Friday, January 30, 2009

Oven-Baked Wild Rice Pilaf With Mushrooms

2 Tbs olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
10 oz sliced mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
2 cups long grain and wild rice mix
1/4 cup sherry
1 Tbs soy sauce
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup pine nuts

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft, stirring often. Raise heat to medium, add mushrooms, and cook 7 minutes, or until liquid has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown. Stir in garlic and thyme, and cook 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in rice. Add sherry and soy sauce, and simmer 2 minutes, or until almost all liquid has evaporated. Add broth and 1 cup water, and return to a simmer.
2) Place lid on Dutch oven, and bake 45 minutes. Remove lid, and bake 30 minutes more, or until most of liquid has been absorbed. Remove from oven, cover, and let stand 5 minutes.
3) Fold in peas and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Review: I need to own a Dutch oven! I used a pot, then transferred to a casserole dish with an aluminum foil cover! This was a really yummy dish that made about 5 servings. I had plenty of leftovers.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Baked Leek & Sweet Potato Gratin

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil, divided
3 medium leeks, white and light green parts chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbs chopped rosemary
2 medium sweet potatoes (2 lb), peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 Tbs Italian seasoned dry breadcrumbs
2 Tbs finely grated Romano cheese

1) Preheat oven to 450F. Coat 10-inch round pan with cooking spray.
2) Heat 1 Tbs oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, garlic, and 1 Tbs rosemary; saute 8 minutes, or until softened. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3) Arrange one-third sweet potato slices over bottom of prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Spread half of leek mixture on top. Arrange another one-third sweet potato slices over leeks; top with remaining leeks, followed by remaining sweet potatoes. Drizzle broth over dish. Cover pan with foil, and bake 35 minutes.
4) Stir together breadcrumbs, remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil, remaining 1/2 Tbs rosemary, and Romano cheese, in small bowl. Remove foil from gratin, and sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp. Let gratin cool slightly before cutting into 8 wedges and serving.

Review: This was super yummy. I really love sweet potato dishes and the edition of leeks balanced the sweetness into a savory dish.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pasta La Vista

8 oz wagonwheel pasta, elbow macaroni, or other pasta
1 Tbs vegetable oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
15oz can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 Tbs bottled hot sauce
15oz can red or pink beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
shredded cheddar cheese for topping

1) Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large saucepan, add onion, green pepper, and celery, and saute for about 5 minutes or until ingredients start to soften.
2) Add all spices to vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and hot sauce. Stir to combine and simmer uncovered over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
3) While the sauce is simmering, drain the pasta and set aside. Add beans and corn to the sauce and cook 5 to 10 minutes more. Add the cooked pasta, stir and simmer to heat through.

Review: This was found in a teen's vegetarian cookbook. Needless to say, it was easy to make. I used a whole box of elbow macaroni to make the dish and shaved 10 minutes off the simmering. I had plenty of food to make lunch leftovers, which was fine because I thought this dish was pretty yummy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Edamame Rice Bowls

1 cup brown rice
1 16oz bag frozen shelled edamame
1/4 cup dried cranberries
4 oz crumbled feta
20 pitted kalamata olives, halved
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lime juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1) Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil, stir in rice, and season with salt. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until rice is tender.
2) Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil, add edamame, and cook 2 minutes, or until tender; drain and set aside.
3) Toss together rice, edamame, cranberries, feta, olives, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, and red pepper flakes in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper.

Review: I used instant brown rice and followed the directions on the box. That greatly reduced my cooking time. I love all the ingredients, but wasn't sure how they would go together. It was such a perfect balance of sweet, salty and spicy. Mmmmmm yummy. Also, this made about 2 servings, and this recipe is double the original ingredients!! 

Made again on 11/10/2010, but I lacked cilantro and forgot to get dried cranberries.  I substituted pomegranate arils (YUM).  

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bulgur With Leeks & Swiss Chard

2 Tbs olive oil
2 medium-size leeks, white and tender green parts chopped
1 lb Swiss chard, stems cut into 1-inch pieces, leaves torn into large pieces
2 cups sliced mushrooms
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup bulgur
1) Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and chard stems, and cook 4 minutes, or until softened, stirring often. Add mushrooms, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and chard leaves. Cover, and cook 5 minutes, or until leaves are wilted, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
2) Stir in broth and bulgur. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 10 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Remove pan from heat, and serve.

Review: Mike's been loving bulgur, due to it's low glycemic index. I think it's alright, but often requires lots of chewing. I'm a lazy eater. If it requires too much chewing, I can't be bothered. However, I love Swiss chard. The chard and leeks combined made for a tasty dish that I really liked. And, you can't go wrong with mushrooms. :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Lake Cuomo Pasta

3 cups radiatore pasta
3 (14.5oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs basil, chopped
6 small zucchini, sliced in rounds (2 lbs)
3 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
9 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups porcini or shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1) Preheat oven to 450F. Generously spray inside of 5 1/2-6 qt Dutch oven with cooking spray.
2) Spread pasta in even layer in bottom of pot. Add enough water to tomato liquid to make 1 cup. Stir liquid into pasta with olive oil. Toss tomatoes with basil in separate bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spread over pasta. Top with half of zucchini rounds.
3) Combine ricotta, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt in small bowl. Spread over zucchini. Layer mushrooms and remaining zucchini over ricotta mixture. Cover pot, and bake 53 minutes, or about 3 minutes after aroma wafts from oven.

Review: I didn't read the instructions until I'd already begun preparing this dish. And, I don't own a Dutch oven. :( Typically, I just use a casserole dish, covered with foil to substitute. However, this is ALOT of food. So, I tossed everything into the crock pot. It took 2 1/2 hours to cook on high. I ended up heading to Taco John's, since it wasn't done until after 9pm. This was really yummy and I'll make it again, when I either have plenty of time for it to cook, or when I finally get a Dutch oven.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Curried Chickpeas & Sweet Potatoes

5 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 1/2 lbs)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs dried minced onion
1 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large red bell peppers, diced
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs curry powder
2 (15oz) cans chickpeas
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1) In large saucepan fitted with steamer basket, bring 2 inches water to a boil over high heat. Add sweet potatoes, cover and steam until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm until needed.
2) In large, heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, ginger, garlic, red peppers, 1/2 tsp salt and curry powder. Stir, cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas (with liquid) and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
3) Add vinegar and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Stir in sweet potatoes. Over low heat, gently stir mixture about 2 minutes to allow sweet potatoes to release some of their starch. Be careful not to break them up completely. Add cilantro and stir to blend. Serve hot.

Review: I love sweet potatoes and am always looking for new recipes using them. I was wary of these ingredients, as they seemed to be an odd mix. However, this was super yummy and I really liked it. I was so relieved. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taco Bean Salad

Dressing Ingredients:
1/3 cup tomato juice
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Salad Ingredients:
2 to 3 ripe medium tomatoes, chopped
2 scallions (white and light green parts), thinly sliced
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups baby spinach
1 can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheeses
1/3 cup pitted black olives, chopped

1) Dressing: In small bowl or glass jar with tight fitting lid, combine all ingredients and season with freshly ground pepper. Whisk or shake to blend.
2) In large bowl, combine tomatoes, scallions, bell pepper, lettuce, beans, cheese and olives. Add dressing, toss well to coat and serve right away.

Review: This was yummy and a great twist to the traditional salad. My only complaint was that it was a bit too tangy because of the tomato juice.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Taco Tortellini Salad

1 (9oz) pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 (15.5oz) can kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 medium tomato, seeded, coarsely chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced ripe black olives
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips, if desired

1) Cook tortellini to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water.
2) Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine kidney beans, tomato, bell pepper and olives. In small bowl, combine salsa and cumin; mix well.
3) Add cooked tortellini to salad mixture. Just before serving, pour salsa mixture over salad; stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with tortilla chips.

Review: This was super yummy. It was also so easy to make, that Mike made dinner. That was the best part.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Primavera Pasta With Breadcrumb Topping

1 box fusilli or rotini pasta
3 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed
2 Tbs dried minced onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
3 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and julienned
2 large red bell peppers, julienned
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
Grated Parmesan cheese

1) Cook pasta according to package directions.
2) Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil; add green beans and parboil 3 minutes. Transfer beans to colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.
3) Heat 2 Tbs oil in very large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans, onion, garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook, covered, 3 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers, basil and oregano, and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just al dente; do not overcook. Season with salt to taste.
4) Warm remaining 1 Tbs oil in second skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and saute until golden, about 5 minutes.
5) Add drained pasta to vegetables and toss to blend; sprinkle with breadcrumbs, cheese and olive oil, and serve.

Review: This was yummy. I didn't toast the breadcrumbs, instead I just dumped them in at the end. Ha, it made a big gummy mess. I think it would be better if I'd followed the directions, and will next time.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Spring Vegetable Pasta

1 box angel hair pasta
8 oz baby Yukon gold potatoes
16 baby carrots, cut into thirds
1 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 oz sugar snap peas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 small radishes, trimmed and halved lengthwise
3 Tbs olive oil
4 scallions, trimmed and diced
10 oz frozen fava beans, or baby lima beans, thawed
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp tarragon

1) Cook pasta according to directions on the box.
2) Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine potatoes and enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut potatoes into quarters.
3) Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook 2 minutes; add asparagus and snap peas and cook 2 minutes; add radishes and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.
4) In deep skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in scallions, beans, cooked potatoes and blanched vegetables. Pour in broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for several minutes. Serve warm.

Review: This was super yummy. I was a little worried, since I just tried a recipe that had the asparagus, snap pea and radish combo and I didn't quite like it. This was really yummy, though. We used whole wheat pasta, which gave the dish a slightly sweet taste that went well with the tarragon. I also had leftovers that I tossed Parmesan cheese on. Mmm, even better!