Archive for grains

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

sundried risotto small adjusted

Risotto has been a family favorite for years. We usually make a yummy mushroom risotto, but with all the fresh basil from our garden, we decided to try a new recipe. This recipe calls for parsley, which we did not have and it also calls for cheese on top, which we skipped to make it vegan. We also used less oil. This was delicious and was made by my son. He did a great job and only had a little help from my husband, who is the one that usually makes risotto. This is great with a side of greens.

Risotto with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Basil

1 onion, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. arborio rice

6 c. vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1/2 c. chopped fresh basil

We use a stainless steel skillet for risotto. Heat up the pan to medium high and add the oil and then the onion. Saute til it is softened and then add the garlic. Stir for one minute and then add the rice. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the rice just barely starts to turn brown.

Then add 1 cup of the broth and the salt and pepper and stir and cook until the broth is mostly absorbed. Then add another cup of the broth, along with the tomatoes and basil. Cook again until the broth is absorbed and then continue on adding broth one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until the broth is absorbed each time, until the rice is cooked. Enjoy this hot!

 

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

spinach black bean enchilada small

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can play around with the ingredients and if you are like me, you can use up food in your refrigerator that is on the verge of going bad. I had made some super yummy cilantro cream (I will post this super easy recipe tomorrow) and my husband had made some fresh salsa for some tacos a few nights ago, and I really wanted to use them again, and I also had some spinach that needed to be used, so I came up this idea to make enchiladas. I have only rarely made enchiladas, but I thought that I would try something different that I knew my kids would love. And it worked. This recipe was a hit. That is why this recipe is really large, so pare it down a little if you are not feeding a herd of teenagers.

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

2 tsp. grapeseed oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large onion, diced

1 tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. chili powder

1 c. sliced mushrooms

2-3 c. brown rice, cooked

3 cans black beans, rinsed

5-6 c. spinach, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

green enchilada sauce (I used Hatch Green Chili Enchilada Sauce)

tortillas of choice

non-dairy cheese (I used Daiya)

In a large cast iron pan, heat up the grapeseed oil to medium high and add the onion. Cook and stir occasionally til softened and then add the garlic. Cook for one minute and add the cumin and chili powder and stir for one more minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are softened as well. Add the spinach and cook until it is wilted and then add the rice and beans and salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook just til nice and hot. Now preheat your oven to 350 degrees and pan spray a glass pan. Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the glass pan until there is a thin layer in the bottom. Spoon two big helpings of the filling onto a tortilla and fold the ends and wrap up the sides. Place in the glass pan and work through the tortillas until all the filling is gone. Pour more of the enchilada sauce over all the enchiladas and sprinkle grated non-dairy cheese over the top. Cover with foil and place in oven to cook for 40-50 minutes. I served this with the cilantro cream sauce and fresh salsa and these enchiladas disappeared quick. Other great garnishes include, avocados, tomatoes, peppers, olives. Enjoy hot!

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

barley spinach salad w:o auto small

This is the second time that I have posted this recipe since I lost it the first time. I love this sooo much, I had to write it again for you all. My friend found this recipe, a long time ago, and gave it to me. The original is here. It is not vegan, so I worked on it a little bit and now I am a little addicted to this stuff. The barley could be exchanged with another hearty grain, like brown rice, but I love the chewy texture of barley, so I never mess with that part. The dressing has tofu that I squish with my hand into the tomato mixture and after stirring it into the salad, it looks like feta cheese. This combination is very satisfying and filling, so you don’t have to rely on another dish to supplement your meal. It is delicious!

Barley and Spinach Salad with Tofu Dressing

1 c. pearl barley

3 c. vegetable broth

6-8 thyme sprigs

4 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbsp. olive oil

5 c. baby portabella mushrooms, quartered  (the original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but baby bellas are my favorite)

4 shallots, thinly sliced

8-10 c. fresh spinach, chopped coarsely

1/3 c. basil leaves, chopped

1/4 c. mint leaves, chopped

1/4 c. sherry vinegar

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half

8 oz. firm tofu, drained and crumbled

In a medium saucepan, combine the barley, stock, thyme and half of the garlic. Add about a 1/4 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium low and cover and cook about 25 minutes, or until the barley is tender. I let it sit in the remaining broth, if there is any, covered, while preparing the next part.

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. of the oil and add the mushrooms. Salt and pepper to taste and cook over high heat until lightly browned. I had a lot of juice in the pan, so I drained it just a little, leaving about half. Add the shallots and cook until softened. This all only takes about 5-7 minutes. Now combine the barley and the mushroom shallot combination in a large bowl. Add the spinach, basil and mint, but don’t stir it together yet.

I use the same skillet and add the remaining olive oil, heating up to medium high. Add the leftover garlic and cook until just softened. Add the vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup and bring to a boil. Cook until it is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are cooked through. Add the crumbled tofu and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until heated through. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator for a cold salad. Yummy either way!

tomato tofu dressing small

 

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

cauliflower barley salad small

Its another summer salad recipe! I had never thought of putting cauliflower in my food processor until I saw it done for this recipe. When you put cauliflower in your food processor in small amounts, it turns into something that looks like a mix between feta cheese and couscous. The reason for processing small amounts at a time is to limit the liquid released from the cauliflower. I changed the original recipe a lot, but the cauliflower idea got me thinking of all these great possibilities. The barley in the recipe really hides, but the great nutty flavor and chewy texture are a great match to the rest of the ingredients. That same original recipe also has a great dressing that I only changed slightly by adding a little more pure maple syrup.

Cauliflower Barley Red Pepper Salad

1/2 large cauliflower

2 1/2 c. cooked and cooled pearl barley

3/4 c. celery, chopped

3/4 c. red pepper, chopped

3/4 c. cilantro, chopped

1/2 c. toasted sunflower seeds for garnish

Dressing

1/3 c. red wine vinegar

2 tbsp. flax seed oil, or olive oil

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Start by grating the cauliflower by using a cheese grater attachment on a food processor, or grating it by hand. Put this in a large bowl and add the cooked and cooled barley, celery, red pepper, and cilantro. Mix this well. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing. Pour this over the cauliflower mixture and stir until well combined. I put this in the refrigerator for about one hour to chill everything before serving.  Scoop a spoonful onto your plate and top with the toasted sunflower seeds. Enjoy!

 

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

Tempeh with Curried Cashew Sauce

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I have been looking to try something new with tempeh lately. I started to look for inspiration and came across this recipe. This original recipe serves two people, so I made the portions bigger and replaced the dairy products. I served it on a spoonful of short grain brown rice with steamed carrots and sweet potatoes on the side. The garnish of chopped cilantro on top was the perfect finishing touch. It turned out delicious!

Tempeh with Curried Cashew Sauce

4 tbsp. rice vinegar

4 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

3 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

2  8 oz. pkg. tempeh cut into 1/2 inch cubes  (I used Litelife  Three Grain)

Sauce

2 tsp. olive oil

1/3 c. raw cashews (I used cashew pieces)

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 tsp. curry powder

3/4 c. almond milk (other nut milks would work fine here)

1/3 c. warm water

1/4 tsp. salt

handful chopped cilantro

Begin by mixing the first five ingredients together in a medium bowl. This is the marinade for the tempeh. Add the tempeh and let it stand for at least five minutes. Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high heat and pour in the tempeh, marinade and all. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat to medium and stir and cook until the juice is gone. This does not take long, maybe 10 minutes. Then turn off the heat and set aside while you make the cashew sauce. Begin this by heating up the olive oil in a cast iron pan to medium high heat and adding the cashews. Toast them until they are lightly brown. This happens fast, so don’t let them burn! Add the onion and cook until it is very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the curry powder and garlic and stir while cooking for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the milk. Pour this mixture into a food processor and add the water and salt and puree until it is smooth. Now get a bowl of rice and add the tempeh, sauce and top with the cilantro. It was delicious with steamed sweet potatoes and carrots.

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Strawberry Sweet Potato Basil Barley Salad

strawberry sweet potato basil barley

The temperatures here in Utah have been above 100 degrees for about five days now. It feels like a furnace outside because the air is so dry. Our poor air conditioner is trying its best to keep up, but the kitchen is not a really cool place in the late afternoon when I usually feel like creating something delicious for dinner. It has really changed my attitude about cooking lately. Of course I still have the desire to make something yummy, but just not cooking anything. So at this time of year I start making salads for dinner almost every night. I love salads so it is fun to see what I can come up with. I made this salad last night and it felt a little like dessert because of the sweet strawberries and sweet potatoes. The barley was delicious and chewy and fresh basil is good in anything. The dressing was so simple that if you make the barley ahead of time, this whole salad was super easy and fast to make.

Strawberry Sweet Potato Basil Barley Salad

4 c. cooked pearl barley

2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled,  and cut into cubes ( I microwaved them)

2 c. cut strawberries

2 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. olive oil

10 leaves basil, chopped

In a large bowl combine the barley, sweet potatoes, and strawberries. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice and olive oil and then pour over the salad ingredients. Add the chopped basil and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and enjoy. This salad is best eaten on the day that it is made.

 

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Coconut Curried Purple Cabbage and Rice with Mint

curried purple cabbage and rice with mintj2

I love all the members of the cabbage family. They are so delicious and nutritious and easy to find at the grocery store. Purple cabbage is loaded with vitamin C and K and has lots of fiber and folate too. The color of purple cabbage is so beautiful and grows even deeper and richer when it is cooked. And today, I combine it with fresh mint in a recipe that looks absolutely stunning when it is done. If you have rice that is already cooked, this dish is super fast and easy to make.

Coconut Curried Purple Cabbage and Rice with Mint

Coconut Curry Sauce

2 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and minced

1 1/2 tsp. red chili paste ( I like the brand Thai Kitchen)

1/4 c. sucanat

2/3 c. hot water

1/4 c. fish sauce ( if someone knows a good vegan substitute, let me know)

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 can lite coconut milk

 

1 tsp. grapeseed oil

1 tbsp. Earth Balance

1/2 head purple cabbage, slice 1/4 inch thick

4-5 c.  cooked brown rice (I think other cooked grains would be great as well)

1/4 c. chopped mint leaves (reserve a little bit to garnish the top)

1/4 c. toasted pepitas

Begin by making the sauce. Combine the red chili paste and the sucanat with the hot water and stir until everything is dissolved. Add the garlic, fish sauce, and lime juice. Stir well and add the can of coconut milk. Stir and set aside.

I recommend a cast iron skillet to cook this dish. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the grapeseed oil and Earth Balance. When they are melted together, add the purple cabbage and saute til it is softened. This takes about 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and add the cooked brown rice. Stir to combine. Add the coconut curry sauce and the mint and mix well. It may seem that there is too much sauce, but don’t despair, the sauce gets absorbed by the rice. Keep cooking and stir frequently, and when this dish turns a little bit creamy, kind of like a risotto, it is done. This takes about 10 more minutes. Garnish with the reserved mint leaves and toasted pepitas. Enjoy!

 

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Cilantro Pesto Veggie Bowl

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Cilantro Pesto goes well with so many different foods. It is obviously great on a bowl of pasta and it is great as a sandwich condiment (just think of a roasted veggie cilantro pesto sandwich, YUM!). A spoonful of it on a veggie burrito or enchilada is divine. And it is super good as a dressing for a noodle bowl, or on a bowl of veggies and millet. One cup of millet has 6 grams of protein and 6% of your daily iron needs, as well as a little calcium. It has a lightly chewy texture without a heavy flavor when cooked. I love this stuff. This recipe has lots of steps to cook the veggies, but it does not take long and is not hard so don’t be discouraged. I posted the recipe for Cilantro Pesto here. It makes this recipe complete. The pesto recipe makes enough to have some left over after using it for this combination.

1 c. millet

2 c. water

1 tsp. grapeseed oil

2 large carrots, cut into sticks about 2 inches long

1/4 c. water

4 c. kale, baby leaves or big leaves chopped

1 pd. tofu, sliced into 3 slabs

1 recipe cilantro pesto

handful of cherry tomatoes, cut in half

Add the millet and water together in a 2 qt. pan and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and keep at a low simmer until the water is absorbed into the millet and turn off the heat. This takes about 25-30 minutes. While the millet is cooking, start cooking the veggies. Add the oil to a heavy bottom pan, preferably cast iron, and heat to medium high. Add the carrots, stir and saute til lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the 1/4 c. water, cover with a lid, and turn down the heat a little. This obviously steams the carrots. It does not take long to cook til they are tender, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, put the carrots in a bowl, and set aside. Use the same pan and add the 1 tsp. grapeseed oil to saute the kale. Use medium heat and stir frequently because the kale cooks very quickly, about 3 minutes. Put kale into a bowl and set aside. Now just use pan spray on the same pan and heat to medium high again and add the tofu slabs. Remember to be patient while cooking tofu and wait for the edges to turn brown before turning it over so it won’t stick to the pan. Cook both sides until it is lightly browned. Remove from heat and cut the cherry tomatoes in half if you didn’t do it already. Cut the tofu slabs into 1 inch cubes. Now, finally, assemble the veggie bowls! Put 1 c. of millet into a bowl, add a spoonful of carrots, kale, tofu, and cherry tomatoes. Top with about 1 tsp. of cilantro pesto. Stir and eat warm or cold. It is a delicious mix!

cilantro pesto veggie bowl ingredients

cilantro pesto veggie bowl ingredients

pressing tofu

pressing tofu

browned tofu

browned tofu

Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice

When I was in college, I went to one of those restaurants where the chef comes to your table to cook whatever you ordered and to throw sharp knives around. It was very impressive. But the best thing about it for me was that it was such a great cooking demonstration. The fried rice was so delicious and it looked easy to make if you didn’t have to throw any knives. I started making a version of that fried rice soon after and have been making vegan versions of it ever since then. Lately, the emphasis has been a little less on the fried part to make it more healthy. So today I will post the basic vegan version of my fried rice and soon I will post a few variations. This is a pretty big recipe for my big eaters. You can scale it back, or save the leftovers in the refrigerator for another meal.

Vegan Vegetable Fried Rice

2 tsp. grapeseed oil

4-5 large cloves garlic, crushed and minced

1 large onion, chopped medium

2 large carrots, chopped

4 c. broccoli chopped into small florets

1 pd. extra firm tofu, pressed

4-5 c. cooked rice, cooled (I use short grain brown, but others would work just fine)

1/3-1/2 c. soy sauce

Cut the tofu into two pieces, making  two slabs. Use non stick spray on a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan. Heat to medium and cook the slabs of tofu, browning each side lightly. Careful not to turn over too soon or it will stick. Remove from pan and put on a cutting board and let cool while preparing the vegetables.

I also use a large cast iron pan to cook the vegetables because they won’t stick, but any non-stick cookware or wok is great. Heat oil to medium high and add onion. Cook til softened and add the garlic. Stir and cook one more minute and add the broccoli and carrots and cook and stir frequently until these are softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Now cut up the cooled tofu into one inch cubes and add to the vegetables. Heat up til the pan is hot again and add the rice and the soy sauce. Stir until well mixed and heated through. I use a thin metal spatula to keep the bottom from sticking because it will want to. Enjoy hot!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Thyme Flavored Barley and Red Cabbage

A few years ago, my sister-in-law made a dish for Easter that was similar to this, except it used spelt. This recipe calls for barley, but I have used spelt as well and it is just as tasty. I love red cabbage and barley together. This is a very satisfying, comforting dish for dinner. This is a big recipe, but don’t worry, if you don’t have teenagers to feed, the leftovers are great.

Thyme Flavored Barley and Red Cabbage

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

1 1/2 c. barley, or spelt

1/2 of medium onion

2 large thyme sprigs

4 c. water

1/2 tsp. salt

Heat up a large saucepan to medium heat and add the oil. Add the barley and stir til the grains look very lightly toasted. If they get really brown, that is too long. Add onions and thyme. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onions are just softened. Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low so it simmers and cook til the water is absorbed and the grains are tender, about 30 minutes, and then turn off the heat. While this is simmering, start the cabbage.

1 tbsp. vegan margarine, I used Earth Balance

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 big red onion

5-6 c. red cabbage, cut into 1 inch pieces

3-4 tbsp. red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

5-6 thyme sprigs

3/4 c. water

cooked barley

3/4 c. toasted walnuts

In a large heavy skillet, melt the margarine into the olive oil. Add the onion and cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add cabbage and vinegar, salt and pepper, and cook til the cabbage wilts. Add the thyme and water and cover. Cook over low heat, stirring every once in a while til cabbage is tender and the water is evaporated. This takes about 20 minutes. Now stir in the barley that you cooked and combine well. I pull out the thyme sprigs at this point. Use the toasted walnuts as a garnish.