Curried Noodles with Vegetables

By Ira,

This meal comes together very quickly. Once you prepare the vegetables, you can stir-fry them, then add the noodles and the spices, and it’s done.

  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or grapeseed oil, separated
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, julienned
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 8oz package shiitake mushrooms, stalks removed and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons madras curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock, or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 3 green onions, diced
  • 1 9-ounce package fresh Chinese noodles or 8-ounces dried linguine
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

In a large pot, bring water to boil. Add the noodles and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until they are al-dente, about 3 minutes if you’re using the fresh noodles. Drain, rinse it with cold water, add the sesame oil, and stir it gently. Set it aside.

In a wok or large skillet over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons oil, followed by the onion and carrot.

Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the green and red bell pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set it aside.

To the same now empty pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, then the shiitake mushrooms and garlic.

Cook while stirring occasionally for a few minutes.

Add the cooked vegetables to the wok, followed by the noodles, curry powder, turmeric, stock, soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (amount varies according to how spicy you like your noodles), soy sauce. Stir gently to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add salt accordingly.

Top with the cashews and green onions and serve.

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Buffalo Chicken Salad

By Ira,

If you think salads are boring, you should try this one. It’s delicious and light. The chicken is seasoned with smoked paprika and chile powder, then tossed with blue cheese and all the other vegetables. And don’t feel guilty about adding too much dressing: it’s just yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and hot sauce. You will notice that you’re eating all the colors of the rainbow in the one salad.

Serves 4 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 medium breasts)
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons coconut oil, or grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped into big chunks (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • 5 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (or buffalo)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, left whole or halved
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, julienned or shredded
  • 2 oz blue cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • salt

Note: don’t substitute plain paprika for the smoked one. The smoked paprika gives it an amazingly deep flavor. If you can’t find red leaf lettuce, just substitute it with the romaine lettuce like I did. But by using the red leaf lettuce, you will have all the colors of the rainbow.

Place the chicken on a cutting board, cover it with cling wrap and pound the pieces so they become thinner (you can even cut the chicken in half so each chicken breast turns into 2). Sprinkle the pieces evenly on both sides with smoked paprika, chile powder, and salt.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil, then the chicken pieces, and cook on each side for 5-7 minutes depending on its thickness.

When done, set it aside on a clean cutting board for a few minutes before slicing it into strips. If your skillet is too small, then cook two chicken breasts at a time and keep the cooked ones warm under foil.

Meanwhile, in a blender, add the yogurt, buttermilk, onion, and 1 tablespoon hot sauce.

Blend until smooth. Taste to see if you’d like to add the additional 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce (I did because the buttermilk and the yogurt mellow the spiciness of the hot sauce).

Divide the lettuce between 4 plates, then top it with the bell pepper, tomatoes, carrots, and cheese.

Drizzle the dressing on the salad.

Top with the chicken, then drizzle more dressing on top if you wish.

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots, Swiss Chard “Salad”

by Jennifer

The beets and carrots can be roasting, the lentils can be cooking, and the chard can be blanched and cooled all during the same time period;  this dinner can be ready in about 40 minutes, barring interruptions, of course!  The lentils are delicious warm or at room temperature.  One of my kids was sick today so while we hung out at home I decided to make some Semolina Bread to go with dinner, which turned out to be a huge hit with the kids (who says jam with bread can’t go with lentils?).  Serves 4.

Green Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots – adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

  • 3/4 – 1 lb beets, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup French green lentils
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 parsley sprigs plus 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • grated zest from two lemons

For vinaigrette:

  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 5 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss beets and carrots with 2 tsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast

until tender, about 35 minutes.

Place lentils, onion, bay leaf and parsley sprigs in a medium pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer, cooking the lentils until tender, about 25 minutes.

Drain lentils and discard the bay leaf and parsley sprigs.  Combine lemon juice and shallot and let it sit for 15 minutes;  whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl combine roasted beets and carrots, lentils and onions, chopped parsley, lemon zest, and vinaigrette, stirring gently to combine.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Swiss Chard “Salad”

  • 1 lb Swiss chard
  • 2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp sherry vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Remove stems and ribs from chard and

thinly slice the leaves.  Blanch chard by cooking it in the boiling water for 20 seconds,

then drain and run under cool water to stop the cooking process.  Squeeze chard dry.

In a small bowl toss the chard with the oil, then the vinegar, seasoning with pepper and adding the pine nuts.

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

By Ira,

This is a tasty stir-fry that comes together very easily.

Serves 4 – Adapted from Eating Well

Marinade

  • 3/4 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Stir-fry:

  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or canola oil (divided 2 and 2)
  • 1 10 ounce bag shredded green cabbage or 1/2 head of a cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut fine
  • 1 cup Brown or white rice

Note: if you put the meat in the freezer for half an hour, it will be easy to slice it thinly. You can also increase the amount of beef to 1 pound.

Start by cooking the rice according to package directions.

In a small bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients and set aside. You can marinade the beef up to 1 hour in advance, but even 10 minutes is enough.

In another small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a wok or large non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat, add the meat, discard the marinade, and stir-fry until the meat is cooked. Transfer it to a plate, cover it with foil, and set aside.

In the same wok or skillet, add 2 teaspoons of the oil, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the meat to the cabbage mixture,

followed by the sauce (mix it once more before adding it in). Serve it with the rice.

Zucchini and Spinach Soup, Carrot and Parsley Salad, Whole Wheat Rolls

by Jennifer

This soup is my adaptation of a recipe from Out of the Ordinary, a cookbook put out by the Historical Society of Hingham, MA, and it’s wonderful.  Even my kids, who admittedly blanched at the sight of green soup, enjoyed it (one even had seconds), and my husband ate two huge bowls.  I served it with whole wheat rolls from my supermarket’s freezer section.

Zucchini and Spinach Soup – Serves 4 – 6

  • 8 cups no-chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup long-grain brown rice (I had brown basmati rice on hand)
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini, shredded
  • 8 oz. fresh spinach, large stems removed
  • generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

In a large pot bring the broth to a boil, add the rice, lower the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for 40 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently,

until they are golden and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 – 5 minutes.

Add the spinach in batches,

cooking just until it is all wilted;  remove pan from heat.

When the rice is ready, add the vegetables, and

puree the soup until it is almost smooth, using either an immersion blender or a regular blender, in batches.  Serve hot.

Carrot and Parsley Salad – from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home

This salad is terrific – bright, full of flavor – and can be made up to two days ahead of serving.  Serves 4.

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated (use the shredding disk of your food processor)
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients

and toss well.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Broccoli, Carrots and Brown Rice Drizzled with Miso-Butter

by Jennifer

The Miso-Butter is an adaptation of Mark Bittman’s recipe in the NY Times Magazine.  This dinner was quick to make, healthy, and satisfying.  Serves 4.

Sesame-Crusted Tofu (adapted from ChopChop Magazine):

  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/3 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 2 TBS peanut oil
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 lb. broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1/2 lb. carrots, sliced diagonally
  • Cooked brown rice (start with 2 cups uncooked rice)
  • 4 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 TBS miso of your choice
  • 1 TBS mirin (Japanese sake)
  • freshly ground black pepper

Press tofu between two paper towel-lined plates topped with something heavy (such as a full teapot) for 30 – 60 minutes.

Slice tofu into 12 equal pieces (slice lengthwise into 4 pieces, then across by 3).

Toss tofu with egg white,

then press both sides into sesame seeds.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook tofu, about 2 minutes per side, until golden.  Remove from heat and sprinkle soy sauce over tofu.  Serve immediately.

Broccoli, Carrots and Brown Rice Drizzled with Miso-Butter

Whisk or puree in a mini-chopper the melted butter, miso, mirin and freshly ground black pepper until smooth.

Steam the broccoli and carrots until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.  Divide the rice among four plates, top with broccoli and carrots, and drizzle with miso-butter.

Mustard-Glazed Carrots

By Jennifer

Mustard-glazed carrots

This recipe is adapted from Gourmet Magazine

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and sliced, diagonally, into 1” pieces
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 TBS Dijon mustard
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chopping carrots

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil;  add the carrots and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Drain.

Mustard, butter, sugar in the pan

Return the empty pot to medium heat and melt the butter.  Add the sugar and mustard, stirring, then return the carrots to the pan and stir well to combine, adding salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.