Monday, August 31, 2009

Soy Dressing (and salad)

We had egg rolls for dinner the other night (just frozen ones cooked in the oven - shocking!) and we wanted a salad. Michelle made a lovely salad with lettuce, carrots, sesame seeds, mandarin oranges, and chow mein noodles. However, we needed dressing for the salad and a dipping sauce for the egg rolls. I did a little thinking and came up with a single recipe that worked for both!

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sushi vinegar (or 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar plus 1 tablespoon sugar)
  • 1/4 cup salad oil (soybean, peanut, or canola oils work well - not olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 jerks Worcestershire sauce (about 1/2 teaspoon)

Wisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Drizzle over salad or use as a dipping sauce for egg rolls, pot stickers, sashimi, etc. You could also use it as a marinade for chicken or beef stir-fry.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pita Pizzas

This week we had Italian Sausage and White Bean Soup. The recipe calls for only 1/2 a pound of sausage. With the leftover sausage we made Pita Pizzas.

6 wheat pitas
bottled pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 pound Italian sausage, crumbled and cooked
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 cup pineapple tidbits
4 ounces Canadian bacon
1 thinly sliced Roma tomato
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil two large baking sheets and lay pitas on them flat side down. Spread 1-2 tablespoons sauce evenly over each pita. Distribute mozzarella cheese over all the pitas. Pick up to three of the remaining toppings for each pita in your favorite combinations. Distribute Parmesan cheese over each pizza. Bake for 8-12 minutes or until cheese is melted and the pitas are crispy on the bottom. Rotate the pans top to bottom halfway through.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spinach & Turkey Skillet

I'm not normally a fan of turkey skillet recipes, but this recipe defies my expectations! It is by far the best sauteed turkey dish I've ever had. I think it's so tasty because it uses turkey breast cubes (which stay juicy) instead of ground turkey (which is dry, flavorless, and generally nasty!).

  • 6 oz turkey breast tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ¼ C. chopped onion
  • 2 cloves, garlic minced
  • ¹⁄3 C. uncooked rice ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 C. fat free reduced sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 C. fresh spinach leaves, torn (chopped collard greens or chard would also be nice)
  • 2⁄3 C. diced plum tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Season the turkey with salt. Heat oil in medium skillet. Add turkey pieces; cook & stir until lightly browned. Remove from skillet. Reduce heat to low. Add onion & garlic; cook & stir until tender. Return turkey to skillet. Stir in rice, Italian seasoning & pepper.

Reserve 2 tablespoons chicken broth. Stir remaining broth into mixture in skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes or until the turkey is just barely pink in the middle. Stir in spinach and reserved broth. Cover; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and spinach is wilted. Stir in tomatoes; heat through. Serve with parmesan cheese. Makes 2+ servings

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Greens, White Beans and Barley Soup

This is a nice summer soup for when you have lots of fresh vegetables and greens that need to be cooked up. It's not too thick, although you could mash the beans with a potato masher prior to putting them in if you wanted something more hearty for winter time.

  • ½ pound carrots, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons, olive oil
  • 1½ cups chopped onions
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (16 oz.) Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1½ pounds collard greens, washed, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • Red or Yellow bell pepper strips

Cut carrots lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise into ¼ inch pieces. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmery. Add carrots, onions, and kosher salt. Sweat until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sweat for another 4-5 minutes, until tender. Add garlic and sweat for 30-60 seconds, until fragrant.

Increase heat to high. Add vegetable stock, cooked barley, beans, bay leaves, sugar, and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add greens and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and discard. Stir in vinegar and season with pepper sauce, fresh ground black pepper, and garnish with bell pepper strips.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A blast from the past: Chicken & Kale Roulade

One of the recipes from last week's cooking demo was one of my favorites that I've posted on this blog before. In case you missed it last time, here it is again!

A roulade is a meat burrito - a flat piece of meat that you top with filling, roll up, and cook. It's a great way to turn a boring piece of meat (a boneless, skinless chicken breast) and turn it into something more elegant. This version is baked with a crispy crust on the outside, but you could just as easily braise the chicken in a savory sauce if you wanted to.

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of any rib meat or fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced white or cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups stemmed, washed, and chopped kale, packed
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
  • kosher salt

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms, onions, and a pinch of salt. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and the onions have browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add vinegar, broth, oregano, pepper, and kale. Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale has cooked down and the the liquid has almost completely evaporated. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a medium glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick spray. Using a meat mallet (or a aluminum pie tin and a heavy can of food), pound the chicken breasts to a thickness of half an inch. You may want to butterfly the breast if it is very thick (i.e. more than 1 inch). Lubricating the mallet with water or vegetable oil can help prevent tearing (as will using the minimum amount of force necessary). Spread the kale mixture on the chicken and roll up in to as compact a package as you can make it. You may want to use toothpicks to secure the rolls (if you are gentle about handling them, that may be unnecessary). Put the breadcrumbs onto a dinner plate or other dish. Brush as much of a chicken roll as you can with mayonnaise and turn upside down onto the breadcrumbs. Finish coating the chicken with mayonnaise and (gently) roll to coat with breadcrumbs. Place seam side down in the baking dish and repeat with remaining chicken rolls. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Rest uncovered for 5 minutes and serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

In our Cooking with Hearty Greens booklet, we also included another family favorite: the meatball sub.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kale & Sausage Stew with Greek Flair

This is a family favorite.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 pound uncooked Portuguese sausage or hot Italian sausage
1 ¼ cup hot chicken broth, divided
6 cups (4 oz.) coarsely chopped stemmed washed kale
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Heat olive oil in large pan. Add onion and cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until tender. Break sausage into bite-size pieces and add to pan. Brown sausage on all sides, about 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add kale and ½ cup chicken broth. Stir. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until kale is tender.

Beat eggs with lemon juice in a heatproof bowl. Gradually add remaining ¾ cup hot chicken broth to egg mixture into kale and sausage mixture. Simmer over low heat 1 to 2 minutes or until egg mixture is slightly thickened. (Do not bring mixture to a boil or eggs will scramble).
Serve over rice.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Jicama, Greens, & Pasta

I'm all for "Waste not, want not", so I was thrilled when I found this recipe, in preparation for Jake's upcoming Cooking with Greens class, which uses jicama. I don't have to worry about tossing the remaining jicama out.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup peeled and chopped jicama
1/3 cup chopped celery
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (about 14 oz.) fat -free reduced-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
10 oz.any white beans or frozen black eyed peas
4 oz. uncooked medium pasta like radiatore
1 head chicory, mustard greens, or kale washed stemmed and thinly sliced
2 to 3 hot pepper sauce (optional)

Heat oil in large saucepan. Add bell pepper, onion, jicma, celery, and garlic. Cook over medium heat 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomato paste, oregano, and black pepper. Bring to a boil; stir in beans/black-eyed peas. Cover and simmer over low heat 20 minutes or until peas are tender.

Cook pasta according package directions. Drain and set aside.

Add greens to saucepan; cover and cook on low until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in pasta. Cook until heated through. Season to taste with red pepper sauce. Garnish as desired.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jicama Summer Salad

When I saw that jicama was on sale at Sunflower, I immediately thought of this delightfully tasty and easy salad.
3 cups cooked white rice, chilled
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups diced red/yellow/orange bell peppers
1 large tomato, chopped
1 cup diced jicama
1 cup cooked chicken or turkey breast
3/4 cup slice green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup thick and chunky salsa
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 large romaine lettuce leaves
lime wedges (optional)

Combine rice, beans, bell peppers, tomato, jicama, chicken, green onions, and cilantro in large bowl; mix well.

Combine salsa, lime juice, oil, and salt in small bowl. Add to salad; toss well. (Salad may be served immediately or covered and chilled up to 8 hours before serving. Serve salad over lettuce leaves with lime wedges, if desired.