Dinner · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Recipe · Sides · Uncategorized · Vegan · Vegetarian

Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus

This was an improvised dinner, and one that turned out fantastic! We are moving in about 5 weeks, and I’m trying to think of ways to use what we already have in our pantry so we don’t have a ton of food to move.  The solution: grab anything that’s half open and start getting creative!

Also, a very exciting note: my new kitchen is absolutely amazing!  Its big, spacious, has great appliances, and even has an island.  Can’t wait to get in there!  Back to the recipe

I found half open bags of arborio and forbidden rice… and since they were both short grain rices that take a lot of water (and I didn’t have enough arborio for a full pot of risotto), I thought why not combine them! And I’m glad I did because when cooked risotto-style the forbidden rice turns this amazing deep purple color which was neat with the asparagus!

Also, for the past week I’ve been using a “stock bag” in the freezer – which is where I throw my leftover bits of carrots/onions/peels that I don’t use while cooking. So that’s why carrots ended up in the stock pot but not the recipe.

 

Purple Risotto with Mushrooms and Asparagus
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup arborio rice and 1 cup forbidden black rice (or 1.5 cups arborio)
1/2 lb asparagus, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 cup crimini mushrooms, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 vidalia onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 cup white wine

For the broth/stock pot
6 cups water
1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
asparagus stems
2 bay leaves
2 Rapunzel veggie bullion cubes
carrot stalks/peels
onion skins

Directions

Chop the asparagus and mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Set aside in a bowl for now. Add the stems of the asparagus and mushrooms into a medium sauce pan. This will be for the stock.
Dice the onion and garlic finely. Peel one or two layers of the onion off first, and add to the stock pot. Add the bay leaves, carrots, bullion, and white wine to the stock pot and bring to a boil.

Wash and rinse rice thoroughly.  Set aside for now.

In a large sauce pan, sautee the onion and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add the rice, and sautee on low for 2-3 minutes. Once done, add the 1/8 cup of white wine to the pan to de-glaze.

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Begin by adding 1/2 ladle fulls of the stock to the rice, gently stirring every minute. When rice absorbs the liquid, add another ladleful. Repeat about 20 minutes, until the rice begins to plump. Add the asparagus and mushroom pieces, and cook for an additional 15 minutes, until the rice is perfectly cooked.

I ended up having about 2 cups of leftover stock after cooking, but that’s always a great thing to have leftover!  And, as the #1 rule when cooking with white wine: a little for the recipe, a little for the chef 🙂

 

Dinner · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Hot · Recipe · Vegan · Vegetarian

The Best 5-Ingredient Tomato Sauce!

I’ve been making this recipe for years, it’s perfect when you want a light sauce that pairs well with a thick or stuffed pasta (ravioli, gnocchi, bucatini, etc).    It’s vegan, gluten-free, and packed with lots of veggies and good nutrients (lycopene, vitamin K).  And even though it doesn’t have many ingredient, it is packed with flavor!  Seriously, the basil, garlic, and while wine take care of that.

For the wine, we had a white Bordeaux on hand, but you can use anything that you would also drink (so you can have a glass while cooking, obviously).  



The Best 5-Ingredient Tomato Sauce!

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 cup white wine

1 1/2 cup fresh spinach

(Olive oil for sautéing)

(Salt to taste)

Directions

Finely chop the garlic, and julienne the basil. Set aside. 

In a large saucepan, begin by sautéing the garlic over low heat. Once it gets lightly brown, add in the spinach and sauté for 3 minutes until the leaves are wilted slightly. 

Add the can of tomatoes, juice and all.  Also add the white wine and the basil. Stir until all ingredients are mixed and simmer in low for 25 minutes!  

One little trick I did was about 15 minutes in to cooking. I added half of the tomatoes into my Vitamix and blended the tomatoes for a bit to give it a smoother texture. Then added it back to the pan!

Cold · Dip · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Sides · Vegan · Vegetarian

Easy 5-Ingredient Baba Ganoush

I first made this recipe for a Mediterranean potluck my roommates and I threw.  For this adaptation of the recipe I added way more garlic because we looove garlic over here.  So good with pita or veggies, on a falafel, or just by itself.

Easy 5-Ingredient Baba Ganoush
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients
2 medium eggplants
2 lemons, juiced
5 cloves fresh garlic
4 tbsp tahini
1 tsp salt
(Olive Oil, for roasting)

Directions
Cut the eggplant into thin slices (1/4 inch) each and try to keep consistent.  Once both eggplants have been cut, salt each piece, and place in a kitchen strainer in the sink for 15 minutes to drain.

Once drained, pat the eggplant slices dry and place into a a sheet pan with a thin layer of olive oil.  Salt the eggplant, and cook the veggie slices for 20 minutes.  Once the eggplants are soft and brown, take them out of the over, and wrap the slices in tin foil for 10 minutes so the steam stays in the eggplant.

Once cooled, peel the eggplant, and place in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients.  Puree all ingredients together and serve the baba ganoush with pita bread, crackers, or vegetables.

For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Home & Beauty Products · Recipe · Uncategorized · Vegan · Vegetarian

All Natural DIY Body Scrub with Coffee & Coconut

After almost running out of our super expensive amazing face scrub the other week, I decided that it would be pretty darn easy to make our own.  And what do we throw away tons of… coffee grounds!   Since we have lots of extra super fine coffee grounds from the expresso machine, that was a great way not only to save waste but put those grounds to good use.

This vegan 3-ingredient recipe was so simple and quick to make.  The only thing that took a bit of time was heating the oil… but if its a warm day you can absolutely skip that step!  I was super impressed with the exfoliating the coffee did, and also how my skin felt so hydrated from the coconut oil after.  Plus I smelled amazing, so that was definitely an added bonus.  Definitely can’t wait to use this recipe again, we really loved it!

All Natural Body Scrub with Coffee & Coconut
Time to make: 5 minutes!

 

Ingredients

2 cups fine coffee grounds
1 cup coconut oil
1 cup coarse sugar
Directions

After you have that delicious cup of coffee (or 4 or 5), store the coffee grounds in a large wide-mouth quart sized mason jar.  Add the sugar directly to the grounds.

In a double boiler over the stove, melt the coconut oil slightly so that it is soft enough to mix in, but not 100% melted so that it will melt the sugar.  Once ready, add that to the mason jar as well.  Mix all ingredients together and use liberally on any part of the body!

*NOTE
I used super fine coffee grounds (espresso grounds really) and haven’t tried this with a courser grind.

Family Recipes · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Hot · Recipe

Family Recipe: Shrimp De Jange

And here is another one from the Family Recipe vault: Shrimp de Jange.  I looked up the origins of this dish, and apparently this was created and popularized in Chicago in the 60s- so this fits the timeline perfectly. This was one of the most popular recipes from my grandparent’s restaurant/Supper Club.

My dad made this last summer when Brett and I were at the cottage for the 4th of July – and I remember it being a big hit!

Shrimp De Jange
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 mintues

Ingredients

For the shrimp:

2 lbs shrimp

1 tsp paprika

1 cup sherry wine

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

For the Topping:

1 lb butter, softened

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup dry bread crumbs (Can sub gluten-free!)

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/2c parmesan cheese

1/2 tsp fresh garlic (or garlic salt)

1/2 tsp seasoning salt

Directions!

For The Topping:

Soften the butter, and mix all ingredients together.  Pat into a block and refrigerate or freeze.

For The Shrimp:

Cook shrimp according to the packaging, de-vein/de-tail all.  Place them in a oven safe baking dish which has been lightly coated in butter so the shrimp don’t stick.  But the topping over the shrimp, and spread evenly across the dish.  Pour the sherry wine over the shrimp and topping.  Add parmesan cheese and paprika to the top.  Bake at 350 degrees until the dish is hot and bubbly (20 minutes)

Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Recipe · Salad · Vegetarian

Family Recipe: Creamy Garlic Dressing

 

Another amazing salad dressing recipe from my grandparent’s Supper Club/restaurant in Chicago!  While it is a bit heavier than Aunt’s Ruth’s Amaaaaazing Salad Dressing, it has the ability to transform any salad into something you literally cannot stop eating.  While the original dressing is below, I will probably add a lot more fresh garlic to the dressing next time because a) its called GARLIC dressing, and b) we are insane garlic lovers over here!

Creamy Salad Dressing
Time to Make: 5 minutes

2 cups sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp lemon juice

1/2tsp accent seasoning (*See Note Below!) / Fresh ground pepper

2 large cloves of fresh garlic

Thin with Milk

  

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients into a large quart sized mason jar.  Mash or press the garlic in a garlic press…. and voila!  If the dressing feels a bit thick, add milk to the consistency you like.  Store in refrigerator, and eat at leisure.

*Accent Seasoning – Apparently this is loaded with MSG…. so feel free to omit, use fresh pepper instead.  I’m just copying the family recipe, don’t shoot the messenger 🙂

Cold · Dressing · Family Recipes · Favorite · For Entertaining · Gluten Free · Holiday · Salad

Family Recipe: Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing

Probably my favorite of our Family Recipes! My grandparents used to own a restaurant/‘Supper Club’ outside of Chicago during the 60s and 70s- and this recipe always gets passed around in our family cookbooks.  This dressing gets made for every holiday, special occasion, or for when we want to class up a salad.  It is perfectly tangy, sweet, and works with any kind of lettuce, really!  To me, its one of the only things that makes iceberg lettuce worth eating.

Growing up I always though of this recipe as a ‘special occasion’ dressing, as we didn’t make it too often.  Probably because safflower oil was traditionally a bit hard to find in a regular supermarket.  Nowadays its pretty easy to find (even organic!) so thankfully this dressing will be made more and more often!

Aunt Ruth’s Salad Dressing
Time To Prepare: 5 mins

Ingredients:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic (minced or through a garlic press)

1/2 cup extra vigrin olive oil

1/2 cup safflower oil

Add all the ingredients to a quart sized major jar, and shake before serving!  Thats it 🙂
Dressing should last up to 1 week in the fridge.