I've been asked to begin a blog that shows a "how-to" for the things that bring pleasure to my life. So, the intent of this blog is to share recipes, gardening, composting, sewing, crafts, art, everyday projects and even psychology tips to aid in healing wounds and living the life you're meant to live, a life with purpose!
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Quinoa Casserole, Blk-eyed Peas w Grns, Eggplant, & Fettuccine Alfredo: Veggie Recipes, Low-fat, Healthy eating that tastes great!

I like to serve homemade wholegrain bread and herb butter (smash in mortar fav herb like rosemary add to some butter) w most veggie-style meals. ;-) If fresh herbs are not available, substitute dry herbs by cutting the desired amount by one-third (like turn 1 Tbl of fresh into 1 tsp of dried).-- I primarily use fresh because I grow them in my garden (this is the best way to get their flavor). If the dried herbs are old, they loose their flavor, so you would want to increase their amount. If they are freshly ground (like roasted coriander, or freshly ground nutmeg); they pack a stronger flavor, so use a lighter hand with them.

Quinoa Recipe:
Easy, Tasty Main Dish with Veggies, Herbs & Spices
Quinoa, fried tofu, olives and cashews combine with carrots, celery, zucchini, herbs & spices - making this easy quinoa recipe a tasty main dish casserole.
Although classed as a grain, quinoa (keen-wah) is technically an herb, originating with the Incas, in Peru. Quinoa is light, delicious, high in protein, and easy to cook. It can be used in place of rice, bulgar, or couscous in any recipe.
Serves four: Prep time, approximately 40 minutes. If you don't have all the ingredients - just follow my motto: Omit and Substitue.

 • 1 c quinoa
• 1/2 lb extra firm tofu
• 1/4 cup cashew pieces (or almonds)
• 1 Tbsp peeled minced fresh ginger
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 cup chopped black olives
(roasted various colored cherry tomatoes, char on grill, or in oven); I like the color & flavor they add.

• 1 six inch zucchini
• 1 medium carrot
• 2 stalks celery
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 tsp dried rosemary leaf, or 3/4 tsp of fresh diced rosemary
• 1 tsp dried basil leaf, or 3 tsps of fresh sliced basil 
• 1 tsp gr coriander, or 3 tsps of fresh sliced cilantro 
• 1/2 tsp powdered fennel, or 1 1/2 tsps of fresh chopped fennel bulb 
• 2 - 3 Tbsp olive oil
• 1/2 tsp garlic salt
• 1 Tbsp soy sauce
• 1 3/4 cup water
• 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 c. minced fresh parsley (if you used fresh cilantro above instead of dried coriander) or cilantro
Quinoa Casserole Directions:
1. Soak quinoa 15 - 20 minutes, rinse, drain and set aside
2. Cut tofu in bite sized cubes, place in a small bowl, sprinkle with garlic salt and soy sauce and shake or stir to coat with marinade. Set aside
3. Heat 1 -2 Tbsp olive oil on low in a large sauté pan or shallow 4 qt sauce pan
4. Mince ginger and garlic
5. Chop celery in small pieces
6. Peel and chop carrots in 1/2" dice
7. Wash, trim, and chop zucchini in 1 " dice
8. Coarsely chop olives and set aside
9. Turn the heat up to medium, and stir fry ginger, garlic, celery, carrots for 5 minutes
10. Add zucchini and stir fry another five minutes
11. Stir in dry spices, herbs
12. Add the drained quinoa and stir until coated with spices
13. Add 1 3/4 cup water, and salt, then bring to a boil, cover and cook 15 minutes on low
14. Meanwhile, fry the tofu cubes on medium, stirring and turning, until browned
15. Stir tofu, chopped olives and parsley into the quinoa and veg
16. Heat on low for another few minutes and serve

Low Fat Fettuccine Alfredo with Veggies (Easy) • 12 ounces pasta

Ingedients:• 2 cups evaporated skim milk
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 6 tablespoons parmesan cheese
• 1/4 cup fresh parsley
• 2 cups vegetables, steamed (your choice, add: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. etc) Cauliflower if pureed tastes like the real thing / nonvegetarian fettuccine Alfredo.
• sea salt and fresh ground pepper
Directions: 1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.
2. Drain.
3. Place pasta in a large nonstick sauté pan along with milk and garlic.
4. Bring to a simmer.
5. Stir frequently.
6. Add cheese.
7. Continue cooking until cheese melts and sauce thickens.
8. Stir in parsley, salt and pepper.
9. Add steamed veggies. 

 Healthy Eggplant Stacks 
1 large eggplant, sliced thick
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced thick
olive oil
lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
handful of fresh basil, sliced
2 sprigs of fresh oregano, chopped
2 stems of rosemary
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Directions:1. Sprinkle with salt and lay eggplant slices between layers of paper towels. Allow to sit for 15 minutes (this helps draw out the bitterness). While waiting add crushed garlic to 1/4 cup olive oil and let sit. Rinse and pat the slices dry. Brush with a bit of olive oil. Bake for about 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

2. Remove the eggplant from oven and begin layering with the tomato slices, parmesan cheese and sprinkle some basil & oregano between each layer. One eggplant should make 2 stacks.

3. When you get through layering, drizzle the stack with garlic oil mixture, a squeeze of lemon juice, and top with mozzarella cheese. To hold it all together, strip the bottom 3/4ths on each rosemary stem and stick it through the top of each stack like a skewer. Bake in the 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted.

Pressure Cooker Black-Eyed Peas and Greens

2 cups dried black-eyed peas
6-s crushed cloves garlic
frozen spinach (approx. 1 cup)
6 cups water
1 tsp dry thyme, or 3 tsps of fresh thyme
4 leaves fresh finely chopped sage 
3-4 stalks fresh finely chopped fresh marjoram

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
sea salt to taste

1. Very quick, simple and surprisingly yummy.
2. Rinse black-eyed peas, pick out the ugly ones. Put garlic, black-eyed peas, water, dry thyme, sage, marjoram and red pepper flakes into pressure cooker. Close lid and bring to high pressure.
3. Cook for 9 minutes at high pressure. While peas are cooking, thaw spinach in microwave. Cool peas by using quick release method on your pressure (pressure/steam release valve on your machine). Once pressure has been released, carefully open pressure cooker (watch out for steam!).
4. Stir in spinach, salt to taste. I recommend eating with cornbread.
Serves: 12


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