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Archive for the ‘meatless main’ Category

 There aren’t many meals that everyone in the family goes crazy for but ravioli is one of them. Last week I shredded a crockpot beef roast and mixed it with ricotta. This week a cheesy version went over just as well.   

When making pasta, I try to work with as dry of a dough as possible if I’m rolling it out by machine. This is just so the machine doesn’t get gummed up. If I’m doing it by hand, a little wetter dough is necessary otherwise I find it impossible to roll out.   

I found I was overfilling my ravioli and it would stretch the dough and sometimes break. Less is more for this job.   

 A fancy mixer attachment is certainly not needed for this job but it sure does look neat!

 
Three Cheese Ravioli

1 1/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t black pepper

2 T fresh chives

2 onions, diced and slowly sautéed (almost caramelized)

1 recipe pasta dough, below

Mix all filling ingredients together well. Fill pasta according to machine instructions or by hand, being careful not to roll the dough to thin. Crimp edges well if doing by hand. 

Cook immediately for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Serve immediately, or pack into your children’s lunch boxes. (They loved it cold!)

Yield: about 120 ravioli (1 1/4 inch)

Pasta Dough

1 cup white bread flour

1 cup whole spelt flour

1 cup whole wheat bread flour 

1 t salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup water

Mix all together, using more water if necessary. Knead well and roll out to the thickness of a dime. Fill immediately if using for ravioli. 

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This idea is not new but is a little different than this casserole. Mostly it’s just simpler and doesn’t require me to remember to thaw some beef.  Today it also happened to use up rice and spaghetti sauce that needed eaten. 

Gotta love an easy lunch that empties the fridge of food threatening to spoil! 

Simple Rice Pizza

3-4 cups leftover rice

1/2 up cottage cheese

2 eggs

1/2 t oregano

Salt/pepper to taste

3/4 cup spaghetti sauce

1/2 cup sautéed onion

1 cup grated melty cheese

Mix rice, cottage cheese, eggs, oregano and seasonings. Press into the bottom of a greased 8″ baking dish. Spread sauce on top and sprinkle with onions and cheese. Bake, covered, at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Uncover last 5 minutes. Serve warm or room temp. 

Serves: 4-6

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I have been meaning to make this for years. I’m now sad it took me so long. What on earth was I waiting for?!  

 This sauce is so simple. And then you just throw some eggs on top and breakfast is ready.

I like the hint of spice in the tomato sauce. Quite warming on a chilly winter morn. 

PS. Spellcheck keeps wanting to change shakshuka to sharks hula. I’m giggling at the thought of sharks wearing leis and dancing about.  

 Shakshuka

1 T olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper 

1/2 t chili powder

1/2 t cumin

Pinch red pepper flakes

Sprinkle of salt

Pinch of sugar or drizzle of honey 

2 t tomato powder (or 1 T tomato paste)

1 pint canned diced tomatoes

4 eggs

Parsley (fresh is best but dried will work mid-winter)

Salt/pepper

Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add bell pepper and sauté a bit more. Throw in spices, sweetener, and tomato products. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. 

At this point I transferred half of the mixture to a smaller skillet because I wanted a personal size serving. I saved the other half of the tomatoes for another day. 

Break eggs into the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer 5-15 minutes, depending on how hard you like your eggs. Check tomato sauce occasionally to make sure it’s not burning. 

Sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper and serve with crusty bread (toasted sandwich bread will do). 

Serves: 2

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I guess I’ve been craving beans? Weird.  

 These are the simplest and most flavorful beans I’ve ever made. It was a quick lunch for Bennet and I. I’m not sure he enjoyed them but he did eat his bowlful without complaint before digging into his sugar cookie. 

I particularly loved the oregano. I never would have thought to use it, opting typically to go with cumin in such places.

They might look boring in the bowl but your tastebuds might be surprised by everything going on. Give them a try…if you don’t like them just turn them into soup!

 Cuban Black Beans

Adapted from Extending the Table

1/2 cup chopped bell pepper (frozen is fine)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 T lard or bacon fat

4 cups cooked black beans 

1/2 t oregano

1/2 t salt (if beans are unsalted) 

3 T apple cider vinegar 

Heat fat in skillet. Add pepper and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and cook a bit more. Throw in everything else and simmer with the lid closed for about 10-15 minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary to keep them from sticking. Serve immediately with butter bread (or rice, if you are feeling authentic). 

Served: 3-4 for a light lunch. 

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I meant for this to travel with us to the cabin for the next two days but it didn’t make it there. When I plated it for the photo, I had to take a bite. And then I ate the whole pile. 

If it WOULD have made it to Christmas, it would have been the perfect antidote to all that sugar I know I’ll consume. 

  
Kale Salad

Told to me by my mom 

Kale (4 c finely chopped ended up giving me a pint of salad)

Salt

Lemon juice 

Sliced almonds 

Craisins

Raisins

Grated sharp cheddar (or crumbled feta)

Honey

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Black pepper

Remove the stems from the kale as well as the larger veins. Chop it very fine and place in a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt and a sprinkling of lemon juice.  Then comes the fun part. Get your hands in there and smash that kale all up. Really give it a good massage. You want it all to turn wet and dark green. 

Next toast your almonds. Use a skillet on the stove top or a pan in the oven. Whatever floats your boat. Than throw the hot nuts on top of the kale and give it a stir. Add remaining ingredients, but don’t overdue it on the balsamic. It’s a background flavor. And you don’t need much oil. Give it a stir and eat immediately or refrigerate up to a day or two. 

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I thought I didn’t like mashed potato pancakes. Turns out I was doing it wrong. The egg in the batter is important. And by all means, please fry them in lard. Mmmmmm.   

Mashed Potato Pancakes

2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 large egg

Handful of grated cheese

Salt/pepper

Flour (whole wheat, white, or a combo)

Mix everything together, using enough flour to make a thick batter. It will depend how much milk you used in your mashed potatoes. Fry in 1/8-1/4 inch hot lard. Be sure to let them brown well on both sides. Don’t mess with them prematurely or you’ll break the seal of good taste! Serve hot with sour cream or ketchup. 

Yield: about a dozen 3-inch cakes

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At this year’s soirée, my aunt served us the most wonderful soup. It was smooth and warm, flavors perfectly balanced. I don’t think my version beats hers, but this is what I came up with using what I already had on hand.  I really wished for more cilantro but the tiny volunteers in the garden only gave me six little leaves. Parsley had to do. 

 Only one child gagged, so I consider that a win. Baby even begged for more spoonfuls!  

 Winter Squash Soup with Corn Relish

Adapted from here

2 T olive oil

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 t minced cilantro 

4 cups cooked butternut squash 

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

2-3 cups water 

1 1/2 t salt

Pinch red pepper flakes 

Corn relish, below

Heat oil in pot. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and stir and sauté another minute or so. Add remaining ingredients, except for corn relish, and cook until corn is soft. Purée with stick blender until smooth, adding more water if you want a thinner soup. Serve warm with corn relish sprinkled on top.

Serves: 4-6

Corn Relish

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 T minced parsley

1 T lime juice

1 T olive oil 

1/4 t salt

Dash black pepper 

Mix all together and serve with soup. 

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