Monday, October 31, 2011

Curried Lentil Soup

I decided it's time to revisit some of the recipes that I loved but Gibby did not, just to see if I still like them. Tonight I made Curried Lentil Soup. I forgot my addition of potatoes but it still worked out very well. I added a little bit too much curry powder so it was really hot, but it was still very good. Verdict: still delicious.

Sugar Cream Pie

Last Friday someone asked me: what pie are you craving? For some bizarre reason, all I could think about was sugar cream pie. I'd never even had it before. I'd seen it at the farmer's market at the Mennonite stand, but I've never actually bought it. But I decided I MUST HAVE IT. Thus, I found Martha Stewart's recipe and made some.

I thought it was excellent. My taste-testers thought it was good and meh, respectively. I didn't make the raspberry whipped cream because I am lazy, but I did throw some raspberries on the plate with it. But I really liked it. It cuts beautifully, too. I don't think I would make it again but I did really enjoy it.

If anything, I did learn that Martha's pate brisee recipe is phenomenal and I plan to use it forever whenever any flaky pie crust is needed. I made an extra disc of dough to freeze, which is very exciting to me. It's just so easy and delicious. Yum!

sugarpie

Sugar Cream Pie
Martha Stewart Living

1/2 recipe Pate Brisee (see below)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Raspberries, for serving
Raspberry Whipped Cream, for serving (recipe follows)

1. Roll out dough to an 11-inch circle (1/8 inch thick). Fit into a 9-inch pie plate; crimp edges. Refrigerate. Preheat oven to 425°. Sift sugar, flour, and salt together into a stainless-steel bowl; set aside.

2. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk into sugar mixture; whisk until sugar is dissolved. Stir in vanilla. Set in an ice-water bath; let cool completely.

3. Pour filling into pie shell. Dot with butter; sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°. Cover edges of crust with a foil band. Bake until a thin knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50-55 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with berries and raspberry whipped cream.

Raspberry Whipped Cream:
2 tsp sugar
1 cup raspberries
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream

Sprinkle sugar over raspberries in a bowl. Let stand until juices are released, about 30 minutes. Mash gently with a fork until saucy but still chunky. Beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold raspberry mixture into whipped cream, leaving it slightly swirled.

************

Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
The Complete Martha Stewart Living Cookbook (2000), p.12

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup unsalted butter -- (2 sticks) chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water -- (1/4 to 1/2)

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Yield: 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pie

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs

You guys, you're so sweet. A lot of times when I post I don't think about the fact that people actually read this. So on my last post I was surprised - well, shocked actually - by the number of people who commented or emailed me who've been reading from the sidelines. You guys kick ass.

So last night at like 8:00 I finally decided to make dinner. I had found this recipe in Martha Stewart and decided to try it out since it combines aspects of a couple of my favorite dishes: Halushki, and Creamed Leeks, as well as a recent recipe I tried, Garlic & Leek Ditalini. It was really very tasty. I cheated and just used panko instead of making my own bread crumbs, but I can see how homemade bread crumbs would make it even more tasty. I also discovered mid-cooking that I didn't have any more Parmesan, so I subbed in Asiago (who has shredded asiago but no Parmesan? Me, apparently). It was absolutely wonderful. I really liked this. I will definitely keep this around, though I think I will still usually default to the halushki. Loved this though! And I am intrigued by the bizarre idea of a fried egg on top. I love eggs. I might try that out sometime.

savoy

Spaghetti with Savoy Cabbage and Breadcrumbs
Martha Stewart Living

The butter does a nice job of coaxing the sweetness from the cabbage. Serve a platter of this pasta family-style, with grated cheese; top with poached or fried eggs; or scatter with crumbled bacon.

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove -- very thinly sliced or minced
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs -- (not dried) (from a rustic loaf)
9 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage -- (from 1 medium head)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese -- (1 ounce) plus more for garnish

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

2. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in breadcrumbs. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until breadcrumbs are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water. Cook, covered, until tender, about 4 minutes. Uncover, and let any water in the skillet evaporate. Stir in cream. Cook until sauce is reduced and thick enough to coat cabbage, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add pasta and reserved 1/2 cup cooking liquid to cabbage. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in cheese. Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over top, and garnish with more cheese.

Servings: 4

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Food Blog: A Retrospective

So the situation is this: Gibby & I filed for divorce and now it's just been me reviewing the food. Hence the terrible terrible phone pictures. I have had my share of nights lately where my dinner consisted of coffee and cheesy poufs, and I'm sure I will have more nights like that, but I'm really going to be trying hard to get back into the swing of cooking things regularly. I have a lot of parties coming up and holidays and events and times to cook food, so hopefully that will help things out.

The crazy thing about nearly hitting this food blog's 6th birthday is that this blog has followed me through some seriously pivotal times in my life. I started this when I was 21 years old! I was still in an apartment in Boston in college! This blog has been with me through a broken engagement, a marriage (and now divorce), graduation of college, graduation from graduate school, in vitro fertilization, and living in three different states (MA, MD, PA). We'll be hitting our sixth Thanksgiving post, our sixth Christmas post. You've followed me on vacations to Sweden and to St. Lucia and to Texas. And at almost 1800 posts, we've certainly traveled through the world of food together.

When I look back at the posts from 2005, it astounds me, my lack of cooking ability and the crappy food I ate that I thought was rockin' at the time. I've gone from eating fish sticks wrapped in a tortilla and calling it a fish taco to making my own pate brisee! Not only have I grown as a person throughout this time, I have grown as an amateur chef.

So while I wish this new life event was not occurring, it is, and we have to deal with it. There will be minor changes to the blog simply because everything will be a biased opinion (my own) and everything will have terrible pictures (thanks, Droid), but it makes sense. Food is such an important part of my life, and therefore it makes sense that my life would be reflected in my food. So. Welcome to the new leg of my journey!

Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Burritos

For reasons I will explain in another post, it took me a huge amount of effort to make this dinner. It's actually really easy, I just lacked the motivation. I used that grain sausage I've used before in "chorizo" recipes, and it was good but I honestly think this would have been a much stronger recipe without the fake chorizo. I added cheese because I'm Lauren and I love cheese, and if I'd had sour cream I would have added that too. But the chorizo just was a little too much. I would have liked just the potatoes and egg.

papas

Chorizo y Papas Breakfast Burritos
Vegetarian Times, June 2011

3 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium russet potato, diced
1 8-ounce package soy chorizo
4 extra-large eggs
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas, warmed
2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)

1. Heat 2 tsp. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange diced potato in single layer in pan. Cook 7 minutes, or until golden, turning once. Move potato to side of pan. Add remaining 1 tsp. oil to opposite side of pan, then add soy chorizo; cook 1 minute, crumbling with spatula. Stir potato and chorizo together; cook 2 minutes more, or until potato is tender. Transfer to bowl, and cover.

2. Wipe out skillet, spray with cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Crack eggs in pan, and cook 2 minutes, or until whites are set, turning once for over easy.

3. Lay eggs in centers of warmed tortillas. Divide potato mixture among tortillas, and top with green onions. Roll up tortillas, leaving one end open.

Servings: 4

Monday, October 24, 2011

Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Potatoes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Boooo. I thought this was going to be great so I made the full recipe so I'd have leftovers. It was not great. It was pretty boring. I feel like it was a waste of time. It was an okay dinner but definitely nothing special. I'm glad I used canned artichoke hearts so I at least didn't waste time on that step. I would not make this again.

pasta

Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Potatoes with Whole Wheat Pasta
Essential Vegetarian Cookbook by Diana Shaw, p. 288

4 medium artichokes, trimmed, quartered, and pared; or 1 10oz package frozen artichokes, thawed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
4 scallions, white part plus 2 inches of greens, chopped
2 cups loosely packed sliced white button, cremini, or portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cups canned chopped tomatoes, drained
2 teaspoons capers
2 medium potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold, peeled and sliced 1/3 inch thick
12 ounces dried whole wheat spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese, for garnish

1. If you're using fresh artichokes, bring enough water to cover the artichokes to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the artichokes, and let the water return to a boil. Cver the saucepan, reduce the heat to medium0low, and simmer until the artichokes are tender enough to pieces with a fork, about 15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it's hot, add the shallots and scallions. Reduce the heat to medium and saute, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they color and begin to give up liquid, about 6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, tomatoes, capers, potatoes, and cooked fresh or thawed frozen artichokes, and bring to a simmer.

3. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring often, until the potatoes have cooked through, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the spaghetti according to the package directions. Drain.

4. Serve the sauce over the hot whole-wheat spaghetti, sprinkled with the cheese.

Servings: 4

Baba Ghanoush

Our CSA is over for the year. Sadface :-( I really liked the surprise of getting new vegetables every week. This past week, in the last bounty of vegetables, I got two medium eggplants. I decided that was a sign that I should try out some baba ghanoush. Now, I love middle eastern food. Love love love. And I've found my perfect hummus recipe. So now it's time to explore and search for the perfect baba ghanoush recipe.

This, unfortunately, was not it. It was very good, yes. It was not perfect though, which was sad. I had high hopes for it. Oh well. It was tasty with some pita bread, olives, couscous, and dolmades. I had myself a little feast from the olive bar at Wegmans! Woo woo.

eggplant

Baba Ghanoush
Vegetarian Times, July/August 2011

This version of baba ghanoush is blended to creamy smoothness so that it can be served like hummus, for dipping pita, veggies, and crackers.

4 medium eggplants (2 1/2 lb.)
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil, for drizzling
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to broil. Prick eggplants all over with fork. Place on baking sheet, and broil 15 to 20 minutes, or until skin is blistered and eggplants feel soft to the touch, turning occasionally. Transfer to large bowl, cover with lid; cool 1 hour.

2. Cut eggplants in half lengthwise, and scoop out flesh with spoon into bowl of food processor, adding any juice that accumulated at bottom of large bowl. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin, and purée 2 minutes, or until very smooth and creamy. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill 2 hours, or up to 3 days.

3. To serve: Spread Baba Ghanoush onto shallow plate. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with parsley.

Servings: 8

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers

I'm not going to pretend this was the most delicious meal of all time, because it wasn't. But there's something to be appreciated about a recipe that includes a main dish, side dish, sauce, and wine (for 1 serving!) all in one simple little set of ingredients and directions. It was easy to make, done in 20 minutes, and definitely tasty. I don't think I would make it again, but it was perfect for my Friday night!

dinner

Cheesy Stuffed Peppers
Self, August 2011

1 large poblano pepper -- seeded
2 teaspoons olive oil -- divided
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 teaspoons chopped garlic -- divided
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons marinara sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 ounce chopped dark chocolate
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup sliced portobellos
1/2 cup black beans -- rinsed and drained
4 ounces red wine

Heat oven to 375°F. Brush poblano with 1 teaspoon oil. Mix quinoa with cheese; stuff inside poblano; cook in a baking dish 20 minutes. In a pan, sauté chopped onion, 2 teaspoons garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon oil, cinnamon and cumin over medium heat 5 minutes. Stir in broth, marinara and chili powder; bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Add chocolate; stir until melted, 2 minutes. In a second pan coated with cooking spray, sauté spinach, sliced onion, portobellos, beans and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic. Pour sauce over poblano; serve with spinach and glass of wine.

Servings: 1

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

One of my coworkers is pregnant and was craving pie, so we all made her pie. Today was pie day. There also were two cakes and some ice cream. SO MANY PIES. It was glorious. My contribution was a banana cream pie. Similar to my favorite Banana Pudding, this was a super-easy pie and was WONDERFUL. Don't cheat and use a premade pie crust - the homemade crust is what really makes it fantastic. The whole pie was gone by the end of the day and several people told me it was their favorite. YAY! I'd still stick with the banana pudding as a basic banana dessert, but if I need to make a pie, this will certainly be my go-to recipe.

No photo! It was gone too quickly!

Banana Cream Pie
Food Network: Throwdown With Bobby Flay

Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine -- melted

Filling:
1 (4 serving size) package vanilla pudding mix -- prepared
3 medium bananas -- sliced

To serve: Whipped cream or whipped topping

1. For the crust: Mix all the ingredients well and press firmly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie plate . Chill 1 hour.

2. For the filling: Prepare the pudding mix as directed on the package. Place the sliced bananas over the entire bottom of the crust. Pour the pudding over the bananas. Refrigerate for 4 hours or more. When ready to serve, top with whipped cream or whipped topping. Serve chilled.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Leaves Over Quinoa

Another pretentious recipe title for something super-simple.

I LOVE BRUSSELS SPROUTS. I don't know why they get such a bad rap. They're delicious and wonderful. They're like tiny cabbages. They go really well with the quinoa and feta and made me super happy. I used a red quinoa because that's what I had in my house. This was very good and very simple. I would make this again!

quinoa

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts Leaves over Quinoa
Vegetarian Times

Separating Brussels sprouts leaves from the heads, then lightly sautéing the leaves in a little oil eliminates any risk of overcooking the sprouts.

2 tablespoons blanched hazelnuts, chopped
3/4 cup quinoa
8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, optional
2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast hazelnuts 5 to 6 minutes, or until light brown, shaking pan occasionally. Set aside.

2. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Add quinoa and salt, if desired; cover; and cook 15 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, peel leaves off Brussels sprouts halves, and discard inner core.

4. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté Brussels sprouts leaves 5 minutes. Add 3 Tbs. water, cover, and cook 1 minute more, or until leaves are tender. Stir in garlic. Toss with quinoa; hazelnuts; feta, if using; and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Servings: 2

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Waldorf Blue Cheese Cascadian Couscous Salad

What a pretentious title for such a simple recipe! It's just a bunch of ingredients typically found in a Waldorf salad, tossed in with some couscous with a little vinaigrette. It's the kind of recipe where the quality of the ingredients really matters because it's so simple that you taste all of it. I had some local blue cheese, local apples, and local celery, so that was nice. This wasn't particularly great, though. I wouldn't make it again.

waldorf

Waldorf Blue Cheese Cascadian Couscous Salad
Vegetarian Times, July 2011

1 cup whole-wheat or plain couscous
1/4 cup toasted hazelnut oil
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons honey Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
1/3 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup dried tart cherries or dried sweetened cranberries
1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
3 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese

1. Bring 1 cup water to a boil in medium saucepan. Stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 8 minutes or until all water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, and transfer to large bowl to cool.

2. Whisk together oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper in small bowl.

3. Stir apples, celery, cherries, hazelnuts, and dressing into couscous. Top with blue cheese.

Servings: 6

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta Salad

Yay! Fall! A nice cool day today warrants a nice sweet potato dinner. I am excited to break out the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Spicy Feta Salad for the first time this season. My sweet potato took FOREVER to cook, and I wish I had just microwaved it, but whatever. I'm still so happy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Black Bean Nacho Pizza

Is it a nacho? Is it a pizza? No, it's Nacho Pizza! I have no idea where my black beans went so I just used a storebought pizza crust, and refried beans. Still very tasty! A good and quick dinner on a day where all I ate otherwise were donuts.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Frosted Apple-Cinnamon Bars

Today I spent a huge amount of time simmering and jarring my favorite marinara sauce. I have two jars for the pantry, and five smaller freezer-jars for the chest freezer in the basement. I'm set for awhile!

Then I made these apple-cinnamon bars. I love cinnamon chips. I loved using them in the sassy cinnamon cookies I made last year. I love that we have them here, since I could never find them in Maryland. So with some fresh local apples, I went ahead and made these.

Per the Land O' Lakes website, the cream cheese frosting isn't necessary, and you could just do a dusting of powdered sugar instead. BUT, the cream cheese frosting is so freaking good, you might as well make it! These bars are wonderful and bring me great joy. They are so good for the autumn. I am so happy with them. Yay!

cinnamon

Frosted Apple Cinnamon Bars
Land O' Lakes

Bars
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups uncooked old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup butter -- softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
10 ounces cinnamon-flavored baking chips
1 medium apple -- (1 cup) chopped

Frosting
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
Ground cinnamon, if desired

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in medium bowl; stir in oats.

2. Combine butter, brown sugar and sugar in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until well mixed. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Beat until well mixed. Stir in cinnamon chips and apple.

3. Spread batter into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Bake for 33 to 38 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely.

4. Combine all frosting ingredients in small bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Spread over cooled bars. Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Baeckeoffe

It is fall. I love that can make all my favorite cold-weather recipes (even though it's still in the 70s outside, but shhh). So tonight I made Potato, Turnip, & Spinach Baeckeoffe. Yum yum. Local ingredients: potatoes, turnips, spinach. Hoorah!

Sorry I've been slacking on the posting. I've been slacking on the cooking, too. There are some major changes afoot in this household, and I haven't exactly been interested in cooking at the moment. I am hoping it will pick up again soon! I would like to get back into cooking/posting every night like I used to do!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna

I had planned to make some apple-cinnamon bars today but I discovered my Quaker Oats expired in JANUARY. Normally I would ignore the expiration for a little while because it's just oats, but that's like... almost a year ago. Oops. So hopefully sometime this week I'll make them.

For dinner tonight I made this lasagna filled with vegetables from the farmer's market, ricotta from the dairy, and fresh sheets of lasagna (from the store - I still do not know how to make pasta). It was wonderful! I mean, nothing special or new, but definitely comforting and tasty. It was a good way to use up some of the last of the dwindling summer produce. I'm going to take this all week for lunch.

I'm sorry about the photo. We're back to my photos, not fancy-camera photos, so nothing is going to look good anymore. Just prepare yourself.
lasagna

Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
Vegetarian and More! (2000) by Linda Rosensweig, p. 228

After baking, this dish can be frozen up to a month. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

1 small eggplant, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 zucchini and/or yellow squash, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 container (16 oz) reduced-fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped jarred roasted red peppers
1 jar (25 1/2 oz) basil-flavored spaghetti sauce
6 oven-ready lasagna noodles
1 cup (4 oz) shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425. Coat a roasting pan with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini or yellow squash, oil and garlic in the roasting pan. Season with the salt and black pepper. Toss to combine. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring once, or just until the vegetables are tender.

3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta and roasted red peppers. Spread 1/4 cup of the spaghetti sauce in a 13x9" baking dish .Top with 3 lasagna noodles. Layer half of the vegetable mixture and half the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Top with 1 cup of the sauce. Repeat the layering with the 3 remaining noodles, vegetables, ricotta, and sauce.

4. Reduce the oven temperature to 375. Cover the lasagna with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with the mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes longer, or until the cheese melts. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Servings: 8

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Blue Cheese-Topped Mushroom Steaks over Arugula

Hey! Today was another food festival at the Farmer's Market! It was a huge Garlic Festival. It was the BEST. So many people were there selling their special varieties of garlic. Everyone had tastings. I ate - get this - a chocolate-covered roasted garlic clove. I can't say it was delicious, but it wasn't bad. I also got to do this tasting of a bunch of dishes from local restaurants. For my "winner" I chose a chipotle-caramel-garlic ice cream from Porter's Pub. Seriously, it was amazing and sweet and not even a little bit what you would expect. I absolutely loved it. No eating contests today :) I learned my lesson last week!

I should also note that as I write this, I am eating pumpkin ice cream from the dairy - amazing - with some crushed up gingersnaps. I am very happy.

For dinner tonight, I made these super-easy mushroom "steaks." Now, I get a lot of crap from people for being a vegetarian, but I can assure you - this is pure, vegetarian deliciousness that is not even remotely trying to be a meat product. It is the kind of recipe where you need good-quality ingredients. I had some fresh arugula/spinach blend from the farmer's market, fresh tomatoes, aged balsamic, fresh spicy garlic from the garlic festival, and this amazing ferale cheese from Keepsake Dairy. I know I know, the ferale is not a blue cheese, but it was perfect. I did not use the grill and instead used my grill pan, but it had the same effect. It was delicious! I would definitely make this again.

not steak

Blue Cheese-Topped Mushroom Steaks over Arugula
Vegetarian Times, July/August 2011

Vegetable oil, for brushing grill
3 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
4 large portobello mushroom caps
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
8 cups baby arugula
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1. Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium.

2. Whisk together olive oil and vinegar in bowl. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and brush all over mushroom caps. Place caps on grill, and cook 15 to 18 minutes, turning once, or until tender. Transfer to cutting board to cool slightly before slicing.

3. Process garlic in food processor until minced. Add buttermilk, blue cheese, and mayonnaise; process until creamy. Stir in chives.

4. Divide arugula among plates. Top with portobellos, tomatoes, and sauce.

Servings: 4