Monthly Archives: April 2009
|April 29, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Italian, Quick Weeknight Meals, Vegetarian or Vegan|
I was really excited to have the opportunity to try some products from Buitoni’s new Riserva line of pastas. We actually buy Buitoni pasta pretty often, because in addition to tasting better than traditional dried pastas, they cook a lot faster.
The wild mushroom agnolotti are filled with portabellas and creminis, roasted garlic, grana padano, and parmesan. They are very delicate, but also very big on flavor! It didn’t take us very long to decide how we wanted to prepare these. They seemed to scream for a white, cheesy sauce. When we lived in DC, we would eat at News Café pretty often and one of our favorite dishes was ravioli with 4-cheese sauce and walnuts. That was my inspiration for the gorgonzola and Romano fondue that I served with these. The wild mushrooms paired beautifully with the salty creaminess of the sauce, which was also great to dip some breadsticks into! I served some steamed artichoke on the side as well.
The package looks small, and I was concerned at first that it wouldn’t be enough for the two of us. We ended up getting 6 pieces each. Surprisingly though, they were actually very filling and I found the portion to be perfect. We agreed that this is definitely something that we will buy again.
Wild Mushroom Agnolotti with Gorgonzola Fondue
* 1 pkg Buitoni Riserva Wild Mushroom Agnolotti
* 1 Tbs butter
* 1 Tbs flour
* ¾ c skim milk
* 3 oz gorgonzola, crumbled
* 1 oz Romano, shredded
* 2 tbs walnuts, chopped
Cook agnolotti according to package directions. Meanwhile melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. When butter is melted, whisk in flour. Add milk, and whisk to remove any lumps. Bring to a simmer and let the mixture reduce for about 5 minutes- when the entire surface of the sauce starts to bubble, cook for 1 additional minute. Stir in cheeses and walnuts, and continue to cook until cheese melts and fully incorporates into sauce.
This will make way more sauce than you need- I’d say at least 6 servings. A little goes a long way- I used 1-2 Tbs of fondue per serving of pasta. Depending on how much you use, you’re looking at an ounce of cheese or less per serving, which keeps this decadent meal lower on fat and calories (1/6 of the sauce contains about 135 calories and 9.7 grams of fat).
Serves 2, with extra sauce
If you have a vegetarian or fish recipe that you would like included in my Meat-Free Fridays roundup, tomrrow (Thursday) is the last day to submit it! Just post a link here on your recipe post and email me at email@example.com to let me know!
|April 28, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Fish and Seafood, French, Lent, Quick Weeknight Meals, Sides|
A few year ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a study abroad program in Belgium. It was a really cool experience. Like most cafeterias though, the food was generally pretty gross. I typically stuck wit the vegetarian option, but there were some nights where I didn’t even want to bother seeing what they had for dinner. I;m a lot more adventurous with food now than I was then, but there are some things that I still draw the line at. Like horse. That was one of the nights that I opted to skip the cafeteria in favor of a local cafe.
Luckily, there was a restaurant down the road that was always a good bet for mussels. They were so fresh and delicious and the tasted like the sea. I think I ate my weight in mussels while I was there. They prepared them a ton of different ways, but my favorite was steamed in white beer with leeks. The sauce is light enough to let the flavor come though, without being too light and boring. The mussels were served with fries with really good homemade mayo… which is nothing like prepared mayo at all. The prepared stuff makes me gag, but homemade is really good- especially on fires. When I got home, I taught myself how to make this meal, which is really simple. Its also very cheap- 3 pounds of mussels is more than enough to share and will only run you about $5.
To prepare the mussels, give them a quick look while you scrub and debeard (pull off the little fuzzy part) them. Discard any that have broken shells or that are open and wont close with a little force. Also discard any that feel exceptionally heavy, since those are likely to be full of mud.
Mussels Steamed in Beer
- 3 lbs mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 leek, chopped
- 12 oz white beer, such as Hoegaarden
- 1/2 cup milk
Melt butter in a large pot. Sautee leeks until tender. Add beer and mussels. over and bring to a boil. Let steam about 3 minutes, or until mussels open. Add milk and cook another minute or two until warmed through.
- 1 egg
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 cup olive oil
In a food processor, combine egg and salt until foamy. Drizzle in the oil very slowly (one drop at a time) while the machine continues to run. After about half the oil is incorporated, you can speed it up a little and add the rest in a steady stream.
This isn’t the healthiest because of all the oil, but you really only need a Tablespoon or so to go with your fries. This recipe makes about 3/4 cup and will keep covered in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.
Don’t know how to eat mussels? They’re actually a great finger food! Take an empty shell in one hand and squeeze it so that it opens and closes like a tweezer. Use them to pluck the mussels out of the other shells and eat. No form required!
|April 27, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Chicken and Poultry, Sides, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Since I enjoyed the flourless cupcakes that I made last week so much, I wanted to try another recipe from Clean Eating. I gave the magazine to my husband to let him choose, and this is what he picked (his choice really surprised me!). I’ve been wanting to eat more lentils, so I was happy with this.
The magazine calls the lentil sew “kushari” which according to wikipedia includes rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni. The recipe didn’t call for rice or chickpeas though, so I’m not sure how comfortable I really am about calling it that. I think pilaf might be more appropriate. The recipe did include quinoa, but I left that out- mostly because I just didn’t feel like buying it.
I was a little worried about the season appropriateness of this recipe, since I thought it might be heavy and I put off making it for a while. Then I decided that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if I ate it outside and had a cold glass of wine with it. I’m glad I did- it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it might be at all! It was actually pretty perfect.
Everything tasted great on its own, but the flavors really complimented each other when it was all mixed together too. There were so many levels of flavor and so many different spices. My whole house smelled awesome while it was cooking (and for a few hours afterward too).
You’ll want to start the chicken the night before you make this- it needs to marinate for a while. Otherwise it only takes about 40 minutes to pull it all together. If you want a egetarian meal, you could leave the chicken out and substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth. The marinate for the chicken might also work on tofu.
Lentils with Spicy Sauce
- 3 cups fat free chicken stock
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 1 oz whole wheat spaghetti, broken into pieces
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 c ground tomatoes
- 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- cracked black pepper
Heat stock and 3 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and add lentils. reduce heat to medum and simmer until lentil soften, about 20 minutes. Add spaghetti and cok another 6-8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a small frying pan. Add onion, and cook over low heat until onion is soft and begin to brown- about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile make sauce: Heat 1 tsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Mash garlic and salt together to form a paste. Add to pan and cook until fragrant and slightly brown- about 1 minute. Stire in tomatoes and red pepper and alow sauce to reduce for about 10 minutes. Stir in vinegar, cumin, and black pepper and allow sauce to reduce and thicken for another 10-15 minutes.
- 3/4 cup plain, fat free Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- pinch ground black pepper
- pinch cayanne
- pinch cardamom
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 12 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into very thin slices
Mix together all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove chicken for marinade, shaking of excess. Cook in a sillet over medium-high heat until browned and cooked through- about 3 minutes on each side.
To assemble, place lentil on a plate and spoon sauce on top. Top that with chicken and sprinkle with the carmelized onions.
Serves 6. Approx 300 calories per serving.
|April 24, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Asian, Lent, Light, Mexican and Southwestern, One Pan, Quick Weeknight Meals, Sides, Summer, Uncategorized, Vegetarian or Vegan|
Before I get to the food, can I ask you all a favor? Pretty please? It’s recently come to my attention that when you look at my blog in Internet Explorer the pictures get all stretched out and funky looking. I’m trying to fix this, but its really hard since I don’t actually have explorer on my computer. I think they’re fixed in this post… but if they aren’t can you please leave me a comment and let me know? or if you’re using a different browser and they look all stretched out, let me know so I can fix that too. I don’t want you to have to stare at nasty looking pictures! Thanks!!
OK, Now to the good stuff…
This month I decided to participate in Taste & Create, which pairs together different food bloggers who then agree to cook and blog about a recipe from the other’s blog. Its pretty fun, and a nice way to explore recipes that I wouldn’t otherwise look that closely at. This month I was paired with What’s for Suppper?. She has lots of great looking recipes, and it was hard to pick one! I was really tempted to make something decadant, but I couldn’t let myself do that when she posts perfectly healthy recipes from Ellie Krieger every week!
I chose to make the fried rice with scallions, endamame, and tofu. I don’t cook with tofu often, but I do like it in fried rice so I thought this would be something good to try out. It was a pretty good! I really liked the flavor that the endamame gave to this. It also made the recipe very filling. Its supposed to serve four, but there’s no way that I could have finished more than a half serving. I paired this with some takeout dumplings and an eggroll and it made a nice dinner (and lunch the next day!)
Fried Rice with Scallions, Endamame, and Tofu
- 1 Tbs plus 1 tsp canola oil, divided
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 4 scallions, greens included, sliced
- 1 Tbs ginger, grated
- 4 cups leftover cooked brown rice
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
- 1 can baby corn, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
- 6 oz extra firm tofu, cubed
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 Tbs oil until very hot. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger and cook until softened and fragrant. Add rice, peppers, endamame, corn, and tofu. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Create a well in the center of the pan. Heat remaining oil, then add egg. Cook egg until nearly fully scrambled. Add soy sauce. Stir everything around so that it is all incorporated. Serves at least 4.
Meat-Free Friday Roundup
Does not exist. Seriously people, I’m a little disappointed in you- no one had a meat free recipe this week? I’m going to try this again, and I’ll even make it easier for you! All you have to do to be featured in next weeks roundup is post a link to healthy-delicious.com on your vegetarian or fish post, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the link to your post!
|April 23, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Beef, Lamb, and Pork, Light, Mexican and Southwestern, Quick Weeknight Meals, Summer|
I’m surprised that I haven’t posted about this yet, because we make it all the time! Steak chimichurri is one of my favorite summertime dinners and its very easy to make. I don’t have much to say about it, other than that it is delicious. Oh, and that it takes a total of about 8 minutes to make.
I served it with rice and beans and tomatillo salsa with some Corners. And margaritas (on the rocks, with salt).
- 1 lb flank steak
- 1 tsp ancho chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- juice from 1/2 a lime
- sprinkle of red pepper flakes
- pinch kosher salt
- 2 Tbs olive oil
Heat grill. Season steak with chili powders, rubbing them in well. Grill to your desired level of doneness. Set aside to rest for a few minutes before slicing across the grain.
Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a food processor. Process until everything comes together in a chunky sauce (about 5-7 pulses should do it). Spoon the saue over the steak.
|April 22, 2009||Posted by Lauren Keating under Cake and Pastry, Desserts|
My good friend Sarah from Mom on the Run has told me lots of great things about Clean Eating magazine, so I thought I would check it out. I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on this for so long! Although the mag is a little more militant about eating “clean” than I am, I loved that all of the recipes use real foods. they have some really creative ideas! I don’t think I would ever follow a recipe 100% but it does have some great ideas. For example these cupcakes, which were featured on the cover of the May/June issue. I was so excited to see a “flourless” style cake that wasn’t loaded with butter and cream!
I’ve been going to a new grocery store lately that has a great International section (Prince Chopper in Westgate for my fellow Albanians) and I’ve had my eye on this jar of cherries in the Polish section for a few weeks. I’ve been dying for an excuse to buy them! Chocolate and Cherry cupcakes seemed like the perfect reason.
I added these to the center of each cupcake- three seemed like a good amount. The flavor combination was perfect! The only downside was that the extra moisture from the cherries made the bottoms of the cupcakes a little mushy. All in all, they were like the perfect flourless cake though. Dense, Rich, and Fudgey. A total winner.
Also, I found that the recipe made more batter than I needed. So I made a tray of mini cupcakes with the rest. Those didn’t get cherries, and were topped with coconut. Delish! No soggy bottoms on these babies! (But no delicious sour cherry flavor either…) I couldn’t decide which I liked better. They were both amazing! A recipe that will stay on my collection for sure.
If you want the chocolate coconut cupcakes, omit cherries and top each cupcake with a sprinkle of coconut.
Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup whole white wheat flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup fat free sour cream
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites
- 1 cup pitted sour cherries
- Dark Chocolate Glaze (below)
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and salt. In a medium mixing bowl, combine sour cream, milk, oil, vanilla, and 1 whole egg. Mix wet mixture into dry mixture.
Add egg whites to a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer (chilling the bowl helps here). Using an egg beater of mixer, beat the eggs until they begin to get foamy. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat until they form medium-still peaks. Fold this into your batter.
Line cupcake pan with liners, then fill each about half way. Top each cupcake with 3 sour cherries, then top with more batter to fill each cup 3/4 of the way. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.Set aside to cool completely, then top with chocolate glaze.
Dark Chocolate Glaze
- 2 tsp. skim milk
- 1 oz dark chocolate chips
Microwave chocolate chips on 50% power for 2 minutes or until melted. Combine with milk, stirring well until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Makes 18 full sized cupcakes or 18 full sized cupcakes and 12 mini cupcakes.