Monday, March 29, 2010

Gooey Enchiladas

{Meatless Monday}

I got this recipe from Parents magazine--in an article about healthy variations of family favorites.  We really liked it and it was super easy to make.  It actually called for 1/2 lb. of ground beef, but I substituted our Textured Vegetable Protein.  I am getting more used to it and starting to use it more often.  Lon cooked some up for our dinner last night, and when I got in the fridge this morning, I saw a whole bowl of pre-cooked TVP.  It is going to be so easy to just toss it into meals this week.  I thought that was a great idea to have it ready to go!

Here's what you need:

2 tsp olive oil
1 small yellw onion, chopped
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
1 14 oz can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1/2 tsp. ground coriander (I didn't have this)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
Pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup textured vegetable protein --in the little white ramekin    (We buy ours in bulk at the Health food store...we boil it in water with a little seasoning, but then when you throw it in your recipe, it just takes on the taste of the dish, like tofu.)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
NOTE:  I also added a can of corn at the last minute!
8 corn tortillas (I ended up filling about 11-12 tortillas with my mixture)
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350*.
Saute onion in oil for 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Add the tomatoes, coriander, cumin, oregano, and pepper; cook for a few minutes longer.  The finished sauce will be chunky.  Stir in cilantro.

Meanwhile, prepare TVP and drain.
                        This is what ours looks like.  The texture is like very small pieces of chicken.

Then stir in black beans and corn.  Warm the tortillas in oven for about 5 minutes to make them easier to roll.  Spread 1/2 cup sauce into 9X13 pan.  Divide bean mixture into all the tortillas and sprinkle with 3/4 cup of the cheese.  Roll each enchilada and place seam side down in dish.  Pour remaining sauce over the top and bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes.  Sprinkle on remaining 1/2 cup of cheese, and bake another 5 minutes until melted.

They were very delicious and had a very fresh flavor with the cilantro.  I am excited to have an enchilada variation to put in my rotation!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Pie

{Meatless Monday} is the recipe that used the parsnip...and I loved it!  I have decided that I LOVE roasted vegetables! They are so flavorful and tender...yum.

I only have a photo of MOST of the items you need:
(I have been seriously busy lately...)

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes  ( I used yellow squash)
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup baby carrots (I just used regular and chopped into large disks)
1 sweet red pepper, cut into 1" pieces
2 T olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup vegetable broth ( I used chicken broth---I really need to go shopping for a good vegetable base!)
1 T cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 T plain bread crumbs
(This didn't seem like enough "gravy" so I pretty much doubled the broth/cornstarch and then just added a little more bread crumbs into the mix.)

1 double pie crust, uncooked (I ALWAYS make homemade and just in the last 6 months, I've gotten brave enough to make whole wheat pie crusts...and they are YUMMY!  I will post my recipe as soon as I get some time.)
2 T grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 T water

Heat oven to 450*.  Coat a baking pan with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, squash, parsnips, carrots, and red pepper.  Toss with olive oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Spread on baking pan and bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.  ( I ended up sprinkling on some italian seasoning, garlic, and seasoning salt...just to flavor these a little more!)

Oh, and by the way, when you open your oven to put in the vegetables, be careful...because your recipe might be swept off the top of your oven and land inside the oven on the element and burst into flames.

Seriously...I am sure it would have been pretty funny to someone watching...but it wasn't funny to the time.  ; )  Luckily, I had already finished using the ingredients that it burned away!

Meanwhile, whisk together the broth and cornstarch in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer 3-5 minutes until thickened.  Add thyme, oregano, and remaining 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, toss roasted vegetables, sauce, and bread crumbs.

These are my veggies after roasting...

And this is the whole mixture in my bottom pie crust...
I just LOVE how colorful and beautiful these veggies are!
Sprinkle on Parmesan cheese.
Cover with second pie crust, cut a few slits, and brush on the egg/water mixture.  (Don't put too much...just enough to give it a little shine.)  This makes it turn out golden and crispy on top.

Bake at 450* for 15 minutes.  Lower heat to 425* and bake for another 30 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.

I followed their cooking instructions and the edges of my crust came out completely burnt!  So I would say you should at least cover the edges with foil for all but the last 15 minutes.  Or you could just bake it at about 375* for 35-40 minutes...that would probably work too.  Just watch the edges...they are always the first to burn.  I just cut mine off and it was fine.

I really liked the flavor of this pie.  The sauce is very light and just had a mild herb flavor and I really enjoyed the new flavor of least in this pie.  I've never had them in any other form.

We had this with my FAVORITE salad ever:

Recipe also still to come!!  I served this at the Teacher's dinner this last week and we've just been enjoying some leftovers.  Mmmmm.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Name that Veggie (with Giveaway!)

Have you ever seen these before?

I had never bought these before...I didn't even know what I was looking for and had to ask the produce guy where they were.

I am using this in a Roasted Vegetable Pie that I am making tonight and will be blogging tomorrow!

The first person to comment and correctly name this veggie will get something yummy! (I don't know what, but I promise it will ruin any diet you might still be hanging onto from your New Year's resolutions!)  ; )

And while I am uploading pictures, how cute is this??

He hasn't had a real church outfit for over a year, so we finally broke down and bought him one.  He was so excited about his new tie.  He ran into church and went and pulled on Dad's pant leg and yelled, "Look at me!!"  So cute!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Pita Pizzas

{Meatless Monday}

These are some really yummy pizzas!  I got the recipe at least 2 years ago and I really don't make them often enough!

Here's what you need:

Whole Wheat Flatbread (these are so much softer than pita pockets!)
Ricotta cheese (small container)
sea salt (or regular)
olive oil
Veggies of choice:
mushrooms, sliced
onion --white or red...I forgot to buy a red onion ; (
zucchini, sliced into coins
red bell pepper, cut into strips
grape tomatoes, cut in half
feta cheese/parmesan cheese
cheddar/mozzarella/monterey jack

I forgot to put my block of cheese in the picture...but you'll need some cheese too!

Season your ricotta cheese with garlic and sea salt.  I used about 2-3 cloves worth and 1 tsp. salt for a bit more than 1 cup of the cheese.  Just season it to taste.

Drizzle a little olive oil on each flatbread and then spread the ricotta generously on each pizza.
 Top with your desired veggies and sprinkle cheese on top.

My 12 year old made a very cute face on hers!  I had 7 different veggie choices, and I told my kids they had to pick at least 3 different ones for their pizza.

Bake at 350* for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and vegetables are tender.  Slice and enjoy!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Banana Cake

For a cake, this is actually pretty healthy.  This is a recipe that I've had for years, but now I decided to try it out with my black bean substitute for the fat.  I wasn't sure how it would work, because this recipe calls for butter, not oil like the other ones I've tried so far.

But it was AMAZING!!  I have never had this cake be so moist.  It was melt-in-your mouth good and I used 100% whole wheat flour, black bean puree for 1/2 the butter, and only 2/3 of the sugar it called for!

I was so happy with how it turned out!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Bruschetta

Oops...sort of missed "Meatless Monday" this week.  Sorry.  It has been a busy time around here.  I am in the middle of multiple house projects and on top of all of it--not sleeping well at all.  This morning I woke up at 3:55 am (after 6 hours of sleep) and literally laid in bed for 3 hours more with NO more sleep.  I am exhausted beyond description!  But the day goes on, and I'm off to the gym for what I'm sure will be a very sluggish workout...but, oh well.

I thought I would quickly post this little recipe.  It was quite yummy.

Roasted Garlic and Mushroom Bruschetta

3 heads garlic
2 T  (plus 1 tsp.) olive oil
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
2 T parsley
12 mushrooms (it called for shiitake, but I used crimini)
4 slices rustic Italian bread

Break off two cloves of garlic from one of your garlic heads.  Chop finely and reserve for later.  Trim the tops off of each garlic head, exposing the tops of cloves.  Place heads on foil, drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil, and season with 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp. thyme.  Wrap tightly in foil and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.  (Your house will smell AMAZING!!  I did this on fast sunday and it was KILLING me!)  Squeeze out garlic and discard heads.

Mix the unroasted garlic with the lemon zest, parsley, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and toss with 2 T. olive oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. thyme.  Roast at 400 for 12 minutes (when I make this again, I am just going to saute them in a skillet--my mushrooms got really dry in the oven).
Sprinkle with garlic/lemon/parsley mixture.
Spread roasted garlic on bread slices, top with mushrooms and broil for 3-5 minutes.
I sprinkled a little grated parmesan on top...I always love parmesan!

I think that mine were dry because I only had one garlic head for all of this bread.  The original recipe (as you can see above) calls for 3 whole heads of roasted garlic to just 4 slices of bread--so you really want to slather the garlic on there.  And I think next time I will cut my bread a little thinner and just barely broil them.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Herb and Butter Breadsticks

I originally got this recipe from my sister-in-law.  It was a favorite family recipe.  And I know why....because it used a cube of butter!!!!  I don't think I have ever made them with the full amount and now I've changed the recipe so that it only needs about 3 T of butter.

First of all, I need to introduce my apprentice bread maker.
On Sundays, I often just tell her which bread I want for the dinner, and she gets right on it.  It is often a joint effort, but there have been many times where she takes it from start to finish.  It is wonderful!!  Get training your daughters, ladies!!  And by the time they are 13 or 14, they can make homemade bread for you!  ; )  It reminds me of this book from my childhood...has anyone else read it??

She has 21 children that she trains to do all the housework and play music and paint pictures, etc.  Not that I want 21 children...but it is nice to have one that is trained in breadmaking!


1 T yeast in 1 1/2 cup warm water
Add 2 T sugar.  Let sit for 10 minutes.
Until it looks like this:

In a different large bowl, combine

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt

Stir together, then add yeast mix. 
Stir together and add up to a 1/2 cup more flour to create a SOFT but not sticky dough.  You want to use as little flour as possible, but still be able to work with the dough.
I use 100% whole wheat flour that I grind myself and it makes very light and delicious breadsticks...but only if I am careful to not add too much flour.
Let sit 15 minutes.

When the 15 minutes is almost up:
Melt 3 T. butter on a cookie sheet in a warm oven.  DON'T BURN!!  It only takes a minute or two.  Remove from oven and sprinkle on about 1 tsp. of herb mix (recipe at bottom!) and 2-3 T. of parmesan cheese.

Roll out dough and cut strips...

Take each strip to cookie sheet and lightly coat each side in the melted butter/herbs.  If you want to you can twist them.  If the dough is really soft, sometimes the strips stretch out too worries, just double it up and then twist.  You really can't go wrong with these!

Cover with a towel and let rise on top of oven for 15 minutes.  Bake at 350* for 12-15 minutes.  I love them JUST BARELY cooked through.  You don't want them to be doughy...but I think I used to overcook them and then they would be dry.

Here's the recipe for the Herb Mix.  We use this mix with our italian bread which you will find included with this post.

Italian Herb Mix
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried rosemary
1 T. dried basil
1 T. dried parsley
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. minced garlic
1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together with the back of a spoon. The minced garlic helps it clump together a little.   Store in ziploc bag in refrigerator.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

{Meatless Monday}

I don't actually have a recipe for this one, but I'll try to tell you what I did.

Boil one bag (12-16 ounces) of large elbow macaroni according to directions...drain.

While the noodles boil, make a basic white sauce...3-4 T of butter/shortening melted, then add 4-5 T of flour.  I make it with more flour so that I can add a little more milk at the end.  One trick I have learned to improve flavor is to REALLY BROWN this stuff.  Don't burn it, but keep stirring until it is all golden to medium brown.

Whisk in milk....I just add milk about 1 cup at a time until it is the consistency that I want.  Probably 
2 1/2 to 3 cups...not really sure!

I added about 2 cups of grated cheeses...I had cheddar, mozzarella, and pepper jack.  I really recommend the pepper just adds a little kick to the flavor.  I also added some garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper.

Stir sauce into noodles and pour into 9X13 pan.    Top with seasoned bread crumbs and grated cheese. 

Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.

We had this with our breadsticks.  I am posting them separately.  They are DELICIOUS and so soft...they are always a huge hit.  We actually got on a little kick last week and made them 3 times!  ; 0