Saturday, January 30, 2016

Spaghetti Lasagna

Maybe this?

Basically made a sausage veg pasta, but baked it a la lasagna.

It was pretty good.

3/4 lb spaghetti
1 lb bulk sweet Italian sausage
1/4 pound shiitake or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 1/2 cups
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups or 24 ounces of marinara or meatless tomato sauce*
1 1/2 cups water
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp olive oil plus more for greasing the casserole dish
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese
2-3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*You can make your own or use a good quality jarred sauce. To make your own, make a double recipe of our basic tomato sauce, blend it smooth to use in this baked spaghetti recipe.

1 Put a large pot of water on the stove on high heat. Add salt to the water, about 2 Tbsp for 6 quarts of water. While the pasta water is heating, continue with the next steps.

2 Break up the sausage into clumps into a large sauté pan. Turn the heat on, to medium. Slowly cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller pieces with the a wooden spoon. The slow cooking will help the fat render out. Cook until the sausage is cooked through, no longer pink anywhere, and lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Drain the fat from the pan.

3 Add the chopped onions and mushrooms to the pan. Increase the heat to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent and the mushrooms have given up some of their liquid. Add the minced garlic and red chili pepper flakes, and cook a minute more.

4 Add the marinara sauce and the 1 1/2 cups of water to the pan with the onions and mushrooms. Add the sausage back to the pan.  Add the Italian seasoning and chopped parsley.  Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to a very low simmer on the lowest simmer setting on your stovetop.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes or so while you make the pasta.

5 By this time your pasta water in step one should be boiling. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil, for 5 to 6 minutes, al dente. Note that the pasta will continue to cook and absorb some of the sauce when it is in the casserole dish in the oven, so the pasta should be al dente. When ready, drain the pasta and rinse in cold water.

6 Place the cooled pasta in a large bowl.  Toss with olive oil, then the Parmesan, then 2 beaten eggs. It's easiest to do this with your (clean) hands.

7 Preheat your oven to 350°F. Rub the inside of a 13x9 inch casserole dish (a Pyrex dish works great) with olive oil. Spread 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of the casserole dish.

8 Place half of the pasta in an even layer in the casserole dish.  Cover with half of the sauce. Then dot the sauce with all of the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle half of the Mozzarella over the ricotta layer. Layer again with the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce, and the remaining Mozzarella.

9 Cover with foil and bake for 40 min at 350°F. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and let rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Brown Rice Mung Bean Kitchari

This was pretty tasty.  I think I roughly tripled it, which did fit in the pressure cooker barely.  The recipe below says serves 2.  I don't remember if we used mung beans or something else.

½ cup mung beans (dry whole green mung beans)
½ brown basmati rice
½ tsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ cup chopped red onion
2 medium tomatoes
5 cloves of garlic
1 inch ginger
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp garam masala
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp black pepper
4 cups water
1 tsp lemon juice
¾ to 1¼ tsp salt

Soak the beans and rice for at least 15 minutes. Soak at this step as the next few steps take 15 to 20 minutes

Blend the onions, tomato, garlic, ginger, spices with a few tbsp of water to a smooth puree and keep aside.

Start the Instant Pot (IP) on saute at normal heat.

When hot, add oil, let the oil heat up for a few seconds, then add cumin seeds. Roast the seeds for half a minute or until fragrant.

Add the puree carefully, stir and cook until the puree thickens and smells roasted. 15 to 17 minutes. Switch the saute to off.

Drain the beans and rice and add to the IP. Add water, salt, lemon juice. Mix. Add chopped veggies if you like.

Close the lid. Press Manual and adjust time for 10 minutes. (or pressure cook for 10 minutes after the pressure has released). * Brown Basmati Rice soaked for 15 minutes will cook in the 10 minute time. You might need to cook longer depending on the rice used (15 to 20 mins).

The IP will start heating, and show "On" and then count down the minutes when the pressure has reached.

Once done, let the pressure release naturally. Or if you are are in a hurry. Try the quick release after 5 to 7 minutes. * If the rice or beans are not cooked to preference, you can cook them on saute until they are tender.

Taste and adjust salt and spice. Serve hot with crackers or toasted bread.


To make this without oil: Add the cumin seeds directly to the hot IP. Roast until they change color. Add the pureed tomato onion and continue with the steps.

To make this in a saucepan: follow all the steps in till Step 6 . Add 4.5 cups of water, Cover the saucepan and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes then reduce to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Stir once in between. Add more water if needed and cook longer if needed.

To make this in a stove top Pressure cooker: Cook all the steps in a pressure cooker over medium heat through step 6. Add the beans, rice and water, close the lid, Pressure cook for 10 minutes once the pressure has reached.(or 1 whistle on high and 8 minutes on medium low heat)..

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Chicken Tacos

Real simple chicken tacos with fancy guac.  And queso fundido. Oh yum.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pacific Island Seafood

One pot, pg 70.  Used shrimp.   And probably some extra sweet taters.  It took longer to cook because of the sweet taters which ended up over-cooking the shrimp.  Next time slice the taters thinner.  It was pretty good though.  We added maybe a 1/4 c. water instead of the 1/4 tbsp called for.  It seemed silly to add that little amount of water, but ours ended up rather liquidy.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

BBQ Pulled Pork

This is tasty.  Was a bit to spicy for the kids though.  Made some simple slaw based on a whole-30 recipe to go with it.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Pepperoni Pizza & Shadow

Made some standard pizza.  Pepperoni, bell peppers and mushrooms.

And hello Shadow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Turkey Chili

Made some turkey chili tonight.  Was kind of a rush job but it turned out pretty well.  Could have standed to simmer a bit more to make the flavors meld.  Turkey, beans, peppers, probably some other stuff.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Baked Salmon and Veg

Used tomatoes and broccoli maybe.  Probably not the massive amount of butter, which is delicious but not helpful.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Three Sisters Stew

Moosewood, pg 272.  Mushrooms, beans, squash, bell pepper, corn.  Was pretty good but seemed like it was missing something.  Maybe a little spice but not sure.  We used delicata squash, but maybe acorn or something else with more flavor would have helped too.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Beef Stir-Fry with not Chinese Greens

Wok book, pg 72.  Use broccoli, sugar snap peas, added mushrooms.  Left the chili out for the kids.  Pretty tasty.