I have a black thumb. But I threw caution and seeds into the wind and I’m (ambitiously) trying for a porch garden. Send your best “grow plants grow” vibes my way. Stay tuned. #sproutwatch2015

As I’ve done for the last 3 summers, I headed to Cape Cod with my family for Memorial Day. The usual seafood and family shenanigans ensued.
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My favorite dinner in the world, served marina-side at The Flying Bridge. Drool.

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I got to catch up with some friends and their cute babes one afternoon as well. There was much Lego-playing and ice cream eating, along with this AWESOME Harpoon UFO grapefruit shandy (are you sensing a grapefruit theme?). Similar to my beloved Steigl Radler; but less sweet flavor and more BEER flavor. Dynamite.

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A ladies lunch with my mother and sister at Alma Nove in my hometown. The fresh and crunchy chopped salad with grilled shrimp was a perfect complement to the bottle of Sancerre we drank on the deck. NBD. They were filming an episode of Walburgers while there and it was fun to watch the set-up and takes (no Jenny McCarthy sighting though. Sad face).

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I also got to look after these scamps for a friend while she and her beau were out-of-town. I have never gotten so many honks, waves and “awwws” while walking a dog. While I think it’s because I am super hot, I suspect that the sight of two adorable English bulldogs wiggling along brings out the feels in most people.

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The week wrapped up with an incredible concert. Butch Walker at Bogart’s. Most people have no idea who he is; but chances are most songs on the radio have had his hand in them. He’s a master producer and songwriter (Katy Perry, Pink, Fall Out Boy and so. many. more); but has been creating his own music for decades. I love his
singer-songwriter feel with blasts of rock. Educate yourself because this man is a genius. I spent two hours happily rocking out and so glad I finally got to see a show. His live arrangements are even better than the records with lots of twists and turns. A fantastic night of music.

What’s been delicious in your life lately? Do you like grapefruit? Best concert you’ve seen lately? English Bulldogs or me, which is cuter? Wait, don’t answer that.  Talk to me, interweb people, talk to me.
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(Definitely cuter)

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#TBT: Ten Tables Louisville

Try as I might,  I often start blog posts, get distracted by something else I want to write and the original post languishes, sad and unread. NO MORE! In honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT), I’m finishing these forgotten gems (?) and sharing them. Some are from a couple of months ago, some are from years ago (fun!). Enjoy taking a look back at some awesome eats.

Back in March, my friend Liz was visiting with her little guy, H. So while we were hanging around eating goldfish crackers and playing with Tupperware (mostly H, sometimes me), our friend Whitney called to invite us to join her at a Louisville Ten Tables dinner. We were in the car before you could say “The snack that smiles back.” We left all the kids with Whitney’s husband (brave man) and just us girls headed out to Ten Tables!

Ten Tables Louisville is described as a “New and exciting exclusive dinner club concept from chefs Dustin Staggers, Griffin Paulin and Eric Morris.”  These gents are all well-regarded chefs in the Louisville area and I was thrilled to be part of the #10 dinner (with guest chef, David Scales) held at Loop 22. 

Similar to the Please pop-up concept, super talented chefs get together to host a private, multi-course dinner at a fixed price. The dinner is typically held on Monday night at restaurants that are closed on that evening. The dinner we attended was $75 per person with the option to include a beer or wine pairing for an additional $30-$40 or simply purchase individual cocktails. We decided to just stick to cocktails.

And what cocktails they were! Fact: I love a fancy bourbon cocktail, especially when I’m in Kentucky where I feel like it’s the law to order a bourbon drink.

 Jefferson Jackson:  Old Forrester Signature, St. Germain, Bitter, Herb & Ginger
Sigh. Delightful. Bright and clean but with that smooth, deep bourbon flavor. I was a huge fan.

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The girls tried the Catch-22 and  Liz KY Kir (for Liz, duh) and we agreed all were refreshing and thoughtfully prepared.

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On to dinner! This evening’s meal was an 8-course extravaganza with many local Kentucky ingredients and dishes. Love that. Prior to each dish, the chef who prepared it came out to give a brief description of the dish while the wine and beer pairing notes were on the menu.

Let’s get to the pretty pictures of good food.
IMG_2739Amuse: Mushroom Vidalia Pancake, Whipped Tofu “Ricotta,” Whitefish Roe, Soy Sorghum Syrup: In true amuse-bouche fashion, this was a poppable bite of exquisite deliciousness. I loved the tart and crunch. A perfect palate tease.
IMG_2740 Salad: Spinach, Pickled Beets and Cherries, Candied Pecan, Goat Cheese: A classic dish with fun twists of pickled beets and preserved cherries (the chef told us the cherries had been soaking for months!)

IMG_2743 Soup: Pasture Raised Pork and Free Range Chicken Burgoo: This was hands-down my favorite dish of the evening. I know, I know, so early on, but this hit all my favorite notes: Slightly spicy, rich without being heavy and tons of depth of flavor. Burgoo, for the uninitiated is a slow cooked stew often made with local game and typical “country” vegetables: okra, tomatoes, lima beans and corn. I wanted to lick my bowl clean; but we had 5 more courses to go.

A note: Though we were expecting “tasting” portions, I found each course to be quite generous, and even overwhelming towards the end (I hate to waste anything so pretty!) so please know you will leave stuffed if you clean your plate as you go.

IMG_2745Appetizer: Butter Bean Paste, Benton’s Country Ham, Local Sorghum, Sweet Peas, Spicy Tomato Confit: I loved that this was all ingredients you might find on a Kentucky dinner table on any given night (butter beans, peas, country ham…) but the execution totally flipped this on its head. I loved the crisp peas and what the chef described as “fat kid country ham dust” – um love. The butter bean paste was just ok for me (I’m a stickler for hummus so I wasn’t surprised this wasn’t a favorite).  IMG_2747Appetizer: Wild Boar Sausage, Roasted Pera, Oyster Mushroom, Spicy Honey: Look at this pretty little thing! A totally gorgeous presentation. I love me a mushroom, so I happily devoured the oyster mushroom first! I tried a bite of each of the sausage but left the rest. What was surprising to me about this dish was that it was served cold. I think I was expecting it warmed? Also, the spicy honey was a bit too spicy for my weak little heat level, so honestly I left most of this dish. IMG_2748
Entree: Salmon 6 ways: Absolutely LOVED LOVED LOVED this. Let me see if I can remember all 6 ways: (from L): Sashimi, Grilled, Crispy Skin, Ceviche & Roe. Shoot, that’s 5. I (believe?!) the seaweed salad or wasabi may have had an element of salmon in there too?  I (oddly) really loved the accompanying seaweed salad! Great chew and umami flavor. The grilled salmon was my favorite, it was literally salmon butter. IMG_2751Entree: Shaved Leg of Lamb, Edamame, Radish, and Mint Tapenade: By this point, eating was just for the pure gluttonous enjoyment of it. An enjoyment I was glad to have the pleasure of, but still, pure gluttony. I enjoyed the rare, expertly cooked lamb and the astringent bite of the collards with the refreshing tang of the mint tapenade. I did leave most of the edamame (bread? cake?) as it was a bit dense for me at this stage in the dining game. IMG_2752Dessert: Okinawa Sweet Potato Doughnuts, Confit of Plum and Kumquat, Cream, Toffee Peanuts: Disclaimer. I am not a doughnut person. Sure, I’ll indulge in an occasional coconut donut or share an outrageous flavor to try it, but when it comes to choosing my carb-poison, I’m Team Cookie all the way. So when I saw doughnuts as the dessert, I was indifferent. I was pleased that the dessert wasn’t chocolate because I’m not a chocolate person either. You would think with these proclivities, I would never eat sweets. You would be wrong.

Back to the doughnuts…I casually took a bite,  expecting the usual overly sweet, greasy mouthfeel of doughnut to develop as it usually does. Rather, it was like biting into barely-sweet little clouds of love. The outer shell had delightful bite to it, yielding to the soft interior, while the vanilla whipped cream and confit added tang, richness of flavor and joy. The toffee peanuts? It took some serious willpower not to ask for a goody bag of just these. Good stuff.

What I loved most about the evening was the passion and energy each chef had for his dish and the camaraderie we saw between the group. While some individual elements were misses for me, make no mistake that each dish was incredibly thoughtfully prepared, presented and no doubt a delight in another way to another diner.

I’m of the belief that we need more of these types of dinners. More inventive and unique chefs cooking their way in their service style.

Long live the supper club.

IMG_2735And toffee peanuts.

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Green Goddess Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Yogurt Spread

IMG_3380Memorial Day Weekend is upon us! A day of remembrance and spending time with loved ones…around a grill.

To help you celebrate, I’ve put together a crazy delicious, healthful turkey burger that will have you singing God Bless the Grill Out.

We’re taking ground turkey and stuffing it FULL of herbs: dill, cilantro and scallions, along with powdered ranch dip mix. What?! Yes! The ranch mix to really gives the burgers that buttermilk herb flavor that makes Green Goddess flavoring so addictive.

We’re pairing the burgers with a tart, tangy cucumber spread, very much like this one.
It is the perfect complement to the herby turkey and is light and delicious all on its own as a dip. I’ve kept this simple by just using yogurt, but adding a bit of cream cheese would make this more “spread-like” and less “dip-like” if you prefer.

I served the burgers up on Bibb lettuce leaves with crisp slices of Roma tomato (carb-free and so dang refreshing); but you of course can throw these into your favorite hamburger bun.

Let’s shape us up some patties, y’all!
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Green Goddess Turkey Burgers
Time: 30 minutes – Serves 4-6 burgers
3 tbs minced fresh dill
1/4 c. mined scallions
3 tbs minced cilantro*
1/2 pkt powdered ranch dip mix (I like Simply Organic)
1/4 tsp ground garlic powder
1/4 tsp Black Pepper**
1 lb ground turkey (95% lean)
*If you are cilantro adverse, use flat-leaf parsley
**The ranch packet will be quite salty, so skip salt here

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix seasoning and herbs together. Add turkey meat, mix thoroughly using clean hands (the best way to ensure thorough mixing). Shape the meat into 4-6 patties, depending on the size you’d like. Set each burger on the lined cookie sheet. Allow burgers to chill in fridge for 15 minutes. Because the meat is so lean, allowing it to rest/set up will help keep its shape when cooking). Grill, Saute or Bake until burger is cooked all the way through (no pink), about 4-5 minutes each side. Plate and serve immediately with Cucumber Spread. Serves: 4-6

Note: Prior to cooking, you can wrap the burgers in the parchment paper and place in a sealed Ziploc bag and freeze as-is for later use. Just thaw completely and use as you would any other defrosted meat. IMG_3372Cucumber Spread
2 small Persian (or other seedless cucumber), cleaned and diced (no need to peel)
3 tbs diced cilantro (or flat leaf parsley or fresh mint)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
8oz plain, NonFat Greek Yogurt
Sea salt, Black pepper to taste
3 tbs whipped cream cheese (optional)

In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together. Adding cream cheese will thicken the dip up a bit more so it’s more “spread” than “dip.” Delicious both ways! Serves 4.

And now the assembly….IMG_3374
Using a large Bibb lettuce leaf, a dollop of cucumber spread…IMG_3375
…sliced Roma tomatoes and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper…..IMG_3377
…..the herby turkey burger….

IMG_3382….another dollop of cucumber spread…and other Bibb leaf. Crush into face.

Have a beautiful and safe weekend!

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#TBT: Gourmet Dumpling House

Try as I might,  I often start blog posts, get distracted by something else I want to write and the original post languishes, sad and unread. NO MORE! In honor of Throwback Thursday (#TBT), I’m finishing these forgotten gems (?) and sharing them. Some are from a couple of months ago, some are from years ago (fun!). Enjoy taking a look back at some awesome eats.

This post is a SERIOUS Throwback Thursday, like I think this was 3 cameras and one city ago. Sigh; the food? Still awesome.

Gourmet Dumpling House is a Boston institution. Known for their incredibly authentic and delicious food as they are for their crazy wait-times (and cheap prices). This place is the real deal.

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The menu is is not limited to dumplings; far from it! The menu goes on and on with appetizers, entrees, vegetables, soups and hot pot.

On this particular night, many moons ago, two friends and I shared some of the bounty.

Spoiler alert: we did not have dumplings. I know! I’m sure they’re amazing…BUT I’m not a huge fan of dumplings or buns. I think it’s the sweetish dough or the heavy texture? Not sure. Potstickers and gyoza, I love; but I (think?) the wrapper is usually a bit lighter. Any dumpling experts care to enlighten me? Have I just been ordering the wrong things for years? Help me out, dumpling kings and queens!

Back to this particular night, here is what we devoured: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASauteed Shanghai Green beans: I love the preparation of these! Just slightly spicy, but crunchy and packed with that umami flavor I love so much.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASauteed Chinese Mushrooms Over GreensAnother deliciously savory dish. Rich, sauced mushrooms over the clean, bright taste of the (ridiculously good-for-you) baby bok choy. Good stuff. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASauteed Noodles with Chicken: I never met a plate of vermicelli noodles I didn’t like. What is it about the thinner the noodle, the better the dish tastes? Seriously, there is something so SATISFYING about thin, thin noodles sauced, spiced and twirled onto your fork (or chopsticks as the case may be).  Face-cramming awesomeness.

Gourmet Dumpling House is no joke and no cakewalk (bunwalk?) to get into. Be prepared to wait; and be prepared to be blown away by the quality and flavor of your dishes.

Want to check out other #TBT?
#TBT: Cabo San Lucas

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