Quinoa & Sweet Potato Skillet Meal

 

Happy Saturday! I made this dish last night and my daughter, her friend and myself really liked it; it has incredible flavor profiles. The recipe is from a cookbook my boss gifted me for Christmas. It is written by the Canadian Chef, Greta Podleski. Fun fact you may not know, my mom is Canadian and lives in Canada, however, I was born and raised a California girl. The book is titled Yum & Yummer and focuses on healthy recipes. I have made several recipes from this book but this is the one that truly stands out. It is vegan but we made it vegetarian by adding a dollop of sour cream as a garnish. There is a lot of spices. If you want to make it less spicy do not add the jalapeno and cayenne pepper. Its really easy to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions (I used yellow)
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 cups peeled, cubed sweet potato, uncooked
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1-14 oz can diced tomatoes, fire-roasted if you can find them
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup whole-kernel corn (thaw first is using frozen, I used fresh and cooked prior to measuring and adding)
  • 2 to 3 TBS minced fresh cilantro
  • Sliced avocados for garnish

Directions:

Use a 10 inch skillet, non-stick with a lid. Heat oil in skillet and add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Cook until tender. Add sweet potatoes and all the spices. Mix well.

Stir in tomatoes with their liquid, broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, cover and let mixture stand off heat for 10 minutes (do not omit this step). Stir in cilantro just before serving. Garnish with avocado and sour cream using.

I am counting calories now so If there is a calorie count included I will start including them.

Makes 4 meal size serving; 367 calories per serving.

 

Vegetarian Chili

 

 

It’s comfort food weather. My daughter and I have had this recipe a couple times when we were feeling like a “no meat” kind of night. I found this recipe on the website http://www.cookieandkate.com. Its delicious and you can add shredded cheese and sour cream or eat it with crackers, whatever you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp smoke paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with their juices (20 ozs)
  • 2 cans black beans (15 ozs each) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans (15 oz) rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice (your choice)
  • chopped cilantro

Directions:

In a large pot heat the olive oil, add onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook until vegetables are tender (7-10 minutes).

Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant (1 minute).

Add tomatoes, black beans, pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

For delicious texture transfer 1 1/2 cups of chili (get some liquid) to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, transfer blended chili back into pot.

Add cilantro and vinegar to taste, add remaining 1/4 tsp salt. Serve with garnish of your choice.

 

 

 

Stuffed Mushrooms

 

 

This tasty mushroom recipe is from the first diet plan that ever worked for me. It doesn’t taste like diet food because yummy melted cheese! Found in Suzanne Somers’ Get Skinny on Fabulous Food cookbook, they are cheesy and tasty with no rice or bread. They are easy to make and can be served as an appetizer if you are entertaining.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound mushrooms
  • 4 TBS butter
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 TBS chopped thyme, parsley or tarragon (she uses fresh lemon thyme in the book but I have trouble finding that)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

Directions:

Carefully pull stems off the mushrooms, finely chop stems. Select the 12 largest caps and set aside for filling. Finely chop the remaining mushrooms. Melt the butter in a large skillet, add shallots and saute until golden brown. Add chopped mushrooms and herb and saute until brown and crispy. Add wine and cook off the alcohol for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and preheat broiler.

Place the mushroom mixture in a mixing bowl with 1/2 the cheese, stir until well combined. Lightly rub the caps with oil and place on cookie sheet. Fill each cap and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Broil for 5 minutes. Cheese should be bubbly and the caps a little brown.

 

 

 

Twice Baked Potatoes

 

This is a modified recipe from Horne of the Moon Cookbook, a vegetarian restaurant in Vermont. It is simple, but not as simple as a baked potato. Well worth the extra effort. I am not listing the amount of each ingredient because it varies depending on how many potatoes you cook. Just keep tasting the mix.

Ingredients:

  • Large russet potatoes (however many you care to serve).
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake potatoes until tender when pierced with a fork (1-1 1/4 hours). Cut the top of each potato so that the inside can be easily scooped out. Scoop out insides and place in a bowl. Mash with butter, lower over temp to 400, add sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Fill the potato shells and sprinkle each with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes and serve.

 

Crispy Cod Sandwiches with Red Cabbage & Apple Slaw and Roasted Potato Wedges from Blue Apron

 

 

I received a gift card from Blue Apron from a family member (thank you Pat and Fred), and I decided to give it a try for a week. 2 dishes and only one was a keeper that I will continue to make on my own. My assessment of Blue Apron was, although convenient and everything was fresh, it is over priced if you don’t have a coupon. Above pictured is the 2 meals I received from Blue Apron, pork dish is not reflected here because we didn’t really like it. Here is the recipes we all enjoyed:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cod fillets
  • 4 potato buns
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 apple
  • 1 lb. red cabbage
  • 2 russet potatoes
  • 3 TBS sweet pickle relish
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning (they provided their own spices, but this one is a great substitute since I don’t know what was in there’s)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch wedges. Remove and discard the core of the cabbage, thinly slice. Core the apple and cut into matchsticks. Cut off and discard the root ends of the scallions, thinly slice, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel the carrots and grate on the large side of a box grater, place in a bowl with 1/4 of the vinegar, season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes

Place the potato wedges on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, toss and arrange skin sides down, roast for 28-30 minutes.

While potatoes are roasting make the slaw: combine sugar and  remaining vinegar and whisk until dissolves. Add cabbage and apple, stir thoroughly, season with salt and pepper, set aside to marinate for at least 10 minutes.

While the slaw marinates, make the sauce: combine mayo, relish and white bottoms of scallions, season with salt and pepper.

Once the potatoes have roasted for at least 10 minutes, place the Old Bay Seasoning on a plate, pat the cod fillets dry, season with salt and pepper, coat with seasoning, tapping off excess. In a large , non stick pain, heat 1 TBS olive oil on medium high, add cod fillets and cook 5-7 minutes on one side, flip and cook 2-3 minutes on reverse side, or until lightly browned. Leave browned bits in the pan as you transfer fish to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Add the buns, cut side down, to the pan you used to cook the fish, toast for 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned

Spread a layer of sauce on the buns with the cooked fish and marinated carrots

Serve with potatoes and slaw and garnish with green tops of scallions

 

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Wrap

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The holidays are upon us so I am going to try to start being more diligent with adding recipes to this blog. For all my vegetarian and/or vegan friends out there, this is recipe I made for my daughter during our last Thanksgiving celebration. There is a lot of moving parts to it, so of course, omit what sounds good to you and reinvent this wrap anyway you please. Original recipe found on http://www.minimalistbaker.com.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potatoes:

2 large sweet potatoes

1 TBS grape seed oil

1 tsp fresh thyme

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp sea salt

optional; pinch of cayenne pepper

Chickpeas:

1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and thoroughly dried in a  towel

1 TBS grape seed oil

1 tsp fresh or dried thyme

Pinch ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

scant 1/2 tsp sea salt

optional: healthy pinch each ground coriander and cardamom

For serving:

4 flatbreads; homemade or store bought, use your imagination

Some type of delicious sauce (I personally love tzatziki, Greek/cucumber yogurt sauce) but it isn’t vegan. If you want to stay true to the vegan lifestyle you will have to pick something else.

Toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Dried cranberries (chopped)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thoroughly wash and dry sweet potatoes, then slice (skin on) into bite-sized rounds or pieces.

Add to a mixing bowl with oil, thyme, cinnamon, salt and cayenne. Toss to coat then arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.

To the same mixing bowl, add rinsed, dried chickpeas and oil with thyme, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and coriander/cardamom if using.

Toss to coat then add to the same baking sheet with potatoes if there’s room, if not, use a second baking sheet of course.

Bake for 25 minutes, flipping once at the 15 minute mark. They are done when the potatoes are fork tender and the chick peas are golden brown and slightly crispy.

Warm your bread, add the baked ingredients and top with sauce and any optional goodies you are using. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted caramelized cauliflower makes a great side dish. This recipe, found in the February 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine is delicious and simple to make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 sliced medium onion
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions;
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut cauliflower into florets. Toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with onion, thyme, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to taste. Roast, tossing occasionally, for 35-40 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, toss to combine, roast another 10-12 minutes.