Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream

Coming off the Great Ice Cream Spill on Friday, we made this chocolate ice cream today. Unlike the peanut butter ice cream, this one does not have a custard base. Since we made them so close together, the differences were more obvious. The custard-based ones are creamier, and the non-custard ones are kind of icier. This one is really, really yummy though! A very rich, yummy chocolate. I'd like to try out some other chocolate ice creams but this one was very good.

icecream

Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream
Cooking Light, July 2003

2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk
Dash of salt

Heat 1 cup whole milk in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat, and add the cocoa, stirring with a whisk until cocoa dissolves. Cool to room temperature.

Combine 1 cup whole milk, condensed milk, vanilla, evaporated milk, and salt in a blender, and process until smooth. Add cocoa mixture; blend well. Pour mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer; freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: 5 cups

Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe

This takes a little while, although you can make the onions while you're making the mushroom mixture as long as you keep an eye on it. But it is VERY tasty. The caramelized onions are key. And the Gruyere. Make sure you get a quality Gruyere. We happened to find a locally-made sharp Gruyere on sale at Wegmans last weekend so we used that and it was incredible. This would be a nice recipe to try if you are scared of turnips. It's a good way to incorporate them without really noticing them. I would make this again. It's a good, solid fall dish.

german

Potato, Turnip, and Spinach Baeckeoffe
Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2010

Translated from the Germanic Alsatian dialect, baeckeoffe means "baker's oven," as it was traditionally a dish that was brought to the local baker to cook in his oven. Classic versions are loaded with meat, but our vegetarian riff is equally hearty and rich.

1 tablespoon butter
1 pound sliced mushroom caps
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 large thyme sprig
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
Cooking spray
4 cups vertically sliced onion (about 2 medium onions)
1 (8-ounce) Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 (6-ounce) turnip, peeled and cut into (1/8-inch-thick) slices
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms to pan, and sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add wine; cook 2 minutes. Add parsley, thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Uncover and cook 6 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Remove from heat; discard thyme. Add cream cheese, stirring until cheese melts. Remove mushroom mixture from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.

3. Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium; continue cooking for 15 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.

4. Coat a 6-cup baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange potato slices in dish, and top with spinach. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper evenly over spinach. Spoon the mushroom mixture over black pepper, and arrange turnip slices over mushroom mixture. Top with caramelized onions; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and tarragon. Pour whipping cream over tarragon, and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère cheese. Cover and bake at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese begins to brown.

Yield: 4 servings

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Spicy Stir-Fried Mushroom Bruschetta

Mushrooms + Tomatoes = he hates life. Except somehow today. Why I scheduled to make this for dinner, I have no idea, but I'm glad I did because it was very yummy. It all mushes together and is spicy and flavorful and good, so you don't notice the mushrooms and tomatoes as separate entities. I wouldn't make it again, but it was a nice dinner. Even though technically it's considered an appetizer.

mushrooms

Spicy Stir-Fried Mushroom Bruschetta
Cooking Light, April 2008

A component of some curry powders, fenugreek adds an earthy, subtly bitter essence to Indian dishes. Omit if you can't find it. Even though the jalapeños are seeded in this appetizer, the dried chiles and ground red pepper deliver plenty of spicy heat. This dish is inspired by flavors from the northern mountainous region of India (Kashmir), whose people brought their love of mushrooms with them when they settled in Delhi. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chile
1 1/2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 minced seeded jalapeño pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups quartered mushrooms
1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed tomato
7 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/8 teaspoon Garam Masala
8 (1-ounce) slices country bread, toasted

Heat first 3 ingredients in a large skillet over medium-high heat; sauté 1 minute or until cumin begins to darken. Add ginger to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add red onion and fenugreek; sauté 2 minutes or until onion is tender. Add salt and jalapeño; saute 2 minutes or until onion softens and begins to brown. Add coriander, red pepper, and minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; cook 7 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Stir in tomato, tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons cilantro, and Garam Masala; bring to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes or until sauce thickens. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with slices of country bread.

Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

This morning I made the custard base for the ice cream and then put it in the refrigerator to cool. Then tonight at 7-ish, we made the ice cream. At 7:30, we poured the ice cream into a container to store in the freezer for snacking later. At 7:31, he knocked it over onto the floor.

Luckily for us, there was still some ice cream left in the ice cream mixer bowl. So we ate that. Ohhhhh my goodness. I wish we had the rest of it! It is AWESOME. Previous attempts at making custard-based ice creams have failed because they were too eggy for me. But this one was PERFECT. It didn't taste eggy and it had the perfect consistency. It tasted wonderful. It kind of tasted like Reese's Pieces. And the best part? Not as unhealthy as it sounds. With low-fat ingredients (and Splenda, if you choose to go that route - we didn't), it's not too bad of a choice. I used natural, sugar-free peanut butter as well, which was lovely. We would definitely make this again. And we'd try our hardest not to spill it.

icecream

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
CLBB (Nanci)

1/4 cup Splenda
3 large eggs
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup reduced fat peanutbutter, Jif
1 cup sweetened condensed milk -- fat free
1/2 cup half and half -- fat free
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips

In a medium mixing bowl beat the sugar into the eggs until slightly thickened and pale yellow. Set aside. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan over low heat. Slowly beat the hot milk into the eggs and sugar. Pour the entire mixture back into the pan and place over low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk until the custard thickens slightly. Do not let the mixture boil or the eggs will scramble. Remove from the heat and beat in the peanut butter with a whisk. Pour the hot custard through a strainer into a large clean bowl. Allow to cool slightly, then whisk in the condensed milk, half & half and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until cold or overnight. Add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips when mixture is semi-frozen in ice cream maker.

Yield: 10 servings

Thai Tofu-and-Winter Squash Stew

Last night I could not be bothered to make dinner so we ordered Chinese food. Excellent.

Today I had a snow day. Our neighborhood didn't get plowed out til around 11, and our driveway didn't get plowed out til 3. Emma and I ran around in the backyard because there was so much snow and it was fun.

So what's a good meal to have on a snow day? Curry, clearly. Hah!

This is a stew but definitely serve it over rice in a bowl. That way, it all kind of blends together and is wonderfully delicious. We used firm tofu (versus the extra-firm tofu I usually get) and it actually browned up much nicer than the extra-firm does. This is a good dish for people who are scared of tofu! As long as they are not also scared of curry. I liked the butternut squash in it, too. I would use a spicier pepper than a serrano next time, but that's just personal preference. We would definitely make this again - it was VERY good!

tofu

Thai Tofu-and-Winter Squash Stew
Cooking Light, January 1999
This Thai stew, simmered in a spicy coconut-milk broth, is easy to make. Sautéeing the tofu in roasted-peanut oil until golden and crisp adds both flavor and texture.

2 tablespoons roasted-peanut oil (such as Loriva) or vegetable oil, divided
2 cups thinly sliced leeks (about 3 small)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3/4 to 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped seeded serrano chile
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons less-sodium mushroom-flavored soy sauce (such as House of Tsang) or low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 cups water
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 (12.3-ounce) package reduced-fat firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
5 cups hot cooked basmati or other long-grain rice
1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leeks; sauté 3 minutes. Add ginger, serrano, and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce, curry, and sugar. Add water, squash, salt, and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu; sauté 12 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add tofu and juice to squash mixture. Serve over rice; sprinkle evenly with peanuts and cilantro.

Yield: 5 servings

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Linguine With Zucchini and Chickpeas

Last night I made this super-fast dinner. You can saute the zucchini and chickpeas while the linguine is cooking to make it even quicker. We had it with some garlic toast and sliced pears for a perfect little dinner. I had the leftovers warmed up this afternoon (I am home early due to the snooooowwwww) and it was great. It isn't a super-special recipe but I'd make it again.

pasta

Linguine With Zucchini and Chickpeas
Real Simple, August 2009

12 ounces linguine (3/4 of a box)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 small zucchini, cut into thin half-moons
kosher salt
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, drain, and return the pasta to the pot.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, tossing often, until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the zucchini mixture and the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olive & Swiss Panini

So tonight was a "Lauren meal" since he's at class on Tuesday nights. Except today turned out all screwed up. It started hailing and sleeting outside and the roads turned totally to ice. I ended up canceling my 5:00 client and coming home early, and his class was canceled. And so we were both home, and my meal plan did not accommodate for that. I decided to still go ahead with my planned panini so the bread wouldn't be stale. He took one look at the recipe and said, "I think I'll have my frozen wings." I went ahead and made my sandwich. It was very yummy! Nothing special really, but it had all the ingredients I love so that's good. I probably wouldn't make it again unless I had all the stuff on hand, which is not likely since I don't frequently buy tapenade (though I will happily eat this jar up).

panini

Olive & Swiss Panini
Sargento advertisement

4 slices Sargento® Deli Style Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese
4 slices olive bread or sourdough bread
1/4 cup olive tapenade or olive spread
2 thick slices large tomato
1 Tbsp. olive oil or rosemary-flavored olive oil

1. Arrange 1 slice of cheese over each slice of bread. Spread olive tapenade over 2 of the bread slices; top with tomato slices. Close sandwiches; brush outsides evenly with oil.

2. Cook sandwiches in a preheated panini maker or lightly greased waffle iron until golden brown and cheese is melted, about 3 minutes.*

Consumer Tips: *Sandwiches may be cooked in a ridged grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Place a saucepan or small skillet on top of sandwiches to flatten; cook 3 minutes. Turn; replace saucepan and continue to cook 3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Yield: 2 servings

Monday, February 22, 2010

Smothered Seitan Medallions in Mixed Mushroom Gravy

Well first of all, I messed up. I bought tempeh instead of seitan. A novice mistake, really. Actually it's because the seitan at the grocery store just looked so frighteningly gross that I went with tempeh instead. Is that so wrong?

So I made this vegan recipe. It sounds so scary. You may have noticed I've been trying things lately that sound frightening. It's good for us to push our comfort zones and try new things. So I did! Instead of making the mushroom broth, I bought some in a box in the organic section of the grocery store. The gravy is excellent. I used a coleslaw mix instead of shredded cabbage because I am lazy. And while I did use arrowroot (yay Penzeys!) you could easily substitute cornstarch.

It wasn't the best thing I've ever eaten... Tempeh is kind of weird. All the saucy stuff is very yummy though. We both agreed this is not bad though!!!! Not a make-again for us, but not a regret either.

tempeh

Smothered Seitan Medallions in Mixed Mushroom Gravy
Vegetarian Times, November 2009

"This recipe is clearly inspired by smothered pork chops," says Chef Bryant Terry.

1 lb. seitan, cut into medallions
5 Tbs. arrowroot powder
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced (2 cups)
5 cloves garlic, minced (2 Tbs.)
2 cups Mixed Mushroom Gravy (below)
2 cups 'Shroom Stock (below)
1 cup finely chopped green cabbage
2 jalapeño chiles, minced (2 Tbs.)
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 Tbs. chopped parsley

1. Coat seitan pieces with arrowroot.

2. Heat 1/2 cup oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry half of seitan in oil 3 minutes per side.
Transfer to paper-towel-lined plate. Discard oil, wipe out skillet, and repeat with 1/2 cup oil and remaining seitan. Discard oil.

3. Add remaining 2 Tbs. oil and onion to hot skillet. Increase heat to high, and sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and sauté 10 minutes more. Add garlic, and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in Mixed Mushroom Gravy, "Shroom Stock, and seitan. Cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Add cabbage, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in jalapeños, green onions, and parsley.

'Shroom Stock
This is Terry's mushroom broth recipe, but you can also use prepared mushroom broth in his recipes to save time.

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 lb. portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 large onion, diced (including skin)
1 large carrot, thinly sliced
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled, crushed
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

Sauté all ingredients in pot for 5 minutes. Add 9 cups water; simmer 1 hour. Strain.
Yield: 6 cups

Mixed Mushroom Gravy
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 lb. button mushrooms
1/4 lb. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup unflavored rice milk
1 cup 'Shroom Stock (above)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper

1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add all mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in flour and remaining 1 Tbs. oil. Reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes, or until flour begins to brown, whisking constantly.

2. Whisk in rice milk, 'Shroom Stock, salt, and white pepper. Simmer 15 minutes, or until thickened, whisking often.
Yield: 2 cups

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chocolate Snowball Swedish Cookies

I'm all about Swedish food lately, ever since we traveled to Sweden. I'm obsessed with telling people about fika and I tried to make some cinnamon buns for my office but it failed (I will try again). But today I tried one of the easy-peasiest recipes ever and successfully recreated one of the more decadent, delicious fika options: the chocolate snowball, aka chokladboll. Yummmmmmm. It can have coconut in it, or be rolled in coconut, but this recipe doesn't have that. I am so happy to have recreated these and I would make this recipe again for my office so I can make everyone participate in fika.

sweden

Chocolate Snowball Swedish Cookies
Posted on the internet by someone named Shakerpenguin

1 stick of butter
1 1/2 cup oats
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp of cold coffee (or 2 Tbsp of peanut butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cocoa

Mix all ingredients except half of the powdered sugar. Roll into balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Put in fridge for 1 hour.

Mozzarella-Stuffed Arancini

Tonight we had Mozzarella-Stuffed Arancini for dinner. It was very good, as usual. I really like this meal.

Cranberry Pretzel Cashew Bars

This totally did not turn out right. It's GOOD, but it's not right. They aren't "bars," they don't stay together in squares, and I had to move the pretzel layer into an 8x8 pan when I realized I wasn't going to have nearly enough to cover a 9x13. I don't know what the problem is. Now the butter-sugar mixture that is poured over the top is really thick. Like I said, it is GOOD. It just will have to be eaten with a fork. I didn't even bother with the chocolate swirlies on the top.

To see what it's supposed to look like, click here.

Here's what mine looked like (after I smooshed it around to make it a square):
bars

Cranberry Pretzel Cashew Bars
Joe's Blog // Land O' Lakes

For the crust
1 1/2 cups finely crushed pretzels
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg white, lightly beaten

For the filling
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews, lightly toasted
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the topping
3 ounces chopped fine-quality white chocolate

To prepare the crust
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together pretzels and brown sugar. Add butter and mix until well combined - stir in egg white. Scoop the mixture into a 9" x 13" baking pan coated with nonstick spray - press down to form an even layer. Place into the oven and bake for 8 minutes.

To prepare the filling
Remove baking pan from the oven and sprinkle with cranberries and nuts.

In a medium saucepan, add butter and brown sugar - cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring, for 1 additional minute. Evenly pour mixture over the top of the crust, dried fruit and nuts.

Place pan back into the oven - bake until the top is bubbly and golden, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove and place pan on a wire rack to cool.

For the topping
In a small microwave-safe bowl, add white chocolate chunks - place into the microwave and heat on medium power, stirring occasionally, until the chunks are just melted and smooth. Drizzle over the top and let bars cool completely before cutting.

Yield: 2 dozen (supposedly)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Mexican Bean and Squash Soup

This is a yummy, different soup because it is all Mexican flavors but it isn't a chili or a tortilla soup. Instead of butternut squash, I substituted sweet potatoes and was very happy with this decision. As per the original poster's notes, I substituted black beans for the cannellini beans. I also added some smoked paprika and some aleppo pepper in with the spices. I didn't serve it with tortilla chips because I'd made cornbread, but tortilla chips would be yummy. We would make this again.

soup

Mexican Bean and Squash Soup
CLBB (avariell)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 quarts chicken broth (I used vegetable broth)
1 (15.5 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained
1 cup corn kernels, fresh, canned, or frozen
2 limes, cut into wedges
1 (10 ounce) bag tortilla chips, for topping
1 cup sour cream, for topping
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican blend cheese, for topping

1. Heat the olive oil in a deep pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the squash, and cook until it begins to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chipotle peppers, basil, parsley, and cumin; cook 2 minutes more. Mix in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the cannellini beans and the corn; cook just until heated through.

2. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Squeeze lime juice over each bowl, and top with tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of Mexican cheese.

Yield: 8 servings

Sylvia's Ozark Cornbread

Last night I wanted some cornbread, and instead of our favorite recipe I decided to try this quick one that uses my cast-iron skillet. It's a very traditional cornbread. That means it's kind of dry and very gritty with cornmeal. Some people really like that kind of cornbread. I have had it in restaurants, even. But we prefer the soft, sweet cornbread, like the one linked above. I wouldn't make this one again, just based on personal preference.

cornbread

Sylvia's Ozark Cornbread
Posted on CLBB (bobmark)
from The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon

This delicious, ultra-low-fat buttermilk cornbread, very easy, was the Teague family cornbread for decades - a straightforward, very tasty plain formula. This is so healthful and quick to make that you could eat it daily -- as Ozark natives did (with bacon fat instead of oil) for generations.

Veg. oil cooking spray
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp mild vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400.

2. Spray a cast iron skillet with oil, add the butter and put in the oven to heat. Meanwhile, stir together the cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

3. In a smaller bowl, beat the buttermilk with the eggs and oil.

4. Combine the two mixtures. As always, be careful not to overbeat, stirring until wet and dry are just combined. (Bob note: the batter will be thin. Don't worry!)

5. Scrape the batter into the skillet and bake the cornbread until it is golden brown and crust at the edges, 23 to 27 minutes. Serve hot, in wedges.

Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 19, 2010

Mushroom & Cheddar Fritatta

Last night I did not make dinner for myself because I suck. So since I'm not working til 12 today, I went ahead and made last night's dinner for breakfast. Luckily it was a Mushroom & Cheddar Fritatta. I didn't make the arugula salad. I also halved the recipe and left the onion out because I was lazy. It was a good breakfast.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Smoky Shrimp and Parmesan-Polenta

This morning I thought I'd be all hip and try out the new Icelandic yogurt that foodies have been trying out, Siggi's. As a fan of the super-thick, tangy Greek Fage yogurt, I thought Siggi's might be interesting to try. Good god, it was awful. It had a weird grainy texture, was so overly tangy, and didn't taste even a little bit like blueberries. Disappointed!

yogurt

Tonight I was so excited to use my new Spanish smoked paprika from Penzeys, which I thought would be showcased in this shrimp recipe. Alas, it failed. It was just so boring! I mean, we like shrimp, we like polenta.... but meh. Not a make-again.

shrimp

Smoky Shrimp and Parmesan-Polenta
Cooking Light, September 2008

Smoked paprika, available in supermarkets, is nice to spice up sour cream, eggs, or rice. Its pungency offsets the shrimp's sweetness. Serve with bagged prewashed salad greens splashed with vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
1 17-ounce tube polenta, cut into 8 (1/2-inch) slices
Cooking spray
8 teaspoons marinara sauce
8 teaspoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Preheat broiler.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until done, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in wine, chives, juice, and paprika, tossing to coat. Keep warm.

3. Place polenta slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Top each slice with 1 teaspoon sauce and 1 teaspoon cheese; broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Place 2 polenta slices on each of 4 plates; top each serving evenly with shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 4 servings

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Greek-Style Panini

Tonight I got home after a rough day and wasn't really looking forward to making dinner, but I threw together this Greek-Style Panini and it took all of like 5 minutes. I made two and happily ate them for dinner.

I had planned to make cookies but that is SO not happening tonight.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream

Today we tried out a nice, simple vanilla ice cream. It has more fat content than I'd prefer, but I don't care. It was worth it. I made it in the ice cream machine and then froze it for an additional 2 hours so it would harden up. I had mine with some toffee bits. Yum yum yum!!! We both agreed it was fantastic. He felt it was a little too icy, but without it being a custard-base it's going to be a little icy. I liked the texture. This is a great vanilla ice cream!

vanilla

Easy Vanilla Ice Cream
CLBB (etawalker)

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Dash salt
2/3 cup half and half
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine milk, sugar and salt; stir with wire whisk until sugar is dissolved. Stir in half and half, whipping cream and vanilla. Pour into canister and freeze as directed.

Add m&ms, chocolate chips, cookies, peanuts, fruit, etc. during last 5 minutes

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame and Tofu

I had some leftover frozen corn, edamame, AND brown rice, so I decided I should make this recipe for dinner. It was simple and quick and was very good. It isn't as good as the Thai fried rice we loved, but it's still yummy. I'd make it again if I needed to use up the ingredients.

rice

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame and Tofu
Ellie Krieger

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, greens included, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cups leftover cooked brown rice
3/4 cup finely diced red pepper
3/4 cup cooked, shelled edamame
1/2 cup fresh or frozen, thawed, corn
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet until hot. Add garlic, scallions and ginger and saute until softened and aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn and tofu and stir until heated through, about 5 minutes. Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, then add the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Greek Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto

Even though risotto is notorious for taking a long time and requiring a lot of stirring, for some reason it cooked pretty quickly this time. I did have to add a little extra water because it cooked TOO fast and the rice hadn't softened enough. The flavors were nice and went together well. I decided instead of dill, in the future I would probably use a dried Greek seasoning blend. The dill was a little bit overpowering. Definitely use a Vidalia onion because it's a major player in this recipe and the Vidalia is sweet and delicious. All in all, we liked it but probably wouldn't make it again.

risotto

Greek Shrimp and Asparagus Risotto
Cooking Light, May 2009

Sweet onion, rich feta cheese, and fresh dill provide dynamic flavor in this easy weeknight meal. The hardest part about making risotto is the constant stirring, so grab a magazine or plan to call out homework while you let this dish simmer, about 20 minutes. Balance the plate with a lively fennel salad.

3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 3/4 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 2 medium)
1 cup Arborio rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 3/4 cups (1/2-inch) slices asparagus (about 8 ounces)
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring broth and 1 cup water to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total).

3. Stir in asparagus and shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and remaining ingredients.

Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spicy Tomato & Blue Cheese Soup

Today we had a blizzard and couldn't go to work. Honestly I wouldn't have been able to get out the driveway even if I'd wanted to. It was one of those days where you shovel and then it snows another few inches and an hour later you have to shovel again. Perfect, then, that I had tomato soup and grilled cheese set on the menu for tonight. Perfect, perfect. But I, again, decided to try a creative new tomato soup instead of the standard Thai Tomato Soup. It definitely was unique and yummy. The blue cheese was a little bit overpowering, but I still liked it. If you don't like blue cheese, try a more mild one like a gorgonzola, since the brand recommended in the original recipe is pretty strong. But all in all this was good. A good match for grilled cheese! Probably wouldn't make it again though since we prefer the Thai one.

I subbed veggie stock and light cream for their meatier and heavier counterparts.

tomato

Spicy Tomato & Blue Cheese Soup
Michael Symon
Amateur Gourmet

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 28-oz can San Marzano tomatoes, with their juice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
3/4 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 cup Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue cheese

Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a three-fingered pinch of salt and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juice and the stock and bring to a simmer. (I added a little more salt here too). Add the cream, sriracha sauce, and oregano and simmer for 45 minutes.

Pour the soup into a blender, add the blue cheese, and blend until smooth, working in batches if needed.

Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean pot, taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, and reheat to serve. The soup will keep, covered in the refrigerator, for a few days.

Snow Day

I have called out of work due to the blizzard, so I am going to spend some time reorganizing my recipe indexes. There is no reason that my "vegetarian main dishes" section takes up 90% of the "savory" page. I'm going to try to break it down into at least a few more categories to make it easier to search through. Let me know if you find any broken links!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing

I have never had a reuben before. I have also never had sauerkraut before. Tonight's dinner was scary. It seemed to be a good time to experiment. And I'm glad I did because it's surprisingly exceptional! I like the veggies and the quick dressing and the melty tastiness. I would make this again. It was good. Sauerkraut is still scary, unless it is in my sandwich and out of sight.

reubens

Vegetarian Reubens with Russian Dressing
Eating Well

This exceptional sandwich originated at Penny Cluse Cafe in Burlington, Vermont. The spinach, mushroom and onion filling is so satisfying, you won't even miss the corned beef.

Russian dressing
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ketchup
2 teaspoons chopped capers
1 teaspoon chopped pickle or relish

Sandwiches
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
5 cups baby spinach
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 slices rye bread
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese, such as Jarlsberg Lite or Alpine Lace (2 ounces)
1/2 cup sauerkraut

1. To prepare Russian dressing: Whisk mayonnaise and ketchup in a small bowl until smooth. Stir in capers and pickle (or relish).

2. To prepare sandwiches: Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, 4 minutes. Add spinach and cook, stirring, until it has wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate.

3. Coat the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and return to medium heat. Add the bread; divide cheese equally among the slices. Divide sauerkraut between 2 slices and divide the spinach mixture between the other 2 slices; cook until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer sandwich halves to a cutting board. Divide the dressing between the spinach halves. Carefully place the sauerkraut halves on top. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Monday, February 08, 2010

Turkish Carrots and Lentils (Zeytinyagli Havuç)

New spices = new recipes! And I just happen to have purchased some aleppo pepper in my most recent order from Penzeys! (Along with some other new awesomeness, like smoked paprika and arrowroot powder and cajun seasonings!) So this was pretty simple and is helping me to use up my ginormous supply of lentils. What will I do when I no longer have to devote an entire pantry shelf to dried legumes? We will probably never find out because they will last forever.

So this meal was pretty good. The Aleppo pepper is tasty and not overly spicy. We liked this but probably wouldn't make it again.

zeytinyagli

Turkish Carrots and Lentils (Zeytinyagli Havuç)
Cooking Light October 2009

Slightly sweet and spicy, ground Aleppo pepper brightens the sauce, while carrots and yogurt lighten earthy lentils. Serve with a simple romaine salad for a weeknight dinner.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground Aleppo pepper
1 pound carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
3 cups water
1 cup uncooked dried green lentils
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt (such as Fage)
Fresh dill sprigs (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook 9 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste and Aleppo pepper; cook 30 seconds. Stir in carrots and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.

2. Combine 3 cups water and lentils in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high, and stir in onion mixture; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with a kitchen towel, and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt. Garnish with dill, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Chocolate Fudge Pie

I've had this before. I've kind of made it. My mom and I made it together for my birthday one year when I was still living at home. Since this is from a magazine from 2003, I'm figuring it was for my birthday that year (19!). I remember we had that and key lime pie instead of cake. For some reason I remember this pie being more pudding-like, but alas, it is not. It's still tasty though. But the texture is more firm, kind of like... I don't know. A really fudgy brownie? In our efforts to reduce intake of corn syrup (only reaffirmed by watching the documentary Food Inc tonight!) I used Lyle's Golden Syrup. It's more expensive but it is wonderful. So the pie turned out great and we enjoyed it, but I'm going to have to say twice is enough for this pie. Next time we want a chocolatey pie, we will try a new one!

pie

Chocolate Fudge Pie
Cooking Light, January 2003

This is a great make-ahead dessert as it needs to chill at least 4 hours.

1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/3 cup light-colored corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Fold edges under; flute. Place pie plate in freezer until ready to use.

Combine brown sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa, and flour in a large bowl. Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (milk through egg whites); stir with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to brown sugar mixture; stir until combined.

Pour mixture into crust. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Spread whipped topping evenly over filling; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon cocoa, if desired.

Yield: 10 servings

Salmon Burgers with Soy Mayo and Simple Sesame Slaw

I am proud of myself!!!! I first had salmon burgers at a Labor Day cookout last year (and the classic lobster burger at Central last March...yumm.....) but they were frozen. Tonight I tackled them by making them myself. From scratch. Meaning I had to chop up salmon and actually make it into a burger. That is kind of scary.

As it turns out, it isn't so scary. The recipe makes it sound really complicated but it's totally not. And a lot of the steps can be done at the same time (such as making the slaw while the burgers cook). The burgers took a lot longer than the recipe said, but that was ok. The slaw was tasty but could function with significantly less oil than the recipe calls for (ours was oily and I'd already reduced it!). The soy reduction for the mayonnaise can be popped into the microwave for 30 seconds and you'll achieve the same result. All in all though, this was delicious! We would make it again!!

salmon

Salmon Burgers with Soy Mayo and Simple Sesame Slaw
Emeril Lagasse

2 1/4 pounds salmon fillet, skinned, pin bones removed
1/2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs) or other dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup minced scallions
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon sambal oelek chili paste
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 cups shaved purple cabbage
3 cups shaved green cabbage
1/2 cup shaved red onion
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Kosher salt
6 sesame rolls or other soft hamburger buns, for serving

Using a sharp knife, cut the salmon into 1-inch pieces and transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the fish is finely chopped. (Take care not to overprocess or salmon will become a paste.) Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the panko, 1/4 cup of the scallions, 2 tablespoons of the cilantro, minced ginger, egg, sambal oelek, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the soy sauce. Using a rubber spatula, mix gently but thoroughly to combine. Divide the mixture into 6 even portions and shape into patties about 4 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate while you prepare the mayonnaise and slaw.

In a very small saucepan combine the remaining soy sauce and the sugar and cook until reduced to a syrup, 2 to 3 minutes. The soy-sugar mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool completely. When cooled, add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the soy glaze to the mayonnaise and refrigerate until ready to serve the burgers. (The remaining soy glaze may be kept indefinitely at room temperature and used to drizzle on grilled salmon or grilled tuna.)

Combine the purple and green cabbages, remaining 1/4 cup of scallions, the red onion, 1/4 cup of the vegetable oil, rice wine vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons cilantro, sesame oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and crushed red pepper, and toss thoroughly to combine. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Refrigerate while you prepare the burgers.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. When the oil is hot, season both sides of the salmon burgers lightly with the kosher salt and add the burgers to the skillet and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides and the salmon is just cooked through, about 3 1/2 minutes per side. Serve the salmon on warm buns, garnished with the soy mayonnaise and the sesame slaw.

Yield: 6 servings

Glazed Baby Bok Choy

This was a simple side dish for an Asian-inspired meal, but I thought it wasn't very substantial, though we both thought it tasted very good. We probably wouldn't make this again.

bokchoy

Glazed Baby Bok Choy
Cooking Light, April 2008

Bring 1/3 cup water to a boil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 pound halved baby bok choy; cover and cook 4 minutes. Remove bok choy from pan. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Heat 2 tsp dark sesame oil in pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger and 1 minced garlic clove; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, and 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce; cook 1 minute. Return bok choy to pan; toss to coat.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Koshari

We watch a lot of shows on the Travel Network that talk about street food in other countries, so when I saw this recipe note mentioning "street food," I definitely had to try it out. This is very good! It takes a loooong time to make. Not a lot of sitting time. I had the rice, lentils, onions, and sauce ALL cooking at the SAME TIME. All four burners on the stove were being used. It was chaos. Dinner took about an hour from start to finish. But it was very tasty and unique. We really liked it. All the components (sauce, onions, etc) are necessary for it to be really delicious. I don't know if I would make it again due to the amount of time it took, but it really is very good!

koshari

Koshari
Cooking Light, October 2009

This Egyptian street food is a starch-lover's dream: Rice, pasta, and legumes are crowned with a spicy-sweet tomato sauce and creamy caramelized onions.

Sauce:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

Koshari:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups thinly sliced onion
1/2 cup uncooked vermicelli, broken into 1-inch pieces
5 cups water
1 1/4 cups dried lentils or yellow split peas
2 1/2 cups hot cooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon sea salt

1. To prepare sauce, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion to pan, and cook for 15 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, peppers, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until slightly thick. Transfer tomato mixture to a food processor; process 1 minute or until smooth. Keep warm. Wipe skillet dry with paper towels.

2. To prepare koshari, heat 3 tablespoons oil in pan over medium heat. Add sliced onion; cook 15 minutes or until deep golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove onion with a slotted spoon to several layers of paper towels; set aside. Return pan to medium heat. Add vermicelli; sauté 2 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Set aside.

3. Combine 5 cups water and lentils in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat; add vermicelli, stirring well to combine. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around lid, and cover lentil mixture; let stand for 10 minutes or until vermicelli is tender. Add rice and 1 teaspoon salt to lentil mixture; fluff with a fork. Serve immediately with sauce and onions.

Yield: 8 servings

Friday, February 05, 2010

Autumn Wild Rice Rissoles

Yeah yeah, I know it says "autumn" and it's obviously not autumn. But I just remembered I had this recipe and it sounded so good that I decided I would make it anyway. It came together super quickly because I used some microwave brown and wild rice. I mostly just used egg whites as the binder and not the full egg. Absolutely wonderfully delicious!!! It definitely tastes like fall. Kind of like Thanksgiving. It's not really a February-ish meal, but it's so very yummy!! We would definitely make this again.

rissoles

Autumn Wild Rice Rissoles
Vegetarian Times, October 2009

What's a rissole? The name comes from the French word rissoler, meaning "to brown." These yummy wild rice patties are studded with herbs, pecans, and dried cranberries, and browned to crispy perfection. Don't be daunted by all the fresh herbs on the ingredients list; most supermarkets stock a fresh herb mix that contains just enough sage, thyme, and rosemary for this recipe.

1 cup cooked wild rice
1 cup cooked brown or basmati rice
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 6-oz. jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
2 Tbs. olive oil, plus more for cooking patties
2 Tbs. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup saltine cracker crumbs or crushed rice crackers
3/4 cup chunky cranberry sauce

1. Stir together wild rice, brown rice, onion, dried cranberries, artichoke hearts, pecans, oil, sage, thyme, and rosemary in large bowl. Fold in eggs, then cracker crumbs. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Shape mixture into 12 1/4-cup patties. (At this point, rissoles can be chilled up to 24 hours.)

2. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 4 patties to hot skillet, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until browned and crispy on 1 side. Flip patties, and cook 3 to 4 minutes more, or until browned and crispy on second side. Repeat with remaining patty mixture until you have 12 patties. Serve each patty topped with 1 Tbs. cranberry sauce.

Yield: 6 servings

Brussels Sprouts with Browned Garlic

I think it's clear that we like brussels sprouts a lot, but especially when they are roasted. Something about roasting them makes them taste just so wonderfully yummy. This recipe isn't anything special because it's not too far from what we'd usually do with the sprouts. Delicious, just not anything new.

brussels

Brussels Sprouts with Browned Garlic
Cooking Light Holiday Cookbook // Dec. 2000

To trim Brussels sprouts, discard the tough outer leaves and trim off about 1/4 inch from stems. Don't trim too much from the stems, or the sprouts will fall apart. If you're not a Brussels sprouts lover, try substituting green beans. Be sure to brown the garlic over low heat, because it can burn in a flash.

6 cups trimmed Brussels sprouts, halved (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Cooking spray
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425°.

Combine the Brussels sprouts, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, salt, and pepper. Place sprouts mixture in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until sprouts are crisp-tender. Keep warm.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook for 3 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in juice. Add to sprouts mixture; toss well.

Yield: 6 servings

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Dolmas Wrap

I meant to make this the other night but my friend came to visit, so instead I made it for lunch yesterday since I went in to work later in the day. It was super-super easy. I got my three little dolmas from my grocery store's salad bar, so I paid less than a dollar for them. If you can do that, I highly recommend it. The wrap itself is fairly simple and, like most vegetarian wraps, is mostly filled with lettuce, but it's very good and an interesting twist. I would make this again, but probably only for lunch at home.

wrap

Dolmas Wrap
Eating Well, Sept/Oct 2009

This satisfying Middle Eastern wrap is full of dolmas and fresh vegetables. It makes a great take-along lunch if you pack the components separately.

1/2 cup shredded romaine lettuce
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped tomato
1/4 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 whole-wheat lavash (see Note), or whole-wheat wrap
3 prepared dolmas (see Note)

1. Combine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, yogurt, feta and garlic powder in a small bowl. To serve, spread the lettuce-yogurt mixture on the lavash, top with dolmas and roll.

Yield: 1 serving

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the lettuce-yogurt mixture for up to 1 day.

Ingredient Note: Dolmas are stuffed grape leaves that are traditionally filled with chopped vegetables, grains and sometimes ground meat. Find prepared dolmas in cans or jars near other Middle Eastern ingredients and at some supermarket salad bars.

Lavash is thin, Middle Eastern bread found near other wraps and tortillas. It’s a great alternative to flour tortillas for rolling sandwich ingredients into a wrap. Depending on the brand and size, one serving may be one whole bread or half of the bread—check the nutrition panel on the back of the package.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mexican Casserole

Well, I may not subscribe to Cooking Light anymore, but it does produce some good recipes still. Thankfully they post them on the website! I was very excited to try tonight's recipe, which turns out to be kind of similar to the chilaquiles I used to make (this one and this one). We used some excellent three-grain tortilla chips that are incredibly addicting on their own. This is definitely very, very yummy. We really liked it! I would definitely make it again.

casserole

Mexican Casserole
Cooking Light, Jan/Feb 2010

Look for veggie protein crumbles in the produce section, near the tofu. Zesty Mexican spices and flavorings sass up plain- (or original-) flavored crumbles. Serve with fruit salad.

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package meatless fat-free crumbles (such as Lightlife Smart Ground)
48 baked tortilla chips
Cooking spray
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups chopped seeded plum tomato
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and jalapeño; cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, black pepper, and crumbles; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Arrange half of tortilla chips in an 11 x 7–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top evenly with crumbles mixture.

3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium heat. Add beans, mashing with the back of a wooden spoon until chunky and thick; cook 2 minutes or until heated, stirring constantly. Stir in lime juice.

4. Combine tomato, cilantro, and salt. Layer beans and tomato mixture over crumbles mixture in dish. Top with remaining tortilla chips, pressing to slightly crush. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 375° for 13 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Cut casserole into 6 equal pieces; top each serving with 1 teaspoon sour cream, 1 teaspoon onions, and 2 teaspoons olives.

Yield: 6 servings