Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's For Dinner Wednesday

I'm keeping it short and sweet tonight. First of all, THANK YOU to those of you who shared their dinner menu last Wednesday. I was inspired by Ellen's tofu and Erin's stroganoff and made Tofu Mushroom Stroganoff over brown rice, with sourdough bread and carrot spread for tonight's dinner. Sounds pretty tasty, no? Unfortunately, it Definitely edible, there was (thankfully) no gagging toddler at the table tonight, but it was definitely not make-again-good. And not a recipe worthy of sharing. Sorry. :)
I will, however, come through with a good recipe later this week. Stay tuned. ;)

What did you have for dinner tonight??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's For Dinner Wednesday

Sometimes it's really hard to decide what to make for dinner. I find myself getting into ruts and patterns of cooking...for example, right now we're in a root vegetable rut. I just can't get my mind out of the carrots/kale/potatoes/yams/beets rut. :) Sometimes all it takes is a dinner at a friend's house to get a new idea, and I can get myself into a whole new rut. So begins my new, weekly, What's For Dinner Wednesday. I will share with you, readers, what we had for dinner each Wednesday night. Even if it's a bad day and we just have PBJ for dinner. And, if you're nice, you'll share what you had too. Please save us from root vegetable overdose!


Tonight's dinner was:
•Barley Vegetable Risotto (recipe below....barley because I'm trying to cook some other grains besides just wheat, wheat, wheat)
•Sourdough bread with curried carrot spread
•Baby carrots and roasted garlic hummus

What did you have for dinner???

adapted from "More Vegetables, Please!" cookbook

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 c pearl barley
2 c white wine
2+ c vegetable broth
1 c cubed sweet potato
1 c torn pieces kale
1 c chopped broccoli
2 med tomatoes, chopped
3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Saute onions in oil over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and barley and cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it's evaporated.

Steam the veggies and set aside.

Gradually add the broth (warm it first!) to the barley, stirring it regularly until it's cooked, about 50-60 minutes. Add additional broth if needed.

Stir in the cooked veggies, remove risotto from heat, and stir in tomatoes and cheese.

Serve sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese and/or toasted pine nuts.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Rainbow for St. Patty's Day

Okay, Okay, I know...I'm a day late for an official St. Patty's Day celebration. Can I blame it on being a little stuck in laid-back California time? :) San Francisco was beautiful, the baby traveled amazingly happily, and my friend was the best travel company! THANKS, MANON!! (also thanks to Manon for this weeks recipe!) :)

I hope everyone's not too sick of roasted vegetables...I feel like that is the basis of many of my meals lately, but this one is waaaay too good not to share. Sadly, no photos of this one because hubby took the new laptop to LA with him (we swapped coasts within 24 hours...I tried to convince him to take Lainey with him and let me meet up with him in LA, but the flights were too expensive. :( ). You'll have to go on description alone for this one. It sounds pretty simple and maybe even a little boring, but it's NOT. It's so good. I've made it now for dinner company three or four times, and it's a hit every time. And, Lainey gobbles up every veggie on her plate, without hesitation or convincing. Gotta love that.

I've served Rainbow Salad now over rice, over lo mein noodles, over ramen noodles, and as a stand-alone with bread. It's quick and easy and full of flavor. Hope you like it!


7 C. root vegetables, chopped: (use any, all, or a few of the following)
red beets
yellow beets (they have these at Price Chopper on occasion!)
chioggia beets/candystripe (the farmer's market)
red carrots
yellow carrots
orange carrots
sweet potatoes
7 whole garlic cloves
2 c. chopped kale or spinach
1/2 c. cashews, chopped

Whisk these ingredients together for the dressing:
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. sesame oil
1/4 c. vegetable oil
3/4 c. soy sauce
2 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2" ginger, minced

Chop roots and add whole garlic cloves. Roast in oven at 425° for at least 45 minutes until fork tender. Add chopped kale/spinach to warm veggies; this slightly cooks the kale for a wilted texture. Add chopped cashews. Toss in about half the dressing, and save the rest to add to individual servings as desired.

Monday, March 8, 2010

California, Here I Come!

I'm taking a mini-vacation this week...Lainey is staying home with Daddy, while baby Sarah and I fly with my dear friend to San Francisco for a long weekend. I'm super excited. However, it hit me last night that I'll be leaving half of my little family with no head chef. :) Unfortunately (for them), my hubby is a mess in the kitchen (figuratively and literally!) I'm left with two choices:
1. Leave them to fend for themselves (and eat Moe's bean burritos, PBJs, and canned baked beans) for five days.
2. Get crackin' on some serious cooking that will feed them at least
something in the healthy/vegetable category while I'm away.

So, I got my butt in gear today. I made the biggest batch ever of my veggie soup this morning, and I'm making a super-sized
dinner for tomorrow night with the hopes of having some leftovers to save (menu TBD...still unsure). Then Lainey and I baked some delicious Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins this afternoon. She is my official banana masher.

This is one of our favorite recipes, we make some with our extra bananas just about every week. It's really,
really good, and does NOT taste like it's whole wheat. (Check out Lainey's beautiful apron from our friend Emma!! :) )

adapted from Whole Foods for the Whole Family
1 3/4 c whole wheat flour

1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

1/3 c. oil

1/2 c. honey
2 eggs, beaten OR 1/2 c applesauce (I do applesauce, they come out super moist)
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/4 c.
hot water
1 c. choc chips (I use the grain sweetened chips from the co-op, just eyeball it until it looks good and chippy!)
Cream oil and honey in mixer. Mix in the applesauce, then bananas. Add the dry ingredients, pour in the hot water (I just keep the mixer on the whole time), then fold in the chips. Bake at 325° until a toothpick comes out clean. Time depends on what you make--mini muffins take about 10 minutes. A loaf pan takes 45-55 minutes.

The end of my kitchen help came when a pretend phone call came in from Aunt Erin... :)

The last while-I'm-away menu item I made was a surprisingly tasty salad dressing for some Apple Goat Cheese Salad. I've kind of been on a goat cheese kick ever since my pizza... Anyway, the dressing is five minutes to mix up, then just drizzle over some lettuce (pre-washed
and waiting for family in the fridge!) with diced apples and some goat cheese crumbles. We had some tonight and it was a hit with the adults. Lainey didn't like the goat cheese, so I'll leave that out for her next time. Who knew there was a cheese she wouldn't like?

SALAD DRESSING, from Paula Deen

2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 c olive oil

Mix all ingredients but oil. Whisk in oil or just shake it up in a jar with a lid!

I may post my last big-batch dinner, but in all likelihood I'll be hustling around trying to get my packing done tomorrow. Anyone have any tips on what NOT to miss while in San Francisco??

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm in Love...

With a blog. Let me explain. For days now I've been craving some roasted veggies...we stocked up on tons of root vegetables this weekend at the co-op, and this afternoon they were calling my name. I decided to hunt the internet for a new recipe using roasted veggies, and I found the best blog. Seriously. I emailed the blogger just to tell her how wonderful her blog is. So, we can thank Jan over at Mixing Bowl Kids for tonight's yumm-o dinner. Her blog is packed with awesome recipes, and she has tons of ideas for involving kids. She's my hero. :) Take a look and you'll see what I mean. (I had to stop looking because I got overwhelmed with how many of her recipes I wanted to try!!) Okay, on to the food. Directly from her blog...
Honey Roasted Root Vegetables with Pasta and Goat Cheese

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

6 large carrots, peeled and sliced
6 shallots, peeled and halved
1 beet, peeled and diced
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tbsp fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place all of the veggies on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Combine the honey, oil and mustard and pour over vegetables. Toss to combine well.

Sprinkle with salt and thyme.

Roast for 30 minutes or until brown and fork tender.

** For a complete meal toss with your favourite cooked pasta and sprinkle with goat cheese.

I almost never follow a recipe as-is (unless I'm baking), so I did make a couple little changes. I had no shallots, so I just roasted three large cloves of garlic instead. I increased the beets to 3 because (as Lainey says), I love love love beets. I also doubled the sauce so that I had some extra to toss into the pasta (leftover whole wheat angel hair), along with a tiny bit of olive oil. Oh, and I threw in a few big handfuls of spinach to wilt at the end. Last change was a splash of lemon juice, just because (honey and lemon are good together?).

The photo I posted doesn't do the meal justice. I'm a terrible photographer with a crummy camera. But it gives you an idea, at least.

For dessert, we had these peanut butter cookies, from Jan's other blog, Family Bites--they were insanely easy and really good! Try 'em!