Cheesy Vegetable Bake: Veggie Tales

This is an incredibly easy recipe, and you can really use any vegetables you have left over.
It’s a great fridge cleaner of a dish!

What you need:
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups sliced zucchini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced or sliced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbs cold butter, diced
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup chicken stock
1 tbs oil or non stick spray
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup Parmesan

What you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, combine the vegetables, garlic, onion, herbs, salt and pepper and butter and mix. Grease an oven safe dish with oil or spray. Add the vegetable mixture and pour chicken stock over vegetables. This will keep them moist. Cook in oven for about 20 minutes. Then give it a stir. Top with both cheeses and cook for another 10 minutes or so until cheese melts and is golden brown. Super easy, and a great side dish. Vegetarians, you can add Butter Beans for protein to the vegetables!

Shameless plug: I have a few giveaways happening on my blog so if you’d like to stop by please do!
Make-up & Trip to LA
Novica $50 Gift Certificate

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Veggie Tales by Kris: PEAS!

Kris here from Behold the Metatron. Martha and I are swapping days just for now.

I think I’m one of the few in my family who LOVES peas. And when made like this they are scrumptious!  I first caught wind of this recipe on Top Chef. Carla made them and I’ve been dreaming about them for years!
It’s very heavy on the butter but you can easily just put 2-3 tablespoons in. Takes out the fun, but if you need to watch your calories and fat I don’t think you will miss it too much!

We served this with Red Snapper and mushrooms. I also added asparagus to it.

Ingredients
1 pound English peas, shelled or frozen peas
1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped 
2 ounces cold butter 
1 teaspoon chives, finely sliced 
salt and pepper
4 ounces butter
1½ teaspoons lemon zest
1½ teaspoons chopped thyme
¼ teaspoon salt 


Preparation
1. Prepare compound butter: combine butter, lemon zest, chopped thyme and salt & pepper. 

2. Blanch the peas in salted water until just tender (about 5-7 minutes). Strain. 

3. Toss peas in butter, tarragon, lemon thyme butter, salt, and pepper. 

4. Garnish with snipped chives.

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Veggie Tales by Kris: Smoothies!

SMOOTHIE TIME! Smoothies are a great snack, small breakfast, and they make your skin look fabulous from all of those vitamins and nutrients! Get creative!

Here’s my smoothie recipe!
Very Berry Banana Smoothie:
Toss the following into a blender: 1 handful blackberries, 1 handful raspberries, 1 handful blueberries, 6 large strawberries, 1 banana (cut into pieces first). Add 3/4 low fat milk or carrot juice for dairy free. Blend away then slurp up! You can add a little peanut butter too and then it would be like a PB&J Smoothie! For the adventurous… you can add 2 large handfuls of spinach or kale to the blender. You won’t taste it I promise. It’s a great way to get more fiber, vitamin c, k,  and iron!
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Veggie Tales by Kris: Tapas!

When you go to Spain, except a lot of pork and cheese.
But the vegetables are bountiful!
The average french fry may not seem like a vegetable, but the Spanish Tapas classic “Bravas” is a must!

I just got back from Barcelona, and this dish was so delicious.
Puts the beloved French Fry to shame in my opinion (gasp!)

I’ve made Bravas before, but definitely learned a little secret across the pond!


PATATAS BRAVAS


3 large Idaho potatoes, cubed
grapeseed oil (you’ll need to fill your pot 1/2 with oil so that the potatoes are covered. Leave room for bubbling over!!! YIKES!)
Sweet and Hot Paprika Mixture (1 tbs)
salt and pepper to taste
Hot Sauce
Mayo (the secret!)

Peel and cube 3 large Idaho potatoes (these are the best for frying). You can put them in a large bowl of ice water to keep from browning and to get some of the starch out. Prep your fryer or a tall pot (not too wide) with grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is great for fring. You can use canola oil too but I think that shit is evil! Use a thermometer to test the oil. At about 350 it’s ready. Fry your potatoes a few at a time. When they are golden brown, put them on a plate with papertowel. Sprinkle salt, pepper and smoked paprika on each batch and keep them in a warm over (about 200) while you fry them all up. Drizzle hot sauce and mayo over the potatoes or mix them together and serve on the side.

MY BRAVAS in BARCELONA!



I originally served these potatoes with this sauce, but in Barcelona I had it with the hot sauce and mayo and I like that simplicity much better. After my time in Spain, when it comes to food,  I’ve learned… SIMPLE IS BEST!

Happy Weekend!
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Roasted Veggie & Goat Cheese Sandwich ~ Veggie Tales

Hello all!  I love sandwiches, and this one is the perfect meaty alternative to your typical cold cut monster!  That sounds dirty… anyway!
Roasted Veggie & Goat Cheese Sandwich (serves 3)
Ingredients:
3 ciabatta or sour dough rolls
4 ounces goat cheese
6 thinly sliced piece zucchini (long way)
3 plum tomatoes, halved and roasted
6 slices portabello mushrooms
9 fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  • Before assembling the sandwich, preheat oven to 400. 
  • Halve plum tomatoes and brush with half the olive oil, and add some salt and pepper. 
  • Roast in oven for about 40 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms and zucchini to a new pan and brush with the rest of the salt and pepper and oil. 
  • Let roast for another 20 minutes. 
  • Let vegetables cool out of oven, drizzle balsamic on them and let sit. 
  • Assemble the pieces of bread as follows: Spread 1 ounce goat cheese on each sandwich top. 
  • Add basil, roasted tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms to the bottom 
  • Add the breads together carefully and presto!
Meet me, Kris, HERE… for more fun! Happy weekend!
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Veggie Tales by Kris: Soup’s On!

Well, it’s still winter. Might as well make soup!

Butternut Squash Soup… & a Simple Salad

I’ve been getting a lot of use out of my Immersion Blender. I just love it. So simple now to make wonderful thick soups without the use of fattening cream or burning myself to death by pouring hot mushy veggies into a blender 1 cup at a time! This recipe is great because I love how savory it turned out. I am not a fan of the Butternut Squash Soups of the world that taste like pumpkin pie. You won’t find cinnamon or nutmeg in this version!

Savory Butternut Squash Soup

What you’ll need:
2 tbs olive oil
1 large yellow onion (diced)
3 garlic cloves (minced)
1 inch fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
1 butternut squash (skin peeled, seeded and cubed)
2 medium-large yellow potatoes (peeled and cubed)
1 teaspoon dried sage (add more to taste)
2 tsp fresh chopped thyme (add more to taste or as garnish)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
About 6-8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
(the goal is to have enough to cover the vegetables in your pot so it depends on pot size. You can just add water if you run out of stock but do mind your seasonings if that is the case!)

What you’ll do:
Heat oil in a large soup pot. Add in onions and cook until softened- about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger. Cook another 5 minutes (don’t let them burn!). Add squash, potatoes and herbs and a little salt and pepper to start. Cover the vegetables with the stock/water. Just until it covers the top veggies. Bring soup to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes covered, or until the veggies are soft. Turn off heat. In meantime make the salad below. When soup has just cooled a bit (but still hot) blend the soup until it is a nice smooth consistency.
The Salad
So simple. Just finely shop cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Add to some chopped romaine. To get your protein add your favorite beans. I love butter beans! I used a lovely red wine vinaigrette to dress this one.
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Veggie Tales by Kris: Veggie Risotto!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I love making risotto, and this a great way to get your veggies! This dish is also great for the holidays!


Tomato Truffle Risotto

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 lemon (just zest)
1 shallot, minced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon truffle oil (or infused olive oil)
1/2 cup fresh basil and parsley, chopped
3 cups spinach
About 4 cups, heated chicken stock
1 cup Arborio Rice

Risotto takes patience, but it’s so worth in the end. Here’s how I do it:

Since I used concentrated chicken stock, I just heated about 4 cups of water in a kettle. I then added 4 packets of the chicken concentrate. You can just heat up 4 cups chicken stock…

Heat about 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Add a chopped shallot (or onion) and about 4 sliced garlic cloves in the oil. Let soften for a few minutes. Add in 1 cup of rice and zest of 1 lemon to toast- about 4 minutes. Add in your first cup of heated stock. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the rice absorbs the liquid. Add in tomatoes. Continue to add (1 cup at a time) of the stock and stir rice slowly until it absorbs each cup of stock. When your stock is done (use water if you need more) and the rice is tender, turn of heat. Add in herbs, spinach and about 1/2 parmesan cheese. Add 1 tablespoon truffle oil if you have it. AMAZING!

UPDATE: I forgot to add that when buying Truffle Oil, go for a truffle infused Olive Oil.
You will get more for your buck this way! I got mine at Zabar’s in the city but here are some online and here !
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Veggie Tales by Kris!

Salsa is not just for dipping! It makes a great side salad for any dish (like chicken or fish). I also love Israeli Salad! How else do you eat your salsa?

For salad: 

(toss all ingredients into a bowl)
1/2 can kidney beans, rinsed
1/2 cup corn niblets
1/2 avocado scooped out in chunks
1 cup whole cherry tomatoes
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 scallions, chopped finely
1 lime, juiced
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

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Veggie Tales: Veggie Pasta Bake

Happy Saturday! This is Kris from Behold the Metatron. Fall is here and the air is crisp and the leaves are turning gorgeous amber hues!

On chilly days I love to bake. But not just sweets… how about a pasta bake?

This is a Giada DeLaurentiis recipe that I tweaked it. Very delish, but NOT for those that don’t like vegetables! (Shame on you!)

Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch wide strips
  • 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes (I USED ONLY 1)
  • 2 summer squash, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 cremini mushrooms, halved (I USED 1 PINT OF BABY PORTOBELLOS)
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and sliced into 1-inch strips (I USED 1 RED ONION)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb mix or herbs de Provence (I USED HERBES DE PROVENCE)
  • 1 pound pennepasta
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 cup grated fontina cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated smoked mozzarella (I USED REG MOZZARELLA…I didn’t want the smokey flavor)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/3 cup for topping
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
 
Directions
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
On a baking sheet, toss the peppers, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and onions with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and dried herbs. Roast until tender, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook for about 6 minutes. Since you will be cooking the pasta a second time in the oven, you want to make sure the inside is still hard. Drain in a colander.
In a large bowl, toss the drained pasta with the roasted vegetables, marinara sauce, cheeses, peas, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix, until all the pasta is coated with the sauce and the ingredients are combined.
Pour the pasta into a greased 9 by 13-inch pan. Top with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 25 minutes.
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The Perfect Bean Dip!

I love bean dip and this recipe happens to be a staple for any party that I may be throwing or attending. It’s a great alternative to hummus… even though hummus is equally awesome.

Italian White Bean Dip

What you’ll need:
1x 15 oz can of Cannellini beans
1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp for topping
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup italian parsley
1 lemon juiced
1 garlic clove, chopped before puree
1 tsp red pepper flakes for a kick!
salt and freshly cracked red pepper to taste

What you’ll do:
Chop the garlic and herbs before putting in blender. Rinse the beans. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Serve in a cute bowl and garnish with a little olive oil and some leftover herbs. Serve with pita chips. This is a crowd pleaser!

Visit me any time at Behold the Metatron , and on Tuesday at The Motivation Station!
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