Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom RisottoWe made dinner for some friends last weekend who love risotto. It’s always tough making a dish someone loves because it might not meet their standards… However, this recipe will not fail you! Many people have the misconception that risotto is very unhealthy because it is loaded with butter or cream but this recipe is super simple as long as you are willing to give it a little TLC. The way you cook it makes all the difference and gets you that nice creamy texture that is oh-so good.

Mushroom Risotto
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, divided
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 lb portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chives (can use green onions too)
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (can eliminate if looking for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms and leeks, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add ½ cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad

Apple, Endive and Walnut Salad

I hosted my Supper Club last week and decided to do an Autumn Apple theme. With the shorter days, changing leaves and cool weather, it definitely feels like a transition away from summer. This salad was super simple, tasty and the presentation makes it look very impressive. Here’s looking forward to what this upcoming season has to offer!

Apple, Walnut, and Endive Salad
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 red apples, quartered, cored, and each quarter cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • 2 Belgian endives, leaves separated, washed and dried
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
Instructions
  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast walnuts, stirring frequently until crisp and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, shallot, and vinegar until well combined. Whisk in the oil until thick; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add apple and arugula; toss to coat. Arrange endive leaves on four serving plates, top with apple mixture and scatter mint, cheese, and walnuts over the top.

Photo Credit: Whole Living

Vegan Lettuce Wraps

I came up with this recipe and since then, I pretty much make it every time I ask myself “What am I possibly going to make for dinner tonight?!”

There is a nice contrast between the hot filling and the cool crisp lettuce… all combined with a crunch from the final few ingredients. It is incredibly healthy and incredibly delicious.

Enjoy!

Vegan Lettuce Wraps
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • For Sauce
  • 1 tsp five-spice powder, divided
  • ½ cup soy sauce or (braggs liquid aminos for gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce
  • ½ teaspoon arrowroot
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • For Filling
  • ½ cup farro (use quinoa for gluten free version)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 package (15oz) soft tofu, drained
  • 4 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups bean sprouts, chopped in half lengthwise
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 head of butter lettuce
Instructions
  1. Cook farro (or quinoa) according to package directions.
  2. Make sauce by combining ½ tsp five-spice powder with remaining ingredients and whisk together. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil and cook shallot until fragrant and it starts to be come transparent.
  4. Add block of tofu and smash with a wooden spoon until it becomes small chunks. Season with remaining ½ tsp of five-spice powder. Cook until slightly browned, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Add mushrooms and cook until tender.
  6. Meanwhile prepare lettuce wraps, but removing butter lettuce leaves and setting aside.
  7. Add cooked and drained farro and sauce. Cook for a few more minutes until mixed together.
  8. Finally add bean sprouts, water chestnuts, cashews and scallions. Mix together and then remove from heat.
  9. Spoon a bit of the filling onto a plate with a side of the butter lettuce leaves. Make individual wraps at the table in order to not have lettuce get soggy.

 

White Beans and Cabbage

White Beans and Cabbage

This is on the cover of Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Everyday and it looks oh so inviting. I have this book displayed in my kitchen so I could barely wait to try this recipe out. I, of course, made a couple of modifications that are reflected below but a big thanks to Heidi for sharing her wisdom and to Steamy Kitchen for capturing this shot!

White Beans and Cabbage
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into tiny cubes
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp hot paprika
  • 3 cups cooked and cooled white beans or about 1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pour the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the potatoes and spread them evenly in the pan. Cook the potatoes for 5 minutes or so, make sure you scrape and toss the potatoes during cooking so that you can get each side browned and cooked through.
  2. Add in the shallots, the white beans and the paprika spread all around the skillet. Let cook, undisturbed for 2 minutes to brown just a bit, then scrape and toss again, making sure to cook until the beans are nicely browned on both sides.
  3. Stir in the cabbage and cook for another minute or so until the cabbage looses a bit of its structure. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stir and toss again.
  4. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

 

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad

 I do have another Brussels Sprout Salad up but this salad actually tastes quite different due to the dressing and the addition of Kale. One of my all time favorite salads is the Dino Kale Salad at The Plant so I chose to add cherry tomatoes to this dish. It is quick, healthy and delicious!

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
 
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Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large bunches of Tuscan kale (about 1½ lb. total), center stem discarded, leaves thinly sliced – this cannot be a hard crunchy kale, it needs to be a softer kale in order for the texture to turn out right. TJ’s precut kale won’t work…
  • 12 oz brussels sprouts, trimmed, finely grated or shredded with a knife
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup almonds with skins, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino (can omit if looking for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, ½ tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix thinly sliced kale and shredded brussels sprouts in a large bowl.
  2. Measure ½ cup oil into a cup. Spoon 1 Tbsp. oil from cup into a small skillet; heat oil over medium-high heat. Add almonds to skillet and stir frequently until golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer nuts to a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle almonds lightly with salt.
  3. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add dressing and cheese to kale mixture; toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Garnish with almonds.

Serving Suggestion: Dressing, kale mixture, and toasted almonds can be prepared 8 hours ahead. Cover dressing and kale mixture separately and chill. Cover almonds and let stand at room temperature.

Photo Credit: Bon Appetit

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
 
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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.)

 

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino

Ravioli with Arugula and PecorinoBuon Giorno from Italia! We are staying at a little house here in the North of Tuscany so I have been keeping up with some cooking and when in Tuscany do as the Tuscans do, right? We went shopping for some pasta and it is so fun to buy all the different kinds of pasta here. I had made this recipe in the past and after seeing all the delicious types of filled pastas they have and the fact that all the pecorino around here is so local and fresh, I knew it would be a hit. The arugula allows this pasta dish to feel nice and light while still getting to enjoy some pasta! Until next time… Ciao :).

Ravioli with Arugula and Pecorino
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb fresh or frozen ravioli (any filled pasta ie. tortellini will work, I prefer vegetable filled but can do cheese or any type you prefer)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Pepper to taste
  • 6 c arugula
  • ½ c shaved pecorino (parmesan works too!)
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook ravioli until tender, 7 to 9 minutes or according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef’s knife or back of a spoon. Heat oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic paste and shallots and cook, stirring often, until just starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in vinegar, mustard and pepper; remove from the heat.
  3. Drain the ravioli well. Place in a large bowl and toss with arugula and the dressing. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Serving Suggestion: This is also really great if you use pesto as the sauce in place of the shallot vinaigrette.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Eating Well.