Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuscan Vegetable Ragout

This was another great recipe from the same cookbook as last night. I really loved the flavor that the olives and capers gave to it! I served it over large seashell pasta, but it would also be great served with some good crusty bread.

Tuscan Vegetable Ragout
Vegetarian Times: Fast and Easy

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts
1 (8-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil, divided
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped kalamata olives
1 tablespoon capers, coarsely chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add zucchini and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in beans, artichoke hearts, and tomatoes, and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons parsley, olives and capers, and stir to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with remaining parsley.

4 servings

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vegetable-Lentil Curry

This was a great weeknight dinner that made the house smell fantastic while it was cooking. After I gave the kids their portions, I added cayenne pepper for some heat. I served it with basmati rice and mango chutney.

Vegetable-Lentil Curry
Vegetarian Times: Fast and Easy

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium-sized yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 medium-sized sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds), stemmed and separated into florets
1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium diced tomatoes, with juice
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring often.

Stir in curry powder, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sweet potatoes, cauliflower, lentils, tomatoes with juice, and 1 1/2 cups water. Season to taste with salt.

Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

6 servings

Monday, February 23, 2009


These fajitas were really good. I cut the recipe in half and used only chicken.
Beef-and-Chicken Fajitas with Peppers and Onions
Cooking Light

1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.25-ounce) can low-salt beef broth

1 (1-pound) flank steak
1 pound skinned, boned chicken breast
2 red bell peppers, each cut into 12 wedges
2 green bell peppers, each cut into 12 wedges
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, cut into 16 wedges
Cooking spray
16 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas
1 cup bottled salsa
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Fresh cilantro sprigs

To prepare marinade, combine first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

To prepare fajitas, trim fat from steak. Score a diamond pattern on both sides of the steak. Combine 1 1/2 cups marinade, steak, and chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Combine remaining marinade, bell peppers, and onion in a zip-top plastic bag. Seal and marinate in refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally.

Prepare grill.

Remove steak and chicken from bag; discard marinade. Remove vegetables from bag; reserve marinade. Place reserved marinade in a small saucepan; set aside. Place steak, chicken, and vegetables on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cook 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.

Wrap tortillas tightly in foil; place tortilla packet on grill rack the last 2 minutes of grilling time. Bring reserved marinade to a boil. Cut steak and chicken diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Place the steak, chicken, and vegetables on a serving platter; drizzle with reserved marinade.

Arrange about 1 ounce steak, about 1 ounce chicken, 3 bell pepper wedges, and 1 onion wedge in a tortilla; top with 1 tablespoon salsa, about 1 teaspoon sour cream, and 1/2 tablespoon cilantro. Fold sides of tortilla over filling. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.

8 servings

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I'm sorry I have not been updating my blog very much lately. Chaim was out of town last week, and I did not feel like doing much cooking. I hope to be back tomorrow with a new post.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Classic Beef Pot Roast

This pot roast was REALLY good! I'm already looking forward to having the leftovers on Friday night :-)
Classic Beef Pot Roast
Cooking Light

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (3-pound) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
1 cup dry red wine
4 thyme sprigs
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
1 bay leaf
4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
Fresh thyme leaves (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º.

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chuck roast with salt and pepper. Add roast to pan; cook 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove roast from pan. Add onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender.

Return browned roast to pan. Add the red wine, thyme sprigs, chopped garlic, beef broth, and bay leaf to pan; bring to a simmer. Cover pan and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours or until the roast is almost tender.

Add carrots and potatoes to pan. Cover and bake an additional 1 hour or until vegetables are tender. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaf from pan; discard. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve roast with vegetable mixture and cooking liquid. Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

10 servings

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Tonight's dinner was one of our favorite meals - pizza! I made the dough last night and let it rise while I watched some TV, then kept it in the fridge until dinnertime today.

Mini pizzas for the kids, topped with sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, basil, and parmesan:

For Chaim and myself, pizzas topped with sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, sauteed eggplant, basil, chopped garlic, and parmesan.

Basic Pizza Dough
The Complete Italian Vegetarian Cookbook, Jack Bishop

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast (1/2 envelope)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Cornmeal for sprinkling

Pour the water into a workbowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the yeast and oil and process for several seconds until smooth. Add the flour and salt, and process until the dough comes together in a ball, about 30 seconds.

Turn the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise until the dough is puffy and has almost doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Divide the dough in half and place each half into a separate lightly oiled medium bowl. Let rise, covered, for 20 minutes. (The dough can be refrigerated in separate airtight containers overnight or frozen for up to 1 month. Bring to room temperature before rolling out.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. (If using a pizza stone, make sure it is put into the oven when the oven is cold, and let it preheat with the oven.)

Lightly sprinkle a pizza peel or large rimless baking sheet with cornmeal. Flatten 1 dough ball into an 8-inch disk. Pat the disk several times to level out the dough. Slowly rotate the disk, stretching the dough to the side as you turn it. Thin the edge by flattening and stretching it with your fingertips. The circle of dough should have a diameter of about 12 inches.

Top as you would like, and then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone, or put the baking sheet into the oven. Bake until cheese is golden and the crust starts to brown.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lentil and Spinach Soup

I was flipping through an old issue of Cooking Light magazine and came across this recipe. The picture looked so good that I had to try it. It was a wonderful warming meal, perfect for the cool weather we have been having.
Lentil and Spinach Soup with Roasted Red Pepper and Pomegranate Molasses
Cooking Light

6 cups water
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
4 cups diced Japanese eggplant (about 2)
1 cup chopped onion
1 thyme sprig
1 tablespoon extravirgin olive oil
4 cups less-sodium beef broth, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup thinly sliced bottled roasted red bell pepper

Place first 5 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Set lentils aside.

Preheat oven to 450°.

Place the eggplant, onion, and thyme in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Drizzle with oil; toss to coat. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup broth; bake 10 minutes. Discard thyme; add eggplant mixture to lentils.

Stir in remaining 3 cups broth and parsley; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add spinach; stir gently until spinach wilts. Stir in salt and pepper. Ladle about 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; drizzle each serving with 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, and top with about 1 tablespoon roasted red bell pepper.

8 servings

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blueberry-Balsamic Barbecue Chicken

I love making homemade barbecue sauces, and this one did not disappoint! I sprinkled some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and then cooked them under the broiler, brushing with the sauce at the very end of cooking. Served with rice pilaf and roasted green beans, it was a fabulous dinner.
Blueberry-Balsamic Barbecue Sauce
Cooking Light

2 cups fresh blueberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thick. Remove from heat; cool. Place blueberry mixture in a blender; process until smooth.

Almond Rice Pilaf
Cooking Light

1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups basmati rice, uncooked
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute 1 minute. Add rice; saute 1 minute. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid evaporates. Add salt and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in lemon juice and almonds.

8 servings

Monday, February 9, 2009

Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans

This was a great meal that came together in just minutes (which is always a good thing!).
Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans
Cooking Light

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and gingerroot; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in curry powder; cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes; cook 1 minute or until mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add salt, black beans, and chickpeas; stir well. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in fresh parsley and lemon juice. Serve warm.

4 servings

Cucumber Raita Sauce
Cooking Light

1 (16-ounce) carton plain fat-free yogurt
1 cup chopped seeded peeled cucumber
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Spoon yogurt onto several layers of paper towels; spread to 1/2-inch thickness. Cover with additional paper towels; let stand 10 minutes. Scrape into a bowl using a spatula; stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 2 hours; stir before serving.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Farfalle with Shiitakes, Sweet Potatoes and Peas

I've been eyeing this recipe for 2 1/2 years, and I'm so happy that I finally made it! It was delicious and really healthy.
Farfalle with Shiitakes, Sweet Potatoes and Peas
The Kosher Palette II: Coming Home

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups julienne-cut peeled sweet potatoes
2 1/2 cups sugar snap peas (about 8 ounces), washed and trimmed
1 cup shiitake mushroom caps (about 1 ounce), cleaned and sliced
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
3 cups thinly sliced onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces farfalle
Salt for water
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped

Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Add sweet potatoes and cook 1 minute. Add peas and cook, covered, for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, covered, for 1 additional minute. Drain through a colander over a bowl, reserving liquid. Return liquid to saucepan and bring to a boil; cook for about 10 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Set aside.

Heat margarine in same pan over medium heat and cook onions and garlic until tender but not brown. Add vegetables, reserved liquid and salt. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente according to package directions. Drain. Add vegetable mixture to hot pasta along with parsley and chives, mixing well. Serve hot.

4 servings

Note: You can also add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese to the pasta if desired.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cabbage Soup

Since we all have colds, I thought soup would be good for dinner. Since I had a late afternoon appointment, I wanted something quick & easy. Since I already had most of the ingredients in the house, I decided on this cabbage soup, which I served with simple grilled cheese sandwiches.Cabbage Soup
Kosher by Design Lightens Up, Susie Fishbein

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cups beef stock
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the onion in translucent; do not allow it to brown. Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.

Pour in the stock. Season with the basil, oregano, and black pepper. raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage. Simmer until the cabbage wilts, about 10 minutes.

Add the stewed tomatoes with their liquid, and the crushed tomatoes. Stir. Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot.

6 servings

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

Last year we had a huge Super Bowl bash, but this year we decided to keep it simple with just a few guests. Here are the chili and coleslaw recipes that I made - both of which are REALLY good!!!
Game-Day Chili
Southern Living

2 pounds ground chuck
1 medium onion, chopped
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (12-ounce) bottle dark beer (I use Guinness)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can beef broth
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 to 2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon hot sauce
Garnish: pickled jalapeño pepper slices

Cook first 3 ingredients in a Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain well.

Combine meat mixture, beans, and next 11 ingredients in Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours or until thickened. Garnish, if desired.

13 cups

My Favorite Coleslaw
Cook with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook, Jamie Oliver

1/2 white cabbage, core removed, outer leaves discarded, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
2 red apples, washed, cored and cut into matchstick-sized pieces
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
Juice of 1-2 lemons
A couple dollops of mayonnaise
1 heaping teaspoon English mustard (Coleman's)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and toss well.

6 servings