Pasta and Lentils


 4 servings; makes about 7 cups

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils

  • 6 cups water, or more as needed

  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced

  •  1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 12 ounces dried whole wheat pasta (we used rotini)

  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped

  • I can diced tomatoes, drained

  • 2 cups greens (We used baby Swiss chard)

DIRECTIONS

Pour the lentils into a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven and add the water (to cover); bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.

Uncover; stir in the garlic, red chili flakes and oil, then cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Stir in  the pasta, cover and cook until al dente, stirring regularly to keep the pasta from sticking and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a minimum of bubbling. Depending on the pasta variety, the cooking time may take about 5 minutes longer than indicated on the package, so begin tasting the pasta once the suggested cooking time has elapsed. Continue tasting every minute or two until it is cooked through but still firm. The resulting dish should resemble a thick soup; if the mixture seems too dry, add a little water to reach the desired texture, keeping in mind the pasta will continue to absorb liquid as it cools.

Once the pasta is done, add thyme and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally,  until tomatoes are hot.  Add greens, stir until mixed in, cover and let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then uncover and serve!

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Spinach Chickpea Paella

Adapted from the Washington Post: 

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups homemade or no-salt-added vegetable broth

  • 2 tablespoon pine nuts

  • 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon Madras curry powder

  • 2 large or 4 small shallot lobes, thinly sliced

  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup uncooked arborio, bomba or other short-grain rice

  • 3 cups (2 ounces) packed baby spinach leaves, chopped

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained (or if canned, use no-salt-added, drained and rinsed)

  • 4 tablespoons roasted red peppers, cut into strips

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the broth in a small saucepan over medium heat until barely bubbling at the edges; reduce the heat to very low and cover. (Or heat the broth in a microwave-safe glass measuring cup, microwave on HIGH until boiling, about 2 minutes, and cover to keep hot.)

Sprinkle the pine nuts into a  12 inch cast-iron or other heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook, shaking the pan frequently to toss the pine nuts, until they are brown and fragrant, a few minutes. Immediately transfer them to a small plate so they don’t continue cooking and burn.

Return the skillet to medium heat and pour in the oil. Once the oil is hot enough to shimmer, sprinkle in the curry powder and let it sizzle and bloom for a few seconds, then add the shallot and garlic and saute until tender, a few minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for another minute or two, until the rice grains are well coated. Add the spinach and chickpeas and cook, stirring, until the spinach wilts, a minute or two.

Pour in the hot broth and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low so the liquid is gently bubbling. Taste the liquid and add salt as needed, then cook, swirling the pan occasionally to keep the rice hydrated, until the rice has swelled and absorbed much but not all of the liquid (it should be slightly soupy), 8 to 10 minutes.

Scatter the red pepper strips on top of the paella. Transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, until the rice is al dente, or mostly tender but with a little resistance at the center of the grain, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover with a lid or aluminum foil, and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Uncover and return it to the stovetop over medium-high heat and cook for 2 minutes, to brown and crisp the bottom. Scatter the toasted pine nuts on top.

Spoon the paella out onto a plate, or eat it from the pan.

Roasted Carrot & Crispy Kale Salad with White Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 lb carrots
  • ¾ cup farro
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups curly kale
  • 2 Tbsp sweet white miso
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp pine nuts
  • 2 tsp mixed sesame seeds
  • 2 cups white beans, drained and rinsed
  • olive oil, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper

Method

  •  Roast vegetables: Preheat oven to 425°F. Halve onion and thinly slice half.  (I use my mandolin to  slice thinly) Peel carrots, cut in half lengthwise and slice in quarters. Toss carrots and sliced onion with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2teaspoon salt, and some pepper  on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until vegetables are golden and almost tender, 20–25 minutes.
  • Cook farro Meanwhile, combine farro, remaining half onion, 2½ cups water and 2 tablespoons vinegar  in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook until farro is tender, 15–20 minutes; drain if necessary and discard onion.

  • Prep kale Remove stems from kale and tear leaves into bite-size pieces. Toss kale with white beans and 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and pepper. Add kale  and beans to sheet with carrots and onions and continue to roast until kale is slightly wilted and crispy in spots, about 5 minutes more.

  • Make dressing Whisk miso, honey, remaining tablespoon vinegar and 1 tablespoon oil in a medium bowl until smooth. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dressing is thin enough to drizzle.

  • Toast nuts & seeds Place pine nuts and sesame seeds on a separate rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden, about 4 minutes.

  • Finish Transfer farro to a platter and top with vegetables. Drizzle everything with dressing and top with pine nuts and sesame seeds. Enjoy!

Mushroom Bolognese

Adapted from America's Test Kitchen "Vegan for Everybody"


Ingredients

  1. 2 pounds Cremini mushrooms, trimmed & quartered
  2.  2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  3. 1 small onion, chopped
  4. 1 (28 oz) can organic whole peeled tomatoes
  5. 3 TBL extra virgin olive oil
  6. 1/2 dried Porcini mushrooms, rinsed & minced
  7. 3 gloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 TBL organic tomato paste
  9. 1 cup dry red wine
  10. 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  11. 1 TBL soy sauce or Tamari
  12. 3 TBL soy unsweetened creamer
  13. 1 lb whole wheat linguini (also works well with spaghetti squash!)

Method

  1. Working in batches, pulse Cremini mushrooms, carrots, & onion in food processor until finely chopped, about 5-7 pulses.  Transfer to a large bowl.  Pulse tomatoes and their juices until finely chopped, 6-8 pulses.  Set aside separately.
  2. Heat oil in dutch over over medium heat until shimmering.  Add processed vegetables and Porcini mushrooms, cover and cook, stirring occasionally  until they release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook until vegetable begin to brown, about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in wine & simmer, stirring occasionally until almost evaporated, about  5 minutes.
  4. Stir in processed tomatoes, broth, soy sauce, 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper.   Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened but is still moist. Stir in soy creamer. Continue to stir occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions and drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return to pot.  Add sauce and toss to combine.  Adjust consistency with reserved cooking water as needed.  Season with salt and pepper to taste & serve.

Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Bake

Adapted from The Minimalist Baker

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butternut squash, chopped into small, bite-size cubes
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or avocado oil, divided
  • 3⁄4 cup quinoa
  • 1 ⁄2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1⁄2 medium red onion sliced in thin rings
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 ounces cremini, button, or baby bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 1⁄2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 3 cups loosely packed kale, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Penzey's Mural of Flavor
  • Sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add cubed butternut squash and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with a healthy pinch each salt and pepper.

3. Toss to coat and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until just fork tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. In the meantime, thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer. Add to small saucepan with vegetable broth and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook until liquid is fully absorbed and quinoa is fork tender—about 15 minutes. Set aside, covered.

5. Heat a large oven proof large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, onion, and garlic. Season with a pinch of pepper.

6. Cook until onion is soft and translucent ( 4 to 5 minutes) stirring frequently. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are lightly browned.

7. Add kale to the pan. Season with Mural of Flavor, red pepper flakes and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook until kale is just tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

8. Once quinoa is finished cooking, reduce oven temperature to 375°F Add cooked quinoa to skillet. Top with vegetable-walnut mixture and roasted butternut squash. Lightly stir/toss to combine.

10. Bake uncovered for 5 to 7 minutes to warm through. Serve immediately.

 

Portobello "Steak" Fajitas

Adapted from http://whattheheckdoieatnow.com/2015/09/16/portobello-steak-fajitas/

Ingredients

  • 6 large portobello mushrooms
  • Marinade (this will be divided)
  1. ½ cup grapeseed oil
  2. ½ cup fresh lime juice
  3. 4 tsp dried oregano
  4. 4 tsp ground cumin
  5. 3 tsp chili powder
  6. 1½ tsp salt
  7. freshly ground pepper

The Rest:

  1. 1 large red peppers thinly sliced
  2. 1 large yellow pepper thinly sliced
  3. 1 large orange pepper thinly sliced
  4. 1 large green pepper thinly sliced
  5. 1 large red onion thinly sliced
  6. 6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas
  7. 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  8. Cilantro
  9. Sliced avocado or guacamole (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the portobellos. Scrape out gills and remove stems with a small spoon. Wash gently or alternatively wipe with a damp cloth. Slice into long ½ inch wide strips.
  2. Thinly slice peppers and onions
  3. Prepare the marinade by whisking together the grapeseed oil, lime juice, dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste).
  4. Add cut mushrooms to one large flat baking dish and peppers/ onion to the other.
  5. Set the pepper/ onion mix in the fridge until later.
  6. Toss the mushrooms well with about ¾ of the marinade. Set the remaining ¼ of the marinade aside for later. Leave the mushrooms marinating for at least half an hour (preferably longer) tossing every 30 minutes as able. Cover and refrigerate.
  7. When you're ready to eat, toss the pepper mix with the remaining marinade. Preheat a large skillet and pour in contents of the bowl containing peppers/onions/ marinade. Saute over medium for about 10 minutes or until veggies are softened.
  8. Meanwhile preheat a grill pan over med or high heat. Lay the marinated mushrooms on the pan and grill 3-5 minutes per side until they have nice char lines.
  9. Warm tortillas in a separate skillet.
  10. To assemble:
  11. Place tortilla on a plate and layer with mushrooms, pepper/onion mix, or avocado if using, cilantro and any other desired toppings. Roll and enjoy!

Steph's NEW Famous Slow Cooker Chili (VEGAN)

Finely chop the following:

  • 2 stalks celery

  • 2 large carrots

  • 1 seeded red pepper

  • 1 seeded green pepper

  • 1 small broccoli crown

  • 1 sweet onion

  • 1 cup mushrooms

  • 2 small seeded jalapenos

  • 2 tsp garlic

  • 2 large tomatoes (or 1 can no salt organic can tomatoes)

  • 3 cups of your favorite beans, rinsed & soaked (or 2 cans of your favorite            beans, rinse thoroughly

  • 3 Tbl Chili Powder (I prefer Penzey’s Original and I only use Penzey's   spices)

  • 2 Tbl Cumin

  • 2 Tsp Oregano

  • 1/2-1 tsp Cayenne

  • 1 tsp Chipotle chili powder

  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika

Method:

Layer the veggies in the slow cooker  and cook on low all day.  Stir frequently as it starts to cook.

Adjust the spices to suit your taste and serve with brown rice or oven baked sweet potato and top with fresh cilantro if desired

 

Tuscan Farro White Bean Soup


Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup farro, spelt or barley
  • 1 cup dried white beans, soaked for several hours or overnight
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (canned are fine; do not drain)
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable stock or water, more as necessary
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil, optional

Method

·  Put oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat; a minute later add onion, celery, carrots, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until vegetables are glossy and onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, and stir; add farro, beans, tomatoes and stock, and stir.

·  Bring to a boil, then adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Cook until farro and beans are tender, at least an hour, adding stock or water as necessary if mixture becomes too thick. Stir in spinach, parsley and basil (if using), then cook another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning

Cauliflower & Chickpea Curry Adapted from Epicurious.com

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-large cauliflower (about 1 3/4 pounds/800g), trimmed
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 3 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • A large pinch of dried chile flakes
  • 1 (14-ounce/400g) can plum tomatoes, chopped, any stalky ends and skin removed
  • 1 (14-ounce/400g) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 8 oz organic light coconut milk
  • Organic low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder (I prefer Penzey’s Sweet Curry)
  • 8 oz spinach or other greens
  • A good handful of cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  • Cut the cauliflower into medium florets. Put into a large pan, cover with cold water, add some salt, and bring up to a rolling boil. This will partly cook the cauliflower. Take off the heat right away, drain well, and keep warm in the pan.
  • Heat the oil in a second large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the ground coriander, cumin, chile flake, and some salt and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chickpeas. Stir well, then add the parcooked cauliflower. Pour in coconut milk and enough vegetable broth to almost but not quite cover everything (1/3 to 3/4 cup/100 to 200ml) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is tender.
  • Stir in the garam masala, curry powder, greens and half of the chopped cilantro, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with the remaining cilantro and accompanied by brown rice.

Oven Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro and Lime

Another QUICK Weeknight Meal


  1. 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  2. 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  3. 2 TBL rice vinegar
  4. 3 TBL reduced sodium vinegar
  5. 2 tsp freshly minced peeled ginger
  6. 3 1/2 TBL vegetable oil
  7. kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  9. 4 4 oz fillets of flounder or other delicate white fish
  10. 1 scallion thinly sliced

Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400.  Combine scallion,1/4 cup cilantro and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Whisk in 1 1/2 TBL oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt & pepper; set aside.
Heat remaining 2 TBL oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering.  Working in batches if needed ,a dd bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch.  Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat.  Add sake.  Season fish with salt & pepper & arrange in a single layer over bok choy.  Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Put a small amount of sake sauce from pan on a plate and arrange bok choy & fish on top . Drizzle with cilantro-lime sauce & garnish with cilantro sprig, if desired.