Thai-Spiced Rice Bowls

Asian food is one of my favorites. Thai and Japanese are at the top of my list. I have made this rice bowl twice and each time added more spice to the broth. Still, not spicy enough for my mom…she likes it super spicy. Next time I will knock it out of the park. The original recipe was found on cookieandkate.com, but as usual, I have altered it to my taste buds. The original recipe called for no proteins. I have added chicken and a poached egg. Shrimp would be a good addition as well. If you are a vegetarian, you can use vegetable broth and tofu. The choices are abundant.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
  • salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Fresh ginger, thumb tip sized, peeled and minced
  • 1 TBS Thai red curry paste (or more, if you want it spicier, start tasting once its all mixed)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 can, 14 oz, light coconut milk
  • generous squeeze of honey

Garnishes to your liking:

  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 English cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Rotisserie chicken, shredded or chopped
  • Poached egg
  • Shrimp, sauteed

Directions:

Cook the rice as directed. Make the broth by heating the oil, garlic and ginger in a saucepan over medium for about 30 seconds. Add the red curry paste, soy sauce, peanut butter, broth, coconut milk and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce and simmer while you prep the garnishes. Chop all your garnishes. To serve, place rice in a bowl, top with broth and garnishes.

 

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.

 

 

 

Chase and Sophia’s Baked Mac n’ Cheese

 

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My son and his girlfriend are an adorable couple. She has quickly become a part of our family and I love her like she is one of my own. The positive effects she has had on my son are innumerable and it has been a delight to see the conscientious and considerate young man he has become while in a couple. One of the positive effects has been their love of cooking. My daughter and I came home tired and hungry from a day of traveling home from Canada a few weeks back and we opened the fridge and found this delicious baked mac n’ cheese inside; comfort food was just what we needed. They found this recipe on the website http://www.momontimeout.com and made a couple alterations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked
  • 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups Gruyere cheese, shredded (they used cheddar in place of Gruyere)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups panko crumbs
  • 4 TBS butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a large 3-4 quart baking dish. Combine shredded cheese in a large bowl and set aside.

Cook the pasta 1 minute to al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl. Drizzle pasta with olive oil. Set aside to cool.

Melt butter in a deep saucepan, dutch oven or stock pot. Whisk in flour and continue  whisking for 1 minute until bubbly and golden. Gradually whisk in milk and heavy cream until smooth. Whisk until bubbles form on the surface and then an additional 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add 2 cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth and thick. Add 2 more cups of shredded cheese and whisk until smooth and thick.

Stir in cooled pasta and fully coat with cheese sauce. Pour half of the pasta into baking dish, top with remaining 2 cups of shredded cheese and then add the remaining pasta on top.

In a small bowl, combine panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle this mixture over the top and bake until bubbly and golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

 

 

 

 

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. Picture is my mom, son, and daughter enjoying Tofino in Vancouver Island.

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.

 

 

 

Three Bean Salad

 

 

I realize summer is over. However, I am still going to share this recipe I found over the summer because I want it in my archives for easy access. Also, you might like it as well. Super easy to make and great for leftovers. I found it on one of my favorite recipe websites. http://www.simplyrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15-oz can white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz  red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine (3/4 cup), soaked in water to take away the sting, discard water before adding
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine (1 cup)
  • 1 cup loosely packed, fresh. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Mix all the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat. Chill for several hours.

 

 

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.

 

Chow Mein (Panda Express Copycat)

I know, I know, when you think of Panda Express you don’t think of yummy; or maybe you do?  My daughter brought this recipe home from her cooking class at school and I have made it several times. It is a simple and delicious version of chow mien.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS brown sugar, packed
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 package refrigerated Yakisoba noodles, seasoning packets discarded
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery. sliced diagonally
  • 2 cups (heaping) shredded cabbage

Directions:

Combine soy, garlic, sugar and pepper in a bowl, set aside. Pierce noodles (all 3) and microwave for 1 minute. Loosen noodles and rinse in colander; place aside. Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add onion and celery until wilted (3-4 min) then add cabbage until soft and heated (2-3 min). Add noodles and soy mixture until all is well heated and mixed. Enjoy!

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta Salad with Peas and Summer Beans

 

I am posting more vegetarian dishes because it seems as though my daughter is serious about this no meat business. Being a vegetarian myself for nine years, off and on, I understand where she is coming from and I am trying to make new dishes to keep her fed and healthy. Here is a good one for the summer that was found in Martha Stewart’s Living magazine.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz penne pasta (recipe calls for whole wheat but you can use what ever you prefer of course)
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 8 oz wax beans, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 6 oz peas (1 1/4 cups) recipe calls for frozen but we used fresh from the Farmer’s Market
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced (2 TBS)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. grated lime zest, plus 1 TBS fresh juice
  • 1 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water for 6 minutes, add beans, cook until pasta and beans are al dente, 4 to 5 more minutes. Add peas and immediately drain. Run cold water over pasta and vegetables until completely cool, drain and transfer to a bowl.

In a small skillet, heat oil, add garlic until golden, 1-2 minutes, Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Combine with pasta and salt and pepper to taste, toss cilantro in and serve or refrigerate.