Sunday, September 27, 2015

Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce with Lentils

I make no secret about it - I love lentils! They are a healthy and economical source of protein and fiber and can be used in soups, stews, as a side dish, or on their own. Recently a friend of mine asked me if I had a good recipe for vegetarian lasagna and I began to think in terms of lentils as a replacement for the ground beef.

So before embarking on an entire lasagna, I thought I'd begin with a lentil inspired bolognese sauce done in the slow cooker and serve the end product with rigatoni.



















I'm not gonna lie, the lentils at the halfway point in my slow cooker looked like they were going to be an epic fail - but with a little patience and a full 8 hour cooking time on high, they came out BEAUTIFUL with the perfect texture for a sauce!

It also makes a lot so that you can freeze some for later - and I plan to make that lasagna with the next batch I pull out!

This is a healthy, and very delicious dish, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce with Lentils

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!



Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 cup carrots diced into bite sized cubes
  • 1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 8 sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 28 oz can tomatoes with juice
  • 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  • 14 ounces dried, rinsed lentils
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Directions
  1. Place all ingredients but the balsamic vinegar in a slow cooker treated with cooking spray and cook on the low setting for 10-12 hours or high for 8 hours - until the lentils are soft and tender.Add the balsamic vinegar to the cooked warm lentils.
  2. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a blender, food processor, or hand blender, lightly puree everything to resemble a Bolognese sauce (as per the video)
  4. The sauce makes enough for four meals. Place into freezer bags and keep in the freezer up to 6 months.
  5. Heat and serve over your favorite pasta, vegetables, or both. 

Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.  
 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Turkey Meatballs in Easy Marinara Sauce

I was at an event a few years ago called Eat Vancouver - a day that was set up completely around food and cooking. There were hundreds of vendors present selling everything from truffle salt to ponzu sauce, live cooking demos with chefs like Rob Feenie, Chuck Hughes, and Anna Olson, and a wine tasting station. But my favourite part of the day was the opportunity to taste food from a variety of local chefs and despite being treated to a plethora of textures and flavours, the best thing I ate that day was a baseball sized meatball covered in a fresh and simple marinara sauce.

That said, for today's blog I wanted to re-create my own version of that delicious dish and I have to tell you, if you try this, you won't be sorry!

































This is a healthy, and very delicious dish, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Turkey Meatballs in Easy Marinara Sauce

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey breast
  • 1 lb ground turkey thigh
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup whole wheat Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped. pitted, kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried onion flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 680 ml jar Italian pureed tomatoes
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
Directions 
  1. Mix the first 10 ingredients together and form into baseball sized meatballs.
  2. Brown on all sides over medium high heat in a non stick pan treated with olive oil. 
  3. Set the meatballs aside and saute the onions in the same pan until soft, add the garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
  4. Add the tomato puree, bay leaf, and the meatballs back to the pan. Cover the meatballs with the sauce, bring to a simmering boil, turn to medium low, cover and simmer one hour. 
  5. Serve over your favourite pasta or over a bed of sauteed spinach. 
  6. These freeze well.  

 Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

For me, when life gets busy, there's nothing more refreshing or delicious than a fully loaded salad. And the nice thing about salad for dinner is that it can almost be entirely prepped ahead so that all you have to do when you get home from work, or from looking after your family, is dump ingredients into a bowl.




















My Tex Mex salad is loaded with healthy ingredients like avocado, peppers, niblets corn, chicken, shrimp, crunchy tortilla strips, and a honey like salad dressing that's worth the entire price of admission!




















This is a healthy, and very delicious dinner salad, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing.

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!



Tex Mex Chicken Salad with Honey Lime Dressing
Ingredients
  • 1 large whole wheat tortilla
  • 4 cups chopped salad greens
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast seasoned with 1/2 tsp of creole seasoning
  • 1/2 cup cooked shrimp
  • 1 cup niblets corn
  • 1/2 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup purple onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
Honey Lime Dressing Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning 
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped cilantro or Italian parsley
  • 1 tbsp honey
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mist both sides of the whole wheat tortilla with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray. Cut in half, turn sideways, then cut into thin strips. Spread the strips in a single layer on baking sheets and season with salt. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating the baking sheets once, until crispy. 
  2. Mix the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. 
  4. Toss everything along with the tortilla strips together and serve.


Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 

Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers ~ Vegetarian Meals in the Slow Cooker

Today's recipe is so easy, tasty, healthy, and economical I think it deserves a parade!

This because I've been loving easy vegetarian meals I can turn to once or twice a week - guaranteeing we're eating a wider variety of vegetables, trying new ingredients, and saving money.

But if someone had told me the magic that's created in a slow cooker with re-fried beans, quinoa, cheese, and salsa I never would have believed it!


The quinoa gets mixed together with a few other ingredients, is stuffed into peppers, and cooked on low for 6 hours resulting in oodles of cheesy, tomato, deliciousness and mounds of nutrition! Better still, the quinoa is super filling and the entire easy meal will leave you feeling great and coming back for more.



This is a healthy, and very delicious vegetarian meal, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers

Or join me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube where my husband Big V and I get into a Foodie Showdown: Ribs vs Peppers!




Crockpot Quinoa and Bean Stuffed Peppers
Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 14 ounce can re-fried beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1½ cups shredded cheese
  • 4 medium sized peppers any variety
Directions 
  1. Mix the quinoa, beans, salsa, sour cream, cumin, lime juice, cilantro, and 1 cup of the shredded cheese together in a large bowl until well combined. 
  2. Remove the insides and seeds from the peppers and spoon equal amounts of the quinoa stuffing into each. 
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of water into the bottom of a slow cooker and place the stuffed peppers into the crockpot.
  4. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 hours.
  5. Before serving, remove cover and sprinkle the peppers with grated cheese,Cover the crock pot again for a few seconds to melt the cheese. 
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish. 




Saturday, September 5, 2015

Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas

In an effort to save money and eat more healthfully, I try to make at least one vegetarian meal a week and Tex Mex style dishes really lend themselves to this kind of cooking - especially when vegetables are in season like gorgeous butternut squash.

 Don't let vegetables like squash scare you. I know they can look daunting in all of their heavy peel, seeds inside glory at the grocery store, but if you peel it, de-seed it, cube it and pop it into a freezer bag, you've got a wonderful vegetable on hand for all kinds of soups and dishes like today's Quesadillas.


Served with your favourite guacamole, these are so delicious you won't believe it! They're even good the next day cold.

This is a healthy, and very delicious vegetarian meal, so if you try it, let me know! As well, be sure to subscribe to follow this blog, and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube.

I upload two new recipe blogs and videos a week!

Visit the printable recipe here: Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Quesadillas

Or cook along with me at the Casa de Kitchen Witch on Youtube!




Ingredients
  • 3 medium while onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups 1/4" cubed butternut squash
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1-15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup niblets corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups grated cheese (I like the Kraft Tex Mex blend in this)
  • 1 large avocado, scooped out of shell and mashed
  • 1 tbsp salsa
  • 6 large soft tortilla shells
Directions
  1. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium low heat and add the sliced onions. Cook over medium low stirring every so often until golden brown and caramelized, about 60 minutes. (You can also do this ahead of time in larger batches and freeze)
  2. Remove the onions from the pan, turn heat to medium, and add the corn - use a spatula to get all of the golden onion flavour off the bottom. Add the black beans, salsa, cumin and chili powder and continue to saute until the liquid from the salsa has mostly evaporated. 
  3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with nonstick spray or olive oil. Toss the butternut squash in the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until caramelized but not mushy. Can be made a day ahead of time.
  4. Heat the oven to 350. Place 3 whole wheat tortilla shells onto a cooking sheet treated with cooking spray or oil. Spoon 1/2 cup of the bean mixture, 1/2 cup of the roasted squash, and 1/4 cup of the caramelized onions onto one half of the tortilla. Top each with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Fold over and bake for about 10-15 minutes until crispy. 
Author:

Lyndsay Wells is a professional trainer, writer, and program developer with a passion for food and cooking. She is an award winning recipe developer, a former website ambassador for Kraft Foods Canada, the $20,000.00 winner of the online competition "The Real Women of Philadelphia" and a finalist on the Food Network Canada show Recipe to Riches. Lyndsay believes cooking should be approachable and easy and has great tips and ideas for putting together sophisticated looking dishes that cooks of all levels can accomplish.