Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chile Rellenos Casserole

I made this a couple of nights ago, but we had a last-minute glitch, so we didn't eat it until last night. It was good, but while I was making it (and confirmed last night), I was thinking that salsa instead of chiles would add a lot of flavor. I really think that, now! Ha!

So, here's what I did, along with the salsa suggestion and a guess as to quantity!

Serves 4

2 cans, 7 oz. each, whole green chiles, rinsed and seeded
1 large red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar cheese
8 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Opt.: 2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with canola oil (or olive oil) spray. Lay opened and cleaned chiles in a single layer on the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the bell pepper, shallot, and minced garlic over the chiles. Sprinkle the cheese over everything!

In a large bowl, mix eggs, milk, paprika, salt, and pepper with a fork or a whisk. Pour this mixture over the cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 40 minutes, or until the top is slightly browned. Remove from oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes to make cutting easier. Top each serving with cilantro, green onion, and optional tomatoes.

OPTION: Instead of using chiles, red pepper, shallot, and garlic, substitute 1 cup--this is the "guess" part!--of salsa. I think medium would be good--a little zip mitigated by the eggs, milk, and cheese. Finish the dish as directed above, and top with cilantro and green onions. I think this would taste great! AND it would be a lot easier than chopping stuff! Ha! Enjoy, either way!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Portabella Mushroom "Steaks"

Here's another use for marinated mushrooms (based on the "Portabella Mushroom Salad" mushroom marinade below).

You can actually marinate them to imbue them with the flavors of the marinade and end up with a texture similar to meat and a great flavor, and then you can heat them in a skillet and serve them that way over a salad (see "Portabella Mushroom Salad", June 3rd, 2010), or you can serve them on a plate with a baked potato and dressings and a salad or a scoop of peas, or any other side dish you like with steaks.

I haven't tried this, but I'm assuming you could also grill them briefly (after marinating them) to add that flavor to them, and then add them to salad or to a plate with side dishes.

Portabella Mushroom Salad

I've been playing with a raw food diet, and in the course of this playing, I've learned a couple of nifty tricks to make things taste cooked without any cooking! Woohoo!

One of these is marinating stuff I wouldn't have thought to marinate before. Marinades soften vegetables, so you still get the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes present in uncooked food, and you also get the feel of cooked vegetables in your mouth. For instance, if you take a vegetable peeler and make strips of zucchini (down to, but not including, the seeds) and marinate them, they end up feeling like pasta, but there's no heavy, bloated feeling that accompanies the pasta--at least, for me! Ha!

And the best part is that you can have tasty, feel-good food without cooking--which, in summer, absolutely works for me!

Serves 4 hearty appetites

For the mushrooms:
4 large portabella mushrooms, stems and gills removed, caps sliced in 1/4" widths
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbs. soy sauce
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
Pour the oil, soy sauce, and vinegar into a covered bowl. Shake well to mix. Add the mushroom slices. Shake again to coat. Refrigerate for several hours. The longer they're marinated, the better they taste! And don't worry about soy sauce giving them an Asian taste; when the mushrooms are added to everything else, the flavors blend well.

For the salad:
1 5-oz. bag salad greens
1 5-oz. bag baby spinach
1 beet, grated (I use my food processor--less mess! And beets are optional!)
1 large, or 6 "baby," carrots, grated
1/4 jicama, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 green onions, thinly sliced
Mix the greens and spinach. Divide them between 4 dinner plates. Separately sprinkle the grated beets, the grated carrots, and the jicama over the greens. Top with the green onion slices.

For the dressing:
1/4 c olive oil
1 1/2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/16 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
Add to a covered bowl and shake well to blend.

To serve:
Divide the salad between 4 plates. (See above.) Place the mushroom slices on the salad, spooning a little of the marinade over the mushrooms. Pour some of the dressing over each salad. You can serve this alone or with garlic bread. (Garlic bread isn't considered "raw!" Ha!) MMMMMM!