Posts tagged ‘asiago cheese’

Kale and lentil potato bake

We all need to eat more leafy greens like kale and more lentils. Here is a recipe to help you do that! If you don’t like asiago cheese, try substituting mozzarella. I can’t believe that some people don’t like asiago, but apparently it’s true.

You’ll notice that there is a three-stage baking process with this dish. This is to help minimize the time it takes to bake the potatoes. Also, I like to add the kale right at the end so it doesn’t cook for too long – I think it tastes better this way and I’m sure it helps to retain more vitamins.

1-1/2 pound of potatoes, thinly sliced (about 4 baking potatoes or 8-10 mini potatoes)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup French lentils
2 cups of water
1 cup red wine
1 cup of shredded cabbage or raddicchio
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded kale
1 cup asiago cheese, grated

Layer potatoes in a greased casserole dish. Heat oven to 425F and put potatoes in oven while preparing rest of ingredients (this will help you get a head start on the baking time required to soften the potatoes).

Saute the onions and garlic in oil until softened, about five minutes. Rinse the lentils and add them to the pan with the garlic and onions. Add in mushrooms, half of the thyme, salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly, and then stir in the wine. Cook until the wine boils down and then add the water. Simmer for five to ten minutes until the lentils are just barely tender. Stir in the cabbage and remove from heat.

Take the half cooked potatoes out of the oven and pour the lentil mixture over top. Stir it around a bit to distribute the mixture with the potatoes and then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, bring the dish back out again and stir in the kale and sprinkle with the cheese and remaining thyme. Return to the oven for another five to ten minutes until cheese is lightly browned. Serve with salad and a glass of red wine and bask in your healthy glow.


May 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm 3 comments

Macaroni and cheese

Great mac and cheese is the holy grail of comfort food. I’ve been making the dish for a couple of years now and it has always been tasty, but never quite right. Until now. I think I’ve finally learned to cook my personal vision of perfect macaroni and cheese: creamy, cheesy, simple and delicate in texture and taste with a bit of heat from paprika.

I made this recently and there are two things I did differently than normal. First, I used tiny little bow-shaped pasta. Second, I added the pasta directly to the creamy sauce and cooked it in that until al dente. I haven’t tried it with a larger pasta like penne yet, but with these tiny little noodles (see photo below of their size next to a fork) it worked beautifully. Also easier and less clean-up.

The recipe below makes enough for a generous serving for two people. Double or triple for a larger crowd. It’s equally good served creamy right from the stovetop or baked with a simple breadcrumb topping. Serve with a green salad on the side.

Macaroni and cheese
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (thyme, oregano, parsley, chives etc)
1-1/2 cups water
2 cups milk
250g mini-pasta shapes
2 cups of grated cheese (I used cheddar and asiago)
1 chopped tomato
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of paprika
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Saute onions and garlic in butter until softened. Stir in flour and herbs. Add in water and stir until smooth. Stir in dried pasta and add remaining milk. Stir continuously over medium heat until the pasta softens, about 10 minutes. Add a splash of water or milk if you find the sauce is boiling down too much. When the pasta is very close to being done, stir in the cheese until it melts and then add chopped tomato. From here you can dish it into bowls with a sprinkle of paprika and fresh ground pepper. Or if you like your mac and cheese baked, pour the pasta into a greased casserole dish, sprinkle with breadcrumbs, paprika and pepper and bake for 10 minutes at 425F. (more…)

May 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm Leave a comment

Scalloped potatoes

I’ve had a craving for comfort food lately. It’s winter, cold and miserable outside, plus dark, so not much wonder why. Scalloped potatoes crossed my mind. Although I haven’t made it in years and didn’t have the ambition to look up a recipe, it’s a pretty simple concept and I decided it would be worth winging it. Success! Yum. Double yum. Why wasn’t I making these before? I could have ate the whole dish myself. I served the potatoes with baked salmon and french lentils – what a great dinner. (more…)

January 2, 2010 at 2:35 pm 1 comment

Tomato Basil Sauce (taste of summer)

This summer I spent a whole day chopping up a 25lb box of tomatoes and cooking them into a tomato basil sauce that could be stored away for winter. Well, winter is here. No doubt about that. It’s snowy and cold here in Calgary, and it was frosty even in Vancouver, where we spent the Christmas week.

So, freshly home from our trip and with not much food in the fridge, it was time to bring out a jar of that heavenly sauce for a simple pasta meal. I added a small tin of tomato paste to it along with about 2 cups of fresh spinach, some finely chopped almonds, grated asiago and hot chili flakes and served it over brown rice pasta for a delicious, simple supper that tasted just like summer. Vegetarian and gluten free, of course.

The recipe for the sauce is below. I highly recommend devoting a day next summer to finding a big box of tomatoes and making it. It was a beautiful way to spend a day, and the experience of pulling out a jar of your own tomato sauce in winter time is about a million times better than opening up a jar of Prego. (more…)

December 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm 2 comments

Chard and asiago strata

chard and asiago strata

In addition to muffins and scones, egg stratas are a big part of our weekend breakfast menu. I’ve written about this before, but after enjoying a new recipe today, I thought it would be worth revisiting. Strata, in my opinion, is one of the foods that actually tastes BETTER made with gluten-free ingredients – rice bread makes the dish much softer and fluffier than a wheat-based bread.


September 5, 2009 at 10:44 am Leave a comment

Roasted cauliflower risotto

cauliflower risotto

A recent trip to the market yielded a giant head of fresh cauliflower from Beck’s Farm in Innisfail, Alberta, along with some locally grown garlic and onions. After browsing the recipes in this month’s Canadian Living magazine I decided to try their cauliflower risotto recipe. Here’s my version of it, with a few small tweaks. It was delicious! (more…)

August 25, 2009 at 10:12 pm 2 comments

Rainbow chard potato bake

potato bake

Tonight was one of those nights when I had to fight the urge to opt out of making dinner. We have an a couple of really good takeout options nearby that offer real food on the quick (the delicious handmade burritos with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cilantro and fresh tortillas at Si Senor in Calgary’s Kensington neighbourhood are a particular favourite). But we try to reserve take out as a treat for the truly exhausted days only. I was just feeling lazy today, so there was no reason not to cook.

I decided to make a “whatever’s in the fridge” creation. This is actually my favourite way to cook. As long as you’ve got a few things, the result is usually pretty good, and more so because it’s something new and unexpected. We had potatoes and a bit of asparagus from last weekend’s trip to the farmer’s market, and we received a gorgeous bundle of rainbow chard from Hotchkiss Farms courtesy of this week’s order from Spud. There are lots of herbs growing on the deck and we also had asiago cheese from Springbank Cheese Company. I had the idea of a gratin in my head so I ran with that. It was a complete success – so delicious! Here’s the recipe. It’s perfect on its own for a simple supper. You could also serve it as a side dish with grilled fish and salad for something more substantial.

Rainbow chard potato bake

Slice potatoes into thin rounds and pile into a microwave / oven safe baking dish (I used a 12″ round Corningware dish). The potatoes should fill the dish about halfway (4-5 medium potatoes). Microwave them for 10 minutes to soften while you’re chopping the other vegetables.

Finely chop one small to medium sized onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Saute with a splash of oil until onion is soft. Add in 1 cup chopped mushroom and continue cooking until mushrooms are soft and onion is golden brown. Pour in 1 cup of white wine (or 1/2 cup wine and 1/2 cup of water if you’d rather drink more of the wine) to deglaze the pan. Cook for a minute or two until everything has bubbled together. Add in 1 cup of asparagus chopped into 2″ pieces and 3 cups of coarsely chopped rainbow or swiss chard. Cook for 2-3 minutes until chard has wilted. Stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley, oregano and thyme). Pour vegetables over potatoes, season with fresh ground pepper and mix together.

Top potato mixture with 1/2 cup grated asiago cheese (cheddar or gouda would probably also be great) and sprinkle some fresh chives over top of the cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 375F.

July 1, 2009 at 8:54 pm 1 comment

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