Musing on food and cooking ...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Not a Winner

Sadly, it has become obvious that I am not going to be a finalist in the Cooking Light recipe contest. As a friend said, maybe my food is too strange to appeal to a majority of the magazines readers. Possibly. I might also have disqualified myself as I forgot to put serving sizes on my entries. Oh well. I still think the recipes are very good, and so, share them here with you!

By the way, feel free to ignore the brand-name ingredients in the recipes. They were required by the rules of the contest.

Asian Pear Crisp

5 Asian pears (about six cups, diced)

juice of half a lemon

1 Tablespoon Chinese five spice

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, diced

2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour


1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup steel-cut Irish oats

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup Kerrygold butter, melted

2 Tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Wash the Asian pears. Core them and then dice them into a large dice. Place the pears in a mixing bowl and toss with the juice of half a lemon.

3. Toss the fruit with the Chinese five spice, diced ginger, and flour.

4. Spread the mixture in the bottom of a 9 x 11 (or similar size) baking dish.

5. In a small mixing bowl, combine the two types of oats and the dark brown sugar. Mix well to be sure the ingredients are well incorporated.

6. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. When butter is just melted, add the honey, stirring until the honey is dissolved.

7. Pour the honey butter mixture into the oat mixture. Mix well.

8. Spread the topping over the pears and then bake for approximately 40 minutes in the 400 degree F oven, until the topping is nicely browned and the pears are tender.

Serves 8

Indian-style Shepherd’s Pie

1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek

1 Tablespoon cumin seed

1 Tablespoon ground coriander

1 Tablespoon sweet curry powder

1 bag Birds Eye Steamfresh mixed vegetables

1 jar Newman’s Own marinara sauce


½ pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

½ pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces

3 cloves garlic

½ t. brown mustard seeds

½ cup chopped cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces, trimming any excess fat.

3. Put onions into a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once the onions are just starting to turn translucent, add chicken, garlic, and ginger.

4. Cook until chicken is nearly cooked, at least 15 minutes. Then add fenugreek, cumin, coriander, and sweet curry powder. Mix well, and then add the package of frozen mixed veggies.

5. Cook the chicken and vegetable mixture until the vegetables are thawed and have released a lot of their liquid. Then add one jar of marinara sauce. Stir well. Turn off heat, and let rest while you prepare the potato topping.

6. Put the russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and three cloves garlic into a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain water and return potatoes and garlic to the pan for mashing. Mash and then stir in the brown mustard seeds.

7. Transfer the chicken and vegetable mixture into a 9 x 11 baking dish. Top with potato mixture. Put into a 400 degree F oven for about 30 minutes until the chicken and vegetable mixture is hot and bubbly. Before serving, sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serves 6-8.

Sweet and Spicy Lentil Sloppy Joes

2 cups dry French green lentils

1 bay leaf

1 T dried savory leaves

2 T olive oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup diced poblano pepper

½ cup diced sweet green bell pepper

1 t chipotle powder

1 T tomato paste

1 Jar Newman’s Own marinara

1 T rice vinegar

1 T dark brown sugar

Pick through the lentils removing any stones. Place lentils, bay leaf, and savory into a five quart sauce pan and fill pan with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer for about 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils in a colander and remove the bay leaf. Put the lentils back in the sauce pan and set aside.

Put olive oil in a 12 inch skillet and heat. Dice one medium onion and mince three cloves garlic and put them in the oil. Sauté until onion is translucent. Then add the diced poblano and the green bell pepper. Cook until the peppers just starts to soften and then add the chipotle powder and the tomato paste. Stir and then cook the mixture for about three minutes and add the marinara sauce, the rice vinegar and the brown sugar. Cook until heated through.

Pour the tomato mixture onto the lentils in the sauce pan and stir well. Cook on low heat until mixture is hot. Serve on a whole wheat bun.

Serves 6-8.

Smokey Chickpea Salad

2 cans Bushes Best garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

1 bunch green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 T honey

1 T smoked paprika

1. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and place them in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped green onions and mix gently.

2. Put olive oil, lemon juice, honey, and smoked paprika in a small lidded jar and shake to mix.

3. Pour dressing over the garbanzo beans and toss gentle. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let the salad rest for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 6

Italian White Bean Soup

2 t olive oil

5 links Al Fresco Sweet Italian Style chicken sausage

1 t fennel seed

2 32 ounce cans of fire-roasted whole tomatoes

2 14.5 ounce cans of Bushes Best cannellini beans

1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and chopped.

1. Place 2 teaspoons olive oil in the bottom of soup pan. Remove casings from the chicken sausage and crumble it into the olive oil.

2. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the sausage is almost completely cooked and then add fennel seed.

3. Pour in the two cans of fire-roasted whole tomatoes. Use your soup spoon to break up the whole tomatoes. Then add the two cans of cannellini beans. Cook soup on medium heat, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, or until it is hot.

4. Just before serving, add in the fresh spinach.

Serves 6

Wild Rice and Blueberry Sausage Muffins

1 cup cooked wild rice

2 Eggland eggs, lightly beaten

3 T olive oil

1 cup low-fat milk

1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 T baking powder

½ t salt

1 cup blueberries

8 links Al Fresco wild blueberry breakfast chicken sausage, diced

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Mix the wild rice, eggs, olive oil, and milk in a medium mixing bowl.

3. Sift flour, baking power, and salt together in a separate bowl.

4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing thoroughly, but just until all the ingredients are blended.

5. Stir the blueberries and the blueberry chicken sausage into the mixture gently.

6. Place muffin liners into a muffin pan and spoon batter into the liners. Fill each liner about ¾ of the way full.

7. Bake in the 425 degree F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown.

Makes about 18 muffins. Serves 18.

Curried Bean and Rice Salad

1 small can of Bushes Best black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups cooked brown rice

¼ cup slivered almonds
1 cup golden raisins
1 bunch green onions, chopped

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup lemon juice

1 T honey
1 T sweet curry powder
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put beans, brown rice, almonds, raisins, and green onions in a mixing bowl. Stir to mix,

2. Put olive oil, lemon juice, honey and curry powder in a small lidded jar and shake to incorporate.

3. Pour dressing over the bean and rice mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rest for at least one hour before serving.

Serves 4.


Little Merry Sunshine said...

Didn't you make the Asian Pear Crisp and Indian Style Shepard's Pie for Sheleata Kanatuna's wake earlier this year or was that for the Elvis Birthday Party at Tim and Tony's? Anyway, as I recall, they were both amazing. And if those weren't the two dishes you brought, whatever they were, I LOVED them.

I don't care what Cooking Light thinks, you're ALWAYS a winner in my book, GG!

GourmetGoddess said...

Yes to both; I served them at the wake. And I think all these recipes are pretty darn great, although the Italian White Bean Soup recipe is, of course, better with full-fat Italian sausage!

Little Merry Sunshine said...

Isn't EVERYTHING better with full-fat Italian sausage?

jenn said...

And I LOVED the sloppy joes -- I am excited to make them sometime...if I ever get cooking again.