Portobellos Stuffed with Quinoa and Kale

A vegetarian meal or a great appetizer! Part 2 of my recipes adapted from Lidia’s Celebrate Like an Italian by Lidia Bastianich.

 

Portobellos Stuffed with Quinoa and Kale

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 clove garlic peeled and crushed
  • 5-ounce box baby kale
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  •  1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup fine bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Grana Padana cheese
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 6 portobello mushrooms, gills scraped and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 chicken stock
  • 4-ounce log goat cheese, cut into slices

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the garlic to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the garlic is sizzling, add the kale and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted, and the liquid in the pan has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Let cool and coarsely chop the kale.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the kale, quinoa, bread crumbs, grated cheese, and pine nuts. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt, and toss well to combine.
  3. Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt. Divide the stuffing among the mushrooms and place on a rimmed sheet pan. Pour the wine and chicken stock in the pan. Drizzle olive oil over the mushrooms. Let with foil and bake for about 20 minutes. Uncover, and top each mushroom with a slice of goat cheese. Bake for another 20 minutes.

 

 

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Spiced Cauliflower with Potatoes and Peas, my 400th Post

Vegetable side dish with some heat! Part 2 of my recipes by Laura Calder and my 400th post.

 

Spiced Cauliflower with Potatoes and Peas

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 medium cauliflower, about 2 pounds, cut into large florets
  • 2 pounds large waxy yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 can {14 ounces} diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen peas

 

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot. Stir in the coriander, cumin, cumin seeds, turmeric, and cayenne. Heat until fragrant, for a few minutes. Stir in the salt.
  2. Add the cauliflower and potatoes. Pour over the tomatoes and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender. About 15 minutes.
  3. Five minutes before done stir in the peas. [/recipe-direction]

 

 

Oven-Baked Vegetables

Great side dish! Part 2 of my recipes adapted from Cooking with Loula, Greek recipes from My Family to Yours by Alexandra Stratou. I did change the oven temperature to 400 instead of 350, what the original recipe called for. It might depend on the oven, I would keep an eye on it, in case it dries out.

 

Oven-Baked Vegetables

  • Servings: 4 to 6
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Ingredients

  • 2 small potatoes
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 leek
  • 2 tomatoes
  •  1 onion, sliced in half-moons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes, optional

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Dice the potatoes, peppers, eggplant, leek, and tomatoes to roughly about the same size, about 1-inch. Place in a large roasting pan. Combine the onion, whole garlic cloves, and parsley. Add a generous amount of olive oil, about 1/3 cup. Toss to coat well. Season with salt and pepper, sugar, and chili flakes. Pour about 3/4 cup of water.
  2. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the vegetables are dark, and no evidence of water.

 

Beef Stew with Smoked Eggplant Puree

This is a great comfort food recipe! It takes some time to make but well worth it.  Maybe for one of those snowed in days or family Sunday dinners.  Adapted from Cooking with Loula, Greek recipes from my family to yours, by Alexandra Stratou.

 

Beef Stew with Smoked Eggplant Puree

  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless beef brisket, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 onions
  • 3 whole cloves
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 pounds eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ground nutmeg [/recipe=ingredients]

 

Directions

  1. Season the beef with salt. Peel one of the onions and stick the cloves into it. Finely chop the other onion. Add about 1/2-inch of oil to a large pot set over high heat. Add the beef and brown on all sides. Set the beef aside.
  2.   To the pot add the chopped onion, garlic, the whole onion. Reduce the heat to medium and cook till the onions are golden. Add the wine and bring to a boil until the alcohol has evaporated.
  3. Add the beef back to the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Add the tomato paste, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and some pepper. Add water barely covering the meat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour 1/2. Check occasionally and add water if needed.
  4. Add the tomatoes, season to taste and cook for another hour, uncovered., on low heat. Taste, season and add the sugar.
  5. While the meat is cooking, prepare the eggplant. Pierce the eggplants all over, then smoke them by putting them in a broiler. Turn over constantly until charred and soft. Cut in half and scoop out the inside flesh. Place in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl to collect the juices.
  6. Make a béchamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and all the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until it becomes golden. Whisk in the milk and eggplant juices. Cook for 20 minutes infill it becomes a thick béchamel. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Chop up the eggplant flesh and add to the béchamel. Season to taste once more.
  7. Remove the whole onion, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf from the meat before serving. Make a mount of the eggplant puree on a platter and top with the beef.

 

 

 

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

Part 2 of my great vegetable side series!

 

Brussels Sprouts Gratin

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, and extra to butter dish
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  •  Kosher salt and pepper

 

Directions

  1.  Boil the Brussels sprouts in salted water for about 5 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender.  Drain and run under cold water to cool. spread over paper towels in a single layer and dry completely.
  2. Cook the garlic in butter over medium heat until fragrant, 1 minute. Sprinkle with flour, cook whisking for 1 minute. Slowly wish in the half-and-half. Simmer whisking often, until thickened, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in the 1 1/4 cup of grated Gruyere cheese. Fold in the Brussels sprouts. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer to a buttered 3-quart baking dish. Top with the 3/4 cup of grated Gruyere cheese. Bake at 375F degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving.

 

Orange Carrots with Yogurt-Parsley Dressing

Great vegetable side for your holiday dinner! Adapted from Country Living Christmas at Home.

 

 

Orange Carrots with Yogurt-Parsley

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds small carrots
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

 

for the dressing

  • 3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • salt and pepper

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Combine the carrots, orange juice, oil, vinegar and honey onto two rimmed baking sheets. Season with salt and pepper. Bake, stirring and tossing the carrots, for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender.
  2. Process all the dressing ingredients in a food processor, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed, until smooth, for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve topped with dressing, pine nuts and parsley if desired.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls

Part 2 of this week’s cooking with maple syrup. Adapted from Maple by Katie Webster.

 

 

Sweet and Sour Cabbage Rolls

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 8 whole leaves from 1 large cabbage
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dark pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

 

Directions

  1. Stack cabbage leaves in a large Dutch oven and pour the boiling water over top. Cover, set over high heat, and boil, rotating top leaves to the bottom. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, until cabbage is just tender enough to be pliable, but not too soft that it tears. Drain the leaves on a work surface and let cool.
  2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt, cook stirring often for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the onion is soft and starting to brown. Add the beef, mushrooms, and pepper.  Using a wooden spoon to break up the meat, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the beef is browned and no pink remains. Add tomato paste and coat the mixture. Add the vinegar, syrup and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  3. Spoon 1/4 cup of the filling onto each cabbage leaf and roll tucking in the sides. Arrange the rolls in the skillet with seam side down. Pour the tomato sauce over rolls. Cover and cook over medium-low heat. Cook for about 20 minutes. Uncover and add the mozzarella cheese. Cover and cook for about another 2 minutes., until cheese melts. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

Chickpeas with Chili, Garlic and Thyme

Part 2 of recipes by Nigella Lawson. This serves as a great healthy side dish. The chickpeas do have to be soaked overnight, otherwise it a a quick dish.

 

Chickpeas with Chili, Garlic, and Thyme

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 18 ounces dried chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • seas salt
  • 1 red chili pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • leaves from 4-5 sprigs of thyme
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

  1.  Make a paste with the flour, salt and baking soda with some cold water and add to the dried chickpeas. Add enough cold water to cover generously and let it soak overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse the chickpeas under cold water. Place in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Add the halved onion, sprigs of thyme, and olive oil. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and cover. Simmer for an hour and a half or until tender.
  3.  Uncover, salt to taste and reverse about 2 1/4 cup of cooking liquid. Drain the chickpeas and remove the onion and thyme sprigs. Set aside.
  4. Add the roughly chopped and seeded red chili pepper, onion, garlic, and thyme leaves to a food processor. Process to a pulp.
  5. Add oil and the chili pulp to a pan , sprinkle with salt and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. Add the chickpeas and coat. Add half of the reserved liquid, cover and cook for a few minutes more. If dry add more of the reserved liquid.
  6. Place in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and some  thyme leaves.