Monday, July 22, 2013

3o-Minute Meal: Asparagus and Brown Rice with Tahini Sauce

With still getting back into trying new recipes and blogging, I asked on the Chefteebs Facebook page if anyone had suggestions. Someone asked for a quick, 30-minute meal. I chatted with my mom about it and she thought this recipe would be perfect. 

I really love this tahini sauce. It's delicious in a rice bowl with any mixture of vegetables. It's very easy and simple to make. It's been a recipe that I have made several times and is always well-loved!

 Asparagus and Brown Rice with Tahini Sauce

3 T. olive oil
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 bunch of asparagus, cut in 1" pieces
3 C. brown rice, cooked
1 C. almond slivers, toasted lightly

Tahini dressing:
1 garlic clove, smashed into a paste
1/4 C. tahini
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 C. fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 T. olive oil
2 T. hot water

Make dressing, by whisking garlic, tahini, zest, juice & oil. Add hot water to thin & salt. Set aside.
 In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chickpeas and a sprinkling of salt. Saute until they are a crusty color. Add garlic and onion. Stir. Then stir in asparagus. Cover with a lid a minute or two. 
Uncover, stir in rice and almond slivers. Taste for salt. Serve drizzled with some of the dressing and serve the rest on the side. 
Alongside this delicious and quick meal, I served a salad made of chopped broccoli, lettuce from the garden and fresh balsamic-dijon dressing and toasted potato rolls from my favorite bakery, Cake Box Bakery
This recipe is a great go-to meal to make during a busy week. The asparagus was perfect. The last few times I went to buy some they were skinny and flimsy. 
Feel free to suggest recipe ideas. If you haven't already, connect with me on my Facebook page to get updates and leave suggestions. 
I hope you are all enjoying your summer.
Chef Teebs

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Marinated Grilled Vegetable Sandwiches with Pesto

Happy Fourth of July everyone! The weather was pretty chilly today. It's been an odd summer to say the least. 
My mom asked me to help her plan the menu for today. I thought grilled vegetable sandwiches would be delicious. I have a favorite little Italian cafe I go to sometimes called Tina's Italian Cafe. They have THEE best veggie sandwich there! The version I made was vegan. I found a recipe on Down to Earth's website for marinated vegetables that sounded perfect. I was looking for a recipe with balsamic vinegar in it and I'm glad that this was an easy and tasty one. I placed all the vegetables in a zip-lock bag and poured in the marinade and let it sit overnight. Here's the recipe for the marinade:
Marinated Vegetables Sandwiches

1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried rosemary
2 t. dried basil
salt & pepper

Whisk all ingredients together or shake in a mason jar until combined.

You can use whatever vegetables you would like. Some suggestions: zucchini, yellow squash, tomato, carrots, red, green, & yellow bell peppers, scallions, red onion, kale, butternut squash, asparagus, eggplant, broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, or mushrooms. Slice up vegetables in long strips, about 1/4" thick and place in a zip-lock bag. Pour vinaigrette over vegetables and seal bag. Toss a couple times to combine.  
Marinade vegetables in refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight for more intense flavor. 

When ready to cook vegetables, preheat grill on high. Before placing vegetables on grill, turn down to medium. Lightly coat a grill pan (or foil) with non-stick cooking spray and place on grill. Add marinated vegetables to pan/foil, using tongs. Close grill lid and grill vegetables until caramelized and tender, and slightly charred, if you would like. 
I made a simple pesto to spread on focaccia bread. It's also delicious on Italian, French, or Ciabatta. I have a few pesto recipes on my blog you can check out. I used toasted pine nuts, several handfuls of spinach, 4 small cloves of garlic, salt, & pepper. Then Added enough olive oil to make it smooth and spreadable. I love having extra pesto on hand to use during the week in pastas, pizza, sandwiches, or other dishes. 
We also had my mom's famous potato salad and a black bean/toasted corn salsa with dinner. I drank a glass of citron green iced tea with the meal. It was perfectly refreshing! 
For dessert, I made vegan chocolate cupcakes with cafe mocha buttercream frosting. It's one of my favorites! I made it for a friend's wedding years ago and they still talk about it. 

This is my first blog post since last year. I took a break to do the Living Light School of Worship and focus on my relationship with Jesus. I hope you enjoyed my first post! There will many more to come! 

May God bless you,

Chef Teebs
The chocolate cake I made for my friend's wedding :)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Crisp Gnocchi Pesto with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

I got this recipe from Rachel Ray's magazine. I tweaked the recipe to make it vegan and added a little zip. 
When I set my dad's plate before him, he said, "What in the world are these things??" He apparently had never heard of gnocchi. Haha. I discovered it a few years ago and enjoy it once in a while. It's a lot heavier and more filling than a regular pasta. 
In the end, my dad loved this dish. I added extra extra spinach leaves, as you can see how green and thick the pesto is. You certainly don't have to do that. I added as little oil as possible to make it healthier. It was delicious.
Crisp Gnocchi Pesto with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

4 cups (about half a 5-oz. pkg.) baby spinach, loosely packed
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tbsp. EVOO (I used less)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (I used nutritional yeast)
Salt and pepper
1 package (16 oz.) gnocchi (I used whole wheat)
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Pine nuts, toasted, optional
Sun-dried tomatoes, julienne, optional  

Using a food processor, puree the spinach, almonds, garlic and 1 tbsp. lemon juice. With the machine on, gradually pour in 1/3 cup EVOO until smooth. Pulse in 1/2 cup "parmesan"; season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice if desired.
In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the gnocchi in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes; turn and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden all over, about 2 minutes. Stir in the grape & sun-dried tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pesto. Top with toasted pine nuts, if desired.
I hope you are all enjoying your summer. I'm looking forward to fall but I'm not ready for summer to end.. :) 

Happy Cooking,

Chef Teebs 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Layered Pasta Bake

I recently made Eggplant Ratatouille marinara, a recipe I tried last year. I still say it's probably the best pasta sauce I've ever tasted. So incredibly flavorful and veggie-packed, has a thicker, creamy texture.. yum. I ended up having a lot of leftover sauce, so I froze the rest. Well, the wonderful day came when I pulled it out of the freezer. I saw a recipe for a baked pasta dish in Linda McCartney's Cookbook, World of Vegetarian Cooking and thought I would use the eggplant sauce instead of making another marinara sauce. I also altered this recipe to make it vegan. It was absolutely delicious!

Layered Pasta Bake

14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1/2 C.tomato puree
1 C. water
2 t. dried thyme, or 1 t. fresh, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/2 lb. vegetarian feta, diced (I used vegan pepper jack)
sea salt & black pepper to taste
3 C. dried pasta (fusilli or penne)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium zucchini, sliced
3 T. olive oil
1/2 C. cheddar cheese, grated (I used vegan cheddar)
freshly chopped basil to garnish

In a medium saucepan, simmer the tomatoes, tomato puree, and water with thyme, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes. When the sauce has reduced and thickened a little, after 8-10 minutes, add the feta. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according o the instructions on the package. Drain, and mix it thoroughly with the tomato sauce. 

In a medium saucepan, saute the onion and zucchini in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes.
 Spread half the pasta mixture in a large baking dish and layer the zucchini mixture on top. Cover with the rest of the pasta mixture. 

Sprinkle with the cheddar and bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh basil. 
 In our back yard, we have a big tomato garden. My dad asked me to make some of my mom's famous fried green tomatoes. I thought it would go well with this dish. I also made my famous garlic bread recipe, a must! 
 I hope you are enjoying the last bit of your summer. I have many more recipes to put up. I've been cooking almost every day. I just haven't had time to post them. 

God bless you,

Chef Teebs