Showing posts with label Meatless Monday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Meatless Monday. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

LESLIE: Last fall, when a friend proudly presented us with a homegrown spaghetti squash, we made Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Bowls. Like a little burrito, without the tortilla and with their own bowls! 

A few weeks ago, I came across this recipe in a magazine while visiting my mother, so when I spotted spaghetti squash in the grocery store, I brought the tasty thing home with me. And made them even tastier with the addition of some of Mr. Right’s favorite things: marinated artichokes and cheese. We changed the recipe a bit, naturally—I seem incapable of doing otherwise! 

Starting the cooking in the microwave was brilliant, and worked perfectly. Plus it cut the cooking time considerably, and we’ll do that next time we make the Stuffed Squash Bowls. The 80% power instruction amuses me—microwaves do vary—but it worked for us. If you know your microwave is weak, go full-strength!

We used one squash for the two of us, mounding the filling high. If you do have extra filling, it would be lovely inside an omelet. The original recipe called for loosening the squash flesh with a fork, then adding the filling directly to the squash; on a repeat, we’d do as we did with the Stuffed Squash Bowls, and scoop out the innards, adding them to the pot with the other ingredients to mix and heat thoroughly. 

These dears are both gluten-free and vegetarian. Of course, they’re not vegetarian if you serve them with grilled chicken, as we did! 

Spinach and Artichoke Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped 
3 cups fresh spinach, about 3-4 generous handfuls
½ teaspoon kosher salt
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup marinated artichokes, drained 
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
½ teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pierce the squash all over with a knife and place on a plate or other microwave-safe dish. Cook on 80% power for 10 minutes; turn over and cook another 10 minutes, or until a knife slips in easily. Cut in half to cool slightly, and scoop out and discard the seeds. 

Meanwhile, in a 6 quart saucepan, warm the olive oil and saute the shallot for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add the spinach and salt, and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Scoop the innards out of the squash halves, being careful not to damage the skin, and add to the pot. Add the cream cheese, artichokes, Parmesan, zest, and black pepper. Stir until cheese melts, about 5 minutes. 

Heat your broiler. Divide spinach mixture in the squash halves and broil on high until browned on top, 3-4 minutes.


From the cover of TREBLE AT THE JAM FEST, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #4 (Midnight Ink, June 2017):  

Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.

Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident?or did someone even the score?

Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher. 

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Two Cheese Roasted Vegetable Fusilli - #EasyWeeknightDinners #MeatlessMonday

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: There’s saucy pasta, and there’s pasta with stuff in it. This is the latter. We enjoyed it tremendously, and it’s easy for a weeknight—about five minutes to chop the vegetables and twenty minutes to roast them, while you’re preparing the other ingredients and opening a little white wine. Because we don’t need to take this healthy eating thing too far, do we?

Next time we make this, we’ll try mixing the two cheeses and a little reserved pasta water with the fusilli to create a chunky-but-saucier mix, then add the vegetables. I think we'll enjoy it just as much!

Mission Impawsible (A Paws & Claws Mystery) by [Davis, Krista]We don’t often use whole wheat pasta, but I always enjoy it when we do. I think a sturdy pasta like amaranth would also be muy tastee.

And yes, I know it's Tuesday, but we made this on a Monday, so it still counts as #MeatlessMonday, if that's a thing to you!

Congratulations to our Krista Davis, whose latest Paws and Claws Mystery, MISSION IMPAWSIBLE, comes out today! 

Two Cheese Roasted Vegetable Fusilli

1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 medium or large zucchini, chopped
1 small or ½ large red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 ounces whole wheat fusilli
1/4 cup grated Pecorino or Romano
½ cup ricotta (we use part-skim)
additional kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
6-8 basil leaves, chiffonade (cut in ribbons)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes, squash, and onion with the olive oil and salt, and spread on a large pan. Roast 20 minutes, stirring once.

Cook the pasta and drain. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serve.

Serves 4-6.

Bon appetit!

From the cover of KILLING THYME (October 2016, in paperback, e-book, and audio---large print coming soon!): 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. after Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But as Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The 2015-16 president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebookwhere I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Big Popover

I confess that unusual recipes, those that claim to be magic or are made in some unlikely way, always attract me. In fact, they stop me cold. I scratch my head and wonder if they really work. Maybe it's because I like learning new techniques? Yeah, I'll go with that.

So when I saw a recipe that involved a big popover, I was surprised. Would it really come out like a giant popover? I thought popovers had to be made in special popover pans with tall, narrow cups so they would rise. Hmm.

Apparently this recipe began with Cooking Light. I found a variation by Grab a Plate and put my own twists on it.

Guess what? It worked. Not only that, we loved it. And this popover crust solves one of my biggest kitchen dilemmas - a crust in a hurry. Honestly, with the mozzarella, it tasted so much like a pizza that I was astonished. But the crust was made in less than half an hour. No rising necessary. Of course, there's no yeast in it, so it's not like a bread crust but it's totally satisfying and kind of fun. I can see using this in a lot of recipes.

The popover curls in strange artful ways. It was very cute, though – like it took on a life of its own.

Our garden is having a surprisingly good year. Please forgive me for using red Swiss chard in yet another recipe but we have so much of it! It will look like a huge amount of chard but don't worry, like spinach, it shrinks as it cooks. If Swiss chard isn't your cuppa, I think you could easily substitute spinach. I used white mushrooms but crimini would also be lovely. If you want it to taste more like pizza, substitute 1 teaspoon of oregano for the herbs and be sure you use mozzarella cheese.

I recommend cutting off the chard stems for this recipe, though it's not really necessary. If you do cut them off, freeze them, along with the "discarded" liquid to make soup. The chard, mushroom, and herb flavors in the liquid are delicious! In fact, it occurred to me that this might be a great base for a vegetarian broth.

This dish is surprisingly filling. Super for meatless Mondays or vegetarian family members. It will easily serve 3-4. And no guilt! The veggie to crust ratio is so good you'll feel entitled to dessert.

The Big Popover
with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

1 8x8 inch pan

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
8-ounce package fresh white mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 bunch Swiss Chard
1 tablespoon butter + extra for greasing the pan
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup skim milk (whole probably works, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I used part skim)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil. Slice the onion and the mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Cut the stems off the Swiss chard and reserve for soup. Cut the chard and wash. Add the onion to the pan, when it begins to cook, add the herbs. When they are fragrant, add the mushrooms and garlic. Top with the Swiss chard and turn occasionally as it wilts. When wilted, turn the heat down and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. Grease the pan with butter and place 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pan.

Lightly whisk the two eggs. Stir in the flour, milk and salt until smooth. Set aside. When the oven is ready, place the pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the butter melts. Do not let it burn!

Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan and slide it into the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and slightly browned. Sprinkle the bottom with 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Pour the excess liquid off the Swiss chard mixture. Spoon the chard mixture into the baked popover. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and then with the Parmesan.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Melt butter in baking pan. 

Combine eggs with flour and milk.

Who'd have thought it?

Before second baking.

Ready to serve!

Surprisingly satisfying.