Archive for March, 2011

Just a brilliant idea, putting together risotto and chicken marsala. Two of my favorite dishes in one scrumptious meal.

Chicken marsala risotto (with nondairy and other modifications by me)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

4 cups chicken stock

1 3/4 cup marsala wine

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

4 shallots, finely diced

2 tablespoons margarine

2 large chicken breasts, cut in chunks

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan

olive oil

freshly ground black pepper, salt, thyme

In a large saute pan, melt margarine and about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shallots and cook until slightly translucent. Add in garlic and sliced mushrooms. Cook until shallots are cooked through, mushrooms are tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated, approximately 5 minutes. Add your rice and stir around, coating it with any oil or liquid in the pan. Let it toast until the edges of the grains have turned translucent, a few minutes. Add 1 cup of marsala, stirring frequently until absorbed. When it looks like most of the liquid has been absorbed, stir until it has all been absorbed.

1/2 cup by 1/2 cup, start adding the stock to the pan, stirring frequently. About halfway through your stock, take your chicken, which should be in chunks, grind some pepper onto it and sprinkle some kosher salt and thyme. Heat up a pan to medium-high heat on another burner with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Toss in your chicken, browning the outsides. Lower heat and add 1/4 cup marsala wine in the pan for flavor. Cook fully, and cover to keep warm.

When you have approximately 1 cup of stock left, taste your risotto. Season with salt and pepper as needed. At this time, add in the reserved 1/2 cup of marsala and stir in.

When marsala has been absorbed, taste again for seasoning and texture. Add last cup of stock in 1/4 cup increments to achieve the texture you would like. When the last of your stock is almost fully absorbed, toss in chicken, and stir, making sure the chicken is hot.

When the last of the liquid has fully absorbed and chicken is hot, take off burner and stir in cheese. Makes 4 – 6 servings.

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These are tasty little cocktail meatballs, but we had then as a main course with rice and roasted veggies on the side. Easy to make, and they go down easy, too.

Hoisin-glazed turkey meatballs (from Healthy Seasonal Recipes blog) – ever so slightly modified by me

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 scallions, minced, plus sliced scallion greens for garnish, divided

1/2 cup drained water chestnuts, finely chopped

1 pound lean ground turkey

1/4 cup Hoisin sauce (found in Asian aisle of supermarket)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

black and/or white sesame seeds, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, crushed pepper, and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk in cornstarch until smooth. Stir in 2 minced scallions and the water chestnuts. Stir in turkey until completely combined.

Drop turkey mixture by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, gently re-shaping into ball shapes if necessary. Lightly coat the balls with cooking spray and transfer to the oven. Bake until the meat is cooked through, 15 – 17 minutes.

Stir the Hoisin sauce, cilantro, and lime juice in a large bowl. Add the cooked meatballs and gently stir to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining sliced scallions and sesame seeds and serve hot. Makes about 2 dozen meatballs.


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These amazing little cookies require no flour, which makes them good for Passover. Or anytime.

Crispy chewy almond cookies (from KeepItSimpleFoods blog) – check out the nice instruction photos there

4 egg whites

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup almonds (ground)

1 tablespoon almond extract

1 pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pulse almonds in a food processor until coarse.

Toast almond bits on the stove top over low heat, until fragrant. This only takes a few minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, combine egg whites, powdered sugar, and almond extract. Whisk together briskly. Once cooled, add the almond bits. Combine and add a scant pinch of salt.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment and spoon the batter onto the paper. The batter will be very runny and rather unruly, so leave plenty of room between cookies and be gentle when sliding the cookie sheet into the oven.

Bake for approximately 13 minutes. The cookies turn a nice golden brown when done. They will also be fragile, and a little sticky, so be careful when removing from the parchment. Makes about a dozen cookies.

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Here’s a tasty little vegan quiche. Easy to make with a pre-made whole wheat pie crust. Great week-night dish.

Leek and mushroom quiche (from Chow Vegan)

1 pre-made whole wheat pie crust

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, coarsely chopped

5 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 pound fresh small leaf spinach

1 pound firm fresh tofu, water pressed out

1/2 cup soy milk

salt and pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Precook the pie crust according to the package directions if necessary.

Heat a skillet until hot, lightly drizzle with olive oil, and saute garlic and leeks until done, season with salt to taste while cooking. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Heat skillet again and saute and season the mushrooms until cooked, drain any water and set aside. Saute and season the spinach until just wilted. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Squeeze out any water and coarsely chop.

In a food processor or blender, combine the tofu, soy milk, salt and pepper to taste, nutmeg, thyme, parsley, and nutritional yeast, process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add the vegetables, mix well and scoop into the pie crust, spreading the filling evenly. Bake for about 35 minutes, let the quiche cool for 10 minutes before slicing. Makes 6 servings.

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This dish was packed with flavor, and yet the pesto had no cheese/or substitutes, and very little oil. It just shows you how the right herbs and seasonings can pack a nice wallop into a dish and make it extraordinary.

Chicken and farfalle salad with walnut pesto (from CookingLight)

2 cups uncooked farfalle (I used multi-grain, from Barilla)

2 cups cubed cooked skinless boneless chicken breast

1 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped pitted kalamata olives

walnut pesto:

1 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin oilve oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 garlic clove

curly leafed lettuce leaves

To prepare salad, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, rinse with water. Combine pasta, chicken, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl.

To prepare walnut pesto, combine basil and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in food processor; pulse 6 times or until finely minced. Add pesto to pasta mixture, tossing gently to coat. Place a lettuc leaf on each of 4 plates; top each serving with salad mixture. Serves 4.

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These were fabulous – very moist and tasty. Making the meatballs was slightly labor-intensive, as these were quite sticky during formation. But worth the effort. I loved this classic dish.

Scandinavian meatballs (from About.com, modified slightly by me)

1 pound lean ground turkey

1 small freshly grated onion

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg for meatball mixture and 1/8 teaspoon to add to gravy

1/8 teaspoon allspice

2 slightly beaten eggs

1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch to roll meatballs in before pan frying them

2 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons potato starch to thicken gravy

3 tablespoons margarine for browning meatballs

In large mixing bowl, combine the turkey, grated onion, panko, 2 tablespoons potato starch or cornstarch, seasonings, and eggs. I use a food processor to thoroughly combine ingredients. Add almond milk. Process for 1 minute.

Shape meat mixture into about 1 1/2″ – 2″ balls and dust each meatball with potato starch or cornstarch. Heat margarine in a large heavy skillet. Brown meatballs in batches, turning to evenly brown.

Remove browned meatballs from skillet to drain on a plate. Leave pan drippings from brown meatballs in the skillet. Whisk 2 tablespoons potato or cornstarch into 1/2 cup of broth. Add this mixture along with the remaining broth to the skillet. Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg to gravy. Whisk and simmer over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Add browned meatballs and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.

Makes about 2 dozen.


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