Thursday, February 4, 2016

Spinach/Squash Tart

1/2 of a puff pastry square that has been cut in half to make two 4.5 by 4.5 inch squares
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup white onion, diced
1/3 cup bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes
Leftover spaghetti squash, about 1 and 1\2 cups
1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 wedge of your favorite Laughing Cow spreadable cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 425. Put pastry squares on sheet tray and using a fork poke holes all over. Bake for 12 minutes, spinning tray halfway. Remove from oven and let cool.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium sauté pan on medium-hugh heat. Add the onions, peppers and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring a few times. 
  3. Stir in the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for thirty seconds then add the spaghetti squash and spinach. Reduce heat and cover to heat mixture throughout - about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile take the cooled puff pastry and, using a pearing knife, draw a square - leaving a border - on the top of the puff party. Push down gently and the center should collapse leaving a square bowl shape.
  5. Spread half of the Laughing Cow wedge inside each of the pastry bowls. Pack the squash/veggie mixture on top (you will have some leftover) and serve!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Yum Yum Quinoa Salad

It's been two months since my last recipe post.  Nothing wrong with that.  I spent a lot of the holiday season using the Cooking For Two book by America's Test Kitchen.  I have had it for a few years, but haven't opened it since I stopped eating land meat two years ago.  They have some wonderful things in there.

Tonight I wanted to do a quinoa side for our veggie burgers.  I was originally going to do a hot dish like a pilaf or my Masala Style Quinoa but the wife suggested something raw and salad like to keep in the fridge.  During the summer I rotate a few different cold salads that I make in large batches.  A few bites of something like that is better than three handfuls of Cheez Its when the munchies strike.  (I still always keep the Cheez Its near, just eat a lot less in a sitting.)

Yum Yum Quinoa Salad

1 cup quinoa, rinsed until the water runs clear
2 cups water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, julienned
1 cup broccoli florets (if frozen then thawed)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2-3 tablespoons sun dried red pepper, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, washed and chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of fresh herb(s)
1/2 lime

  1. In a medium pot with lid, stir in quinoa, water and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Bring to boil, cover, lower heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes (or until all the water is gone).  After cooking dump into large bowl and let cool completely. 
  2. Coat the bottom of a medium saute pan with 1 or 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the shallot and saute for about 3 minutes, add the zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Cook for 5-6 minutes.  Then stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Remove from heat immediately and cool.
  3. To the bowl of cooled quinoa add the shallot mixture, broccoli, corn, red pepper, cilantro, tomatoes and fresh herbs (for this one I used a mix of cilantro and basil).  Stir to combine.
  4. Dress with the juice of (about) 1/2 lime and (about) 2 tablespoons of olive oil, to taste.  Season with Salt and pepper.  You won't need to add a lot of salt because the zucchini provide a sodium dose already. 
Add some extra fresh ground pepper when serving.  It really makes the other flavors jump into each other.

This will keep in the fridge for up to a week.  The complete protein found in the quinoa will fill you up better and much longer than a regular snack or salad.  For your health!