Thursday, January 31, 2008

Vegetable Curry

(Don't be daunted by the long list of ingredients. Use the vegetables you have on hand, and it comes together very quickly!)

1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 jalapenos, stems removed, coarsely chopped (remove seeds for less heat)
1 onion- 1/2 chopped, 1/2 sliced thinly and reserved for later
2 tsps oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups prepared from dried)
1 1/2 cup cubed butternut squash
1 cup fresh green beans, snapped (or 1 cup frozen)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fennel
1/2 large red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
2 handfuls baby spinach
To serve:
Basmati rice
plain yogurt or raita
assorted chutneys

In a large pot or dutch oven heat the 1 tsp of oil over medium high heat. Add the raisins and almonds and saute for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Combine the can of diced tomatoes, jalapenos, and chopped onion in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.

Add the 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot. Add the cumin seeds, cardamom pods and bay leaves, and saute for about 1 minute, or until nice and fragrant. Add the thinly sliced onion to the pot, and cook for about 3 minutes- or until onion begins to turn golden, stir very frequently ro prevent burning.

Carefully, add the tomato mixture to the pot, as well as the Garam masala, cinnamon, salt, and turmeric. Bring to a boil, and add the vegetables all at once. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for 20 minutes- or until the vegetables are tender.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments, sprinkling the top with the raisins and almonds.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Herb Roasted Mushrooms, Chicken, and Vegetables

1/3 cup olive oil
3 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2-1/2 inch pieces
1 pound fresh white mushrooms, halved (about 6 cups)
1 pound small red potatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
3 medium onions, cut in wedges (about 3 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, cut in 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
6 large garlic cloves, peeled

Preheat oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl combine oil, rosemary, salt and pepper until well blended. Add chicken, mushrooms, potatoes, onions, red bell pepper and garlic; toss until well coated. Divide mixture into two baking or roasting pans. Roast until chicken and vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally and rotating pans on shelves once during roasting.

Serves 8.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Devil's Food Cake

from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion

12 tablespoons butter (I used margarine very successfully)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups natural cocoa powder
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk or water (I used rice milk)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, and vanilla until fluffy- about 5 minutes.

Whisk together the flour and cocoa- sieve if necessary to remove lumps.

Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each egg until completely combined before adding the next one. Slowly, blend one-third of the flour mixture into the creamed mixture, then half the milk, another third of the flour, the remaining milk, and the remaining flour. be sure to mix well after each addition, and to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally throughout the process.

Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans (or three 8-inch pans, or 24 cupcake papers). Divide the batter evenly. Bake the cakes for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted near the middle comes out clean. Cupcakes will take about 20 minutes to bake. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Baked Cod with Chorizo and White Beans

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 ounces Spanish chorizo or turkey kielbasa, diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine, divided (I used chicken stock)
1 15-ounce can great northern beans, rinsed
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/4 pounds Pacific cod, cut into 4 pieces
Freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Coat a 9-by-13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, chorizo (or kielbasa) and thyme and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and 1/4 cup wine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are broken down and the wine is almost evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in beans and 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.

3. Sprinkle fish with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; place in the prepared baking dish. Top each piece of fish with equal amounts of the tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup per fillet). Pour the remaining 1/4 cup wine into the pan and cover the pan with foil. Bake until the fish is just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve the fish with the sauce spooned over the top.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Autumn Harvest Red Lentil Soup

Recipe By The Healthy Hedonist, Myra Kornfeld

1 cup red lentils -- sorted and rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions -- cut into small dice (2 cups)
4 garlic cloves -- minced
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger -- minced
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 pound butternut squash -- cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
1 parsnip -- cut into 1/2-inch dice (1/2 cup)
2 carrots -- cut into 1/2-inch dice (1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 pound spinach -- stemmed, washed, and torn into bite-size pieces or one 5-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed
Cayenne pepper

Combine the lentils, 4 cups of the water, the bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.

Discard the bay leaf, and purée the lentils with an immersion blender or in a standing blender. (If you want a little texture, you can simply whisk the lentils until creamy.) Set the lentils aside.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sauté until they are softened, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the squash, parsnips, carrots, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

Stir the lemon juice and spinach into the lentils. The heat will immediately wilt the spinach. Add the vegetables and simmer for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Season with a generous pinch of cayenne. Taste and add salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Makes 4 generous servings.

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Per Serving: 184 Calories; 8g Fat (34.6% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 79mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Olive Oil Salt Bread

from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing pan
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt, preferably coarse or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease and 8-inch skillet or square baking pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor and turn themachine on. Pour through the feed tube first the 1/3 cup of olive oil, then most of 1 cup of warm water. Process for about 30 seconds, then remove the cover. The dough should be a well-defined, barely sticky, easy to handle ball. If it is too dry, add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 to 10 seconds after each addition. If it is too wet, which is unlikely, add a tablespoon or two of flour and process briefly.

Put the dough into the prepared pan and press until it fits to the edges. Flip it over and press again. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes; then remove the foil, sprinkle the top with a little coarse salt, and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is lightly golden and springs back a bit when touched gently. Cool in the pan a bit, then cut into wedges or squares and serve.

Griddled Variation: Instead of preheating the oven, heat a griddle or set a heavy pan over medium heat. Have the extra olive oil handy for greasing. In step 2, divide the dough into 8 to 12 pieces and pat them into patties between your hands until they're about 1/2 inch thick. When the griddle or pan is hot, use enough olive oil to film the bottom and put in as many breads as will fit comfortably without crowding (you will probably have to work in batches). Cook, undisturbed, until they begin to brown around the edges and the tops bubble a bit, about 5 minutes. Then turn and cook the other side until crisp and golden.

Serves 4 to 6

Monday, January 21, 2008

Squash-Topped Cottage Pies

from Eating Well magazine

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
12 ounces 93%-lean ground beef
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
6 ounces baby spinach, chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
2 12-ounce packages frozen winter squash puree, thawed
1/3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, stir in beef, tomato paste and flour, and cook, stirring, until the beef is mostly browned, about 3 minutes. Add broth, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth is the consistency of thick gravy, about 4 minutes. Stir in spinach, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder; cook until the spinach is just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
3. Place squash in a fine-mesh sieve and gently press on it to extract excess liquid. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Divide the meat mixture among four 10-ounce broiler-safe ramekins. Top each with about 1/2 cup of the squash. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet. Broil until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and broil until it is just melted, about 3 minutes more.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tomato and White Bean Soup

from Cooking Light Magazine, October, 1997

Serving Size : 4

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves -- crushed
2 cans no-salt-added whole tomatoes -- (14.5-ounce) undrained and chopped
2 cans white beans -- (16-ounce) drained
1 can fat-free chicken broth -- (14 1/2-ounce)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients (tomatoes through pepper), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with cheese.

Another Cheeseburger Soup

recipe shared by Sweetnicks

1/2 lb browned ground beef
4 cups diced potatoes
3/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup shredded carrots
8 oz Velveeta
3/4 cup diced celery
1 1/2 cup milk
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/4 tsp pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup sour cream

Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 T butter for about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and hamburger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt about 3 T butter. Add flour and cook, stirring, for about 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup. Bring to boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pasta Sauce with Beef Ribs and Cinnamon

Recipe By :Mark Bittman

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 pounds meaty short ribs of beef
salt and pepper -- to taste
2 cans whole plum tomatoes -- undrained
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat olive oil in a heavy Dutch oven or casserole over medium-high heat; a minute later, brown the meat on all sides, seasoning with salt and pepper as it cooks. Add the tomatoes, garlic, cinnamon and cloves, reduce heat to low, and cover, with the lid slightly ajar.

Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for at least 1 1/2 hours, until the meat falls off the bone; if the sauce begins to get too thick, add a little water and continue to cook.

When the meat is tender and fallen from the bone, remove the bones from the sauce and break the meat up with a spoon. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 260 Calories; 27g Fat (91.3% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 5g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 3mg Sodium. Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 5 1/2 Fat.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Demerara Topped Peanut Butter Brownies

1 cup peanut butter -- not natural PB
1/2 cup butter -- at room temperature
2 1/2 cup Demerara Washed Raw Sugar (I used Sugar In The Raw)
3 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks, to taste
4 tablespoons Demerara Washed Raw Sugar -- for topping

Preheat oven to 350.

Line a 9x13 pan with release foil or grease the pan.

Cream peanut butter, butter, and sugar until light in color. Add eggs and blend to combine. Add vanilla and blend well.

In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, soda, and salt. Add to peanut butter mixture and blend until just combined. Stir in chips, if using.

Scoop batter into prepared pan and smooth it out. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons demerara over the top. Bake 28-30 minutes. Brownies will sink slightly in the center while cooling. Cool completely before cutting.

**watch the bake time, I had to give mine an extra 10 minutes

Friday, January 11, 2008

Black Bean Enchiladas with Spicy Pumpkin Sauce

a recipe adapted from Every Food magazine by Bob on the CLBB

Serving Size : 4

1 can pumpkin puree -- (15 ounce)
2 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves -- peeled and coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno -- quartered, seeds removed, if desired
1 tsp. chili powder
8 corn tortillas (6 inch)
2 cups black beans, cooked -- or canned, well drained and rinsed
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 chipotle chile canned in adobo -- chopped
2 scallions -- chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 425.

In a blender, puree pumpkin, water, salt, pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and chili powder until smooth. (Hold blender top firmly as blender will be quite full.) Pour 1 cup of the sauce into the bottom of an 8 inch square or other shallow baking dish.

In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the black beans, sour cream, and chipotle chili. Pulse until well pureed. Stir in remaining cup of black beans and scallions.

One at a time, dip tortillas in simmering water to soften (don't let tortillas sit in water). Roll tortillas with filling; mound on half of the tortilla and roll up; place seam side down in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce on top; sprinkle with cheese. Bake in a 425º oven until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool five minutes before serving.

Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 266 Calories; 11g Fat (34.8% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 29g Carbohydrate; 10g Dietary Fiber; 32mg Cholesterol; 1287mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Simple Clam Chowder

from Cooking Light magazine.

2 bacon slices
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 garlic cloves -- minced
6 cans chopped clams -- (6 1/2-ounce) undrained
5 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 pound)
4 bottles clam juice -- (8-ounce)
1 bay leaf
3 cups fat-free milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings in pan. Crumble bacon; set aside. Add onion, celery, salt, thyme, and garlic to drippings in pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Drain clams, reserving liquid. Add clam liquid, potato, clam juice, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until potato is tender. Discard bay leaf.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 12 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add clams; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with bacon.

Serves 12

Spiced Pumpkin Waffles

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 (15 oz) can evaporated milk
4 Tbs butter, melted and cooled slightly

In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat the two eggs together. Add the brown sugar, pumpkin puree and evaporated milk, and mix well. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter, stirring to incorporate.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients. Stir until combined.

Cook waffles on waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions. The batter will work for both Belgian and standard waffle irons.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Wellesley Fudge Cake

4 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 9 inch round pans. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together 3 times and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat water, chocolate and 1/2 cup sugar, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
  3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each egg. Add half of flour mixture and beat until smooth. Add milk and remaining flour mixture alternately in 2 parts. Beat smooth after each addition. Add vanilla and chocolate mixture. Blend well.
  4. Divide batter into two 9 inch pans. Bake at 350ºF for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

French Lentil and Vegetable Soup

by Ina Garten

Serving Size : 12

16 ounces lentils -- Small French green lentils are preferred over the larger brown ones.
boiling water
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large onions -- chopped
3 cloves garlic -- minced
2 large leeks -- white and tender green parts only, chopped
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 whole celery ribs -- chopped
6 medium carrots -- diced into 1/2" pieces
3 quarts chicken broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons dry red wine -- or red wine vinegar

In a large heatproof bowl, cover the lentils with boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pot (at least 5 quart size). Add onions, garlic, leeks, salt, pepper, thyme, and cumin. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very tender, about 20 minutes.

Add the carrots and celery and cook until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, lentils, and tomato paste to the pot. Increase the heat to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are very tender (about 1 hour).

Stir in red wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil if desired, and a sprinkling of grated Parmesan.

**BY all means, replace the chicken broth with a good mushroom or veggie broth for a vegetarian version of this soup.

Potato Pancakes

from Betty Crocker's New Cookbook

4 medium potatoes
4 large eggs, beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil for cooking

Wash, peel, and shred potatoes. Place them in a colander and rinse them off. Pat dry.

Mix potatoes, eggs, onions, flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet or griddle.

Pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet for each pancake. Flatten and spread out with a spatula if necessary to evenly distribute the pancakes.

Cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Keep warm in a 200º oven while cooking the remaining pancakes. Serve warm with butter, sour cream, and applesauce.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Asian Dumplings with Soy-Ginger Sauce

1 pound ground pork
1 cup scallions
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups finely chopped napa cabbage (green cabbage is acceptable)
Won-ton wrappers
water for sealing wrappers

Soy-Ginger Sauce:
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon grated ginger
2 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions
2 or 3 drops sesame oil

Mix meat, scallions, soy sauce, ginger, and black pepper together. Add cabbage and mix well. Lay out 2 or 3 won ton wrappers. Add a scant tablespoon to the center of each won ton. Brush water around the edges, and carefully fold over the won ton wrappers, keeping the meat mixture in the center, and sealing all the edges. Pleat and fold as desired to desired shape. Set aside on a baking sheet that has been dusted with flour while making remaining dumplings.

Combine sauce ingredients and set aside for the flavors to meld.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large nonstick saute pan. Gently set dumplings in the pan. Fry for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the bottoms are a nice golden brown. Working quickly, add 1/2 cup water to the pan and quickly put on the lid. This will steam the dumplings and complete the cooking. Cook another 3 to 4 minutes, shaking the pan a few times to keep the dumplings from sticking. Remove from the pan and allow to sit for 2 minutes before serving.

Serve with dipping sauce.

*Alternately, the dumplings can be completely steamed in a steamer pot to avoid the frying process.