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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Power Orzo

I had some kale inspiration today! I got a giant bag of kale from my wonderful CSA farm - Hatchet Cove - and I began blanching and freezing it for the winter. But as I was cutting it all up, and nibbling as I went, I had the inspiration for dinner. I sent the kids to the backyard to pick green beans, and started working on a super nutrient packed dinner for us all.

Power Orzo
1 bunch of lacino kale, chopped
2 C orzo pasta
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 handful green beans, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 C nutritional yeast (OR you can use cheese)
1/4 C cheddar cheese
3 T butter, unsalted
1/4 C stock
1T oil
salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and drop in Orzo and cook for 5 minutes, then drop in Kale. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil over medium heat and saute onions, carrots, zucchini and green beans for 5 minutes. Add stock to veggies and stir thoroughly. Let simmer for 2 minutes then add nutritional yeast, butter and salt and pepper and stir thoroughly. When pasta and kale is done strain thoroughly and toss into veggie mixture. Stir thoroughly and add salt and pepper to taste, and more nutritional yeast if you want. Plate meal and sprinkle cheddar cheese over top.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oranges & Greens

I bought a couple of sweet potatoes the other day at the Bath Natural Market and for some reason last night, my body was craving their orange goodness. I combined that craving with the desire to use up my wonton wrappers and to finally bust out that delicious basil I got in my last CSA share from Hatchet Cove Farms. Voila. Sweet Potato Ravioli with a Basil Goat Cheese sauce, plated on top of wilted spinach and graced with a side of homemade garlic bread.

Sweet Potato Ravioli
24 wonton wrappers
1 large sweet potato, cubed and steamed until soft
1/2 C arugula, chopped
1 large Shallot, chopped
1 T oil
2 T Nutritional Yeast (or you can sub Parm. Cheese)
1 T butter (unsalted)

While sweet potatoes are steaming, heat oil in pan over medium heat and saute shallots and arugula for 5-10 minutes until soft. When potatoes are done put in a bowl and mash with butter and nutritional yeast. Stir in arugula and shallots. Place a dollop of mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper and fold into a triangle by taking one corner and folding to touch opposite corner. Wet sides of wrapper with water on your finger and smoosh down firmly to seal. Then take left and right corner and fold in, then take top corner and fold in until they all meet - this makes it like an envelope. OR you can keep as a triangle or do it any way you feel works for you. This is just how I do them for my Gyoza and it always stands the test of cooking! When all ravioli are ready put enough water in a pot to cover ravioli and bring to boil. Turn to a gentle rolling boil and drop in 1/2 the raviolis at a time, carefully making sure they don't bump into each other. Cook for about 2 minutes and scoop out into a strainer (cover it with a dishcloth to keep warm while rest is cooking and you are making the sauce - OR you could turn the oven on VERY low and put them in their on a plate).

Basil Goat Cheese Sauce
1/2 C chopped basil
3.5ozs Goat Cheese
1 C milk (we don't use cows milk in our house so I made this with Original Almond Milk)
4 T butter (unsalted)
1 T cornstarch
2 T COLD water

Melt butter over medium heat in a sauce pan then add basil and stir thoroughly. Add goat cheese and milk and whisk until it's all mixed nicely. Mix cornstarch and cold water together and then stir into sauce and whisk until thickened.

Wilted Spinach
1 large bunch of fresh spinach leaves

Put leaves in a strainer and rinse with cold water. Heat a pan to medium heat and place spinach in pan. Stir gently until spinach as wilted.

To serve:
Place spinach on plate and put 5 ravioli's around it and 1 in the center then pour a bit of sauce over it all. Serve with some crusty garlic bread, and enjoy all the wonderful flavors and colors!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

I got some more red potatoes in my CSA share this week and bought some leeks at the Bath Natural Market with the hopes of soup...My 4 year old saw these and put 2 and 2 together, and voila, Potato Leek Soup for dinner! Here's the recipe I used because it's what I had on hand, but feel free to make changes and additions based on what's in your fridge. And next time I make this, I think I will saute the potatoes in oil before adding the water/stock in order to roast out some flavor...oooh, or if it's not hot out, maybe I will actually roast them in the oven!

Potato Leek Soup
4-6 large potatoes, cubed
2 large leeks, sliced thinly (I use the green & white parts)
2 cloves garlic (or more if you like), minced
1 large carrot, sliced
4-6 C stock/water
1 T butter (unsalted)
1/4 C heavy cream
1 T oil

Add potatoes and water/stock to a soup pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer at medium heat until potatoes are soft. Take a potato masher and smash away - or leave potatoes as is - my family likes the smashed potato consistency. Meanwhile, saute leeks in oil over medium heat until soft and starting to brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Add to potatoes. Toss in carrots - again these were an afterthought for me, so if you want, add them to the leeks and saute first. Stir in garlic and simmer soup for about 10 minutes to incorporate flavors. Add butter and cream and stir thoroughly - do not allow soup to boil once cream is in or else it will curdle. Ladle into bowls and serve with biscuits or bread and a light salad for full hearty meal.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Everything But The...Casserole

My family is weary of casseroles...the lovely boyfriend isn't a fan and the kids think I'm trying to serve them mush disguised as dinner. Maybe I love torturing them, or maybe I really like to see their faces as I plop a casserole on the table...either way, it was a casserole type of night. We had a plethora of veggies from our lovely CSA at Hatchet Cove, some fresh stock from last night, and some golden split peas that have been collecting dust in the back of the cupboard. I decided to try my hand at casserole one more time, and boy am I glad I did. I got rave reviews from the kids and the fact, my 6 year old requested I make it again next week!

Everything But The...Casserole
1/2 C uncooked Basmati rice
2-4 C vegetable stock
1 C golden split peas
1 T coconut oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1/2 C fresh green beans, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 C chopped swiss chard
1 C marina sauce
salt and pepper
5 scallions, sliced

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice in 1 cup of stock and set aside. Cook split peas in 3 cups of fluid - I used 1 cup of stock & 2 cups of water because that's what I had on hand. Set aside with rice. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions, zucchini, carrots, green beans, swiss chard and tomato for 5 minutes, just until soft. Remove from heat and mix in rice and split peas, add marinara sauce, salt and pepper, garlic and scallions. Place in baking dish and cover with tin foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

Not Burgers

I made some savory muffins, with shredded zucchini and carrot, and after devouring one straight from the oven, I got an idea to use them for dinner, as a burger bun! So the first line of business was making a decent and flavorful veggie burger. I had bought some dry aduki beans and finally had made some up - but I had left the house with them on the stove and when I came home, they were WELL done. I threw them in the fridge and figured I'd find a use for them. And I did - veggie burgers!

Bean & Tofu Veggie Burgers
1C cooked & mashed aduki beans
1/2 lb firm tofu, drained and crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
4 large leaves swiss chard, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
1 T mustard
3 T flax meal
2 T hemp powder
1 T Bragg's Amino Acid (or soy sauce/nama shoyu)
1 T oil
pepper, to taste

Heat oil over medium heat in a skillet and saute onions for 2 minutes. Add tofu, sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 of Bragg's and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and swiss chard, more pepper and rest of Bragg's and saute another 5 minutes. Mix with beans, egg, mustard, flax meal & hemp powder. Form into patties and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until done, flipping once 1/2 way through cooking.

These were so flavorful and not heavy at all, and serving them on a savory muffin with a little cheese was perfect. My 6 year old devoured every bite, which is a big accomplishment in this house! These are on the must make again list.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


The other day when I was passed out with Strep, my lovely boyfriend decided to make dinner for me and the boys. Since he isn't much of a cook, he whipped up some pasta and sauce - simple yet satisfying. Sadly, he put WAY too much pasta in to cook and we ended up with a ton of left-overs. I decided we needed to find a better and creative way to use them up - hence, the birth of the pasta frittata. I searched through the fridge for some yummy veggies and found a plethora of zucchini from my CSA. I thought, what goes better together then pasta and zucchini? Here is a yummy, and easily adaptable, recipe for pasta left-overs.

Zucchini Pasta Frittata
2 C left-over spaghetti, chopped
4 eggs
2 C cheese (I used mozzarella)
1 medium zucchini, 1/4 lengthwise and sliced
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 C milk
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 T olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in oven proof skillet over medium heat. Saute onions and zucchini until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper and saute 1 minute. Toss in spaghetti and mix thoroughly. Beat eggs until fluffy, then add milk and cheese and stir. Pour into pan and spread evenly over spaghetti mixture. Turn pan down to medium low heat and let eggs set for about 5 minutes. Place pan in oven and cook 20-25 minutes, until eggs are cooked through. Pull from oven and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

My kids love quiche, and now they love Frittata!