Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fall Quinoa Pilaf

My diet is almost exclusively plant-based. I will eat meat from time to time, so I like to consider myself a semi-vegetarian. Eating mostly plants is a personal choice for me. I find it easier to digest veggies and grains then a huge piece of steak. When I started eating more fruit and veg, I noticed my energy increased. I wasn't stopping at Starbucks every couple of hours to fill up on caffeine and sugar just to have my blood sugar crash in thirty minutes. I realize that everyone's body needs protein, however protein doesn't always have to be in the form of meat. A little grain called Quinoa has a nice helping of protein in it. I particularly like this grain because it helps stabilize my blood sugar and I can eat a lot of it since it is low in calories. Even if you decide to just have one vegetarian meal a week, you are doing your body an enormous favor. Try it and you might just become a VIP (Vegan Intriguing Person).

Fall Quinoa Pilaf

1 cup Quinoa cooked according to the directions on package
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
1/4 cup dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup toasted almonds
juice of 2 Meyer lemons
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine parsley, green onion, pomegranate seeds and dried figs. Add Quinoa in once it has cooled off after cooking it. In a small bowl combine lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper and olive oil. Drizzle over pilaf. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom gravy

 Ahh.....yes. The TV dinner redo. Full disclosure - My past experience with this dish was courtesy of Miss Swanson. The only reason I was probably warming this TV dinner up at all was to dig into the dessert. I like to think as an adult my palate is more refined. I prefer homemade comfort food as opposed to popping my dinner into the microwave and listening for the peep, peep, peep. If you have never had this homemade before, you are in for a treat. It does bring back childhood memories and I'm assuming it reheats well if you have leftovers. That is a big "IF".

*This recipe was adapted from Simple Quintessential Cuisine

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom gravy

1 1/2lbs ground beef
1 large onion (mince 1/3 and slice the rest)
5 finely minced garlic cloves
3 eggs
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tsp steak seasoning 
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp pepper 
4 C beef broth
2 C sliced mushrooms
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 C dry red wine 

3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil


In a medium sauce pan bring beef broth to a slow simmer and add mushrooms; the purpose being to draw out the mushroom flavor into the broth.  While that’s occurring place a large frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil and butter.

 In a large mixing bowl, mix together beef, minced onion, 1 tablespoon of the minced garlic, steak seasoing, eggs, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.
 Form the beef mixture into large patties and then place into the pan.  Sear the patties well on both sides and then remove from the pan and place into a large casserole.

In the same pan add another 1 ½  tablespoons of butter and olive oil and then add sliced onions and remaining garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  

 Add in the flour, stirring for an additional minute, then pour in the red wine while you continue to stir.  Next pour in the mushroom broth continuing to stir until thickened. 

Pour sauce over the patties.  Cover the casserole with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.