Winter Vegetable Gratin

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I found this recipe in my favorite cookbook, Long Nights and Log Fires. It’s kind of fitting to cook from it on a cold winters night in a log cabin (with a wood stove!). I adapted the recipe as I was missing some ingredients, like parsnip and mustard powder, but hey it was still good enough to share.

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This was also the first time I’ve ever had celeriac. It is incredible… so incredible that I am going to hunt for seed to grow some (Boomer even begged for some! A dog? A vegetable other than carrots? Yep!) I picked up a bag of ‘winter roots’ grown at a local farm. Carrots, beets, turnip, and celeriac. I subtracted the beets, added some potatoes, tossed it with a delicious cream sauce and bam, a filling vegetarian meal (with beets to enjoy later!)

This is a great way to use up some root veggies. The recipe called for parsnip, carrot, rutabaga, celeriac, and potato, but my veggie mix was great as well… meaning another versatile meal! My favorite!

Winter Vegetable Gratin

1 large celeriac bulb, peeled and cubed

2 carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

1 large turnip, cubed

2 potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

1 cup light cream

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons chopped Parsley (dried is o.k., fresh is better)

2 tablespoons butter, melted

S & P

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add all the vegetables and par-cook for 10 minutes. Drain.

2. In a small pan over low heat, add cream, garlic, and mustard. Stir continuously for 10 minutes until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Mix parsley, bread crumbs, and parmesan in a separate dish.

4. Butter a shallow oven-proof dish. Add vegetables. Pour cream sauce over the veggies and top with bread crumb mixture and some fresh pepper. Drizzle butter over the top. Bake for 40 minutes or until the edges are crusted. Serve warm.

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Meatless Monday: Layered Ratatouille

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Who didn’t love the movie Ratatouille?? With that cute little Remy, who wanted nothing more than to cook his little heart out!! I lived in a place a few years ago where there was evidence of mice… as I set the trap one night, I thought to myself, maybe the little guy just wants to cook! Ha. Animated, cooking mice in movies are adorable. Little, scurrying, mess-making, disease-carrying critters on your kitchen counters…. NOT adorable.

Back to the cute, animated mouse… this recipe is a recreation of that gorgeous layered ratatouille. I discovered it a few years ago over at Smitten Kitchen, but haven’t made it since. Served over yummy whole grain pasta with extra sauce and some fresh grated asiago cheese, it makes a beautifully presentable meal.

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Ratatouille

1 small italian eggplant

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

1 red bell pepper

1 small shallot, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 large can crushed tomatoes

fresh thyme

evoo

fresh asiago cheese

cooked pasta

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. If you have a mandolin, great! If you don’t (like me), using a very sharp knife, thinly slice the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash into rounds. Cut a circle around the top of the pepper and remove the seeds, leaving the remainder of the pepper intact. Thinly slice the pepper into rings.

2. In a shallow baking dish, like a 9×9, add one cup of tomato sauce. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil, shallot, and garlic slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the sliced veggies, alternating between vegetable types, concentrically from the outer edge of the dish.

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3. Drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and a generous helping of thyme leaves. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 25 minutes.

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4. On the stove, heat the remaining tomato sauce (add garlic and spices to taste, if desired). Cook the pasta.

5. In a shallow bowl, spoon some extra tomato sauce on top of pasta. Top with a serving of ratatouille and some fresh grated cheese.

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Meatless Monday: Stacked Vegetarian Enchiladas

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Meatless Monday (well, it was Tuesday for us) number 3 done and done… successfully! I have been enjoying the challenge each week to make something meatless, but filling and tasty. So far so good… no flops yet!

This recipe is versatile; you can add any vegetable you have on hand. It also fills a 9×13, but enchiladas (especially, stacked) are easy to adjust. I am also super happy to report (or brag… sorry) that I used our own canned salsa, jalapeno, and tomato sauce, our frozen corn and zucchini, and homegrown beans!!

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Stacked Vegetarian Enchiladas

18 corn tortillas
2.5 cups enchilada sauce
(taco sauce works too or spice up some tomato sauce with cayenne, chili powder, and cumin)
2 cans beans (I used dried cattle beans) 
evoo
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato, finely diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 cup corn
1 jalapeno
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (divided)
fresh cilantro
dried cumin, chili powder, and cayenne
 

1. Cook beans, if dried. Drain and rinse. Coarsely mash with a sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. Adjust to taste.

2. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large fry pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil, add garlic, sweet potato, and a teaspoon each of cumin, chili, and cayenne. Saute for 4-5 minutes or until the sweet potato starts softening. Add onion and peppers (bell and jalapeno). Saute for another 3 minutes. Add zucchini and corn – heat for another 2 minutes.

3. In a 9×13 pan, start assembling the enchiladas. Coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce – about a 1/2 cup. Add 6 corn tortillas to cover the bottom. Spread half of the mashed beans over the tortillas. Top with half of the veggies and sprinkle 1/3 of the cup of cheese. I added some fresh cilantro here. Add another 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, another 6 tortillas, remaining beans, veggies, and another 1/3 cup of cheese. Add another 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and the last 6 tortillas. Finish off the casserole with the remaining sauce (and maybe a little salsa) and cheese. Sprinkle with some cilantro.

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4. Bake for 35 minutes until the edges are browned. Serve with a dollop of salsa and sour cream.

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Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai

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I cooked tofu!!!! That’s right, me… I actually successfully cooked it! Even Ty gave it a shot! I’m not sure how ‘authentic’ this is, as my ethnic cooking skills are terrible, but woo wee it was delish!

And although I am not posting this on a Monday, well, it is a perfect Meatless Monday meal. Now I realize that this sounds/reads like a lot of work, but I promise you, it isn’t. If you are a good chopper… you’ll be blessed with a ‘date night’ worthy meal in no time!

Vegetarian Pad Thai

1 box Pad Thai noodles (any wide, flat, rice noodles will do)

1 package extra-firm tofu

cooking spray

S&P

2 tbsp vegetable oil

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

1 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped

1 tsp crushed red pepper (or whole dried peppers)

2 cups assorted vegetables
(shredded carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus, green beans… just ideas)

2 eggs

3 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp Sriracha or another spicy sauce

fresh cilantro

scallions, chopped (keep both whites and greens)

crushed roasted peanuts

1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Wrap the tofu in a paper towel and press dry. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Spray with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Lay on a cookie sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy on the outside. Toss occasionally.

2. Cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. This should take about 10 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, whisk brown sugar, Sriracha (or other spicy sauce), soy sauce, and lime juice.

4. In a large wok or fry pan, heat oil, red pepper, garlic, scallion whites, and ginger. When the oil is hot, add the veggies that take the longest… (carrots, peppers, and onions). Saute for a few minutes. Add the remaining veggies, cooked tofu, and saute for another minute or two. Keep the veggies crispy.

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5. Remove the vegetables. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs. Add the eggs to the hot pan while scrambling. When they are cooked, add the vegetables/tofu back to the pan. Add the sauce and heat for a minute.

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6. Serve the vegetables on top of the noodles. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts, scallions, and cilantro.

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