Thursday, December 16, 2010

what's cookin'

Okay, so posting recipes weekly was yet another idea emerging from my diluted sense of time. Fostering a more realistic relationship with the big T is my resolution for the coming year, and yet I am realistic enough (or cynical?) to know that it'll take more than one year to overcome 26 years of unpunctuality, procrastination, over-commitment, under-sleep, etc.

In case anyone was holding his or her breath, though, here are a few recipes I've tried lately:
-baked spaghetti squash
-potluck picnic dinner (potatoes, beans, etc.)
-pumpkin muffins
-creamy potato crab soup
-Thanksgiving leftover casserole
-cranberry pesto
-stuffing frittata
-leftover deluxe squash soup
-Kristin's minestrone
-zucchini pie
-plantain pancakes
-pumpkin pasta
-soba with peso and tofu

Spaghetti Squash (did anybody else miss for most of your life the connection between its name and its perfect ability to replace pasta with veggies? another wonder food revelation.)

-half and seed squash, bake at 350 30-45 min 'til desired texture (I'm not a big fan of al dente so I bake mine closer to 45 min)
-scrape squash strands out with a fork and toss with chopped artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach, and cashew sauce

T3, El3, Er2, Ch3

Cashew Sauce

Blend the following:
-1 c soymilk (or almond, rice, etc.)
-1/3 c raw, unsalted cashews
-1/4 c nutritional yeast (I bought mine in the bulk bin area of Sprouts/Sunflower)
-3 T Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
-2 T melted butter

T2 (although it gets extra credit for being mostly raw), El3, Er2, Ch2

Potluck Picnic dinner: mashed sweet potatoes (I just boil the living daylights out of them and bring on the butter-- perfection!), crockpot beans, cabbage salad, cornbread muffins

Baked Beans

Put the following in a crockpot until they're yummy (the recipe included instructions for the long process of using dried beans, but I used canned so really you could throw it all in a pot and heat until warm) :
-3 c dried beans (I think I used 3-4 cans of beans, plus one of green beans)
-2 1/2 c veggie or chicken broth
-1/2 T salt
-1 6 oz can tomato paste
-1/2 c molasses
-2 T dry mustard
-2 cloves garlic
-1 chopped, sauteed onion

T3, El3, Er2, Ch3

Cabbage Salad

-1 small head cabbage, shredded
-1 carrot, shredded
-1 green pepper, chopped
-1 small red onion, chopped (this is WAY too much for me-- I maybe used 1/4 of an onion and still found it overwhelming, but I guess it just depends on your tolerance of raw onions)

Combine the following and mix into cabbage salad:
-3 T mayo
-2 T apple cider vinegar
-1 T sugar
-1/4 t salt
-4 slices bacon, crumbled (I omitted this, but surely it would've made a tasty addition)

T2 (nice and light, but the only "mayo" I had was Miracle Whip which is so awful that I found it distracting and couldn't truly enjoy the other ingredients), El2, Er1, Ch1

Kristin's Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Combine dry and then wet and then throw them together, let sit for one hour, and then bake at 400 for 20 minutes

-2 c sugar
-3 c whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 t baking powder
-1 t baking soda
-1 t salt
-1/2 cloves or allspice
-1 t cinnamon
-1 t nutmeg

-1/2 c oil
-3 eggs
-1 1/2 c pumpkin puree or 15 oz can
-1/2 c water
-1 c raisins (I omitted these this time)

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3 (this was such a yummy dessert to us-- we popped them like cookies)

Thanksgiving Casserole in Fried tortillas

(Get Martha's Green Bean Casserole recipe here.)

Okay, this is silly to post as a recipe because only the week after Thanksgiving would any of us have these dishes lying around, but honestly this concoction left an indelible impression on my food memory-- such the perfect combo of flavors-- that I must record it for my own sake.

Thanksgiving casserole was simply an effort to clean out tupperwares of leftovers: green bean casserole, turkey, corn, mashed sweet potatoes, and a little mashed potatoes and gravy all made their way into a dish and baked until bubbly. They were all delish prior to being combined, and even yummier after. I spread tortillas with cranberry pesto and filled them with this casserole and then pan fried them in coconut oil until browned. ARRRRHHG! So good.

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3

Cranberry Pesto

Nobody eats leftover cranberry sauce, right? Nobody even eats fresh cranberry sauce, right? Somehow I still felt obligated to make some, and thus pesto was born of the remnants.

In a food processor, pulse
-1/2 cup cranberry sauce
-1/3 cup grated Parmesan
-1/3 cup toasted walnuts
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 or 2 chopped cloves of garlic until just combined
- season with salt and pepper
Use as a dip for chips; toss with hot rice, pasta, or roasted potatoes; or spread onto leftover turkey sandwiches.

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3

Stuffing Frittata

(Get Martha's Cornbread Sourdough Stuffing recipe here.)

We had an enormous vat of leftover stuffing that received no attention from impulse eaters for several days. Oprah to the rescue! Here's her recipe for stuffing frittata.

In a large ovenproof skillet, sauté 4 packed cups (about 1 bunch) chopped Swiss chard (I used kale and collard greens, ain't no thang) in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine chard with 3 cups stuffing and 3 eggs; season with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet over medium heat, add stuffing mixture, and spread out evenly. Cook, shaking the skillet from time to time to ensure frittata isn't sticking, until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes, then place skillet in a 400° oven until frittata is firm, 10 minutes more.

Loosen around the edges, then invert onto a plate. Serve with lemon wedges. (I didn't think it needed lemon cuz already so flavorful and moist and wonderful)

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3

Squash Soup

I used my very last Thanksgiving leftovers (roasted acorn squash slices) to make a simple soup by pureeing with chicken broth and throwing in all sorts of fun leftovers from my fridge, like pesto and other veggies (before blending). A big splash of coconut oil is essential, in my opinion, in transforming it from baby food into a rich, gourmet soup.

Kristin's Minestrone

-1 c dry white beans (I used one can)
-7 c water (I just added water to desired thickness since my beans didn't need soaking)
-1 c carrots
-2 c cabbage
-1 clove garlic
-1/2 c frozen peas
-1 can green beans, rinsed and drained
-1 can tomatoes, with liquid
-4 oz pasta
-2 t salt
-1 t basil
-2 t parsley
-3 T cream
-3 T parmesan cheese
-2 T butter
-2 T olive oil

I loved using those last four ingredients-- see, I am not afraid of fat, as long as it is a whole food fat, and a little of each goes a long way when used together. Yum!

T3, El3, Er2, Ch3

Zucchini Frittata

Sautee until soft:
-1/2 cup julienned sweet red pepper
-1/2 cup chopped onion
-garlic cloves
-2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

Combine in bowl:
-3 eggs
-1/2 cup milk
-1 lb thinly sliced zucchini, or veggie of choice
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper

-Combine it all in skillet, cover and cook 7-10 minutes until set and serve in wedges

T2, El2, Er1, Ch1 (truthfully, I threw in many more veggies than the recipe called for, so the egg and cheese kind of disappeared... I just never learn!)

Plantain Omelets

-If plantains are still firm, score skins and boil 20 min, then remove peels before mashing. Mine were so ripe that I peeled them and they mashed just like bananas-- procrastinating saved me a step!

-4 mashed plantains (or green bananas)
-1/2 c spelt flour or whatever whole grain flour you have
-1 t baking powder

-the recipe instructs me to roll them into balls and then flatten into pancakes, but my dough was WaaaaaaaaaY too sticky so I just dropped dollops onto the coconut oil-greased griddle and served them for dinner as "banana pancakes" with hot pink smoothie sauce. My kids were in heaven, completely ignorant to the fact that I'd conned them into eating fruits and veggies for dinner once again. (I've also been adding red cabbage and red bell pepper to my pink smoothies with no compromise to the flavor.)

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Boil 2 c chopped fresh pumpkin (or one can) for 15 min 'til tender; reserve 2 c water. Blend pumpkin with that 2 c reserved water and set aside.

-10 cloves garlic (Seriously, this is not overdoing it at all-- too often a garlic clove gets tragically lost to our taste buds but not today! I sautee this many cloves for most recipes and it complements other flavors perfectly.)
-2-4 T butter or oil
-20 sage leaves (I used a combo of fresh sage, thyme, and rosemary, but dried herbs would work, too)
-crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
-add pureed pumpkin, 1 t cinnamon, and 1/2 t nutmeg
-add 1/2 c half-and-half

T3, El3, Er2, Ch3

Cold Soba & Cucumber Salad with Parsley Cilanto Sauce and Teriyaki Tofu Triangles

-Cook 8 oz soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles, but any will do)
-Peel a large cucumber, quarter it lengthwise, and cut into narrow strips
-Food process 3/4 c parsley and cilantro leaves with 2 T natural nut butter, 1 T lemon juice, and pinch of salt

T2, El3, Er1, Ch2

Cut 16 oz firm tofu into thin triangles (cut the tofu height into fourths all the way across), drain and blot well on paper towels and marinate each side 10 minutes in the following:
-2 T Braggs or reduced sodium soy sauce
-1 T olive oil
-1 t sesame oil
-1 T honey or maple syrup
-2 t rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
-1/2 t grated fresh ginger or ground ginger
-2 t hoisin sauce, optional

Pour the tofu and marinade into skillet and cook on med-high, stirring frequently, until tofu browned on both sides. Serve with soba and parsley/cilantro pesto.

T3, El3, Er3, Ch3

As we have company in town starting tomorrow, I can just kiss healthy new recipes sionara until next year, which is okay because I have lots of other posts needing some tlc! In case you don't hear from me before then, Merry Christmas! Hope it's your best yet!


Karrot Soup said...

I love your ratings system, very helpful. But how's Kyle doing with all this? Is he just making his own food, or eating yours and not rating it? Curious, since I know it was a concern initially but you've obviously forged ahead in amazing ways. I've given up on spaghetti squash, personally, it's been disgustingly disappointing the two times I've tried it, might convince me with such a gourmet recipe. And we never have a shortage of takers for cranberry sauce ever since I figured out that I don't have to use the canned stuff -- I actually ran out and had to whip up MORE this year -- but your pesto recipe is so intriguing that I might have to make a batch. :)

sara said...

I'm afraid I have to look away when you post healthy recipies. I shouldn't feel guilt unless I've sinned and I don't consider unhealthy food a sin... so why do I feel guilty?
When you're done with your superwoman cape, can I borrow it?

Stephanie said...

Wow! I am excited to try these recipes! I love spaghetti squash. Here's a link to some pumpkin bread (which I make into muffins, and love!), if you want to spice yours up a bit more:

I wish I'd had that stuffing frittata recipe, I had so much left over, and just got bored with it :)

Have fun with the fam!

Joe and Christie said...

Yeah, ditto what Sara said.
I'm so impressed with you and Kristin. Keep the recipes coming, I think I'm going to make them into a book. Uh, for me.

Amy said...

Oh my! Am I ever excited to try out all of these great recipes! Tif you are such an inspiration and a great resource. I too am converting my diet over to 90% vegan with as much raw food as I can manage (I am also off gluten, but that is just me, not the rest of my family). It is TRICKY with kids. I should have started when they were younger. Funny how our lives seem to always run parallel. I read the book "The Original Fast Foods" by James Simmons (who is L.D.S.). It is a great book and has a lot of family friendly vegan recipes. Hope all is well for you in AZ!