Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roasted Vegetables

I love roasted vegetables. They are quick and simple to make and full of flavor. Just chop up lots of your favorite vegetables, including carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, onion, eggplant, bell peppers etc. into equal sizes, toss in a bit of olive oil and broil until tender and brown. You could also throw in an herb. Depending on thickness of pieces, this could take as little as 10 minutes.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Braised Collards

I had never tried collard greens until this dish was made for me. My cooking buddy made this for me, and he pieced together the recipe from two cook books to get the recipe, one for cooking to the collards and the other for the pepper sauce. They have amazing flavor and are must try with this simple recipe that comes from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. My cooking buddy made a few modifications because Madison's recipe calls for brown butter which takes at least an hour to make.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

-4 C collards, long stems and tough ribs removed
-1/4 cup butter
-1 onion, diced
-2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Plunge green into large pot of boiling salted water, cook them for 10 minutes, then remove to a bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Heat the butter with the onion, garlic, and pepper flakes in a wide skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly colored and the onion is soft. Add the greens, their reserved cooking water, and 1 tsp salt. Cook for 30 minutes and taste again for salt. Serve sauce on the side. I don't think we actually cooked this dish for 30 minutes. I think we cooked the collards until the water was absorbed.

Hot Pepper Vinegar
Yields 1 Cup

-1 c apple cider vinegar
-1/4 tsp - 1 T Tabasco or other hot sauce (or 1/8 to 1 tsp cayenne)

In glass jar, combine the vinegar and hot pepper sauce or cayenne. Shake before using. Hot pepper vinegar keeps indefinitely, refrigerated or not!

I actually like the dish with and without the sauce. If you want to save a few minutes, skip the sauce.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Leek Pie with Potato Crust

We received leeks in our box and didn't know what to do with it until we came across this recipe in Vegetariana. It's savory, healthful comfort food for a cold winter's night. It is bit time consuming but using a food processor to grate the potatoes and slice the mushrooms (or purchasing sliced mushrooms) speeds things up greatly.

Serves 4 to 6
Cooking Time: 1 hour+

- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and grated
- 2 large leeks, white and palest green parts only
- 2 T butter
- 1 1/2 c sliced mushrooms
- 3 T dry white wine
- 1/4 c bread crumbs
- 1/2 c part-skim ricotta cheese or 1/2 c finely crumbled tofu
- 1 tsp dried dill
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dry mustard
-1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place grated potatoes in a colander. Let drain for 10 minutes, then squeeze out some of the moisture.

Chop the leeks and wash carefully in a colander, removing all grit.

Heat butter in a skillet until it begins to foam. Add the leeks and saute over moderately low heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and the wine (we used red since we had a bottle already open) and saute until the mushrooms are just tender. Transfer to a mixing bowl.

In the same skillet, heat oil and 2 T of water and cook the grated potatoes over moderate heat until nearly tender; do not brown. Add water as needed to keep it from sticking.

In the meantime, combine the leeks and mushrooms with the bread crumbs (I used fresh), ricotta cheese or tofu, and seasonings. When the potatoes are ready, stir the Parmesan cheese into them and add a little salt and pepper.

Oil a 9-inch round or square baking dish and pat half the potato mixture into the bottom. Pour the entire leek mixture over it, smooth it over, and top with the remaining potatoes. Bake for 35 to 4o minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and crusty. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then cut into squares or wedges and serve.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

I purchased 3 lbs of sweet potatoes, the smallest quantity I could buy at Trader Joe's last weekend and was trying figure out how to use the remaining 1.5 pound I did not use in the roasted carrot and sweet potato soup. I came across a recipe I had flagged many many months ago. I loved the recipe because it was simple, easy, tasty and only requires 5 ingredients.

This recipe is so tasty and flavorful, and has the added bonus of being healthful! It comes from the Eating for IBS cookbook.

Makes 4 servings
Cooking Time: 40 minutes (oven time), 10 minutes of prep

- 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered length wise
- 1 T olive oil, plus 1 tsp, divided
- 3 T apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 tsp salt
-2 T scallions, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place quartered sweet potatoes in baking dish, drizzle with 1 T olive oiled, cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil, turn potatoes, and continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes until lightly brown. Remove from oven, let cool. While potatoes are roasting, stir together vinegar, salt, and 1 tsp olive oil together. Set aside. Once potatoes have cooled, chop into bite size pieces and place into serving bowl. Toss together vinegar dressing and scallions, and gently toss together. Serve.

I did not have scallions, so I used onion instead and it was just great! So light, so tasty, so amazing.