Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Spaghetti Squash with Basil & Pine Nuts

As the holidays approach, with the seemingly inevitable threat to my waistline (even without the turkey!), my mind is focused on light and tasty vegetable dishes! This spaghetti squash recipe was inspired by a recipe from the November issue of Food & Wine , Spaghetti Squash Salad with Pine Nuts & Tarragon.

Spaghetti squash is a pretty cool vegetable. You bake it in the oven, then remove the flesh with a fork, and the spaghetti strands hold up well as a pasta substitute. I loved the fact that the squash was baked facedown with a mixture of white wine and water! It gave the squash a very slight sweetness and depth. I chose to use basil instead of the more astringent tarragon and skipped the thyme and the cheese. I also used a citrus champagne vinegar and ate mine warm!

Spaghetti Squash with Basil & Pine Nuts:
1 spaghetti squash
extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup water
2 TBS chopped fresh basil
1 tsp citrus champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
1/4 tsp lemon zest
squirt of lemon juice to taste (a little more if you are using white wine vinegar)
red chili flakes
1/4 cup pine nuts, pan toasted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and loose fleshy strings. Drizzle the insides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a baking dish with a rim. Mix together the wine wine and water and pour it over the squash. Bake for 50 minutes.

Remove the squash and allow to cool enough that you can work with it (or you can wrap it up and put it in the fridge for a day if you are planning ahead). Use a fork over a large bowl to scrape out the squash in strands. Add the lemon zest and basil, and toss. Combine the vinegar and lemon juice and toss with the spaghetti squash. Add red chili flakes and pan-toasted pine nuts. Adjust seasoning and serve!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Vegan Turkey Cutlets for Thanksgiving

Looking for a delicious and fabulous vegan alternative to Thanksgiving turkey?

I'm repeating my favorite Thanksgiving/Christmas vegan main, Vegan Turkey Cutlets from Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily Cookbook

I loved the taste and texture of these and I'm not really into faux meats. They're made of a combination of tofu and tempeh and they're easy to make!

Vegan Turkey Cutlets (adapted from Real Food Daily Cookbook):

8 oz tempeh
6 oz tofu
4 tbsp miso
1-1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1-1/2 tsp dried sage
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut up the tempeh and tofu and blend in a food processor until crumbly and well mixed. In a small bowl, mix together the miso and mustard. Set aside.

Heat a little olive oil in a skillet and fry the onion until soft (6-8 minutes). Add the sage, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper and stir for 30 seconds. Add the tempeh-tofu mix and the miso-mustard to the pan and saute for 8-10 minutes, until starting to brown. (My mixture was moist, rather like tuna salad, but it did brown). Remove from heat and allow to cool. When the mixture is cool enough to touch, form into 4 patties with your hands. Brush the patties with olive oil and bake from 25-35 minutes until golden brown. (Gentry says the unbaked patties can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days if you want to make these ahead).

See the original post.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Red Lentil Pate with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Olives

Another recipe from Detox by Sara Rose, this red lentil pate with sun-dried tomatoes, olives, garlic, scallions and black pepper packed plenty of healthful flavor. I modified it to include some olive oil and a little red wine as it was too dry for my liking and water wouldn't have given it the right consistency, from my perspective.

Still, a high-protein, low-fat recipe that makes an excellent lentil pate - a nice alternative for hummus lovers like me.

I've never been a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes, but they really worked for me here - not overpowering at all.

A pretty simple and easy vegan recipe, a great pate for crudite, crackers or even as a high-protein sandwich spread. I'm also thinking this might work on pizza with enough olive oil!

Red Lentil Pate with Sun-dried Tomatoes & Olives:
3 scallions, white parts, thinly sliced
1 large clove of garlic, minced (more if you want it garlicy!)
4 kalamata olives, stoned and chopped
2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
water if needed
1 TBS olive oil
1 tsp red wine
black pepper
pine nuts to garnish

Place half the vegetable stock in a sauce pan with the scallions, garlic, olives, and sun dried tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until the scallions are tender. Add the remaining vegetable stock and lentils and cook until lentils are tender (add water as needed to avoid the lentils drying out).

Place in a mini-prep or blender and add olive oil, red wine and black pepper. Puree, adding olive oil or water until you reach your desired consistency.

Serve in a bowl topped with pine nuts and a little olive oil.