Posts in Stir Fry
MEL × RIVERBEND: 10 minute creamy broccoli & carrot salad
creamy broccoli & carrot salad with yogurt dressing

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

Fall veg at it's best

These days, I waltz between the desire to have a hot soup and fall into hibernation and flood my body with beautiful raw produce. Today, I took a penchant for the later and decided there was still time for a good ol' raw salad before the season is out.

Broccoli & carrots (and most other root veg) are abundant during this part of the year and they overflow the tables of our local farmer's market. So I figured, why not experience them at their best one last time before everything becomes either pickled, cooked or fermented for the winter season.

 
easy lunch salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife
easy carrot & broccoli salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife
 

TZATZIKI: A creamy dressing worthy of the MEDITERRANEAN 

I'll admit I'm having a bit a of a love affair with dairy these days, and this recipe is no exception. The plain yogurt and raw garlic add a delightful tanginess to this otherwise banal salad. It's just so luscious I was tempted to lick the sauce container instead of rinsing it off like a decent adult human being.

When mixed with the sweet carrots, the crunchy broccoli, the tart cranberries & the pungent shallots, it's a match made in heaven. Just the perfect amount of every flavor with every bite being slightly different than the last.

 
easy lunch salad recipe with a creamy yogurt dressing - the nomadic wife
Creamy broccoli & carrot salad - the nomadic wife
 

2 SERVINGS

1 medium broccoli
6 medium carrots
1/2 C pumpkin seeds
1/2 C dried cranberries
1 french shallot
Parsley

TZATZIKI

1 C Greek yogurt
2 cloves garlic
1 Lebanese cucumber
1 pinch of salt

10 MIN PREP

Mince your garlic & cucumber
Mix them with yogourt & salt and let sit until you're ready to eat so the flavors can develop.
Chop your veggies into bite-size pieces, and layer them into jars (or a large bowl).
Layer on minced shallow, pumpkin seeds & cranberries.
Serve with half the creamy tzatziki sauce.


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

MEL × GRAIN: Greek salad bowl with farro and nettle
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY GRAIN


 

A fall bowl with some summer vibes

If you’re anything like me, you love bowls. They’re just the easiest kind of meal to put together because more often than not they can accommodate whatever veggies you have hanging out in the fridge. Now, if you’re ready to up your bowl game while keeping it crazy simple, carry on. I’ve got a few fun twists on the traditional bowl for you.

With fall well on its way & the cool of winter just around the corner, I wanted to develop a recipe that was both cool & filling and reminded me of the summer days that seem to have come and gone too fast. 
 

 
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
easy Greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
 

Farro, a trip to the Mediterranean 

Farro is the perfect vehicle for a recipe like that. You can even cook it ahead of time, pop it in the fridge days where you have no desire to boil anything. If you haven’t had it before, you’re seriously missing out in the grain department!

It’s been a staple of Italian cuisine for a very long time, and with the mediterranean theme in mind, I started pulling together flavors that would complement its tender & chewy nature. As far as taste goes, most people say farro is pretty neutral, though I’d argue it does have a slightly nutty flavor to it. 

This is great news, in any case, for all your bowl-crazy people out there. Put simply, it’ll go well with just about any produce and just about any sauce.

 
twist on the traditional greek salad with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
 

A twist on a classic: Greek Salad

We’ve all had greek salad before, and although this recipe doesn’t feature most of its quintessential ingredients — no tomatoes or olives to be found — it does feature its summer quenching zing & spicy notes of oregano.

Then the twist: stinging nettles. They are a somewhat mysterious good-for-everything plant. Though I agree it’s not the most common of ingredients, it is, in my opinion, a pantry item that everyone should explore. Especially women, as it’s loaded with iron. I suggest you get it in dried form (like I used in this recipe) as it can be incredibly difficult to find it fresh unless you’re growing it yourself. It has a very green taste, for lack of better words. Some describe it as the lovechild of spinach and artichoke, though in this context I find it is overall more of a mild greenery taste.

Should you decide that you do not want to be bothered with it at all, though I really suggest you give it a try, you can substitute it for dried parsley, or even chopped up fresh spinach.

 
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
greek salad bowl with farro and nettle - the nomadic wife
 

2 SERVINGS

1 C Farro
¼ C nettles
¼ C pumpkin seeds
¼ C crumbled feta
4 lebanese cucumbers
2 sweet red peppers
1 T oregano
2 T white wine vinegar
4 T olive oil
A pinch of salt

5 MIN PREP + 45 MINS COOK

Cook your farro with 4 C of water and a pinch of salt for about 45 minutes, it should be tender but firm.
While it’s cooking, chop your cucumbers & peppers.
When your farro is ready, let it cool (or rinse it under cool water to accelerate the process).
Place half of the farro & half of the toppings in a bowl, repeat for the second bowl then drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt & white wine vinegar. 
Toss well before eating & enjoy!


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES:

MEL × RIVERBEND: Garlic & Oyster Sauce Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts with oyster sauce - the nomadic wife
easy 10 minute side dish brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife

RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS


 

A little comfort for the soul.

I did part of my growing up in San Francisco where I got to experience the most authentic southern Chinese flavors this side of the Pacific. At the time, I lived with a wonderful lady who would cook all of the traditional dishes she grew up with as a girl.

Some of these dishes were amazingly simple to make yet incredibly complex in flavor... just a matter of a quick toss in the wok and a spoonful of richly flavored condiments from a land far away. Still today, they are some of the dishes I turn to when I am in search for a little comfort.

 
10 minute succulent brussels sprout side dish - the nomadic wife
brussels sprouts with garlic and oyster sauce - the nomadic wife
 

Oyster sauce, a gateway drug.

These condiments, which when left to themselves can be quite powerful, umami and sometimes rather stinky, meld into the dish and elevate all of the flavors present. Yet not all of them are immediately pleasurable to a typical North-American pallet. 

Oyster sauce, in my opinion, is the gateway drug to some more intense eastern condiments like numbing Szechuan pepper, or fermented shrimp paste. It tastes slightly of the sea, with an underlying sweetness, which pairs perfectly with just about all green vegetables.

 
DSC_5851.jpg
 

East meets west.

While oyster sauce is traditionally used to flavor vegetable and meat dishes, or sometimes mixed into noodles as part of the sauce, you will never find a Chinese cook serving up Brussel sprouts with it.

However, many of the vegetables typically served with it are from the brassica family just like Brussels are, so it's not entirely a foreign concept to serve up cabbage-like things with this sauce.

It's mid-September here in Edmonton and cabbage, Brussels & broccoli are all in season. They all pair, in my opinion, rather well with a little garlic & a lick of oyster sauce.

 
Simple side dish of garlic brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife
garlic brussel sprouts with oyster sauce - the nomadic wife
 

What can I serve this with?

Typically, I would serve up a great big dish of veggies as a side when dishing out a family style meal. Think of the sorts of things you would typically see a large family sharing in a Chinese restaurant. Everyone can grab from the middle of the table what they want. A little of this, a lot of that.

However, when it's mid-afternoon and I'm looking for a little pick-me-up I typically turn to a much simpler option of steamed rice or noodles with a little sesame thrown on top.

 
garlic & oyster sauce brussels sprouts - the nomadic wife

2 SERVINGS

10-12 large Brussels
(swap for broccoli or cabbage)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1T butter
Oyster sauce

Serve with steamed rice & sesame seeds

5 MIN PREP + 5 MINS COOK

Chop your veggies into bite size pieces and place them along with the butter in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat.
Toss a few times until butter is melted, then chop garlic and add it in.
Toss a few more times until fragrant, add to a large bowl along with rice & top with oyster sauce. 


WANT TO TRY A FEW MORE BRUSSELS SPROUT DISHES THIS WEEK? CHECK OUT THESE EASY RECIPES: