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

    17th June 2009

    Catch-Up Post #4: Orzo Super Salad

    superorzo

    Lisa saw this recipe on 101 Cookbooks and immediately added it to her must-have list. The cool salad was a tasty treat during our mini-heatwave a few weeks ago. For the sprouts, we found a pack that included many varieties we hadn’t previously tried — they added crunch and texture to this healthy dish.

    Orzo Super Salad
    1 cup dried orzo pasta
    8 – 10 medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
    1/2 a medium head of broccoli, cut into small trees
    small handful of mint, chopped

    1 small clove of garlic, mashed with a big pinch of salt and chopped
    2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

    a small handful of sprouts
    1/3 cup almonds, toasted
    1/2 small cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    1 medium avocado, sliced into small pieces
    1/4 cup feta, crumbled

    Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and boil the orzo per package instructions. 30 seconds before the orzo is finished cooking stir the asparagus and broccoli into the orzo pot. Cook for the final 30 seconds, drain and run under a bit of cold water to stop the cooking.

    Meanwhile, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt into the dressing. Set aside.

    To serve the salad, toss the orzo, asparagus, broccoli, and mint with about half the dressing. Add more dressing if needed, and toss well. Now add the sprouts, almonds, cucumber, avocado, and feta. Very gently toss a couple of times to distribute the ingredients throughout the salad and serve.

    Serves 4.

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    posted in Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups | 1 Comment

    18th January 2009

    Spicy Lamb Ravioli in Fumet

    lambravis

    Another bonus of Cathy and Chris visiting this weekend: they eat meat! I’ve been wanting to make this dish for a while, but a large portion of our friends are either vegetarian or only eat fish. This recipe comes from The Stinking Rose Restaurant Cookbook, and while it’s a bit time-consuming, the end result is well worth it. We served this with a big salad featuring cranberries, apples, and blue cheese. Yum!


    Chris says:

    So, unfortunately, I left everyone’s ravioli in the water while I took the picture for the blog, so yours may be a little overcooked.

    Cathy says:

    This is like really delicious Chef Boyardee!

    Chris says:

    Wow, I guess that confirms that yours were overcooked.

    Lisa says:

    I don’t think I would have noticed if you hadn’t said anything…

    Chris S says:

    This is another one that we’ll have to get the recipe for.

    Lisa says:

    Oooh… what makes it spicy?

    Chris says:

    There’s curry and cayenne in the filling, and some red pepper flakes in the fumet. I really like it.

    Chris S says:

    Same here, really good.

    Cathy says:

    For the record, I did say it was like really delicious Chef Boyardee…

    Chris says:

    What an endorsement!  :)  At least you didn’t say Franco-American Ravioli-Os…

    Spicy Lamb Ravioli in Fumet
    Ravioli:
    1 1/2 tbsp canola oil
    1 lb ground lamb
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 yellow onion, finely chopped
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup ricotta cheese
    2 slices day-old bread (I used a wheat bun I found in the freezer)
    Leaves from sprig of rosemary, minced
    1 tsp curry powder
    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    4 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
    1 lb wonton wrappers

    Fumet:
    2 cups chicken broth
    3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
    1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1/4 cup unsalted butter

    Grated Parmesan for garnish
    Julienned fresh basil leaves for garnish

    In a saute pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the lamb and cook for 8-10 minutes, breaking up with a spoon, until browned. Remove from the heat and drain, reserving the juices for the fumet.
    In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, until browned. Remove from the heat and let cool, then add into a food processor with the Parmesan, ricotta, bread, rosemary, curry powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Blend on medium-high speed until crumbly — you want the mixture to still have texture. Transfer to a bowl and add the lamb and mushrooms. Stir to combine.
    Flour a couple baking sheets and get the wonton wrappers ready. Place one tbsp of the filling in the center of each wrapper and cover with another wrapper. Moisten the edges with a fingertip dipped in water and crimp the edges firmly with the tines of a fork to seal. Place each ravioli on the baking sheet, then place the sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before cooking.
    Meanwhile, make the fumet. In a saucepan, combine the reserved lamb juices, broth, tomatoes, and pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the broth is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Add the butter and stir until it is completely melted.
    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. One by one, gently drop the ravioli in the water. Decrease the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, until the edges are tender and they float on the surface of the water. Gently drain and place into warmed soup bowls. Ladle the broth over the top and sprinkle with Parmesan and basil.

    4 Large Servings

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    posted in The Stinking Rose Cookbook | 3 Comments

    18th December 2008

    Fettuccine with Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Tomatoes

    fettsausagekale
    “But baby, it’s cold outside” … today we were snowed in for most of the day (wahoo!), but I did manage to pick up this week’s CSA box, which included a delicious-looking bunch of kale. This pasta recipe adapted from epicurious used the entire bunch, and we didn’t have to go out and get any of the other ingredients: we had some chicken sausage in the freezer, there’s always leftover pasta, and the tomatoes were also from the CSA box. A super-quick meal, and a change from the recent squash-soup overload!

    Lisa says:

    Ooooh yeah, pasta — I’m hungry!

    Chris says:

    And it’s always nice to have a dinner with a superfood.

    Lisa says:

    The kitchen certainly smells super…

    Chris says:

    Wait until you taste it — the pasta’s cooked in the same water that the kale was in, so it imparts some flavor into the fettuccine.

    Lisa says:

    You’re right — this is really good. I like the cheese, too. Just enough.

    Chris says:

    Yep, it just gives the dish the tiniest bit of creaminess. We happened to have that on hand, too. I love when we don’t have to go out and buy anything to make dinner.

    Lisa says:

    I love snow days — we’re usually not even sitting down to dinner for another couple of hours!

    Chris says:

    I could get used to this…


    Fettuccine with Spicy Chicken Sausage, Kale, and Tomatoes
    1 tbsp olive oil
    1/2 lb spicy italian chicken sausage, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
    1 bunch kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
    1 tomato, roughly chopped
    1/3 lb whole wheat fettuccine
    1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
    1/4 cup grated Asiago plus additional for serving

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add sausage and brown for 5-7 minutes, breaking up lumps with a spoon.
    Meanwhile, blanch the kale in a large pot of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove the kale with a large sieve and drain. Return the cooking water to a boil, then add fettuccine and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
    While the pasta is cooking, add the kale and tomatoes to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes. Add the broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits in the skillet. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the pasta water, tossing until combined well. Stir in the cheese to incorporate, and thin with additional pasta water if desired.

    2 Servings

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    posted in Italian, Main Dishes | 7 Comments

    4th November 2008

    Fideos a la Catalana, and GO OBAMA!

    In tonight’s dish, adapted from Fresh Spanish, chicken sausage is cooked with garlic, onions, and tomatoes, and mixed with a short pasta for a hearty main course. Use fideo if you can find it, but if not, vermicelli or thin spaghetti broken into short lengths will work.

    Chris says:

    Well I’m going to complain about this one, but I know how I’d change it.

    Lisa says:

    What are you complaining about? I really like the taste.

    Chris says:

    Oh I really like the taste, too. I just think the pasta is way overcooked, so it’s a little mushy.

    Lisa says:

    Hmmmm, well, I still like it. So why do you think it came out this way?

    Chris says:

    Two reasons: we didn’t have vermicelli, so I used cappellini, which is even thinner, and there was a bit too much liquid. Also, I’ve seen in other recipes that the pasta is often toasted/sauteed before adding the broth.

    Lisa says:

    So you’re saying we’ll have this again, but better?

    Chris says:

    Indeed! And I’m listing the recipe with the changes I’d make. The Change We Need.

    Lisa says:

    Wait — what does Obama have to do with this recipe?

    Chris says:

    Not a damn thing. But HOLY CRAP, we just witnessed history.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo!

    Fideos a la Catalana
    2 tbsp olive oil
    1 1/4 lb large fresh chicken sausages
    1 large onion, finely chopped
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
    1 tsp mild paprika
    8 oz vermicelli, cut into short lengths
    3-4 cups chicken broth
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    chopped parsley, to garnish

    Heat half the oil in a 12-inch shallow casserole or skillet with a lid. Add the sausages and cook over a medium-high heat, turning frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until soft. Add the pasta and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat until very lightly toasted. Add the tomatoes and paprika, stirring, for 3-4 minutes further. Return the sausages to the pan, add 3 cups of the chicken broth. Season to taste, stir to mix, and bring to a boil. Continue to cook until the pasta is cooked and the water absorbed, adding broth if necessary. Stir and sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Fresh Spanish, Main Dishes, Spanish | 7 Comments


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