Showing posts with label veggie friendly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label veggie friendly. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2016

Game Day Menu Planning for Superbowl 50 and a Giveaway

I am excited to be participating in a Super Bowl Recipe Exchange with several incredible bloggers. Along with the recipes I'm sharing with you, here are their recipes to round out your Super Bowl 50 menu. This would definitely be a party I'd love to be invited to!

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ from Eat.Live.Blog
White Bean and Chorizo Stew from LivinLemon
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas from Appetite for Instruction
DIY Snack Stadium from Wife in Progress
Homemade Pimento Cheese Stuffed Sliders  from Aimee Broussard
Taco Dip from Anchors and Bows

Not only am I sharing with you these great recipes, but I am also excited to offer you an opportunity to win a $100 gift card courtesy of!  You could choose from one of their MANY slow cookers, or any one of a million other things that will make your Super Bowl Party the biggest winner of the night. The giveaway is open until the winner of the Super Bowl is crowned.

Enter here for your chance to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Superbowl is a great 4+ hour excuse to put out your favorite snacks and graze while watching. Growing up it didn't matter who was in the game we always had a party. In middle school and high school my girlfriends and I would always have a Superbowl Bash. I can't remember what we ate at the parties, but I know we always had a great time!

Now my favorite things to eat while watching usually involve avocados, salsa, beans, and cheese. I have two recipes that share these ingredients in different ways. First up is a loose interpretation of a tamale - more closely related to the sweet corn tamales from The Cheesecake Factory. These take advantage of some shortcuts and produce a tasty dish. Up second are a healthier take on potato skins. These chili cheddar potato skins are indulgent but not over the top. One or both of these dishes would make a delicious and healthier addition to your Superbowl 50 viewing parties.

Both recipes have a number of components but it is easy to work on them at the same time. My workflow is to start the beans first and while they are simmering you can prep the other ingredients. Even better? Enlist your party guests to chop, mix, and assemble their own!

Corn 'Tamales' with Black Beans and More

I love to make as many things from scratch as I can when entertaining. For this recipe I 'cheated' and included a pre-cooked polenta to stand in for the traditional corn tamale. This speeds up the prep time and makes your life a little easier on game day. I've included the toppings that I like on these, but the recipe lends itself to endless customization. Don't love black beans? Substitute pinto or refried. Hate cilantro? Omit! Run out of lime juice? Use lemon or orange. That's the fun of cooking - you can make it just the way YOU want. If you have leftover toppings you can use them for a dip or a side dish. I used corn oil to enhance the flavors, you can also use vegetable or canola oil. Adjust the quantities based on the number of guests.

Corn 'Tamales' with Black Beans and More
Presented in the order of preparation

Black Beans
1 can of drained black beans
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 of a yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan
Add in garlic and onion and cook until softened (about 3-4 minutes)
Add in black beans, increase heat to medium high, and bring to a boil
Reduce to low and keep on the heat until it’s time to assemble the dish

You can use your favorite store-bought salsa here if you want another shortcut. There are a lot of great local options. If you like to make fresh salsa I would suggest leaving it chunky so it doesn't run down your guests' arms or drip on your floor. Here's a quick and easy salsa recipe:

Tomato Salsa
Adjust the amount based on the size of your party, this is probably enough for a log of the polenta.
4 plum or roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper or your favorite chili pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/4 of a white or red onion, diced
A small handful of chopped cilantro (omit if you have cilantro haters)
Fresh Lime Juice
Salt and pepper

Mix well and chill

Simply cut the avocado in half lengthwise
Remove the pit
Use a spoon to carefully scoop out the avocado flesh
Dice into small pieces and toss with lime juice

Ideally fresh corn. If it is not available you can use frozen or canned. You want to saute it for a few minutes to get a little color and develop the sugars.
If using fresh:
Remove the husk and all the silk from one ear of corn
Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the kernels away from the cob

For fresh, canned, or frozen:
Heat a small amount of corn oil over medium-low heat in a non-stick skillet
Cook corn for about 5 minutes (keep stirring so it doesn't burn)
Set aside in a bowl until you are ready to assemble everything

Southwestern Polenta
Precooked polenta, comes in a log wrapped in plastic, cut into 1/4" thick slices
For the seasoning, you want a ratio of about 1 tablespoon of chili powder to 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, adjust the amount to cover all of the polenta
Salt and Pepper
Corn Oil

Spread the polenta out on a plate in a single layer
Sprinkle the seasonings evenly across the top and press in gently
Let sit and absorb while the oil is heating
Heat corn oil in a non-stick skillet over medium to medium-high heat (enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan)
Cook polenta for 2 minutes on each side and remove to a paper towel lined plate

Putting it all together
Lay out polenta slices in a single layer on a serving platter
Top each round with:
Scoop of black beans
Sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco or goat cheese
Fresh cilantro

Chili Cheddar Potato Skins

I love potato skins but I don't love the way they make me feel. As part of a game day menu that is usually not light on calories these potato skins offer you a way to feel less bad about your game day dining. Avocado - health fat. Beans with vegetables mixed in - healthy. Cheese - dairy serving! Really, is there ever a reason to not include cheese in a party? I think the answer to that is always no.

Adjust the recipe quantities based on the size of your guest list. The techniques are the important part. You can start with my recipes and adapt to your liking. Once you use this method for making the skins you'll be adding them to your menu more often! The secret is another cheat, the microwave!

Chili Cheddar Potato Skins with Guacamole

Bean and Vegetable Chili
Approximately 4 servings
1 jalapeno, ribs and seed removed, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, diced (any color)
1 quarter of a yellow onion, diced
1 can black beans, drained
1 can kidney or pinto beans, drained
1 can petite diced no-salt added tomatoes (drain about half the liquid)
1 tablespoon ground chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

In a medium pot, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil at medium-high heat
Add in minced garlic and jalapeno and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic
Add in onions and bell pepper, and cook 2-3 minutes until softened
Stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper
Add beans and tomatoes and stir
Bring to a boil and then reduce to low
Simmer until ready to serve

Potato Skins
Adapted from Amy at Playing House (who adapted from Ellie Krieger)
Serves 2 (1 potato/person)
2 Idaho potatoes scrubbed and dried
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 pieces turkey bacon (use pork if you like, we don't eat it in the Good Cook Doris Kitchen)
1/4 cup shredded cheddar-jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Pierce the potatoes a few times with a fork and wrap in paper towels
Microwave on high for 13 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked through
Take out the microwave and cool until the potatoes are easy to handle
Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise
Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8 inch of the inside of the potato, being careful not to break the skin (save the potato guts for another use)
Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt
Put the potatoes, skin-side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet
Bake until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes

For the turkey bacon, cook in a small skillet over medium heat, turning often, until crispy
Dice into small pieces

1 medium Haas avocado
Juice from 1/2 a lime
Jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced (Optional)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 a scallion, thinly sliced
Dash of salt and pepper

Roughly chop the cilantro, set aside
Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl
Cut open the avocado and add to the bowl with the lime juice
Using an avocado masher (or fork), mash until smooth
Stir in the cilantro, scallion, and jalapeno if using
Season with salt and pepper

Putting it all together
When the potato skins are done, remove from the oven and put on serving plate
Fill the skins with chili
Divide the shredded cheese evenly among the potato halves
Top with the turkey bacon
Spoon the smooth guacamole evenly over the four halves
Top with a few cilantro leaves for garnish

Don't forget to check out the recipes from these other great bloggers and to enter the giveaway to win $100 to

Slow Cooker Pulled BBQ from Eat.Live.Blog 
White Bean and Chorizo Stew from LivinLemon 
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas from Appetite for Instruction 
DIY Snack Stadium from Wife in Progress 
Taco Dip from Anchors and Bows 

What's your favorite game day food?

Enter here for your chance to win: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Traditional, with a Twist: Baked Farro “Arancini”

This is my entry to the contest hosted by Tuscan Fields to win a conference registration to Eat Write Retreat. I had a fabulous time the last two years and would love to attend again in the new Philadelphia location. I hope that you enjoy my post and that I am able to attend EWR13 thanks to Tuscan Fields!  

Connection – that is my word. Last year at Eat Write Retreat, Monica Bhide challenged us to find the one word that defined our blogs. Connection can mean many things, but for Good Cook Doris one of the main ways my “word” presents itself is connecting tradition with today through old recipes with new twists or traditional ingredients with a new spin.

This scholarship contest challenged bloggers to take farro, an ancient grain, and come up with an original recipe and post. Keeping my word in mind, I knew that my recipe would be traditional, with a twist! As with last year, I’m still squeezing cooking in along with family, work, school, and life. I wanted a recipe that would showcase the farro and be easy enough to make while having a million other things on my plate to do.

Tuscan Fields is bringing farro to the US from Tuscany.  Their products are grown at Fattoria Pieve a Salti and are 100% organic. Farro has been a part of Tuscan cuisine as far back as ancient Rome! In addition to being an agriturismo, the farm is also the second largest producer of organic agriculture products in Tuscany. For my recipe, I used Tuscan Fields® Farro Perlato. For a little background on farro, I turned to the Tuscan Fields website. Here is a description in their words:  “Farro is often translated into English as ‘spelt’ – but it is actually another variety of heirloom or “ancient” grain in the wheat family. Its biological name is triticum dicoccum and it is the forerunner to spelt (Triticum Spelta) on the evolutionary wheat chain. In the U.S. triticum dococcum is also called “emmer wheat” but it is readily known worldwide as “farro”.”

I decided on a twist on risotto and arancini. Farro’s nutty flavor and slightly texture makes it perfect for many different preparations and spice additions. We eat a lot of southwestern flavors here in the Good Cook Doris kitchen which means the spices and herbs we run out of the most are cumin, chili powder, and cilantro. I wanted to incorporate these into my farro recipe, along with a delicious Queso Blanco that we picked up at last week’s winter farmers market. The cheese is locally made in Rhode Island by Narragansett Creamery .

First, I made a savory and delicious farro-risotto with onions, carrots, garlic, spices, and chicken broth. Next, I wrapped it around squares of Queso Blanco and coated it in seasoned panko breadcrumbs. After about 20 minutes in the oven, and a quick broil, the baked arancini were ready. Cutting into the middle revealed a warm, melty cheese center. The sea saltiness of the cheese paired with the creamy, spiced flavor of the favor made for a delicious bite.

In true Good Cook Doris fashion, while I was making this recipe I was also busy at work on a paper for my graduate school class this semester. I set up shop in the kitchen and in between steps tried to get a few words written. It's all about maximizing the time you have, right?

I hope you enjoy this recipe and that I have a chance to enjoy Eat Write Retreat 2013 in Philly!

Farro Risotto
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced small
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced small
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder (I used a red chili powder from Texas)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1.5 cups Tuscan Fields Farro Perlato (this ended up being the entire 9.1 oz package)
2 cups water
1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tablespoon freeze-dried, or dried cilantro)
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

In medium saucepan add oil, onion, carrots and garlic
Cover and cook over medium-low for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally
Stir in cumin and chili powder and cook until you can smell the spices (about 1 minute)
Add farro to the saucepan and stir well, cook for about 2 minutes or until lightly toasted
Add broth and water and stir
Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring every 5-7 minutes until farro is tender (but still has slightly chewy texture)
Remove from heat, mix in cilantro and lime juice and season with salt if desired

Note:  I did not add too much salt, knowing that I would be adding a salty cheese to the final baked product.

Baked Farro Arancini
Farro-risotto from above recipe
10 half-inch cubes of Queso Blanco
1 cup AP flour
1 egg plus a splash of water, lightly beaten
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon dried cilantro
1 tablespoon olive oil or melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Set up three shallow bowls on your work space
In one bowl, put the flour
In the second bowl, mix the egg and water
In the third bowl, mix breadcrumbs, chili powder, cumin and cilantro; add butter or olive and mix until well combined
Using an ice cream scoop (or cookie dough scoop), take a scoop of risotto and place it in your palm, flattening it slightly
Place a cube of cheese in the middle, using a smaller spoon, take about 1 tsp additional risotto and put on top of cheese
Shape the risotto into a ball, completely surrounding the cheese so you can’t see it at all, packing the ball tightly
Roll ball in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Repeat for as many as you would like to make
Bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees
Broil for 2-5 minutes until the outside is golden brown and crispy
Serve with warm salsa (your favorite jar or homemade)

Thank you to Tuscan Fields for the opportunity to win a chance to attend Eat Write Retreat!

I signed up to enter this scholarship contest and was one the first 50 entries which meant that I received two packages of farro from Tuscan fields to use in developing a recipe for this contest entry. To be eligible to win, I had to create an original recipe and post, and link to both Tuscan Fields and Eat Write Retreat. For full details of the contest, you can click here

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Beth From Denver: Zucchini Crisps for Healthy Snack Wednesday

My best friend Beth from Denver is back with another delicious vegetarian friendly dish. This is a great addition to the game night snack spread, or even for a quick appetizer before a dinner party. Some of our favorite Italian restaurants in St. Louis (where we grew up) offer fried zucchini sticks as an appetizer. While they are always tasty, this version is more appropriate for Healthy Snack Wednesday. Enjoy!

From Beth:
I love snacks! Especially when they are healthy and easy to make. I knew I would want something to snack on while watching the Broncos on Monday Night Football but didn't want to spend too long in the kitchen. So I sliced some zucchini and made some crisps. Sorry for the vague ingredients list, as I was being speedy, I didn't measure anything.

Zucchini Crisps
1 zucchini, cut into about 1/4 inch slices
Shredded parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs
Olive oil
Marinara sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the zucchini and toss with olive oil in a bowl to coat evenly. Combine the shredded parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste in a smaller bowl. Coat both sides of each zucchini slice before placing on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until zucchini is tender. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Daring Cooks Challenge: Healthy Potato Salads from Around the World

After sitting out a few challenges, I’m excited to be back for the June Daring Cooks challenge! Jami Sorrento was our June Daring Cooks hostess and she chose to challenge us to celebrate the humble spud by making a delicious and healthy potato salad. The Daring Cooks Potato Salad Challenge was sponsored by the nice people at the United States Potato Board, who awarded prizes to the top 3 most creative and healthy potato salads. A medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has 110 calories, no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium and includes nearly half your daily value of vitamin C and has more potassium than a banana.

This was my kind of challenge – a theme and ingredients and the freedom to create! I had a weekend cookout to head to where the hosts don’t eat any onions, garlic, or spicy foods. So I wanted to create something that met everyone’s tastes and was delicious!

I started thinking about dressing options and decided on Greek yogurt. From there, the answer came quickly. Potato salad with tzaziki dressing. It would be light, fresh, and perfect for a hot afternoon. And a great accompaniment to burgers & corn. To make the dish even more festive, I used a mix of red, blue, and gold potatoes. This made enough to serve 6 as a side dish.

Tzaziki Potato Salad
Approximately 3 pounds of baby red, Yukon gold, and blue potatoes, rinsed well
1 single-serve container of Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1/2 of an English cucumber
Zest of 1 medium lemon
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
A few sprigs of parsley for garnish
Kosher salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Prepare the cucumber
This will eliminate excess moisture from the cucumber so that the potato salad isn’t soupy
Wash the cucumber well
Using a box grater, grate the cucumber into a colander set over a bowl
Add a sprinkle of kosher salt and toss to combine
Put a plate on top of the grated cucumber and place a heavy can on top
Leave the cucumber to drain while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

Step 2: Cook the potatoes
Add the rinsed potatoes to a large pot
Fill with cold water until the potatoes are covered by about 2 inches
Bring to a boil over medium high heat
Cook for 10-12 minutes until the potatoes are tender, but still a little firm when you stick a knife into them
Drain and return to the hot pot for a minute to dry them off
Pour potatoes onto a baking sheet and allow to cool completely

Step 3: Mix the tzaziki while the potatoes are cooking
Zest the entire lemon and place zest into a small bowl
Juice the zested lemon into the bowl, being careful not to let any seeds get in
Add the chopped parsley into the bowl and mix the ingredients together
Remove the cucumber from the colander and squeeze out any remaining moisture with your hands
Add the cucumber to the bowl and mix to combine
Add the Greek yogurt into the bowl
Mix until well combined
Taste and add salt and pepper to taste

Step 4: Assemble the salad
If any of the potatoes are large, cut so that they are of even size
Add to a large serving bowl (or storage container if transporting)
Add tzaziki mixture and gently toss, making sure to coat all of the potatoes
Garnish with parsley and serve chilled

Serves 6 as a side dish
Cook time: 10-15 minutes for potatoes
Prep time: About 30 minutes

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Poppin' Munch Madness!

Besides being my birthday month, March is also host to other fun food-friendly activities! With a full month of March Madness basketball, you'll need to to pace your game-time snacking. Keeping that in mind, here's a budget and healthy snack!

The friendly folks at popchips contacted me about a Boston Blogger recipe challenge for their "Munch Madness"  celebration. I had a blast creating a poppin' recipe for my Healthy Snack Wednesday series, so I knew I was was on board for this challenge! The winner gets to take home $250 to Roche Brothers, a $100 AMEX gift card, and a one-year supply of popchips! As an entrant in the recipe challenge, popchips provided me with a snack pack of popchips, coupons to pick up popchips, and a handy recipe notebook. 

A quick note about the contest. All entries will be posted on the popchips Facebook page in the Munch Madness photo album. The two bloggers with the most 'likes' on March 21 will be pop into the 'champion-chip' round! The final round will be an taste test event at Roche Brothers where the winner will be selected by a panel of expert snackers. If you like my poppin' creation, I hope you'll vote and 'like' my photo and spread the word! You can get to the album and vote by clicking here! You also have to 'like' Popchips on Facebook.

With my snack packs ready and assorted ingredients in the pantry, I put on my thinking cap and started brainstorming.

Chicken fingers...too easy. Mini-quiches...already done. What would show off the flavor of the popchips, be delicious, and still be healthy? The idea struck and I got to work - baked falafel!

In order to please fans of multiple teams, I decided to make a few pieces of falafel in each flavor. First step is  creating the popchips crumbs. Start with one flavor at a time and give them a whirl in the food processor. Be careful to label your flavors (I scribble when I write recipes, don't mind my spelling error)! 

Your popchips crumbs should be light and fluffy, and small enough to substitute for breadcrumbs. Each snack sized bag of popchips yielded approximately 1/2 cup of crumbs.

The next step is to make your falafel mixture. Using the food processor, blend garbanzo beans, parsley, scallions, a dash of olive oil and eggs until well combined. The texture should be like a chunky hummus. Split the mixture into five even portions for mixing. Starting with one portion of falafel mixture, add in half of one of the flavors of crumbs. Mix and continue to add crumbs until the mixture comes together, but is not completely dry. The first picture below is the falafel mix. The second picture is after mixing in the popchips crumbs.

Score each combined falafel and crumb mixture into four equal parts. Form balls and flatten slightly. Add the patties to a labeled baking sheet (you don't want to mix up the flavors!) and continue the process until all flavors are completed. I used a pencil to write the flavors on parchment paper, you can see it at the top of the rows below.

Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and continue baking for 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. I served these with low-fat plain sour cream. To spice up the celebration, you could make flavored sour cream or yogurt dip to match the flavors. Another great idea would be to use your favorite hot sauce and mix it with sour cream for a spicy dip. Really, there is no limit to what you can add! The patties themselves are healthy and leave room to add more decadent toppings!

Here's a look at each of the flavors, topped with a garnish representing the popchips flavor. Cheddar for cheddar, salt for salt and vinegar, barbecue crumbs for barbecue, peppercorns for salt and pepper, and scallions for sour cream and onion! The flavor of the chips came through and really worked with the falafel!

An interior look at the patties:

Here's hoping that  my bracket picks will be as successful as my poppin' recipe! And remember, if you have  minute to vote, head over to the popchips Facebook page and 'like' my photo in the Munch Madness photo album! You also have to 'like' Popchips on Facebook.

Poppin' Munch Madness Baked Falafel

5 snack sized bags of popchips (Salt & Pepper, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Cheddar Potato, Barbecue, and Sour Cream & Onion)
2 15-ounce cans of no-salt added garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 scallion (whites and greens), cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and label 5 rows with your selected flavors
Working with one flavor at a time, process popchips until the consistency of breadcrumbs and set aside
Add garbanzo beans, eggs, parsley, scallion, oil, and salt & pepper to the food processor
Pulse until the consistency of chunky hummus
Pour equal amounts of the garbanzo mixture into five separate bowls
Using one flavor of crumbs at a time, mix into a bowl of garbanzo mixture until well combined (you may not need all of the crumbs)
Form four equal sized patties and place on the parchment paper lined baking sheet
Continue until all flavors are used
Bake for 10 minutes and then flip and continue baking for 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through
Serve with sour cream, greek yogurt, or hot sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Food processor, cutting board and knife, bowls, spatula, baking sheet, parchment paper, serving plates and utensils

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daring Cooks Challenge:¡Me Encanta Peru! Ceviche and Papas Rellenas

After a great challenge last month (tempura and soba noodle salad), I was excited for another Daring Cooks adventure.

This month our challenge took us south, to Peru! Kathlyn of Bake Like a Ninja was our Daring Cooks’ March 2011 hostess. Kathlyn challenged us to make two classic Peruvian dishes: Ceviche de Pescado from “Peruvian Cooking – Basic Recipes” by Annik Franco Barreau. And Papas Rellenas adapted from a home recipe by Kathlyn’s Spanish teacher, Mayra. For a full recap of the challenge, visit the Daring Cooks challenge description.

I was thrilled about the papas rellenas! Fried mashed potatoes are a little excessive, but so delicious. For our wedding we served what was essentially fried mashed potato patties (they had a much fancier name, of course). Needless to say, we really enjoyed the results of this challenge.

Tackling this challenge for one meal required a lot of organization. It was important to map out all the steps and organize the ingredients before starting. I tackled the potato preparation first. There were two papas rellenas recipes provided - one with meat and one vegan. I created my own combination using ingredients in the refrigerator and pantry. I paired a tofu and vegetable filling with the 'dough' from the meat papas.

While the potatoes boiled, I prepared the filling. First step, cutting up a block of extra firm tofu. I placed it under a towel and a weighted plate to remove excess moisture. Using a mixture of leftover vegetables, I sauteed onions, mushrooms, garlic, a diced hot pepper, and some spinach. I can't remember what spices I used, probably some paprika, salt and pepper. After the tofu dried out, I crumbled it and added it to the pan. I didn't take any notes as I went along, I was just giving everything an eyeball measure. I ended up with a lot of extra filling to add to lunches for the rest of the week.

Next step, assembling and frying! I made six giant papas rellenas, but found that the first one fell apart when I tried to flip it over in the frying oil. I cut the remaining five in half and reshaped them into smaller balls. This made them much easier to fry and a more manageable serving size. They were crispy, delicious, and very filling. I'll refer you to the Daring Cooks recipes, since I didn't follow them very closely.

Before I started frying, I prepared all of the components needed for the ceviche. Once I started frying I put it all together and into the refrigerator to 'cook' for about 15 minutes. I cut the ceviche recipe in half knowing that we were having papas rellenas on the side.  I used a Wild Alaskan Halibut steak and plenty of fresh lime juice and cilantro.

I used a red fresno pepper to add a little kick to the dish. One thing I learned the hard way is that hot pepper oil on your fingers does not mix well with contact lenses. No matter how much you wash your hands, you will still scream when you take your contacts out at the end of the night. Thankfully, I found a solution to the problem - a finger guard! It seems silly, but it is completely worth it. It keeps your fingers off of the pepper and lets you slice and dice without any painful side effects.

I let our fish cook for about 10 minutes, until just opaque. Here's the fish in the 'cooking' liquid:

When the potatoes were all fried and the fish was ready, we sat down to a delicious dinner! Thanks Daring Cooks for the opportunity to try out another new cuisine and technique!

Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche):
Adapted from recipe by Annik Franco Barreau
1 lb. Wild Alaskan Halibut steak
1 garlic clove, mashed
1 red fresno chili pepper, minced
1/2 - 3/4 cup  freshly squeezed lime juice (enough to cover fish)
1 tablespoon  fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Rinse fish and pat dry
Cut into 1 inch cubes (anywhere from 1/2 inch - 2 inches, depending on your preference)
Place fish in a thin layer in a non-reactive dish
Combine lime juice, chili pepper, garlic and cilantro in a dish
Pour marinade over the fish and lay sliced onion on top
After 10 minutes (approximately) fish will be 'cooked'
Remove from the liquid and serve

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Beth From Denver: Vegetable Stock and Vegetable Chili

Enjoy this delicious guest post from my best friend, Beth! She lives in Denver and cooks up vegetarian meals for herself. Check out her previous posts here.  Enjoy this great winter warmer recipe!

On Mondays at work, we take turns bringing soup for lunch. After receiving "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian" by Mark Bittman as a belated birthday gift, I was excited to really make soup from scratch for my turn this week. I started with making vegetable stock.

2 carrots, cut into chunks
1 onion, quartered
1 potato, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

I was making soup for a large group of people, so I doubled the ingredients and combined them all with 12 cups of water in a pot. After bringing to a boil, I turned the heat down and let everything simmer for about 45 minutes. Then I strained the vegetables out (creativity necessary as I only have 1 pot that large) and put in a container to store in the refrigerator over night.

The next morning, I checked for all of my ingredients for the chili. Again, I doubled the recipe but since I only had large enough pots and pans for 1 batch at a time, I just repeated the steps. Here are the ingredients for a single batch.

1 zucchini, chopped
2 peppers, seeded and chopped (any color works, I used 1 red and 1 green)
2 portabella mushrooms, chopped
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped as finely as possible
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped as finely as possible
2 cups black beans, cooked
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups vegetable stock
extra virgin olive oil

Modeled after Lara, I chopped all my vegetables and took out all my other ingredients and measuring tools before I started cooking anything. I sauteed the zucchini, peppers, mushrooms and onion using the olive oil.

In a different pot, I heated up a couple of splashes of olive oil and cooked the garlic and jalapeno for 3-4 minutes.

When the vegetables were sauteed, (I let them cook about 7 minutes until they were a bit soft), I added them to the pot with the garlic and jalapeno. Then I added the beans and let them heat up. Then I added the chili powder, paprika and a dash of salt and pepper. Next I stirred in the tomato paste and let it cook for another 2 minutes. Finally I added the vegetable stock and let the soup simmer. If this hadn't been for school, I would have added a cup of beer and reduced it for about a minute before adding the vegetable stock. Like I said before, I made 2 batches and combined them in my crock pot. It is a bit spicy, but nothing that a handful of shredded cheese won't balance out! I'm excited to share it with my co-workers!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Healthy Snack Wednesdays: Endless Possibilities with Greek Yogurt

First, congratulations to the winners of last week’s Healthy Snack Giveaway! They are:

Case of pretzel crisps:  Jacki, one of the participants in the weight loss challenge
Tribe Hummus vouchers: Kathy of @KathyCanCook, and two new readers Kristy and Jeannine


Please email your name and mailing address to lara [at] goodcookdoris [dot] com and I’ll make sure your prize gets out to you! Now on to this week’s healthy snacking.

If you’ve been grocery shopping lately, you’ve seen the explosion of choices in the yogurt section. There is regular, low fat, fat free, fruit-on-the bottom, lactose free, rice yogurt, coconut milk yogurt, probiotic, organic, Greek, and the list goes on.  Everyone has their favorite, but lately I’ve been sticking with Greek yogurt.

Greek yogurt is thick, creamy, a little tangy, and full of nutrition. For this week’s healthy recipes I used Chobani low-fat plain yogurt.  I won a case of Chobani in an online giveaway (hosted by Chobani) and decided to put it to use for Healthy Snack Wednesday.  Here’s the rundown on one 6-ounce container of the plain yogurt:  130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, and 17 grams of protein. That is some nutritional power! I checked Chobani’s website for a few other nutritional details. The plain low-fat yogurt is gluten-free, vegetarian (gelatin-free), and kosher certified. Pretty powerful for a small container! You could also choose non-fat if you would like to reduce your fat intake. See the end of the post for how you can win some Chobani for yourself!

This week I have a variety of recipes to share. Some are snacks, some are meals, but all of them are easy and full of flavor. I’ll include all of the recipes at the end.  For even more ideas, visit Renee's blog at Eat.Live.Blog.

First up a colorful and healthy soup. I had leftover carrots, parsnips, and white beans in the refrigerator along with my yogurt.  Homemade soups are not as difficult as you might think. With about a half an hour and either an immersion blender or blender you can make a healthy homemade soup.  You control the ingredients and most importantly the flavor and saltiness. Swap in plain Greek yogurt instead of blending in heavy cream, milk, or sour cream and you boost the nutritional power of your soup.  You can use this basic recipe and swap in different vegetables, herbs, and spices to put together your own soup creation.

Greek yogurt also makes a great base for dips and spreads. You can take any recipe that calls for sour cream or mayonnaise and swap in an equal amount of yogurt. It’s thick consistency and tangy flavor stands up to bold flavors like spicy hot sauce, refreshingly cool cucumber, or even sweet cinnamon and pumpkin.  Inspired by a tweet I saw from L’Espalier about a spicy cocktail tasting (one w/ sriracha & lime) I mixed up yogurt, sriracha sauce, lime juice and salt.  The dip would be great as a vegetable or chip dip, but I used it to top off a big bowl of quinoa and vegetables.

Greek yogurt can be as a base for a variety of mix-ins.  Stock a few containers of yogurt in your refrigerator at work and you’ll always have the beginning of a healthy snack.  You can start with plain yogurt, but my favorite flavors are honey and pineapple.  Just measure the proper serving size for the mix-ins to manage the fat and calories.  Some fun & healthy mix-ins:

-Fresh or dried fruit
-Granola or cereal like Kashi Go Lean Crunch
-Grapenuts (great way to drown out a noisy office!)
-Chocolate chips
-Fruit preserves
-Canned pumpkin (a great dip!)

Sunshine Soup ( you need a catchy name for a healthy recipe, right?)
Serves 4-6

4 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch coins
4-6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch coins
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Kosher salt to taste (a pinch to start)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups soaked white beans or 3-4 cans of white beans, drained (navy or cannellini beans)
4 cups stock (could be chicken, turkey, vegetable)
1 6-ounce cup of Chobani Plain low-fat Greek Yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil in a medium soup pan over medium heat
Add carrot and parsnip coins and toss to coat
Cook for 10-15 minutes until softened, but not mushy
Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn garlic
Add beans to pot and mix with vegetables
Add stock and stir to mix
Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low
Cook for 10-15 minutes
Remove from heat
If you have an immersion blender: Blend carefully in pot
Blender: Transfer soup to blender and blend carefully. You may need to blend in batches
Once soup is blended to desired consistency, add yogurt and stir until smooth
Garnish with fresh herbs, salt, and pepper
Drizzle a little olive oil on top and serve

Prep Time: 10 minutes chopping and assembling
Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
Cutting board, knife, soup pot, measuring cups and spoons, immersion blender/blender, spoon, ladle, serving dishes

Sriracha Lime Dip
Recipe for 1 container of yogurt
Add more hot sauce depending on your heat tolerance.  The amount below would be considered mild.

1 6-ounce container of plain Greek Yogurt
1 tablespoon of Sriracha hot pepper sauce (or  your favorite hot sauce)
Juice from half of a lime
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients well
Serve with vegetables, chips, or pretzel crisps
Or top vegetable stir-fry, rice, quinoa, or even grilled tofu or chicken

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Mixing bowl, measuring spoon, serving dish and spoon

Win a case of Chobani yogurt (12 6-oz containers) in your choice of flavor! You can enter up to three times. You can include all entries in one comment, just be sure to mention them all.  Entries due by midnight on Tuesday, January 25 and the winner will be chosen with and announced on Wednesday, January 25.

This contest is now closed. Thank you for stopping by to enter!

Full Disclosure: I won a case of Chobani yogurt through a Twitter giveaway. I was not asked to review or blog about the products. I did not receive any compensation for my post or recipe. I just love to create fun new dishes!  Chobani generously offered to provide a giveaway on the blog. Prize fulfillment is the responsibility of Chobani.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Daring Cooks Challenge: Vegetarian Cassoulet

This month's Daring Kitchen challenge was a dish perfect for the chilly winter temperatures.  Our January 2011 Challenge comes from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Lisa from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. They have challenged the Daring Cooks to learn how to make a confit and use it within the traditional French dish of Cassoulet. They have chosen a traditional recipe from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.

I have heard about cassoulet, but have never made it at home. After checking out the recipe provided I know why! It is full of pork, duck, and sausage.  All three things that don't get cooked at our house.  Thankfully our Daring Cooks hostesses provided recipes and tips for the vegetarian and non-pork eaters.  However choosing a vegetarian version eliminates duck confit from the dish a technique that our hostesses wanted us to learn.  They also included recipes for leek and garlic confit to incorporate into the dish.

The vegetarian cassoulet recipe came from Gourmet Magazine, March 2008.  Glancing at the recipe it seemed pretty straightforward.  The meat version preparation can stretch over four days and I didn't want to feel left out.  I added extra steps to my vegetarian version to complete over three days of cooking.

First, I baked baguettes to be turned into the garlic breadcrumb topping.  I made this King Arthur Flour baguette recipe for the June Daring Cooks Challenge (pate and freshly baked bread).  The recipe is easy to follow and the results are great!

I also decided to buy dried beans in place of the canned beans the recipe called for.  The recipe lists 3 19-ounce cans of white beans.  In my head, I thought, "Okay, 3x19= 57 ounces".  I loaded up on dried navy beans in the bulk aisle and brought my beans home to soak.  About 3 hours into soaking, the beans were starting to expand out of their bowl.  I split them up into a few containers and let them to continue to soak.  About 12 hours in, I realized that I was soaking 3 times as many beans as I really needed.  Oops!  That's why last week's healthy snack ingredient was white beans. I parboiled the beans before using them in the cassoulet according to advice on the Rancho Gordo beans site.

The other component I made in advance was the garlic confit. The hostesses provided a recipe from Saveur. The most difficult part was peeling the garlic. I could have done the whack and peel, but I felt like the cloves should be whole for this dish.  The picture didn't come out very good, but the garlic and remaining garlic oil were amazing.  The recipe made enough garlic to spread on toast and oil to use in my white bean dip.

The last premade ingredient for the cassoulet was homemade turkey stock. I simmered leftover turkey bones with vegetables and herbs for a rich and flavorful stock.  The stock was a great swap for the water that was called for in the cassoulet recipe.

On cassoulet cooking day I assembled my prepared ingredients and chopped carrots and leeks. The first step was cooking down the vegetables and fresh parsley.

While the cassoulet cooked I toasted thin slices of the baguette for the breadcrumbs.  The slices dried out in a 200 degree oven for about a half an hour.  They were so crunchy that the food processor blades couldn't chop them.  I crumbled them by hand and added a few cloves and some oil from the garlic confit. They went back into the oven to toast for an additional 15 minutes before getting tossed with fresh parsley.  These were unbelievably good. I can't wait to make them again for salad, soups, or just a snack.

With everything cooked and prepared it was time to eat.  This cassoulet was amazing.  It was rich, hearty and tasted better each day.  We had enough for lunches and dinners for an entire week.  Thanks to the Daring Cooks for a fun and delicious challenge!

Did you enter to win prizes from Pretzel Crisps and Tribe Hummus yet? You have until Tuesday!


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