Saturday, November 21, 2009

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Mushrooms are delicious and very easy to make. I like to stuff my mushrooms with a saute' of finely chopped onions, garlic, spinach and seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Most stuffed mushroom recipes call for breadcrumbs, cheese, eggs, however just a simple stuffing of sauted vegetables is wonderful. I like a tiny bit of gorgonzola on top, which gives a lot of flavor, for low points, the only points at all in this recipe.
Take out the stems, clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel
chop stems and start a pan with a 2 Tablespoons of water or broth.
Add 1/2 of a chopped onion, 2 cloves of garlic and fresh or frozen spinach, let this cook about 5 minute. In a baking dish, put the mushroom caps in upside down and fill with a scoop of vegetable filling. Bake in 375 oven for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked. They do not take very long.Eat at once, good for lunch the next day, so make extras.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Winter Squash and Golden Kuri Puree'

With a few simple ingredients, I like to make a sweet pumpkin like pudding. The winter squashes have been wonderful this fall. I tried nearly all, lots of fiber, flavor, low points, and easy. I like to bake squash and have it as a staple in the refrigerator. It can be made into soup, or go in the other direction and made into a sweet. It keeps well, both whole or cooked.

This is the golden Kuri squash, similar to a butternut, only easier to cut up. Some winter squashes require a cleaver to cut into, this golden kuri is fairly easy to open. Who can resist this gorgeous color?

To make this you will need
Greek yogurt
baked squash
sweetener, like agave
a tiny pinch of salt
a splash of milk or almond milk to help puree.
For this nice healthy 3 point dessert, scoop 1 6 oz. container of Greek yogurt into a blender or food processor. It's thick and only 2 points. Add about 1 cup of baked squash meat, sans skin. a tiny pinch of salt to bring out the flavor, a squeeze of agave sweetener and about 1/3 cup of almond milk to help puree. Blend for 30 seconds, until everything is pureed. If you add a little too much liquid, you can always blend in a teaspoon of Knox unflavored gelatin to set the pudding.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Stuffed Poblano Chilies

The Poblanos look so good right now, they are the big dark green ones. I have been working on a low point version of stuffed chilies. Make a masa layer for the chilies to sit on. The chilies are stuffed with vegetables and the whole thing is covered with fresh salsa verde, then baked. There are a few steps to this, but it all comes together nicely.
For ingredients:
6 Poblano chiles
Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina flour
stuffing, vegetables of your choice, like onions, garlic, mushrooms, grated zucchini,and corn.
For the salsa verde
a dozen tomatillos and an onion.
Some grated cheese, a lot or a little depending how you feel.
The Vegetables are 0 points. Masa is 4 points per cup. Cheese, depends of course on how much you put on.

Start with roasting the poblanos, under the broiler works just fine, turning them with tongs until they look blistered and a little brown. Put them all in a brown paper bag to sweat.
Next peel off the paper from the tomatillos, quarter them and place in a saucepan. Chop up an onion, add some salt, a little cumin,water to just cover, and let this simmer for about 10 minutes. I use my hand held blender to puree right in the saucepan until I'm ready to use the salsa verde.
Mix up 2 cups of masa flour and add a generous cup of water until it is like wet cookie dough. Spread it around the bottom of a baking dish and keep out about 1/2 cup to mix with the vegetables for the stuffing. Saute up a combination of finely chopped vegetables for stuffing and when they are nicely cooked, mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of masa as a binder. Add some of the salsa verde liquid if you need to.
As the final step, cut the tops off the poblanos, de-seed them, and peel off the waxy skin. Fill each chili with a generous scoop of vegetable stuffing, a bit of pepper jack cheese, if you like, and lay them on the masa.
Pour over the salsa verde, and bake for 20 minutes, at 375.
You have a lower point dinner without the cheese, Or, grate some pepper jack over the top and broil for just a couple of minutes to finish off.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

3 Kinds of Lentils

Three types of lentils is probably a well known culinary fact to everyone except me. This fall, I've tried recipes with each one to see what the differences are. Red and French lentils seem a little milder to me than the common brown lentils. There's great recipe in Mark Bitman's book using lentils, rice and dried apricots! Normally I make soup out of lentils,
1 cup of lentils
chicken broth
carrots, garlic, onions, celery
and 1/2 cup of a grain, I usually use bulgar
salt, pepper
This soup is greatly improved with a splash of red wine vinegar before serving.

Today, I plugged in my slow cooker and made this soup
French lentils, 3/4 cup
Brown rice 1/2 cup
garlic, 3 cloves
sliced fresh carrot
1 apple
1 tablespoon tomatoe paste
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
sea salt
3 1/2 cups of broth
Instead of adding the onions while cooking, I garnished the soup with carmalized onions at the end.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Salad Dressing, So Simple and so Good

There are a lot of good cooks in my family. For years, I have been the official salad dressing maker, with this dressing. I learned how to make this in France, at the Dubois farm in the region of Champagne. It is so simple and so good. You must buy this mustard: Maille Dijon Originale. No other mustard will do, I have tried, and the key is in the mustard. I am currently experimenting with homemade mustards, until I can make something as good, I use this mustard only. The other 2 ingredients have a little more flexibility. Start with a generous teaspoon of mustard.

Next add red wine vinegar, a small tablespoon, and a pinch of sea salt. Mix ingredients together:

For a low almost no calorie dressing you can stop here. 1 tablespoon of mustard has 10 calories! The final step is to add about a tablespoon of good quality olive oil and immediately dress your salad. Do this when everyone is seated at the table, Toss and serve. Voila'
This dressing is great on fresh tomatoe slices.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Salmon, good just about anyway you cook it

Our neighbor Matt Markinkovitch has been selling fresh salmon this fall, a treat to have local fresh salmon. With good fresh fish, it's hard to go wrong. My favorite way to cook salmon is over a fire, nice hot coal from bark, giving the fish a slightly smokey flavor. I slather the fish fillets with these simple ingredients:
soy sauce
olive oil
lemon juice
several cloves of minced garlic

A grill or broiler works just fine too.

If you are lucky to have any left over, the next day mix up the salmon with finely chopped onions, capers, mustard and a little mayo and enjoy. Delicious!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's Hard to Beat a Beet

Fresh beet greens are so good. I love that you can eat the tops and do something wonderful with the beet. Here is a delicious fall beet salad

Wrap beets in foil and bake about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on thickness of beets.I like this method of cooking beets much better than boiling in water. It keeps the beets moist, and all the flavor in.
When cool, peel off the skins and slice beets into a bowl.
1/2 cut up red onion
sea salt and pepper
fresh ground coriander seed, 1 big teaspoon
zest of lemon
Section out a ruby red grapefruit or lemon or both
a squeeze of agave sweetener
juice of lemon or lime

Stir lightly, and will keep for several days in the refrigerator
Serve over a bed of lettuce, and few blue cheese crumbles on top. Fancy and flavorful! The WW points would only be for the cheese, veggies are 0 points.