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Cabbage and Rice

31 Jan

We got cabbage in a recent Boston Organics delivery and while trying to think of a good recipe, I remembered a meal my grandmother made once when I was little. I called my mom to ask about it and she said it was a polish dish called gołąbkis (gaw-WOHP-kee). Because they traditionally have meat in them and because they seemed kind of complicated to make I googled a bit to find something similar. I found this great recipe from VegWeb and made a few changes based on my preferences and some of the comments. It’s become a new favorite!

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 15oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 heaping teaspoons Hungarian paprika, divided
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté onion for a few minutes until translusent. Add the rice and saute for about five minutes.

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Add the remaining ingredients in the following order: pepper, 1 teaspoon of the Hungarian paprika, broth, cabbage, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.

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Pour the cabbage and rice mixture into a rectangular baking pan and sprinkle with remaining paprika. (Add a little extra if you’d like – it’s delicious!) Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Cabbage and Rice

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Zucchini Bread

22 Jul

We got a CSA for the summer and have gotten some of the biggest zucchinis I’ve ever seen. I don’t love raw or just grilled zucchini so I’ve been looking for something else to do with the sea of zucchini we are living in. When it finally got below 90 degrees, I figured I could turn on the oven and make this super easy and incredibly tasty zucchini bread. I originally found it on All Recipes but changed the recipe up just a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups grated zucchini
  • 3/4 cup chopped mixed nuts (or any kind of nut you prefer)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 and grease a loaf pan.
  2. Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, mix the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the bigger mixing bowl and stir well until completely blended.
  5. Add in the grated zucchini and chopped nuts until everything is mixed well.
  6. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for about 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let the bread cool for at least 15-20 minutes, then enjoy it while it’s still warm!

zucchini bread

Quinoa Burgers

19 Sep

This summer we ate a lot of burgers – black bean, chick pea, and quinoa. Sitting at the small table in the back yard, eating fresh tomato and mozzarella, sipping craft beers – it was a lovely summer.

Quinoa Burgers

(adapted from Eating Well Living Thin)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese + a little water
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, finely chopped (you can try out other vegetables too – just make sure to grate or shred them well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 /4 teaspoon sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar and feta cheeses, onion, spinach (or other vegetable), egg, flour, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. If the mixture seems a little too watery, add some more flour. Our biggest battle with these burgers was them starting to fall apart during cooking so getting a good consistency will help with that.

You can cook these on the grill (on aluminum foil) or fry on the stove, using a bit of olive oil and keeping the heat at medium. We topped ours with fresh avocado and ate them with a side of pasta salad.

Enjoy!

 

Quinoa and Corn

4 Feb

I feel like quinoa has become really popular all of the sudden. I first heard about it from a coworker at my previous job and her description was that it was kind of like a super nutritious version of couscous. We sat in the office kitchen and struggled over how to pronounce it – QUI – NO – A? Nope. KEEN – WA we learned.

We thought quinoa was a whole grain, but I recently learned that it’s really a seed and is related to leafy greens like spinach and Swiss chard. It’s often prepared as you would prepare whole grains like rice or barley. What’s unique and cool about quinoa is that it is a complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids.

My  aunt gave me a great recipe for quinoa and corn, which I love. I also found a similar recipe in The Really Whole Food Cookbook. I kind of mixed the two recipes together, and came up with this combo, which I think is just perfect.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups frozen corn

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne (or more if you prefer spicy)

1 small chopped onion

1 chopped garlic clove

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 8oz can tomato sauce

shredded cheddar cheese

 

Rinse the quinoa with water and then combine with 1 and 3/4 cups water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand.

Meanwhile, cook the onion with the olive oil in a skillet. When onion is getting soft, add corn. Stir well and then add garlic, cumin and cayenne and stir completely. Saute for 4 or 5 minutes.

Add the cooked quinoa to the corn/onion mixture and stir together, adding in the can of tomato sauce.

 

Spoon the mixture into a square pan. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and wonderful. Enjoy!

 

 

Week 40: Blue Cornbread

10 Oct

Wow! I can’t believe it’s week 40! Not only does that mean that is year of food exploration is almost over, but that means that it’s nearly the end of the year, and Thanksgiving and the holidays are just around the corner. That went by fast!

This week my book club met for our monthly brunch and book chat. I love my book club because we are awesome: 1) everyone is into the book club, which is great because then you don’t have people who don’t want to read the book or who can’t ever make time to get together 2) we have pretty similar taste in books, but usually have some really good differing opinions about the books we read 3) it’s miraculously easy for us to decide on our next book 4) all the girls are super cool and fun and smart and I love them. End of book club rant.

Anyway, we met at Masa in the South End. Their brunch is a steal because you get an “appetizer”  choice (fruit, granola or plantains), an entree (eggs with chorizo and cheese, huevos rancheros, eggs benedict, or chocolate chip pancakes), plus coffee or tea for $7.95! I mean, that is just crazy cheap! They also give you a basket of cornbread, which comes with three different types of butter and spreads. I wanted to try the blue cornbread because I’d never had it before.

Blue corn, or maize, is most known for its connection to the culture and life of Southwestern American Indians. According to wikipedia, blue corn was originally grown by the Hopi and is still today an essential part of Hopi dishes like piki bread. Blue corn “has several nutritional advantages over standard yellow or white corn varieties. It contains 20% more protein and has a lower glycemic index than white corn. When used to make tortillas, blue corn produces a sweeter, nuttier taste than yellow or white corn, and is a more complete protein source.”

The blue corn bread was delicious, although I thought it tasted just like yellow corn bread. But it seems that it’s a bit more nutritious, so of course I’m on board with blue corn instead of yellow. You know what I’ll be making next time we have some vegetarian chili!

Week 1: Ethiopian

14 Jan

There is an Ethiopian restaurant near my house that I’ve wanted to try for a while. Since my new year’s resolution is to eat one new food each week (hence the reason this blog exists), I figured I’d check it out for week one.

Addis Red Sea is known for having authentic Ethiopian cuisine and, man, it was good. I took my favorite friend with me and we chose the Vegetable Combination, which includes your choice of four vegetarian dishes and a salad. So, honestly, this week I tried four new foods, so I am reserving the right now that if in a future week I don’t eat anything new, I have a free pass from this impressive week 1.

Anyway, at Addis we ordered:

  1. Butecha – Chickpea paste blended with oil, lemon juice, green pepper and black pepper
  2. Gomen Wot – Chopped collard greens cooked in herbed oil with onions, green pepper and garlic
  3. Atakilt – Mixed vegetables, green beans, potatoes, carrots and onions sautéed in a blend of exotic herbs
  4. Yemeser Alcha – Lentils mixed with tumeric, onions, green peppers, garlic and ginger root

I’m glad I knew the drill with Ethiopian food, because otherwise I would have been totally confused with the lack of silverware – Ethiopian food is eaten with  Injera bread, a spongy thin bread that also serves as your utensil. It’s also delicious.

We both agreed that our least favorite dish was the butecha, the chickpea paste – it didn’t taste bad but it was just kind of, well, pasty. And really dry. Our favorite dish was the lentils (yemeser alche), which were super flavorful and terrific when scooped up with a bit of the atakilt (mixed vegetables).  The salad served with the combination plate was also terrific. We tried Ethiopian beer of course, which was really quite tasty. If I knew where else I could get it I would totally order it again.

This was a great week 1, I have to say. Not only was the food delicious, but we had so much fun trying it out together. Not only did we love Addis Red Sea and will definitely go back again, but we’ll certainly try out other Ethiopian restaurants as well.

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