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Friday

Meatless Meals, Mushrooms, and More

Vegetables can be a complete and satisfying meal -- even for omnivores who think of themselves as carnivores. Some points to keep in mind -- stronger tasting vegetable often make for stronger center pieces; mushrooms are fantastic meat alternatives; dairy doesn't have to play a large role, but sometimes the light addition of a flavorful hard cheese makes all the difference.

Some recipes to consider -- ROLLATINI DI MELANZANE(Eggplant Rollatini); CORN SALAD; BLACK BEAN AVOCADO BURGERS; STUFFED BELL PEPPERS; TOFU CUTLETS; CAULIFLOWER BAKE; and SALSA -- check out the options with each recipe for even more delicious meatless meal variety!

Curious as to why mushrooms are a great food -- here is some info about mushrooms.

Info on Mushrooms


Numbers and info are for 1, just one, mushroom, info from: http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/

CAULIFLOWER BAKE

1 cauliflower head, chopped into larger than bite sized pieces
3 Tablespoons of butter
12 ounces of hard cheese, like cheddar, shredded
1 cup of milk
1 egg
Seasonings of choice – mustard, paprika, curry, chili, etc.
Optional: bread crumbs and/or grated hard cheese like Parmesan
Optional: 1/4 cup feta cheese, add with other ingredients, or as a topping

Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased baking dish. Top with bread crumbs or grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

OPTION 1: with leftover, cut into bite sized squares, dredge in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs – then deep-fry them in a dutch oven filled with hot oil.

OPTION 2: Replace cauliflower with mushrooms! (or pasta, of course)

SALSA

2 Tomatoes
1/4 cup Cilantro
1 Lime, juiced
dash of Salt
1/8 teaspoon of Hot Pepper, (I used an habanero)

Puree in food processor until desired texture is reached.

TOFU CUTLETS

1 package firm tofu, pressed and rained
1 grapefruit, juiced
1 Tablespoon ginger, fresh, grated

Slice tofu and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with grapefruit juice. Top with fresh ginger. Broil for 3-7 minutes. Flip cutlets and repeat.

OPTION 1: orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt and pepper, ginger

OPTION 2: dredge in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs or quinoa then fry.

STUFFED BELL PEPPERS

6 Bell Peppers, cored/de-seeded -- red or orange make for a softer and sweeter end result
2 cups Purple Sticky Rice, cooked (or other rice)
1 Leek

Saute chopped leek in olive oil -- add some garlic or other seasoning of choice. Mix leeks with rice and stuff mixture into peppers. Bake 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until peppers are fork tender.

OPTION: stuff mushroom caps with the same stuffing. Stuff peppers or mushroom caps with sautéed greens, like Escarole , or Swiss Chard , or Cranberry and Cashew Greens, or even either ‘raw’ burger ‘batter.’

BLACK BEAN AVOCADO BURGERS

2 cans Black Beans (or dried beans soak and cooked until soft)
2 Avocados (just the green fruit, of course)
1/4 cup salsa (more or less as needed)
1/4 cup nuts, ground, (or flour) more as needed
Mash all ingredients together. Roll and squish into patties. Bake at 350 degrees on cookie sheet topped with parchment paper for about 20 minutes or until crunchy on the outside. You can fry these in a pan too. You could also grill these.

OPTION: Replace black beans with shredded zucchini, avocados with an egg, salsa with feta, and add scallions, parsley, mint, & paprika to taste.

CORN SALAD

3 ears Corn, kernels cut off freshly cooked ears or frozen, or canned
A palm full of Mint, fresh, chopped
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste


Mix and serve.

OPTION: Mix with 1 egg per cup plus 1/2 cup of shredded cheese per cup and bake as a casserole.

ROLLATINI DI MELANZANE

1 Eggplant, cut long ways
1/4 pound Ricotta Cheese
1/4 pound Mozzarella Cheese, thinly sliced
1 Egg
1 Tablespoon garlic, crushed
Shredded hard cheese like Parmesan or manchengo
Olive Oil

Sprinkle sliced eggplant with salt and let sit on a towel for at least 15 minutes, this will help reduce the bitterness – skip this step if you don’t mind the full flavor of eggplant. If you find eggplant very bitter, soak overnight in buttermilk. Dry eggplant with towel, paper or otherwise. Mix ricotta cheese, garlic, and egg. Sear the eggplant slices in a fry pan. Then lay one slice of mozzarella on top and a dollop of ricotta cheese mixture. Roll up eggplant and place in baking dish, use toothpicks if necessary or finicky about the rolls staying rolled up tight. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. Serve with fresh chopped tomatoes or tomato sauce.

OPTION 1: Grilled slices of eggplant brushed with oil and then rolled with a stuffing of crumbled feta, red chili, a little lemon juice and some fresh mint.

OPTION 2: Brush eggplant rounds with oil and grill, sprinkle with favorite seasoning like basil, thyme, or oregano.

OPTION 3: Using fried, grilled, or baked round of eggplant top with slices of fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and fresh tomato.

OPTION 4: Don’t fry first. Dredge eggplant in milk, then flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs then into a pan with heated oil. Then fry and continue.

OPTION 5: Replace eggplant with summer squash or zucchini.

Monday

Gluten Free & Dairy Free Baking Cookbook!

We all have our dangerous monsters and now we all have our Benevolent Baker. Taken from the myth stories of old where the town is saved from the dangerous monster by the benevolent baker who makes the magic biscuit & saves the day — the Benevolent Kitchen is here to offer you the same panacea with recipes for all natural and delicious gluten and dairy free baked goods.

Through this recipe book I share my years of knowledge with you, your friends, your family, or even your business. In hopes that you make your kitchen a benevolent one and help you become your own benevolent baker. That way you can:

HEAL – the physical & emotional damages from food with food

CARE – which can include delicious foods with your ongoing treatments

PROGRESS – in adjusting to the adherence of your special dietary needs

and with all of this you can be your own savior — what could be better than that?

So, go! The sooner you start baking the sooner you can start eating!


This entire book is Copyright © 2009 by Nicole Bubolo, The Benevolent Baker, The Benevolent Kitchen — All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including but not limited to electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

Thursday

Weird and Wonderful Greens

Kale, Swiss Chard, Escarole, and Cabbage

Recipes made that night: Kale Chips, Swiss Chard with Cranberry & Cashews, Swiss Chard with Onion and Lemon, Escarole with Garlic and Cannellini Beans, and Broiled Cabbage Wedges (titles may not rock your world but the dishes are delicious!)

Notes:
rinse greens in cool clean water. you can also add 1/2 cup white vinegar or no more than 1 T of bleach per gallon of water. then rinse again in cool clean water.

ripping greens into pieces is preferred over knives or scissors or food processors -- this will help reduce oxidation of the greens and keep them crisper longer.

using an acid like lemon juice with greens will help reduce that 'bitter' taste.

making the pieces smaller and cooking greens longer will also reduce that 'bitter' taste in addition to breaking down the fiber a bit more, making the greens a bit easier to digest.

sauteing garlic or onions is a watch them cook process -- do not leave them unattended they will go from brown to burnt -- fast! As soon as you get the pungent scent of garlic or the onions are just past translucent -- lower your heat, keep the garlic or onions moving in the pan then add other ingredients or pull from heat and place in a separate bowl -- don't worry, you'll catch on to the process fast and it won't seem so daunting -- promise.

greens can be mixed and matched -- in most cases -- such as, if a recipe calls for kale and you have chard -- go for the switch!

try to cook your greens at a low temperature, keeping the overall temp of the food at or below 104°F, will help retain the heat sensitive nutrients such as Vitamin C.

juicing is a great way to add raw greens into your diet. use the pulp to make a quick bread -- switch the bananas with 1 cup of the pulp.

seems like there were more notes. . . .I'll add them as I remember them or am reminded of them by those who were there! :)

Broiled Cabbage (never tasted so good)

1 head of cabbage
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
olive oil

slice the cabbage into wedges, about 8 from each head.
lay the wedges down gently onto a cookie sheet.
drizzle with olive oil.
sprinkle with grated cheese.
bake at 350 degrees until fork tender.
then broil until golden brown.
serve warm/hot.


OPTIONS
and grated hard cheese will do -- even some soft cheeses would be tasty!
try adding some spice -- like curry or hot red pepper
go sweet and drizzle on some maple syrup!

Escarole with Garlic and Cannellini Beans

1 bunch of escarole
3 cloves of garlic
1 can of cannellini beans


rip the chard into smaller sized piece, feel free remove the leaves from the stems.
you can chop the stems finely and us them too!
chop the garlic.
saute the chard in the olive oil, keeping the pan covered until the chard has reduced to at least half.
while that cooks down, saute the garlic until lightly browned.
these should finish around the same time.
(want to use just one pan? star the garlic and just when then become soft add the chard and finish cooking the garlic and the chard together).
when the chard is cooked to the tenderness of your liking pour the drained can of cannellini beans into the pan and cook until the temperature is uniform.
(you can use the liquid for the can as a 'sauce' by adding it all to the pan, but most folks find that way too starchy).

OPTIONS
any soft bean will do, I just like white beans
when ready to serve, this works very well with tuna -- steak or in a can

Swiss Chard with Onion and Lemon

1 bunch of chard
1 onion
1 lemon

rip the chard into smaller sized piece, feel free remove the leaves from the stems.
you can chop the stems finely and us them too!
dice the onion.
saute the chard in the olive oil, keeping the pan covered until the chard has reduced to at least half.
while that cooks down, saute the onion until translucent and beginning to brown.
these should finish around the same time.
(want to use just one pan? star the onions and just when then become translucent add the chard and finish cooking the onions and the chard together).
when the chard is cooked to the tenderness of your liking pour the juice (or just squeeze over the greens), of one whole lemon.
Serve warm.

Swiss Chard with Cranberry & Cashews

1 bunch of Swiss Chard
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of cashews
4 Tablespoons of olive oil

rip the chard into smaller sized piece, feel free remove the leaves from the stems.
you can chop the stems finely and us them too!
saute the chard in the olive oil, keeping the pan covered until the chard has reduced to at least half.
when the chard is just about fully cooked to you liking toss in the cranberries and the cashews then finish cooking until your preferred greens tenderness is reached.

OPTIONS:
feel free to use any dried fruit or any nut -- apricots and Brazil nuts are another of my favorites