Monday, April 30, 2012

Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Vegetables, Steamed Broccoli and Edamame

Busy schedules call for help in the kitchen. My mom and I planned the meal together. She's made rice bowls before. It's such a great idea. You pick your grain, vegetables, cooking methods, and a sauce. You could add marinated tofu or tempeh. It's a perfect time to get creative. Go by color. Make it pretty. Go to the farmer's market and shop for vibrant vegetables. Try something new. Then look for a tasty sauce online, make one up or use one you know you like. You can top the dish with toasted seeds, nuts, nutritional yeast, or cheese. Or even add cranberries or dried cherries... Tonight we decided to make a tahini dressing. I followed the recipe from this post, but added a little peanut butter to make up for the lack of tahini on hand. Here's how we did the rest...

Quinoa Bowl with Roasted Vegetables, Steamed Broccoli & Edamame
   serves 4

1 C. Quinoa, cook according to pkg directions or follow these great tips
Vegetables, cut in bite-size pieces (such as 2-3 small zucchini or squash, 2 carrots, 2 bell peppers, green onion, 1 eggplant, etc.)
olive oil, salt & pepper
1-2 small crowns of broccoli, cut in 3" pieces and steamed
1 C. frozen edamame, boil in water about 5 minutes.
Tahini dressing, recipe here

Preheat oven 400 degrees. 
Line a baking sheet with foil and toss vegetables in a little olive or coconut oil with a dash of salt & pepper. Spread out evenly on pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping vegetables halfway through, until lightly caramelized and tender. Set aside.
While vegetables are cooking, prepare quinoa, steam broccoli, make tahini dressing, and heat up edamame. 

To assemble, set out 4 bowls. Distribute quinoa evenly between bowls. Distribute vegetables on top by placing a small pile of broccoli on one 3rd, a pile of veggies on the next 3rd, and the final 3rd place a pile of edamame. Drizzle with a little tahini dressing. Fill a small pitcher with the leftover dressing and place on table to allow guests to add more as needed. 

This meal is delicious served with fresh crusty warmed bread and a dab of butter. You can also serve a bowl of fresh cut-up fruit with this dish. Is your mouth watering yet?

Well, I'm off to other things..

May God bless you,

Chef Teebs

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Black Bean, Corn & Zucchini enchiladas

On a drizzly dreary day I don't feel much like getting out. Better yet, get out of bed! I actually had to work so I had no choice. But I find days like these to be a perfect time to get creative, looking through cupboards, cabinets and the vegetable drawer.. for something to inspire a delicious meal. One of the recipes I've had put aside in my spring folder is Black Bean, Corn, & Zucchini Enchiladas from Cooking Light magazine.. it was looking to me like this may be the night to make it. 
I've tried chili covered, cheddar-cheese, cream cheese-filled and even a recipe for butternut squash enchiladas. This recipe was something new and different. 

Black Bean, Corn, & Zucchini Enchiladas

1 t. canola oil
2 C. zucchini, diced (I used yellow squash also)
1 10-oz. pkg frozen whole-kernel corn
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 C. Enchilada Sauce, divided (recipe below)
Cooking Spray
8 8" whole wheat tortillas (I used 12 corn tortillas)
2 C. shredded vegan cheddar cheese, divided
(I also used 1/2 red bell pepper, diced)

Preheat oven 350.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and corn (and bell pepper, if using); saute for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in beans. 
If you would like, warm tortillas either by toasted in a warm oven until softened or on each side over a burner on the stove. 
Spread 1 C. Enchilada Sauce in the bottom of a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/2 C. zucchini mixture down center of 1 tortilla; sprinkle with 2 T. cheese and roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, zucchini mixture, and cheese. Spread 2 C. sauce evenly over enchiladas.
 Cover with foil; bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining 1 C. cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese melts. 

Enchilada Sauce:

1 t. canola oil
1/2 C. diced red onion
1 t. minced garlic
1/2 C. vegetable broth
1 T. chili powder
1 T. honey (or agave nectar)
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes, drained

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. (Makes 3 cups, serving size about 1/3 C.)

We enjoyed these enchiladas very much. I served them with guacamole and rice, made by my lovely sister. And of course, as always, served with a lime wedge, fresh, chopped cilantro and hot sauce. Another successful recipe. Thank you Cooking Light!

Chef Teebs

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Red Lentil-Rice Cakes with a side of zucchini & greens

I've been looking so forward for spring to come. I suppose it's here. But I've noticed the produce hasn't been looking too good. I'm still holding off on some delicious asparagus recipes I've been wanting to make. I've even had trouble finding fresh garlic that hasn't started to sprout.  
This past week has been so windy. My 3-year old nephew was spinning around on the front porch and it reminded me of when my sister and I would play "tornado" on windy days, as kids. We were always doing silly things. In fact, my mom just found old videos of us lip syncing to our favorite musicians. We would spend hours and hours filming each other. I had a fun childhood.

I've really grown to enjoy lentils more and more. My mom and I came across some red lentils (finally) and had to buy them! For almost a year I've repeatedly put this recipe aside and I finally decided to try it. I got the recipe from Cooking Light. Alongside the patties I served spinach and zucchini sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. De--licious!

Red Lentil-Rice Cakes 

5 C. water, divided
1 C. dried small red lentils
1/2 C. uncooked basmati rice
2 T. olive oil, divided
1/2 C. red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 C. onion, finely chopped
1/2 t. fennel seeds, crushed (I used mustard seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (I used vegan cheddar)
1/4 C. dry breadcrumbs
1 T. chopped fresh basil
1 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten (I used 2 "eggs" of Ener-G egg replacer)
Salsa or hot sauce to serve. 

Bring 4 C. water and lentils to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse with cold water; drain. Place lentils in a large bowl. 

Combine remaining 1 C. water and rice in pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 18 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Cool 10 minutes. Add rice to lentils. 
Heat 1 t. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, onion, fennel seeds, and garlic to pan; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Cool 10 minutes. Add to rice/lentil mixture. Add cheese and remaining ingredients, stirring until well combined. Let stand for 10 minutes. 

Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Heat 2 t. olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Spoon the rice mixture by 1/3-cupfuls into pan, spreading to form 3" circles; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Carefully turn cakes over; cook 5 minutes on other side. Remove cakes from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining rice mixture. Makes 10-12. Serve with salsa and hot sauce. 
 These patties were deliciously unique. The patties have a great crunchy, almost nutty texture. If you are in a hurry, you can use quick cooking rice and simply follow the directions on the box. Other than the extra prep steps, the recipe was fairly easy. 

Happy Cooking. God bless you all.

Chef Teebs

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Banana-Flax Bran Muffins

Tuesday mornings there's this wonderful Beth Moore Bible study I go to at a friend's house. We take turns bringing a mid-morning snack. My day arrived and I decided to make muffins. Being a vegetarian, I know it's important to get in my Omega-3's from sources such as flax since I don't eat fish. Flax oil contains the highest amount of omega 3's, with flax seed following in second, and salmon third. These muffins are high in fiber, thanks to the 2 cups of All-Bran cereal in these babies, which helps with digestion, increases energy and aids in weight loss. The bananas, obviously known to be high in potassium, have countless health benefits including being one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6! Ready for the recipe now? 

Banana-Flax Bran Muffins (aka Banana-flax breakfast muffins)

2 C. bran cereal, such as Smart Bran or All-Bran
1 C. buttermilk (or soy + 1 T. apple cider vinegar) 
1/4 C. flaxseed meal or ground flaxseed
4 bananas, divided
1 C. sugar
1 large egg (or Ener-G egg replacer)
1/4 C. canola oil
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/4 t. salt

Place cereal, buttermilk, and flaxseed in bowl of food processor, and pulse to combine. Let stand 30 minutes, or until cereal is soft. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat muffin pan with cooking spray (or better yet, use non-stick muffin liners and you won't need to add any oil to pan).
Add 3 bananas to cereal mixture, and process until smooth. 
Add sugar, egg, and oil, and process until smooth. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in bowl. Add to cereal mixture in food processor, and pulse until smooth. Fill each muffin cup with 1/2 C. batter. Slice remaining banana into 1/2" thick rounds  and place on top of muffins. *I added a mixture of cinnamon sugar on top of the muffins after the banana slices are placed on top. Bake 20-25 minutes or until muffin tops are browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean and cool on wire racks. 
 I would highly recommend brewing a french press of coffee or maybe a cup of tea, sitting next to a sunny window and enjoying one of these delicious, moist muffins. The women loved these muffins! I hope you do too!

Stay tuned for more...
 Chef Teebs