Wednesday, February 11, 2009

This week's food ideas

Ok, so I'm going to try this a different way. I'm going to propose a few main recipes, a few sides and one dessert all using or complementing the stuff in the local basket. This will all be things I plan on making or doing with my bounty.

I eat a ton of salads. I eat one almost every day with lunch. I will wash and bag my spinach and greens so that they are ready to place in a tupperware to cart to work. I also put a small bit of spinach in my smoothies each morning. So you won't find a spinach recipe this week. As for those grapefruits i plan on slicing them and adding them to my daily salads. On top of this I might throw in a handful of sliced almonds and a bit of goat cheese.
I don't know about you, but I can't use that whole bunch of cilantro this week so I plan on making it into a compound butter. About an hour before you plan to work take a stick of salted butter out of the fridge to soften. Once it's soft put it in a bowl or in a food processor. take that bunch of cilantro and chop it up as fine as you can. Add this to the butter and mix thoroughly. Once mixed placed it in a pile on a piece of parchment. Now use the parchment to form a log of butter. Stick this, parchment included in a ziploc and freeze. The butter can be used as a topping on corn or just on a slice of toast in the morning, anything you'd normally use butter for. I have a good friend who makes compound butters and then uses them whenever he cooks fish. MMMMM.

Main Dishes:

Tofu Pot Pie

1/4 cup frozen peas
1 yellow onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 lg. red potatoes, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
4 T flour
1 cup veggie broth
3 cups milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz tofu, diced
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 store-bought pastry crust or 1 sheet frozen puff pastry

* Preheat the oven to 300

1. Heat a large skillet or saucepan and add the olive oil.
2. Add the onions and cook on med-low till clear.
3. Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes.
4. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook till soft.
5. Stir in the flour, cooking about three minutes.
6. Whisk in the broth and bring to a simmer.
7. Turn to low and add the mushrooms, milk, tofu and spices.
8. Cook over low until thickened and potatoes are soft.
9. Pour the mixture into a large baking dish.
10. Unroll the pie shell or puff pastry and lay over the dish so that the surface is totally covered. It can drape over the sides, but press it against the dish.
11. Pop in the oven and bake about 15 minutes until the crust is golden.

French Onion Soup courtesy of The Vegetarian Bistro by Marlena Spieler

2 1/2 pounds onion, thinly sliced
3 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
a pinch of sugar
8 cups vegetable stock
6 slices thick bread
3 cups or 12 oz shredded gruyere (or mixed parmesan & gruyere)

1. In a large heavy pot, slowly cook the onions until lightly goldena nd soft, about 30 minutes. Season the onions with salt & pepper and the pinch of sugar to help caramelization.
2. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the broiler.
4. Ladle the soup in 6 bowls and top with a slice of toasted bread. Divide the cheese among the bowls.
5. Place the bowls on sheet trays and broil 3-5 minutes until the cheese is golden.

I don't know about you, but I have a really hard time eating the soup the traditional way. One way to go is to toast the bread and cheese alone and then dip into your soup as you eat it. You could also eliminate the bread altogether and broil the soup with just the cheese on top. And another version would be to have simple grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.

Sweet Potato & Squash Lasagne, adapted from Gardeners' Community Cookbook

1 pound no-bake lasgne noodles
2 med sweet potatoes, peeled & sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
2 T olive oil
1 egg
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t salt
3 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 pound butternut or delicata squash
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

- Preheat the oven to 475*
- Spread the sweet potato slices on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat.
- Bake about 15 minutes until light golden.
- Turn the oven down to 375*
- Mix together the egg, basil, oregano, garlic, salt, ricotta & parmesan cheese.
- Add the squash and mix.
- To assemble lightly oil a 13*9" baking dish.
- Line the bottom with the no-bake noodles.
- Spread 1/2 of the squash mixture on the noodles.
- Add 1/2 of the potatoes.
- Top with half of the mozzarella.
- Repeat.
- Cover with foil and bake about an hour.
- Remove the foil and continue baking until the mozzarella is golden and the mixture is bubbly.
- Cut & serve.

Braised Cabbage with Apple

1/2 large or 1 small cabbage
1 large apple
2 T butter
2 T balsamic vinegar

- Slice the cabbage into thin strips and place in a large pot.
- Peel & grate the apple and add it to the pot.
- Add the butter and the vinegar to the cabbage.
- Cook the cabbage over medium-low heat, stirring often until the cabbage is tender. This should take about 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with salt & pepper and serve.

Kale & Potato Soup

1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, stemmed and cut into 1 inch chunks
1 medium potato, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1/4 cup white cheddar cheese

- Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
- Add the kale and garlic.
- Using tongs turn kale in pan as it wilts, about 6 minutes.
- Add potatoes & stock.
- Lower the heat and simmer, covered until the potatoes are soft.
- Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a standing blender.
- Return the soup to the pot and whisk in the milk and cheese. Season with salt & pepper.

Brussel Sprouts with Walnuts

1 pound brussel sprouts
1 T butter
1/4 cup chopped and toasted walnuts
2 T finely chopped green onion
2 T finely chopped rosemary

- Trim the ends of the sprouts.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add the sprouts and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the butter, walnuts, onion & rosemary into a serving bowl.
- drain the pot and cook the sprouts another minute to evaporate all the water.
- Toss into the serving bowl and serve.

Dark Chocolate Orange Pudding

3 T cornstarh or arrowroot powder
1/3 cup agave syrup or maple syrup (this will change the flavor slightly)
2 T cocoa powder
2 cups milk (soymilk, or coconut milk can be substituted)
1 t vanilla
zest from 2 oranges

- In a pot combine the cornstarch, cocoa & agave.
- Add the milk and whisk.
- Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until it begins to boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer continuously for 3 or 4 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla & zest.
- This can be served warm or it can be poured into serving bowls and chilled until ready to eat.
- For a fancier dessert top each serving with whipped cream and an orange supreme.

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