Thursday, December 20, 2012

Re-Baked Potato Casserole with Chick Pea Salad


I usually re-bake potatoes in their shells, but what I had was a bunch of little potatoes with thin skins, so I made a casserole instead.

Re-Baked Potato Casserole
Enough baked potatoes scooped from their skins to make about 2 cups of potato
1 TBS low fat mayonaise
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 1/4 cup grated cheddar
1 tsp dried dill weed (or 1 TBS chopped fresh dill)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 onion sliced
1 green bell pepper sliced
1 tsp olive oil
olive oil baking spray
  1. While the potatoes are baking, saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil until they are soft and beginning to brown.
  2. Mash the potatoes with the mayonaise, mustard, and cottage cheese and mix 1 cup of grated cheddar and the dill, salt & pepper.
  3. Spray and 8 x 8 casserole with olive oil cooking spray, then spread the potato mixture in the dish and top with the onions & peppers. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 c of cheese over the top.
  4. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
To add some additional protein, serve this with a fabulous chick pea salad.

Fabulous Chick Pea Salad
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 cucumber, peeled if you like, seeded if you want, chopped
2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup calamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
2-3 tbs balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. You can add additional olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, to taste.

Eggplant & Kale Lasagna

This dish was born in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The power was out for 12 days. Luckily, I packed every empty space in the freezer with containers of water days before the storm hit - and those big blocks of ice kept my stash of frozen summer veggies frozen for a few days.
I cooked up everything that was starting to defrost - check out the blog entries for Storm Soup and Veggie Chili. Then my friend and co-worker, Mary, let me put the still frozen items in her freezer, where they stayed until the power came back on - and we are still enjoying them (check out the soon to be posted recipe for Roasted Ratatoille and polenta lasana with fresh mozarella cheese).
When our CSA share was full of eggplant, two and three and four eggplants every week, I prepped one of them for rollatini by slicing it lengthwise, dredging in flour, then dipping in milk, coating with breadcrumbs, placing the slices on a foil lined baking sheet coated with olive oil, spraying the tops with olive oil cooking spray and baking at 400 F for 30 minutes until they were crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Then I froze the slices, separated by waxed paper.
Later in the season, I sauteed a bunch of kale with some onions and froze that.
After the storm, both of those frozen packages were among the first to defrost, and there was some leftover ricotta and mozerella cheese that had been in the refrigeratorand was now residing in a cooler filled with ice, so, I invented eggplant and kale lasagna.
I used the eggplant slices like lasagna noodles in a casserole dish and layered:
pasta sauce
sauteed kale
shredded mozarella
then repeated the layers until I got to the top of the dish, finishing with sauce and mozarella.
I baked it at 350 F for an hour.

Chick Pea Stew & Roasted Root Vegetables

One of the last CSA shares of the summer had a green bell pepper and some green slightly unripe tomatoes. I let the tomatoes ripen on a cookie cooling rack. I can't eat a tomato raw if it isn't at its peak - and these did not look peak, so I decided to stew them.
I put some root vegetables in the oven first, so they could roast while I made the stew.

Roasted Root Vegetables
Any mixture of fall vegetables will do. I had a red onion, part of a butternut squash, a Yukon Gold potato and. a sweet potato.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F.
Peel and cut the veggies into chunks. Smaller pieces will cook faster - but you have to check them often so they don't burn.
Toss the veggies with 1 tbls olive oil. I like to add some snipped rosmary leaves.
Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (or foil), spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray, then spread the veggies in one layer with the bigger pieces towards the edges of the pan.
Roast at 400 F for 30-60- minutes, depending on quantity and size of veggie chunks. Check them every 30 minutes or so, stir and push very cooked chunks to the center.
While they are cooking, make the stew.

End of Summer Chick Pea Stew
2-3 end of summer tomatoes - chopped
1 green bell pepper - chopped
1 onion- chopped
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbls fresh oreganop leaves
salt & pepper
Saute the onion in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, add the green pepper and the tomatoes, turn heat down to medium and cook about 5 minutes more, then add the chick peas & herbs and stew over med-low heat for 15 minutes. Add salt & pepper to taste.

I served this combo with a fresh fall apple and really good cheddar cheese.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Parmesean Breadcrumbs

I started with this recipe:
With the following changes:
I used whole wheat orrichette pasta.
I cut the olive oil to 2 TBS.
I used LightLife Smart Bacon (vegan)
Always use the best parmesean you can get, and grate it fresh.
I was out of Parmesean, so I used Feta.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese with Swiss Chard

olive oil cooking spray
1 TBS + 1 TSP butter
2 TBS flour
1 cup milk (I used almond)
1 cup cheddar
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup roasted and mashed butternut squash
8 oz cooked gemelli pasta
1/4 cup savory bread crumbs
Milk: your preference - cows milk, soy, almond
Butter - can be replaced with olive oil or vegan margarine.
Cheddar - you can use low fat or no-fat
I made the bread crumbs from herbed wheat bread
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 x 8 casserole pan with cooking spray. Saute the onions in the butter for several minutes until softened and beginning to brown, then add flour and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes more. Add the milk, slowly, with whisking. Cook & stir for 5 minutes, then add cheese. Stir to melt. Add squash and stir, then mix in the pasta and transfer to the prepared pan. Melt 1 tsp butter into the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top.
  Bake 30 minutes or so, until top is browning and cheese is bubbly.
Serve with Kale & Red Onions
1 bunch kale
1 small red onion
1 TBS olive oil
2 TBS pine nuts
1-2 TBS balsamic vinegar
Cut the ribs out of the kale and slice into ribbons. Cut the onion in half and slice. Saute the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes, then add kale and saute 10 to 20 minutes or until tender. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with pine nuts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tortilla Chip Casserole

It is tasty, and fun, and made with tortilla chips. A great way to use them up when they start to get a little stale.

1 samll onion, chopped
1 small green bell pepper, chopped

Pasta with Green Beans, Corn & Jalapenos


Vegetable Lasagna


Yellow Squash & Scallion Quiche

Stuffed Squash

Macaroni & Cheese with Tomatoes & Scallions

Pumpkin Soup

Bought a cheese pumpkin.
Looked a lot like this.
Leonard cut it in half for me (horizontally!) . We scooped out the seeds and put it cut side down on a lined rimmed baking sheet. Baked it at 400 F for about an hour, till it was easily pierced with a fork.
Scooped out the "flesh". Discarded the skin. Put it into the food processor in batches and pureed it. Then put it in 1-2 cup portions in ziplock bags and froze it. Total = 12 cups.
Tonight I used the first 2 cup batch to make Pumpkin Soup.

Ingedients - 3 Servings
1 tblspn butter
1/2 a small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp snipped fresh rosemary (use kitchen scissors to snip into little bits - leaves only)
1/4 tsp dried sage powder
salt & pepper to taste
about 2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tblspoon Vegetarian Worchestershire sauce
1 slice good bread
1-2 Tblspns shaved parmesean cheese

  1. melt butter in a heavy pot
  2. add onion & garlic & snipped sage and cook over medium high heat until onions are soft and beginning to brown
  3. add pumpkin, broth, sage, s&p, & worchestershire and cook about 20 minutes until flavors blend.
  4. toast the bread and cut into croutons
  5. Serve soup topped with croutons & shaved parmesean

Friday, August 10, 2012

Greens & Grains

Something tasty, quick, and hearty for dinner.
Start with:
Chopped onion, garlic & EVOO.
Saute while you search the fridge for veggies.
Cook Up
Some quinoa, farro, brown rice,
or use what you have leftover.
Everything green you've got, chopped (I used spinach, broccoli, zucchini).
Saute some more.
Throw In:
A can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
Some Calamata Olives
Some Feta Cheese

Rotini with Spinach & Ricotta

So Simple, So Good.
Put the pasta water up to boil.
Chop an onion and start it sweating in a tad of olive oil.
Wash and chop a bunch of spinach.
Drop the pasta in the pot.
Throw the spinach in with the onions and cook until it wilts.
Remove the pasta from its pot to the pan with the spinach and onions, using a slotted spoon.
Stir in 1/2 - 1 cup ricotta cheese (use the purest you can find - read the ingredients - there should be only milk, vinegar, and salt).
Add a little pasta water to thin if you like.
Salt & Pepper to taste.
Top with a dollop of ricotta and little grated Parmesan if you like.

Greens & Feta over Polenta

Step One: Mix up some polenta, spread in a pan, cut into squares, let it set up, then brown in a little olive oil - or - cut up a pre-made roll and brown.

Step Two: Start with the barest amount of olive oil, some garlic and diced onions. Saute while you wash and chop the greens (any combo will do, spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collards, even romaine).

Step Three: Add the greens to the saute and cook them to your taste.

Step Four: Spread the greens over the polenta and top with Feta cheese.

Summer Stir Fry With Tofu

 Take what's in the share, chop it up and stir fry it.
Green Cabbage
a little canola oil
 Brown up some tofu, add a touch of toasted sesame oil. Mix up a batch of peanut sauce (the recipe is elsewhere on this blog) to toss the tofu in.
 We skipped the rice/noodles on this one and had some Trader Joe's vegetarian egg rolls instead.

Another Summer Salad

(lots and lots of radishes in the share this year)
Toasted Walnuts
Israeli Feta Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Lime Vinaigrette
(EVOO, fresh lime juice, splash of white wine vinegar, fresh oregano, touch of honey)


Summer Salad Supper Number 5


Romaine Lettuce
Chick Peas
Gently Browned Polenta, diced
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Grilled Red Onions 

Stuffed Zucchini for Two

Lots of zucchini in the CSA box this week, eight medium I think, and there are only two of us, so first plan of attack - stuff them. I have a stand-by recipe from a cookbook I bought on the bargain rack more than twenty five years ago. I decided to change it up a bit to make it grill-friendly and include some quinoa.

2 small to medium zucchini
1/2 large onion (white or yellow)
1 ear of fresh corn
1/4 - 1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 small plum or large grape tomato
1/3 cup walnuts
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
olive oil
salt & pepper

Heat up the grill.
  1. Slice the zucchini in half length-wise, brush with olive oil, and place on the grill.
  2. Slice the onion and brush or toss with a little oil. Place the slices on the grill with the zucchini.
4.  Cook over high or med-high heat, turning once or twice until nicely browned and cooked through.
5.  While the veggies grill, cook some quinoa according to the package directions (don't forget to rinse it before cooking).
6. Meanwhile, cook the ear of corn in your usual way. This time I tried a method recommended by my dad - put the whole, unhusked ear into the microwave in high for 4 minutes, then cut off the end opposite the silk, peel back the husk and pull off the silk.
7. Cut the corn from the cob and place in a bowl.
8. Chop the tomato and add it to the bowl.
9. Dice the jalapeno and add it to the bowl.

10. Check on the veggies on the grill and turn them if needed.
11. Toast the walnuts in a heavy pan over medium heat for 5 minutes or so, then chop them.
12. Grate about 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.

13. When the zucchini are nicely browned and cooked but not mushy and the onions are soft, remove the veggies from the grill and let them cool a bit.

Then, chop up the onions and scoop out the flesh from each zucchini half to make a "boat"

Chop the zucchini middles and add with the quinoa, walnuts, cheese, and chopped onion, to the bowl. MIx well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mound the mixture into the zucchini "boats" and serve.
I served this with a fresh tomato and basil salad (tomato, basil, tiniest bit of EVOO, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper).

fresh peaches and home-made vanilla ice cream from Alsetde Farms

Red Cabbage, Apples & Onions with Cottage Cheese Dumplings

Cook with the food on hand, that's my motto. So, here's what was hanging around from last weeks share on the day before the new share was due to be picked up:
a little more than 1/2 a small head of red cabbage
1/2 a large white onion
2 summer apples (actually left from a couple of weeks ago)
What to do...
I used a slightly modified version of Mollie Katzen's Sweet & Tart Cabbage with Cottage Cheese Dumplings from her Still Life With Menu Cookbook.

  1. You should start by putting a big pot of water up to boil for the dumplings. I used my soup pot, filled a little more than half way. You need a lot of room for the dumplings to bump and boil.
  2. I sliced 1/2 of a white onion thinly and began to saute the slices in 2 tsp of Olivo margarine (you could use butter here, or olive oil - butter gives the best flavor).
  3. While the onions were cooking I cored and quartered the cabbage and used the thin slicing blade on the food processor (savior of those who live with RA) to slice it.
  4. I added the sliced cabbage, about 1/2 tsp of whole cumin seeds, some freshly ground black pepper,  and a sprinkle of salt to the  pan with the onions and continued to cook that mixture.
  1. While the cabbage and onions were cooking, I cored the apples and put them through the thin slicing blade on the food processor as well (I did not peel them - mostly because I was feeling lazy, but it did not matter. After they cooked down, we did not even notice the peel).

  1. I added the apples to the pan, plus about a teaspoon of sugar, covered the pan and let everything cook together while I made the dumplings.
  1. I beat 2 eggs with 4 oz of cottage cheese, then added 1 cup of flour (I used unbleached white, you could use any kind you like I think) and a teaspoon or so of chopped dried dill (fresh is better, but I haven't got a dill plant on my deck this summer). I also added some salt - although I couldn't bring myself to add the full teaspoonful recommended in the original recipe.
  2. I had my usual hard time getting the dumplings to be uniform in size and shape. I dropped them by teaspoonful into the gently boiling water. Too much handling of the dumpling dough makes tough dumplings, but I may try forming them into balls with floured hands next time to see if they I can get them a little more rounded.
  3. The dumplings must boil gently for 15 minutes. They almost double in size. Then you scoop them out with a slotted spoon. I let mine rest on a linen towel while I removed the cabbage mixture from the pan to a serving dish, wiped out the pan, and melted another 2 tsp of Olivo. 
  4. Then I sauteed the dumplings on med-high heat for a couple of minutes to give them a nice golden-brown crisp.

And the finished dish...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

Ingredients: serves 2
2 sweet potatoes
1/2 cup diced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 minced fresh green chile
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 can black beans (15-oz., rinsed &drained)
1/4 C. lightly packed cilantro leaves - chopped - optional
1 T. lemon juice
4 six-inch flour tortillas

tomato salsa for topping


  1. Pierce the sweet potatoes several times with a fork, then microwave on high for 6-8 minutes or until a fork goes in easily. Let them cool a bit.
  2. Saute the diced onions and garlic in 1-2 tsp olive oil
  3. scoop out the potato flesh into a bowl, add the beans and mash together.
  4. Stir in the spices, lemon juice and cilantro if using
  5. Warm the tortillas in the microwave (wrap in a towel and heat on high for 30-60 second)
  6. place 1/4 cup or so of filling in tortilla and roll up.
  7. Place filled tortillas in a casserole or baking dish, cover with a damp towel (paper or cotton), then plastic wrap (or the dish's cover if it has one) and microwave on 70-80% power for 5 minutes or until heated through/

I served these with cucumber and radish salad: peel cukes and slice thinly. Slice radishes thinly. Dress with plain non-fat Greek yogurt, dried dill, salt & pepper to taste.

Salad with Baked Tofu & Hard Boiled Eggs

Rather self-explanatory

Chopped scallions
Sliced radishes
Diced baked tofu
 Hard boiled eggs
Mixed Lettuce from the CSA share