Thursday, June 12, 2014

not exactly a recipe, but....

So lately, I've been very lazy about posting here, not that I was ever very good about it. Lately, one thing I've been enjoying a lot is pesto. So a lot people are familiar with the normal basil pesto, which is basil, olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and parmesan in a blender and used as a sauce. It turns out that you can make pestos out of a lot of things, not just basil. We've been making them out of tomatoes, roasted peppers, zucchini, basically anything I can stick in a blender and think would taste good as a pasta sauce. Tonight we are going to try roasted eggplant and bell pepper pesto, with maybe some tomato thrown in, since we have some in the fridge. I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm thinking it will be a bit like baba ganoush, but warm and poured over pasta, instead of cold and dipped with pita.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

farro with veggies and veggie sausage

I haven't posted in a really long time, because I've honestly been in kind of a food rut lately, and haven't done anything exciting. That all changed last night, when I tried a new grain (farro) with some zucchini and peppers and field roast italian sausage. Seriously, if you can get field roast brand sausages, do it, because they are amazing! But, if you can't, don't worry about it. This would be really tasty without it, too!

First up, I got my farro from trader joe's and it's "quick cooking" farro, which means it's already cooked most of the way, and only takes 10 mins. When I read the instructions, it said something to the effect of 1/2 cup farro + 1 cup water or broth, bring to a boil, then simmer 10 mins. What I missed at the end was it said to drain the excess liquid, which I didn't do, because I was expecting it to cook somewhat like rice. Don't worry though, I made good use of the leftover liquid, so no big deal. 

I used the whole package which was 1.5 cups farro, plus 3 cups of "not chicken" broth. I followed the instructions, except for draining it in the end. The broth didn't add much flavor, and I honestly was using it because I had an open carton in the fridge that I needed to use up. Feel free to use whatever broth you have on hand, or just some water.

While the farro was cooking, I chopped up a red bell pepper, 2 scallions (green onions), a cubanelle pepper, a big zucchini and 2 links of the sausage. I put all of this into a bowl, and brought it over to the stove. I put a little bit of grapeseed oil into a large skillet, put it on high, and added about a tablespoon of minced garlic. We have a jar in the fridge, but if you don't love garlic as much as we do, just chop up a clove or two. I let the garlic sizzle for a minute, and then added all the veggies in, and stirred them around. I added in salt, dried oregano and basil, and a little bit of crushed red pepper. I let that cook for a while on medium high, stirring occasionally.

After the farro had cooked for about 10 mins, I looked, and the liquid hadn't absorbed, so I tasted it, and it seemed like it was done. I have never made farro before, but it was chewy and not tough,  al dente, so I figured that was probably good. I poured the farro into the skillet, broth and all, and let that boil and reduce down. After a few minutes, it was reduced down quite a bit, and I grated some parmesan cheese in it, stirred it in, and added a little more salt (to taste). 

If you leave out the sausage, you might want to include some beans in there, to make it a little more substantial. 

I had the leftovers for lunch today, and it will reheat well, so don't worry if you have leftovers. 

Sorry there are no pictures, but I hope you try it anyway. I'm sure you will enjoy it. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

banana chocolate chip bread for breakfast

Last saturday morning, I made this awesome banana chocolate chip bread for breakfast. I used this recipe:

with the following changes.

First, I replaced the egg with another banana. This was because I had 4 bananas to use up, and I had remembered hearing that a banana was a good egg replacer in baking. Next, I replaced the nuts with chocolate chips. This shouldn't be surprising, since my post is for banana chocolate chip bread, instead of banana nut bread. Finally, I used white whole wheat flour instead of all purpose, because that's what I had at home.

This bread had a really wonderful flavor. It was sort of buttery, which was strange since it contains no butter. It was really amazing, and I hope anyone who stumbles across this tries it.

The bread I made was not vegan, since my chocolate chips weren't, but that's the only thing you would have to change to make it vegan.

Friday, March 30, 2012

risotto and chickpea stuffed peppers

First, mix three packets of trader joe's savory veggie broth concentrate with four cups of water, put it in a saucepan and start it heating on low. 

Next, Pour some extra virgin olive oil in a pan, probably about 1/4 cup. I used a pan that's halfway between a skillet and a saucepan. It's shallow and wide, but it has straight sides like a saucepan.You could probably just use a big pot, but make sure it isn't too thin, so the risotto won't burn. 

Heat the oil on medium-high heat, and saute about 2 tbsp minced garlic, along with parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme, and just a pinch of crushed red pepper. I didn't measure the herbs, so just use your best judgement. These were all dried, except for the garlic, which we have a jar of minced garlic in the fridge. Saute this for about 1-2 minutes, until the garlic starts to brown a bit, and then add 1 cup arborio rice.

Stir the rice around, and let each grain get coated in the oil. Keep sauteing it until the rice starts to smell a bit nutty. This can be a bit hard, with all the herbs, but trust me, you will notice a difference in smell. Once it smells nutty, add about 2/3 cup of a semisweet white wine. Reduce heat to medium, and let this simmer until it no longer smells strongly of alcohol.

Next, start adding broth, a ladle-full at a time. Add 1 ladle of broth, stir and simmer, until there is very little liquid left. Then add another ladle. Keep doing this, and stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente. It will take about 40 minutes. If you run out of broth, then add hot water. (I didn't run out of broth, but the risotto recipe I was using as a guideline had that suggestion.) Add salt and pepper to taste. It won't need much, because of the broth, but I did add a sprinkle of salt. Once it is al dente, remove the risotto from heat, and let it cool.

Now, Open a can of chickpeas, and drain and rinse them. 

Prepare the peppers by cutting the tops off, and removing the seeds and as much of the white stuff as you can without breaking the peppers. This recipe should fill 4 red bell peppers.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix about 1/2 the can of chickpeas in with the risotto and stuff that into the peppers. Top each pepper with bread crumbs. Bake for about 40 minutes in the oven, then remove and eat.

If you don't want to do this all at once, you could double the risotto recipe, and have that for dinner one night, and then use the leftovers to stuff peppers the next night.

Friday, October 7, 2011

creamy yam and peas

This is what I made last night for dinner, and it was really tasty:

1 long yam, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
~1 c frozen peas
2-3 tbsp olive oil
half & half
parmesan cheese
half an onion, cut in strips
1 tbsp minced garlic

Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium high heat. Add garlic and onions. Once they are sizzling, add yam. While it's cooking, stir frequently and add spices. Cook for about 15 mins or so, and then add peas. Cook until the peas are no longer frozen, and add a generous splash of half and half, and parmesan cheese to taste. Reduce heat to medium low, and cook until the cream thickens.

I served this with a side of spinach and cheese ravioli, but it was great on it's own, and could also go on pasta.

For any vegans out there that find this recipe, it was tasty before the addition of the half & half, so you could serve it like that, or splash in some "motherless milk" and a little nutritional yeast, if you want to have that added creaminess.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sorry for the lack of posting+enchiladas

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of posts over the past several months, but I have been very busy with work and moving across the country. I promise to post a new recipe this week.

The only new thing I've cooked lately was cheese enchiladas. This was really easy.

mozzarella string cheese
small tortillas (either flour or corn will work, but they should be about as wide as a mozzarella stick is long)
2 cans of enchilada sauce
shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap the string cheese. Wrap each cheese stick in a tortilla, and place seam side down in a shallow baking dish. Repeat until pan is full, or you have sufficient enchiladas for everyone who will be eating.
2. Pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.
3. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

These are tasty on their own, or topped with sauteed onions, peppers and summer squash. This would also go well with a Spanish rice. Enjoy!

Friday, January 7, 2011

super easy salsa pasta

I did this for lunch on Wednesday, and it was super easy and really tasty.

All you need is some olive oil, a small onion, pasta, and some jarred salsa.

First, start a pot of water going for the pasta. Then, dice the onion. When the water boils, toss the pasta in.

In a skillet, heat some olive oil and saute the onion, until it gets a little browned, but still firm. Pour salsa in with the onions, and stir. Let that cook a little more. When the pasta's done, drain it and toss it in with the salsa and stir to coat it. Enjoy!

I made about 1/4 pound of penne pasta, and used about 2/3 cup of medium tostitos salsa. Feel free to use whatever brand you prefer.

The sauce came out tasting sweet, spicy, and a little smoky. It didn't really taste like salsa anymore, and if I hadn't made it myself, I probably wouldn't have known it was made from salsa.