What to do with Party Leftovers!? Crudites get re-made with Linguine and Feta Cheese!

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I hate to waste food. So after a recent party instead of just tossing the leftovers, I made an effort to to come up with a meal that utilized the crudites that were left.

I didn’t want another raw food meal or a stir fry rice thingy.

This reminds me a little of pot roast; vegetarian style , of course.

It kind of looks like that, don’t you think?

I just sauteed the vegetables as they were, added them to some linguine added feta cheese, balsamic vinegar and Ghee. You could also use butter.

This was a complete meal and quite different from the ingredients original incarnation.

My secret ingredient ? Live music in my kitchen!

Check out this video performance of “Summertime” by Dolinar Spahija!

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Beautiful Kale Soup with Olive Oil and Yogurt!

Kale soup with feta and green onion

This kale soup is so simple, so delicious, so nutritious and so inexpensive that it would be just wrong not to share it!

021Cooking pal PD

This recipe comes from the Aunt of this guy; my “Cooking Buddy”.

The family comes from Albania and learning about a new cuisine has broadened my own cooking repetoire, especially when it comes to vegetables.

I have gained a new perspective on preparing and serving food and learned how to create complete meals from very simple ingredients.

The ingredients for this soup are: Kale, potato, onion, garlic and celery, olive oil and yogurt . With salt and pepper to taste.

We garnished with sheep milk feta cheese and fresh green onion.

A hearty wheat bread truly rounds out this meal.

I will make this a part of my regular rotation of dishes around here, to be sure.

And I would like to experiment with vegetable stock, which we didn’t use.

I had my doubts about the lack of broth but I was pleasantly surprised by how flavorful the soup was without the added boullion.

And considering that most boullions contain MSG, sugar, sodium and other unnatural and unneccesary processed ingredients, it is nice to know that I don’t need to have homemade stock handy or run out to pick up something at the store when I want to make this soup.

The other thing that I like about this soup is that the olive oil and yogurt are added at the end of cooking.

From a nutrition perspective this helps to maintain the health benefits and maximum flavor of the yogurt and the olive oil.

001Kale soup onions

Method

The process begins by boiling 1 large yellow onion and about 5-6 cloves of garlic.

We’re garlic lovers around here so I tend to use twice what I recommend at times!

I had 2 large baking potatoes which I chopped and added to the boil.

I then cleaned and chopped 2 large heads of kale and added them to the boil. Curly Kale worked well but I would have preferred Lacinto Kale.

I then chopped 4-5 large celery stalks and added these to the boil, as well.

I cooked this mixture until everything became soft and wilted.

Now, I was supposed to drain the water and pour the veggies into the food processor but I didn’t know that, so I just pureed everything together.

The cooking water was included and amounted to about 2-3 cups.

I put the pureed mixture into a large pot and continued to cook at medium heat for about 15 minutes.

We then added about 1 cup of olive oil and about 1 to 2 cups of yogurt.

We served this with some crumbled sheep milk feta and freshly cut green onion.

Salt and pepper to taste.

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Kale soup olive oil

  

Soulful Food

rice and veggies PD

Every year around this time I like to eat light and healthy in anticipation of holiday feasting.

But at the same time I do enjoy those rich crock pot style meals that are easy and full of comfort foods and herbs which are reminiscent fall cooking.

My healthy, happy medium is this dish which I throw in the oven while cleaning the house or writing or even running a few quick errands.

I have adapted it from my mother’s recipe which used meat and white rice.
You can get fancy with it and use your favorite herbs and spices. Experiment. Have fun!

My dish is vegan and uses brown rice. I don’t know how much more healthy, nutritious, easy and comforting, a meal could possibly be!

Ingredients

1 ½ cups brown Jasmine rice
2 cans stewed tomatoes ( look for something all natural; no high fructose corn syrup)
3 cups of water
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
5 medium carrots
5 stalks of celery
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Chop veggies and place everything in your favorite clay pot or ceramic pot with lid and place in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2-21/2 hours. That’s it.

You’ve got a quick nutritious and filling meal in the fridge. Get creative. Eat it in a wrap with refried beans; on a bed of fresh greens or warmed up on the stove with fresh parsley garnish.

  

Craving Sage

lentils and brown rice with sage BEST

I was craving sage! And by sage I mean Thanksgiving dinner, mostly the stuffing. But since I am shooting for the “unstuffed” look this Fall I wanted to come up with something that would have a rich texture, complex flavors and be healthy, nutritious, not fattening and still satisfy my cravings! Tall order but with a little luck; I had the ingredients on hand and not too much effort I managed to approximate the “stuffed” theme with out the aftermath; tight pants!

I started with my basic lentil recipe and added brown rice, and some chopped tomatoes. I also have an abundance of sage in my garden so I used that although I know for a fact that the dried stuff from the store works just as well. The secret, I think, is to slowly sauté the herbs in oil to extract the flavors.

I stuffed everything into peppers and baked them slowly. Eating healthy without feeling deprived, plus it was cheap! Lentils are the best bang for your food dollar around and full of nutrients; even protein. My good behavior left a little wiggle room today for a glass of wine! I love days like today!

Here’s the recipe which made enough to stuff 8 medium size peppers with some left over to make wraps for the children’s lunch tomorrow.

Ingredients

1 cup lentils
1 cup brown rice
1-2 Tbsp Oil or butter (I used coconut oil because I like the added flavor)
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-3 medium sized carrots
2-3 medium sized celery stalks
2 small tomatoes, chopped
Sage to taste (I used about 10 fresh fairly large leaves)
3 cups of water or vegetable stock, chicken stock; your preference
8 medium sized bell peppers (I used the orange, yellow and red variety)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit

In a large skillet add the oil, chopped garlic, fresh sage or powdered, chopped carrots, chopped celery and sauté until soft.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the brown rice and lentils and coat them in the mixture then add the water and the tomatoes.

Let simmer until the water is absorbed. About 30-45 minutes.

Cut the stem out of the peppers creating a “cup”

Spoon the mixture into the peppers and place in your baking dish.

Here I will add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish; sometime I add a little white wine for flavor.

I don’t like my peppers to be mushy so I bake them just until they are tender; about 30 minutes.

  

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