Tag: roasted

Summer Vegetable Tacos

Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust

I love tacos. I really do. They’re easy to throw together. You can eat one for a snack or three for dinner (or four or five). You can put whatever you want in them, which I think is pretty great. You can make almost a variation from almost any cuisine. When my friend Elaine, who does marketing here in Portland, asked me to do some recipe development for her client Mariam Foods, my first idea was: summer vegetable tacos.

Mariam Foods makes these delicious lentil dips. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too. At first mention, lentil dip sounds anything but delicious. I am an adventurous eater, by no means picky, but I do not like lentils. Or didn’t, I suppose. I tend to not really like their texture, and while I know they’re great for protein and budget cooking, I can’t get myself to use them. But Elaine invited me over to taste Mariam’s lentil dips, and I was pleasantly surprised. They are similar to the consistency of refried beans, with maybe the occasional whole lentil. And the flavors she was asking me to use, black lentil with jalapeño and black lentil and curry, were really nicely flavored. I started to get excited about the ways I could play with these flavors. While the dips are Ethiopian inspired, I knew I could sneak these dips into other cuisines.

I decided to start with tacos using the most scrumptious of summer produce: zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. Toss them with some Mexican inspired spices and roast them. While they were in the oven, I decided to whip up a cilantro-sour cream with lime. Then, to assemble the tacos, I started with a spoonful of the lentil dip smeared down the center of my tortilla, topped with warm vegetables, topped with the cilantro-sour cream, and another squeeze of lime for good measure. These tacos were so delicious, and really easy to make, and they made truly awesome leftovers. I ate them at least twice more throughout the week.

A little bird also told me that Mariam Foods has two new flavors coming out early this fall: brown lentil and sesame (with garlic and ginger) and brown lentil and sriracha. I know Jonah will love the sriracha, but I’m really excited about the sesame flavor! Mariam lentil dips were created by the Andemariam family, inspired by Afiza, a lentil salad that their Ethiopian and Eritrean grandmothers used to make. They source their ingredients as locally as possible, which I like. The dips can be found at various New Seasons, Whole Foods, and other markets and co-ops in the greater Portland area.

Summer Vegetable Tacos


Roasted Vegetables

2 ears corn, kernels sliced from the cob
2 small zucchini, diced into ½ inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
½ medium-sized red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cilantro Cream

1 cup sour cream
¼ – 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of ½ lime

Taco Assembly

Mariam Black Lentil and Jalapeño Dip
Small tortillas (corn or flour)
Optional: grated cheddar cheese, queso fresco, salsa, additional cilantro, lime wedges


Roasted Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, olive oil, salt, cumin, and garlic. Toss until all of the vegetables are evenly coated with the spices and oil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Spread vegetables on the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Toss, and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown.

Cilantro Cream

While the vegetables are in the oven, make the cilantro cream. Combine sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl, stir well. Feel free to add more cilantro, lime juice, salt, or pepper to your taste.

Taco Assembly

To assemble the tacos, spread a spoonful of Mariam’s Black Lentil and Jalapeño Dip down the center of a tortilla. Top with roasted vegetables, and a dollop of cilantro cream. Enjoy!

This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.

Weekend Finds 2:16:14

It’s time for weekend finds! It has been a quite a week – the snow melted, I made a trip to the coast with friends where I baked some delicious food (more testing and then a recipe to come). And then… it was Valentine’s Day. We visited Expatriate after I got off of work, which I had been wanting to try for a long time! And now I’m baking for Carmelle’s birthday – details in find #1!

1. Ice cream cake

Ice Cream Cake on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ice Cream Cake! Photo from Not Without Salt

I’m making ice cream cake for my roommate’s birthday tonight! Her birthday was on Friday, but today was the first day I’ve had to bake her something. We’re going to the Amos Lee concert tonight with her (her boyfriend got her tickets for Christmas, and I got Jonah tickets for his birthday), so we’ll eat it after listening to an evening of sweet crooning. It’s kind of a mixture of a bunch of recipes, including chocolate wafers from Smitten Kitchen and fudge sauce and assembly tips from Not Without Salt.

2. Interview with Rachel Cole

Rachel Cole Interview from The Kitchn on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rachel Cole Interview from The Kitchn

I’ve never heard of Rachel Cole before, but after reading this interview with her on The Kitchn, I am loving what she has to say about food and eating. I particularly like what she says about having your compass needle point towards pleasure, fear of food, and the importance of fresh food.

3. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Homemade Cocoa Mix from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Homemade Cocoa Mix from Food 52

I love hot cocoa, and I love the convenience of hot cocoa packets, but I don’t love that I don’t always know what the ingredients listed on the packets are. I am really into making this homemade cocoa mix, especially to go with the vanilla marshmallows I got for Christmas!

4. Miso Roasted Vegetables

Miso Roasted Vegetables from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Miso Roasted Vegetables from Food 52

More, I say, more! Remember when I told you about those miso and harissa roasted vegetables? And how amazing they are? This seems like another great recipe to try, and I love the addition of the maple syrup and rice vinegar.

5. DIY Puff Pastry

DIY Puff Pastry from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
DIY Puff Pastry from Food 52

Ok, so making your own puff pastry takes a lot of time, many hours of rolling and chilling and rolling and chilling, but wouldn’t it be cool to make it yourself instead of buying it at the store in the freezer aisle?! I don’t know when exactly I’m going to try this puff pastry recipe, but I’m going to try it, darn it!

Kale, Squash, and a Runny Yolk

Kale, squash, and a runny yolk

Sometimes you just need an easy dinner. You need to comb through your fridge, scrounge what ingredients you can, and stand there, for a minute, gazing at your collection, trying to figure out what you can make with all of this. It doesn’t have to be fancy, or even graceful, but tasting good and mildly cohesive would be nice. You’ve got a bunch of kale that you really should use soon, a small, friendly looking butternut squash, and a jalapeño. And eggs. Luckily, the roommates always keep lots of eggs around. And do you know what brings a dish together with ease? A runny yolk.

So you slice up the butternut squash, drizzle with olive oil and salt, mix in some chopped garlic, and lay it out on a baking sheet, laying a couple rosemary springs atop it all, sliding it into the oven to roast. You sautée up the kale with more oil, salt, and garlic, and even some jalapeño. And then, to finish it all off, you soft boil a couple of eggs (one for you and one for the tall fellow you eat dinner with). Simple as that, you have dinner.

Kale, Squash, and a Soft Boiled Egg


A small butternut squash, olive oil, and salt (and anything you’d like to roast with it)
1 bunch of kale, garlic, olive oil, and salt


Peel and cube or slice the butternut squash into whatever shapes you like to eat. Slide into the oven at about 375 and roast until easily pierced with a fork. Sautée kale with a tsp of olive oil, chopped garlic, and a sprinkling of salt. If you want the kale to steam and wilt a little more, you can add some water to the pan (no more than 1/4 cup) and cover with a lid. After letting the kale steam for a bit, remove the lid and let the water cook off.

To soft boil the eggs, bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the eggs in, allow to cook for 6 minutes (this can be adjusted depending on how you like your eggs). After 6 minutes, remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, run under cold water, and peel.

Put your egg on top of your kale and squash to let the yolk run over the veggies a bit. It adds a nice rich creaminess. Enjoy.

Restaurant Review: Navarre (or Portland’s Best Kept Secret)

On the east side of Portland, where Burnside intersects with 28th, there are a slew of little cute establishments. You’ve got Crema, some food carts, Paadee, Laurelhurst theater (my favorite movie theater in town), Tabla, and even Ken’s Pizza if you go a couple blocks south. But my favorite one by far is the European looking Navarre, with about 30 seats, produce, jarred pickled veggies, and wine covering almost every surface, and the menu scrawled on the front window. Let me tell you though, writing the menu on the window cannot be an easy feat, as the menu is easily 30 items long and changes regularly. How regularly? 90% of the produce used at Navarre is grown within city limits (according to the latest issue of Portland Monthly).

I mean, come on: Roasted Carrots with a Million Herbs. Sounds delicious to me!

How I ever decided to go to Navarre for the first time is beyond me. I usually steer clear of places that don’t have a website. I know, I know, it’s incredibly biased. But speaking as one that does extensive restaurant research before I visit a spot, I really don’t like it when restaurants don’t have websites. In an age when that’s where everyone gets their information, why not? They do have a blog, but I just don’t really feel like the blog does their food justice and they don’t post very regularly.

The two menus, side by side, at Navarre. All ready to be filled out.

But let’s get to the good stuff, shall we? Their food! Oh the food. Let me tell you. You know that fad of “simple cooking”? This is the absolute best “simple” food I have ever had. Vegetables roasted with simple herbs or dressings and meat and fish expertly cooked in such a way that the flavors are magnified. As you can see on the menu pictured above, they always have 2 menus – the staples: things like bread, salami, gratin, fish, bird, and pork. You have to ask to find out what bird and how it’s cooked, or what vegetable they’re using for the gratin this evening. And on the second menu are all of the specials. Then you fill out the first menu with a marker (gotta love restaurants that give you markers), writing which specials you want and marking whether you want small or large plates of whatever you decide to order. They recommend about 3 small plates per person, which is perfect. I especially liked it because, between Jonah and myself, we got to try 6 different dishes instead of 2 mains and an appetizer that we would usually get at any other restaurant.

Lots of little plates for dinenr at Navarre, including steak, squash, kohlrabi, mushrooms, bread...

While I have been for brunch, which was delicious, I like the ambiance a little more at dinner time. The lights are a little bit lower, the candles are lit, and you get to enjoy wine from their pretty extensive list (given the size of the place). Some of my favorite dishes that I’ve had for dinner include but are not limited to: mushrooms roasted with rosemary, kohlrabi roasted with mustard and brown sugar, delicata squash roasted with butter, trout in parchment, cabbage gratin… the list goes on. Everything is prepared so well, so simply. Perhaps my favorite thing about Navarre is that I find it inspiring. Because the preparations are simple, I feel like I can go home and replicate them, which I love.

All in all, Navarre is definitely one of my top picks for places to dine in Portland. I think the perfect word to describe it is lovely. A lovely spot with lovely food. Try it out, but don’t spread the word too far. The other thing I love about this place is that I never have to wait for a table 😉