Monday, September 30, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

This was a nice twist on a typical Spanish or Mediterranean stuffed peppers. Another plus, no side dish required. These were filling. They also freeze great and make for an excellent round two breakfast as seen below...

Serves: 8

Time: active: 50
total: 2 h

Gather up:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped (½ cup)
  • 1 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup quinoa
  • 3 large carrots, grated (1½ cups)
  • 1½ cups grated reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, divided
  • 4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and celery, and cook 5 minutes, or until soft. Add cumin and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in spinach and drained tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
2. Stir in black beans, quinoa, carrots, and 2 cups water.

Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until quinoa is tender.

Stir in 1 cup cheese. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pour liquid from tomatoes in bottom of baking dish.
4. Fill each bell pepper half with heaping ¾-cup quinoa mixture, and place in baking dish.

 Cover with foil, and bake 1 hour.
Uncover, and sprinkle each pepper with 1 Tbs. remaining cheese.

Bake 15 minutes more, or until tops of stuffed peppers are browned. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer stuffed peppers to serving plates, and drizzle each with pan juices before serving.

Serve With- a simple green salad if you'd like. These alone are very filling though!

Recipe Credit:

Round Two Meal

Ok, so the peppers alone were good. But here's where I was sold that I would be making them again in the future. The round two meal. Stuffed peppers turned into a breakfast hash. So good. 

Simply break up the stuffed pepper and reheat. 

Top with hot sauce, an egg and a little more cheese...

Saturday, September 21, 2013

salmon and melting cherry tomatoes

My vegetarian started incorporating seafood into his diet a few years ago. This is lucky for me because it opens up a lot more options. I’d say ¼  of our meals include seafood. This particular dish was stupid good. I plan on making the tomato mixture again by itself just to serve bruschetta style.

Serves: 4

Time: 35 minutes *I set off the fire alarm during this one… soooo it was more like an hour for us.

Gather up:

Olive oil
1 cup chopped  sweet onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
1 (2 pound) salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces

Get to work:

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium (10-inch) saute pan. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very tender but not browned. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute longer. Stir in the tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and cook over medium-low heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates and the tomato sauce thickens slightly. 

Off the heat, stir in the vinegar and basil.

Place a large 12-inch cast-iron pan over high heat for 5 minutes. Brush the salmon all over with olive oil, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and place it skin side up in the pan. Cook the fish for 3 to 4 minutes without moving, until browned. 
this is where the smoke alarm went off...
Turn the salmon skin side down with a metal spatula and transfer the pan to the oven for 8 minutes. (The salmon will not be completely cooked through).
Remove the fish to a serving platter, cover with foil and allow to rest for 5 minutes to finish cooking.

Reheat the tomatoes, season to taste and serve hot, warm or at room temperature with the salmon.

Serve with:
Cheese plate (we simply used mozzarella and brie) *the mozzarella was the clear star in the duo when paired with the tomatoes

Recipe Credit: From “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof,” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter, 2012)