Monthly Archives: February 2012

Veggie Kebabs with Yogurt Marinade

Training for the Seneca 7 is going really well… since Saturday I have logged 16 miles. I finally spent some time planning out a sort of “training plan”. Basically, ever 2 weeks I’m going to add another 5 minutes to my run time and try to get a longer run in one day on the weekend.  I’m going to see how it goes and adjust accordingly. My overall plan is to build up my endurance but most of all to listen to my body. With running a bit more than usual, (my average used to be about 18 miles a week) I been trying to fill up on more protein to help rebuild my muscles. This recipe is filling, tangy and packs in a fair amount of protein and whole grains.

In my opinion every season is grilling season… grilling is one of the healthiest ways to cook food because you don’t need to add in any extra fat. I have been known to stand out in the snow and meticulously turn veggies to achieve that golden brown crispiness of a well grilled vegetable. This recipe is all about the veggies in this middle eastern/north African inspired dish. I marinated the veggies in yogurt for that tang and a little bit of extra protein

Veggie Kebabs with Yogurt Marinade

Wooden kebab skewers

1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt

1/4-1/2 cup of water, depending on the thickness of the yogurt (the marinade should still be thick enough to coat the veggies well)

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of basil

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne

1/4 teaspoon of dried garlic

black pepper

1 zucchini, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds

1 red bell pepper cut into 1in by 1in squares

1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1in by 1in squares

2 large portabella mushrooms cut into 1in by 1in squares

1 medium onion cut into 1in by 1in squares

1/2 an eggplant cut into 1in by 1in squares

First soak the skewers in water for a least and hour, if not longer, so they do not catch on fire on the grill. Preheat your grill to medium heat. In a gallon size zip-top bag, place yogurt, water and spices. Close the top and shake to mix ingredients together. Chop the veggies and place them on the skewers, piercing them though the short side. Make sure to leave a least an inch free at each end. Place the skewers in the zip-top bag, close it up and shake to coat the kebabs.

Place them on the grill for 2-4 minutes on each of the 4 sides, or until the veggies are nice and crispy. Serve with whole wheat couscous.

You can add chicken to your skewers if you want,  just make sure to marinate those second, in a separate batch than the veggie ones

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

Mark and I celebrated Valentine’s Day on Sunday because on Tuesday Mark had to work and I had hockey practice. I made pierogis with roasted tofu and kale. Mark got me flowers and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Hard to believe this is our 4th Valentine’s Day together.

Since it was Valentine’s Day, I should also show off my new sparkly ring… it’s an opal with 2 little diamonds. Mark got it for me for Christmas but it had to be resized, so I just got to start wearing it last week. If I may, opals are so sparkley becasue itty bitty spheres of silica  in the opal interfere with and refract light, causing the many colors you see.

Pierogis (makes 25-30)

Dough

1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour

1 Tablespoon rosemary

1 tablespoon of thyme

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt

1/4 cup Water

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Mix together the flour and dried herbs in a large bowl. In another smaller bowl combine the yogurt, water and oil. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mix them together. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it for 5 to 10 minutes. Then wrap it in cling wrap and let it sit for at least 1/2 an hour so the gluten can relax.  You can make it up to a day in advance.

Filling

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 onion, diced

1/3 cup of sauerkraut

3 potatoes

1 tablespoon of butter

1/4 cup of greek yogurt

Black pepper to taste

Fill a pot and cube and peel the potatoes. Add them to the pot and bring them to a boil. Let them boil until a fork pierces easily though them (20ish minutes). Meanwhile, add the oil to a pan over medium heat and sauté the onion of about 3-5 minutes or until translucent.  Add in the sauerkraut and sauté one more minute. Once the potatoes are done drain them and transfer them into a large bowl mash them with the butter and yogurt. Stir in the onions and kraut.  You can also make this a day in advance

To assemble the pierogis:

Fill a small bowl with a little bit of water. Unwrap the dough and roll it out on a floured surface until it is super thin, less than 1/4 of an inch. Cut out rings, 2. 5-3 inches in diameter, I used a can. Fill each circle with a tablespoon or two of filling. Then dip your finger in the water and dab the water around the edge of the dough circle. Fold the circle over, keeping the filling inside, and crimp the edges closed with a fork. Repeat and repeat. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in about 8 pierogis at a time and cook for 5-9 minutes or until they float to the top and stay there. Repeat. You can also freeze some of the pierogis in a single layer for a day then place them in a zip top bag in the freezer and cook them up at a later date (it might take a little longer because they are frozen).

Serve with onions cooked in butter or with Greek yogurt or sour cream

Roasted Tofu and Kale

2 tablespoons of rosemary, minced

2 tablespoons of thyme, minced

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

1 clove of garlic minced

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 block of extra firm tofu pressed (see how to press tofu here) then cubed

1/2 bunch of kale chopped

Combine all of the ingredients through the oil in a mortar and pestle. Mash it up good until it forms kind of a paste. Spoon half of it into one zip top bag and the other half into another. Add the tofu to one bag and the kale to the other. Shake to coat and let them marinade for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400. Spread the tofu out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place in the oven for 25 minutes, turn them once. Then add the kale to the cookie sheet and roast for another 10 minutes, turning once. Once the kale has wilted and the tofu is crispy, remove from the oven and enjoy

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Gluten-Free Granola

Not sure how I missed posting this recipe (probably because I make more food than I can possibly blog about)… I was going though the folder on my computer where I keep all my foodie photos and I found this recipe. It’s for gluten-free granola! I made it for Mark’s parents for the holidays (Marks’ dad is gluten free).

With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, we’ll all be consuming a little more chocolate than we need to (not that it’s a bad thing to eat a little chocolate). Why not be a little different and give cute little baggies or jars of homemade granola instead of chocolate. I feel like the homemade cards and gifts mean so much more than a store bought one. Mark keeps all of the cards that I’ve ever made him in a draw in his desk… and I’ve made him probably a few dozen cards.

We celebrated Valentine’s Day tonight with a special dinner… Pierogis with roasted kale and tofu… I’ll post that soon!

On another note… training for the Seneca 7 is going really well… Mark and I ran at a leisurely pace for half an hour the other day and end up running a little over 3.6 miles, which is roughly an 8:20 pace… not to shabby for a leisure run. I’ve been trying to get back down to sub 8’s now that my shin splint is gone. I think we’ll ramp it up to 40 mins per run soon

Gluten Free Granola

4 cups of gluten-free oats

1 cup of almonds, chopped, or you can buy slivered

1 cup of shredded coconut

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of maple syrup

1/4-1/2 cup of water (depending on your oats and how dry they are)

2 tablespoons of oil

1/2 cup of dried blueberries

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

Combine oats, almonds, coconut, sugar, syrup, and water in a large bowl. Spread onto a large cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring it occasionally. If it starts to brown too quickly, turn the oven down a bit. Remove the pan from the oven once the oats are dry and lightly browned. Let it cool a little and mix in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Carrot, Parsnip, and Leek Soup

Since yesterday was the Super Bowl, it was only appropriate to make soup for a late lunch. This soup is thick, filling and very parsnipy. I roasted the carrots and parsnips in the oven before adding them to the leeks and stock. Roasting the veggies intensifies their flavor. The soup was pureed and spices were added and presto… soup. I paired it with biscuits from my Moosewood Cookbook, except I changed out the scallions the recipe called for with leeks… we have leeks coming out the wazoo. Apparently Wegmans only carries huge bundles of leeks.

I have to admit the atmosphere in our apartment last night was pretty somber when we got home from watching the game… Mark is taking the Patriot loss pretty hard. However, he was rather chipper for our 9 am training run. We met up with the other Lava Tigers (our team name for the Seneca 7) for a team 3.75 mile run. Seneca 7 is a 77.7 mile, 7 man/woman relay race around Seneca Lake in upstate New York. We picked legs last week and I have leg 4, 10.8 miles, and the third longest leg. Mark picked leg 7, 11.3 miles, the second longest leg. We have a little under 2 months left to train… and I’m getting pretty excited, especially since we ran part of our run today in flying V formation.

Carrot, Parsnip and Leek Soup

3-4 large parsnips, peeled and cubed

1/2 pound of baby carrots

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

2 large leeks, cut in half and sliced thinly, only using the white and very light green part

2 teaspoon of curry powder

2 teaspoon of cayenne

1/2 teaspoon more of black pepper

4 cups of water

2 cups of veggie stock

1/4 cup of milk (soy, almond, cow)

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the parsnips, carrots, pepper, Italian seasoning and 2 tablespoons of oil on a sheet tray or in a casserole dish. Toss the veggies to coat them in the spices and oil. Place in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

About 15 minutes after the carrots and parsnips go in, start chopping the leeks, place them in a colander and rinse thoroughly to get the dirt out (they grow up through the ground and trap dirt).

Add a tablespoon of oil to the bottom of a large pot, heat it over medium heat. Add in the leeks and sauté for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the leeks are translucent. When the carrot and parsnips are cooked through, add them to the pot along with the stock, water and spices. Bring it to a boil for about 5 minutes, then turn of the heat and let it cool. Once it has cooled a bit, puree it until smooth. You can add some more water if it is too thick. I used my immersion blender, but you could use a food processor or blender. Then stir in the milk, bring it back to a boil then it is ready to serve.

Leek Biscuits

2 cups of whole wheat flour

2 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of plain yogurt ( I used Greek and a little water)\

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup of leeks, minced

Black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Mix together the dry ingredients in a medium size bowl. In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, oil and leeks. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients quickly. Dump it out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk 3/4″ thick. Slice into 10 wedges and place on a oiled baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a biscuit comes out clean.

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