Friday, December 27, 2013

Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

1 lb. bag lentils, picked through and rinsed
1 TB coconut oil
1 can of  white beans, rinsed
1 onion, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 roasted red pepper (I used Trader Joe's in a jar, but any pre-roasted will work)
2 tsp. garam masala (recipe to follow)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
7 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk (full fat)
3-4 chicken breasts (I used thin cut breasts, and cooked them separately)

1). Heat oil & sautee onions until soft.
2). Add roasted peppers and spices.  Sautee for1-2 more minutes.
3). Add the broth and coconut milk and simmer until lentils are tender.  Add can of white beans once the lentils are tender to heat through. 
4). Once soup is done cooling, puree until desired consistency.
5). Add cooked chopped chicken.

Optional Steps:
1). Add 1 small can of tomato paste
2). Fresh ginger is always good, but don't add more than 1 TB fresh grated. 

Homemade Garam Masala
1 TB ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves (I leave this out because I hate cloves)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Creamy Caprese Quinoa Bake

2 cups quinoa cooked in broth
1 cup of your favorite pasta sauce (I used meat sauce)
1 cup spaghetti squash, cooked
2 TB tomato paste
1/3 cup cream (I used half and half, but whole milk works too)
1 cup mozzarella, divided
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
6-12 basil leaves, ribboned
2 Italian sausages cooked, chopped (I used organic Italian chicken sausage)
1/4 tsp red pepper flake (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

Heat tomato sauce and tomato paste over low heat in a large saucepan. Once warm, stir in heavy cream, parmesan, crushed red pepper and pepper. Remove from the heat and stir in the quinoa, spaghetti squash and cooked sausage pieces. Fold in half of the mozzarella and half of the tomatoes, then chop 6 fresh basil leaves and add them in too. Once combined, spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with non-stick spray and pour the entire quinoa mixture into the dish. Top with fresh mozzarella rounds or shredded mozzarella and the remaining tomatoes.
Bake for 15-30 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is golden and bubbly.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Carol's Fabulous Lasagna

In order to make this fabulous dish, you'll need to make Carol's Meatball Recipe and Carol's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe.

Assemble all ingredients and prepare them appropriately:

1). 1 - 32oz container of ricotta cheese mixed with 3 eggs
2). Meatballs smashed by hand (see recipe above)
3). Spaghetti Sauce (see recipe above)
4). Parmesan Cheese(green can is fine, fresh grated is better)
5). Mozzarella Cheese - 1 1/2lbs to 2lbs
6). Par boiled lasagna noodles (1 lb), boiled for 7 minutes - toss with sauce so they don't stick
7). 9x13 glass baking dish

Assemble lasagna as follows:

Layer some sauce at the bottom of the 9x13 pan.
Lay down lasagna noodle in a single layer - don't overlap.
Cover the noodles with some sauce.
Spoon some ricotta cheese mixture onto the sauce (this is where it gets messy)
Add some smashed meatball pieces in an even layer.
Sprinkle with a small amount of Parmesan Cheese.
Throw some mozzarella cheese in an even layer.
Add more noodles, sauce, ricotta cheese, meatballs, parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.  You should continue this for at least 3 layers.  Depending on the thickness of the ingredients you use you may be able to get 4 layers in the pan.  Finish with noodles, sauce, ricotta and mozzarella.  Once assembled cover it with aluminum foil and let it sit on the counter for at least an hour before baking.  Bake at 350 for 45 mins to 1 hour.  Be sure to remove the aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.  The cheese should be golden brown - if not, turn on the broiler for a few minutes.  Do not leave the lasagna at this point because it can burn easily.  Let it sit for at least 15 mins. before serving. 

Carol's Spaghetti and Meatballs

Carol's Meatball Recipe
2lbs ground beef (grass fed, organic)
2lbs italian sausage
3 eggs (cage free, organic)
1 1/2 cups sourdough squares (diced small - 1/2 inch)
2 tsp salt
3 tsp oregano
3 TB dried parsley
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2-3/4 cup milk

 Mix all ingredients together until mixed well, but try not to over mix if possible.  Make into meatball size, place on a aluminum foil lined cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes or until cooked through.  Add to sauce.

Carol's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe
1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
1lb mushrooms, thick sliced (optional)
1 large onion, grated or finely chopped
8 large cloves garlic, sliced (not minced)
2 large cans whole tomatoes, crushed by hand
2 large cans tomato sauce
4 small or 2 medium cans tomato paste
30 oz of water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 TB sugar (optional)
1-1 1/2 tsp baking soda
red pepper flake to taste (optional if you want it to have a kick)

Heat oil and sautee mushrooms, onions and garlic until soft.  Add all other ingredients to pot except sugar and baking soda.  Stir. Wait until it gets hot and turn the pot to low heat so it doesn't burn.  Make sure to add the meatballs from the recipe above, and/or add whole italian sausage.  Simmer on low for at least 2 hours - you can simmer it for up to 6-8 hours if you'd like, the sauce will only get better.  Make sure to cool it down before placing it in the refrigerator.  The sauce will be better the second day.  Keep for up to a week in a very cold refrigerator.   Freezing also works well.  Serve over your choice of pasta.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cauliflower Garlic Soup

Cauliflower Garlic Soup

1 head of cauliflower cut up into pieces
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 onion, diced
 4 cups of broth
(That's the base recipe - I added 1.5 small potatoes to enhance mouth feel)

Saute onion in 1 TBSP olive oil over med heat about five min; add garlic and saute a couple min more. Add cauliflower (potatoes if using) and broth. Bring to low boil, cover and cook til tender about 10-15 min. Blend with hand blender, food processor or blender til smooth. Leave it a little chunky if you prefer. If you do dairy, add milk if you'd like it thinner. I found my broth salty enough that I didn't add any salt. Added a bit of pepper, red pepper flakes and parsley. You can add parm cheese on top or in it if you prefer. 

Cauliflower (large head) 210 Cal.  1g fat  21g fiber

Onion 60 cal.  0 fat  3 fiber

Garlic 13 cal.  0 fat  0 fiber

Potato (med) 160 cal.  0 fat  4 fiber
1 TB olive oil

563 cal. 13g fat  28 fiber

Makes approximately 7/8 cups

1/2 of the recipe = 5 points  (about 1-2pt. per cup)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Creamy Pesto Dressing

Copycat of Spaghetti Factory's Creamy Pesto Dressing - 2 versions

Regular Version:
1 1/2 cups Mayo
2 cups 1% buttermilk
4 TB Parmesan Cheese
4 TB dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt

2480 calories
251 grams of fat

Recipe makes 4 cups, or 64 tablespoons = 39 calories, 4 grams of fat per TB

Lower Fat Version:
3/4 cups Mayo
2 cups 1% buttermilk
3/4 cups 4% cottage cheese (Daisy)
4 TB Parmesan Cheese
4 TB dried basil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. salt

1565 calories
138.5 grams of fat

Recipe makes 4 cups, or 64 tablespoons = 24.5 calories, 2.16 grams of fat per TB

Throw everything into a blender a puree until smooth.  The lower fat version will take a little longer.