Thai Chicken & Farro SaladRed leaf lettuce leaves. They are big, luxurious fans, capable of cradling an amount of meat and grains into a fantastic “taco.” Yes. Eat with your hands.

The “Thai Chicken and Wheat Berry Salad,” from the June 2014 issue of Food & Wine, was too easy to assemble. I ground my own chicken meat, by whizzing boneless chicken thighs in the food processor. I used farro instead of wheat berries or spelt, which also falls into that “chewy Italian ancient grain” category (if there were such a category).

Fish sauce is a magical ingredient, full of fermented funk. Use it once, eat it once, and you know this. Here, combined with the lime juice, it lends a welcome tang to the chicken. The basil fits right in, too. Scoop it all up in your lettuce cups and you’re a winner.

I love this,” assured my nine-year-old diner, eating with hands, mouth full of food.

Carrot & Feta SliceAnd while we’re eating with our hands, I was also happy to unearth the recipe for the “Carrot & Feta Slice,” from Veggie Num Num: it’s an eggy loaf that can be eaten at room temperature. Even though five eggs are involved, it did not remind me of a frittata, perhaps because we did not eat it hot out of the oven. Don’t freak out about the “self-raising flour.” Here’s the formula: 1 cup unbleached flour + 1/4 tsp. salt + 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder.

I grated my carrots in the food processor. The carrots, along with the various seeds and nuts, give a bit of “crunch” to this loaf, which is always nice. I used some shallot instead of red onion and I used actual feta cheese (why go vegan when you’re using eggs anyway?). I ate this loaf for days, wrapping it up, keeping it in the fridge, and slicing a cold slice whenever. Try it.

PRICES:
Boneless Chicken Thighs (1 lb.) = $4.26
Carrots (13 oz.) = $1.02

PREP TIMES: farro will cook in 40 minutes or less, so devote an hour to this salad; the loaf needs 40 minutes in the oven, so devote an hour to this loaf
TASTES:
funk and tang and basil decorate chicken in ample lettuce cups; sweet carrots, crunchy seeds, and salty cheese make a party of a loaf with eggs

Next time, I’ll continue with the June 2014 issue of Food & Wine, to make the lovely “Cherry Hand Pies,” simply because I have puff pastry and fresh juicy cherries are everywhere right now. Come back to my site next week to share these with me.