Monday, May 27, 2013

Meatless, Luscious Fun! Black Bean and Quinoa Stew

Why is it, that when I am traveling I always crave the food of another country? Don't get me wrong, the food of France has been spectacular. Fresh and French both start with the same letter for a reason, I think! The wine is amazing. But sometime about last night I starting thinking about spicy black beans and tortillas. Yes, I could probably find something kinda  like this in Paris, but I want the real thing. No gloppy cheese, not mounds of sour cream. Just black beans with lots of jalepenos on top. And oh yeah, a couple of really crunchy, crisp tortilla chips on the side - home made please.

Black Bean and Quinoa Stew
1 1⁄2 Cups Quinoa
1 TB Olive Oil
3 Cups Vegetable Broth
1⁄2 Tsp Sea Salt
1 TB Turmeric
3 (15oz) Cans Seasoned Black Beans
2 Grated Garlic Cloves
2 TB Chopped Cilantro, plus more for garnish 2TB Lime Juice
1⁄2 Cup “Faux” Cream Fraiche*
1⁄2 Cup 50% Light Cheddar Cheese
Fresh or Pickled Jalepenos on the side.
Step One
Place the quinoa into a crock-pot. (I use a 6-quart pot crockpot.) Add the olive oil, broth, salt and turmeric.
Step Two
Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours, or on high for 2-3 hours. The quinoa is done when the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
Step Three
Add the Black Beans with their sauce and close the lid. Cook on high for about 20 minutes, or until the beans are warm. Stir in the garlic, cilantro and lime juice. Serve topped with the faux crème fraiche, more cilantro and pass the cheese and jalepenos.
Corn chips are a great accompaniment as well! 

*Faux Creme Fraiche is made by combining a 1/2 Cup of Nonfat Greek Yogurt and 1 Tsp of Lemon Juice.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meatless, Luscious, Fun - Roasted Potato Salad topped with Ancho Chili Dressing

So...a couple of years ago I volunteered to do a charity event... This was to be a very upscale evening with chefs and restaurants from around the city. The party was to be held in a beautiful in-town home, and each room in the downstairs was to be shared by two chefs. We met and pulled names out of the hat to see who we would work side by side with for the affair. And my partner was, (drum roll), Ted's Montana Grill!!!! Not exactly who I would have picked, but as always, I try to make the best of any opportunity.

Ted's Chef was a lovely guy and very friendly. A Seasoned Chef, he had been all over the country opening up the restaurants and had great stories to tell. He was serving a bison slider. I created this potato salad recipe to add color and variety to the lonely little burger. Of course - it's healthy too.

Its a Friday Four recipe, I've used in class, heck I've even blogged about it before, but when I served it up at Taste Club last Saturday night it was so good I had to pass it on again!

Roasted Potato Salad topped with Ancho Chili Dressing

Ancho Dressing:
3 TB Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
2 Tsp Dijon Mustard
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
2 TB Orange Zest
1 TB Honey or Pomegranate Molasses
1/2 Tsp Ancho Chile Powder*
1/3 – ½  Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

In a jar, shake the orange juice, mustard, cumin, zest, honey, and chile powder together, add in the oil and taste for salt and pepper.

Roasted Potato Salad:

3 TB Dijon Mustard
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 TB Italian Seasoning*
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced
4 LB Red Potatoes, in Eighths
12 oz. Broccoli Spears, Lightly Steamed
3 Roasted Red Peppers, in Strips
4 Carrots, Shredded
3 oz. Calamata Olives, Chopped
1/8 Cup Cilantro, Chopped
1/8 Cup Parsley, Chopped
Sea Salt and Black Pepper

Step One Preheat oven to 425F. In a bowl, whisk together mustard, oil, Italian seasoning, and garlic. Add potatoes and toss until coated.

Step Two Spread potatoes in one layer on sheet pan. Roast 20 min. Lower heat to 350F, roast, about 10 min. or until browned and cooked through. Cool.

Step Three In large bowl; toss potatoes, broccoli, peppers, carrots, olives, cilantro, and parsley with the dressing until well coated. Season with salt and pepper.

Ancho Chiles are a dried, reddish brown, heart shaped and wrinkled pepper with a wonderful sweet hot flavor. (Almost fruity flavor.) If they are fresh they are called poblanos.

Italian Seasoning is typically made from a combination of marjoram, oregano, basil, savory, thyme and rosemary. You can make your own by combining your favorite Italian spices.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Meatless, Luscious, Fun: Mediterranean Oranges

Errghh. Have I mentioned I have a sinus infection? If I haven't mentioned it to you, it's a miracle. (My husband Mike says that if I don't stop moaning and whining about it, he is going to put me out of my misery:)   I feel like it is running my life, pulling me into the bed when I need to get work done and generally making me feel miserable. I am blessed with an extraordinary "constitution" and so when I don't feel good for almost 4 weeks...not fun. I know that I will find the exact drugs at SOME point.

So, to the point of my (tiny) whining interlude. I am going to an informal Rhone wine class tonight and I need to take something to share with me. Normally, I would be scheming up a dish redolent with braised veggies and chicken, cooking it slowly with a little red Cotes du Rhone, basting it again and again with its juices. But not today. Today, I am doing great to get the blog done, format recipes for the rest of the week and catch up with invoices. The only thing that sounds good and achievable  to me is this super simple recipe for juicy oranges, sweet dates and a touch of cinnamon. I love it for breakfast, dessert, salad and a portable snack. Make a lot. It keeps in the fridge for 4 or 5 days. The easily made sauce just keeps soaking into the fruit - getting better and better. Which is my motto for the week too!

Mediterranean Oranges

8 Large Navel Oranges, Sliced into Thin Rounds
8 Large Dates, Pitted and Chopped
1⁄4 Cup Nuts, Toasted and Chopped
3 TB Honey
+ 3 TB Pomegranate Molasses (or to Taste)

1⁄2 Tsp Cinnamon
Chopped Mint

Place Orange Slices on a Large Platter, overlapping. Top with the dates and almonds. Whisk together the honey, pomegranate molasses and cinnamon and drizzle over the platter Top with the chopped mint.