Garbanzos kon Spinaka

I have a pretty extensive cookbook library and one day I was walking down my hallway in my home where all my books are stored and I saw out of the corner of my eye “The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook” by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Thumbing through the book I came across a recipe with garbanzo beans and spinach. These two foods are my favorite things to cook and eat. I thought how perfect for a vegan or vegetarian meal with a salad and some homemade bread. The house was filled with this amazing smell of aroma of beans and onions simmering on the stove. The broth the garbanzo beans and onions made was just simply scrumptious. I plan to make some type of soup creating a broth from the beans and onions. The simplicity of the ingredients creates such an amazing dish. Absolutely loved it and I think it will be one of my dishes I make all the time.

Garbanzos kon Spinaka, created on 9/13/2012

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1 large onion sliced thin
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (you can omit the oil if you don’t cook with oil – just use water)
1-1/2 cups of garbanzo beans soaked overnight
1 pound of fresh spinach
½ cup of minced dill
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked pepper

Sauté the onion slices in olive oil over medium-low heat until the onions are soft but not browned – about 15 minutes. Drain the garbanzo beans and add them to the onions, turning them to coat with the olive oil. Cover with 1 cup of water and simmer gently until the garbanzo beans are tender about 40 to 60 minutes. You may have to add boiling water as the water does evaporate with cooking.

Clean the spinach rinsing thoroughly about 4 or 5 times and remove the stems. When the chickpeas are tender, add the spinach (no need to spin it dry) and the dill. Season the dish with salt and pepper and continue cooking for about 10 minutes till the spinach is tender. Add the lemon juice and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. Serve as a side dish or a main meal with a salad and bread. Dip the bread in the broth, it is just delicious.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I think that zucchini is my all time favorite vegetable. I am always trying out new things with zucchini. The market had a huge sale going on for the vegetable so I purchased quite a bit not realizing that I had too much. I had different veggies in the refrigerator so I decided to make a vegetable stuffing and made stuffed zucchini boats. Loved the concept. Loaded with flavor, little bit of prep work but worth it. Enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats
Created on 8/1/12

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10 oz of baby Bella mushrooms, wiped clean and chopped fine
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, chopped fine
1 large bag of baby spinach
6 zucchini, halved and the centers scooped out and chopped fine
1 4 oz of Fontina cheese shredded (Optional)
1/4 cup of mushroom broth
Salt / Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the centers with a spoon. Lay the halves on a cookie tray. Clean and chop fine all the vegetables except for the spinach. Just roughly chop the spinach because the cooking the spinach will wilt it quite a bit.

In a large pan, heat up the mushroom broth over medium high heat and add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and cook for a good 5 minutes until the mushrooms and onions develop a deep brown color. Add the zucchini meat that was scooped out from the centers, coarsely chopped and then add the spinach and saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts and the zucchini is incorporated in the stuffing.

Stuff the halved zucchini with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle with shredded Fontina cheese and bake for about 30 minutes until the boats are semi soft and if you used cheese the cheese has melted and browned on top.

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Toasted Walnut Spinach Baby Peas Ravioli

I do not eat a lot of pasta because it causes my sugar to rise rapidly but every once in a while I do crave Italian food. I decided to become ambitious one day and attempt to make ravioli for the second time in my whole cooking life. I love spinach in anything so I thought I would try to make spinach ravioli with peas and walnuts. I did not want to use a tomato sauce so I blended up some garbanzo beans for the sauce base and the results came out good. I loved it! I planned my food menu very carefully that day because I wanted this. The dish was such a nice change for me. Enjoy!

Toasted Walnut Spinach Baby Peas Ravioli
Created on 1/6/12

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2 cups of baby spinach chopped – equal to roughly 2 handfuls
1 cup of frozen baby peas, thawed
½ cup of toasted walnuts
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic clove minced fine
1 package of wonton wrappers, – I cheated did not make fresh
1 cup of Ricotta cheese, can use tofu – very good as well
½ cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Egg
1 tablespoon of water

In a 350 degree oven, toast ½ cup of walnuts. This takes about 10 minutes depending on your oven. The extra effort to toast the walnuts is worth it. Toasting the walnuts bring out a ton of flavor. Set aside and cool.

In a sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic stirring constantly for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted. Add the thawed peas and sauté until peas are heated.

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Put the sautéed vegetable mixture in a food processor and cool. Add the toasted walnuts, and pulse a few times. You want the filling to be chunky.

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Add the ricotta cheese and Parmesan cheese and mix well. Set aside.

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Crack the egg and mix with the water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Set aside. On a clean board, prepare the Ravioli. This is a lot of work, but so worth it.

Lay one wonton wrapper on board. Add 1-1/2 to 2 teaspoons of filling. Brush the edges with the egg wash. Cover the filling with the 2nd wonton wrapper. Press seams together, and force any air bubbles out of the sealed wrapper so that the ravioli does not break or come apart during the cooking process. Repeat this process until you achieve the number of Raviolis you want.

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Put the raviolis on a cookie tray and cover with towel or a non-stick surface. Put the ravioli in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This helps prevent the raviolis from coming apart and makes it easier to cook.

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In a stock pot of boiling salted water, add the frozen raviolis one at a time. Cook for approximately 5 to 8 minutes just enough to cook the wonton wrappers and the raviolis float to the top of the stockpot.

Transfer the raviolis to a plate and top with your favorite sauce. In this recipe I used a garbanzo bean sauce topped with sautéed tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper.

This is a simple sauce that I use instead of a tomato based sauce. I make it to top over bread or pasta or steamed vegetables. Sometimes, I serve this with sautéed cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. The chunky style kind of reminds me of hummus but without the Tahini sauce and lemon.

Garbanzo Bean Sauce
Created 01/06/12

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 can of organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté all the ingredients over medium high heat until beans are heated through. Put beans in a food processor or blender and pulsate until chunky or smooth. If putting on bread, I tend to keep the beans chunky. If I am putting this sauce over pasta it can be chunky or smooth, depends on the dish. If it is pasta I will probably keep the bean sauce chunky but if it is ravioli the sauce will probably be smoother.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Chicken Pot Pie

Comfort food sounded good on this dreary November day. It was a cold, windy and rainy day and I was in the mood to make something that was stick-to-the-ribs kind of filling. I wanted to try and keep the dish more geared to healthy and I think I succeeded to a degree. There is still some carbs in the crust and I used meat in this Pot Pie because I was craving it after not having meat for a few days. I did a different twist to this Pot Pie – using roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash, baby spinach, chicken and mushrooms and the flavors really came through. Serve this Pot Pie with a nice green salad and you have an awesome meal. Enjoy!

Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Chicken Pot Pie
Created on 11/09/11

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Pot Pie Filling

1 Organic Rotisserie Chicken, meat removed from the bone (use the dark and light meat, no skin) cut in chunks

Half of butternut squash (the bottom part) seeded and chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

10 oz of button and baby Bella Mushrooms (5 oz of each) dirt brushed off and sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

10 oz of organic fresh baby spinach

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of organic chicken broth

1 cup of organic mushroom broth

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/16 cup of flour

1 egg

Salt / Pepper

Pie Crust (this makes 2 pie crusts)

2 cups of flour

½ cup of olive oil

1 teaspoon of salt

3 to 4 tablespoons of ice cold water

2 teaspoons of fresh Rosemary chopped

Prep Roasted Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Single layer chopped butternut squash and sweet potato on a cookie sheet or stone and coat pieces with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. Toss and coat well.  Put in oven and cook for about 20 to 25 minutes until squash and sweet potato is cooked through. Remove from oven and set aside.

Prep the Pie Crust – (while the squash and sweet potatoes are roasting)

In a food processor, add the flour, salt, olive oil and olive oil. Pulsate in food processor until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together looking like a semi ball / crumbs. On a hard surface, dump out the flour mixture and push mixture gently with hands until a large disc forms. Cut disc in 2 and wrap with saran wrap and put in refrigerator for a good hour until pie crust is cold and chilled well.

Make the Pot Pie Filling (while crush is in refrigerator being chilled)

Turn down the oven heat from 400 degrees to 350 degrees. In a large skillet or sauté pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, mushrooms and sauté for a good five minutes. Mushrooms will have a caramelized look. Add the garlic and sauté for a minute more.  

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Add the chicken and sauté for two or three minutes allowing the cooked chicken to heat through. Add the flour to the mixture to create a roux and absorb all the liquid from the onions and mushrooms.

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Add the chicken and mushroom stock and continue to cook until the stock has thickened. Add the baby spinach and sauté for 2 minutes. The heat will wilt the spinach. When done, add the roasted Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash and mix gently with rest of ingredients in the pan.

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 Season the pot pie filling with kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Roll out pie crust and line the pie plate with rosemary crust. Prick the crust with a fork.

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Pour the pot pie filling in the pie crust. Roll out the 2nd crust and cover the pot pie filling. Roll the edge of the pie crust with your fingers underneath around the pie plate edge to give it a rustic look. Make a slit in the pie crust to allow the steam to escape. Crack an egg in a bowl add about 1 tablespoon of water and beat well. Brush the top of the pie crust with egg wash.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown and the filling seeps through the slit in the crust and bubbles. Let the pot pie sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

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Serve with a fresh garden salad.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

Portobello Eggs Benedict

I am on an Eggs Benedict kick. I love eggs! I think Eggs Benedict is my favorite. Like the Frittata kick I was on last year and subjected my friends and family as food testers (not that they suffered any); I am now on the best Eggs Benedict recipe search. Inspired by the Potato Patch Restaurant in Deland, Florida, when I visited last summer, I ordered their Eggs Benedict dish and was in Heaven. They used smokey sweet ham for their meat, and their Hollandaise sauce was divine. I have been dreaming up different ways to make my favorite breakfast dish. I used what I had in the house but did not realize I was out of English muffins. Portobello Bella mushrooms I had in the refrigerator and thought why not try the mushrooms instead of English muffins. Not quite the vegetarian dish because of the Canadian bacon but the dish can be if you wanted. Enjoy!

Portobello Eggs Benedict
Created on 09/18/11

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4 Portobello Mushrooms, clean off with a wet paper towel, cut the stem and remove the gills with a spoon – HOW? Lightly scrape the gills with the back of a spoon to remove
4 slices of Canadian bacon (optional – remove if want to go vegetarian)
4 eggs (click here to see short tip on how to cook poached eggs)
1 cup of baby spinach (about a fistful of spinach)
1 medium tomato (you should be able to get 4 slices)
1 Avocado sliced (you should get four slices of Avocado per half)
1 teaspoon of vinegar
Olive oil
Salt / Pepper to taste

Prep:
In a pan with high sides, fill up with water till about 1-1/2 inches from the top. Bring to a hard boil and then reduce the heat until the water is just simmering.

Heat up a grill pan on medium high heat, brush with olive oil and then brush the top and inside of each mushroom with the oil. Put mushroom face down on grill and season with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes the mushroom will wilt slightly and have water in the cups, flip the mushrooms over and cook the bottom of the mushroom for about a minute or two get rid of the water (mushroom juice). Place the Canadian bacon on the grill and cook for approximately 3 minutes. Remove from the grill.

Turn the mushrooms back over on the grill and lay the Canadian bacon inside the cup of the mushroom. Put about 4 to 5 baby spinach leaves on top of the bacon and let the mushroom, Canadian bacon and baby spinach cook for about a minute or two. Take the mushrooms off the heat and put aside.  

In a pan with simmering water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. The vinegar will help keep each egg together (congeal) and not spread in the water.  Cook the eggs in simmering water for approximately 4 to 5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel to collect any excess water from the egg. Remember, you can cook the eggs longer to your preference but you will want to have some yolk to flavor the dish.

Slice the tomato. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Remove the avocado meat from the skin and slice.

To Assemble:

Place the (2) grilled Portobello mushroom tops on the plate, add 2 slices of avocado per top, and one slice of tomato and then put the poached egg on top.

Season the eggs with salt and cracked pepper.  Eat and Savour!

Cook Tip: You can add hollandaise sauce on the Eggs Benedict but I wanted to keep the fat content down, so I chose not to add the sauce. FYI – 1 Tablespoon of Hollandaise sauce is 67 calories and 7 grams of fat.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

I Like Green Eggs Says Pam I Am

I had quite a few vegetables left over from this week and my creativity did not kick in on this Sunday morning. I just felt so blah from my work week and did not know what I wanted to eat for breakfast. I basically threw the leftover asparagus, mushrooms in a sauté pan and cooked them for a few minutes, made fresh spinach pesto and scrambled up some eggs. Voila! A healthy green breakfast that screams I Do Like Green Eggs says Pam I Am! Needless to say I felt better after I ate and drank 2 cups of coffee.

I Do Like Green Eggs Says Pam I Am!, created 7/24/11

Green Eggs Says Pam I Am

Spinach Pesto

5 oz of organic baby spinach

½ cup Parmesan Cheese

1 to 2 medium garlic cloves (this will depend on how much garlic flavor you want to taste)

¼ to ½ cup olive oil

Salt/Pepper to taste

In a food processor add the baby spinach, garlic, and Parmesan cheese pulsate until combined well. With food processor running, add the olive oil until reach desired consistency –pesto should look like thinned paste. Spoon the pesto over prepared dish.

Green Eggs

6 eggs beaten well

½ cup grated Parmesan Cheese

6 Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced

1-1/2 cup fresh asparagus chopped into 1-1/2” slices

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

In small sauté pan heat up over medium high heat olive oil, add sliced mushrooms sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue to sauté for an additional 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

 

In another 10” sauté pan, melt the butter over medium high heat, add the beaten eggs and with a wood spoon stir eggs until cooked and scrambled. Remove egg from heat and sprinkle Parmesan cheese evenly over eggs. Spread vegetable mixture over eggs and then drizzle the eggs and vegetables with spinach pesto. Enjoy!

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Spinach Eggs Benedict

Spinach Eggs Benedict what can I say. Sometimes I want to be bad and have something that is sinfully rich. I never made Hollandaise sauce before so this was a new experience for me. I do not know what I was so afraid of before but after making the sauce, it was a huge WOW! factor for me. The homemade version is just exquisite. I saw this recipe on one of the food blogs I follow called Simply Recipes and modified the recipe to have some healthier ingredients such as spinach, tomatoes, and avocado. I used Canadian bacon instead of bacon or ham for a lower fat version of the dish and only used 1 tablespoon of the sauce instead of dousing the whole dish with it. Enjoy!

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Spinach Eggs Benedict:
8 eggs
1 tablespoon of vinegar
8 slices of Canadian bacon (optional)
4 Multi-Grain English Muffins
1 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
1 cup of Baby Spinach

Hollandaise Sauce:
10 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon of salt
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Avocado Grape Tomato Salsa:
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 large ripe avocado
Fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

The hollandaise sauce: separate the egg white from the yolk and reserve egg white if preferred for an omelet for a later time. Put egg yolks in a blender with lemon juice and salt. Blend for 30 seconds or until the yolks become a light yellow color and add the hot melted butter to the egg mixture and blend until combined. Pour sauce into a bowl and set aside.

Fill a 10” non-stick frying pan with water about ¾’s full. Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to the water mixture. While the water is heating up in one frying pan, in another frying pan, cook the Canadian bacon till crispy around the edges in another frying pan with about 1 teaspoon of olive oil or butter and remove when edges are crispy. Set aside.

In the simmering hot water, crack an egg in a small bowl, and then use the bowl to transfer the egg to the simmering water. It is easier to use the bowl, so you do not burn your fingers while adding the egg to the water. Put all eight eggs in the water and simmer for approximately 4 minutes.

Clean grape tomatoes and halve. Remove the seed from the avocado and cut up avocado in cubes and spoon out of the skin. Put halved tomatoes and cubed avocado into a bowl. Squeeze fresh lemon juice approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons over the mixture. Add freshly chopped basil and olive oil. Toss well. Season the tomato and avocado salsa with salt and pepper.

While the eggs are cooking, toast the English muffins and put on plate. Take 2 English muffins, line English muffins with about 7 to 8 leaves of baby spinach each halve. Lay the cooked Canadian bacon on top, spoon the drained poached egg on top of the Canadian bacon. Drizzle with hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with fresh basil on top.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT THE RECIPE

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