Friday, August 23, 2013

trimming the fat by cutting the meat

Chickpea & beet veggie burgers - insanely delicious. Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen.
The past few weeks have been full of travel (I can't believe the fall travel season is already here!). Boston, New York, DC, Baltimore, Hershey - then back to Nashville and back to DC again. In DC, I had lunch with one of my closest friends, Jen. Jen and her husband are vegan so I am sending some recipe love for my vegan/vegetarian friends!
8 ounces beets, steamed or roasted and peeled (you can use store-bought/prepared beets - but not canned)
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, washed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, washed and drained
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1/4 cup rolled oat flour (rolled oats pulsed in the food processor until fine)
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
S&P to taste
Make oat flour and set aside. Pulse beets until food processor until roughly chopped. Add drained beans, rice, oat flour, onion, garlic and spices. Salt and pepper to taste. Pulse until well chopped and combined. Using a half cup scoop, form patties and chill for about 30 minutes. When ready to cook burgers, heat a bit of EVOO in a pan and cook on each side for about 3-4 minutes. Serve on toasted whole grain bun. I topped ours with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce and tomato. 
I've blogged about quinoa a fair amount recently. A few weeks ago, I made quinoa and lentil "meat" balls. These freeze well and were delicious over whole wheat pasta with some tomato basil sauce.

1/2 cup dry quinoa, pre-rinsed
1 cup water
1 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
cup diced bell pepper
cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs (add additional bread crumbs if the meatballs need to be firmer and aren't holding together well)
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoon freshly chopped flat parsley leaves
 1 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Few shakes cayenne pepper
1 egg (for vegan add 2-3 teaspoons water)
3 tablespoons EVOO
S&P to taste

Add pre-rinsed quinoa and water to a medium pot, cover, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking 15 minutes or until water is completely absorbed. In a large non-stick skillet add some EVOO, heat to medium-low and sauté diced onions and bell pepper until tender about 4 minutes, add garlic, parsley and oregano and sauté one additional minute.

Remove quinoa from heat and allow to rest 10 minutes. Press down on quinoa with a paper towel to remove any remaining water.
In a large mixing bowl combine sautéed onion, garlic, parsley and oregano along with remaining ingredients, except oil. Use either a potato masher or fork and mash the ingredients until the lentils are well mashed. Using your hands, shape into 1 ½ inch (meatless) meatballs.

Add a bit more oil to a large non-stick skillet, heat to medium-low and add quinoa (meatless) meatballs. Brown meatballs, turn over and brown on the other side. Cook until browned and heated through, about 16 minutes. Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel. Serve with whole grain pasta and your favorite sauce on top.


Monday, August 19, 2013

curry in a hurry

In truth, this curry isn't in that much of a hurry - but I like the rhyme. Our team had a retreat a few weeks ago to Salud! Cooking School at Whole Foods. We took a Thai food class and made a green papaya salad, chicken curry, spicy beef stir fry, sticky rice in banana leaves and Thai iced tea. Everything was delicious (except the tea - I just can't get into drinking sweetened condensed milk).
Last week, I made the chicken curry dish but substituted some vegetables to use what I had in house.
 1 can coconut milk (I used light)
1 cup frozen peas
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
small onion, diced
1/4 cup basil, rough chopped (proper recipe calls for Thai basil but I used sweet)
2 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cubed
2-3 pinches of kaffir lime leaves
1 pound string beans, trimmed and halved or zucchini, broccoli - any green veg!
 3 tablespoons red curry paste
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
3 teaspoons fish sauce
In a heavy bottom pan or wok (I used Dutch oven), pour in coconut milk, stirring until oil separates. Reduce heat to medium - low and add curry paste, fish sauce and peanut butter. Stir for about 3-4 minutes until smooth. Add diced chicken (seasoned with S&P to taste), onion and carrot. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5-8 minutes. Add bell pepper and string beans. Bring to a low boil and simmer for about 10 minutes. When all vegetables are tender (but not mushy!), add in peas, basil, lime leaves and stir gently.Check that chicken is done and then enjoy!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

salads of summer

I've spoken before about how my friends, the Dunhams, have gifted some of their CSA produce to us - and (lucky for me) this happened again! Here are two recipes for light, chilled summer salads.
1/2 pound orzo
1 pound snap peas, trimmed and halved
2 small yellow squash, cubed
juice from half a lemon (maybe a little more)
3-4 tablespoons EVOO
3 tablespoons Parmesan, shredded
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add orzo (following time guidelines for pasta). When you have three minutes left on the pasta, add zucchini and snap peas. When timer is up, drain in a colander and return to pot. Add EVOO, Parmesan, lemon juice and S&P. Chill for a bit in the fridge and enjoy. 
1 & 1/2 cups quinoa
1/2 pound sugar snap peas (or string beans - or some of both) - blanched in boiling water
1/3 cup EVOO
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 roasted pumpkin seeds
small onion, sauteed
1/2 pound small tomatoes (heirloom variety if possible)
Prepare quinoa according to package and set to the side. Trim snap peas or beans and half them - also half the tomatoes. Saute onions and mix in a small bowl with EVOO, vinegar, S&P. In a large bowl, place quinoa, blanched/drained peas or beans, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds - toss together. Pour dressing over top and toss again - taste for seasoning and adjust to your liking. 
My friend Jill and I made this last night using farm fresh produce (I only contributed the pumpkin seeds and a bit of stirring - a very nice Saturday night!). This salad makes a delicious light dinner and can be paired with grilled chicken or fish.
A warm thank you to Jill, Ethan and Mimi for providing the integral veggies for these cool summer salads!