nutty – citrus dressing and how I use it

I love sauces/dips/dressing. All foods should have another food on them. I put approximately 4 sauces/toppings on all foods and it has horrified many people. And due to my need for all foods to have sauce on them, I make a lot of different sauces. This one though, I make probably 3 times a week and eat on as many vegetables as possible.

It started because I fell in love with this salad, which I also make incredibly often. But I didn’t quite have all the ingredients for the dressing and I refused to not have salad for dinner, so I used what I had. And then a few days later, I did a similar thing and put in on another salad-y thing. And now I put it on pretty much anything crunchy I can find.

nutty-citrus dressing

1 lemon, zest and juice

1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic

2 tbs honey

1/3 cup tahini or peanut butter (crunchy peanut butter here is incredible)

pinch of salt salt

olive oil (as needed)

  • zest lemon into bowl, add juice
  • grate garlic into bowl (I use a microplane)
  • stir in honey and tahini or peanut butter
  • add in salt
  • add oil until desired consistency is reached

This dressing is creamy from the nut butter, tangy from the lemon, and has an amazing slight burn from the raw garlic. Its great with ginger added, or chili if you want more spice.

How to use it

Obviously, in The Salad. I love it on top of shredded salad with pickled onions (often served with quinoa and grilled chicken). I dip carrots into it. I put it on rice cakes. It’s great on falafel (I was going to post a falafel recipe today but I have no photos of making it so that will come another day). Basically, please eat this on everything you can.

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Easy raspberry jam + overnight oats

A teaspoon-ish amount of this tart jam, stirred through oats, makes a perfect breakfast for this not-quite-spring weather.

small square glass jar sitting on wooden surface, filled with dark red seeded jam. Metal teaspoon sticking out of open jar

There’s a small jar of my grandmother’s homemade cherry jam tucked into the back of my cabinet, which I haven’t eaten because if I eat it then I don’t have any more. How long I hold out on not eating it is a good question, because it really is the best jelly on earth. However, this is not that recipe, this one is much much easier.

Canning things and sealing jars is great (and you can do that with this recipe if you’d like to) but it’s also a bigger time and space commitment than I think most people want to give. That doesn’t mean you can’t make and eat homemade jam regularly. This recipe relies on the natural pectin in the raspberries (other fruit will work, specifically blackberries and other high pectin fruits) to help it set, rather than adding it separately. This also means it’s JAM not JELLY (fruit not juice) – this difference is a hill I am willing to die on. If you don’t like the seeds though, feel free to run the whole thing through a sieve!

I primarily put jam on top of oatmeal/porridge/overnight oats. The main reason I decided to make it myself was to control how sweet it is – I find store bought jams to often be too sweet so you’ll notice there isn’t that much sugar in this recipe.

Easy Raspberry Jam

makes around one jar

small saucepan sitting on stove, filled with raspberries and sugar

175-200g raspberries (one medium-large carton)

juice of one lemon

1/4- 1/3 c granulated sugar – adjust to your desired sweetness and the sweetness of your berries

  • add berries, sugar, and lemon juice to a non-reactive saucepan
  • stirring occasionally, bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat
  • skim off the foam that rises and discard – if you don’t get it all, dont’ worry!
  • raise heat to high and boil for aprox 10 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. beginning at 10 minutes check for doneness (I use the wrinkle test by putting a spoon or two in my freezer while the mixture comes to a boil and then testing if the jam sets when dropped onto it – you also get to eat the jam off the spoon after!) you can also check for the jam to get to 220F but I don’t have a thermometer.
  • If you want, strain your jam!
  • pour into a sealing jar and refrigerate. As you can tell in photos, I’m reusing an old jar that I washed out and sterilized (having a kettle is a godsend) right before use but you could definitely use traditional jars and process them in boiling water. However, this jam will keep in the fridge for a few weeks and makes such a small batch there’s no need!

Overnight Oats

one serving

I have never liked oatmeal very much, but living somewhere cold makes you! I prefer my oats soaked overnight so they become a custard-y texture, and honestly I like them cold best. These are great for making in a container you can take on the go to work/class!

1/3 c rolled oats

2/3 c milk (or 1/3 c milk and 1/3 c greek yogurt)

1 tbls chia seeds if you have them and like them!

pinch of salt

  • mix ingredients directly in the container you’ll eat them out of – it needs a lid
  • refrigerate for at least 4 hours – hence the ‘overnight’
  • this recipe is endlessly adjustable. I go ahead and put a spoonful of jam on top the night before. It’s also great with cinnamon sugar and bananas or apples, chocolate, peanut butter, and a variety of other fruits!
white bowl of oatmeal with a spoon in it, a dollop of dark red seeded raspberry jam on top

Winter Stew

I love soup to the point it’s excessive. I probably have soup for at least one meal a day and never tire of it. I might love winter just for the soup. And while I generally prefer my soups fairly brothy and lighter, this stew is by far the most comforting thing in my normal rotation of recipes.

The recipe is a hodge-podge of many, many I’ve read (googling beef stew in the grocery store) with quite a few adjustments to what I can find and what I like to keep on hand. It’s best when topped with scones, which both thicken the stew and cut through some of the richness. You could easily top with scones simply cut into circles, but I’m partial to the way El grew up with them – filled with ketchup and herbs and rolled up like cinnamon rolls. I too was hesitant at first, but it’s incredible.

these scones are a little too crowded

Winter Stew

Serves 4-5

2 stalks celery

3 carrots

3 shallots or 1 small onion

3-4 cloves garlic

2tbs balsamic vinegar (red wine would be good here, if you drink it)

4tbs tomato paste

Fresh thyme

Rump steak (cut into bite size pieces)

½ c flour (season w/ salt, pepper, dried herbs)

2tbs oil

4 c beef stock

  • Chop vegetables into whatever size you want to eat them at, set aside
  • place oven proof pot on stove, heat oil over medium heat
  • Dredge cut meat through flour, fry off in oil over medium heat till all sides are brown turning as needed (let frond develop on the bottom of pan)
they need to be very flour-y so the stew will thicken later
you’re not trying to cook the meat all the way through, just brown the outsides
  • Pull meat from pan
  • Add onion/shallot to pan and deglaze with vinegar, scraping along the bottom until all frond is loose
  • After onion has begun to go soft, add celery and garlic
  • Add tomato pastes, stir to loosen and let caramelize
  • Add carrots
  • Add meat back to pot, add beef stock and fresh thyme
  • Cover and let simmer for 1 ½ hours, meat should be tender

if adding scones to top of stew, place cut scones on top of the liquid with space between and place pot or dutch oven in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes

Scone topping

1 c self raising flour

¼ c cold butter

Splash of milk

Ketchup

Dried herbs

Shredded cheese

  • Rub cold butter into flour until smooth and crumbly,
  • Add milk until dough forms (about 3-5 tbs)
  • Roll out on floured surface to ¼ inch thick
  • Top with ketchup, herbs, and cheese
  • Roll up (like cinnamon rolls)
  • Pinch seam closed, and place seam side down
  • Use serrated knife to cut in ½ inch thick slices, brush tops with milk
  • Place on top of stew or on tray, bake at 200c or 350f for 15-20 minutes until golden