faux foodie

Harvest Vegetable Bake
December 26, 2011, 4:20 am
Filed under: favorites, Health, main course

Erinn made a version of this for Christmas, and it was to DIE for! I could see it as a main dish.

3 medium sweet potatoes (1 3/4 lbs.)
2 Tbs. butter, softened
2 large eggs or 3 large egg whites, beaten lightly
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
2 lbs. mushrooms, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp. dried
15-oz. container part-skim ricotta
3 (10-oz.) pkgs. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Fresh herb sprigs for garnish

Peel and quarter sweet potatoes. Place in large pot, cover potatoes by 1 inch with salted cold water and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain potatoes, transfer to medium bowl and, while still warm, coarsely mash. Using electric mixer, beat in butter, eggs, salt and pepper to taste until smooth.
In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms release their liquid; allow to evaporate. Stir in thyme and season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove pan from heat and let cool. In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, spinach, egg whites, dill, red pepper flakes and 1/2 teaspoon salt until blended.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spoon sweet potato mixture into pan and pat into even layer. Spoon mushroom mixture over potatoes and spread evenly. Top with spinach mixture.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes. When well browned, loosely cover top with foil. Reduce heat to 350°F. Carefully remove side of pan and brush sides with egg wash. Bake until sides are golden, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting into wedges and serving. Garnish each serving with fresh herb sprigs.

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad and Dressing
December 13, 2011, 4:14 am
Filed under: Health, main course, side dish, weeknight

1 cup vegenaise

1.5 tsp Dijon

1 clove garlic

1 tb water

1.5 tsp lemon juice

1 tb olive oil

1.5 tb nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste.


To serve, pour over romaine leaves! Yum.

Raw Zucchini Pasta
December 13, 2011, 4:00 am
Filed under: Health, main course

8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
2 Tb fresh basil
2 Tb olive oil
sea salt
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into 1/4 inch long strips

In a bowl, comine tomatoes, garlic, walnuts, basil, and oil. Season with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss with zucchini.

Mushroom Lasagna
December 12, 2011, 4:13 am
Filed under: Company, favorites, main course, pasta, Sunday

This is to DIE for!

See this link to the recipe in the NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/magazine/home-made-mushroom-lasagna.html?ref=magazine

1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or herb oil
6 large shallots, peeled and minced (I used onions!)
1 1⁄2 pounds mushrooms, wild or best available (oyster, shiitake, cremini), trimmed and sliced (I also used some baby bellas to keep costs low)
1 cup dry white wine
1 softball-size head of radicchio, halved, cored and cut into 1⁄2-inch slices (I subbed in frozen spinach)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter, or herb oil
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 tablespoons flour,
3 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup Gruyère cheese, grated
1 cup Fontina cheese, grated
2 tablespoons best-quality truffle oil (optional)
2 9-ounce boxes of no-boil lasagna sheets (I use gluten free)
1 baseball-size ball of smoked mozzarella, sliced
1 cup fresh Parmesan, grated.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil or herb oil. When it begins to shimmer, add half of the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent. Add mushrooms and toss to coat, then cook until they begin to color but are still plump, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add white wine to deglaze pan and allow to cook down into a syrup, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Put the mushrooms into a large bowl and reserve.

2. Meanwhile, in another bowl, toss the radicchio with 1⁄4 cup olive oil or herb oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread the strips out onto a baking pan and place in the oven until the strips are lightly browned around the edges, approximately 15 minutes. Combine with mushrooms and reserve.

3. Make the béchamel. Place a saucepan over medium heat and melt the butter. When it foams, add the rest of the shallots and cook until they begin to turn translucent. Add the garlic and stir to combine, then cook until the garlic has started to soften. Sprinkle flour over the top and stir to combine, then cook gently until the mixture has turned light brown and gives off a nutty scent, approximately 10 minutes. Add milk to the mixture, whisking all the while, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Add the 1⁄4 cup of grated Gruyère and 1⁄4 cup of grated Fontina, then stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Reserve a cup of béchamel. Pour the rest over the mixture of mushrooms and radicchio, and stir to combine. Add truffle oil, if using.

5. Assemble lasagna. Spread plain béchamel across the bottom of a 9- by-13-inch baking pan. Place a layer of lasagna sheets across the sauce, being careful not to overlap. Spread a generous layer of mushroom mixture on top of the pasta, and follow with some grated Fontina and Gruyère. Put another layer of pasta above the cheese, and top with smoked mozzarella. Repeat until the pasta is gone and the pan is full. Top with remaining cheeses and a generous amount of grated Parmesan. Cover with a buttered sheet of aluminum foil and place in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook until top is golden and bubbling.
Serves 6 to 8.

Chia Seed Pudding!
December 12, 2011, 4:09 am
Filed under: Company, dessert, Health, snack, weeknight

I’ve been trying to eat a more whole food/raw diet. I’ve discovered chia seeds, and they are an amazing source of omega 3s, and they also expand to 20 times their size in your stomach (making you feel fuller?)

Here’s my fave recipe I’ve discovered so far:

Mix together a few tablespoons of chia seeds, some cinnamon, and some stevia (sugar substitute). Cover with a bit of almond milk. Wait a few minutes for the seeds to expand, enjoy! J even likes this!

Easy weeknight Pasta
December 2, 2011, 4:55 am
Filed under: Health, main course, pasta, weeknight

Mix pasta with: sautéed spinach, mushrooms, garlic and olive oil