Monday, March 29, 2010

Pocket Pastries

1 can white beans (or garbanzo beans work well too)
3 potatoes, cut into 1/2 in cubes
3/4 c. carrots, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 c. chopped cabbage
1/2 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbsp. Butter or olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped OR 1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 - 3 c. chicken broth
1 pkg. cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper to taste

4 Pkg. crescent rolls OR bread dough

Saute onion and celery in oil until onion is tender. Add garlic, beans, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, rosemary, and broth to pan. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Dont let it boil dry, but you don't want too much liquid leftover either. Usually it is all absorbed about the time they are tender anyway. Stir in cream cheese until smooth. Salt and peppers to taste.

Crescent Dough - Press two crescents together to seal the perforation, forming a rectangle. Top with filling and fold pastry (or dough) over to seal. Place on a cookie sheet. Bake it 350 until dough is done.

Bread dough - Roll dough out and cut into rectangles about twice the size you want your pastries. Top with filling and fold over.

This recipe can be adapted to be vegetarian and even vegan with imitation bouillon, olive oil, and tofutti cream cheese

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Rosemary Rice and Edamame

1.5 c. white rice, uncooked
3.5 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp dry rosemary
1 bunch green onions
1 c. cooked, shelled edamame
3 T butter
salt to taste (the amount of salt you add will depend on the saltiness of your broth)
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Trim and wash green onions and thinly slice the white and edible green parts. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add rice and green onions and saute for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until rice is coated and onions are softened. Add broth and rosemary and bring to a boil, then cover the pot and turn the heat down until the pot is at a low simmer. Cook until rice is soft and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Stir in edamame. Serve immediately.

This would be good with a couple of finely diced shallots in place of the green onions, or fava beans or even possibly green baby limas in place of the edamame.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eggplant Pasta Casserole

This is really just an addition to an earlier post but I thought it worth posting this variation. Just leave the cheeses out for a veggie meal.

6 c. cooked pasta
2 can garbanzo beans, drained and lightly mashed
2 c. eggplant sauce
2 oz. mozzerella cheese, cut into tiny cubes (optional)

Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, optional

Toss all together, pour into a greased 9x13 casserole dish and top with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 until heated through. Serve with a salad and garlic bread.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Black Bean Croquettes

I've been experimenting for a while with different black bean patties in the hopes of getting something that could work in a bun. These are still a little too soft to really make a good "bean burger" but they were very tasty sans bread. They could be very good with a tsp. of cumin and oregano added for a more tex-mex flavor.

2 cups cooked black beans, divided in half, with liquid drained and reserved
1 c cooked quinoa (barley or cracked wheat could be an interesting substitute)
1 medium onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 c. bread crumbs, divided in half
1 extra large egg
3/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1-2 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 c. flour
1 tsp paprika
4 T butter
2 T olive oil
salt to taste

Saute onion and garlic in 1 T butter and 2 T olive oil in a small pan (preferably nonstick) over low heat, stirring frequently, until they are very soft and golden-brown.

While the onions and garlic are cooking, puree 1 c. black beans with the egg, 1/2 tsp salt, and Worcestershire sauce. I used an immersion blender but you could use a food processor or even mash them very well. You will want them to be fairly smooth but not runny - use some of the reserved bean liquid if they are too thick to mash properly.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the second cup of whole black beans, quinoa, breadcrumbs, garlic and onions, cheese, and pureed black bean mixture until it is well mixed and is smooth and quite thick. You do not want it to be very stiff just yet, as it will stiffen upon standing, but it should not be runny at all. Add a few more breadcrumbs if necessary and taste for salt, adding more if necessary. Place bowl in the fridge to chill and stiffen for at least one hour.

While mixture is chilling, mix flour, paprika, reserved breadcrumbs, and salt to taste. Once mixture is chilled, form into patties using 2 tablespoonfuls of mixture. Flatten them slightly and dip them in the flour/breadcrumb mixture until they are lightly coated. Melt small amounts of the reserved butter (1 T at a time) in a large nonstick frying pan and cook the patties over medium-low heat until they are a deep golden brown on each side, turning only once. Serve immediately.

Note: Mine were slightly sticky but they held together well enough to get into the pan, and they firmed up quite a bit upon cooking. If they are too firm before you cook them they will end up dry.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pasta Primavera

It's spring! Well, not technically, and there are still 2-ton piles of snow stacked prominently in every parking lot in the city, but Easter candy is on the shelves and it was 45 degrees out today, so I'm calling it. And what better way to celebrate spring than with a vegetarian dish that's named after it?

You can use many different kinds of fresh vegetables in this - sliced red and yellow bell peppers, little mushrooms, etc. Just be sure to dice them into bit sized pieces and saute them so that they're tender to the bite. Have fun!

1/2 lb small pasta shapes (shells, elbows, etc)
2 bunches green onions, sliced thin
1 lb asparagus, tips and 1-2 inches of the stalk sliced into bite-sized pieces (about 1/2 inch)
1/2 c. frozen green peas
3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 tsp Italian herb blend or sweet basil and a dash of rosemary
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can cannelli or other white beans, drained but not rinsed
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. shredded parmesan cheese
4 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
dash cayenne pepper (optional)

While pasta is cooking, saute green onions and asparagus in olive oil in a large frying pan (preferably non-stick) over medium-low heat until they are crisp-tender. Add garlic and saute another 2-3 minutes on low. Add tomatoes, spices, peas, and beans, and heat through. Add cooked, drained, hot pasta, and stir to coat. If it is too soup, continue to simmer for a few minutes on med-low until some liquid has evaporated. Do not get it too dry, you want a sauce on the pasta. Sprinkle with your shredded cheese and cover the pot for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Check out Jules version of Pasta Primavera over here

Southwest Skillet Supper

Think of this as a DIY Hamburger Helper - comfort food that's a lot better for you!

Note: This recipe has the option of adding some ground beef or turkey. Obviously, you'll want to leave it out if you want a vegetarian meal. I rarely use meat in it.

3-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
1 large onion, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can black or pinto beans, drained but not rinsed
1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 lb ground beef or turkey (optional)
1-2 tsp ground cumin
dash cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce (optional)
1/2 c. shredded cheese (mexican blend, cheddar, monterey zack, queso blanco, or some combination of these - it's up to you!)
1/2 lb small pasta - shells, elbow macaroni, etc.
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, saute onion and ground meat (if using) in olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan until onion is soft and meat is cooked through - no pink anywhere. Add garlic and cumin and continue to saute over low heat, stirring frequently, for another 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, corn, and beans and simmer over medium-low heat until some of the tomato liquid has evaporated and mixture is heated through, another 3-5 minutes. You do not want the mixture to get too dry as the tomato-oil-spice mixture is going to be the sauce for the pasta. Once it is heated through, take your cooked, drained pasta and add it to the tomato-bean mixture, stirring to coat. Add your cayenne pepper or tabasco sauce at this point and stir to mix in. Then, turn your heat to low, sprinkle with your shredded cheese (I use about 1/2 c. but you can easily add more cheese if you like lots!), and put a lid on top of the pan for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Roast Vegetables and Beans

3 large baking potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 in. cubes
1 lb. carrots, chopped into 1 inch chunks and quartered if large
3 Tbsp. oil
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, fresh grated is best
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. mozzarella cheese, grated

In a 9x13 baking dish, combine potatoes, carrots, oil, Parmesan, parsley, paprika, garlic, salt and cayenne if using. Bake at 425 for 40 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring once halfway through cooking to re-coat vegetables. Add white kidney beans and stir in. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and bake until beans are warm and cheese is melted or golden brown, depending on how you like it.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mock Tuna or Chicken salad

Really just make your favorite chicken or tuna salad and replace the meat with 3 cans slightly mashed garbanzo beans. I havent ever used vegan mayo so you are on your own there but I have heard good things about Follow your Heart brand from several people on the vegan boards.

3 cans garbanzo beans
1/3 c. Mayo or vegenaise
1/2 tsp. mustard
3 or 4 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 Tbsp dehydrated onion flakes
Mortons natures seasons to taste OR Salt & Pepper

Drain and rinse beans really well. Mash with a fork or a potatoes masher. You want them broken up but not pureed. Combine beans with remaining ingredients.

For chicken salad: Combine scant 2 Tbsp. boiling water and 1 chicken bouillon cube until dissolved, stir into the mayo for a more chicken flavor. Vegetarians use 1/2 of a imitation chicken cube

Economical Counter: (Serves 6, 1 c. servings)
Beans $2.10
Mayo(regular) $0.25
Mustard $0.12
Celery $0.22
Onion $0.12

Total $2.81
Total per serving $0.47

Thats $0.47 for 1 cup of salad!!!

Other tasty additions:
Almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds
Chopped pickles
Anything you like in your regular salad!