Greek Potato Salad Double Duty Dinner, Part 2. Falafel Pitas

So, part 2 of this double-duty dinner is a cinch. In fact, I’d classify it as a fast-food meal really. All you do is pick up some pita bread, make some falafel (you could even buy them ready-made from the deli counter, but remember the store-bought ones are usually deep fried and don’t taste as good as homemade. If you make them at home, you can virtually dry fry them in a good cast-iron pan), and add some extra greens as filler with yesterday’s Greek(ish) Potato Salad (if there is any left after the family keeps sneaking back for more).

That’s it- you then have a delicious and fast faux Greek falafel. Since this was the easiest recipe post ever, I’ll spend the rest of the post showing how to assemble the falafel and wrap it for lunch the next day so that it looks like you picked it up at one of those fancy fast food pita bars:

Step one:
Cut the pita halfway round and gently pull the sides of the pita apart to make a pocket. Fold the top flap halfway back.  100_5055

Step two:
Fill the pocket- first add some greens (I used baby kale), then pack in the Greek potato salad, add the falafel, and finally top with some black olives.

100_5057

Step three:
Lift the pita up and gently shake all the contents down until they are right down filling the whole pocket and (here`s the trick) take the (front) flap that is folded backwards, and roll it forwards over and behind the contents so you have a nice firm roll.

100_5063

Step four:
Finally, roll the back flap forward over the whole thing, and wrap it all a piece of parchment paper. Fold the bottom of the paper under to protect against any leaks (I just used plain, but if you want to get fancy you can get the checkered stuff like the restaurants have).

100_5064

The paper isn’t really necessary but it makes a nice cone to eat from (especially fun for kids). Make a few extra for lunches the next day, and wrap them in a layer of tin foil. The paper helps to keep them from becoming soggy and the foil seals them.100_5066

100_5074

Yum! More, please.

Advertisements

Greek(ish) Potato Salad- Fast and Easy Double Duty Meal

100_5030Here is a super easy recipe that is versatile and easy to adjust depending on how much time you have. Because I just throw it together, all measurements are approximate. Tonight we made up a huge batch and had it as a side with a summer weekend BBQ vegan sausage sandwich. Tomorrow I will be using the rest of it in a different way to make a double-duty meal.

Greek-Style Potato Salad

Ingredients (approximate measures)
100_4961-1 or 2 potatoes (I used new red-skinned gems)
-1 or 2 sweet potatoes or yams
-1 or 2 peppers (I like to use red and green or yellow for color)
-1 onion (I used purple for color and sweetness)
-1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

100_4979-1 whole cucumber
-3-5 cloves of garlic (don’t skimp- you really want the heat of the garlic here)
-1/2 to 1 cup feta cheese or vegan feta replacement
-1/2 to 1 cup tzatziki or creamy cucumber dressing.
-Salt and pepper to taste.

100_4973100_4967100_4958

Method:
-Cube the potatoes and sweet potatoes and put in a pot to boil for 5-8 minutes (don’t overcook or they will be mush). When cooked but still holding together, drain and dunk into cold water to cool them and stop them cooking further.
-As the potatoes cook, chop all the other veggies and the feta into cubes (halve or quarter the cherry tomatoes).
-Dump the cheese and veggies in a big bowl.100_5014
-Crush the garlic into the dressing/tzatziki and stir well. Pour the dressing into the veggie bowl and stir them up until well mixed and coated.
-Add in the cooled potatoes and mix until coated.
-Sprinkle with pepper and salt to taste, chill to let flavours mix.

100_5021

With all the veggies and a sub of sweet potatoes, this is a much healthier version of potato salad. If you use fat-free dressing or make a vegan tzatziki and feta (using tofu), it is totally guilt-free, too. Served on a bed of kale, it can be a filling meal salad, and a sprinkle of sunflower seeds or a handful of black olive slices make a fine garnish. Creamy and pretty enough to serve to guests, it can be whipped up in 20 minutes. And my kids like it even better the next day after the flavours have really melded. Yum.

Cooking Club- New Year, New Ingredient (Part 3). Farro and Kale Salad

Ready to start cooking club

Ready to start cooking club

At our first cooking club meeting of the year, we made two curry recipes to take home for our families’ dinners, but we decided to eat Sarah’s recipe right there. After all- we had earned a good lunch after our hike and all our cooking and cleaning. It was an excellent idea because, let me tell you, this salad is top of my new favourites list! Continue reading

Cabbage Double Duty Dinner Meals- Part Four (Asian Cabbage Soup)

This is the last post of a series.
In part one I gave the recipe for a yummy cabbage salad. You will need that salad for the other meals. The entire DDD plan is as follows:
Day 1: dinner- cabbage salad.
Day 2: lunch- cabbage salad, dinner- salad rolls.
Day 3: lunch- salad rolls, dinner- Chinese(ish) food with chow mein.
Day 4: lunch- Chinese(ish) food, dinner- Asian cabbage soup.

Day 4.
Lunch– Leftover Chinese foods from last night.

Dinner- Asian Cabbage Soup.
Again, this is not strictly an authentic Asian recipe, but it is reminiscent of that style. It is the easiest meal of all the days.

Ingredients:
1 Litre vegetable broth
Leftover cabbage salad (with dressing, veggies, and noodles mixed in)
Optional- Leftover tofu from salad rolls (this time I served it on the side, I could have put it in the soup too).

Directions:
-Put all ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes until veggies are bright and crisp-soft.
-Serve with any sides or toppings you would enjoy.
-As a variation you could add in some wontons or other noodles.
And that is it! The dressing provides extra seasoning to create a surprisingly good broth-based soup in seconds. And that is also the end of a good large head of cabbage,  with superfood meals for a week.

OK- time to add up my 4-day score in my DDD game (rules in this post):
4 points for the dinners, 2 bonus points for no pans on the first two days, 0 points for the lunches (all repeats but mighty fine anyway). 6 points. Points are doubled because everyone has seconds (and sometimes thirds) on the salad rolls and the soup. Final result is a 12-point game. I`ll take it! (and really I should have “bonus-bonus” points for the easiest, fastest healthy meals ever, and for having my children ask for more cabbage).

Cabbage Double Duty Dinner Meals- Part Three (Chow Mein)

In part one I gave the recipe for a yummy cabbage salad. You will need that salad for the other meals. The entire DDD plan is as follows:
Day 1: dinner– cabbage salad.
Day 2: lunch– cabbage salad; dinner– salad rolls.
Day 3: lunch– salad rolls; dinner– Chinese(ish) food with chow mein.
Day 4: lunch– Chinese(ish) food; dinner– Asian cabbage soup.

Day 3.
Lunch- Cold salad rolls (pre-made at last night’s dinner) with other accompaniments as desired.

Dinner- Chow mein with Chinese side dishes.
This is another super easy, unbelievably good meal.

Ingredients:
Leftover mixed cabbage salad
Remainder of the chopped cabbage, veggies, dry noodles, and dressing.
Other leftover veggies (from salad rolls, etc)
Optional- 1 cup of fresh bean sprouts
Optional- store bought jiaozi/potstickers or other side dishes
Cooked rice (enough for the family)

Directions:
-If you have time, stop in on the way home from work and grab some fresh bean sprouts and veggie jiaozi. (Also known as potstickers or gyoza for the Japanese version). Or any other Chinese dishes you and your family like to eat with chow mein. Or make your own favourite side dishes to go with it- there are no rules here.
-Cook enough rice for the family in your rice cooker or stovetop.
-By now you have likely nearly eaten all the mixed salad, but remember the cabbage and veggies (container 2) from day one? Take that container out of the fridge and add it to the leftover salad along with any leftover cut veggies from the salad rolls, and the bean sprouts (if you picked them up. If not, never mind). Add in the leftover dressing, and mix. (Put aside the leftover noodles/nuts).
-Throw half of the newly refreshed salad in a wok or frying pan. Put the other half in the fridge. Stir and cook over high heat. The veggies will cook quickly and the dressing will thicken and become sauce. If necessary, you can help to thicken it with a tablespoon of cornstarch mixed into 1/4 cup of cold water. Cook only until the veggies are bright and still have some crispness.
-Top with the leftover noodle/nut mixture and serve with the rice and jiaozi. I also served the leftover tofu in teriyaki sauce (I know- not strictly Chinese but it was good, and this version of chow mein is not traditional Chinese either).
– Pack up the leftovers ready to go for tomorrow`s lunch.

Cabbage Double Duty Dinner Meals- Part Two (Salad Rolls)

(continued from part one- of course)
In part one I gave the recipe for a yummy cabbage salad. You will need that salad for the other meals. This entire DDD plan is as follows:
Day 1: dinner- cabbage salad.
Day 2: lunch- cabbage salad, dinner- salad rolls.
Day 3: lunch- salad rolls, dinner- Chinese(ish) food with chow mein.
Day 4: lunch- Chinese(ish) food, dinner- Asian cabbage soup.

Day Two-
Lunch is self-explanatory. Just take some of the leftover cabbage salad. You can have it as is, or add it on top of some lettuce salad. You can also take some extra chow mein noodles for a bit of crunch. I haven’t explained yet just how good this salad is. People who don’t like cabbage will like this salad. People who like cabbage will love this salad. The combination of the hot cabbage and onions with the salty umami soy sauce and soup seasoning is very “moreish” as we say in our house. The noodles and the nuts and seeds make it hearty and filling. Nobody complains about having the salad two days running.

Dinner- Salad Rolls

This is about the easiest dinner ever, and kids love it.
– Simply pull out the leftover cabbage salad (which will be getting quite soft and marinated by now, but also nutty and salty). Also set the table with the other veggies you pre-sliced yesterday. I try and make sure to have lots of crunch and colors, so I like to have radishes or red peppers, yellow peppers, carrots, and green veggies. Usually I will also put out
other items to add to the rolls- noodles, sauces, dense proteins
like tofu, etc.This time I added tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce for a little sweet to the salty. Non-vegans could add prawns or chicken I suppose.
– Also put out dried rice paper wraps and a large dish of water. The family each wets a wrap and lays it on their plate. Then they add whichever ingredients they like, fold
in the ends, and roll them up. They stick shut easily. Eat
with dips and sides- this time I quickly baked a squash and
steamed a little pre-cut broccoli.
– Be sure everyone remembers to make one or two extra rolls to put in their lunch the next day. Simply put them in a sealed container or wrap them individually in cling wrap to keep them moist. The crunchy veggies stay crunchy and they will still be bursting with flavour the next day at lunchtime as long as they are kept sealed and refrigerated.

Cabbage Double Duty Dinner Meals- Part One (Best Cabbage Salad)

Time for another double duty dinner. This one is not such a high scorer (reminder of the game rules here) because I repeat the exact same dish a few times. But that is because we like it so much just as it is. It is a special favourite for my kids. The soy sauce and ramen noodles add some salt, but you can offset that by packing a lot of vegetables into it. As with many of my meals, I make it more by taste than measurements, so change up amounts on the dressing to your taste, and add or change veggies as you like.

Continue reading

Cooking Club Chronicles Update (With a Bonus Double Duty Recipe Twist): Part One

I’ve had an unfortunate week (some time later I may post about it) so I have not put anything out for a while. I’ll remedy that now, beginning with a cooking club update.

Cooking with flax was the Cooking Club mission last weekend and we accomplished it despite some glitches. Due to inconvenient things (like work, and rainy weather) we had a hard time meshing schedules and we did not get our run in before the meeting. But we did get some serious cooking done and we have the recipes to prove it. See, here is Sarah attempting an extremely serious look, as Marg tries to “help” by adding random spices. (Just kidding, she really was helping).

Today I will cover Marg’s recipe for a lentil flaxseed loaf, and also throw in a quick vegan gravy recipe. In part two I will share my flax crackers and walnut-flax hummus, and tell you about the double-duty twist. And in the final part, I’ll share Sarah’s Perfect Veggie Burger recipe.

Continue reading

Double-Duty Dinners: Chili/Wraps

Some weeks I know in advance there won’t be a minute to spare, so I like to play a game by giving myself points for planning super easy dinners that can be eaten over a few days. Bonus points if I don’t have any pans to wash, and more bonus points if I can get a lunch or two out of them. Oh yeah, points are lost for exact repeats, and points are doubled if the family wants seconds on the second day. Today I will share with you one of my highscore DDD recipe sets.

Continue reading