Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesean Pine Nuts

img from epicurious.com

When we were in Utah last month we went to a potluck dinner with some friends and one of them brought this salad.  I could have eaten the whole bowl myself I thought it was so delicious. (I also love it because I'm always looking for new vegetable dishes to take to potlucks since there's always too many people bringing chips, pasta, or dessert and never enough veggies!)  And if your garden--or your neighbor's garden--is overflowing in zucchini, then you really must try this out.  

The recipe is from epicurious.com, but I'll repost it for you here.  And you can thank me later!

Shaved Zucchini Salad with Parmesean Pine Nuts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tb fresh lemon juice
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
2 lbs medium zucchini, trimmed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
small wedge of Parmesean cheese

Whisk oil, lemon juice, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and crushed red pepper in small bowl to blend.  Set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler or V-slicer and working from top to bottom of each zucchini, slice zucchini into ribbons (about 1/6" thick).  Place ribbons in large bowl.  Add basil and nuts, then dressing; toss to coat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Using vegetable peeler, shave strips from Parmesean wedge over salad.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Baked Red Beans & Rice

This was such an easy dinner to make and I really liked it.  It had a good mexicanish flavor.  We made ours into burritos and then just had chips & salsa on the side.  It made about 4 cups.

Baked Red Beans & Rice

1 cup long grain rice
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 cups tomato salsa
1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained & rinsed (I used pinto beans instead because I like pinto beans with rice better)
1/2 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine the rice and broth in a lightly oiled 2-quart casserole dish.  Stir in the salsa, beans, chili powder and salt & pepper to taste.  Cover tightly and bake until the rice is tender, about 1 hour.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Super Delicious Bean Soup

I've been playing around with bean recipes lately.  Meaning I've been making stuff up.  Last night I had a successful experiment.  I took about 3 cups of a 9 bean soup mix and put them in my crock pot at about 11 with 4 cups of Pacific chicken broth on high.  Then at about 3 I diced and threw in a couple of onions, a couple of bay leafs, and a can of diced tomatoes.  Then at about 4:30 I chopped up about 4 carrots and 3 stalks of celery and threw them in.  Dinner was at 6 and it was delish.  Only Lucy struggled.  And today for lunch it is even more delicious.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Sicilian Cousous

I made this last week and my audience was unimpressed.  But they are mostly impressed with mac & cheese, pizza and large mounds of any meat (also with balloons, silly jokes & potty humor).  So, needless to say, it was quite delicious.  And a very quick meal to put together.

Sicilian Couscous
Serves 4

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 scallions, minced
3 Cups baby spinach, chopped
1/4 Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 Cups quick-cooking couscous
1/4 Cup golden raisins
1 Teaspoon grated orange zest
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the scallions and spinach and cook to soften the scallions and wilt the spinach, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous and remove from the heat. Stir in the raisins, and orange zest, and season to taste with salt. Cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts and toss gently to combine.

Recipe provided by Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegetarian.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Apple Tart

So, my husband and I cut sugar out of our diet each year right after New Year's (usually until Valentine's Day).  It's just a way for us to eat healthier and not be constantly tempted with treats (as we were the whole month of December because who says no to homemade toffee and peanut brittle?).  We made this on Sunday to satisfy our sweet tooth one month into it.  It was pretty good and reminescent of apple pie.  I didn't have a tart pan, so I just used a 9 inch spring form pan, but it's best to place on top of a cookie sheet as the sauce may leak out of the bottom of the pan. 

Green Apple Tart with Vanilla Pecan Crust
from deliciousliving.com

Serves 8 / This scrumptious tart strikes a rare balance between rich and not-too-sweet. Prep tips: Fresh vanilla bean adds a decadent element, but you can substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract in a pinch. A mandoline makes it easy to slice apples uniformly, but a good sharp knife works too.

Vanilla Pecan Crust
3/4 cup pecans
5 dates, pitted
1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
2/3cup blanched almond flour or almond meal (I accidentally used regular flour and it still turned out)
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt

4 medium Granny Smith apples (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick (I used 3 and it was plenty)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400˚. Place pecans and dates in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Slit vanilla bean pod lengthwise and scrape inside to remove vanilla beans; add to pecan mixture and pulse until well ground. Pulse in flour, egg, and salt. Continue pulsing until mixture begins to form a ball. Lightly coat a 9-inch tart pan with oil or cooking spray. Using wet hands, press crust onto bottom and up sides of tart pan; prick all over with a fork. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until crust is dry, firm, and lightly browned. Cool completely.
2. Preheat oven to 350˚. In a large bowl, toss together apple slices, lemon juice, arrowroot, agave, and cinnamon. Fan out apples on top of prebaked crust, forming a circle; then layer more apples over the first circle and in the center. Pour accumulated juices over apples. Cover with foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 50 minutes, until apples are soft but still have some texture. Cool before serving.

PER SERVING: 235 cal, 13g fat (4g mono, 2g poly, 1g sat), 26mg chol, 4g protein, 30g carb, 4g fiber, 49mg sodium

Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew

This is another recipe from America's Test Kitchen.  I had not cooked with kale before and I loved it in this.  I like my soup to be a little thicker, so I added more celery and carrots, left out one cup of the water and doubled the amount of tomatoes.  I also did not do the toasted bread in the soup although it sounds very good.

Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew

We prefer the creamier texture of beans soaked overnight for this recipe. If you're short on time, quick-soak them: Place the rinsed beans in a large heat-resistant bowl. Bring 2 quarts of water and 3 tablespoons of salt to a boil. Pour the water over the beans and let them sit for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans well before proceeding with step 2. If pancetta is unavailable, substitute 4 ounces of bacon (about 4 slices). For a more substantial dish, serve the stew over toasted bread.

Yield: 8 Servings

1 pound dried cannellini beans (about 2 cups), rinsed and picked over (I just used whatever dried white beans I could find)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling
6 ounce pancetta cut into 1/4-inch pieces (see note)
1 large onion chopped medium (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 medium celery ribs cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3/4 cup)
2 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
8 medium garlic cloves peeled and crushed
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 bunch kale or collard greens (about 1 pound), stems trimmed and leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 8 cups loosely packed)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes drained and rinsed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
8 slices country white bread each 1 1/4 inches thick, broiled until golden brown on both sides and rubbed with a garlic clove (optional)

1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons salt in 4 quarts cold water in large bowl or container. Add beans and soak at room temperature for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.

2. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Heat oil and pancetta in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta is lightly browned and fat has rendered, 6 to 10 minutes. Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 10 to 16 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, water, bay leaves, and soaked beans. Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook until beans are almost tender (very center of beans will still be firm), 45 minutes to 1 hour.

3. Remove pot from oven and stir in greens and tomatoes. Return pot to oven and continue to cook until beans and greens are fully tender, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

4. Remove pot from oven and submerge rosemary sprig in stew. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Discard bay leaves and rosemary sprig and season stew with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, use back of spoon to press some beans against side of pot to thicken stew. Serve over toasted bread, if desired, and drizzle with olive oil.

Pasta with Garlic and Olive Oil

This recipe was so good.  I was a little reluctant because it calls for 12 cloves of garlic, but it was so mellow and just right .  Even my very picky eater asked for seconds.  He was so happy at dinner time, he even actually tried a tomato!

Don't skip the extra step to make the toasted bread crumbs, they were so delicious on top too!

Pasta with garlic & oil
(from America's Test Kitchen)
Serves 4-6

Table Salt
1 pound spaghetti
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
12 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 tablespoons) (I did mine in a small chopper)
3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Bring 4 qts. water to a boil in a large pot.  Add 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring often, until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
2. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil, 3 tablespoons of the garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt over low heat in a 10-inch nonstick skillet.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is sticky and straw-colored, 10-12 minutes.  Off the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, the red pepper flakes, parsley, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta cooking water.
3. Transfer the drained pasta to a warm serving bowl; add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and remaining reserved pasta cooking water and toss to combine.  Add the garlic mixture and 3/4 teaspoon salt; toss to combine. 

Serve with Parmesan cheese and toasted bread crumbs.

For the bread crumbs, pulse 2 slices of sandwich bread in a food processor.  Combine with 2 tablespoons olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 375 degrees until golden brown, 8-10 minutes.

Also, I wilted some spinach and then sauteed it in the pan that had the leftover olive oil and garlic.  I just finished off the spinach with some salt, pepper and a little lemon.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Soup Au Pistou

It's a new year and I am renewing my vows, so to speak, to eat food, not too much, mostly plants.  I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious! Another New York Times hit.  Love their recipes for health section!  (The rest is copy and pasted from the website)

Perhaps Provence’s answer to minestrone, this seasonal vegetable soup — enriched with a simplified basil pesto (no pine nuts) — was inspired by the white beans, canned tomatoes and soup pasta languishing in my pantry, as well as the basil in my garden and the early summer vegetables at the local farmers’ market. The ingredient list is long, but the labor involved in making this soup is minimal. It tastes best if you make it through step 2 a day ahead.

Recipes for Health

Each week this series will present recipes around a particular type of produce or a pantry item. This is food that is vibrant and light, full of nutrients but by no means ascetic, fun to cook and a pleasure to eat.
See previous recipes »

For the soup:
1 1/2 cups white beans, soaked for six hours in 6 cups water and drained
2 quarts water
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
A bouquet garni made with a few sprigs each thyme and parsley, a Parmesan rind and a bay leaf
Salt to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, white and light green part only, cleaned and sliced
1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 1 14-ounce can, with liquid
2 cups shredded savoy or green cabbage
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium-size zucchini, scrubbed and diced
2 medium-size turnips, peeled and diced
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups), blanched for five minutes and set aside
1/2 cup soup pasta, such as macaroni or small shells
Freshly ground pepper
For the pistou:
2 large garlic cloves, halved, green shoots removed
Salt to taste
2 cups, tightly packed, fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan for sprinkling
1. Drain the white beans and combine with 2 quarts water in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, then add half the onion, half the garlic and the bouquet garni. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Add salt to taste.
2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet, and add the remaining chopped onion and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add the leeks and remaining garlic. Stir together for a few minutes, and add the tomatoes. Cook, stirring, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and the mixture is fragrant, five to 10 minutes. Stir this mixture into the soup pot, add all of the remaining vegetables except the green beans, and bring back to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
3. While the soup is simmering, blanch the green beans for five minutes in salted boiling water. Transfer to a bowl of ice-cold water. Drain and set aside.
4. To make the pistou, mash the garlic with a generous pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Remove it and set aside. Grind the basil to a paste in the mortar, a handful at a time, then add the garlic back in and mix together well. Work in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time, then stir in the cheese.
5. Add the pasta to the simmering soup about 10 minutes before serving, and cook until cooked al dente. Add pepper, taste and adjust salt. Stir the blanched green beans into the soup and heat through. Serve, adding a spoonful of pesto to each bowl for guests to stir in. Pass additional Parmesan for sprinkling.
Serves: Six to eight.
Advance preparation: The soup can be made through step 2 up to two days ahead, and definitely benefits from being made a day ahead. Refrigerate overnight, then bring back to a simmer and proceed with the recipe. The blanched green beans will keep for two or three days in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tofu Curry

This is a recipe I got from Tasty Kitchen. My family loved it!

6 whole scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 Tbls. olive oil
5 tsp. curry powder
1 Tbls. butter
28 oz coconut milk
juice of 1 whole lemon
sea salt to taste
2-3 tsp. sesame oil
15 oz Extra Firm Tofu, patted dry and cut into 1 inch cubes

Heat olive oil over med/low heat in pan. Add curry and scallions, when they are slightly translucent add butter. When bubbling add coconut milk and bring to boil, simmer for 2 mins. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt. (The sauce was not thick enough for me so I brought it back to a boil and added a little corn starch mixed with water.) Stir in cilantro.
In a skillet over med/high heat the sesame oil. When it's really hot add the tofu. Let it brown and then toss to continue browning on all sides.
Serve tofu over rice topped with sauce.