Summer Veggie Succotash

Veggie SuccotashI get a lot of inspiration from cooking magazines and this is an adapted version of a recipe found in Eating Well. I should let you know that when I looked at it, I decided to make a vinaigrette to toss the dish in as I thought there was no way this would taste good enough or have the right texture but I was VERY pleasantly surprised. The ‘milk’ from the corn and the white beans give it an amazing texture and the spices give it an amazing taste. We had this for dinner last night and gobbled up all the left overs for lunch today. It was phenomenal for both and it looks quite pretty as well…. 

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Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce

Spanikopita

I’ve tried a couple of different variations of Spanakopita and this blending of several is what I have found to be my favorite. This is absolutely one of those foods where you can taste the freshness of it being homemade, it is worth every effort. Get ready for pure deliciousness!

For updated recipes and photos, head over to The Simple Kitchen!

Spanakopita with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 30 triangles
Ingredients
  • Yogurt Sauce
  • 3 cups Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about one lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp fresh dill or 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped (or both, depending on preference)
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Spanakopita
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2-4 shallots, diced
  • 2 packages of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • ½ bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped
  • ⅛ cup finely chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted (can use vegan version or olive oil)
  • ½ pound phyllo pastry sheets
Instructions
  1. To make yogurt sauce, peel cucumbers and dice. Put them in a colander and sprinkle with the tablespoon of salt (draws water out). Cover with a plate and sit something heavy on top. Let sit for 30 minute Drain well and wipe dry with a paper towel.
  2. In food processor or blender, add cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill and/or mint, and a few grinds of black pepper. Process until well blended, then stir into yogurt. Taste before adding any extra salt, then salt if needed. Place in refrigerator for at least two hours before serving so flavors can blend. *This will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, but you will need to drain off any water and stir each time you use it.
  3. Remove spinach from package and squeeze out excess liquid, then chop roughly. Heat 2-3 Tbsp of the oil in a large saute pan, and add shallots and scallions and saute until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the spinach to the mixture, along with the parsley, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from heat to cool. (This part can be done ahead and kept refrigerated).
  4. Stir the feta and as much beaten egg to moisten the cooled spinach mixture.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush a baking sheet with some of the melted butter.
  6. Unroll the phyllo dough on a flat surface and keep it covered with waxed paper and a damp towel so it doesn’t dry out and become brittle. Using a sharp knife, cut the phyllo into 3 by 11 inch strips, and recover with the towel. Use 3-4 pieces of phyllo dough and use a pastry to brush the top strip of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of spinach filling 1 inch from the end of the pastry. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, then continue to fold up the strip in triangles, like folding up a flag. Continue with remaining strips of dough, placing filled triangles on the baking sheet and keeping them covered with a towel until all are ready to bake.
  7. Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Serve hot. (These may be frozen before baking, layering waxed paper between layers of triangles to keep them from sticking. Bake frozen triangles an extra 10 minutes.)

 

Sesame Crusted Tofu Stir-Fry

I cook with tofu a lot so I am always looking for ways to make it a little more fun! I’ve baked, breaded, marinated but this was my first time crusting with sesame seeds and I was very pleasantly surprised. I modified based on the veggies I had in the house, but the idea for the recipe goes to Eating Well.

Average Time: 50-60 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

Tofu and Marinade

1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu, drained

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced

1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 tsp mirin

1tsp chile-garlic sauce

1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil or just olive oil will work as well)

Sauce

1/2 cup water or vegetable broth

3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp mirin or sherry

2 tsp chile-garlic sauce

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil or just olive oil will work as well)

Stir-Fry

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

1 Tbsp olive oil, divided into 1 tsp and 2 tsp

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 1/2 lbs bok choy, trimmed and very coarsely chopped

1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 cups mushrooms, sliced

1 bunch broccolini, sliced

1 bunch scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

Directions

1. Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, mirin, chile-garlic sauce and oil in a bowl. Cut the drained tofu into 1-inch cubes. Add to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. To prepare sauce: Whisk water (or broth), soy sauce, mirin, chile-garlic sauce, cornstarch and oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

3. To stir-fry tofu & vegetables: Toss the tofu with sesame seeds in a large bowl. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook, turning often, until golden and crusty, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and keep warm.

4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add vegetables; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

5. Make a well in the vegetables; whisk the reserved sauce and add to the center of the pan. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring, until slightly thickened. Toss the vegetables with the sauce. Transfer to a large shallow serving bowl and top with the tofu.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over top of quinoa, brown rice or grain of choice.

Warm Garbanzo and Quinoa Salad

This is great for a side or can even be a dish all on its own. Between the spinach, quinoa, and garbanzos this is a powerhouse of fiber and nutrients. Easy enough to make of course. This recipe and image are courtesy of Women’s Health.

Average time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side, 2-3 as a main course

Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa (can use whole-wheat couscous as well)

2 cups of vegetable broth (optional)

1 1/2tsp chopped garlic

2-3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced

2 carrots, grated

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 (140z) canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp white-wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

6 c fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and dried

3 0z feta crumbled feta (optional)

Directions

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Suggest using vegetable broth but may use water as well.

2. In a food processor, purée scallions, gradually adding oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper to taste. Process to a thick consistency.

3.  Coat a sauté pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add garlic, zucchini, carrots, and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans and sauté until heated through.

4. Add scallion mixture and quinoa to sauté pan; heat through. Let cool slightly.

5. Mix spinach, garbanzo bean mixture and feta (if using) in a bowl using tongs or salad spoons to toss.