By Judith Yamada, cooking expert
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War. The holiday honors those who died while serving in the United States military. In the 1860s, people in cities and towns across the country paid their respects in the spring to our fallen heroes, traditionally visited cemeteries, attended or participated in parades, and gathered to travel down memory lane with their friends and loved ones. family. It has been difficult to prove the origins of the holiday as dozens of towns have claimed it. However, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially proclaimed the party to have originated in Waterloo New York.
Observed on the last Sunday in May, this American holiday provides an opportunity to thoughtfully appreciate the sacrifice so many have made, the birth of spring, and the people we love. In these difficult times, it is more important than ever to get out, be with friends and socialize safely. Many people organize barbecues or go camping during this long three-day weekend which unofficially marks the beginning of the summer season.
If you’re planning a Memorial Day gathering and could use a few easy festive recipes, please check out these – White Bean and Spinach Antipasto and Zesty Teriyaki Sauce for whatever you’d like to barbecue this weekend .
Both recipes are in my cookbook “Thrifty Comfort Cooking for Challenging Times” which will be available for purchase next month. All proceeds/royalties from the sale of my (very eclectic) cookbook will go to the Oregon Food Bank, Tillamook Services. Enjoy! http://kitchenmaven.org
White bean and spinach antipasti
This colorful and well-balanced recipe uses freezer and pantry ingredients along with a few fresh staples. Not only is it inexpensive, it only takes a few minutes to prepare and is a quick, tasty, and light meal for those warmer days we’ve been waiting for. Serve it with crusty bread, focaccia, garlic toast or hot rolls.
1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach
1 can 15 oz Great Northern beans OR other white beans drained and rinsed
1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives OR finely chopped green onion tops
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Follow package directions for frozen spinach; do not overcook. Drain, spin dry and chop finely. In a bowl, toss the spinach with the beans, bell pepper, garlic, chives, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve chilled with crusty bread or garlic rolls or toast. For 6 people as a starter, 3 as a starter.
Original source unknown
That’s enough hot spicy sauce for 1 ½ pounds of basted ingredients. This ingredient can be salmon, chicken, tempeh, tofu, pork, eggplant, or anything you want to bake or barbecue in the chef’s usual way.
6 tablespoons soy sauce or Tamari
¼ cup Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) OR white wine OR orange juice
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar OR honey, to taste
1-2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
½ tsp crushed dried red pepper flakes OR ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons of water, optional
2-3 green onions, trimmed, split lengthwise and thinly sliced on the bias, crushed nori (seaweed) and sesame seeds, optional
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and whisk well. Cook over medium heat until simmering and thickened slightly. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from fire. If the sauce is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Pour or brush half of the sauce over the chicken or salmon, etc. during cooking. If basting on raw fish, meat or poultry, to avoid cross-contamination, first separate half of the sauce into another bowl. Use the rest of the sauce to drizzle the protein after cooking.