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

    27th September 2009

    Vegetable Tian

    vegetabletian

    Another easy recipe from Barefoot in Paris — this time, a simple side dish to contribute to a recent dinner gathering. Our garden is still producing tomatoes and zucchini, and we had some veggies left over from our last CSA box, so we adapted the recipe to use those up — the only item we didn’t have on hand was the potatoes. A casserole dish is filled with softened onions, then the vegetables are packed in a single layer on top, roasted, topped with shredded gruyere, and baked again until browned. Awesome.


    Lisa says:

    Holy crap, are you sure we have to bring this over?

    Chris says:

    What do you mean?

    Lisa says:

    Can’t we just eat it all now and claim we forgot to bring something?

    Chris says:

    Bzzzzt… too late, I already told them what we were planning on bringing.

    Lisa says:

    Dammit! Okay, but I’m not going to be able to wait very long before digging in.

    Chris says:

    Well don’t dig in yet, I gotta take a picture first, and this is a pretty dish!

    Lisa says:

    Okay, but I’m just sayin’… the clock is ticking.

    Vegetable Tian
    Olive oil
    2 medium yellow onions, cut in half and sliced
    1 large shallot, sliced
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 lb yukon gold potatoes, unpeeled
    2 medium zucchini
    1 patty pan squash
    2 large carrots
    1 pound medium tomatoes
    1 tsp kosher salt
    1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
    2 oz Gruyere cheese, grated

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with olive oil. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the onions over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Spread the onion mixture on the bottom of the baking dish.

    Slice the potatoes, zucchini, squash, carrots, and tomatoes in 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making only 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with 1 more tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, sprinkle the cheese on top, and bake for another 30 minutes until browned.

    4 side-dish servings

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    posted in Barefoot in Paris, Sides | 5 Comments

    14th September 2009

    Zucchini Bread

    zukebread

    Like many gardens out there, ours has been pumping out the zucchini out as fast as we can eat it. When you turn around to find a forearm-sized zucchini that simply wasn’t there ten minutes prior, you know it’s time to use zucchini in just about every meal. This recipe for zucchini bread is based on one Lisa found on the Whole Foods website. She reduced the oil and upped the applesauce in this already healthy recipe, and replaced some of the sugar with agave nectar. It had great flavor and was great for dessert, breakfast, and anytime I walked by the plate. The only downside? Barely made a dent in our zucchini bounty.


    Chris says:

    Wow, it smells great in here.

    Lisa says:

    I can’t wait to eat this — I’m so impatient!

    Chris says:

    I’m sure it’ll be great, how much longer?

    Lisa says:

    Just about done… yep! Done.

    Chris says:

    Gimme-gimme-gimme!

    Lisa says:

    Geez, I thought I was the impatient one.

    Chris says:

    Yummm! Wow, you can really taste that nutmeg. I like the crunch of the walnuts.

    Lisa says:

    Wahoo! It’s pretty moist, too — and it’s made with applesauce instead of a bunch of oil.

    Chris says:

    Well I gotta say, it turned out great. Does this count as eating your vegetables?

    Lisa says:

    Of course!

    Zucchini Bread
    Cooking spray
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    1 egg
    1/4 cup canola oil
    1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
    2 tbsp plain yogurt
    3/8 cup sugar
    3/8 cup agave nectar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 cup grated zucchini
    1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts

    Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray an 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

    In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in zucchini and walnuts then transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until risen, deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.

    Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes then remove bread from pan and continue cooling on rack.

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    posted in Breads and Muffins, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

    3rd August 2009

    Greek-Style Tomato-Zucchini Fritters

    greekfritters

    This recipe comes from Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook — they make an nice starter, or you could do what we did and served them over a salad with a lemon-dill vinaigrette to make a light dinner. The book recommends a vegan alternative to tzatziki to serve alongside, but not being vegan, we went for the full glory of greek-yogurty goodness. The main impetus for this dish was the zucchini and tomatoes from our garden that were just begging to be eaten!


    Lisa says:

    Ooh, these look awesome. Did you save any of our tomatoes to just eat on the side?

    Chris says:

    Whoops — though it looks like the rest will be ready to pick in the next few days.

    Lisa says:

    Dammit, oh well. Let’s see how these are…

    Chris says:

    I love the herbs. Dill and mint are a good combo.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, they taste really good. Interesting texture…

    Chris says:

    Ha, was wondering if you’d mention that. Not quite exactly what I was expecting. Though when you realize that they’re mostly tofu, it makes sense.

    Lisa says:

    True! Maybe add just a little more bread crumbs?

    Chris says:

    Yep, that may help — whatever, they taste bueno.

    Lisa says:

    …as the Greeks say.

    Chris says:

    Totally.

    Greek-Style Tomato-Zucchini Fritters
    1 lb firm tofu, squeezed to remove extra water (place a heavy dinner plate on top for 10 minutes or so), then crumbled
    1/4 cup ground walnuts
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
    1 tbsp tomato juice
    1 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp salt
    fresh ground pepper
    1/2 cup bread crumbs, plus 1/3 cup for coating
    1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
    1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
    1/2 lb zucchini, grated and squeezed to remove excess water
    1 lb seeded, finely chopped tomatoes, drained to remove extra liquid
    Olive oil

    Preheat the oven to 350F.
    Blend the tofu, walnuts, garlic, lemon juice, tomato paste, oregano, salt, and pepper in a food processor until almost smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you wish. Scrape into a large bowl and mix in the bread crumbs, dill, and mint — it should have the consistency of a thick cookie dough. (Add more breadcrumbs by the tablespoon if it’s not quite there). Fold in the zucchini and tomatoes.
    Create golf-ball sized balls of the mixture, and drop into the bread crumbs and roll to coat. Flatten to about 1 inch thick.
    Rub a large cookie sheet with olive oil, and as you complete each fritter, arrange so they do not touch. Spray with olive oil, then place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

    Serves 4

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    posted in Appetizers, Greek, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Veganomicon | 3 Comments

    8th March 2009

    Mushroom-and-Spinach Stuffed Vegetables and Garlicky Cauliflower

    zukeboats

    As we neared the end of our week, we still had a few different vegetables left over from ye olde CSA box to use up, and these two recipes allowed us to do that without having to go grocery shopping: we pretty much had the rest of the ingredients on hand. The stuffed vegetables were adapted from a recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes for Healthful Meals; the original uses medium-sized zucchini — we only had a few small ones, but we also had a bell pepper that seemed like it would work well to receive the leftover filling. The cauliflower recipe comes from Fresh Spanish: Over 80 Healthy Spanish Recipes, and has a nice bite to it from the vinegar, garlic, and paprika. Leftovers were easily reheated and tasted great the next day.


    Lisa says:

    I like these tag-team nights.

    Chris says:

    You mean where we’re both cooking?

    Lisa says:

    Yep!

    Chris says:

    Same here. Although I could do without having to do half the dishes… ha!

    Lisa says:

    Hey! Comes with the territory…

    Chris says:

    Anway, good job on the zucchini boats. They’re really good.

    Lisa says:

    I know, I like them! That filling is so delicious with those mushrooms… good idea on using the red pepper to use up the rest of the stuffing.

    Chris says:

    Even if we hadn’t had that pepper, the stuffing wouldn’t have gone to waste; I’m sure we just would have had it on its own.

    Lisa says:

    That’s true… this cauliflower rules by the way.

    Chris says:

    Yeah I love the garlic… we should try this same recipe with broccoli and see how that works.

    Lisa says:

    Yum… I’m sure it would be just as delicious.

    Chris says:

    Guess we’ll see what the CSA fairy brings next time…

    Mushroom-and-Spinach Stuffed Vegetables
    5 small zucchini
    1 medium red bell pepper
    1/2 large onion, minced
    3 garlic cloves minced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
    3 cups chopped portabella mushrooms
    1 tsp dried dill
    1 tbsp dry sherry
    2 tsp soy sauce
    5 oz Spinach
    1 cup cooked brown rice
    Salt and ground black pepper
    3/4 cup tomato juice
    1/2 cup grated fontina cheese

    Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise and, using a small spoon, scoop out the insides leave a canoe-shaped shell. Slice the red bell pepper in half lengthwise and remove the inner membranes and seeds. Set aside.
    In a skillet, saute the onions, garlic, and salt in the oil on low heat, stirring often, until the onions soften. Add the mushrooms, dill, sherry, and soy sauce and cook for about 5 more minutes. When the mushrooms are just tender, remove from heat and set aside.
    Preheat the oven to 350 F. While the mushrooms are cooking, rinse and stem the spinach. In a saucepan, steam the spinach leaves in enough water to cover until wilted but still bright green. Drain and add it to the sauteed vegetables. Stir in the rice and add salt and pepper to taste.
    Pour the tomato juice evenly around the bottom of an 9×12 inch glass baking dish. Distribute the filling between the zucchini boats and red bell pepper. Sprinkle on the grated cheese, cover the pan tightly with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes, until the zucchini are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
    Uncover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the tops are browned.

    3-4 Servings

    Garlicky Cauliflower
    1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
    4 tbsp olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    1 tbsp mild paprika
    2 tbsp white wine vinegar
    salt and freshly ground pepper
    flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook for 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
    Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and cook over a medium heat, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, paprika, and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over very high heat, stirring, for 3-4 minutes, then remove to a serving platter. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

    3-4 Servings

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    posted in Fresh Spanish, Main Dishes, Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites, Sides, Spanish, Vegetarian | 3 Comments


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