Bacon & Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Bacon Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Bacon & Leek Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Serves 4
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers
Vegetarian Substitutes

I had some bacon left over from making the Bacon “Fried” Rice a couple weeks back,  and here’s what I did with it! This recipe is inspired by my favorite dish served at Wolf’s Biergarten in Albany, a popular haunt among our group of friends for birthday celebrations. Fresh brussels sprouts get fantastic flavor from leeks and bacon, livened up with the bright flavors of lemon and thyme. This is one of those recipes that can change a person’s mind about brussels sprouts. Folks who don’t usually like them have been seen devouring large portions of these!      ~ Susan

Ingredients

1 cup thinly sliced leeks – use the lighter part closer to the roots, save the green part for another use
2 strips of bacon – diced
1 lb brussels sprouts – cut in half
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons water
fresh lemon wedges

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cook diced bacon in a skillet until nicely browned, but not burned. Remove bacon from excess fat and let it drain on a plate lined with a brown paper bag or unbleached paper towel.

Toss leeks, cooked bacon and brussels sprouts together with the olive oil, thyme, salt, pepper and water.

Arrange mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until water is evaporated, and brussels sprouts are lightly browned but still slightly crunchy.

Serve them hot from the oven with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon.

Serving Suggestions

Excellent with grilled chicken sausages and boiled new potatoes.
Try them with a roast chicken and a side of brown basmati rice or quinoa.

Vegetarian Substitutes

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Try using Smokey Tempeh Strips (Fakin Bacon) in place of real bacon, you’ll love it.

Bharati’s Gujarati Cabbage

Bharati’s Gujarati Cabbage
Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

One of the best things about being married to Mahir is the wonderful introduction I’ve gotten to Gujarati food. Gujarat is the region of India where his family comes from (they now live in Bombay), and the cuisine there is completely different than the Punjabi food I grew up with. My mother-in-law, whose name is Bharati, is one of the best cooks I know, and I love going to Bombay every December and getting spoiled by her cooking. Traditional Gujarati food can be heavy and is even laced with sugar, but Mahir’s dad is a diabetic so she’s a very health conscious cook. I had a craving for her cabbage a few weeks ago and called her to ask for the recipe. I had always imagined it to be some complex combination of spices but was surprised by how simple it is. Since no recipe is a substitute for her touch, I’ll still have her make it for me when I visit, but this is a pretty darn good fill in!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 head of green cabbage, finely shredded
1 tablespoon of vegetable or canola oil
juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of coriander power
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1/4 cup of water

Instructions:

Toss cabbage with the salt and half the lemon juice.

Marinate for 30 minutes.

Warm a large nonstick on medium heat, and add oil.

Add mustard seeds, and cook until they pop, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add spices in the oil, and mix well.

Add in water, mix with spices and let the mixture come to a gentle boil.

Add in cabbage, and mix well.

Cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn off heat, and toss with the rest of the lemon juice.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with the tofu recipe from last week and some roti or whole wheat tortilla or serve alongside the tandoori tilapia from a few weeks ago and some brown rice.

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Indian Stir-Fried Tofu

Indian Stir-Fried Tofu
Serves 2 to 3
Can Be Doubled| Can Be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

Tofu is an incredibly bland source of protein on its own, but the great thing about this low-fat food is that it picks up the flavor of anything you add to it. For me, that usually means Indian spices. This stir-fry version is very satisfying even for a non-vegetarian like me and is an ideal meatless addition to any Indian meal. The funny thing is that I couldn’t come up with on my own – I left Tess in charge, and she creatively came up this recipe- she’s become more Indian than us!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1, 15-ounce packet firm tofu
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons of olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
2 teaspoons of coriander powder
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of red chili powder
a large handful of cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Heat oil in a medium nonstick pan.

Add onion and garlic and saute for 3 minutes or until onion softens.

Add tomatoes. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add spices except for cilantro and stir together with tomato and onion mixture.

Add 1/4 cup water, and let simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add in tofu and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in cilantro.

Serving Suggestions:

Roll this tofu up in a whole-wheat tortilla as a wrap and have some crudite as a side. Or, serve over rice and have with any Indian vegetable.


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Stir-Fried Kale

Stir-Fried Kale
Serves 2 to 4 as a side dish
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

I’m sad that all the bountiful produce that comes with summer has come to an end, but I look do look forward to some of the wonderful vegetables that come into season in fall and winter like kale. This leafy dark green vegetable is a true nutrition powerhouse- besides being low in calories and high in fiber like most vegetables, it has calcium, iron and Vitamins A,C and K. It also has nearly seven time the beta-carotene of broccoli and ten times more lutein. I love putting it in soups and making kale chips, but one of my favorite standbys is a simple stir-fry. The scallions in this recipe add an a nice onion flavor that’s not too overpowering- the earthy taste of the kale itself is meant to shine.

Ingredients:

1 large bunch of kale, washed and chopped into medium sized pieces
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:

Warm oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pan.

Add garlic, and fry in the oil for one minute.

Add in scallions, and fry together with garlic for an additional minute.

Add in kale, season with salt and pepper, and keep stir-frying with the scallions and garlic until the leaves wilt into the pan- about three to five minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with simple grilled chicken breasts and a crusty whole-wheat roll or alongside any grilled fish like salmon, halibut or tilapia.

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Creamy Beet Salad

Creamy Beet Salad Low Fat Recipe

Creamy Beet Salad
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers

In this recipe, simply steamed beets are paired with a ridiculously easy dressing and some crisp raw red onion to create an elegant appetizer or side dish that is a treat for the eyes and the taste buds. While beets are available all year round, their peak season around these parts is from June through October, so I’ve been taking advantage of the gorgeous varieties available from our local farmers lately. When you buy a bunch, save those beet greens too – they’re fantastic sauteed with a touch of garlic or added to soups!   ~ Susan

Ingredients:

2 medium-small beets, or 1 large
2 tablespoons thinly sliced red onion or sweet vidalia onion
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
optional – chopped parsley, dill or chervil for garnish

Instructions:

Scrub the beets well or peel them.

Slice into thin slices.

Steam beet slices for 3 minutes or just until fork-tender.

Let beet slices cool to room temperature.

In a small dish combine mayo, vinegar, a touch of salt and a good dose of pepper.

Place beets, red onion, and dressing mixture into a mixing bowl and toss gently just until combined. Divide equally onto two plates.

Garnish with fresh chopped herb of your choice and serve!

Serving Suggestions:

I like this salad on its own as an appetizer or snack.

It’s a great side dish for lemony grilled chicken, along with some green vegetables such as steamed broccoli, asparagus or green beans or a green salad.

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Zucchini Indian Style

Zucchini Indian Style
Serves 3 to 4
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

Zucchini is a favorite vegetable of mine, but you’ll usually never see it on Indian restaurant menus or find Indians cooking it with the Asian touch. I was in Bombay last December staying with my in-laws, and while visiting a grocery store in the Breach Candy area that carries foodstuff not commonly found in India, I saw a basket of verdant green zucchini begging to be bought. My mother-in-law is an exceptional cook, but her cuisine is limited to that of her upbringing so I picked up two zucchini and asked her to make it for me with her touch. She was hesitant as she had never cooked this vegetable before, but, not surprisingly, the recipe came out delicious. And, my mother-in-law tells me that she liked it so much that she’s added it to her repertoire as well even though I’m not there.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchini, cut into coins and halved
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 medium tomato, diced into small chunks
1/2 onion, cut into thin slivers
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of coriander
1/2 teaspoon of garam masala
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup water
cilantro, finely chopped for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

Warm oil in a medium nonstick pan over medium heat.

Saute garlic and onion for 3 to 4 minutes or until soft.

Add in tomatoes, and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in spices into onion tomato mixture, and fry for two minutes.

Add in zucchini and water cook until soft but not overly mushy (about 5 to 7 minutes).

Turn off heat, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.

Serving Suggestions:

Try this with Aparna’s Turkey Tikkis and some warmed whole wheat rotis (whole wheat tortillas make a fine substitute).

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Roasted Beets, Turnips & Carrots

Roasted Beets, Carrots & Turnips Low Fat Recipe

Roasted Beets, Turnips & Carrots
Serves 2
Can be doubled | Can be halved | Makes great leftovers

Lately I’ve been craving beets, so I picked up a bunch from our farmer friends down the road. When I roast beets I like to mix them up with other vegetables. Here’s a great trio – the colors are lovely and you get three distinctly different flavors in each bite. The mellow carrots, the sweet, earthy beets and dare I say ever so slightly “bitter” turnips are a great combination! Any of them roasted by themselves are fine, but when roasted together like this they all shine. I’d serve this medley as a side dish for chicken or turkey, or even alongside simply herbed and grilled fish with a wedge of lemon.     ~ Susan

Ingredients:

1 large turnip
2 medium beets
2 large carrots
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Cut all the vegetables into 3/4 inch cubes.

Toss them in a mixing bowl with the oil, salt & pepper until evenly coated.

Arrange in a single layer in a casserole or baking dish, and cover with foil or casserole lid.

Let vegetables roast, covered, for about 35-45 minutes, just until tender and very lightly browned on the bottoms. They’re ready!

Serving Suggestions:

You’ve got a classic roasted vegetable side dish here, pair it with herbed chicken or turkey, or try the grilled fish suggestion! Halibut, tilapia, even a simply broiled filet of sole would be great.

These roasted gems would also go very well with the Savory Baked Tofu recipe I posted a couple of months ago.

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Ameeta’s Crunchy Grilled Okra

Ameeta’s Crunchy Grilled Okra
Serves 2 to 3
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved

I have to apologize for this not-so-great shot which was taken on my iPhone at dusk, but this recipe is so good that I’m hoping you’re willing to overlook the bad photography. Ameeta is one of my mom’s close friends. Everyone covets invitations to her house because she is one of the best cooks around and always surprises you with her creations. She had us over last weekend for a last minute barbecue, and the spread, as usual, for incredible. She started us off with these crispy ladyfingers. I posted an Indian style okra recipe a while back, but I have never had them grilled whole. The idea wouldn’t have occurred to me, but Ameeta is a star with the unexpected. Since there is no chopping required, they take take less than five minutes to put together. The dish was wiped out within minutes of her putting it out, and I’m happy to say that I managed to snatch the last one!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound of okra, whole
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Instructions

Heat barbecue or grill pan to high.

Wipe okra dry with cloth.

Mix together salt, sugar and all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

Add oil to okra in a large bowl and toss well to mix using hands to get the okra well oiled.

Add the spice mix to the bowl and toss well to get  the spices to adhere to the okra.

Using a vegetable grilling mesh or a cookie cooling rack (sprayed well with oil) spread the okra in a single layer onto the barbecue or directly onto the grill pan.

Using tongs turn a few times making sure okra is cooked and brown spots appear, about 10 minutes or so in total
time.

Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions:

Try this dish with any type of grilled chicken, fish or meat. They would also be ideal with the Turkey Kebabs I wrote on a few weeks ago.



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Indian Style Mushrooms and Green Beans

Indian Style Mushrooms and Green Beans
Serves 3 to 4
Can be Doubled| Can Be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

On Indian restaurant menus, mushrooms are usually served in a rich sauce that’s often cream based, and green beans are part of a vegetable medley. In fact, these two vegetables work beautifully together in their own dish. I came up with this recipe by accident- I had lots of leftover mushrooms and green beans in the fridge, and I didn’t have the time to make two dishes so, in an effort of not wanting to waste either, I made them a team. The recipe was a success and amazingly easy and light but with a hint of spice- great for summer!     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 pound crimini mushrooms, halved
1 pound green beans, halved
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon of olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
1 teaspoon of coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala (add more for more heat)
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup water
salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)

Instructions:

Warm oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

Add onion, and saute for three minutes or until it starts to soften.

Add ginger and garlic, and saute for another two minutes.

Add spices, and saute for two more minutes.

Add in water, lower heat, and let the mixture simmer for five minutes.

Add vegetables, increase heat back to medium, and cook until done- five to ten minutes.

Serving Suggestions:

Try with spiced tofu steaks or chicken curry. You can also scoop up the veggies with a whole-wheat tortilla or enjoy with brown rice.

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Greek Quinoa Salad

Greek Quinoa Salad
Serves 3 to 4
Can be Doubled| Can be Halved| Makes Great Leftovers

Sometime in early June, Mahir was beginning to tire of the usual lunches he took to work. He liked the poached chicken salad and leftovers I packed but was asking for something new. Inspired by summer and the mood to cook a meatless main dish that was light but satisfying, I came up with this recipe. Mahir loves Greek salad so I used that as my inspiration. Instead of leaves, I used quinoa, and I added chickpeas for some satisfying protein and fiber. I’ve had had trouble getting him to eat quinoa in the past, but he came home with an empty lunch box, and I’ve made it several times since.     ~Shivani

Ingredients:

1 cup of uncooked quinoa
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 medium cucumber, finely chopped
1 large bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon juice, to taste

Instructions:

Cook quinoa as per package instructions.

Mix with all the other ingredients and season with lots of lemon juice and salt and pepper until the salad is to your liking.

Serving Suggestions:

You get in your protein, carbs and veggies with this dish so there’s really no need to add in anything else. You can substitute grilled chicken bits for the chickpeas for some variety.

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