Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Argentine Rice-Veggie Salad

This is a simple, healthy recipe that can be prepared in about 20 minutes.  I found this recipe in, of course, one of my cooking magazines - this time - Everyday with Rachel Ray.  The best part of this recipe is that you can really dress up the salad with any types of spices you may have on hand.  Try some flavored oils, leftover herbs, and clean out your vegetable drawer.  The salad tastes even better the next day and can be served warm or cold.  I prefer it cold and have been munching on it all day.  I keep heading back to the fridge to refill my bowl.  

Note:  You may be tempted to cook all of the veggies together in boiling water, but be careful as they all have different cooking times.  Also, when I prepared this salad I doubled the recipe so the pictures here reflect that change.  Additionally, I did not have a red onion on hand, so I used a sweet yellow onion.

Argentine Rice-Veggie Salad

1/2 cup white rice
Salt and pepper
1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 ear corn, kernels scraped off
1 cup frozen peas
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, bring the rice, 1 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 17 minutes. Fluff with a fork and let cool.

Meanwhile, fill another saucepan with salted water. Add the carrot, bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, the vinegar and oregano. Season with salt and pepper.

In the same saucepan, blanch the corn in the boiling water for 3 minutes; transfer to the bowl with the carrot. Add the peas to the boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Transfer to the bowl.

Add the rice, cubed celery, chopped celery leaves and onion to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mushroom Goulash with Pierogi

If you know me, you know I looooove mushrooms.  I tear out almost every recipe that calls for mushrooms.  This recipe requires 1 pound of mushrooms so I knew I'd love it.  I got this recipe from Everyday with Rachel Ray.  Next time, I'd use a tad less Worcestershire sauce.  You could also use wide egg noodles instead of Pierogi, and add a little sour cream for a vegetarian mushroom Stroganoff!

Mushroom Goulash with Pierogi

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika (about 2 palmfuls)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
A few dashes hot pepper sauce
2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound frozen potato pierogi
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
Sour cream, for serving 

In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, paprika, marjoram and coriander to the pan; season with salt and pepper. 

Cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the cooked mushrooms, the Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and hot sauce for 1 minute. Add the vegetable stock and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pierogi and boil until they float, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain.
Heat another large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to melt, then add the pierogi and cook until lightly browned. Stir in the chives and dill; season with salt and pepper. 

Serve the goulash and pierogi in shallow bowls with a dollop of sour cream.

Pam's Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots

This recipe is taken directly from Pam's For the Love of Cooking blog!  I am a huge fan of her recipes - they are healthy, simple, and full of flavor.  If you haven't check out her blog - there's literally nothing she hasn't made!

Green Beans with Mushrooms and Shallots

Fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 tsp olive oil
Button mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced into thin rings
2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Add the green beans to a pot of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water or an ice bath to stop the cooking and to retain the bright green color. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and let them cook (without stirring) for 3-4 minutes; stir and add the shallots to the skillet. 

Cook the shallots and mushrooms for 2 minutes before adding the minced garlic and green beans. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until the green beans are nice and hot. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Red Potato Salad

I went to a Father's Day dinner at my boyfriend's parent's house.  I offered to bring two side dishes.  I wanted something fresh but hearty.  I found a pretty healthy Paula Deen recipe that had recieved some rave reviews.  I absolutely loved this salad and it was a hit with everyone. 

Red Potato Salad

12 cups cubed red potatoes
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Fresh Dill

Cook potatoes, covered in boiling water, 10 minutes, or until tender; drain well and cool.

In a large bowl, combine potatoes, bell pepper and onion.   

In a small bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients.  Pour over potato mixture, tossing gently to coat.   

 Sprinkle with dill and green onions, cover and refrigerate. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cooked Salsa

This recipe comes from a friend I saw prepare this salsa a few years ago.  I've been making it like this since, minus the extra jalapenos - I can't eat anything too spicy.  Be careful because the longer the salsa sits, the spicier it gets.  By tomorrow my salsa is sure to be way spicier than it tasted today.  I'm pretty darn Caucasian, so my taste buds are a little sensitive.

Serve and eat with Blue Organic Corn Chips as they contain more protein than their yellow or white corn counterparts. In addition, blue corn tortillas have a lower starch content and lower glycemic index (GI) than regular corn tortillas.

I've also served this salsa over a plain grilled chicken breast for a healthy yet flavorful main dish.

Cooked Salsa

4 large tomatoes
1 jalapeno
3/4 bunch of cilantro
1 bunch green onions
1-2 tablespoons lime juice
Dash salt

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Drop in 4 tomatoes and 1 jalapeno.  In the picture below, I cooked two jalapenos because I wasn't sure how spicy I wanted the salsa.  In the end I only used one.

Once the skin on the tomato begins to peel off, remove the tomatoes from the water and cut out the hard stem area.  Next, cut the stem off of the jalapeno and add it to the food processor (or blender) with the tomatoes.  If you cannot fit everything into the food processor, puree the ingredients in batches.  Add the cilantro, green onions, salt and lime juice to the food processor as well.  Puree well.

Pour salsa into a bowl and serve warm!  This salsa is truly best when warm, but make sure you refrigerate the leftovers - it's still delicious cold.