Tuesday, January 28
This post is years overdue. I throw “Kitchen Sink Quesadillas” up on my menu fairly regularly and I’ve always just linked to a page with the recipe typed straight out of a Real Simple magazine, with no notes or pictures. Since it’s such a reliable go-to meal around here, I figured it deserved a bit of attention!
I got the recipe from Real Simple long before I started this blog. In fact, it was one of my first attempts at vegetarian cooking. I’ll never forget the first time I made kitchen sink quesadillas. As Nate and I finished eating, he looked at me and said, “I didn’t even realize there wasn’t any meat.” We were both surprised how delicious and filling our dinner was!
Our family has come along way since then – nowadays about half of our dinners are vegetarian. I really think this recipe all those years ago helped me realize that eating less meat is no big deal!
Anyway, vegetarian or not, this is a great go-to meal and a nice step up from the basic quesadilla with very little extra work. They are simple and fast to prepare and there is also an option to cook the quesadillas all at one time, which can be especially helpful when cooking for a family.Kitchen Sink QuesadillasAdapted from Real SimpleAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main DishIngredients
- Quesadilla ingredients:
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1 can corn kernels, drained
- ¾ cup salsa, drained (you don’t have to drain the salsa, but it makes for a much less messy quesadilla, so if you don’t mind the step it’s good to do)
- Small flour tortillas (twice as many as the number of quesadillas you want to make
- Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack
- Optional side salad ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon minced red onion
- ⅓ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Juice of 1 to 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- If cooking the quesadillas in the oven, heat oven to 400° F. In a medium bowl, combine the beans, corn, and salsa.
- Place 4 tortillas on a parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Lightly spread the bean-corn-salsa mixture over the cheese, then top with more cheese. Place flour tortillas on top. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes. You can also cook the quesadillas on the stovetop one at a time if you prefer.
- If you would like to whip up the side salad, while the quesadillas are in the oven, combine the onion, cilantro, salt, pepper, lime juice, oil and sugar. Mix well. Toss with the chopped lettuce. (I hardly ever make the salad!)
- Cut quesadillas into wedges and serve with the salad. Also good with salsa, sour cream and guacamole!
Wednesday, May 8
One of the delicious dishes we were treated to at our latest book club was an asparagus and spring onion tart, as made my dear friend Barbara.
LOVED THIS TART. The “shortcrust” was delicious, the top had a pleasant chewiness thanks to a melted Parmesan cheese, and all the flavors blended really nicely together. Of course we all begged for the recipe. Barbara had found the recipe in the latest issue of Vegetarian Times, which she happily shared. She’s not one to keep secrets when it comes to good food!
You all may be wondering (as I am) what the difference between a quiche and a tart is. If anyone has a good answer, please feel free to share! Tarts may be savory or sweet, while quiche are savory, but beyond that their “official” definitions are almost identical. So, I say just call it whatever you want!Asparagus and Spring Onion TartSavory and delicious!Author: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main DishIngredients
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 6 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes (I just use salted butter)
- 2 large eggs, divided
- ½ pound trimmed asparagus spears
- 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups spring or green onions
- 4 large eggs
- 1½ cups whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 ounce (1/4 cup) grated fresh parmesan cheese (I might use a bit more myself)
- Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. (Jane note: I use my pastry blender.) Beat 1 egg and 2 Tbs water in a small bowl. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture just until dough comes together, adding 1 Tbs. more water if needed. Flatten dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 1 hour (up to 1 day).
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough to 12-inch circle on floured surface. Press dough into 9-inch springform pan or fluted tart pan with removable bottom. (Jane note: Barbara baked and served her tart in a pretty fluted dish without a removable bottom. It worked very well.) Trim edges, prick bottom all over with a fork. Line tart shell with parchment paper and fill with dried beans. Bake 25 minutes or until barely golden. Remove beans and paper. Beat remaining egg and brush on bottom of crust. Bake 5 minutes more.
- Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water 3 minutes. Drain and cut into 1¼-inch lengths. Heat oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, cook 8-10 minutes until softened. Remove from heat. Whisk together eggs and milk in bowl. Stir in onions and asparagus.
- Pour filling into shortcrust and place pan on a baking sheet. (Jane note: line baking sheet with foil for easy clean-up.) Sprinkle tart with parmesan cheese. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until tart is set in the middle and top is browned well. Cover edges of crust with foil if they start to brown too much before the tart is done. Pop out of pan and serve.
Thursday, February 21
Before we get into the heart of today’s post, I need to whet your appetite. You do not want to miss today’s recipe. It comes from my sister-in-law Cora and is amazing. Appetite whetted? Good.
Way back in the day, I was an International Relations major at Boston University, with a focus on developing countries. When I met the folks at ONE about a year ago, I was super excited to get involved and help support their work, especially since one of their main focuses is world hunger. My food blogging and international relations lives were coming together in a very cool way. The folks at ONE have been amazing to work with, too. Win, win, win!
Today is Sweet Potato Day, a special day coordinated with ONE where a big group of loving, talented bloggers are all writing about sweet potatoes to raise awareness on the issue of hunger. Why the sweet potato, you ask? We are trying to make the sweet potato famous! It is nutritional and hearty and is saving lives in Africa, making it a worthy mascot for the cause! (Click here to read the Sweet Potato Day kick-off post I wrote for the ONE website.)
As part of the big day, I am sharing a keeper of a recipe with you below. It is so so so so good. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos come from my culinarily-talented sister-in-law, Cora. The first night she made them, she called me simply to tell me how delicious her dinner was. I knew I would have to make it myself pronto! Each element of this “recipe” is great on its own: the black beans are deliciously sweet, the sweet potatoes are simple and flavorful with a hint of spice, and the slaw is fresh and has bite. When you put them all together, you get something really special.
To support Sweet Potato Day, I hope that you will visit ONE’s website and see how you can get involved. There are two main issues I would love for you to check out. First, the budget. You can learn more on the budget issue and send a letter to your Congressperson on this page. Second, food. ONE has oodles of great info on food and hunger on this page, where you can also sign a petition to encourage world leaders to make hunger and food a top priority. We really can make a difference. I am blessed with abundance and want to do my part to help share the love. I hope you’ll join me!Sweet Potato and Black Bean BurritosAuthor: Cora Walling (Jane's awesome sister-in-law)Ingredients
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes (see recipe below)
- Aunt Kathy's Black Beans (see recipe below)
- Jalapeño Slaw (see recipe below)
- Shredded cheese
- Sour Cream
- Flour tortillas
3.2.2310Roasted Sweet PotatoesAuthor: Cora Wallin (Jane's awesome sister-in-law)Ingredients
- Stuff all the good food above into your flour tortillas, eat, and enjoy!
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- Olive oil
- Chili powder
- Spread cubed sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes evenly, to coat. Sprinkle sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Mix and move sweet potatoes around on the sheet to coat with spices. Roast in a 350 degree F oven while you prepare the beans. Cook until soft then remove from oven, 10-20 minutes.
Aunt Kathy's Black BeansAuthor: From Cora Wallin, slightly modified by Jane MaynardIngredients
- 2 (16oz) cans black beans, mostly drained
- ½ cup water
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- ⅛ cup vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 bay leaves
- 2 T fresh, minced garlic
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- ⅓ onion, chopped
- Sauté onions. Combine all ingredients, including sautéed onions, in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Jalapeño SlawAuthor: Jane Maynard via Cora WallinIngredients
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 16-ounce package cabbage and carrot coleslaw
- 1 jalapeño, sliced thin and chopped (add more if you want it hotter)
- Mix all the ingredients except the coleslaw together in a large bowl. Add coleslaw and toss to coat.
Be sure to visit the other blogs taking part in Sweet Potato Day! I have listed them all below. There is a lot of love and deliciousness in these posts. You will be well fed.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
The MIssion List and Sweet Potato Day
World Moms Blog and Sweet Potato Day
Go Graham Go and Sweet Potato Day
Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
Documama and Sweet Potato Day
Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage from Kitchen Gadget Girl
Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
Oh My Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Bowl Licker
Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother (also found on Million Moms Challenge)
Posted by Jane Maynard at 5:00 am 31 Comments
Categories: eat less meat, Eat Well. Heal the Planet., featured recipes, main dishes, ONE, Recipes, side dishes Tags: black beans, mexican food, sweet potatoes, vegetarian |
Tuesday, May 3
I’ve tried to convince you to like beets before, and I’m not going to stop until I get at least one of you beet haters on the beet bandwagon. As a beet convert myself, I know it’s possible. And, today, I’m going to make it even easier for the beet haters to give them another try.
Here’s the secret: eat golden beets. I don’t even know where you can find them because I found them in my CSA bag the week before Easter. But all of you (beet haters and lovers alike!) should try to find fresh, in-season, golden beets sometime. The flavor is milder and, well, just plain yummy. (I think the food magazines are knocking on my door after that amazing description.)
Before I get you thinking golden beets don’t taste like beets, they do. And, I’ll be straight with you…the non-beet lovers at the Easter feast did not gobble these beauties up. But the non-beet lovers did admit these beets are better than your average, run-of-the mill red beet. I consider that success.
Plus, they’re gorgeous. Seriously. My camera ate them up almost as enthusiastically as I did.Roasted Beet Salad with Spinach and Goat CheesePrep timeCook timeTotal timeAuthor: Jane Maynard, inspired by Cafe BorroneIngredients
- - Beets (golden if you can find them)
- - Spinach
- - Goat cheese
- - Your favorite salad dressing…Girard’s Champagne dressing is awesome with this salad
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the greens and ends off of the beets and wrap each beet in some foil. Place in a roasting pan. Roast 40-60 minutes, until beets are pierced easily with a sharp knife. Let cool a bit, then peel of the skins.
- Slice beets then top with spinach, crumbled goat cheese and salad dressing.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 5:00 am 36 Comments
Categories: CSA, eat less meat, featured recipes, healthy eats, Recipes, side dishes, simple side dishes Tags: goat cheese, roasted beet salad, roasted beets, salad, vegetarian |
Tuesday, September 7
I’m always on the lookout for easy go-to meals. While I tend to rely on my go-to recipes a little too heavily, eventually making myself totally sick of them, I’m still grateful to have these gems in my arsenal!
My latest favorite go-to meal is simple stuffed shells. No meat involved, super easy to make, and mighty delicious. It’s a little more effort than throwing together spaghetti, but not much. You just need to think ahead a bit – make sure you have the cheeses on hand, and give yourself time for baking. But, seriously, they’re easy to make. And my girls gobble them up.
Please feel free to share your own stuffed shells recipe! Here is how I’ve been making mine lately. Yum.Simple Stuffed ShellsSimple, delicious and reliable go-to recipe for stuffed shells.Author: Jane MaynardRecipe type: ItalianIngredients
- Half box of pasta shells (about 20)
- 1 container ricotta cheese (I think they’re 16 oz – whatever is at your standard grocery store)
- A few cloves of garlic, mashed through garlic press
- About 1 tsp. salt
- A few shakes of black pepper
- A few tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- About half a jar of tomato-based pasta sauce
- Handful shredded fresh parmesan cheese
- A few handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese
- Boil shells as per package directions. Drain and make sure they don’t stick to each other.
- Mix together the ricotta, garlic, salt, pepper, basil, and egg.
- Stuff your shells, maybe about a tablespoon per shell. Use up all the filling for about 20-24 shells.
- Place shells in a 9×13 baking dish, drizzle with pasta sauce (I think I used about half of a jar or so), then sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake in 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly, about 25-30 minutes or so.
Thursday, April 15
Since we’re on a quest to eat less meat, I’ve decided that I need to find some good veggie burger recipes. Nate’s mom was raving about a vegetarian chickpea burger recipe, which she shared with me this week. I made them last night and they are Yum-O. (I just said that because it’s a Rachael Ray recipe. I promise never to say “Yum-O” again.) These vegetarian chickpea burgers have really great flavor, and they are super easy and fast to make. As with many homemade veggie burgers, handle with care so they don’t fall apart on you. Last night we topped ours with lettuce, tomato, avocado and sauteed mushrooms. While the mushrooms were tasty, I think next time I’ll switch them out for thinly sliced cucumber and sprouts…and I won’t forget the cheese, which I did this time. Phooey. I will definitely be trying other veggie burger recipes as well and will let you know how they go!Vegetarian Chickpea BurgersFrom Everyday with Rachael Ray via my mother-in-law PatAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, VegetarianIngredients
- 1 15-oz can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 4-oz can diced green chiles
- ⅔ cup packed flat leaf parsley
- ⅔ cup bread crumbs (Pat note: I use regular, flavored, Panko – whatever. Jane note: I used Panko last night)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons veggie oil (Pat note: I have used olive too)
- 4 thin slices cheddar cheese
- 4 burger buns
- Ketchup, mayo or other toppings (Pat note: I never use these or the cheese or the buns. Jane note: she’s being totally serious here. ha!)
- Now… In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas, chiles and parsley till finely chopped. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the bread crumbs and s and p to taste (Jane note: I only did ~1/2 tsp salt – should have done more). Stir in the egg and form the 4 patties, each about ⅔ inch thick.
- Then… In a large skillet heat the oil over med low heat. Cook the burgers for 4 minutes then flip and cook for 3-5 minutes and add cheese if desired. Pat usually cooks till they are nice and golden brown. (Pat note: Don’t forget, you can shape them into fun designs, like fake turkey legs or letters for your kids!)
- Postscript: These are way easier to flip in the pan if you make them into mini-burgers. Click here for a follow-up post with more info on miniaturizing the burgers!
Tuesday, January 12
Have you heard of the Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks? If you have a vegetarian friend (or you are a vegetarian) who likes to cook, then you probably have. I can’t believe how many vegetarians in the last week have recommended various Moosewood Restaurant cookbooks to me. I think it’s time to go cookbook shopping. (Click here to read more about this interesting restaurant.)
My friend Nikki made Pasta Primavera for us one night and it was divine. I couldn’t wait to get the recipe and she happily shared. It’s from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook, which she said is her favorite of their books. If you want to buy it, click here.
Let me warn you, this dish is a labor of love. Chopping all those vegetables takes time…especially if you add more vegetables than the recipe calls for like I did. But it is an excellent dish, is super healthy, and if you’re only feeding 4 people like me you will have tons of leftovers. Blanching the vegetables as indicated in the recipe makes for perfectly cooked veggies.
One more quick tip…I had some Tuscan Tomato Soup leftover when I made this pasta. Pouring a bit of that soup over the pasta was oh so good.Pasta Primavera from MoosewoodMy friend Nikki discovered this fabulous and filling vegetarian recipe and shared it with me. I will be forever grateful to her!Author: Jane Maynard vis Moosewood RestaurantRecipe type: VegetarianIngredients
- 6 garlic cloves (Nikki sometimes uses more)
- 2 tsp olive oil (Nikki sometimes uses more, I think I did more like 2 Tbsp.)
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- ½ – 1 tsp salt (I’ve added this because it definitely need more salt, and if you add at this point with the sauce I think it will diffuse through the ingredients better than seasoning at the end)
- ½ cup sliced fresh basil leaves (slice them crosswise)
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 small carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2-inch matchsticks (Nikki leaves this out, I kept it in)
- Handful snow peas, cut in half width-wise (Nikki & Jane addition)
- Handful sugar snap peas, cut in half width-wise (Jane addition)
- Handful green beans, cut into 2-inch lenth pieces (Nikki and Jane addition)
- 2 small zucchini, cut into 2-inch matchsticks (Nikki likes summer squash better)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound fettuccine or butterfly pasta (farfalle)
- ¼ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
- Bring a covered pot of water large enough to accommodate a colander or steamer basket to a boil (neither Nikki nor I have one of these setups, so we use a slotted spoon to scoop the veggies out of the hot water when it’s time). Meanwhile, saute the garlic and oil in a saucepan for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and salt and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the basil and red onions, cover, and remove from the heat.
- When the water is boiling, blanch the vegetables. (If you prefer to steam the vegetables, allow 3 minutes between each addition of vegetables). Put the carrots in first. After 1 minute, add the asparagus and bell peppers (if doing snow peas, sugar snap peas and/or green beans, toss them in at this point). After another minute, add the zucchini (or summer squash) and peas. Cook for 1 minute more and then lift out the colander and all of the vegetables and set aside to drain. Reserve the pot of boiling water for cooking the pasta. Stir the vegetables into the tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper (if needed). Cover and set aside.
- Cook the pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the reserved cooking water and 3 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Top with the tomato-vegetable sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 10:49 am 29 Comments
Categories: eat less meat, featured recipes, healthy eats, main dishes, Recipes Tags: healthy eats, healthy food, moosewood restaurant, pasta, vegetarian |
Thursday, January 31Baked Stuffed Winter SquashYummy stuffed and baked winter squash!Author: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, VegetarianIngredients
- 4 acorn squash, halved and seeded
- 2 C cooked wild rice (I used 3 C of the the Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley (brown rice, black barley and daikon radish seeds) & it worked great)
- 1 C cooked wheat berries (I didn’t have these, which is why I did 3 C of the TJ’s medley)
- 1 C roasted pears
- ¼ C canola oil, divided
- 1 large shallot, diced
- ⅓ C apple cider
- ½ C dried cranberries
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast squash cut side down for 30-40 minutes. While squash is roasting, cook rice and wheat berries according to package directions (Jane note – I added salt to the water that the rice cooked in for flavor). One squash is soft, cut pears into large dice and toss with ⅛ C canola oil. Roast on sheet tray about 20 minutes. Saute shallot in rest of oil over medium heat. Pour apple cider in with shallots, cooking and stirring to deglaze the pan. Mix rice, berries, pears, and cranberries into shallot mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Stuff each squash with filling and serve.