Monthly Archives: May 2011

30 May 2011 Veggies on the Barbie

Adapted from The Whole Deal. (May/June/July 2011). Austin TX: Whole Foods Market. p 18.

My Comment: I saw this in the Whole Foods Flyer and decided to

Grilled Veggies

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

  give it a try — not as a recipe but as a cooking method suggestion.  Usually when I attempt to grill veggies they come out really under- or over-cooked…. this time, perfection! I use a charcoal grill; the purist in me gave up on gas grills about 2 years ago. Not a big fan of the messy charcoal dust, but less of a fan of a tank of explosives next to my house. 

The veggies listed are suggestions and I have to admit I used whatever I had: eggplant, zucchini, red bell pepper and some corn on the cob. I also was excited to use some oregano right from my herb garden to finish things off.  Made for a great lunch leftover too.

Suggested Ingredients

Green pepper (quartered)
Eggplant, cut crosswise into  1/2 inch rounds
Red Bell pepper (quartered)
Yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch slices
Zucchini cut into 1/2 inch slices
Chopped fresh herbs (tarragon, thyme, basil… your choice)
2 TBSP red wine or sherry vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh pepper

1. Preheat the grill to high heat. BRUSH THE GRILL WITH EVOO (use a paper towel and LONG tongs — check out America’s Test Kitchen to see about grilling tips)

2. Working in batches, arrange the veggies on the grill and cook, flipping once until tender and beginning to thaw (3-5 minutes for squashes, 6-8 for peppers and eggplants)

3. Spread out to cool slightly on a large baking sheet

4. Roughly chop the cooked vegetables to a uniform site and toss with herbs, vinegar, salt and pepper on a large platter.

Serve warm at room temperature — or serve cold.

29 May 2011 Couscous with Seven Vegetables

Couscous with Seven Vegetables

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

Adapted From Welland, Diane. Clean Eating Magazine Recipes. Downloaded from the net on May 22, 2011.

My Comment: One of my sisters is an experienced world traveler and on her trip to Morocco, she brought back a packet of an interesting spice: Ras El Hanout.  This recipe is seasoned with this spice blend from Morocco — if you can’t find it (and I never have), you can make a small batch by following the link on Clean Eating’s website.  I enjoy Northern African recipes; the combination of veggies and raisins over couscous is delightful. For our meal, I did not include the Tilapia — still healthy and satisfying.


3 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBSP Ras El Hanout
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 inch pieces)
2 small turnips, peeled and diced (1 inch pieces)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 inch pieces)
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 head cabbage (about 1/2 lb) cut into 1 inch chunks
1/2 red pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 cup green beans (about 2 oz) cut into thirds
1/2 to 1 tsp Harissa or any chile past or hot sauce (we liked more)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup raisins, soaked for 1o mins in 2-3 TBSP warm water & drained
3/4 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
16 oz white fish (tiapia, haddock, sole) cut into chunks
1-1/3 cup whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and divided


1. Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat and add garlic and Ras El Hanout. Quick stir until brown. Then add next 5 ingredients. Pour in enough water to cover vegetables. Cover and cook 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft but not fully cooked. Add pepper, beans, Harissa and salt. Cook for another 10-15 minutes until tender.

2. Ladle out 3 cups of broth and vegetables (1-1/2 cups each). Puree in blender until thick. (I used a 4-cup measure and hand blender – easier). Add back to stew.

3. Mix in raisins and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and place fish on top of the mixture. (If you are using the fish DO NOT mix it in or the fish chunk will break up). Cook covered for 10-15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

4. While fish is cooking, boil 1-1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Take off heat and add the couscous, cover and set aside for 5 minutes. Flluff with fork. To serve, place 1/2 cup couscous in a bowl, Pour 1 cup of the veggie-fish mixutre over top and sprinkle with 1 TBSP cilantro.

Serves 6. Nutrition: Calories 280, Fat 3.5 g, carbohydrates 40 g, Fiber 8 g, protein 19 g.

22 May 2011 Tomato & Spinach Dinner Strata

Adapted from: Gorman, Rachel Moeller et al. Cooking class: The Joy of Meatless. Eating Well. (Vol 10, No 3) May/June 2011. page 52.

My Comment: A casserole for the end of May? You bet! And this one was a good

Tomato & Spinach Strate

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

 one. I tweaked the recipe to include soy milk in place of cow’s milk and, Ezekiel bread for the wheat bread.  Still delicious. The casserole sits in the fridge for at least 2 hours, so making the day before is suggested.


4 tsp olive oil (divided)
1 medium onion chopped
8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground pepper divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 15-oz container of part-skim ricotta cheese
1 10-oz package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
2 cups prepared marinara sauce, divided
6 slices whole grain bread (stale is okay) — see my comment
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 large eggs
1 cup low-fat milk (see my comment)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 TBSP fresh parsley for garnish


1. Coat a 7×11 baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat the oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions first and then the mushrooms. You do not want to brown the veggies — just soften them (takes 4-5 mins). Season with salt and pepper.

3. Combine ricotta, spinach and nutmeg and add another 1/8 tsp pepper in a separate bowl. Set aside.

4. Spoon 1 cup marinara into baking dish. Break each bread slice into roughly 4 pieces, arrange half the bread on the bottom of the dish (don’t worry if there is not enough to completely cover).

5. Spoon ricotta mixture over the bread and then layer with a second layer of bread (use the rest of the bread here). Now scatter the mushroom/onion mixture on top of this layer. Top with mozzarella and spoon the remaining sauce on top.  The pan will be very full.

6. Whisk eggs and milk in small bowl. Pour this mixture over the casserole — poke holes (I used a paring knife for this) through the casserole (especially the bread) so that the egg mixture is evenly distributed and soaks into the bread and saturates it.

7. Cover the casserole with an oil coated piece of foil and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours minimum (overnight is okay).

8. Preheat over to 375. Bake the strata UNCOVERED for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake until puffed and golden – about 10 minutes longer. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley for garnish.

Serves 8. Nutrition: Calories 317. 15 g fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 5 g fiber.

20 May 2011 Thai Shrimp and Carrot Salad

Adapted from Whole Foods Market. Thai shrimp and carrot salad. Downloaded from the web on May 15, 2011.

Thai Shrimp and Carrot Salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

My Comment: Just my opinion, but I think this recipe needs some serious tweaking.  Realizing that the lack of oil was possibly purposeful, I still need to say that the dressing needs something – sesame oil maybe? Not enough hot pepper flakes and honestly, almost every Southeast Asian noodle/salad dish I’ve ever eaten has some kind of sweetening to offset the lime and vinegar.  

Lesson learned: even on a first pass through a recipe, go ahead and follow your instincts.


8 oz. uncooked brown rice noodles
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 pound cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp – tails removed
3 cups carrots
1/2 cup dry-roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint


1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Rinse until cool, then drain and place in a large bowl.

2. In a separate bowl, combine lime juice, vinegar and crushed red pepper to make a dressing.

3. Toss noodles with 2 TBSP of the dressing. Toss remaining dressing with shrimp, carrots, peanuts, shallots, and mint.

4. Serve shrimp mixture over the rice noodles.

Serves 6. Nutrition: 290 calories, 8 g fat, 61 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 24 g protein

12 May 2011 Vegetable Rosti with Tomato-Corn Relish

Adapted from D’Andrea, Aurelia. Veg Boot Camp: Vegetable rosti with tomato-corn salsa. (June 2011). Issue 385, Vol. 37, No. 5. p. 63.

My Comment: Lots of prep to this recipe, but well worth it. The grater disk on my food processor made it quick work. 

Vegetable Rosti

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson,


For Tomato-Corn Relish

3 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernals
2 small tomatoes, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley
1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP chopped onion
3 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

For Rosti

2 medium white potatoes
2 large carrots
2 small zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten


1. To make corn-tomato relish: combine all ingedients in bowl. Set aside.

2. To make rosti: grate potatoes, carrots, and zucchini onto clean kitchen towel. Wrap towel around the vegetables and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Transfer vegetables to bowl and stir in onion, flour, and garlic. Fold in eggs and season with salt and pepper if desired.

3. Coat large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Spoon 2 TBSP rosti mixture for each patty, shaping with spoon to make patties. Cook 2 to 3 minutes (more like 5 for me) or until bottoms are crisp. Carefully flip with spatula and cook 2 minutes more (again more time) or until browned on both sides. Serve with Tomato-Corn Relish.

Serves 4.  Nutrition Info: (per 6 Rosti and 3/4 cup relish) 328 calories, 12 gprotein, 8 g fat, 57 g carbs, 8 g fiber.

08 May 2011 Heart-Healthy Dried Fruit Scones

Adapted from: Chang, Joanne. Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe. (2010). San Francisco: Chronicle Books LLC. p. 50.

My Comments: Lucky enough to live in the Boston Metro area (well, that’s a

Flour Bakery Dried Fruit Scones

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography.

little stretch – a 40 minute ride puts me downtown though), I’ve been to 2 of Flour’s locations.  If you have too, you know how awesome this bakery/cafe is — no wonder lines stretch around the counter and there’s SRO!  Last week, I treated myself to Joanne Chang’s cookbook and this recipe seemed like the place to start for me.

Recently I have been told to try to cut wheat products from my diet. Not willing to give up on my love of baking, I am discovering some new flours to use. Today I substituted a gluten free baking flour from Bob’s Red Mill.  Since I don’t have to totally eliminate wheat, I kept about a cup of the wheat flour in the recipe. Not sure how a total replacement would have gone, but this substitution was just fine (yes indeed I have had this scone at Flour!).

I’m not publishing Joanne Chang’s recipe here; seriously — if you love baking buy the book! 

As this inaugural foray into Flour’s recipes takes place on Mother’s Day, we treated ourselves to quite a breakfast spread: smoked salmon (for Adrien), Vermont brie, raspberries, homemade vanilla/honey yogurt sprinkled with homemade granola, and of course, the scones. I don’t think we’ll be eating again until tomorrow.

07 May 2011 Sugar Snap and Snow Pea Stir-fry

Adapted from d’Andrea, Aurealia. 28 day eat green challenge: Veg boot camp. Vegetarian Times, Issue 385, Vol. 37, No. 5. (June 2011). p 77.

My Comment: Sometimes I’m not sure of what I’m doing in meal planning — so when I hear of an already mapped out meal plan, my ears really perk up.  Vegetarian Times has started just such a program and, should you be interested in finding out more you can find information on the website.

This recipe was published in the June 2011 launch of the 28-day challenge.  It caught my eye because the protein is coming from cashews – yummy! This made plenty of stir-fry; I served rice with Adrien’s portion — but ate mine au naturel.

Sugar Snap and Snow Pea Stir Fry

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography.


1 TBSP low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp chile-garlic sauce (go ahead and add what you like – I used a tablespoon)
1 TBSP vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 medium red onion, halved, cut into wedges and pulled apart (about 1-1/2 cup)
1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 cup raw unsalted cashews
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
8 oz. sugar snap peas
8 oz. snow pea pods
8 green onions cut into 1 inch pieces


1. Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, chile-garlic sauce and 1/2 cup water in small bowl and set aside.

2. Heat vegetable oil in wok over high heat (remember to heat wok first, then add the oil). Add onion, bell pepper, cashews and ginger, and stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until onion and cashews begin to brown.

3. Add snap peas and stir fry another minute.

4. Add snow peas and green onions and stir fry 2 to 3 minutes more.

5. Add soy sauce mixture and cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until sauce has thickened and vegetables are coated with sauce.

Serves 4.  Nutrition: 324 calories, 10 G protein, 20 G fat, 30 G. carb, 6 G fiber.

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