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Sweet Soba Noodles with Baby Bok Choy

2 Aug

Baby-Bok-Choy-Soba-2

For some reason I’m really into asian food lately. I recently learned that Michael LOVES asian cuisine so it’s been a win-win over here. This bowl of deliciousness was born from a side dish that I have been trying to make for about 6 months. Every time I would buy the baby bok choy, it would wind up going bad and my plan was foiled. Very sad.

This time I scheduled the meal for early in the week so the baby bok choy would be fresh and perfect. Mission accomplished!

Baby-Bok-Choy-Soba-1

Ingredients
1 package of Soba Noodles
1 lb baby bok choy, bottoms trimmed
1 cup chopped green onions, white and green parts
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1/41/2 cup cashews
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/4 cup of A Taste of Thai Sweet Red Chili Sauce

Directions:

  1. Cook noodles according to package.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about a minute, then add the bok choy and garlic. Cover, lower heat and cook until the bok choy is wilted.
  3. Add the noodles, 2 tbsp of olive oil, sesame oil sweet red chili sauce and cashews to the pan and toss well.
  4. Split equally into bowls and top with chopped green onion.

As always, enjoy!

Creamy Corn and Poblano Lasagna

17 May

Creamy-Corn-Poblano-Lasagna-2

We were at my parent’s house on Sunday for Mother’s Day when my sister’s mother-in-law handed me a recipe. She said that she saw it on the Food Network and thought it looked mouth-watering. So I read it over and thought I would give it a try. I modified the original recipe to make it healthy and I definitely succeeded! Eliminating the cream and reducing the amount of cheese made this a much lighter meal. Usually lasagna makes me feel like I ate a brick but this left me feeling completely satisfied.

Creamy-Corn-Poblano-Lasagna-1

My one criticism is that it lacked texture. In hindsight, I would have liked it with some roasted corn kernels. I felt it lacked that smokey flavor that I was expecting to get from the poblanos. Dont’ get me wrong, it was really tasty and Michael loved it. It’s always a good sign when he goes back for seconds!

And I apologize in advance if the directions seem out-of-order or unclear. There are a lot of steps that happen concurrently with this meal but it’s honestly not hard to manage!

Ingredients:
Adapted from this recipe and my version serves two
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 container of silken tofu
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp fresh thyme
1/2 onion, sliced thin
1 zucchini, cut into matchsticks
2 poblano chiles, roasted, skins removed, seeded and chopped
6 whole wheat lasagna sheets
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss 1 cup of the corn with the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place the poblano peppers on a second baking sheet. Roast the corn until it is slightly charred and the peppers until very charred. Remove the corn and set aside. When the peppers are done, remove and cover with a pot and allow them to steam for about 10 minutes (this will help you remove the skins). Peel the skin off the peppers, seed and chop.
  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the lasagna noodles and cook until tender, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the noodles and drape over the oiled side of the pot to prevent sticking.
  3. Combine the milk and tofu in a blender. Blend until combined (about 30 seconds).
  4. Melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add 2/3 of the garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add the remaining corn to the pan and saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the milk-tofu mixture and thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and allow it to cool slightly before transferring to the blender. Puree until smooth.
  5. In the same saute pan, melt the remaining tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent. Add the remaining garlic and cook until fragrant. Mix in the zucchini, poblano peppers and corn, and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  6. Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1/4 cup of the corn-milk mixture over the bottom of a baking dish. Cover with two lasagna sheets, followed by the zucchini-poblano mixture, mozzarella cheese and corn-milk mixture. Repeat until you have a final layer of noodles topped the corn-milk mixture and cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and turn the oven to broil. Broil until the top is golden brown and bubbling.

    As always, enjoy!

Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

12 Apr

Cauliflower-Mac-n-Cheese-Fork

Michael loves comfort food and loves pasta so I figured mac n’ cheese would make the perfect homecoming meal. I had previously made a modified version of the Mac-n-Cheese Style Cauliflower from Vegetarian Times and I loved it. The cauliflower made such a great change from traditional mac-n-cheese. I felt like it kept it much lighter but Michael felt like it was more of a side dish. This time around I decided to add pasta for Michael, while I ate most of the cauliflower.

Cauliflower-Mac-n-Chese-Close

This time around, I omitted the cayenne, eggs and didn’t bake the dish. I also used heavy cream because I needed to use it up and added about 1/4 package of pasta.

You can find the recipe on Vegetarian Times

Cauliflower-Mac-n-Chese-Close

As always, enjoy!

Thin Mint Inspired Cookies

10 Apr

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Stacked

I finally realized that the best part about making your own Girl Scout cookies is that you can have them all year long! Amazing, right? My mom loves thin mints so I was inspired to try and make a healthier version of these cookies. Luckily these came much easer than the Do-Si-Dos.

I learned the microwave tempering technique on The Barefoot Contessa. It is so much easier than melting the chocolate over a double boiler and you don’t run the risk of burning the chocolate.

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Bite

Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp + 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp milk of choice (I used Almond Milk)
1/2 cup milk chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325o.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, stevia, vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time and turn to medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will begin to form a paste.
  5. Take one tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Press the ball flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 25 minute, rotating the baking sheet 180 degrees half way through.
  6. While the cookies cool, break half the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 second and stir. Continue to microwave for 20 second increments and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the rest of the chocolate and stir to melt. Microwave in 20 second increments, if necessary. Stir in 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract.
  7. Coat the cookies in the melted chocolate and place onto a plate lined with parchment paper. Once all the cookies are coated, refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Plate

As always, enjoy!

Creamy Farro with Mushrooms and Broccolette

4 Apr

Creamy-Farro-top

My first thought when I read this recipe in Whole Living was oh, this is gonna be good! And, it did not disappoint.

I changed it up a little and added broccolette instead of spinach. I’ve made it with the spinach before and it’s great, I just had a big bag of broccolette that I needed to use. I roasted the broccolette along with the mushrooms, but I recommend lowering the temperature to 350o. I also substituted vegetable broth for chicken broth and added some cubed tempeh.

You can find the original recipe on Whole Living

Creamy-Farro-Side

As always,enjoy!

Provencal Soup

3 Apr

Provencal-Soup-2

With Michael away for the next week, I finally get to eat all of my favorite meals that he hates! Our biggest dispute is over soup. I love soup but Michael doesn’t feel that soup is a real meal. But he’s away so I get to eat all the soup I want!

Ina Garten’s Provencal Vegetable Soup is one of my absolute favorites. I could eat it everyday and never get sick of it. I don’t make any major modifications to the recipe, except that I make extra Pistou and use whole wheat noodles instead of semolina. I find the potato/noodle combination particularly filling so I reduce the amount of noodles.

You can find the recipe on Food Network

Apple-Maple-Salad

This delicious salad accompanied my yummy soup. I was at my sister’s house and she had this amazing salad dressing by Salad Girl in Crisp Apple Maple. You can find it at Whole Foods in the refrigerated area of the produce section. I highly recommend trying it!

Provencal-Soup

As always, enjoy!

Tempeh Marsala

22 Mar

Tempeh-Marsala-Side

Here is another household favorite, especially for Michael. He could eat this everyday of the week and be a very happy camper. Whenever I’m making the grocery list and ask him if he has any requests for the week, it’s always the same answer, Marsala.

This recipe was inspired by the recipe from 100 Days of Real Food. I altered the recipe long before we stopped eating meat because I didn’t feel like there was enough flavor. You can always substitute cubed chicken for the tempeh.

Tempeh-Marsala-Top

Ingredients:
Inspired by Chicken Marsala Pasta
1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked according to the package
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 block tempeh, cubed and seasoned according to package
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra
11/2 cup marsala wine
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
salt and pepper

For the Asparagus:
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350o.
  2. Spread the asparagus out in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Lightly toss the asparagus to coat well.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the asparagus is soft enough to pierce with a knife.

For the Marsala:
Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package
  2. Cut the tempeh into strips and lightly drizzle with olive oil. On a plate, combine the bread crumbs, garlic powder and italian seasoning.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Toss the oiled tempeh in the bread crumb mixture and add to the pan. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Remove the tempeh from the pan, reduce the heat to low and add the marsala. Bring the heat back up to medium and slowly add the cream.
  5. Add the tempeh back into the sauce, reduce to low to keep warm.
  6. Toss the pasta with the sauce, plate with the asparagus on top.

As always, enjoy!

Cookie Dough Cookies

21 Mar

Cookie-Dough-Cookies-Top

I found this recipe for Raw Cookie Dough Bites which is amazing, because I too was at a loss for what to do with all of the almond pulp left over from my almond milk. I hate wasting food and I felt bad throwing away all that perfectly good almond pulp. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when Megan posted her recipe.

Cookie-Dough-Cookies

Just a note, I used peanut butter instead of almond butter. If you use peanut butter I would recommend reducing the coconut oil to about 2 tablespoons or omitting it all together. I haven’t tried it with almond butter only because we don’t eat almond butter. The peanut butter version is delicious. They are so good, it’s worth making almond milk just for these bites!

You can find the recipe here.

As always, enjoy!

Crustless Rainbow Chard, Leek and Tarragon Quiche

13 Mar

Quiche-Side

It is entirely possible that I’ve never had quiche until last night. I spent our entire meal racking my brain trying to figure out if I had ever had quiche before. I couldn’t recall ever having had one. So, this was very exciting for me! I’ll be honest, Michael wasn’t a fan. However, I learned after the fact that he’s not really a “quiche man” as he called it. I, on the other hand, am totally a quiche woman. I thought it was very yummy and will most likely be eating the leftovers for days to come!

Quiche-Top

Ingredients:
Variations to this Crustless Leek, Greens and Herb Quiche recipe
2 leeks, green and white portions halved and sliced
2 cups rainbow chard, cut into ribbons and stems sliced thinly
1 tbsp olive oil
5 eggs
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp tarragon, chopped
1/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350o and grease a 9″ pie dish.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the leeks and chard until the leeks are slightly golden brown. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk eggs in a large bowl. Stir in the tarragon, nutmeg, cheese, salt, and pepper.
  4. Stir the chard-leek mixture into the eggs and pour into the pie dish.
  5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggs are set up.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  7. As always, enjoy!

Rainbow Chard over Quinoa

12 Mar

Rainbow-Chard-over-Quinoa

I had a tiny cold last week and was really in need of comfort food. Now that I’m feeling better, I was compelled to counter all the heaviness of last week with loads of veggies. I plan our weekly meals before going to the grocery store. This way I only buy what I need and don’t have to worry about wasting food. Plus, it makes getting things ready super easy since I already know we’re having for dinner that night. Feeling uninspired when I was making my weekly grocery list, I turned to the interweb for some help. I found this recipe on the Vegetarian Times and was inspired to make it a little more budget friendly. Are pine nuts only outrageously expensive in Chicago?

This meal was incredibly delicious. It was light, yet filling and had a wonderful hint of summer flavor. The success of this meal was confirmed by Michael’s second helping.

Note: My sister gave me a bottle of Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar from Trader Joe’s that she had leftover. It’s delicious! I used two tablespoons of this in the recipe, but you could also combine champagne vinegar and orange juice with a bit of sugar or honey.

Ingredients:
Inspired by Sicilian Swiss Chard over Quiona
1 bunch rainbow chard, leaves cut into ribbons and stems sliced thinly
2 carrots, peeled
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 chopped cashews
2 tbsp Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar (from Trader Joe’s)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (I like things hot, but you can tone it down)
1 tbsp cumin
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. Bring the vegetable broth and cumin to a boil and add the quinoa. Cover and reduce to low heat. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the carrots, onion and chard stems. Cook until the onion is golden brown.
  3. Toss in the chard ribbons, garlic, red pepper flakes and raisins. Stir in the orange muscat champagne vinegar and cook for about 4 minutes.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the cashews.
  5. Spoon the quinoa into bowls and top with the chard.

As always, enjoy!