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Entries in Main Dish (102)

Sunday
Nov172013

Vegetable Barley Soup

Vegetable barley soup

Even though this past weekend was abnormally warm (I’m talking 60 degrees in November…in Buffalo!), when the weather turns cold, nothing warms you up like a piping hot bowl of soup. Last week was frigid, and the wind made it feel even colder, so what better way to battle the temperatures than with a batch of vegetable barley soup! This soup is a perfect weeknight meal, since all you have to do is open up some cans and dice a few vegetables; add them both to a pot and let the heat do the rest! The next time the temperatures take a nose-dive, do yourself a favor and make a big pot of this soup. It easily serves 8, so if you are like us and only have 2 people in your household, this soup reheats perfectly for a week’s worth of lunch!

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 cups Vegetable Stock
3/4 cup Barley, uncooked
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups Baby Spinach
1 Zucchini, cut into half moons
1 24-ounce can Diced Tomatoes
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In a large stock pot, sauté the garlic and onion in the oil for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Add the vegetable broth and remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook until the barley is soft, about 30-40 minutes. 

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from About.com

Monday
Nov112013

Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Butternut squash lasagna roll

Now that the cold weather is here, it’s time to break out the comfort foods. Lasagna is most definitely a hearty comfort food, in my opinion. Since it’s fall and there is an abundance of squash in the grocery stores, why not try a seasonal spin on a classic? Pureed butternut squash makes a sweet yet savory, almost creamy sauce without any guilt! Poured over a traditional ricotta and spinach filled pasta roll-up and you’ve got a beautiful, seasonally appropriate, and delicious dish.  

For the Sauce:
1 pound Butternut Squash, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1/4 cup Shallots, minced (I used 1/2 of a large shallot)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the squash and cook until soft. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the water. Return the squash, along with 1/4 cup of the reserved water, to the pan and blend until smooth with an immersion blender. Add the oil to a skillet over medium-low heat. Saute the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add the butternut squash puree and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the parmesan cheese, and thin the sauce out with additional reserved water, to your liking. Ladle about 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, then set aside.

For the Lasagna:
9 Lasagna Noodles, cooked
10 ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed
15 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 Egg
Salt and Pepper
3 ounces (about 9 tablespoons) Italian Blend Cheese, shredded

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, and pepper. Lay the lasagna noodles out on a flat surface, making sure that they are dry. Take about 1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture and spread it evenly over each lasagna noodle. Carefully roll the noodle up and lay seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining noodles and filling. Ladle the remaining sauce over the top of each of the lasagna rolls, then top each roll with 1 tablespoon of the cheese blend. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the cheese melts and becomes bubbly and golden brown. 

SOURCE: Skinny Taste

Monday
Oct142013

Corn and Potato Chowder

Corn potato chowder

I already have some corn chowder recipes on the blog, but I felt that I had to add just one more. This one is different from the others…even if it's just because it has potatoes. It's a super simple soup that is quick cooking, perfectly thick, and absolutely delicious. If the weather is getting chilly and you are looking for a way to warm your belly, give this hearty chowder a try!

1 tablespoon Butter
4 slices Bacon
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 large Green Pepper, chopped 
Salt
Black Pepper
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Flour
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 pounds Red Potatoes, diced
4 Carrots, shredded
2 cups Corn Kernels (I used 2 large cobs)
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 teaspoon Thyme
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

Cook the bacon until crisp, then set aside to drain on a paper towel lined plate. (*We cook our bacon in a glass dish in the oven, 400 degrees for 20 minutes). In a large soup pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers, seasoning them with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until soft, then add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetable mixture and stir, then add the broth and potatoes. Cover the pot and bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the carrots and corn, then simmer for an additional 5 minutes for the flavors to blend. Stir in the half and half and season with time, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until about half of it is smooth, but some chunks of potatoes remain. Ladle into bowls and top with parsley and crumbled bacon.

SOURCE: Food Network

Monday
Sep302013

Chicken Yakitori Rice Bowl

Chicken yakitori

September is on its way out, and with it comes another Secret Recipe Club reveal day. This month, I was assigned to Life on Food, a lovely blog written by Emily. Since fall is such a busy time for me, I'm always on the look out for simple and quick weeknight meals. Stir fry generally fits both of those requirements, which is why as soon as I saw this recipe when I was going through Emily's blog, I knew it was the one for me. This dish definitely delivered! Not only was it quick, but it was absolutely delicious, and it used ingredients that we almost always have on hand! While we used snow peas as the recipe was written, I think that just about any vegetable could have been substituted, such as broccoli or bell peppers, to suit your tastes. If you are looking for a delicious quick stir fry dish, look no further and get cooking! Thanks for the delicious recipe, Emily! 

1 cup Basmati Rice
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Mirin
3 tablespoons Sugar (I cut it down to 1.5 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons Chicken Broth
3 teaspoons Peanut Oil, divided
1 pound Chicken Thighs, boneless and skinless
8 ounces Snow Peas
1 bunch Scallions, sliced

Make the rice according to package directions and set aside. Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, mirin, sugar, rice vinegar, and chicken broth in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 3 minutes; remove from heat. Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken thighs and cook until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1-inch strips. Return the wok to medium-high heat and add the remaining teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the snow peas and scallions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce mixture and chicken to the wok and cook until the liquid is syrupy and the chicken is thoroughly heated, stirring frequently (about 2 minutes). Divide the rice between bowls and top with the chicken mixture. Serves 4.

SOURCE: Life on Food

 

Saturday
Sep212013

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Pears

Pork Tenderloin with Apples  Pears

*tap, tap, tap* Is this thing on? Once again, it's fall, which means all of my time is spent between the 4 walls of a pool deck, leaving me with little-to-no time in the kitchen. And, those few days that I am in the kitchen, I either make something simple that we've had before, or I dial up our favorite pizza place. Tonight, however, required something different. After a random hot day, fall temperatures are here, and what's better than roasted pork with apples and pears on a cool, rainy night? The answer is nothing! This dish was simple, fragrant, and delicious; easy enough for a weeknight meal, yet elegant enough for entertaining on the weekend. I can see this easily (and regularly)  filling gaps in our weekly meal plans all fall and winter long!

1 Pork Tenderloin (1 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided 
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2 tablespoon Fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Apple, cored and sliced
1 Pear, cored and sliced
1/4 Onion, sliced
1/4 cup Red Wine (we used Pinot Noir)
1/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 tablespoon Butter 

Trim the pork tenderloin of any silver skin using a small, sharp knife, then pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Using your hands, rub the tenderloin with 1/2 tablespoon of the oil and the salt, rubbing until the tenderloin is evenly coated. Heat the remaining oil in a large, oven-safe frying pan over medium heat. Add the pork and cook, turning occasionally, until the tenderloin is browned all over, then transfer to a plate. Add the sliced apples, pears, and onions to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, using a pastry brush or your hands, rub the pork with the dijon mustard, and sprinkle with the black pepper, and half of the thyme and rosemary. Add the wine and the remaining thyme and rosemary to the apple mixture and stir. Place the pork on top of the apple mixture and place it in the oven. Roast the pork at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until an internal thermometer registers 145-150 degrees. Transfer the pork to a plate and cover with foil to rest for about 10 minutes. While the pork rests, place the apple mixture back over medium heat on the stove. Add the stock and butter, scraping the pan to remove any brown bits from the bottom. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half. Slice the pork into 1-inch slices and serve over a bed of apples, pears, and onions.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Inspired Taste

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