Monthly Archives: February 2019

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

 

Sautéed vegetables are mixed with cooked lentils and a seasoned tomato gravy, then topped with cauliflower/mashed potatoes. A delicious and satisfying casserole that even meat-lovers could enjoy!

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients                                       Makes: 8 servings
~Potato Topping~
5 medium potatoes, cut in 1-1/2 to 2-inch equal sized chunks
2 to 3 garlic cloves, finely choppedVegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut in florets
2 Tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt
2 Tbsp milk
1 onion, diced
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
~Lentils~
2/3 cup dry green lentils, rinsed
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth ~or~ purified water
1 bay leaf
~Pie Ingredients~
2 Tbsp of unsalted butter ~or~ avocado oil ~or~ olive oil
2 medium onions, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
15 to 20 cremini mushrooms, sliced & chopped
4 to 5 medium carrots, diced
1 cup stewed tomatoes
1 cup sweet peas
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup ~or~ honey
1/4 tsp paprika powder
1/4 tsp thyme powder or leaves
sea salt and pepper to taste
2 to 3 Tbsp white cheddar cheese, grated (topping)

Instructions
~Prepare mashed potato topping~
Boil the potatoes. Clean the potatoes and cut out the “eyes” and any sore looking spots. Leave the peel on if possible so that the potato won’t absorb as much water. Cut the potatoes into 1-1/2 to 2-inch square chunks, making all the pieces relatively the same size, this way all the pieces will cook evenly.

Transfer the potatoes to a medium-sized sauce pot and fill with just enough purified water to cover the potatoes. Finely chop the garlic cloves and transfer to the pot of potatoes. Cover and then bring the pot of potatoes to a boil over high heat. When the potatoes begin to boil, reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Check the potatoes for tenderness by piercing after 10 minutes with a fork. When potatoes are tender, remove from heat and drain through a large sieve, capturing the potatoes and the garlic. Transfer the potatoes and garlic back into the dry empty pot and put somewhere to cool with the lid off.

Steam the cauliflower. Clean a large head of cauliflower and then cut into large florets. Add 1/2 cup of water to a large sauce pot and line with a steaming basket. Transfer the cauliflower to the basket and bring the water to a boil over high heat. When the water begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium.

Steam the cauliflower for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until really tender. Check the cauliflower for tenderness with a fork. When cauliflower is cooked and tender, remove basket and transfer cauliflower to a large bowl to cool.

Prepare the potatoes. The potatoes should be cool enough that you can now remove the potato skins if you do not desire them in your dish. Mash the potatoes and garlic with a potato masher until smooth. Add two tablespoons of yogurt and two tablespoons of milk to the potatoes and mix well.

Prepare the cauliflower. Using a food processor, finely chop the cauliflower until it resembles a fine meal texture. Otherwise finely chop the cauliflower or mash it in a large pot similar to the potatoes. Stir the finely chopped or mashed cauliflower into the mashed potatoes. Add an additional tablespoon or two of milk if needed until the desired consistency is reached. The potatoes should be light and fluffy.

Sauté onions. Over medium-low heat, sauté the diced onions in butter or olive oil until they have released their moister and began to turn a light golden colour, about 10 minutes. Stir the sautéed onions into the mashed potato mixture, then set aside.

~Prepare vegetable base~
Prepare lentils. Add the lentils, vegetable broth and bay leaf to a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes. If they run out of liquid before cooking thoroughly, add a little purified water. Remove the bay leaf and drain any excess liquid when finished; then set aside.

Prepare vegetables. Dice the onions and then transfer to a small bowl. Mince the garlic and then transfer to a different small bowl. Clean the mushroom and cut off the ends of the stalk; peel if desired. Slice the mushrooms and roughly chop, then transfer to their own bowl. Peel the carrots and cut off the ends; dice the carrots and also set aside in a bowl.

Sauté vegetables and cook vegetable layer. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter or add oil then the diced onions. Sauté the onions, stirring frequently to prevent burning for about 5 minutes or when they have begun to soften and turn translucent.

Increase the heat to medium and then stir in the minced garlic and the sliced mushrooms. With wooden spoons stir the mushrooms occasionally to prevent burning, cook for about 5 minutes or when the mushrooms have released their moisture.

Add the diced carrots and sauté for a few minutes or until they are tender but still firm; stirring occasionally. Next. add the stewed tomatoes sweet peas, soy sauce, maple syrup, paprika, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir together and cook for a couple minutes then give it a taste test and add any final seasonings to suit taste.

Combine lentil and vegetable mixture. Add the cooked lentils into the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Cook off any access water if necessary until a thick vegetable mixture is formed.

Prepare oven and casserole dish. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large deep casserole dish with coconut oil or butter.

Layer casserole. With a large spoon, transfer the vegetable/lentil mixture to the bottom of the casserole dish and spread out evenly. Next, dollop small mounds of the potato mixture over the top of the casserole and then gently spread out with a large spoon over the top evenly. Using a fork, run lines across the top of the casserole for effects. Sprinkle the top of the casserole lightly with the shredded cheese.

Bake. Bake the casserole in a preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes or when the top of the casserole has turned a light golden colour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Storage. Casserole keeps for 5 days in the fridge or can be portioned and frozen for up to 6 months. When cooking from frozen, transfer the casserole to a greased oven-ready dish and cook at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40 to 50 minutes, or until cooked through.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Minestrone Soup

Minestrone Soup

 

A satisfying feel-good soup to warm you up on a cold winters day. A tomato-vegetable soup base is loaded with sautéed carrots, celery, green beans, potatoes, legumes and pasta.

Minestrone Soup

Ingredients                                                          Makes: 6 servings
5 cups vegetable broth ~or~ chicken stock
2 cups stewed tomatoes ~or~ 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves ~or~ 1/4 tsp thyme powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 large bay leaf
pinch of hot pepper flakes (optional)
pinch of black pepper
1/3 tsp sea salt or to taste
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, diced
3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 cup green beans, chopped
2 medium potatoes, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup kidney beans, dried ~or~ 1 small can of prepared beans, rinsed (can substitute for: garbanzo beans/chickpeas, Great Northern beans or carnelli beans)
1 cup elbow pasta ~or~ small shell pasta, dry
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely grated (optional garnish)
1/4 cup fresh parsley and/or basil leaves, chopped (garnish)

Instructions
Prepare the beans. If using canned beans, simply rinse the beans until the water runs clear, using a sieve. Transfer the rinsed beans to a bowl until ready.

Overnight soak. If cooking beans from dried, soak the beans the night before. Soaking helps to reduce the cooking time as well produces consistently tender beans. More importantly though, soaking beans also helps absorb and reduce the “gas-causing” substances found in beans. Put the dried beans in a soup pot and cover with purified water by about an inch and then cover. The next morning, drain the beans through a large sieve or colander and rinse clean.

Quick soak. Otherwise, the beans can be given a quick soak. In a medium-large soup pot, add the dried beans (3/4 cup) and about 5 cups of purified water. Bring the pot to a boil, and boil for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat, covering and allowing the beans to soak for at least a full hour up to 4 hours.

After the beans have soaked for at least an hour, drain the beans using a colander in a sink and then rinse the beans clean. Depending on what beans you are using and how old they are, they will vary on cooking time. Generally most dried beans will take 45 to 90 minutes to fully cook after a soak overnight or with a “quick soak”.

Cook the beans until they are tender. Test the beans for tenderness by squashing a couple of beans between a couple large spoons or against a hard surface, or better yet, taste test! When beans are fully cooked and tender, drain out the water using a colander in a sink. Transfer cooked beans to a bowl and cover until ready to use.

Prepare stock. In a large soup pot or dutch oven, add the vegetable or chicken stock and the stewed tomatoes. Add the seasonings which include: the thyme leaves or powder, the oregano, the sea salt and black pepper, the bay leaves and a pinch of hot pepper flakes. Heat up the stock to a light boil, then reduce to a low simmer and cover.

Prepare vegetables. Peal and then dice the onion and set aside in a small bowl. Mince the garlic cloves and also set aside in a small bowl.

Peal the carrots, cut off the ends and discard, then slice. Clean the celery, cut off the ends and discard, then slice. Cut the ends off the green beans and then chop into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces; transfer the beans, carrots and celery to a bowl together.

Clean 2 potatoes, cut out any “eyes” or sore spots, peel if desired. Chop the potatoes into 1-inch chunks and then transfer to bowl of their own.

Sauté vegetables. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the diced onions. With wooden spatulas stir the onions on occasion to prevent burning. Cook the onions for about 5 minutes or until they turn translucent, then stir in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute longer or until fragrant. Transfer cooked onions and garlic to the large soup pot with the simmering stock.

Add to the skillet another tablespoon of olive oil and increase the heat to medium. Add the bowl of sliced carrots, celery and beans to the pan and stir using wooden spoons to prevent burning. Cook the vegetables for about 4 minutes or until tender crisp. Transfer the cooked vegetables to a bowl until ready.

Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and this time the chopped potatoes. Increase the heat to medium-high, and stir the potatoes with the wooded spatulas regularly to prevent burning. Cook the potatoes to lightly brown all sides forming a leathery jacket on the outside of the potato. Cook the potatoes until tender but still firm. Turn off the heat and then transfer the potatoes to the simmering stock pot.

Add sautéed vegetables, beans and pasta to the simmering soup. Add the sautéed vegetables to the simmering stock along with the prepared beans, and pasta. Cook the soup until the pasta is fully cooked and al dente. Use the instructions on the pasta you are using. Otherwise, cook the soup for about 7 minutes before testing to see if the pasta is cooked, it may take up to 10 minutes; time will differ with different pasta types.

Taste test and serve. Taste test the soup and adjust any seasonings to suit taste. Remove the bay leaf. Serve with fresh sprigs of parsley and/or basil; as well some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (if desired). Enjoy!

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Honey Garlic Chicken

Honey Garlic Chicken

 

A stove-top recipe that produces tender chicken breasts thickly coated in a flavourful honey garlic sauce. A delicious chicken recipe that serves well with many dishes and can be made in just 20 minutes.

Honey Garlic Chicken

Ingredients                                           Makes: 2 chicken breasts
2 Tbsps unsalted butter
2 chicken breasts, fresh or thawed
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
2 cloves garlic, diced fine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp honey, liquid ~or~ maple syrup

Instructions
Prepare chicken. Rinse chicken under clean water and then pat dry with paper towels. Cut the breasts in half horizontally to create four steaks in total. Lightly sprinkle each side of the chicken with sea salt and pepper.
 Place flour in a shallow dish with a pinch of sea salt. Coat the chicken in the flour, shake off excess and transfer to a plate.

Cook chicken. Melt most of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; hold back about 1/2 tablespoon for later. Place chicken in skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the chicken has turned a light golden colour. Then, turn the chicken and cook the other side for 1 minute.

Turn heat down slightly to medium. Make a bit of room in the pan and add the diced garlic and the remaining butter. Stir garlic briefly when the butter melts and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add ketchup, soy sauce and honey and stir to combine. Bring sauce to a simmer, then simmer for about 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Turn chicken to coat in sauce and cook for 1 minute longer. (If the sauce gets too thick, add a touch of water and stir.)

The chicken should be fully cooked, and coated in a rich honey garlic sauce. Serve chicken with the extra honey garlic sauce drizzled over top. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Teriyaki Chicken Vegetable Stir-fry

 

Tender chunks of chicken, coated in a garlic teriyaki sauce with toasted sesame seeds, is served with a vegetable stir-fry over vermicelli noodles.

 

Teriyaki Chicken Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients                                                  Makes: 4 servings
8oz. rice vermicelli noodles
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil + 1 Tbsp
1 tsp organic corn starch
1/4 cup honey, liquid ~or~ maple syrup
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup snap peas, ends cut
1/2 cup carrots, julienne into 1 1/2-inch long thin strips
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger root, diced fine
3 garlic cloves, diced fine
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Instructions
Make noodles. Place the rice noodles in a deep mixing bowl. Bring some lightly salted water to a boil and pour over the rice noodles until completely submerged. After 30 seconds, give the noodles a stir with a fork to loosen them up.

Rice noodles cook in just a couple minutes, so keep an eye on them. When adding noodles to the stir-fry mixture after it has cooked, it is best to slightly under-cook the noodles as they will absorb more moisture when they are added to the stir-fry and could become mushy.

When noodles have reached the right consistency, immediately drain them through a colander and run under cool water to stop them from cooking further.

Toss the noodles with a just a tablespoon of olive oil to keep them loose and free from clumping.

Make Teriyaki sauce. In a small bowl mix together the honey and the corn starch until well blended, then whisk in the soy sauce and set aside.

Toast sesame seeds. Rinse the seeds in a fine mesh strainer under running water, until the water runs through clear. Transfer the rinsed seeds to a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid burning the seeds and cook for about 10 minutes.

When the seeds are fully toasted, they will turn a light brown colour, glisten and a few may start to pop and jump in the pan. Pinching a few seeds between your fingers as they should crush easily when they are done. Perfectly toasted sesame seeds will produce a nice nutty taste but be careful not to over-toast as burnt seeds will not taste good.
Prepare vegetable ingredients. Clean the mushrooms and trim off ends of stalks; peel if desired. Thickly slice the mushrooms and then set aside in a bowl of their own.

Cut the ends off the snap peas and then transfer to a medium sized bowl. Peel the carrots and cut off the ends. Cut the carrots into 1 1/2-inch length thin strips, then transfer to the bowl with the peas. Clean and cut the ends of the celery then thickly slice on an angle for effect and add to the bowl with the peas and carrots.

Dice half of a red onion and transfer to a small bowl. Finely dice the ginger and set aside on its own. Finely dice the garlic, divide in half and set aside.

Prepare chicken. Chop chicken into 1 to 2-inch pieces, make them relatively the same size.

Stir-fry chicken. In a pan, cook cut chicken over medium-high heat until a light golden jacket is formed but the chicken is not fully cooked in the center; stir constantly. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, reduce the heat to medium. Stir in half of the finely diced garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.

Add the teriyaki sauce and sprinkle with half of the toasted sesame seeds; stir constantly until sauce thickens. Remove the chicken from the pan, leaving most of the sauce. Transfer chicken to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Stir-fry vegetables. Sauté onions for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-low heat, then stir in half of the garlic and the ginger and cook for 30 seconds longer. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over medium heat until they release their moisture, about 5 minutes; stir occasionally to prevent burning. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and cover to keep warm.

Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and the julienned carrots, the celery and the snap peas and cook the vegetables for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tender crisp.

Add the chicken and the mushrooms back into the stir-fry and cook for a couple minutes longer or until warmed, gently tossing occasionally with wooden spoons. Transfer stir-fry to a large bowl and cover to keep warm.

Warm noodles. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and then the noodles, cook just until warm. Optional: Add a teaspoon of soy sauce to the pan with the noodles for additional flavouring.

Serve immediately. Serve vegetables and chicken over noodles, sprinkled with the remaining toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

Visit our:

  • Article Archive – View our health reference articles on how to maintain a well-balanced diet, the nutritional value of essential nutrients, nutrient-rich foods and the beneficial foods that can help in the healing of chronic disease and illness.
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