Creamy Sunchoke and Leek Salad

In the mood for a creamy salad that doesn’t have potatoes or macaroni in it? I was too! A salad that’s great with some grilled chicken and a green side salad; that’s a little different and a little fun. So I opened my fridge and did some experimenting. The internal conversation I had with myself while making this salad went a little like this:

“Hmm…okay…why not?”  (The initial sunchoke and leek combo)
“That could be interesting.” (Adding in the egg.)
“Oh no…I don’t know about this…” (The above combination)
“Eek, I think I just screwed up.” (Adding in the heart of palm)
“Maybe not.” (Adding in the pistachios.)
“Okay, I think we’re getting somewhere.” (Tossing in the beans.)

Finally ending at: “This is gonna be yummy!”(It’s hard to really ruin anything with mayonnaise isn’t it?) And it was! The hubby tested it and approved! He loved it and I hope you do too. Enjoy!

  • 1/2 pound sunchokes, peeled
  • 1&1/2 cup finely chopped leek
  • 1 hard boiled egg, minced
  • 1/3 cup small white beans
  • 1/3 cup minced heart of palm
  • 1 tablespoon raw pistachios, finely minced plus a little for garnish
  • a tablespoon finely minced parsley plus a leaf of two for garnish
  • 2 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Toss in a wedge of lemon or lime with the sunchokes and cover them with cold water and bring them to a boil, lower the heat to low for about 15 minutes until they are fork tender. Drain them and rinse with cold water and chop them fine. With the leek, rinse well to remove any sand and chop them about the size of the sunchoke pieces, then rinse again. Bring some water to a boil and toss them in for about a minute or two, until the green part of the leek is tender. Then drain and rinse with cold water. Combine the sunchokes and leeks with the rest of the ingredients. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Garnish with the pistachios and the parsley. Serves about 3. Double the recipe for a bigger crowd.

Eggplant, Oyster Mushroom & Bean Ratatouille

This is a nice recipe for a weekday dinner and is great for meatless Mondays or Fridays. It’s on the table in less than an hour and is a good wholesome meal, especially when paired with a brown rice medley and a side green salad to start the meal. A good ratatouille is always great to have in the fridge for leftovers, especially for those nights when you want a good homemade meal for dinner, without the effort. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound Chinese eggplant, about 5
  • 2 1/2 cups good marinara sauce*
  • 3 1/2 oz. oyster mushrooms, bottoms trimmed and bunches broken up
  • 1 cup cooked Great Northern beans, cannellini beans or small white beans
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Cut each eggplant in half, lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt. Grill the eggplant at 500 degrees, a few minutes per each side, until there are some grill marks on them. Once they are grilled, slice them diagonally about an inch in size. Combine the eggplant and sauce in a heavy bottomed pot so the eggplant are in one layer. Bring the sauce up to a boil on high heat, once it does, lower the heat to a low setting and simmer for 20 minutes, covered. Stir occasionally. Add in the beans and mushrooms and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve with brown rice on the side to complete the meal. Makes 4 servings. Double the recipe as needed.

*Make sure it states gluten-free on the jar, if gluten is a concern of yours.

Catfish, Beans & Tomatoes

I love catfish, its’ flavor, texture and versatility. I especially like that it doesn’t fall apart easily and retains its’ shape. The other night, I took catfish out of the fridge and was going season it and simply pan fry it for dinner. But as I began to clean the fish and pat it dry, I looked at the Campari tomatoes, and thought of the half a shallot, sitting in the fridge. “Mmm… cilantro would be great in this too”, I thought to myself. I got out a can of beans, and the dinner started taking on its’ own flavors. And my current obsession with smoked Spanish paprika, had to be added to the fish! Lately, it’s in everything! The end result was delicious and was done in no time! Start with a salad and pair the catfish with rice, pasta or a potato side dish. This serves 2. Enjoy!

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vegeta, or any all purpose seasoning
  • 3 small good tomatoes, like Campari, chopped
  • 8 oz. catfish fillet. cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup canned small white beans, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon minced cilantro, plus additional leaves for garnish

In a heavy bottomed pan, combine the olive oil, butter, shallot, paprika and Vegeta. Saute until the shallot is soft. Add the tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the catfish and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the beans and cilantro and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Enjoy!