27th February 2009

    Big Steaming Bowl: Armenian Stew with Pilaf

    armenianstew

    This recipe is from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: a hearty vegetarian stew with Mediterranean spices atop a bed of bulgur pilaf. It was nice and filling, and delicious for lunch the following day.


    Chris says:
    So this *claims* to be an Armenian dish…

    Lisa says:

    We certainly never made this dish when I was growing up…

    Chris says:

    Though you guys really didn’t have many vegetarian meals, did you?

    Lisa says:

    True — but this is good. These are pretty big servings!

    Chris says:

    Well it’s all good stuff in there… a bunch of vegetables, beans, and spices!

    Lisa says:

    I love any meal that we can top with garlic-yogurt.

    Chris says:

    I’ll eat to that…

    Armenian Stew with Pilaf
    Stew:
    2 tsp canola oil
    1 cup chopped onion
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1 tsp dried mint
    1 tsp dried basil
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 tsp salt
    2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
    1 small zucchini, cut into 1″ pieces
    1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
    1/2 cup tomato juice
    1 15-oz can drained fava beans
    1 large bunch swiss chard, torn into bite-sized pieces
    1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

    Pilaf:
    2 tsp olive oil
    1/3 cup finely chopped onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 cup bulgur
    2 cups water
    1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

    plain nonfat yogurt
    1-2 cloves garlic, minced

    Warm the oil in a dutch oven. Add the onions, garlic, mint, basil, bay leaf, and salt, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften. Add the carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, and tomato juice, cover, and simmer until all of the veggies are tender, about 7 minutes. Add the fava beans and Swiss chard, cover again, adn cook an additional 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, add more salt to taste, cover, and remove from the heat. Discard the bay leaf.
    Meanwhile, in a separate pan, warm the olive oil for the pilaf. Add the onions, garlic, and salt, cover, and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the bulgur and stir continuously for about 2 minutes. Pour in the water, sprinkle in the rosemary, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the bulgur is tender.
    In a separate dish, mix the yogurt and minced garlic.
    When the bulgur is almost ready, reheat the stew, then ladle onto a pile of pilaf, and garnish with yogurt.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Armenian, Main Dishes, Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

    14th February 2009

    Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

    moussaka
    One thing we’re finding out about the recipes in Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook is that a lot of them aren’t exactly weeknight-friendly. Some of them are very involved and one would be wise to steer clear if a quick dinner is the goal. This recipe definitely falls into the “takes a while” category, but is totally worth it. This moussaka (which I like to think of as a greek lasagna with eggplant standing in for the noodles) features layers of eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes, a nicely spiced tomato sauce, and is topped with a pine nut cream rather than bechamel (This is vegan, after all).


    Chris says:

    Wow, that was kind of a pain, cutting those veggies 1/4″ thick. And it was a clear reminder that I need to sharpen our knives.

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, seemed like it took a while… if it makes you feel any better, the house smells absolutely amazing.

    Chris says:

    I know, I’m really looking forward to this…

    Lisa says:

    Did you try the pine nut cream before you put it on?

    Chris says:

    Yeah, it’s really, really good.

    Lisa says:

    Cool — I wasn’t sure about the whole pine-nuts-and-silken-tofu thing.

    Chris says:

    You blend it to a really creamy consistency. I also tossed some pine nuts on top. Anyway, let’s dig in!

    Carrie says:

    This is delicious!

    Lisa says:

    Yeah, I love it.

    Chris says:

    I really like the potatoes in it — they were crispy and browned going in, and now they’ve soaked up the goodness from the sauce.

    Carrie says:

    I’ve never had a moussaka before, but you’re right, it is sorta like a lasagna.

    Chris says:

    Wahoo, I’m ready for more — want to split another piece with me?

    Lisa says:

    Split?

    Chris says:

    You can always have more!

    Lisa says:

    I guess we can save some for lunch…

    Chris says:

    I bet it’ll be even better tomorrow. ;)

    Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream
    Vegetable Layer:
    1 lb eggplant
    1 lb zucchini
    1 1/2 lbs Russet potatoes
    1/8 cup olive oil

    Sauce:
    1/8 cup olive oil
    4 large shallots, sliced thinly
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/3 cup red wine
    2 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 bay leaf
    Salt

    Pine Nut Cream:
    1 lb soft silken tofu
    1/2 cup pine nuts, plus additional for garnish
    3 tbsp lemon juice
    1 tsp arrowroot powder
    1 clove garlic
    Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
    Salt
    white pepper

    1/2 cup dry, fine white bread crumbs

    Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Lightly oil two baking sheets, line a third with parchment paper, and spray with cooking oil.
    Wash the eggplant and zucchini, and trim the stems. Scrub and peel the potatoes. Slice the eggplant, zucchini, and potatoes lengthwise, into approximately 1/4″ thick slices. This is a pain, but worth it. Rub the eggplant slices with a little salt and set aside in a colander in the sink or in a big bowl for about 15 minutes to drain. Briefly rinse with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

    Place each vegetable on a separate baking sheet. Distribute the 1/8 cup of oil among the three sheets and sprinkle vegetables with salt (except the eggplant if salted already). Toss to coat the vegetables on each sheet. Making sure each piece is completely coated with oil. Spread out the vegetables on each sheet; some overlapping is okay. Roast the pans of zucchini and eggplant for 15 minutes, or until tender. Roast the potatoes for about 20 to 22 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the vegetables to cool.

    Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce:
    Combine the remaining 1/8 cup olive oil and minced garlic in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat and let the garlic sizzle for about 30 seconds, then add the shallots and cook until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until slightly reduced, another 3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, oregano, ground cinnamon, and bay leaf. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaf, and adjust the salt.

    Make the pine nut cream:
    In a food processor, blend the pine nuts and lemon juice, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, until a creamy paste forms. Add the tofu, garlic, arrowroot, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Blend until creamy and smooth.

    Lightly oil a 9 x 13 inch pan and preheat the oven again to 400˚F, if necessary. Spread 1/4 cup of sauce on the pan, then add successive layers in order of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and half of the bread crumbs. Spread all the zucchini on top of this. Top with a final layer each of eggplant, potatoes, sauce, and breadcrumbs. Use a rubber spatula to evenly spread the pine nut cream over the entire top layer. Scatter a few pine nuts on top, if desired.

    Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned and a few cracks have formed in the topping. Allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

    4-6 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes, Veganomicon | 11 Comments

    27th January 2009

    Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas and Couscous

    roastedveggiecouscous

    Vegetarian Week continues here at We [Heart] Food, with this recipe (okay, it uses chicken stock, but you could replace with vegetable stock) from Fitness Food. Nothing too fancy here, just a huge plate of roasted vegetables over a bed of couscous and chickpeas.

    Lisa says:

    Waaahoooo!

    Chris says:

    I know, this is like your dream dinner!

    Lisa says:

    It’s true! It’s like a really good version of what I make at lunch at work.

    Chris says:

    Super simple, and you can do it in stages… while the first set of veggies is in the oven you can start cutting up the next set.

    Lisa says:

    It reminds me of that dish I made for a party a few months ago.

    Chris says:

    Oh yeah! I was just about to say this would be easy to bring to a party as a side dish.

    Lisa says:

    Tonight it works pretty well as dinner. :)

    Roasted Vegetables with Chickpeas and Couscous
    18 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut 1/2″ thick on the diagonal
    3 baby eggplant, cut into 3/4″ slices on the diagonal
    2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
    oil spray
    2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thick strips
    1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges
    3 ripe Roma tomatoes, quartered
    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    1 15 oz can chicken broth
    1 1/2 cups couscous
    1 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    1 handful mixed herbs (basil, green onions, oregano), chopped

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and place the sweet potato and eggplant on the trays. Spray with the oil, add the rosemary, and toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 minutes.
    Add in the zucchini, red bell pepper, and onion. Spray again with the oil spray and continue to bake an additional 15 minutes.
    Add the tomato wedges, drizzle with the vinegar, and bake for a final 15 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
    Meanwhile, heat the stock in a saucepan to boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and set aside for 3 minutes, then return to a low heat and fluff with a fork for 2-3 minutes to separate. Add the chickpeas and most of the herbs. Serve the vegetables on warm couscous. Garnish with extra herbs.

    4 Servings

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    posted in Fitness Food, Vegetarian | 7 Comments

    12th October 2008

    Fennel and White Bean Stew

    Lisa wanted to cook something tonight, and keeping in mind that we had some great veggies to use from the CSA box, found this hearty stew on Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.  Lisa made some modifications that changed it to be neither fat-free nor vegan, but it still remained healthy and was simple and delicious.  We love warm stews on chilly nights, and Seattle has had quite a few of those lately!

    Chris says:

    The kitchen smells really good.

    Lisa says:

    Well try this — it tastes really good.

    Chris says:

    Oooh, yum — I really like this one! We’ve had a few stews that were similar, but this may be of my favorites.

    Lisa says:

    The fennel is good; it’s not overpowering.

    Chris says:

    Look at all those veggies! It’s pretty filling, too.

    Lisa says:

    Well it does have two entire cans of beans…

    Chris says:

    Uh oh…

    Lisa says:

    Don’t go there.

    Fennel and White Bean Stew (adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen)
    1 large bulb fennel
    Olive oil
    6 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 carrots, peeled and chopped
    1 large (28-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
    2 cups chicken broth, divided
    1 tsp. dried herbs de provence, crushed
    1 1/2 tsp. oregano
    salt to taste
    freshly ground pepper, to taste
    4 small zucchini, cubed
    4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
    1 small lobster mushroom, cleaned and sliced
    6-7 stalks of baby bok choy, cut in thirds

    Prepare the fennel by removing the stalks and leaves (save them for another use). Slice about 1/4 inch off the bottom of the bulb, and cut the bulb in half, down through the middle (top to bottom). Cut each half into thin wedges, top to bottom.

    Add a teaspoon of olive oil to a large pot. Heat it on medium, and add the fennel and carrots. Sauté for about 3 minutes and then add the garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the beans, 1 cup of chicken broth, and all seasonings. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

    Add the other cup of chicken broth, the zucchini, the mushrooms, and bok choy. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.

    3 Servings

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    posted in Main Dishes | 2 Comments

    28th January 2008

    Garden-Style Lasagna

    Tonight Lisa made this labor-intensive lasagna based on a Cooking Light recipe, and added extra spices and mushrooms. I’m usually a bigger fan of tomato-sauce based lasagna, but this one hit the spot with its variety in textures and sheer number of sauteed vegetables.

    Chris says:

    Wow you’re on a roll with these Cooking Light recipes. Good picks.

    Lisa says:

    This one is delicious — and actually has portion sizes that are relatively generous for a “light” recipe…

    Chris says:

    I heart this lasagna.

    Lisa says:

    Me too! I still can’t believe it’s low fat.

    Chris says:

    I love that we have enough leftovers for like three more meals.

    Lisa says:

    Good thing we liked it, then!

    Garden-Style Lasagna
    ——————–
    Cooking spray
    2 cups chopped onion
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    2 cups chopped zucchini (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups chopped yellow squash (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 8 ounces)
    2 cups chopped broccoli (about 6 ounces)
    1 cup sliced mushrooms
    1 teaspoon salt, divided
    1 tsp oregano
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
    3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
    1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    Dash of nutmeg
    1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
    1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
    2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
    12 precooked lasagna noodles, divided

    Preheat oven to 375°.
    Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and oregano; toss well to combine.
    Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Stir in spinach.
    Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
    Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    12 Servings

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    posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 10 Comments


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