Thursday, July 28, 2011

Greek Non-Meatballs

Today I found myself in a lack-of-groceries situation. I had planned to make a trip to the store, but circumstances found us at the vet this morning, and I gladly sacrificed my grocery money for our aging dog. (the dog is fine)

When it came time to make dinner I trolled through the fridge and pantry and decided to make some sort of vegetarian meatball.

I had all of these ingredients on hand and researched a few recipes online.

Greek-ish Non-Meatballs
makes 4 servings: 3 meatballs per serving
Olive oil
1 cup diced Portabella mushroom
½ white onion, diced
2 large cloves (or 2 tbs) minced garlic
1-2 tbs minced fresh basil & oregano (I just grabbed some sprigs)

1 cup whole oats
1/8 cup ground flax seed
½ cup raw cashews

1/8 cup brewers yeast
½ cup crumbled feta
¼-1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 tsp kosher salt
a few twists of freshly ground black pepper

Heat a little olive oil in a medium saucepan and add onion, garlic & mushrooms. Sauté on medium heat until onions are clear and mushrooms are cooked through. Put pan back on heat and add a thin layer of olive oil.

Meanwhile combine oats, flax and cashews in a blender or food processor, pour into large mixing bowl.

At the end of sautéing, add basil & oregano, blend/process mushroom-onion-garlic mixture and add to mixing bowl.

Heat oven to 350 and spray a 9x9 baking dish with whatever you like to use (canola or olive-oil spray).

Add yeast, feta and Parmesan to bowl, mix well and form 2" balls with your hands. (This recipe made 12-13 meatballs).

Place balls into frying pan and fry for 2-3 minutes to a side, turning until most of outside is starting to brown. Place meatballs into baking dish and bake for 15-25 minutes, turn meatballs partway through for even cooking.

Nutrition Stuff: (Per Serving) 460 calories, 386 from fat. Daily Values: 66% fat, 7% cholesterol, 37% sodium, 4% carbohydrates, 10% fiber, 9.6g protein, 2% Vitamin A, 5% Vitamin C, 20% Calcium, 11% Iron.

We served them over Barilla Plus thin spaghetti and Scott's secret marinara sauce, with a fresh spinach salad. I dressed the salad with a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a shake of Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lentil Curry and Carrot Feta Salad

I was at a loss for what to make for dinner tonight... we're trying so hard to eat more fiber in the form of fruits and veggies, and we've been making so much progress that I just couldn't bear to make a package of noodles.

I wanted to make the Garbanzo Curry that mom made for us, but we didn't have any garbanzo beans. We DID have a bag of Bob's Red Mill Veggie Soup mix which is mostly lentils, so I decided to adapt the recipe and use the soup mix in place of the garbanzos.

Here's how it came out:

Lentil Curry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons Homeward Bound Hot Sauce: PunJab
3/8 teaspoons ground cloves
3/8 teaspoons cinnamon
3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups water
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Veggie Soup Mix

Stir spices, hot sauce and garlic into oil, and allow them to heat through. Add water and bring to a simmer, add soup mix, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Stir in:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
Kosher salt to taste.

Heat through.

I made equal parts brown and Basmati rice today to serve with the curry.

We're eating a lot of carrots these days, and I decided to try and change it up a bit from the usual. I used this recipe as inspiration and went with what I had. I think it turned out deliciously!

Carrot & Feta Salad
5 large carrots, washed, peeled & shredded
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 finely minced cloves of garlic
3/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon Homeward Bound Hot Sauce: SparkPlug
1/2 teaspoon Splenda

3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
Crumbled feta cheese for serving

In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, cumin, paprika, SparkPlug and Splenda in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the mint and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Garbanzo Curry, Grilled Polenta & Sweet Potatoes with Tahini-Yogurt Dip

Mom has been here visiting us for just over a week, it has been wonderful to visit with her, but also wonderful to have her cook and share recipes with us!

Tonight we had a pepper-cleaning session and while the boys were outside working Mom was whipping up an amazing meal. I suggested that we grill some polenta that was hanging out in the fridge and she suggested we also grill a sweet potato.

Mom also transferred a thumb-drive full of recipes onto our computer, so we can share them with you (and more importantly make them again ourselves!)

Here is the Garbanzo Curry recipe. The original called for curry paste but Mom wanted to use PunJab instead.

African Chick-Pea (Garbanzo) Curry
From Elvera Blake

Makes 8 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
2-3 tablespoons Homeward Bound Hot Sauce: PunJab
3/8 teaspoons cloves
3/8 teaspoons cinnamon
1/3 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
3 cloves garlic, minced

Stir spices, hot sauce and garlic into oil, and allow them to heat through.

Stir in:
3 15-oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (unless they are Trader Joe's brand, no need to rinse)

Mash some with a fork or potato masher—enough so that a sauce can form. Add enough water to cover - ½ cup to 2 cups.

Cook to reduce liquid and form sauce: about 10-20 minutes.

Stir in:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
¾ cup golden raisins
Kosher salt to taste.

Heat through.

We served this over rice, half brown and half basmati. (Mom says that Trader Joe's basmati brown rice is "AMAZING".)

Grilled Polenta and Sweet Potatoes

1 17oz log Marjon Polenta, Basil & Garlic flavor
1 large Sweet Potato
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Peel the sweet potato and cut into 1/3 inch rounds. Place in a microwave-safe bowl with a small amount of water in the bottom, cover tightly with plastic wrap to create steam. Microwave for two or three minutes at a time ONLY until fork-tender (total time will vary according to your microwave power).

While the sweet potatoes being microwaved, cut polenta into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rounds. Place onto a cookie sheet in a single layer and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Once sweet potatoes are fork-tender, place onto cookie sheet in a single layer and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top.

Place polenta and sweet potato rounds onto a hot grill that has been brushed with additional olive oil (more high heat than medium). You can check the done-ness of the potatoes, but do not move the polenta until at LEAST three minutes, or they will stick to the grill and fall apart.

Once rounds have a nice char and grill marks, flip them over and brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue to cook until slightly charred and crispy on the edges.

We dipped both in the Tahini-Yogurt Dip.

Yogurt Tahini Sauce
Yield: 1 ½ cups

1 garlic clove
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and grated zest of 1 lemon

Pound the garlic, ¼ teaspoon salt, and tahini together in a mortar to make a mushy paste. Gradually stir in the yogurt, lemon juice, and lemon zest. (WE DIDN'T HAVE A MORTAR AND PESTLE, so she just minced the garlic very very finely and smashed it with the side of the knife)

Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
Deborah Madison
Copyright © 1997 Broadway Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

This meal was AMAZING, and all three boys were totally satisfied and happy with it (Mom and I were, too... but we knew we would be).