Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms and Greens

I'm always on the lookout for a way to incorporate lentils into my diet as well as more greens. So this recipe for Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms and Greens from the February, 2011 issue of Food and Wine magazine is perfect, especially since I think nothing with mushrooms can ever be bad. And there is nothing I love better than when foods that seem somewhat boring on their own (i.e. dry lentils and Swiss chard) get tossed together with some spices and end up super tasty as a result! And this is exactly what I got with this one. In fact, it was so good I didn't eat it as a side-dish as suggested in the recipe, I ate it stand alone as a light meal.

Spiced Lentils with Mushrooms and Greens
4 side-dish servings

1/2 cup brown or green lentils
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/2 pound Swiss chard or other tender greens, large stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped parsley

In a small saucepan, cover the lentils with 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the shiitake and season with salt. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stiffing, until the mushrooms are tender and starting to brown, 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil along with the garlic, cumin, coriander, pepper and turmeric and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the greens and cook, stirring, until wilted, 2 minutes.

Add the lentils and their cooking liquid to the mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes. Add up to 1/4 cup water if the lentils are too dry. Season with salt. Ladle the lentils into bowls, garnish with parsley and serve.

My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) was originally started by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. This month's MLLA #33 is being hosted by Ammalus Kitchen

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Scarlet Barley with Mushroom & Cannellini Paprikas

I admit that the main reason I made this recipe is so that I could shred a beet. I have had a thing with beets this past fall but so far I have only tackled roasting them. I found the concept of peeling the raw beet and then shredding it and using it as an ingredient intriguing. And when I learned this month's Monthly Mingle theme is "Think Pink" I decided this recipe for Scarlet Barley from Isa Chandra Moskowitz's "Appetite for Reduction" would be a fun contribution.

The Scarlet Barley along with the Mushroom & Cannelini Paprikas came together in about an hour. Shredding the beet for the Scarlet Barley was harder than I thought. I used the shredder on my mandolin and since the beet is naturally hard it was a bit difficult to get a good position for the shredder to shred it. And of course my hands turned all red. But once that was done the rest was simple. And it wasn't too difficult that I wouldn't do it again to use for other recipes if the ingredient is called for.

I prepared this dish prior to an evening appointment and let it sit on the stove for at least two hours before I ate it. Unfortunately I think it lost some flavor. The end result was somewhat bland to me. I think if I would have tried the barley after letting the fresh lemon sit for about 10 minutes it would have been much better.

The next day I sauteed some Swiss chard with green onions and garlic (like the way it is done for the Miso Udon Stir-fry with Greens and Beans recipe) and then threw the leftovers into the pan to reheat. I mixed it all together and after it was plated I squirted on a bit of sriracha. It was a really great combo to be eaten this way!

Scarlet Barley
Serves 6

1 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
1 beet (about 3/4 pound), grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
Preheat a 2-quart pot over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the olive oil for about 30 seconds. Add several pinches of pepper and the bay leaf. Add the barley, broth, and salt; cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling stir and lower the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When most of the water has absorbed, mix in the grated beet. Cook for about 20 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, mix in the lemon juice, and taste for salt. Cover and let sit for about 10 mire minutes. Remove bay leaf and serve topped with fresh dill.

Mushroom & Cannellini Paprikas
Serves 4

1 1/2 tsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry red cooking wine
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 Tbsp fresh chopped thyme
1 (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 recipe Scarlet Barley

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium-high heat. Saute the onions in the oil until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, pepper, and salt; cook until lots of the moisture has been released, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.

Add the wine, broth, smoked paprika, and thyme. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Boil for about 3 minutes. Lower the heat and add the beans. Cook to heat through, about 4 more minutes. Use a strong fork to lightly mash some of the beans, to thicken the sauce. Just mash a few against the side of the post and then mix 'em back in. Taste for salt and serve.

Serve over Scarlet Barley with plenty of fresh dill.

This month's Monthly Mingle theme is Think Pink and is being hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Miso Udon Stir-fry with Greens & Beans

Wow! This dish tastes about 10 times better than it looks. With a little Sriracha and salt on top, it's creamy and salty and spicy... perfect!

I bought a few kinds of different kinds of beans the other week just to have on hand. One of those was a bean I hadn't heard of before: azuki beans. So when I was flipping through my new cookbook, Appetite for Reduction, I flagged this recipe as the first one to make because of it's use of this fun new ingredient.

I couldn't find brown rice udon noodles as suggested in the recipe so I bought some brown rice spaghetti. But I had some regular pre-cooked udon packages in my refrigerator so when it came time to put this together I decided to use those.

I realize now that I forgot to add the sesame seeds. Oh well, I do bet they would have been great on this but it was really tasty all the same.

Miso Udon Stir-fry with Greens and Beans
Serves 4

1 pound broccoli, stems sliced thinly, tops cut into florets
8 ounces brown rice udon noodles
1 teaspoon olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bunch Swiss chard (about ½ pound), coarse stems removed, chopped roughly
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, plus extra for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) can azuki beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup miso
1/2 cup hot water
4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
Sriracha hot sauce, to serve

Prepare a pot of salted water for cooking the noodles.

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. First saute the broccoli with a bit of nonstick cooking spray and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes. Cover the pan and flip once or twice. The broccoli should be browned in some spots. Add a splash of water at the end, then cover for another minute. The pan should be steaming. Remove broccoli from the pan and set aside.

At this point, the water should be boiling. Use a mug to remove ½ cup of water; you can use that to mix into your miso in a few steps. Then cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain when ready.

Now we'll put everything together. Preheat the large pan again, over medium heat. Saute the garlic in the oil for about a minute, until fragrant. Add the chard, green onion, and salt, and saute for about 5 minutes, until wilted. Add the beans and let heat through.

In the meantime, in a mug or measuring cup, mix together the miso and warm pasta water until relatively smooth.

Add the drained noodles to the pan, along with the miso mixture and broccoli. Saute for about 2 minutes, using a pasta spoon, making sure everythin is nice and coated. Taste for salt. To serve, to with sesame seeds and green onions and keep the Sriracha close at hand.

No Croutons Required March bogging event theme is "aduki beans or mung beans" and it is being hosted by Lisa's Kitchen. View the roundup here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hearty Irish Lager Stew

You probably don't think "vegetarian" when you think of Irish food, but this dish is not only vegetarian, it's vegan. This recipe for Hearty Irish Lager Stew from the March, 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine is made with no animal products at all so it's super healthy. That might not have you smackin' your lips, but this stew is very tasty and since it's made of mostly veggies, you can eat a huge amount and it won't go to your hips. And, it's made with beer! So that's kinda fun.

Make sure you cut your veggies on the small side. Ours were a bit large and with the cooking times listed in the recipe we found that the potatoes were still hard. We cooked it an extra 15-20 minutes and some of it was still al dente. It was good anyways; I don't mind chewing my vegetables. I'd rather that than have them be too mushy. And we munched on some Salt and Vinegar Potato Bites while we were waiting for the stew to finish so we had no complaints.

Hearty Irish Lager Stew
Serves 8

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
8 oz. button or shittake mushrooms, halved
2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
1 medium leek, white part only, diced (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (2 cups)
2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced (1½ cups)
1½ tsp. tomato paste
1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in bundle, plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
½ lager beer
1½ Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 Tbsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

Heat ½ Tbsp. oil in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; saute 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining ½ Tbsp. oil to pot. Add leek, and cook 5 minutes. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduct heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add lager, tapioca, and mushrooms. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Remove thyme sprigs, stir in cabbage and miso, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until cabbage softens. Stir in chopped thyme and parsley, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information as provided in magazine:
Per 1-cup serving: 118 CAL; 4 G PROT; 2 G TOTAL FAT (<1 G SAT FAT); 23 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 204 MG SOD; 5 G FIBER; 5 G SUGARS

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Salt and Vinegar Potato Bites

We love these potatoes! Way better then french fries, roasted potatoes are much healthier. Found in the March, 2011 issue of Vegetarian Times magazine I made these tonight as a snack.

The recipe says you can drizzle the sauce over the potatoes, but I think that would have made them soggy. We liked dipping them and that way we could each control the amount of vinegar that absorbed into to potato.

Salt and Vinegar Potato Bites
Serves 8

6 medium red or yello potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (3 cups)
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup malt vinegar
3 Tbsp. sugar

Soak potatoes in large bowl of cold water 30 minutes. Drain, and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss potatoes with oil on baking sheet, and spread in single layer. Roast 45 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning 2 or 3 times. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Meanwhile, bring vinegar and sugar to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half, stirring occasionally. Serve malt sauce on side for dipping, or drizzle over potatoes.

Nutritional Information as provided in magazine:
Per ½-cup serving: 89 CAL; 1 G PROT; 4 G TOTAL FAT (<1 G SAT FAT); 14 G CARB; 0 MG CHOL; 3 MG SOD; <1 G FIBER; 5 G SUGARS