Springtime calls for lighter fare. For Christmas my parents gave me a Spirooli Vegetable Spiralizer and Slicer by Paderno of Italy (They are available on Amazon). I love it! I actually prefer these zucchini noodles I have been eating rather than conventional pasta. There is a trick to these noodles though. When I first began making them I would spiralize them and then immediately top them with sauce. The dish quickly becomes watery when prepared this way.
In my opinion the best method I have found for making the zucchini noodles is to spiralize them, put them in a colander over a bowl, toss them with a little Himalayan or Celtic salt and then allow them to sweat out some liquid. I leave them for approximately 30 minutes and then rinse the salt off, put them in the salad spinner and they are set to eat.
You will be surprised by how good these noodles are…and the spiralizer can be purchased for less than $40! It is a great addition to the kitchen.
While I took all of the preparation pictures, the image at the top of this post is courtesy of a blog I love, Girl on Raw. Her picture is so mouth-watering. To learn more about Girl on Raw click here.
Yesterday as I was contemplating what to have for lunch, the basil and quinoa in the fridge started calling me…the rest just sort of fell into place when I looked at what I had on hand. The collard greens came from my most recent Farm Fresh to You delivery.
INGREDIENTS – Makes 6-8
6-8 large collard green leaves
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 ½ cups chopped ripe tomato
½ cup rough chopped fresh basil
1-2 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ tsp salt
Pepper to taste
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
¼ cup pine nuts
Add the chopped tomatoes to the food processor and pulse. You want to maintain some of the tomato’s texture, so do not puree it.
Next add the basil, garlic, salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Pulse again to incorporate. Set the mixture aside to marinate while you prepare the other ingredients.
Add the Basil, Garlic, Salt, Pepper, and Balsamic
Wash the collard greens and dry both sides. Remove the lower stem and most of the rough bone in the middle of the leaf.
Trim and Bebone the Collard
Place the quinoa in a bowl and add the tomato mixture to the quinoa. Stir to combine. Add the pine nuts and mix well.
Add Tomato Mixture to Quinoa
Add the Pine Nuts
Assemble the wraps by placing 1/3-1/2 of a cup of the filling onto the top third of the collard green leaf. Roll the leaf tightly as you would a burrito being careful to overlap the bottom portions that were separated by the removal of the rib (you don’t want the filling to fall out). Repeat this step until all of the wraps have been made.
Add the Filling
I made all six and plan to keep them in the fridge as lunches or snacks for the rest of the week…we will have to see how long they last though since I have already eaten two of them!
Happy Valentine’s Day!!! I hope you have a loved filled day.
I know many of you will be rushing off to have dinner with your honey tonight and need a quick meal solution for your little ones and the sitter. My children love this meal and I love how quick it is (we ate it for lunch on Saturday). The nutritional yeast acts as a great substitute for parmesian cheese…it makes the pasta sauce nice and creamy all without having to use dairy…good stuff!
There are days when I just don’t have time to prepare an elaborate meal, so often on those days when my kids ask, “What’s for dinner?” I answer with, “gourmet sandwiches.” My family has come to love this answer. Who knew something so simple could taste so good?
I have also found that a gourmet sandwich bar can be a good solution when entertaining…it looks fancy, but is quick and easy to put together. In addition, this is a great meal to serve when there will be vegans and meat eaters at the same event.
My in-laws had some friends in town and I had them over for dinner last night. I knew that they were meat eaters, so I added grilled chicken to the sandwich bar menu. Last night my sandwich bar consisted of:
Fresh baked bread
Sundried tomato spread
I serve this menu buffet-style which allows people to make their sandwiches to their liking. I have made this meal many times for guests and it always turns out well. I also find that by slicing the chicken people tend to eat less meat (Sneaky me…always trying to reduce the meat consumption of those I care about!). If you were to leave the chicken breasts whole, people would eat the whole breast in their sandwich. When you slice it up I find that people eat about half as much meat!!!
Last night my sandwich consisted of bread, sundried tomato spread, lots of grilled mushrooms, carmelized onions, avocado, tomato, and lettuce (I could barely get my mouth around it!). I wanted to take a picture of it for you, but got too busy jabby gabbing with my guests.
Maybe you can have a sandwich bar this weekend when you host your Super Bowl parties!
When I was a kid I HATED lima beans. My dad loved them, so we ate them a lot. Just thinking of lima beans used to make my mouth dry…they always tasted so mealy and intensely dry to me and no amount of butter could fix that. To this day I see one of the bricks of frozen Jolly Green Giant lima beans and shudder.
Fast forward to adulthood. A few months ago my husband and I had the priviledge of enjoying an amazing night at the Segerstrom Family Farm in Costa Mesa. Our friends invited us to join them at the farm for a charity event (The Festival of Children) and it was truly one of my favorite events ever. We began by going out into the fields to pick the produce that would be used in our dinner. There was a private chef who prepared all of the food with her team and we spent the night dining outdoors under the stars right next to the fields. It was spectacular. The food was phenomenal and the company was even better.
The Segerstrom Farm began as a lima bean farm, so when the night ended we were all sent home with bage of dried lima beans and fantastic pumpkins to take home to the kids.
Segerstrom Lima Beans
For the holidays my mom and dad gifted me a HUGE (750+ pages) vegetarian cookbook called World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey and one of the lima bean reciped jumped out at me. The time had come for me to give lima beans another try…I already had some outstanding beans in the pantry from the Segerstrom Farm, so I had no more excuses.
Shockingly I LOVED this recipe. The beans were creamy and so flavorful. I am sure it is attributable to high quality beans and a well written cookbook.
Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 5 inches. Drain, discarding the soaking liquid and rinse with cold water.
Dry Beans vs. Soaked Beans
Put the beans in a pot with 3 cups of fresh water and bring to a boil. Remove the scum that rises to the top. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 40 to 60 minutes, or until the beans are just tender (If the dried beans are very fresh it may only take 20 minutes).
Skim the Foam
Meanwhile, put the oil in a flame and ovenproof casserole-type dish and set over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion. Stir and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onion has just wilted. Put in the carrot and cook another minute, stirring now and then. Now put in the tomatoes and cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened. Turn off the heat.
Onions, Carrots, & Tomatoes
Sauteed Onions, Carrots, & Tomatoes
Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
When the beans have finished cooking, add them and their cooking liquid to the dish with the onion, carrot, and tomatoes.
Gently Mix in the Lima Beans
Add the salt, lots of black pepper, the parsley, and oregano. Stir to mix.
Add the Herbs
Put the casserole dish into the oven and bake, uncovered for 2 hours.
Ready for the Oven
Serve hot. I served this with a salad and some crusty whole wheat bread, but it would taste great over barley or pasta as well.
"The diet that helps to reduce weight in the short run needs to be the same diet that creates and maintains health in the long run."
~T. Colin Campbell
The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have.