Hope you all had a great weekend.
Today we start a Vegetarian Week Challenge. I asked my meat loving husband to join me and eat meat free for a week. While he didn’t receive the idea with enthusiasm he loves me too much to say no. Since I do all the cooking around here, he kind of has no choice. Sometimes us girls have to use “the powers” to get things done around here. :0) I then threw in another bombshell. I informed him that we might have a vegetarian Week once a month, but that didn’t go too well.
Oh well!!! At least I tried…
Although we don’t eat much meat to begin with, poultry, especially wings, is something Kurt loves this time of the year. I am hoping that with recipes from some of my favorite vegetarian bloggers, a few cooking magazines and a combination of my own skills I can make this week a tasty meatless experience for him.
To kick of the week on Sunday night I made my version of Ribollita, the Italian bean and cabbage soup, minus the bread and chicken stock. To my satisfaction Kurt LOVED it.
Success!!!! This is going to be a breeze or I maybe just jinxed myself. Wish me luck.
VEGETARIAN WEEK MEAL PLAN
|Monday||Mixed Greens Salad with roasted vegetables and cottage cheese.||Dr. Praegers California Veggie Burgers, served with baked potato fries.|
|Tuesday||Roasted Butternut Squash Lentil Stew (prepared Sunday)||Rosemary Mushroom Chickpea Ragout over toasted Garlic Sourdough.|
|Wednesday||Leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner||Falafel Burgers served with Roasted Beetroot Salad with Blue Cheese Crumbles|
|Thursday||Loaded Salad, romaine lettuce topped with tomatoes, cucumbers and egg salad.||Mushroom Barley Soup with Kale & Gruyere Cheese Panini|
|Friday||Mushroom Barley Soup||Vegetarian Gyoza with Ponzu Dipping Sauce|
- 8 ounces dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight or boiled for 5 min and let stand for 1 hour
- 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 carrot, chopped
- ½ celery stalk, chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced into ½-inch pieces
- ½ head cabbage, sliced into ½ inch slices
- 1 vegetable bouillon
- Half 14.5-ounce can chopped diced tomatoes, organic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese, for serving
- Rinse and drain the soaked cannellini beans and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat olive oil and saute carrots, celery and onions until well-cooked, 8-10 minutes.
- Add potatoes, cabbage, tomatoes, bouillon and the beans. Add enough hot water to cover the ingredients in the pot, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 1 to 1½ hours adding more water if needed. You want the mixture to be soupy.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve topped with shaved parmesan cheese.
I love football Sunday’s!
A typical Sunday in our house is filled with NFL ticket on every TV, with laptops and IPads following 6 of Kurt’s teams and one of my teams. Though I am new to the whole fantasy football hobby, our household is not. Mu husband has followed fantasy football for 13 years and is now the commissioner to one of his leagues.
All the love for football isn’t complete without love for football food. After all watching football without good eats is sort of torturous. Can you imagine going to a game day party and having tea sandwiches? I don’t think so. And while we eat pretty healthy most of the week, come Sunday I allow myself to indulge. There is nothing wrong with making yourself happy.
Loaded nachos are one of my favorite snacks to have while watching the game. There are so many ways to make this dish. This time I made it using leftover pulled pork, the recipe for which I’ll be sharing with you soon. Of course, if you don’t have pulled pork, left over shredded chicken would make a good substitute. I prefer to cook things from scratch if I have time so I made my own refried beans as well. You can use canned if you’d like.
- Favorite brand tortilla chips
- ½ cup refried beans (store bought or homemade)
- 4 tbsp reduced fat sour cream
- A few dashed of Cholula or Tapatio Hot Sauce
- ¼ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- ½ cup leftover pulled pork (or leftover shredded chicken)
- 1 tomato, medium dice
- ¼ onion, diced small
- 2 pickled jalapenos, sliced (juices preserved)
- 1 tsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- Guacamole (optional)
- Add refried beans to a small sauce pot. Allow the beans to warm up over low heat. Remove from heat, stir in sour cream, hot sauce and mix well. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine tomato, onion, 2 tbsp reserved jalapeño juice and fresh cilantro. Mix well. Set aside.
- Arrange tortilla chips in a baking dish, top with refried beans mixture, pulled pork and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese is melted.
- Top with salsa, sour cream, sliced jalapenos and guacamole.
My first indication that food was something other than what I put in my mouth came when I was just a kid, about twelve years old. At that time I had no idea how much I would fall in love with cooking. My mom, an avid cook, was determined to teach me the basics early in life. Honestly I think she did it for selfish reasons. She wanted someone else to make dinner every once in a while. Her plan worked. Shortly thereafter I was cooking all the time and even though I didn’t enjoy it as much as I do now I am forever grateful to my mom.
Soup was the first thing I ever made.
I still remember my mom’s voice over my shoulder instructing me to chop vegetables into equal pieces and tuck my fingers to avoid cutting one off.
That day I began to understand food. That day I learned to taste it. That day I started to appreciate the variety of flavors and textures that came along.
My mom’s persistence to feed us a variety of flavors is the reason why I love all cuisines, fearlessly try new foods and appreciate spices and herbs.
I hope you enjoy these lentils as much as Hubby and I did.
I started decorating outside the house this weekend. Fall always gives me the warm and fuzzies.
- 3 cups chicken stock
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- ½ butternut squash, cut into small cubes & roasted
- ½ 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup frozen lima beans (or frozen green peas)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- ½ tbs garam masala
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of ½ lime
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil and salt. Roast about 25 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven (or heavy soup pot). Over medium heat saute onion and garlic about 5 minutes.
- Stir in red pepper flakes, curry powder and garam masala. Add broth, crushed tomatoes and the lentils, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in lima beans, kale, cilantro, lime and butternut squash. Check for salt. Cook additional 10 minutes.
How awesome is this picture?
Do you think my daughter has been watching me photograph food too much? Haha. It was such a cute moment. I guess I can say there is a future food blogger in the making.
As you might know from my previous post I really love loaded salads especially in the summer when the abundance of fresh vegetables is at its highest. There is a great salad bar located inside a local supermarket by my work that I frequently visit. My favorite part is that no salad ever comes out the same because of a variety of toppings available.
Last week I created a “home salad bar” style dinner. I made a few simple salads, cut up fresh vegetables and dirtied up a bunch of bowls. But it was worth it. Not only did we thoroughly enjoy our dinner but we have plenty of leftovers to bring to work the next day.
Something about freshly chopped tomatoes and cucumbers with red onion and some herbs. I can eat that combination every simgle day.
You can have so much fun creating variations for a homestyle salad bar.
This is a great idea for a movie night or a fun relaxing dinner idea. Just set up your “salad bar” on a table and let them pick whatever they want.
A “salad bar” also makes a great appetizers replacement.
What is your favorite salad?
- 1 tomato, cut into chunks
- 1 cucumber, seeds removed and sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 10 large shrimp, peeled, tail removed
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 avocado, cut into cubes
- 8 mushrooms, sliced
- 1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup corn kernels cut off the cob (1 corn)
- ¼ cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
- 1 tbsp store bought salsa verde
- 2 cups salad greens
- Combine tomato, cucumber, red onion, salt, pepper and olive oil. Stir well. Set aside.
- Mix shrimp, 1 tsp olive oil, red pepper flakes and garlic powder in a bowl.
- Heat a skillet, add shrimp mixture and cook a few minutes until cooked. About 2 minutes on each side.
- Combine red beans, corn, jalapeños and salsa verde in a separate bowl. Stir well.
- Serve the rest of the ingredients in separate bowl as you would find at a salad bar. Or serve the salad assembled on a bed of greens.
Do you ever feel as if you need a day off just to relax after a weekend? Well, that’s how I feel.
It all started with chasing my vivacious Briana at a birthday party for a friend’s sweet daughter on Saturday. It continued with me smelling my husband climbing in and out of bed as he was smoking a brisket all night long for our Father’s Day party. He smelled so delicious, I was getting hungry in my sleep.
It ended Sunday night after a day off cooking, entertaining and of course cleaning up after the party. With the exception of sitting down to watch the new season of True Blood, I do not remember sitting down at all in those two days.
I do remember the perfect evening with a gorgeous sky. As our guests relaxed outside and enjoyed some wine I snapped this beautiful picture.
Nevertheless, we had a fun filled weekend. As much as we enjoy throwing parties we equally enjoy relaxing and that’s what we’ll be doing next weekend.
After eating like the world was about to end over the last two days my body was craving a lighter dish. With the right amount of spiciness and a lot of flavor this chickpea curry was just what I needed.
How was your weekend?
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 (15oz) cans organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp curry powder
- 1½ cup marinara sauce
- ¾ cup packed fresh spinach
- ½ cup 2% Chobani greek yogurt
- salt to taste
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven, add onion and sauté until softened on medium high heat.
- Add garam masala and curry powder. Stir well to combine and release oils.
- Add chickpeas, marinara sauce and spinach. Cook until spinach wilts.
- Stir in yogurt, season with salt to taste.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve over rice garnished with cilantro