Category Archives: Veggies

Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

With the last remnants of winter hanging by a thread, I will succumb with one final post to the Gods of Comfort Food. Yes, as we all bid a fond farewell to cold weather veggies I thought I would share one of my favorites that I don’t get to make all that often anymore (my kids are not fans of mushrooms). This recipe although time consuming can be made ahead and re-purposed into a second meal or appetizer, which makes it so much more appealing in my eyes. So this might not be one of those recipes that you make on the fly, but may be the perfect capstone to a Sunday evening family meal.

As we’re trying to eat a bit more meatless, I noticed that the Wynn Las Vegas has revamped their menus to include vegan and vegetarian recipes at each of their eateries. What better way to get a little bit of Vegas at home?  Ok, so maybe it’s not the same, but I started with my classic mushroom risotto (one of the dishes on the Wynn’s menu), and then I decided to add some fresh spinach for a bit of texture and freshness.

Shopping List:

  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup of red onions, diced
  • 2 cups of your favorite mushrooms, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 cup of baby spinach torn into bite sized pieces
  •  1 cup of Arborrio rice
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 tablespoons of cream cheese

Instructions:

1. In a medium saute pan on medium heat melt the butter and olive oil together. Once melted toss in the smashed garlic and onions. Lower the temperature to low and stir the onions and garlic occasionally for about 20-30 minutes until the onions are nice and caramelized.

2. Remove the onions from the pan at this point and add the chopped mushrooms to the same pan to cook over medium heat until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms to the onion mixture and then toast the rice in the same pan for about 2 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and add 1 cup of stock and stir the rice occasionally for about 10 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this process of one cup of liquid every ten minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is chewy.

4. Finally, add the cream cheese, the spinach, and the mushroom and onion mixture into the rice. Stir it all so that the cheese is evenly distributed.  Serve with a few sliced almonds on top and Viola!

Serves: 4 entree portions

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Curried Carrot Bisque

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With the new year in full swing and keeping with my resolution of eating more veggies, I thought I would post this lovely soup recipe today.

It’s been a while since I have posted a soup dish, and as a result since I have extolled the virtues of this simple meal. Yes, soup can be a meal!

I could fill my belly with the endless warmth that soup provides for days on end. Especially in this chilly winter weather we are wading through. To come home to a simple soup to soothe the soul sounds simply satisfying and stupendous to me. Wow! That was a lot of alliteration.

I’m not sure what it is about soup, but it really does cure all! When I’m feeling a bit under the weather a simple bowl of tomato bisque with a grilled cheese makes me feel sooo good.

And on a busy night where I don’t have time between kids activities to cook a big dinner, throwing together a quick chicken noodle with leftover vegetables from the week is how I survive.

I hope you enjoy this spicy twist on Tomato Bisque inspired by Chobani’s #MadeWithChobani project!

Shopping List:
3 cups carrots roughly chopped
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2-3 teaspoons curry powder, a little less if you don’t want it too spicy
2 cloves garlic, whole
Juice of 1 lime, about 1 tablespoon
1 5.3 oz. container plain Chobani yogurt
One pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. In a medium stockpot bring to a boil the carrots, stock, curry and garlic. Let this summer for about 20 minutes or until carrots are super soft.
2. Transfer to a blender and purée (with steam vent open) for about a minute until it is a smooth consistency throughout.
3. Return the purée to the pot and stir in the yogurt and the lime juice. Then warm it back up and serve it garnished with cilantro and croutons if you like.

Serves: 4 appetizer portions or 2 meal portions

For more recipes with Chobani click here.

Edamame Sesame Salad

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The other night it was blazing hot, and I was dreading making dinner. That’s where this refreshing salad came into the picture. I had tried a similar one at Lemonade over the summer, and my daughter and I both loved it. It just so happens that I found this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Shopping List:

1 1/2 cups frozen shelled edamame, cooked
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sesame seeds (I used more than that)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
1. Place edamame and carrots in a medium sized bowl, then drizzle in oil and vinegar.
2. Sprinkle with seeds, cilantro and salt. Give it a good stir, and viola! It’s ready. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6 as a side dish, 2-3 as a main dish.

Roasted Peppers with Goat Cheese and Balsamic

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I feel like sometimes I get stuck in a side dish rut. I pick up the same veggies (depending on the season, really) and those are my weekly veggies, for a month or two. During summer it tends to be green beans, corn, carrots and red peppers. Of course, I add to my list cucumbers and tomatoes and avocados for salads, but as far as an accompaniment to a meal I get stuck sometimes with serving the same side dish for too long. Most of the time it doesn’t really bother me because I’m always just trying to get something on the table that we all like to eat.

Of late my go to side dish has been corn on the cob. Everyone in our family likes it. And it’s so easy to prepare; it really is no brainer when I’m prepping another dish too. I’ll be honest though and sometimes I avoid the whole side dish issue by making a one pot meal like paella or something else, so I don’t have to monitor two pots at once.

But this complacency is what leads to the inability to try new things in our family. So, every couple of weeks, (ok, whenever I think of it) I try a new side dish or try an old one in a different way. Thus, the fancy new pepper recipe.

So with this revamping I figured I’d take my chances with red peppers. My kids have like sweet red peppers for a while now, but roasting them and filling them with cheese made them go from snack to side dish pretty easily. The nice thing about this side dish is that it’s sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party while also accommodating a few of our more selective family members (sic kids).

What’s your go to side dish?

Shopping List;

3 medium-sized red peppers

2 ounces softened goat cheese

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped basil

Instructions:

1. Cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Try to keep the stem in tact. Heat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Lay the peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and divide the goat cheese evenly amongst the 6 halves.

3. Roast the peppers with the cheese about 5-7 minutes, until the edges of the peppers begin to turn black and the cheese is melted.

4. Remove the peppers from the oven and drizzle with balsamic and basil and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 4-5 for a side dish

Five Favorite Soups for a Chilly Week

IMG_3824I rarely meet a soup that I don’t like. They are a bit like people, you know. Some are smooth and refined, while others are rough around the edges, and yet others are just too darn spicy for me. To me soup is always just a bowl of comfort, really. And, it’s such a non-threatening way to introduce an unfamiliar veggie to kids that I made it my Fall/Winter Mission to get my kids to eat a small bowl of soup at dinner time. Continue reading Five Favorite Soups for a Chilly Week

Brussel Sprout Salad

So by now I'm sure you none of you reading this are surprised that this salad will include two of my favorites: bacon and blue cheese. My hubby and I recently went out to a nice French restaurant where we ordered a salad similar to this. I've seen a ton of brussel sprout salads in mags lately, but often they are served raw and shredded, like coleslaw (see here for my thoughts about this salad), so when this came to our table I was surprised that it was in fact a wonderfully savory and sweet way for me to eat this often shunned, now celebrity-like veggie.

I have to say I was pretty impressed with this salad. Since it is one that can be made ahead and is full of nutrients, I wouldn't be shocked if it started to make an appearance at the holiday buffet for my family. You have been warned!

Shopping List:

1 pound brussel sprouts, trimmed and halved

3 slices of bacon

1/4 cup of walnuts

2 green onions, sliced

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1-2 tablespoons light blue cheese dressing

Instructions:

1. In a 8 x 8 baking dish toss the brussel sprouts with about 1 tablespoon olive oil and roast at 475 degrees for about 20 minutes.

2. When the brussel sprouts have cooled for about 10 minutes, toss in all the other ingredients and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish

Spinach and Feta Mini Quiches

So you might be expecting a Halloween inspired post from me this week, but I haven’t been satisfied with any of the treats for tricking that I have attempted lately. So this one is to kick off the impending party season.

This is a classic and simple vegetarian brunch option that could make an appearance as an horsd’oeuvre too. And of course, a Quiche is always a nice treat for your lunch break.

Shopping List:

1 1/2 cups frozen potatoes O’Brien-style

1 pound baby spinach

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup feta cheese crumbles

8 organic eggs

1/3 cup low-fat milk

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. And grease with butter or spray with cooking spray a 12- cup muffin pan.

2. In a large saute pan over medium heat, warm garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 1 minute. Then add the spinach to flavored oil.Stir the spinach as you let it cook down. It will reduce to almost 1/4 of the size, after about 5-7 minutes.

3. In a medium-sized bowl (preferably one with a spout) beat the eggs and milk together.

4. Divide the frozen potatoes, spinach and feta between the 12 cups. I put the potatoes on the very bottom of the cup, but the order doesn’t really matter too much.      

5. Pour the egg mixture on top of the veggies and place the muffin pan in the oven. Let it bake for approximately 17 minutes. You want to make sure the tops are no longer wet and then they are ready.

Makes 12 mini Quiche.