Tag Archives: cheese

Meatless Monday: Lentils over Polenta

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Hi y’all. So this is the first post in my new blog series “Meatless Mondays.” I’ve discussed before that I’m really trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. One of the things I’m really interested in trying out is eating meatless at least once a week. I know all the research on why it’s healthier and more economical, but mostly I’m just excited to expand my regular repertoire of recipes. All that being said, I knew when I started looking for recipes that I wanted to use mostly vegetables, beans, and legumes and not rely on tofu and soy products. I also am mostly interested in eating meat-free (rather than totally vegetarian/vegan). So on to the recipe:

Lentils over Polenta
Adapted From The Taste Space 
1.5 tbsp I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light (I know Olive Oil is healthier, but I’m on WW and the butter sub is way less points.)
1 cup chopped onion
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
4 cups stock or broth- I recommend Chicken or Vegetable (I used a soup base, but you can use canned or homemade or whatever you have on hand.)
3 cups water, divided
1 cup dried lentils (green or brown)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1 large bay leaf
1 cup coarse cornmeal or polenta
3 Tbsps cream cheese ( I used onion and chive flavor, but you can use plain or whatever else you think would be tasty)
1 cup low-fat or fat free mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. In a medium pan (2-quart-ish) pan, heat 1 tbsp of the butter substitute. Add the onion and cook, stirring until lightly browned. Add half the garlic; stir constantly burned garlic is super gross and you’ll have to start all over.
2. Add 2 cups of the broth/stock and 2 cups of the water. Stir in lentils, rosemary, thyme, salt, and bay leaf. Let the mixture come to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes; or until lentils are almost soft.
4. Uncover and return the mixture to a boil and finish cooking; liquid will reduce and mixture will be thick but slightly soupy.
5. In an additional pan, bring the remaining 2 cups broth/stock and 1 cup water as well as remaining garlic, salt and pepper to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, slowly stir in polenta; seriously folks you have to stir constantly of your polenta well get all sorts of lumpy. I find that measuring the cornmeal into a glass is very helpful. Stir pretty vigorously to disperse any lumps that do form. Then, reduce the heat to medium. Cook the polenta stirring often; this usually takes 5-10 minutes depending on your cornmeal.Add cream cheese and mozzarella. Stir until well blended.
6. Spoon polenta into plates or bowels. Spoon the lentil mixture over the polenta and serve at once.
Serves: 4
WW PointsPlus: 9
 

Y’all this was crazy good. It was the perfect warm, filling, and cozy meal at the end of the day and I’m really glad I picked this recipe as my first venture into meat-less cooking!
=)

Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup

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I’m going to Rpcot tomorrow! =). BFFMandy, BFFMandy’s mom, PZ, and I are going to the Epcot International Food and Wine festival. It is total awesomeness and I am very excited for this year’s new editions: Belgium and South Korea. In honor of our upcoming adventure, I figured it’s an appropriate time to post one of my recent kitchen adventures (this will also make me one post away from being caught up in the recipe posts category).
One of my most favorite things at the Food and Wine Festival is the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup from well…Canada. They have this all the time at Le Cellier, the steakhouse in the Canada pavilion, but’s just better during food and wine.

This soup does not photograph well, but it taste’s amazing.

Le Cellier Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Ingredients:
¼ pound of Smoked Bacon (finely chopped, if you freeze the bacon for 10-15 minutes you can chop it fairly easily)
1 Medium Red Onion (finely chopped)
½ cup Celery (finely chopped)
½ cup Carrot (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
3 cups of Whole Milk (room temperature-ish, just not refrigerator cold)
2 cups of Chicken Stock (room temperature-ish, just not refrigerator cold)
12 ounces of Grated or Shredded White Cheddar Cheese
3 dashes of Hot Sauce
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
½ cup Beer (Supposedly Disney uses MooseHead Lager, I used Yuengling)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Saute’ the bacon in large, heavy-bottom, non-reactive soup pot over medium heat until lightly browned (the original directions say not to brown it at this point, but it you don’t it will never get brown and it will be mushy, chewy gross-ness in your soup).
2. Add Onion, Celery, and Carrots and cook until onions are translucent. (SideNote: Chop you veggie pretty small, not like minced, but still pretty small otherwise they don’t cook through and again, it’s not good.)
3. Sprinkle in Flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in Milk and Stock, a little at a time, blending well to ensure that there are no lumps (do this slowly with a little liquid at a time to start.) Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and whisk in the Cheese, Hot Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce and Beer. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.
5. Serve and enjoy you yumminess.

That’s all. More from Food & Wine Festival tomorrow.
=)

Recipe Redux: Butternut Squash Calzones

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Ok so do y’all remember the EPIC FAIL butternut squash with orzo, chicken, and bacon? Since I can tell you don’t remember let’s recap a little bit ago I was feeling especially fall-ish and what should happen to pop-up in my google reader, but a fantastic sounding recipe for orzo with butternut squash sauce, bacon, chicken, and parmesan. It sounded awesome; I was stoked. So I followed the recipe and it was terrible. The whole thing was cold and mushy and tasted overwhelmingly like mushy bacon. Blech!
However, the squash sauce itself was pretty darn good and I figured I could find a way to make it into soup later in the week. Then a better idea. On Tastespotting, a recipe for Winter Squash Calzones. I had to alter the recipe a little to use what I already had, but it was totally awesome.

Butternut Squash Calzones
Original Recipe Here
Dough (I used Publix Pizza dough made fresh in the bakery, it’s awesomeness)
1/2 medium butternut squash
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
 1 cup shredded mozzarella or ricotta
¾ cup chevre, or parmesan, or crumbled feta or another pungent cheese
about ½ tsp. each salt and pepper
tomato sauce for serving, if desired

I had previously roasted and pureed my squash onion and garlic (see previous epic fail recipe explanation). But if you’re starting from scratch,
– Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 
– Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the the seeds and rub squash with a little olive oil. Cut Onion in half and rub with olive oil. Roast squash, onions and garlic on a cookie sheet cut sides down. Bake until vegetables are soft and easily pierced through. Squash will generally take about an our onion and garlic will likely be done sooner.
– When squash is cool enough to handle, scoop flesh into a larger bowl. (At this point I pureed all the veggies in the food processor). Chop onions and garlic and mix thoroughly with squash to combine. Mix in cheese, (I used mozzarella and goat cheese.)
– Divide dough into four pieces. Press or roll each pieve of dough to desired size (about a quarter inch think). place half to three-quarters cup in on one half of the dough. Fold dough over and press to seal (I used a fork). – Use a fork (the one you used to close the dough will do) to poke the surface of the calzones.
– Place calzones on a greased or nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until dough is golden brown.
– Remove from oven and allow to cool momentarily. Then Enjoy your awesome creation.

=)

Dot Dot Dot

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I’m so tired I can’t think of anything to say. I planned to write about one of my go to chicken dinner recipes, but a double batch of pumpkin scones has done me in so just pictures and a recipe.

Swiss Chicken
I don’t know where this recipe originates, Mom taught me to make it without a recipe.

 
I’m still getting the hang of the picture taking, It tastes a lot better than it looks. Promise.

Ingredients:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (or one for every person you’re feeding)
1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
4 slices of Swiss cheese (I clearly did not used sliced cheese. Use whatever you have. It will still taste awesome.)
2/3 c to 1c Italian flavored breadcrumbs (I use two handfuls; which is usually enough to form a pretty good layer).

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Lightly coat a 13×9 pan with nonstick spray. Placed chicken breasts in the pan.
3. Spread mushroom soup over the top of the pieces of chicken. Place cheese slices on next and top with bread crumbs.
4. Bake for 40-50 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

That’s all I’ve got tonight.
=)