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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Curried Egg Salad via Relishing It

Last week, my little blog turned two.  It’s been a wonderful and busy couple of years.  I’ve made some incredible friends, both in real life and social media, that I would never have met had I decided not to try my hand at this blogging thing.  My children have grown– and no longer need quite as much minute-to-minute attention– which makes it a bit easier to do this sort of thing.  I guess I’ve also learned to better balance blogging along with taking care of my family.

That first year it felt like preparing, photographing, and writing consumed so much of my time.  I’m more efficient now, less focused on getting that perfect photo.  And while I still have a lot to learn, I realize that I’m not going to be  Cannelle et Vanille or What Katie Ate.  I adore those blogs, but that’s not why I’m here.  I’m comfortable being Laurie from Relishing It.  I’m here to show you some (hopefully) pretty photos of some (hopefully) healthy, tasty food, along with a few sweet indulgences.  I’m here to share ideas and thoughts about balanced eating and sustainable food production that can turn into conversations.  For me, food is more than sustenance.  It’s at the center of every gathering, it’s sharing and comparing cultural upbringings.  Most importantly, food is about taking care of my family.  I want to feed them well and keep them healthy, and I honestly believe that being aware of whether your food contains harmful chemicals, how it’s produced, and where it comes from can do that.  So, to you readers and friends that keep coming back to my little corner of the internet every week, I thank you.

Curried Egg Salad via Relishing It

Sweet Curry Powder via Relishing It

Now onto one of my favorite little dishes– egg salad!  I could eat egg salad every day of the year.  I’m serious.  This avocado egg salad is still the most popular post on Relishing It– by a long shot.  So today I figure it’s time to share an egg salad recipe that I actually like even a little bit more than that one.  This one relies on sweet curry powder and coconut milk for it’s primary flavors (it’s mayonnaise-free).  Those two ingredients combine to give this egg salad a wonderful, though not overpowering flavor.  And the cilantro, red onion, and garlic add a little freshness and complexity.  It’s simple and divine.

Curried Egg Salad via Relishing It

You may have noticed that the bread in these photos is…different.  Interested?  It’s actually a wonderful, hearty, gluten-free loaf that is full of healthy, delicious ingredients.  You can find the recipe at the My New Roots blog for Life Changing Loaf of Bread.  I love it with this– or any– egg salad.  I like to make a loaf and wrap the sliced leftovers in the freezer.  They are perfect when toasted.  Even if you’re not gluten-intolerant it’s worth giving it a try.  Enjoy!

Curried Egg Salad via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Curried Egg Salad 

(Serves 1)

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon minced red onion

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1 teaspoon sweet curry powder

3 tablespoons coconut milk, (canned version)

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a bowl, add the chopped eggs.  Using a fork, mash about 1/3 of them.  Add the rest of ingredients and gently mix together.  Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes so the flavors can meld, or eat right away if you’re impatient like myself.  Enjoy!

Note:  Store your leftover coconut milk in a canning jar in the refrigerator– you will be amazed at how many wonderful things you can find to use it in!

Thanks for stopping by– have a great weekend!

xo

Laurie

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Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs via Relishing It

The calendar says that Spring is on the way, though the snowstorm that rolled through the Midwest over the last four days had my family looking for more warming comfort food.  I obliged, by making these meatless “meatballs.”  Yes, I realize calling something that has no meat in it a meatball is a bit ridiculous, but it sounds more generally appealling that “lentilballs.”  And to be honest, it gives you a better idea of what to expect.  I kid you not, these lentil meatballs have the same taste, texture, and appearance of traditional meatballs.

Brown Lentils via Relishing It

Lentil Meatball Ingredients via Relishing It

Not to belabor the point of how much this version tastes like a traditional meatball, but my husband– a complete carnivore and self-described ‘bean-hater’– devours them.  They’re made much like a traditional meatball, except for the addition of ricotta cheese.  It really helps bind the ingredients together and provides a rich texture.  I loaded these ones up with garlic, onion, parmesan, and parsley, but another nice thing about this dish is that it can be easily modified to evoke other ethnic food flavors.  Add a little curry powder, cilantro, and ginger; or to make a Greek version, add mint and oregano, and serve it with feta and tzatziki.  We enjoyed this latest batch with my homemade canned tomato sauce from last summer for an Italian vibe.  The point is, these little numbers are versatile enough to allow you to follow your imagination.

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs via Relishing It

Homemade Tomato Sauce via Relishing It

In our family, we generally live by the “eat meat, though not all the time” mantra. These lentil meatballs are a great alternative, whether you’re like us or eat strictly vegetarian, and you still want that meaty texture and flavor.  The fact that brown lentils are also budget-friendly is a nice bonus.  Now if you’re interested in more traditional meatballs, I’ve got those for you too.  Take a look here and here for a few of my other favorite recipes.  And these are an interesting take that makes a nearly-perfect soup.  Heck, give them all a try and let me know what you think.  Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs via Relishing It

Vegetarian Lentil Meatballs via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Vegetarian Lentil Meatball

(makes 40 small meatballs)

2 cups dried brown lentils

1 bay leaf

3 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs, lightly toasted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped parsley

3/4 cup ricotta cheese (mine was part-skim)

3/4 cup grated parmesan or grana padano cheese

freshly cracked pepper

To prepare the lentils:  Rinse the lentils and put into a large saucepan with 2 cups water, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a medium-low and simmer covered for about 25 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed into the lentils.  Turn off the burner and let the lentils sit for about 10-15 more minutes covered.  The lentils will be tender when done, but still hold their shape.  Remove the bay leaf, and place the lentils in a food processor and process for about 1 minute, or until they are broken up.  The appearance will look like that of cooked ground beef.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Line the largest baking sheet you have with parchment paper.  Set aside.

To make the meatballs:  In a large bowl, combine the puréed lentils, garlic, breadcrumbs, eggs, onion, parsley, ricotta, parmesan, black pepper and 2 teaspoons of salt by mixing together with your hands.  Be careful not to over mix, as with all meatball recipes. Form smallish balls using your hands or a scoop– you should yield about 40.  Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 18 minutes.  They will be a nice golden brown on the top and bottom when they are finished baking.  Serve right away.  Enjoy!

Thanks so much for stopping by Relishing It today!

xo

Laurie

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Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

Greetings!  With another wave of snowstorms moving into Minnesota this weekend, it’s time for a new soup recipe here at Relishing It.  You already know that I’m soup-obsessed, so I won’t go into that again.  But I always find that Winter is a bit more bearable knowing I can eat soup as often as I like.  Honestly, if you were to take a peak into our refrigerator on any given day this time of year you’d find a couple of soups.  And the leftovers are just easy, quick lunches.  I think so many soups actually get better after sitting for a day or two.

Black Beans via Relishing It

This particular soup takes me back.  Many years ago, I flew out to the East Coast for my best friend’s wedding.  A few days before the ceremony, we found a cute little restaurant that made an amazing black bean soup with pineapple chunks.  Having spent my whole life in North Dakota up to that point, I’d never eaten anything like it.  Black beans with pineapple simply weren’t a pairing you’d find in the local Midwest diners.  The soup was so delicious that we went back for it several times that week.  Since I’ve thought about that soup so often, I finally decided to create my own version of it at home.

Roasted Red Peppers via Relishing It

First up are the beans.  These fantastic little legumes are delicious and good for your body.  More on that here.  I love how versatile they are– they’re staples in Mexican, Indian, and Caribbean cuisine.  Add to that the fact that they’re inexpensive, and it’s a total win.  I put beans in so many dishes that it’s ridiculous.  In this soup, the pineapple makes for a perfect pairing with the black beans.  It adds a nice subtle sweetness to contrast with the savoriness.  And the acidity from the fruit gives this soup a fresh flavor that you don’t often find in bean-based dishes.

Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

I also delved into my frozen supply of roasted red peppers from this past summer.  They worked great in this soup.  If you can’t find any roasted red peppers, feel free to use a regular one, but be sure to sauté it a bit before adding it to the soup.   The cilantro on top gives it another burst of freshness, and the jalapeño lends just the right amount of heat.  So gather up your ingredients and get this one simmering for the snowfall this weekend.  Cozy-up, my friends!

Black Bean Soup with Pineapple via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Black Bean Soup with Pineapple

(serves 4-6)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 2/3 cups dried organic black beans, soaked overnight (or 4 – 15 ounce cans, drained)

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons cumin seed, toasted then ground

1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted then ground

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 dried bay leaf

1 pineapple, cut and cubed,  yielding about 2 cups (canned can also be substituted)

4 cups water

kosher salt and pepper, to taste

Sliced jalapeños and chopped cilantro, for garnish

In a large Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat for a couple of minutes.  When the onions are soft, add the ground cumin, coriander, and smoked paprika.  Sauté for about 30 seconds.  Add the roasted red pepper, soaked beans, water, bay leaf, and salt and pepper.  Cook for about a half hour over medium heat or until the beans start to feel nice and soft.  Add the pineapple and continue to cook for another 20 minutes, or until the beans are completely soft and tender.  When they are, carefully remove about 1 cup of the black beans and place it into a blender.  Blend until smooth, then return to the pot.  If you want the soup thicker, blend a few more beans.  Like your soup thinner, add a bit more water.  You get the idea.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary.   Top with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeños.  Keeps well for days in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

Have a lovely weekend!

Laurie

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Simple White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic

Greetings friends!  It feels so good to be back here at Relishing It.  Turns out my Summer vacation from posting lasted a little longer than I intended.  At any rate, I’ve missed writing and talking with all of you.  I hope you’ve had a fantastic few months.  Life has been great in my little corner of Minnesota.  The holidays were good to us– we had beautiful traveling weather for our trip back to North Dakota, where we were able to spend time with our families.  Everyone remains in good health, and that is basically all that I need.

Simple White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic via Relishing It

Despite not writing as much lately, I’ve been very busy in the kitchen making new things.  I’ve tried desperately to not bake quite so much, because frankly, we just don’t need all those sweets around.  But…I’ve fallen short of keeping that vow every couple of weeks.  Simply put, I love to bake.  It makes me (and my kids) happy.  So now I’ve modified the vow– we just share more.

I’ve spent the rest of my time in the kitchen preparing healthy and delicious meals.  The pressure to ‘change your diet!’ and ‘lose weight!’ always amps up this time of year, but to be honest, I’m pretty content with where we are.  While I do make foods with butter, oils, sugar, and flour, I do my best to use limited amounts, or find healthier alternatives.  Not to sound too preachy, but there really isn’t a thing I’d change about my diet (especially with the ‘share baked goods vow’).  And that feels pretty good.

I continue to try to learn about how various foods affect my body, as well as how the production of those foods affects the environment.  And I feel lucky to have connected with so many people that feel the same way.  I want to stay healthy and fit for me and for my family, so I stick with the mantra that whole foods and exercise are the key.  If you’ve come here looking for healthy ideas for family meals, you’ll see there’s plenty to choose from.  I love helping people figure out how to eat “clean”.  It’s easier than you think.  Just stay away from packages and long lists of ingredients, add more vegetables, and eat whole foods.  You’ll be amazed.

Simple White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic via Relishing It

This simple pot of beans is a good example of the type of meal I’m talking about.  It’s not fancy, but is perfect for a cold night.  This dish is creamy, comforting, and bold.  The flavors can change dramatically depending on how you season this one, so play to your palate.  If you like Dijon, add a bit more.  Want more of a tang, be liberal with the vinegar.  Play around with it a bit!  The recipe below is how I enjoy it the most.  I generally make a batch of these beans and we eat half of it served alongside roasted buttercup squash (they’re perfect together).  I freeze the other half, and then use it in a simple cassoulet for a quick weeknight meal.  For that cassoulet, prepare some kielbasa sausage and/or some leftover pork shoulder, cut it into chunks,  place it in a shallow baking dish, cover with the thawed then re-warmed white beans, and top with some panko bread crumbs.  Bake at about 375°F for 10-15 minutes (or until the bread crumbs are toasted).  Sprinkle with fresh parsley, and voila!

Simple White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic via Relishing It

The Recipe:  Simple White Beans with Rosemary and Garlic

Serves 4-6

3 cups dried white beans (preferably cannellini, buy navy would work, too)

1/2 large white onion, chopped

2 bulbs garlic, peeled

2 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped

a few sprigs of fresh thyme, left whole

1 dried bay leaf

extra-virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

Begin by either covering the white beans with cold water in a large pot and soaking overnight (which I never do) or do a quick-soak method (which I always do) by placing the beans in a large pot or Dutch oven, cover with cold water and a sprinkle of kosher salt.  Bring the beans to a boil.  Boil for one minute.  Remove pot from heat and cover with a lid.  Let sit for two hours.  Drain beans when ready to use.

In that same Dutch oven, to the beans add the chopped onion, garlic cloves (from the two bulbs), chopped rosemary, whole sprigs of thyme, bay leaf, a bit of kosher salt and cracked black pepper.  Just barely cover the beans with fresh cold water.  Then add a couple of glugs of olive oil — about 1/4 cup.   Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a medium/low simmer.  Let cook for about one hour, stirring every so often, or until the beans are your desired consistency.  I like mine to be rather soft, but still hold their shape a bit.

When they are done cooking, remove from the heat.  Remove the thyme twigs and the bay leaf.  Using an old potato masher or a fork, mash a few of the beans to thicken them up a bit,  3/4 cup or so.  Add the Dijon and red wine vinegar and stir a bit to emulsify.  Re-season with more salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a bit more olive oil when serving and some fresh thyme leaves on top.    Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!  xo

Laurie

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Szechwan Carrot Soup

Carrot soup.  It isn’t exactly a cause for celebration, is it?  Carrot soup even sounds dull.  Not this time, though.  I love a dish that takes a reliable, though perhaps uninspiring ingredient, and transforms it into something special.  Here the addition of a few interesting Asian flavors make this carrot soup absolutely delicious.  And as a bonus, this is a perfect weeknight soup.  Chances are the you already have most of these ingredients in your kitchen, and it comes together in less than a half hour.

Like most soups, this recipe has a lot of wiggle room so you can adjust it to fit your palate.  If you like things spicy (like we do) add more red pepper flakes.  Or you may want more peanut butter or sesame oil.  Feel free to experiment.  As always, make sure you taste before you serve it.  Since they remain the central flavor of this soup, it’s worth tracking down organic carrots.  You’ll find the flavor is simply better.  I paired it with this salad (without carrots), and it made a perfect, light weeknight meal.  Hope you enjoy it!

The Recipe: Szechwan Carrot Soup

1/2 medium white onion, chopped

2 celery ribs. chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces

1  inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or more to taste

4 cups chicken broth

1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon honey

2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 -2 teaspoons sesame oil

splash of rice wine vinegar or lime juice

Cilantro, chopped for garnish

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven.  Add the onion, celery, and garlic and cook a few minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the chopped carrots, ginger, red pepper flakes and broth and simmer until the carrots are soft, about 20-25 minutes.  Stir in the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, and sesame oil.  Puree with a emersion blender, or transfer it to a regular blender and mix until smooth.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Add a splash of rice wine vinegar or lime juice.  You may want to add more peanut butter or soy sauce, depending upon your personal taste.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from The Amateur Gourmet

Thanks so much for stopping by Relishing It  — I love hearing from you.

Laurie

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That’s right.  Those are brussel sprouts.  Every child’s worst enemy.  And this dish is a way to enjoy them the way they were meant to be– fresh, healthy, and delicious.  Brussel sprouts are one of my Dad’s favorite foods.  I never understood that as a kid.  It’s not that I despised the flavor, but I was always a little annoyed by their shape.  Think about it:  while they’re beautiful to look at, they’re not fun to chew.

Several years ago, my ambivilence changed.  I discovered that when shredded, brussel sprouts become so much more palatable.  They still taste fresh and amazing, but it doesn’t feel like you’re chomping on a whole head of cabbage.  Since they’re not so densely packed, they take on the lightness and versatility of a good salad.  And that means you no longer have to eat solitary sprouts, but can add amazing ingredients to make them even better.

Which brings me to this Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts dish.  Honestly, I’ve eaten this at least five times in the last couple weeks.  It’s really not much of a recipe, but more a ‘suggestion of flavors.’  It hadn’t crossed my mind to mix Thai flavors with brussel sprouts, but the minute I read about it, it made sense.  And what a heavenly match it is!  The phrase ‘explosion of flavors’ is over-used, but that’s really what you get here.  There’s the salty tang from the fish sauce, the citrus from the lime, the creamy crunch from the peanuts, and that slow burning heat from the Sriracha.  And they all coat those beautiful, fresh, brussel sprouts.

The Recipe: Thai-Style Brussel Sprouts

(Makes about 4 servings)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound of brussel sprouts, shredded

2-3 teaspoons fish sauce, add more to taste

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup chopped peanuts

Lime wedges

Sriracha chili sauce, to taste

In a large skillet heat the olive oil on medium-high heat.  Add the shredded brussel sprouts.  Sauté until they begin to soften and brown just a bit, about 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the fish sauce.  Mix in the cilantro.  Squeeze some lime juice over everything.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with chopped peanuts and a few drops of the Sriracha chili sauce.  Enjoy!  And remember to share.

Source: Adapted from The Kitchn

Thanks for stopping by to visit today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Laurie

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G-R-E-E-N-M-A-C-H-I-N-E  Green Machine, Green Machine, Gooo….Green Machine!  This was the chant that my husband and all of his friends would yell when they were young boys playing little league baseball.  Somehow it has stuck around, though it now only is hollered on those rare occasions that Radd gets together with old friends and has a few (too many) beers.  Boys are odd.  In any case, I’ve co-opted the name for this uber healthy drink that is perfect for reviving you from that post-Thanksgiving feast coma.  “Green Machine” just rolls off the tongue more easily than “Pear, Kale, and Spinach Smoothie”.

This drink makes you feel good.  It’s loaded with delicious and nutritious greens and sweet juicy pears.  I’ve made a similar version of this smoothie with other fruits, but keep coming back to the pears.  They add the perfect smooth texture.  A few times a week I blend one of these smoothies up for lunch.  It’s filling, and to be honest, very addicting.  The flavor of the greens is present, but in a subtle way– not overpowering at all.  The banana brings it all together by adding a little more natural sweet silkiness.  I drink mine from a freezer-chilled glass mug, and it’s oh-so refreshing and good for you.  Give this one a try– you body will thank you!

The Recipe: Green Machine / Pear, Kale, and Spinach Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup unsweetened cold almond milk

1 cup spinach

1 cup chopped kale, stems removed (any type works fine, I prefer curly kale)

1 pear, cut into large slices

1/2 banana, cut into chunks

Blend the almond milk, spinach, and kale together until smooth.  Add the pear and banana and blend again until almost uniform.  Feel free to add more or less almond milk, depending upon how thick you like it.  Serve in a chilled glass.  Enjoy!

Source:  Adapted from Joy the Baker

As always, thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

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