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Monday, December 31, 2012

Lasagna Lightens Up

Lasagna Soup
1 Onion, diced
2 Cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 Cloves garlic
2 TSP dried oregano
1 TSP crushed red pepper flakes
1 TSP fennel seeds
Salt and pepper
1 LB ground lean turkey
3 TBS tomato paste
1 14 OZ can crushed tomatoes
5 Cups low sodium chicken broth
1/4 Cup part skim ricotta

For Serving:
Cooked whole wheat pasta (you can use lasagna noodles, but I like the small shells)
Fresh basil
Parmesan or shredded mozzarella

As much as I enjoy all the sweet and decadent goodies of the holiday season, I can't wait to get back on track after the new year.  I don't mind eating healthy, but every once in a while I'll get a craving for something bad.  Luckily when that happens I know I can always swap out some ingredients for healthier options.  That way I can get my fix with less guilt.

My soupy version of this classic comfort dish may not be the perfect substitute for mom's lasagna, but it's still packed with all the great flavors and textures.  You can even skip the meat entirely and add more mushrooms, baby spinach, or any vegetable you like.  It's much easier to throw together than lasagna too, especially if you make ahead and freeze.  Just reheat and add your cooked pasta (the noodles don't get soggy!).   

Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot.  Cook the onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, or until soft.  Add the garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, fennel and ground turkey.  Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon and cook until no longer pink.  season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes or so.  Stir in the ricotta.

When ready to serve, add the cooked pasta.  Top with cheese and lots of fresh basil.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bread Making 101

Jim Lahey's No-Knead Bread
Adapted from The New York Times
3 Cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 TSP instant yeast
1 1/4 TSP kosher salt
1 5/8 Cups water

I always like to challenge myself in the kitchen, but I feel like I've been slacking lately.  To keep my cooking skills sharp, I started a short list of all the food projects to tackle this fall and winter.  One of those projects is mastering the art of baking bread.  I've always wanted try this recipe from Jim Lahey of the Sullivan Street Bakery (published in the NY Times in 2006), and it seemed like an excellent starting point to test my bread making abilities.      

If making your own bread seems intimidating, then this is the recipe for you.  I was worried that I would somehow screw this up, but Mr. Lahey's method is practically fool-proof.  There are several steps and the whole process takes almost 24 hours (mostly unattended), but the results are nothing short of amazing.  The secret is baking in a covered pot to create a nice steamy environment.  You get a crispy crust with a soft, chewy center - everything you want in a perfect loaf!   

In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, and salt.  Stir in the water until a shaggy dough forms.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 14-18 hours.  The dough is ready when the surface is covered with little air bubbles.

Turn out onto a well-floured surface and fold onto itself once or twice.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.

Using enough flour to keep dough from sticking, gently  shape into a ball and place on a floured cotton dish towel seam side down.  Cover with another dish towel and let rise for 2 hours, or when it's doubled in size.

At least a half and hour before you are ready to bake, preheat a heavy covered pot in a 450 degree oven.  Carefully remove the pot from the oven.  Using the towel, gently turn the dough over into the pot so the seam side is facing up.  Don't worry if it doesn't look pretty.  Cover lid and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove lid and bake for 15-30 minutes more, or until crust is nice and browned.  Cool on a rack and enjoy.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wake Up to Your Breakfast

Tastes Like Apple Pie Slow Cooker Oatmeal
1 Cup steel-cut oats
2 TBS cinnamon
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TSP vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
2 TBS butter
1/2 Cup raisins
1 Cup diced apples
3-1/2 Cups water

Having a warm, satisfying meal ready first thing in the morning has to be the next best thing to getting breakfast in bed.  I finally bought some steel cut oats to make oatmeal in my slow cooker, and now I don't know why it took me so long to try.  It's so easy I may never go back to 1-minute oatmeal ever again, and you may not either after you try this recipe.  Get creative and add whatever fruit, nuts and spices you like, but this oatmeal is perfect for fall mornings and apple pie lovers!

Coat the interior of your slow cooker with cooking spray (very important, unless you want to spend the rest of your morning scrubbing the pot).  Add all the ingredients and stir to combine.  Set on low for 8 hours.  Serve warm with milk and chopped nuts if desired.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chicken + Beer = Yum²

Slow Cooker Beer Chicken
2 LBS boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Onion, sliced
1 Can or bottle of beer (I used Wolvers IPA)
1 TSP salt
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TBS dried oregano
1/2 TSP black pepper

I just started a new job, so I can really use some extra help around dinner time nowadays.  Using pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken in dishes can make weeknight cooking so much less stressful.  Instead of buying a rotisserie chicken from the market, I decided to make my own chicken that I could enjoy all week. I'm using one additional ingredient to make my multi-tasking chicken extra special - beer!  Using beer as a braising liquid is a brilliant way to add tons of flavor for deliciously moist meat that can be used in countless ways.  Whatever you decided to do with it, make sure you save the braising liquid and onions!

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute until soft.  Add to the slow cooker.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and place over the onions; add garlic powder, oregano and beer.  Set on low for 8 hours.  Remove chicken and set aside braising liquid.  Chop or shred the chicken as desired.

Quick Chicken Chili
Adapted from Fine Cooking
1 Onion, diced
3 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Poblano chilies, diced
1 TBS oregano
2 TBS cumin
Salt and pepper
1 Cup corn kernels
2 Cans white beans, drained with some liquid reserved
2 Cups chopped beer chicken
1 Quart chicken broth
1 Cup beer chicken braising liquid (optional)

An ordinary white chili becomes extraordinary with the addition of beer chicken and the braising liquid.  This chili also freezes really well, so you can make now and enjoy later.  

In a large pot or dutch oven heat the oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion until soft, then add garlic and chilies; season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the oregano and cumin and cook until fragrant.  Add the chicken,  broth and braising liquid; bring to a boil.  In the meantime, puree one can of beans with some of the reserved liquid until smooth.  Add to the pot with the other can of beans and corn.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, partially covered.  Serve with green onions, cheese, or any other topping of your choice.

Not-So-Classic Cobb Salad
2 TBS fat free plain Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 TSP dried oregano
4 Cups chopped romaine lettuce
2 Hard boiled eggs, diced
1 Avocado, diced
2 Plum tomatoes, diced
4 OZ feta cheese, cut into bite-sized cubes
6 Roasted baby Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
1 Cup chopped beer chicken
Salt and pepper

The great part about this salad is you can prep almost all of the ingredients before hand, so you can assemble in a snap when you're ready to eat.  This fresh and filling salad is perfect for both lunch and dinner.

To make the dressing whisk the yogurt, lemon juice, and oregano.  Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined.  Toss the remaining ingredients and add the dressing.  Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Not Your Father's Lobster Roll

Lobster Rolls with Lemon Vinaigrette and Garlic Butter
Adapted from Gourmet
4 (1 1/4-to 1 1/2-LB) live lobsters
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
1/3 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 Cup thinly sliced scallions
1/4 Cup finely chopped peeled celery
1/4 Cup celery leaves
1/4 Cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 Stick unsalted butter
3 Garlic cloves, smashed
6 Hot dog buns, preferably top-split

Every July, for as long as I can remember, we celebrated my dad's birthday with a lobster dinner.  It was always a special treat I looked forward to since we never ate much seafood at home.  Somewhere down the road though there was a slight change in this tradition which all started with these lobster rolls from  Gourmet.  We were hooked after one bite!

I can't take credit for actually making this lobster salad since dad did all the work here, but it's definitely a Hungry Yuppie all-time favorite.  What makes this recipe stand out is the simple lemony dressing, fresh herbs and garlicky grilled bun.  Seriously, these blow away any of those $20+ rolls you've ever had with too much mayo and not enough meat.

Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over medium heat.

Plunge 2 lobsters headfirst into a large pot of salted boiling water and cook, partially covered, over medium-high heat for 8-9 minutes. Transfer with tongs to an ice bath and let cool completely. Return water to a boil and cook and cool remaining 2 lobsters. Remove meat from claws, joints, and tails. Coarsely chop meat.

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, and 1/2 TSP salt in a large bowl. Whisk in scallions, celery, celery leaves, and parsley, then add lobster and gently toss. Season with salt.

Melt butter with garlic in a small saucepan over low heat, mashing garlic with a spoon.

Brush inside of buns with garlic butter. Grill, buttered side down, until golden, about 1 minute.

Fill buns with lobster.  Devour.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Slow Cooking Pt. 2

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
1 Onion, thinly sliced
2 TBS brown sugar
1 TBS smoked paprika
2 TSP kosher salt
1/2 TSP fresh ground black pepper
2 LB boneless pork loin
3/4 Cup cider vinegar
4 TSP Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 TSP crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBS sugar
1/2 TSP dry mustard
1/2 TSP garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper

I made an Asian pulled pork in my slow cooker before, which was absolutely delicious, so I decided to make an all-American version in honor of Independence Day. 

If your short on time for a mid-week 4th of July cookout, this is the perfect recipe for a crowd. It just takes a few minutes to put together either the morning of or day before, then let cook all day while you relax by the pool.  Serve with BBQ sauce on a roll with a cool, creamy coleslaw for a simple summertime meal. 

Not cooking for a crowd?  Make this last for the rest of the week by re-purposing in countless ways.  Use the meat for carnitas-style tacos with chopped avocado, thin slices of radishes and a squeeze of lime; or pile on a BBQ pizza with green onions and smoked mozzarella.       

Happy 4th of July, and happy BBQ-ing! 

Place onions at the bottom of the slow cooker. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper.  Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels and coat evenly with the brown sugar rub.

Sear off the pork on all sides until golden brown.  Place on top of the onions in the slow cooker.  If there is any extra brown sugar, you can pat down on top of the pork.

Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour half over meat and onions.  Cover and refrigerate the rest.

Set timer for 10 hours on low.  During the last hour of cooking, pour in the remaining sauce.

Shred the pork and return the the slow cooker to keep warm before serving.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Summer Slow Cooking

Slow Cooker Beef Chili
Cooking spray
3/4 LB onions, diced
3 Cloves garlic, minced
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 LBS ground lean beef
2 TSP cumin
1/4 Cup chili powder
2 TSP oregano
1/2 TBS smoked paprika
1/2 Red pepper, diced
1/2 Green pepper, diced
1/2 Yellow pepper, diced
1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
1-14 OZ can fire roasted crushed tomatoes with juices
3 OZ tomato paste
1 1/2 TBS red wine vinegar
2-15 OZ cans pinto and/or red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)

I'm loving my new slow cooker; it's perfect for busy weeknights and weekends alike.  It's Memorial Day weekend, so I definitely don't want to spend this nice warm Saturday in the kitchen.  Throw all your ingredients in the pot in then morning, head off to the beach, and you have a great meal waiting for you! 

Planning a cookout?  This classic chili recipe makes more than enough to feed a crowd.  This serves 8 in a 3-1/2 quart slow cooker.  If you have a 7 quart or larger, you can easily double the recipe.  The long cooking time mellows the flavors a little bit, so if you like your chili spicy add a little extra jalapeno or chili powder.

Coat the interior of the ceramic pot with cooking spray.  Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 TBS of the oil.  Sauté onions and garlic until soft.  Season with 1/4 TSP of salt and 1/4 TSP of pepper.  Place in slow cooker.

In the same pan, re-heat another TBS of oil.  Cook the ground beef until brown; breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon.  Stir in remaining salt and pepper and spices.  Cook until spices are fragrant.  Transfer meat into slow cooker.

Add peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste and vinegar.  Quickly stir together.  Cover and set on low for 8-10 hours.  One hour before serving, stir in the beans.

Fun party idea:  Set up a "chili bar" with different toppings like cilantro, green onions, crushed tortillas, sour cream, and different cheeses so your guests can customize their bowls.  

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa

Fish Tacos with Corn Salsa
1/2 Cup corn
1/4 Cup diced red onion
1/2 Cup diced plum tomatoes
1/2 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 TBS Lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
2 TSP cayenne pepper
4 (4 OZ) tilapia fillets
Corn tortillas
Low-fat sour cream and cilantro for serving

I have become way more confident cooking fish over the past couple of months, so I have been using more of it in my weeknight menus. Tilapia is my new go-to protein if I have no idea what to make for dinner - perfect for an impromptu taco night! It's so versatile and easy to cook, especially if you can find a great brand of frozen fillets at your grocery store.

No taco would be complete without salsa, and these become even better with this fresh version with corn.  Homemade salsa has way more texture than anything you can find in the store, which makes for less soggy tacos.  It's so simple to make too!  Make extra to snack on with tortilla chips or to serve over a salad.

For the salsa, mix the first 5 ingredients in a bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Preheat broiler.  Pat the fillets dry with a paper towel.  Season both sides with salt, pepper and cayenne. Place on foil-lined broiler pan lightly sprayed with oil.  Broil for 6-8 minutes, or until edges are browned and fish flakes easily.

Serve fish and salsa on warm tortillas with sour cream and cilantro.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms

Crock Pot Asian Pork with Mushrooms
Adapted from Skinny Taste
2 LB lean boneless pork sirloin roast (AKA pork center rib roast, pork center loin roast)
Salt and fresh ground pepper
Non-Stick oil spray
1 Cup low-sodium fat free chicken broth
1/2 Cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/3 Cup balsamic vinegar
3 TBS honey
1 TSP hot sesame oil
1 TSP Chinese five spice powder
3 Cloves garlic, crushed
1 TBS fresh ginger, grated
8 OZ sliced mushrooms (half shiitake, half white)
1/4 Cup chopped scallions for serving

While I love coming home from work and cooking a nice meal, there are some nights I'm just way too tired to even lift my knife.  That's why I'm so excited to use my new slow cooker.  Now, I can come home to a delicious-smelling apartment with a healthy meal all ready to go!  

I don't eat a lot of pork, but I will definitely be making this again.  The meat comes out incredibly tender and flavorful.  The key to creating great flavor is to sear the meat before adding to the slow cooker, so do not skip this step!  

This will last an entire week, so you can get really creative with the leftovers.  I served over rice noodles the first night, then stir-fried with vegetables and served over rice the next.  

Season pork on all sides with salt and pepper.  Heat a skillet on medium-high heat, spray with oil and brown pork on all sides for about 7-8 minutes. 

In the crock pot, combine the broth, soy sauce, balsamic, honey, sesame oil, five spice, garlic and ginger; add the pork and set the slow cooker to 8 hours on low heat (I prepared the sauce the night before and seared-off the meat in the morning before work).

30 minutes before the timer goes off, remove the pork and set aside to rest.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking on low for 30 minutes.  In the meantime, shred the pork.

When the mushrooms are tender, reserve 1 cup of the broth.  Add the shredded pork back into the crock pot.

Serve over noodles with some of the reserved broth and scallions. 


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens

Turkey Meatballs Over Greens
Adapted from The Kitchn
1.3 LBS ground turkey
1/2 Small onion, grated (about 1/4 cup grated onion)
1 Egg
1/3 Cup breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
2 TBS chopped, fresh parsley
2 TBS olive oil
2 Cups tomato sauce (see recipe below)
2 LBS greens (broccoli rabe, kale, mustard greens, or a mixture), washed, de-veined, and roughly chopped

Basic Tomato Sauce 
Adapted from The Kitchn
2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 Medium onion, diced
4 Garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 OZ) can whole or chopped tomatoes, with juices
1/4 TSP dried red pepper flakes
1 TBS grated lemon peel (about 1/2 lemon)
1/4 Cup chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
Salt and fresh group pepper to taste

If you think you always need to serve pasta with meatballs, this recipe will totally change your mind.  These meatballs can stand on their own with this zingy sauce, so you won't even miss those extra carbs!  I never would have thought to add lemon zest to tomato sauce before, but it really adds a nice brightness that works well with ground turkey and bitter greens. 
For the sauce, heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil.  Stir in the crushed red pepper and zest, let simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in parsley.  This will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week in a tightly-sealed container.

Combine the turkey, onion, egg, breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Mix with your hands until combined. divide into 1 1/4-inch balls.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously.

Heat olive oil on moderately high heat in a large skillet. Place the meatballs in the skillet and allow to sit until browned on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Brown the meatballs on all sides, then continue cooking for about 12 minutes total, rotating them carefully every few minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomato sauce, and cover the pan. Simmer the meatballs and sauce for another 10 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.

While the meatballs are simmering, boil the greens in the salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender. Drain well. Put greens on the plate and top with meatballs and sauce.  Top with a little fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Thai-Style Roasted Trout

Thai-Style Roasted Trout
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1 TBS fish sauce (or soy sauce)
2 TSP sesame oil
1/2 TSP crushed red pepper
2 Small whole trout, cleaned
Cooking spray
1/4 Cup chopped cilantro
6 Lime slices
Limes and cilantro for serving

I'm a huge fan of all things seafood, but I definitely have more experience eating it than cooking it.  I've made a couple of successful shellfish dishes (try to say that three times fast), but I really want to start cooking more fish at home.  Learning to prepare and cook a new ingredient can be intimidating, especially one as delicate as fish.   I'm determined to get over my fears though, so I'm going all-out by tackling a whole trout (cleaned and head removed, of course).  Trout is a great option if you're not sure where to start since it's mild in flavor and fairly inexpensive.  Just watch out for bones!

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.  Mix the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Arrange trout in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place half the lime slices and a sprinkle of cilantro inside each fish and brush half of juice mixture. Bake for 10 minutes. Brush remaining juice mixture over fish. Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Garnish with more cilantro and lime.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love is in the Air (and on the Plate)

Blue Cheese Polenta With Roasted Vegetables
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 Small red onion
1 Red bell pepper
8 OZ sliced mushrooms
3 Cloves of garlic, smashed
2 TBS Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
3 Cups 2% milk
1/2 Cup water
2/3 Cup instant polenta
3/4 Cup gorgonzola, crumbled
1/4 Cup chopped parsley

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

This easy and flavorful dish is perfect as a side for your romantic V-Day dinner, or as a vegetarian main for any day of the year.  In the spirit of the holiday I roasted the veggies with a balsamic vinegar for a little extra sweetness, which goes perfectly with the gorgonzola.  I know today is supposed to be all about chocolate, but who doesn't love cheese?

When I plated everything I just fell head over heels because it looks so pretty.  Something about the red onions, peppers, and parsley reminded me of a bouquet of roses, only better tasting.  You can whip this up in no-time for your sweetie tonight, and still have plenty of time for romance!

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.  Toss the vegetables and garlic with the oil and balsamic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Roast until soft and caramelized (about 20-30 minutes).

Bring milk, water, salt and pepper to a boil.  Stir in the polenta.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat, stir in cheese.  Serve vegetables on top of polenta.  Top with fresh parsley. <3

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Hungry Yuppies Have a Party

Swiss Fondue
2 Cups Swiss cheese,shredded (I used Emmentaler)
2 Cups Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 TBS flour
1 Clove garlic, peeled
1 1/2 Cups dry white wine
1 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS kirsch or cognac
Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
Cubed bread, roasted potatoes, broccoli, red peppers and apples for dipping

I thought it was time to finally break out the fondue pot I received for Christmas and throw a little party. Fondue is the perfect party dish because it's so much more fun to eat with friends, and everyone loves dipping things into cheese! I served a classic Swiss fondue with dippers such as apples, broccoli, roasted potatoes, and lots of bread. It was a little nerve-wracking making this for the first time for a crowd, but this recipe did not let me down.  Of course a party wouldn't be complete without an assortment of nibbles, so I made a couple of really fun appetizers too. 

Coat cheese with the flour (this step is really important).  Heat wine and lemon juice on the stove in a heavy-bottomed pot until hot.  Slowly add the cheese a handful at a time, stirring constantly so the cheese does not burn.  Once the cheese has melted and begins to bubble, add the kirsch and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Rub the inside of the fondue pot with the garlic clove.  Pour cheese into fondue pot for serving.

The Main Event

Spicy Marinated Olives & Five-Spice Mixed Nuts

Spinach-Mushroom Empanadas & Onion and Olive Tart

Bacon-Wrapped Dates

The night was a huge success. There's only one problem:  I may have to do this every weekend now!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Broccoli Soup with Pasta

Broccoli Soup with Pasta
Adapted from
3/4 LB broccoli florets
2 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup sliced leeks
Fresh cracked pepper
4 Cups low-sodium broth (Chicken, vegetable or beef)
6 OZ short, tubular pasta

Now that it has finally snowed here, the reality is setting in that we have a long winter ahead of us.  Here's an insanely simple recipe that's perfect for warming up on a busy weeknight, or lazy weekend.  This broccoli soup is a lighter alternative to those creamy or cheesy versions and it comes together with just a few ingredients.  I add leeks in this version, which instantly upgrade any store-bought broth in combination with the broccoli.  The pasta also absorbs all that delicious broth while cooking.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add broccoli and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and leeks, saute for 1 minute.  Add broccoli and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes more, periodically mashing broccoli with a wooden spoon into small pieces.  Add the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the pasta, cover, than cook until pasta is al dente.  Top with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly grated parmesan if desired.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Healthy Resolutions

Roasted Mushroom and Green Bean Farro Salad
Adapted from
2 Cups water
1 Cup farro
8 OZ mushrooms, quartered
1 LB green beans, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1 TBS oil
1 TBS thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 Cup feta, crumbled
1/4 Cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
1/4 Cup balsamic vinaigrette, preferably homemade

I really didn't make any New Year's resolutions this year (that is, any I actually intended to keep), so I decided to keep-up the healthy habits I picked up from last year instead.  One of those is bringing lunch into work more often.  Not only has it saved me a ton of money so far., but I also feel better knowing exactly where my food is coming from.  I don't want to get stuck eating the same thing every day, so I've been searching for easy, make-ahead recipes that are still commute friendly.  I haven't cooked with farro before, so I decided to give this hearty salad a try for this week's lunch.  You can easily add any vegetable, nut or cheese to this, but I love the combination of all these ingredients.  Much better than those limp salads from the deli!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Bring water and farro to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until farro is al dente (about 20 minutes).  Set aside.

Toss the mushrooms and green beans in the oil, thyme, salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast until they start to caramelize, about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Let cool.

Mix farro, vegetables, cheese and nuts.  Toss with vinaigrette and sprinkle with more thyme if desired.  Divide into containers, then just grab and go in the morning.

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About Me

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.