Day 24 – Cooking with my Daughter

Posted April 25th, 2011 in Grains, Meatless, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Walnuts, Swiss Chard & Port-Salute cheese with Noodles

Today is a very special day. For the first time in recent memory (we used to bake together often when she was younger), my teenager suggested that she make supper tonight. Who ever heard of such a thing?

And to make it even more exciting, she went exploring online and came up with a recipe that we made. Now, I’m going to come up with some suggestions to make it even better.

The original recipe came from Saveur but we’re adapting it.

Walnuts, Red Swiss Chard and Port-Salute Cheese on Soba Noodles
Serves 4

1 cup shelledwalnut pieces – with spices and maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup chili powder
    2 Tbsp sea salt
    1 Tbsp ground cumin
    1 Tbsp paprika
    1 Tbsp coriander
    1 Tbsp pepper
    1 tsp cinnamon
  • Mix the spices together and keep – makes enough for 5 batches of the roasted nuts
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Roast walnuts in a single layer (on parchment paper) on a cookie sheet at 300°F for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with spice mixture and maple syrup. Stir thoroughly. Return to hot oven and let absorb liquid and dry the nuts – another 10 minutes.

1 bunch red swiss chard
2 Tbsp walnut oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Zest of one lemon (save a little for garnish)
1/4 cup vegetable stock
Dulse and Freshly ground black pepper
8 oz Soba Noodles
4 oz Port-Salute cheese or other semi-soft cheese cut up into bits (you will need to refrigerate it in order to cut it up)

Trim swiss chard leaves, discarding tough stems. Chop coarsley and set aside.

Heat walnut oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until shallots are soft, stirring occasionally – about 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, lemon zest and swiss chard, season with dulse and pepper – cover and allow to wilt – about 5 minutes.

At the same time, cook the soba noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water for 8 minutes. Drain and return to pot. Stir in cheese and walnuts.

To serve, put pasta on a platter with the swiss chard, garlic and shallots on top. Garnish with a few of the toasted, spiced walnuts on top along with  lemon zest.

The Port-Salute cheese is very creamy and quiet. You could use any other semisoft cheese that you have on hand – one with more flavour might be nice to compliment the bitterness of the swiss chard.

I use the nut spice for walnuts and more often pecans. I keep the spiced nuts for a week in a mason jar – they don’t seem to last longer than that as they can be added to spice up a salad, a noodle bowl, pad thai – you name it, they make it taste better. At Christmas, you can even make up jars as presents for your friends.

Day 22 – Cooking for the Rushed

Posted April 20th, 2011 in Meatless, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Get it Ripe by jae steele

Tonight has been one of those ‘taxi-service’ nights. Since 3:30 I have been ferrying children from one thing to the next. My husband is out of the country and I’m alone at home at dinner time. Sound familiar? When they finally get home they are going to be STARVING, but right now all is calm in the house.

So I’ve pulled out one of my old faithfuls from the freezer and am cooking up some Soba Noodles (buckwheat noodles – so tasty) and home-made vegan spaghetti sauce courtesy of Jae Steele’s book “Get it Ripe“. You can also serve it over roasted Spaghetti Squash which is delicious and top with nutritional yeast. I’ll include the directions for that in case you want to try.

If you want to make yesterday’s lasagna go further (and I did this), for the bottom layer you could use this sauce with a layer of baby spinach over top, then start with the cream sauce. The two sauces are delicious together and combine to make a rose.

Vegetable Tomato Sauce (from page 188, Get it Ripe)
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions
2 large cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, slices
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp fresh oregano
1 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 tsp sea salt

Heat oil in a 3-qt saucepan on medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 8 minutes until softened and fragrant. Add garlic and mushrooms and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and zucchini and saute for another 5 minutes (I sometimes add grated carrots too to sweeten it up).

Pour in crushed tomatoes and reduce heat to simmer. Stir in fresh herbs and salt and simmer for 20 to 60 minutes – the longer the better the flavours mix together.

You can make the tomato sauce as the Spaghetti Squash is roasting. Cut squash in half, scrape out seeds and pulp and discard (or separate the seeds and toss them with salt and roast in a separate pan until golden). Place cut side down on a piece of parchment paper. Trust me you want the parchment paper, or you’ll be making a trip to buy another baking pan (I know from experience)! Roast for about 40 minutes at 375°F. You can rub 1 Tbsp of oil over the squash but not necessary.

Remove from the oven and let cool just a bit. Then, holding the squash in your oven mit covered hand, take a fork and scoop flesh into a colander to drain. 

Serve the squash covered with the tomato sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast and fresh pepper.  A caesar salad would be a tasty side dish to accompany this salad.

I find that this is enough for two days – I serve half the first day and pour the rest into a mason jar to freeze for another day. My family likes it best if I puree the sauce so there are no “chunks” – you may be able to get away with the chunks!