This dish may not sound like much, but it is absolutely delicious and incredibly satisfying. And it’s meat-free!
Cook the rice according to the package directions.
Twenty minutes before the rice is done, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tomatoes, cut-side down, and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until browned and starting to soften, 3 to 5 minutes; turn and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a plate.
Reduce heat to medium and add the chard, raisins, garlic, 2 tablespoons water, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper to the skillet. Cook, tossing, until the chard wilts, 2 to 3 minutes.
Return the tomatoes to the skillet, add the chickpeas and lemon juice, and toss until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.
Per serving: 357 calories, 9 grams of fat, 61 grams of carbs, and 10 grams of protein
This dessert was absolutely fabulous, and a great end to our vegetarian grilling adventure. I used my new juicer and some really delicious fresh oranges, and I think it made all the difference (so shy away from the ol’ Tropicana if you can). We served this with some vanilla frozen yogurt, and it was heavenly!
Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add apple slices; seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
Remove apple from bag, reserving marinade. Place apple slices on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side, turning and basting frequently with reserved marinade. Arrange apple slices on a platter; drizzle with any remaining marinade.
For our vegetarian/grilled dinner party, I served these kebabs as the entree. The marinade was great, but unfortunately the tofu didn’t seem to really absorb much of it. Perhaps a longer marinating period would help?
We ommitted the rice, since we were having a bunch of other food, but we added some sweet potato cubes (par-cooked) to the skewers and they were actually the tastiest part of the dish.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Arrange tofu in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until tofu releases 3 or more tablespoons liquid.
Combine chopped onion and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. Add tofu, mushrooms, and onion wedges; toss gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
While tofu and vegetables marinate, prepare rice. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in raisins and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.
Remove tofu and vegetables from bowl; discard marinade. Thread tofu cubes, mushrooms, and onion wedges alternately onto 8 (6-inch) skewers. Lightly coat kebabs with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve with rice.
One of our favorite couples to go out with has a big problem – the Mrs. is a vegetarian. I know what you’re thinking – they must be VERY cool for us to hang out with them in spite of such a glaring personality flaw. ;-)
I kid, of course. We wanted to have this dynamic duo over, so I took on not one but TWO culinary challenges. First, I would make sure the meal was both vegetarian AND delicious. And second, since the weather was warming up nicely, I would make sure that every course – including dessert – had some sort of grilled component.
This was the appetizer I served, and it was very light and refreshing. For those of you who are not fennel fans, have no fear – caramelizing it with the onions mellows it out significantly. Plus, there is so much good stuff going on in this salad, you won’t taste any licorice-esque flavors at all.
Prepare grill to medium heat.
Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices. Lightly coat both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 7 minutes on each side or until browned. Set eggplant slices aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add fennel and onion; sauté 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, arugula, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl; toss gently to coat. Divide arugula mixture evenly among 8 appetizer plates; top each serving with 1 eggplant slice. Arrange about 1/3 cup fennel mixture on each eggplant slice; top with 2 tablespoons tomatoes and 1 tablespoon cheese. Sprinkle the chopped basil and thyme evenly over cheese.
Think your family won’t eat brussels sprouts? Well, you might be able to con them into it with this recipe. Between the onion, thyme, and lemon, the sometimes harsh and cabbage-esque flavor of the brussels sprouts is lightened and brightened. Then, the pecans and the caramelization add a nutty flavor that really works with the dish. I thought I’d have some leftovers to keep for myself, but my family scarfed up the whole thing!
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add thyme and onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add broth and Brussels sprouts; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 6 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in pecans, lemon rind, lemon juice, and black pepper.
You can see a photo here.
Wow, I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I posted anything. Don’t worry – I haven’t been eating bad take-out. In fact, the kitchen at TWT headquarters has been busy, and I have TONS of delicious new dishes to share with you.
My husband and I have been on a diet since late March. Basically, even though we are good little exercisers, we weren’t feeling as healthy as we thought we could be. We started using My Fitness Pal, a website/app that helps track calories (both consumed and burned), and we began paying a LOT more attention to the types and amounts of food we were putting into our bodies. We also pledged to be more conscious of the calories we were drinking – so beer and wine consumption was significantly reduced.
The good news? Not only am I down 10 pounds (and husband is down 12), but I have loads of healthy new recipes to talk about. Not all of them were out-and-out successes, but I have found it amazing how satisfied I can be and still lose weight. It’s all about planning, discipline, and understanding that while it’s okay to “cheat,” there are consequences to how you treat your temple, and if you can make good choices most of the time, you’ll really reap the benefits.
Let’s get to the food, shall we?
This recipe has now become one of my go-to dishes. Empanadas are time consuming (especially when you make the dough from scratch), but you can make them ahead and freeze them for quick weeknight dinners or impressive party snacks. This version shuns meat for (I think) equally filling beans and sweet potatoes, and baking rather than deep frying yields a golden brown result with all the extra fat and oil.
Note: Part of our lifestyle change involves watching portion sizes. After all, who cares if something is only 100 calories if it’s only a bite! In that vein, I am going to include key nutritional information in all future posts, to the extent that it is available.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine canola oil, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and egg in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.
Place poblano on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chile; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook the cumin seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted, stirring constantly. Place cumin in a clean spice or coffee grinder; process until ground. Combine cumin, poblano, sweet potatoes, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth.
Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons poblano mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut 3 diagonal slits across top of each empanada. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.
Serving: 1 empanada
Per serving: 209 calories, 8.4 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, and 5.1 grams of protein
Unfortunately, our last Week in a Day dinner was our least favorite of the bunch – so much for going out with a bang! This recipe had all of the makings of a successful pasta dinner, but it just seemed to fall flat. The tomatoes and garlic smelled amazing while they were roasting, but once they were blended into the sauce, they lost their depth. I thought that serving this dish last would allow all of the flavors to stew and mesh and intensify, but I think the opposite happened – so, maybe if you eat the sauce right away it will live up to its promise! If someone tries that, please let me know how it turns out.
As far as the experiment as a whole, I was really pleased with the results. I was able to spend more time with my hubby and critters while still putting satisfying, home-cooked meals on the table. We didn’t eat out for the whole week. We even wound up with leftovers (bolognese and lentil soup) in the freezer for a proverbial rainy day. I will definitely continue to watch the show, and I hope she throws more menus out there that will work for our tastes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange a cooling rack over a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean up. Cut the ends off the entire head garlic to expose all of the cloves. Season the garlic with a little salt, some black pepper, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, then wrap in foil. Cut the tomatoes in 1/2 and place in a bowl. Lightly dress the tomatoes by drizzling with extra-virgin olive oil. Season the tomatoes with salt, pepper, and marjoram, and arrange on the baking sheet cut-side down. Bake the tomatoes 20 to 25 minutes, then flip the tomatoes, and roast 20 minutes more. Roast the garlic 45 to 50 minutes alongside the tomatoes. Place about 2/3 of the tomatoes in a food processor. Coarsely chop the remainder of the tomatoes, and reserve. Squeeze the garlic out of its skin, and add to the food processor pulsing until smooth. Add the mixture to a Dutch oven and add the olives, anchovies, capers, and chile. Cook for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Transfer to a small container for a make-ahead meal and refrigerate, or transfer to a serving bowl. Store the chopped tomatoes separately, or add to the serving bowl. To serve, bring water to a boil, salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Reheat the sauce. Toss the pasta with the sauce for 1 minute, to coat. Serve in shallow bowls with lots of parsley, and drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil.
Even though the olive oil poached salmon was a winner, I may have loved this side dish just as much. It was sweet, acidic, salty, citrusy, slightly spicy – you name it, the flavor was there. And despite all of the crazy stuff going on with this dish, it still felt really light and fresh. Do note that it takes a LOT of butternut squash to make 4 cups diced – and there is a good amount of prep time associated with peeling and chopping those bad boys. Plan accordingly, with your wallet AND with the clock!
Coat a large straight-sided saute pan with olive oil. Add in the red onions, crushed red pepper, and season with salt. Bring the pan to a medium heat and cook the onions until they are soft and aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add in the squash, dried cranberries, sugar, champagne vinegar, orange zest, mustard seeds, mustard powder, and season with salt. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook another 15 minutes, stirring the squash frequently until the liquid has evaporated and the squash is a chutney-like consistency. Check to make sure the squash is cooked through and soft but can still hold its shape. Stir in chives.
Howdy, howdy! I’ve missed you, bloglets. Here is the 30-second update: we stopped playing Fantasy TCAS because I was kicking my hubby’s ass so badly (and relatedly, that Target challenge was el stupido), I’ve been to Winston-Salem and back TWICE over the past two weeks, and now we are in NYC for the long weekend (thanks, dead Presidents).
In an effort to get back in the swing of things, I figured I’d write up this recipe while looking at the snow fall over Manhattan. This is a nice winter dish, since the warm pasta is so comforting and it’s relatively easy to find golden beets (they had them aplenty at my local Whole Foods, where I was accosted by another shopper who wanted to know what they were and what I was going to do with them). Husband and I both wished there were more greens in the dish – like all greens, they cook down a ton – but otherwise we really enjoyed the meal. You could make the dish with regular beets, but the end result will be very pink pasta.
Heat heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and stir until lightly toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil and onions to same skillet and sauté until beginning to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 30 minutes longer. Add garlic and stir 2 minutes. Scatter beet greens over onions. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons oil over; cover and cook until beet greens are tender, about 5 minutes.Meanwhile, cook beets in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer beets to medium bowl. Return water to boil. Add pasta to beet cooking liquid and cook until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot. Stir onion-greens mixture and beets into pasta. Add pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Divide pasta among shallow bowls. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve, passing additional cheese.