Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baked Quinoa with Roasted Kale and Chickpeas

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: 6 Ingredient Solution

This is another great recipe from one of ATK's recent cookbooks. I'm definitely buying this book. (I've had it from the library so far.) It comes from the Vegetarian chapter, which has 9 recipes. (There are more vegetarian recipes in other chapters though.)

There is not much work to do with this: prepping the kale, cutting the tomatoes, rinsing the quinoa and beans, and zesting a lemon. The recipe does call for marinated feta cheese, which I did not have. So I used a tiny bit of olive oil and a little oregano in this as well. You do have to roast the kale for about 6-8 minutes, but that is done while you are prepping other ingredients. It all comes together very quickly (because there are so few ingredients.)

I really liked the leftovers cold. Eating it warm was good too. I will definitely make this again because it is filled with good things, tastes good and is easy.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Easy Egg Casserole with Boursin and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: 6 Ingredient Solution

This was the simplest thing I've made so far from the book. It relies on three ingredients that are not always pantry staples and one is processed, so some may not like this one. But I had the Ritz crackers, Boursin cheese and sun-dried tomatoes so making this recipe was quite easy. I didn't have fresh basil so used a little rosemary.

This is a pretty rich recipe, so I only used half the cheese called for. The Boursin cheese packs a lot of flavor and I knew it would be fine. Plus it is a slightly expensive ingredient, so that is another reason to use a bit less.

This was very good, but I felt it needed a little salt. The recipe called for none (salt, pepper and water don't "count" towards the 6 ingredients) and I assumed that was because of the crackers. But it needed maybe 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon I think.

The only problem I had was that 15 minutes wasn't enough time. My middle was a little runny. I made it in individual gratins, so I thought it would cook a little faster.

I would make this again for a brunch or if I had the ingredients on hand. It might be a nice thing to make for Christmas morning.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Roasted Tomato Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Assemble Time: 5 minutes

Grade: A

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: 6 Ingredient Solution Cookbook

I already have a tomato soup recipe that I love. And when I saw this recipe in the book, I wasn't sure I wanted to try this one. It reminded me of CI's very original tomato soup recipe "Ultimate Cream Tomato Soup". I hadn't loved that one, because it used heavy cream, and was too heavy tasting instead of tomato-tasting to me. I really loved the cream-less version of the soup because it is a super quick recipe, healthy and good.

But I decided to try this, since it is simplified at least in terms of the ingredients. Many recipe in the 6 Ingredient Solution are quick, but this one still takes time. There isn't a huge amount of hands on time. Prep is done in less than 15 minutes and the only time you need to work while cooking is to keep an eye on the onions for about 10-15 minutes. Then you need to blend the soup at the end. It will take over an hour to make the soup, but only 20+ minutes of your time.

The secret ingredient in this recipe is the Boursin cheese, which is flavored with garlic and herbs. I tasted the soup before I added the cheese, and it was good. The tomatoes are roasted, and onions caramelized in butter (I used 1T instead of 2T.) But when I added the cheese (about 1/2 of a package, 2.5 servings) it tasted amazing. Truly delicious and maybe the best tasting tomato soup I've ever had.

I will probably continue to make both versions of the soup. I won't always have Boursin cheese on hand, but if I remember to get it, this version is really good.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Prep Time: 15 minutes + 22 minutes
Cook Time: 18-22 minutes

Grade: B

Make Again:No

Recipe Source: Cook's Country (December 2010)

These really do taste good, but I prefer the Everyday Food recipe. These are pretty sweet and were not flaky. They felt more like cakes to me. Tasty cakes, for sure, but not what I want in a biscuit.

One interesting thing about the recipe is that there is no milk. It is all sweet potato that give the moisture. (And a tiny bit of vinegar.) So you really do get a good sweet potato flavor from these biscuits.


Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Two Quick Pork Tenderloin Dinners

Recipe 1: Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Fall Vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes each
Cook Time: 30+ minutes

Grade: B+

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (November2011)

You start with this recipe and you save 1/2 of one of the pork tenderloins. Actually, since I cut recipe in half, I only used one tenderloin.

This was my first time trying parsnips (as far as I know) and brussels sprouts since I was kid. I loved the parsnips, but was neutral on the brussels sprouts. I should probably try a recipe with bacon and then I'd probably like them more. :-)

It made two meals for me and had lots of vegetables which was nice. There was very little effort to the meal, and I liked knowing I had a head start on a 2nd meal later that week. 

Recipe 2: Lo Mein with Pork

Total Time: 15 - 20 minutes 

Grade: A-

Make Again: Yes

Recipe Source: Everyday Food (November2011)

I subbed a bit in this recipe using vegetables I liked. It isn't the most amazing stir-fry in the world, but for a real quick dinner it was great. I will definitely use this technique again - roasting some protein and saving it for a later stir-fry.