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Nov. 8th, 2010


A family favorite

This isn't a new recipe, but it is a family favorite that I got to make again for dinner last night. I thought I would share because it's super yummy.

The original recipe is for Pasta with Kielbasa and Swiss Chard on Epicurious. I've tried this recipe a couple of times, and my family likes it with good old fashioned spicy Italian sausage.

We're a household of meat eaters, but I have a suggestion for vegetarian households at the bottom. Here's the way we make it:

1 bunch Swiss chard (whatever we get from the CSA, usually 6-10 stems/leaves)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup water
3/4 pound pasta, whatever we have on hand
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

1. Cut out center ribs and stems from chard, then thoroughly wash, along with leaves, in several changes of cold water. Cut ribs and stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces and coarsely chop leaves.

2. Cook sausage in oil over moderately high heat. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Do NOT opt for the pre-cooked Italian sausage that you only need to reheat. You want the raw stuff so you can get the yummy spicy fat.

3. Cook chard ribs and stems and mushrooms with salt in fat remaining in pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes.

4. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5. Add chard leaves, and water and simmer, partially covered, until chard stems are tender, about 5 minutes.

6. Remove lid and stir in Italian sausage.

7. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Add pasta to chard mixture with cheese and salt to taste and toss until combined well.

Serves 5-6, depending on how much chard we have.

My husband likes to add some crushed red pepper flakes to his plate. The original recipe calls for cooking the chard leaves with red pepper, but I've opted to leave it out when I use the spicy sausage. Including it makes the dish too spicy for my toddler.

I'm sure there is a way to make this recipe vegetarian, using some kind of a soy-based meat substitute. Going this route, I would recommend heating the oil, and cooking the garlic and red pepper flakes for a bit before starting to cook the chard stems. The spicy oil seeps into the chard while it cooks, and it's delicious!

Nov. 6th, 2010

They go Rawr!


Well then!

So first meal in this challenge! Hooray! This month, I'm working out of The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook.
My reasons for picking this book are that I'm trying to find some good, nutrient dense recipes to add to our dinner rotation, plus, I have some friends who are pregnant that I'll be sending some meals to and while I'd be inclined to send some soups over to their house, I know from experience that trying to eat soup when you have a newborn nursing can be a bit tricky (Dria ended up with a lot of soup on her head). Plus, with Dria still nursing, I do try to at least make an attempt to eat healthy. Plus, this features easy kid friendly recipes and we're all about that around here.

One of our favorite dinners is enchiladas. Ry usually makes them and they are supremely delicious. The trouble is that he usually uses a lot of Quorn ground in them and makes them HUGE. Plus a ton of cheese and sour cream. Quorn ground is insanely good stuff and useful when you live in a house with a vegetarian and a soy intolerant guy, but it's expensive as all get out, not to mention the sodium content and the mystery ingredients (I've heard some doctors claim that it can't really be food. And while I'd argue that since it is a fungus, it is food, I can see the point. It's an engineered food; surely we can find a good alternative and stay within the confines of a vegetarian diet)
So this is my quest to find a tasty enchilada recipe that is 1.) Vegetarian 2.) Soy free 3.) Cheaper than Quorn ground 3.) Just as tasty and satisfying 4.)Nutrient dense and fairly healthy.

For the restart of the cooks challenge, I came across black bean and sweet potato enchiladas. They are tasty! They are cheaper than quorn ground! They're lighter in fat! It's a win!
Admittedly, there's a few things that we will change the next time we make these, I'll add those comments after the recipe:

2 tsp oil
1 small onion, diced
2 sweet potatoes, diced (about 2.5 cups)
2 cups cooked black beans
2 cups chopped greens (kale, spinach, etc...)
salt, black pepper to taste
2 cups enchilada sauce (see below for recipe)
8 large whole grain tortillas or 10 to 12 corn tortillas
8 ounces sour cream, yogurt cheese or creme fraiche (or vegan equivalent)

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and saute 5 to 10 minutes or until soft. Add sweet potatoes. Cover and cook about 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in beans and greens. Cover and heat about 5 minutes until greens are wilted. Add a little water if necessary. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste.
Cover botton of 9x13 baking dish with about 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce. Place tortilla on flat surface. Scoop a line of filling across the width of the tortilla. Spoon sour cream across filling. Roll enchilada and place in pan, seam side down. Repeat until filling is all gone. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce. Cover pan and bake 20 minutes.

Recipe for Enchilada Sauce
Not authentic, but still tasty.
1 small onion, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups tomato puree
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil in a medium pan over medium low heat. Add onion and saute 5 to 7 minutes or until onion is golden brown. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.

The filling for the enchiladas was a little bland. Next time, I'd be inclined to add in some extra chipotle powder. Also, I used spinach because Ry gets suspicious of other greens, but I really wanted kale. And I can see mustard greens being REALLY good too.

For the enchilada sauce
We've been out of cumin for a crazy long time and I keep forgetting to get more. And the oregano ended up in Dria's diaper last week (I don't know why either, so don't ask), which I had forgotten about until I started looking for it and we ran out of garlic last week, which sucks. So I ended up using our penzey's adobo seasoning, which includes garlic powder, cumin and a few other things.
Also, I misread the recipe and thought we needed tomato paste, not puree. We have paste in droves, but no puree at the moment. So, I used a can of paste and 2.5 cups water instead. It still turned out tasty.

The verdict: Tasty and will make again. Although, I think I'd make up the filling ahead of time on a weekend when I have a bit of time. The chopping took a while and we ended up eating around 7:30pm. On the week days, I try get dinner on the table by 6 in order for the evening to run smoothly. And we're usually home a little after 5.

Nov. 5th, 2010

They go Rawr!


Revival attempt

Okay. So I know we all still have cookbooks lying around. They're impressing visitors, but collecting dust and need to be used.

Also, if you're like me, you have an addiction to printing tasty sounding recipes off of the web. It's an addiction, I tell you.

Instead of different weekly challenges, I'm gonna try something different. For the next month, I'm picking one cookbook. And making a different recipe out of it once a week. I'd like to encourage you to do the same.

Post here once a month, or once a week, I don't mind. Either way, let us (the two who are still reading this anyway.) know what you're picking and why. Want to make something, but you're short on cash for fancy ingredients? We can help find substitutes. Or find them for yourself and let us know what you did. I'm fond of bonus points for things you can make on a weekday evening when everyone's starving and you need something NOW. And if anyone can tell me how to get a 22 month old girl to eat anything at all, I'd appreciate it. 'Cause right now, we're down to cheese, sweet potato fries, milk and whole apples (if you slice them up, she won't touch them). And possibly still coconut red lentil curry.

Feel free to tell other people who want to feel more motivated about cooking to come here.

Oct. 29th, 2010

They go Rawr!


This community is dead




That being said, since i'm currently trying to avoid biostats homework, I'm starting to cook more again (it only took 2.5 years after getting pregnant). And I still have all of these cookbooks that I don't use that I should use.

So, would anyone still be interested in using this community as a way to motivate yourself to start using the cookbooks and recipes that I know you've got stashed around your house? I was thinking that we wouldn't assign anything weekly, but once a week, make it a goal to make something new or try out a new recipe. And then tell us about it.

Interest? Anyone? Hello?????

Aug. 7th, 2008

They go Rawr!


Cookbook Challenge assignment!

Okay, so I know I'm slow this week at posting an assignment. Inspired by laceyslostlove, this week's challenge is a summer inspired breakfast, use any cookbook you want. Vegetarian/Vegan preferred. Low-fat is encouraged (so yes, laceyslostlove, you could probably get away with your low fat pumpkin muffins...)

Have fun!

Aug. 1st, 2008



Cookbook Challenge, Week 15 Assignment

Sorry this is a couple days late! I just plain forgot about it this week. If you have it, this week's assignment is to make a dessert from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven, because the subtitle claims the book contains "too many desserts," which has always intrigued me. If you don't have it, do a dessert from any Moosewood cookbook, or make a dessert that contains at least one unexpected "healthy" ingredient (e.g., beets, wheat germ, or wild rice).

Jul. 23rd, 2008



Cookbook Challenge

Happy Wednesday All!!

This week's challenge is brought to you by my overstuffed 'fridge. It's summer and I'm sure we've all been seduced by tasty produce at the farmer's market, or in your CSA box or at the grocery store. If you're good, it gets used right away. If you're not as diligent about your produce, it gets away from you and takes over. I'll admit, last week, I was pretty afraid to open my fridge.

So, this week's challenge: Make a list of things you have in your pantry. Find a recipe in your cookbooks that would use at least 3 of those ingredients in new ways.
You can use any cookbook you like, although I'd like to suggest your most neglected one. And you're welcome to make any sort of dish.

Bonus points if you can make a raw entree that's not just a tossed salad.

And I got some great ideas for future challenges from laceyslostlove, but I'd like to hear from the rest of you too! What do you want for challenges in the future?

Jul. 18th, 2008

They go Rawr!


Cookbook Challege assignment

Sorry we're late this week people. I got caught up in some work stuff (and migraine stuff) and rebeccafrog is studying for the bar.

Here's the assignment from rebeccafrog, copied from her journal:

"I'm studying for the bar this week. I'm taking the bar next week. Needless to say, cooking has not exactly been a priority of late, so this week's assignment is to do an entree from Moosewood Restaurant's Simple Suppers. If you don't have that one, do a vegetarian entree that either takes under 30 minutes to prepare, or uses 5 or fewer ingredients."

Also, I'm sort of running out of ideas for assignments. If you've got something that you really want to try in future weeks, let me know here!

Jul. 15th, 2008



Week 10: Chilled Soup

I actually made this a little over a week ago, but I've been continuously busy for so long that I've neglected to put it up. The challenge was a cold soup. I've made Asian gazpacho and regular gazpacho many times, so I decided to try something new. A long time ago, before I started taking pictures of my food, I made a cucumber-dill soup that was not very good. It was watery and very blah. But, I remain intrigued by the idea of cold cucumber soup, and this time I found one that I really like.

Chilled Cucumber-Yogurt SoupCollapse )

Jul. 10th, 2008

They go Rawr!


Week 11 completion

Oh hey! It's even completely vegan! HOORAY!!!!

So, first a little bit of a background:
cut for lengthCollapse )

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