Posts tagged ‘main dish’
It’s been a long time since I last posted…and wow, that’s an overstatement! The whole month of December flew past without a peep on my end. I could make excuse after excuse but I’ll just leave it at work/business/life got in the way, BUT now I am back…and boy, have I MISSED YOU and BLOGGING!
I must admit, it feels like a year has gone by …..wait, it has! I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be a delicious and healthy one. That’s what I am aiming for at least!
Variety of colors = lots of vitamins…that means my body is happy! After WAY too many heavy holiday dishes, eating on-the-go, plenty of sweet indulgences and a few too many mornings of hitting snooze in lieu of the gym, I am ready for satisfying and nutritious meals to lighten the load and help get me back on track.
This veggie salad hits the spot with a combination of vegetables, dried fruit, seeds and nuts that is light yet filling, a little sweet, a little savory… and all topped off with a bright lemony tahini dressing that I could use on all types of dishes – grains, meats, a variety of salads, pastas, mmmmm!
I am loving on raw kale, a hearty winter green, instead of romaine or spinach in my salads on occasion. Prior to serving, let this salad sit for 15 minutes or so to allow the greens soften up a bit and soak up all the flavors of the dressing before chowing down Enjoy!
Chop-It-Up Veggie Salad (inspired by Oh She Glows)
(Gluten free, Dairy-free, Soy-Free, Vegan, Nut-free Option)
4-5 cups kale, washed and chopped or torn
1/2 bell pepper (color of choice, I used red)
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, sliced thin
1 small head endive, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup juice-sweetened dried cherries, whole or rough chopped (or other dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, etc)
3-4 Tbsp hemp seeds (or other seeds)
1/3 cup walnuts or other nuts, eliminate for nut-free
fresh parsley (or other fresh herb), rough chop
Tahini-Garlic Dressing, recipe follows
1. Combine all chopped/diced vegetables in a large mixing bowl or salad bowl except for greens, hemp seeds and nuts.
2. Make your Tahini-Garlic Dressing (recipe below) and set aside.
3. Tear the leaves off of the kale and rip into bite-sized pieces. Wash and dry leaves thoroughly.
4. Mix the vegetables, greens and dressing (to taste) in large bowl until thoroughly combined. Garnish with hemp seeds and walnuts.
5. Place in fridge to ‘marinate’ for 10-15 minutes. Keeps in fridge in a sealed container for 1 day.
Vegan, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free, Gluten-Free
1/4 cup tahini
3 Tbsp egg-free mayo (I use soy-free Vegenaise, can sub regular mayo if you prefer)
juice from one large lemon or two small
1-2 cloves garlic (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink sea salt
3-4 Tbsp water (or more to reach desired consistency)
1 small scallion, minced (optional)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Add all ingredients to a blender (I used my Magic Bullet) and blend until smooth. The dressing will thicken after refrigeration.
I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving! I enjoyed catching up with my family in Houston and soaking up some warmer weather.
In case you are all turkey-ied out and sick of pie, I have a light meatball recipe that is good for any time of the year. It’s loaded with veggies, free of grains and low in carbs for those of you who are on overload at the moment
These flavor-packed Chicken Florentine Meatballs were inspired by Kudos Kitchen by Renee since I was assigned her blog for Secret Recipe Club this month Not only is Renee super crafty in the kitchen, but she also paints glassware and tiles…she is all-around creative! After searching through all her yummy creations, I was set on her florentine meatballs. She referred to the bacon undertones of the dish though the actual recipe is sans-bacon, I was immediately intrigued and couldn’t wait to see for myself!
It has been a while since I had made homemade meatballs, and these spinach-filled, egg-free meatballs are full of flavor and were easy to make gluten free. I substituted the breadcrumbs for almond flour + Italian seasoning, cayenne pepper and a bit of sea salt for added flavor. I also used extra fine chopped spinach, making these balls quite green (hehe), reduced the amount of nutmeg and subbed onion powder for the raw onion.
As for the sauce, I used olive oil to keep the recipe dairy-free, reduced the salt as well as the pine nuts (they are pricey little guys!). I wound up boiling the sauce for a good 3 minutes to help evaporate the alcohol in the sauce and I opted to toast the pinenuts separately and use them as a garnish to maintain their texture. Overall, a very delicious dish and I could also detect a slight bacon undertone as well at times! I think adding crispy bacon or pancetta to the sauce would be a delicious (and indulgent) addition but it’s definitely not necessary in the least!
Florentine Meatballs (lightly adapted from Kudos Kitchen by Renee)
4-6 servings – 24 meatballs (egg-free, grain-free, dairy-free)
For the meatballs:
1 lb lean ground chicken or turkey (storebought or homemade)*
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and completely squeezed out of all the water (I used extra fine)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 -1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups almond flour (or almond meal)**
1 Tbsp + 1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp sea salt
2-3 shakes cayenne pepper, optional
For the mushroom-tomato sauce:
1 Tbsp olive oil or Earth Balance (could use butter or ghee but wouldn’t be dairy free)
1/3 cup pine nuts
8 oz baby bella or button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 can BPA free diced fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red wine
sea salt to taste
1. Mix together the first 8 ingredients (meat through pepper) and place in the fridge at least an hour for all the flavors to meld. In a small bowl, whisk almond flour through pepper and set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. *After browning you’ll be placing the meatballs in the oven to cook all the way through*.
3. Using a tablespoon or a melon baller, shape the meat mixture into golf ball size balls and roll into almond flour mixture.
4. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and brown 12 meatballs (important not to overcrowd the skillet) on all sides.
5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the browned meatballs and place onto lined baking sheet and continue with the additional meatballs.
6. Bake meatballs for 18-20 minutes until cooked through and prepare the sauce.
7. In the same skillet you browned the meatballs, toast pine nuts over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until golden, stirring continuously to avoid burning (no need to add oil). Remove from skillet and set aside (will be added as a topping).
3. Add olive oil and heat, then add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened and lightly browned. Season with black pepper.
4 Add the fire roasted tomatoes, garlic and wine, bring to a boil and let cook for 3 minutes.
5. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking over medium heat until the sauce reduces and becomes slightly thicker (approximately 10 minutes). Season with salt and pepper to taste if desired.
6. Serve meatballs with sauce and toasted pine nuts, enjoy!
*I would recommend using lean and not extra lean as these meatballs might dry out.
**If you prefer to use 1 1/2 to 2 cups gluten free bread crumbs in lieu of the almond flour mixture, please feel free
Winter is officially here! We received over a foot of snow over the past few days – a big thank you to storm Brutus. I love seeing the streets covered in white and enjoying the quiet peacefulness that the snow brings. While I’m not a fan of driving in the snow, it sure is pretty to look at
Due the 0F temperature outdoors over the weekend, my body has been craving anything and everything warm — soup of all kinds has been on the menu, including this rustic one-dish meal:
MMmmmm, there’s nothing like a warm bowl of soup after coming in from chilly weather!
This soup is filling and easy to make on a weeknight – hearty greens, spicy italian sausage and sweet winter squash come together for a quick and delicious meal that warms you to the core. The grated parmesan adds a delicious complexity to the soup that I highly recommend as a finishing element…everything is better with a little cheese, right? If you need to omit for allergy reasons though, this soup is still delicious!
Sausage, Kale and Squash Soup
1 Tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance (use oil for dairy free)
1 small or 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 oz uncooked ground italian sausage (hot or mild) – I used chicken sausage
3-4 cups uncooked butternut, kabocha or other winter squash, peeled and cut into small 1/2 in cubes
5-7 button or baby portabella mushrooms, sliced (optional, I could add mushrooms to almost anything)
5 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth or homemade stock
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more/less to taste)
2-3 shakes of crushed red pepper flakes, optional (omit if you don’t like any heat)
1 small bunch of kale, washed, de-stemmed and torn into pieces
fresh ground black pepper for serving
grated parmesan for serving (omit for dairy free)
1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened and transculent.
2. Add garlic and sausage and cook until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into small pieces.
3. Add squash and mushrooms and cook for one minute, stirring occasionally. Add salt and crushed red pepper to taste.
4. Pour in broth, then bring to a boil. Add torn kale then cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or until squash is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve with freshly ground black pepper and parmesan and enjoy!
Is any else still on a winter squash kick? I am waiting for my skin to turn orange from all the winter squash I’ve been eating at breakfast/lunch/dinner/dessert.
Example: Here’s yesterday’s eats with all my squash obsession…
Breakfast Parfait: plain Greek yogurt layered with pumpkin puree that is mixed with ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts, cinnamon Puffins cereal and a drizzle of honey
Lunch: Baked Butternut Squash Fries alongside a bunless bison burger topped with guacamole and sliced tomatoes
Dinner: This Black Cherry Rice “Stuffed” Kabocha Squash (recipe below)!
When Fall hits, I have a solid 4 months of squash lovin’ so I don’t intend on letting up anytime soon. I promise to keep the recipes to a minimum though, I won’t go overboard on the orange stuff as I assume some of you would like a little variety
Now onto today’s recipe!
While I could eat easily cooked kabocha plain, I whipped up a “stuffing” for a more complete dinner in an attempt to use up leftover rice. Yet, if you are on a squash hiatus, this rice “stuffing” would still be delicious as a side dish.
Sweet dried cherries and sauteed onions compliment the nutty brown rice and pepitas seeds beautifully. I tossed in a large handful of leafy spinach for added color and a nutritional punch so any leafy green can used in it’s place if desired.
Black Cherry Rice “Stuffed” Squash
1 medium kabocha squash, cut into quarters, deseeded or 2 acorn squash, halved and deseeded
Earth balance, olive oil, coconut oil, butter or ghee for brushing
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp coconut oil, butter, ghee or Earth Balance, divided
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced or finely chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice (white rice, wild rice, millet or quinoa can be substituted)*
1/3 cup unsweetened or juice-sweetened dried black cherries (dried bing cherries or dried cranberries can be used)
1 large handful fresh baby spinach or other leafy green (ex. kale or chard)
2-3 Tbsp pepita seeds, raw or lightly toasted (or other seeds or nuts)
freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
1. To bake squash, preheat oven to 375F. Brush the squash quarters with olive oil/melted butter/Earth Balance, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and place cut sides down in a lightly greased baking dish. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until flesh is soft to the touch.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tsp oil/butter/Earth Balance over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 6 to 7 minutes until soft, stirring often. Add garlic cloves and saute for another 2 minutes until fragrant. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Add remaining 1 tsp oil, rice and cherries to the pan and saute rice for 2 minutes stirring frequently.
4. Add in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
5. Stir in pepitas, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
6. To serve, divide “stuffing” amongst cooked squash quarters and enjoy!
*If you cook your rice (or other grain) in vegetable stock, it gives this dish an additional flavor boost!