Lemon Garlic Agretti (Weekend Herb Blogging)

Last week I came across a new vegetable – agretti. It’s a type of green; crunchy and fresh. It brings to my mind a skinny cactus plant, minus the prickles. I got the agretti from D&D, my CSA partners.

Agretti is reminiscent of spinach, but a bit brighter tasting. It’s more common in Italian cuisine and it’s typically grown in coastal regions. I believe it can even be watered with salt water. In Japan they call it “land seaweed”. Very interesting things to be found on Wikipedia.

This week’s host for Weekend Herb Blogging is Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen. I hope my agretti makes the cut!

Lemon Garlic Agretti

Ingredients (Serves just one)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
zest from 1/2 lemon
1 bunch of agretti, washed and chopped in 1-inch lengths
juice from 1/2 lemon

1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic; saute for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic starts to brown.
2. Add the lemon zest; cook for another minute.
3. Add the agretti and lemon juice; cook for about 10 minutes or until the agretti is soft.
4. Serve as a side dish – double, triple, etc… the recipe for more people; my bunch was only big enough for one serving, so that’s how I’m writing the recipe!

I started eating the finished agretti, then realized I had some iceberg lettuce that I needed to use up, so I chopped up the lettuce and mixed in the agretti. What a good salad idea! I wish I’d had some roasted cashews or almonds to top it off; they would have been divine.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu for week of May 12 – May 18

DinnerGreen Papaya Salad
Dessert – fresh strawberries w/sugar

Dinner – Cold tofu (Japanese – recipe to come) and Delica’s Spinach Salad
Dessert – Baked apples w/cinnamon

Dinner – Lemon Ginger Asian Greens & whole wheat couscous
Dessert – Apple crisp

Dinner – Spicy Cauliflower & whole wheat couscous
Dessert – Apple crisp

Dinner – Eat out in Mountain View
Dessert – Gelato

Dinner – Eat out in MV
Dessert – more gelato 🙂

Dinner – leftovers
Dessert – whatever fruit I have left

I’m excited for this week’s menu – I have a new idea for Asian greens and also an idea for cauliflower. We’ll see how they turn out! I had a really good appetizer at Tsunami Sushi on Friday and I’m going to make it on Tuesday: Cold Tofu. It was basically chunks of tofu topped with scallions and dipped in a soy and sesame seed sauce. Very refreshing and very simple. I also tried their spinach salad (apparently it’s called Gomaee) and an octopus and seaweed salad. All were quite good and I will be going back to try some of their other dishes.

Make sure to head over to Organizing Junkie for the full lineup of menus for this week.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

I wanted to dedicate a post to my mom on Mothers’ Day. She’s a wonderful woman. She stayed at home to raise three kids and managed to homeschool us until we were in middle school. She fed us healthy food and taught us to love eating. All three of us ended up being vegetarian (though she and dad aren’t) and now she cooks vegetarian food all the time without complaint. I remember going to the natural food store when I was little where she would buy us treats like carob-covered rice cakes and Enviromints. Mom, thank you for always being there and I love you so much. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Happy Mothers’ Day to all the moms, grandmoms, great grandmoms, etc… Take some time for yourself today because you deserve it.

Asian Pear and Date Couscous Cake

My second couscous cake! And it was just as good as the first. This version has a richer feel because of the coconut milk, and the pears were tender and juicy. The dates add sweetness as well. The different flavors really mix well together and I think this version of couscous cake was a great success.

Go make couscous cake!!!! What are your favorite flavor combinations?

Asian Pear and Date Couscous Cake

Ingredients (serves 2)
2/3 cup whole wheat couscous
1/3 cup coconut milk (I used light coconut milk)
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons sugar (optional)
1 medium Asian pear
2 large mejool dates (they’re huge; use more if you use a different type of dates)
splash of lychee juice OR tablespoon of sugar
2/3 cup water

1. Bring the coconut milk and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Add the (optional) sugar and couscous; let cook for one minute and then remove from heat. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Press the couscous into an oiled (or spray with nonstick cooking spray) baking pan and refrigerate.
3. Slice the pear and chop the dates. Bring 2/3 cup water to a boil and add the juice/sugar. Then add the pears and dates and reduce heat to medium-low; let simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Arrange the pear slices on the top of the cake, then pour on the dates, spreading the liquid around evenly.
5. EAT!

After adding the dates and juice:

I am actually making one more variation – it’s cooling right now. Pics and recipe will be up soon. Today is the last day to enter the contest, so I’m trying to get as many entries in as possible!

Strawberries and couscous love

The strawberry and lychee couscous cake only gets better with time. I had the rest of it for breakfast this morning, and it was amazing. The juice from the strawberry/lychee mixture had really penetrated the couscous and every bite was moist and flavorful. This cake recipe is definitely a keeper. I only wish I had tried it sooner! Now I will only have 2 entries for the contest and I’m sure that I could have come up with more. Oh well… Maybe I will have a couscous cake party. Or I might start eating it at every meal. I do tend to get a bit obsessive when I find a food that I love. This obsession has happened with pizza bagels, muffins, oatmeal, waffles, broccoli, and now couscous cake. There may have been some others that I’m forgetting, but those are the main ones. That is quite an interesting list – I wonder what it says about me. Someone should create a way to analyze personalities by their favorite foods. Or maybe this has already been done? Either way, it seems like an interesting topic.

I’m about to make my second cake now; I’m very excited about it.

The other night I was snacking on some raw strawberries and came across this little guy:

He was so cute that I had to take a picture. Then I ate him. He was delicious.