Monthly Archives: March 2011

27 Mar 2011 Greens with Carrots, Feta Cheese and Brown Rice

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Greens with carrots, feta cheese and brown rice. Downloaded from the web on 3/26/2011.

My Comment: About 6 months ago, I received a bunch of kale as part of our CSA share. Having

Greens with carrots, feta cheese

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

never had kale before, I hadn’t a clue what to do with it. Over time I’ve discovered I actually like it — and how nutritious and inexpensive it is. This recipe is no exception; it’s quick and delicious. Only use the frozen rice if you’re pushed for time.


2 carrots shredded
2 bunches dark leafy greens, stems removed and leaves very thinly sliced (her’s where I used kale)
1/2 red onion
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 (20-oz) package Whole Foods frozen whole grain brown rice (here’s where I use dry rice and cook it myself — the frozen is a timesaver)


1. Put carrots, greens, onions, 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper into a large deep skillet and toss well. Cover and cook over medium heat, tossing once or twice until greens are wilted and tender — 10 to 15 minutes.

2. Toss with feta cheese and spoon over cooked brown rice.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher Points = 8.

25 Mar 2011 Quinoa Mushrooms and Peas with Miso

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Health starts here: Quinoa mushrooms and peas with miso. (2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market.

My Comment: This week I treated myself to dinner with a friend at a local vegetarian restaurant, Life Alive right here in downtown Lowell.  This recipe reminded me a lot of some of my favorite Life Alive specialties. The taste of miso and ginger in this dish is both satisfying and clean. A quick, low-fat and vegan dish — what’s not to like?

Quinoa with Mushrooms

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 medium carrots, diced
2 cups sliced white mushroom (I used baby bella)
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp ground ginger (I used fresh ginger, finely diced)
4 tsp mellow white miso paste
3/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced green onions


1. Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water until water runs clear. Drain quinoa and set aside.

2. In large skillet, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic, and ginger. Cover and cook until mushrooms are tender and have released their liquid. Uncover and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until most of the water has evaporated.

3. Add quinoa and stir one minute. Whisk miso into 2 cups water and add to quinoa. Bring to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering until quinoa until it is almost tender, about 12 minutes.

4. Add peas, cover and continue cooking until quinoa grains are tender and liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and stir in green onions. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6. Weight Watcher Points = 4.

21 Mar 2011 Spring Vegetable Minestrone

Adapted from Farre, Viviane Bauquet. Chop, Chop! Vegetarian Times. (April 2010). Issue 376, Volume 36, No. 5. p. 42.

Spring Minestrone

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


My Comment What better way to kick off spring than this spring soup! Even though it is snowing today (on the first day of Spring) in New England, we’ve flirted with some fine spring weather in the last week. That makes me long for the days when fresh veggies start to show up in our markets! As Viviane Farre’s introduction to the recipe states, the secret to success is getting all the veggies about the same size. And while I’m sure a crisp white wine would be a more subtle flavor, I threw in the alcoholic beverage I had on hand — which happened to be Marsala. Not bad.


3 TBSP olive oil plus more for drizzling
2 large shallots, finely diced
3/4 cup dry white wine
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
3 medium carrots, peeled & cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 large yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice
2 medium young turnips, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch dice (I used rutabaga — out of vegetable ignorance)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
12 Italian parsley springs, 8 fresh thyme springs + 2 bay leaves–all tied together to add to soup (and fish out later — no thanks! I just threw the herbs in the pot)
10 oz. fresh or frozen shelled peas
4 oz. snow peas, trimmed and cup in 1/8 inch wide slices
3 cups lightly packed spinach leaves
2 TBSP minced fresh tarragon for garnish


1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add shallots, saute 2 minutes or until softened. Add wine, garlic, and cayenne. Simmer for 4 minutes.

2. Add carrots, potato, and turnips and saute for 1 minute. Add broth and 5 cups of water (this seemed a bit much — add the water in batches if you’d rather). Tie together parsley, thyme and bay leaves with kitchen twine and add to the soup. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in snow peas, peas, and spinach. Cover and simmer five minutes more. Remove herb bundle (see my note above) and discard. Adjust salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls, sprinkle with tarragon and drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.

Serves 8. Weight Watcher points = 5 points.

19 Mar 2011 Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

Adapted from Rees, N. 1 food 5 ways. Vegetarian Times (April 2010). Issue 376. Vol. 36, No. 5. p 64.

Broccoli Pesto & Bowties

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: After a whirlwind week of  leftovers and pick up cooking — no I don’t mean drive-through or delivery food — we are back! This was a fantastic twist on pesto. Who knew broccoli could be turned into pesto? Not I! Adrien missed the cheese, but I did not — and these was much less olive oil so the points are lower. We halved the recipe and there was plenty of pesto which I will freeze for the next time we’re looking for a pick-up meal.


6 TBSP blanched hazelnuts
2 cups broccoli florets
1 1/2 cups loosely pack parsley leaves
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP olive oil (I used just the 1/4 cup)
1/2 cup mint leaves
4 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp capers, rinsed and drained (optional, but I added them)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
12 oz. farfalle pasta (I used the mini farfalle); can use brown rice pasta or other vegan substitute as you wish.


1. Toast hazelnuts in skillet 3-5 minutes or until golden, shaking the skillet often. Cool, coarsely chop and set aside.

2. Meanshile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the broccoli 2-3 minutes or until tender. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again.

3. Pulse hazelnuts, broccoli, parsley, oil, mint, lemon juice, lemon zest, capers and garlic in food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Cook farfalle according to package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water (you may need more so plan accordiningly) before draining.

5. Toss farfalle with pesto and pasta water. Garnish with more toasted hazelnuts if you wish — nothing else is really needed though.

Servings = 9. Weight watcher points = 6.

15 Mar 2011 Kerala-Style Edamame Curry

Adapted from Riccardi, Victoria Abbott. “1 food 5 ways”. Vegetarian Times. (Mar. 2011). Issue 383, Vol. 37, No. 3. p. 67.

My Comment: Eating We love curries — this one has a couple of things going for it. Using edamame in place of the traditional lentils is a clean taste. Not only is this recipe vegetarian, it’s vegan. And very filling!


Edamame Curry

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1 TBSP fennel seeds
1 TBSP brown mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp vegetable oil (divided)
1 large onion, half chopped – half sliced (divided)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 cup reduced fat coconut milk
4 cups peeled, diced butternut squash
1 medium head cauliflower (cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 TBSP minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 cups frozen shelled edamame
6 TBSP unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped cilantro


1. Heat fennel, mustard and cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium low heat. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until mustard seeds being to pop – shaking the pan occasionally. Turn off heat and keep skillet covered until popping subsides.

2. Heat 1 tsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion, saute 6 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth to lift any of the brown bits. Then add remainings 3 cups broth and the coconut milk. Stir in squash, cauliflower, ginger, tumeric, salt, and sauteed spices. Bring mixutre to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Add edamame and cook 10 minutes more.

3. Meanwhile toast coconut in small skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes or until browned and fragrant. Set aside.

4. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add sliced onion and sautee 12 minutes or until golden.

5. To serve, spoon curry into 6 bowls. Garnish with golden onion slices, toasted coconut and cilantro.

Serves 6. Weightwatcher points = 6

11 Mar 2011 Weeknight Stirfry from Whole Foods

Adapted from Whole foods market. The whole deal. (March/April 2011). Austin, TX: Whole Foods Market, IP, LP. p 20.

My Comment: Could it be…. Seitan? Why yes it is.  The 5 basic recipes in this month’s Whole Deal from Whole

Italian Skillet Dinner

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

Foods Market caught my eye because once the basic method is mastered, it’s just a matter of changing up the seasonings to create all sorts of quick meals. While Whole Foods used ground beef as the base, I am using Seitan, a wheat protein. Feel free to substitute your favorite vegetarian protein product — soy crumbles would also work well.


Protein:        1 package of Seitan (wheat soy protein)
Seasonings: 1 TBSP Italian seasoning (or make up your own!) AND 8 thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
Veggies:        1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes (I used Muir Glen, already seasoned with Italian seasoning)AND 1 bunch thinly sliced lacinto kale (remove the tough stems and wash thoroughly) AND 2 tsp chopped garlic


1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Spray the pan with olive oil spray – you may need to add some olive oil when using Seitan or other meat substitutes as the protein will stick to the pan.

2. Add the seasonings to the pan along with the protein you are using. Brown until cooked through (about 10 minutes). The mixture should be fairly dry.

3. Stir in veggies and cook until just tender and heated through. I needed to cover the kale to get it to cook down.

4. Serve by itself or over some cooked pasta.

Serves 4. Weight Watcher points = 3.

09 Mar 2011: Simple Black Bean Soup

Adapted from Whole Foods Market.  Simple black bean soup. Downloaded from the web on March 6, 2011.

My Comment While I prefer preparing beans over canned beans (be sure to rinse off that gelatinous goo), it sometimes is a challenge to get my act together enough to soak and cook the beans. This time I soaked the beans all day, but when it came time for cooking, I neglected to forward think the 2 hour cooking time! No problem – we ate our “pick up meal” of veggie burgers and finished the soup for the next night. Served with a nice plonk-priced bottle of Cabernet.

Simple Black Bean Soup

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


1 pound dried beans (about 2 1/2 cups) rinsed
2 medium onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 TBSP ground cumin
1 tsp ground chipotle pepper (worth the purchase – it was delicious!)
2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP lime juice
1/2 ripe avocado, chopped


1. Soak the beans overnight or for 6-8 hours prior to cooking. Drain and rinse.

2. In large pot, bring 1/2 cup water to a simmer over medium high heat. Add onions, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and beginning to brown (about 10 minutes). Stir in cumin and chipotle and cook 1 minute stirring.

3. Add drained beans and 10 cups of water. Bring soup to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beans are tender.

4. Remove 4 cups soup and carefully puree in a blender (or use your hand blender to partially puree right in the pot). Return puree to the pot and stir in cilantro, nutritional yeast and lime juice.

5. Spoon into bowls for serving and garnish with avocado.

Servings = 8. Weight Watcher Points = 3.

7 Mar 2011 Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale & Sundried Tomatoes

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Whole wheat pasta with kale and sundried tomatoes. Downloaded from the web on March 6, 2011.

My comment: Kale is a great green and generally pretty inexpensive! I used a red kale with this recipe and changed from Great Northern Beans to Black Beans because that is what I had on hand. Very filling…. I would venture to say this recipe could easily serve 6, but the Points were computed for the suggested serving of 4.


Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound kale – thick stems removed and leaves chopped
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added Great Northern or other white bean, drained and rinsed
8 ounces whole wheat pasta


1. Soak sundried tomatoes in hot water to cover for 15 minutes to soften them. Then drain and thinly slice.

2. Bring large pot of water to boil for cooking pasta. In separate high-sided skillet, bring 3/4 cup water to simmer. Add onion and cook for 10 minutes or until tender. Stir in kale, beans and 3/4 cup water. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated, greens are wilted and tender and beans are heated through.

3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Add the sliced sundried tomatoes about 2 minutes before the pasta is done. Drain pasta and tomatoes and add to skillet with greens. Stir to combine.

Servings = 4. Weight Watcher Points = 7.

2 Mar 2011 Winter Warmer Stew

Adapted from Winter warmer stew. Downloaded from the web on Feb. 26, 2011.

My comment: I did make a major substitution in this dish — could it be Seitan? Because I wasn’t near Whole Foods and couldn’t obtain Seitan, I used tempeh — not one of my favorite things, but it seemed like it might be a reasonable substitute. For Weight watchers fans, I used roughly half as much tempeh as seitan — which made the point swap work out. Also did not bother with the beans and used crushed tomatoes. Still created a tasty stew.

Winter Warmer Stew

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.


2 TBSP olive oil
1 pound Seitan, cut into chunks
1 large onion, sliced
4 medium carrots, sliced
4 medium potatoes, cubed
4 cups veg broth or use water (should cover the vegetables)
1 15-oz. can beans (black or kidney)
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 TBSP low sodium tamari or soy sauce
2 tsp brown miso
1 TBSP flour (optional thickener)


1. Saute seitan and onion in olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add carrots and potatoes and saute for a few minutes longer. Add the broth or water to cover the vegetables.

2. Puree beans and diced tomatoes together in a blender until smooth (here’s where I substituted just crushed tomatoes). Add this mix to the stew. Cook until carrots and potatoes are tender.

3. Add tamari and brown miso. If you wish to have a thicker stew, blend in flour and water together and add to the stew.  Also, add more vegetables as you wish.

Serves 6. Weight watcher Points = 6

28 Feb 2011 Glazed Carrot and Tomato with Wild Rice Ragout

Adapted from Vegetarian Times. Glazed carrot and tomato with wild rice ragout. (March 2009, p 60 print edition). Downloaded from the web on February 27, 2011.

My Comment: This was a delightful surprise! I have to admit that I did not buy a bag of wild rice; I just used what we had on hand in the pantry. Also, in place of pan frying the tofu, I took a page out of Susan Voisin’s recipe over on Fat Free Vegan (a great resource for Vegans) and baked the tofu ahead of time. It was quite yummy and did not fall apart.  Highly recommend that method of cooking tofu.


Glazed Carrot Tomato Ragout

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

3 tsp. olive oil, divided
2/3 cup wild rice or wild rice blend
6 oz. extra-firm silken tofu, cut into 2-inch strips
1 cup peeled baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
9 cherry tomatoes, halved (2/3 cup)
2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
2 Tbs. chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
1/2 tsp fennel seeds


1. Cook rice according to package directions. (since I used a non-packaged rice, I just cooked up a batch of rice)

2. Here is where I baked the tofu in place of pan frying, but I am leaving the original directions for those who would prefer them. Heat 1 tsp. oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu, and cook 5 minutes, or until browned, turning once. Transfer to plate.

3. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil to skillet, and reduce heat to medium. Add carrots to skillet, and cook 10 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, and fennel seeds, and simmer 2 minutes, or until liquid is thickened and reduced, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved tofu; cook 1 minute, or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve over rice garnished with additional parsley.

Serves 2. Weight Watcher Points = 11.

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