Friday, July 23, 2010

Curried eggplant with tomatoes and basil (vegetarian)

Mr. Snowgoose loves Indian food. I did until I had an unpleasant experience at an Indian buffett a year and a half ago. He's been craving Indian for some time and since it is his birthday month I decided to induldge him with this recipe for curried eggplant. I think he was so excited to have Indian again he didn't notice it was vegetarian.

This was from the April 2009 issue of Real Simple

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 25m

Ingredients

1 cup white basmati rice
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt (preferably Greek), optional

Directio
ns
1. In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine rice, 1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Stir once, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 18 minutes. (Do not lift the lid or stir!) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes; fluff with a fork before serving.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, eggplant, curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Add 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the eggplant is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and cook just until heated through, about 3 minutes.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the basil. Serve over the rice with yogurt, if using.


Cook's notes:
1. I added yogurt to mine, Mr. S. did not.
2. The basil was from our garden.
3. I didn't have any fresh tomatoes on hand (the ones in our garden were not ready yet) so I drained a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes.
4. I liked it so-so. I think I'd rather make the Keema Matar or shrimp curry.

Garlicky baked shrimp

This is quite possibly one of the easiest meals I've ever made for Sunday dinner, though I did make it harder by toasting my own bread crumbs.

Adapted from a Real Simple Recipe:

In baking dish combine

package of thawed frozen shrimp (1 pound)
4 cloves sliced garlic or several tablespoons of minced garlic
2 tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbspn chopped parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Bake at 425 15-18 minutes

Serve with a large salad and cooked broccoli.

Serves 4.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Orzo with spring vegetables and ricotta

Earlier this year I tried Weight Watchers. It lasted about 3 months before I gave up and got tired of counting points. The only beneficial thing from the program was that I found some new recipes, like this orzo and spring vegetable one.

Ingredients

1 cup orzo
1/2 lb asparagas, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen baby peas
1 tbspn olive oil
1 red onion thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup drained peite diced tomatoes
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn black pepper
1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil

Directions

1. Cook orzo according to package, add asparagas and peas to pot during the last 3 minutes of cooking time, drain.
2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook, stirring until softened. Add tomoatoes, orzo, asparagas, peas, salt and pepper; cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in ricotta, parmesean, and basil.

Cook's notes
1. I also sauted some shrimp in olive oil and garlic to add on top of the orzo as it was lacking meat.
2. It tastes good cold the next day. It'd make a good salad or dish at a potluck or picnic.

Pesto Vegetarian Lasagna

I've been wanting to try pesto lasagna for awhile. I love pesto, and since we have an abundance of basil in our yard, it made sense to try this recipe.

Ingredients

8 ounces whole wheat lasagna noodles
15 ounces part skim ricotta
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry skillet until golden)
1/3 cup pesto
4 ounces part skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook lasagna noodles as directed or use no boil.
2. In a bowl combine ricotta, basil, pine nuts.
3. Spray 11 1/2 x 7 inch baking pan with spray. Spread 1/3 pesto on bottom of pan. Cover pesto with 1/2 noodles. Spread half the herb-ricotta mix over noodles. Repeat previous steps and cover whole thing with pesto. Sprinkle with mozzerella cheese.
4. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Cook's notes:
1. Um yeah, this was mediocre at best. It was missing something (like tomatoes). The lack of tomatoes and filling made it dense.
2. I like pesto, but this was pesto overload.

Mr. Snowgoose ate it and didn't complain, though he did agree it needed some tomatoes. Would I make this again? No way!

It's all Greek to me: Steak and veggie kabobs with chickpea salad

A few weeks ago, Mr. Snowgoose and I had ourselves a Greek feast. He had been requesting it for months, so I sorted through my massive folder of recipes and found one from the September 2008 issue of Real Simple Magazine.

The recipe calls for cooking the steak in a skillet, but since it was so lovely out we wanted to grill. So we made steak and veggie kabobs (onion, red and yellow peppers, and mushrooms) and cooked the chickpea salad seperately. I also made my own yogurt/dill sauce and served everything with warm pitas, hummus, and cous cous.

For all you vegetarians, this is a great and filling veggie meal(just omit the steak).

Here is the original recipe from Real Simple

Steak with chickpeas, tomatoes, and feta.

Serves 4
Hands-On Time: 15m
Total Time: 25m

Ingredients


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 1-inch-thick strip steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds total)
kosher salt and pepper
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 plum tomatoes, sliced into half-moons
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup crumbled Feta (4 ounces)

Directions
1.Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steaks with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook to the desired doneness, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Remove from the skillet and let rest for at least 5minutes before slicing.

2.Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Pat the chickpeas dry with paper towels and add them to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.
3.Stir in the tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Transfer to plates and sprinkle with the Feta. Serve with the steak.


Cook's note:
1. Make a double batch of the chickpea salad. It's fantastic! Also, you might want to make a double batch of the yogurt-dill sauce.

My Yogurt-dill sauce: (from the March 2006 issue of Sunset magazine)

1 cup low-fat Greek Yogurt
1 clove garlic (minced), or just use a teaspoon of minced garlic
1 tablespoon dresh dill, chopped
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
1 tspn lemon juice

In a small bowl mix it all together.

Cook's Note:
The dill came from our garden!