Category Archives: vegetarian

Bulgur and Lentil Salad

This is another one of those recipes that creates leftovers. Actually this one I prepared with the sole purpose of freezing in individual portions so that we would have healthy lunches on hand to take to work. Who wants to eat the dreaded sandwich every single day? Lentils, as opposed to most other dried beans, are very easy to cook up. They boil in about 20-30 minutes, no soaking time needed. Lentils are packed with fiber and they also give you tons of energy without spiking your blood sugar, so you won’t have that crash afterward. Bulgur is also very easy to cook and has many health benefits. It’s a whole grain that is also packed with fiber. This salad will definitely help get you through the day:) This recipe makes about 6 individual portions.

About 1.5 hours before you want to start the whole recipe, start soaking the bulgur. Add all the bulgur to a bowl that has a cover, cover with water, and let soak for 1.5 hours.

Ingredients:

1- olive oil

2- 1 large onion, sliced thinly

3- 1 1/3 cup bulgur

4- 1 1/4 cup dry lentils

5- salt

6- 1/2 cup chopped mint

7- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 1/2 cup water

Directions:

1- Start making the lentils- Add the lentils to a pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender (you may need more cooking time). Drain when done.

2- While the lentils cook, start to caramelize the onion. Heat the oil (about 2 turns of the pan) in a skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook stirring frequently for about 5 minutes or until the onions begin to brown. Add the 2 tbs water, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden and very soft.

3- Add back to the pot in which the lentils were cooking, the bulgur, lentils, and onions. Add the remaining 2 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until the water is gone. Stir in the mint and some additional salt to tase.

4- If freezing, allow to cool and then divide into baggies. Put the baggies into a gallon size bag to keep everything together and label the bag. The salad should be eaten within a month of freezing.

When serving this salad, you can add some lemon juice and yogurt, if desired.

Here’s to a healthy lunch.

 

How to Boil Corn on the Cob

Tis the season for fresh corn and tis the season for me to mess up boiling corn on cob…every time. Last night was the first time we had it this season and I was determined not to mess it up. I looked up lots of recipes and chose the components I liked best from a bunch of different versions. The end product came out the best ever. Here’s what I did:

1- Fill a pot with water and add about 1/4 cup sugar

2- Add the corn and bring to a boil

3- Once the water comes to a rolling boil, let the corn boil for a few minutes. The time will depend on how many pieces of corn are in the pot. I boiled 2 pieces and, after the water was rolling, I left it for three minutes.

Avocado Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

There are many things I used to hate that I now love. Avocados, Goat Cheese, Feta, Blue Cheese, Carrots, Olives, but not eggs. No matter how much I try, I still don’t like eggs. Of all the things on this list, I cannot believe I never used to like avocados!  I can’t remember the exact time I started to like avocados or even when I tried them for the first time- it just kind of happened. Perhaps it happened when I realized they go so well with balsamic vinegar. Now, though, I always look for ways to include avocado in as many meals as possible. They are a constant in my salads, on my burgers, with fish, and, as of last night, on my baked potatoes. This recipe, courtesy of my friend Mindy, who made this one weekend with her boyfriend, is another great way to use avocados. The recipe is taken from avocado.org, but she makes some awesome suggestions, found at the end of the post, to make the recipe even better! Thanks Mindy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 small or 2 large portobello mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • ½ garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 large, ripe Fresh California Avocado, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh or dried rosemary
  • ½ Tbsp. lime juice
  • ⅛ tsp. salt
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbsp.olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  1. Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushrooms using a spoon; discard gills. Remove stems, if necessary, and reserve for another use, if desired.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add leek and garlic, and sauté, until tender. Remove from heat, and cool.
  3. Stir together avocado and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in leek mixture.
  4. Press goat cheese evenly into mushroom caps; top each with avocado mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts, and drizzle with olive oil. Place on rack in a broiler pan.
  5. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes; cover loosely with aluminum foil, and bake 5 more minutes. Serve immediately. Garnish, if desired.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

Ok, so notes.

  •  We found the butter to be overkill, we probably could have just used a touch of olive oil to serve the same purpose and save ourselves from the extra cholesterol.
  • We couldn’t find leeks so we used chives instead- I thought they were delicious and since I’m not especially partial to leeks over chives, I think I’ll stick with chives.
  • We used 4 large mushrooms and 2 small avocados.  We didn’t have any sides but we were stuffed.
  • we used lemon juice instead of lime…which I just like better but I think either would be good.
  • we used the crumbly kind of goat cheese but I think it would be better with a creamier kind.

Baked Potatoes

When I was young, I used to go to Wendy’s all the time for a baked potato with chives and sour cream and a small chili. This probably happened once a week. Those potatoes were so good, but as I recall, I never used to like the skin. I would put my toppings on and then just eat the inside. I can’t believe I didn’t like the skin! It has to be one of the best parts! When done right, it can be crunchy and full of flavor! So, last night we were stuck for what to make for dinner. Jim suggested baked potatoes. Of course I went all out on mine, while Jim went the boring route and just opted for a can of vegetarian chili. Luckily you can customize potatoes any way you want.

When deciding what type of potato to bake, you can use really any potato, but the typical type used is a Russet potato because of its starchiness. The starchiness is what gives the potato its fluffiness when baked.

Ingredients:

1- Potatoes

2- Whatever toppings you want

Directions:

1- pre heat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.

2- Wash the potatoes really well. Dry them.

3- Poke holes in the potato with a fork (about 4-5 pricks should do it).

4- Brush with olive oil and put some sea salt and pepper on the potato.

5- Place the potato on a sheet of foil and bake for at least an hour. You can go longer if you want crunchier skin.

6- Once out of the oven, cut the potato open to cool off and to add your toppings.

To my potato I added:

1- beef (I had a small amount frozen)

2- onion, pepper, and garlic (which I sauteed)

3- chives

4- basil

5- avocado (yum!)

6- olives

7- freshly grated Parmesan

And to drink:

We had Samuel Adams Rustic Saison, which is a fruity beer with a hoppy character.

Vegetable Frittata

When making this, I’ll admit, I was a little afraid. I hate eggs. I hate the smell, I hate the taste, I hate the look. They’re just gross. Oh and I hate cottage cheese. It just looks unpleasant. So you may wonder why this recipe was even an option?! Well it looked good in the picture…and it was good. I couldn’t taste the egg or even the cottage cheese. Maybe because of all the cheese I mixed in. Whatever the reason, I liked it…and you should try it too.

Note: The recipe says to use (1) 16 ounce package frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, but I used fresh broccoli, carrots, and frozen peas. Just eyeball it to see if everything is proportional. Also, you need to use a pan that can move from the stove to the oven. I used the Dutch oven.

Ingredients:

3 large eggs, plus 3 whites

3/4 cup reduced fat cottage cheese

4 ounces smoked gouda, shredded (about 1 cup) (I used mozzarella because I had it home, and I probably used more than 1 cup)

1 teaspoon minced rosemary (I used Italian seasoning instead)

3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

Kosher salt

16 ounce package frozen vegetables or fresh (See note above)

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon paprika

4 slices bread (optional)

Directions:

1- Position rack in the middle third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.

2- Whisk the eggs and whites in a bowl. Add the cottage cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in the cheese and rosemary or other seasoning.

3- Cook the garlic in the olive oil over medium high heat until it starts to brown. Add the onion, season with salt and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables, turn heat up to high, and cook about 5 minutes, or until just tender.

4- Reduce heat to medium. Spread the egg mixture evenly in the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until a thin crust forms on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan to release the pan. Continue cooking until the bottom is golden, about 2-3 minutes.

5- Sprinkle with paprika and Parmesan. Transfer to oven and bake until just set, 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven, cover, and let sit for another 5-7 minutes. Serve with the bread, if using.

Butternut Squash Soup

While I was talking to a friend the other day, she said I should add a sprinkling of dinner recipes on my blog. Why not? I like to bake….and I like to cook.

This recipe was  written by someone who I find really really annoying with her made up words, her acronyms (see: EVOO), and always too jolly demeanor. Her interesting spins on everyday recipes, however, force me to put up with the things I can’t stand about her. If you haven’t already figured this out, I’m speaking of Rachael Ray. Last night I made her Chipotle Butternut Squash soup. To make it really easy to put together, I got pre-cut squash from Trader Joe’s. All’s you have to do is microwave it in the bag for 6 mins or until tender. After that, the recipe only took 30 mins to put together. I added my notes next to the ingredients. Making this recipe was pretty exciting because I got to use my dutch oven AND my new food processor…very fun.

Ingredients

  • Small butternut squash or Trader Joe’s pre-cut squash (1 bag)
  • EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for roasting pumpkin or squash, plus 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/3 palmful – I didn’t use this.
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/3 palmful
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/3 palmful
  • Honey, for drizzling
  • 3 tablespoons butter –  I used 1.5 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 small chipotle peppers, seeded and finely chopped, plus 1 rounded tablespoon of adobo sauce – I couldn’t find adobo sauce at Trader Joe’s, so I bought a small can of cut-up hot peppers. I used 1 tbs and froze the rest.
  • Unsalted crispy yellow or blue corn tortilla chips – Definitely use the chips. They add nice texture.
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds, garnish – I did not use these.

Preparation

If using fresh pumpkin or squash, preheat oven to 425°F. Peel, seed and chop pumpkin or squash, coat with EVOO, salt and pepper, and roast to tender, 45 minutes. If using canned pumpkin purée, skip this step.

Heat 1 tablespoon EVOO in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté carrots and onions to tender, about 10 minutes. Season with nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, paprika, a drizzle of honey, salt and pepper to taste. Toast spices, about 1 minute.

Add the carrots and onions along with the roasted pumpkin or squash to the bowl of a food processor and purée with a splash of stock. If using canned pumpkin, purée the onions and carrots together with some stock and stir in the canned pumpkin to combine.

Melt butter in same pot as you cooked the carrots and onions, whisk in flour then milk. Season with salt and pepper, and thicken to coat a spoon. Stir in cheese to melt, add chipotle and adobo sauce. Stir in remaining stock and squash or pumpkin purée. Let simmer to thicken soup.

Place a few crushed tortillas in shallow bowl and top with soup. Mix the tortillas into soup as you eat, garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds on top.

http://www.rachaelrayshow.com/food/recipes/pumpkin-cheddar-and-chipotle-soup/