Thursday, December 9, 2010

Awesome pumpkin lasagna!

When I saw this recipe of a lasagna that was layered inside of a pumpkin, I was amazed. It looked so delicious! I immediately thought it was the kind of recipe I would admire from afar but never try to put together myself. THEN I saw sugar pumpkins on sale at NOWBC, and I decided to go ahead and try to make the lasagne myself. The rest is history.

I made a few substitutions, and ended up with not quite enough filling to fill my pumpkin to the top, but it turned out really good:


My very own lasagna layered inside a pumpkin! And it tasted great. Here is the recipe I used (tweaked to provide more filling that would actually fill the pumpkin next time), slightly adapted from the original recipe:

PUMPKIN LASAGNA

1 med sugar pumpkin, about 9 inches in diameter, mine was about 5 lbs
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ginger (big pinch)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (big pinch)


For the mushroom filling:
1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
1 shallot, diced (or 1/2 onion, diced)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
1 cup portabello or crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thinly
5-6 sprigs fresh thyme (could use sage instead)
1/4 cup white wine (or marsala wine, or vegetable stock)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
approx. 2/3 c. pumpkin puree (made from the flesh of the roasted pumpkins)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound sunchokes (jerusalem artichokes), cleaned and diced into 1/2 inch dice -- (can substitute 12 chestnuts, diced, or 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped)
1 yellow or green zucchini, washed and sliced thinly
7 lasagna noodles, cooked and sliced in half (I always make a few extras in case I make a mistake)
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

For the bechamel:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup milk (I used 1% and I wouldn’t recommend using anything with less fat than that)
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Begin by preparing your pumpkin. Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Wash and dry your pumpkins, then cut off the tops. You can save the tops to use as a garnish when you serve, but it’s not necessary. Scoop out the seeds and membrane, and either discard or keep the seeds to use to make roasted pumpkin seeds.

2. Rub the insides of your pumpkin with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/8 teaspoon ginger. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and the flesh is easy to scoop out.

3. Scoop a little flesh out of the pumpkin, but leave enough so that the pumpkin remains firm enough to support the lasagna you are going to bake inside of it. You should get about 2/3 cup of flesh. Mash up the pumpkin flesh as much as possible. Set the pumpkins and the puree aside.

3.5. Next, if you are using Sunchokes, you'll need to cook them. Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a frying pan on medium, and add in the diced sunchokes. Cook 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until brown on most sides and tasting good. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sunchokes never really get soft like potatoes.

4. Now, make your mushroom filling. Begin by melting a tablespoon of butter in a small pot or pan, then add in your diced shallot. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic, cook for a minute or two, then add in the mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for another 10 minutes, until softened. Add in the sprigs of thyme or minced sage, then add in the 1/4 cup of wine and cook over medium heat until the wine has mostly evaporated, another 8 minutes or so. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a bit.

5. When the mushrooms have cooled, remove the stems from the thyme. Place the mushroom mixture in a bowl along with the ricotta cheese, pumpkin puree, sunchoke or nuts, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine and taste, seasoning as you see fit. Set aside.

6. Now it is time to make your bechamel sauce and cook your lasagna noodles. Boil your water for the lasagna noodles, and cook them according to package directions. You can leave them in the water, off of the heat, for up to 10 minutes while you are assembling.

7. Melt your tablespoon of butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat, then add in the tablespoon of flour and whisk until combined. Do not let the roux brown or you will have to start over. Add in the cup of milk, whisking the whole time, then turn up the heat to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and continue to whisk while you turn the heat down to medium-low, bringing the bechamel to a simmer. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, until reduced and thickened.

8. Now, assemble your lasagna. Start by placing half of a lasagna noodle at the bottom of your roasted pumpkin. Top with a dollop of your ricotta mixture, followed by some sliced zucchini, a teaspoon of bechamel, and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Layer another noodle on top, then another dollop of the ricotta mixture, zucchini, bechamel, and Parmesan cheese. Continue until you’ve reached the top of your pumpkin. Be sure to press the mixture down every so often so that you can make as many layers as possible. I did about 4 layers in mine. For the last layer, lay down a lasagna noodle, then top with the remaining bechamel and Parmesan cheese.

9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or so, until the cheese is bubbling and the filling has heated through. Serves 3-4, depending on how much you plan to eat.

Mahesh loved this recipe so I wanted to be sure to blog it before I forgot how I made it. It was time consuming but I think worth it, especially for a semi-special occasion. Or, in this case, Thursday. Also, it's not too unhealthy as far as lasagna goes. And, besides, how cute is that:


Right?

--- added on Jan 17 2012 ---

Okay, so I was making this and overcooked the pumpkin so it collapsed. SO I layered it all into a traditional lasagne and it was great! For that I did 2 layers of noodles (8), at least double the mushroom mixture, and 1.5 cups of bechamel. Probably a bit more parmesan too. Delicious! Even better than in the pumpkin because there's more other stuff, IMO.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Apple Crisp

OK so this recipe is one that I had made a million years ago, loved, and then forgot where I had found it. For years it was lost in the wilds of the internet, causing me to turn to other, lesser apple crisp recipes, but it has finally made its way home. Welcome home, Crisp.

VERY GOOD APPLE CRISP

Ingredients

  • 10 cups all-purpose apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I like granny smith apples which are not as sweet as other apples and stay firm when cooked)
  • 1 cup white sugar (can reduce if using sweeter apples)
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degree C).
  2. Place the sliced apples in a 9x13 inch pan.
  3. Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples.
  4. Combine the oats, 1 cup flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 - 45 minutes, until apples are cooked and top is browning.
slightly adapted from allrecipes.com

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lentil Tacos

"outstanding" -- M

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • salt
  • 12 corn tortillas
TOPPINGS (these are the ones I like, use what you like):
  • shredded lettuce
  • minced cilantro
  • minced onion
  • chopped fresh tomato
  • chopped avocado
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream (can use low-fat)
  • spicy habanero sauce

Directions

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion, jalapeno, and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add 3 cups of water and 1/4 tsp. salt; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly.
  2. Stir in salsa. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  3. Spoon about 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each tortilla. Top with toppings you like!
BONUS:

How to make the perfect taco:

1. microwave corn tortilla until warm and slightly pliable
2. add lentil mixture
3. add a sprinkle of raw onion and a smallish amount of cheese
4. add lettuce, cilantro, tomato
5. salt and pepper tomato
6. add avocado
7. salt and pepper avocado
8. add spicy sauce if desired and a small dollop of sour cream
9. EAT!

adapted from allrecipes.com

Monday, November 8, 2010

"Healthy Choice" at Tim Hortons?

In the last few months, M and I have been trying to eat healthier. We have also been travelling a bit, and I have found that healthy eating on the go is nearly impossible.

Recently, we found ourselves hungry for a snack, standing at a Tim Hortons trying to figure out what to order.


The display case was full of doughnuts and muffins. M automatically assumed a muffin would be healthier than a doughnut. Having worked at McDonalds at the past and well aware of how unhealthy the muffins there are, we checked out the nutrition information to find out:

As it turns out, doughnuts range from 210 - 360 calories and have 8-23 g of fat, while muffins have 290 - 430 calories and 2.5 (for the low fat options) to 19 g of fat!

That means even the low-fat muffins have just as many or MORE calories than the average doughnut (and they taste horrible). A regular-fat muffin will probably have more fat and calories than the doughnut that is probably what drew us to the display case in the first place.

The bad news? Basically, in terms of baked goods, in my opinion there is no healthy option for a nice snack at Tim Hortons.

The good news? If you are dead set on ordering something and having a sweet snack, skip the muffin and go ahead and order a decadent doughnut, you will probably be making the healthier choice anyway.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

roasted brussel sprouts

We all need to be eating more vegetables, especially green leafy ones like brussels sprouts. In my opinion, this is the easiest and best way to cook brussel sprouts. You can thank me later.

YOU WILL NEED:

-- brussel sprouts (as much as you want)
-- oil
-- salt and pepper

METHOD:

1. Preaheat the oven to 400 degrees
2. wash brussel sprouts and cut off any brown leaves or brown stems
3. put brussel sprouts on cookie sheet or baking pan
4. drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. (can add a little spicy pepper like cayenne if you like here) and mix everything around so it is coated
5. put in oven. stir the brussel sprouts after about 15 minutes.
6. after 30 minutes, stir and taste, continue to do so every 10 minutes or so until sprouts are cooked all the way through and browning on the outside. It took me about 45 minutes to cook mine through the other day.

FOR EXTRA CREDIT: stick some beets, potatoes, or squash in the oven at the same time you are making these brussel sprouts for your next meal!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Leftover Halloween Candy chocolate sauce

I just read a blog post encouraging parents to allow their children an extremely limited amount of Halloween candy, and then to THROW OUT the rest of the candy. This bugs me. I think it is a waste to have kids collect candy only to throw it out. But on the other side, I do see that it could be quite unhealthful to allow kids to eat a pound of chocolate on Halloween. But you don't need to throw out the excess candy, make it into something else -- one idea? chocolate sauce!

LEFTOVER HALLOWEEN CANDY CHOCOLATE SAUCE

Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 ounces (about 150 grams, or 13 mini chocolate bars) leftover chocolate candy, chopped up (can use: Reese's cups, M+Ms, any kind of chocolate bars, perhaps even tootsie rolls)

Directions:

In a heavy saucepan, bring whipping cream to a boil. Remove from heat, then add the chocolate, stirring until smooth. That's it! You can drizzle this on ice cream or all sorts of desserts, add liquor such as Amaretto to taste, use it in a Fondue (as long as the chunks are pretty small). If you are chocolated out because it is Halloween, this sauce freezes well and can be reheated slowly on the stove when you are in need of some chocolate sauce.

A few other ideas to use up leftover Halloween Candy:


Halloween Candy Cookies


Leftover Halloween Candy Pie


Deep Fried Halloween Candy


A bunch of other ideas -- including trail mix!



Monday, October 11, 2010

Veggie Quinoa Loaf -- Thanksgiving style

I had made this recipe for a vegetarian loaf from Whole Foods once before, in muffin tins. It came out pretty well but there were a few more tweaks I wanted to try. Today I wanted to bring a vegetarian dish to Canadian Thanksgiving at a friends house, and this was my chance to make another version of the loaf!

I was a bit worried the loaf would be bland, so I made the mushroom gravy in the next post to go on it. It was a great success (if I do say so myself)! Everyone really liked it, even the meat eaters. One meat eater even took seconds of the loaf, with a full turkey dinner to choose from.

Here is the version of the recipe I made today:

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup (about 1 onion) chopped red onion
1 stalk celery, minced
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon tumeric powder (optional)
1 teaspoon sambar powder (or any masala or curry powder you have on hand) (optional)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, minced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup rolled oats
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
10 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped finely
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Method

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8-inch loaf pan with oil; set aside. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside in large mixing bowl.
2. Heat more oil in pan, saute onion, celery, garlic, jalapeno (with tumeric and curry/masala spice if desired) until soft, put in bowl with mushrooms.
3. Meanwhile, put beans, oats and 1/2 cup water into a food processor and pulse until almost smooth. Add this bean mixture to the large bowl, along with quinoa, peas, parsley, tomatoes, onion, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Transfer mixture to prepared loaf pan, gently pressing down and mounding it in the middle. Bake until firm and golden brown, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Set aside to let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Can be served with vegetarian mushroom gravy, below.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

good vegetarian mushroom gravy

http://joelens.blogspot.com/2010/01/mushroom-masala-gravy.html

BUT

-- Added in about 3 T. minced shallots
-- used 1.5 cups veggie broth instead of 3 cups chicken broth
-- needed more flour to thicken
-- added in a bit of cream at the end, and fresh parsley/thyme minced

Very good! Next time deglaze the pan with marsala, let cook down a bit before adding broth

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rutabaga Carrot Soup

My mom used to mash rutabaga and carrot together as a side dish, I really liked it when I was a kid. I wanted those same flavors, but in a soup. I found this recipe online, and tweaked it a bit to come up with something more along the lines of what I was looking for. Rutabaga can turn some people off, in this soup it's pepperiness is mellowed out by the sweetness of carrot and creaminess of potato.

INGREDIENTS:

-- 1 tablespoon olive oil
-- 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced leek (white and pale green parts only) -- be sure to wash the leek well before and after chopping because there is always dirt hidden in there.
-- 1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
-- 1 garlic clove, minced
-- 4 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled rutabagas
-- 2 cups 1/2-inch pieces potatoes
-- 2 cups sliced carrots
-- 8 cups veggie broth
-- salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD:

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Add leek, celery and garlic and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add rutabagas, potatoes, carrots, and broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes.
Puree about half the soup, either in a food processor or with a stick blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

garlic scape pesto

OK so in the past I have mostly been against making pesto since it is half oil, but upon making this one, I realized a few things:

1) it is REALLY GOOD
2) you only use a little in your pasta
3) you can substitute some water for oil, and have a little less rich pesto

Anyway delicious!!! I sauteed some mushrooms and the flowers from the scape and added them into the pasta as well. Based on these results, I think we'll be seeing a lot more pesto around these parts.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

not food but

want to try this workout sometime

http://getsassyfit.blogspot.com/2010/06/burn-300-calories-fast.html

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

better spicy peanut sauce

OK this one is way better than the one I was making previously:

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Rotelle-with-Broccoli-and-Spicy-Peanut-Sauce-11875

Would be good with added ginger too, but watch the soy sauce, I followed the recipe and it was WAY too salty, try half next time.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Veggie New England Shepherds Pie

I have been wanting to make something like this for a while, but all the versions I could find online did not have corn! So, I added some. I think it came out very good! Will definitely be making this one again. Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Vegetarian-Shepherds-Pie-II/Detail.aspx

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 sage leaf, minced, or 1/4 t. dried
  • 1/4 t. dried thyme
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon yeast extract spread, e.g. Marmite/Vegemite (optional)
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1/4 cup pearl barley
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or cashews, finely chopped
  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • roughly 1/2 c. milk and 1 t. butter for mashing
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon water
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • salt and pepper to taste
METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, fry onion in a little oil until translucent.
  3. Add in the broth, herbs, yeast extract, lentils and barley. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add in diced carrot and chopped nuts, simmer until lentils and barley are cooked through, about 10 more minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash with butter, milk, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Combine flour and water and stir into lentil mixture; simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes. It should be pretty thick. Season mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Pour lentil mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish. Spread corn in a layer on the lentil mixture. Spoon mashed potatoes over corn and smooth top.
  8. Bake in preheated oven until lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

really good beet goat cheese sandwich

Everything that's so good about those ubiquitous beet and goat cheese salads that are on like every restaurant menu, in a sandwich! It's the goat cheese that makes this. And the bread -- I used a fantastic cibatta (sp?) baguette.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Warm-Goat-Cheese-Beet-and-Arugula-Sandwiches-102737

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Shrimp Scampi -- BC Spot Prawn style

Today was a very interesting cooking day.

It all started yesterday when I met my friend Margot to check out the BC Spot Prawn Festival. The festival itself was pretty lame, we paid $10 for 4 spot prawn, a hunk of bread, and a few sauces to dip it in. They were OK but I had expected more for all this fanfare. Then we saw the long lineups -- people were waiting for the boats to come in with fresh spot prawns. We joined the lineup and I bought a pound of fresh spot prawns for $12. As we walked around Granville Island afterward the prawns kept wiggling in their bag and freaking me out. I was not looking forward to cooking them up. Walking back to the car, I passed the lineup again -- much longer this time -- and I considered re-selling my prawns back to someone in line and forgetting the whole thing. I decided to keep them. They are a delicacy after all, considered the best prawns in the world by some, and by gosh I was going to cook them up!

Tonight was the night. I took the prawns out of the fridge, eyeballing the bag carefully. No one was moving today, I think they had all died overnight. With their long, spindly tentacles and legs and black eyeballs looking at me, I guessed I felt okay about that. Yesterday I had heard Pino Posterato telling his fellow chefs that these prawns were great raw, and I read they were an expensive delicacy in Japan which is an argument that gets me to eat almost anything, so I took the freshest prawn I could find in my bunch, pinched off the head, peeled the tail, took a deep breath, and ate it raw. It was overall pretty good, more mushy than a cooked prawn but much sweeter with an almost buttery mouthfeel.

Then it was time to cook up the rest of the horde. I found this recipe online and decided to cook it up pretty much as directed, except I substituted 1 lemon's worth of juice for white wine, added in a little onion, minced mushroom, and 1 minced tomato to the recipe, and I didn't use quite as much oil or butter (but a lot more than I usually do!). It was simply delicious and I loved the prawns in the dish.

I'm glad I did it once. It was a fun night and the prawns were good but I doubt I would do it again, I just felt too bad for the little buggers.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Pizza Quesadillas

This was sort of a desperation recipe I came up with the other night when I wanted pizza but I wanted it to be healthy-ish. It turned out good, sort of like the ultimate thin crust pizza.

For each pizza (2 per person is good):

INGREDIENTS:

-- 1 whole-wheat tortilla (I usually buy the healthiest I can stand to eat, either whole wheat with flax, or lately I have been trying to eat those Ezekiel sprouted tortillas, they fall apart and have a stronger taste, but they are SO HEALTHY compared to regular tortillas)
-- tomato sauce or pizza sauce from a can (I used tomato sauce and sprinkled on oregano)
-- mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
-- 3 mushrooms, thinly sliced
-- 1/4 green pepper, thinly sliced
-- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced onion
-- olive oil, salt, pepper

METHOD:

-- Turn the broiler on the oven
-- Put a large frying pan on the stove, with the heat on medium, toast the tortilla on both sides until it is crisp.
-- Put the tortilla on a baking sheet, spread with sauce right to the edge -- any exposed tortilla tends to burn
-- Dot the tortilla with mozzarella, sprinkle on veggies
-- Salt and pepper the whole pizza, sprinkle on any other herbs you like, and for that final pizzeria touch finish with a small swirl of olive oil.
-- Put under the broiler, but watch it because it will burn easily. When the cheese is melted and just starting to brown, take out, cut into wedges, and EAT

Saturday, April 24, 2010

quinoa lunch salad

I'm trying to eat more quinoa, so I incorporated it into a greek salad takeoff that I made the other day. Mahesh loved it, and I want to remember the recipe, so here it is:

-- 1 c. dried quinoa, cooked (probably about 3 cups cooked)
-- 1 can garbanzos (or 2 cups cooked from dried)
-- 2 1/2 tomatoes, chopped (roughly 2 cups)
-- 1.5 cups chopped cucumber, I use the small crisp ones -- 7 of them
-- 4 Tablespoons minced onion, or one bunch spring onions, sliced thinly on the diagonal
-- 4 Tablespoons minced parsley
-- 1/2 cup olives, pitted and roughly chopped
-- 3/4 cup feta cheese, cubed into small cubes
-- salt and pepper
-- the juice of one lemon
-- spicy pepper sauce (like Tobasco) to taste (optional)
-- 2 teaspoons flax seed oil (optional, to increase Omega 3 content)

To cook garbanzos from dried, soak 1 cup dried beans in water for 8 hours or overnight, then cook in pressure cooker for 7 or 8 whistles. Let the pressure drop naturally, and you have the most delicious garbanzo beans on the planet.

To cook the quinoa, put 1 cup dried in a pot with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring ocassionally. Keep an eye on it at the end to make sure it doesn't run out of water and burn.

Mix everything together in a bowl, and chill. It's better if you can let it sit until the next day (although I rarely can). A complete protein and iron-packed meal, easy to take for lunches.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

tuna lunch

So I was about to grab a can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli for lunch, but then I saw the can of tuna next to it and made this instead:

1 can tuna
3 T. minced onion
3 T. minced red bell pepper
3 T. plain yogurt
salt, pepper, spicy tabasco sauce

-- mix the above together in a bowl, eat with celery sticks (3 large).

It was OK if a bit TOO healthy even for me, I think I will need a snack later on.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Quinoa Loaf with Sun-Dried tomato gravy

I found out that quinoa is really high in iron, so I have been looking for ways to serve it for dinner. Today I made this quinoa loaf with a few modifications, including:
-- sauteeing the onion, adding in garlic and celery
-- adding in 1/2 jalapeno and some chipotle sauce
-- making it in a muffin pan for mini muffin loafs

I wanted to make a gravy for it so I tried this one (minus the bacon):

Overall, the quinoa loaf was a lot of work, I was thinking it wasn't going to be worth it, but it is such a healthy recipe, and tasted pretty good with a delicious brown crust and soft middle, so I will make it again. But the sun dried tomato gravy was not that great (but ok), so next time I will try it with a mushroom gravy, I think that will be better. Mahesh loved it and compared the muffins to a pakora he likes in India.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Why did I not think of this before: Oatmeal with hummus flavors

Each week I've been cooking up a big pot of steel-cut oatmeal on Monday, so all I have to do is heat some up in the mornings. I've added in berry and apple flavors, but today I had the brainstorm of adding in hummus flavorings to my oatmeal -- a delicious change for someone like me who prefers savory breakfasts to sweet.

The recipe, roughly:

-- 1 cup cooked steel-cut oatmeal, re-heated
-- 1 1/2 tsp. tahini
-- good squeeze lemon juice
-- salt

You could also add minced garlic, but I felt it would be too strong this morning. This would be good with a few sprouts, or maybe oniony greens sprinkled on top.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Veggie Trini Curry

Okay, so I finally tried my hand at making a vegetarian Trinidad curry, I think it is OK but could use a few tweaks, here is the tweaked version I will try next time:

INGREDIENTS

-- 2.5 Tablespoons Trinidadian curry powder
-- cooking oil
-- 1/4 tsp. methi seeds (optional)
-- 1 pinch cumin?
-- 1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite size florets
-- 1 large or 2 small potatoes, cubed into 3/4-inch cubes
-- 1 can garbanzo beans (2 cups cooked from dried would be better but who has the time)
-- 1 onion, minced (or thinly sliced)
-- 3 cloves garlic, minced
-- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
-- cilantro (optional)

METHOD

Heat cooking oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Sprinkle the methi seeds in and let them fry a little. Mix the curry powder with some water to make a "curry slurry" and add the curry slurry to the oil. Fry until it changes color, adding more water if necessary.

Add in the minced onion, garlic, and jalapeno, fry until soft, adding in some salt and pepper and spicy sauce if you want to add more.

Add in 1 cup or more of water and the potato chunks, mix around and cover, steaming, for 7 minutes or so. Add in cumin.

Add in the cauliflower florets and garbanzo beans and mix everything up, steaming until potatoes and cauliflower are tender, adding enough water so there is a good amount of sauce. Taste and add salt or spice if necessary.

Serve with rice or, if you are lucky, roti

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mexican cole slaw

So I just made my Mexican black beans today, and I wanted to make them into a wrap with some sort of healthy but creamy cabbage topping like this recipe. Also, I was thinking of making a healthier version of the cabbage and cream topping on baja fish tacos, and how that might taste with black beans in a burrito.

So I took what I had on hand and made this up, all measures approximate:

-- 2 cups shredded nice-looking green cabbage
-- 2 tablespoons minced onion
-- 1/4 cup minced tomato (could use salsa)
-- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro
-- 1 tablespoon ripe avocado, mashed, or more to taste
-- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt (could use sour cream)
-- hot sauce, to taste
-- squeeze of lemon or lime juice
-- salt and pepper

Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. It came out really delicious! It would make a great healthy mexican cole slaw on it's own, or you can use it in sandwiches or tacos/burritos like I did today, with black beans and cheddar cheese.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

rapini wrap

After a weekend of parties, I needed a health kick for dinner, so using some vegetables and leftovers from the party I whipped up this delicious wrap:

-- 1-2 cups brocolli rapini, cut in 1-inch pieces
-- 2 cloves garlic, minced
-- olive oil
-- salt and pepper and red pepper flakes
-- 1/2 small red bell pepper, sliced
-- a couple small pieces feta cheese, maybe 1/2 ounce (leftover from party)
-- 1 pita bread (leftover from party)

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1. Sautee garlic in olive oil until fragrant, add in brocolli rapini, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and sautee until tender/crisp, I added in some water and steamed it a bit to get it done enough.
2. Rip apart pita along the edges to make 2 circles, lay the circles sort of overlapping to make a rectangular type shape
3. Layer red bell pepper, feta cheese, and rapini, fold up the bottom and roll up

mmm so green and so good