Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole

 

 

Adapted from a recipe in Country Woman magazine; I left out the soy sauce, onion and garlic because I’m sensitive to these.  This dish works well for a potluck.

3 cups chicken broth

1-1/2 cups uncooked brown rice

2 cups chopped onions, divided

3 T. soy sauce

2 T. butter or margarine, melted

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

4 cups chopped cauliflower

4 cups broccoli florets

2 medium red peppers, julienned

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 T. oil

1 cup salted cashew halves

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese, optional

In a greased 3 quart baking dish, combine broth, rice, 1 cup onion, soy sauce,  butter and thyme. Cover and bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes or until rice is tender. 

Meanwhile, in large skillet, saute cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, garlic and remaining onion in oil until crisp-tender; spoon over rice mixture. Cover and bake for 10 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with cashews and cheese, if desired. Bake 5-7 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 8-10 servings.
 This recipe can easily be halved. To save time and effort, and perhaps money given the cost of cauliflower these days, use frozen vegetables such as a broccoli/cauliflower blend.

Ode to the Parsnip (aka Root Vegetable Roast)

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image from thinkvegetables.co.uk

I snuck a parsnip yesterday.  And by that I mean I bought a single parsnip. It felt fantastic buying it (and a little naughty;)).  You see, it’s not a vegetable I eat often, given that my husband is not a fan of the parsnip.  (My husband is also not a fan of squash.  You should have seen me at a potluck we attended last week–there was spaghetti squash and my heart lept!  I proceeded to enjoy my portion – and my husband’s portion – of the same.  Plain spaghetti squash…so good). But I digress.  Back to my parsnip.  I paired it with carrots and roasted in the oven.  Roasting parsnip elevates this humble vegetable into a kind of caramelized sweetness.   I realize this is more of a fall dish, but with the rainy, stormy weather we’ve been having lately in Southern Alberta, it has felt more like fall than summer.

2 carrots, and 1 glorious parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks

1 T. oil

salt, pepper, spice mix

Place in a pan and toss together.  Roast at 400 F for about 20 minutes.  Serves one.

Summer Pasta Salad

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This is very versatile; any combination of vegetables you have on hand can be used.  You can also add cooked chicken or shrimp or, if you are vegetarian, TVP, for a complete meal.

3 c. cooked pasta such as penne (gluten free or other)

1/2 medium zucchini, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

3 mushrooms, chopped

1 c. diced cucumber

1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed

1 T. each walnut pieces and sliced almonds

2 T. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. raisins

Dressing

1 – 2 T. dried dill

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt, thinned with a little milk

1/2 package Simply Organic Ranch dip

1 T. creamy cucumber dressing

 

Combine pasta and remaining ingredients except dressing in a large bowl.  Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour over pasta salad.  Stir well.  Refrigerate until chilled.

Easy Three Vegetable Salad

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1 pepper, seeded and sliced

1 – 1 1/2 c. green beans

1 c. corn

Steam pepper and beans together until tender, about 10 minutes.  Cook corn (I microwaved it). Dice pepper and cut beans into small pieces.

Dressing ingredients:

1 T. olive oil

1/2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 T. dried dill

1 T. italian spice mix

Salt and pepper

Place cooked vegetables in medium size bowl.

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Add dressing ingredients, stir to combine. Enjoy!  Great with any meat.

Chicken Salad on a Bed of Spinach

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1 c. spinach, roughly torn

1/2 cooked chicken burger, ground (equal amount of a cooked chicken breast could also be used)

1/2 small zucchini and 1/2 medium carrot, shredded

1 tsp. oil

1 T. non-fat plain yogurt

1 T. Sesame Teriyaki sauce, such as Organicville.

 

Put the spinach on a plate.  Combine remainder of ingredients in small bowl, place on top of spinach. The chicken salad blend would also work well in a wrap or as a sandwich.  Serves one, easily doubles or triples. Enjoy!

Salad Rolls {Gluten Free}

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After a friend of mine made salad rolls and brought them to our luncheon a couple of weeks ago, I knew I had to try making them myself. These are nice as an appetizer or even a main course when it’s too hot outside to cook.

Recipe and instructions:

You will need a package of rice paper wrappers. I bought mine at a health food store but it’s likely these are available in less expensive stores such as Superstore in Canada.

First prepare your filling ingredients. You will need:

Shred or slice thinly one cooked chicken breast or cooked pork. Cooked shrimp will also work. Slice very thinly (or shred) an assortment of vegetables. Here I used a pepper, cucumber, and green onions. Quantities used for  the vegetables were about 1/2 pepper, 5 or so green onions, and about one-third of an English cucumber (which was enough for 10 salad rolls) Also, about a tablespoon of broccoli slaw and a leaf of fresh basil per wrapper was also used.

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Fill a large bowl with warm water. Take the individual rice wrapper and soak it for 5 seconds in the water. Place the wrapper on a plate or the counter and let it sit for 30 seconds to soften.

Then, fill wrapper with a small amount of each of your ingredients, placing the ingredients near the bottom of the rice wrapper. The rice wrapper pictured below likely had too much filling; I tended to over fill mine and then, when it came time to eat them, they became “deconstructed salad rolls.”

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Carefully draw the sides of the filled rice wrapper towards the middle. Then fold the bottom in towards the middle and roll up.  Lather, rinse, repeat for as many rolls as you have filling for.  I had enough filling for about 10 salad rolls.  Cover with saran wrap once you’re done making the rolls so they do not dry out.

**Salad rolls are pretty versatile. Today I made them using shredded carrots, thinly sliced pieces of romaine lettuce, pepper, broccoli, and leftover canned salmon.

Enjoy with peanut sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.

Peanut Sauce:

1 c. water (GF chicken broth could also be used)
2 T. cornstarch
¼ c. peanut butter
1 T. oil
2 T. wheat free / GF soy sauce
2  – 3 T. Thai sweet chili sauce or to taste

Whisk together in a small pot and heat over medium heat until peanut butter is melted. If this becomes too thick, add  a little more water or broth.

Barley and Brown Rice Salad

Photo credit: gobarley.com
Photo credit: gobarley.com

This versatile recipe is very tasty.

1/2 c. pearl barley, rinsed

1/2 c. brown rice, rinsed

2 c. water

dash salt

2 cups diced vegetables – I used a mixture of celery, green onions, and carrots)

1/2 c. each dried cranberries and chopped walnuts

1/2 c. crumbled soft cheese – I used Boursin, but feta or goat cheese would work well too

Dressing:

1/2 c. oil

1/4 c. vinegar

2 – 3 T. each maple syrup and mustard

2 T. soy sauce

salt and pepper

While this version is vegetarian, chopped diced chicken, canned tuna, or tofu can also be added.

Bring water to  a boil.  Add rice and barley. Cover and lower heat to medium low and cook for about 40 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes or until any remaining water is absorbed.  Combine with remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up dressing in a jar and pour over salad.  Refrigerate for a few hours to cool and let flavors meld.  Serves 4- 6.

Polar Vortex Soup (aka Sausage and Lentil Soup)

Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.
Forget me not pond, Kananaskis Country, taken by me November, 2013.

This soup is great for when cold weather hits – hearty and filling. All that’s needed are some crusty buns.

1 onion, chopped

1 T. oil

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and chopped

1 pepper, chopped

15 small fresh tomatoes (the ones I used were called “blushers” – bigger than a cherry tomato but smaller than a Roma), halved

1 liter carton beef or chicken broth

1/2 farmer’s (or Mennonite) sausage ring, cooked and chopped

handful each fresh baby spinach and kale

1 can lentils, drained and rinsed

1 T. each dried parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary

1 tsp. (or to taste) white pepper

Saute onion in oil until brown. Add the next five ingredients (celery through broth) and cook over medium heat until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add sausage, spinach, kale and lentils and heat until spinach and kale are wilted.  Stir in herbs and white pepper.  Serves 4-6.

Five Minute Pickles

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2 onions, coarsely chopped

3 English cucumbers, thickly sliced, then cut in half lengthwise

Dried dillweed (I used lots, use it to taste)

Brine:

2 c. vinegar

2 c. sugar

1/4 c. salt

1/2 T. picking spices

Place cut up vegetables and dill in a bowl that has a cover or in an old ice cream pail.  Mix the brine ingredients together in a medium sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved.  Allow brine to cool a bit before pouring over vegetables.  Cover and refrigerate.  The pickles will be ready in 2 – 3 weeks and keep for a long time.

Spicy Southwest Summer Salad

Corn Bean Salad
Corn Bean Salad (Photo credit: Emily Barney)

This was part of my lunch today.

Combine in a small bowl:

2 T.  fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (or minced if you can)

1/3 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed

1/2 red pepper, chopped

1 green onion chopped

Dressing:

1 tsp. each chili powder and cumin

1/4 c. each olive oil and lemon juice (lime juice may also be used)

1 T. mustard

Salt and Pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar. Pour over salad. May be eaten immediately or refrigerated.  Serves 1 – 2. This recipe easily doubles or triples.