Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet

Zucchini, Black Bean and Rice Skillet

1 tbsp olive oil
2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup water
1 cup instant brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add zucchini and bell pepper, cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add beans, tomatoes and water.  Increase heat and bring to a boil.  
Add rice; stir well.  Reduce heat and simmer for 7-10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat, add cheese, cover and let stand until cheese is melted.  

Serve with salad or steamed vegetable for complete meal.  I used the leftovers in flour tortilla as a quesadilla and burrito, which was also very tasty.

Lasagna Bread Pizzas

This was yummy!  In an effort to add some fiber and also try to make it healthier overall, I substituted lentils for the ground beef/veggie meat crumbles.  Turned out great!  I served this with a salad of spring greens and a light olive oil dressing.  Perfect family approved summer dinner!

Shredded mozzarella cheese (or Diaya brand dairy-free mozzarella)
1 large Italian baguette, sliced in 4 pieces
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup dried green lentils
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 cups crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer, Plain
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 cups ricotta cheese (or recipe for Tofu Ricotta)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or dairy free choice)
1 egg yolk (omit if using Tofu Ricotta)
A few basil leaves, torn

Heat oven to 375.  Lightly toast bread on 2 baking sheets.

Cook lentils in 3/4 cup water allow to simmer until most of the water is absorbed.  When substituting lentis for ground beef, try to keep them tender but still a bit firm for a more "meaty" texture.  If lentils are too hard, you can add a bit more water toward the end of the cooking process as necessary. 

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, onions, and garlic and cook until lightly browned.  Stir in tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, thyme and oregano.  Add lentils.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine parsley, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg yolk.  Spread an even layer of ricotta over the 4 pieces of bread.  Top with sauce and then a layer of shredded cheese.  Bake pizzas until brown and bubbly on top, about 10-15 minutes.  Garnish with torn basil.  Serve with salad.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

No Boil Easy Manicotti

This recipe took the pain out of filling floppy manicotti noodles by not boiling them ahead of time and using a ziploc bag to squirt the filling into the shells.

Filling Ingredients (Place inside a gallon size freezer bag):
2 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1 package of Manicotti
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese
32 oz jar of marinara sauce (low sodium)
cooking spray

Combine filling ingredients in a gallon freezer bag and knead until thoroughly mixed.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread with a thin layer of marinara sauce to coat the bottom of the pan.
Clip a small corner, about 1/2", of the bag and proceed to fill manicotti and place in baking dish.
Pour remaining sauce over the top of the manicotti and cover with aluminum foil.  
Bake at 375 for 1 hour, until shells are tender.  Remove foil and top manicotti lightly with shredded cheese.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with a tossed green salad or steamed veggie and garlic bread for a complete meal.

Veggie Pot Pie Cupcakes

1 cup frozen mixed veggies (I used frozen green beans, carrots, corn, and peas but I think it would be better with fresh carrots and green beans next time)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Daiya dairy-free cheese
1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 can of Pillsbury Grands biscuits

Homemade Cream of Mushroom soup (filling):
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread
1/4 cup flour
1 cup So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer (you can also use plain, unsweetened soymilk)
3/4 cup broth (you can use veggie broth or make "chick'n broth" from McKay's Chicken Style Seasoning)

**I chose to make my own Cream of Mushroom soup, as this is a much healthier option than the canned variety which is loaded with sodium, fat/cholesterol, and ingredients I prefer not to use**

For the Cream of Mushroom Soup:
Saute garlic, onion, and mushrooms and set aside.  Melt butter over medium heat.  Whisk in flour.  Cook for ~2 minutes.  Add milk/cream and broth.  Add sauteed garlic, onion, and mushrooms.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring regularly, until it reaches desired consistency (about 10-15 min).  Set soup aside for later use.

For the Pot Pie:
Preheat oven to 400.  In a large bowl, combine Cream of Mushroom soup, veggies, cheese, and herbs.  Lightly grease a muffin tin with Earth Balance buttery spread and place the Pillsbury biscuits into each cup, pressing into the bottom and up the sides.  Evenly spoon the pot pie mixture into each cup.  Slide into the oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, checking after 10 minutes.