Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Red Bean Salad with Feta and Peppers

I added a whole bunch of stuff to this (basil, black beans, tomatoes) but I think it would have been better if I'd stuck with the actual recipe.

From All Recipes:

1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups chopped cabbage
2 green onions
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

Rinse kidney beans under cold water. Drain well.

In a large salad bowl, combine beans, red pepper, cabbage, onions, feta, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pear and Arugula Salad

One of the women in the office brought this in on Friday, and it was pretty fantastic.

INGREDIENTS
1 pack arugula (preferably small leaves)
2 average-sized pears
Parmesan cheese, preferably ungrated (picorino, blue cheese or feta can be substitutes -- bulgarian or israeli feta is best)
3 to 4 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 to 2/3-cup walnuts
Tangerines or clementines (optional)
Salt and black pepper

Dump the arugula into a bowl. Thinly slice pears lengthwise (take the seeds out first). Grate or crumble the cheese (I think shaved would be good, too, if you used parm). Break nuts into small pieces. Break tangerine slices in half or so. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.

Acini di Pepe Salad

I'm writing the food column this week for our paper, and the subject is pasta salads. To gather the recipes, we each brought in our favorite pasta salad. One woman brought in this recipe, which she got from allrecipes, and it was so good that we ate the entire bowl. (we had it without the cherries. she put more oranges on the top)

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup acini di pepe pasta
1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
1 (15 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained with liquid reserved
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
7 ounces miniature marshmallows
1 cup white sugar (I think you could cut this down to 1/2 cup)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (10 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. 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. In medium saucepan, combine reserved liquids from pineapple and
oranges (equals about 1 1/2 cups), sugar, eggs, salt and flour. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. When mixture becomes thick, add cooked pasta and refrigerate overnight.
3. The next day, add pineapple and oranges, whipped topping and marshmallows to taste. Mix together and top with cherries if desired. Keep chilled until served.

Cold Peanut Noodles with Tofu and Bell Peppers

from Food & Wine, July 2007, page 170

1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
3/4 pound Chinese chow mein noodles (not the crunchy ones!) or thin linguine
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3/4 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
1 garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 large scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths and julienned
cilantro sprigs, for garnish

1. In a large bowl, toss the tofu with 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and let stand for 10 minutes.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the chow mein noodles and cook until they are al dente. Drain and rinse the noodles under cold water. Shake out the excess water and add the noodles to the tofu and soy sauce.

3. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce with the peanut butter, chicken stock, rice vinegar, chile-garlic sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil and puree until a smooth sauce forms. Pour the peanut sauce over the noodles, add the sliced red bell peppers and scallions and toss. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Recommended wine pairing (from F&W, not me): Nutty, zesty Orvieto Classico: 2006 La Carraia.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Tuscan-Style White Beans

From: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook

So, Bennegins has this Tuscan bean salad on their menu that I love, and this recipe comes close to the beans part of it. At Bennegins, they serve this bean mixture with goat cheese and thin bruscetta crisps. It's so tasty. I was glad I found a recipe that mimics it.

You can also add 2 cups of broth with the beans to make a soup. Or, puree the bean mixture at the end to make a tasty dip, according to the cookbook. :)

Makes 4 (1/2 cup) servings

4 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 (16 oz.) can cannellini beans
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp red wine vinegar

In medium nonstick caucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Saute the garlic, sage and rosemary until the garlic turns pale gold, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes; raise the heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes longer. Add the beans, salt and pepper; reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and vinegar.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Spinach orzo salad

I bought a box of orzo and a bag of pre-washed spinach at the store a few weeks ago, to make for a bbq at J's house. I ended up not making it for the bbq, but made it before we went camping instead.
I left out the feta the first time I made this recipe, because we were going to be without refrigeration. I'd advise you use the feta, because it needed a little bit of salty. Also, I added a can of olives, which I chopped, because it seemed like a good idea.

1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta
1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
1/2 pound crumbled feta cheese
1 can olives, chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or a handful of fresh)
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach, feta, olives, onion, pine nuts, basil and
white pepper. Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Curry turkey burgers

So, it's summer, which means I want to use the grill.
Let me rephrase that: I want Ernie to use the grill, saving me from cooking in a hot kitchen. Everybody wins! (except maybe Ernie, who ends up always outside cooking on the grill)
In any case, I'm trying to keep things a little healthier on the grill this summer, which basically has us staying away from as much red meat as we sometimes like to eat. One solution?
Turkey burgers. These burgers were pretty tasty, and easy to pull off. And yes, the meal really did take 30 minutes (shocking).

Curry turkey burgers

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray

1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast, the average weight of 1 package
2 scallions, thinly sliced
A handful cilantro, chopped very fine, about 2 tablespoons, optional (I didn't use this)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped (I used yellow)
Coarse salt
2 tablespoons mild curry paste or a handful of curry powder (get thee to an Indian market and get the curry paste. cannot recommend enough)
Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil
5 crusty rolls, split
Toppings:
Bib or leaf lettuce
Sliced vine-ripe tomatoes
Mango chutney

Combine first 8 ingredients and form into 5 patties.
Brush or drizzle patties with extra-virgin olive oil. Grill patties 6 minutes on each side on indoor electric grill or pan fry for same amount of time in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. (Or, do what I did -- fire up the grill)
Pile patties on split crusty rolls with lettuce, tomato, and chutney spread liberally on roll tops as a condiment. Serve curry turkey burgers with Thai Slaw.

Thai slaw salad

This was really good, and really easy to put together.


Thai Slaw Salad

recipe courtesy of Rachel Ray

1 (16 ounces) prepared shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix) from produce department (I used a 10 oz bag, it's what I could find)
1/4 European seedless cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 scallions, thinly sliced on bias
20 leaves fresh basil, shredded (fresh from my basil plant!)

Dressing:
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup white distilled or rice wine vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
2 teaspoons sugar or 2 tablespoons honey (I used honey)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Garnish:
Toasted sesame seeds

Combine vegetables in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a small plastic container and shake vigorously for 1 minute. Drizzle sauce over vegetables and toss to coat evenly. Let stand 10 minutes and re-toss before serving and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.