Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Marinated Pork Tenderloin

We attempted our first pork tenderloin a few years ago. We rubbed the tenderloin with dried fennel and other spices and stuffed it with dried apricots and then we cooked it…and cooked it…and cooked it. It took two hours longer than the recipe promised for the pork to be done. We sat down to eat at 11pm and I quickly learned that I hate apricots and fennel. In other words, it was a disaster.

A couple years removed from the apricot-fennel disaster of 2007, we decided to give pork tenderloin another try—with a very different recipe. It was delicious! Pork tenderloin has been redeemed. Apricot and fennel, however, remain on my blech list.

Pork tenderloin (whatever size suits your needs)

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1 tsp dry mustard

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup brown sugar

½ cup honey

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1. Combine all ingredients (except the pork tenderloin) in a medium bowl. Mix well.

2. Place tenderloin and marinade in a zip-top bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

3. Take the tenderloin out of the bag and plop it on a broiling pan. Broil for 20 to 30 minutes, turning once, until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 155ºF. Let pork rest for a few minutes before serving.

4. While the tenderloin is cooking, pour the leftover marinade into a saucepan and boil to reduce.

5. Slice pork into medallions and plate. Top with sauce.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Wheat-Free O Bars

If your New Year’s resolution involves eating healthier in 2010, make these now! If you plan on incorporating a small amount of not-exactly-nutritious yumminess into your diet next year, feel free to postpone baking these delectable treats until the mood strikes you.

1 package gluten-free graham-style crackers, crumbled

1 ¼ cup old fashioned oats

1 ¼ cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

1 ½ sticks butter, chilled and cut into pieces

12 oz. chocolate chips

½ cup whipping cream

14 oz package of caramels, unwrapped

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, oats, brown sugar and baking soda in a food processor. Blend until everything is crumb-size.

3. Add butter and pulse (use the on/off function) until the crumbs begin to stick together.

4. Press all but 2 cups of the crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 9x 13 pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the crumb crust. Set aside.

5. Add whipping cream to a heavy saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat.

6. Add caramels and stir until the caramels are melted and the sauce is smooth.

7. Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips.

8. Cover the caramel layer with the reserved crumbs.

9. Bake until the edges are golden brown (15-20 minutes).

A Few Notes:

  • These freeze really well. Cut them into squares, wrap in tinfoil and place in a zip-top freezer bag. When you get a hankering for an O bar, just microwave a single bar until it’s gooey.
  • The original recipe (courtesy of a friend’s mom) is not wheat-free. It calls for 1 ½ cups flour, 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats and 1 ½ cups packed brown sugar. The graham cracker substitution was inspired by my brilliant oat-hating friend Katie, who uses graham cracker crumbs in place of the oats.
  • These aren’t really called “O Bars,” but we try to keep this blog G-rated so make “O” stand for whatever you want…octagon, origami, oligarchy, odd…

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gift Idea: Give a Six-Pack!

Attention last minute shoppers in the Portland, Maine area! I’m teaching Core Conditioning at the Sanctuary again this winter. Class meets Monday mornings from 6:30-7:30AM. It’s ass-kicking, energizing and fun AND if you register by January 1, it’s only $100 for the whole 16-week session!

To register, click here and select the $100 payment button.

If you have questions about Core Conditioning or the Sanctuary, email me at

Naughty and Nice

In the spirit of the season, we’re bringing you something naughty and something nice. Both are exceedingly delicious and easy to make.

Let’s start with the Naughty: Lemon Curd. This stuff in sooooooo good. I’ve been eating it with gluten-free “graham style crackers.” This recipe is adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray.

2 cups sugar

Juice from 6 lemons (at least 1 cup)

4 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks, beaten

¼ cup lemon zest (from 3 lemons)

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. Add sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs and egg yolks to a medium saucepan. Whisk together.

2. Place saucepan over medium-low heat and add butter. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Lower heat a tad. Let mixture simmer, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the temperature reaches 160° on an instant-read thermometer.

4. Transfer to a bowl. Allow the lemon curd to cool to room temperature before refrigerating.

5. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

And now the Nice: Lemon Tofu. This dish isn’t that “nice”—it contains lemon curd, after all—but compared to the fried lemon chicken recipe that inspired it (also from Everyday with Rachael Ray), it’s super-healthy.

1 cup brown rice

2 tbsp olive oil

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and sliced

Green beans (lots of ‘em)

1 cup lemon curd

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1. Cook brown rice.

2. Combine lemon curd and rice vinegar in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet or wok (we use our electric wok), heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add peppers and sauté until tender.

4. Remove peppers from wok and set aside.

5. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to wok and add tofu. Cook, stirring until tofu begins to brown.

6. Meanwhile, steam green beans until they become bright green (2-3 minutes).

7. Add green beans and peppers to the tofu. Stir.

8. Lower heat and add brown rice and lemon sauce. Stir until well-mixed.

9. Serve immediately.

Tofu on Foodista

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cinnamon-Sugar Roasted Almonds

Here’s an awesome recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. I took Maria’s suggestion and made them while we decorated our tree last weekend. The house smelled amazing and the finished product is delicious alone—and in a salad.

1 egg white

1 tsp cold water

2 cups whole almonds

3 tbsp natural granulated sugar

3 tbsp brown sugar

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 250°.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg white and water together until frothy. Add almonds and stir until all of the almonds are well coated with egg whites.

3. In another medium-ish bowl, mix the sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add the almonds and stir until all of the almonds are coated with the yummy stuff.

4. Spread almonds on an edged baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (I used foil and a small piece of the foil glued itself to the baking sheet.)

5. Roast for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

6. Allow to cool, and then store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Chicken with Mango-Edamame Salsa

These were supposed to be tacos, but our local store was out of brown rice tortillas. They were still delicious, just less portable. This recipe is adapted (a lot) from Cooking Light.

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp ground red pepper (we’re wimps, feel free to add more)

½ small onion, diced

4 chicken breast cutlets

1 ½ tsp olive oil

1 mango, peeled and diced

½ cup shelled edamame, cooked

2 tomatoes, diced

3 tbsp lime juice

1. Combine garlic powder, paprika and red pepper in a small bowl. Rub mixture over chicken breasts.

2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onions. Cook, stirring until onions start to brown. Remove from pan.

3. Add chicken to pan and cook, about 4 minutes per side.

4. Combine mango, edamame, tomatoes and lime juice in a large bowl.

5. Serve the chicken with the cooked onions and salsa. If you want to turn them into tacos, just slice the chicken into strips and serve the chicken and salsa in a tortilla.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Penne with Asparagus, Arugula, Walnuts and Apples

Here’s a cozy dish for a snowy winter evening. This is our version of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe.

1 package penne

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp EVOO

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed*

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 package (at least 5 cups) arugula, washed and dried

6 ounces feta cheese or blue cheese

2 tbsp cider vinegar

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

*For tips on trimming asparagus, see our recipe for Tofu Mojito.

1. Cook penne until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat until it starts to smoke.

3. Add asparagus and cook for about 1 minute (don’t stir!), until the asparagus starts to brown.

4. Turn the heat to medium-high. Add walnuts and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, until nuts are toasted and asparagus is tender-crisp.

5. Add arugula and cook until wilted.

6. Add asparagus, walnuts, arugula, cheese, apple, cider vinegar and EVOO to pasta. Toss to combine.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

No-Knead Spelt Bread

I made bread—and it was so good that I’m making another loaf right now! I’ve made plenty of banana breads and other delicious quick breads, but this was my first attempt at real, crusty bread. I was intimidated because making bread sounds like such a daunting task, but it was insanely easy.

I combined a bunch of different recipes I found online. Most of the no-knead recipes call for some of the baking to be done in a covered dutch oven, BUT since the knob that comes with the lid of the Le Creuset dutch oven apparently melts at high temperatures, I used the one recipe I found for baking the bread in an uncovered dutch oven. (Dear Santa, I would like a stainless steel replacement knob for my dutch oven. Thank you.)

3 cups organic spelt flour

½ tsp regular active yeast

2 tsp (a little less) sea salt

1 to 1 ½ cups water

1. Combine the flour, yeast and sea salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with a wire whisk.

2. Add 1 cup of water and mix well. You want the dough to be sticky enough to collect the bits of dough from the sides of the bowl. If needed, add a teeny bit more water, then stir again. Repeat as many times as necessary, but don’t use more than 1 ½ cups of water total. The more water you use, the flatter your loaf will be.

3. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place it in a warm place. (In our house, the warmest place is right next to our 20-year-old furnace.)

4. Let dough sit for 18-24 hours.

5. Preheat oven to 350°.

6. Spray sides of dutch oven with oil.

7. Place dough in a sling of parchment paper and place it in the dutch oven.

8. Bake for 50 minutes.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Grilled Chili-Lemon Tilapia

I think this is the fastest dish we’ve ever made. The whole process (including prep) takes less than 10 minutes. Of course, if you serve it over brown rice like we did, your total cooking time will be a little longer. This recipe is adapted from Women’s Health.

FYI: Tilapia is a freshwater fish native to North Africa, but the tilapia we see in stores is from farms in the U.S., Central America and China. It’s all the same fish, but the fish’s country of origin makes a difference. According to Seafood Watch, tilapia farms in the U.S. are well-managed to reduce pollution. Management of tilapia farms in Central America is deemed moderately effective and management of tilapia farms in China and Taiwan is deemed ineffective. The bottom line: Seafood Watch recommends U.S.-farmed tilapia as a “Best Choice” and Central American-farmed tilapia as a “Good Alternative,” but advises consumers to “Avoid” tilapia farmed in China or Taiwan.

2 tilapia fillets

2 tsp mild chili powder

1 tbsp olive oil

2 lemons, sliced into rounds

1. Preheat grill pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil and chili powder. Brush over tilapia. Brush any leftover “sauce” over the lemon slices.

3. Place tilapia and lemon slices in grill pan. Grill for about 2 minutes per side.

4. Serve over brown rice.

Tilapia on Foodista

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

This stuff is AMAZING! We’ve been told that it’s better than peppermint bark from Whole Foods and Williams-Sonoma (and we agree).

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Fresh. (Yup, that’s the Hannaford magazine.)

12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/3 cup white chocolate chips

6-8 candy canes, smashed (we recommend using a small hammer and placing the candy canes between two sheets of parchment paper)

1. Preheat oven to 250° and line an edged baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2. Place chopped bittersweet and semisweet chocolate on the baking sheet and soften in oven for 3 minutes.

3. Remove chocolate from oven and use a spatula to smooth the surface and spread the chocolate evenly over the pan. (It doesn’t have to reach the edges.) The chocolate may still be a little bit chunky.

4. Return chocolate to oven and turn the oven off.

5. Place white chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl and zap for 30 seconds. Stir, then microwave again for 15 seconds. Repeat until white chocolate is melted.

6. Remove the real chocolate from the oven.

7. Use a spoon to plop dollops of melted white chocolate onto the real chocolate, then drag the spoon through the chocolate to make it pretty.

8. Sprinkle candy cane bits on top of chocolate.

9. Let bark sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours.

10. Break into pieces. (The chocolate will peel away from the foil easily.)

*Ideally, we should all be using organic and/or sustainable chocolate for this recipe. To find out why, read Mmmm, Chocolate.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Pot Pie

We hosted our third Maine Thanksgiving this year, and for the third time we ordered the smallest free-range turkey we could get. For the third time, the smallest turkeys ranged from 10 pounds to 13 pounds and for the third time, we scored a 13-pounder. According to commonly accepted turkey math, that gave us enough turkey to feed 13 people. We were feeding five. Thankfully, we love leftovers, especially in the form of turkey pot pie.

This recipe is adapted from a chicken pot pie recipe from SELF.

For the Filling:

2 cups low-sodium nonfat chicken broth

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 medium new potatoes (approx ½ lb.), skin on, diced

½ tsp dried thyme

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup skim milk

1 zucchini, diced

1 yellow squash, diced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 cups (or so) cooked turkey, diced

For the top:

2 ¼ cups reduced-fat Bisquick

¾ cup skim milk

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Bring 1 cup of chicken broth to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

3. Add another cup of chicken broth, potatoes and thyme. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are tender, 6-8 minutes.

4. Combine cornstarch and skim milk in a large bowl. Stir until smooth.

5. Add zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, green pepper, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to the cornstarch and milk. Mix well.

6. Add the zucchini mixture to the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes (or until the liquid thickens), stirring to make sure the cornstarch doesn’t burn. Remove from heat.

7. Add turkey to the mixture in the Dutch oven. Stir to combine.

8. In a large bowl, combine Bisquick and milk. Stir until you’ve created a fairly sticky dough, then use your hands to lay the topping over the turkey and vegetable mixture. (The dough will stick to your fingers, which will make it challenging to cover the entire surface of the pie. This may be frustrating if you’re a perfectionist. Get over it. It’ll still taste delicious.)

9. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Makai's Favorite: Giblet Gravy

This is Makai’s favorite part of Thanksgiving. Note: Makai is a dog. We make no claims about the taste or healthiness of this dish for human consumption.

This recipe is from The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs.

1 tbsp vegetable oil*

½ pound turkey or chicken giblets

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth

1. In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add giblets. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes, or until giblets are cooked through.

2. Remove giblets from pan using a slotted spoon. Cut into small pieces.

3. Return the oil in the skillet to medium heat and add flour. Stir to form a flour and oil paste.

4. Slowly add chicken broth, stirring constantly. Make sure you scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

5. Return giblets to the pan and stir. Cook 1-2 minutes, until gravy comes to a boil and thickens a little bit.

6. Serve a few spoonfuls over your dog’s regular food.

7. Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container.

*The recipe calls for 2 tbsp vegetable oil, but this produces a lot of splatter. We suggest starting with 1 tbsp and adding more as needed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tofu with Peppers, Carrots and Brown Rice

Tofu with peppers and brown rice is one of our speedy go-to dishes. About a year ago, we went to it too much and experienced major tofu-with-peppers burnout. We avoided the dish for months until this fall, when our normally lettuce-heavy CSA finally pulled through with some beautiful peppers—and carrots. How could we resist?

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

2 (or more) red, yellow, orange, green or purple bell peppers, cut into chunks

3 (or more) carrots, peeled and sliced

2 tbsp canola oil

3 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

Grated fresh ginger (somewhere between 1 and 2 tsp)

Garlic powder, to taste

1 cup brown rice

1. Cook brown rice.

2. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and garlic powder in a medium bowl or pie plate. Add tofu and marinate for 5-10 minutes.

3. In a large skillet or wok (we use an electric wok), heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium heat. Add peppers and carrots. Cook, stirring until tender crisp. Remove peppers and carrots from wok.

4. Heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium heat. Add tofu and marinade. Cook, stirring to keep the marinade from burning, for 7 to 10 minutes until edges start to brown.

5. Return peppers and carrots to the wok. Add brown rice. Mix everything together, stirring well so the marinade flavors the rice and vegetables.

Tofu on Foodista

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grilled Pineapple and Chorizo

This is more of an idea than a recipe. If your lives are anything like ours, you occasionally suffer from a shortage of time and lack of inspiration in the kitchen. Here’s some (super speedy) inspiration.

1 fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced into rounds

2 chorizo sausages (We used chicken chorizo. It was on sale at Whole Foods.)

1. Grill the sausages on a well-oiled grill over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Check to make sure that that they are cooked completely through before removing from the grill. (If the sausages say they are precooked, then you can just toss 'em on a hot grill until they are nice and browned.)

2. Re-spray the grill and cook the pineapple slices over medium-high heat, a few minutes to a side, until grill marks appear. (Warning: the high sugar content of pineapple increases the risk of burning, so keep an eye on it.)

3. Slice the pineapple into bite-size pieces.

4. Slice chorizo and toss with grilled pineapple.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Peanut Bars

These are kinda like granola bars, but better. There’s just one problem: they don’t hold their bar shape very well. I considered rolling them into balls, but after posting Angels’ Balls and Balls of Awesomeness, I was worried you might think I had a “thing” for balls.

¾ cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts

2 cups dried cranberries

1 ¾ cups old fashioned oats

2 cups Rice Krispies (or equivalent)

½ cup natural unsalted peanut butter

just under ½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup plus 1 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.

2. In the biggest bowl you can find (trust me), combine the peanuts, dried cranberries, oats and Rice Krispies. Stir to make sure everything is mixed together.

3. In a large microwaveable bowl, combine the peanut butter, brown sugar and honey. Zap on high for a minute and a half (it’ll be hot and bubbly).

4. Stir peanut butter mixture until it’s fully combined. Stir in vanilla.

5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients. Mix well, making sure everything gets coated, especially the oats—they often try to escape.

6. Transfer the mixture to the pan. Press down firmly. Allow to sit for at least an hour before cutting into bars.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fall Week: Butternut Squash Pizza

This delicious dish is adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod. We’ve made it as a pizza and a calzone. The pizza is prettier and quite frankly, in a head-to-head taste test, the pizza would win, but the calzone was still delicious. To make butternut squash calzones, follow the pizza recipe below, but place the ingredients on one half of the dough and then fold it into a calzone. Poke a few holes in the top of the calzone and bake at 400° for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

For more delectable butternut squash dishes, check out Butternut Squash Lasagna and Butternut Squash Potstickers.

Pizza dough of your choice (we use spelt dough)

Corn meal

Butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

Yellow onion, caramelized (a caramelized red onion would’ve been delicious too)

Olive oil

Garlic powder

Feta cheese

Mozzarella cheese

Dried rosemary

Golden raisins

Balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. In a large bowl, toss butternut squash with olive oil until squash is coated.

3. Spread squash on a baking sheet. Place on the top shelf of oven and roast 30-40 minutes, until squash is tender and starting to brown.

4. Prepare pizza dough. Sprinkle with corn meal for a little extra grip.

5. When squash is done, jack the oven temperature up to 475°.

6. Sprinkle pizza dough with garlic, top with squash, caramelized onions, golden raisins, mozzarella and feta. Sprinkle with dried rosemary.

7. Bake 12-15 minutes.

8. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and mangia!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Fall Week: Fall (in a bowl)

Sometimes culinary experiments go horribly wrong (we don’t post the results of those disasters) and sometimes they go wonderfully right. Fall (in a bowl) is the result of a deliciously successful culinary experiment.


1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

1 tbsp olive oil

2 Macintosh apples, chopped

Dried cranberries

Chopped walnuts

Apple cider

Maple syrup

Shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

2. Toast walnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat, about 3 minutes or until fragrant.

3. Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high and sauté the tofu, cooking until browned.

4. Throw everything (quinoa, tofu, apples, dried cranberries and toasted walnuts) in a bowl. Mix it up. Add a little apple cider. Add a little more. Add a little maple syrup. Stir.

5. Divide into servings. Top with cheese.

Tofu on Foodista

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall Week: Stuffed Acorn Squash

We love fall. And we love fall food so we’re declaring this week “Fall Week” on Healthy-ish. To celebrate, we’ll be posting three recipes that just scream fall (to us, at least).

We’ll start with this fabulous dish, adapted from Eating Well.

2 large acorn squashes

1 package baby spinach

1 15 oz. can white beans (either Cannellini or Great Northern), rinsed

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tbsp tomato paste


2 tbsp water

2 slices sandwich bread of your choosing (I used spelt bread)

1/3 – 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (equal to the amount of breadcrumbs)

1. Make breadcrumbs: Toast bread. Turn it into crumbs using a food processor. Spread crumbs on baking sheet and toast in a 350° oven for 3-4 minutes (until they start to brown). Set aside.

2. Stab squashes (so they don’t explode). Microwave for 6 minutes on high. Flip. Zap for 6 more minutes.

3. When squashes are cool enough to handle, cut in half and remove seeds. Drizzle insides with EVOO and microwave for 3 minutes on high, or until done. (Squash is done when it is fork tender and the inside is a dark yellow color.)

4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp EVOO over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until the onion starts to brown, 2-3 minutes.

5. Add garlic. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.

6. Add tomato paste, water and spinach. Stir, then cover and cook 3-5 minutes, until spinach is wilted.

7. Add white beans. Cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat.

8. Position rack in the center of oven and preheat broiler.

9. Combine breadcrumbs and shredded Parmesan in a small bowl. (My 2 slices of bread produced about a cup of breadcrumbs so I used close to a cup of Parmesan.) Add enough EVOO (at least 1 tbsp) to keep the mixture together.

10. Place squash in a baking dish. Fill each squash half with the spinach and white bean mixture and then sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

11. Broil in center of oven 1-2 minutes, until breadcrumb mixture starts to brown.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Penne 'n' Cheese

It’s getting colder…It’s getting darker…Same-sex marriage is no longer legal in Maine…Ooof! How ‘bout some comfort food?

This one’s a special request for Jane, Ollie and Simon.

1 package penne

1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour (we use rice flour, but all purpose flour will do)

1 ¼ cup fat-free half and half

½ cup shredded fontina cheese

½ cup shredded swiss cheese

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tbsp dry white wine

4-5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 small onion, diced

1 tsp EVOO

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a lasagna pan with cooking spray.

2. Cook penne until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until bubbling (it will happen quickly).

4. Add half and half, stirring constantly. Cook, still stirring frequently, until mixture boils and thickens.

5. Remove from heat and add cheeses. Stir until cheeses have melted.

6. Stir in wine.

7. Dump the pasta in the lasagna pan, add the cheese sauce and mix until all of the pasta is coated.

8. Add onions and mix.

9. Top with tomato slices. Drizzle (or brush) tomato slices with EVOO.

10. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Baked Sustainable Whitefish

You may have noticed that we haven’t posted many fish recipes. There’s a reason for that. We try really really hard to eat sustainably and finding sustainably harvested fish is tricky (especially here in the Northeast where most of the stocks are overfished).

To learn all about overfishing click here.

This recipe originally called for haddock, but trawl-caught haddock (the way most haddock is caught in the Gulf of Maine) is on the Avoid list and haddock caught with a hook and line can be hard to find so we usually use U.S. farmed tilapia. Any sustainably caught whitefish will do.

To find out what fish are good, okay and very bad choices in your area, check out the Seafood Watch regional guides.

1 cup milk

sustainably harvested whitefish of your choice

1 cup breadcrumbs

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 tsp dried thyme

¼ cup butter, melted

*Confession: We don’t measure anything for this recipe so these measurements are guesses. You may need to use more breadcrumbs, parmesan and thyme to cover the fish.

1. Preheat oven to 500° and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Cut fish into smallish-pieces (about the size of an Oreo).

3. Pour milk into a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs, thyme and parmesan in another shallow bowl.

4. Dip fish in milk, then in the breadcrumb mixture and then arrange on the baking sheet.

5. Spoon melted butter evenly over the fish pieces.

6. Bake on top shelf of oven for about 12 minutes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Susy-Inspired Shepherd's Pie

I HATE Shepherd’s Pie. Next to “Welsh Rarebit” (saltines drizzled with a gooey orange cheese-like substance), Shepherd’s Pie was the most disgusting dish served in my elementary school cafeteria. I still believe that if you want a burger, peas and mashed potatoes, you should eat a burger, peas and mashed potatoes instead of mixing it all together in some sort of “pie.” Alas, my friend Susy recently opened my eyes to a different kind of Shepherd’s Pie—one that includes yummy things like sweet potatoes and carrots.

Armed with the crazy idea that Shepherd’s Pie could be tasty and a few ideas from a recipe for Autumn Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie from the Canyon Ranch Cooks cookbook, I set out to give Shepherd’s Pie another chance…and it was really good!

1 package ground turkey

2 lbs sweet potatoes (2 big ‘uns)

2 cups peeled and sliced carrots

1 butternut squash, peeled and diced

½ cup diced onions

½ cup diced celery

3 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp dried rosemary

¾ cup vegetable stock

¾ cup apple cider

3 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 tsp maple syrup

orange juice, to taste (somewhere between ¼ and 1/3 cup)

1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.

2. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add sweet potatoes and cook until soft when poked with fork. Drain and set aside.

3. Brown turkey in a small skillet, using just enough oil to keep the turkey from sticking to the pan. Set aside.

4. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add carrots, butternut squash, onions and celery. Sauté until onions are translucent.

5. Add rosemary and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

6. Add vegetable stock, apple cider and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, 25 minutes or so.

7. Preheat oven to 350°.

8. Using an electric mixer or a food processor, puree the sweet potatoes, ginger and maple syrup. Add orange juice to taste. Mix well.

9. Assemble the “pie” in a casserole dish: first the ground turkey, then the vegetables and finally the sweet potatoes.

10. Bake for 15 minutes.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Spinach, etc Quiche

This dish is based on a recipe for “Springtime Quiche” from the Silver Palate’s New Basics cookbook. We’ve changed the name because a) it’s not springtime—it’s decorative gourd season—and b) the ingredients in the original recipe aren’t especially spring-like. This is a throw-together recipe. In other words, we use the ingredient list as a guideline and throw in whatever we happen to have available.

12 cups spinach leaves (about 2 packages)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

¾ cups chopped peeled shallots

3 plum tomatoes, chopped, de-seeded and de-juiced

1 cup skim milk

2 eggs

¾ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

2 tsp grated lemon zest

1 tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Rinse spinach and shake it gently so the leaves are still wet, but not drenched. Place slightly-wet spinach in a large skillet or saucepan over low heat. Stir until it wilts.

3. Put wilted spinach in a colander and use the back of a spoon to squeeze out any excess moisture.

4. In a small skillet, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.

5. Combine milk, eggs, Monterey jack cheese and lemon zest in a large bowl. Whisk. Add spinach, shallots and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

6. Spray a pie dish with your cooking oil of choice. Pour the quiche filling into the pan and sprinkle with Parmesan.

7. Bake for about 25 minutes, until the top is golden.

8. Technically, you’re supposed to let the quiche stand 10 minutes before serving. We think 3 minutes is long enough.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta

This is one of our go-to dinners. It’s yummy, fast and kind of comfort-food-ish. The untweaked recipe is from Eating Well.

8-10 oz. penne (one package)

2 tbsp EVOO, divided

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 hefty, but not disturbingly ginormous sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 cup diced tomatoes (either canned or fresh)

½ cup water

1 tsp dried parsley

1 heaping tsp dried tarragon

1 tbsp lemon juice

heaping ½ cup goat crumbled goat cheese…who are we kidding? We use closer to ¾ cup.

1. Cook pasta until al dente (unless you like mushy pasta…by all means, enjoy your mushy pasta, ick).

2. In a large skillet (we use a big electric skillet), heat 1 tbsp EVOO over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

3. Add sweet potato, bell pepper, tomatoes and water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the red pepper and sweet potato are tender crisp, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

4. Add the cooked (and drained) pasta to the skillet along with 1 tbsp EVOO, the parsley, tarragon and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Add the goat cheese, mix it all together and serve.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baba Ghanoush

Baba ghanoush! Baba ghanoush! Baba ghanoush! Yes, we made this because we love the name, but it’s pretty tasty too. This recipe is from Everyday with Rachael Ray.

3 medium eggplants (we used one mongo one)

1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

¼ cup (plus more to taste) fresh lemon juice

¼ cup tahini

2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp EVOO (plus more to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Stab eggplants (so they don’t explode) and place on a baking sheet. Bake 35 minutes, flipping once, until the eggplant is soft and the skin is shriveled.

3. Let eggplants cool 15-30 minutes.

4. Remove the skin and stems from the eggplants, then cut into big chunks. (If they’re juicy, drain any excess liquid using a colander.)

5. Puree eggplant, parsley, lemon juice, tahini, garlic and 2 tbsp EVOO in a food processor.

6. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with additional EVOO and/or lemon juice, if desired.

7. Serve with carrots, pita wedges or whatever you want to dip in the BABA GHANOUSH!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Quinoa with Chili-Orange Dressing

This was our first experiment with quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and it was a success. In fact, quinoa is now one of our staples. (It’s delicious in place of cous cous in Tofu Mojito.) We found the original recipe—of course, we couldn’t resist tweaking it a bit—in one of the random magazines my aunt gave us, but it comes from The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook.

1 tsp finely grated orange zest

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2-4 oranges)

1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

2 tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp chili sauce

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

1 cup quinoa

8 oz. can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 cups snow peas

4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, orange zest, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil and chili sauce. Set aside.

2. Cook quinoa according to package directions.

3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Sauté scallions, red pepper and tofu for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the tofu starts to brown. Add snow peas and water chestnuts and sauté for one more minute.

4. Combine tofu, vegetables, quinoa and dressing in a large bowl. Toss.

5. Serve hot or cold.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Stuffed Pork Chops

This recipe is from a 2005 issue of Cook's Illustrated. Perhaps our pork chops are puny or maybe we’re just not aggressive enough when we pack the stuffing into the chops, but we always have excess stuffing. It’s no biggie. We just eat it as a side dish or as a chutney-type thing on top of the pork chops. We served the pork chops with grilled polenta and peppers—it's a delicious combo as long as you get a bit of grilled pepper with each bite of polenta since the grilled polenta was incredibly bland on its own.


4 bone-in pork rib chops (1 ½ inches thick)

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup table salt

6 cups water

2 tsp vegetable oil


1 slice bread

¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

6 ounces of baby spinach (about a package of prewashed)

½ cup fontina cheese, shredded

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 medium lemon, cut into 4 wedges (keep peels)

1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh squeezed from wedges)

1. Cut a one inch opening in the side of each chop, pivoting the knife to create a pocket in the inside of the chop. (The bigger the pocket, the more stuffing you can fit inside, just be careful not to poke a second hole in the opposite side of the chop.)

2. Dissolve sugar and salt in the water and submerge the chops for an hour in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat oven to 450º and put rimmed baking sheet on lower-middle position.

4. Meanwhile, pulse bread and pine nuts in a food processor until evenly ground.

5. Heat olive oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add spinach, cooking until wilted.

6. Transfer spinach to colander and squeeze out water. Set aside.

7. Mix fontina and Parm in bowl. Add spinach and bread crumb mixture, mixing well. Add lemon juice.

8. Remove chops from brine, rinse and pat dry. Stuff with the spinach mixture.

9. Trim reserved lemon peel quarters into two-inch lengths, and insert one into each chop pocket to prevent the stuffing from oozing out during the cooking process.

10. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, until smoking.

11. Cook chops in the skillet until browned, 3 minutes per side, flipping only once.

12. Transfer chops to preheated baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until an instant read thermometer reads 135º. Flip once midway through cooking time.

13. Remove and tent with foil, letting sit for 10 minutes. (It will keep cooking, getting up to an internal temp of 145º or so.) Serve.

As you can see from the picture, we opted to forego the pesky "insert lemon peel into chop" step and ended up having stuffing that oozed out everywhere during the cooking process. The first time we tried it with the peels, they popped out in two of the four chops. Even so, we strongly suggest you include that extra step because the end result is much prettier (and tastier too).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lemon Chicken Schnitzel

This simple, but yummy dish is from Anne Lindsay’s Smart Cooking--supposedly the cookbook that “began Canada’s healthy eating revolution.” Whatev. It tastes good, it’s easy and it’s healthy and that’s all we really care about.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

juice of at least 1 large lemon

¼ cup flour

½ tsp crushed dried thyme

½ tsp celery salt

1 egg

2 tsp water

½ cup to 1 cup breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Cut chicken breasts in half so that each piece is about ¼ -inch thick. Place the chicken between 2 pieces of wax paper and pound it with the bottom of a bottle until it’s flat.

3. Sprinkle chicken with lemon juice and let it sit for 10 minutes.

4. Combine flour, thyme and celery salt in a shallow dish.

5. In another shallow dish, lightly beat egg with water.

6. Add breadcrumbs to a third shallow dish.

7. Dip chicken in flour mixture, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Place on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Non-spherical Balls of Awesomeness

These are NOT healthy! But they’re absolutely positively delicious. They usually come out of the oven in ball-form, but this time they morphed into a cookie-ish shape. We’re not sure what happened, but it didn’t affect the taste. In fact, they seem to be a bit lighter, which is a good thing.

The original recipe comes from Erin. We’ve changed it a little bit.

1 cup butter, softened

2 cups flour (we used a gluten-free blend)

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 ½ cups old fashioned oats

2 eggs

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

12 oz. chocolate chips

2 large dark chocolate bars (about 3.5 oz each)

1 ½ cups dried cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Blend oats in food processor until it’s the consistency of flour.

3. Melt the chocolate bars in the microwave. Do not let the chocolate burn!

4. In an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and brown sugar.

5. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix.

6. Add flour, oats and baking powder and mix until everything is combined. The mixture will be dense…this is why you want to use an electric mixer.

7. Add melted chocolate. Mix to combine.

8. Add chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Mix to combine.

9. Erin says to roll them into balls and place them 2-inches apart on a cookie sheet. That’s what I did the first time I made them. This time the batter stuck to my hands so much that rolling the dough into balls was a pain in the butt. After the first cookie sheet, I just scooped the dough out with a spoon and plopped it on the cookie sheet.

10. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Red Onion and Goat Cheese Pancake with Balsamic Syrup

We’re aware that this dish sounds a little strange and looks fairly odd in the picture. Trust us, it’s delicious. To maximize leftover-age, we served it as a side dish with grilled squash and grilled turkey burgers. This recipe is from Eating Well.

1 tbsp EVOO

2 large red onions, sliced

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme

½ cup flour (we used rice flour, but you can use whatever kind you want)

½ cup skim milk

2 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 tbsp canola oil

1 tbsp sugar

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp honey

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. In a large oven-proof nonstick skillet, heat EVOO over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and golden brown (about 15 minutes).

3. Add water and thyme to the onions and stir.

4. In a blender or food processor, mix flour, eggs, egg whites, canola oil and sugar until smooth.

5. Pour batter over onions, then sprinkle with goat cheese.

6. Bake the pancake until it’s “puffed and golden” (15-20 minutes).

7. While the pancake is cooking, combine balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until it’s reduced (to about 1/3 cup) and has a syrupy consistency, 10-15 minutes.

8. Cut the pancake into slices and serve immediately. Drizzle with syrup.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Apple Salad--with Dulse! (and a DEAL for YOU)

Last week, we received a super-special box from Maine Coast Sea Vegetables containing a smorgasbord of natural, local, sustainable products from the Gulf of Maine. We’ll tell you about everything as we try it, but first, the big news:

The awesome people at Maine Coast Sea Veg will give you (our loyal readers) $1 off your phone or internet order. Just use the code KELSEY when you place your order. This coupon is valid for 60 days.

FYI: Dulse is red algae. It’s supposedly crazy-nutritious and well, it’s basically the bacon of the sea. Yum!

3 apples, cubed

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup grated mild cheddar cheese

handful of dulse

½ cup plain yogurt

1. Heat canola oil in skillet over medium heat. Add dulse and cook until the dulse starts to turn greenish brown (not black—that would mean it was burned), becomes crispy and smells like bacon. (We're not kidding. It really does start to smell a bit like bacon.)

2. Combine apples, raisins, celery and cheese in a large bowl. Toss with yogurt.

3. If you’re not going to eat the salad right away, sprinkle with lemon juice and refrigerate.

4. Add dulse right before serving.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Orange Balsamic Tofu with Sage Butter Pasta

This recipe is a combination of a recipe from Everyday with Rachael Ray and an overwhelming case of anti-grocery-store-itis (otherwise known as I-really-don’t-want-to-go-grocery-shopping-so-can-we-please-create-something-edible-with-the-food-in-the-house?).

1 lb brown rice fettuccine (you can use any kind of pasta you want)

2 tbsp EVOO

1 package extra-firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

1 tsp dried rosemary leaves

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

¼ cup peach-apricot jam (or orange marmalade)

3 cups baby spinach

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp dried sage

½ cup shredded parmesan

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1 tbsp honey (enough to coat the almonds)

1. Toast almonds in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add honey and stir until almonds are coated.

2. Cook fettuccine until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3. While the pasta is cooking, deal with the tofu. Add EVOO to a large skillet, turning the skillet so the oil makes two laps of the pan. Bring to medium-high heat. Add tofu, sprinkle with rosemary and cook until the tofu is browned, 5-10 minutes. Remove tofu from skillet.

4. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar and peach-apricot jam (or orange marmalade).

5. Add balsamic mixture to the skillet. Lower heat and simmer for about a minute. Return tofu to skillet and coat with the sauce.

6. Remove skillet from heat and stir in baby spinach.

7. In the empty pasta pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in sage. Add pasta and shredded parmesan. Toss well to combine.

8. Sprinkle tofu and baby spinach with almonds. (Note: if the honey almonds became rock solid while you were tending to the rest of dinner, like they did for us, just heat them over low heat until they soften.) Serve with the pasta.

Tofu on Foodista

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicken Esquites Salad

My aunt gave us an awesome stack of food magazines this summer and we’re finally making our way through them. Here’s a recipe (only slightly adapted) from a magazine we’d never even heard of—Clean Eating.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp olive oil

4 ears of corn, cooked and de-kernelled

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese

2 tbsp fat-free plain yogurt

1 lime, zested and juiced

2 cups fresh tomatoes, diced

½ tsp chili powder

1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Brush chicken with oil and place in baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it’s cooked. When cool, cut chicken into bite-sized cubes.

3. Combine corn and scallions in a small bowl. Stir.

4. In another bowl, combine cottage cheese, yogurt and lime zest. Stir.

5. In another bowl, combine the tomatoes, lime juice and chili powder. Stir.

6. In yet another bowl, combine the beans and the chicken.

7. Layer the salads: start with 2 tbsp of the cottage cheese mixture, add ¼ cup of the corn mixture, ½ cup of the chicken and bean mixture, and then 2 tbsp of the tomato mixture. Keep on going until you’ve used all of the ingredients.

Apple Manchego Salad

As promised, here’s the rest of our not-quite-tapas night fare. This dish (or something similar) was one of my favorites at Jaleo, a DC-area tapas joint.

1 Granny Smith apple per person, cubed

Manchego cheese, cubed (we used what we had left over from a previous dinner…maybe ¼ cup per person)

2 tsp Lemon juice

3 tbsp EVOO

3 tbsp White wine vinegar

1. Add lemon juice, EVOO and white wine vinegar together and mix well—these are very approximate measurements, and you may want to cut back on the vinegar if you like your vinaigrettes a little oilier.

2. Toss the cheese and the apples in a bowl. Add the dressing. Mangia!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tapas Night (kind of)

Okay, the original idea was to have a tapas night, but making lots of small dishes seemed like a lot of work. Instead, we turned it into a tapas-inspired dinner of grilled chicken with strawberries and balsamic glaze and spinach with raisins and pine nuts. We also had an apple and manchego salad, but you’ll have to wait until the next post for that recipe.

This dinner was delicious and insanely easy and fast—with both of us working, the whole dinner took less than 20 minutes to make.

For the chicken:

Chicken breasts (as many as you need for your crew)

Balsamic glaze or balsamic vinegar

Strawberries, washed and sliced

1. Grill chicken, about 5 minutes a side on a medium hot grill

2. If you’re using balsamic vinegar, heat it in a small saucepan until it reduces into a thick, syrupy consistency. Remove from heat and add strawberries. If you’re using a balsamic glaze, which is basically pre-reduced balsamic vinegar, just go ahead and toss the strawberries in the glaze and stir.

3. Top the chicken with the balsamic glaze and strawberries.

For the spinach:

½ cup raisins

1 tsp olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 pound (more or less) baby spinach

1/3 cup pine nuts

1. Toast pine nuts in 350° oven for no more than 5 minutes—watch them!

2. Place raisins in a bowl. Cover with hot water. Let them soak for 5-10 minutes, until they become plump.

3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion. Cook until tender, stirring occasionally, 5-10 minutes.

4. Add spinach to skillet (in batches if your skillet is small). Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach wilts, 2-3 minutes. Add the plump raisins and the toasted pine nuts. Mix it all up and serve.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oven-baked French Fries

These aren’t fried—and they’re certainly not French (or “Freedom Fries” for that matter)—but baked bits o’ potato just doesn’t sound that appealing.

5-6 medium-sized potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil (plus or minus)

1 tsp of salt

1. Preheat oven to 475º.

2. Wash and cut the potatoes into appropriate fry shapes—thick or thin, depending on what floats your boat.

3. Submerge potato pieces in a bowl of water for 15-20 minutes.

4. Drain and pat dry

5. Pour olive oil over potatoes and toss to coat—you may need an extra tbsp of olive oil if you’re using lots of potatoes

6. Arrange potato pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Use two sheets if necessary.)

7. Bake fries for 45 to 60 minutes, or until golden brown, flipping every 10-15 minutes.

8. Sprinkle the fries with salt, and serve.

Unless you get the fries coated with just the right amount of oil, they'll have a tendency to stick to the baking sheet. The more frequently you flip the fries, the less concerned you have to be that you actually flip each one every time.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eggplant and Goat Cheese Calzone

This recipe (adapted from the Williams-Sonoma Pizza cookbook) has a little secret. (BACON!) Of course, you can omit the bacon if you want to, but if you’re trying to sell this dish to a carnivorous friend (or husband), the bacon really helps.

We used a gluten and dairy free dough for these calzones instead of our favorite Spelt-Right dough. The dough was delicious, but it stuck to itself and stuck to the counter, which made calzone-making difficult. This dough would probably be fine for pizzas, but we’ll use spelt dough for future calzones.

Pizza dough

2 eggplants, sliced into rounds

2 tbsp EVOO

4 slices turkey bacon, cooked, de-greased and crumbled

7 oz. goat cheese, crumbled

2 tbsp minced fresh basil

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat grill (or grill pan) to medium-high

3. Lightly brush eggplant slices with EVOO and grill until tender, about 2 minutes per side.

4. In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, basil, 1 tbsp of EVOO and bacon.

5. Divide the pizza dough into equal pieces depending on your preferred calzone size. (The cookbook recommended making each calzone the size of a baby’s shoe. With this dough, that would’ve been impossible.)

6. On a lightly floured surface, shape each piece of dough into something that resembles a circle. Arrange an equal amount of eggplant on half of each circle. Top with an equal amount of the goat cheese mixture.

7. Brush the edges of each circle with water, then fold the uncovered half over the covered half to make a calzone. Press the edges together to seal.

8. Bake for 10 minutes.

9. Reduce oven to 400° and bake for 10 more minutes, until crust is golden.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Butternut Squash Potstickers

This is a Hungry Girl recipe. It’s totally delicious and really easy, but it takes a little patience to make the potstickers pretty. We—okay, the individual responsible for actually folding the potstickers—is not known for her patience.

For the potstickers:

25 small square wonton wrappers

3 ½ cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

½ cup grated carrots

¼ cup chopped scallions

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp minced garlic

1/8 tsp ground ginger

For the dipping sauce:

2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp sweet chili sauce

1. Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl with ½ cup of water. Cover and zap in microwave for 12-14 minutes, until squash is soft.

2. Combine ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3. Drain excess water from the squash, then mash the squash. Add carrots, scallions, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Mix thoroughly.

4. Place wonton wrapper on flat surface. Spoon about 1 tbsp of the squash mixture into the center of the wrapper. Dip fingers in water then moisten the edges of the wrapper and fold into a triangle.

5. Repeat and repeat and repeat until you’ve used all of the filling.

6. Spray skillet with oil and bring to medium-high heat. Cook potstickers flat side down first, for 3-4 minutes per side. Re-spray skillet between batches.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mexican Lasagna

This is my friend’s mom’s recipe. She made it for us in college and kindly shared the recipe with me. I’ve been making it ever since (which is kind of a long time). You can make it for carnivores (with chicken) or vegetarians (with tofu). We first swapped the chicken for tofu when we were making this dish for a vegetarian friend. Now, we always use tofu.

A note on cilantro: Cilantro is one of those herbs that people either love or hate. We hate it so we leave it out, but I’ve included it in the recipe in case you’re a cilantro-lover.

A note on noodles: This photo of Mexican lasagna was taken before I started this wheat-free experiment. I’ve been experimenting with brown rice lasagna noodles and so far, the top noodle has maintained a cardboard-like consistency. (For the record, brown rice penne, spaghetti and fettuccine are all wonderful, but the lasagna noodles we’ve tried have not been so wonderful.) Does anyone have any recommendations for wheat-free lasagna noodles?

2 yellow bell peppers, halved and de-seeded

1 cup salsa

9 lasagna noodles

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 cup skim milk

1 large egg

2 tsp flour

2 cups sliced, diced or shredded cooked chicken OR 1 package of tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 ½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

1 can (15 oz) whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed

1. Heat broiler. Spray baking sheet with canola oil.

2. Place pepper halves on baking sheet, cut side down. Broil peppers on top rack (about 3 inches below the heat source) for 5 minutes or so, until the skins are mostly charred.

3. Remove peppers from the oven and place in a saucepan with a lid.

4. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove them from the saucepan, de-skin them (the charred parts will peel right off) and dice.

5. Heat oven to 350°.

6. Spread ¼ cup of salsa over the bottom of a baking dish. Top with 3 noodles.

7. Whisk sour cream, milk, egg and flour in a medium bowl until blended.

8. Pour 2/3 cup sauce (the sour cream mixture) over the noodles. Scatter chicken or tofu over the sauced noodles then sprinkle with cilantro (if you’re using it). Add ½ cup of cheese and 2 tbsp (or a little more) of salsa.

9. Add 3 more noodles and then the yellow layer: 2/3 cup sauce, all the yellow peppers, ½ cup of cheese and all of the corn. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cilantro (if you must).

10. Top with the last 3 noodles. Add the remaining sauce, salsa and cheese. Cover with foil.

11. Bake 40-45 minutes. Let stand covered for 10 minutes. Cilantro-lovers—go ahead and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top. Serve.