Wednesday, January 27, 2010

colourful crockpot chili

ah, chili. i only make chili a few times a year, but whenever i do, i kick myself for not making it more often. i loved this combination of black and white beans, sprinkled with some yummy yellow corn. while it was stewing, i was in awe with how awesomely colourful all the ingredients looked together. it was a bright culinary uplift in the drab and dreary winter.

  • 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups whole corn
  • 1 cup navy beans
  • 3 cups diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 4 oz. can green chilies
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
toss all ingredients into a crock pot and let stew for 4-6 hours on medium. stir occasionally. the heat level of this chili is a mild medium, so add jalapenos or crushed red pepper for more kick.

Friday, January 22, 2010

citrus breakfast smoothie

i haven't grapefruit in such a long time, but they were on sale the other day so i picked a few up. this is super citrus, super healthy breakfast smoothie packed with lots of vitamins. you can add a little sweetener if you like, but i thought the orange and rhubarb mellowed out the grapefruit tartness enough. but i tend to like things less sweet, so adjust according to your taste.

  • 1 red or pink grapefruit, peeled
  • 1 navel orange, peeled
  • 1 quarter cup rhubarb
  • 1/3 cup ice
  • stevia/sweetener (optional)
i put everything in the blender and pulsed until the ice was significantly chopped. then i put it on the blend/puree mode and let it go to work. my grapefruit and orange were super juicy so i didn't need any water to aid the blending, but if you do, just add a tablespoon at a time to get it going. again, add a little sweetener of your choice if it's too tart.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

injured girl food

this isn't my typical recipe post, but it's kinda food related so i decided to post it anyways. the car accident left me unable to cook, and on temporary restrictive diet. both the previous two recipes were actually made back in december (it just took me a while to get them posted). my life started to get a little gloomy when i spent two weeks relegated to the couch sleeping upright, spent tons of money on hospital and mechanic bills, and watched more man v. food than i could possibly handle. that's when best friends show up and save the day! i've known kim for 15+ years, and that doll girl came over and surprised me with a care package to break up all the doom and gloom!

she brought me green tea soy dream - a flavour i had never tried. and yum, i am so a fan! she also brought me two awesome bottles of bolthouse farms smoothies - again, a first for me. the vanilla chai is so awesome and sorta reminds me a little of silk nog. she left me an adorable card as well - who wouldn't be cheered up by that pup? also included were two fiction novels (she's trying to crack my staunch non-fiction stance), and some house dvds...
she's been great friend over the years. she taught me how to roll sushi the first time, and can do an awesome inside out roll. anyways, i just wanted to say thank you, kim! (we are the two with bright pink paper crowns on after a big sushi party).

ps - she often accompanies me on my restaurant review dinners, but i just realized there are no pics of her on there. but that will change. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

italian pesto panini

my brother, who i dubbed 'produce boy' after he brought me 28 pounds of asparagus last year, came through in a big way for xmas this year. he gifted me with one bushel of zucchini and one of yellow squash. what a foodie's delight! i've diced and frozen several pounds for future meals, and have been busy eating my weight in zucchini before it goes bad. it's a good thing it's one of my absolute favourite vegetables. this is one of my go-to panini recipes, with a yummy pesto made from garden fresh basil.

  • 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted
  • 1 small jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 medium tomato, sliced
  • 1 handful baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 1 medium boule loaf
  • few tablespoons vegan butter
  • vegan mozzarella (optional)

the way i make this panini varies a little each time, and the basic recipe can easily be modified. a lot of the things can be store bought or made from scratch... that's up to you.

bread: if working from scratch, you'll need to make your boule loaf. i use the basic recipe from artisan bread in 5 minutes a day, with half whole wheat and half unbleached white flour. the recipe can be found here for those that don't have the book.

roasted red peppers: while the bread is cooling, slice the bell pepper into quarters and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. i usually throw a little olive oil on them, and place on a piece of foil at 400°f for 10 minutes, then turn the broiler on for 5 more minutes. they should be tender, but not completely black. again, you could also just buy a jar of these if pressed for time.

pesto: you might be able to find pre-made pesto, just be sure and check that it doesn't contain parmesean. to make 1/4 cup pesto, you'll need about 1 cup fresh basil leaves. in a food processor, add basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and about 1/8 cup pine nuts. pulse until smooth and creamy, adding a splash more olive oil or lemon juice if needed.

ok, so now you are ready! use a mandolin or a steady hand to make several zucchini slices, approximately 1/8-1/4 inch thick. the slices should be fairly thin - bending if you hold them up by one end. place the slices on a plate with the balsamic vinegar and let marinate for 30+ minutes. when the zucchini are almost done marinating, slice the boule loaf horizantally into 4 thick slices. divide the rest of ingredients in half, and start building the sandwiches. spread the pesto on one slice of bread, and then layer the zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and tomato. add the vegan mozzarella if desired. finally, on the other slice a bread, spread a garlic clove and press on top of your sandwich.

heat the panini maker, and spread a small amount of vegan butter on the outside of each bread slice. place the sandwiches in the press, and let them cook for approximately 10 minutes. over the course of the 10 minutes, press down on the sandwiches occasionally so they really smush together. like any good panini, they should come out crunchy brown on the outside with a warm gooey center, and should be pressed enough that they don't fall apart.

makes 2 large paninis.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

southwestern stuffed red peppers

my, my, it has been a long time! the holiday season is busy enough, but on top of that, 1. i was snowed in by the midwest blizzard, 2. i had my internet service go out two separate times for several days, 3. was in a car wreck that left me on the couch unable to bend or cook. my car was also totaled so i've spent the better part of a week looking for a replacement vehicle. but i'm alive... and cleaning the dust off my blog. here is a colourful recipe to put the spring back in my step!

  • 3 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 cups corn, cooked
  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 1 2oz. can green chilies
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 package silken tofu (6 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • salt to taste
slice the red peppers in half, so they form a bowl shape. boil the peppers in a large saucepan for approximately 5 minutes, drain and reserve the water. in an 9x11 casserole dish, pour in half a cup of the reserved water and lay in the red peppers with the open side up.

in a food processor or magic bullet, pulse the tofu, vinegar, lemon juice, water and a pinch of salt. when mixture is creamy, combine in a bowl with the rest of ingredients. scoop mexi-mixture into each red pepper bowl, filling to the top. cover the dish with foil, and bake in a pre-heated oven at 375°f. after 25 minutes, remove the foil and check that there is still a little bit of water left in the dish (add a few tablespoons if needed). return the dish to the oven and bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes. i topped mine with guacamole and served with cornbread muffins.