Showing posts with label Veggie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veggie. Show all posts

Sneaky Veggie Mac and Cheese

So many recipes are shared on Facebook, and most of the time I just scroll past. This recipe shared  by Buzzfeed managed to catch my eye around "back to school" time. A balanced meal I could make in the morning and the kids would quickly gobble up? That's exactly what we need on busy weeknights! I didn't love the recipe quite as written, but loved the concept. Combining it with the seasoning from my mom's macaroni & cheese recipe, it has turned into something nutritious and delicious that has been a hit at our house!

1 454g package of macaroni
1 C chopped carrots
2 C chopped squash (I use this frozen kind)
2-3 C chopped cauliflower (I use this frozen kind)
1/2 C water
2 C milk
2 C shredded old cheddar cheese
1 tsp dry onion flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tblsp prepared mustard
2 Tblsp +/- parmesan cheese

Prepare macaroni al dente and set aside.

Place vegetables and water in a pot over medium heat. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat. Do not drain. Add milk. Puree using an immersion blender. (Alternatively, add to a blender and process until smooth). Stir in cheese and seasoning until cheese is melted.

Add macaroni to sauce and stir to coat. Place into baking dish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake at 350' for 30 minutes.

I've tried varying the the vegetable quantity, but these are the measurements that have been most successful. I've learned from experience that too many carrots really changes the texture of the sauce! You can add your own seasoning to the sauce to make it more like your usual family recipe. A pinch of nutmeg, a couple dashes of hot sauce...whatever floats your boat! My kids like this as is. I add a little salt and pepper to my dish, or some corn salsa if its in the fridge!

Quick Ratatouille with Brie

I came across two similar recipes on Pinterest (here and here), and used them as inspiration for a new side dish. We absolutely loved much so that I made it twice in a week! Traditional ratatouille is stewed, slow cooked, and layered, while this dish is quick and painless to throw together. It certainly isn't a true ratatouille, but what would you call it?

The quantity listed below worked well in a pie plate, as pictured. The second time I made this, I was out of  brie and wanted to make a larger amount. I doubled everything and made it in a 9X13 dish, topping it with a little bit of shaved red onion before adding the Parmesan, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Both combinations were delicious! This is a simple and versatile way to prepare your vegetables, and a great Make It In The Morning option too.

1/2 zucchini, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
2 plum tomatoes, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
1/2 sweet potato, sliced slightly thinner than other vegetables
Brie, sliced approx. 1/4 inch thick
2 Tblsp (+/-) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 Tblsp olive oil (+/-)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Place sliced vegetables and brie in pie plate, alternating and overlapping as you go. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake at  375` for about 25 minutes, or until sweet potato is tender.

Chickpea Salad

Sometimes, when I have a few ingredients on hand that I want to use, I just put the list in to Google and see what comes up. A few weeks ago, I tried this salad as a result of one of those searches...and have made it at least three times since. It's so fresh tasting and filling! Two of my three wee ones like it too.

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 Tblsp red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3 Tblsp olive oil
1 Tblsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients, and chill several hours before serving.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry

A friend recommended this recipe from a Michael Smith cookbook she has been using weekly. We love all of the ingredients, but didn't have a recipe "in the rotation" that uses them all together. We both enjoyed this and it was a very filling meatless meal, though I'd add quite a bit more spice next time. I also didn't notice any added flavor from the orange juice, so I might use water or broth next time to eliminate that sugar (and it would bring down the cost of the recipe, which you know I love).

1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
about 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp curry paste  (I'd increase this big time!)
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 can chickpeas , drained & rinsed
1 can coconut milk
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup any nut butter (I used soy nut butter)
1 cup frozen green peas
3 cups baby spinach  (more or less)
a bunch chopped cilantro

Saute onion and garlic in a little oil over medium heat until they’re lightly browned (5 minutes). Add grated ginger and curry paste, and cook for another few minutes until fragrant. Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk, orange juice and peanut butter. Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and continue simmering until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the peas, spinach and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve over rice.


Leftovers Renewed: Sweet Potato Chimichangas

I've posted the recipe for Sweet Potato Enchilada Bake, and I've posted the recipe for Baked Chimichangas. I combined the two recipes recently, and turned our leftover enchilada bake into these chimichangas with great results! (That being said though, wouldn't anything be good baked in a crunchy tortilla?)

Vegetable Enchiladas

I've had this recipe on my 'to try' list for a little while. Reviewers suggested that it was a bit mild, so I added a little garlic and hot sauce to turn the flavour up a notch. We both loved this meal! It's super healthy, quick and simple to put together, and easy on the pocketbook. I think I'll be adding this to our "regular rotation."

2 Tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin, divided
1 tsp garlic, divided
1/4 C flour
1/4 C tomato paste
2 C vegetable broth
3/4 C water
1/4 tsp Mexican hot sauce
2 C grated cheddar cheese
1 can (19 ounces) black beans, rinsed/drained
6 C fresh spinach, chopped/steamed/squeezed dry
1 1/3 C frozen corn, thawed
6 green onions, sliced and divided
16 whole-wheat tortillas (6-inch)

On medium heat, combine together oil, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic, flour, and tomato paste. Cook, whisking, for 1 minute. Whisk in broth and water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened. Stir in hot sauce, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cheese, beans, spinach, corn, whites of green onions, 1 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp garlic. Lightly grease 2 8-inch baking dishes.Warm tortillas slightly in microwave to make more pliable. Spoon 1/3 C bean mixture onto centre of each tortilla, fold sides over filling, and place seam side down on greased baking dish. Once all enchiladas are assembled, spoon sauce over the top and spread to coat as evenly as possible. Bake uncovered at 400` for 20 minutes. Garnish with greens of green onion, and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

The original recipe gives directions for freezing prior to cooking, if you are interested. We just had oodles of leftovers this time (which is lovely for our lunches), but next time I'll experiment with freezing half.

Lentil Tacos

Yet another recipe that falls into my three beloved categories: healthy, cheap, and yummy! These lentil tacos were suggested by a friend and we enjoyed them tonight. They were also a hit with one of two toddlers - hitting two for two at dinner is rare at our house!

1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp oil
1 C dried lentils, rinsed
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
2 1/2 C chicken stock
1 C salsa
12 tortillas or taco shells
Your favourite taco toppings (we had tomatoes, green pepper, lettuce, cheddar cheese, and sour cream)

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft. Stir in lentils, hot sauce, cumin, and oregano. Cook for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover and cook for an additional 6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Mash lentils slightly, and stir in salsa. Top tortilla or taco shell with approximately 1/4 C of lentil mixture and your choice of toppings.

We used whole wheat soft tortillas. They were delicious, but quite messy as they got a little soggy with the lentil mixture.  Hard taco shells would probably work great with this recipe, but I don't like tortilla it will continue to be for us (with a fork for the last few messy bites)!

Squash Fries

I accidentally ate 1/2 a squash in one sitting the other day. I just couldn't stop! So simple, healthy, and yummy! Leave it to Hungry Girl to put all three in one.

Remove the seeds and peel your squash, then cut into fry-shaped wedges (the larger the fry, the slower your cooking time). Place on a cookie sheet coated with non-stick spray. Sprinkle with coarse salt, and bake at 425` for approximately 40 minutes, turning halfway.

I enjoyed mine with a beloved concoction: 4 parts sour cream to 1 part hot sauce. Mmmmm!

Grilled Salad

I made this to quickly use up some veggies in the fridge, but it was delicious! I am going to try it again soon adding some peppers into the mix too.

3 new potatoes
1 small egg plant
a handful of fresh cilantro
1-2 tsp olive oil
juice of one lime

As always with egg plant, once cut, place in a wire strainer and sprinkle with salt. Allow to sit for at least 30 minutes until moisture comes to the surface, then blot dry.

Grill potatoes and egg plant on the grill until done (approx. 15 minutes). Remove from grill and cut potatoes. Toss with remaining ingredients and serve warm.

Italian Bok Choy

While looking for bok choy recipes, Jamie Oliver's recipe for Italian Bok Choy caught my eye as it had quite different flavours from the majority I have found.

6 cups bok choy, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil

In a large pan add the olive oil, garlic, and onions. Cook for approximately 3 minutes at medium heat. Add half of the basil. Add the bok choy and stir to coat. Continue stirring and cooking until bok choy wilts. Remover from heat and add remaining basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

We enjoyed this (and so did one of two toddlers) with lemon pork chops.

Tahini Lemon Dressing

This recipe is from The Stone Soup's free e-cookbook that I posted about recently. I changed the quantities slightly from the original to finish off the container of tahini that I had in the fridge. It was fresh and flavourful over mixed greens, and we'll definitely be making it throughout the summer. (And the more I browse The Stone Soup, the more I like it!)

1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate.

Sesame-Ginger Bok Choy

This recipe was thrown together quickly tonight to use a variety of things we had on hand from our produce pack, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Bok choy has such a fresh taste, and it was totally complimented by the nuttiness of the sesame.

1 tsp minced ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tblsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 C Spanish onion, chopped
4 small carrots, chopped
1 C shrimp (we used leftovers, so ours was breaded and cooked)
2 tsp sesame seeds
4 C bok choy, chopped

Combine the first 5 ingredients to make the sauce, and set aside.

Sautee onions and carrot in a wok or a deep non-stick pan over medium heat. Once both begin to soften and turn a bright colour, add shrimp. Stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes as shrimp warms. Stir in sesame seeds. Top with half of bok choy, but do not stir to incorporate right away - let the bok choy steam over the rest of the mixture for several minutes first. Stir to incorporate, and top with the remaining bok choy - again, allowing to steam for several minutes before incorporating. Stir in sauce, and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Serve over rice.

Please forgive the photo: the lighting was poor...and I was too hungry
to fuss with it!

Kale Chips

After seeing Kale Chips mentioned on a zillion blogs (with topics from locavores to healthy food for kids), we finally tried them. The reviews from our household were mixed: My husband loved them, my 18-month-old liked them, and my nearly 3-year-old said: "Yuck Mama. That's leaves." I fell somewhere in the middle - I enjoyed the flavour, but not the texture. They cooked up nice and crispy, but the thin kale was too papery for my tastes.

4 leaves of kale
1 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt

Remove the kale leaves from the stems. (I found it easiest to hold onto the stem and run my hand up to remove the leaves.) Wash and dry well, and tear into bite-sized pieces. Toss kale pieces with olive oil and salt until evenly coated. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake at 350' for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Dill Potato Salad

Prompted by this recipe, I used the dill in this week's produce pack to make a potato salad to take to a BBQ tonight. It was cool, fresh, and just what I was looking for.

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1 very small onion, diced
2 Tblsp fresh dill, trimmed finely
3 Tblsp olive oil
1 1/2 Tblsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water until barely fork tender. Drain, and allow to cool completely. Combine all remaining ingredients to form a vinaigrette. Once potatoes are cool, toss with vinaigrette to coat. Chill before serving.

Turnip Puff

I spotted this recipe in the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo Cookbook when I made my veggie samosas. I saved it, thinking ahead to the CSA that we joined for the summer and knowing that I didn't have enough ideas to eat our way through a box of turnip, should it arrive.
This recipe was easy and can be frozen before cooking. It reminded me of a souffle when it was piping hot from the oven. It would make a great (unique) side dish instead of your traditional (watery) mashed turnip. We'll definitely be calling on this recipe should our CSA be turnip-rich!

3 cups hot mashed turnip
3 Tbsp butter
2 eggs, beaten
3 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
dried bread crumbs and butter for the top

Combine turnip, butter, and beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly until butter is completely melted. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, pepper, and salt. Mix well. Spread into a buttered casserole dish. Top with dried bread crumbs and paprika, and dot with butter. Bake for 25 minutes a 375'.

As a total side note: My son's doctor recommended turnip when he had some...ahem...digestive issues as a baby. He said: "Forget prunes. Turnip is the way to go!"

Killer Fried Rice

One of our favourite treats for a night in is "it's not take-out" sweet and sour pork. I've gradually been trying to make the best fried rice to go with it, and I think I nailed it last night. It's simple, easy, delicious, and while it was great with the saucy pork, it was stood well on its own. This will be my new go-to recipe!

1/2 cup uncooked rice
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded cabbage
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
1 1/2 Tblsp soy sauce
1 Tblsp hoisin sauce
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (reduce if you are serving with a spicy stir fry)

Cook 1/2 cup of rice according to package directions (to yield 2 servings), and set aside. In a non-stick pan or with a touch of oil, saute green onions until slightly softened (1-2 minutes). Add cabbage and stirfry until it is softened and begins to get clear (4 minutes). Add parsley and rice, and stir to coat. Stir periodically to warm rice. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl to make the sauce. As rice begins to warm, stir in the sauce to coat the rice. Continue to stirfry for 2-3 minutes until hot.

Smashed Potatoes

I had planned to have potatoes as a side last night, but I didn't really feel like mashing, and I didn't feel like eating them just boiled. Instead, I boiled them until they were fork tender, before smashing them individually with the potato masher. I placed them on a lightly greased pan and sprinkled them with spices (though I wish we had fresh herbs on hand to use - maybe next time!). They baked at 375' for about 20 minutes, until the bottoms were starting to get nice and brown. Then I sprinkled cheese on some of them before putting them back in the oven for a few minutes, just to make them a little more appealing to Isaac. Easy, and a nice change from the usual!

We had them along with Honey Teriyaki Salmon and some endamame. Have you tried that salmon recipe yet? You must. I can't encourage you enough. Since I found that recipe, we haven't made it any other way.

And the cheesy ones...

Sweet Potato Kettle Chips

Talk about a yummy snack for movie night!

Slice sweet potatoes and toss with a little oil and some coarse salt. Cook at 400' for about 20 minutes, flipping over halfway. Meanwhile, chop some red onion, scallions, and whatever other veggies you might like. Top sweet potatoes with veggies and grated cheese. Return to oven for 5-7 minutes to melt the cheese. Serve with sour cream for dipping.


BBQ Sides

Lindsay and Paul are visiting from Calgary and were at our house for dinner on Sunday night. I wanted to make a few sides to suit everyone. Here's what we enjoyed!

Grilled Sweet Potato
Original recipe found here, though I used curry and cinnamon as the rub and I garnished with cilantro

Planked Potato Rings
Recipe found here

Summer Spinach Salad
I'm not sure where this dressing originated from, but I got it from my Mom.

1/3 C Oil
1/3 C Vinegar
2/3 C Sugar
1/4 C Ketchup
1 Onion, diced fine

Combine in a mason jar and shake to dissolve all sugar. Refrigerate several hour (ideally overnight) before serving. Great tossed with spinach, egg, bacon, bean sprouts, water chestnuts, strawberries, or whatever else you have on hand. Dressing keeps well in fridge for one week.

Spinach Pie

Now that I am able to go to the grocery store on weekdays, I can hardly ever bring myself to go on a busy weekend. Our pantry was pretty bare on Saturday, and not wanting to hit up the Superstore, I made due and threw some stuff together. It actually turned out better than I expected!

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons milk

Combine all ingredients with a fork. Form into a ball with hands. Roll out and press into a 9' pie plate. Pierce with fork to allow steam to escape. Bake at 400' for 10 minutes.

1 orange pepper, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Sautée onion and pepper with a touch of oil until onion starts to become transparent. In a large bowl, combine spinach and cheeses. Add onions and pepper mixture. Add seasoning and stir to combine. Spread into pie crust, cover with foil, and bake at 350' for 30 minutes. Uncover for the last 10 minutes.