Saturday, December 20, 2008

Salty Girl Has Moved!

Salty Girl Cooks has a sparkling, new website!

Please visit and bookmark it for future visits! Thanks, Salty Girl

Friday, December 12, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Dijon Dressing

This is off-topic, but that's what you get on a Friday: I have a big, ugly vacuum-sealed package of tempeh sitting in my fridge right now. Every time I open the refrigerator door, it sneers at me, and then tells me to fold the laundry, do the dishes, and otherwise lectures me in a condescending voice.

Just kidding about that! The tempeh does NOT talk to me. But it does look rather smug, and I have no clue what to do with it. For some reason the past month has been unkind to me in the non-meat-eating sense.

Perhaps it's the cold weather, and my genetic obligation to put on a layer of fat during the winter, but I sure could go for a steak. A happy, grass-fed, lived-a-good-life steak, but a steak all the same. But, I fear it's a slippery slope from there to wings at the corner bar, so for now, it's tempeh time. Does anyone have any ideas?

These lovely Brussels sprouts came from the farmer's market. They didn't talk back to me, and so were quickly snapped up out of the fridge and lovingly prepared (what do you think about that, tempeh?).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Dijon Dressing

1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1-2 TB Dijon mustard
1 TB olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
cooking spray
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved


Combine first four ingredients with a fork in a small bowl. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Place sprouts on a baking sheet lined with foil that you have sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle sprouts with salt and pepper, and lightly spray with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, or until bottoms are browning. Flip sprouts, and roast for another 10 minutes or until browned.

Allow sprouts to cool slightly, then toss in dressing. Serves 4 as a side dish.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Spicy Chickpeas and Winter Vegetables

In anticipation of the travel adventure that the Husband and I will soon be embarking on, I spent a bitterly cold day yesterday transacting commerce in suburbia. It was the kind of day that makes you recoil when you step outside. The wind never died down and people ran from their cars to where they were going.

Yes. I complain about the cold all the time, so I lack credibility. I know this. But yesterday was different. Yesterday I was literally moved to tears when I saw a man at an intersection.

I was waiting to turn right, and he was standing in the median by the left lane. He was dressed for the weather. He had on thick canvas coveralls, a hooded sweatshirt, workboots and ski gloves. He looked to be about 65. There was a duffel bag on the ground near him, and he held a big, creased cardboard sign: Hard Worker.

[Heavy Sigh.] So many people are struggling this year to survive, just as the weather is getting dangerously cold. At dinner last night, I hoped that the hard worker had somewhere warm to go home to.

Spicy Chickpeas and Winter Vegetables


1 TB vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 leeks, white and light green parts chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp whole cloves
3 c lower sodium vegetable broth
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, with juice
4 dried red chilies
2 carrots, chopped
2 small (or 1 large) heads of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/2 lb assorted mushrooms
10 oz kale, stems trimmed, roughly chopped
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper to taste
lemon juice or red wine vinegar (optional)


Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks garlic, and cloves and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add broth and tomatoes, scraping bottom of pan to remove any browned bits.

Add the remainder of the ingredients (excluding salt, pepper and lemon/vinegar), and bring to a simmer. Cook with lid on for about 30 minutes, or until cauliflower and carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove chilies prior to serving. Add a splash or lemon juice or red wine vinegar to each bowl prior to serving if desired. Serve with couscous or rice. Serves 6-8.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pasta with Creamy Egg and Squash Sauce

Do you know when you reach that point where you just can not eat any more squash? That's the time in my household where we forge boldly ahead, and yep, keep eating it. We like to tempt fate.

This pasta turned out delicious-creamy and nutmeg-scented. Very comforting. Good with finely grated wisps of cheese on top. Gruyere perhaps?

In other news, we ate last night at Founding Farmer's restaurant. Have you heard of this place? It just opened two months ago and sources all of its ingredients from local farmers. Rad idea, and excellent execution.

There are some aspects of the restaurant that are a little too cutesy. (I like the shape of the ice cubes, but could have done without hearing how they recall ice-blocks being chipped out of Lake Huron...) But overall, a great dinner nestled in a booth, surrounded by vegetables canned in large, clear jars.

Pasta with Creamy Egg and Squash Sauce


1/2 lb pasta
2 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1 TB water
1 lb butternut or delicata squash, roasted, peeled and cut into roughly 1 inch chunks(I used a combination of squash)
1/2 cup grated cheese (I like either Gruyere or Parmigianno- Reggiano)
salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to directions in salted water.

Combine next 5 ingredients (through water) in a bowl using a fork. Set aside.

In another bowl, gently mash 1/2 of the roasted squash using the back of a wooden spoon.

When pasta is done cooking, use tongs to transfer it to a large bowl. Reserve 1 c cooking water. Slowly pour egg mixture over pasta, using tongs to thoroughly combine mixture and pasta.

Add mashed squash to pasta, and combine. Use pasta water to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each portion with chunks of squash. Serve with grated cheese. Serves 4.