Red Lentil Dal

I have a significant other who loves Indian food.  Loves!  I don’t love it.  Every time we have an opportunity to have a date night, his first suggestion is any Indian restaurant in town.  I almost always decline.  I do start to feel guilty about it, though, and when I ran across this Red Lentil Dal in The Happy Herbivore, I thought it would be a nice gesture.  Would you believe that I love it, too!?

Red Lentil Dal

from The Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Nixon

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 T. ground ginger

1/2 c. dried red lentils

2 c. vegetable broth

1 chopped tomato, with juices

3 oz. tomato paste

1 T. ground coriander

2 tsp garam masala

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

cayenne, to taste

Line a medium pot with 1/2 c. water and cook onions and garlic until transluscent.

Add turmeric, cumin ,paprika, and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes, adding water if necessary to prevent sticking or burning.

Add lentils, broth, tomato, tomato paste, and coriander, stirring to combine.

Bring to a buil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are cooked and orange-ish.

Add garam masala, stirring to combine, and let rest 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper and cayenne.

*Nutritional Information:  Calories 134, Total Fat 0.7, Cholesterol 0, Total Carbs 25.5, Dietary Fiber 9,3, Protein 7.0g.

We ladled ours over a bed of cooked brown rice and it was truly delicious~

red lentil dal

Vegan stuffing and “sausage”

If you haven’t tried Field Roast sausages yet, you are missing out.  Our favorite so far is the Smoked Apple Sage which is just plain amazing.  Tonight I took it out of the casing, sliced it in to rounds and sauteed them with a little bit of olive oil until they were browned and getting a little crisp.  Mouthwatering delicious and between these and some of the traditional sausages I used to eat, there is no contest.  I’d pick this anyday!

I’m also love, love, loving my Happy Herbivore cookbook lately and Nixon’s Traditional Stuffing recipe was the perfect complement to the Field Roast Smoked Apple Sage sausage.

Traditional Stuffing

6 c. cubed whole wheat bread ( I left mine out overnight)

1 1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp dried parsley

1 1/2 tsp dried basil

1 1/2 tsp powdered sage

1 large onion, chopped

4 celery sticks, chopped

1 c. No Chicken Broth

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Preheat oven to 350* and lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan.  Set aside.

Transfer bread cubes to a plastic bag.  Spray once or twice with cooking spray, add herbs and toss for a minute.  ( I actually did this in a large mixing bowl so as not to use a plastic bag, but whatever works).

Open bag and re-spray once or twice, then seal it and shake gently until cubes are evenly coated.  Set aside.  (Again, I did this in a bowl, so I put part of the bread crumbs in, sprayed, sprinkled the herbs, then added more bread, sprayed, sprinkled, etc.)

Cook celery and onion in 1/2 c. of water (I used the No Chicken Broth for this step), over medium heat until celery is soft, onion is transluscent and most of the water (broth) has evaporated; about 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl and combine with bread cubes.

Stir to combine, then transfer to prepared pan.

Drizzle with 1/4 c. broth or less.  (I used 1/2 c. because 1/4 didn’t seem like quite enough).

Bake for 30 minutes, checking every 10 minutes and adding more No Chicken Broth as needed to prevent stuffing from drying out.

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Now, you may think this sounds like an Autumnal sort of dish, but I can assure you….it’s delish any time of year.

Stuffing

Nutritional Info (Stuffing Only):  Recipe serves 8.  Calories 115, Cal from Fat 13, Total Fat 1.4g, Cholesterol 0, Total Carb 20, Dietary Fiber 3.3, Sugars 3.4, Protein 6.7

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I have a girl in my life who loves scones or any baked goods she can get her little 3-year old hands on.  I will buy her one periodically on our way through Starbucks or if she’s good at the grocery store, but honestly, I don’t feel great about either option, knowing they are loaded with fat and sugar and who knows what else.

I love the Happy Herbivore and recently got Nixon’s cookbook.  She’s got a great recipe for Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins that are a hit with both Sophie and myself, and they are the perfect on-the-go breakfast as I’m off to class.  Oh, and no one would believe it’s only 123 calories!

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 c. rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger, or to taste  (I happened to have a gingerroot in my hand so I used fresh and it was perfect.  Probaby about a tsp)

1 c. unsweetened applesauce (The only applesauce on hand was organic cinnamon.  It worked just fine)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

3/4 c. frozen wild blueberries

 

Preheat oven to 350*.  Grease or spray muffin tin or paper liners, if using.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices together until well-blended.

Add applesauce, sugar, and maple syrup and stir until mostly combined.

Add blueberries, stirring until just combined.

Spoon into muffin cups, 3/4 full.

Sprinkle additional oats or brown sugar on top if desired.  (I did a tiny amt of both)

Bake for 18-25 min, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  (20  min was perfect for my oven)

Transfer to a wire rack for cooling.

Blueberry Muffin

 

Nutritional Information:  Cal 123, Calories from fat 5, Total Fat 0.5, Cholesterol 0, Total Carbs 27, Dietary Fiber 2.4, Sugars 12, Proteins 2.1.

Vegan Minestrone & Crostini with Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip

The title sounds all crazy and challenging, but really…it was just dinner.  A dinner that involved a little chopping and a little blending, but no big deal.  In the end we had a beautiful, healthy, filling, home cooked vegan dinner and that feels good.

The minestrone is based on a recipe I found here.   I changed it up a little, but not much.  Here’s the scoop on the soup:

Minestrone Soup Serves 4

Olive Oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can stewed tomatoes  (15 oz)

6 baby carrots, diced

6 c. vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

1/2 tsp celery salt

1 c. small shell macaroni

2 c. kale, chopped

Salt to taste

1/2 c. frozen peas

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

2 T. fresh rosemary, chopped

1/4 c. red wine

1 T. balsamic vinegar

Black Pepper

Add a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot that has a lid.  Heat oil and add onions.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.  In the last minute of cooking, add the garlic.

Add the tomatoes to the onions and garlic and simmer for another 4-5 minutes.  Add the carrot and the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the bay leaves, and celery salt cook until the carrots begin to soften.  Add the wine and the kale.  Then add pasta and garbanzo beans and stir often.

Add salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Simmer, uncovered, until the pasta is cooked.  Add the peas and the balsamic vinegar.  Stirl.  Turn off heat, add fresh herbs.  Stir again.  Ladle in to bowls.  If you aren’t concerned about the vegan status of the dish, some fresh parmesan grated on top is delicious, too, but completely unnecessary.

Here’s mine, simmering away and smelling scrumptious…

Soup

In the meantime, I was also working on the toasted bread with white bean spread.  Grab a baguette from a local bakery, and slice it up.  Put it on a baking sheet, rub or brush a little olive oil on to it, and pop it in the oven at around 425 until it begins to get lightly browned on the edges.  Take it out and top it with some dollops of this yumminess that I found here.  I love her stuff, by the way….

Roasted Garlic White Bean Dip (from Kitchy Kitchen)

2 cups cannelini beans (canned or cooked)
1/2 cup reserved liquid (from cooking or the can)
1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped
1 head, roasted garlic
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
To roast garlic, cut the top off of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.  Wrap in aluminum foil and roast in a 425 F oven for 45 minutes, or until tender and golden brown.
In a food processor or blender (I used my regular old blender), combine the beans, rosemary, roasted garlic, and balsamic until pureed.  To make the texture looser, add a little liquid a little at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste.

beandip

And so, dinner was complete.  Packed with the superfoods of kale and garlic, I’m sure this dinner could cure anything.  Maybe.  Since I have a decent cold right now, I’ll keep ya posted on that….

Gooey Goodness Bars

photo

I found this recipe on Pinterest about 15 minutes ago.  They looked good but I wanted to try something a little different.  I attempted granola bars instead of cookies and they came out really good.  You can add whatever you like or even follow the 2 ingredient recipe that I linked.  You can’t really mess up here.

Gooey Goodness Bars (named by Chloe)

1-2 cups Muesli

2 ripes bananas

1/4 cup Craisins

1/4 cup Chocolate chips

Directions:

Mash banana in bowl and stir in muesli or oats.  Stir in extra ingredients of choice (mine were craisins and chocolate chips).  Flatten mixture on a greased cookie sheet.

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Bake at 350* for 15 minutes.  Flip tray over onto wire rack and let cool.  Place cutting board on top of wire rack, flip again, and slice into bars.  They are on the gooey side, and they aren’t super sweet, but the kid loves them and I can’t argue with that.

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Teriyaki Chicken with Spinach

chicken

The Man chose this meal.  It seemed too simple, too bland.  He found it in Men’s Health 1001 Muscle Meals.  I was pleasantly surprised that something so simple could still be quite the satisfying meal.  Honestly, I was worried that I wouldn’t like it so I may have served up a loaf of rosemary bread with olive oil for dipping as an appetizer.

Anyways, it was good, super healthy, and a quick meal to fix.  All three of us enjoyed it and it will probably become a bi-weekly meal.

Teriyaki Chicken

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving: 201 calories, 29 g protein, 8 g carb, 5.5 g fat, 657 mg sodium

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 1/2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp tomato paste

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

A few sprinkles of garlic powder

1 tsp toasted sesame seeds (optional)

*If you have more than 4 thighs then you should double the sauce*

Directions:

Heat broiler to high.  Put soy sauce, honey, garlic powder and tomato paste in medium bowl and stir together.

Add chicken and turn to coat all surfaces.

Place chicken on foil lined pan under broiler.

Cook chicken until well browned, about 8 minutes.  Flip and brown the other side until cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Spinach:

12 oz fresh spinach, stems removed

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp sesame seeds

Directions:

Heat broiler.  Cut an 18″x18″ square of foil.  Spray with oil.

Put spinach on foil, spray with oil, and toss with salt.  Fold over and seal edges to form a well sealed pouch.

Cook until wilted, about 10 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper and top with sesame seeds.

 

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Muesli Cookies

I was craving something sweet but healthy.  This recipe seemed to do the trick.  Not mind-blowing, but they satisfied a craving.  Recipe can be found on a package of Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

6 oz chocolate chips (I used mini chips and a bit less)

3/4 cup brown sugar

2/3 cup applesauce

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup Old Country Style Muesli

Directions:

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Blend applesauce, sugar and vanilla together. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture and mix. Stir in Muesli and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes.
Makes 24 cookies.
Nutritional Info: 2 cookies.  Cal: 190.  Fat: 6g.  Protein: 3g.  Sugar: 23g.  Fiber: 3g.
cooks

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

I make this dish weekly.  Pete loves to bring it to work for a morning snack to hold him over and I love a big bowl of it for lunch.  Tonight I put it on top of some guacamole and made a burrito which was very tasty.  I’ve also done this before with some leftover shredded chicken and that was great as well.  You can add whatever you like to this recipe.  I always add cherry tomatoes, but diced avocado, corn, or chickpeas would be a nice addition too.  I also prefer to use a shallot instead of green onion.

Southwestern Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Red Bell Pepper, and Cilantro.  Recipe courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen.
Makes 4-6 servings

Salad Ingredients: 
3/4 cup quinoa (rinsed if needed, check the package)
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1 red bell pepper, chopped into small dice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Dressing Ingredients:
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground ancho chile pepper(or use regular chile powder if you don’t have Ancho)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

Check the quinoa package to see if it needs to be rinsed (it often does) and rinse in a fine-mesh strainer if needed.  Combine quinoa, water, and salt and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered for 15 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff quinoa with a fork and let it cool while you prep other ingredients.

Drain the beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water, until no more foam appears.  Let beans drain until they are quite dry (or pat dry with paper towels if you want to speed it up.)

Cut out the stem and remove seeds from the red bell pepper and cut into very small dice (about the size of the black beans.)  Slice the green onions into thin slices and wash, dry, and chop the cilantro.

When the quinoa is fairly cool, combine quinoa, black beans, diced red bell pepper, and sliced green onion in a bowl.  Add enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients.  (You probably won’t need all the dressing, but save the extra to stir into any leftover salad that’s been in the fridge.)  Gently stir in the chopped cilantro and serve.

This keeps very well in the fridge for several days.  The salad absorbs the dressing when it’s refrigerated, so it’s best with a little more dressing stirred in when you’re eating the leftover salad.

PicMonkey Collage

Harvest Sweet Potato Soup

Simple and delicious and most importantly in the dead of winter, warming!

Harvest Sweet Potato Soup

Originally found here at Taste of Home.  With a few tweaks, I made it my own.

1 1/2 c. chopped celery

1 c. chopped onion

1 T. olive oil

3 farily large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed

6 c. vegetable broth (or chicken)

2 bay leaves

1 T. dried basil

S&P to taste

  • In a Dutch oven, saute celery and onion in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Discard bay leaf. Cool slightly. In a blender, process soup in batches until smooth. Return all to pan and heat through. 
  • Serves 6

One 1-cup serving (prepared with reduced-sodium broth and without salt) equals 133 calories, 5 g fat (0 saturated fat), 4 mg cholesterol, 116 mg sodium, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 4 g protein.

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I served it with a side Harvest Salad just like Kate’s except with almonds and feta.

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley

I once dreamt of a cookbook full of color photos for every single recipe, maybe even step by step photos.  And then Pinterest came along and all my dreams came true.  Really though, it is the greatest thing to happen to the internet, in my opinion.  My menu and palate have forever changed.

This shrimp recipe is one of my favorites because it can be served so many different ways.  If I’m feeling generous, I give it to my family as an appetizer to nibble on while I cook the main course.  Tonight, I served it with rice and broccoli.  Simple and delicious.  My favorite way to serve it is Mexican style, either in a tortilla with some salsa verde and avocado or placed on top of a tostito cup filled with guacamole. Yum!  If you are a pasta fan, it would be great with a lemony, buttery pasta as well.

The little bit of red pepper it calls for does add some heat so if you are making it for the kids you might want to half it.  Chloe likes the heat so I follow the recipe.

Spicy Shrimp with Garlic and Parsley courtesy of Cooking Melangery

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 5 Tbs. olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 Tbs. dry white wine
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
Directions:

In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and paprika and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.

Increase the heat to high, add the shrimp, lemon juice and dry white wine, stir well, and sauté until the shrimp turn pink and are opaque throughout, about 3-5 minutes.

Season with salt and black pepper, sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

shrimp