Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

This is deliciously simple and doesn’t require a lot of time in the kitchen.  The smoked paprika salt is what sets this recipe apart, as it adds a wonderful depth to the vegetables.  It’s a perfect weeknight meal that gives you leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Smoked paprika salt
  • Oregano
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat toaster oven to 375F.
  2. Prepare the quinoa according to directions (or: boil 2 cups water/veggie broth with 1 cup quinoa for 15 minutes, then let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with fork).
  3. Drizzle olive oil into baking pan (8×8).
  4. Chop veggies into bite size pieces and add to baking pan.
  5. Mix veggies with hands so they’re coated with olive oil.
  6. Sprinkle smoked paprika salt and oregano over the veggies, and toss again to coat.
  7. Bake for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
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Curried Couscous with Broccoli

This is adapted from a recipe at myrecipes.com.  I tend to find a lot of my ‘quick and easy’ recipes there, mainly because I browse around when I’ve got some time on my hands.  This is a nice recipe that’s super quick to make and isn’t expensive either.  I generally don’t add the raisins, but you can definitely substitute in dried cranberries.  Sprinkling some cheese over the top would be nice as well (I’m thinking parmesan).

Curried Couscous with Broccoli

Ingredients:
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups small broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted cashews, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (you can decrease this to taste)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed

Directions:

  • Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
  • While couscous stands, steam broccoli florets, covered, for 3 minutes or until tender.
  • Combine couscous, broccoli, onion, and next 10 ingredients (onion through chickpeas), tossing gently.

Vegetable Saute with Tarragon Vinaigrette (and a poached egg)

I really like a poached egg over asparagus, so once I saw this recipe I knew I’d love it (I don’t remember where I got it from, but it’s a lot different from the original version).  It almost surprises you with the flavor (the tarragon) and after the first bite you’re hooked.  It also doesn’t take very long at all to put together, so it’s a great weeknight dinner.  You can simultaneously poach the eggs while you’re letting the vegetables cook down.  While they’re all cooking, make the vinaigrette so it’ll all be ready at the same time.  I’d pair it with a nice crusty bread to soak up the delicious vinaigrette.

Oh! And I finally have a picture of the finished dish (pardon the quality, it was taken from RS’ iPhone)

Vegetable Saute with Tarragon Vinaigrette

Vegetable Saute with Tarragon Vinaigrette (and a poached egg)

Serves 3 as a main course, or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 eggs
  • Vegetable Saute:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bunch asparagus (1 pound), sliced into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 can artichokes, diced
  • 1/2 pint grape/cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Tarragon Vinaigrette:
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  • Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until tender, about 2 minutes (don’t overcook it, as the garlic will get bitter).
  • At the same time, start some water boiling in a pot (for the poached egg)
  • Add the mushrooms into the large skillet and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and artichokes and cook until the asparagus is tender, about 5 more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and add the tomatoes and pepper.
  • When the water starts to boil, add the eggs and simmer for about 3-4 minutes (to your own preference)
  • Combine the oil, vinegar, tarragon, salt and pepper in a glass screw-top jar. Seal the jar and shake vigorously to mix the vinaigrette.
  • Toss the vegetables with the vinaigrette and serve.

Pita Pizzas

I learned almost everything I know about cooking from my grandmother.  One such cooking technique I perfected as a teenager was the coveted English Muffin Pizza.  Three ingredients was all it took to make me and my brother happy: English muffin, sauce (pasta or pizza, whatever we had), and cheese.  I have fond memories of those little pizzas.

Now that I’m a little more grown up (…I think), I’ve evolved the English Muffin Pizza into, so aptly named, the Pita Pizza.  This guy packs a huge amount of vegetables into a very small circle, so I’d like to think it’s healthier than its predecessor.  I don’t necessarily have a ‘recipe’ for this, but I’ll break it down a little bit.

Pita Pizzas

Ingredients:

Base

  • Pitas (I don’t cut them in half or anything like some recipes I’ve seen- they’re sturdier that way)

Sauce (choose one)

  • Salsa (my favorite)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Pizza sauce
  • Lots of diced tomatoes

Toppings (choose as many as you’d like)

  • Artichokes, Onions, Garlic, Red peppers, Green peppers, Olives, Black beans (any beans, actually), Zucchini… okay, you get the idea: just about anything in your kitchen can go on top.
  • Cheese (I like mozzarella, but you can also use cheddar or any other kind)

Directions:

  1. I use a toaster oven and heat it to about 350° Fahrenheit while I assemble the pizzas.
  2. Put some sauce on the pita.  Not too much because it’ll get a little mushy- just enough to slightly cover the pita.
  3. Dump as many veggies as you’d like on the pita.  Seriously.  If you can’t pick it up with your hands to eat it, that’s what forks were made for.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes.  The cheese should be fully melted.

Veggie Lasagna

I don’t remember where I found this recipe, but I’ve made it so many times that I don’t have to look at the recipe any more.  It’s that good.

This vegetable lasagna is lighter and fresher than traditional lasagna, and the addition of pesto gives it its signature flavor.  Don’t skip out on the pesto, and if you use regular pasta sauce, I’d recommend adding some dried (or fresh!) basil to the sauce mix.

It’s a perfect dish to make this time of year (late spring/summer), because zucchini is everywhere.  Given that I’m slightly addicted to zucchini, you know I’m going to be making this recipe pretty soon.  And then eating it for lunch for three days afterward.

Veggie Lasagna

Serves a lot of people

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 3/4 cup Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 cup Carrots (sliced)
  • 3/4 cup Zucchini (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Red Pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup Red Onion (thinly sliced)
  • 26 ounce Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon Pesto
  • 15 ounce Ricotta Cheese
  • 6 pieces Lasagna (cut in half)
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients (mushrooms through onion); cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pasta sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Combine pesto and ricotta in a small bowl.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish or pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodle halves over tomato mixture. Top noodles with half of ricotta mixture and 1 cup tomato mixture.
  5. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles; sprinkle with mozzarella.
  6. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.