Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Swiss Chard and Pepper Stir-fry

After the long weekend filled with lots of burgers and drinks I decided to make tonight's dinner full of vegetables and healthy grains. We had a big salad and then this stir fry of vegetables over a bowl of cooked faro. If you don't have faro just use brown rice or quinoa. Any grain will work in this dish.

1 tbsp liquid aminos (soy sauce alternative or just use soy sauce)
1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp dark Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 pound Swiss chard, preferably rainbow chard, stems trimmed, washed and cut crosswise in 1/2-inch strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (optional)
1 cup cooked farro (or quinoa or rice)

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, rice wine or sherry, and the sesame oil. Combine the salt, pepper and sugar in another small bowl. Cut up the vegetables so they are ready to be put in the pan when needed.

Heat a skillet over high heat and swirl in the oil by adding it to the sides of the pan and tilting it back and forth. Add the garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for no more than 10 seconds. Add the chard, and stir-fry for two minutes, until the leaves wilt. Add the red pepper and spring onion or red onion. Turn the heat to high, and stir-fry for one minute, or until the pepper begins to soften. Add the salt, pepper and sugar. Toss together, and add the soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry for two to three minutes until the chard leaves are tender and the stems and red peppers are crisp-tender. Stir in the cilantro, and serve over cooked faro, quinoa, or rice.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quinoa Tofu Broccoli Stir Fry

I love to make stir fry for dinner and it always varies depending on what is in my fridge. I didn't have time to make rice so I used quinoa instead and it worked great!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1 small head broccoli, cut into pieces
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 scallions
1 package tofu, firm
orange-ginger bosari seasoning
liquid aminos (Braggs)- can buy at Whole Foods or Wegmans it is a soy sauce alternative
2 tbsp safflower or olive oil
1 small thumb-size piece of ginger, minced

Rinse quinoa with water in a fine mesh strainer before cooking (removes bitterness). Place quinoa and chicken broth in small saucepan. Bring to boil then simmer, covered, until cooked about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Place safflower oil and sesame oil in large saute pan. Heat over high heat, add broccoli and tofu and cook until broccoli about 5-7 minutes. Add carrots and scallions and cook another 5 minutes. Sprinkle a good few dashes of the borsari seasoning and a couple heavy splashes of the liquid aminos (or soy sauce if you don't have it). Toss the quinoa in with the tofu mixture and top with some more scallions. Serve hot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easter Dinner Pictures.

I know I am way behind but better late than never! Here are the pictures from our Easter Dinner. If I must say so myself everything was delicious! I had lots of help again so I can say that because I didn't make everything.

I am posting the Arugula and Wheatberry Salad and the Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes. These two side dishes are fancy enough for a holiday but perfect for any company or even a weeknight dinner side dish. I got the recipe for the wheat berry salad from the Whole Foods website. A tip for the wheat berries: some times they sell them parboiled which shortens the cooking time to about 15 minutes. Make sure you read the bag on the ones you buy to see how they say to cook it.. I would cook them according to the package because they might not take 45 minutes. They are chewy in texture and are my favorite grain! The asparagus dish comes from the Cooking Light magazine.

Arugula and Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup wheat berries
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/2 cup apple juice
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 cup packed arugula
1 cup dried apricots (about 24), chopped
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds

Place wheat berries in a large bowl and cover with several inches of cold water. Let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse wheat berries and place in a medium saucepan. Cover by several inches with fresh water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until berries are tender and some break open, about 45 minutes. Drain well.

Place wheat berries, shallots, juice, celery, arugula, apricots and almonds in a large bowl and toss to combine. Let sit at least 1 hour to blend flavors before serving.

Asparagus with Balsamic Tomatoes

1 lb. asparagus, trimmed

2 tsp olive oil

1 1/2 cups halved grape cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic

2 tbsp balsalmic vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

3 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper

Cook asparagus in boiling water til crisp-tender drain. I did this ahead of time, put in ice bath and then drained and kept at room temp.) Heat olive oil in large skillet and add tomatoes and garlic. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in salt, Arrange asparagus in platter, top with tomato mixture, sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Watercress and Endive Salad with Crusted Goat Cheese

1 bunch watercress, trimmed and washed
2 endive, sliced
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
4 oz. goat cheese
1/4 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
olive oil

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp honey
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp truffle oil (added at last minute to dressing or drizzle a little bit over each salad plate)

To make the dressing: dissolve the salt and honey in the lemon juice and add the olive oil and fresh pepper. Set aside.

To make goat cheese: Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium heat. Slice goat cheese into 4 pieces. Roll each piece of goat cheese in flour, then dip in egg and roll in panko bread crumbs. Place in skillet and brown on all sides (make sure it doesn't burn). Remove from pan and let sit on paper towel for about 1 minute. Serve on top of salad while still warm.

Place some of the watercress and endive on each salad plate. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and place one piece of warmed goat cheese on top. Drizzle dressing over top and serve.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Farro & Millet Risotto and Roasted Carrots

I found both of these recipes from another blog and knew they would be delicious!! My four year old said it was the best dinner ever ( we told him the farro was small pasta so it was basically a version of mac and cheese... and my 1 year old daughter was putting her face directly onto my place and eating up the farro risotto)... needless to say it was a hit!! This is a great healthier substitute for the white arborio rice that is used in traditional risotto.

Farro and Millet Risotto
1/2 cup millet
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups pearled farro
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Add the millet to a small saucepan over medium heat. Toast it, stirring, until the millet is golden, a couple minutes. Add 1 cup water, 1 tsp oil and a pinch of salt. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and millet is cooked. Leave covered and set aside.

Meanwhile, put a large saucepan over medium-high heat add 3 tbsp oil, butter, onion and pinch of salt. Cook until onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook another couple of minutes. Add farro and cook for a couple minutes, then add 2 cups of broth. Cook, stirring, until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid, then add another cup of broth. Continue to add one cup at a time (probably need one more cup after the first additional one until it is cooked). Once the farro is cooked through (best way to tell is by tasting it) add the millet. Then stir in Parmesan and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.

Serve hot topped with a drizzle of walnut oil and chopped chives.

1 bunch of carrots
2 scallions, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp fresh rosemary

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
kosher salt
fresh pepper

Preheat oven to 400.
In a small bowl, warm the butter, honey and cider vinegar together. Add the scallions and the chopped thyme and rosemary into the honey mixture and let it all marinate. Set aside.

Cut off the green leafy parts and clean the carrots with a scrub brush. Leave them on a dish towel to dry completely.

Line a baking try with foil or parchment paper. Spread out the carrots in a single layer. Drizzle the honey mixture over and gently toss to coat. Generously sprinkle kosher salt and fresh pepper.

Roast on the upper rack for 20 minutes. Carrots should be tender but still have a good bit of resistance too them.