Last Minute Sandwich (w/ Mizuna and Spicy Mayo)

sandwich w: mizuna Sriracha mayo pickled onions prep

I typically make lunches for my 2nd grader and my husband on week days (and weekends but that’s a different game). I don’t really plan ahead for lunches but often make dinner with an eye towards having leftovers for one or both of those lunches. I know that something will surface in the mornings and this morning this sandwich materialized, for my husband’s lunch. And I even took a photo of it, though it was still dark out so the quality suffered.

The sandwich consists of good bread (the Peasant Levain from Grand Central Bakery in this case). Mayo mixed with minced garlic and some Sriracha
A bunch of chopped Mizuna (a spicy, tender green similar to mustard greens)
Sharp Cheddar
Quick-pickled onions (nothing more than thinly sliced onions in red wine vinegar–that I always keep around for occasions like this and most any other occasion!)

The sandwich got closed up and cut in half and packed up. I hear it was good!

Happy cooking with what you have!

It looks like I inadvertently almost spelled "JOY" with the pickled onions!
It looks like I inadvertently almost spelled “JOY” with the pickled onions!


Cabbage with Leftover Dipping Sauce

cabbage w: dipping sauce cilantro

Colleagues have always given my husband their leftovers when returning to the office after a lunch out. Friends tend to give me odd vegetables or half bunches of herbs or in this case, scallion greens. A friend recently had a bag with two bunches of scallion greens and a few whole scallions waiting when I came to pick up my son at his house. I made scallion pancakes (recipe is on the Seasonal Recipe Collection) and a simple dipping sauce of equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar, with a bit of garlic and hot pepper. We only used about half of the sauce with the pancakes.

Several nights later I found a quarter of a cabbage in the fridge and a bit of cilantro. There was rice in the freezer. I sautéed the cabbage, browning it just a bit. A few spoonfuls of sauce and chopped cilantro and my new favorite cabbage dish was born. The rice fortified everything nicely. A fried egg would have been good too.

When thrift and creativity combine for this much flavor I must celebrate with a blog post. Happy cooking!

Dipping Sauce:

1/3 cup soy sauce or tamari

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

Mix everything in a small bowl. Use with sautéed cabbage or any vegetables or grains or meats. This makes plenty of sauce for two meals for a couple of folks.

Broccoli, Potato, Celery, Cilantro, Scallion Salad w/ Leftover Aioli

I was feeling a wee bit sorry for myself. My husband had gotten the Boeuf Bourguignon (something I make very rarely) leftovers to take to work and here I was back at my desk after a nice long winter break with no lunch, yet! I rummaged around the fridge and found: 1 boiled potato I had (wisely) saved from the Boeuf Bourguignon dinner, celery, scallions, broccoli, very wilty cilantro and a little container of leftover aioli.

broccoli potato celery aoili salad ingredients

7 minutes later I had this! He can have all the Boeuf he wants.

broccoli potato celery aioli salad

Happy cooking (with what you have:)!

Serves 1, generously or 2 as a side

1 cold, boiled potato, diced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced (greens too)
3/4 up or so broccoli, cooked for about 4 minutes in lightly salted boiling water
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (stems are fine too)
1 tablespoon (or more) aioli (garlicky mayonnaise–just doctor store-bought mayo with minced garlic, lemon juice and salt if you don’t have homemade)
More lemon juice
Plenty of black pepper

Mix everything together. The warm/hot broccoli brings everything together nicely. Eat!

Jam Muffins

jam muffin ingredients

One more day until school starts up again!  Hence I just made a batch of Ellis’ favorite  muffins.  He takes one to school for his snack just about every day. They’re nutrient dense with ground almonds, olive oil, eggs and flavorful thanks to both lemon and lime zest (or just one or the other if that’s all I have) and a good dollop of jam on top. I make jam every summer in great part for these muffins. I freeze them, individually wrapped, and am pleased with myself when I pop them into his lunch bag every morning. And I will be especially so on Monday morning, having gotten quite used to reading to Ellis in bed until way past school starts these last few weeks. I’ll need all the extra time I can get to get us up and out!

You could vary the flour(s), nuts, oil, zests, different jams or marmalades or add spices. They’re not very sweet at all so if you want a sweeter treat add a little more sugar or swirl more jam into each muffin.

Happy New Year!

jam muffins ready to bake

Jam Muffins

–inspired by

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour (I often use 1 cup whole wheat pastry and 3/4 cup apf but by all means play around with these and a whole grain gluten free mix works well too)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Scant ½ cup sugar
4 eggs
Zest of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lime (or just lemon or lime–see headnote)
1/3 cup whole milk
3/4 cup olive oil
1 cup ground almonds (or other filberts or walnuts). I grind nuts in a Zyliss cheese grater with the finest blade–pictured above, which makes a very fine, fluffy nut meal.
1/3 – 1/2 cup jam (raspberry, blackberry, strawberry and blueberry are our favorites

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Blend together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Using an electric mixer or whisk the sugar, eggs, and zests in a large bowl until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in the milk and oil. Add the flour and nut mixture and stir just until blended. Fill the muffin cups about ¾ full. Top each one with 2 teaspoons of jam. Bake until golden, about 15 – 20 minutes. It’s a little harder to tell with these when they’re done since the jam will stay gooey. Just poke around a pit in the cake part to make sure the batter is cooked. Transfer to a wire rack and remove the muffins and let cool completely.

Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze for easy (school) snacks.

jam muffins