Thursday, December 5, 2013
I put this quinoa salad together to take on Brielle's class field trip to the Long & Scott corn maze. Everyone brought their own lunch, and we shared desserts. Brielle and I brought rice crispy treats. The corn maze was interesting. You find your way through, prompted by clues along the way. It was fun to be outside all day. The kids loved the playground and the zip line, and this trampoline kind of thing that I forgot to photograph.
2 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, slightly packed
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 mango, chopped into medium sized pieces
about 1/3 cup walnuts
for the dressing-
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup minus 2 TB olive oil
1/8 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt
minced jalapeño (I used a little more than a half)
I cooked more quinoa than this recipe used to have some to be left plain for the kids. I'm guessing it was about 1 1/4 cups dry.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan and set aside. I kept them whole so they wouldn't get lost in the salad.
Mix everything together and stir in the dressing.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
There is so much flavor in this bowl than any photo could suggest. I have made mushroom soups before using fancier mushrooms, but these simple button mushrooms give a beautiful flavor. Really good with crusty bread, but all I had were these little crackers.
1 medium yellow onion
1 celery stalk
1/2 of an orange pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
black pepper, to taste and I recommend a good bit
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable broth
Roughly chop the vegetables. Saute the onion, celery, orange pepper, and garlic in a bit of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook for a couple of minutes, add the mushrooms and cook a couple more minutes, until things start to caramelize and the pan is dry. Add the thyme, black pepper (I added probably at least 1/2 tsp), and wine, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the broth, and once the soup starts to boil, cover and reduce heat to a low boil and cook for 20 minutes. When it has cooled a bit, puree in batches. Return to the pot and re heat. Season with a bit of salt if necessary.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Roasted beets are one of my favorite things, they are like candy, and I could have eaten them right off the tray. But I decided to be patient, and use them in this perfect autumn salad. Walnuts and goat cheese are the classic accompaniments to beets, so I toasted some walnuts and tossed in some hearts of palm, which I thought would offer a similar complimentary and cooling effect as goat cheese. Hearts of palm are, of course, very different from goat cheese, but something about it worked.
After plating, I whipped up a bit more olive oil and balsamic vinegar, to drizzle around the kale; mostly for aesthetics.
3 medium red beets
2 large garlic cloves
1 TB plus 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 stalks of hearts of palm, sliced
1/3 cup walnuts
couple tablespoons of chopped red onion
small handful of baby kale, or other green, per plate
--enough for 3 salads
There's no need to peel the carrots, or beets. Slice the beets in half, then each half into thirds and chop those, getting 12 pieces per beet. Slice the carrots into similarly sized pieces. Chop the garlic and place into a jar, with the oil and vinegar. Shake until blended. Lay the vegetables on a baking tray that has been lined with parchment paper, pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, and toss to coat. Roast at 425 for 25-30 minutes.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan for couple of minutes.
Let the beets and carrots cool slightly before plating.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
I had this idea to make a summer roll with autumn flavors. Sweet potato came to mind, cilantro, some other things. But, it just didn't work…at all. The texture of the sweet potato was way too similar to the rice paper. What did work, however, was the cranberry dipping sauce - I made a roll with avocado and greens, and it tasted great; sweet, tart, and a little spicy.
Even though I don't eat a lot of cranberries for Thanksgiving, I have to have it on the plate. This is how I will be preparing it this year.
1 cup of cranberries
1/2 cup of white sugar
1/4 cup of water
1 TB roughly chopped ginger
good pinch of salt
1 TB fresh lime juice
In a sauce pan, cook the cranberries in the water with the sugar, the the jalapeno, de seeded and roughly chopped, and salt, for about five minutes, at a low boil. Add the ginger and cook for another 3-4 minutes or so. A lot of the water will have absorbed by now. Cool a bit and blend in a food processor with the lime juice and maybe a little more water. Add the water gradually until you get the consistency desired. I added a few more pieces of the jalapeno, just to give it more of a kick.
If you want little chunkier sauce, grate the ginger and process the cranberries a little less.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I wanted to try using barley instead of rice and I loved the textural difference. Served this with a baby kale salad, it made a nice dinner.
1 1/2 cups barley
2 cups chopped red onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 big cloves of garlic, minced
1 TB butter
5-6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
Saute the onion, celery, mushrooms, and carrot in the butter and a little bit of olive oil. Stir and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and barley and cook to toast the barley over medium high heat, about 3 more minutes. Add about a cup or so of the broth, and stir frequently until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring, until barley is cooked through. I think this took about thirty minutes.
I topped with green onion; nutritional yeast would be good too. You could add more butter, but I didn't think it needed it.
Thursday, November 14, 2013
I have made several vegetable soups since the weather has gotten cooler, but this is the first one that has really hit the mark. It's creamy, rich, and comforting, but not heavy, and full of flavor.
1 large russet potato
1 delicata squash
1 small onion, or half of a large one (about 2 cups)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 heaping cup of frozen lima beans
1/2 heaping cup frozen corn kernels
2 cups chopped broccoli
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white wine
5 cups not chicken broth (I used 3 bouillon cubes and 5 cups of water)
1 1/2 tsp thyme - if you have fresh, use that, probably 2 TB worth
salt and white pepper
There's no need to peel the squash or potato. In fact, I think the peeling helps to keep those vegetables from falling apart.
In a large stock pot, sauté the potato, squash, onion, celery, and garlic for about 3-4 minutes in a little bit of olive oil. Stir in the flour and thyme and cook over medium heat, storing to coat the veggies, for a minute or two, then deglaze with the wine and cook until the wine is absorbed, about a minute. Add the broth, broccoli, lima beans, and corn, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Season if necessary. Serve with a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
Friday, November 8, 2013
for the polenta:
1 3/4 cup polenta
5 cups of vegetable broth
Cook the polenta in the broth until done, and then stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper if needed. Pour onto an oiled cookie sheet, and spread with the back of a spoon and your hands to cover the bottom of the tray. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile make the sauce (of course you can just sauce from a jar) and sauté any vegetables you like: I had shitake mushrooms, red pepper, red onion, and lots of fresh basil.
For the sauce:
1 can of tomato sauce
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1/2 of a small onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 TB tomato paste, optional
1 tsp agave
Puree these ingredients in a food processor or blender, I used my blend tec. Simmer for15-20 minutes. You'll end up with a thick and rich, slightly sweet from the carrots, sauce.
Top the polenta with vegetables and drizzle with queso, or daiya cheese. I recommend the queso, if you have time. Turn the oven up to 375 and bake again for about 15 minutes.
Here's another version with peppers, cauliflower, zucchini, and, shitake.