Archive for the ‘grains’ Category

Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats (for Meatless Monday)

Friday, August 6th, 2010

If you garden or belong to a CSA, you’re likely searching for new ways to use up all that zucchini and summer squash right about now. These meatless stuffed zucchini, or “zucchini boats,” are a simple and tasty recipe that’s fast enough for a weeknight supper.

I use quinoa, a quick-cooking grain similar to cous cous, because of its high protein content. This recipe also includes some chopped mushrooms for added texture, in place of the meat. It’s also a good way to use up any stray half onions or peppers you may have in the fridge — I like to use red onion and pepper to make it more colorful, but you can use whatever you have on hand and of course mix up the vegetables according to your family’s tastes. If you have a child who objects to certain colors or vegetables, you can set aside some of the quinoa for his or her squash.

And, this recipe is great to make with older kids, ages 4 and up, who might enjoy hollowing out and filling the zucchini boats.

Recipe: Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby bella (or button) mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar
  • fresh parsley
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Instructions: Rinse and drain the quinoa. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the quinoa and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, or until broth is fully absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the soft centers, leaving a hollow boat-shaped shell.

In a mixing bowl, gently toss the quinoa with the the chopped pepper, onion and mushrooms. Season with parsley, salt and pepper. Drizzle oil and vinegar over and stir to combine.

Arrange zucchini in a shallow baking dish. Scoop quinoa filling into the zucchini. Sprinkle mozzarella on top. Pour water into the pan to cover the bottom by 1/4 inch (this helps keep the zucchini moist while cooking). Bake for 35 minutes, until zucchini is tender when pricked with a fork. Turn on the broiler for about 2 minutes, just to brown the cheese. Serve 1 half as a side dish or 2 halves for a main course. Enjoy!

The FoodieTots family participates in Meatless Mondays, cutting out meat one day a week for our health and for the environment. (When we do eat meat, we choose local and grassfed whenever possible.) Visit the Meatless Monday pledge page to learn more, and sign up for weekly tips and recipes you can use to go meatless, too! And click here for more of our favorite family- friendly Meatless Monday recipes.

Lemon Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Facing an empty fridge upon our return home from vacation, I was in need of groceries and inspiration this past weekend. I happened to catch a mention on Twitter of food52‘s risotto party and was inspired to make a spring risotto. I knew I wanted to include lemon and mint, and had been intrigued by a raw artichoke and parmesan salad I’d read about in the April issue of Body + Soul. And I decided to add citrusy broiled shrimp, as in the food52 finalist’s recipe. There are few things more soothing than the fresh scent of mint and lemon zest, and this creamy risotto is a perfect supper to usher in spring.

Recipe: Lemon Artichoke Risotto with Shrimp

Ingredients:

for the risotto

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 teaspoon reserved for shrimp)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 tablespoon zest reserved for shrimp)
  • 2 cups organic Arborio rice
  • 4 cups seafood stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fruity white wine
  • 1 6-ounce jar water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

for the shrimp

  • 1 pound wild U.S. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • reserved garlic and lemon zest from above
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions:

Gently toss the shrimp with chopped garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, and a generous amount of sea salt and pepper. Let marinate at room temperature while preparing the risotto.

Bring seafood stock and water to simmer in a stock pot.

In a dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium low heat and cook garlic several minutes, until translucent. Increase heat to medium and add rice, stirring to coat with oil, and cook 4-5 minutes. Rice will turn translucent and begin to appear lightly toasted. Add lemon zest and juice. Pour in wine and cook 1 minute.

Begin ladling the stock, two ladles full at a time, into the risotto. Stir frequently after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed, then add the next batch. The process of adding, stirring and absorbing liquid will take about 20-25 minutes. The rice will release its starch, resulting in a creamy white sauce. Taste periodically until the rice is al dente — still firm but no longer crunchy in the middle. When the desired texture is reached, gently fold in artichoke hearts, mint and parmesan cheese and remove from heat.

Under a broiler, cook shrimp about 2 minutes on each side, until pink and opaque. Serve atop risotto, and garnish with additional fresh mint and/or shaved parmesan. Makes 4-6 servings. Enjoy!

Note: You can replace the seafood stock with vegetable and omit the shrimp to serve the risotto alone for a vegetarian or Meatless Monday-friendly supper.

Meatless Monday: Curried Squash Stew

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Have you heard of Meatless Monday? We don’t eat meat every night. When do eat meat, it’s local, hormone-free, free-range/grassfed, etc. So on the whole I’m not too concerned about the carbon footprint of our protein choices, but I do think it’s important to have a varied, balanced diet and would like to expand my meatless repertoire beyond pastas and quesadillas. So I’ll periodically be posting Meatless Monday recipes that emphasize beans, whole grains and other forms of protein. Please suggest your favorites, too!

This week’s recipe was inspired by the beautiful piece of fresh ginger and two small acorn squash we got in our CSA bag from Potomac Vegetable Farms. Butternut squash would be a little easier to work with here, as its smooth skin can be easily peeled eliminating the extra cooking step with the acorn squash. But use whichever you prefer. If you do use the acorn squash, reserve the shells for a fun serving dish with high kid-appeal.

curried squash stew in acorn squash bowls

Recipe: Curried Squash, Potato and Bean Stew

  • 2 medium-sized acorn squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 fingerling or banana potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans,* rinsed and drained
  • cilantro, optional

Instructions:

If using acorn squash: Halve squash and remove seeds. Place cut side down on lightly-oiled baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft. Cool, then scoop flesh out and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

If using butternut squash: Peel, halve and remove seeds. Cut into 1/2-inch chunks and add to stew with the potatoes.

Heat olive oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and cook 4-5 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add ginger and cook 1 minute. Stir in seasonings and cook 1 additional minute. Add water, stir, then add potatoes and coconut milk to pan. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender. Add beans and acorn squash to pan and cook another 10 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

Notes: I served this stew over brown rice. I intended to use garbanzo beans, but didn’t have any on hand so navy beans stood in instead. You can garnish with cilantro, but it’s actually some spinach from our CSA in the picture.

Get more Meatless Monday recipe ideas from Kim O’Donnel at True/Slant … and please leave a comment with any meatless recipes you’ve enjoyed recently!

Bourbon Cherry Cobbler

Friday, July 10th, 2009

old wye mill mdA Southern Cherry Cobbler Recipe: The sour cherries we bought from Toigo last weekend went into a July 4th cobbler. I started with a recipe from 101 Cookbooks, the wonderful blog whose author is also responsible for the “Super Natural Recipe Search” button you may have noticed over on my left sidebar. I made a few additions — bourbon and corn meal — for a Southern twist. And the boy gets the credit for the blueberry polka dots, his contribution to create the requisite red, white and blue color scheme.

The corn meal, which is actual organic, local corn meal grown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and milled once a month at the Historic Wye Mill, is a fairly course grind so I pulsed it in a food processor with a pinch of tapioca starch to make more of a corn flour. I found the bourbon flavor more pronounced the next day, and you can certainly omit the bourbon for a more sober dessert.

Recipe: Bourbon Cherry Cobbler
adapted from 101 Cookbooks

toigo sour cherries

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups sour cherries, pitted
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch (or organic corn starch)
  • 1/3 cup corn meal, finely ground
  • 3/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup organic buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon fair-trade bourbon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons organic butter, melted and cooled

Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie pan and set aside. Gently toss together cherries, bourbon, starch and sugar in a bowl and set aside. Whisk together remaining dry ingredients. Separately, gently beat egg and combine with vanilla, buttermilk and butter. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined. Pour cherries into pie pan and dot with dollops of batter by the tablespoon, leaving a few gaps in between. (Optional, dot topping with blueberries or additional cherries.) Bake 20-22 minutes, until cherry liquid bubbles up and topping is lightly golden. Enjoy!

foodietot makes cherry cobbler

Farms of Origin: Toigo Orchard, PA (cherries), Westmoreland Berry Farms, VA (blueberries, hand-picked), Wye Mill, MD (organic corn meal), and a local egg from Tom the Cheese Guy, PA.

Banana Oat Bran Pancakes

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

happy toddler

Heart-shaped pancakes are something of a Valentine’s tradition in the FoodieTots’ home. I’ve been experimenting with a banana bran batter that provides a fiber boost while staying light and fluffy. The toddler loves to help make pancakes and as you can see, was quite pleased with this recipe. Best served with fresh fruit and topped with a little pure maple syrup, of course. Happy Valentine’s Day to you & your family!

Recipe: Banana Oat Bran Pancakes

banana oat bran pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup oat bran
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch nutmeg

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in large mixing bowl until just combined. Cook in cast iron skillet over medium low heat until golden and puffy. Makes 8-12, depending on size. Enjoy!