Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-Lime Tofu

8 08 2014

Do you guys follow theKitchn.com? If not, then you should. Lately, I feel like they’ve been churning out some awesome content, and I find myself bookmarking or sharing a lot of their recent posts.

Like this post with 17 recipes using a can of chick peas. Or this recipe for a Green Goddess Quinoa Salad bowl (which was on my menu for this week and it was oh-so-good!) Or this post about the best ways to organize your freezer <– so smart! And finally, this recipe, which served as the inspiration for the meal I’m about to share with you!

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The original recipe called for some more “traditional” taco/fajita fillings- red pepper, onion, beans, brown rice.  I could have gone that route, but opted to use up the remainders of the different veggies I had in the fridge (mushrooms, broccoli, and some homemade pico de gallo from Steph) and use the can of corn I had in the pantry. I also had some tofu that needed to be eaten and some feta cheese.

By the way, I must give my friend Steph a shout out. She gave me a bunch of yummy treats from her trip to Key West- limes, a fresh mango, a coconut (!), Florida avocado, and some of her homemade mango pico de gallo. I immediatley used some of the pico in a salad and it was amazing. Oh, and the mango? Probably one of the best I’ve ever had. I was a little skeptical about the Florida avocado because I’ve never had much success with them and always find myself wishing it was a Hass, but this one was perfect!

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I followed the general idea of the original recipe- sauté the veggies/protein, wrap in chard leaves, and top with the dressing, but the biggest divergence from the recipe was my choice of protein: tofu. It just so happened that on the same day I saw the wrap recipe, I had earlier seen a picture of chipotle-lime marinated chicken. I knew immediately that I was going to use those flavors on the tofu in my fridge, so when I stumbled upon the wrap recipe with its similar flavor profile, I knew I had a great recipe mash-up.

When I threw everything together, I was super impressed with this dish. It was so fresh, and so healthy! I think I may be using chard leaves as wraps more often now! Oh, and the Cumin-Lime dressing was the perfect sauce to bring it all together. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Swiss Chard Wraps with Chipotle-lime Baked Tofu, Fresh Veggies, and Cumin-Lime dressing

Ingredients:

For the Baked Tofu:

1 tsp Chipotle powder (more or less to your taste. This was spicy for me!)
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Juice of 1 lime
1 TBS honey
1 TBS olive oil
salt

For the Wraps:

Swiss Chard Leaves (as many as you need)
1/2 can corn kernels, drained
1 head broccoli
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
EVOO
garlic powder

Toppers:
Pico de gallo
feta cheese
avocado

For the Cumin Lime Sauce:

Juice from 2 limes
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 scallions, minced-white and light green parts only
1 teaspoon ground cumin
dash crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt

 

How to:

First, make the baked tofu (this can be done in advance, you’ll just want to heat it up before adding to your wraps). Dry the tofu and cut into cubes.  Marinade the tofu for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, flipping every 15 minutes

Second, fry up the veggies.In a fry pan over high heat, add a few TBS of EVOO, add the veggies and a dash of garlic powder. Add the veggies from the slowest cooking to the fastest cooking: broccoli first, cook for a few minutes, then the mushrooms, cook for a few, and then the canned corn.

Third, make the Cumin-lime dressing. Put all of the ingredients for the sauce into a jar or container with a lid. Shake vigorously!

Fourth, assemble your wraps. Use a chard leaf and add the tofu, veggies, and other toppers you have (I used pico de gallo, avocado, and feta cheese). Top with the cumin lime dressing.

Enjoy!

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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps {Crock Pot Recipe}

25 03 2014

Last week when I was in Madison, I spent a night at my friend Sandra’s house. Sandra and I work together and have bonded over some of our common interests: she has two adorable kitties, loves to cook, and has a food blog! After work on Tuesday night, she took me for some good ol’ Wisconsin cheese, and then we went back to her place to make some wontons and potstickers!

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Sandra had already prepared the filling- turkey, bell pepper, mushroom, and some spices and we just had to wrap em up!

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I watched her experienced hands form perfect little wontons, and then took a stab at it myself. Mine most certainly did not turn out as lovely as hers, but as we neared the final few I think I finally got the technique down.

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We boiled some, pan friend some others, and did the same for a few dumplings she had in the freezer.

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We made dipping sauces to our taste- using soy sauce, sesame  oil, rice vinegar, chili paste, and a touch of sugar. Normally there would be black vinegar in there, but Sandra was all out!

When we finally dug in (it took quite awhile to hand-wrap all those wontons!) it all became worth the effort. They were so incredibly delicious, I could have eaten an entire plate! Something about homemade dumplings is just so comforting! I don’t think wontons are something I’d typically make for myself, but if I’ve got an extra set of hands or two, I think they’d make a great party dish!

When I arrived home later in the week, I was craving those flavors again so I decided to make something a bit less time-intensive but with similar ingredients: Lettuce Wraps!

Lettuce Wraps

The filling was tempeh, water chestnuts, red bell pepper, mushrooms with a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. I let all that cook down in the crock pot while I went for a long bike ride. Dipping sauce was similar, but I added some garlic chili paste to that. Served with some iceberg leaves and some left over rice and voila! Easy peasy!

I’m sure you could make these with ground meat- pork, turkey or chicken would probably work best. You can suit the sauce to your tastes too- you don’t need to stick to my measurements. Play around and find what suits your taste buds best!

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Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients:

1 block tempeh
4 oz chopped baby bella mushrooms (1/2 a container)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 can chopped water chesnuts
2-3 green onions, chopped (add at the end)
1/4 cup soy sauce (more to taste)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBS brown sugar
Dipping sauce

How to:

1. Cut the tempeh into cubes and steam for about 5 minutes.

2. While the tempeh is steaming, chop your peppers and mushrooms.

3. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and brown sugar.

4. In a larger bowl, combine the tempeh, sauce, water chestnuts, peppers and mushrooms.

5. Refrigerate the filling for several hours (you can do this the night before, or I did it in the morning for a few hours before leaving for my ride)

6. Cook on low for about 6 hours in the crock pot.

7. Serve with lettuce leaves, rice, and the dipping sauce.

For dipping sauge, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic chili paste, and sugar to taste! Add less chili paste for less spicy! I typically do mostly soy, about half that amount of rice vinegar, a touch of sesame oil, chili paste, and sugar.





Broccoli, Mushroom, Quinoa Casserole

3 04 2013

One of my favorite side dishes that my mom makes every Easter is her Broccoli Cheese Bake.

Broccoli Cheese Bake

It’s one of those cheesy, creamy, delicious dishes that requires just about everything unhealthy: sour cream, loads of cheese, and condensed cream of mushroom soup. But that’s what makes it taste great, right?

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Unfortunately, this year I didn’t go home to enjoy it or any of the other deliciousness that she cooks up :-( Instead I was here in Tampa, just me and the kitties:-) So, I decided to make a recipe my friend Courtney has been telling me about- a Mushroom Quinoa Casserole from The Best Remedy Blog. I made a few swaps with the ingredients I had on hand: broccoli instead of kale, and goat cheese instead of sour cream. When it was all said and done, I had a yummy and healthy casserole- which was hearty enough to be a meal in itself, or a great side dish. The surprising bonus: it ended up tasting similar to my mom’s broccoli cheese bake!  Though it wasn’t oozing with cheese, the flavor was similar and I didn’t feel guilty about loading up on an extra large second helping!

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So, if you’re looking for a great side dish for your next family gathering, try this out!

Mushroom Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

Broccoli Mushroom Quinoa Casserole

Adapted from The Best Remedy Blog

Ingredients:

1.5 cups of dry quinoa
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped
1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 heaping cup broccoli, cut into tiny florets
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese (I used reduced fat)
4 ounces (a small log) goat cheese (allow to soften)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

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How to:

Prepare the quinoa. The ratio is typically 2:1 water to quinoa. So in a pot, combine 3 cups water and 1.5 cups quinoa. Turn on the stove and allow the water to start to boil. When it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and cover. The quinoa should be ready in about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.

Spray a baking dish (I used a 9 x 9 square dish) with olive oil or butter spray and set aside.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil. Then saute the onions until they are translucent.  Add in the mushrooms and allow them to brown a little and release some of their juices.  Stir every minute or so. Add the broccoli, and let it just begin to cook- it should turn brighter green!  Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute until fragrant and remove from heat.

Add the quinoa to the pan and stir until combined.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, goat cheese, red pepper flakes and salt.

Add the quinoa mixture to the cottage cheese mixture and stir until combined. Pour into your greased baking dish.

Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more, or until it is hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve!








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