Friday, October 31, 2008

Black Bean Lasagna

9 no-boil lasagna noodles
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup water
2 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and dried
1 can (14.5 oz) whole tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

1) Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion, garlic, water, cilantro, beans, tomatoes and tomato paste in oil, breaking up tomatoes; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Mix the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl, except the monterey jack cheese.
3) Heat oven to 350F. Layer 1/3 each of the noodles, bean mixture, ricotta mixture and monterey jack cheese in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Repeat layers twice.
4) Bake uncovered 30 to 35 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

Review: This was a super yummy dish. We misread the instructions and mixed the ricotta cheese mixture with the tomato and bean mixture. Therefore, I typed the instructions out more clearly in my blog! It still came out fine, maybe just a thinner sauce than it should have been. This definitely made a lot of food and we had a lot of leftovers!

I made this again on 11/28/2010.  I made the layers correctly this time.  I also substituted cheddar for the monterey, as we recently bought the 20 cup bag of shredded cheddar from Costco.  That's more cheese than I originally thought it was!!  So, yes this was just as delicious as the first time.  Yum. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Artichoke & Tomato Pasta

1 box fusilli or rotini pasta
1 jar (6 oz) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and liquid reserved
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 oz) Italian-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
dash of ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs pine nuts, toasted
2 Tbs grated Parmesan cheese

1) Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.
2) While pasta is cooking, heat artichoke liquid to boiling in 3-qt saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions and garlic for one minute. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, salt, pepper and cumin; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
3) Stir in artichoke hearts. Simmer uncovered 5 minutes. Serve over pasta. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.

Review: Oops, I accidentally used tomato paste. Therefore, the sauce was much thicker than it should have been. However, it was still really yummy and easy to make. I'll definitely try this again, but with tomato sauce!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

White Bean, Greens & Tomato Gratin

1 large bunch of Swiss chard (about 1 3/4 lbs)
2 Tbs olive oil
2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 14.5oz cans white beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
3 Tbs olive oil
1/8 tsp salt

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13 inch pan. Remove tough stems from greens and rinse well. Stack greens and cut into thin strips.
2) In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add greens and cook until tender, tossing often, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add beans, tomatoes, broth, thyme and salt and mix well. Spoon into prepared gratin dish, spreading evenly.
3) Topping: In small bowl, mix bread crumbs, olive oil and salt. Sprinkle evenly over top of greens mixture. Bake until hot, about 40 minutes.

Review: Mmmm, yummy. I often forget how much I love bread crumbs. It justs adds an extra savory flavor. This was a great "winter" dish, since it was hearty. We loved it, but we should have doubled the recipe. This only made 3 servings, and I had already doubled the amount of beans it originally called for.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Garden Couscous & Black Bean Salad

1 cup uncooked couscous
1 16oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbs chopped fresh dill
juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon to taste
2 Tbs olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) Pour couscous in medium heat-proof bowl. Bring 2 cups water to a boil and pour over couscous. Cover and let stand 15 minutes, then fluff with fork and allow to cool to room temperature.
2) Transfer couscous to large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Serve at room temperature, or cover, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Review: Somehow, I forgot to put tomatoes on the grocery list. So, that was omitted from this recipe. I definitely think it would have made the dish better, but this was super yummy. The green olives gave this dish a slightly unexpected flavor that I loved. It was also better refrigerated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Swiss Chard & Caramelized Onion Lasagna

12 oz no boil lasagna noodles
4 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bunches (about 3 lbs) red Swiss chard, stemmed, leaves coarsely chopped
1 cup ricotta cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
3 cups milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups plus 2 Tbs grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese

1) In large skillet, heat 1 Tbs oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, 30 seconds. Add chard and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer chard to medium bowl and stir in ricotta cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2) Wipe out skillet, heat remaining 3 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring often, until onions begin to brown all over, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and stir. Cook, stirring, until deep amber in color, about 20 minutes more. Remove from heat and splash with vinegar. Set aside.
3) In medium saucepan, heat 2 1/2 cups milk over medium heat until steaming. Meanwhile, put flour in small bowl and whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk until smooth; whisk into hot milk mixture and whisk constantly until sauce comes to a simmer and thickens. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 minute. Stir in Parmesan or Asiago cheese until melted and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
4) Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly oil a 9x13 inch baking dish or coat with nonstick cooking spray. Coat bottom of prepared dish with 1/2 cup of sauce. Line bottom with a single layer of noodles. Spread half the chard over the noodles. Add another layer of noodles, arrange caramelized onions on top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread another 1/2 cup sauce over all. Add another layer of noodles, followed by the remaining chard mixture. Finish with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
5) Lightly oil a large piece of aluminum foil or coat with nonstick cooking spray and use it to tightly cover dish. Bake lasagna for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until lightly browned and bubbling. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Review: I should have read the instructions before agreeing to make this. It was sooooo much work! I seriously had three pots of food cooking at once! And my whole house reeked of onions. The end product was really yummy, but this is not something I'd make on a regular basis because it took so much work. But, I learned a great trick. I always have cheese stuck to the foil when baking and I have no idea why I never previously thought of spraying it with oil! I'm so going to keep that tip in my memory bank!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Rice Casserole With Pine Nuts

2 Tbs olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large carrots, chopped
6 stalks celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp light brown sugar
3 tsp paprika
2 cups uncooked long-grain brown rice
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup toasted pine nuts

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 3-qt baking dish.
2) In large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add vegetables, garlic, bay leaves, dill, thyme and parsley. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar, paprika and rice, and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 2 cups water. Bring mixture to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3) Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Cover, and bake until rice is tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves, sprinkle with pine nuts, and serve warm.

Review: Ok, I used instant rice and baked for half an hour. And, the original recipe was half of these amounts, but only made two servings. This was SUCH a savory dish, which is hard to come by with vegetarian dishes. It almost tasted like chicken was in it! I totally loved this and will definitely be making it again!

I made this again on 1/4/2009 and used bulgur:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Black Bean Chili With Winter Squash

1 winter squash (acorn or butternut)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dried minced onions
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
2 (16 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
28 oz can diced tomatoes
4 oz can chopped mild green chilies
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
Salt to taste

1) Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, peel the squash and dice in 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a microwave safe container, covered with plastic wrap with holes poked in it, and microwave for 7 minutes, or until tender.
2) Meanwhile, in a large pot, add all other ingredients (except squash and salt) and mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently 15 minutes. Stir in squash and season to taste with salt. Serve warm.

Review: I normally hate chili, but thought I'd give this a try. It was hearty enough to fill me, without being just beans and tomatoes! I loved it. I've become a big fan of squashes and used butternut in this recipe. It's difficult to peel, but was ultimately worth it. I'll make it again and boast that I have my own special chili recipe!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tortilla Torte

2 Tbs vegetable oil
12oz ground taco-seasoned soy "meat"
2 cups salsa
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
5 8-inch flour tortillas
8oz shredded cheddar cheese
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves for garnish
1/2 avocado, diced for garnish
1/2 cup sour cream for garnish

1) Preheat oven to 425F. Spray 10-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2) Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute "meat" 3 to 4 minutes, add salsa and beans, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring often.
3) Place 1 flour tortilla in bottom of pan, and place about 1/2 cup "meat" mixture over top, spreading out to cover surface. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup cheese. Top with second tortilla, and repeat with filling mixture and cheese. Repeat procedure with remainder of tortillas, filling mixture and cheese until all ingredients are used up. Spoon any remaining mixture over top, place tomato slices on mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
4) Bake about 15 minutes, or until cheese melts, and remove from oven. Garnish with cilantro, diced avocado and sour cream. To serve, slice like a cake, including garnishes with each portion.

Review: Oh, this was beyond yummy. I had leftovers and still wanted it a 3rd day!! It was easy and fast to make, too. I really liked this and I think even the meat eaters in my life will like it, if they swap the soy stuff for beef. :) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lentil Pilaf

3/4 cup dry white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup uncooked white basmati rice
1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable broth
soy sauce to taste

1) In a large pot, bring wine to a boil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, rice and lentils. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add black beans, basil, cumin, curry powder, hot pepper sauce and bay leaf. Cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
2) Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until lentils and rice are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf. Season with soy sauce to taste.

Review: Oh my, this made soooooo much food. For that, I love it, because it's economical and I get to savor the dish for at least two days. Mike loved this without the soy sauce, but I think the sauce added an extra "oomph." This is definitely going in the keeper file.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Rigatoni With Wild Mushrooms & Edamame

2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
6 cremini mushrooms, stemmed and quartered
1 cup shelled edamame
1 cup crushed plum tomatoes
8 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1 cup vegetable broth
1 box rigatoni pasta

1) Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
2) In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase heat to high, add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes. Add edamame and cook, stirring often, 2 minutes.
3) Stir in tomatoes and basil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Add broth and continue simmering 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4) Remove sauce from heat. Add pasta and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Review: Mmmm, this was yummy. I quartered my shiitake mushrooms instead of slicing them, so I had big chunks of both mushrooms. This was an easy dish to make and we had at least 5 servings! This one definitely will be made again in the future.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Potato, Pea & Couscous Hash

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dried minced onion
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 ripe large tomato, halved, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp paprika
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups peeled diced all-purpose potatoes (1/2-inch pieces)
1 cup frozen peas
1 box instant couscous
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
freshly ground black pepper to taste

1) In large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Add tomato, garlic and paprika and cook, stirring 1 minute.
2) Stir in broth, potatoes, peas and salt. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
3) Gradually stir in couscous, adding it in a stream, and parsley. Return mixture to a simmer, cover and cook (without lifting lid) 1 minute. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Gently fluff hash with fork. Wait another few minutes, then serve hot.

Review: This was super easy, super yummy, and it made A TON of food. I really liked it. I'm always a fan of tasty, filling food that comes with plenty to make leftovers! (I always take my lunch to work).

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Linguine With Wild Mushroom Sauce

2 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
8 oz small white mushrooms, quartered (2 1/2 cups)
3 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced (1 1/4 cups)
2 Tbs flour
1 cup vegetable broth
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
3/4 lb cooked linguine

1) In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for one minutes. Add bell peppers and mushrooms. Cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Stir in broth until well blended. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Toss pasta with mushroom mixtures. Serve right away.

Review: Oops, I somehow didn't see the red bell pepper until I started typing this out. Although, it was just fine with just the green bell pepper. It was a bit bland, so I once again added Parmesan cheese. Mmmm, even better.

Southern Comfort

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs dried minced onion
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh okra
1 cup unpeeled, cubed red potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup uncooked lentils, rinsed
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots
1 cup frozen sugar snap peas

1) In large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, okra and potatoes and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Add stock and lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender about 30 minutes. Add carrots and peas and cook 10 minutes more. Serve hot.

Review: This is the first time I've had okra that wasn't fried! It creates a lot of slime, which made my husband curious. It was an "ok" dish. I didn't think it was flavorful enough, so I added some Parmesan cheese. Yeah, it was much yummier after that and I've decided that Parmesan cheese fixes everything.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lasagna Stroganoff Skillet

1 box uncooked cellentani pasta
1 Tbs butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs dried minced onion
2 cups sliced white mushrooms
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

1) Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, saute mushrooms, onions and garlic in the butter. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until the mushrooms are fully cooked.
3) Reduce heat to medium; add sour cream, ricotta cheese and water. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sauce is heated through (3 to 4 minutes).
4) Add cooked noodles; stir to coat. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture is heated through (3 to 4 minutes). Stir in Parmesan cheese and oregano. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Review: I added a bit more Parmesan for taste as it was a bit bland. I'm sure this could be dressed up a little bit more, but I did like it.

Made again on 10/13/2010, though this time I added a bit of cayenne pepper and some basil.   Mmm.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet Potatoes With Spicy Black Bean Chili

4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small green bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
1 can (15oz) black beans with cumin and chili spices, undrained
1 can (14.5oz) Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with jalapenos and spices, undrained
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

1) Heat oven to 350F. Pierce potatoes with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until tender.
2) While potatoes are baking, heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bell pepper in oil 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in beans and tomatoes. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook uncovered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot.
3) Split potatoes and mash slightly. Top each potato with chili mixture. Top with sour cream and cilantro.

Review: This was super yummy! I didn't expect the flavors to compliment each other as well as they did! I couldn't find the black beans that were requested, but substituted a can of black beans with a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder. I also sliced the baked potatoes to make it easier to consume. I'd recommend dicing the tomatoes. This recipe is really something I recommend and it was easy!