Monday, October 25, 2010

Meatless Monday: Spinach and Chickpea Curry

Living in Florida, I have come to love all things curry. My close friend from Trinidad gave me some curry powder that will knock the socks off the stuff in the grocery store here. Curry is a flavorful, typically spicy dish which is prominent in South Asian and Caribbean cuisines. This version includes chickpeas, which add extra fiber and protein to an already healthy meal.

Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons margarine

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

1 small apple, peeled, cored and

coarsely chopped or 2 tomatoes, chopped

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons curry powder

2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups chickpeas

2 cups loosely chopped spinach

1/4 cup light cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup seedless raisins, soaked in warm water or brandy

Mango chutney

Heat margarine in large skillet; sauté onion until golden. Add garlic and apple or tomato. Cook over low heat until apples are soft.

In small bowl, combine flour and curry powder; stir into onion mixture. Cook a few minutes to blend into thick, smooth paste. Gradually add vegetable stock chickpeas and spinach, stirring often over medium heat, cooking until curry is thick. Add light cream, salt and pepper to taste. Add raisins. Cook slightly longer to desired thickness.
Serve over hot cooked rice. Serve mango chutney on the side.

Monday, October 18, 2010

(Almost) Another Meatless Monday: Butternut Squash Risotto

Roasted butternut squash risotto with sugared walnuts was one of the best meatless dishes we’ve had in awhile. Well, almost meatless…there is a little pancetta in the recipe for flavor. However, you could leave it out and add a different savory seasoning for a similar taste. This is the kind of dish you love to have cooking when friends just happen to stop by for dinner. That is, if you don’t mind sharing….


  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
  • 4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup chardonnay
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lemon thyme or 1 1/2 tablespoons thyme plus 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
So first, you toast the walnuts in the oven for a few minutes. Then drizzle with a little warm butter, toss in brown sugar and a sprinkle of pepper. I had to kick my kids out of the kitchen just so they wouldn't eat them all!
Then peel and cut up the squash, toss with a bit of olive oil, and roast until tender. While the squash is roasting you can bring your chicken broth to a boil, chop onion and pancetta, and heat a large saucepan.
Add pancetta to saucepan; cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine; cook 1 minute or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes total). Stir in squash, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Top with cheese and nuts.
So good!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Another Meatless Monday: Orzo with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

Meatless Mondays have become a routine in our household. This Monday, we had orzo with zucchini, tomatoes, and goat cheese. It was tasty and quick! After all, who has time for a complicated dish on a Monday night?


  • 1 (16-ounce) package orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red bell peppers, drained and diced
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese


Cook the pasta in a Dutch oven according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, and toss with 2 teaspoons olive oil.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium heat. Add zucchini; cook 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in parsley and next 5 ingredients (parsley through bell peppers). Cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in pasta and cheeses.