Fennel Bulgar Waldorf Salad & WHB

This post on fennel is my entry to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Kalyn from Kalyn’s Kitchen.

This salad arose due to the fact that I had fresh CSA fennel sitting in my crisper, begging to be used in a new recipe. I managed to use about half of it; the other half will go into crabcakes tonight.

Fennel apparently grows year-round (according to Wikipedia), though I rarely see it in the produce section of my local stores. It has a very strong, anise-like flavor and I love it in Italian salads and soup. It pairs well with fruit but is also delicious on its own, simply dressed in some olive oil. Since I’m a bit of a linguistics nerd, here is its etymology: “from O(ld).E(nglish): fenol, finugl, from L(atin). feniculum, from fenum “hay,” probably literally “produce”. Apparently so called from its hay-like appearance and sweet odor”. Pretty cool!

I have always loved Waldorf salads – dried fruit, nuts, and apples mixed into fresh greens and topped with a savory dressing. I decided to try something a bit different this time: I’m using bulgar as the base! Though this salad lacks the greens that typically set the stage for the fruit and nuts, it was still satisfying yet light. The fennel was crisp and crunchy, and merged well with the sweetness of the apples.

Fennel Bulgar Waldorf Salad (serves 2 )

1/2 cup bulgar
1 cup water
dash of salt
1/3 of a sweet onion (about 1/3 cup, chopped)
1 whole apple, chopped
1/2 small bulb of fennel, very thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1/4 cup chopped dried berries (I used a cranberry/blueberry/strawberry mix)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (important!)
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Prepare the bulgar. Boil the water and a dash of salt; add the bulgar and reduce heat; let simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Mix everything except the bulgar together (dressing + veggies, fruit, and nuts).
3. Let the bulgar cool and then mix in to the salad. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Taste&Create XI: Cinnamon Sugar Crackers

As a perpetual nibbler, I have to be careful about what foods I keep on hand in my kitchen and around the house. One of my favorite snack foods has always been Stacy’s Pita Chips – the cinnamon sugar flavor especially. One bag can disappear in a day if I’m left unsupervised. This past week I tried a new recipe for Taste&Create XI that may be able to replace my addiction…

My partner this week was Heaven is Chocolate, Cheese and Carbs – and her recipes certainly are heavenly. I picked this one because of my peculiar addiction to cinnamon, and the snackability factor. These are great for dessert, a snack, and even with breakfast. They are toasty and crisp, with a savory cinnamon seasoning that satisfies a sweet craving.

The only change I made was that I used molasses & sugar (I’ve been experimenting with molasses recently – I think it’s a new favorite) rather than just sugar, and I also added a bit more cinnamon – I’m not sure how much extra; I just kept sprinkling 🙂

Cinnamon Sugar Crackers

2.5 cups flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon molasses
4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup cold water

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Thoroughly mix together dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
3. Mix together the molasses and oil, then add to the dry ingredients, along with half of the water. Continue to add water to get a rough, dry dough. Knead on a floured surface until you have a cohesive ball.
4. Divide the dough into 4 quarters. On a piece of parchment paper, the dough as thin as possible. (I actually should have rolled mine a little thinner.) Cut the dough into squares (or another shape, as desired), and prick with a fork. Sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mix. (I had some left over – but not much.)

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. (Note: if you put molasses and extra cinnamon, these will be a bit darker than golden brown!) Turn the sheet halfway through. While the first batch is baking, roll out another quarter.
6. Let the crackers cool before breaking them apart. If you don’t eat them all in one sitting, store them in a ziploc bag to preserve freshness. ENJOY!

Summing up: like I said earlier, I really enjoyed these crackers – flavorful and light, but satisfying.

There is another variation on this recipe that I’ll probably try – same as this, but with herbs instead of cinnamon and sugar. I have CSA oregano and rosemary that I dried, and I think they’d be excellent. Bobby loves herbs almost as much as I love cinnamon, so I don’t think those would last long either.

Menu Plan Monday

Menu Plan for the Week of June 23 – June 29

Monday – breakfast for dinner!
Dinner – Fruit salad & yogurt with raisins and nuts; Pasta for Bobby 🙂
Dessert – Fresh watermelon (from TJ’s – it’s amazingly juicy)

Dinner – Veggie curry with broccoli, carrots, and TJ’s Beefless strips + Rice/couscous
Dessert – Frozen blueberries

Dinner – Crabcakes and curry rice/couscous
Dessert – New vanilla soy ice cream 🙂

Dinner – Summery bulgar – OJ and lemon juice will be involved; also a side salad with CSA veggies
Dessert – Fruit from CSA + Cookies…

Dinner – Minty couscous salad with carrots & apples, plus basil
Dessert – Finishing off more fruit…

Dinner – Leftovers or eating out
Dessert – Gelayo Gusto

Dinner – Leftovers or eating out
Dessert – Cookies 🙂

More great menus can be found at Organizing Junkie!

I’m excited for this week’s plan – I have a bunch of new ideas and I’m looking forward to experimenting. I’m finally getting the hang of working and managing to keep up with the rest of my life. To be honest, cooking dinner after I get home from work each day keeps me sane. I have yet to make that Waldorf Salad from last week’s plan (we ended up having leftovers instead), so I might make that as a lunch this week. Don’t worry, the recipe is coming! I hope to give you lots of posts with recipes this week, so stay tuned 🙂

Mango Ginger Tofu from VWAV

Tonight I made Mango Ginger Tofu from Vegan With a Vengeance.

This book is amazing. This recipe is fantastic (okay, I made a few changes… I really can’t help myself). Original recipe can be found here.

Mango Ginger Tofu (serves 3 people – we had some extra)

1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons freshly chopped ginger
1 medium mango, chopped (you’ll need another one… see below)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon black molasses (YUM)
1/3 cup water
salt & pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice

14 ounces extra firm tofu
1 mango, thinly sliced
1/2 large red pepper, thinly sliced

1. Prep the marinade: heat the oil in a medium saucepan and then add the garlic and ginger. Saute for 4 minutes. Add the mangoes and saute for 4 more minutes. Add the rice vinegar, molasses, and water. Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Uncover and let simmer for 3-4 more minutes. Add OJ, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper, apple cider vinegar, and lime juice. Mix well and then let it cool.
2. Prep the tofu: I cut mine in pretty triangles, but you can make any shape you like. Just make them into slices about a centimeter thick.
3. Place the tofu and the marinade in a tupperware container or a ziploc bag. Let this marinate for at least an hour. I let mine go overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 375F.
5. Remove the tofu slices from the marinade and place them in a baking pan in a single layer. Top with a bit of the marinade. Bake for 20 minutes.
6. Flip the tofu slices, and coat with more marinade. Mix the peppers and mango in the remaining marinade and place them on top of the tofu. Bake for 10 more minutes.

Serve with rice, couscous, and a salad! I made us a delicious salad tonight with some fresh CSA goodies…

Quick Salad: fresh greens, sliced apple, sliced onion, mint leaves (important!), lemon juice, and Asian dressing. Delicious.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe

We loved this scrambled tofu breakfast. Bobby has been raving about it all night. The tofu was crumbly, but still held its texture and chew. The veggies and spices added their own wonderful flavors. If you’re not in the mood for eggs (or if you are vegan, or allergic to them), this meal is just as healthy and possibly more substantial and filling.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 10 ounces of extra firm tofu (about 2/3rds of a 14-ounce package)
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 large zucchini, roughly chopped (this was from CSA)
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped (or 1 whole small one)
  • 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Spice blend:

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly crushed oregano (from CSA!)
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic; saute for 4 minutes. Add the zucchini and red pepper; saute for 4 more minutes. Add the spices and mix for 20-30 seconds, then pour in 2-3 tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan.
  2. Crumble in the tofu and continue to cook, stirring and mixing gently, for about 10 more minutes. Keep adding small amounts of water if the tofu starts to stick.
  3. Add the lemon juice and nutritional yeast. Mix and cook for 2 more minutes. Add a little more water if the mixture seems dry.
  4. Serve hot with salsa! We also had whole wheat couscous with this meal.

If you don’t have nutritional yeast, just omit it – you probably won’t need to add as much water though.