Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Knowing we had spinach in the fridge, I thought about making a Mediterranean style burger with the spinach, tomato and feta. I picked up the ingredients along with some foccacia style buns and marinated olives then headed home to get cooking.
Sticking with the Mediterranean theme, I made a quick cucumber salad with some leftover mint (from the fresh rolls), minced red onion, and a little olive oil and vinegar.
I like at least three components with dinner, so I needed one more dish on the side. I found some red lentils in my pantry while digging around and put those on the stove while making the burgers. I completely overcooked the lentils and they came out extra mushy. I mixed in some balsamic vinegar and the hubby really like them. Next time I'll try this recipe and watch the pot a little better!
For the burgers, I put a little of the topping in the burger and then topped them with the same ingredients. Turkey burgers are quick cookers - so don't forget to watch the pan while you cook. Read down past the recipe to see what I did with the leftover spinach and tomatoes.
Makes 2 Burgers
1/2 pound ground turkey breast (white meat turkey)
1 teaspoon Greek seasoning (I have a blend - salt, garlic, oregano, thyme, onion)
1 tablespoon crumbled Feta cheese
1/4 cup spinach and tomato (see recipe below)
Heat a little oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl
Divide into two patties
Cook the patties for about 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through
Inspired by a post on Playing House
1 small plastic container of cherry tomatoes
3-4 handfuls of fresh spinach, chopped
Heat a small amount of olive oil in a small-medium skillet over medium heat
Add spinach and a little salt to the pan and cook until just wilted, set aside
Add the tomatoes and a little salt to the pan and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes (until they squish when you press on them)
Remove from the heat and set aside
Serve as a topping or side dish to the burgers.
Serve the burger on your favorite roll with the sides!
Summary for burgers and spinach/tomatoes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: Spinach/tomato: 15 minutes; Burgers: 10 minutes
Skillets, knives, cutting board, bowl, utensils
Meal 2: Ravioli with Fresh Spinach, Tomato, Basil Sauce
We had plenty of spinach and tomato left over after dinner. I turned it into a quick fresh sauce for some ravioli. We picked up the grilled asparagus and artichoke ravioli at our local winter farmer's market. I bought some local basil at our warehouse club store (they do carry local products!). I threw it all in the food processor, brought to a quick boil, then simmer.
Added to the ravioli and we had a fresh tasty meal! Remember - you can always turn your leftovers into something tasty (well, most of the time).
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
Food processor, sauce pan, pasta pot, serving utensils
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
When I was at the library looking for a good book to read on my holiday travels, I came across a copy of Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet! I checked it out and started reading. What a wonderful cookbook - stories about Southeast Asia, its people, and the food. I have already read through the book two or three times! Sadly the cooking class is sold out, so I started teaching myself the recipes. One of the first recipes to catch my attention was the Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup. The recipe is from Thailand and Laos. I've had a red kuri squash sitting on the counter for a while, and decided this would be a good substitution for the pumpkin. The soup was as advertised, silky-smooth and delicious. It was wonderful as lunch the next day.
As a side dish I tried something that I've eaten a lot but never tried to make at home - Vietnamese Fresh Rolls with peanut sauce. For a healthy, vegetarian version I cooked up some tofu and filled them with a pickled cabbage and carrot slaw. I made vermicelli (rice noodles) to add in, but the rice paper wrappers weren't big enough to fit everything in (actually, I forgot until I got to the last roll....).
This was delicious and would make a great party dish after I work on my rice paper rolling skills. The soup is going to be repated often too!
Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup
Adapted from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
Makes 4 servings
1 red kuri squash, approximately 1.25 pounds unpeeled
1 can light coconut milk (approximately 2 cups)
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves (the recipe called for coriander)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 scallion, cut into thin rings
In a small non-stick skillet over high medium-high heat, dry-roast the shallots, turning occaisionally, until blackened and soft
Peel the the shallots, cut in half lengthwise, and set aside
Peel the squash and remove seeds and guts
Cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Place the coconut milk, broth, squash cubes, shallots and cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil
Reduce to low, add salt, and simmer for 12-15 minutes until the squash is tender
Stir in the fish sauce and cook for 2-3 more minutes
With an immersion blender (or food processor), blend the soup until it is a smooth consistency
Ladle into individual bowls, garnish with scallions and freshly ground pepper
Makes 5 rolls, with a little extra slaw and tofu
1/2 block of extra firm tofu (make sure it is well-drained)
1/4 of a head of green cabbage, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 scallion, chopped
Rice wine vinegar ( a few good splashes)
Sesame oil (one small dash)
5 Mint leaves
Rice paper wrappers
Note: You'll need to assemble all your ingredients before you work with the rice paper wrappers
Reheat a the same non-stick skillet (from the shallots) over medium heat
Cut the tofu into 1/4 inch sticks
Add to the skillet and cook about a minute or so on each side, until just golden brown
Set aside until assembly
Mix chopped cabbage, carrot, cilantro, and scallion in a bowl. Pour on a few splashes of rice wine vingar (enough to coat everything), one drop of sesame oil and sprinkle with salt
Mix well and set aside until assembly
Set up your assembly line for ingredients - Slaw, tofu, and mint leaves
Microwave a large bowl of water to soften the rice paper wrappers
Take 1 wrapper, dip into the water to soften, and then place on a plate
Put the mint leaf in the middle
Top with 2-3 sticks of tofu
Top with the slaw
Roll the rice paper wrapper like a burrito, tuck in two sides, then roll to close
Repeat for each wrapper
Total prep time (prep the rolls while the soup is cooking): 25-30 minutes, depending on how fast you can peel a squash
Total cook time: 20 minutes
Small non-stick skillet, sharp knife and cutting board, ladle, soup pot, microwaveable bowl, serving dishes and utensils
Serve with your favorite peanut sauce. I made some quick sauce, but it isn't worth reporting on. I'll have to work on a good recipe to share.