Mediterranean Summer Tabouli

Tabouli is a great snack to pack for picnics or bring for your next pot luck. It’s super simple and quick to make.

Typically Tabouli is made with bulgar wheat, but this version utilizes QUINOA to make it gluten free and protein packed.

As with all of my recipes, measurements are NOT important. I always urge you to taste as you go and use your instincts.  You know what you like!

For some more ideas on how to utilize Quinoa – check out this Marinaded Veggie Recipe.

Tabouli
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Enjoy this simple, finely chopped salad with tons of parsley. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats. To achieve the right tabouli texture, you will need to chop the vegetables as finely as possible. (Be sure to use firm tomatoes!)
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Tabouli
Print Recipe
Enjoy this simple, finely chopped salad with tons of parsley. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats. To achieve the right tabouli texture, you will need to chop the vegetables as finely as possible. (Be sure to use firm tomatoes!)
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Boil quinoa in salted water until tender. Strain well & let cool
  2. Finely chop mint, parsley and scallion. Use the whole scallion (greens and white)
  3. Very small dice cucumbers and tomato
  4. Mix all ingredients with lime juice & olive oil. Season well with salt & pepper
  5. Serve with lettuce wraps or crackers for a snack or as a side dish to some grilled meats.
Recipe Notes

Pro Tips:

  1. Be sure not to use too much Quinoa when you mix up the salad.  The idea is to have a little quinoa with the salad, not a little salad with your quinoa.
  2. If you are making ahead and have the time - strain your tomatoes to separate eliminate the seeds and juice. This will keep your tabouli dry and not too wet as it sits.

 

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5 Spice Braised Pork Tacos

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.

Everyone’s familiar with Mexican flavors in tacos, but these 5 spice tacos use braised pork and Asian seasonings to knock it out of the park!

I can eat tacos for days, but 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love.

I like to serve these 5 spice tacos with a big bowl of crunchy slaw on the side. You can swap in vegetables with whatever you have on hand.

Want a an even healthier version? Try swapping out tortillas for cabbage leaves! You get similar flavor and crunch with none of the carbs. (Even my kids love tacos in cabbage leaves!)

As with all Connected Chef recipes, let your kitchen and instincts guide you as you cook. The ingredient amount below are used as a starting off point; taste as you go and reseason as needed!

Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Chili braised pork or 5 spice tacos bring different ideas to the table instead of just Mexican.
5 Spiced Braised Pork Tacos
Print Recipe
I can eat tacos for days, but these 5 spice tacos are a welcome change of pace from the traditional Mexican flavors we all love. I sometimes will swap out tortillas for cabbage leaves. Even my kids eat it!
Ingredients
Shredded Pork
Rice
Servings:
Instructions
Shredded Pork
  1. Preheat the oven to 300*F. Pat the pork butt dry with a paper towel, then rub all over with the 5 spice, salt and pepper.
  2. In a large Dutch oven or saute pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat 4-5 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add the pork to the pan and sear until dark golden brown on all sides.
  3. Remove pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger and carrot to the pan. Char and slightly cook the vegetables, about 3-5 minutes, then remove vegetables from the pan and set aside.
  4. Deglaze the pan with bottle of beer, using a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Place the pork back to the pan, and add in enough water to cover the pork by about 3/4, then add the charred vegetables. Cover the pan and set in the oven.
  6. Cook at 275-300 degrees for 3-4 hours, until pork is falling apart. (You should be able to put your fork in the pork and pull it apart without any resistance)
  7. Once cooked, let everything cool in the braising liquid. (I often make 1-2 days ahead and put the whole pot in the fridge to cool. If that is the case, just warm the pork up when you are ready to shred it.)
  8. Shred pork and strain braising liquid, discarding the vegetables. Then, add pork back to the strained liquid. You may need to reheat gently if it has cooled completely, but make sure the liquid does not boil while you are reheating.
Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies, except Napa cabbage, in equal amounts
  2. Pick stems from cilantro & mint leaves and add to salad
  3. Season with salt & pepper & add lime juice to your liking
  4. Pick Napa Cabbage leaves for taco shells. You can cut out the core of the leaf for easier folding
Rice
  1. Saute garlic, ginger & onion in olive oil (Use a heavy amount of olive oil)
  2. Add rice and toast. If you need to add more oil at this point to coat the rice, do not be afraid to do so.
  3. Once the rice is a golden brown color, add 4 cups water and stir
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer
  5. Stir occasionally until rice is tender
Recipe Notes

If your rice is undercooked and all your water is absorbed, it is ok to add a little more water in the middle of the cooking process!

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Thai Marinated Chicken with Coconut Rice & Thai-Inspired Slaw

The marinade for this Thai chicken allows you to get a little creative in the kitchen, and the accompanying slaw is the same!

Use the proportions of the marinade ingredients below according to how much chicken you should make, and think about the final flavor of the dish; since this is both a marinade as well as the sauce the chicken cooks in, you have some room to wiggle a little with amounts and measurements.

Try to remember the balance of acidity (lime juice), salt (soy sauce) and sweetness (honey), with just enough fresh cilantro to open up the flavor and zingy ginger and garlic to add bite.  As with all Connected Chef recipes, we encourage you to use all your senses as you cook!

The coconut rice that goes with the Thai marinated chicken and slaw is also easier than it looks, especially when you think about the process of rice cooking. Cooking the rice in coconut milk gives it a creamy flavor that’s hard to beat, and it rounds out the entire dish nicely.

Toss the slaw together using whatever crispy, fresh vegetables you have on hand. Each of the different textures of the different vegetables will work well together, especially when you tie them together with a garlicky vinegar dressing.

This Thai marinated chicken and sides is one of my favorite recipes to teach in my classes, since it covers so many different aspects of the kitchen and requires you to use each of your senses throughout the entire process. It’s a great recipe to get kids cooking along with you!

Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
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This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Marinated Chicken, Coconut Rice & Thai Slaw
Print Recipe
This will be you GO TO dinner meal. Every client tells me how much this meal changed their life. Enjoy!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Servings Prep Time
6 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
Coconut Rice
Thai Slaw
Servings: people
Instructions
Thai Marinade
  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk: Start with soy sauce as the base, and then add each ingredient one at a time, tasting as you go.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and set aside for at least 20-30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  3. When chicken is ready to be cooked, sear in batches with marinade & season with salt & pepper
Coconut Rice
  1. Fine chop garlic, onion, ginger & sauté in pan with a heavy amount of oil.
  2. Add rice & toast (make sure there is enough oil to coat the rice)
  3. Once rice is toasted brown, add coconut milk & water
  4. Season heavily with salt & some pepper
  5. Once boiling, stir & bring down heat
  6. Stir occasionally until cooked through.
  7. **Be sure to be tasting rice as it cooks and adjusting seasoning. You can always add a bit of water if you need more liquid throughout the cooking process.
Thai Slaw
  1. Julienne all veggies (cut into thin strips).
  2. Pick herbs from stem & tear into slaw
  3. Dress with some lime juice, salt & pepper to taste.
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Pea Mint Pasta

Pea Mint Pesto Pasta is made by making a type of ‘pesto’ out of fresh peas and mint, with the bright flavor of lemon juice and the bite of garlic.

This is a great summer picnic snack since it holds really well at chilled or room temps, although it is great eaten hot or cold.  It’s a wonderful addition to kids’ lunches, too!

Another bonus? Kids love to help make pea mint pesto! Check out the recipe and see what steps they can help with!

Even though it’s really just a simple sauce tossed with pasta, it’s got a big flavor that feels fancier than it really is!

If you’re making it as a side, it goes really well with Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies.

Pea Mint Pasta
Print Recipe
This pea mint pesto pasta sauce can be eaten cold or warm. It's great for a summer picnic! Pea Mint Pesto Pasta is made by making a type of 'pesto' out of fresh peas and mint, with the bright flavor of lemon juice and the bite of garlic. This is a great summer picnic snack since it holds really well at chilled or room temps, although it is great eaten hot or cold.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Pea Mint Pasta
Print Recipe
This pea mint pesto pasta sauce can be eaten cold or warm. It's great for a summer picnic! Pea Mint Pesto Pasta is made by making a type of 'pesto' out of fresh peas and mint, with the bright flavor of lemon juice and the bite of garlic. This is a great summer picnic snack since it holds really well at chilled or room temps, although it is great eaten hot or cold.
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
0 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients, except olive oil into your food processor and blend
  2. Add the oil slowly until the sauce is a thick consistency. Then add the pasta water to thin out, all while blending.
  3. Season heavily with salt and pepper and buzz once more to incorporate.
Recipe Notes

Tasks for kids to help: (basically they can do it all on their own if they are 5+)

  1. Picking herbs
  2. Crushing & peeling garlic
  3. Adding the ingredients to the food processor and pressing the button to pulse
  4. Adding the olive oil and salt

Pro Storage Tips:

This pesto will last about a week in your fridge if stored in an airtight container. You can also make in large batches & freeze in small portions.

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