Friday, April 26, 2013

Fennel and Clementine Salad With Lemon Garlic Dressing

Since it's getting warmer outside, I've been craving more and more raw, fresh food instead of hearty warm dishes. The result? Salads galore. I usually have pretty much the same salad during the week- a combo of dark greens, mixed veggies and cottage cheese for protein. Even though I love this salad, I decided it was time to switch it up and make something a little more gourmet. I decided that fennel was the way to go. 
I love the taste of fennel. It's similar to black licorice, with a sweet flavor that is great raw or cooked. I thought that it would go especially well with tangy and sweet clementines topped with an acidic splash of lemon combined with savory garlic. 

Fennel and Clementine Salad with Lemon Garlic Dressing
By Caroline Mac

Makes 1 serving

1/2 bulb of fennel, outer layer peeled and thinly sliced, some greens reserved for garnish

Approx. 1 cup salad greens of choice (I used Trader Joe's Power Greens)

1 clementine, peeled and broken into sections

1 t olive oil

1/2 t lemon juice

1/2 t apple cider vinegar

1/4 t minced garlic

1/8 t ground black pepper

1/8 t Penzey's Trinidad Lemon Garlic seasoning (You can use a combination of lemon pepper and garlic powder as well)

Step 1: Spread greens across the bottom of your dish to create a bed of lettuce.

Step 2: Place clementine sections around the edge of the greens. Create a tower of fennel in the center.

Step 3: Whisk oil, lemon, vinegar, garlic, and seasoning together until thoroughly blended. Drizzle over  the fennel. Garnish with fennel greens.



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

My friend Paige and I were overdue for a cooking night. Our choice? Stuffed bell peppers! Since neither of us had ever made this dish, we decided it would be safest to follow a recipe. Next time I'll definitely create my own! This yummy recipe is protein packed and was really delicious. I added a little extra heat to up the Mexican-style feel of the dish. It would still taste great without the spice, which I why I put "to taste" next to the cayenne. I can't wait to create my own fillings in the future!

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Adapted from Vegetarian Times

1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
2 T olive oil
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 T ground cumin
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, partly thawed
2 15-oz  cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
15 oz can black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained
3/4 c dry quinoa
3 carrots, peeled and grated
1 c shredded cheese (I used vegan cheese)
4 large red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs removed

Step 1: Heat oil over medium-high heat and saute onion, celery, and garlic until tender and fragrant. Add cumin and cayenne and saute for another minute. Reduce heat to medium, add tomatoes and spinach and cook for 5 minutes or until liquid is mostly evaporated (there will still be some, which is ok).

Step 2: Stir in beans, quinoa, and carrots, as well as 2 cups water. You can use a little less water is there is still a lot of water from the spinach and tomatoes. Bring this to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Quinoa should be tender. Stir in cheese.

Step 3: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour tomato juice in the bottom of a baking pan. Fill each pepper half  as full as possible with quinoa mixture and place in baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before eating.



Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spicy Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts

Give these garlicky brussel sprouts a try the next time you're craving a healthy, flavorful vegetable dish.

Spicy Roasted Garlic Brussel Sprouts
By Caroline Mac

1 lb brussel sprouts, cleaned and cut into halves
9 cloves of garlic, whole and peeled
2 T olive oil
1/4 t Trinidad lemon garlic seasoning
1/4 t cayenne pepper

Step 1: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread brussel sprouts and garlic on  a baking dish.

Step 2: Mix olive oil and seasoning together and drizzle over brussel sprouts. Gently toss until evenly coated.

Step 3: Roast for 15- 20 minutes or until brussel sprouts are tender and the outsides are browned and slightly crispy. Serve warm.