Running with kitchen shears.

breakfast, lunch, dinner, cupcakes, tastiness.

Cheap and quick-just like you like it. June 24, 2009

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 5:52 am
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So I FINALLY got all registered for school for this semester-I’m going to be doing full time (12 credit hours) for Fall 2009, starting in August, and with working full time, it should be interesting. I promise I’ll try my best to not abandon you, oh loyal reader! In the meantime, I’m also going to try to keep cooking tasty meals even though I’m going to be exhausted. This one is definitely one that fits the bill-plus, it’s approximately $1.91 per serving, according to the calculation by Woman’s Day (where this recipe is adapted from).

Bow Ties with Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

-12 oz bow-tie (farfalle) pasta (I used 16 oz because I couldn’t see the sense in keeping back 4 oz of the box I found, and I knew J would eat it)
-3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
-1 Tbs minced garlic (about 2 to 3 medium-sized cloves)
-1 (9 or 10 oz) bag spinach, tough stems removed if still attached and leaves torn bite size (in the 9 oz bag I purchased, they were already bite size-not much bigger than baby spinach)
-1/2 tsp each salt and pepper, divided
-1 pt cherry or grape (which I used) tomatoes, halved

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs of the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add half the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; saute 1 minute, or until spinach wilts. Add remaining spinach and cook until wilted.
3. Add remaining 2 Tbs oil and rest of garlic to skillet. Cook 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, or until tomatoes release their juices. Add to bowl with pasta. Toss to combine.

This is the way I made it, at least. In the original recipe, after you are done cooking the spinach (after “cook until wilted”), you are supposed to add it to the bowl with the pasta. I did not do this-I left it in there while I was cooking the tomatoes. I also did not “transfer to a large bowl”-I put the pasta back in the emptied pot it had cooked in-what’s the point of dirtying up an extra dish when J won’t care about presentation as long as it tastes good? This was SO delicious and garlicy and tomatoey and really a wonderful summer dish. You should go make it-NOW! Or, you know, later.

 

Everyone loves balls for dinner. January 4, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 11:07 am
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Don’t they? They’re round and fun for the whole family. What balls am I talking about? Why, Vegetable Balls, of course! These really ended up being kind of like vegetarian crab cakes, except, obviously, ball-shaped.

Vegetable Balls

-1/2 c grated green cabbage

-1/2 c grated carrot

-1/2 c grated cauliflower

-1/2 c finely chopped green onions

-1/2 c finely chopped green bell pepper

-1 tsp salt

-1 1/2 Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour

-1 1/2 Tbs plus 1/4 c corn meal

-2 tsp hot sauce (I used Dia de los Muertos Scotch Bonnet)

-oil for deep frying

1. In a large bowl, mix all the vegetables with the salt. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Using your hands, squeeze the moisture out of the vegetables.

3. Mix the remaining ingredients, except the 1/4 c cornmeal and the oil for deep-frying, with the vegetables and form into 6 balls. Roll in cornmeal to coat.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat (or heat your fryer to 375 degrees F). Fry the balls for 5 to 8 minutes, until golden brown.

For the sauce (ball sauce!)

-1 Tbs oil

-2 garlic gloves, finely chopped

-1 tsp minced ginger

-1 tsp minced green chile

-1 Tbs soy sauce

-1 Tbs vinegar (I used rice wine vinegar)

-1 Tbs hot sauce

-1 Tbs cornstarch, whisked into 1/4 c water

-1 Tbs minced green onion

5. In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and green chile and saute for 1 minute.

6. Add the remaining ingredients, except the green onions, mixing well. Bring to a boil.

7. Remove from the heat and stir in the spring onions.

8. Serve balls and sauce hot with steamed rice.

Makes 2 servings of 3 balls each.

Adapted from a recipe at vegcooking.com .

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I think this would be a really great vegetarian party food,  substituted for the usual crab cakes. Make sure to really squeeze all the water out, or your balls will crumble and fall apart very easily. Not something you want. Even J, Mr. If It Doesn’t Have Meat It’s Not Dinner, loved these-he was especially pleased with the sauce. I don’t think I’ve said “balls” enough. BALLS.

 

Posole…almost, kind of. January 1, 2009

Filed under: recipes — Mox. @ 8:26 pm
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The title of the recipe is “Posole (Vegetable Soup with Hominy)”, and really you should just take it at the title in parenthesis because it’s really not similar to the Mexican soup known as “Posole/Pozole” aside from having hominy in it. And it’s a little spicy. But really, it’s tasty vegetable soup that happens to have hominy in it-and it’s a vegetarian version, missing the pork traditionally found in posole.

Posole (Vegetable Soup with Hominy)

-3 cloves garlic, minced

-1 large onion, chopped

-1/2 c water

-4 carrots, sliced

-3 c water or low-sodium vegetable stock

-1 (15 oz) can white hominy

-1 (15 oz) can stewed tomatoes with garlic, green pepper, and celery (I used Hunt’s diced I believe)

-1 red bell pepper, chopped

-1 c fresh green beans, broken into bite size/ 1″ lengths

-1/2 tsp cumin

-1/2 tsp salt (optional)

-1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

-3/4 tsp chili powder

-shredded green cabbage

1. In a medium stockpot, braise the garlic and onion in the 1/2 c water until soft. Add the carrots and 3 c water or stock, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Drain and rinse the hominy and add to the simmering pot.

3. Stir in the tomatoes, red pepper, green beans, and spices. Simmer for 15 minutes. Serve piping hot topped with a little bit of the cabbage, if desired.

This recipe is adapted from one found on vegcooking.com

 

The Magic of Mushrooms September 7, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 2:07 am
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No, I’m not dead, just have a lot on my mind and have been busy trying to keep myself from being depressed. /whinyness
I’ve got pictures of various meals on my computer but my camera hasn’t been cooperating so maybe you’ll get them later if you’re nice.

Grilled Portobello Burgers

-4 large portobello mushroom caps (approximately 6 oz each)
-3 Tbs bottled balsamic vinaigrette (I made my own since I don’t have any in my fridge and didn’t want to buy a bottle just for 3 Tbs)
-1/3 c light mayonnaise
-1/4 c drained jarred roasted red peppers
-4 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
-1 large tomato, thinly sliced
-4 lettuce leaves

1. Heat ridged gril pan on medium-high until hot (or in my case, preheat George Foreman grill). Place mushrooms, stem sides down, in pan. Brush with half of vinaigrette and grill 5 minutes. Turn mushrooms over (unless using George Foreman, then brush both sides before grilling); brush with remaining vinaigrette and gril 5 to 8 minutes longer or until very tender.
2. Meanwhile, place mayonnaise and red peppers in a blender. Pulse until red peppers are chopped but not pureed, turning off blender and scraping down sides several times. Toast hamburger buns.
3. To serve, spread red pepper mayonnaise on cut sides of bottom buns. Place mushrooms on the buns and top with tomato slices, lettuce, then bun tops.

This recipe is from Good Housekeeping magazine.

It’s got the meat-like look, but not the taste or texture, so if you’re serving this to your All-American beef-loving man (or woman), make sure to inform them ahead of time of the meatlessness to avoid any strange or disappointed looks. Ignore the fact that this is called a “burger” and delight in the fact that it’s pretty darn delicious. The red pepper mayo is really lovely. Even my All-American beef-lover was a fan of this one.

 

Curry takeaway plox April 24, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 6:31 pm
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Vegetable Curry (adapted from a recipe in Family Circle’s Healthy Family Dinners)

-2 Tbs vegetable oil
-1 large onion, sliced
-1 head cauliflower (6+cups)
-4 tsp curry powder
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp ground ginger
-1 tsp sugar
-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
-1 can (14 oz) vegetable broth
-2 Tbs cornstarch
-1 can (19 oz) chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
-1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, no salt added if you can get them
-1 bag (6 oz) fresh baby spinach
-1 c shelled pistachios, gone over with a rolling pin once or roughly chopped

1. In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring often, or until lightly browned.
2. Add cauliflower; cook about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned. Add curry powder, salt, ginger, sugar and cayenne, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Place 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth in a small measuring cup and wisk in the cornstarch. Set aside.
4. Stir remaining broth, chickpeas and tomatoes into pot; bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are tender.
5. Stir in reserved cornstarch mixture and the spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted and mixture has thickened. Add pistachios. Serve warm.

Makes 6 servings.

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I would have taken a picture of this (as I know this blog is sadly lacking-I’ll have more starting next week-my camera’s working again!!!), but then I know for sure noone would have eaten it-not the prettiest. It tasted delicious-extremely spicy (J didn’t like the spice, so I teased him about his Mexican-ness), which I love. I probably won’t make it again though, since J really didn’t like it and as much as it makes, it doesn’t really make sense to make it just for me. I don’t often cook with cauliflower, but this reminded me that I need to start.

Side note: I’ve gotten my compost bin up and running so I don’t feel so guilty about my trash when I cook with fresh vegetables, as all the unused bits go into it. Yay!

 

1 of a billion January 31, 2008

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:54 pm
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Winter Green Lasagna
Hands on time: 35 minutes; Total time: about 1.75 hours; Makes 8-10 servings

-2.5 pounds fresh kale, spinach, or another fresh green, or five 10-ounce boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed
-4 Tbs. olive oil
-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tsp. kosher salt
-2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
-3 c. low-fat milk
-2 c. grated Parmesan or Romano, or a combination of the two
-2 15-ounce containers ricotta
-2 eggs, beaten
-Grated zest of 1 lemon
-1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
-1 16-ounce box no-boil lasagna noodles

    If using fresh greens, discard any tough stems and chop the leaves. Rinse and shake gently to remove most but not all of the water. Place 2 Tbs. of the oil in a large stockpot with the garlic and cook over medium-high heat. As soon as the garlic begins to brown, add the greens and toss. Add 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Cover immediately and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until very tender. (If using frozen spinach, press out the liquid, then saute the spinach in 2 Tbs. of the oil and the garlic for about 5 minutes.)Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining olive oil, the flour, and the remaining salt. Cook, whisking constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the milk and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens and boils, about 10 minutes. Stir in all but 1/2 c. of the grated cheese.
     Heat oven to 350 F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Blend the ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, and nutmeg into the greens. Spread about 1/2 cup of the cheese sauce in the bottom of the baking pan. Place 3 sheets of pasta on top. Spread on 1/4 of the spinach/greens filling and 1/2 cup of sauce, then another 3 sheets of pasta. Make 3 more layers. End with the pasta and sauce, and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and cook 15 minutes more or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat in a 325 F oven for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out hot.)

*Notes on this recipe: Honestly, I don’t like this recipe. I had made it before, but somehow the recipe made its way back into the box as a new recipe. J loves this stuff, but, being a caveman, says it really needs some meat, perhaps Italian sausage. I used fresh kale. Frozen spinach would be WAY less work, but less satisfaction (although I don’t know why I even bother with this recipe-seriously-I don’t like it. Maybe it goes against my lasagna beliefs?). 

 

Spicy and yum.

Filed under: food,recipes — Mox. @ 11:47 pm
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 Sweet-Spicy Cucumbers over Tomatoes
-2 c. thinly sliced picking cucumbers (about 2 cucumbers)
-1 c. thinly sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
-1/2 c. cider vinegar
-1/4 c. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 whole dried red chiles
-16 (1/4″ thick) slices tomato
-1/8 tsp. salt
-1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

    Arrange half of cucumber in a 9″ pie plate. Top with half of the onion. Repeat procedure with remaining cucumber and onion.
   Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients (vinegar through chiles) in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumber mixture. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 4 days.
    Arrange tomato slices on a platter; sprinkle evenly with 1/8 tsp. salt and black pepper. Remove cucumber mixture from marinade with a slotted spoon; arrange over tomato slices. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 2 tomato slices and about 1/3 c. cucumber mixture)

*Notes on this recipe: I did not use pickling cucumbers. I also forgot to get chiles when I went to the store, so I substituted a couple of shakes of crushed red pepper. I would recommend using smaller tomatoes, like Roma or something around that size unless you really really like tomatoes (I felt the larger ones I used were on the border of too-muchery). I let it marinate for 2 days in an 8″ cake pan covered with foil because my pie pan was occupied. The onions would do nicely sliced into thin rings.

This was spicy and crisp and totally delicious!