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Pesto, "Gets no better"

Keith's International Soul Vegetarian Recipes:

 

 

Top 10 Detoxifying and Healing Foods

 

 

  1. Cauliflower: Known for cancer-fighting properties
  2. Cayenne: enhances blood circulation, stimulates the digestive system and protects the body with its antioxidants from the effects of harmful chemicals.
  3. Cinnamon: helpful for reducing intestinal gas and aids in increasing blood circulation. This spice is also known to treat diarrhea, nausea, arthritis, menstrual cramps and Candida.
  4. Garlic: used to treat ear infections, influenza, blood pressure and high cholesterol, it eliminates toxins from the body and is anti-parasitic.
  5. Ginger: improves circulation use to treat colds, motion sickness nausea and morning sickness.  
  6. Miso: protect the body from radiation, cancer, air pollution and toxins.
  7. Nori: sea veggie rich in vitamin A protein, B Vitamins.
  8. Quinoa: only gain that is a complete protein, high in calcium and lysine.
  9. Turmeric: found in curry powers, high in beta carotene strengthens immune system and help to dissolve cysts and tumor.
  10.  Winter Squash: source for vitamin A and C and potassium.

APPETIZERS

 

Italian Tofu and Spinach Patties

Serves 8 to 30 muffins or fewer

1 lb. soft Chinese-style tofu, crumbled
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
?cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
?tsp. nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tsp. salt
?tsp. black pepper
2 cups dry bread crumbs
3 Tbs. olive oil
2 cups prepared marinara sauce

Mix tofu, spinach, cheeses, nutmeg, garlic, salt and pepper in medium bowl.

Divide into 8 equal patties and dip each patty in bread crumbs.

In medium fry pan, heat oil. Saut?patties, about 3 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Serve in pool of marinara sauce.

PER SERVING:
282 Calories
13g Protein
13g Total Fat (3G Saturated Fat)
30g Carbohydrates
10mg Cholesterol
1,034mg Sodium
4g Fib

ROASTED GARLIC CROSTINI WITH ASSORTED TOPPINGS

 

For the roasted garlic:
4 heads garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

For the crostini:
12 slices of baguette or country-style Italian bread, sliced at a 45-degree
angle about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pureed garlic from 4 whole roasted heads of garlic (see above)

Assorted topping options:
Shaved Parmesan, dry jack or Gruyère cheese
Fresh, creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
Roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or bottled, cut into thin strips
Prepared tapenade (black olive and anchovy paste)
Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, cut into thin strips
Capers, drained
Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced, or halved, seeded, and diced
Fresh basil leaves, cut into fine julienne strips or left whole
Crushed red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Thinly sliced prosciutto
Anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

 

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the garlic in a roasting pan and drizzle on the olive oil. Toss to coat thoroughly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the garlic bulbs are very tender but not overly brown. Test by carefully giving a bulb a gentle squeeze while protecting your hand with a folded kitchen towel or an oven glove. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

2. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut each head of garlic crosswise in half, midway between its leaf and root ends, to expose all the cloves inside. Their pulp will be golden brown and as soft as butter. You can squeeze it out of each half by hand or scoop it out with a small spoon or knife. Transfer the roasted garlic to a small bowl, pour in any olive oil from the baking dish, and stir and mash with a fork to form a smooth purée. You'll have 1/3 to 1/2 cup of purée, depending on the size of the garlic heads.

3. To make the Roasted Garlic Crostini, preheat the oven to 375° F. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake them until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Spread the puréed roasted garlic evenly on the tops of the crostini. Top the crostini with any of the options listed above, or make an assortment. Spread some with 1 tablespoon each of goat cheese; then decorate the cheese with strips of roasted bell pepper or a mixture of sun-dried tomato strips and capers, or a smear of tapenade. In place of the goat cheese, top others with diced tomato tossed with some fresh basil, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar; with prosciutto and Parmesan cheese; with anchovy fillets and freshly ground black pepper; or with slices of Roma tomato and fresh mozzarella, topped with fresh basil leaves.

Wolfgang's Easy Tips:
• The roasted garlic will keep for up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
• In addition to using the garlic for the crostini below, try mixing it into stir-fried vegetables and spooning it onto pizzas; stir it into risottos or your mashed potatoes; add it to sauces for meat, poultry, seafood, or pasta; or purée it with butter to make the best garlic bread you can imagine.

Makes 4 servings.

 

Guacamole

1 small ripe Haas avocado
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno pepper
2 tablespoons minced red onion
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt

Halve the avocado and remove the pit with a sharp knife. Discard the pit. Scoop the flesh into a small bowl and mash with a fork. Stir in the remaining ingredients, season with salt to taste, and set aside.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

 

Hummus:

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tahini
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Serving suggestion: Assorted flat breads, and brine-cured olives

In a food processor, combine the chickpeas, water, tahini, 5 tablespoons lemon juice, salt, and garlic and puree. While the motor is running, pour in the olive oil and process until fully incorporated. Season with pepper, to taste. Store in the refrigerator for 6 hours, for the flavors to come together.

 

When ready to serve, remove the hummus from the refrigerator and stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and parsley. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with flat breads and olives. Store any leftover hummus in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

 

Non-Chicken Tofu Nuggets

 

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

  • 4 tablespoon of dark all-purpose flower such as whole wheat
  • or oak flour
  • 7 tablespoon of cold water to coagulate the and the batter
  • 1/2 of vegan bread crumbs- I like to make my own
  • 1 teaspoon of kelp powder or sea iodine salt
  • 2 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 1-2 pounds of extra firm tofu that you cut into round balls or into cubes
  • or you can use a chicken meat substitute analogue
  • enough olive oil for a inch to stir deep fry in a frying pan.

Directions:

Cosmopolitan once said that to eat nothing white, i.e. mayonnaise, eggs, sugar, milk, flour. So I subscribe to the theory, the less processed the better.

1) Stir flour and water into a smooth batter.

2) Combine 1/2 of toasted vegan bread crumbs.

3) Combine 1/2 iodine sea salt or powdered kelp or miso with 1/2 or to taste cayenne pepper.

4) Heat an inch of olive oil in a iron skillet-non aluminum.

5) dip tofu cubes into batter and crumb mixture then cook for 2 minute in the platter until they are honey brown. Drain the oil off and put on paper towels.

Mustard sauce is not that traditional but it is better than mayonnaise for dipping.

I prefer a heated mixture in a sauce pan of 1 tbsp of miso or saltless soy sauce, with which is stirred in:

1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 of powdered mustard
4 to 6 tablespoons of water

Personally although I don't like meat-tasting analogues, they are better for nutrition and also for transitional dieting purposes. My personal aim is to remain a macrobiotic therapeutic vegan.

Serves: 5

 

Mozzarella Sticks

1 1/2 cups Italian-style dried breadcrumbs
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
2 (16-ounce) blocks pasteurized mozzarella cut into 4 by 1/2-inch sticks
4 large eggs, beaten to blend
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
4 cups Marinara Sauce, recipe follows

Stir the bread crumbs, 1 cup of Parmesan and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl to blend. Dip the cheese in the eggs to coat completely and allow the excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Coat the cheese in the bread crumb mixture, patting to adhere and coat completely. Place the cheese sticks on a baking sheet. Repeat dipping the cheese sticks in the egg and bread crumb mixture to coat a second time. Cover and freeze until frozen, about 2 hours and up to 2 days.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches, fry the cheese until golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the fried cheese to plates. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve with the Marinara Sauce.

 

Marinara Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 (32 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves

In a large casserole pot, heat the oil over a medium-high flame. Add the onions and garlic and saute until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, and 1/2 teaspoon of each salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and simmer uncovered over low heat until the sauce thickens, about 1 hour. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Season the sauce with more salt and pepper, to taste. (The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium heat before using.)

Yield: 2 quarts
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
 

White Bean Dip withPita Chips

 

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pitas
1 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.

Cut each pita in half and then into 8 wedges. Arrange the pita wedges on a large baking sheet. Pour the remaining oil over the pitas. Toss and spread out the wedges evenly. Sprinkle with the oregano, salt, and pepper. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until toasted and golden in color.

Serve the pita toasts warm or at room temperature alongside the bean puree.

 

Mushroom Pesto Crostini

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
36 slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread

Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl of hot water; press to submerge. Let stand until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Scoop out mushrooms, being carefully not to stir any dirt that may have sunk to the bottom of the water. Discard mushroom water.

Combine the porcini mushrooms, button mushrooms, walnuts, garlic, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of the oil, blending just until the mushrooms are finely chopped.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste. If not using mushroom pesto right away, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent possible discoloration of mushrooms.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Arrange the bread slices on pan, cut-side down. Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over the bread slices. Cook until pale golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices on 2 heavy large baking sheet. Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over the bread slices. Bake until pale golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Spread the mushroom pesto over the crostini. Arrange the crostini on a platter and serve.

 

Deep-fried Onion Rings

3 to 6 cups vegetable oil (more or less depending on pot size)
3 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream or water
3 large yellow onions

Breading:
2 1/3 cups soy flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

Place a heavy pot over medium-high heat with at least an inch of vegetable oil. Heat oil to 350 degrees F; it is important to monitor and maintain the temperature, or the soy flour breading and your oil will burn. (Portable deep fryers at home are great for this.)

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and cream to make an egg wash. In a separate larger bowl, mix the breading ingredients together.

Peel and slice the onions in thick slices and carefully separate the rings. Then dip individual onion rings in the breading, then the egg wash, and then back in the breading again, making sure to coat well. Pat off any excess breading and carefully place into hot oil, in batches as necessary, and fry until golden brown and crisp, just 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately

Cook's Note: Soy flour is made from toasted soybeans and has already been "cooked."
Therefore it has a tendency to brown faster than plain flour when frying.

 

Spicy Hummus: Quick Chickpea Spread

 

1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
2 rounded tablespoons tahini sesame paste, found in both dairy and dry specialty foods sections
A drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) ground cumin
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) ground coriander
1 clove garlic, crushed
Coarse salt
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pita breads, grilled and cut into wedges for dipping

 

Combine beans, tahini, oil, pepper flakes, cumin, coriander, garlic, salt, and lemon juice in food processor bowl and grind into a smooth paste. Transfer to a small dip dish and surround spread with warm pita wedges.

 

 Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Hummus and Feta Cheese

 

4 large portobello mushrooms
Sea salt, preferably gray sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper
Olive Oil
1 (8-ounce) container hummus
Feta cheese
1 loaf good crusty bread, cut into 4 sections

Preheat the grill.

Pop out the stem from all of your portobello mushrooms.

Season both sides of mushrooms. Start by drizzling olive oil (not too much, just a slight drizzle), some salt and fresh black pepper.

Cook mushrooms over a hot fire for about 4 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile: Split the pieces of bread, and pull out some of the soft center to make a hole for the mushroom burger. Place the bread face down on the grill to toast.

Place the mushroom burger in the bread, and top with a tablespoon of hummus and a chunk of feta cheese right in the middle and cover with a piece of bread.

 

Keith’s Best Button Mushrooms

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds whole small button mushrooms, wiped clean
3 tablespoons butter
Gray sea salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Do not move the mushrooms until they have caramelized on the bottom. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the butter. Cook and toss for 5 minutes, until beautifully browned.

Season with salt and add the garlic. Saute another 2 minutes, and add the thyme, lemon juice, and white wine. Cook to evaporate the liquid.

Toss in the parsley and serve immediately.

Vegetable Pancakes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated zucchini
2 green onions, sliced
2 tablespoons oil

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, carrots, zucchini, and onions. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.

Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Pour the batter by tablespoons into the pan, making a few pancakes at a time. Cook about 2 minutes on each side and golden brown. Add the remaining oil to the pan as needed. Serve pancakes at once.

Summer Rolls with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce

3 ounces Vietnamese cellophane noodles, cooked according to package directions
2 cups bean sprouts
2 carrots, julienned
1 large beet, julienned
1 fresh red chile, cut in circles
2 handfuls fresh cilantro, hand-torn
3/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 lime, juiced
Sea salt
20 (8-inch) round rice paper wrappers
40 mint leaves

Put the cellophane noodles, vegetables, cilantro and peanuts in a large bowl; toss with sesame oil and lime juice to give the filling some flavor; season with salt and pepper.

Pour 3 cups of hot, not boiling water in a large shallow bowl. One at a time, immerse the rice paper wrappers in the hot water for 10 seconds to soften, then place on a slightly damp towel. The rice paper is very delicate, don't soak them any longer or they will break apart. Keep them covered while you work to prevent them from drying out and curling.

To form the rolls, lay a rice paper wrapper on a flat surface. Grab a small amount of the cellophane and vegetable mixture and lay it across the bottom third. Use less filling than you think you should, if you overstuff the wrapper it will tear. Carefully fold the bottom of the wrapper up to cover the filling. Fold in the left and right sides, then tuck and roll it over once. Lay 2 mint leaves on top, then tuck and roll it over to close the whole thing up like a tight cigar. The mint leaves should show through the transparent rice paper. Arrange the finished rolls on a platter and cover with a damp towel.

 

 

Sweet Chili Sipping Sauce

 

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon red chili paste, such as sambal

In a blender, puree the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, hot water, sugar, lime juice, garlic, and chili paste until combined. Pour into a small bowl and serve with the summer rolls.

Yield: 1 cup

 

Best-of-Both-Worlds Potatoes

Serves 8

If you’re torn between serving regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, try this spectacular dish, which calls for both.

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 lb.)
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium-sized leek, trimmed, quartered and white part finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Melt 1 Tbs. butter in 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl pan to coat bottom and sides; set aside.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 1/2 Tbs. butter, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Toss Russet potatoes with remaining butter, thyme, salt and pepper in second bowl.
  4. Place one layer of Russet potatoes in overlapping circles on bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with leeks, and top with layer of sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Parmesan. Repeat layering, ending with layer of sweet potato slices.
  5. Place skillet on burner. Cook potatoes 5 minutes over medium heat to brown bottom. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown. Set 9-inch plate on top of skillet. Flip upside down to unmold potatoes. Slice into wedges, and serve.

PER SERVING:
199 Calories
4g Protein
7g Total Fat (4G Saturated Fat)
31g Carbohydrates
18mg Cholesterol
412mg Sodium
4g Fiber
9g Sugars


 

Roasted Potato Wedges

4 Yukon Gold potatoes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Dry the potatoes with a towel. To a heated skillet, add the oil. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper. Saute the potatoes for about 3 minutes, stirring to make sure the potatoes are well covered in oil. Transfer to a preheated 340 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden and cooked through. After 15 minutes, toss the potatoes and continue roasting. Toss the potatoes with the parsley just before serving.

 

Mushroom Pesto Crostini

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
8 ounces white button mushrooms, quartered
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
2 garlic cloves
1 1/2 cups fresh Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
36 slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread

Place the porcini mushrooms in a bowl of hot water; press to submerge. Let stand until the mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes. Scoop out mushrooms, being carefully not to stir any dirt that may have sunk to the bottom of the water. Discard mushroom water.

Combine the porcini mushrooms, button mushrooms, walnuts, garlic, and parsley in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of the oil, blending just until the mushrooms are finely chopped.

Transfer the mushroom mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in the Parmesan. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste. If not using mushroom pesto right away, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent possible discoloration of mushrooms.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high heat. Arrange the bread slices on pan, cut-side down. Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over the bread slices. Cook until pale golden and crisp, about 5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can toast the bread in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices on 2 heavy large baking sheet. Brush the remaining 1/4 cup of oil over the bread slices. Bake until pale golden and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Spread the mushroom pesto over the crostini. Arrange the crostini on a platter and serve.

 

Mushroom Sauce: Funghi Trifolata

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, cut into 1/8-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh porcini or cremini mushrooms, sliced thin, plus 4 mushrooms, thinly sliced
Salt
Pici pasta, cooked al dente, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water, recipe follows
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

Heat oil in a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the salt and pasta with 1/2 cup pasta cooking water to the pan and toss quickly. Add the remaining 4 raw sliced mushrooms and toss again, off heat. Serve immediately, topped with the grated cheese.

 

Pici Pasta:
2 cups semolina flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 to 1 1/4 cups tepid water

Place both types of flour in a large mixing bowl and stir to mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the water a little at a time, stirring with your hands until a dough is formed. You may need more or less water, depending on the humidity in your kitchen.

Place the dough on a floured work surface and knead it like bread until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover the dough and let it stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Roll the dough into long dowels about 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick. Place the pasta strands between 2 hands and lightly roll back and forth to create a lightly spiraled, snake-like noodle. Place the pici on a sheet tray that has been dusted with semolina flour, cover the pasta with a clean dish towel, and set aside until ready to use. At this point, the pasta can be frozen for several months.

Yield: 4 servings
Prreparation time: 30 minutes

 

Curried Potato-Stuffed Breads

Vegetarian Times, March 2002

Serves 4 to 6

You've probably eaten something like this in Indian restaurants-flatbread stuffed with curried vegetables. I've made these from scratch, with homemade dough, but I think they're just as good, and certainly much easier, made with store-bought flour tortillas. The potato mixture doesn't take long to prepare, less than 30 minutes. Serve alongside curries or as an appetizer with a savory dipping sauce, such as raita.

    3 cups peeled and coarsely chopped all-purpose potatoes
    1 cup finely diced carrot
    Salt to taste
    1 Tbs. vegetable oil, plus extra for cooking breads
    1 cup finely chopped onion
    2 tsp. curry powder
    4 8-inch flour tortillas

1. Place potatoes and carrot in large saucepan with enough water to cover by 1 inch, and add 1/2 tsp. salt. Boil until potatoes are soft, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid, and transfer vegetables to medium mixing bowl.

2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, and sauté over moderate heat, stirring often, until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in curry powder, and cook, stirring, 15 seconds. Add 1/2 cup reserved cooking liquid to pan. Cook briefly over high heat to reduce liquid by about half, 30 seconds. Add onion with liquid to potatoes, and mash well, adding additional salt if desired.

3. Working with one tortilla at a time, spread some mashed potato mixture thickly over half the tortilla. Fold tortilla over potato mixture to close. Heat 1 tsp. oil in large skillet. Add bread, and fry over medium heat, until browned, 45 to 60 seconds. Flip bread, and cook until browned. Transfer to chopping board, and slice in half. Repeat for remaining breads. Serve immediately, or place in warm oven until ready to serve.

PER SERVING: 311 CAL; 6G PROT; 10G TOTAL FAT (2G SAT. FAT); 50G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 234MG SOD; 5G FIBER

 

Catalan Flatbread with Spinach, Onion and Pine Nut Topping

Serves 8

This delicate flatbread is an example of a coca, a pizza-like speciality of Catalonia in northeastern Spain. It is hearty enough to serve as a meal, but you can also cut it into smaller rectangles to serve as tapas or appetizers.

    Topping
    3 tsp. olive oil
    2 large onions, slivered
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 cup currants or dark raisins
    2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
    1/4 cup pine nuts
    16 to 18 oz. baby spinach, trimmed and rinsed

    1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup yellow cornmeal, plus more for dusting
    1 (0.25-oz.) pkg. quick-rising dry yeast
    1 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
    2 tsp. olive oil

1. Begin topping: In large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add onions and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until very tender and lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes. To prevent scorching, adjust heat and add water as necessary.

2. In food processor fitted with metal blade, make dough: Combine flour, cornmeal, yeast, salt and sugar and pulse on/off to mix. In measuring cup, combine 2/3 cup hot water (120F to 130F) and 2 teaspoons oil. With motor running, gradually pour hot liquid through food processor feed tube. Process until dough forms ball, then process 1 minute to knead. The dough should be quite soft. If it seems dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons warm water; if too sticky, add 1 to 2 tablespoons flour. Transfer dough to lightly floured surface and knead a few times. Lightly coat large sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, sprayed side down, over dough. Let dough rest 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, place baking stone or inverted baking sheet on bottom rack of oven to heat. Preheat oven to 450F. (Heat baking stone for 25 minutes before baking; heat baking sheet for 10 minutes.)

4. In small bowl, cover currants with hot water. Set aside to soak about 20 minutes. Drain and stir currants into onions. Stir in vinegar and pepper.

5. In small baking pan, spread pine nuts and toast in oven until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes.

6. In large wide pot, cook spinach with just the water that clings to leaves over medium-high heat, stirring often, until wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in colander. Rinse with cold water and squeeze out excess moisture. Place in medium bowl and add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.

7. Assemble flatbread: Coat baking sheet with cooking spray and dust with cornmeal. On lightly floured surface, use rolling pin to roll dough into 16 x 12-inch rectangle, slightly less than 1/4 inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared sheet. Roll edges under to finish rim of crust. Brush remaining 1 teaspoon oil over rim of crust. Scatter spinach over crust. Top with caramelized onion mixture and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

8. Place baking sheet on heated baking stone and bake until bottom of crust is golden and crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and use pizza cutter to cut into 8 rectangles. Serve hot or warm.

PER SERVING: 229 CAL; 7G PROT; 6G TOTAL FAT (1G SAT. FAT); 40G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 585MG SOD; 6G FIBER

 

Savory Vegetable Tart

Serves 6

To speed up the preparation, use a ready-made whole wheat pastry crust to line the pan. Your tart will look best if you choose tomatoes and zucchini of roughly the same diameter.

Crust
2 cups unbleached white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 to 5 Tbs. skim or low-fat milk, as needed

Filling

4 tsp. olive oil
2 large onions, sliced (4 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
3 to 4 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

Crust: Preheat oven to 400F. In large bowl, mix both flours and salt. Gradually add oil, tossing mixture with fork until crumbly. Stirring with fork, add enough milk until mixture comes together in ball. Shape into small disc.

Roll out dough between two sheets of wax paper into 12-inch round about 1/4 inch thick. Remove top sheet of paper and invert dough, without stretching, into 9-inch round tart pan with removable bottom. Carefully peel off top piece of wax paper. Fit dough along bottom and up sides of tart pan and trim edges.

Loosely line crust with foil, and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 375F.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to crust and spread evenly. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Add zucchini to skillet and cook until light golden, about 2 minutes per side.

Arrange zucchini and tomato slices in alternate circles on top of onions, sprinkling with remaining salt and pepper. Bake until tomatoes soften, about 25 minutes. Serve warm, or transfer to wire rack to cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

PER SERVING:
434 Calories
8g Protein
22g Total Fat (2G Saturated Fat)
52g Carbohydrates
0mg Cholesterol
374mg Sodium
6g Fiber


 

SALADS

Brown Rice Salad with Apples

3 cups cooked brown rice
1 Granny Smith Apple, diced
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1 cup cooked chicken, cubed
3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine cooked rice with all other ingredients. Toss mixture lightly. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Extra-Healthy Spinach Salad  
Serves 8 -- Low-fat
30 minutes or fewer

 This irresistible salad is crammed with hard-to-get vegetarian goodies: protein, calcium, iron—even vitamin B12.

Tofu Croutons
4 oz. extra-firm herb tofu
1 large egg
1/4 cup flour
3 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbs. canola oil
-
Salad Dressing
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tbs. mandarin orange juice
-
Spinach Salad
3 oz. baby spinach, rinsed
3 oz. mesclun, rinsed
1 15-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 red bell pepper, cut in 1/4-inch slices
1 7-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
1 cup feta cheese

Directions:
1. To make Tofu Croutons: Preheat oven to 350F. Bake tofu 20 minutes. When dry, cut into crouton-sized cubes.

2. Beat egg in small bowl. Combine flour, garlic salt, onion powder and black pepper in separate bowl. Dip tofu cubes in egg, and dust with flour mixture.

3. Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat. Sauté tofu cubes about 10 minutes, until golden and crispy on all sides. Cool.

4. To make Salad Dressing: Combine all ingredients in nonreactive pot. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, until sugar dissolves. Transfer to cruet. Let cool.

5. To make Spinach Salad: Place all ingredients in large serving bowl. Add half of dressing, toss well, garnish with croutons.

 

ALSO PER SERVING: 154mg calcium; 2mg iron; 3 IU vitamin d; 0.4mcg vitamin b12; 1mg zinc

PER SERVING: 330 CAL; 9 G PROT; 21 G TOTAL FAT (4 SAT. FAT); 26 G CARB.; 44 MG CHOL; 746 MG SOD.; 4 G FIBER; 12 G SUGARS

 

 

Fruit-and-Flower Salad 

Serves 6 -- Egg-free

30 minutes or fewer Edible flowers are an irresistible way to turn fresh salads into party food. Purchase prepicked, certified edible flowers at well-stocked supermarkets. Serve with toasted cheese squares and chilled lemon tea.

1/2 cantaloupe, cut into cubes
1 cup fresh pineapple cubes
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blackberries
1 banana, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 mango, peeled and cubed
4 oz. part-skim Swiss-style cheese, diced
2 Tbs. rose water, or more to taste
1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
4 Tbs. mango chutney, or to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
About 1 cup edible flowers

Directions:
Combine fruits and cheese in bowl. Sprinkle with rose water; toss. Blend yogurt and chutney, and pour over salad; toss, if desired. To serve, spoon portions onto individual plates, and garnish with almonds and flowers.

PER SERVING: 250 CAL; 12 G PROT; 7 G TOTAL FAT (2 SAT. FAT); 37 G CARB.; 10 MG CHOL; 135 MG SOD.; 6 G FIBER; 28 G SUGARS

 

Pasta Salad with Mozzarella, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives  
Serves 8 -- Egg-free

This summer salad is bursting with robust flavors. Try it with fresh corn on the cob or a salad of mixed greens just picked from the garden.

Dressing
6 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. drained capers
1 clove garlic, minced
-
1 lb. medium pasta shells
2 cups halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes
8 oz. fresh water-packed mozzarella, drained and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives (approximately 20 olives)

Directions:
1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in food processor, make dressing: combine all dressing ingredients. Process until sun-dried tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.
2. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pasta to boiling water, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook until pasta is just tender, about 11 minutes. Drain well and transfer to large serving bowl.
3. Add dressing to hot pasta and toss to coat. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, Parmesan and olives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to mix and serve at room temperature.

PER Serving: 310 CAL; 14 G PROT; 19 G TOTAL FAT (6 SAT. FAT); 22 G CARB.; 20 MG CHOL; 646 MG SOD.; 2 G FIBER

 

Spinach and Blue Cheese Salad   
Serves 6 -- Low-fat

30 minutes or fewer

Artisanal cheese makers across America are winning international awards for their blue cheeses, so we thought we’d honor them this Thanksgiving with a tangy salad of apples and sunflower seeds.

Cider Vinaigrette
2 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon-style mustard
1 Tbs. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 shallot, minced (about 3 Tbs.)
-
Salad
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 6-oz. bag baby spinach
1 large apple, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions:

1. To make Cider Vinaigrette: Combine vinegar, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in small bowl. Whisk in oil and 2 Tbs. water. Stir in shallots.

2. To make Salad: Place sunflower seeds in medium-sized skillet. Toast over medium heat 5 to 6 minutes, or until browned and fragrant, shaking pan often. Transfer to small bowl, and cool.

3. Just before serving, toss spinach, sliced apple, crumbled cheese and cooled sunflower seeds with vinaigrette. Divide salad among 6 plates, and serve.

PER SERVING: 149 CAL; 4 G PROT; 11 G TOTAL FAT (2 SAT. FAT); 10 G CARB.; 4 MG CHOL; 309 MG SOD.; 4 G FIBER; 7 G SUGARS

Caesar Salad

4 garlic cloves
4 egg yolks*
2 anchovies
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Juice of two fresh lemons
1 cup olive oil
Salt
Cracked black pepper
2 large heads of romaine lettuce, washed, ribbed and patted dry
3 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
12 ounces of salad croutons

Rub the inside of a large wooden bowl with the garlic cloves. Remove the garlic cloves, and finely chop. Add the egg yolks, remaining garlic, anchovies and mustard to the bowl. Whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Whisk in the lemon juice. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, while whisking constantly. Whisk until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Gently tear the lettuce into bit-size portions and add to the salad bowl. Using a hand-held grater, grate the cheese into the bowl. Add the croutons. Toss the salad completely and reseason if necessary. Serve the salad on cold salad plates.

*RAW EGG WARNING

The American Egg Board states: "There have been warnings against consuming raw or lightly cooked eggs on the grounds that the egg may be contaminated with Salmonella, a bacteria responsible for a type of food poisoning.... Healthy people need to remember that there is a very small risk and treat eggs and other raw animal foods accordingly. Use only properly refrigerated, clean, sound-shelled, fresh, grade AA or A eggs. Avoid mixing yolks and whites with the shell."

 

CAESAR SALAD WITH HOMEMADE TAPENADE CROUTONS
 
If you don't have a Caesar salad on your menu in California, the customers will rebel. For a zesty Provençal touch, the Caesar at Spago is served with croutons slathered with our homemade tapenade.

When you can find baby romaine, use it. If you can't, trim the outer leaves of the larger variety and, if necessary, break them into bite-size strips.
 
Croutons:
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
One 1-pound loaf of day-old bread, preferably sourdough, sliced and cut into large cubes (about 2 cups)
1 recipe Black and Green Olive Tapenade

Salad:
2 heads of baby romaine lettuce, or 1 large head of romaine
1 recipe Caesar Vinaigrette
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Make the croutons: In a medium bowl, combine the oil, cheese, garlic, oregano, and thyme. Add the bread and toss, coating all the croutons.

3. Arrange the croutons in a single layer on a baking tray and bake until golden, turning to brown all sides. Cool and store in a cool, dry place.

4. Make the salad: Trim the lettuce and toss with some of the Caesar Vinaigrette. Arrange on salad plates and sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese, if desired.

5. Spread one side of your croutons with a thin layer of the Black and Green Olive Tapenade. Arrange atop the salads and serve immediately.

Makes 2 to 4 servings.

 

SOUP

Chili  Ingredients (use vegan versions):

  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 can light red kidney beans
  • 1 can white kidney beans
  • 1 can great northern beans
  • 1/2 package browned, crumbled ground meat substitute (Green Giant)
  • 2 tablespoons vegan sugar (or sweetner of choice)
  • 2 cans cubed/chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground marmojam
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 chopped red sweet pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

Braise the onion and celery in 1/2 cup water. Add the cans of beans including the juice in the cans. Add the remaining ingredients.

Simmer for 45 min.

Serves: 4-6.

Preparation time: 1 hour.

Creole Vegetable Jambalaya

1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups small diced onions
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 cups small diced bell peppers
2 cups small diced eggplant
2 cups small diced yellow squash
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cayenne
3 bay leaves
3 cups long-grain rice
6 cups water
1 cup chopped green onions

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add the onions, shallots, bell peppers, eggplant, squash, and garlic and saute until tender about 3-5 minutes. Add the tomatoes. Season with salt and cayenne. Add the bay leaves. Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add the water, stir and cover. Cook for 30-35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Do not stir during this cooking time. Remove from heat and let stand for 2-3 minutes. Add the green onions and mix.

 

Vegetable Stew with Potato and Cheese Pancakes

3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pound, 16 to 20, crimini mushrooms, halved
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a slow stream
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (15-ounce) can chick peas, garbanzo beans, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, in puree
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 pounds all purpose potatoes, such as Russets, about 3 large potatoes, peeled and shredded
1 small onion, grated
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese, the yield of an 8-ounce piece
Olive or vegetable oil, for frying

In a medium pot over moderate heat saute garlic and mushrooms in extra-virgin olive oil for 2 or 3 minutes. Add zucchini and onion to the pot and season vegetables with salt and pepper. Saute another 5 minutes. Add beans, cumin, tomato and chopped rosemary. Bring stew to a bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil or vegetable oil to the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. Combine potatoes with onions and flour. Mix in shredded cheese. Spoon piles of potato and cheese mixture into the pan, making 3-inch rounds, 1-inch apart. Cook cakes until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove cooked cakes and repeat process.

Arrange cakes, 3 per person, on dinner plates and top with ladles of mushroom and zucchini stew.

 

Veg-Head Three-Bean Chili

This Tex-Mex great pleaser is another vegetarian happy medium to please meat eaters and meat-free-ers alike.

2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) olive or vegetable oil
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
1 cup pale beer or vegetable stock/broth
1 (32- ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can black beans
1 (14-ounce) can dark red kidney beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cayenne hot pepper sauce, several drops
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup spicy vegetarian refried beans
Toppings:
8 ounces (2 cups shredded) spicy monterey jack or smoked cheddar
Chopped scallions, whites and greens
Diced fresh seeded plum tomato
Blue and red corn tortilla chips or black bean tortilla chips, for dipping

Over moderate heat, add oil to a deep pot and combine onion, peppers, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes to soften vegetables. Deglaze pan with beer or broth, add tomatoes, black beans, red kidney beans, and stirring to combine.
Season chili with cumin, chili powder, hot sauce, and salt. Thicken chili by stirring in refried beans. Simmer over low heat about 5 to 10 minutes longer, then serve up bowls of chili and top with shredded cheese, scallions, and tomatoes. Place bowls on charger plates piled with assorted tortilla chips.


 

Vegetarian Jambalaya

6 cups vegetable stock, recipe follows
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups whole grain farro (or spelt), picked over for impurities and rinsed
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups quartered cremini mushrooms
1/4 pound okra, halved lengthwise
1/4 pound whole baby carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
1 small zucchini, sliced into 1/2-inch thick half circles
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

In a medium saucepan, bring the vegetable stock to a simmer. Lower the heat to keep warm.

In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and celery and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and farro to the pan and cook, stirring, until the faro is toasted and coated with oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, okra, baby carrots, zucchini, bay leaf, and thyme, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of the warm stock, salt, black pepper, and cayenne, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 2 cups at a time, as the previous addition is absorbed, cooking and stirring, until all the stock is used and the grains are plump and tender.

Remove from the heat and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley and adjust the seasoning,to taste. Serve immediately.

 

Miso Soup with Vegetable Stock and Tofu

1/3 ounce konbu (kelp), about 2 or 3 squares
4 cups vegetable stock, recipe follows
3 large dry wood ear mushrooms, wiped clean
2 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white or yellow miso paste
1 tablespoon brown miso paste
1/4 cup finely sliced scallions
4 ounces tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

To make the "dashi" soup stock, in a large saucepan, combine the konbu and vegetable stock and heat over medium-low heat almost to the boiling point. Remove the konbu just before the mixture comes to a boil and discard.

Remove from the heat and skim any foam that rises to the surface. Let stand for 2 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a saucepan. Keep warm over low heat.

Add the mushrooms and soy sauce to the dashi and steep until mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, and when cool enough to handle, slice thinly. Return to the liquid. Add the miso pastes and cook over low heat, stirring to dissolve. Add the scallions and tofu and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Serve immediately

 

How to Make Cream of Broccoli Soup

 

A smooth, satisfying soup that's great as either a silky starter or a light meal. Serves two.

  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tsp. mustard seed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 lb. broccoli – chopped
  • 1 carrot, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups veggie broth or water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Italian parsley (for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Garnish: carrot strips, parsley sprig

 

Steps

    1. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Add onion, mustard seeds, and salt and pepper.
    3. When the onion starts to soften, add broccoli and carrot and cook until vegetables are soft.
    4. Add 1 c. water and simmer covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until broccoli is very tender.
    5. Pure soup in batches until smooth.
    6. Transfer soup to a heavy saucepan. Stir in veggie broth.
    7. Whisk in lemon juice.
    8. Heat soup over moderately low heat, and whisk in sour cream.
    9. Garnish with julienned carrots and a sprig of Italian parsley.

 

Tips

*Italian (or flat-leaf) parsley is commonly available in supermarkets. It's considered more refined and flavorful than curly parsley.

*If you let the soup boil after it's puréed, the vegetables will become too soft and the sour cream will curdle

 

Chunky Vegetable Stew

    1 medium-sized bunch kale
    2 tsp. olive oil
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
    1 medium-sized red bell pepper, chopped
    3 medium-sized unpeeled russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1 1/2 cups dry vermouth
    1 6-oz. pkg. sliced white mushrooms
    1 medium-sized head cauliflower, cut into about 2-inch florets
    1 14.5-oz. can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
    3 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme
    3 Tbs. nutritional yeast
    1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
    2 Tbs. cold water
    1 Tbs. tamari soy sauce
    1/4 tsp. lemon pepper

Strip kale leaves from stalks, and rinse thoroughly in colander; set aside.

 

Greens cook down considerably and will reduce at least one-quarter in volume. One pound of raw kale will yield about 2 1/2 cups cooked. A dash of hot pepper sauce adds dimension to this colorful dish

Heat oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven or saucepan for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions and peppers, sauté for 2 minutes and add potatoes. Cook for 4 minutes, and add vermouth, mushrooms and cauliflower. Cook for 2 minutes, add kale and mix thoroughly. Cook mixture for 5 minutes, and reduce heat to low.

Chop stewed tomatoes coarsely in food processor, and add tomatoes, thyme and yeast to kale mixture. Combine cornstarch and water in a small bowl, and stir in with tamari and lemon pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and serve.

PER SERVING: 195 CAL; 5G PROT; 2G TOTAL FAT (0G SAT. FAT); 32G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 288MG SOD; 5G FIBER; 11G SUGARS 
 

Tomato and White Bean Soup


Serves 6

Fresh herbal overtones boost the flavor of this ready-when-you-are soup. White beans make a deliciously creamy base for soups, sauces and stews. Meal Plan: Make the soup, then put together a tossed salad of shredded lettuce, finely diced tomatoes and bell peppers, and sliced olives. Dress in your favorite natural low-fat dressing and have each person make his or her own "salad wraps" using large warmed flour tortillas or soft lavash wraps. End the meal with fresh strawberries topped with a nondairy frozen dessert.

2 16-oz. cans cannellini beans (large white beans), rinsed and drained
1 28-oz. can stewed tomatoes
2 scallions (green parts only), chopped
1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
2 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro or dill or more to taste
1 to 2 tsp. salt-free herb-and-spice seasoning mix or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. In food processor, purée half of beans until smooth. Add tomatoes with their liquid and scallions, and purée until smooth.

2. Transfer purée to a large saucepan. Stir in remaining beans, broth, cilantro, seasoning mix and pepper. Warm through over low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

PER SERVING:
214 Calories
12g Protein
1g Total Fat (0G Saturated Fat)
42g Carbohydrates
0mg Cholesterol
195mg Sodium
9g Fiber

 

VEGETABLES

Roasted Ears of Corn with Basil Chive Butter

12 ears corn, shucked
Basil Chive Butter, recipe follows
Grey salt

Preheat a grill to high.

Place ears of corn on the grill. Grill for around 2 minutes on each side. When slightly browned, remove from heat and roll in basil chive butter. Sprinkle with grey salt.

Basil Chive Butter:
4 cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/8 teaspoon powdered ascorbic acid (vitamin C)
Sea salt, preferably gray salt
2 sticks (16 tablespoons unsalted butter), at room temperature
Freshly ground pepper

Puree the basil, ascorbic acid, salt and pepper, and butter in a food processor. If the mixture is too dry to puree, add just enough water to ease the process. Puree until smooth and well blended. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Refrigerate until firm enough to shape into a log.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Perfect Mashed Potatoes

3 pounds baking potatoes, whole with skin
3/4 to 1 cup milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil, heat to a simmer. Add a generous pinch of salt and continue to simmer until potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. When potatoes are done, drain and return potatoes to pot to dry slightly. Run potatoes through food mill or potato ricer into pot. Heat milk in saucepan. Add hot milk to potatoes, over heat, until smooth. Add butter and heat until finely textured and fluffy.


Roasted Garlic and Basil Smashed Potatoes

1/4 cup garlic cloves (about 6), unpeeled
4 large russet potatoes
1 cup milk, plus more as needed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Arrange garlic in 1 layer on a double thickness of foil and wrap tightly.

Roast the garlic and potatoes in middle of oven--the garlic will take 45 minutes and the potatoes will take 1 hour.

Unwrap garlic and cool slightly. Peel the cloves, mash with a fork, and set aside. (The garlic may be roasted and stored in the refrigerator, up to a week ahead.)

Combine the milk and butter in a large bowl. Scoop the flesh from the potatoes into the bowl and smash using a potato masher. Reserve the skins and julienne them.

Drizzle the skins with the olive oil, transfer to the oven, and bake until crisp, about 12 minutes.

Using a rubber spatula, mix the potato mixture and garlic together until creamy. Fold in the basil and season with salt and pepper. Garnish the smashed potatoes with the crisp potato skins.

Balsamic Glazed Vegetables

1 1/2 to 2 pounds of your choice of the following, or any combination of: "baby" packaged fresh carrots, brussel sprouts, yellow squash (you can also use broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Place veggies in a pan with water and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 minutes. Remove lid and raise heat back up. Allow the water to boil away and the vinegar to reduce and glaze the veggies, about 5 to 7 minutes. When the vegetables are glazed, to a sweet, rich brown color add butter to the pan. Turn veggies to coat lightly with butter. Season with salt, pepper and serve. Garnish with parsley.

For an optional glaze for the vegetables, substitute 1/4 melted butter and 1/4 cup honey for 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar. Follow method as listed.
 

Roasted Potato Wedges

4 Yukon Gold potatoes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch wedges. Dry the potatoes with a towel. To a heated skillet, add the oil. Add the potatoes, salt and pepper. Saute the potatoes for about 3 minutes, stirring to make sure the potatoes are well covered in oil. Transfer to a preheated 340 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are golden and cooked through. After 15 minutes, toss the potatoes and continue roasting. Toss the potatoes with the parsley just before serving.

 

 Green Bean Casserole

1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup brandy or cognac
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
Fried Onions, recipe follows

Cook green beans in boiling salted water until tender, about 3 or 4 minutes. Drain well.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until browned, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add brandy or cognac, red wine and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Simmer to blend flavors and reduce sauce, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add green beans to mushroom sauce and toss to coat. Place on a large serving dish, season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

Top with fried onions before serving.

 

Fried Onions:
2 quarts peanut oil, for frying
2 large red onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups arborio rice coating, recipe follows
Kosher salt

Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer or deep pot to 375 degrees F.
Put onion rings in a large bowl. Pour buttermilk over onions and toss to coat. Shake off the excess liquid.
Dip onions into Arborio rice coating, covering thoroughly
Fry the onions in small batches until crispy, about 2 minutes per batch. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside. Season with salt, to taste.

 

Arborio Rice Coating:
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semolina
2 tablespoons fine salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Grind the rice in a blender or spice grinder to a very fine powder. Put it in a bowl and add the flour, semolina, salt and pepper. Toss until well blended. Store in a sealed container in the freezer for maximum freshness.
 

Mozzarella Martini with Fresh Tomato Consomme

3 cups clear tomato water, set aside from Tomato Puree, recipe follows, refrigerated*
1 green zebra tomato, thinly sliced
4 fresh mozzarella boccacini, each 1-inch in diameter
4 cherry tomatoes
Gray salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large fresh basil leaves
Basil oil, optional

You will need enough tomato water to fill your martini glasses, so measure their capacity, probably something between 5 and 9 ounces. Chill the martini glasses in the freezer, if there is room, or refrigerate 1 hour ahead of serving. (A freezer gives a heavy frost.)

Place 1 slice of green tomato in each glass. Halve or quarter the bocconcini if they are larger than 1 inch in diameter. Thread a bocconccini, and a cherry tomato onto each of 4 wooden skewers 4 to 5 inches long. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with basil oil, if desired. Working quickly, divide the tomato liquid among the chilled martini glasses. Balance the skewers on top of the glasses, then take a leaf of basil per glass, and rub it around the glass rim, before placing on top of each glass, near skewer. Serve immediately.

*Cook's Note: It is impossible to give a specific amount for the tomatoes because how much "water" a tomato releases depends on many factors, including the growing season and the variety. Do not let the tomato pulp go to waste. Use this recipe as an excuse to start your quick tomato sauce season. You can freeze or can your sauce and then have it on hand for quick meals.

Tomato Puree:
20 tomatoes, core removed

Bring 2 large pots of water to a boil. Lower the tomatoes into the water, blanch for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Place blanched tomatoes on a baking sheet, and peel the loosened skins. With a colander over a bowl, squeeze the seeds and innards out of each tomato. Set aside and refrigerate the clear strained liquid for other uses. Slice the peeled tomatoes into 1-inch chunks, and place chunks into blender. Puree thoroughly. Pour into bowl.

Yield: 10 to 12 cups

 

Squash Casserole

6 cups large diced yellow squash and zucchini
Vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed butter crackers (recommended: Ritz)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Saute the squash in a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat until it has completely broken down, about 15 to 20 minutes. Line a colander with a clean tea towel. Place the cooked squash in the lined colander. Squeeze excess moisture from the squash. Set aside.

In a medium size skillet, saute the onion in butter for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and mix all ingredients together except cracker crumbs. Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with cracker crumbs. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Cheesy Broccoli Bake

2 pounds fresh broccoli, trimmed and cut up
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the casserole
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) can sliced water chestnuts
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 pound cheese product, softened
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated Cheddar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13-inch casserole.

Steam the broccoli until tender, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat and saute the celery, mushrooms, and onion until softened, about 10 minutes; drain. Combine the broccoli and the cooked vegetables in a bowl.

Heat the soup and softened cheese product in a saucepan over low heat until the cheese melts. Pour it over the broccoli mixture. Add the garlic salt and pepper and combine.

Put it into the buttered casserole dish and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the grated Cheddar the last 5 minutes of baking.

 

Italian Potatoes

14 or 15 large red potatoes (about 5 pounds)
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cup chopped green onions
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 heaping teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1 scant tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, generously salt the water, and boil the potatoes until tender, approximately 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle. Peel potatoes, if desired, and cut into 1-inch chunks. Place cut potatoes in a large bowl. Sprinkle parsley and green onions over potatoes. Make the sauce by mixing the rest of the ingredients together in another bowl; then pour sauce over the potatoes. Stir well. Let stand all day, or at least for 4 hours, stirring every hour. Do not refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.

 

SANDWICHS

 

VEGGIE BURGERS

Burgers:
1 cup green lentils, picked through and rinsed thoroughly
1/4 cup pearl barley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 whole egg plus 1 egg white, lightly beaten
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 sesame burger buns or pocket pitas

Toppings:
1/2 cup goat cheese, (2 to 3 ounces), room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
Lettuce, sliced cucumber, radish, and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice

Put the lentils and barley in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 2 inches. Season with salt, and bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils and barley tender, about 20 minutes. Drain excess liquid and put the beans and grain into a large bowl. Cool.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute more. Cool slightly and then add to the lentils and barley.

Stir the cilantro, bread crumbs, and eggs into the lentil mixture, and season with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, to taste. Puree 1 cup of the burger mix in a food processor until smooth. Return purree back to the bowl and mix well. Form mixture into 6 burgers (about 1/2 cup each). Place on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season burgers with salt and pepper and cook 3 burgers, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes in all. Transfer the browned burgers to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining oil and burgers. Transfer burgers to the oven, and cook until firm, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile lightly toast buns or pitas. Mix the goat cheese and yogurt in a small bowl until smooth, season with salt and pepper. Put the burgers on the buns, and top with cheese and lettuce, cucumber, radish, and/or a squeeze of lime juice, if desired. Serve

Great Grilled Vegetable Sandwich

1 Japanese eggplant sliced on an angle in half-inch thick slices
1 small zucchini sliced on an angle in half-inch thick slices
1 red pepper cut in quarter's lengthwise
1 small red onion cut into 4 slices
2 portobello mushroom caps
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 slices crusty peasant style bread cut 1/2-inch thick
4 pieces red leaf lettuce
Herbed Mayonnaise, recipe follows

Using a pastry brush, brush olive oil on the vegetable slices and the portobello mushrooms. Season them with salt and pepper. Place vegetables on a hot grill and cook until they are tender. Once vegetables are done brush sliced bread with olive oil and grill on both sides. To assemble, slice portobellos into 1/4-inch slices, spread both sides of the grilled bread with herbed mayonnaise and then top with 1 slice each of grilled vegetables and a quarter of the mushrooms, and finish off with lettuce and top with remaining piece of bread.

Herbed Mayonnaise:
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 lemon, juiced
A few drop hot sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed and skin removed
2 tablespoons thyme leaves
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped chives

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse.

Yield: 4 servings Preparation time: 3 minutes

Vegetable Antipasto Stuffed Bread

1 loaf crusty bread, 9 to 12 inches in length
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained, chopped -- 1/2 a small jar
1/4 cup black pitted calamata or oil cured olives, your preference, chopped
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce
1/4 pound deli sliced provolone
1 jar, 16 to 18 roasted red peppers, drained
1 (15-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts in water, drained
1 cup giardiniera, pickled vegetables (hot pickled peppers, cauliflower, carrots available on the Italian foods aisle of market or in bulk bins near deli section with bulk olives)
Coarse salt and black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Cut the top off a loaf of crusty bread. Hollow out the inside of the bread.

Mix chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives and store bought or homemade pesto sauce. Spread the mixture evenly across the bottom of the hollowed out bread. Layer the cheese into the loaf. Layer the roasted red peppers on top of the cheese. Coarsely chop the drained artichoke hearts and add them in a layer over the red peppers. Sprinkle in the chopped hot pickled vegetables and drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil on top. Replace the top, cut the stuffed loaf into pieces and serve.

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

 Ingredients (use vegan versions):

  • 2 slices whole wheat vegan bread
  • chickpeas
  • vegan mustard
  • soy vegan mayonnaise
  • soy cheese (optional)
  • lettuce (optional- i like the spring greens mix)
  • tomato slices (optional)
  • fresh ground pepper

Directions:

When I became vegetarian, i missed the weirdest things, and one of those things was chicken and tuna salad sandwiches. This is a good substitute, because with the mustard, mayonnaise, and relish, you can hardly tell what the main ingredient is anyway. Non-vegetarians will like it too!

Put the chickpeas, mustard, mayonnaise, and pickle relish (or whatever you would typically make meat salads with) in a bowl and mash with a fork into a lumpy consistency (should have texture, not smooth like hummous). Put cheese on one slice of vegan bread spoon chickpea salad over it. Top with lettuce and tomato slices and add pepper to taste. Put other slice of vegan bread on top to close sandwich and slice in half from corner to corner. Yummy... enjoy! ;)

 

Soy Sloppy Joes



Serves 6

This is a very child- and teen-friendly recipe, though anyone who is a child at heart will enjoy it. Texturized soy crumbles aim to imitate ground beef, but it's not so much the flavor as the texture that does the trick.

1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (3/4 cup)
1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, finely diced (1/2 cup)
12- to 16-oz. pkg. soy crumbles
16-oz. can or jar natural pizza sauce
Burger buns, preferably whole-grain

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook until onion is golden and pepper begins to soften, stirring often, about 5 minutes.

Add soy crumbles and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring often, until thoroughly heated, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in pizza sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot and flavors are blended, about 3 minutes. Serve sloppy joe mixture hot on buns, open-faced or as a closed sandwich.

PER SERVING: 192 CAL; 5G PROT; 7G TOTAL FAT (1G SAT. FAT); 28G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 611MG SOD; 3G FIBER


 

ENTREES

 

Veggie Lasagnas for Couples

(one for each)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, finely chopped
1 medium summer squash, finely chopped
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound fresh plain lasagna sheets
2 cups tomato sauce, recipe follows
1 1/2 cups canned white beans, rinsed and drained
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, halved
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saute pan over medium heat, add extra-virgin olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and squash cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat when all vegetables are completely cooked but still have a good crunch. Allow to cool.

Using a 6-inch round cookie cutter, cut circles out of the lasagna sheets. You will need 18 circles. Coat the bottom of 6 (6-inch) gratin dishes with a teaspoon of tomato sauce in each. Place a circle of pasta on the bottom of each ramekin. Rinse the beans with water and season with salt and pepper. Divide the beans between each ramekin. Next, divide the spinach between the ramekins. Place a second layer of pasta on top and gently press down. Divide the sauteed vegetables among the ramekins and top with a tablespoon of tomato sauce in each. Place the third layer of pasta in each ramekin and coat with a tablespoon of tomato sauce. Sprinkle ramekins with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, and top each with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place gratin dishes on top. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling.

VEGETABLE LASAGNA

 

7 oz lowfat goat cheese
1/3 cup chopped pitted black olives
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp minced garlic
4 cups prepared pasta sauce
1 lb whole-wheat lasagna
Freshly ground black pepper
2 small zucchini, diced
2 small summer squash, diced
3/4 cup bottled roasted red pepper, diced
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

 

Heat oven to 375°F. Mix goat cheese, olives, thyme, basil, oregano, and garlic in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Spread 1 cup pasta sauce on the bottom of an 8" x 11" baking dish. Add one layer of lasagna and season with black pepper. Add a layer of zucchini, squash, and red pepper. Dollop spoonfuls of goat cheese mixture over vegetables and spread to cover. Repeat layers, finishing with pasta and sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan on top, cover with foil and bake 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes or until top browns. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving 312 calories, 5.1 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 58 g carbohydrates, 14.9 g protein, 7.3 g fiber
Makes 8 servings.

 

 

 

TOFU  NOODLE CASSEROLE

 

1 block of frim tofu

1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
10 oz mushrooms, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick (4 cups)
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Sherry
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium veggie broth
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 oz dried curly egg noodles (preferably Pennsylvania Dutch style; about 3 1/4 cups)
1 1/2 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 3 slices firm white sandwich bread)
4 oz coarsely grated Cheddar (1 cup)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Cook onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with a pinch of salt in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to moderately high and add mushrooms, then sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms begin to give off liquid, about 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and continue to sauté mushrooms, stirring, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Sherry and boil, stirring occasionally, until evaporated. Remove from heat.

Melt remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and whisk in flour, then cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add broth in a stream, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Whisk in milk and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, 5 minutes. Stir in mushroom mixture, lemon juice, and salt. Add lightly saute' tofu into sauce and stir gently. Season sauce with salt and pepper.

Cook noodles in a 5- to 6-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain noodles in a colander and return to pot. Add sauce and stir gently to combine. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spreading evenly.

Toss together bread crumbs and cheese in a bowl. Drizzle with oil and toss again, then sprinkle evenly over casserole. Bake until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Simple Tomato Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot or Dutch over, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

Yield: 6 cups
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes
Ease of Preparation: Easy

 

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna Roll-ups with Gorgonzola Cream Sauce

16 cremini caps, cleaned with a damp towel and finely chopped in food processor
1 small yellow-skinned onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg or the equivalent of freshly grated
2 cups part skim ricotta
8 curly edge lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (12 to 14 minutes)
1 cup fat free chicken broth
8 ounces Gorgonzola, crumbled
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
Serving suggestions:
Steamed asparagus (2 small or 1 large bundle asparagus)
Broiled tomatoes (4 vine-ripe tomatoes)

In a medium skillet over moderate heat, saute mushrooms, chopped onions, and garlic in oil until mushrooms give off their juices and darken and onions are tender, about 7 or 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; the salt will help draw water out of the vegetables as they cook.
Add dry chopped spinach to the pan and heat through for 1 minute. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg. Add ricotta and stir into mixture to heat cheese through, 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat but leave in the warm skillet.
Heat broth in a small pan over moderate heat. Melt Gorgonzola into broth and bring liquid to a bubble. Stir in cream and thicken sauce 2 minutes.
Place cooked lasagna noodles on a large work surface or cutting board. Spread lasagna noodles with a layer of spinach-mushroom filling. Roll up pasta and arrange the 8 bundles in a shallow casserole dish. Pour warm sauce over roll-ups and top with mozzarella. Place casserole under broiler to melt cheese. Serve with steamed asparagus and broiled tomatoes.

Steamed Asparagus Tips:
2 small or 1 large bundle asparagus

While you boil your lasagna noodles, place fresh asparagus tips in a small colander over the boiling water in the pasta pot. Place a lid on the colander and steam asparagus while you are cooking your pasta for 4 minutes or until tips are just tender.

Roasted Tomatoes:
4 vine-ripe tomatoes

Split 4 vine ripe tomatoes across the center and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Broil tomatoes.
Serve along side your completed casserole. Top with any fresh herb you have on hand: basil, thyme, or rosemary.


 

Wild Mushroom Quesadillas with Warm Black Bean Salsa

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, plus some for drizzling
16 crimini mushroom caps, baby portobellos, with stems, trimmed and thinly sliced
12 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced, stems discarded
Coarse black pepper and salt
1 tablespoon (a few sprigs) fresh thyme leaves, chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried
4 large flour tortillas, 12 inches in diameter
2 cups shredded sharp white cheddar

Salsa:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the sliced mushrooms to the hot skillet. Season mushrooms with black pepper, salt and thyme. Saute the mushrooms 10 minutes or, until dark and tender, then remove from heat. Transfer the mushrooms to a dish and return the skillet to the stove over medium heat.

Add another turn of extra-virgin olive oil to the skillet and add the onions, garlic and jalapeno pepper; saute for 2 or 3 minutes, then add beans and corn to the pan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and barbecue sauce, then season salsa with salt and pepper. Transfer warm salsa to a serving dish.

Heat a griddle pan or large nonstick skillet over medium to medium high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to the pan and 1 flour tortilla. Cook tortilla 1 minute, then turn it over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup sharp cheddar over 1/2 of the flour tortilla. Cover the cheese with 1/4 of the cooked sliced mushrooms. Fold the plain 1/2 of the tortilla over top of the filling and gently press down with a spatula. Cook the filled quesadilla 30 seconds to a minute longer on each side to lightly brown and crisp the quesadilla and melt the cheese. Remove the quesadilla to a large cutting board or transfer to a warm oven to hold, then repeat with remaining quesadilla ingredients.

Cut each quesadilla into wedges and serve with warm salsa for topping.

 

How to Make Vegan Nut Roast

 

Please the vegans at your Thanksgiving table with this hearty "roast.. Serves 6

 

4 1/2 c. cubed bread (divided)

3 c. raw cashews

1 c. chopped celery

3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

5 minced garlic cloves

2 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. melted, but not hot, margarine

1/2 tsp. marjoram

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

3 finely chopped onions (divided)

Pepper

1/2 tsp. sage

Salt

1/2 tsp. thyme

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 c. vegetable stock (or water)

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cook 2 c. of the onion and the garlic in the saucepan until tender.

Add the cashews and 1 1/2 c. of the bread cubes to the onion.

Add vegetable stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice.

Place half the bread mixture in a small non-stick loaf pan. Set aside.

Toast the 3 remaining cups of bread cubes by putting them in a 300 degree F oven for ten minutes or so. (Don't overtoast them; you just want to dry them out.)

Combine toasted bread cubes, margarine, the remaining onion, celery, thyme, marjoram, sage, parsley and salt to taste in a mixing bowl. Put this mixture on top of the mixture already in the loaf pan.

Add what is left of the first mixture to the loaf pan so that there are three layers of mixtures.

Put the pan on a baking sheet and bake 30 minutes, or until top is browned.

Let the roast cool 5 minutes, then turn out onto a serving platter. Serve with gravy, if desired.

 

 

Cheesy Orzo

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cans (14 ounces) vegetable broth or stock
2 cups orzo pasta (enriched rice may be substituted)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat a 8 inch pot with a tight fitting cover over moderate heat. Add oil, onion and garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and return broth to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Remove lid and stir in cheese. Season with salt and pepper to your taste. You favorite fresh herbs may also be stirred into the orzo or rice to strengthen the flavor even more.

 

4 Cheese Stuffed Shells

Salt
8 pieces jumbo pasta shells
1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese or part skim ricotta cheese
1 pound mozzarella, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup shredded Asiago
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 or 7 leaves fresh basil, torn or shredded

Preheat oven or broiler to 450 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and add pasta. Cook shells 12 to 15 minutes, they should be softened but still undercooked at the center. Drain pasta and cool.

Combine ricotta, 1/2 of the diced mozzarella, a couple of handfuls of Parmigiano and 1/2 of the Asiago. Add parsley to the cheeses and stir to combine.

To a small saucepot over moderate heat add oil, garlic and onions. Saute onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper. Simmer sauce 5 minutes and stir in basil leaves

Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a shallow medium sized casserole dish. Fill shells with rounded spoonfuls of cheese mixture and arrange them seam side down in casserole dish. Top shells with remaining sauce and remaining mozzarella and Asiago cheeses. Place shells in very hot oven or 8 inches from hot broiler and cook 6 to 8 minutes to melt cheeses and bubble sauce.

 

Black Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients (use vegan versions):

  • 1 package corn tortillas (10)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1 can medium enchilada sauce
  • 1 small can (4 oz) chopped green chilis
  • salt, pepper and cumin to taste
  • shredded vegan cheddar cheese

Directions:

These are so easy and SO good. All you do is , sauté the beans, corn, onion, green chilis, salt, pepper and cumin in a large skillet over med heat for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then fill the corn tortillas with the bean mixture and place in a baking dish. Cover with the enchilada sauce and some shredded cheese. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minute at 350. I serve them with spanish rice and salad and maybe chips and salsa.

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Creamy Polenta with Raisins and Pine Nuts

1 quart veggie broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup polenta or yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, bring the veggie broth and salt to a boil over medium heat. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal in a slow steady stream. The liquid will be absorbed and the cornmeal will lock up; don't freak, just whisk through it. Lower the heat and continue to whisk until the polenta is thick and smooth, about 20 minutes.

Add the cream and 2 tablespoons of the butter; continue to stir until incorporated and creamy, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Remove the polenta from the heat and pour it into a small baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place a small skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Swirl the pan over the heat and cook the butter until golden and nutty, about 1 minute. Add the raisins and pine nuts, tossing to coat in the brown butter. Pour the raisins and pine nuts over the top of the polenta and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 25 minutes and serve.
 

Pasta with Pepper Vodka Sauce

1 pound penne or ziti pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can peeled, crushed tomatoes, chopped, and their liquid
1/2 teaspoon crushed pepper flakes
3/4 cup Pepper Vodka, recipe follows
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped basil leaves, garnish
Finely grated pecorino cheese

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until just al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the vodka and cook until reduced to about 3 to 4 tablespoons, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss to coat evenly.

Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with the basil and top with a sprinkling of the pecorino cheese.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 1 week

Pepper Vodka:
1 (750-ml) bottle best quality vodka
1 fresh red jalapeno or red Fresno pepper, slit in 1/2 lengthwise, stem left intact
1 fresh green jalapeno pepper, slit in 1/2 lengthwise, stem left intact
1 fresh Serrano or green cayenne pepper, slit in 1/2 lengthwise, stem left intact
2 cloves garlic, peeled

Pour out enough vodka from the bottle in order to make room for the peppers and reserve for another use. Carefully add the peppers and garlic to the vodka, pouring out more liquid if need be. Cap and let stand at room temperature until the vodka acquires the desired heat, about 1 week.

Serve, or remove the peppers and keep in the freezer.

Yield: about 3 1/4 cups

 

Orchiette Pasta with Wild Mushroom Cream Sauce

12 ounces orchiette pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound assorted wild mushrooms, stems trimmed, wiped clean, and thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the cream, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Add the Parmesan and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Add the pasta, stir to coat with the sauce, and cook until the pasta is heated through, 1 minute. Remove from the heat and divide among 4 serving bowls or plates. Sprinkle each serving with chives and serve immediately.
 

Rigatoni with Roasted Gaaahlic Sauce

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
6 tablespoons roasted garlic puree, recipe follows, mashed into a paste
2 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, broken up, and their juices, seeds discarded
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Emeril's Kick it Up Red Pepper Sauce)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 pound rigatoni
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chiffonade fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup grated Pecorino
Chopped parsley, for garnish

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the garlic puree, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices, tomato sauce, hot sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thick and fragrant, 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just barely al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and transfer to the pot with the sauce. Add the lemon juice and bring to a simmer and cook until the pasta is well coated and warmed through, about 3 minutes.

Transfer to a large, decorative pasta bowl and toss with the basil and 1/2 cup of the cheese. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately and pass the additional 1/4 cup of cheese at tableside.

Roasted Garlic Puree:
4 large heads garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or aluminum foil.

Cut the top quarter from each head of garlic and place, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the cut garlic tops, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Turn the garlic cut side down, and roast until the cloves are soft and golden brown, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let sit until cool enough to handle. Squeeze each head of garlic, gently pressing with your fingers to expel the cloves into a bowl. Stir the garlic with a rubber spatula to blend thoroughly. Use as needed, or store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Yield: 6 tablespoons

 

Spinach, Mushroom, and Four Cheese Lasagna

1 (20-ounce) package fresh spinach, tough stems removed and washed
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 pound portobello mushrooms, stems removed and sliced (about 3 large)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups whole milk
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
15 ounces fresh ricotta
1 1/2 cups grated Fontina or provolone
1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella
1 pound lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. Finely chop and set aside.

In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

To make the bechamel sauce, in a large saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, the nutmeg, and 1 cup of the Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, fontina, and mozzarella cheeses. Fold in 1/4 cup of the bechamel sauce.

Across the bottom of a deep-dish lasagna pan (13 by 9-inches), spoon enough bechamel sauce to cover (about 1/2 cup). Then add 1/4 of the mushrooms and sprinkle 1/4 of the spinach across. Arrange a layer of cooked noodles side-by-side across the sauce. Spread another layer of bechamel over the noodles and top with more spinach, mushrooms, and cheese. Repeat layering with sauce, noodles, spinach, and cheese 2 more times, ending with noodles on top. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Parmesan over the top, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and bake until the noodles are tender and the lasagna is hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden brown on top, about 10 minutes.

Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot.


 

Wild Mushroom Bolognese

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound grilled assorted wild mushrooms, such as shiitake, oyster, and portobello, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3/4 cup chopped yellow onions
1/4 cup chopped carrots
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup Madeira
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 pound pasta rags, cooked al dente
Pecorino Romano, shaved with a vegetable peeler

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, carrots, celery and garlic, and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the Madiera and cook until reduced, 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, sauce, and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened and fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add the herbs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Place in a large serving bowl, or divide among individual pasta bowls. Shave pecorino over the pasta.

 

Egg Noodles with Mushrooms

1/2 pound wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons butter
8 white mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, finely chopped
A handful fresh parsley, chopped
Salt

Cook egg noodles until just tender in boiling salted water, about 6 minutes.

Saute sliced mushrooms and shallot in 2 tablespoons butter over moderate heat until mushrooms are tender, about 3 or 4 minutes.

Drain noodles and toss in with cooked mushrooms. Add the parsley and season with a little salt, to taste.


 

 Ravioli Vegetable "Lasagna"

2 packages chopped frozen spinach, defrosted in microwave
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans quartered artichokes in water, drained well
Salt and pepper

White Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and black pepper
1 sack, 2 cups grated provolone or Italian 4 Cheese Blend, from dairy aisle, 10 ounces
1 large package (marked "Family Size") fresh ravioli, such as Contadina brand, 24 to 28 ounces, or choose your favorite filling, such as wild mushroom or 4 cheese
1 pound thin asparagus spears, trimmed of tough ends

Bring a pot of water to boil for ravioli.

While water comes to a boil, drain defrosted frozen chopped spinach by wringing it dry in a kitchen towel, working over a garbage bowl or your sink. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons or 2 turns of the pan, and the garlic. Saute garlic in oil 1 minute, then sprinkle spinach into the garlic oil. Add artichoke heart pieces to the pan and turn to combine and heat through. Season vegetables with and remove from heat to a bowl. Place skillet back on the heat and melt butter. Whisk flour into butter and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk stock into flour and butter and let it bubble. Whisk in cream and Parmesan. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper and thicken 1 to 2 minutes.

Preheat broiler to high. Set rack between middle of oven groove and top rack groove, about 8 inches from heat.

When water boils, salt water, add ravioli and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Ravioli should be less than al dente, still a bit chewy -- it will continue cooking when combined with sauce and vegetables. Place a colander over ravioli as it cooks and add asparagus to it. Cut thin, trimmed asparagus into 2-inch pieces on an angle. Steam the chopped asparagus while pasta cooks, 2 to 3 minutes, until just fork-tender, but still green. Remove asparagus and add to bowl with spinach and artichokes. Place colander in your sink and drain ravioli.

Drizzle a touch of extra virgin olive oil onto the bottom of a medium oval casserole or a rectangular baking dish and brush pan to coat evenly. Arrange a layer using 1/2 of cooked ravioli in the dish. Layer 1/2 of the cooked vegetables over the ravioli. Next, add a few ladles of sauce, then vegetables, then top casserole with the last of the ravioli. Dot top of "lasagna" with any remaining sauce and cover liberally with gratedprovolone or 4 cheese blend. Brown cheese 8 inches from broiler, 5 minutes.

 

Goat Cheese Ravioli with Creamy Walnut Sauce

Filling:
1 cup crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts
1/2 cup minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced lemon peel

3 large pasta sheets

Sauce:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup freshly grated Asiago or Parmesan

In a bowl combine the goat cheese, walnuts, basil, oil, garlic and lemon peel, and mix well. Set aside.

Put pasta sheet on work surface with long side facing you and put packed teaspoon of filling 2 inches apart lengthwise along half of the pasta sheet (you should have 10 to 12 mounds). Around each mound of filling brush dough very lightly with water. Fold dough lengthwise in half over mounds of filling, gently pressing around mounds to force out any air, and seal edges well. With a fluted pastry wheel trim edges and cut between mounds of filling to separate ravioli.

Line a large tray with a dry kitchen towel and arrange ravioli in 1 layer. Make more ravioli with remaining 2 pieces of dough and remaining filling in same manner, transferring to kitchen-towel-lined tray and arranging in 1 layer. Ravioli may be made 8 hours ahead and chilled on towel-lined tray, covered loosely with plastic wrap.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts and cook, stirring, until brown and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove nuts from the pan. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, shallots and garlic, and saute for 1 minute. Add the wine and cream, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium-high until the liquid has thickened and reduced by nearly 50 percent in volume, about 4 minutes. Stir in the basil, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the ravioli until they are tender and rise to the surface, carefully stirring to keep them from sticking together, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain in a colander. Transfer the cooked ravioli to the pan with the sauce, and gently toss to coat and heat through. Divide the ravioli among 6 serving plates or shallow bowls, and sprinkle each serving with grated cheese. Serve immediately.
 

Three Cheese Pizza

Dough:
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
Topping:
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 ounces exotic mushrooms, such as chanterelle, shiitake or wood ear, rinsed well, dried and thinly sliced
1 1/4 cups thin strips prosciutto (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons white truffle oil
6 ounces soft mild goat cheese such as Montrachet, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
6 ounces Fontina, grated (about 3/4 cup)
3 ounces thinly sliced Teleme cheese

Heat 1 cup of water to 110 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and salt until the yeast is dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cups flour to the yeast mixture, mixing by hand until all the flour is incorporated and no lumps remain. Continue adding flour 1/4 cup at a time working the dough by hand after each addition until all the flour is incorporated, yet the dough remains slightly sticky.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl and turn to coat with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, non-drafty place. Allow the dough to rise until nearly double in size, about 1 hour.
Remove the dough from the bowl and briefly work by hand, separating into 2 equal sized discs. Place the dough on a lightly greased sheet pan, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm, non-drafty place to rest for 15 minutes, or until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute just until their juice has evaporated, stirring from time to time, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
With your hands, gently stretch 1 dough disc to a 6-inch round. Place the dough round on a lightly greased baking sheet, and pat out to a 10 to 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining dough disc. Top each piece of dough with half of the mushrooms, half of the proscuitto, and 1 tablespoon of truffle oil. Sprinkle the cheeses over the mushrooms, and bake until the dough is brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 15 minutes, switching the pans between racks after 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Penne with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

12 ounces penne pasta
1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, blend the sun-dried tomatoes and their oil, garlic, salt and pepper, to taste, and basil in a food processor and blend until the tomatoes are finely chopped. Transfer the tomato mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the Parmesan.

Add the pasta to the pesto and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta, to taste, with salt and pepper and serve.

 

Fettuccine Alfredo

18 ounces fresh fettuccine
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups grated Parmesan
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.

Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.
 

Baked Rigatoni with Bechamel Sauce

Bechamel sauce:
1 stick unsalted butter (4 ounces)
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart whole milk, at room temperature
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Sea salt and white pepper
1 cup grated fontina
1/2 pound thinly sliced prosciutto, julienned
1 pound dry rigatoni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Bechamel sauce:
In a 2 quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Always stirring, gradually add the milk and continue to whisk until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg, 1/2 cup fontina, prosciutto and season with salt and white pepper. Set aside.

In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of salted water. Add the rigatoni and cook for about 5 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to the pot and pour in bechamel sauce. Using a wooden spoon, mix well until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Into a greased 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pour the pasta with cream sauce. Smooth out top and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup fontina. Dot the top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until bubbling and the top is golden brown.

 

Szechuan Vegetable Stir-Fry

3 tablespoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, julienned
1 green bell pepper, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, julienned
1/2 cup red onion, julienned
1 cup thickly cut yellow squash (half-moon slices)
1 cup thickly cut zucchini (half-moon slices)
1 baby eggplant, cut into chunks
1 clove garlic, minced
1 to 2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (average 2 grams sugar per serving)
1/2 cup canned straw mushrooms
3 cups sliced bok choy
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1/3 cup sliced bamboo shoots
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
1/2 cup snow peas
1/2 cup kimchee, optional, for garnish (spicy hot Chinese marinated cabbage)

Start by preparing and cutting all the vegetables and measuring your ingredients so that they are ready to go. Once you begin stir-frying, it goes very quickly.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat canola oil over high heat to almost smoking. While stirring constantly, 1 at a time, add in the peppers and onions, followed by the squash, zucchini, eggplant, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, and teriyaki sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the remaining ingredients and seasonings, except for the snow peas. Cook about 2 minutes more. Stir in snow peas when done and remove from heat. Serve immediately garnished with kimchee, if desired.

 

Broccoli Florets with Bow-Tie Pasta

Serves 8

Almond-shaped Kalamata olives from the Kalamata region of Greece range from dark purple to black in color. They have a firm texture and a rich, fruity flavor.

1 12-oz. pkg. bow-tie pasta
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 medium-size yellow onion, chopped
1 6-oz. pkg. sliced mushrooms
1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander
1/4 cup vegetable broth or Chardonnay
1 14.5-oz. can Mexican-seasoned stewed tomatoes (1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Remaining tomato sauce from pizza (about 1 cup)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Set aside in colander, and rinse occasionally with cold water to prevent sticking.

2. Heat oil and crushed red pepper over medium-high heat, 1 minute, in Dutch oven or large electric frying pan. Add broccoli, onions, mushrooms, beans and olives, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. ??

3. Add half of coriander, broth, stewed tomatoes, yeast and tomato sauce. Reduce heat to low, and cook 2 minutes. Add cooked pasta and remaining 1/4 cup coriander, and mix? thoroughly. Simmer 3 minutes, or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

PER SERVING: 260 CAL; 11G PROT; 3G TOTAL FAT (0G SAT. FAT); 46G CARB; 0MG CHOL; 229MG SOD; 6G FIBER; 7G SUGARS

 

 

Wild Mushroom and Tomato Casserole

Serves 8 to 10

This warm-weather, one-pot meal is surprisingly light when fresh from the oven. An earthenware casserole is best because the slow radiant heat creates a crust along the edges that is one of the tastiest parts of the dish. Best eaten when just made, this dish will reheat well in a microwave oven. Kids love it.

1 1/2 oz. mixture dried wild mushrooms such as oyster mushrooms and porcini
1 qt. boiling water
2 large onions (1 1/2 lb.), sliced
3 Tbs. unsalted butter or olive oil
3 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. flour
About 1 1/2 lb. stale, crusty country-style bread, preferably sourdough, cut into thick slices
3 cups (1 1/2 lb.) chopped tomatoes
10 oz. coarsely grated Gruyère-style cheese
2 Tbs. minced fresh sage
1/2 cup grated sapsago or Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. caraway seeds, optional

Place mushrooms in large heatproof container, and add boiling water. Cover, and infuse 1 to 2 hours, or until mushrooms are tender. Strain infusion, and reserve infusion liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms, and set aside in large bowl.

Place onions, butter and sugar in large skillet, cover and sweat over medium heat 10 minutes, or until onions are soft and beginning to caramelize on bottoms. Add salt, and stir in flour to thicken. Place onions in bowl, and deglaze skillet with about 1 cup mushroom infusion, whisking well. Pour deglazing liquid into mushroom infusion.

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray 2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray.

Layer bread in casserole. Chop any remaining bread into small irregular pieces, and set aside. Combine mushrooms and tomatoes, and cover bread layer with mixture. Combine Gruyère cheese and sage, and scatter evenly over mushroom-tomato mixture. Cover with chopped bread. Spread onions over bread, and add mushroom infusion. Pat smooth with back of wooden spoon. Sprinkle sapsago cheese and caraway seeds, if using, over top.

Bake uncovered 45 to 55 minutes, or until set and crispy on top. Serve hot directly from oven.

PER SERVING:
430 Calories
19g Protein
17g Total Fat (17G Saturated Fat)
50g Carbohydrates
45mg Cholesterol
900mg Sodium
4g Fiber
7g Sugars

 

SWEETS

 

Rice Pudding

3 cups white rice, cooked
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Add raisins and vanilla. Cook for 25 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Mix in lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Spoon pudding into a serving dish and dust with remaining cinnamon. May serve chilled or at room temperature.

 

 

Lemon Cake

Cake:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
3 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Lemon wedge, for garnish
Mint sprig, for garnish

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or 1 tablespoon white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
2 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Filling:
8 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
3 lemons, zest grated and juiced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

To make the cake: Using an electric mixer, cream butter until fluffy. Add sugar and continue to cream well for 6 to 8 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla and continue to beat until just mixed. Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4-inches above counter, then dropping flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure you of a more level cake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pans 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks. Cool completely.

To make the frosting: Place sugar, cream of tartar or corn syrup, salt, water, and egg whites in the top of a double boiler. Beat with a handheld electric mixer for 1 minute. Place pan over boiling water, being sure that boiling water does not touch the bottom of the top pan. Beat constantly on high speed with electric mixer for 7 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

To make the filling: Place the ingredients in the double boiler over boiling water. Don't let top pan touch the water. Cook and stir until mixture begins to gel or thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, add 1 tablespoon of filling to the cake pedestal. Run hands along the side of the cake to remove excess crumbs. Place the cake layers on the pedestal, spreading filling between the layers and on top. Spread the sides and top of the cake with the remaining filling. Frost top and sides of cake with frosting. Garnish with a lemon wedge and a sprig of mint. 
 

 

Essentuals  

 

Perfect Cake Glaze

3 Cups Confectioners Sugar

6 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice

mix and Glaze of Warm Cake

 

 

Vegetable Stock

2 cups large dice yellow onions
2 cups large dice leeks, green and white parts, well rinsed
2 cups mushroom trimmings, wiped clean
1 cup large dice carrots
1 cup large dice celery
1 cup large dice turnips
1 cup large dice parsnips
1 cup large dice yellow squash
1 cup large dice zucchini
8 Roma tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 gallon water
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, or 2 teaspoons dried
8 parsley stems
4 basil stems
2 bay leaves
2 cups white wine

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large roasting pan, spread the onions, leeks, mushrooms, carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips, squash, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic cloves. Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with the salt and pepper, stirring to coat. Roast for 45 minutes, stirring, every 15 minutes to brown evenly.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a large pot. Add the water and herbs, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skimming to remove any foam that rises to the surface. Add the wine and cook for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Use immediately, cool in an ice bath, then refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days. (The stock can be frozen for up to 3 months.)

 

Pasta Dough for Ravioli

5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
6 large eggs
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make the pasta dough: In an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and salt. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to mix. Pour in 1 tablespoon olive oil and continue to mix until a smooth dough is formed. If the dough is too dry drizzle in a bit of water, if it is too wet sprinkle in some more flour. Dust some flour on a work surface, knead and fold the dough until it is elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface of the dough with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

To make the dough by hand: Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface, shape into a mound, and make a well in the center. Add the eggs and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall and mix it with the beaten eggs. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a smooth dough. Dust some flour on the work surface; knead and fold the dough until it is elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface of the dough with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

To roll out the dough: Cut the ball of dough in half, cover and reserve the piece you are not using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine set at the widest setting 2 or 3 times. Guide the dough with your hand as it emerges from the rollers to prevent it from puncturing or stretching. Dust the sheets with extra flour whenever the dough gets sticky. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again 2 or 3 times. Continue reducing the setting and rolling until the machine is at its narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick for ravioli. Roll out the other half.

Baked Baguettes

1 package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
Cornmeal, for dusting
Milk, for brushing

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water; stir to blend. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the salt. Add the flour, a little at a time, mixing at the lowest speed until most of the flour has been incorporated and the dough forms a ball. Continue to mix at the lowest speed until the dough has become a sticky ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl; about 4 to 5 minutes.

Dust the counter lightly with flour. Knead the dough by hand for a minute and form into a ball. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 hours to rise.

To form the baguettes: Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Press each piece of dough into a rectangle and fold the long sides up into the middle. Roll each into a log, taking care to close the seam. Taper the ends by gently rolling it back and forth. Lay the baguettes on a sheet pan that is dusted with cornmeal and cover with a towel. Let the baguettes rise for another 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

With sharp knife, make 4 or 5 diagonal slashes across the top of each loaf. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk. Bake for 40 minutes, until the bread is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Garlic Cheese Biscuits

1 1/4 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup water

Garlic Butter:
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the biscuit mix and cheese in a small bowl. Add the water and stir just until combined. The dough will be slightly moist. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the biscuits are firm and beginning to brown.

While the biscuits are baking, make the garlic butter. In a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic powder, salt, and parsley flakes. Mix well. As soon as you bring the biscuits from the oven, brush them with the garlic butter using a pastry brush.

 

City Slicker Coleslaw

1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 large carrot, chopped
1/8 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 cabbage head
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt (recommended: Jane's Krazy Mixed-up salt)
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon white vinegar

Using a food processor, gently process the bell pepper, onion, carrot, and parsley, being careful not to over process. Cut 1/2 of the cabbage into chunks and place in the food processor and process lightly, making sure the cabbage doesn't become mushy. Slice the remaining cabbage thinly. Mix the cabbage together with the processed vegetables. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients together and allow to stand for a few minutes. Combine the mayonnaise mixture with the vegetables and toss. Chill for 1 hour.

 

Mushroom Risotto

8 cups veggie4 broth, low sodium
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
1 pound fresh portobello and crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1-ounce dried porcini mushrooms, wiped of grit
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
Fresh Italian parsley, for garnish

Heat the veggie broth in a medium saucepan and keep warm over low heat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 onion and 1 clove garlic, cook, stirring, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fresh mushrooms, herbs and butter. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in truffle oil then add the dried porcini mushrooms which were reconstituted in1 cup of warm chicken broth. Season again with salt and fresh cracked pepper. Saute 1 minute then remove from heat and set aside.

Coat a saucepan with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Saute the remaining 1/2 onion and garlic clove. Add the rice and stir quickly until it is well-coated and opaque, 1 minute. This step cooks the starchy coating and prevents the grains from sticking. Stir in wine and cook until it is nearly all evaporated.

Now, with a ladle, add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook, stirring, until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to cook and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy, not mushy. Transfer the mushrooms to the rice mixture. Stir in Parmesan cheese, cook briefly until melted. Top with a drizzle of truffle oil and chopped parsley before serving.

 

 

Real Biscuits from Scratch

1 1/4 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

Into a medium mixing bowl, sift the self-rising flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the butter into the flour until there are no butter pieces larger than a pea. Add the heavy cream to the flour mixture and, using your hands or a rubber spatula, stir just until the cream and flour come together to form a dough. Sprinkle some of the all-purpose flour on a flat surface and place the dough on top of the flour. Using your hands, press the dough into a 1/2-inch thick disk about 8 inches in diameter. Using a 3-inch round cutter dusted in flour, cut the dough into circles. Be sure to press straight and downward when cutting the dough -- a twisting motion will prevent the dough from rising. You will need to reform the scraps of dough in order to have 8 biscuits. Do this by pushing the scrap pieces together and press to reform into a 1/2-inch thick disk. Place the biscuits on a small sheet pan and brush the tops with the melted butter. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool briefly and serve while still warm.

 

Classic Belgian Waffles

2 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups milk
non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the waffle iron according to the manufacturer's instructions. In 1 medium bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a second bowl use the wooden spoon to beat together the egg yolks and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved and eggs have turned a pale yellow. Add the vanilla extract, melted butter, and milk to the eggs and whisk to combine. Combine the egg-milk mixture with the flour mixture and whisk just until blended. Do not over mix. In third bowl, beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until soft peaks form, about 1 minute. Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the waffle batter. Do not overmix! Coat the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and pour enough batter in iron to just cover waffle grid. Close and cook as per manufacturer's instructions until golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

 

Savory 3-Cheese Quiche

1 (9-inch) prepared pie shell (unbaked), recipe follows
1 cup grated Swiss
1/2 cup grated marbled jack
3 tablespoon grated Romano, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup chopped medium onion
1 cup fresh broccoli florets
1 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 teaspoons dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup half-and-half
7 or 8 cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 425 degree F.
Sprinkle the cheese over the bottom of the pie shell, then evenly distribute the onion, broccoli, and mushroom over the cheese layer. Mix the eggs and the spices together in a bowl. Add the milk and half-and-half and mix well. Pour over contents in the pie shell.
Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and place, cut side up, in a ring on top of the mixture. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon of Romano over top. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 300 degrees F and bake an additional 45 to 55 minutes or until cake tester inserted in middle comes out clean.

 

Sheila's Never Fail Pie Crust:
1 cup flour
6 tablespoons butter flavored shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons cold water

Blend together with pastry blender until crumbly (like coarse cornmeal). Add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork until mixture will hold together. Handle as little possible. Wrap in plastic wrap in a "patty" and chill for at least an hour. Roll out between Saran Wrap with very little flour. Place carefully in a pie plate, being careful not to stretch dough. Trim the edges.

 

 

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

 

Cooking Rice

Rice can be tricky. For 4 servings of white rice (long or short grain), measure out 1 cup of rice, 2 cups of cold water, and a sprinkle of salt into a small saucepan. Bring the water to a boil, stir once, reduce the heat to medium low, cover the pan, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until the water has evaporated.

You can tell the water has evaporated two ways. First, there are little holes that separate the rice. Second, the water changes from sounding like boiling, to sounding like popping. Remove rice from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Now it's ready to serve.

To cook 4 servings of brown rice, use the same procedure but increase the water amount to 3 cups for every 1 cup of brown rice, and check it after 27 minutes (an exact number to be sure).

Or, you could try Sara Moulton's "spaghetti method." Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the rice (either kind) and boil for approximately the same amount of time, or until it is done to your taste. Then drain the rice, as you would pasta, through a fine sieve. Either way, it's better to use regular rice, not the parboiled "quick" kind. Regular rice has a better texture and more nutrients.

Black-Eyed Peas and Rice

1 quart water
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon season salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
8 ounces black-eyed peas, cooked
About 1 1/2 to 2 cups raw rice

Combine water, say sauce, salt garlic powder, curry powder and cooked peas. Add rice by pouring it into the center of the pot until it reaches the top of the water line-NO MORE. Stir well and cover. Continue cooking on a medium to low flame until rice is fluffy and cooked through. 

 

How to Make Garlic Bread

 

Garlic bread goes well with many pasta dishes, as well as poultry, beef and fish. It is a dinner staple that is guaranteed to please. Makes two loaves.

 

1/4 c. olive (not virgin) oil

2 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

aluminum foil

1 tbsp. minced parsleys

3 tbsp. unsalted butters

2 baguettes (12 inches long

 

1. 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

 

2. 

In a small food processor or a blender, puree garlic with salt, butter and oil until smooth.

 

3. 

Transfer mixture to a bowl and stir in parsley. (Images 1 to 2)

 

4. 

Cut baguettes crosswise into 1-inch sections without cutting all the way through the bottom. (Image 3)

 

5. 

Spread garlic mixture in each cut, and spread remaining mixture on the tops of the baguettes. (Image 4)

 

6. 

Wrap baguettes loosely in foil and bake for 10 minutes.

 

7. 

Open foil to expose the tops of baguettes and bake for 5 more minutes, or until hot and crusty.

 

White Cheese Sauce

This easy sauce can be used for many different recipes, including the classic homemade macaroni and cheese. It's good with pasta, as the base for ravioli stuffing and much more. You'll need to start with half a recipe of basic white sauce

  1. salt to taste
  2. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheeses
  3. 1/3 tsp paprika
  4. 1/4 tsp white pepper
  5. 1 tsp dry mustards
  6. 3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  7. 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  8. 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese

 

    • Bring about a cup and a half of basic white sauce to a simmer
    • Make sure cheeses are at or close to room temperature
    • Whisk in the spices while the sauce is simmering
    • Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the cheeses one at a timestarting with the parmesan
    • If the sauce cools down too much for the cheeses to fully melt, return it tothe heat briefly. Don't let it come back to a simmer, or the sauce will separate.
    • Taste and season very lightly with salt, if necessary. Remember, the cheeses are slightly salty, so you won't need much.

 

    • Tips: White cheddar tastes the same as "normal" yellow cheddar; it's just not dyed. A yellow cheddar will make the sauce yellow.
  • To make a great homemade macaroni and cheese, toss the finished cheese sauce with cooked elbow macaroni, place in a shallow casserole dish and top with breadcrumbs. Bake at 375 degrees until the breadcrumbs brown.
  • y experimenting with different cheeses. Blue cheese, gorgonzola, asiago, romano and many others will work well and will add different flavors to the sauce.

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