Tuesday, January 29, 2013

White Bean and Kale Soup

White beans and kale.  Together in one soup?  Oh, yes please.  This is my favorite type of dinner.  A great hearty soup and some delicious bread to go with it to sop up any drops that dare remain -- oh yes.  My kind of feasting.

It reminded me a lot of this soup.  The one with pesto is a little bit easier to make and we liked the flavor just a tad bit more, so I think I'll be sticking with that one.  But on the occasion I don't have pesto laying around, or garbanzo beans, this will be my runner-up recipe.  It was full of flavor and was perfect for the cold nights we've been having recently.  It also freezes really well for those nights when I don't feel like cooking.

White Bean and Kale Soup

  • olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped cooking potatoes (1/2 inch is best -- don't mind my picture)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 t rosemary
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups chopped kale, or 1 cup frozen (Trader Joes!)
-- Heat oil in large pot and saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic.  
-- Add the broth, tomatoes, spices, and potatoes and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
-- Add the vinegar, beans and kale and heat through (and let the kale wilt if you're using fresh)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Magic Green Lasagna

I first had this lasagna about 2 years ago.  It was a busy weeknight and we were over at our friends house for dinner.  Between the 2 of us, we had 4 little boys, 2 and under, who were all eating table food.  When she put this on the table I knew we were safe.  Soft and delicious, a lasagna was something my boys never said no to.  And they didn't, they are their pieces right up.  They always eat this lasagna right up.  I don't know whether it's the taste, or the lack of chunks of vegetables, but I love that they love it so much.

Oh.  Did I mention there are 2 heads of broccoli and 3 medium zucchini pureed in there?

Oh yeah.  There are. Makes me smile even more.  You can add carrots, but the color won't be as vibrant or green.

This lasagna is good for the big kids, too, though, so don't pass over it if you don't have the pitter-patter of little feet in your house. It's so easy to put together and it's delicious.  It also freezes well, so if you need a quick lunch, here's your dish.

Also, this would be so fun to serve on St Patty's day!

Magic Green Lasagna

  • 2 (16 oz) bags frozen broccoli florets, or 2 medium heads
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced (4 cups)
  • 1 block of tofu, drained
  • 1 T onion powder
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 T oregano
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce (plus maybe a little more)
  • oven ready lasagna noodles (or GF alternative)
-- Saute zucchini until soft.  (You can saute the broccoli, too, if you're using fresh)  Microwave broccoli until soft, too.
-- Chop tofu and put it in a large mixing bowl.  Add the veggies and spices and, using an immersion blender - blend away!! (If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree half the tofu with the broccoli in a food processor, and then the other half of the tofu with the zucchini and then mix them together in a mixing bowl.  But if you don't have an immersion blender, you should really fix that problem.)
-- Now to layer: little bit of sauce on the bottom, noodles, little more sauce to cover them up, half the tofu mixture, almost a cup of sauce, noodles, little bit of sauce to cover them up, the rest of the tofu mixture, another almost-cup of sauce, noodles, and then the rest of the sauce, and maybe some more from another jar to make sure the noodles don't overbake.
-- Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes (remove foil for the last 15 minutes)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Savory Cornbread

We had a delicious kitchen "flop" the other night.

It was technically a flop because it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to.  Like bread.  Like the pictures from the original recipe looked.  It was less like bread and more of a patty.

But it was one amazing patty.  Scot couldn't get enough and we polished the entire pan off with dinner.  But since I served it with soup, I was wanting bread, so I was a little disappointed.

Later that same week, I combined my traditional cornbread recipe with the other recipe and got a delicious savory cornbread.  Score.

Since both recipes were great, here they both are.  I did tweak the original recipe, but I don't think it was the tweaking that make the bread more patty-like.

Ok. Try 1.

Savory Patty

  • 2 T flaxmeal + 1/4 c warm water.  Mix and set aside.
  • 1/4 c cornmeal
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 3/4t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 t herbs de provence
  • 1/4 t mustard powder
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (opt)
  • 1/2 c loosely packed finely chopped spinach
  • 1 small red onion, diced
-- Saute red onion until very well sauteed.
-- Combine all dry ingredients
-- Combine all wet ingredients with the flaxmeal mixture.
-- Add wet to dry and mix well.
-- Add in onions and spinach
-- Spread into greased an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 40 minutes at 350

And now, try 2.

Savory Cornbread

  • 1 c cornmeal
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 t herbs de provence
  • 1/2 t dry mustard
  • 1 T nutritional yeast (opt)
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 cup loosely packed finely chopped spinach
-- Saute red onion until very well sauteed.
-- Combine all dry ingredients
-- Combine all wet ingredients.
-- Add wet to dry and mix well.
-- Add in onions and spinach.
-- Spread into greased an 8x8 baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350

Monday, January 14, 2013

Pizza Idea

Almost every Friday, we have pizza.  It's cheap and easy and we all love it.

This past week, I decided to stray from our usual favorite: red onion with pineapple and edemame.

I had a box of mushrooms that was needing to be used and a half bag of frozen, roasted bell pepper strips from trader joes.  Add to that a small red onion and a couple cloves of garlic minced and I had myself a very tasty saute to spread out over my sauced up crust!

I did add a little bit of cheese, but Scot and I both agreed you could hardly taste it, so next time, I'll just omit it.

Oh.  And I think we have a new favorite.  Next time, I may throw some black beans into the mix!  Sounds weird, I know, but black beans on pizza is really quite delicious.

I know this is more of an idea than anything.  An actual recipe will be coming your way soon!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mediterranean Mashed Chickpeas

These mashed chickpeas are so easy to throw together.  They reminded me a lot of the other mashed chickpea meal I've made, but with a Mediterranean flare and a lot thicker.  If made to pick between the two, I think I'd go with this version if only for the ease.  Also, while I don't always have pitas on hand, I do always have bread around.

This is, technically, a starter or a side, but I made it part of our meal and paired it with the Roasted Cauliflower Sweet Potato Soup and simply steamed broccoli.  Yum!  My boys loved spreading the mashed goodness onto their bread all by themselves.  The taste was great, and will be better next time when I use the olives.  I used 1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers instead and it worked really well, but next time will be better I think.

I got the recipe from over here and slightly tweaked it.  Enjoy!

Mediterranean Mashed Chickpeas
Feeds 4
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinse and drain
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1/2 c chopped olives or roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted bread or pita (or GF alternative)
-- In a food processor, roughly chop the tomatoes.  Remove and start sauteing in a large skillet with some olive oil. (about 5-7 minutes)
-- Meanwhile, roughly chop with chickpeas with the broth.  You do not want them pureed, just a coarse texture.
-- Add the garlic to the skillet and saute a minute or two.
-- Add in the chickpeas and remaining ingredients, mix, and heat through.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sweet and Sour Edamame (Soy Beans)

I try to only make a soy-based meal once a week at the most.  Even though there are no firm studies out there that link the phyto-estrogen and its effects on boys/men, I still think balance is the best approach to what we eat, and with that in mind, I do my best to not be too heavy on any one protein.

With that in mind, here is an easy recipe that is a different and delicious way to eat soy instead of tofu!

It was extremely quick to prepare, which made me love it even more.  Evan even told me it was his new favorite meal.  He had a second bowl, and opted for this dish when it came time for Sunday-night leftovers!

Sweet and Sour Edemame
serves 4

  • 1 T cornstarch or flour
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 t powdered ginger
  • 2 T soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c pineapple juice
  • 1 lg bell pepper, cut into one inch chunks
  • 1 lg onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 c chopped carrots
  • 2 c (12 oz) soybeans -- frozen worked really well.  I get a shelled/cooked bag from Trader Joes
  • 1 can pineapple chunks (drained)
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
-- Make your rice first!  (or have it premade if you want this to come together in less than 20 minutes!)
-- Mix the sauce ingredients and set aside
-- Saute the bell pepper and onion and carrot in a large skillet or wok 10 minutes
-- Add soybeans/edamame and pineapple and cook for another 5 minutes
-- Add the sauce and let boil for 2 minutes
-- Serve over rice and drizzle more sauce on top, or simply mix it all together!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cannellini "Meatballs"

Happy New Year!  Is anyone else shocked that it's 2013?  I sure have a hard time...

My boys love them some pasta.  Any kind I put in front of them is eaten with a speed I wish accompanied each and every meal.  They're mini-carboholics like their momma!

Poor little guys are yummy, but in the midst of getting dinner on the table, their beauty was  harder to capture than I thought

Only thing is, I get tired of pasta and sauce, no matter how protein filled they are.  Since we don't eat meat, meatballs are out of the question.  But then I saw this recipe and thought I'd give it a try.  I tweaked it a little bit, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.  I don't think it's something I'll be making often -- while easy, it was just too much time when I can bulk up a sauce so much faster.  Everyone loved it, though, so I was happy, and I will make it again.

Right out of the oven

Cannellini "Meatballs"
Makes 16 "balls"
  • 2 cans cannelloni beans, rinse and drain
  • 3/4 cup chopped roasted bell pepper (from a jar)
  • 3/4 c chopped onion
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1 T oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c + 2 T breadcumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta
-- In a food processor, pulse the beans and the roasted pepper until chunky.  You don't want it pureed, you want it with chunks so it sticks together well
-- In a bowl, combine bean mixture with all other ingredients through the salt/pepper.  Once fully combined, take a large spoon and form mixture into 2-3T sized balls.
-- Place them on a greased baking pan, or silpat so you don't have to use any oil, and bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch
-- While they're heating, boil your water and cook the noodles.  Also, heat the sauce in a large skillet to warm.
-- Once the "meatballs" are cooked, gently stir them in the sauce and serve them over the cooked and drained pasta!
-- Sprinkle shredded cheese on top is desired and enjoy!