Posts tagged ‘Vegetables’

April 8, 2011

Sweet Potato Oven Baked Frittata

I know, I know, this was not part of my menu plan of the week. But I didn’t expect to be cooking for 5 in the middle of the week and on real short notice. I had to think fast and make do with what I had on hand!

Frittatas are always a good alternative when faced with such a situation. All you need basically is eggs and milk. Then you can throw in whatever vegetables, fish, meats or even grains that you have on hand… or think you have anyway! I thought for sure I had a sweet potato left in my fridge, but upon verification, it turned out I didn’t after all! Alarmed, I immediately called a meeting with my memory and it quickly pointed out that I had used BOTH my sweet potatoes, one here and the other one here.

D’OH!

I ended up having to ask my ex to drop by the grocery store on his way here to get me one. Hey, I had already changed my plans once and this new plan included sweet potato! I was not going to change again! Plus, it wouldn’t have been the same without it! I mean seriously, you can’t have a sweet potato oven baked frittata without a sweet potato, now, can you?

Ingredients
(serves 6)

  • 4 tbsp cornmeal
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • ¼ cup bell peppers, finely chopped
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 8 eggs
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli flakes
  • 75g grated cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Coat a glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray (or brush lightly with olive oil). Add cornmeal and tilt dish in all directions to coat the sides and bottom with the cornmeal. Leave excess (if any) at the bottom, shaking from side to side to spread evenly. Set aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook until golden, about 5 minutes. Add water and sweet potatoes, cover loosely and cook until potatoes start to become tender, about 3-5 minutes. Check often to make sure there is enough water; add more if necessary, but not too much; it needs to completely evaporate before you add in the rest of the vegetables.
  • Toss in broccoli florets, corn, black olives and bell peppers. Give this a good stir, cook for an additional minute or two then transfer delicately to reserved baking dish.
  • Combine milk and spices together in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in eggs and beat until well combined. Pour over vegetables and top with grated cheese.
  • Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set and cheese starts to colour.

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March 22, 2011

Cabbage (and red lentil) Soup

I had leftover cabbage in the fridge. It was just laying there, all sad and lonely, and if I hadn’t done anything to save the poor thing, it would’ve just gone to waste. I hate letting perfectly good food go to waste, so I had to think of an idea quick, before it was too late. But what do you do with cabbage, aside from coleslaw and cabbage rolls? SOUP, of course!  There’s a brilliant idea. The only problem is, I’ve never had cabbage soup in my life, let alone MAKE one from scratch.

I started looking on the Internet for sources of inspiration, to find out what usually goes into cabbage soup. All the recipes that I found called for all sorts of vegetables, namely tomatoes and carrots, or even worse, potatoes. I didn’t want to make vegetable soup, I wanted to make CABBAGE soup. So I decided to just take a shot at it. I didn’t even have a plan, per se. All I knew is I wanted the broth to be fairly clear and the cabbage had to really shine. The poor thing had suffered enough as it was, I owed it to him to make it the true king of that soup. However, I also wanted to add a source of protein, so I chose red lentils for their sublte flavor and color. I thought they would find a way to make their presence known, but wouldn’t even dream of overruling King Cabbage. They would actually be an excellent ally. And that, they were…

That soup proved to be excellent. Even my daughter, who wasn’t convinced she would care for that soup all, ended up liking it so much that she took the leftovers with her to my parents’. One thing is absolutely certain now: I will never again wonder what to do with that poor piece of leftover cabbage, laying in the back of the fridge, all sad and lonely and waiting for someone to hopefully save him. In fact, there is a very good chance that I will be buying cabbage for the special purpose of making that exact same soup.

Ingredients
(serves 3-4)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ pound cabbage, shredded
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried parsley
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 tsp concentrated vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp salted herbs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fermented garlic flowers (or crushed garlic)
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • Flat leaf parsley, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large saucepan, saute the onions, celeri and cook until they start to take a nice brown color. Add cabbage and cook for a few minutes, until it starts to wilt. Add lentils and dry seasoning, stir to combine and cook until fragrant.
  • Add water and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked and cabbage is tender.
  • Adjust seasoning, serve and garnish with flat leaf parsley, if desired.

March 3, 2011

Soba Noodle Soup

I finally went and bought some Soba noodles. I ended up spending $37. I told you there was no way I could set foot in that Asian market without spending tons of money. To my defense, I had the best of intentions this time. I didn’t even grab a cart when I got in. I was going to get the noodles and that’s it. But then, I spotted those cute little mini bokchoys. Sooooo cute. Only a dollar for the bag. I just had to get them. Then I headed straight for the Soba noodles. $2.49. Great. Now, let’s go! But wait… I wonder if perhaps they have brown rice noodles. Might as well have a look, since I’m here. Nah, no luck, but those are interesting: sweet potato noodles. OK, I have to get them. I’m too curious. Oh, and might as well get some rice sticks, since I’m here. Then I saw some flat leaf parsley, dill and coriander (god I HATE that stuff, it’s now official… more on that later) going for a dollar a bunch. Get one of each. Oh, and I was running low on green tea… well, you get the idea. It didn’t take long before my hands couldn’t handle it anymore and I had to get a cart after all.

So tonight, I tried those noodles for the first time. I liked! I decided to try them in the easiest possible way, in a soup. All I did is cook them quickly in some boiling water, transferred them to a bowl, then added 4 shrimps to the boiling water, left them in for about 30 seconds then transferred them to the bowl with the noodles. I discarded that water and started boiling a fresh pot.

While that was happening, I  added 4 raw scallops, sliced in half, to the noodles and shrimp. Then, in went a handful of bean sprouts, 3 chopped asparagus, 4 of the super cute baby bok choys cut in half, one green onion, sliced, a handful cilantro (big mistake) oh, and a thai pepper, thinly sliced. Wow those are tiny, but potent little things! When the water started boiling, I diluted a tablespoon of miso, mixed it in and then poured this in the bowl over all the yummy ingredients that had been patiently waiting. I added a few drops of sesame oil and that was it, soup was ready to be enjoyed.

Looks good, doesn’t it? Well, it was… sort of. I just wish I hadn’t decided to fight with my brains over that stupid cilantro issue. I’ve never liked cilantro but recently go it in my mind that I would try to like it, that I would make every honest effort to let that herb grow on me. So every time I went grocery shopping, I grabbed one leaf from a bunch and ate it. While I never was able to say it was good, I THOUGHT that I didn’t hate it as much as I used to and was ready to enjoy it in a dish. Boy was I wrong! I hate the stuff so much, it almost makes me gag. Literally. Need I say it nearly ruined my beautiful soup for me? I ended up having to chuck a good part of it. So that’s it. Never again. Cilantro and I are officially through.

Anyone need a bunch? I’ll mail for free! ;o)