Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Veggie Lasagna and humus

A new venture!

A disclaimer:
In all honesty, I rarely measure. So, measurements are usually approximate.

It's nearing the end of "Meatless March" at our house. The month has gone well, I'd say. Leesha came home from her dad's saying she'd had a burger on Saturday and felt like throwing up afterwards. We'll see how we take to meat again next week.

So, today, I wanted to roast garlic to make some more humus. I decided I'd try to roast the onion too. As long as I was at it, I roasted some tomato for our veggie lasagna for dinner.

I set the oven to 405, wrapped the unpeeled garlic cloves in foil, put some olive oil on the sweet onion and quartered tomato and let them bake for 40 minutes (the tomato was only in for about 20 minutes though).

The lasagna:
sauce: (I let this simmer for a while after mixing)
generic store bought spaghetti sauce
a little bit of steamed cauliflower
3 shredded zucchini
1 roasted tomato
some roasted sweet onion
a few cloves of roasted garlic, mashed

Cheese mix:
about 10 oz. soft tofu
15 oz. ricotta
2 c. shredded mozarella
2 eggs
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
enough parsley to add some color
(I've tried spinach in this mixture, but have finally learned my lesson that I don't really like frozen spinach - maybe I'll try again in the future)

Layer uncooked lasagna noodles, sauce and cheese mixture until you run out. Add 1/2 c. or so of water to help noodles cook.

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about an hour.

blend in food processor:
1 can of garbanzo beans (drain, but save liquid)
1/2 cup tahini (for Twin Cities folk, this is super cheap over at Holy Land)
2 T lemon juice
1/2 roasted sweet onion
5 cloves roasted garlic
2 t. olive oil (for Twin Cities folk, this is cheap at Trader Joes, and probably Holy Land too)
2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. paprika (my recipe calls for cayenne, but I haven't gotten that yet)
1/2 t. salt
enough of the liquid saved at the beginning to give it a good consistency

When I made a batch on Sunday, I used a package of pine nuts which I'd roasted, as well as raw onion (half sweet, half white) and that batch was good.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Not a big hit, sorry, Kraft has my vote on this dish.

from Betty Crocker

heat oven to350

Boil to desired tenderness, then drain:
2 c. elbow macaroni

While pasta is boiling, in 3 qt. saucepan, over low heat, melt
1/4 c. butter

Stir in:
1/4 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/4 t. dry mustard
1/4 t. Worcestershire sauce

Stir and cook over low heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly, remove from heat.
2 c. milk
Heat to boiling, stirring constantly, boil 1 minute.

Add and stir until melted:
2 c. shredded cheese

Combine cheese mixture and pasta. Turn into ungreased 2 qt. casserole dish. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Vegetable Soup

from my friend Jeanelle

Combine in slow cooker:
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 can Minestrone soup
package frozen mixed vegetables

Cook on High3-4 hours, or longer on low

Monday, March 15, 2010

Esau's Lentil Soup

or Mjeodrah
from my "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook

Saute in 1 T. olive oil:
1 c. chopped carrots
1 c. diced celery
2 c. chopped onion
(I usually use a lot more veggies)

When these veggies are soft, transfer them to the slow cooker.

Using the same skillet and another 1T. olive oil, brown until dry
2 c. brown rice
add to slow cooker

Finally, add and stir:
6 c. water (I use prepared bullion)
1 lb. rinsed and drained lentils

Cook on High 6-8 hours

The cookbook suggests it be topped with a garden salad and vinaigrette. I like it plain with some fresh Roti or Nan from an Indian restaurant, or I'll make whole wheat pitas.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Egg Salad

Hard boil however many eggs you think you'll need. Chop these and add enough mayonnaise to make it spread-able. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I usually serve with bread and lettuce (if I've got some on hand).

Seeing as how it's called salad, I'm sure there are other things that can be added, such as; onion and celery.


or Puffy Oven Pancake
according to Betty Crocker

Heat oven to 400

Beat slightly:
2 large eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. milk
1/4 t. salt

melt 2 T. butter in a pie plate and tilt pan around to spread the butter all over. Add mixture and bake 25 -30 minutes or until golden brown.

Top with fresh fruit, sauteed veggies, meat, cheese, etc. One of my favorites is strawberries, sour cream and brown sugar.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Another "no big deal" as I used canned, condensed tomato soup, only using milk instead of water.

I generally use American slices with whatever bread we have on hand to make cheese sandwiches which I then butter on the outside, then heat in a skillet until and cheese is melted and bread is browned (or black, depending on how much attention I'm paying to my cooking). I did wonder recently how it would work to just grease the skillet with butter and fry the bread in order to avoid the awkwardness of trying to butter the outsides of the bread. If I try it at some point, I'll try to remember to blog about it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Black Bean Soup

from my WIC cookbook

2 cans black beans with liquid
1/2 c. prepared salsa
1 T. chili powder
2 c. broth (vegetable, chicken, prepared bullion)

Heat to boiling over medium heat.

Serve with toppings such as shredded cheese, onion, cilantro, avocado, sour cream.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


beans - black, pinto, etc.
rice (I try to flavor this with lime and cilantro like Chipotle, but fail every time)
shredded cheese
sour cream

top tortillas with fillings of choice, roll and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Nothing exciting here, I used frozen ravioli and prepared sauce. I just shredded zucchini into the sauce before cooking it.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Veggie Burgers

from my WIC cookbook

I think I was surprised by how easy and tasty these were. Leesha even liked them.

In skillet on medium heat, cook until tender:
1 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
Add, and cook until boiling:
1 1/4 c. broth/bullion
1/2 c. dry lentils which have been rinsed
Reduce heat to med-low, cover and cook 30-45 minutes until lentils are soft. Drain any excess liquid and let cool.

Beat in medium bowl: (I've used my food processor for this step)
2 eggs
Add and mix well, then shape into patties:
1/2 c. dry bread crumbs/crushed crackers
1/2 c. quick cooking oats
lentil mixture

cook patties in greased skillet on medium heat until brown on both sides.

Variation: add 1/2 t. salt and 1/2 t. sage

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Potato Pancakes

Heat griddle/skillet to 375 (med-high)

Mix well in large bowl:
3/4 c. flour (I've used whole wheat and white, or just white)
1 1/4 c. potato flakes
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt

In medium bowl, mix well:
2 1/2 c. milk
2 T. oil
2 large eggs

Combine two mixtures until dry ingredients are moistened. Add minced onion or shredded carrot, if desired.

Pour onto hot greased skillet/griddle by 1/3 c., turning when bubbles begin to break on the surface.

Serve with applesauce, plain yogurt, or regular pancake toppings.

Waldorf Salad

from Betty Crocker

Mix in medium bowl:
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1 T. lemon juice
1 T. milk

2 medium, unpeeled apples, coarsely chopped
2 medium stalks of celery, chopped
1/3 c. nuts, coarsely chopped

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Grilled Muenster with Carmelized Onion Sandwiches

In skillet on med-high heat:
melt 3 T. butter or margarine

1 medium onion which has been sliced and separated into rings
Cook until tender, reduce heat to low, add:
1 t. brown sugar
Cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden and glazed; set aside.

while onion is cooking,
spread mustard on 8 slices pumpernickel rye bread

top 4 of these with muenster chese

spoon caramelized onions onto cheese, top with another slice of pumpernickel

spread butter/margarine on top and bottom of sandwich, place in skillet on med-low, cooking until cheese is melted

Friday, March 5, 2010

Tofu Pot Pie

(This was a hit - even for Leesha)

2 pie crusts

Line pie plate with pie crust
spread 1 cup each (more or less depending on space and taste)
meat/tofu of choice

Mix in small microwavable bowl:
1/4 c. mayonnaise (we've started using mayo with olive oil)
3/4 c. milk (try rice milk if you've got issues with lactose)
1 T. flour

Microwave on High 2-3 minutes, stirring once until it starts to thicken, then pour on meat/veggie mixture. Top with remaining crust.

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stuffed Shells or Manicotti

cheese mixture:
16 oz. ricotta cheese
(tofu can be added if you like)
2 eggs
1/2 c. dried parsley
16 oz. shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 c. parmesean cheese
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper

boil shells or manicotti according to instructions, rinse and lay out so they don't stick together

use a spoon to put the cheese mixture into the pasta. With Manicotti, I often slice it open to stuff it.

serve with pasta sauce
(I like to shred zucchini into my sauce prior to cooking)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Black Beans and Rice

from my "Fix it and Forget it" cookbook

(another of those recipes that was great the first time and hasn't impressed me since)

soak 1 lb. of dried red beans in water for 8 hours, discard water

Mix in slow cooker:
soaked beans
2 t. salt
1 t. pepper
3-4 c. water
6 oz. tomato paste
8 oz. tomato sauce
4 cloves minced garlic
cook on low for 10-12 hours and serve over rice

Add ham, sausage or other meat to the beans.
Use canned beans and cook on high for one hour, then low for 3 hours.

Note: I've noted that my slow cooker often ends up burning stuff, so adjust the recipe to your slow cooker.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


(a great "do it yourself" meal for kids)

top tortilla chips with any of the following:
pinto, black or kidney beans (drained)
diced chilies
shredded lettuce
sour cream

warm in microwave or oven until cheese melts

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pasta with Ricotta and Vegetables

The first time I had this, I liked it. I've tried it a couple of times since and haven't been impressed - but maybe that's because I haven't used fresh herbs.

Cook 8 oz. pasta, adding these veggies for the last 3 minutes of boiling:
2 1/2 c. chopped fresh broccoli
1 1/2 c. fresh asparagus or green beans in 1 inch pieces

Using a fine strainer over a separate large bowl, cut 2 tomatoes in half and squeeze seeds and juice contents into strainer, then use the back of a spoon to push the juice off of the seeds; finally chop tomatoes and add these to the mixture at the end.

in the large bowl, add the following:
1 c. light ricotta cheese
1/4 c. snipped fresh basil
4 t. snipped fresh thyme
4 t. balsamic vinegar
1 T. olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
(don't forget the chopped tomatoes)

Toss pasta and vegetables with cheese and tomato mixture, sprinkle with parmesean and garnish with thyme