Monday, September 26, 2011

Quick Veggie Stew

Need a quick dinner that's super healthy. As long as you have veggies in the house, this is a snap and will be ready in less than 30 minutes!

Quick Vegetable Stew
This is a great way to use up veggies from your CSA box or garden. You don’t need to chop fine—just cut everything into bite-sized pieces. If you know I'll be home late and want a dinner to be ready, make it in the morning and stick it in the refrigerator so the flavors can meld.

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, diced to bite-sized pieces
2 carrots, sliced
1 quart vegetable broth
3 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups bite-sized green beans
1 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley for serving (optional)

Place a large pot (I love my cast iron for this) over low heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and carrots. Cook and stir another 5 minutes. Add the broth. Turn heat to high. Add the remaining vegetables and herbs. When mixture boils, cover the pan and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with fresh parsley if desired when serving.

Serves 6

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My competition!

My 10-year-old daughter invented a recipe for peanut butter-banana cookies.

At her dad’s house.

Without me advising, coaching, or otherwise sticking my two cents in.

They were great!

And when I asked her if she wrote down the recipe because I’d like to put it in my next cookbook, she told me, "Sorry, Mom. It's going in MY cookbook."

Monday, September 19, 2011

My friend Lynda made me some green pea pesto a couple of months ago and I not only loved it, but thought it would be perfect as a lasagna filling. I came up with a vegan version of the pesto and decided rather than traditional lasagna, rollups would be fun. My family and I really enjoyed these and it makes a nice big batch so its great for company (actually, I like it just for us so there are lots of leftovers I can freeze). Let me know what you think.

Green Pea Pesto Lasagna Roll-Ups
When you want a change from regular lasagna, this is a great one to try. The pea pesto is very creamy and we love the mixture of basil and mint. I used whole wheat noodles, but any kind work fine. If there are leftovers, I like to freeze them in small containers with just 1 or 2 rolls, which are perfect for to take for lunch or for the kids to microwave for a snack.

14 Lasagna noodles
2 cups Roasted Tomato Sauce or Marinara Sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (dairy or nondairy)

Green Pea and Walnut Pesto Filling:
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed (or fresh peas steamed until bright green)
1 cup walnuts, toasted
1 head roasted garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounces extra firm tofu
1/4 cup olive oil

Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Place in refrigerator while cooking noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook noodles in 3 batches until al dente—usually about 10 minutes. Remove from water and lay them out on a work surface.

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Spread each noodle with a layer of pesto filling—about 1/4-inch thick. Roll noodles up and place seam side down in pan. Spread the sauce over the rolls and then sprinkle with cheese. Cover with aluminim foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Serves 6 to 8

Monday, September 12, 2011

Creamy Multigrain Farina

We love hot cereals on these cold, foggy mornings, like brown rice or barley farina. They're hearty and delicious . . . but unfortunately, the organic packaged mixes are expensive. The good news is that they are easy to make yourself . . . and if you make a big batch of the mix, it makes weekday breakfasts easy. The cost difference . . . well, 4 cups of Brown Rice Farina cost me almost $7.00 at a local health food store. The grains (from the bulk bin) to make the same amount of farina using the following recipe cost me less than $3.00.

Creamy Multi-Grain Cereal Mix
This recipe is wheat-free but if you prefer it to be gluten-free, substitute of the other grains for the barley. It's also great with just a single grain . . . like all brown rice or all barley, etc.

1 cup millet
1 cup quinoa
1 cup brown rice
1 cup barley

Toast the grains, one at a time, in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Be sure to watch the grains and stir occasionally so they don’t burn. When the grains are slightly golden and giving off nutty aroma. Pour them into a large bowl to cool, while you cook the next grain. When all the grains are cool, grind them to a powder using a coffee or grain grinder, or a high-powered blender. Store the cereal mixture in a covered jar.

Makes 4 cups

To prepare the cereal: In a medium pan, whisk together 1 cup Creamy Multi-Grain Cereal Mix with 4 cups water. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until mixture is thickened.

Serves 3-4

Monday, September 05, 2011

Vegan Lemon Gingersnap Ice Cream

So, I've been eyeing this new ice cream flavor at Trader Joe's called Lemon Triple Gingersnap Ice Cream and decided why not make a nondairy version. I used the Lemon Ice Cream recipe from Lick It! Creamy Dreamy Vegan Ice Creams Your Mouth Will Love (I used Meyer lemons), and at the end mixed in grated lemon peel and crushed gingersnap cookies. OMG -- heaven. Just heaven.

Here's the recipe if you want to try.

Lemon Gingersnap Ice Cream

1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
1 cup nondairy milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar or agave syrup
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
Grated peel from 2 lemons
2/3 cup crushed gingersnap cookies (about 10)

Place the coconut milk, nondairy milk, and sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until well combined. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Whisk in the lemon juice and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. When the ice cream is firm, add the grated lemon peel and crushed cookies. Process another minute, or until they are distributed through the ice cream.

Makes about 1 quart