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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Lasagna

Lasagna Slice

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 70 minutes
Level: Intermediate to Hard
Yield: makes 8-10 servings

This recipe is adapted from Baking and Books.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups diced yellow onion (1 large onion)
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices (I cut them into small cubes)
  • 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided use
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, divided use
  • 2 15oz containers of ricotta (I almost felt like this was too much, you could go with slightly less)
  • 4 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided use
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan, divided use
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 biscotti cookies (not sweet ones, we used almond & walnut biscotti with a hint of anise flavoring) (I skipped this all together)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 10oz package no-boil lasagna noodles (I used fresh lasagna that I purchased from Pastaworks)
  • (I also added about one cup of toasted hazelnuts)

For béchamel:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment: 9 x 13 inch baking dish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot or dutch oven. Add onion and cook over medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Raise heat to high and continue to cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. (I didn’t remove and set aside; I just added the squash and herbs to this pot)

In the same pot, add the sliced squash, vegetable broth, 3 tablespoons of thyme and 3 tablespoons sage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

While squash is cooking, in a medium bowl combine ricotta, 2 cups of mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan and the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme and 1 tablespoon sage. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the eggs and mix well. Set aside.

When squash is done, cool slightly and remove 3/4 cup of the excess liquid (1 cup if there is an excessive amount of liquid). Transfer to food processor. (I used my handy dandy immersion blender; what an amazing gadget!) Break the biscotti in half and add to the processor. Blend until smooth, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons flour and whisk for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking frequently. Whisk in the nutmeg. This sauce is called “béchamel” and it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon. (Make the bechamel just before assembling the lasagna, if it sits too long it will develop a skin).

Now it is time to assemble the lasagna. Coat the bottom of your baking dish with 1/2 of the béchamel. Then layer the rest of the lasagna as follows:

  • 1/3 of the ricotta mixture
  • Noodles (make sure they are not overlapping)
  • 1/3 of the squash mixture
  • 1/2 of the onions
  • 1/3 of the remaining mozzarella
  • 1/3 of the ricotta mixture
  • (1/2 of the hazelnuts)
  • Noodles
  • 1/3 of the squash mixture
  • 1/2 of the onions
  • 1/3 of the ricotta mixture
  • 1/3 of the mozzarella
  • Rest of the béchamel
  • Noodles
  • Remaining squash mixture
  • (1/2 of the hazelnuts)

Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Then remove the aluminum foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted and starting to color a bit.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.

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This recipe is from another one of my fave food blogs, 101 Cookbooks. It’s easy and the flavors mesh nicely together. I’ve made some slight modifications to the original.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Level: Easy
Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil
  • fine grain sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion or a couple shallots, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (canned is fine, if you don’t want to cook up a pot of dried chickpeas)
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu (cut into bite size squares)
  • 1 cup of chopped kale (you’ll want to remove the stem of the kale)
  • 2 small zucchini, chopped
  • zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions

Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter/olive oil In a large skillet over medium-high heat and stir in a big pinch of salt, the onion, and chickpeas. Saute until the chickpeas are deeply golden and crusty. Stir in the tofu and cook just until the tofu is heated through, just a minute or so. Stir in the kale and cook for one minute more. Remove everything from the skillet onto a large plate and set aside. In the same skillet heat the remaining tablespoon of butter/olive oil, add the zucchini and saute until it starts to take on a bit of color, two or three minutes. Add the chickpea mixture back to the skillet, and remove from heat. Stir in the lemon juice and zest, taste, and season with a bit more salt if needed. Turn out onto a platter and serve family style.

Note: I’m not a big fan of tofu and I didn’t think it was that great in this recipe. I think this recipe would taste just as good without.You could probably even serve it over rice if you wanted to. The rice and beans will make a complete protein.


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Butternut Squash Soup

butternut squash soup

Have I ever mentioned that I love soup? How can you not love yummy goodness that makes you feel all warm inside?(sigh) I have literally had a butternut squash sitting on my counter top for a month now. I keep wanting to make this recipe but I have either not been in the mood for the soup or not in the mood to make it. It’s actually a pretty easy recipe. The only part I don’t enjoy is peeling the squash.

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 to 3 pound) butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • Freshly ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Start out by cutting the squash in half, removing the seeds and placing it on a cookie sheet to go into the preheated oven. Once you can stick a fork through the squash pretty easily you can remove it (about 30 minutes) and let it cool. When its cool enough to the touch scoop out the insides and set aside.

In a large pot melt the butter. Add the onion and cook til translucent. You can now add the turmeric and stir for about 1 minute. Add the squash and stock. Bring to a simmer and cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or use a blender.  Once blended season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

I was trying to experiment and added blue cheese on top. It wasn’t that great. I’d recommend a dollop of creme fraiche or chopped green onions . Enjoy!

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Simple Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce pasta

I had been craving pasta all last week and this simple recipe looked absolutely to die for. Neil was actually the cook on this one, but I’ll attempt to take the credit.

Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onions
Adapted from Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

Serves 4 as a main course; makes enough sauce to lightly coat most of a pound of spaghetti

  • 28 ounces whole peeled canned tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • salt to taste (be careful if your tomatoes are already salted)
  • We also added fresh basil

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat (we added the basil here), discard the onion (we ate the onion, it tasted so good), add salt to taste and keep warm while you prepare your pasta.

Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan cheese.

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First Night of Indian

Indian (1)

So I’m finally posting my first Indian dish, and I made it all by myself. Yup, you’re right, I had no help from Neil. He actually had every intention of helping me but got tied up at work and wasn’t able to make it in time. Which is okay because it was good to run the finished dishes by him. So here is the scoop with Indian food. Apparently the style of cooking is quite different between the North and South. Neil’s family is from Southern India which has quite a different cooking style than the rich creamy dishes you see at most Indian restaurants. I have to be honest, I love all those creamy curry dishes, they are soooooo delicious. But I want to expand my horizons so I’ve chosen these two dishes, a red kidney bean curry (northern) and a cauliflower and potato dish (southern). So in the end Neil preferred the cauliflower dish, while I preferred the curry.

Indian Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes
This recipe is from Gourmet
Yield: 4 side-dish servings

Ingredients

  • 1 (1 3/4-lb) head cauliflower, cut into 3/4-inch-wide florets
  • 1 1/4 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh jalapeño, including seeds
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Accompaniment: lemon wedges

Preparation

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and place a shallow baking pan on rack. Preheat oven to 475°F.

Toss cauliflower and potatoes together in a bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, cumin seeds, and1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in hot baking pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned in spots and potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes.

While vegetables are roasting, cook onion, garlic, jalapeño, and ginger in remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until very soft and beginning to turn golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Stir in water, scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then stir in roasted vegetables. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes.

Red Kidney Bean Curry [Rajmah]

This recipe is from SmittenKitchen
Yield: 6 servings

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger (I use half this; I’m tepid in the fresh ginger department)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 plum tomato, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large green chili, chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
8 ounce can of tomato sauce or 8 ounces of one of your choice
3 cups boiled red kidney beans or 30 ounces canned red kidney beans, undrained
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Heat oil in a deep sauce pan over medium heat for one minute. Add ginger, garlic, onion, green chili, and let sizzle for one minute. Add the tomato sauce, salt and remaining spices and cook for an additional five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the kidney beans with water or canned red kidney beans (undrained) plus one additional cup of water, and tomatoes. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and let cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve over rice or with naan. A dollop of plain yougurt on top is heavenly.

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Black Bean Soup

This is one of my favorite soup recipes, it is absolutely delicious. The great thing about this recipe is that you don’t have to soak the beans beforehand since you’ll be cooking it in the slow cooker for several hours. You can also soak your beans for an hour or two and either cook it over the stove top or in a dutch oven.  I soaked my beans overnight and started my cooking process on the stove top and moved it to the oven.

Black Bean Soup (2)

This recipe is adapted from Bon Appétit

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium-size red onions, chopped
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 16-ounce package dried black beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chiles* (I skipped this cause I didn’t want it to be spicy)
  • 7 cups hot water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and both bell peppers and sauté until beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cumin; stir 1 minute. Transfer mixture to 6-quart slow cooker (I moved mine to the oven). Add beans and chipotles, then 7 cups hot water (I don’t think I added this much water, it seemed too much). Cover and cook on high until beans are very tender, about 6 hours. Transfer 2 cups bean mixture to blender; puree until smooth. Return puree to remaining soup in slow cooker (I pureed mine with an immersion blender). Stir in lime juice, salt, and pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls. Spoon dollop of yogurt into each bowl (I skipped the yogurt and added fresh cilantro). Sprinkle with tomatoes and cilantro and serve.

*Chipotle chiles canned in a spicy tomato sauce, sometimes called adobo, are available at Latin American markets and many supermarkets.

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