27th February 2010

    Mushroom Larb

    We heart larb, and we used to make larb gai all the time, but with Lisa being on a veggie kick lately, we introduced this version into the mix. Instead of chicken, I used a mix of various mushrooms we had on hand — shiitake, cremini, and good old white button. It was delicious! One thing to note is that after sauteeing the mushrooms you should try to get as much excess liquid out as you can — you’ll be adding more liquid via lime juice and fish sauce, and you don’t want to end up with a soupy mess. Also, I noticed this version warranted a greater fish sauce to lime juice ratio than when done with chicken.


    Lisa says:

    How about we don’t talk about this one, and just eat it instead?

    Chris says:

    I’m *so* okay with that. Also, “om nom nom nom nom”.

    Mushroom Larb
    1 lb mixed mushrooms (shiitake, cremini, white, etc.), roughly chopped
    1 tbsp roasted rice powder
    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 green onions, chopped
    2 tbsp chopped shallots
    3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tbsp lime juice
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    1 tsp garlic and red chile paste
    cabbage leaves
    cilantro

    Spray a nonstick skillet with oil and heat to medium. Add in the chopped mushrooms and cook until they release their water and start to brown.
    Remove from the heat and put in a strainer to drain excess liquid. Add the mushrooms to a large bowl and stir in the rice powder, cilantro, green onions, shallots, and mint leaves.
    In a separate small bowl, mix together the fish sauce, lime juice, chile paste, and cayenne pepper. Taste for desired levels of spicy/salty/sour.
    Add to bowl with mushrooms, stir, and adjust seasonings.
    Garnish with cilantro sprigs and serve with cabbage leaves to scoop.

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    posted in Appetizers, Salads and Light Soups, Sides, Thai, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    27th February 2010

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad, a la Essential Baking Company

    Local, organic bakery The Essential Baking Company has a few cafés around town, and I’ve been enjoying their bread salad on a pretty regular basis, so much so that I decided I had to recreate it at home. I love the mix of roasted yams, beets, and leeks (!), and when tossed with big chunks of crispy-on-the-outside bread, mixed greens, and balsamic vinaigrette, it’s a salad I just can’t say no to. In a wonderful instance of kismet, our CSA box this week provided both the yams and beets for this recipe.


    Lisa says:

    Hey, this looks familiar!

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I think I did pretty good recreating it…

    Lisa says:

    What kind of greens are these?

    Chris says:

    Well, I meant to pick up some mixed baby greens, but accidentally got this mix of mustard greens, kale, and chard…

    Lisa says:

    Whoops…

    Chris says:

    Yeah, but it’s actually fine, I think — it may have been overwhelming if it was all greens, but most of this salad consists of the roasted veggies.

    Lisa says:

    It *is* totally fine; actually, it’s pretty good. I heart kale and chard.

    Chris says:

    I heart these leeks. I may want to just roast those up on a regular basis; maybe add them to mashed potatoes or something — they’re really good.

    Lisa says:

    I love it. Hmmm, I’m going to come up with a list of other dishes to recreate at home!

    Roasted Root Vegetable Bread Salad
    Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
    3-4 medium beets
    2 medium/large yams, peeled and sliced 3/4″ thick
    2 leeks, washed and sliced on a bias into 1/2″ thick pieces
    favorite day-old bread (we used Essential Bakery’s Rosemary Diamante), cut into 1″ cubes
    mixed salad greens
    balsamic vinaigrette

    Preheat the oven to 400F. Arrange oven racks so that both can be used during the roasting process. The beets take the longest, so you should be able to swap in the remaining vegetables to roast while the beets are going.
    Wrap each beet in aluminum foil. Place the beets on a cooking sheet and into the oven, on the lower rack, for 45 minutes to an hour, until a knife pressed into a beet gives little resistance. While the beets are roasting, toss the yams in a bowl with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Turn out onto a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, flipping once, until soft on the inside but still a bit crisp on the outside. Set aside to cool. Toss the leeks with just a little olive oil and turn onto a baking sheet, and roast for about 10 minutes, until soft and just starting to brown. Set aside to cool. When the beets are ready, remove and open the foil packets. When cool enough to handle, peel the outer layer and cut into chunks.
    Meanwhile, toss the bread cubes in a little olive oil (sounding familiar?), place on a baking sheet and bake just until crisp on the outside — you don’t want to make rock-hard croutons.
    Now you can just throw everything, including the salad greens, into a bowl, add enough dressing to your liking, toss until coated, and serve! Season as desired.

    2-3 servings.

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    posted in Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 4 Comments

    5th January 2010

    Orzo Chickpea Soup

    Lisa made this soup when we were in California during the holidays — orzo, chickpeas, and spinach swim in a simple vegetable broth, topped with garlicky tomatoes and shredded Parmesan. Lisa’s dad liked the soup so much he decided to make it again just a few days later. The recipe is based on one from Heidi’s site, with a few additions.


    Chris says:

    A delicious noodle soup, orzo it seems

    Lisa says:

    C’mon, no puns tonight please.

    Chris says:

    Alright, fine. I do love the addition of the chickpeas…

    Seto says:

    This is very good Lisa! I’m having more.

    Lisa says:

    Awesome! I love the egg whites… they add a neat texture to the broth.

    Chris says:

    I bet this would be good with the kale option as well — if we make this when we get back to Seattle let’s do it that way.

    Seto says:

    I’ll be making this myself by the end of the week. Leave me the recipe…

    7 cups vegetable broth
    1 1/2 cups orzo
    2 cups spinach, chopped
    1 14-oz can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
    1 14-oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, well drained
    1 tsp crushed red pepper
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    extra virgin olive oil
    3 egg whites
    sea salt

    grated Parmesan cheese

    Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the orzo and cook until just tender – about ten minutes. Stir in the chopped spinach and chickpeas.

    Meanwhile, heat the tomatoes, red pepper, garlic, and a splash of extra virgin olive oil in a separate saucepan. Taste for seasoning and salt if needed.

    Just before serving, slowly pour the egg whites into the soup, stirring quickly with a whisk. Taste and add more salt if needed. Divide the soup among four bowls, each serving topped with a spoonful of tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil, and some of the cheese.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Soups and Stews, Vegetarian | 5 Comments

    23rd November 2009

    Chili-Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa

    chililimetofu

    Here’s an incredibly delicious dish courtesy of VeganYumYum.  Tofu is covered in an amazing spicy/sweet/tart glaze, and piled atop a mound of greens and grains.  This particular version uses collard greens and quinoa, but this would work equally well with kale or chard on top of brown rice.  Honestly, the star is the tofu.  You could plop it on a pile of green construction paper and cardboard and I’d eat it.


    Lisa says:

    This is the best tofu ever.

    Chris says:

    Yeah, I’m about to stick my tongue right into that pan.

    Lisa says:

    Too late; it’s all on my tofu now! I heart glaze! I like that it’s also the perfect amount of spice — just enough heat to know it’s there.

    Chris says:

    Yeah it’s great — you should make stuff like this more often.

    Lisa says:

    Delicious vegetarian meals?

    Chris says:

    Um… well… more specifically, tofu triangles with some sort of awesome glaze over steamed greens and quinoa.

    Lisa says:

    Did you not hear me? I said I heart glaze. That won’t be a problem.

    Chili-Lime Tofu with Steamed Collards and Quinoa
    1 14-oz package extra-firm tofu

    Sweet Chili Lime Sauce:
    3 tbsp Sugar
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    1 3/4 tbsp fresh lime juice
    zest from 1/2 lime
    1/2 tsp red chili flakes
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/4 tsp Salt
    4 mint leaves, rolled and thinly sliced

    Quinoa:
    3/4 Cup Quinoa, rinsed in cool water, drained
    zest from 1/2 lime
    2 bruised cardamom pods
    1 small Stick of Cinnamon
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 1/3 Cup Water

    Collards:
    1 Bunch Collard Greens, middle veins removed, washed
    2-3 tbsp Water
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tsp fresh lime juice

    Combine all the quinoa ingredients in a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, turn of heat, and let sit for 10 minutes.
    Prepare the sweet chili lime sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
    Drain the tofu and cut it into small triangles: Cut the block of tofu into 8 slices, then cut each slice in half, and each half diagonally to create four triangles per slice. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat, one that the tofu will not stick to without adding oil.
    Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu until the liquid squeezes out and boil away. The tofu will begin to turn golden. After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of “dry” frying, turn off the heat and set the tofu aside.
    Stack the collard leaves on top of each other and roll into a cigar shape. Slice in 3/4 inch segments, then cut through the chopped collards to make smaller pieces. Add them to a shallow pan with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the collards are steamed and tender.
    To finish the tofu, heat the pan and the tofu over high heat, making sure the tofu is hot all the way through. Add the sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Keep the heat on high until the sauce bubbles up, reduces, and forms a glaze.
    Arrange the collards atop of a bed of quinoa. Add tofu over the top, drizzling any leftover sauce over the dish. Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.

    2-3 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 9 Comments

    17th October 2009

    Red Lentil & Vegetable Lasagna

    redlentillasagna

    Here’s a cool twist on vegetarian lasagna: in addition to vegetables like zucchini and carrots, red lentils provide an unexpected texture and a boost in protein. The recipe comes from Fitness Food — this book continues to be a source of interesting, healthy meals.


    Chris says:

    I like nights that you cook.

    Lisa says:

    Why’s that?

    Chris says:

    You choose recipes that I probably wouldn’t have.

    Lisa says:

    Ha, you wouldn’t have picked this one? Why not?

    Chris says:

    Dunno; just didn’t sound appealing to mein ears.

    Lisa says:

    Yet, and guess what happened?

    Chris says:

    I know, I freaking love it!

    Lisa says:

    Me too — so different. I’ve been in the mood for lasagna for a while now. We never make it!

    Chris says:

    Well if they turn out like this, I’m all for more.

    Lisa says:

    You know, I like nights that I cook, too.

    Chris says:

    Why’s that?

    Lisa says:

    I don’t have to do the dishes.

    Red Lentil & Vegetable Lasagna
    1 tsp vegetable oil
    1 onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 stalk celery, diced
    1 carrot, diced
    1 zucchini, diced
    1/2 cup red lentils
    2 15-oz cans chopped tomatoes
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    1 tsp sugar
    1 tsp dried oregano
    2 cups low-fat ricotta (or sub with cottage cheese)
    1/2 cup skim milk
    9 instant lasagna noodles
    3 handfuls basil
    1 egg, lightly beaten
    1/2 cup low-fat grated cheddar

    Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the onion and garlic, and cook over low heat until softened. Stir in the celery, carrot, and zucchini and cook for 2 more minutes.
    Add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and oregano. Add 3 cups of water, stir, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked. Stir frequently, and season to taste with salt and pepper. While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350F.
    Combine the ricotta and milk in a bowl. Spoon half the lentil sauce into a 9 x 10 ovenproof dish. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, then half of the ricotta/milk mixture. Cover with the basil leaves. Top with 3 more lasagna noodles, then spread the remaining lentil mixture over the top. Top with the remaining lasagna noodles.
    Beat the egg into the remaining half of the ricotta/milk mixture. Spread the surface with the ricotta mixture and cover with the cheese. Bake for 40 minutes. If the top starts to dry out, sprinkle with water.
    Top with additional basil ribbons.

    6 Servings

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    posted in Fitness Food, Italian, Vegetarian | 1 Comment


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