Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Roasted Salsa

Salsa is a pretty simple affair, but I made a pretty good batch the other day, so figured this would be a good time to report it.

4 jalapenos
8 plum tomatoes
2 Anaheim chilies
1 large red onion, rough chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4c. lime juice (about 4 small limes)
2 tsp. cumin
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Place jalapenos, tomatoes and chilies on a cookie sheet.  Roast in the oven under a high broil turning once until blackened and blistered on all sides.  Allow to cool.  Remove skins taking care with the jalapeno to avoid getting spice on your hands.

In a food processor, take turns chopping onion and garlic to a fine chop; chilies jalapenos and tomatoes to a chunky consistency.  Add all remaining ingredients together and toss. Season to taste.

Yields 4.5 cups / 65 calories per cup.

Spinach Tortillas

I can't believe I made my own tortillas, but I did it!  This is another great recipe from VeggieWiz, and I changed very little; I also tweaked the directions slightly to reflect my personal experience with the dish.  

Spinach Tortillas
1/2 cup corn flour (found in health food store, NOT corn meal)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 cup spinach, boiled and drained, reserve the liquids

Puree the boiled spinach in a blender; you will need about 3/4 cups puree.
Mix the corn flour, wheat flour, salt and baking soda together. Knead into a dough by slowly adding the spinach puree. Add the reserved liquids if needed. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes. 

Divide the dough into 6 balls and pat each ball into a thin roundish tortilla using the corn flour to help with sticking.  Make as thin as you can.

Heat a griddle or skillet over high heat (do not use oil). Gently place a tortilla on the hot pan, and cook for 40-50 seconds on each side; longer if your tortillas are a little thick. You should see little bubbles forming, and it should get lightly toasted.   Eat them fresh; for leftover5s, wrap in aluminum foil and refrigerate,

Cardo y berza con garbanzos

When this recipe came through my reader, it was called Espinacas con garbanzos (Spinach and Chickpeas); Since I had a whole plan for a meal (see my recipes for Roasted Salsa and Spinach Tortillas) that already involved spinach, and I had a bunch of collard greens (berza) that were getting wilted and a fresh bunch of chard (cardo) come in my organic delivery, I decided to do some substituting, which at this point is less a decision and more a force of habit :)  From the original blog post, apparently this is a Spanish comfort food; I'd never heard of it (being about as whitey McWhite White as they come...) but I am so happy I it gave it a try!

Cardo y berza con garbanzos
6g coconut oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp of cumin
3/4 cup all natural tomato sauce
1 bunch collard greens, stems removed and chopped
1 bunch chard, any variety, stems removed and chopped
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
few dashes of Tabasco, to taste
salt, pepper

In a large, deep, sauce pan with fitting lid, sautee onion and garlic in the coconut oil, until just translucent.  Add cumin and saute until fragrant. Add chard, collards, chickpeas, and  tomato sauce; cover and let greens wilt.  Add some water, and continue to saute, covered, checking frequently for doneness.  When greens are tender, saute uncovered until liquids have all but evaporated.  Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice over the top before serving.

Yields 5 cups, 140 calories per cup

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mango Ahi Ceviche with Black Bean Plantain Fritters

Mango Ahi Ceviche
1.5 lbs of sushi grade Ahi Tuna, cut into chunks
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin (whites only)
1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
1 tbs fresh ginger root, minced
2 serrano chilis, roasted, de-seeded, skin peeled, and minced
3 small tomatoes, roasted, skin peeled, and chopped
1 tsp soy sauce
4 limes, juiced
2 lemons, juiced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, leaves only, minced
2 tsp salt
1 packet sweetner
1 fresh mango, peeled and cubed same size as the tuna
1 fresh avocado, peeled and cubed same size as the tuna

Place everything in a bowl EXCEPT the mango and avocado. Mix well. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 3 - 4  hours.   Add mango and avocado just before serving and mix again.

1058 calories for the whole batch.  0.66 calories per gram (pictured: 2/3 cup serving at 101 calories)

Black Bean Plantain Fritters
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1 plantain, peeled, cut into chunks
1 jalapeno
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 egg whites (or 1/3 c. of egg whites)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Cut plantain into chunks and boil for 20 minutes, or until softened.  Blend everything in your food processor until all chunks are broken down, and a relatively smooth paste is formed.  Form pattied on the cookie sheet by plopping down a large spoonful of the mixture, and spreading out slightly so each patty is no more then 1/2 an inch thick.  Bake for 10 minutes, flip over, and back an additional 10-15 minutes.  Dollop the top with non-fat Greek yogurt.

This whole batch is 782 calories.  1.18 calories per gram (pictured is two 3-inch patties at 142 calories )

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Shepard's Harvest Pie

In my PlanetOrganics delivery this week I ordered some ground beef from the fabulous Eel River Ranch .

I am still sitting here stunned by how good my crazy concoction came out.  I took the typical Shepard's Pie, reduced the fat, and the starchy carbs, and added loads of veggies (hence the 'harvest' part).

Let me say I have never made Shepard's pie before, nor have I ever eaten it.  In fact, the closest I have come to a Shepard's Pie in the past was an episode of Kitchen Nightmare's where the Pie was, "just a big ball of grease" and then Chef Ramsey vomited...  DRAMA QUEEN.

After eating my version, I really don't know that a traditional version could be better.  My mouth and tummy are so happy right now, I am bouncing in delight.  This can also really easily be changed to a vegetarian version, just by substituting tofu and/or mushrooms for the beef, or made even lower cal by using ground turkey or chicken.

Shepard's Harvest Pie
2 cups winter squash, peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
5 small cloves garlic
2 TBS broth
1 tsp each: salt, white pepper, paprika, horseradish
1 c. corn kernals
6 oz n/f greek yogurt
1TBS coconut butter, warmed
1/2 oz shaved parmesean

1c. onion, chopped
1/2 TBS coconut oil
1lb ground beef 90/10
2 TBS wheat flour
1 TBS tomato paste
1 c. veggie broth, plus water as needed
1 tsp each: salt, thyme, marjotam, paprika, parsley
2 c. baby brocoli, chopped
1 bunch Chard, chopped

preheat oven to 350

For the topping: Put squash, garlic, broth and seasonings in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 10 minutes, or until cooked and softened.  Meanwhile, saute your corn kernels until they are slightly browned.  Add corn, squash mixture, yogurt, and coconut butter to a large mixing bowl and use hand blender to puree (or use a Cuisinart or blender).  Set aside.

For the filling: saute onion in coconut oil.  When slightly caramelized, add beef. Cook until browned. Add flour, tomato paste, broth and seasoning.  Boil until broth is a gravy consistency.  Add broccoli and chard.  Cover and let simmer until chard is wilted.  Adjust seasoning as needed. Uncover and let simmer until much of the liquid has evaporated.

Add filling mixture to the bottom of an oven safe casserole dish. Top with the squash mixture and carefully spread, completely covering the beef.  Bake for 20 mins.  Switch to broiler, and broil for 5 mins, or until browning starts.  Cover with the shaved Parmesan and broil a few moments longer until cheese starts to brown.  Let rest before serving.

The whole dish is 1569 kc. Split into 4 meal-sized serving s= 392 calories per serving

Ruby Tostada with Jicama-Mango Salsamole

I was feeling south of the border and decided to make a veggie version of a taco, which morphed into a tostada.  These recipes came out terrific; one of those things where I sit back and wonder how the hell I come up with stuff.  Needless to say, both me, and my belly, are quite happy!

Ruby Tostada
2 c yams , peeled, and diced
2 c beets, peeled and diced
2 TBS water or veggie broth
7g coconut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c red bell, diced
1 c green bell, diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp each: cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, onion powder
2 tsp salt
makes 5 c/ 161 calories per cup

In a microwave safe casserole dish with lid, add yams, beets, and water/broth.  Cover and nuke for 3-8 minutes, until just cooked, but still a bit of crunch left.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan, add garlic and saute for a couple minutes.  Add peppers, and allow to slightly caramelize.  Drain off any liquid from beet/yam mixture, and add remaining ingredients.  Heat through.

Assemble whole wheat tortilla, filling, Jicama-Mango Salsa (recipe below), and a dollop of n/f Greek plain yogurt.

Jicama-Mango Salsamole
1 jalapeno, deseeded and diced
1/2 c red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
1.5 c jicama, peeled
1 mango, peeled
2 avocado, destoned
2 lime, juiced
2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp each: cumin, chili powder
makes 4 cups / 204 cals per cup

In your food processor, blend each fruit and veggie individually, then add to a large bowl - I preferred mine a little chunky.  When all is blended, mix together with the citrus juice and seasonings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Beet Hummus

This recipe came courtesy of VeggieWiz, a great blog for fun vegetable recipes.  Check it out :)  I made only very small changes.

Beet Hummus
1/2 c. tahini (128g)
1 can garbonzo beans (245g)
1.5 c. beets, peeled and chopped
1/2 c. fresh lemon juice - 1.5 small lemons
4 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
4 TBS water (if needed)
salt to taste
= 1366 kcals

makes 721 grams = 1.9 calories per gram.  I had about 3/4 c. serving at 289 calories

Roast beets in oven for 20-30 minutes at 350, or until softened.  When beets are done and slightly cooled, add everything into your blender or Cuisinart. Add water as needed to loosen the mixture; this is a less oil version than the original and needs the moisture. Serve with fresh crunchy veggies!