Friday, October 17, 2008

What's cooking in my kitchen

With Fall in full swing, I have been digging through some of my long forgotten recipes to come up with a new repertoire that matches the cooler weather. Looking back on all these recipes, I realized that when we were vegetarian, we ate much more exciting food. Or maybe that was before my kids had such strong opinions. Either way, I thought I would share a few of my favorites with you... hope you like them.

Tuscan Chickpea Soup (main dish)
adapted from Cooking Light Magazine
Serves 6

2 Tbl. olive oil
2 c. finely chopped onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
4 c. water
1/4 tsp. dried rosemary
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
3 cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (do NOT drain)
2 Tbl. balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water, rosemary, salt, pepper, chickpeas, and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for approx. 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is well blended and mostly smooth. If you do not have an immersion blender, you can stick 2 cups of the soup at a time into your blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in the vinegar, and bring soup back to a boil. Remove from heat and serve with a bit of Parmesan grated on top of each serving.

Couscous with Tomato-Mushroom Sauce (main dish)
Serves 4
(Sophie LOVES this!)

2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. sliced onion
3 c. thin sliced white mushrooms
2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. sugar
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 1/4c. water
1 c. whole wheat couscous
1 tsp. butter
Parmesan Cheese

Heat oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onions, saute about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, saute about 3 minutes more (until mushrooms are tender). Stir in basil, oregano, garlic, sugar, and tomatoes. Cook about 5-6 minutes until the sauce begins to reduce a little bit. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, while the sauce is cooking, boil water and butter in a medium saucepan. As soon as water begins to boil, add couscous and put a tight fitting lid on the saucepan. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

Serve sauce over couscous with a bit of Parmesan grated on top.

Mandarin and Romain Salad
serves 6
This salad goes really well with both of the above dishes.

3 Tbl. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinager
1 tsp. honey
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
1 head Romain lettuce
1 small can mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
3 super thin slices of red onion, rings separated and cut in half.
1/8 c. slivered roasted almonds
6 Tbl. crumbled feta cheese

Combine lemon juice, olive oil, vinager, honey, garlic in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Rinse and dry thoroughly the Romain leaves, and tear into bite size pieces. Place in a large bowl with the mandarin sections, onion, and almonds, and drizzle with olive oil dressing. Plate and serve immediately, sprinkling 1 Tbl. feta on each serving of salad.

I need to make a confession. Although I do on occasion enjoy making my own dressing, for everyday dinners, I really like to use Paul Newman's Balsamic Vinagrette as my salad dressing. It is SO good. So if you don't want to make your own dressing, just drizzle some of his stuff on your salad. Enjoy!


Leslie said...

that couscous dish sounds really yummy, thanks, ginger!

Bethany said...

Yea! They look great and I will definitely be trying them! Thanks!

Laura said...

Mmm . . . Thanks for sharing! I'm not hungry at all right now, but these sure look good, especially the chickpea soup. We have a recipe for a Tunisian chickpea soup that we love in the fall and winter. I can see I'm going to have to restock my garbanzos!

Natalie said...

Thanks for sharing these. I am always looking for new recipes. I can't wait to try them.