Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Vegetarian Lasagna

I have been craving yummy comfort food lately and while I dont have a photo of this, because I ate it so quickly, it is worth sharing!

Makes enough for 6

Barilla Lasagna Sheets (the kind you dont have to pre cook)
1 and a half jars sauce your choice, I used Paul Newman's Sockarooni
1/2 bunch Kale washed and stemmed, chopped
3 cloves garlic
pinch of red chili flakes
2 red peppers, chopped in 1 inch strips
1 yellow pepper chopped in 1 inch strips
1/2 Medium red onion, large dice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
veggie cheese - smoked provolone flavor

Tofu Ricotta:
organic firm tofu
3-4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade
1 lemon, juice only
olive oil

saute onion and peppers with olive oil.
when soft add chopped garlic. remove from heat and place in a bowl.
In same pan saute kale with olive oil, garlic and chili flakes. add some water to help steam the kale and soften it.
crumble tofu, add lemon juice, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil. mix well.

spray baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. I rubbed olive oil on it. layer some sauce on the bottom, place enough sheets of pasta to cover. add more sauce and peppers add half of the tofu mixture. Layer pasta, kale, sauce, tofu. Pasta, sauce and veggie cheese.

Bake 375 for 35 minutes until pasta has absorbed water from veggies and is cooked. Serve with more sauce.

enjoy. I made this with these ingredients because its what I had in the house. I bet broccoli rabe would be tasty and mushrooms...maybe that will be next!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Black Bean, Qunioa Tostada with Avocado

I went to an amazing weekend of training and bike skills with some great women. On the way back we stopped at the Chicago Diner in Chicago. Their slogan is "Meat Free Since 83". I had this as my Linner (lunch and dinner) and it was so good I made it when I got back. Here is what I threw together.

Makes 4 - 6 Tostadas depending on how much you pile it on!
1 bag of tostadas preferably organic
1 can of vegetarian re fried black beans (you can make your own beans but I was hungry)
1 can diced green chiles (Trader Joes) (you could flavor this with chipolte too!)
1 clove of garlic
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 avocados
1/4 red onion diced
1 bunch of cilantro
Lime wedges
Hot sauce to taste - I used Sriracha sauce

heat 2 cups of water to boiling and add quinoa. Simmer 15 minutes. take off heat add cumin and salt to taste and let steam for 5 more minutes. Add about 1/2 cup cilantro. or not if you are a "cilantro-phobe".

While quinoa is cooking, mince onion, mince garlic, slice avocado and clean and chop cilantro.

Cook re-fried beans in a non stick pan with chiles and garlic. Heat through.

Assembly: Put tostada on plate, top with beans, top with quinoa, top with avocado, onion and more cilantro. Serve with hot sauce and lime wedges.

2 is an entree size, 1 is a good snack size.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Night Quick Fix

So I just finished a workout and was really hungry but didn't want to cook and I didn't want leftovers. (I must take after my dad right now!) This is why I came up with the idea for my business of being a personal chef for athletes.

This is what I threw together with what I had in the fridge and pantry. Its really good, so I'm publishing it here.

Seared Mushrooms with Spinach
Serves 1
Portobello Mushrooms
Oyster Mushroom about 1 cup of each mushroom diced in big chunks
1 T butter or Olive Oil
1 clove garlic, left whole
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
large handful baby spinach
salt and pepper
1 cup quinoa, cooked

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat until nice and hot.
Add butter/oil and garlic clove and paprika. Wait for butter to foam and bubble.
add mushrooms....don't move anything for at least 2-3 minutes, season with salt and pepper. then shake pan to toss mushrooms. Sear another 2-3 minutes, shake pan again.
Add baby spinach and wilt. Mix everything together and serve over heated quinoa.

This is why you need a well stocked pantry. Smoked paprika was hard for me to find, but now I have it, I use it with potato salad and mushrooms. it adds such a unique depth of flavor to the food.

I wish I had more mushrooms. I would make another batch! That was tasty!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Miso Soup or Japanese Hot Pot - Meatless Monday

This is so good. truly one of my favorite soups! There are so many things you can do with a simple base of Miso, water and scallions. I often order this in Japanese restaurants, its called a Hot Pot. A huge steaming pot of veggies and tasty broth (or meat or seafood). Go here for more ideas/photos:

Serves 2
8 cups water, divided 7/1
1 cup Red Miso Paste or White Miso Paste
1 cup Shitake Mushrooms
1 cup tofu, diced into small cubes
2 scallions, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, julienne
1 oz. Wakame dried seaweed or to taste
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 cup lima beans
1 oz Soba Noodles or Udon Noodles, I dont care for Udon noodles, i think they look like worms.
large handful of baby spinach or bok choi

Heat 7 cups water in a soup pot. Take remaining 1 cup water and mix with Miso until smooth. This is to combine with the water easier.
Bring to a gentle simmer. Add mushrooms, veggies and soba noodles. Simmer for 20 minutes, add tofu and baby spinach.

Meatless Monday is about cutting out meat one day a week to improve personal health and the health of the planet.

Baked "Sketti"

Baked Spaghetti

I learned that this was my grandmothers recipe but I always associated it with my mom and her cooking. Its so simple, not fancy but is comfort food for me. Enjoy!

This isnt really a recipe as she always just threw everything together. So experiment a little if you want.

serves 4-6

8 strips bacon, cut into pieces
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 can Campbells Tomato Soup
8-10 oz. spaghetti

Cook spaghetti according to package directions.
While spaghetti is cooking, brown bacon in a pan until crispy.
Remove bacon to paper towels to drain. clean out pan, reserving 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon bacon fat to cook onions. (depending on how much you love bacon fat)
Cook onions in bacon fat.
Drain spaghetti when its done cooking.
Mix all together in a casserole dish.
Bake in a 350 oven for 30-45 minutes. depending on how crispy you want it. I like it crispy! Everything is cooked, so it may not even take 30 minutes depending on the dish you put it in. A low flat dish will have more surface area and dry out more than a deeper dish. (duh)

I serve this with an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette. the clean peppery arugula balances out the salt of the bacon and sweetness of the soup.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Veggie Meatballs or Patties

My resolution this year is to go veggie. This meatless meatball recipe is very good. it has a very bright taste that stands up to a flavorful marinara sauce. I like the fact that it doesnt use soy "meat" fillers.

2 hard cooked eggs
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup wheat germ
1 Tb. Fresh Parsley
1 cup minced onion (can use scallions too for different flavor)
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup melter butter
1 tsp. salt
2 raw eggs, beaten

Mix all ingredients well, then add raw eggs. Shape into balls or patties and cook over medium heat until lightly browned.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bread Pudding - White Chocolate Cherry Flavor

So here is the bread pudding recipe I promised. It's in "kitchenspeak" so you might have to translate a little.

Yield = 1/2 hotel pan (about 14 x 10 x 2 inches)

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
6 yolks
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
Zest of 1 orange
2 cups dried cherries, soaked (soak in cherry liquor if you have it)
1 cup white chocolate chips
croissant or brioche cut in very small pieces. enough to fill the hotel pan.

Grease the ramekins or hotel pan very well! Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Scald milk/cream mix.
Whisk yolks and sugar until ribbon stage.
Temper the cream into the eggs and let cool to room temperature.
Add vanilla and orange zest.
Add drained Cherries and chips to bread cubes. if you used the cherry liquor, add a little of that to the mix.
Mix custard into bread cubes in batches and wait for the bread to absorb the custard.
The consistency should be like gooey oatmeal. pour into ramekins or into the hotel pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 and check for doneness. the puddings should puff up a bit and be GBD. (Golden Brown and Delicious!) Maybe another 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. The recipe is forgiving, but don't overcook it.

Serve warm with some whipped cream or ice cream.

You can unmold these from the ramekins and serve on a plate or serve them in the ramekin. If you make this in a pan, you can cut squares when its cold, and then reheat before serving.