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.

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.

vegsalad_05

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

Chocolate-Walnut Spread / Truffles

May28_04

AKA “Healthy Nutella”

Gluten free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar free no-bake, and yummy

1.5 cups walnuts, or hazelnuts, ground

1/4 c. liquid – milk, juice, water

8 dates, pitted

1/4 c. cocoa powder

dash salt

1 tsp. vanilla

Grind the nuts in a food processor. Add liquid, process some more. Add dates, process some more.  Add remainder of ingredients and process until completely blended.  Can use as a spread or roll into balls and roll the balls in nuts, coconut, etc. for truffles.

Colorful Quinoa Salad

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1 c. quinoa

2 c. water

Combine quinoa and water in large pot, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Let cool.

In large bowl combine the quinoa with the following:

2 c. diced cucumber

2 c. diced pepper

1/3 c. toasted sunflower seeds

2/3 c. toasted sliced almonds

1/2 c. raisins

1 small can mandarin oranges, drained (reserve juice)

 

Dressing:

Combine in a jar or other container with a lid, shake well, pour over salad.

1/3 c. reserved mandarin orange juice

1/4 c. olive oil

1 T. each dill, Italian spice blend

1 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. lemon juice

salt and pepper

 

Serves about 8 – 10 as a side salad

 

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.

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.

 

 

Cheesy Kale and Leek Casserole

Ornamental Kale blooming in January in Washing...
Ornamental Kale blooming in January in Washington, DC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m not a fan of overly bitter tastes. I’m also not a fan of overly sweet tastes but that’s another blog entry.  I find kale super bitter. Somehow, this recipe takes the bitter taste out of the kale. This recipe is from Cheryl, a friend of mine.

3 cups kale, rinsed and chopped

1 leek, cleaned well and sliced

2 T. butter

2 T. flour

1 c. milk

1 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Place kale in a large pot of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Drain, rinse and set aside.  In the meantime, saute the leek in 2 T. butter in large skillet on medium heat for 5 minutes.  Add 2 T. flour and 1 c. milk to leek – butter mixture and cook until thickened.    Add cheese and kale to the white sauce mixture. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake, uncovered, at 350 for about 30 minutes.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Taco Salad

This recipe serves one.  The ingredients can easily be doubled or tripled.  It’s very versatile too.

Handful of taco chips, placed on a plate.  Break up the taco chips if necessary.

Sufficient quantity of lentils or black beans to cover taco chips (if using canned lentils or beans, drain and rinse well)

Handful of lettuce or spinach, cut up

1 tomato, diced

1/2 pepper, diced

some green onions, chopped

shredded cheese to taste

1/2 sliced avocado

salsa, sour cream

Pile all ingredients on a plate in order given. You could heat the beans / lentils if you wish and sprinkle them with a little chile powder or tex-mex seasoning mix.  To make this with meat, use cooked ground beef or chicken in place of, or in addition to, the lentils or beans.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

My husband, after 15 years of marriage, and many, many bowls of soup served for dinner, announced last week at a potluck that he isn’t a big soup fan. I was a bit gobsmacked. My girlfriend replied that “women like soup” and I think it’s true. There’s something comforting about soup. I’m not fond of the cream-of-something canned soups however.  Here’s a quick Cream of Mushroom soup. Add some crusty rolls and salad-in-a-bag and you’re good to go.

Adapted from:  http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/02/11/day-42-creamy-mushroom-soup/

1 small package sliced fresh mushrooms

1 – 2 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 T. each dried rosemary and cilantro

1 T. flour

3 c. chicken or vegetable stock

Splash of red wine

1/2 c. whipping cream, sour cream or half and half

Brown mushrooms and onions until moisture evaporates and mushrooms turn golden. Add flour, cook two minutes. Add spices, stock and wine and simmer on low 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cream (I used sour cream.) Serves 4 – 6