Saturday, March 31, 2012

vegetable pan bagnat
Here's yet another warm-weather recipe my entire family loved. It's adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine, but I switched out the mushrooms for turkey lunch meat, so it's not vegetarian. But it's still full of good veggies!

Pan bagnat is a sandwich found in the south of France. It's pressed with a weight and refrigerated to allow juices to "bathe the bread," which is the literal translation of the term.

Ingredients: (it looks like a long list, but it's not too hard to throw together.)
1 8-inch round loaf of crusty bread, preferably with rosemary. (mine was just whole wheat)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (I used an olive oil sprayer)
 1 large clove garlic
2 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 6-oz zucchini, ends trimmed
3 4-inch portobello mushroom caps, gills removed (or in my case, lunch meat, or mashed beans, or shredded smoked salmon)
1 8-oz pkg. tomato and basil hummus (any hummus would be fine. I could only find sun dried tomato hummus, so I used that and then sprinkled on a little dried basil.)
1 red bell pepper, sliced into sticks and then broiled w/ a little oil until edges brown.  (or a jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained)
1 packed cup baby arugula leaves (or spinach, or whatever)
1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Halve bread horizontally, using serrated knife. starting 1/2-inch from edges, remove about 1 inch soft bread from center of each half, making hallows for filling; lightly brush (or spray with manual sprayer) with oil. (The recipe says to rub with the garlic, but whatever. Who has time for that, when you'll be getting the garlic flavor in a minute, anyway...)

Squeeze garlic clove through press into bowl; add 2 Tbs. of oil, soy sauce and mustard, and whisk to blend. Pare zucchini lengthwise with vegetable peeler into paper-thin slices, omitting seedy center. (this is where you cut the mushrooms into thin slices also, if you're into those...), then add zucchini and mushrooms to dressing. Toss. Marinate 10 minutes.

To assemble sandwich, spread bread hollows (top and bottom) with hummus. Over bottom half of bread, layer zucchini slices (don't worry if it looks like soggy pasta here. It settles down in the fridge), peppers, mushrooms, arugula, and tomato slices. Grind on black pepper to taste, and replace bread top. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; place on large plate and top with heavy pot lid (I just put a pan on top of it, since I didn't have a heavy lid). Refrigerate at least 4 hours (mine was only 3, and it still tasted great), or up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, unwrap and cut into 6 wedges (I cut mine into four, then cut one of those in half, because our youngest kids don't eat as much).

Friday, March 30, 2012

Tijuana Torta

This recipe is adapted from Eating Well magazine. You can see a picture of this sandwich, if you can't picture what a torta should look like. My family really likes this sandwich and actually asks for seconds and thirds.

1 15-oz. can black beans, or pinto beans, rinsed
4 tablespoons prepared sasla
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 ripe avocado, pitted
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 16- to 20- inch long baguette, preferably whole grain (I buy two whole wheat batons that are a little longer than a foot)
1 1/3 cups shredded cabbage

Mash beans, salsa, and cumin in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, mash avocado, onion and lime juice. Cut baguette into 4 equal lengths (I cut mine into whatever size I think each family member will be able to eat). Split each piece horizontally, then pull out some of the bread from the center to hollow it out a little. Spread a layer of the beans on one side, and the avocado on the other, put a layer of cabbage on it, then close the sandwich and serve.

7-Layer Greek Dip

This recipe is adapted from Our Best Bites. It's one of my family's favorite hot-weather meals. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it's really easy and pretty fast. Plus, it can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for a while.

1 6-oz. container of Greek yogurt (I like Chobani's non fat)
1 tsp dill weed or Greek seasoning (go for a mix that just has herbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 c. hummus (I don't actually measure this, I just put in however much looks good)
1 c. diced cucumbers
1 c.  diced tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped (or sliced) Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh parsley (I don't think I've ever added this, but whatever. add it if you love parsley)

combine yogurt, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice, mix well. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. Create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, feta cheese, and parsley. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours (althought we usually just eat it immediately and it's still great).

We like to eat it with torn flat bread, or even spread on top of a flat bread, like a pizza. But you can also eat it with pita chips, fresh veggies, or chips.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

I got this recipe off They were really good! The boys loved them.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until
moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined
muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a
toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire