Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beet Salad w/ Orange Vinaigrette

I went to a restaurant a few weeks ago and had a fantastic beet salad. I figured it would be pretty easy to make at home so I gave it a shot. I found instructions for roasting beets, they said to roast first, then peel. I don't know if it's easier to use a vegetable peeler or a knife because either way, your hands and everything around you will be bright pink (if you use red beets). And always wait until they are cool before you peel.
Beets, I used 4 golf ball sized red beets. You can use whatever color/size you want:
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Trim both ends of each beet, toss in olive oil in glass baking dish.
3. Cover with foil, bake for about an hour until soft.
1/2 C. Orange Juice
1 Tbs. diced green onions (not leeks, not chives)
2 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon Mustard
1/4-1/2 C. Olive Oil
1. Heat orange juice on med-high heat until it boils. Simmer for 8-10 min. until you have about 2 Tbs. of liquid left. Keep an eye on it, it happens fast!
2. Put orange juice into a bowl, when cool whisk in green onions, vinegar and mustard.
3. Whisk in olive oil. 1/4 for stronger tasting dressing, 1/2 cup if you want a less tangy vinaigrette
4. Season to taste with salt and pepper
5. Put some baby greens in a bowl, top with beets and dressing. You can add in other veggies too, I used white mushrooms with mine.

Smokey Corn Chowder
I got this recipe from an issue of Real Simple magazine. It was great, I look forward to making it again- but I hope this time I don't spill boiling hot soup on my hands. I saved half of the bacon and green onions (not leeks, yes I'm obsessed) in a zippy bag for leftovers the next day.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Black Beans (side)

One of my favorite side dishes is this black bean recipe I got from a cooking magazine a few years ago. I've altered it to suit my taste and my pantry staples. It's quick, leftovers are great and you can turn it into soup with your blender.
2 Cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 Bell Pepper (I prefer Red or Orange)
1 Diced Onion
3 Cloves of garlic, diced small
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 C. Chicken Broth
2 Tbs. Balsamic or Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
Green Onions (not leeks)
1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and bell peppers. Cook until soft, 5-6 min.
2. Add garlic, cook for another 1-2 min.
3. Add beans, broth, vinegar and salt and pepper (to taste). Bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to low, cover and simmer for 10 min.
4. Serve as a side or over rice. Top with diced green onions. OR- Pour half in a blender and blend to make soup. Return half to pot, mix together. Serve in bowls, top with green onions.

Easy, healthy rice dish

So the other night I was home without DH around and instead of having my usual "breakfast for dinner" I decided to be a little creative. We've been trying to eat healthier lately so I happened to have some fresh veggies in the fridge. I put some rice in the rice cooker and when it got to the 13 min. countdown I prepared the veggies for a new spin on one of our favorites, Chicken Egg Rice. This one is Veggie Egg Rice (bad cell phone photo follows).

Here's the recipe (serves 2 as a meal):
1/2 C Rice (I use white sushi rice, if you want to be super healthy you can use brown rice)
1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 C sliced sweet onions
1/2 C sliced white mushrooms
1 handful Sweet 100 tomatoes sliced in half
2 eggs
Soy Sauce
1. Start cooking your rice, follow directions on rice or use your rice cooker.
2. While the rice is cooking, rinse and chop your veggies. You can add your favorites too.
3. When the rice is almost done (10 min. or so left) start cooking the veggies. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add in the onions. Cook until translucent, about 6 min. Add in mushrooms and tomatoes. Stir frequently until the tomato skins are just starting to come off. Put veggies aside in a bowl.
4. In same pan, start cooking eggs. I prefer Sunny Side Up, but scrambled works fine and you can just do egg whites if that's your thing.
5. Put half the rice in each of 2 bowls. Top with half the veggies, sprinkle some soy sauce on. Top veggies with egg. Sprinkle more soy sauce if desired.
You can eat it with chopsticks or a fork, the eggs help hold the rice together.