Category Archives: Vegetarian

A Step By Step Guide to Roasting Red Peppers

I’ve learned a lot about barbecuing this summer. 

1.  If you’re cooking fatty foods, stay close to the BBQ.
2.  Keep the heat on medium.
3.  If you don’t want your food to be completely black on the outside, preheat the BBQ and then turn off the burner under the food you’re cooking.
4.  How to roast red peppers.

There’s other things I’ve learned, but I’m going to keep this post short and sweet!

Roasted red peppers are delicious!  This is the first year I’ve made them, and they are so versatile!  You can make hummus with them, roasted red pepper sauce, throw them in pasta, put them in sandwiches… yum!  

Yes, you can buy roasted red peppers in a jar.  But, here, in my part of Canada, they’re expensive!  It’s around $6.00 for a jar (which isn’t very big), and I can buy peppers from the green house for $2.50 for 2 lbs!!!  And, I think they taste better fresh!  Plus, they’re very easy!

1.  Preheat your BBQ.  I like to turn all of my burners on high, and then turn them down once it’s hot. 

2.   Keep the heat on medium under your peppers, and turn the other burners off if you don’t need to use them.

3.  Wash and dry your peppers and put them whole on the BBQ.

4.  Wait about 2 minutes, until the first side is black, and turn them over (yes, this is one time when you want your food to be black!)

5.  When they look like this on all sides, they’re ready!

6.  Put them in a bowl:

7.  Cover them with plastic wrap (this allows them to steam and makes the skin really easy to remove):

8.  Wait until they’re cool, and then peel all of the skin off.  It’s usually really easy.  Whatever you do, don’t rinse them!  You’ll take away the smoky, delicious flavour! 

9.  Rip or cut them in half and remove the seeds and stem. 

10.  Voila!  You’ve got roasted red peppers to slice, puree or do what you please with!

Enjoy!

The Hungry Teacher

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Green Beans Galore!

Jamie Oliver's Best Ever French Beans

With summer in Chilliwack comes the fresh produce!  Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and green beans have been on the menu so far, and we’re eagerly waiting for our world-famous corn! 

Last night and tonight we had green beans.  Oh man!  There is nothing better than fresh green beans picked and eaten on the same day!

I made two different recipes, each good in its own way.  I think that the second one is my favourite, but that is probably because it is an old family recipe, one my grandma always made!  Grandma Jacob’s recipe seems a bit odd, but try it!  It is soo good! You’ll be pleasantly surprised!

To prep the green beans, pinch off the stem end, but leave the wispy end on.  Wash under running water. 

To cook the beans, boil a pan of salted water.  Put the beans in, and cook for 6-8 minutes, until tender, but still crisp.  It’s a bit of a personal thing, but cook them a bit under what you think is good, as both of the recipes will cook the beans a bit more.  Drain the beans in a colander and let steam dry for a minute.

Best Ever French Beans
Recipe adapted from Jamie’s Food Revolution
Serves 4-6

1 lb fresh green beans
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1-1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 a lemon

Prepare beans as noted above.  When you drain your beans, save some of the cooking water (about 1/2 cup or so).  Return the pan to the heat.  Add in some olive oil and the garlic.  Stir.  When the garlic starts to turn golden, add the beans and stir around.   Add a ladleful of reserved cooking water, the cheese and lemon juice.  Stir and simmer until the water and cheese start to form a sticky sauce, then remove from heat and serve immediately!

Grandma Jacob’s Green Beans
Old family recipe
Serves 4-6

1 lb green beans
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper

Prepare green beans as noted above.  Return the pan to the heat and add butter.  When the butter melts, stir in flour.  Add in the green beans and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir until the beans are coated.  Serve immediately!  So good!!!!

Enjoy summer’s bounty!
The Hungry Teacher

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Greek Pita Pizzas

So, we’re moving in two days to a house!  Yes, we bought our very first house– and it’s brand-new!   So, we’re pretty excited!   It’s so much work, and I’ve been trying to clean out my cupboards so I don’t have to pack so much.

I made these little pizzas on Saturday night for dinner and they were simple, delicious and inspiring!  A pita bread is the perfect canvas for a multitude of little pizzas, and it’s quick and easy!  I think they would be good with typical pizza toppings or anything that you can imagine.

Greek Pita Pizzas
Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
Serves 2

2 whole pita breads
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup torn spinach
1/3 crumbled feta cheese
1 small tomato, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Brush pitas with 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches from the heat for 2 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine remaining oil, olives, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper.  Spread over pita.  Top with spinach, feta cheese, tomatoes and parmesan.  Broil 3 minutes longer, or until cheese is melted.

XOXO,
The Hungry Teacher

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Fritatta– Pefect for Earth Day

Earth Day is coming up on Thursday, April 22.

There are lots of little things that we can do to help our earth.  One big thing that we can do is to eat locally.  Eating locally is a bit of a craze these days, but it’s a great thing to do!  The book, “The 100 Mile Diet” by Alisa Smith and James (JB) MacKinnon illustrates this concept really well, and it’s a great read.

Eating locally allows you to support the farmers and other members of your community.  Produce especially tastes much better when it is eaten in season.  Farm fresh eggs have beautiful golden yolks that are unlike anything you can get at the grocery store (on my last dozen of farm eggs, I had 2 double yolkers!)

Another thing you can do is to reduce the amount of meat you eat.  I pretty much have to sneak meatless recipes into my house, because of my meat-loving husband, but he’s a good sport and will humour me once in a while.

Now, onto the recipe.  The beautiful thing about a fritatta is that it can be made with anything you have on hand.  It’s perfect for those veggies and pieces of cheese that are leftover in your fridge.  It can also be made in about ten minutes from start to finish!  My frittata had ham (although, this is definitely optional!), cheese, sundried tomatoes and some Italian seasoning in it.  If you are going to use “hard” vegetables (onions, potatoes) sautee them in a bit of olive oil before making the fritatta.  A fritatta is a perfect canvas to play around with, as the options are really limitless!  Some ideas are onions and potatoes, 4 cheese, cherry tomatoes and fresh basil… the list goes on and on! Let me know if you have any amazing combinations to try!  The leftovers taste great the next day–  heated up in the microwave or eaten cold!

Fritatta
Recipe adapted from David Rocco’s Dolce Vita
Serves 4

Beat 6-8 eggs in a bowl with a fork.  Add in whatever chopped veggies and cheese you would like to add.  Add in some salt and pepper and maybe some herbs (I added some Italian seasoning to mine).  Take a large frying pan and heat it over medium heat with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil.  Add in the egg mixture and heat for a couple of minutes.  Once the bottom begins to set, turn down the heat and place a lid over the top.  Cook for a few more minutes, or until the fritatta is set all the way through!  Cut into wedges and enjoy with a green salad!

Enjoy!
XOXO
The Hungry Teacher

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7-Layer Dip

This was meant to be posted on Friday night.  But, I decided to bake cookies instead and didn’t get around to posting it.  Then, after spending all weekend in Vancouver at the Olympics, I needed a night of rest.  Hence, this post is a few days late.  But maybe you can have this dip for your Friday night meal, like I had it for mine last weekend!

After last week, I know why I plan my meals each week! 

1.  I like knowing what I’m having each night for dinner.
2.  Going to the grocery store after work each night isn’t fun.
3.  Spending time after school looking for recipes isn’t exactly the best use of my time
4. I like knowing what’s for dinner each night (wait, did I say that already?)

I am a routine oriented person.  I love my routines, which is probably why I love teaching grade 3 and 4.  I get to make the routines and keep them! 

So, when I wasn’t teaching today, I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner.  After school I decided to look on one of my favourite recipe blogs, www.simplyrecipes.com, which is a fantastic blog, by the way!  I clicked on “Quick Meals” and the first thing to come up was 7-Layer Dip.  Probably because the list was alphabetical, and numbers came before the actual alphabet.

I’m not sure if I’ve said this already in another post, but I love appetizers, and especially dip.  So, when a dip came up under quick meals, I thought…. why not make dip for dinner?  It’s really ingenious, if you think about it!!  It’s actually not THAT unhealthy.  It’s got beans (protein), sour cream and cheese (dairy), avocado, tomato and jalapenos (veggies) plus chips (grains).  So, basically, I have a meal that encompasses every food group (at least all the ones that matter; tomatoes are actually a fruit, you know!).

So, I did it.  Dip and only dip for dinner.  I feel like I’m breaking a cardinal rule and my mom would disapprove.  But, I called her while I was making dinner, and she helped me justify it.  Thanks, Mom!  I made some adjustments to the dip, and it was so good! 

The recipe calls for bacon or bacon fat.  This is the first time in my life I have actually seen a recipe that calls for bacon fat.  My grandma used to keep a coffee can of bacon fat on the stove, and I always wondered why.  I’m still not sure I would keep bacon fat, but at least now I have a recipe that calls for it.  If you omit this, the recipe is vegetarian!

7-Layer Bean Dip
Recipe adapted from http://simplyrecipes.com/
Makes 8 servings (or more like 2-3 for dinner.  I was hungry!)

1 strip of bacon, minced (or 1 tsp bacon fat), optional
1-14 oz can refried beans (I used a can of refried black beans– low-fat…)
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 – 1/2 tsp cumin
Salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (you could also use Monterey Jack)
1 Tbsp of chopped pickled jalapenos (more to taste)
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
1 tomato, cut in half horizontally, seeds and juice squeezed out and discarded, flesh chopped
1/3 cup of sour cream
1 small can of sliced olives

Cook the bacon in a medium pan until crisp.  Add in the refried beans.  Stir in enough water to get a good dipping consistency.  I added about 2 Tbsp, the original recipe called for about 1/4 cup.  Mix in the chipotle chili powder and cumin to taste.  I also misread the recipe and mixed in my chopped jalapenos here.  And I added more to the top.  It was spicy and oh-so-delicious!  Make it a bit spicier than you think you will like it, because the avocados and sour cream will cool it down.  Stir in some salt to taste. 

When the beans are hot and bubbly, spread them on a warm serving dish (I used a dinner plate).  Immediately add the Cheddar cheese so it melts a bit.  Layer on the chopped jalapenos, avocado and tomato.  Spoon the sour cream on over top and sprinkle over the olives. 

Serve immediately with tortilla chips.  I highly recommend having a few people over when you have this, unless you want to eat it all.  You won’t be able to stop.  My husband and I ate almost the whole thing for dinner.  And yes, it was totally worth having dip for dinner. 

Enjoy this!!!
XOXO,
The Hungry Teacher

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Cuban Black Beans and Rice

In May, we went to Cuba for my brother-in-law’s wedding.  The wedding was in Varadero (where we went for our honeymoon).  While we were there, we had the opportunity to go into Havana for a couple of days.  Havana is an interesting, incredible city, full of unique sights and sounds that are uniquely Cuban.  While we were there, we went for a dinner in someone’s house (it was kind of a restaurant in a house).   We had a feast there!  One of the dishes that was my favourite was Black Beans and Rice. 

These are pictures of some of the sights and sounds of Havana.

I have been looking for a recipe to try since we got back.  Well, when reading blogs, I came across this recipe on Peanut Butter & Jargon.  I decided I had to give it a try! 

This dish is delicious!  While it is not authentic, like the beans and rice we tried in Cuba, it was so good!  It’s hard to convince my carnivorous husband that a meatless meal is okay occasionally.  I managed to convince him to try it.  He enjoyed it as much as I did!  Beans and rice together form a complete protein, so it’s a complete meal in a bowl!  Yum!

This meal is so quick to make!  The original recipe calls for cilantro, but for some reason, I don’t like cilantro, so I omitted it.  If you like it, you can add some chopped cilantro to the top for garnish and flavour.  If I had some, I would have used parsley as a substitute. 

Cuban Black Beans and Rice
adapted from Peanut Butter & Jargon
Serves 3-4

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 tsp chili powder
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
2-14 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed (for some reason, 14 oz cans of black beans are not sold here, so I used 2 19 oz cans of beans.  It worked out just fine!)
1/3 cup water
hot sauce, to taste (I added quite a bit of Tabasco)
1 bay leaf
cooked rice

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, red pepper and garlic, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chili powder, cumin and oregano.  Cook and stir for 30 seconds.  Add the diced tomatoes, black beans, water, hot sauce and bay leaf.  Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.  Remove the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve over the rice.  I put some grated Cheddar cheese on top of ours.  Delicious!!

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