Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mediterranean Red Lentil and Spinach Stew

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.

Wow is this good! It's really rich and kind of sweet. I keep thinking "this needs eggplant", which I'm coming to realize is because it reminds me of Martina's yummy Eggplant Caponata! I served this over Quinoa made with sauteed onions and carrots and tumeric. But not when I finally decided to take a photo.

2T ghee or clarified butter (i used olive oil)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1T minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced (1...yeah right!)
2t ground cumin
2t paprika
2t ground coriander
1t ground cinnamon
5C water
2C peeled & diced butternut squash
1C dried red lentils
1C diced red bell pepper
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and finely chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 C currants or chopped, pitted dates
3T Bragg Liquid AMinos or natural soy sauce (I used like 2 T of a soy sauce substitute made with molasses and balsamic vinegar)
1t balsamic or apple cider vinegar
1-2 t salt
1/4t cayenne

with all the veggie ends I had left, I made a huge pot of vegetable broth for future soups!

Heat ghee in saucepan over med-high heat. Add onion and saute until well-browned and caramelized, about 10 min. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 2 min. stir in cumin, paprika, coriander and cinnamon. Add water, squash, lentils, red bell pepper amd celery. Simmer uncovered until lentils are tender, about 30 min.

Stir in spinach, cilantro, currants, bragg liquid aminos or soy, vinegar, salt to taste and cayenne. Simmer just long enough for spinach to wilt

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Protein Bars

Originally uploaded by lesliegardner.

I like to eat protien bars. My habit is to eat a little something about every 2 hours and it's great if it's something that makes me happy to eat. But the problem with the ones in the stores is that they cost like $2 a bar and most are loaded with sugar. So I invented these and I'm really happy with them!

1-1/2 C Fresh ground peanut butter
2T Agave nectar
1/2C each of
Flax seeds
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds (chopped)
Sesame seeds
toasted buckwheat
Wheat germ
2 scoops milk & egg protein powder

mix well. Smoosh into molds. Refrigerate for a while and pop out of mold.

I had pretty good luck keeping one of these in my backpack without it falling apart. The protien powder I used comes from Trader Joes, but you can probably use any kind. The mix of seeds isn't really important - this is just what I had around. If you like, you could totally add dried fruit or even chocolate chips! My goal was to reach the point where it was so full of goodies that the peanut butter was barely holding it together since the PB is so ridiculously caloric. These clock in at about 225 if you get 21 bars out of the recipe above. My molds are a little shy of 1/4 cup. The protein count is actually only about 9g, which is woefully disappointing to me so in the end, they fit the bill of small thing I like to eat but they don't pack the protien punch I had hoped for as a wannabe vegetarian with trouble digesting soy.

Update - I switched out Quinoa for toasted buckwheat - the crunch is just divine!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

chicken and potato bake

Chicken and Potato Bake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a shallow 2 quart baking dish with olive oil.

whisk together in a small bowl:

3 Tbs of balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs of olive oil
2 Large cloves of garlic minced
1 Tbs of fresh parsley chopped (I skipped this one, and it was fine)
1 Tbs of chopped fresh basil, chervil, or taragon, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried
1 Tbs fresh savory or thyme, or 1 1/2 tsp. dried

1/4 tsp. salt
ground black pepper to taste

Peel and very thinly slice 1lb of potatoes (I didn't peel them). Thinly slice one large sweet onion. (I also put a beet in there because I like how it turns everything pink - I think you could put just about any type of root vegetable in with it)

Arrange half the potatoes in the baking dish. Season well with salt and pepper. Spoon one quarter of the vinaigrette over the potato slices and spread the herbs over the potatoes as evenly as possible. Arrange the onion slices over the potatoes and top with the remaining potatoes. Season and spoon another quarter of the vinaigrette over them, again spreading the herbs out evenly.

Top the potatoes with 4 large chicken breast halves (about 4lbs) boned, but not skinned. Or, you can top the potatoes with one of those whole chickens that has been halved. Bake, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender and the chicken juices run clear when pierced in the thickest part. (aprox. 1 hour for breasts, 1.5 hours for whole chickens). It is YUM!