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Entries in Meatless (34)

Sunday
Jul152012

Tempeh and Black Bean Quesadillas

Tempeh quesadillas

As far as meat substitutes go, I prefer tempeh, at least while cooking at home. I like the texture and the flavor. However, until now the only way I've ever cooked tempeh is by frying it in strips and adding it to a stir fry. One thing about tempeh that I never thought to do is crumble it up and use it as if it was ground meat. Of course, this is the perfect way to enjoy tempeh in Mexican dishes, like tacos and quesadillas! After seeing these delicious looking quesadillas, I wasted no time adding them to my weekly menu. After breaking up the tempeh and cooking it with spices, vegetables, and beans, it strongly resembled ground chicken, in my opinion. I'd be willing to bet that I would be able to fool any meat eater into thinking that it was ground meat inside! I ended up with enough tempeh mixture to make about 6 quesadilla halves.These quesadillas were very filling, and tasty to boot! Definitely a winner in our house!

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
1 (8 oz) block Tempeh
1 (14.5 oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Spinach
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Avocados
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 Lime
2 Large Tortillas (I used 6 fajita sized tortillas)
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and bloom for 30 more seconds. Add the red bell pepper and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Break up the tempeh with your fingers and toss into the pan. Add the black beans and continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add the spinach and toss to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove the filling from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. Keep the skillet at a medium temperature. Arrange a tortilla in the skillet . Sprinkle some cheese over half of the tortilla, then spoon the filling on top. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the filling. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is golden brown. Flip and continue until golden on the other side. Continue with remaining tortilla. Alternatively, arrange the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cheese, spoon the filling on top, and fold the tortilla in half. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the tortilla has become golden and the cheese has melted. (Our quesadillas were baked).

To make the avocado topping, add the 2 avocados, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and the cilantro to a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and puree until smooth. Spoon the avocado mixture over the top of the quesadillas, or pipe it through a pastry bag, if you want to be fancy!

SOURCE: Bev Cooks

Sunday
May062012

Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie enchiladas

This past weekend, I went out of town to a conference for my teaching sorority, where I received an award and was inducted as the new state treasurer. I had a good time, but I didn't sleep well on Friday night. The bed at the hotel felt like a pile of rocks! Though I was only gone for a total of about 36 hours, when I got home on Saturday night, I was just too exhausted to cook. We had hoped to catch up with the local taco truck for a Cinco de Mayo feast, but I checked their schedule and they weren't going to be around until after 11pm. Instead, we met up with a friend, ate gyro wraps on his porch, then stopped in to his girlfriend's "Derby de Mayo" party. It seemed like a fun party, but I was pretty much good for 1 beer and I was ready for bed. We were home and in bed by 10pm! I guess that's what happens when you don't get a good night's sleep! Anyway, on to the food. As soon as Nicole from Prevention RD posted this recipe, I couldn't wait to make it. I figured that since I missed out on a Mexican feast on Cinco de Mayo, I'd celebrate by eating these enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! They totally topped the taco truck meal I had planned on eating! For some reason, as I was getting ready to publish this post, I double checked my archives and noticed that I have already posted a vegetable enchilada recipe. However, this is slightly different, and way too delicious to not share, so here you go, a second vegetable enchilada recipe for you! 

For the Enchilada Sauce:
1 teaspoon Canola Oil
1/2 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 (8 ounce) can Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Water
Black Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. 


For the Filling:
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 small Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small Zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
7 ounces (1/2 can) Black Beans, drained and rinsed 
1/3 cup Enchilada Sauce (see above)
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, minced
1 (4 ounce) can Diced Green Chiles, optional

Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and corn, and cook until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Take off of the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and green chiles.


To Assemble:
12 (6 inch) Tortillas (I used flour, but corn was recommended)
1 cup Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded

Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce around the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Evenly pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 450 degrees until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the cheese has melted, 3-5 more minutes. I also put mine under the broiler for about 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve immediately.  

Sunday
Apr292012

Pasta with Roasted Beet Sauce

Beet pasta

A while back, I bookmarked this pasta recipe from Apple A Day. I love beets and I love pasta, so I figured it would be pretty good. Last week, I needed a beet for a recipe I was making, and the bunch I bought was huge, I'm taking softball sized beets, so I knew I would get another recipe out of them. Immediately, I remembered Kelsey's beet pasta recipe, so I added it to this week's menu. After roasting the beets for a while, I took them out of the oven to check if they were tender. I managed to splash beet juice onto my dress pants, white shirt, and silk scarf, which forced me to angrily, (yet kind of excitedly!), put my pajamas on at 4:30 in the afternoon! Aside from my clumsy mishap, the rest of this meal was a cinch to put together. It was quick and almost effortless, because the food processor did much of the work! I absolutely loved this pasta dish. It was slightly sweet from the beets, yet a little tangy from the balsamic vinegar. The addition of the chia seeds for crunch and goat cheese for some creaminess was the perfect touch. So, make this pasta if you like beets, just make sure you wear an apron so you don't ruin your work clothes! (PS-anybody have a good tip for getting beet juice out of clothes?!)

6 medium Beets, washed clean and stems removed
4 Garlic Cloves, peels left on
6 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
6 Thyme Sprigs
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 tablespoons Sweet Vermouth (I omitted, just used an additional tbsp balsamic)
3/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup Milk, Cream, or Half and Half
1 pound Dried Pasta
Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Goat Cheese or additional Parmesan, for garnish
2 tablespoons Poppy or Chia Seeds
Mint Leaves, for garnish (optional--I omitted)

Place the beets and garlic cloves on foil, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the beets and garlic in a foil packet and roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the beets can be easily pierced with a fork. Peel the beets with a paring knife and cut into pieces. Place the beets in a food processor, along with the juices and oil left inside the packet. Squeeze the garlic out of the peels and add to the food processor. Add thyme, vinegar, vermouth, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and remaining oil. Pulse the mixture until it becomes as smooth as possible. Transfer the beet mixture to a small saucepan. Add the stock and milk/cream and bring to a light simmer. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese and another pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low while you prepare the rest of the meal. Toast the poppy/chia seeds in a small skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Taste and season, as necessary. Serve the pasta garnished with seeds, additional cheese of your choice (we used goat cheese), and mint, if desired. Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side. 

Saturday
Apr282012

Indian Spiced Cream of Tomato Soup with Couscous

Indian tomato soup

After a few unseasonably warm days, we had a bit of a cold spell. What is better than soup for dinner on a cold day? We love tomato soup, and we've made several different varieties in the past, so adding yet another variety to our repertoire was right up our alley. I came across this one from An Edible Mosaic. Something about the blend of spices that was used in the recipe made it stand out. I had never cooked with garam masala before, but I knew that it would add a spectacular flavor to the soup. This soup tasted excellent, and like many other things, it seemed to taste even better the next day for lunch, after the flavors had time to meld together. The beans and couscous made this soup more substantial than other soups, and one bowl was just enough to make us pleasantly full. Now that the weather is supposed to be getting warmer, I don't foresee us making this soup any time soon, but as soon as the cold weather hits us again, I know that this will be a recipe we keep coming back to!

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous (I used plain white)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 medium Onion, diced
3 Garlic Cloves
1-inch piece Fresh Ginger, grated on a microplane
1 (14 ounce) can Petit Diced Tomatoes, with juices
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
3 cups Vegetable Stock
1 Bay Leaf
2 Dried Red Chili Peppers, optional (I just put in a pinch of red pepper flakes)
2 teaspoons Garam Masala
1 1/2 teaspoons Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 (16 ounce) can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
3 tablespoons Coconut Milk or Heavy Cream
Fresh Cilantro or Parsley, for garnish--optional

 Fill a medium pot 2/3 of the way full with water and bring to a boil. Add the couscous and a pinch of salt and cook until the couscous is al dente, about 7-9 minutes. Drain and set aside. In another medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, bay leaf, chili peppers, garam masala, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off, cool slightly, and remove and discard the bay leaf and chili peppers. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth (alternately, you can place the soup in a blender and puree it). Add the chickpeas and lemon juice to the pot of pureed soup. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then turn off the heat and stir in the couscous and coconut milk. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper, or lemon juice, as desired. Serve garnished with cilantro or parsley, if desired. 

Friday
Apr272012

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Portobellos

Spin art stuffed mushroom

I love portobello mushrooms, but Joel says he doesn't like them when they are the main part of the dish. I think that is just a made up excuse, because I've seen him eat them as the main part of a meal and he never complains about them! So, before adding this recipe from Prevention RD to my menu this past week, I ran it by Joel first and got his approval. The day before I planned to make it, he asked what was for dinner, so I showed him. He said it looked awesome, then about 3 minutes later, he randomly commented, "that wasn't a portobello mushroom, was it?" and when I reminded him he had approved it, he admitted he really wasn't paying attention when I showed him in the first place and just agreed with me because he didn't feel like looking at food. This wasn't the first time he was "disappointed" by a meal I chose and he "approved" of. Maybe he needs to give me suggestions when I ask him what he would like for dinner each week and then this whole disappointment won't happen! Luckily, he had plans the night I made these mushrooms for dinner so he just grabbed dinner out with a friend. I stayed home, made these 4 mushrooms and gobbled up not one, but two! I couldn't believe how delicious they were! Wouldn't you know, as soon as Joel came home, he was drooling over the remaining two mushrooms that I was putting away for lunch. He said that they looked and smelled delicious and agreed to try one the next day for lunch. The next day, he texted me saying, "WOW! The mushroom is delicious!" In fact, he said he wish he had another, because one just wasn't enough. See, Joel? You DO like portobello mushrooms!! 

Olive Oil  Spray
4 Large Portobello Mushrooms, wiped clean and stems removed
Salt and Pepper, to taste
4 ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons Olive Oil-Based Mayonnaise
3 Garlic Cloves, minced and divided
1 1/2 teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
10 ounces Frozen Chopped Spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 small jar Marinated Artichoke Hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon Olive Oil 
1/3 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, finely grated

Scrape the gills from the inside of the mushroom caps. Set the mushroom caps on a baking pan, gill side up, and spray with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning, and the spinach and stir together until evenly blended. Gently stir in the artichokes. Spoon the filling into the roasted mushroom caps. In another small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with the breadcrumbs, cheese, and remaining 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Stir with a fork to blend. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the filling mixture on each mushroom. Bake for 10 more minutes, or until golden and warmed through. Serve immediately. 

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