Monday, 10 September 2012

Bulgur Salad

There's a fantastic sandwich shop in Gastown called Meat & Bread. They are famous for their Porchetta sandwich - roasted pork belly, cracklin's, and salsa verde on a freshly baked panini bun. If you are ever in the area, you really have to go there. And get the Ice Cream sandwich while you're there. Trust me. It's no regular sandwich.

The last time I was there, they had this amazing side salad - it was Almond Bulgur, with a fantastic Morrocan-esq dressing. This is my attempt at recreating it.

Almond Bulgur Salad

1 cup of cooked bulgur (there seem to be a few different methods on how to cook bulgur - I recommend buying a box/bag of it and just following their instructions)
4 sticks celery, chopped
1 apple, chopped (use one that's more on the tart side)
1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup escarole or red cabbage, cut in long-ish strips
1/2 pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds

- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and then dress with the following dressing:

1/2 cup mayo
3 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cumin
salt + pepper to taste

- Whisk well, and adjust mayo/vinegar ratios to suit your taste

Thursday, 6 September 2012


Cassoulet is a French dish typically made with some kind of meat and white beans. I like to think of it as the older, more sophisticated relative of Chili. (Does that make me sound like a snob? I do love a good chili, honest!)

I've been getting tired of the end-of-the-month scramble for a cheap dinner that is relatively healthy, so I decided to use those same frantic money-saving tactics at the START of the months, in hopes that we could eat a little more luxurious later on. Or at least save some cash for next month.

I happen to have a LOT of beans in my house. I always buy them because they're really cheap, but I'm not overly fond of them so usually they get pushed to the back of the pantry whenever possible. In my digging this week I came across a bag of white beans! These are probably the least offensive of all beans in my opinion. They're no too meaty, and they don't really have a taste when they're cooked until soft. I also had a few random chicken breasts and one lonely sausage in my freezer. Yay, Cassoulet!

Chicken, Sausage, and Bean Cassoulet
This recipe gave us dinner for two, and lunch for two.

2 large chicken breasts, diced
1 Italian sausage, cut in thin slices on the diagonal
1 Tbsp smoked paprika

- sautee in olive oil in a pan until almost cooked through. set aside
- in a large pot, sautee

1 onion, sliced
1-2 large garlic cloves
1 pepper, chopped (who cares what color! just.... maybe avoid green)

- when soft, add

1/3 cup roasted/sundried/diced fresh tomatoes (or same amount of anything tomatoey!)
1 can of beans in some kind of sauce
1 1/2 cups of cooked white beans
3 Tbsp BBQ sauce (or to taste)
Chicken and Sausage mixture

- stir well, then, if it`s pretty dry looking, add 3-4 cups of water.
- bring to a boil, then drop to a simmer until you`re ready to eat!