Not too little, not too much

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash 11/02/2010

Filed under: Main dish,Salads,Seeds,Squash,Vegan,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 21:44
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Amaranth

Amaranth was one of the main food sources for the Aztecs, who also used it in religious rituals. Cultivation ended almost completely after Spanish conquistadors made growing the plant a punishable offense. Today, both farmers and anyone interested in nutrition are showing increasing interest in the plant because it has more protein (15 percent to 18 percent of calories) than most other grains (8 to 15 percent of calories). It also contains more lysine and methionine, amino acids not provided by many common grains. Combined with other grains, it can provide a complete balance of amino acids. Amaranth is also a source of calcium and magnesium and contains more iron than almost any other grain. The amaranth plant has long clusters of red flowers and grows to a height of 1 to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 3 feet. It produces tiny seeds—up to 500,000 per plant. These seeds can be cooked and eaten as a grain or popped, sprouted, or ground into flour that has a strong, nutty flavor. Amaranth flour can range from a light yellow to dark violet, although most amaranth flour sold in stores is buff-colored. Pasta can be made from amaranth flour, and amaranth oil is obtained from the plant’s seeds. The green leaves and stalk of amaranth (also called pigweed) can be cooked and eaten. The leaves have a taste similar to that of spinach.

Preparation Tips
Amaranth flour does not contain gluten, which means baked goods containing it will not rise as desired and will be crumbly. It can be used in baked goods, but it should be combined with wheat flour (which contains gluten) in recipes for muffins, bread, cookies,or pastries. Because it has a nutty, assertive flavor, you may want to experiment somewhat with how much amaranth flour to add to recipes. Amaranth’s nutritional advantages, however, make adding it to baked
goods worthwhile. Amaranth seeds also can be cooked and eaten as a cereal. Or, they can be popped by adding them a tablespoon at a time to a hot, ungreased skillet. They take just a few minutes to pop.

Serving Suggestions
In addition to using amaranth in baked goods as described above, amaranth can be substituted for flour in pancake or waffle recipes. Cinnamon particularly complements its flavor in both of these breakfast favorites. Amaranth leaves can be substituted for spinach in salads or cooked dishes. Popped amaranth seeds can be used as a garnish or topping or in breading recipes.

 

Amaranth Salad stuffed Carnival Squash


Ingredients

3 carnival squashes

1 onion

few garlic cloves

parsley

1/2 to 2/3 cup of  amaranth

frozen corn

frozen peas

carrot

bell pepper

dried cranberries

 

 

Directions

Cut a small cap and clean the squashes

 

Put the cap back on. In a ovenproof casserole dish pout about 1/3 cup water and arrange the squashes.Cover well with aluminum foil.

 

Bake at 400 F for about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the amaranth (1/2 cup amaranth in 1 cup water) simmering it in a covered pan until the water is absorbed.

 

In another pan, boil the corn and peas for 2-3 minutes.

 

In a bowl mix onion, garlic, bell pepper, cranberries, corn, peas, amaranth, parsley and carrot. Season to taste.

 

Remove the squashes from the oven, take off the cap and stuff them with the amaranth salad.

 

Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 more minutes, until the squash is cooked.

 

Serve hot.

 

inside view 😛

 

one more

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Baba Ghanoush and Pide Ekmeği 10/28/2010

No, no, I’m not going to write in Turkish, I only kept the fancy names of what I’m about to write.

I should have written this post yesterday but, due to weather conditions, my internet connection was on and off and I just gave up after a while.

Last couple of days, I’ve been baking every day, not that my neighbors are complaining 😛 . Sometimes I get this baking mood and I bake everyday something else. I’d bake from dawn till sunset if it is up to me 😛 , on the other hand there are days when I have to make bread and just don’t feel like doing it 😦 . I wonder if I’m the only one that feels like this.

 

The other day I made some Yumuşacık Poğaça, still Turkish he he

 

 

The recipe for this lovely breads you can find it on Zerrin‘s website, http://www.giverecipe.com/fluffy-pogaca.html I’m sure that most of you know her, and those who don’t, pay her a visit, you’ll thank or hate me later LOL

I also made some cinnabons  (I’ll post the recipe tomorrow)

 

Yesterday, I made Baba Ghanoush and Pide Ekmeği that stands for eggplant dip and Turkish flat bread

 

Baba Ghanoush (there are a lots of versions of this eggplant dip, this one is my favorite)

 

Ingredients

2-3 eggplants (little over 2 pounds)

juice of 1 lemon

2-3 tbsp tahini paste

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

handful of parsley

few garlic cloves

pinch of cayenne

 

 

Directions

 

Pierce the eggplants several times with a fork.

 

Turn the broiler on and roast the eggplants until very soft and wrinkled.

 

When cooled, carefully peel the skin away.

 

In a food processor, combine the eggplants, lemon juice, olive oil, tahini paste, garlic, parsley, cayenne pepper, salt and puree them.

 

Serve with flat bread

 

 

Pide Ekmeği – I’ve tried different combinations for this recipe and this time I substituted the water with mineral water, and, oh boy, this is the one I kept looking for, the perfect bread to be dipped in good olive oil and nothing else

 

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp dry yeast (little over 1 sachet dry yeast)

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp yogurt

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp sugar

mineral water (about 1 cup)

1 egg for brushing

nigella or sesame seeds, to sprinkle

 

Directions

Cream the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Leave 5 minutes.

 

 

Pour the mixture over sifted flour. Add olive oil, yogurt and salt.

 

Start mixing adding mineral water until the dough is very soft and moist.

 

 

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it raise until double.

 

Divide the dough in two balls

 

Roll them out (about 1/2 inch thick) and put them on baking trays

 

Turn the oven on to 450F. While the oven is heating,  indent the surface of the breads with your fingers and brush them with egg and sprinkle with nigella or sesame seeds.

 

Bake them for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden.

 

 

Thanks for reading, hope I didn’t bother you too much.

 

Vegetables Bulgur Pilaf 10/19/2010

Yesterday, while reading  Yesim’s blog ( http://yesimstylekitchen.blogspot.com/2010/07/bulghur-pilaf-with-eggplant-etli-bulgur.html if you like Turkish cuisine you should pay her a visit) my mind took me back, years ago, to my first trip to Turkey. Back then I wasn’t paying so much attention to food (not that I do now) and tried for the first time bulgur, I still remember the dish bulgur piluvi. Tho the nut-like flavor, the taste, the feel were new to me I enjoyed it and asked for seconds. Years past and I got married and one day I cooked some bulgur for my husband (who’s the pickiest eater I’ve ever met) liked it too and since then every time I make bulgur or rice I have to make at least 4  servings  😛

Bulgur is a type of cracked wheat that has been steam-cooked and dried. Because of this, it does not require as much cooking time as other whole-wheat products. Bulgur is used for making tabbouleh (a well-known Middle East cuisine favorite), cereal, and pilaf. It is available in a variety of grinds, from fine to coarse or from #1 to #4.

 

 

Ingredients

1 1/2 cup bulgur

2 onions

2-3 tomatoes

1 potato

1-2 zucchini

chili pepper, mine was a habanero

3 cups stock

olive oil

dill, mint (fresh is possible)

salt, pepper

 

 

Directions

 

Heat a little oil in a heavy based pan and cook the onion and chili

 

 

Add the bulgur and diced potato, stir well and cook for 1 more minute.

 

Add 2 1/2cups of stock and tomatoes and simmer until almost all the stock has been absorbed.

 

Since I don’t like mushy zucchini I added them almost when the bulgur is done with another 1/2 cup stock.

 

Simmer for 3-5 more minutes,  add chopped dill and mint, remove from heat, cover and let rest for about 10 minutes.

 

Serve warm as a side or main dish.

 

 

 

Stuffed Delicata Squash with Barley Salad 10/09/2010

The other day when I was into town I bought 2 delicata squashes thinking what a flavorful soup I’m going to make out of them, but of course I changed my mind and today I decided and stuff them with some fall salad. So, browsing the internet I ran into some recipes more or less tempting. I picked something from each one and came up with my version with stuffed delicata, of course mostly based on what I already had in my pantry 😛

 

 

Ingredients

2 delicata squashes*

1/3 cup pearl barley

1 small apple

1 small carrot

2 green onions

parsley

pine nuts

dried cranberries

olive oil

salt and pepper

*my husband doesn’t like baked squash so I only baked one for me and Tiffany, my baby girl

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cut the squashes lengthwise and seed them. Brush the squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the squash cut side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat a little olive oil and fry the barley for 2-3 minutes.
Add 2/3 cup water, salt and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat until all the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Leave it to cool slightly in the pan.
Toast the pine nuts, dice the carrot and apple, chop and onion and parsley and mix them all. Add your favorite dressing (in my case lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil) and toss well.
Add the cooled barley to the salad and mix.
When the squashes are cooked fill them with barley salad.
Serve immediately.
 

Vegan Acorn Squash Risotto 10/06/2010

Filed under: Coconut,Main dish,Rice,Side dish,Squash,Vegan,Vegetarian — Roxana GreenGirl {A little bit of everything} @ 20:24
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Yesterday I was in the mood for some squash and my husband wanted rice so to make 2 in 1 meal I decided to go with  pumpkin risotto. By the time I had my acorn squash peeled and seeded i changed my mind about the traditional risotto and give it a Asian touch and this is how this creamy risotto was born without the help of cream or cheese

 

 

Ingredients

 

1 acorn squash (mine had about 1 pound after cleaning)

onion

olive oil

10 oz arborio rice

2 14 oz cans coconut milk

3-4 cups vegetable stock

1/2 tbsp nutmeg

 

Directions

Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Add the squash and onion, stir well and cook for about 3-7 minutes until they start to soften. I prefer the acorn to melt till the risotto is done so I cut it in tiny chunks, but it can be cut in bigger ones. Near mix the coconut milk with 3 cups stock and pun it over low heat just to have it warm when it has to be added to the pan.

 

 

When the onion and squash start to soften add the arborio rice and stir to fry it for 1 minute.

 

 

Start adding coconut-stock mixture, one ladle at a time.

 

 

If the rice is not done and the coconut stock is out, add more vegetable stock.  At the end add the nutmeg and stir well.

 

 

Serve as a side or main dish.

 

 

 
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