Monday, June 20, 2011

Red Lentil and Rice Patties with Coconut-Mint Sauce

Another great offering from Susan's Blog
When I saw and read the ingredients on Susan's blog, especially the flavors for the sauce, I just had to try this right away.  The only thing missing was the vegetable broth and the Red Bhutanese rice, but that didn't stop me.  I'm not sure we have that special type of rice around here anyway.

My plated picture of this dish doesn't look half as enticing as Susan's so go to the link above and see her tempting photo along with the recipe. 

I couldn't combine everything like she did.  I cooked the rice separately from the red lentils because I used brown rice instead of the Red Bhutanese rice and it takes longer to cook.  I added the cumin seeds, onion and red pepper flakes to the rice and omitted the salt while the red lentils cooked.   They were added to the rice, once they cooled.  I used 2 tablespoons of corn starch rather than one.  Another thing I'll do differently next time I make these is to add extra red pepper flakes for a little more kick.

I didn't use the oil for frying, I baked the patties instead.  I sprayed a little olive oil on the baking sheet and baked them at 350 for 20 minutes on one side and turned them over and baked for another 20 minutes.

They were just beginning to brown and had a nice crusty texture and a soft middle.  They hold together pretty well, but be gentle with them so they don't fall apart.

The picture above right is before baking, while the picture to the left is afterwards.  You can see have a nice lightly toasted appearance.

For the sauce:

I toasted the coconut in a pan on the stove.  I used one spray of Braggs Liquid Aminos which equals 1/2 teaspoon instead of  1 teaspoon of soy. sauce .  Also instead of 1/4 cup vegetable broth I used water because I didn't happen to have any in the pantry. 

I also cooked the rice and lentils in the morning and allowed them to come to room temperature while I ran some errands which broke up the preparation time.  Later in the afternoon it was easy to throw the patty ingredients together, form the patties and pop them in the oven.  I also prepared the sauce while cooking the rice and lentils.

This rice/lentil patty recipe goes to the top of my list for deliciousness.  The other recipe that tops my list of favorites is the recipe before this one; Quinoa And Collards With Chili-Lime Tofu.  And one of the reasons for both of them being a favorite is the bold-flavor sauces used in the recipes.  Number three would have to be the Vindaloo Vegetables which you will also find at Susan's website.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quinoa and Collards with Chili-Lime Tofu

Quinoa and Collards With Chili-Lime Tofu

1 cup quinoa - rinsed well and drained in a fine mesh sieve.  I catch the water underneath the quinoa so I can catch the water to see when the water turns clear.

Zest of 1 small lime
2 cups cold water

Combine ingredients in a saucepan.  Cover, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes and remove from heat.  I take one cup of the quinoa and store in refrigerator or freeze for another use.

Sauce for the tofu:

2 tablespoons date sugar
6 tablespoons water
1-2 teaspoon braggs liquid aminos
1/4 cup lime juice
Zest of one large lime
1/2- 1  teaspoon red chili flakes
2 clove garlic minced
3 teaspoons onion flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 mint leaves chiffonaded plus extra for garnish if desired

1 block extra-firm tofu

While quinoa is cooking, combine all ingredients except for the tofu and whisk well to dissolve date sugar. Set aside.

Drain the tofu.  I gently squeeze to release some of the water content and pat dry with some paper towel.  It's not necessary to add heavy weight and let it set for a while like other recipes do.  Cooking the tofu will do that for you.

Next, cut  the tofu into 8 rectangles.  Cut the rectangles in half.  You'll have 16 squares.  Cut each square diagonally both ways to get 4 triangles per square.

Dry cook tofu in a 10" or larger skillet in one layer.  Keep an eye on the tofu so it doesn't burn.  I cooked it on medium-high heat.  I cooked my tofu in a cast-iron skillet and  a non-stick skillet.  The non-stick worked best.  I guess it's time to re-season my cast iron.

As it cooks, the tofu sort of forms a toasty outside and you'll end up with a crunchy texture which is nice.  Flip the tofu and cook the other side until lightly browned.  This should take about 10-15 minutes.  When finished, take off heat and set the tofu aside while preparing and cooking the collards.

The way I normally eat collards is to add frozen collards to my morning green smoothie with kale or romaine, strawberries, blueberries, frozen banana, flax and some soy milk.  I was convinced I wouldn't like it so I masked the flavor with all the other foods I like.

So this is my first time buying fresh collards and my first time cooking them as well.

When I saw the collards at my local food co-op this week, I thought they looked so beautiful sitting there in the produce section.  I quickly reached for the green jewels before anyone else caught a glimpse of them.  They looked like they might have been freshly picked right from someone's garden and displayed in the produce case just for me.  :)   I feel like I've hit the jackpot for quality and taste.

Trying out new recipes in the past when first becoming a nutritarian, I have been so disappointed and have even thrown some of the disasters in the trash if they were too awful to eat.  It took a while to like this new way of eating.  Quite some time in fact.

So, I was apprehensive and not sure I'd like the collards, but this is a keeper.   My favorites list is expanding nicely.  :)   I like to give credit where credit is due, but I found this recipe online at five or six different websites. Who knows, there may be more. I've made a few changes to the recipe like omitting salt to make it a little more nutritious.  I left out a couple of seasonings and added one or two or my own as well.  If you'd like to know what I've left out, add and comment and I'll let you know.

1 bunch collards rinsed, stems removed
2-3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lime juice

Stack the collard leaves 3 or 4 at a time depending on size of the collards and what's comfortable for you.  Roll the collards tightly like you would a cigarette or cigar, and then slice the them into ribbons.  
Afterwards, rough chop the collards to make smaller pieces.  Then add them to a non-stick pan with the water and lime juice.  Add extra water or lime juice if you need too.

Cook the collards on medium- high heat covered for 3-5 minutes keeping an eye on them.  You want them steamed and tender enough to eat, but watch them;  I almost burned mine while attending to the tofu, so you may want to give  them your undivided attention instead of trying to multitask like I did.

While collards are steaming, add the tofu back to it's pan and heat through on medium-high heat.  Add the sauce that you set aside and stir to coat the tofu.  This only takes a minute or two.  Turn off the heat when sauce bubbles and remove pan from burner.

The aroma on the lime and spices play with your taste buds and it's time for plating and eating.  I couldn't wait and had to take a test-bite first.  Luscious, delightful, delectable!  Can't wait to eat this again.

The quinoa goes first at the bottom of your serving dish.  Next add the collards and top it off with the tofu chile-lime glaze mixture. 

If you'd like, you can garnish with lime slices and mint leaves if you'd like more of those flavors.  This will serve four smaller portions or if your following Eat To Live, you'll serve this with a nice sized supper salad or a smaller sized salad for lunch.  If I were to eat it by itself, it would be enough for 2 servings.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Asparagus and Mushroom Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

I am a fond subscriber to Susan's blog: as well as her website:

I prepared this quiche and I love it so much that I had to share it with you.  It's so flavorful that it's become a new favorite of mine.  I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I did.

The only change I made to Susan's recipe was to add some red pepper flakes and since I didn't have shallots, I used a small amount of onion.  I have enough ingredients left over and may make this again when  I finish it up.  It's quite addicting!  :)

I cooked some brown rice the night before and refrigerated it for the next days use. That way you don't have to wait 45 minutes for the rice to cook before you can begin.   I prepared a cup dry which makes enough for two recipes.

I found some nice asparagus at Albertson's.  As you look for yours, you'll want to pass over the thin spears -  you don't want the really thick ones either.  Here's a picture of the size I bought so you'll know what to look for.

As you follow the cooking directions, less liquid is better as you saute the veggies.  The amount of water seems like such a small amount, but it really is plenty.  Once the vegetables begin to cook, they'll give off some liquid of their own as well.

As I was waiting for the veggies to cook, I was imagining what other vegetables I could use in the recipe.  Funny how one's mind wanders like that.  :) Spinach would be good and so would chopped kale.  I love to get plenty of greens in my dishes.  Broccoli would be another good choice, or carrots and peas...........the list is endless really.  If you use your favorites, you'll be making this dish many times over.

When I mixed the sauce and vegetables together, I added it to the pan instead of the baking dish as the recipe recommends.  I felt I could get a better blending that way and also keep the dish I'm cooking the quiche in from having some of the sauce sloshed all over the sides. You can do it the way she suggests, I'm just mentioning it because I found it to be easier this way. 

Click on the link above (the name of the recipe) and it will take you to Susan's recipe and her beautiful photos of this wonderful delicious creation.  While you're there, take some time to check out some of her other recipes.  I've tried many and have been happy with most of them.   I'm thinking I'll probably be posting more of her recipes from her blog here.  They will be ones that I've already tried and I'll show pictures of the recipe like I did with this one.

The cut portion serves well without sticking. I have a very small, metal spatula with a beveled edge that I used and it worked perfect.  I did use her recommendation to spray the pie dish with oil. 

The quiche serves four, but I cut it into thirds because I wanted more. :)  This is the type of recipe that is great for breakfast. lunch or supper.
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

An Easy Throw Together Meal

I had a few vegetables in the crisper, but not the right ones for the recipe I wanted to make.  So I decided to take what I had and come up with a simple throw-together meal.
I normally take pictures as I go along and also take one with the recipe plated.  I didn't really think that this would amount to much, but it actually was quite tasty. 

A friend of mine who is a SAD eater was not feeling well, so I went to visit with her for an hour and decided to bring her some of my stir fry.  I really didn't think she'd like it, but she did.  I was pretty surprised and she didn't add any salt like I thought she would.  So the reason I'm posting this is because of my friend who raved about this recipe.  I thought if she liked it maybe some of you would who are use to eating nutritarianly.   :)

Steamed Cabbage and Simple Vegetable Stir Fry

1/2 small green cabbage, cut into wedges

1 large onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large red bell pepper, sliced

8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced

1 cup frozen peas

1 15 oz. can drained and rinsed kidney beans (or beans of your choice)

No-sodium spike

Chili powder

Water for sauteing

Steam cabbage low heat while cooking stir fry. Watch it for desired doneness. I like mine a little al'dente. I like my veggies in the stir fry a little crunchy too so if you like your veggies cooked well, you'll need to stirfry a little longer than I did.  When cabbage is done, remove from heat and leave in pan until stirfry is finished to keep warm.  Sprinkle chili powder and spike seasoning to taste.

Water saute onion slices and allow to caramelize. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add red bell pepper and mushrooms and stir fry 1-2 more minutes. Add a small amounts of water as needed. Add peas and kidney beans. Stir to allow peas to thaw. Upon serving, sprinkle with chili powder and spike seasoning to taste. Simple and delicious!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Great Northern Cream of Tomato Soup with Chopped Kale

I've tried a few different tomato soups and even made my own.  I still wanted something different and I took ideas from a few different recipes and combined it with one of my own. 

I was also tired of adding soy milk to everything.  Not that I don't enjoy the flavor, it's just after a while, everything begins to have that same base flavor.

So here's what I came up with and it's the best tasting I've had so far.  I'm sure there are other tomato soup recipes that are just as good and even better.

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 carrots, chopped
1/4 cup V8 juice, low sodium
3 lbs. roma tomatoes halved
2 cups water
1 cup V8 juice, low sodium
*2 Tablespoons tomato powder - recipe below
 1/2 cup chia seeds
1 jar roasted red peppers with liquid
3 cups white northern beans
fresh basil to taste
fresh garlic chives to taste
3 large kale leaves, chopped
Black pepper to taste or crushed red pepper flakes

In a large dutch oven pot, saute the onion, garlic and carrots in  the 1/4 cup V8 juice a little at a time as if you are water sauteing stirring and adding the V8 for about 8 minutes on med/high heat.

Add the halved tomatoes to the pot with the water, the 1 cup V8 juice and the tomato powder.  Simmer on low until they cook down and some of the liquid has cooked off, at least an hour.

Add the soup to the vitamix and blend with the chia seeds and roasted red peppers.  Only fill the blender half way when blending hot soup.  The chia seeds add to the creaminess and also work nicely as a thickener.  If you find your soup is too thick, add a little more V8 or water.

Add the northern beans.  You could use any bean really.  I'm going to make this soup again this week and try it with pinto beans for variation and use the crushed red pepper.  I'll probably top the soup with some chopped avocado at serving. 

Chiffonade the kale after removing the stems.  Then chop as you would parsley and add to the soup.  Upon serving add some fresh basil and chives.

Let me know if you try some other variations.

*Tomato Powder

My food co-op sells sun-dried tomatoes in small plastic bag.  I dumped the contents into my vitamix and blended away and the results are a nice tomato powder.  Store in a container for future use.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An abundance of pears!

I was given around 40 pears .........what a wonderful blessing.  Most were already ripe, some weren't.  I had to think fast about what I was going to do with all that delicious fruit.

After eating a couple, I knew they'd go bad before we were able to finish them off, so I thought about making a cake with them.  But then there would still be most of them left.

So I decided to return to the drawing board.  Applesauce came to mind and I thought, "why not pearsauce?"  So I peeled half of them, cored and chopped away and threw them in a pan.  I  cooked them down and decided to leave them in pieces rather than sauce them.

I added spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice.  I used mostly cinnamon with a dash of  the others.  Wow, so yummy!!!  Dh loved it and you don't add sugar.  They have plenty of their own.  We've eaten it as is and it's a delicious dessert.

A couple days later I rolled some in a tortilla.  Wow, that almost tasted like I was eating a pear pie, similar to the SAD pies like you get at the fast food places.  I heated the tortilla so that it was a little crunchy.  My next try will be half of a whole wheat pita stuffed with some pearsauce.  I make the pita crunchy by throwing it in the toaster for hummus, so that's what I'll do for the pearsauce too.

This turned out to be a simple delicious dessert.  And it's a nice change from fruit smoothies or fruit ice cream from the VitaMix.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Chocolate-Blueberry Cake

I meant to take a picture of this cake, but after baking I couldn't wait to try it, so picture-taking took a back seat.  I'll have to make it again and add a picture later.

Those who eat SAD (Standard American Diet) will love this healthy fact I'm sure you'll all fall in love with it. And especially if you're a chocolate lover, you've got to try this recipe.  Even my dh loved it!

So click on the link and you'll be convinced just by the picture this is a decadent-delicious cake dessert.

For those following E2L closely and don't allow themselves maple syrup or agave, I found a recipe for date syrup.   It's a recipe I've seen posted in a couple different places and I'm not sure who to give the credit to.

Date Syrup (Iraq)

(12 servings)

    * 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
    * 1 cup water
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

In  a medium saucepan, bring water and dates to a boil. Reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add vanilla and simmer for an  additional 5 minutes.

Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.  Place mixture in a blender with the cinnamon. Pulse until smooth and  completely blended.

Store in a sealed container in your refrigerator. Warm the syrup before using.

I used maple syrup, but want to try the date syrup next time I bake it.