Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Airport Pasta

I know, strange name for a dish. Let me give you a little bit of background. At the Denver airport there is a little restaurant that serves the most amazing pasta. We're not sure what the dish is called... actually, I don't even know the name of the restaurant. But it is tasty, and that is what is important.

Pasta - I think I like bowtie best, but whatever
1 can enchilada sauce (I prefer the medium or hot variety)
2 cups fiesta blend or taco cheese
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
4-5 Green onions, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
A bunch of cilantro, chopped
A couple limes, cut into wedges

1. While pasta is cooking, heat the enchilada sauce in a medium sized saucepan.
2. When the enchilada sauce is good and hot add the cheese.
3. Stir until the cheese is completely melted.
4. Add the beans and corn.
5. Drain pasta. Just before combining the sauce and pasta, add the green onions, tomato and cilantro to the sauce. Toss well.
6. Serve with a bit of lime drizzled on top.

** The pasta in the airport comes with super-thin tortilla chips on top. I can never remember to buy them and don't miss them at all, but if you are feeling adventurous and can remember to add them to your list by all means go for it!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Rockin' Southwest Black Bean Burgers

I have been wanting to start this again for a long time, but we've been in a bit of a food rut recently. I finally found a recipe that is just too amazing to not share. Seriously, you need to try this! And please make a double batch, you will want some leftovers - I'm sad that I don't. Thanks Kristen for the great recipe!

2 slices whole wheat bread, torn
4 T fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1 15 0z can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 t taco seasoning
1 egg

Place torn bread in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend until bread becomes crumbs. Transfer crumbs to a large bowl and set aside. Next, process or blend cilantro and garlic until finely chopped. Add beans and seasoning. Process or blend until beans are coarsely chopped and mixture begins to pull away from the sides. Add mixture to the bread crumbs in the bowl. Add egg, mix well and shape into four 1/2 in thick patties.

Grill patties on a lightly greased rack or an uncovered grill directly over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until patties are heated through, turning once. (I cooked mine on my George Foreman.)

Healthy Coleslaw
3 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
1 t rice vinegar
1 t olive oil
1/4 c chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, add cabbage and carrots. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil and cilantro. Toss dressing with cabbage and carrots and salt and pepper to taste.

Place the black bean burger on a bed of coleslaw and top with tomatoes, guacamole, and lime juice. YUMMY!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thai-style Banana Curry

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4-6

2T oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced finely
1 red pepper, sliced*
1 small onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced*
1 peach, cut into big chuncks*
4 oz creamed coconut (can substitute 1 can coconut milk, lowfat if desired, but reduce other liquid)
3 tsp curry powder
Salt (can eliminate if using stock)
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes
1-1 ½ cups water/vegetable stock
1-2 bananas, sliced

1. Saute the garlic in the oil for one minute then add all the vegetables. Stir fry until softened.
2. Add the peach, coconut, and sprinkle with curry powder and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
3. If using creamed coconut, add the water slowly as the coconut melts into the curry. If using the milk, wait until the dish has cooked a bit, and add the liquid slowly until you reach the desired consistency. It should be creamy and will thicken as you cook it.
4. Cook on low heat for a few minutes then add bananas. Cook for another few minutes.
5. Serve with rice.

*these ingredients can be exchanged. Make your curry with your own favorite veggies/fruits, or whatever you have lying around. Peppers, broccoli, carrots, pineapple, mango would all work lovely.

To add chicken or tofu, just add it in the beginning after the garlic and stir fry for a few minutes before adding the veggies. I added shrimp for a low-cal, high-protien meal.

You can use lowfat coco milk for a lower-fat recipe.

This is a really fast dish to prepare. I just cut the veggies and toss them in as I’m done slicing them. That way the peppers and onions cook a little longer than the zucchini and the fruit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Portobello Mushroom Pasta

Adeline ate mushrooms and red peppers tonight! She didn't care too much for the mushrooms (which is fine because that leaves more for me), but she LOVED the peppers.
1 (16 ounce) package bowtie pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound chopped portobello mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot with boiling salted water cook farfalle pasta until al dente. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat cook the garlic, mushrooms, red bell pepper, and zucchini until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently.
3. Stir in red wine vinegar.
4. Toss cooked pasta with mushroom mixture.
5. Top with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve warm.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Black Bean Lasagna

I had resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be having lasagna until Charlotte stopped nursing. It was sad, but it was better than a screaming baby. I can alter a lot of recipes and omit the cheese, but removing the cheese from lasagna doesn't leave you with much. As I was preparing my menus for the week, I asked Sean if he had any requests. Black bean lasagna.

I hate saying no to a dinner suggestion because that means I have to think of something else myself. I figured I would give it a shot. It actually turned out to be really good! My old recipe was:

* 9 lasagna noodles
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
* 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
* 2 cloves garlic, chopped
* 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (16 ounce) can refried black beans
* 1 cup canned tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups salsa
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
* 1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
* 1 cup ricotta cheese
* 1/4 cup sour cream
* 8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
* 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
* 8 sprigs fresh cilantro


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2. Coat a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and place over medium heat. Saute onion, red bell pepper, corn and garlic until tender. Stir in black beans, refried beans, tomato sauce, salsa and 1/4 cup cilantro. Cook until heated through and slightly thickened; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, ricotta, sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and remaining 1/4 cup chopped cilantro; set aside.
4. Coat a 9x13 inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange 3 of the cooked lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish, cutting to fit if necessary. Spread with 1/3 of the bean mixture, then 1/3 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice more.
5. Cover, and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Garnish with sliced black olives and sprigs of cilantro.

I omitted the cheese and added some extra refried black beans and salsa. It was actually really tasty! I think when I can eat dairy again I will cut out some of the cheese to make it slightly lower in calories.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Curried Chickpeas

Tonight's dinner was a hit, at least in my mind. We had Curried Chickpeas. Sean doesn't like cauliflower, so I think I will modify it a bit next time that I make it. I think I'll substitute potatoes and then use pureed cauliflower to keep the veggies (ssshhhh... don't tell Sean!). Why did I like this so much? #1 - it was tasty. #2 - Addie ate all of it! She even picked up the cauliflower and said "trees" and popped it in her mouth. "Trees" is what she calls broccoli and she won't touch it, so I was very surprised that she labeled this as "trees" and still gave it a shot.

I usually make my most labor intensive meal on Sunday nights, that way Sean is here to watch the girls for me. The recipe looks kinda involved (for my style of cooking), so I chose to make it tonight. I really should have saved it for a different night, it wasn't hard to make at all. I used frozen cauliflower rather than fresh to save time chopping. I also left out the ginger because I don't care for it.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed/minced
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 bay leaf
19 oz. can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, chopped
head of cauliflower, chopped and steamed until tender
1/2 cup light coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

1. Saute onion until translucent in oil in a large saute pan.
2. Add garlic, ginger, and tomato and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add water, spices, and bay leaf to the pan and mix well.
4. Add chick peas to pan. Bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
5. Remove the bay leaf.
6. Add the cauliflower and light coconut milk and mix thoroughly.
7. Taste the chick peas and add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve over brown rice.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Shopping Day

I've been neglecting this blog recently. These past few days we've been eating a lot of leftovers, so I didn't feel that there was anything really worth posting about. We did go to a birthday party on Saturday; it was a pizza party so that allowed me to stretch out last weeks groceries one more day.

This week our meals will consist of:
Curried Lentil Pot Pies
Black Bean Lasagna
Pear Sandwiches
Hearty Lentil Stew
Portobello Mushroom Pasta
Curried Chickpeas

My total came to $45.98, but it turns out I need to go back to the store to buy some Turmeric (I thought we had some, but I was wrong). I also think we will probably need to go back sometime mid-week to get more fruit. So I'm guessing I'll probably spend another $10. Not too bad. I did have two splurges this week. The first was portobello mushrooms, $4.24, but I figured that we weren't having any meat this week so it was a justified expense. I also bought some goats milk. I heard that some kids with MSPI can tolerate goats milk, so I'm going to give it a try. It was $3.14 for one quart, so it's not something I will get often, but if she can tolerate it then I can start using it in baking. Or maybe I'll make some yogurt, I've been craving yogurt like crazy recently! I'll let you know how it goes!