Sunday, December 30, 2012

Vegan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

Our family enjoyed this recipe for a filling plant-based (vegan) meal.

Makes 8 large servings

4 Acorn Squash, cut in half and seeded
1 Cup Quinoa (rinsed if needed)
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Onion
2 12 oz Can Chopped Tomatoes
1-2 Tblspn Olive Oil
2-3 Tsp. Adobo Sauce from Chipotle Peppers
1/2 Cup Vegetable Broth
1-2 Tsp. each of Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary
2 Tsp. Smoked Paprika

Halve and seed the squash.  Place upside down on baking tray in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour (or until squash flesh is soft enough to scoop out and mash.)  Let them cool enough to scoop out squash, leaving a 1 cm border.  Mash the squash with a potato masher.

Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to instructions and set aside.  Make the spicy tomato sauce as follows:  Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until they are browning, then add the herbs and paprika.  Add the tomatoes, broth, and adobo sauce.  Simmer about 2-3 minutes.

Mix the squash, quinoa, and tomato mixture.  Season with salt and pepper if desired.  Scoop mixture into the acorn squash halves.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes, or microwave to warm it all up.

Variations: I added 2/3 cup Boca Meatless Crumbles
Non-Vegans may enjoy it with shredded cheese atop

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Vegan Potato and Garbanzo Bean (Chickpea) Soup with Crockpot Variation

A yummy plant-based recipe:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic (1 ½-2 tsp)
1 cup chopped celery
3 large potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
2-3 cups finely chopped cabbage
32 oz. vegetable broth (low sodium if desired)
1 cup water
15.5 oz. can low sodium (or rinsed) garbanzo beans (chickpea)
1 bay leaf
½ tsp. thyme
1 ½ tsp. summer savory
Pepper to taste
Salt to taste (add by ¼ tsp. and taste after stirring)

In a 4 quart pot, sauté garlic and onions in oil over medium heat until still firm, but just turning transparent.  Add celery and cook about 2 minutes.  Add potatoes, cabbage, vegetable broth, bay leaf, and water.  Bring to boil at medium-high heat, stirring every 2-3 minutes so it doesn’t burn at the bottom of the pot.  Once it’s boiling, turn heat down to medium-low and add the rest of the spices.  Stir every 8-10 minutes or so to avoid scorching.  Boil about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.  Turn heat to low and simmer to blend the flavors.  Add garbanzo beans just before serving.  Soup will be hot enough to heat the garbanzo beans through.  Serves 6large servings

Crockpot Variation: Add all ingredients (less ½ cup water, garbanzo beans) to crock pot.  Cook on Low 8-10 hours, or on High 4-5 hours.  Add the garbanzo beans, remove bay leaf, and add more salt as needed before serving. (Note: you could also use dried chickpeas (abt. ½ cup) that have been soaked overnight and just cook them all day in the pot with the rest of the ingredients.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Creamy Vegetable Basil Pasta

 A yummy plant-based recipe:
Creamy Sauce made in blender:
1 1/2 tsp. crushed fresh basil (or 2 cups fresh basil)
4 tbsp. water
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (you may weaken this solution to 1/2 water, 1/2 juice)
1/4 cup lime juice
1 medium avocado*
1/4 cup silken tofu (or regular tofu)*
1 tsp. salt
Add any of the following, depending on your taste for hot:
dash hot sauce, black pepper, red pepper flakes
Blend in blender until smooth and set aside. *You can the omit tofu and add an avocado, or you can omit the avocado and increase the silken tofu to 1/2 cup. It tastes great either way.

Vegetable/Pasta Ingredients:

3/4 lb. penne pasta, cooked according to package directions.
1-2 tsp. olive oil (extra virgin or regular)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 orange bell pepper, chopped (can use a green pepper instead)
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped (green pepper is fine here)
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped (optional)
2 -3 large tomatoes, in bite-sized chunks
1 1/2 (even 2 if you like) cups frozen mukimame (shelled soybeans)

1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add the peppers and saute for about 3-4 minutes, then add all the other vegetables except for the mukimame.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 5-8 minutes.
2. Add the chopped tomatoes and mukimame and cook for another 3 minutes.
3. Fold the cream sauce and pasta into the vegetable mixture.  Serve Immediately.
 Makes 6 large servings.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Vegetable Pasta Summer Salad

6 oz. Vegetable Rotini Pasta, cooked and drained
1 C. Fresh broccoli florets, cut bite-sized
1/2 - 3/4 C. Cauliflower florets, cut bite-sized
1 C. Cherry tomatoes
1 Tblspn (or less) Sunflower seeds
1-2 Tblspn Pine nuts
1/3 C. Zesty Italian dressing
1-2 Tsp. Dried Italian dressing mix (to taste)
Basil and oregano to taste

Combine zesty Italian dressing with ingredients above, then add the dried dressing mix to taste.  Add basil and oregano if it needs more flavor.  Chill and serve.  Serves 6 medium-sized servings.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sloppy Joes

The recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated, The best 30-minute recipe book, which is pretty much the best cookbook I have ever owned. Mark and I love this recipe, and we like it best served with moneray jack cheese. Yum!

Serves 4

2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 Garlic cloves, minced
1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
1 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Tabasco sauce
1 hamburger buns

1. Saute Aromatics: Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion, chili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2. Cook Beef: Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until almost cooked through, but still slightly pink, about 3 minutes.
3. Simmer Sauce: Stir in tomato puree, ketchup, water, brown sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco.  Simmer until sauce is slightly thicker than ketchup, 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Season and Assemble Sandwiches: Season with salt and Tabasco to taste.  Spoon meat mixture into hamburger buns and serve.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Eggplant Pizzas

Serve as an appetizer, side dish, or evening snack. Top with grated or crumbled hard goat’s –milk cheese, if desired.
1 medium eggplant (1 ¼ lbs. peeled and sliced ½ “thick
1 tablespoon Olive oil
Olive oil cooking spray
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons Italian Seasoning
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mist both sides of each eggplant slice with the cooking spray. Arrange slices on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until tender. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, tomatoes, and seasoning and cook for 15 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the garlic.
Place a heaping teaspoonful on each eggplant slice.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through.
Makes 4 (side dish or appetizer) servings
TIPS: You can make this recipe ahead. Simply refrigerate the topped eggplant slices, then when ready to serve, bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until heated through.
Also, you can add cheese or egg to hold toppings together and meat like ground beef or chicken.  

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fiesta Rice Salad

1 can (15 oz.) black beans
2 cups pre-cooked brown rice, cooled
1 medium red or yellow pepper (for abt. 1 cup chopped)
1 medium green bell pepper (abt. 1 cup chopped)
2 stalks celery (abt. 1 cup diced)
3-4 green onions (abt. 1/2 cup chopped)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional--I use much less)
3/4 cup mild Mexican Picante sauce or salsa
1/3 cup Italian salad dressing
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional-I usually omit this)

Cooks Notes: The rice needs to be cold.  If you don't have cold rice, rinse the cooked rice under cold tap water until it is cool. Drain rice well and put in freezer whilst cutting vegetables.

Step 1:  Pour the beans into a colander and rinse well with cool tap water.  Set aside to drain.
Step 2:  Pour the rice into a medium bowl. Seed and chop both bell peppers into bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl. Add celery.
Step 3:  Chop and add the onions, cilantro, and black beans.
Step 4:  Pour the Picante sauce and Italian dressing into a 2-cup glass measure.  Add the lime juice and cumin.  Stir well.  Pour the dressing mixture over the rice and vegetables.  Stir gently until the salad is mixed.  Serve at once or refrigerate until ready to serve. May serve with tortilla chips.

Serves 8   (For a main dish you can add chicken or pork tenderloin pieces, etc.)