Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

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Tri color Quinoa by Bob’s Red Mill had this delightful salad recipe on the back of their package.  It sounded interesting enough to try.  I am finding quinoa to be something that I need to acquire a taste for.  I am not there yet, but this did have some good flavors that made it interesting.  The dressing has an Asian taste to it.  I substituted honey for sugar and increased the honey a little to give the  dressing more sweetness.  Here is my adaptation:

Vegetable Bounty Quinoa Salad

adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Tri-Color Quinoa Package

Serves 6

Dressing:

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper

Salad:

  • 2 – 3 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 (14 oz) can white beans (or kidney beans etc)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups diced seeded cucumber
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and cool.

Prepare the dressing, coming the dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Adjust the honey to your personal preference.

Combine the salad ingredients and pour the dressing over the salad.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

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Kale Chips

IMG_7009I am sorry, it is a green leafy vegetable and I want nothing of it… right? That is what you are thinking!  That is what I thought, but I had so many of my foodie friends making them and raving about them so I had to see what it was all about!  Guess what?  They are good! No, I should say addictive!  I have to play keep-away from my 10 year old son!  He may love them even more than I do!  I baked them in batches, and before the next batch was done, the previous ones were gone!  I may need a 12 step program for these.  I over salted the very first batch, but they were still good, less salt on  the second batch I made and they were better.  The third and fourth batches I added a quality balsamic vinegar before baking them.  They were not bad, but I think the pure salt method is the way to go.  The ingredient list is overwhelming – oh wait 3 ingredients.  I think even my husband can handle that!

I did find this recipe from Pinterest which led me to a site that had a wonderful step by step description (link).

Kale Chips

Adapted from http://www.kitchentreaty.com/how-to-make-kale-chips/

They are all the rage!

Serves 1 if you are home alone.. otherwise share with up to 3 other people.

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ground sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Wash the bunch of kale and then take scissors or a knife and cut the stem going up into the leaf out (almost the full length of the leaf).  Tear the kale leaves into 2 inch pieces.  Dry completely between paper towels, toss and dry again.. you want them as dry as possible.

Place the kale leaf pieces in a large salad bowl and pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and toss them with your hands to get as many of the leaves as possible coated with some of the olive oil.  Place about 1/4 of the leaves (as many as will fit comfortably on  a silicone lined cookie sheet as possible, without overcrowding them)  Grind sea salt over the leaves.

Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 12 minutes.  Depending on the type of kale you used it may take more or less time.  Mine was the curly kale and took a little over 12 minutes to crisp up and wilt some. Remove from the baking sheet and place on a pretty plate.. they will look pretty there for about 30 seconds before the vultures descend upon  the kale chips and make them vanish.

Notes: Kale will end up on my grocery list a lot more in the future because of this preparation.  What a great alternative to eating salty potato chips.  It satisfies the salty craving and is better for you too!  Will I be making these treasures again? Yes I think so, but now I am going to floss and brush my teeth because I have an appliance repair guy coming to fix my dryer!

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Tomato-Cheese Ravioli Soup

This comforting soup is from a Cooking Light Cookbook that I own. It is the 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook (1999) by Cooking Light. I love the simplicity of the recipes in the book.  I whipped this up for lunch for my husband and I.  I changed it up a little, adding yellow squash and a little Parmesan Cheese to serve;  I also nearly doubled the recipe because I like left overs and the kids thought they wanted to have some- then they changed their mind and I had extra extra.  It is an easy recipe to make however and best of all ready in a snap!

Tomato-Cheese Ravioli Soup

Serves 6

adapted from Cooking Light 5 Ingredient 15 Minute Cookbook pg 81

Ingredients:

  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 large package refrigerated Buitoni 5 cheese ravioli (family size)
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Combine the stewed tomatoes, chicken broth, basil and oregano.  Bring to a boil and cover, reducing the heat.  Simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add your ravioli, zucchini, yellow squash, and ground pepper.  Bring to a boil again.  Reduce the heat again and cover to simmer for about 8 minutes.  Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and a grind of freshly ground pepper.

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Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

Zucchini and Carrot Ribbons

I was looking through a recent Cuisine at Home and came across this beautiful display. Ribbons of Zucchini and Carrots.  They called it Vegetable Melange.  Sounds fancy.  One hazard of making this is that you almost slice your fingers with the vegetable peeler. Use a mandolin if you have one.

Vegetable Melange

Makes 2 servings but can easily be doubled or tripled

Total prep time 20 minutes.

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter (I used salted)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh parsley (optional)
  • salt to taste
  1. Shave carrots and zucchini into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
  2. Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add vegetable ribbons, cover with a tight fitting lid, and cook until vegetables are tender, 2-3 minutes.
  3. Off heat, add parsley and salt

Source: Cuisine at Home’s Cuisine for Two page 11 Copyright 2010 August Home Publishing

Cuisine at Home

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Festive Tossed Salad

Here is a salad I had at a friend’s house and just HAD to have a copy of the recipe! It has a strong dressing, but is quite delightful! I have to say though, it can upstage your main course — so if you are not eating it as a main meal – which you could, serve it with something like Spaghetti and Meatballs – not your elaborate meal. It is really good. I have an immersion blender which makes the dressing a snap to make – a regular blender would do the job too though! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

The combination of spiced nuts, feta cheese, Craisins and the dressing is really outstanding! The kids may not care for the dressing though — serve it on the side – it is a good idea anyway that way you don’t overpower the lettuce greens… Start with a couple of teaspoons of dressing and toss and see where it takes you.. you can always add more, but not take it away!


Trisha’s Festive Tossed Salad

Serves 4 Main Dish Portions or 6 Side Salads

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pecans — coarsely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 12 cups Mixed Baby Salad Greens — torn
  • 3/4 cup Craisins
  • 4 ounces Cheese, Feta — crumbled
  • 1/4 cup Vinegar, Red Wine — Dressing ingredient
  • 1/4 cup Oil, Vegetable — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/2 cup Parsley, Fresh — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/4 cup Onion, Red — chopped Dressing Ingredient
  • 2 cloves Garlic cloves — Dressing ingredient
  • 1/2 tsp Oregano, Dried — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/8 tsp Salt — Dressing Ingredient
  • 1/8 tsp Pepper — Dressing Ingredient

Instructions

In a skillet, cook and stir pecans in butter until toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sugar, pepper and salt. In a salad bowl, toss the greens, cranberries, cheese and walnuts.

Place the dressing ingredients together in a blender; cover and process until smooth. Drizzle desired amount of dressing over salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

(Word to the wise, the dressing is quite potent so use with caution.) This salad was renamed “killer salad” by my family. I always have requests for it when I bring it to potlucks or have company over.

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