Tag Archives: garlic

My Heart is

Squash and Beet Risotto 

squash_beet_risotto

Yep – winter is here and I’m already ready for spring.  Temperatures have been unusually cold, dipping in to single digits when wind chill is included which is just way too cold for mid-November.   However this is the perfect time to just stay in the kitchen and experiment with new-to-me ingredients and all sorts of flavor profiles.  Or throw a bunch of random vegetables in to a dish and see what happens – which is what happened here.  I had a bit of delicata squash left, along with two candy-stripped beets, and half a vidalia onion.  So I went for a random grain, in this case arborio rice, and started chopping!

Beet and Squash Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup delicata squash, peeled and chopped (reserve any seeds)
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 small beets, peeled and sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a 2qt sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes, or until the garlic starts to turn golden.
  2. Meanwhile heat the vegetable stock in a small pot over medium heat, ideally should be at a strong simmer but not boiling.
  3. Add the rice to the garlic onion mixture, stir well, and then add the white wine and milk. Allow rice to soak up the milk and wine, stirring to prevent sticking. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add the vegetable stock in 1/2 cup increments, allowing the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. After adding 2 cups, add the chopped squash along with a 1/2 cup of liquid.
  4. In a small saute pan, heat up the remaining olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the fresh herbs and cook for 1 minute before adding the beet slices. Cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally to prevent them from burning.
  5. The risotto is ready when it no longer absorbs any liquid. Remove from heat and stir for about 3 minutes, then fold in the beet slices. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

When using a diary free milk, make sure to grab plain/unsweetened for this dish.

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/my-heart-is.html

In order to avoid a pink blob, I held off on adding the beets until the last possible moment.  Not only did this ensure they were super crispy, but it also gave the squash an opportunity to shine on its own.  In the future I would most likely going for a strong squash, acorn perhaps, but there is something to be said about the subtle taste of delicata.   I enjoyed my risotto topped with a bit of pepper, while Joe was more traditional and went for the Parmesan cheese.

Want me Baby

Butternut Squash Lasagna

butternut_squash_lasagna

I’m not a fan of fall weather, even more so when it comes to the season after fall, but I am a fan of many of the vegetables that pop up during these chilly months.  From the winter squashes, to the greens, to the delicious root vegetables – the fall is well stocked with delicious vegetables. Today’s treat features a number of those goodies, including some of the last of the produce from the Farmer’s Market at my office.  Butternut Squash is a familiar vegetable in our house and it really seems to go with everything.  In this case I added some swiss chard, baby kale, and some mashed pie pumpkin (thought the variety was called baby boy but that just resulted in lots of baby costumes) that was leftover from making the pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.

Want me Baby

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of lasagna noodles (ready to use or pre-cooked)
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups favorite alfredo sauce
  • 1 cup ricotta, divided
  • 1 1/3 cup mozzarella, divided (shredded or fresh sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a roasting pan and place butternut squash in roasting pan cut side down. Bake for 45 minutes. Flip squash in pan cut side up and use a melon spoon, or fork, to remove flesh to a blender. Add garlic and butter and puree until slightly smooth.
  2. Turn oven down to 350
  3. Line the bottom of a 9x9 pan with a 1/3 cup of the sauce and spread around, to include the sides of the pan. Place the first layer of noodles, trimming as needed to prevent overlap. Spoon 1/3 of the butternut squash and pumpkin purees on the noodle. Then top with a third of the greens, 1/3 cup of ricotta, and 1/3 of the Mozzarella. Spoon 1/3 cup of the sauce on top and spread evenly.
  4. Add the next layer of noodles and repeat the layers, then top with the final layer - ending with noodles. Top with the last of the sauce, then the last of the mozzarella (1/3 cup) and the Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, the cheese should be a light golden brown on the edge and the cheese should be bubbling.

Notes

If using cubed butternut squash, reduce roasting time to 15 minutes and flip at halfway point. For a GF variety, use brown rice lasagna noodles!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/want-me-baby.html

Lasagna will never be a healthy dinner option, and it’s not always the most budget-friendly option, but it will always be something delicious and hearty and fantastic.  I figured that if I only make it a few times a year it’s not that bad…right???  I’m sending this recipe over to November’s Secret and in Season, which is being hosted by Katie of FeedingBoys and was founded by the awesome Ren.   There are so many delicious fall recipes being linked up over there, I can’t wait to give them a whirl!!!

Having Fun

Fava Bean Soup

fava_bean_stew

I don’t willingly watch horror movies – this is a fact long established and reinforced after various events during my college years.  So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a horror movie for an inspiration, I thought about “cheating” by making some gory dessert thing and saying I was inspired by The Saw or I Know What you did Last Summer or some other horror flick thing.  Then I decided to get serious and consider the various “thriller” style movies that I do enjoy, such as Cabin in the Woods and Silence of the Lambs.  From there I was between doing a red wine dish (CitW) or something with fava beans, and in the end fava beans won out.  There is something so iconic about that moment in SotL and while liver will never appear on this blog, fava beans are certainly welcome!  I wanted to have a nod to the Chianti as well as the general feel of the movie, so I decided a chunky red tomato stew would be perfect.

Having Fun

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry fava beans, well rinsed
  • 3.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  2. Add the fava beans along with the vegetable stock, red wine, and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, and keep boiling for two minutes.
  3. Turn down to a simmer, then add the bay leaf and pepper and cover. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.
  4. Season to taste with pepper - Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/having-fun.html

This is one of those dishes that really benefits from being cooked for a long time, in fact it’s generally best at lunch the following day.  It can also be converted for the slow cooker, cooking on low for 8 hours before turning to high for 30 minutes.  For the ultimate results serve with some crusty bread that can help soak up all the tomato goodness

Get Better

Poblano Mac & Cheese

poblano_mac_cheese

First Monday of November – and with that time for the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was sent out of the US and south of the border to check out Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie blog which is packed full of spicy traditional dishes.  I’m a huge fan of spicy food, and over time my husband has also grown to appreciate the delicious  that comes from a good pepper.  Leslie’s blog had so many delicious treats to pick from, and more than a fair number of them used ingredients or techniques that were new to me – which are my favorite dishes to pick!  In the end I decided to go with one that had a new ingredient as well as a new technique – as a bonus it’s a technique that wouldn’t have worked at my old place with our electronic stove.  So enough teasing – time to share her incredible Poblano Mac & Cheese which made enough for a fantastic dinner and a tasty lunch the next day.  I had to a make a small change due to allergies but since her recipe was already vegetarian perfection it was only the lime/cilantro that had to go away.  I used wasabi arugula from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm but any variety would work – just figured the added spice would fit right in!

Get Better

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 poblano chiles
  • 8 oz. elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1-3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula, chopped
  • 12 oz. grated Manchego

Instructions

  1. Roast the poblano peppers directly over an open flame until the skin is charred and blistering. Place the peppers in a plastic bag and seal for 5 minutes. Remove the skin, and then seed and dice. Set Aside
  2. Cook the pasta per instructions on box until al dente. Rinse and remove to a lightly oiled casserole dish.
  3. Preheat oven to 350
  4. Melt the better in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the garlic, cook for 5 minutes. Add in the flour and stir until well combined, then slowly whisk in the milk. Cook until thick, around 7 minutes, then add the spices along the pepper and arugula.
  5. Turn off heat, and slowly stir in half the cheese. Once melted stir in to the pasta, then top the pasta with the remaining cheese.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes - then serve and enjoy!

Notes

Manchego cheese was a pain in the arse to locate at my grocery store but well worth it - that stuff was AMAZING!

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/get-better.html

I also bookmarked another handful of dishes for the future, most of which will need to wait until next summer when fresh tomatoes are available.  The first on the list are her entomatados with the rajas con crema close behind.  So many amazing dishes to try – a few of which I had never even heard of!  Needless to say this SRC was another smashing success.

Counting Seconds

Plov: Vegetarian Style

Plov

Sometimes I make a dish with no idea what is going to happen at the end – to include if it will even be edible.  I had heard of Plov before, thanks to Silk Road Bistro, but wanted to make it more of a main dish without the standard lamb.   Lots of googling gave me a good list of vegetables to start with: carrots, onions, and garlic  – along with the addition of some variety of currant.  When it came to the main protein all I knew is that I didn’t want to go with tofu, I wanted something with a firm bite to it as a contrast to the soft vegetables.  I decided to go with chickpeas since their origins in Turkey led me to believe they would have easily spread to the Central Asia region that I was focusing on for this dish.

Counting Seconds

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp coriander
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander and cook for 1 minute before adding the onion and garlic.
  2. Continue cooking the onion and garlic for 15 minutes, the onion should start to caramelize and the garlic should be a rich golden color. Add the rice and stir, until coated in the oil then add the water.
  3. Bring the water to a boil then cover and turn heat to simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then add the chickpeas and recover.
  4. Cook for a final 5 minutes then stir in the cranberries and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/counting-seconds.html

Another thanks to /r/52weeksofcooking for sending me on another delicious food journey – I’ve learned so much in doing these weekly challenges and can’t wait til the next one! Though of all the dishes I’ve made for this challenge, this one is easily in the top 5 as the ingredients are all standard ones making it super easy to prepare.  Ever since Wegmans added cranberries to their bulk food section I’ve had a fresh supply in my pantry – and while they aren’t burberries they are delicious.