Monday, December 5, 2011

Butternut Squash Ravioli/Black Bean and Squash Quesadillas

Adapted from Squash ravioli with sage cream sauce

Squash Puree:
1 medium butternut squash (or favorite winter squash)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the squash, cut in half and remove the seeds. Place the squash pieces on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until squash is tender. Place in a mixing bowl. Add the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, nutmeg, chopped sage and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Mash ingredients together with a potato masher. Set aside.

If you are making ravioli:

1 package egg roll or wonton wrappers
1 egg beaten with 2 teaspoons water

When using egg-roll wrappers or wonton wrappers, work with one sheet at a time, placing it on a work surface. Keep unused wrappers covered so they don't dry out. Use 1 sheet of the wrapper to make two raviolis. I used one wonton wrapper for each ravioli, folding it diagonally.

Scoop about one heaping tablespoon of the squash mixture for each ravioli onto the bottom half of the wrapper. Brush with egg wash around the filling and on the wrapper. Fold top half of the egg roll wrapper over the squash mixture. You can leave it square or crimp the edge; repeat with remaining filling. Press edges all around the filling to seal.

To cook ravioli: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Working in batches, add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until they float to the surface and the pasta is tender. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon.

For Quesadillas:
Use squash puree from above. Spread on tortillas, top with beans and Mexican cheese, such as quesadilla or queso blanco. Top with another tortilla and pan fry.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spicy Carrot Soup with Cashews

1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cups water
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/4 cup chopped cashews

Cook carrots in water until very tender (about 10-15 minutes). Meanwhile cook the onion in non-stick spray until they begin sweat and turn translucent. Add garlic and spices and continue to cook until onions are done.

Combine carrots and onions and puree in blender or with immersion blender.

Top with cashews and serve.

Makes about 4 servings.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Cauliflower and Ham Tart

Adapted from the Bon Appétit Vegetables cookbook.

1 sheet of pastry crust (or homemade if you're so inclined)

1 cup of whipping cream
1 cup skim milk
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup grate Parmesan cheese
1 large cauliflower cut into florets (about 2 cups, heaping)
1 cup diced smoked ham

Press crust into 10-inch quiche pan. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly browned according to package directions.

For filling, combine cream, milk, eggs, yolks, and Parmesan in mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.

Bring salted water to boil. Reduce heat to medium and add cauliflower and cook 3 - 5 minutes until barely tender. Drain thoroughly.

Distribute ham and cauliflower over crust. Pour egg mix over top. Bake at 350 for 40 -45 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Broccoli Carrot Chicken and Rice Curry Soup

7 cups water
5 teaspoons chicken bouillon
1 large head broccoli
3 carrots
2 teaspoons curry
½ teaspoon ginger
1 skinless boneless chicken breast cut into pieces

Combine all in a slow cooker. Cook on low 7-9 hours.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

5-Spice Lentil Soup

1 cup dried brown lentils
2 ½ cups water
1 tomato diced
1 red pepper diced
1 leek sliced
1 teaspoon 5-Spice Powder

Combine all in crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ricotta Pesto Pizza Pie

1 roll frozen pizza dough, thawed and rolled out into 15 inch circle

1/2 cup fat-free ricotta
1/4 cup pesto
1/8 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup fat-free mozzarella
chopped zucchini (about half a large one)
chopped mushrooms, about 5 large
quartered cherry tomatoes, about a cup

Bake pizza crust for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from oven and top with ricotta mixture. Spread pizza sauce on top. Add cheese evenly and then top with vegetables. Return to oven and bake another 10 - 12 minutes until cheese is melted and golden brown.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Balkan Spiral Pies with Cabbage Filling

adapted from Bon Appétit Vegetables Cookbook

1 small cabbage (1 1/2 - 2 pounds) quartered
1/2 pound bacon, cut into quarter-inch pieces
1 large onion diced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Hungarian sweet paprika
1 teaspoon caraway seeds crushed
12 phyllo pastry sheets

Preheat oven to 375 degree Fahrenheit.

Bring large amount of water to rapid boil. Blanch cabbage for 5 minutes. Drain well before cutting into 1/2 inch strips. Discard core.

Brown bacon until it is brown, but not crisp. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Remove bacon grease from pan.

Saute onion until over medium heat until it begins to wilt. Add sugar and saute for a few minutes more.

Add cabbage and cook until it is softened and beginning to get glossy, about 12-15 minutes.

Season with paprika and caraway. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes more, to blend flavors. Set aside.

Spray one phyllo sheet with non-stick spray, and fold in half, with spray to outside. Add filling about 1 inch from folded edge. Roll up and enclose filling like a cigar. Twist into spiral, tucking end under.

Place on baking sheet covered with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and flaky.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BLT Submarine Pizzas

This is modified from this BLT pizza recipe.

Makes 2 personal pizzas

3 slices bacon
1 tomato
1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
2 Flatout flatbreads
8 leaves Romaine or other lettuce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
4 leaves basil
pinch garlic salt
pinch oregano

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray the bottoms of the flatbread with non-stick spray. Brush the top with olive oil. Divide cheese between two crusts. Dice tomato and divide between two crusts. Brown bacon and drain; divide between two crusts.

Bake pizza for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and crust begins to brown. Meanwhile combine vinaigrette ingredients, shred lettuce and coat with dressing. Divide between two pizza crusts.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spicy Potato Picadillo Soup

1 pound yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced
6 ounces chorizo, removed from casing
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1 pinch of achiote
1 cup chicken stock
3 tomatoes, chopped

Boil potatoes in water until just about tender. Drain in colander.

Spray pot with non-stick pan with non-stick spray. Add garlic, peppers, onion and achiote. Cook over medium heat until tender. Add chorizo, breaking into small pieces, cook until done.

Add chicken broth and tomatoes, bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Serve with tortillas. Spray pan with non-stick spray and cook on medium heat, turning to cook each side.

Arracache Picadillo

1 1/2 kg arracache
1/2 kg seasoned mincemeat
1/2 kg sausage salami
4 well crushed cloves of garlic
1 finely minced bell pepper
1 finely minced bunch of coriander
1 pinch of achiote
4 chicken stock cubes or 1 cupful of concentrated chicken stock
3 peeled and split tomatoes
2 spoonfuls of oil
salt and pepper to taste

Peel the raw arracache while you keep it under water. Mince it pretty finely and grind it too.

Wash it well and boil it softly some twice; then let it drain.

In a pot, heat the oil and add the garlic, bell pepper, onion, coriander and achiote. Fry them lightly. Then add the the tomatoes, the mincemeat and the salami, and cook all until to get a good sauce.

Put in there the pepper and salt besides the chicken stock. Now, add the arracache and cook it at medium heat, until the picadillo feels soft. It must nevertheless turn out as dry as possible.

From: Meals a la Tica, sold at el Trapiche Coffee and Sugar Cane Farm, Monteverde, Costa Rica

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Black Bean-Squash Chili

2 cans Black Beans (I prefer Kuner's Black Beans with Lime and Jalapeno)
1 buttercup or other squash peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups chicken broth
4 tomatoes (I used my frozen oven dried tomatoes, but you can substitute 1 can of tomatoes)
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chipotle powder

Combine all in a slow cooker on low, cook for 5 hours our until squash is tender.