Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

April 20, 2011

Panzanella

Panzanella

It’s cold. It’s rainy. It doesn’t feel like spring at all. Welcome to the Midwest. On weeks like these, I turn up the thermostat to 80, put on shorts, turn up the reggae  and dance around my house while cooking up something summery and pretending it’s sunny and beautiful outside. During one particular occasion, I decided to be ‘Italian’ and make a beautiful Panzanella. This light summery salad is a perfect way to forget a cold rainy day. The thing I love most about it is that it’s different. It’s not your typical ‘lettuce and tomato’ salad (though there’s nothing wrong with typical salads when you’re craving them), and the  fact that it has the toasted bread makes it able to be a meal all in itself. This salad is definitely a keeper in my salad repertoire.

Panzanella

Ingredients

3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 bell peppers, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (I like to use a combination of purple or yellow or orange, to nicely colorize the dish)
20 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons capers, drained

For the vinaigrette


1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/3 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Add the bread and salt; cook over low to medium heat, tossing frequently, for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned. Add more oil as needed.
For the vinaigrette, whisk together the ingredients.
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, basil, and capers. Add the bread cubes and toss with the vinaigrette. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
Serve immediately, or allow the salad to sit for about half an hour for the flavors to blend.

Source: Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen

Advertisements
March 8, 2011

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

Last weekend, my sister-in-law welcomed her first baby, my fifth niece, Clara. I haven’t gotten to meet her yet, but from the pictures, she looks precious. Knowing that as new parents, my sister-in-law and her husband are likely not getting much sleep and definitely not having much time to cook, I decided to make them a couple easy dishes (homemade hummus and chicken enchiladas that will be posted soon) that they can enjoy. Since I spent the weekend working in the emergency department, I wanted to make them something that wouldn’t take a whole lot of time to put together. Taking only a few minutes to make, but tasting gourmet, this hummus was the perfect solution. The wonderful thing about this recipe is that you can really alter it to please your palate by changing the amount of lemon and garlic you add. My only regret was that I didn’t triple the recipe to have enough for myself for the week.

Homemade Hummus

Ingredients

2 cups canned chickpeas
1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lemons, juiced
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup or more water

Directions

In a food processor, add 2 cups of chickpeas, 1/4 cup tahini, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, the juice of 2 lemons, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, several pinches of salt, and some fresh ground. Pulse until roughly chopped.
Turn the food processor to on and pour about 1/2 cup of water in a steady stream until the hummus is blended nicely. You may need to add a little more water and olive oil to get the desired consistency
Taste and adjust flavors to your liking.
Serve with pita or fresh vegetables.

Source: A Couple Cooks

February 26, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

 

Sauteed Spinach

In my house, it is a battle to get my husband to eat vegetables, which is unfortunate since I love veggies. I am constantly trying to find new ways of cooking them to make them ‘edible’ for him.  Over the years, I have found that adding garlic and butter to vegetables will make him at least give the vegetable dish a shot, so when I stumbled upon this recipe for sauteed spinach, I knew I had to give it a shot. It’s so quick and easy to make and although the picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really flavorful. My proof that it was a good recipe? Husband finished his whole portion.

 

Sauteed Spinach

Ingredients

1 lb spinach (2 bunches)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more if needed
1 Tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste

Directions

Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining. Put the spinach in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute.
After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat. Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Source: Adapted from: Simply Recipes

February 16, 2011

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

So, do you have cavities yet from all of the sweet posts?

Now that Valentine’s Day is past, I thought I would start posting “real” food posts again…not that dessert isn’t ‘real’ food but I think I’m in the minority when I claim that dessert should be the bottom of the food pyramid.

I’m not a red meat eater, so whenever I make my husband steak, I usually scavenge around the kitchen trying to find something for myself to eat…and that ‘something’ usually ends up being a Boca burger. Well, one night, I got tired of doing  that so I decided to actually make a gourmet meal and make grilled portobello mushrooms for myself. I had only had portobellos in sandwiches before but let me tell you, these were incredible! They were juicy and flavorful, and I didn’t feel at all like I was missing out by not eating steak that night.

This recipe would probably work well with the whole portobello caps too, but I used what was on sale (pre-sliced stems) and it was so delicious. I highly recommend this recipe for any vegetarian or non-vegetarian willing to be adventurous.

 

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Ingredients

4 large portobello mushrooms, washed, stems cut off and caps cut into slices
1 1/2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
black pepper, to taste

Directions

Melt the butter, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic & pepper together in a small saucepan.
Brush the mushrooms generously with the melted butter and olive oil mixture.
On a grill pan, grill the portobello mushrooms for about 8 minutes. Turn and grill the tops of the portobello mushrooms for 6 to 8 minutes longer. The grilled portobello mushrooms should be tender and nicely browned.

Source: Adapted from: Southern Food About dot com

January 17, 2011

Mushroom Risotto

 

Mushroom Risotto

My husband’s absolute favorite side dish is risotto. Given the option of risotto and anything else, he will 100 percent of  the time choose risotto. We’ve both been traveling a lot recently (separately unfortunately), so whenever we’re home together, I find myself making risotto…a lot.

One of the best things about risotto is that depending on what you add to it, the flavor can change so dramatically. With the addition of porcini and baby bella mushrooms, you have this amazing earthy, woodsy flavor.

Thankfully, this risotto is very easy to make, and I love that it’s a way to get Francis to eat vegetables. It’s perfect for my after-work quick-cooking as well as for our fancy-dinner occasions.

Mushroom Risotto

Ingredients

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup mushroom mix (I used baby bella and porcini mushrooms)
2 Tbsp garlic
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions

In a medium skillet, heat 2 Tbsp butter with garlic on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook 3 minutes longer.
Add Arborio Rice and cook for one minute longer, mixing with other ingredients.
Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable stock, one cup at a time, allowing it to absorb into the rice before adding another cup.
When the last cup of vegetable broth is absorbed and the rice has been cooking approximately 20 minutes (and is soft), add Parmesan cheese and allow it to melt.
Enjoy!

January 11, 2011

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

 

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Francis and I have a ‘thing’ for Indian food. About once a month we’ll get these cravings where we absolutely must have Indian. Unfortunately for us, there are about two Indian restaurants in our town and they’re both (while very tasty), fairly expensive. Over the past several years, we’ve both figured out how to imitate Indian cooking. Francis’s ‘signature dish’ is Butter Chicken (and he makes Butter Shrimp for me) while mine is Chickpea Curry.

When we first began cooking Indian food, it was all very intimidating. Garam Masala? Curry powder? Somehow though, the realization that Garam Masala is sold right between Fennel and Ginger at our local grocery store made it less scary.

This dish is extremely easy and quick…perfect for those nights where I’m working late and want a quick and delicious dinner. Its degree of spiciness depends on how much cumin and red pepper flakes you add to it, so if you’re feeling adventurous, pour it in.

We usually serve this over white rice or alongside “Naan”, traditional Indian bread that is also (surprisingly) found in the bread section of our local grocery store…that adventure in cooking is to come hopefully soon (one of my cooking resolutions for the year is to make Naan…). Enjoy!

Channa Masala (Chickpea Curry)

Ingredients

4 medium potatoes, cubed
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2  can diced tomatoes
1/2 can (10.5oz) condensed tomato soup
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 (12 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions

Place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat; simmer until the potatoes are tender. Drain, and set aside.
Warm oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook until the onions are soft and translucent.
Stir in curry powder, garam masala, ginger, cumin, and salt. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring. Pour in diced tomatoes, red pepper, tomato soup, cream, and chickpeas. Stir in potatoes. Simmer 10 minutes.

Source: AllRecipes.com