admin / November 4, 2013

It’s Meatless Monday-Beet, Orange and Walnut Salad

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Salads aren’t just for summer. Right now there are lots of items in the produce department that make a hearty fall supper. This one started with a few remaining items I had from the CSA boxes…beets and salad mix. Put it together with some other things found in the pantry and you’ve got this week’s Meatless Monday which is a snap to put together.

2 cups cubed and cooked beets
1 orange, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
½ cup toasted, chopped walnuts
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
¼ cup sweetened dried cranberries
4 cups salad mix, lettuce, salad, whatever you like
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Place salad mix on a large platter.

In a large bowl, add beets, orange, walnuts and cranberries. Toss to mix and then fold in blue cheese.

Set aside while you make the dressing.

In a small bowl, whisk together oil and vinegar and then season with salt and pepper to suit your taste.

Add the dressing to the beet mixture and mix well.

Top the salad mix with the beet mixture and serve immediately.
Serves 4.

admin / October 14, 2013

It’s Meatless Monday-Herbed Mushroom and Smoked Cheese Bread Pudding

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I hate wasting food but sometimes we all make mistakes. Case in point, an artisan loaf of bread I bought for $1.75. When I got home and took it out of the wrapper, it looked like a block of cement. Not wanting to risk broken teeth or a lost filling, I thought the only thing to do was toss it. Conscience about throwing away good food got the better of me so it sat on the countertop waiting for a better solution.

Bread pudding seemed to be the answer. Not a sweet one but a savory one, and being short on time, the slow cooker was another easy solution. So for this Meatless Monday it’s a cheese and mushroom bread pudding that’s a breeze to put together, and I think it would also make a great Sunday brunch item too. The mushrooms are sautéed first along with some thyme to give them more depth of flavor. I used a smoked cheese that I think kicks the flavor up a few more notches.

2 cups of cubed bread (if you’re not using a crusty loaf style bread, use about 3 cups)
1 8 ounce package of mushrooms (sliced)
Salt and pepper, dried thyme
Oil
4 eggs
2 cups of milk
1 cup shredded smoked cheese

Over a medium high heat, heat about two tablespoons oil, add mushrooms and then add some salt and pepper and a good sprinkling of thyme. Cook until slightly browned, set aside.

In a medium size bowl, beat eggs, add milk, and some salt and pepper. Stir in cheese and then add the bread cubes, and mushrooms.

Let everything soak together for about five minutes and then pour the mixture into a slow cooker which you’ve sprayed with some cooking spray.
Cook on low for about 3-4 hours.
Serves 4

Wishing all the Canadian readers a very Happy Thanksgiving.

admin / June 24, 2013

It’s Meatless Monday-Ricotta and Dill Mouse with Roasted Asparagus

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This recipe is part inspired by last week’s CSA box. and the other half a tub of ricotta sitting in the fridge. My first thought was to combine the asparagus and dill in a soup but then opted to use the ricotta and came up with this idea. It’s quick and easy to put together. Combine it with toasted English muffins and I think it makes a perfect supper for a summer evening.

1 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
salt/pepper
olive oil

1 15 ounce tub of ricotta cheese (I used whole milk variety)
4 eggs
1 cup sharp shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever cheese you like or have on hand)
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Spray 6 custard/ramekin dishes with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat eggs and then add the ricotta cheese and mix until well incorporated. Slowly add the milk.

Add the cheese, dill and salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.

Ladle the mixture into the ramekin dishes and place on a baking sheet.

Place the ramekin dishes the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until they’re puffed, slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the mousse comes out clean.

Leave to cool for a few minutes and then run a knife carefully around the edges and turn onto a plate. Serve immediately with the roasted asparagus.

(Toss the asparagus with oil and salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 to fifteen minutes).

Serves 6

admin / June 10, 2013

It’s Meatless Monday-‘Steak’ and Onion Tacos with Coriander and Lime Sour Cream

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One important thing I’ve learned from using vegetables as the star of a meal is they need lots of slow cooking to enhance their flavor. And while I’ll tell you this dish is quick to put together, if you’re willing to spend an extra ten or fifteen minutes cooking the onions and mushrooms, the payoff is a tasty treat.

Once again Portobello mushrooms take the place of steak in these tacos, slow cooked until they’re golden.

The topping is sour cream with coriander and lime which I think adds a touch of sharpness to the sweet taste of the caramelized onions, and a little coolness to calm the heat of the chili powder.

8 taco shells (I used Ortega whole grain corn tacos and I think they add a nice flavor to this dish)
4 Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into 1/2 inch strips
2 medium sized onions, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder (more if you like it hotter)
1 cup sour cream
handful of washed and chopped coriander
juice of half a lime
4-5 tablespoons oil

In a small bowl add the sour cream, coriander and lime and mix together. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve the tacos.

In a large skillet and over medium high heat, sauté the sliced onions in about 2 tablespoons of oil, add a sprinkling of salt and pepper and let them cook until they’re soft and golden brown. Remove from the pan and place on a plate.

Add another 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet and sauté the mushrooms, add a little more salt and pepper and cook until they’re golden brown. Add the onions back to the pan. Stir the two veggies together and then add the oregano, cumin and chili powder. Mix together and cook for a few more minutes to make sure the spices are well incorporated into the onions and mushrooms.

Warm the tacos for a few minutes and then add about 1/3 cup of the onion/mushroom mixture to each shell.

When they’re all filled place them on a platter and drizzle some of the sour cream over the top (reserve the extra to eat with the tacos), and sprinkle with some more chopped coriander.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

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