Sunday, October 31, 2010

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Pesto-Mayo

Even though it's Halloween, it was still warm enough to go outside and grill! Connie and I made DELICIOUS grilled veggie sandwiches. Like, better than any other grilled sandwich I've ever had, and I've had a lot seeing as it's generally one of the few options at restaurants.

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches with Pesto-Mayo

Veggies of choice (zucchini, mushrooms, green bell pepper, onion, grape tomatoes)
Olive oil
2 T. mayonnaise
1 T. pesto
3 sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 T. crumbled feta
2 T. butter
olive oil
Italian bread

1. Set up grill: put coals into charcoal chimney, light with cardboard underneath, and let burn until coals at top turn gray on top (15 mins). Then, pour coals evenly in bottom of grill, spreading out with a stick if they pile. Wait until all charcoals have stopped flaming entirely.
2. Slice zucchini, green bell pepper, and onion in to lengths. Quarter mushrooms, and quarter tomatoes.
3. Make a boat with tin foil. Put on grill, place butter, onions, and mushrooms in.
4. Lay on grill over coals the sliced zucchini and bell peppers. Brush with olive oil. Slice bread into sandwich-sized pieces, and brush with olive oil on cut side.
5. After letting the zucchini and other veggies grill for 7 mins or so, flip peppers and zucchini. Give the mushrooms and onion a stir, and place bread cut side down on grill. Grill all for another 7 mins.
6. Combine mayo, pesto, feta, and sun-dried tomatoes.
7. Take veggies off grill (we left our veggies all on the grill, and put them in the tin foil so they would stay warm for round 2 of sandwiches). Assemble sandwiches, spreading with mayo-mix, and layering with zucchini, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Spanish Migas with Acorn Squash and Potato

I've always lamented the fact that there were so many recipes out there that call for chorizo, yet, being vegetarian, that cut me off from a whole world of taste. A couple weeks ago, in the dreaded Wal-mart, of all places, I saw soyrizo! the vegetarian version of chorizo. I grabbed it without thinking, no particular recipe in mind. Then, again, luck struck! I bought a couple acorn squashes at the farmers market, with plans to make the cover recipe for last issue of Vegetarian Times, but that recipe did not entice me as much the cover picture. Third stroke of luck: I stumbled upon a chorizo recipe using acorn squash, and I realized the stars had aligned. It was finally time for me to make a soyrizo recipe. Here it is:

Spanish Migas with Acorn Squash and Potato
Adapted from Chef Wanabe

1/4 loaf day-old bread
1 length of soyrizo
1 potato
2 eggs
1 large clove garlic
olive oil
red pepper flakes

1. Heat oven to 400 F. While heating, slice acorn squash into inch-thick horizontal slices. Scoop out the seeds. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Combine about 2 T olive oil with a sprinkle each of rosemary, red pepper flakes, salt, fresh ground pepper, and brush over slices. Slice a clove of garlic length-wise into as many sections as you have slices of acorn squash. Place in the middle of each piece. Then, place tray into oven and bake for 25 mins.
2. While acorn squash is cooking, dice bread into small cubes, sprinkle with salt, paprika, and a little water. Stir, and set aside.
3. Dice potato in to the same size chunks as the bread. Microwave chunks for 1:50 mins. Set aside.
4. Take out frozen or defrosted soyrizo, place with another T of olive oil into frying pan. Let cook, occasionally chopping with pancake turner until it is mostly browned.
5. When the acorn squash is finished cooking, take out of oven, and add bread to frying pan and stir. Drizzle another T. of olive oil on top of bread/soyrizo mix.
6. Occasionally stirring the frying pan mix, peel the acorn squash, and then dice into the same size cubes as the bread and potato. Also mince the garlic that was roasting with the acorn squash. Add squash and garlic to the pan mixture. Cook all together for about 5 mins. Then take off heat.
7. In a separate frying pan, fry an egg until well done. Put as much of the soyrizo mix into a bowl, top with fried egg, and enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Butternut squash pie

So for a dinner with a made a butternut squash pie to bring for desert. This is a traditional pumpkin-pie recipe, substituting squash puree for pumpkin puree. These recipes cover the blogs during Thanksgiving time, as a healthier substitute to the traditional pumpkin pie (usually using less butter, sugar, etc). I'm just starting the movement early with the last of my Columbia, MO farmer's market mega-squash.

Butternut Squash Pie
adapted from Cooking for Seven

1 cup packet brown sugar
1 to 1 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash puree, with a little whipping cream
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
3 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Dash salt
1 unbaked pastry shell
Optional: whipped cream to garnish

1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine sugar, puree, whipping cream, eggs, flour, and spices (+salt) into a large mixing bowl, and mix for 2 minutes on medium-high speed with electric mixer.
3. Pour mixture into pie pan. Set into oven, and bake for 45 minutes.
4. Let cool fully before serving. Top slices with whipped cream

Monday, October 11, 2010

Chinese Green Beans

This is another classic recipe my mom got me into, and it's a quick, simple, and delicious side, in which everything can be substituted out basically. Love those versatile recipes!

Chinese Green Beans
adapted from Barn Appétit

1 medium white onion
3/4 lb. fresh green beans
2 large jalapeños or 4 small ones
2 T soy sauce
1 T white vinegar
2 t sugar
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 t garlic powder
2 T oil (vegetable, olive, canola, or sesame would all work)

1. Place pan on stove on medium-high heat.
2. Prepare green beans by washing, and cutting of ends.
3. Dice, or cut into strips, the onion
4. Mince the jalapeños, and combine with onion.
5. By now the pan should be hot enough, so put the 2 T. oil in, and the green beans. Be careful! the oil is hot and will jump out at you. I suggest using a long spatula to turn. At this point, turn every 30 sec. or more. Cook like this for 4 mins. You want them to turn black. (Also, turn on stove fan to suck away the smoke. There will be some)
6. While keeping on the green beans, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder. Stir or whisk until fully combined.
7. After the green beans have been cooking for 4 minutes, add the onion and jalapeño mix. Cook for another 4 minutes total, stirring constantly (every 30 secs turning, minimum).
8. After 4 minutes have past, add the sauce mix and take pan off heat. Serve!

(Note: You can replace powder garlic with 3 fresh garlic cloves. If you do this, keep garlic separate, and add in the last minute of cooking)

Ground cherry tart

So, when my parents came up for visit day, I strategically brought them to the Kirksville farmers market on Saturday. While there, one of the farmers let us try ground cherries, something I'd never heard of before. I really enjoyed them! They're like baby tomatillos, and , like tomatillos, they come in nature's gift wrap, because they're a present. : ) So I decided to make a ground cherry tart. I substituted Grand-brand biscuits for puff pastry (you can always use store-bought or homemade puff pastry in this recipe!). But, if you decide to go with store-bought biscuits, I insist you buy Grand. With many things, generic brands are fine. But with canned biscuits? I have learned it's simply not worth it to save that extra dollar.

Ground cherry and pesto tart

1 pint ground cherries
1 can Grand-brand flakey buttermilk biscuits
6 T. pesto
1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

1. Set oven to 350 degrees.
2. Peel and soak all the ground cherries. Then drain. Do this 2 times. Then, cut all in half.
3. Take out all 8 biscuits, cut each in half, and layer them in a sort of criss-crossing grid pattern, so no gaps. Then, squish them all together, creating a crust on the edges, and pushing the dough outwards from the middle.
4. Spread pesto onto pastry layer.
5. Put all halved ground cherries on top, and spread evenly. Sprinkle with the pepper.
6. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Butternut squash with sauteed onion

This is a classic recipe my mom taught me. It's absolutely delicious, simple, and uses the best ingredients: fresh ones.

I made this for TWiCS (Truman Women in Computer Science) club pot luck, and it got good reviews.

Butternut squash with sauteed onion
1 medium-sized butternut squash
1 small-medium white onion
1/2 t salt
1/2 t freshly ground pepper
2 T butter, divided

1. If you have a steamer, place 2 inches of water in the bottom and set to high heat. If you don't have a steamer, you can make a make-shift one by placing a colander into a large pot, so that the colander is 2 inches or more off the bottom of the pan. In this case, place 2 inches of water into bottom of pan, and set on high heat. (Note: make sure you have a lid or lid-substitute, like a plate, for the pan)
2. Peel and dice (into large, even chunks) the butternut squash.
3. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium heat, place butternut squash into steamer or colander, place lid over, and steam. (10 minutes for steamer, 15 for make-shift steamer)
4. While squash is steaming, place 1 T of the butter in a skillet, and set to medium heat.
5. Peel and dice onion.
6. Place onion into skillet, add salt, and saute for remaining time that squash needs to steam (or more if you desire carmalized onions)
7. Place squash into a large bowl, and mash. Then, place onions, pepper, and last 1 T of butter into bowl, and stir together until butter is melted and pepper is evenly distributed.

Optional: you can add spices to this. For example, for a sweet potato casserole subsitute, you can leave out the pepper and onion, put half as much salt in, and add sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Or, you can add savory spices like fresh, dried, or fried basil and/or sage. You could also give it an Indian food feel by adding curry powder and caraway seeds. The options are endless! This is just the basic, stand-alone recipe that I have come to know and love.