Posts Tagged With: Vegetarian

Veggie Stuffed Poblanos

Man, I’m really slacking on the Monday posts lately, huh?  Maybe it just reflects my “meh” attitude towards Mondays.  Or maybe its because I try not to think about Monday until it actually arrives and I’m forced to acknowledge it.  Either way, sorry about that, friends – I promise to try harder next week!!

So I was on a Mexican kick the other weekend when I decided to take a second stab at tamales AND stuffed poblanos.  I don’t know, it sounded good for some reason.  Actually, I know the reason…we have this really awesome cafeteria at work with real chefs and one of them specializes in Latin food.  Anyways, he made the most awesome vegetarian stuffed poblanos with mole and crema on top that I went nuts over. While these weren’t quite the same (I knew they wouldn’t be), I still wanted to see what recipes I could find to stuff those emerald gems with.

So quick sad story before we get to the recipe.  Notice how my peppers look a little sickly?  Yea, that color just isn’t right you know?  I know.  Its because they aren’t actually poblanos (but they should be).  I kid you not, I had been to the grocery earlier in the week and they had millions of poblanos so I figured I was safe to get them a couple days later.  Wrong-o.  They had ZERO.  So sad.  So good thing for smart phones because as I stood sighing in a very loud and highly annoyed manor, I was able to determine that cubanelle peppers were a somewhat acceptable substitution (that is compared to the other two varieties of peppers I had to chose from – Bell and jalepeno).  And I kid you not, I went back two days later to the store and guess what?  Millions of poblanos again.  What.  The.  Heck?  OH well, maybe next time…

Enjoy!

  • 8 poblano chiles
  • 1 c. finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 c. fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 c. chopped green onions
  • 2 TBS pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 c. (3 ounces) crumbled queso fresco, divided
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp/ ground red pepper, divided
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and divided
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 TBS all-purpose flour
  • 2 c. 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1 TBS fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

Preheat broiler.

Place chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 3 inches from heat 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 4 minutes. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel and discard skins. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile; discard seeds, leaving stems intact.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add bell pepper; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add corn, onions, nuts, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 cup cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper.

Place half of beans in a bowl; mash with a fork. Add mashed beans and whole beans to corn mixture. Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into each chile; fold sides of chile over filling. Arrange stuffed chiles in an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat; add 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper, cumin, and nutmeg, and stir with a whisk. Cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Gradually add flour, and stir with a whisk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk. Stir with a whisk until blended.

Increase heat to medium. Cook milk mixture 8 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Pour milk mixture over stuffed chiles.
Combine remaining 1/4 cup cheese and breadcrumbs; sprinkle over milk mixture. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.

Preheat broiler.

Broil 1 minute or until top is golden brown.

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Categories: Entrees, Mexican, Recipes | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

BBQ Ribs and Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche

Did you know that you can cheat and make BBQ ribs in the slow cooker?  Yup, true story.

I got an All-Clad slow cooker for my birthday a few weeks ago (thanks Mom & Dad!!) which has been much fun!  I had never had one of these gems before and now I’m hooked.  How great is it that I can throw a bunch of stuff in there, turn it on as I’m frantically running out the door at 6:45 and have dinner ready to serve when I get home 11 hours later?  Let me tell you, its pretty stinking amazing.

Enter my really fast but gourmet looking dinner the other night.  First, I’ll let you in the the painfully difficult challenge of cooking ribs in the slow cooker (seriously, you’re going to wonder why you’ve never done this before) and then I’ll introduce you to a new fancier version of sweet potato fries.  YUM!

Enjoy!

Slow Cooker BBQ Ribs

  • 3 lb rack of pork ribs, split into two racks
  • 1 can of Coca Cola
  • Spice Rub

The night before, generously rub the ribs down on all sides with the spice rub.  Cover and refrigerate over night.  In the morning, place the ribs in the slow cooker and pour 1 can of Coke over top.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Remove ribs from slow cooker and place on a baking sheet.  Place ribs under the broiler for about 5 minutes or until they begin to crisp on top.

Serve immediately with your favorite BBQ sauce.  We really like this one.  Like, a lot (choose the Hickory one).

Sweet Potato Wedges with Lemongrass Creme Fraiche

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 lbs)
  • 4 TBS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 fresh red chile, finely diced (shockingly, I couldn’t find a red chile so I used a seeded jalepeno)
  • 1 c. cilantro, leaves picked

Lemongrass Creme Fraiche

  • 1 lemongrass stalk
  • 3/4 c. creme fraiche
  • grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400°.  Wash the sweet potatoes but don’t peel them.  Cut each lengthwise in half.  Cut again lengthwise into quarters and then once more in the same way, so you have 8 long wedges.

Place the wedges in a roasting pan that has been lined with parchment paper and brushed lightly with some of the olive oil.  Brush the wedges with the remaining oil and sprinkle with a mixture of the ground coriander and salt.  Roast for about 25 minutes , or until sweet potato is tender and golden brown.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  The wedges can be eaten warm or at room temp.

To make the sauce, very finely chop the lemongrass and grind finely in a spice grinder.  Whisk with all of the other ingredients for the dipping sauce and set aside.

When ready to serve, place the wedges on a large, flat serving dish.  Sprinkle with the diced chile and cilantro and serve with the sauce on the side.

Sweet potato and sauce recipe courtesy of Yotam Ottolenghi

Categories: American, Appetizers, Recipes, Sides, Snacks | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Lightened Up Samosas

One of my co-workers is from India and treats us every once in awhile to samosas that he makes the night before. They.  Are.  Incredible.  Like seriously.  I don’t know how he does it, but they’re even good reheated in the microwave.  What fried food is actually good reheated in the microwave?  None…accept for these.

Unfortunately for you, I don’t have that amazing recipe, BUT I did find a recipe for some lighter ones that are pan fried rather than deep fried.  The filling tasted pretty similar and I have to imagine these were easier to assemble than the treats I often look forward to.

Oh and make sure you make the chutney, too – its delicious!

Enjoy!

Chutney

  • 1/2 c. fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion
  • 2 TBS fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TBS water
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 1 serrano chile, coarsely chopped
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger

Samosas

  • 1 1/4 c. mashed cooked peeled baking potatoes
  • 1/4 c. cooked yellow lentils
  • 1 TBS minced fresh mint
  • 1 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 1 tsp. butter, softened
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 c. frozen petite green peas, thawed
  • 10 egg roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

To prepare chutney, combine first 9 ingredients in a blender; process until smooth. Set aside.

To prepare samosas, combine potatoes, lentils, mint, curry powder, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cumin. Gently fold in peas.

Working with 1 egg roll wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to prevent drying), cut down middle to form 2 long rectangles. Moisten edges of wrapper with egg. Spoon 1 tablespoon potato mixture near bottom edge of wrapper. Fold up from 1 corner to the opposite outer edge of the wrapper, making a triangle. Fold over to opposite side again as if folding up a flag. Repeat fold to opposite side to form a triangle. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Lightly coat samosas with cooking spray. Add samosas to pan, and cook 1 minute on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with chutney.

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Categories: Appetizers, Condiments, Indian, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Dhal with Cumin & Mustard Seeds

I really love Indian flavors, but usually cheat on weeknights by using simmer sauces purchased at the store.  While not gourmet, they really are quite delicious and it honestly doesn’t get much easier than throwing chicken breasts into the skillet and pouring sauce over them.  But those are for weeknights when I’m exhausted or for when we are completely out of groceries (simmer sauce is on the list of my staples, along with dried pasta, rice, chicken breast, black beans, etc.).  Weekends call for real Indian food.  From scratch.  And making my own ghee.

Let’s start with the ghee.  Ghee is a browned clarified butter with a rich, nutty flavor that’s often used in Indian cooking.  You can buy ghee at Indian grocers…or you can make your own for a heck of a lot cheaper!  Just make sure you keep an eye on it.  Mine went from almost done to burnt in the about the 30 seconds it took me to walk over to the pantry to gather ingredients.  Whoopsie.

Ghee:

  • 1/2 cup butter

Place butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook 20 minutes or until solids have turned a nut brown, stirring occasionally. Skim solids from surface of melted butter; discard solids. Slowly pour remaining butter out of pan, leaving remaining solids in pan; discard solids.

And now for the Dhal.  This is FANTASTIC served with warm, fresh naan, a dollop of yogurt, and coriander chutney (this I did buy from the grocery).  This dish was incredible and is extremely filling as well.  My Indian friends at work were really excited when this showed up in my lunch box, so it must at least smelled and looked legit!  Enjoy!

Dhal:

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons Ghee, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
  • 3/4 cup diced carrot (about 1 large)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
  • 4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (about 2)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound yellow split peas
  • 2 teaspoons brown mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons Ghee in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth and next 7 ingredients (through peas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Place mustard and cumin seeds in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook for 1 minute or until toasted. Add remaining 3 tablespoons Ghee; cook 1 minute or until seeds begin to pop. Stir into soup; serve immediately.

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Categories: Entrees, Indian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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