Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spiced Barley Pilaf

This is a favorite of mine that I've been making for years. I've also made it for my extended family and had to translate the recipe for them to use!

It's a great side dish, I have reheated it numerous times (adding a little broth), frozen it, ate it as a side dish, added proteins to make it a one pot dish. Anything, it's versatile, it's delicious, and it's easy despite the fact that it seems complicated.

Spiced Barley Pilaf
6 servings, 4 P+/serving

1 cup pearl barley
2 tsp canola oil
2 small carrots, diced
1 small red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 bay leaf
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 (14 1/2 oz can) chicken broth
3/4 cup water

1- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the barley and toast, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 5 minutes (it should brown slightly, do not over toast!). Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, red onion, and celery; cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, cumin, salt paprika, turmeric, and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the barley, stir to coat with the spices, add the broth and water; bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the barley is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Discard the bay leaf before serving.

Stir It Up cookbook p. 211, Weight Watchers 2006

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lentil-Tomato Soup

Ok, this is a long time favorite, I've shared it many times and people are still asking for it. Here's my Lentil soup, a main staple in my family. It is a several time modified version of a recipe found on the Weight Watchers Message boards. I just process the whole thing and then freeze in 1 cup containers. :o)

Lentil-Tomato Soup
10 servings, 3 P+/serving

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/3 cups water
2 1/3 cups dried lentils
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth* (5.5 cups)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional)
Cilantro sprig (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion; sauté for 3 minutes or until tender. Add the turmeric and the next 6 ingredients (turmeric through garlic); sauté for 1 minute. Add water and next 4 ingredients (water through diced tomatoes); bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 hour.
Reserve 2 cups lentil mixture. Place half of remaining mixture in blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture. Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig, if desired.

(serving size: 1 cup)

* To make vegan, substitute with Vegetable broth

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tilapia Miso Soup

This is a very basic version of a soup I make regularly. I sort of made it up as I went, and change if frequently. Feel free to switch vegetables and proteins around to fit whatever you have on hand :o)

Tilapia Miso Soup
2 servings, 4 P+/serving

Cooking spray
1 shallot, sliced
1 carrot sliced
6-8 asparagus, sliced
2 cup French green beans
2 cup chicken broth
1 packet Dashi mix (optional)
Dash soy sauce
12 oz tilapia, cut in chunks
1 TBSP white Miso Paste

Heat up a saucepan, coat with cooking spray and sauteed the shallot, the carrot, and the asparagus. In the meantime, mix the Dashi mix (if using) with the broth.

Add the broth and the soy sauce and the green beans and cook at lower fire for 5-6 minutes.

Add the fish chunks and cook until the fish is cooked (5 minutes or so). Take about ¼ cup of broth out of the pot and mix with the miso past in a little bowl, put back in the pot, turn off the fire and mix well.

Add on: you could add a tsp of dark sesame oil to each bowl (1 P+ added).

Note: Miso (and fish for that matter) does not reheat very well this recipe isn’t the best for leftovers. If you are making a bigger batch, I would not put in the Miso in the whole thing; add it to your bowl instead.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lemon chicken with olives

As I said last week we decided to theme each week in January. Last week was Vegetarian week (mostly!), this week is casserole week. So everything we make is 1 pot casserole type dishes.

Here’s a dish that I like to do every once in a while, it sounds more complicated than it is really, and it’s delicious!

Poulet au citron et aux olives (Lemon chicken with olives)
6 servings 6 P+/serving

2 TBSP olive oil

3 lbs chicken pieces, bone in skin removed

1 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 bay leaves

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp salt

¾ cup chicken broth

2 TBSP lemon juice

½ tsp sugar

½ lemon thinly sliced

3 tomatoes cut in wedges

½ cup green or black olives, pitted

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

In a nonstick pan at medium high heat, heat up half the oil and brown the chicken on all sides (about 10 minutes, might need to work in batches) remove the chicken from the pan, set aside.

Add the rest of the oil to the pan and put in the onion, garlic, bay leaves, pepper, oregano, coriander, cumin and salt. Cook at medium heat, stirring every now and then, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes.

Put the chicken back in the pan with whatever juice gathered in the plate. Add the chicken broth, the lemon juice and the sugar. Add the lemon slices on top of the chicken, lower the fire and let simmer for 15 minutes (pour a little of the broth on the chicken from time to time).

Add tomato wedges and olives and cook, uncovered, for 5-10 minutes or until the chicken is done. Remove bay leaves and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

From: Coup de Pouce a Table, 150 recettes simple comme bonjour Les Editions Transcontinentales, 2005 (translated by Melanie Bourgeois)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Curried Apple Soup

For the fun of it, we’ve decided to do themed weeks for January. This week we are eating Vegetarian. This soup is something I came across a few years ago and fell in love with.

I haven’t done it in a while but it’s on my list for “vegetarian week”. We eat it as an appetizer, so it lasts us for a few days. It is a little labor intensive, but it’s Delicious!

Curried Apple Soup
4 servings 4 P+/serving (counting the apples)

2 tablespoons Canola oil
2 cups onion -- chopped
3 large garlic clove -- minced
2 tablespoons ginger -- minced
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne
5 cups tart apple -- peeled and chopped
4 cups water
2 sticks cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons honey or brown sugar (optional not included in P+)

Heat oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onion, garlic, ginger, and salt, and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the onion begin to soften.

Add the spices, and sauté another 5 minutes over medium heat.

Add apples, water, cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, mostly cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are very tender. Remove from heat.

Take out the cinnamon sticks, and puree in a blender or food processor-bit by bit, so as not to splash yourself. Return the puree to the pot.

Add optional sweetening, and taste to adjust salt. Serve hot or cold, with or without some or all of the toppings. (Even though the toppings are fun and delicious, this soup is also wonderful just plan.)

Optional toppings (not included in P+): Lightly toasted shredded coconut; lightly toasted slivered almonds; a drizzle of yogurt; a few dried currants.

From: "Mollie Katzen's Recipes, Soups" Ten Speed Press.