Friday, August 24, 2012

veggie-ful cashew chicken

Craving some good old takeout Asian food on a Friday night, but wanting to keep it lighter -- this filled the order nicely.  Lots of fresh veggies in this one, but tastes like an indulgence just the same.  And the recipe could easily be adapted for all my vegetarian friends, as tofu would work well as a stand-in for the chicken.

veggie-ful cashew chicken
(serves 3)

2 T Olive Oil, divided
1 1/4 c mushroom, sliced
2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces, or tofu
2 T cornstarch
2 fat cloves garlic, grated
1 pinch crushed red pepper
1 medium red bell, sliced thin
1/2 bundle asparagus (about 1 1/4 cups sliced on bias in 1" pieces)
1 carrot, julienned
1/4 cup shelled edamame
3 whole green onion, sliced on the bias, divided
1/2 cups unsalted roasted cashews, divided
3 T honey
3 T tamari
salt and pepper to taste

Season chicken with salt and pepper and sprinkle cornstarch over it, evenly coating each piece.  Add 1 T olive oil to skillet preheated to medium.  Add mushrooms and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.  Remove from skillet.  Add in the remaining olive oil. Add in chicken and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.  Add garlic, crushed red pepper, red bell, asparagus, carrot, edamame, half of the green onions, half of the cashews and stir for about 1 minute to combine.  Turn the heat to medium low.  Combine honey and tamari in a small bowl and pour into skillet, coating all ingredients well.  Serve over brown rice.  Garnish with remaining green onion and cashews. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

savory chickpeas, red chard and chicken sausage with oven-baked egg

So fast, so easy and everything you want in a comfort dish -- creamy egg over savory chickpeas, red chard and chicken sausage. A repeat weeknight dinner, no doubt.

savory chickpeas, red chard and chicken sausage with oven-baked egg
(serves 2)
1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 link spicy sausage (I used a roasted red pepper chicken, diced)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 bunch red chard, stems removed, coarsely chopped
kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
shriracha sauce
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Heat olive oil and add in onion and a pinch of salt.  Saute until the onion begins to soften.  Add in sausage and continue to saute until cooked through.  Add in garlic and saute one minute more.  Add in chard, another pinch salt, nutmeg and  paprika.  Saute until chard is wilted.  Add in chickpeas and gently combine until heated through.  Divide mixture among two oven-safe ramekins or crocks.  Sprinkle on a bit of shriracha.  Crack each egg, one at a time, in a small bowl and slide on top of each crock.  Season with salt.  Bake for 5-10 minutes, until the white of the egg begins to set, and yolk is still wet (it will continue to cook after you remove from oven).  Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime. Served with buttered toast.  Good stuff fast!

Monday, August 20, 2012

chopped salad with pear, chickpea, roasted bell, artichoke, candied walnuts, gorgonzola and micro greens

MMMMMMMMMMMMMM.  Here is my replication of a salad we had takeout last week while my house was off limits for food preparation due to a bathroom redo.  I'm thinking all the dust and mess was worth it, if only for the sake of finding the salad.  I mean, good stuff, people!

Mixed greens with pear, chickpeas, roasted bell, marinated artichoke hearts, candied walnuts, and Gorgonzola tossed with a fresh basil vinaigrette -- how could that not be fabulous?  My farmhouse bushel arrived with the pears and peppers we needed, plus a pretty, vibrant green handful of mustard micro greens which made for a nice addition to the salad.  Plenty of basil growing in the garden for a nice vinaigrette.

chopped salad with pear, chickpea, roasted bell, artichoke, candied walnuts, gorgonzola and micro greens

mixed greens
firm pear
roasted red bell pepper
marinated artichoke hearts
candied walnuts
micro greens

Start with a mixed assortment of your favorite greens.  For this salad, I used red lettuce, boston lettuce, baby spinach, and topped with mustard micro greens.  Slice some pear, chop some marinated artichoke hearts and roasted red bell pepper.  Grab a handful of candied walnuts, a handful of canned chickpeas drained and rinsed) and crumble a bit of Gorgonzola.  Garnish with micro greens and toss with basil vinaigrette.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"un" fried green heirloom tomatoes

I've been thinking about fried green tomatoes (or "un"fried green tomatoes I should say) for a while now.  I haven't been able to stumble across any just right -- until I found these green heirloom pretties at Whole Foods (okay, one slightly yellow but very firm one sneaked in there, too). 

Wanted something for dinner  to go with a semi spicy Eggplant dish (Baingan Bharta), and while you may not think this typically Southern delight meshes well with the Indian spiced roasted eggplant and yogurt, well, I beg to differ!  But I digress.. back to the tomatoes...

Slice them up about 1/4" thick.  Coat in an egg/buttermilk mixture.

Next, dredge each slice in a mixture of corn meal and whole wheat bread crumbs, and arrange on a cookie sheet lined with foil, and oiled with canola oil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes until nicely browned on the bottom.  Flip the tomatoes and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. 

"un" fried green heirloom tomatoes
3 green heirloom tomatoes
2 eggs
2 T lowfat buttermilk
splash or 3 of hot sauce
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
canola oil or canola oil spray
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with foil and oil with canola oil or canola oil spray.  Slice the tomatoes 1/4" thick.  Combine eggs, buttermilk,  2-3 good splashes of hot sauce in a shallow, wide bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a second shallow, wide bowl, combine whole wheat bread crumbs, cornmeal, and season well with salt and pepper.  Coat tomatoes in egg mixture, and shake off any excess.  Dredge in cornmeal mixture and arrange on prepared cookie sheet.  Spray the top of each tomato with canola oil spray.  Bake at 375 degree for 25 minutes, until the tomatoes are nicely browned on the bottom.  Flip, and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

zucchini and ricotta stuffed lasagna rolls with roasted tomato sauce

Saturday brought many things home. First and foremost, my hubby, home from once in a lifetime fishing trip in Alaska. Second, my Farmhouse bushel.  I get stupid excited waiting for it to get here. 

Pretty, pretty squash in this one, and some nice cherry tomatoes.  Since hubby loves cheese stuffed pasta and other such Italian inspired meals, methinks there will be some stuffed pasta in our immediate future.... you know, to honor his homecoming and all :)

Roasted tomato sauce and the gorgeous produce from the bushel was the inspiration for this recipe.

Grate 5 zucchini (mine were assorted colors), and saute in olive oil until tender, and liquid has mostly evaporated.  Set aside to cool, and start your lasagna noodles to boiling.

I made my roasted tomato sauce while I made the zucchini mixture.  Use your favorite sauce recipe, or store-bought works too.

Voila!  That's some kick butt good roasted tomato sauce.

Combine zucchini, ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, parm and mozzarella. Spread mixture evenly over each noodle.  Place 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange the lasagna rolls on top of sauce.

Cover rolls evenly with remaining sauce and top with more mozzarella and parmesan.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes until golden and bubbly.  Top with fresh basil.

zucchini and ricotta stuffed lasagna rolls with roasted tomato sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce

For the lasagna rolls:
1 package lasagna noodles (I used shorter, wider ones)
5 assorted zucchini, grated
1 T olive oil
1 (15 oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese
zest of one lemon
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella, divided
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 egg
salt and pepper

Heat 1 T oil in skillet and saute zucchini until tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Set aside to cool. 

Start your noodles to boil.  Cook al dente.

Combine zucchini, ricotta, lemon zest, egg, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, a pinch or so of salt and a few grinds of pepper and mix until well incorporated. 

Place 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, and preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Evenly spread some ricotta mixture on each noodle, leaving about a 1/4 inch gap at the end.  Roll noodle, and place, seam side down, in baking dish on top of sauce.  Repeat with remaining noodles/ricotta.

Top the lasagna rolls with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake at 375 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, until golden and bubbly.  Garnish with fresh basil. 

Welcome home, honey!  Mmmmmmmwah.