Sunday, August 30, 2015

Brown Rice, Tomato, & Basil Salad

This is my somewhat loose interpretation of an Ina Garten recipe.  I used tomatoes from my own garden and just used as many as were currently ripe, and I used less of a different type of vinegar.  Regardless, the salad was really good!  My husband loved it and ate most of it.  Definitely a repeat around here!

Brown Rice, Tomato, & Basil Salad

1 C brown rice, cooked and lightly salted and then partly cooled
tomatoes, chopped into large chunks, however many you want (I used 2 large ones)
about 1/2 C roughly chopped basil
3 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (you can use less or more, according to your tastes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients.  Serve slightly warm, room temperature, or cold. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ravioli Lasagna

I came up on this recipe at the blog Peaceful Parents, Confident Kids and made it that night, it just looked so good and easy!  You don't even have to cook the ravioli first.  Best of all, it turned out REALLY well.  My lasagna loving husband said he liked it better than regular lasagna, which is saying a lot.  I was worried it may end up a little watery from all the raw spinach, but the ravioli absorbs all the excess liquid very nicely and the entire thing is just divine.
 Ravioli Lasagna
1 lb ground beef
1 26 oz jar/can prepared spaghetti sauce (it doesn't have to be fancy, I used Hunt's Four Cheese)
about 20 oz uncooked, refrigerated cheese ravioli
3 C grated mozzarella
1/3 C grated parmesan
4 oz raw baby spinach
Grease 9 by 13 dish and preheat oven to 350.
Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium high, and then stir in spaghetti sauce.
To assemble the lasagna, spread a small amount of the meat sauce in the baking dish, then make a single layer of ravioli, half of the spinach, 2 Tbsp of the parmesan, 1 C of the mozzarella, half of the remaining sauce, the rest of the ravioli, the rest of the spinach, 2 Tbsp of the parmesan, and the rest of the sauce.  Cover with foil and bake 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, top with the remaining 2 C mozzarella and the remaining parmesan.  Bake 20 minutes longer or until it's bubbly throughout and the cheese is browned.  Let the lasagna cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Yield: 6-8 servings

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Basic Granola & Raw Raspberry Jam

This month, I was assigned a beautiful blog called The Smoothie Lover.  It's written by a young Danish girl named Josefine.  In addition to making very creative and mostly very nutritious recipes, Josefine takes absolutely gorgeous photos.  This is her first month doing Secret Recipe Club and I hope she had fun!

In the course of choosing a recipe to make from Josefine's blog, I actually looked at all the recipes she posted and settled on two: Basic Granola and Raw Raspberry Jam.  I made both to go with homemade Greek yogurt.  Both turned out really well.  My husband is the granola eater around here (he eats fruit and granola with lunch every day), and I am happy to have a recipe that contains much less sugar than most.  The jam is perfect in yogurt, I just stirred it into the plain yogurt and didn't need to add any other sweetener.  It's also great on toasted English muffins!  Raspberries are probably my favorite fruit, but I'd like to experiment with peaches or strawberries, too. (Update: In the month since I first made the raw jam, I have also made raw peach, grape, and strawberry jam, with great results each time!)

Basic Granola

1 1/2 C oats
2 Tbsp applesauce
1/2 C chopped raw nuts (I used cashews)
1/2 C seeds (I used sunflower and sesame)
1 Tbsp melted coconut oil (you can do this in a measuring cup in the microwave)
1/4 C water
3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
1/2 C dried fruit (I used dried cherries, blueberries, and cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together oats and applesauce until evenly coated.  Stir in nuts and seeds.  In a small bowl, stir together melted coconut oil, water, and honey or maple syrup.  Pour evenly over granola mixture and stir to coat.

Evenly spread granola on parchment paper and bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until granola is golden and dry.  If you're not sure whether it's dried yet, you can remove a little from the oven and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes, it will quickly harden if it's ready.

Let granola cool completely, then pour into a container, add dried fruit, and shake to combine.

Yield:  About 8 servings

Raw Raspberry Jam

2 C raspberries (I used a 12 oz bag of thawed, frozen raspberries)
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp chia seeds

Puree raspberries with a food processor or immersion blender, then stir in  honey and chia seeds.  Store covered in the refrigerator overnight so the chia seeds can expand and thicken the jam.

Yield:  About 2 cups