Black Rice & Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Leek and Whole Grain Mustard Vinaigrette

IMG_8356

A healthy and filling salad with a tangy vinaigrette. I’ve only started cooking with black rice a few months ago and I really love its chewier texture. It takes a bit longer to cook but you can always cook it the night before and keep it in the fridge. It makes a great packed lunch for the next day as well.

FullSizeRender

This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

1 1/2 cups of black rice

5 cups of vegetable stock, warmed up

250grs of Brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved and thinly sliced

1 cup of broad beans, shelled and blanched

¼ cup of pumpkin seeds

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

For the leek and whole grain mustard vinaigrette:

1 leek, finely chopped (light green and white part only)

5 tablespoons of olive oil

Pinch of garlic powder

¼ cup of red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard

2 teaspoons of honey

Salt

Pepper

Extra:

Garden cress for decoration (optional)

 

Start by rinsing the black rice under cold water. Then place it in a medium saucepan with the vegetable stock and let it cook covered for about 45 minutes over medium-low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the rice is cooked. Then turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, start making the vinaigrette. Place olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, lower the heat to medium-low and add the leek, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Let it cook for about 8 minutes stirring until the leek becomes soft but not brown.

Once the leek is cooked, turn off the heat and add the red wine vinegar, mustard and honey. Mix it well. Taste for salt and then transfer it to a bowl or jar until ready to serve.

Once the rice is cooked, place it in a large bowl and add the Brussels sprouts, broad beans, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate. Add the vinaigrette and mix well. Divide it among 3 bowls and top with some garden cress.

For more foodie inspiration, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook.

Roasted Carrot & Leek Salad with Greek Yogurt & Gorgonzola Dressing

leek salad

I wanted to make a simple salad of roasted vegetables that would be great to accompany any meat or be eaten on its own.  I don’t use leek enough as a main ingredient and it is such a nice vegetable. Roasting the leeks makes them silky and tender. Once they are roasted and you separate all the layers, they look almost like pasta.  I decided to add rainbow carrots to make the salad pop and add a different texture.  I made the gorgonzola dressing with Greek yogurt to make it a bit lighter.  This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:

8 medium carrots (I used purple & yellow)

5 medium leeks (not the hard green parts)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

Salt

Handful of pumpkin seeds, pine nuts or any other nuts/seeds that you may like

For the Dressing:

100gr of Gorgonzola

150gr of Greek yogurt

Juice of ½ a lime

½ teaspoon of mustard

Salt

Pepper

 

Peel and slice the carrots lengthwise. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place the carrots on the prepared baking tray, drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt.

Slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Clean them. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Arrange the leeks in a single layer. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add some salt. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Seal it.

Roast the carrots and leeks in an 180C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

To make the dressing, just place all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

To serve the salad, first separate the layers of the leeks and arrange them on each plate. Add some of the carrots. Drizzle some of the dressing and finish with the seeds/nuts.

Leek and Bacon Mac & Cheese with a Cheddar Panko Crust

fixed2

It is a childhood favorite.  I still remember making it from a pack when I was little kid. Both my sister and I would love eating it. However when I told my hubby I wanted to make it, he was less than excited.  He didn’t really grow up with it and had only tried the ones from a pack and didn’t like them. When I made this one last week, I am happy to say that he was the one going for seconds. This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:

300gr Macaroni

100gr butter plus 1 tablespoon

100gr flour

800ml Milk

200gr Cheddar cheese, grated

200gr Gruyere cheese, grated

275gr Bacon, cut into small pieces

2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced

3 shallots, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

Nutmeg

Paprika powder

½ cup of panko

Salt

Pepper

 

First, cook the bacon. Once it is cooked, remove from the pan and set aside. Keep the fat in the pan. Add one tablespoon of butter and melt it. Add the leeks and shallots and cook over the low heat. Let it cook for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. You want the leeks to be very soft without getting browned. Then add the minced garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add some salt and pepper. Remove from the pan and set aside.

To make the béchamel sauce, melt 100gr of butter in a saucepan.  Then whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Stir until the mixture has lightly browned. Then whisk in the milk. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it has thickened to the point that it coats the back of the spoon. Add the cooked bacon and leeks to the sauce. Then season it with salt, pepper, paprika powder and nutmeg to taste.

In the meanwhile, cook the pasta as instructed on the package and start your oven on broil.

Mix 1/3 of the grated cheddar with the panko and a bit of salt to make the crust.

Mix the grated gruyere with the remaining grated cheddar and whisk it into the béchamel sauce.  Once it has melted, add the cooked pasta and mix it all though.  Pour the pasta into a slightly buttered oven dish. Sprinkle the cheddar and panko mixture on top. Broil for a few minutes until the cheese has melted and the panko has gotten a golden color. Serve right away.