Saturday, October 31, 2009

Beef, Bean, Garlic, and Basil Stew

I did not make this one up. It was adapted from a recipe I was given years ago. SO flavorful!

4 cans cooked beans (white works well!)
6 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 lbs boneless chuck roast, cut into 2" cubes
2 T flour
1 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained, chopped, juices reserved
1 14 1/2 oz can whole tomatoes, drained, chopped, juices reserved
1 c beef stock or canned broth
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
18 large fresh basil leaves
4 large garlic cloves
1 T mince fresh thyme, or 1 t dried
1 lb young green beans

bread crumbs
8 large fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1 T unsalted butter cut into pieces

For beef: Heat 2 T oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and chopped garlic and saute until transparent, about 10 minutes. Toss beef in flour. Add to onion mixture and cook until no longer pink about 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, stock, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 1/2 hrs.

Puree 18 basil leavs, 4 garlic cloves and remaining 4 T olive oil in a blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix beans, basil puree and thyme into beef.

Cook green beans in boiling water till crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 deg. Mix 3/4 of the green beans into the beef mixture. Transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with bread crumb topping and dot with butter. Bake until beef is heated through and topping is golden, about 20 minutes. Garnish with remaining green beans and basil sprigs.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Warm Winter Greens and Squash Harvest Salad

I saw a recipe for spinach and squash salad in Yoga magazine, so I decided to make a new version using what I had on hand. It was delicious, healthy, and very autumn-like! This makes 2 servings. If you want more double the greens and nuts, and bake a bigger squash for the same amount of time.

1 big head of red swiss chard or
a large bag of spinach - I used chard

1 small butternut squash or acorn squash
1/4 c pine nuts (you can substitutes sliced almonds or pumpkin seeds or any other nut you like)

1 T lemon juice
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 t garlic salt or garlic powder

olive oil
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Oil or spray a pan with baking spray and put squash cut side down. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr till tender. Cool, peel, and cut up into bite sized pieces.

Meanwhile heat a pan and toast pine nuts or other nuts till lightly browned. Watch carefully - they go fast. Set aside.

Prepare the chard if you are using it - strip of thick stems, chop leaves into large chunks and rinse, then let sit out on a towel to air dry.

Right before you are ready to serve, heat 3 T olive oil in the bottom of a large pan on medium high. Add greens, garlic powder or garlic salt, and cook till wilted and tender. Splash balsamic vinegar over the top.

Put green on a plate. Top with some baked squash. Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or other nuts. Splash with lemon juice and drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste.

Next time I'm going to sprinkle some crumbled feat cheese on this too. It was REALLY yummy!!! I served mine with white fish cooked simply in olive oil and sprinkled with soy sauce and lemon juice in a pan on the stove top.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ravioli in Browned Butter with Portobello and Spinach

This recipe is for two people - it can be easily multiplied.

8 large cheese ravioli (I like Costco's 4 cheese, found in the freezer section)
1 large or 2 medium portobello mushrooms, with stems and black stuff removed, and then chopped
4 T butter
1 T lemon juice
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 medium bag of spinach or 4 large handfuls, or 2 bunches washed, drained (basically enough to wilt for 2 people)
salt, pepper, garlic powder

Cook ravioli according to package directions. Remove and drain carefully. Heat 3 T butter in a skillet and when bubbly, put ravioli in there and brown them on each side, about 3-4 minutes till they get just a little crusty. Pour 1 T balsalmic over and let bubble a minute, then remove to plates.

Add remaining 1 T butter to skillet and stir fry portobellos, add a shake of garlic powder, salt, pepper, and the lemon juice when the mushrooms are near tender. Divide mushrooms over ravioli.

In hot skillet add spinach. If necessary add a tiny bit of olive oil or butter but there should be enough left so you don't have to. Toss around till wilted and then put on top of ravioli and mushrooms. Eat immediately. YUM. This is a great vegetarian meal.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

White Bean, Potato, Sage, and Rosemary Soup

2 T fresh rosemary, or 3 t dried
2 T dried sage
1 T dried coriander
1/2 t ground cloves
2 bay leaves

olive oil
salt & pepper
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
2 large white potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 head of garlic with all the cloves peeled

2 14-1/2oz cans any cooked white bean (white navy, butter beans,...)
5 14 1/2 oz cans chicken broth or veggie broth

Toss potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic cloves in olive oil and liberally salt and pepper. Put on a large baking sheet and roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes till soft.

Heat 2T olive oil in large soup pot. Add rosemary, sage, coriander, cloves, and bay leaves and make a paste. Heat spices for 1 minute. Add vegetables, beans, and broth. Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 15-20 minutes.