November 12, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I have been on a soup-making kick lately. A few weeks ago, I had a rotten cold and, simultaneously, the weather became decidedly fall-like. There was a cold bite in the air accompanied by crimson, burnt sienna, and bright yellow leaves pressed against the clear blue sky. (I don’t know about you, but I feel like my eyes are widest in the fall, taking in all the breathtaking colors and drastic changes of scenery. Things change so fast during this season that I hate to blink and chance missing the most beautiful leaf or pine cone I’ve ever seen. I walk around my neighborhood taking pictures of trees and whatever else catches my eye and I imagine that to anyone driving by or looking out their window, I must look like a tourist visiting a place for the first and last time. )
Anyway, the combination of illness and chilly air had me craving hot and nutritious soup.
I started off with Angela’s Carrot, Apple, Ginger Soup
Then, for a family party, I made a pot of Butternut Squash Soup (combining the “Roasted” and “Warm Spices” variations)
and a pot of chili (ok, it’s not technically a soup, but it’s warm and made in a pot, so there you go.)
That brings us to yesterday when I made a pot of Spicy African Peanut Soup. It is sensational. I fell in love with an African Peanut Soup I ate at Armsby Abbey last weekend and I couldn’t wait to hop online to find a recipe to make at home. The recipe I found closely mimics the flavor of Armsby’s soup, but the texture wasn’t a perfect match. I think Armsby must have included heavy cream to create such a smooth, velvety texture. Don’t get me wrong, the soup I made is smooth, but I wouldn’t call it velvety. Maybe velour-like (ha ha).
I love that carrots and yellow pepper are added along with the sweet potato for a real beta carotene boost. And I feel like the combination of the ginger and cayenne could knock any nasty cold germ to the curb. Ok, so there is no science behind that feeling…you just have to trust me on that one!
Have you made any good soups lately?
April 27, 2011 § Leave a Comment
How are you doing?
We had a pretty busy day today running errands (I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when I say “errands,” Peter thinks I’m saying “Erin,” who is his aunt, my sister, and he assumes we’re going to her house to see his cousins. When we end up at CVS, he’s always disappointed. That got me thinking about other words he may misconstrue, and I realized that when I say “Ugh, I’m draggin’ today,” he probably thinks I’m saying ”Ugh, I’m a dragon today.”)
Anyway, in the car on the way home from karate this afternoon I asked Peter what he wanted for dinner and he replied: “Moe’s.” I almost said “OK,” but then I remembered that we had corn tortillas, rice, frozen corn, salsa, cheese, olives, and plain yogurt at home. All we needed for the at-home-Moe’s- experience were black beans, guacamole, and lettuce. Off to the nearest chain grocery store we went.
Unfortunately, the store did not have limes or cilantro, so our guacamole topping was reduced to a plain avocado topping. The store also didn’t have any fresh looking organic lettuce, so I opted for organic broccoli sprouts thinking that they would add the cold, crunchy texture that is essential to a good taco. (Did you know that I can’t say “taco” without laughing? I don’t know why; it just sounds funny to me. And I absolutely cannot say “fish taco.” It sounds repulsive. They should be renamed ”fish enchiladas.” I also can’t say “moist.” I don’t know what’s wrong with me.)
In any case, Cinco de Mayo is next Thursday…perhaps you can celebrate with these tacos (hee-hee).
Moe’s-at-home Vegetarian Tacos
1 cup cooked brown rice (you’ll probably have leftover rice. I cook my rice in vegetable broth instead of plain water for extra flavor.)
1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
6 oz. frozen organic corn
1/2 c. jarred salsa (or homemade if you’re ambitious)
1/2 c. goat’s milk cheddar cheese, shredded (or whatever shredded cheese you like)
1/2 c. chopped olives, black or kalamata
1 avocado, sliced (or make guacamole. I urge you to make guacamole because it’s awesome.)
1/2 c. organic plain yogurt
1/2 c. organic broccoli sprouts (or shredded organic lettuce)
6 5 1/2″ round corn (or flour) tortillas (preferably organic)
1. Cook rice according to package directions. When done, place in bowl and set aside.
2. In the same pot you used to cook the rice, add black beans, frozen corn and salsa. Cook over medium heat until very warm throughout.
3. When the bean mixture is warm, heat up a skillet to warm your corn tortillas. In case you didn’t know, tortillas tear if you try to fold them while cold. Warm the tortillas for about 15 seconds on each side until they feel pliable.
4. Take a tortilla and place about one tablespoon of rice down the middle. On top of the rice, pile on one or two tablespoons of the bean mixture, a big pinch or two of shredded cheese and olives, a slice or two of avocado, and a large pinch of broccoli sprouts. Add a dollop or two of plain yogurt on top, fold into a taco shape, and enjoy.
They’re messy to eat–I had to help Peter eat his. But, all in all, I think they’re a fairly quick, pretty healthy alternative to fast Mexican-type food. I have to say, the plain yogurt really tied it all together for me, but I’m sure if I had guacamole I would’ve skipped the yogurt since I’m still limiting cow dairy in my diet.
Do you have a favorite vegetarian taco recipe?
April 19, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I thought I’d re-post this recipe for Greens and Quinoa Pie for my friends who will be celebrating Passover this week.
For some reason, I haven’t made this dish since last year. It sounds so good, I think I’ll make it tonight!
Well, the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times (VT) has not let me down this week. I made another great dinner tonight. However, just to warn you, it’s not a 30-minute meal. Especially if one has to keep bringing a certain two-year-old upstairs for time-out. (He was in rare form today, fo sho).
But anyyywaayyy, the recipe, Greens and Quinoa Pie, is actually included in an article entitled “Super Seder.” During Passover “most grains and, in some Jewish cultures, all beans and legumes” cannot be eaten. In addition, “the symbolic meal features meat (a roasted lamb shank bone is traditional on the seder plate),” which is obviously not ideal for a vegetarian. Hence, Myra Kornfeld put together a vegetarian seder menu that “highlights the bounty of spring.” This pie is the centerpiece of her menu. Check out pages 50-53 of VT for the accompanying dishes.
[Ok, so my husband just came home, made himself a dish, and is now saying "mmmm" and "this is amazing." He's now asking me to report that Berkshire Brewing Co.'s Coffeehouse Porter is a great complement to the dish. And now he just said that the pie "may be his new favorite." And now he's going back for seconds. This is riveting stuff right here. I bet it's almost as exciting as the blog updates he posted during my 30-hour labor.]
If you’re part of CSA or are growing your own greens, this recipe is a great way to use them.
Greens and Quinoa Pie*
Serves 6. Gluten free
Technically, quinoa is not a grain (it’s related to spinach and chard), so it’s perfect for Passover. Here, spring greens are wilted then mixed with quinoa and cheese for a golden-crusted savory pie.
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 large bunch chicory (1 to 1 1/4 lb.), cut into bite-sized pieces (bottom 1 1/2 inches of hard stems removed) (Note: I used 2 bunches of Swiss chard instead)
1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (2 cups)
2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, preferably Greek (1 oz.)
1/4 cup grated aged goat cheese or Swiss cheese (1 oz.) (Note: I used Swiss)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Place quinoa in small saucepan, and toast over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until almost dry. Add 1 cup water and season with salt, if desired. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to large bowl.
2. Heat large pot over medium heat. Add chicory, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, or until wilted, stirring frequently or tossing with tongs. Add romaine, and wilt 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer greens to strainer, and squeeze out excess moisture. Transfer to cutting board, and chop into small pieces. Stir greens into quinoa.
3. Preheat oven to 350F. Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, and saute 10 minutes, or until browned. Add cooked onions, green onions, dill, feta cheese, and goat cheese to quinoa mixture. Stir in eggs; season with salt and pepper, if desired.
4. Pour 1 Tbs. oil into 9-inch pie pan, and place in oven. Heat 5 minutes, or until oil is hot. Swirl oil to coat bottom of pan, then spread quinoa mixture in pan with spatula. Bake 20 minutes. Drizzle pie with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and bake 20 to 30 minutes more, or until golden brown.
Per slice: 233 cal.; 10 g prot.; 13 g total fat (4 g sat fat); 20 g carb; 115 mg chol.; 149 mg sod.; 7 g fiber; 4 g sugars
*Again, I copied the recipe verbatim from the March 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times, page 51.
I would say that this recipe gets 5 out of 5 “mmms.”
March 3, 2011 § 2 Comments
How are you? I don’t know about you, but I was so freakin’ happy to turn the calendar from February 28 to March 1. While it’s still cold here, the possibility of warm weather is upon us! I’m so beyond excited.
Just this morning, my toes asked me to slide them into a pair of flip flops, but sadly I had to say “no” while stuffing the little guys into gym socks and stinky sneakers. Sigh. Sorry, little dudes. I honestly just want to bring Peter to the park and sit on a bench in the sun while he plays. That’s it. I’m a pretty simple person, with simple wants and needs
So, on Monday night I found myself in a familiar situation: I wanted a healthy, hearty dinner but was faced with a nearly empty fridge and pantry. It was time for another clean-out-the-cabinet creation.
I was in the mood for quinoa, and luckily I had some. I then pulled out a big can of kidney beans, a can of diced tomatoes, a can of light coconut milk, 3 sweet potatoes, an onion, 2 garlic cloves, curry powder, cocoa powder, a bay leaf and red pepper flakes.
And then…I looked at all that stuff on the counter and wondered what the hell I could do with it. It should be noted, if it hasn’t already been noted, that I am not a recipe developer. I often can’t even follow someone else’s recipe. Despite that handicap, I was determined to make something that tasted half-way decent out of these hodge-podge ingredients .
My first thought was some kind of baked quinoa casserole, but then I thought that a curry-type stew would be better, served over the quinoa.
I have to say, this may be the first recipe that I’ve “developed” that is worthy of being called a “recipe.” It turned out really good. But as God likely said after he created Adam: “it’s good, but it could be even better.”
So on Tuesday night, I topped my stew and quinoa leftovers with pan-toasted unsweetened coconut flakes and cashew pieces. And it was awesome.
But, you know what? I think this dish could get even better. The quinoa base was a little bland, and while I haven’t tried it yet to confirm, I think a coconut milk/lime juice/lime zest dressing mixed into the quinoa may be the ticket. Any thoughts?
Coconut-Curry Sweet Potato Stew over (Limey?) Quinoa
1 c. quinoa, cook according to package directions
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks and roasted (buy organic so you can leave the skin on–just wash thoroughly)
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper
25 oz. can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
4-5 tbsp. light coconut milk
1 bay leaf
2.5 tsp. curry powder
1.5 tsp. cocoa powder
pinch of red pepper flakes
Topping Ingredients (per serving)
1-2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut
1-2 tbsp. cashew pieces
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet/roasting pan, toss the sweet potato chunks with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper, and roast for 20-30 minutes, until they’re browned and soft enough to pierce with a fork.
When potatoes are done, heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in bay leaf, curry powder, cocoa powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Then add diced tomatoes, coconut milk, kidney beans, and roasted sweet potatoes (combine all the ingredients well), reduce heat a bit, and simmer for up to 20 minutes.
Directions for topping:
In a small dry skillet, toast coconut and cashew pieces over medium heat. Remove from heat once the coconut begins to brown (don’t let it burn!).
Assemble to serve:
Place some quinoa in a bowl, top with the sweet potato and kidney bean stew, and top that with the toasted coconut and cashews.
And that’s it. You may want to kick up the spice amounts. I kept it pretty mild for Peter. Let me know if you try it with “limey” quinoa.
Have a nice Thursday evening!
P.S. Do you watch “Raising Hope“? You should. I can’t get a line from Tuesday’s episode out of my head. When discussing coin toss rules with her husband, the wife said:
“Heads I win, tails you lose.”
the son flipped the coin and it came up tails-
the husband paused and then said:
“Man, I never win coin tosses!”
So funny. I literally cry from laughing during most of the shows. I feel like I’m cheating on “Parks and Recreation” and “30 Rock,” but “Raising Hope” may make me laugh just a little bit more…
February 24, 2011 § Leave a Comment
How are you? We’re doing well here. We’ve been treated to gorgeous, clear mornings like this all week long:
It’s so bright and sunny, I thought that I could run outside wearing only my pjs and flip-flops to take a picture of the sky. But the second I opened the door, I received a frigid slap in the face and heard Mother Nature cackle and say “PSYCHE!! It’s still winter, dummy!”
In my mind, Mother Nature is Kathy Bates. In Misery. (If you’ve never seen that movie, you should totally put it on your Netflix list. It’s so sick, but I love it.)
Black-Eyed Pea Masala
Yield: approx 6 cups
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or oil of choice)
- 1 15 oz. can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained (this was the major adjustment. Angela used dried peas – pwa)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ginger-root, minced (or more to taste) (I used about a teaspoon of ginger powder – pwa)
- 3 small cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 cups canned diced tomato (approx. one 28oz can)
- 1.5-2 teaspoons garam masala, to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar, or to taste (I didn’t use any sugar – pwa)
- 1.5 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Chopped parsley or cilantro, to garnish (I added leftover baby spinach at the end – pwa)
- Rice or bread, for serving (I served the masala over leftover whole wheat couscous – pwa)
In a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat and add the chopped onions. Cook, stirring, until onions soften, about 6-8 minutes. Add the cumin, ginger, and garlic and stir for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the drained peas and all remaining ingredients. Simmer until the black-eyed peas are tender, about 20 minutes. If desired, add chopped baby spinach and stir until wilted. Check seasonings and add more salt and garam masala if necessary.
Sprinkle with parsley/cilantro and serve with brown rice or fresh bread (or couscous). Makes approx. 6 cups.
As I mentioned, Angela used dried black-eyed peas in her recipe, while I took the easy way out and used the canned version. Please jump to Oh She Glows if you want the directions for cooking the dried peas.
I thought this masala was great (and quick). I only wished that I had a piece of warm naan to scoop it up with. The couscous was fine, but it wasn’t naan!
Enjoy your Thursday!
February 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
This week’s recipe is from Sarah. Thanks, Sarah!
Tomato-Bean Soup with Pasta
From the Chicago Tribune|Serves 6
1 cup any small soup pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cans veggie broth (I assume 30 oz. – pwa)
2 cans cannellini or black beans
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
2 tsp Italian herb blend
1 bay leaf, optional
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 kale or Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add broth, beans with their liquid, tomatoes with their liquid, wine, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.
Add chard leaves, cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, add pasta. Pass Parmesan at table.
(The only thing I question about this recipe is not rinsing off the beans. I assume the bean liquid thickens the broth, but still, when I make this I may stick to my habit of rinsing and deal with having a thinner broth. That beany, slimy, salty liquid kind of turns my stomach! That’s only my opinion! – pwa)
February 14, 2011 § Leave a Comment
First of all: Happy Valentine’s Day! <3 I hope you’re spending the evening with your honey, your friends, or doing something special for yourself. Personally, I feel like curling up on the couch with a bowl of banana soft serve and watching Eclipse. However, I think I’m legally bound to lavish affection on my husband tonight. My work is never done. I keed, I keed, I hope we both can stay up past 9:00 p.m. to watch “Eclipse” together.
Secondly: I hope you had a nice weekend! We took Peter to the movie theater for the first time to see “Gnomeo and Juliet” (not the best animated movie I’ve ever seen, but it was cute).
After the movie, we came home and I made my Comforting Cabbage dish for dinner. It was just as good as I remembered.
Undoubtedly, this week is already better than last week when I remained culinarily (real word?) uninspired. I didn’t cook much at all….well, I did make homemade applesauce, but it was nothing to write home about. I got a little overzealous in Trader Joe’s two weeks ago and bought 8 pounds of apples. I had four pounds sitting on the counter last week getting all kinds of wrinkly, and the mere thought of chewing all those apples within a day or two made my jaw tired.
I first thought I’d make apple crisp, but realized that most of it would probably go to waste since we’re not big sweet eaters here. My second thought was applesauce since it’s multifunctional. We could eat it plain, put it in oatmeal, over pancakes, freeze some for later, etc.
So, applesauce it was. I followed this recipe, but used brown rice syrup instead of sugar. I did learn that an immersion blender is a perfectly suitable way to mash the apples once they’re cooked (my potato masher is practically useless.)
Now, here’s what you came for, the Mom’s Club recipe of the week. Nancy provided two great recipes this week, and here they are:
For this recipe I usually make a huge batch of homemade sauce on the weekend, and then freeze individual bags of sauce to thaw and use as needed. This is great for all those lasagna noodles that have been broken and you don’t know what to do with them.
prep : 5 minutes cook: 30 minutes
1/2 lb ground beef, pork or turkey (or none at all)
2 tbs of balsamic vinegar (omit if not using meat)
2 tsps of Italian seasonings
4 uncooked lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces
1 (14.5) can diced tomatoes with onions undrained, OR I use same amount of home-made sauce
1 cup of bottled roasted red bell peppers, chopped ( I omit because I put peppers in home-made sauce)
3/4 cup of water
5 tsp pesto
1 cup skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozz and parm shred cheese
Cook meat in a large nonstick deep skillet. Add vinegar (to beef) and Italian seasoning. Dollop ricotta over meat, and add shredded cheese. Top with broken noodles, making one flat layer (noodles will overlap a little bit).
Pour tomatoes and peppers over noodles, making sure that noodles are completely covered (or pour sauce over). Repeat 2-3 layers ( top layer should be noodles, just like regular baked lasagna). Add water. Dollop pesto by half tsp over top ( if I don’t have any I just omit). Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until noodles are cooked through. Uncover and sprinkle shred cheese on top. Cover let stand 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into wedges, remove with a slotted spatula.
Fennel Salad ( can’t really get the kids to eat this yet, they get a different salad, but us big people like it)
2 cups thinly sliced fennel bulbs ( about 4 small bulbs)
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup bottled citrus sections or fresh orange sections
2 tsps olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I have used sea salt)
1/4 tsp black pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon fennel fronds
Combine first 3 [ingredients] in a large bowl. Add oil and remaining ingredients toss gently to coat.
These recipes have been adapted from CookingLight Superfast suppers.
(Thanks , Nancy! I cannot wait to try the fennel salad. I actually just bought some at Trader Joe’s – pwa)
Talk to you soon!
February 1, 2011 § Leave a Comment
I’m probably stating the obvious here, but in case you didn’t know, it’s snowing again.
That’s all I have to say about that.
A certain kind of weather calls for a certain kind of food.
Hot, humid, summer days beg for fruity, icy popsicles.
And cold, snowy, winter days beg for nourishing, hot soup (and copious amounts of red wine. After 5:00 p.m., of course. Although today may be an exception. What time is it now? 9:30 a.m.? It’s 5:00 somewhere, right?).
Anyway, I love this soup. I’ve made it at least 4 times this winter. And despite its name, it’s not just for the holidays.
Thanks to Angela at Oh She Glows for yet another winner of a recipe.
This is hands down one of my all time favourite soups! Not only does it look festive just in time for the holidays, but it tastes incredible and warms the soul. It packs a wide array of seasonings and spices from cinnamon, nutmeg, and vegetable bouillon, to the saffron and curry. Somehow it just all works together magically!
Inspired by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen.
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup red quinoa, uncooked (I used regular quinoa this time – pwa)
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, chopped*
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (not low sodium)
- 6 cups water, boiled
- One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used 1 28 oz. can this time – pwa)
- 1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (about one 15 oz can) (I used 1 25 oz. can this time – pwa)
- 1 tsp good-quality curry powder
- Pinch or two of cinnamon
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, well rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pinch of saffron threads (optional, but tasted amazing) (I didn’t use saffron this time – pwa)
Directions: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the chopped sweet onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the chopped carrots, chopped zucchini, and minced garlic, and continue to sauté for about 5-7 minutes.
Place your bouillon cube into a medium sized bowl. Boil 6 cups of water and pour over the bouillon cube. Stir well to dissolve. Add bouillon mixture, tomatoes, red quinoa, black beans, and spices + seasonings. Bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the roughly chopped spinach, stir well, and cover. Simmer on low for about 15-35 minutes. The longer you cook it the more the flavours will develop. Taste test and adjust seasonings if necessary. I also have a feeling this soup will be even better the next day! Garnish with nuts of choice if preferred.
Makes about 8-10 cups.
*I usually don’t buy zucchini (or tomatoes) in the winter because it just doesn’t seem right to eat them in the winter. They grow in the SUMMER and should be eaten in the summer. However, I really do like the zucchini in this soup, so I made an exception to my rule.
I also used more diced tomatoes and black beans than called for in the original recipe because I had the larger cans on hand. I often follow a recipe to a T, which results in little Tupperware containers of leftover diced tomatoes or whatever taking up space in my refrigerator. I have the best intentions to use the leftovers, but of course they sit and sit and sit until they look like a mold-growing experiment.
Luckily, the extra ingredients did no harm. It’s still soupy, not stewy. I added a little more cinnamon and nutmeg at the end, but that’s it.
The result is a warming, feel-good soup that’s great mopped up with a piece of sourdough bread.
And accompanied by a glass of red wine.
Stay warm and safe if you’re weathering the storm somewhere.
Peter and I will be hanging out, pretending to drink Play-doh hot cocoa, and singing songs like “Cocoa-cabana” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Tuesday.”
January 29, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Hi! I hope your weekend is off to a great start! Our’s is Yesterday afternoon we had Peter’s first parent/teacher conference (he’s doing awesomely) and then we had the best pizza we’ve had yet in Central Massachusetts, at Flats in Worcester. Flats focuses on local, organic ingredients, which is music to my ears (eyes? Whatever. You know what I mean). And they serve up pizza with a thin, crispy crust, which is music to my mouth. (Central Mass is the land of thick crust “Greek-style pizza.” Being from New Haven county, I’m all about the thin crust). Flats also offers delicious-sounding salads, sandwiches, and appetizers/snacks.
We started with the white bean hummus appetizer. The creamy and garlicky hummus was served atop two big crispy romaine lettuce leaves. The hummus delivery vehicles (HDVs) were crostini and crispy wontons. The dish was fresh and delicious. We followed that up with the “Jules” pizza (classic Napoli , thin crust, red sauce, torn basil, fresh mozzarella, sea salt and evoo). It was a little heavy on the evoo, but besides that it was wonderful. It was my first time eating real cheese in nearly a month. It was good, but I can still say that I’ll be limiting my cow’s dairy intake. I might have pizza with cow’s milk cheese once a month. On the rest of our “pizza nights” I’ll stick to veggie/hummus subs or make homemade pizza with Daiya.
Oh, one little touch that I loved was when the waitress brought out the pizza (cut into large, haphazard rectangles) on a ginormous silver tray, she placed the tray on top of a big empty tomato can (you’ll have to use your imagination because I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures. I know, food blogger extraordinaire over here.) So, the can was a space saver and a reuse/recycle effort! Love it!
If you find yourself in Worcester, go to Flats (and BYOB). The End.
Onto the real story of the day, here’s this week’s Mom’s Club recipe from Pam:
…Anyway, the recipe that I am going to share today is Peanut Butter Chicken over Quinoa. My son used to be allergic to lots of foods – milk, eggs, wheat, soy, apples, pineapple, spinach, but strangely enough, nuts have always been okay for him. So, for years, I had to cook allergen-free meals, and this one was everybody’s favorite.
Peanut Butter Chicken
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes* (organic chicken, if possible – pwa)
1 medium onion, sliced
7 fresh mushrooms sliced (I slice them large, so we can pick them out of the children’s portions, as they don’t like mushrooms)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice (I like petit cut diced tomatoes)
3/4 cup chicken stock (I use boullion & water if I don’t want to open a carton of chicken stock)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook until chicken starts to turn white. Add the onion, mushrooms, and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly (I just stir occasionally) until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Pour the tomatoes and chicken stock into the skillet, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in peanut butter and cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. This should take only a minute or two. If the sauce is not thickening, you may stir in more peanut butter.
Serve over quinoa (or rice or noodles).
*I have also made this recipe using chick peas instead of chicken.
(Thanks, Pam! I’m definitely going to try this. I’ll probably make two pans – one with organic chicken and the other with chickpeas. Updated to add: while I was putting romaine lettuce leaves in my juicer, I thought that this dish may be a good filling for a lettuce wrap…I’m not sure how thick the sauce is, though…maybe the solid ingredients can be taken out of the pan with a slotted spoon and used as the lettuce wrap filling (along with quinoa) and then the sauce leftover in the pan could be used as a dip? - pwa)
January 28, 2011 § Leave a Comment
Green Juice mustaches are where it’s at:
There is some upsetting and scary news today in the world of organic food. The Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, has approved Monsanto’s genetically engineered alfalfa for planting this spring. When I read this I felt like a ball of hot lead dropped into my belly.
If you care about the food you eat and want the OPTION to eat true organic food (meaning, among other things, not genetically modified food), urge President Obama to stop Monsanto’s GE alfalfa.
This is an extremely hot topic, so there are many articles on the web written by more knowledgable and better-versed people than myself, so take a moment to read up on the decision and consider how you feel about the impact and consequences of genetically modified food on yourself and your family.