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.

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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!

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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.

posted in Breads and Muffins, Vegetarian | 3 Comments

8th August 2009

So fast, so fresh, so good! Rainbow Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa

chardtacos

These vegetarian tacos didn’t leave me missing the meat. The earthiness of the chard combined with the onion and garlic is just a great combination, and the simple black bean and corn salsa gave it some heft and a slight crunch. Lisa found this recipe when searching for ways to use up the chard that showed up in our CSA box.

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Lisa says:

Okay, this is probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever made.

Chris says:

Yeah?

Lisa says:

Have you seen the clock? When’s the last time we ate this early?

Chris says:

Whoa, you’re right. I guess simplicity rules in this case — these are delicious.

Lisa says:

I know it — but I swear we’ve made something really similar.

Chris says:

Yeah, there were the chard tacos from the Rick Bayless book.

Lisa says:

That’s right!

Chris says:

Don’t worry, they’re different enough to warrant a new post…

Lisa says:

Uh, YEAH… that, and they’re awesome.

Chris says:

…and they’re TACOS. TACOS should always get posted.

Lisa says:

Well, when you take a picture, anyway. You didn’t photograph the zucchini-mushroom-chorizo tacos from a few days ago.

Chris says:

I was hot! And hungry. And this way I have an excuse to make them again.

Lisa says:

Stay tuned, I guess!

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Rainbow Chard Soft Tacos with Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Tacos:
1 bunch rainbow chard, stems and stalks removed, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
corn tortillas
queso fresco

Salsa:
1 1/2 cups canned black beans, drained
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup diced onion
red pepper flakes
1 clove of garlic, minced
handful of cilantro, chopped
squeeze of lime

For the tacos, saute the onion and garlic in a half tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until softened. Add in the chard, cook until wilted, then season with salt and pepper.
For the salsa, combine all ingredients and season to taste.
Warm the corn tortillas in an oven or by heating in a dry pan. Fill each tortilla with some of the chard mixture and top with the salsa and some crumbled queso fresco.

posted in Main Dishes, Mexican, Vegetarian | 0 Comments

6th August 2009

Minestrone Stir Fry

minestronepasta
Lisa found this quick and easy weeknight recipe on the Whole Foods site and adapted it to use what we had on hand. A bunch of vegetables are stir-fried with pasta and tomatoes to recreate the flavors of a minestrone in non-soup form! A great way to use up the vegetables in your fridge.

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Chris says:

Okay, I love this. Super simple and flavorful.

Lisa says:

Really? I think it’s kind of bland. It has no flavor.

Chris says:

Uhh… what? Is this one of those “I made it so I don’t think it’s that great? things?

Lisa says:

No, I’m serious! I just don’t think it has much taste.

Chris says:

Well our bowls must be completely different because mine has… wait, didn’t you burn your tongue a few days ago?

Lisa says:

Yeah… so?

Chris says:

So I think your tastebuds are fried.

Lisa says:

Oooh, good point. Well, I’m glad you like it, but I can’t really tell how it tastes. And I think it’s random that the Whole Foods site suggests you serve this stir-fry, which has pasta in it, over pasta.

Chris says:

…or toast, or polenta…

Lisa says:

Yeah, but still. Random.

Chris says:

Okay, while you’re thinking about that and not being distracted by flavor, I’m going to finish my dinner. And possibly yours.

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Minestrone Stir Fry
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped peeled eggplant
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato juice
1 cup cooked pasta
1 cup chopped chard leaves
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add eggplant, mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, carrots, Italian seasoning, fennel seeds, chile flakes, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, adding a little water to prevent sticking. Add tomatoes and tomato juice and continue to cook for 3 minutes longer. Add pasta, chard, basil, and salt and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer to heat through.

4 Servings

posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 0 Comments

17th July 2009

Rice Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu

veggietofunoodlesalad

Lisa got tired of my experiments and just wanted to make a light, healthy asian-themed salad for dinner, and this one, featuring rice noodles, quick-stir-fried vegetables, and tofu was just what she wanted.  The vegetables are still nice and crisp when you place them on the platter, and the entire dish is incredibly refreshing.  The recipe comes from The Best of Cooking Light: Everyday Favorites.

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Lisa says:

Now this is what I’m talking about.

Chris says:

Have to admit, it’s delicious — but how could it not be? The dressing is pretty good too.

Lisa says:

Yeah, I love dishes like these; I could eat them every day.

Chris says:

You basically do, don’t you? This is just a stir-fry over noodles, really.

Lisa says:

Ha — yeah, you’re right! I knew I liked it for a reason.

Chris says:

You could add anything you want to this. Snap peas… carrots… yum!

Lisa says:

As long as it’s eventually added to my plate…

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Rice Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu
4 oz rice sticks
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts
6 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 serrano chiles, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp sesame oil
1 large yellow squash, halved and thinly sliced
2 cups thinly sliced red/orange bell pepper rings
1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
3 cups sliced cabbage
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/2 cups chopped green onions
12 oz baked tofu, cubed

Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside.
Combine mint, soy sauce, sugar, peanuts, rice wine vinegar, chiles, and garlic cloves; mix thoroughly. Pour half of the mixture over noodles in a large bowl.
Heat the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, bell pepper and zucchini and saute for four minutes. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, and tofu, and saute for an additional three minutes. Place the noodles on a platter, then top with the cabbage/veggie mixture.

6 Servings

posted in Asian, Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Salads and Light Soups, Vegetarian | 2 Comments

16th July 2009

Reuben? Check. Vegetarian? Check. Wait — what?

reuben

This recipe appeared in a newsletter I receive from the Vegetarian Times and was just too bizarre not to try. I loves me a Reuben, but Lisa’s not the biggest fan, so I wondered if a vegetarian version would be any more appealing. I think I won her over in the end… This recipe won for best vegetarian sandwich in a Vegetarian Times poll.

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Lisa says:

Wow. Um, would you be offended if I didn’t eat this?

Chris says:

Only if you didn’t at least try it — if you hate it, we’ll make you something else.

Lisa says:

Okay, but I’m warning you… um, you know I don’t like real reubens, right?

Chris says:

Yeah, but this is made with seitan instead of corned beef!

Lisa says:

You know I don’t like seitan, either, right?

Chris says:

Oh. Really? Well, uh… just try it anyway.

Lisa says:

Alright, but I’m expecting to make my own dinner in about five minutes.

Chris says:

So? How is it? I think overall it’s a pretty good impersonation of a real one.

Lisa says:

Hmmm…. this is weird, how’d it get that color?

Chris says:

It’s got beet juice in it to dye the seitan the color of corned beef.

Lisa says:

This is just bizarre. But… not bad…

Chris says:

Stop right there! Given your position coming to the table, I’ll take that!

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Radical Reuben
Seitan:
1 lb seitan, thinly sliced
1 cup pickle juice
1/2 cup beet juice (puree a 15-oz can of beets if not available)
1 tsp pickling spice
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

For the dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp finely chopped pickles

8 slices rye bread
4 slices Swiss or Provolone cheese
Sauerkraut, for garnish

Place seitan in baking dish. Bring pickle juice, beet juice, pickling spice, garlic powder, pepper, and 1 cup water to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Strain marinade, and pour over sliced seitan. Cover and cool. Chill overnight.
To make dressing, combine all ingredients in bowl.
To assemble the sandwiches, preheat oven to broil. Set bread slices on baking sheet. Top 4 bread slices with drained Seitan and cheese. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, or until Seitan is hot and cheese is melted. Transfer Seitan-topped bread slices to serving plates, and garnish with sauerkraut. Spread remaining 4 bread slices with dressing, and place on top.

4 Reubens

posted in Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 8 Comments