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Kale-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms April 23, 2012

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, quick meal, vegetarian.
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Kale Stuffed Portobella Mushroom

I bought some big portobello caps at the market on Saturday with the intention of making some sort of Mexican-inspired stuffed mushroom, but when I got home and checked the contents of my fridge, I decided on a different route.

I had a container of cooked brown rice (leftover from making this fried rice the night before) that I thought would go well with kale and a tomato sauce.  So that’s what I did, and it was delicious.  Only I know this, though, because even though I made two stuffed mushrooms, I dropped the one in the picture above on the floor right after taking this picture, and Ryan was nice enough to let me eat the one remaining mushroom and scrounge together something else for himself.  Sorry, Ral!

Kale-Stuffed Portobello Mushroooms

Ingredients:

Two portobello mushroom caps
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped
1/4 onion, diced
1/2 cup tomato sauce
salt and pepper
Mozzarella or some Italian blend of cheese for the top

Pre-heat the oven to 375 Farenheit.

Clean your portobello caps.  I scrape the gills out of mine with a spoon.  In a medium-sized pan, saute the onion over medium heat until it is slightly browned.  Add the kale, and continue to cook until the kale is about half the volume it was before.  Add the brown rice, tomato sauce, and season to taste.

Scoop the mixture into the caps, and top with shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese.  Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Here’s the mushroom pre-cheese:

stuffed mushroom

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Kale, Carrot, and Tofu Curried Fried Rice February 7, 2012

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, dinner, vegetarian.
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I love the Instagram app on my iPhone.  I check it all the time to see and share pictures with friends (my user name is apilchak).  9 times out of 10, the pictures I share are of Emitt, but sometimes I throw a food picture in there, too. This month, I’m doing a “photo a day” challenge where every day you have to post a picture of some pre-determined subject matter.  Last night’s subject was “dinner.”  Easy enough.  This is what I made, and posted, and a few people asked for the recipe, so I thought I’d put it up here!

This comes together really quickly if you have the rice pre-cooked.  I usually cook the rice in the morning while I’m getting ready for work. That way, it’s pre-cooked and cooled (which is what you want when making fried rice) when I get home from work.  Also, what makes this rice SUPER easy is using a bottled sauce, either curry or peanut.  If you have the time and inclination to make your own curry or peanut sauce, it’d probably be even better, but I’m lacking in the time department these days.  I usually use one of these:

curry and peanut sauces

The two curry sauces are from Trader Joe’s and the peanut sauce is my favorite bottled peanut sauce, the San-J brand.  So now that you know my dirty secret (bottled sauce instead of fresh!), here’s how I made the rice.

Kale, Carrot, and Tofu Curried Fried Rice
(Printable Recipe)

curried fried rice

Ingredients:

3 cups cooked and cooked brown rice
15 oz firm tofu
1 bunch kale, cleaned and chopped
3 medium carrots, shredded
A few shakes of soy sauce
2 t. golden mountain sauce (can use soy sauce if you don’t have golden mountain)
1/2 cup curry sauce (I’ve used the red and yellow curry sauces from TJs)
2 eggs
Sesame seeds, sriracha, etc to top

Method:

Dice the firm tofu into small cubes.  Saute the cubes in olive oil in a large pan (I use my largest skillet for this) until golden, about 10 minutes.  When the tofu is nice and crispy, add a few shakes of soy sauce to the pan to lightly coat the tofu.

Add the cleaned and chopped kale and shredded carrots (I grate mine with the box grater) to the pan with the tofu.  Saute them together for 2 minutes or so, then add the rice.  Stir fry everything together for 3-4 minutes, add the curry (or peanut) sauce and golden mountain (or soy) sauce.  Continue cooking until everything is heated through and some of the rice grains get a nice crisp to them.

In a separate, small pan, scramble two eggs and throw the eggs in with the cooked rice in the large pan. Top with sesame seeds (I use black and white) and sriracha before serving.

Don’t Call It a Comeback: Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili February 6, 2012

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dairy free, good for a group, quick meal, soup, vegan.
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Oh, hi.  Long time no recipe.  I almost don’t want to post this because it’s been SO long since I posted a recipe, and this is just a chili recipe.  With an iPhone photo, taken of chili leftovers in the kitchen at my work.  It’s not glamorous or exotic or even all that exciting, but it is good, and that’s what counts with food, isn’t it?  I use this blog a lot as my own personal recipe collection, and even if it’s not the most exciting recipe in the world, it’s one I will want to make again, so I’m putting it here for safekeeping, and for sharing.  Because you can never have enough chili recipes!  I made this last night for three non-vegetarians and everyone devoured it.  It’s a keeper for sure, and super easy, which is my main criteria for recipes these days.  I was able to get it in the slow cooker in about 5 minutes time, and let it simmer there for the better part of the afternoon until it was time for dinner.

Next time, I’ll try to come back with something a little more interesting—but no promises!

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
½ small can tomato paste
1 small can diced green chiles
½ onion, chopped and sautéed
½ red pepper, chopped and sautéed
½ green pepper, chopped and sautéed
1 cup water
1.5 tablespoons chili powder
1.5 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
2 tsp smokey salt

Method:

Saute your onion, red pepper, and green pepper in a little olive oil until tender. Throw everything in a slow cooker and simmer on low for at least 3-4 hours.  Taste for spice level—as made, this is not a spicy chili but you could easily up the spice factor with some cayenne or hot sauce.

Topping suggestions: diced avocado, sour cream, tortilla strips, shredded cheese.  The more, the better!

Spicy Pasta with Veggie Sausage and Peperoncini March 8, 2011

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, vegetarian.
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Last month, I made a recipe from Bon Appetit for the Fly Trap’s granola.  Right under that recipe was another that sounded great to me—anything with peperoncinis, count me in! The original recipe calls for sausage and shrimp.  Gimme Lean vegetarian “sausage” is a great choice for making this meat-free, and I cooked a half-dozen shrimp on the side to add to Ryan’s portion.  We LOVE this—the first week I made it, we ate it two times that week and have had it at least weekly since then.

Spicy Pasta with Veggie Sausage and Peperoncini
(Adapted from Bon Appetit)

Pasta with Veggie Sausage and Italian Pepperoncini Sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 package of Gimme Lean sausage
1/4 cup sliced peperoncini, plus 1/4-1/2 cup liquid from jar
1/2 cup finely diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 oz marinara sauce
1/3 cup half-and-half
8 oz pasta (a small shape, like penne, gemelli, or farfalle works best)
Grated parmesan or asiago for garnish
Optional:
Shrimp, for non-vegetarian version

Method:

Heat oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Add Gimme Lean sausage; cook until browned, breaking into pieces, about 4 minutes. Add onions, cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add peperoncini, spices, and peperoncini liquid; stir until most of liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add marinara and cream, and simmer for a minute or two.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in another large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring often. Drain, and transfer pasta to pot with sauce; stir to incorporate. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with additional cheese.

If you want to add shrimp, I usually cook a half-dozen or so in a separate small saute pan (with a little cooking spray and salt & pepper), and just add them to Ryan’s bowl right before serving.

Sick Day! No-Chicken Noodle Soup December 13, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in soup, vegan, vegetarian.
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chickpea noodle soup

I felt progressively worse every day of the weekend, going to sleep Sunday night drained of energy, foggy head, sore throat, all around not feeling top notch.  I stayed home today, and made myself a big batch of “chicken” noodle soup (minus the chicken, plus some chickpeas!) for lunch. There are plenty of recipes for chickpea noodle soup on the internet.  Two good ones can be found at 101Cookbooks and in the cookbook Veganomicon.  I totally winged this, though, just going off what I had, what is usually in chicken noodle soup, and what would make me feel better.  This soup has a lot going for it for a sick person—miso, garlic, warm broth, plenty of veggies, protein from the chickpeas.  I ate two bowls around noon, and am going back for a third any time now.  I used egg noodles because I love egg noodles in soup, but if you swapped out the egg noodles for another type of noodle, this soup would be vegan.

No-Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of minced garlic
2 large carrots, chopped
2 large stalks celery, chopped
6 cups vegetable or no-chicken broth
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
6 oz (or two handfuls) egg noodles
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp celery seed
salt & pepper
1/3 cup miso

Method:
Chop the onion, carrots, and celery.  Heat a glug of olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onions, and cook until translucent.  Add the minced garlic, cook another minute or so, and then add the carrots and celery.  Continue to cook the carrots and celery for 3-4 minutes.  Add the broth, spices, and chickpeas.  Bring to a boil.

Once the soup is at a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and add the egg noodles. Simmer until the noodles are tender.  Keep the soup at a medium-low heat, stir in the miso until it dissolves.  Taste for spice levels, adjust if necessary, and then eat!

Roasted Root Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese November 8, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, good for a group, vegetarian.
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root vegetables

I had a rutabaga sitting on my kitchen counter for almost two weeks.  A friend had made rutabaga chips with curried mayo at our recent Cooking Club, and I bought the rutabaga with the intention of making chips out of it, but as the days and weeks passed, I knew I just had to use it up or it’d go bad.  Same with the parsnip slowly losing it’s crisp in my fridge.  It was now or never for these guys.  I threw together a macaroni and cheese, subbing cubed and roasted root vegetables for half of the pasta.  The result was a nice smoky, savory dish with the earthiness of the vegetables nicely balanced by the creaminess of the melted cheese.  Top it with a little hot sauce, and it was outstanding.

Roasted Root Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese

root vegetable mac & cheese

Ingredients:
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 large parsnip, peeled and diced
1 rutabaga, peeled and diced
8 oz dried pasta
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mix of swiss, Gruyère, and cheddar)
2 cups reduced fat milk
3 tablespoons flour
1 small onion
Salt & pepper
Smoked paprika (optional, could sub cayenne pepper)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Start by roasting your vegetables.  Peel and cube all of the veggies you are using.  I used parsnip, rutabaga, and carrot, but you could also use celery root, sweet potato, squash, or other winter vegetables. Cut them up into even-sized pieces.

diced vegetables

At this point, they looked like cheese cubes, and I kind of wished they were.

Put them in a large roasting pan, stir in a tablespoon or two of olive oil, liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper, and put them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until tender.  You’ll want to stir them up about halfway through the cooking time.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil your pasta when it is ready, just until it is al dente.

While the water is coming to a boil, start your cheese sauce.  Dice an onion, and saute it in 1 tablespoon of butter for about 5 minutes.  When it is soft, add the flour to the pan and stir it up.  Slowly add the milk, whisking the whole time.  Reduce heat to low, and keep it warm, stirring occasionally.  After you put the pasta in the boiling water, add the cheese to the saucepan with the milk, onion, and flour.  Stir the cheese in slowly.  Add your spices now, too.  Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cayenne, thyme–anything you might like.

When everything is ready, drain the pasta, and add it to a large casserole dish along with the roasted vegetables.

Pour the cheese sauce on top, stir it up, and top with breadcrumbs and parmesan. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top has started to turn golden brown.

Gnocchi with Shiitake Spinach Cream Sauce November 2, 2010

Posted by Angela @ Making Food for Friends in dinner, quick meal, vegetarian.
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Sometimes, the best meals come from raiding the fridge and throwing a bunch of odds-and-ends together.  That’s how this meal was born, and WOW was it good.  Comfort food to the max (stick-to-your-ribs potatoes and cream!) but if comfort food isn’t appropriate on a chilly fall night, then I don’t know when it is. Plus, I used half-and-half instead of heavy cream and threw in a cup or so of chopped spinach at the last second, so those were my concessions toward healthy cooking for this recipe.

Ryan said this one’s going on the menu for sure—the ever-growing list of recipes that we’d serve at the restaurant we’re opening only in our imagination.  I would have to concur.

Gnocchi with Shiitake Spinach Cream Sauce
(Printable Recipe)

mushroom gnocchi

Ingredients:

1 package potato gnocchi (I had a package of mini-gnocchi in my pantry that were great in this)
4-6 oz. shiitake mushrooms
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth, warmed
1/2 tbl butter
1 shallot
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp thyme
Salt & pepper
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup parmesan
1 cup chopped fresh spinach (or just a few handfuls)

Method:

Melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and saute for 2 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.  Add 1 cup warm vegetable broth and simmer at medium-high heat until it is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

mushroom sauce

Add the half-and-half and parmesan and simmer until it thickens, about 2-4 minutes. Add a cup of chopped spinach toward the end of the cooking time.

creamy mushroom sauce

While the vegetable broth is simmering, prepare your gnocchi in a separate saute pan.  Add a little olive oil, and 1/4 cup vegetable broth.  Cover, and steam over medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Remove the cover and saute, stirring frequently, until the broth has evaporated and the gnocchi start to crisp on the outside.

When both pans are done, combine them, serve, and eat!