Category Archives: Entree

10 April 2017: Mushroom Curry

2017-Apr-10_FourNightsAWeek_0619I love Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, really I do. And so, I when I came across a recipe on his website jamieoliver.com for Mushroom Curry, I decided to give it a whirl. I thought that navigating measurements in metric units would be my biggest challenge; however I have discovered that I don’t speak – and often don’t understand – the Queen’s English. Hob? Groundnut oil (according to Nigella Larson, that’s peanut oil)? 

The implementation of this recipe was a bit improvised. My local grocer did not have fenugreek or paneer. So I’ve left those out. What resulted was tasty if not true to the recipe which follows.

Ingredients

  • 500 g mixed mushrooms
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 5 cm piece of ginger
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2-1 fresh red chili
  • 500 g ripe mixed color tomatoes
  • ground nut oil (I cook with coconut oil so that’s what I used)
  • 1 tsp Tumeric
  • 1 tsp fenugreek (left that one out)
  • 1 heaped tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp medium curry powder
  • 1 TBSP mango chutney
  • 1 400 ml tin of coconut milk
  • 30 g paneer (left that out)
  • 400 g brown basmati rice
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F.
  2. Roughly cop some of the mushrooms, keeping the smaller ones whole and tearing up the rest. Tip into a large casserole dish and toast on the hob over a medium heat for 5 to 8 minutes until nutty and really golden. I interpreted this to mean toast in a large skillet (no oil) until the mushrooms are golden; no “hob” at this house.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and finely slice the garlic, ginger and onion. Trim and finely slice the chili, then roughly chop the tomatoes.
  4. Add all of it to the pan except the tomatoes, then add 1 TBSP oil and all the spices. Toss for 2 minutes or until the spices are toasted and it’s smelling lovely, stirring continuously.
  5. Add the tomatoes, mango chutney, and coconut milk. Stir to combine and season well with sea salt and black pepper. At this point, I transferred what was in the skillet to a large casserole dish.
  6. Top with bits of paneer and place in the oven (no paneer so I just popped the casserole in the oven). Cook for 30 minutes or until all cooked through and gnarly.
  7. Meanwhile cook the rice according to package directions.
  8. Taste and season as required, adding a little lime juice as needed.
  9. Spoon the curry over the rice, then roughly chop the coriander leaves and scatter over the top. Cut the remaining lime into wedges for people to squeeze over the top.

23 March 2017 Spinach, Tofu & Sesame Stir-Fry

2017-Mar-23_FourNightsA-Week_0522Recipe created by Martha Rose Shulman.

The New York Times Food and Cooking sections are a great resource for home cooks whether adventurous or not.  As a subscriber, I receive a couple of weekly newsletters from the Times and this one caught my eye for its simplicity.

This recipe, Spinach, Tofu and Sesame Stir-Fry, comes from Martha Rose Shulman, one of the Times regular contributors, popped up recently and turned out to be quite quick (15 minutes!) to prepare. (And a bonus for subscribers, the recipes can be stored online in a personal recipe box).

Ms. Shulman makes a couple of serving suggestions – one of which is to use the stir-fry as a pita filling. Next time, I’ll try that!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (I substituted coconut oil)
  • ½ pound tofu, cut in small dice (firm!)
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  •  Soy sauce to taste
  • 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach, rinsed (use fresh, readily available)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

METHOD

  1. Heat the canola oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet or wok, and add the tofu. Stir-fry until the tofu is lightly colored, three to five minutes, and add the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about one minute, and add soy sauce to taste. Add the spinach and stir-fry until the spinach wilts, about one minute. Stir in the sesame seeds, and add more soy sauce to taste. Remove from the heat.
  2. Using tongs, transfer the spinach and tofu mixture to a serving bowl, leaving the liquid behind in the pan or wok. Drizzle with the sesame oil, and add more soy sauce as desired. Serve with rice or other grains, or noodles.  You may also use it as a filling for whole wheat pita bread.

23 Feb. 2017: Quinoa Bowl with Tahini Dressing

2017-feb-23_fournightsaweek_0439I happened on Martha Stewart’s PBS cooking show recently, and was impressed that the recipe she prepared was not so ridiculously complicated that it required a team of sous chefs to get it to table.  So as I was searching for something to cook this week, I migrated over to her website and found this Quinoa Bowl.  Delicious and not difficult for home cooking!  Thanks to Wendy at Tutto Bene for the Barista Pinotage recommendation.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of broccoli, florets with tender stems (halved if large) 2017-feb-23_fournightsaweek_0451
  • 1 red onion (8 oz) cut into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup tahini, well stirred
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)
  • 2 cups packed mint leaves, plus more for serving/garnish
  • sliced avocado, sliced cucumber, and lightly toasted sliced almonds for serving

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss broccoli and onion with oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, flipping vegetables once, until golden brown and tender (about 25 minutes).
  2. In a small pot, bring quinoa, 1 1/2 cups water, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 14 minutes. Turn of heat and let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  3. Combine tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 cup water, and mint in a blender. Blend until smooth; add 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
  4. Serve quinoa topped with roasted vegetables, avocado, and cucumber and sprinkle with almonds and mint with dressing on the side. (Serves 4)

 


27 January 2017: Slow Cooker Chicken and Apple Stew

2017-jan-27_fournightsaweek_0363Every couple of weeks I like to break out my slow cooker. This week, I found a recipe on WholeFoods Market that used chicken thighs; they stand up to long, slow cooking without loosing any of their moist flavor. I’ve owned a couple of slow cookers over the last 30-plus years, starting with a one-piece Presto that made cleaning up a nightmare.  My current version is a round All-Clad 4-quart model with a black ceramic insert and 3 temperature settings (All-Clad’s newest version has an additional one: high start/low finish). Be sure to read the instruction manual carefully in order to avoid ending up with a cracked insert. 

I did make one adjustment to the recipe: since I buy my poultry at organic markets where I can be assured of the quality (no antibiotics, thank you), even thighs can be pretty pricey. I used half as much poultry as the recipe called for and didn’t miss the extra one bit. The link to Whole Foods Market’s original recipe is here.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp whole fennel seeds
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used 1 lb.)
  • 3 firm, sweet baking apples (like Braeburn or Gala); peeled, cored and cut into 6 wedges each
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (10 oz each), peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 large sweet onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 TBSP fresh (yes, it’s worth it) sage leaves
  • 1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

Method

  1. Toast fennel seeds in small skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 2 mins).
  2. Cut chicken thighs in half.
  3. Add chicken, fennel seeds and ALL the rest of the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker.
  4. Cover and cook until chicken and apples are very tender, (6-7 hours on LOW or 3-3.5 hours on High)
  5. Serves 6-8

23 January 2017: Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa

2017-jan-23_fournightsaweek_0351It’s Meatless Monday! We both love stuffed peppers, but I’m not a huge fan of the ground meat and tomato sauce stuffing. This recipe uses quinoa along with chopped veggies seasoned with cumin and cinnamon.  In place of stuffing full peppers, I split them in half – still delish! Visit Whole Foods website for the original recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 7 bell peppers (1 cored, seeded & chopped; tops removed and reserved if you are filling the peppers upright, just core and seed the remaining 6)
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 pound baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (rinse & cook according the package directions ahead of time)
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews (if desired)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring 2017-jan-23_fournightsaweek_0345 occasionally until transparent, 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes more.
  2. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin, and cooked quinoa. Toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper, and cashews (if using) and cook 1-2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool to just warm.
  3. Meanwhile, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9×13 inch baking pan and set aside.
  4. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers (or 12 halves), gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan.
  5. Cover snugly with foil and bake until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hours. Transfer to plates, and serve.

30 December 2016: Green Goddess Glow Bowl

2016-dec-31_fournightsaweek_0175Adapted from Glowing Fridge Green Goddess Glow Bowl.

I recently discovered a great resource for vegan and plant-based eating, The Glowing Fridge. Shannon, the author of this site, has lots of great ideas – including recipes – for anyone making the change to a plant-based diet.  One of the series of recipes Shannon has developed, the Glow Bowls, are variations on bowls of grains and veggies that can lead to endless variations.  After trying the Green Goddess Glow Bowl, I know I’m inspired to include more plant-based cooking in the coming year.

Since I usually have the Kripalu House Dressing (or variation thereof) on hand in my fridge, next time around I’ll probably use that in place of the dressing recipe* cited. This is just my personal preference for a bit of cayenne and chile powder.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth (or 1 TBSP coconut oil – which is what I used)
  • 1/3 of an onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 cup edamame, frozen (take out of the pod if you bought edamame pods)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped (true confession: I walked out of the food store without the zucchini so I used more kale here)
  • 2 cups kale, de-stemmed
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the dressing*:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup or agave nectar
  • sea salt, to taste

Method

  1. In a medium sized pot, add quinoa and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  2. In a separate pan, heat the vegetable broth (here I used coconut oil instead) and saute the onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the frozen edamame and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add the kale last and cook about 1 minute or until softened (this took longer for me – and I needed to cover the pan). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat.
  3. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl by adding all of the ingredients and whisking until smooth. I found I needed to add a small amount of water to loosen the tahini.
  4. Scoop the quinoa into a bowl, top with the vegetable mixture and drizzle on the dressing.

 


02 December 2016: Baked Mushroom-Polenta Pie (my way)

2016-dec-02_fournightsaweek_0131What happens when you can’t locate instant polenta in the market? You improvise!  I most definitely would try this one again after I locate the polenta; for this version, I used the rolls of pre-made polenta as the base and piled the mushrooms on top.

Adapted from Whole Foods Market

Ingredients

  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (halved if small and sliced if large)
  • 3 shallots, sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3/4 oz (about 2/3 cup) dried porcini mushrooms, ground in a spice grinder or food processor to a fine powder (not used because of the pre-made polenta)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons instant polenta
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, divided
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine mushrooms and shallots in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms and shallots have released their liquid and browned, about 12 minutes; add wine 1 TBSP at a time if necessary to keep mushrooms from sticking. When mushrooms are very tender and browned, add thyme, soy sauce, pepper and any remaining wine. Cook, stirring until liquid has evaporated.

[Because I used the roll of pre-made polenta, I skipped this step. Sliced the pre-made roll and cover the bottom of a baking dish, pile the mushroom mixture on top]. Combine 3 cups water and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in porcini powder. Add polenta in a thin, steady stream stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly until polenta is thickened and bubbles, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in mushroom mixture, 3 TBSP of the parsley and 3 TBSP of chives. Pour this mixture into a 9-inch pie plate and smooth the top. Bake until just browned on top, about 30 minutes.

Cool for 20-30 minutes. Run a table knife around the edge of the pan. Sprinkle pie with remaining 1 TBSP parsley and 1 TBSP chives. Cut into wedges.

To make the pie ahead, pour the polenta mixture into the pie place and cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Add about 15 minutes to the baking time.


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