Monday, May 24, 2010

Yogurt-Cilantro Sauce

I really like this on my Lentil Walnut burgers. I’m sure there are other things it can be eaten with but I don’t know what…
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro leaves*
  • 1 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl
* I just grabbed a bunch of leaves and probably had way more than I needed, but it’s not really a recipe you can mess up…

Lentil-Walnut Burger

Man! I want to make these again! Blogging about food on an empty stomach just isn’t the best idea… (That’s Yogurt-Cilantro sauce on the burger, I’ll post that recipe too) I doubled the recipe and it worked great!
  • 3/4 cup lentils rinsed
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (I didn’t use these as I don’t like them at all. I’m a spice wimp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and darkened - about 10 minutes. Take out and leave them to cool
  3. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with about an inch of water above the lentils
  4. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer
  5. Cover and cook until the lentils are tender but still holding their shape, 15-20 minutes. Drain well and cool
  6. In a food processor combine the walnuts, breadcrumbs, garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
  7. Process until finely ground
  8. Add the lentils and 1 TBS olive oil pulse until coarsely chopped leaving some of the lentils whole
  9. In a large bowl, whisk the egg, add the lentil mixture and mix well
  10. Divide into 4 pieces, roll into balls and squish them between your hands until they’re about 3/4 inch thick
  11. Heat 3 TBS olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat
  12. Add the patties and cook until crisp and browned on each side – about 8-10 minutes a side
  13. Place on paper towel to drain some of the oil off.

Pasta with Potatoes, Green Beans and Pesto

I had some leftover pasta from another dish I made so I used it in this. I also used regular potatoes but they got slightly smooshy.
  • 2 waxy potatoes
  • 1 TBS salt
  • 8 oz tubular pasta (or whatever kind you want
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 cup pesto
  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1 inch cube
  2. Place them in a large pot of water and bring to a boil
  3. Add salt and pasta
  4. Return to a boil and cook for 2 minutes
  5. Add green beans, return to a boil and cook until the beans are tender and the pasta is cooked.
  6. Drain.
  7. Mix in the pesto and season with salt and pepper

Curried Carrot Soup

I made this a couple of weeks ago and have wanted it again ever since. I may just have to make it again tomorrow!
  • 2 TBS  butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp curry powder*
  • 2 cans chicken broth**
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 lbs carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 or 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 TBS coarsely chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Add the onion, curry powder, salt and pepper
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft.
  4. Add the broth, carrots, and 3 cups of water
  5. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft
  6. In a blender puree the soup in batches. Remove the center of the blender lid and cover with a cloth. I don’t know what will happen if you don’t, but that’s what the recipe says to do!
  7. Put blended soup in a clean saucepan and when it’s all blended and in the saucepan stir in the lemon juice. More water can be added if it’s too thick.
*I doubled the curry because I like it strong
** I had to use the powder to make chicken broth and it still tasted fine

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tomato and Olive Pasta

I decided to make this last night and then realized I was missing some of the ingredients so I improvised.
  • Salt and pepper
  • About a pound of short pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves thinly sliced*
  • 1/4 lb cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives – pitted and sliced**
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley***
  • 1/4 Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook the pasta until tender (I put 1/2TBS of garlic powder in the water)
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat (if using garlic cloves put them in the oil and cook for about a minute until golden stirring occasionally)
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes, oregano, red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper
  4. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes until the tomato juices run
  5. Add the pasta, olives, parsley and Parmesan (if using garlic powder add the other 1/2 TBS too) to the skillet, mix and serve hot.
*I had to use about 1TBS of garlic powder as we had no cloves so I put half in the water with the pasta and half in at step 5
**we had no kalamata olives so I just used the normal green ones
***We don’t have fresh parsley and I couldn’t find the dried parsley so I didn’t use any.
My parents and brother loved this dish as did I. It was quite tasty even though it was improvised and 4 of us finished what should have fed 6.

Wilted Spinach with Nutmeg

This is super easy to make and very tasty. It’s also quite versatile.  I changed the original recipe to suit my tastes. Here’s how I made it.

  • 2 TBS Butter
  • 6 oz spinach
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sprinkling of black pepper

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Cut any tough ends off of the spinach
  3. Rinse the spinach and place in the sauce pan with water still dripping off the leaves
  4. Cover and cook for 5 minutes
  5. Stir and continue cooking for about 5 more minutes
  6. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper
  7. Serve while still hot with a slotted spoon

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Green Smoothie for Two

My sister has been making a lot of green smoothies lately and while I was living with her and the family I had about 3 a day. I miss the smoothies (and family) greatly! Yesterday I decided to make my first green smoothie.

  • 4oz spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 very large carrot
  • 2 individual sized yogurts
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • water for desired consistency
I put it all in the ingredients in the blender and turned it on. I then used a wooden spoon to push the veggies down… while the blender was running… please don’t do that, you will be out a wooden spoon and you will have unwanted fiber in your smoothie. I will not be held responsible for anything you put in the blender while it is running!
There are tons of different ways to make smoothies, I’ll post as I make some more :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hamburger Rolls

These rolls are really tasty and to say something completely dorky you will never buy hamburger rolls again after trying these ones. They are easily doubled and freeze well.
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (2.5 tsp) (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Combine the milk, 1 cup of water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat and let stand until lukewarm. If the mixture is too hot, it will kill the yeast.  And if it’s too cold you will have to reheat it and then it will be too hot and you don’t want to do that. Trust me. I did it. If I can hold my finger in the liquid for 5 seconds then I decide it’s a good temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and yeast. Pour in wet ingredients and stir until the dough starts to pull together. If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook to mix for about 8 minutes. If not, knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes. Don’t over knead it as it will get really chewy. I know. I did that too. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let stand until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 even portions. Make tight balls out of the dough by pulling the dough tightly around and pinching it at the bottom. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or tin foil – wax paper will stink. I use tin foil. Let rolls rise for about 20 minutes. Squish each ball with the palm of your hand until it is 3 to 4 inches wide.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Mix together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Brush onto the tops of the rolls. I then like to sprinkle Italian Seasoning or poppy seeds or sesame seeds on top.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely browned on the top and bottom.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet Tea

I LOVE the sweet tea  they serve at Cracker Barrel and I finally decided to make some. I found this recipe and it’s really good. The baking soda kind of scared me but it works. Trust me!

  • just under 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 6 regular tea bags (or 4 big ones)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (or some honey to taste)
  • 6 cups cool water (or less depending on how strong you like it. I found 6 diluted it too much)
  1. Boil water and sugar together.
  2. Sprinkle baking soda into a 64-ounce pitcher, add tea bags and boiling sugar water. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags, and discard; Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold.
  4. I recommend tasting it as you put the cold water in so you don’t over dilute!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Crock Pot Mac &Cheese

My sister hosted a recipe exchange on Friday night and everyone brought copies of seven or more recipes to give to everyone else who was there. I made use of the recipes to make Crock Pot Mac&Cheese last night and it was SO good! I doubled the recipe and changed a couple of things but I’ll give you the original and then my version.
  • 8oz of your favorite pasta
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  1. Cook the pasta
  2. Place all the ingredients in the crock pot on low for 3 hours
I doubled the recipe as I like pasta as my main dish, not my side dish. I used 3 eggs because there were three eggs left and I didn’t want one to feel lonely. I didn’t melt my butter before hand, I figured the heat of the freshly cooked pasta would melt it for me. I only had one 14oz can of evaporated milk. I used 4 cups of cheese as 6 cups seemed like way too much. I used slightly less than 3 cups of milk. I also didn’t have enough time to cook it for 3 hours so I cooked it for 1.5 hours on low and .5hours on high. It turned out quite nicely. :)