Even though we have lots of herbs growing in our garden, I’m still enjoying cooking with my tubes of Gourmet Garden Herbs and Spices. (You can read my Gourmet Garden review here.) This recipe from the folks at Gourmet Garden is perfect for Meatless Monday, especially since it gets a boost of vegetarian protein from the raw almonds and lots of veggie goodness from the kale and basil. If you have a food sensitivity or allergy to almonds, use pine nuts instead.
Multigrain Spaghetti with Basil Kale Pesto
Recipe from Gourmet Garden
- 3/4 pound kale, stemmed, rinsed
- 1/2 cup whole raw almonds
- 1 tube Gourmet Garden Basil
- 2 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 ounce multigrain spaghetti
- Bring large pot of water to boil. Submerge all kale in boiling water, stirring until bright green but still crisp for 60-90 seconds. Drain kale, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze dry.
- In blender or food processor combine kale, almonds, Gourmet Garden Basil, Gourmet Garden Garlic, oil and water. Blend until smooth. Add cheese. Blend. Add more water, if necessary, to reach desired consistency.
- Cook 8 ounces of multigrain spaghetti according to package directions. Drain. Toss immediately with 3/4 cup basil kale pesto. Serve immediately.
- Reserve remaining pesto for another use. Pesto will keep in an airtight container in refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Can be frozen for up to 6 months. Makes 1-1/2 cups
- Calories 359
- Total Fat 17 g
- Sat Fat 2 g
- Cholesterol 2 mg
- Sodium 599 mg
- Fiber 10 g
- Carbs 40 g
- Protein 11 g
Recipe and picture used with permission.
Has your family participated in Meatless Monday yet? Maybe you’re reluctant to because someone in your family thinks veggies are yucky. Or maybe you’re just perplexed on how to cook up a vegetarian dish that’s filling and will be liked by all family members. That’s why you have to check out the new cookbook by Suzanne Landry, The Passionate Vegetable. Her health inspired recipes promise to revitalize your life whether you’re a vegetarian or a meat lover.
You can tell that Suzanne is a health educator, because The Passionate Vegetable is as educational as it is inspirational. The cookbook includes a simple guide to food nutrition, suggestions for healthy vegetarian meals, transition recipes for the meat lover (love this!), and a guide to remaking your pantry to be healthier and vegetarian friendly. The Passionate Vegetable contains over 145 recipes including breakfasts, salads, soups, grains and bean dishes, and entries, as well as a chapter devoted to meat and healthy treats and desserts. It also features fantastic food photography for some but not all her recipes, unfortunately. Recipes I’m looking forward to making include Ratatouille over Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Fresh Figs with Goat Cheese.
With the weather getting warmer, I’m on the lookout for recipes that require a minimum of cooking and are more on the light side. This recipe from The Passionate Vegetable for California Fiesta Quinoa Salad fits the bill, since you can make it ahead of time in the morning when it’s cooler. Quinoa makes a terrific main dish since it’s an excellent source of vegetarian protein and it’s gluten free. Suzanne suggests adding leftover quinoa salad to scrambled eggs – just before the eggs set hard, add 1/4 cup and give it a stir. She likes this egg and quinoa salad dish for breakfast, but you could make it for lunch or dinner, too!
California Fiesta Quinoa Salad
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup tomato, chopped (1 medium tomato)
- 1/4 cup celery, chopped (1 stalk)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and chopped (1 medium cucumber)
- 1/2 cup scallions, chopped (4 scallions)
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, cleaned and chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn, blanched
- 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup black olives, pitted and diced (Kalamata are the best!)
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar or 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Boil 2 cups water and add salt. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in strainer. Place in boiling water, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes or until grain is fluffed and water is absorbed. Remove from pot into a large bowl and allow to cool before adding vegetables.
- Slice tomatoes into 1/2-inch slabs and remove most of the seeds. Then cut tomatoes into sticks and crosswise into ½-inch cubes. This will give you evenly sized tomato pieces that won’t get mushy if the salad isn’t eaten right away.
- Cut celery by slicing down the rib in the center of the stalk. If the stalk is large you might want to cut it in thirds. Then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
- Slice cucumber lengthwise into 4 strips and then remove center seeds. Chop these strips into 1/2-inch pieces. Remove root ends of scallions and cross chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Toss cooled quinoa with all remaining vegetables, beans, and olives.
- Mix vinegar, oil, hot pepper flakes, and salt together. Toss lightly with salad. Refrigerate for an hour before serving. This will last 5 days in the refrigerator.
Recipe and picture used with permission.
So much for Cookbook Week being only one week. Between Spring Break and more cookbooks arriving at my door, I didn’t have a chance to get to more than last week’s Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking and Homemade with Love reviews. My apologies!
Let’s start this week off with a cookbook that was sent for me to review that’s perfect for all of you with vegetarian teens or kids who want the family to participate more in Meatless Monday. It’s Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian, a finalist for the 2013 International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook Award in the Children’s, Youth and Family category.
Teen Cuisine: New Vegetarian features 50 delicious recipes arranged into chapters such as “Smart Starts,” “Party Hearty,” “Bowl Me Over” and “Just Desserts.” There’s even a special sushi section along with an “And On the Side” chapter on pickles, relish and other homemade condiments. The recipe format is perfect for those new to the kitchen, since each recipe features step-by-step instructions in a On Your Mark, Get Set, and Cook! format. Each recipe also features helpful tips and gorgeous photographs. This would be a wonderful cookbook to give someone as a high school graduation gift or as a way to keep them busy in the kitchen during summer break.
Vegetarian or Vegan
A bowl of chili is a thing of beauty. So what’s wrong with a triple dose of heat in your chili? This recipe combines three types of chilies into one big bite of zippy flavor and satisfying chili goodness. Read the chef’s tip below to find out how to adjust the heat level.
- 1 pound tempeh, any flavor
- 1 medium-size white onion
- 5 to 6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
- 5 to 6 sprigs cilantro
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 to 2 jalapeno or Serrano chilies
- 1 to 3 dried Ancho, negro, or Pasilla chilies, depending on taste
- 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted or regular chopped tomatoes
- 1 10-ounce can Ro*Tel brand diced
- tomatoes and green chilies
- 1 15.5-ounce can red pinto, great Northern, or black beans
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or safflower oil
- 1 4-ounce can chopped mild, medium, or hot green chilies
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 cup water, plus more as needed
- Chopped scallions
- Chopped white or red onions
- Cheddar cheese or vegan cheddar, grated
- Monterey Jack or vegan Jack cheese, grated
- Sour cream or vegan sour cream
- Plain whole-milk yogurt or soy yogurt
On your mark . . .
- Cut the tempeh into medium-size pieces and put into a 2-quart saucepan. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain in a colander and set aside.
- Peel the onion, chop into medium dice, measure out 1 cup, and set aside.
- Wash the parsley and cilantro, shake off any excess water, and dry by rolling in paper towels. Remove the leaves and discard the stems. Coarsely chop the parsley and cilantro together and set aside.
- Slightly crush the garlic by laying the flat side of a chef’s knife on the clove and pressing firmly to break open the skin. Remove the skin, cut off the root end, and discard. Coarsely chop the garlic and set aside.
- Slip on a pair of latex kitchen gloves. Remove the stem from the fresh chilies and cut in half lengthwise. Rinse under cold water and scrape out the seeds with the tip of a spoon. If you like the chili a bit hotter, leave in the seeds. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Rinse, dry, and remove the gloves.
Get set . . .
- Break the stem from the dried chilies and discard. Shake out any seeds, tear the chilies into small pieces, and place in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup hot water and set aside to soften. Wash your hands.
- Combine the tomatoes, including the liquid, and the tomato-and-green chili combination. Measure out 3 cups and set aside.
- Drain the canned beans in a hand strainer or colander. Rinse under cold water and set aside to drain.
- Coarsely chop the tempeh and set aside.
- Drain the dried chilies in a hand strainer or colander and pat dry.
- Heat the oil in a 4- to 6-quart pot (with lid) over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
- Add the onion and dried chilies and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, tempeh, canned green chilies, chopped fresh chilies, chili powder, paprika, salt, cayenne pepper, if using, and the chopped parsley and cilantro. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking, until the tempeh has browned.
- Add the 3 cups tomato mixture, beans, and water. Bring to a boil, decrease the heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes with the lid slightly ajar.
- Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water if the chili becomes too thick, but avoid making it soupy. Taste the chili and correct the seasoning.
- Serve hot, passing the scallions, onions, grated cheeses, sour cream, and yogurt on the side.
- If you like your chili very hot, use the full amount of cayenne pepper listed. You can reduce the heat to a less fiery level by omitting it altogether.
Pictures and recipes used with permission.
This week’s Meatless Monday post comes to you courtesy of San-J and Carol Kicinski, renowned chef, food writer and gluten free blogger at Simply…Gluten Free. Carol created a quick and easy weeknight dish that only uses six nutritious ingredients, which you can use as either a main or a side dish.
I always have a bottle of San-J Gluten-Free Tamari in my cupboard, which I substitute for regular soy sauce. San-J also sells an organic version, which I like even better. Both versions have a low sodium variety as well – love how San-J gives us lots of choices!
Tofu and Green Bean Stir Fry
- 1/4 cup San-J Gluten-Free Tamari
- 2 tablespoons gluten free sweet chili garlic sauce
- 1 pound extra firm tofu
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons oil, use divided
- 1 pound green beans, cleaned trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- Combine the San-J Gluten-Free Tamari with the chili garlic sauce, set aside.
- Cut tofu into 1/2 inch cubes, pat dry with paper towels and put into a mixing bowl with the cornstarch, toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it starts to shimmer, add half the tofu in an even layer in the pan. Cook the tofu undisturbed for 2 minutes. Gently flip and stir the tofu. Continue to cook and stir until the tofu is lightly golden brown on all sides, 3 - 4 minutes. Remove the tofu to a plate and set aside. Heat 1 more tablespoon of oil in the pan and cook the remaining tofu the same way. Remove from pan.
- Reduce heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the green beans. Cook the green beans, stirring, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup of water and continue to cook the beans for 3 minutes or until they are bright green and crisp tender. Increase the heat back up to high, add the reserved sauce mixture and boil for 1 minute or until it reduces slightly.
- Add the tofu and cook for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
- Serving size: 1/r4 to 1/6 of recipe
Recipe and photo used with permission.
Disclosure: San-J recently sent me samples of their gluten free products to try out. All experiences and opinions are my own.