Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shiitake Mushroom & Potato Enchiladas

1 pt sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large russet potato, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups Daiya shredded 'cheddar'
2 10oz cans green enchilada sauce
10 corn tortillas, warmed

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and cook, tossing often, until the potatoes begin to soften (6-8 minutes). Add the corn and mushrooms, continuing to cook until the potatoes are tender (6-8 minutes).
2) Spread 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Dividing evenly, roll up the mushroom mixture and a sprinkle of cheese in a tortilla. Place seam down in the casserole dish. Repeat until all mushroom mixture and tortillas are used. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3) Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Review: I loved the flavor of this dish. The potatoes were an unexpected item in enchiladas, but worked really well. However, this was incredibly dry. The original recipe called for dried mushrooms that soaked in water and using some of the soaking water in the skillet. I prefer fresh mushrooms. I'm not sure if adding some water to the skillet would have helped, or if I should have just used more enchilada sauce. This will need some tinkering, for sure.

Adapted from:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Citrus Scented Wine Cake with Fresh Berries

1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
2 Tbs King Arthur Flour cake enhancer
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup sweet dessert wine, such as Moscato, Marsala or Muscat
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 pt fresh berries
2 Tbs powdered sugar

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Coat 9x13 inch cake pan lightly with oil.
2) In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, cake enhancer, baking powder and salt.
3) In a different small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, wine and orange juice.
4) In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer for 4 minutes, or until pale yellow and tripled in volume. Add half of dry ingredients and mix on low speed until blended. Add half of olive oil mixture and mix to blend. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients and olive oil mixture.
5) Let the batter sit for 10 minutes and then gently mix in berries.
6) Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes, or until center is 210F. Cool completely, then dust with powdered sugar.

Review: I've had this recipe for almost three years. Each week it tempts me as I flip through my pile of clipped recipes. I decided to treat myself and finally make it. Unfortunately, after buying 2 pints of berries (blueberry & blackberry), I read the instructions and it said to serve the cake with berries. Ugh. Berries rot in the fridge so quickly, so I was reluctant to do that. I tossed them into the cake and they sunk to the bottom and burst. Remembering a class I took, I should have let the batter sit for 10 minutes before mixing in the berries. This helps the xanthan gum bind itself up and makes it able to suspend mixed-in items. Now, back to the flavor. This was pretty delicious. It was light, airy and had a subtle citrus/moscato flavor. It also had a strong olive oil flavor. Bummer. I'd recommend trying vegetable oil next time.

Adapted from:

Tofu Stir-Fry with Asian Pear & Cashews

1 cup brown rice
4 tsp hot toasted sesame oil or hot chili oil, divided
16oz pkg extra firm tofu, diced
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium Asian pear, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbs gluten free hoisin sauce
2 Tbs gluten free soy sauce
3 tsp rice vinegar
1 cup roasted cashews

1) Cook rice according to package directions.
2) Heat 2 tsp sesame oil in wok over high heat. Add tofu, and cook 10-15 minutes, or until golden on two or more sides, turning occasionally. Transfer tofu to plate.
3) Heat remaining 2 tsp sesame oil in wok over high heat. Add carrots and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add Asian pear and bell pepper, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add garlic and stir-fry 1 minute more. Return tofu to wok with vegetables and add rice.
4) Whisk together hoisin, soy sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Pour over wok mixture, and stir until tofu is heated through. Serve topped with cashews.

Review: I've never tried Asian pear before and thought this would be a great introduction. The sticker on the fruit said it was an apple pear. That's a great description of its flavor! But, it's not an apple pear, it's an Asian pear. Look for a fruit that's firm like an apple and has no bruising. Like a pear, it's optional to peel or leave skin on. I left the skin on and it was fine. Many have skins that are scratched - that indicates a good degree of ripeness because the fruit stayed on the tree longer. Once it's in the fridge, it supposedly can keep for several months. I had mine for over a week and it was fine. So, back to the recipe. I had some difficulty finding all the ingredients. My grocery store only had one row of hot toasted sesame oil and it was hard to find. To top off the difficulties, I only know of one brand that makes gluten free hoisin sauce. I was very fortunate that it was carried at my grocery store. This was a labor of love just getting all the ingredients together. Preparing and cooking the meal was another labor of love as it took about an hour. And don't try licking oil off your fingers, this stuff is SPICY. This dish had an awesome mix of heat, sweet and savory. What a wonderful dinner!!!

Adapted from:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Potato Salad with Mustard Greens

3 Tbs unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 lb red potatoes, peeled and diced
4 celery stalks, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 bunch mustard greens, stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped

1) Whisk together vinegar and thyme in a small bowl. Whisk in oil and mustard, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Marinate 20 minutes, tossing often.
2) Meanwhile, steam potatoes 13 to 14 minutes, or until tender. Transfer steamer rack to work surface and let potatoes cool for five minutes.
3) Toss potatoes with dressing in a wide, shallow bowl. Cool 10 minutes, or until dressing is absorbed, tossing occasionally.
4) Steam celery 6 minutes, or until only slight crunch remains. Cool briefly. Fold into potatoes. Fold in mustard greens. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Review: The mustard greens added an extra mustard punch to this dish. However, I apparently don't like that. I can see why it was picked for this dish, but the vague mustard taste just wasn't pleasing to me. I'd love to make this again, but double the dressing and substitute in collard greens.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Black Radish & Sweet Potato Stew

3 black radishes, peeled and diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 15oz can of kidney beans, including liquid
1 15oz can of pinto beans, including liquid
1 cup of water
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs chili powder

1) Combine all ingredients in a large pot over medium-high heat.
2) Bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.

Review: I found an article in Vegetarian Times (November 2012) about black radishes. It had some vague ideas of how to use them in recipes, but no recipes. I didn't think much about it, as I never saw them in the store. Yet, they're in stock every week at our grocery store in New Hampshire?! These are much bigger than regular radishes, but have much of the same flavor. They mellow with cooking, however. It worked well in this recipe, which had more of a hearty flavor than a spicy flavor. It was also quite filling!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Green Beans with Walnuts & Pomegranate

1 lb green beans, trimmed
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
3 Tbs toasted pumpkin seed oil

1) In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1/2 cup of water until it's boiling. Add green beans and cover. Steam for 7 minutes, or until green beans are tender.
2) In a large bowl, layer ingredients - green beans, topped with walnuts, topped with pomegranate arils. Drizzle toasted pumpkin seed oil over the top.

Review: Oh my goodness. I thought this sounded tasty, but it's unbelievably good. I ate the entire dish by myself. It took that much to feel full, but I've also been sick and missed lunch. The toasted walnuts and the toasted pumpkin seed oil gave this a wonderfully warm flavor (and added much needed healthy fats). The pomegranate arils added a bit of sweet without being overwhelming. This was so tasty and would make a great side dish on the holidays!

Adapted from:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Swiss Chard & Lentils with Wild Rice

2 bunches of Swiss chard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
3 Tbs olive oil
3/4 cup wild rice
2 cups water
1 Tbs smoked paprika
2 cups cooked lentils

1) Wash Swiss chard leaves, but do not dry. Remove chard stems; trim and chop stems. Cut leaves into 1-inch wide ribbons.
2) In a large pot, combine the Swiss chard, garlic, salt, olive oil, wild rice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
3) Add lentils and cook just a few more minutes - until lentils are warm. Add smoked paprika and serve.

Review: I significantly changed the original recipe. I couldn't understand the need to cook regular rice for 45 minutes. To further complicate things, I only had quick-cooking (12-15 minutes) brown basmati rice. Oh, and some wild rice that takes 45 minutes to cook . . .  So, I got to use up the remaining wild rice that I had on hand. I made the dish a little more savory and earthy than the original recipe. I think it works a lot better and I loooved the flavor. It was so hearty and filling.

Adapted from: