Sunday, March 24, 2013

Passover Recipes: Matzo Lasagna & Vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup

Looking for tasty Passover dishes? Indulgent Matzo Lasagna is one of my most viewed recipes and you can't go wrong with my vegetarian Matzo Ball Soup:

Looking for a tasty recipe for Passover? Check out this recipe for Matzo Lasagna. It's a crowd pleaser!

Like any great lasagna, this recipe includes ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce, garlic and fresh oregano:
But it uses Matzo in place of the pasta sheets:

The trick is to soak the matzo in warm water (or wine), so it's not too dry and crumbly. Otherwise, you could follow any vegetarian lasagna dish and simply substitute soaked matzo for the pasta.


9 pieces matzo, softened in warm water or wine
Your favorite marinara sauce
1 pound ricotta cheese, part skim if possible
5 cups of spinach - chopped fine
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup Parmasean cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Put the ricotta in a bowl and mix with the spinach, spices, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and 1/4 c. of the mozzarella.

Cover the bottom of a baking pan with some of the matzo. Cover with some of the sauce. Cover sauce with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

Put some more matzo on top of the cheese and continue the process until all is used up making sure that top of lasagna is matzo and some sauce.

On the top, spread the remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.


Farmers' Market Matzo Ball Soup:

I box of matzo ball mix (mine required 2 eggs, and some vegetable oil)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large stalks of green garlic, sliced
1 medium leek, sliced
3 baby potatoes, diced
1-1/2 cups of sliced carrots (I used red, yellow, and orange)
32 fl oz organic vegetable broth (I used Trader Joe's)
I cup water
1 tsp green olive paste
1/3 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper

Prepare the matzo balls according to the directions. I had to refridgerate mine for 15 minutes. Be sure to make the balls small; they'll swell with cooking.

In a soup pot, heat the vegetable oil and add the green garlic, leek and diced potatoes. Cover and cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots and vegetable broth, water, and bring the to a boil. Add the matzo balls and turn to a simmer. Add the green olive paste and half of the chopped parsely. Simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Season, and add the rest of the parsley. Serve!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick's Day Quiche with Kale, Leeks & Potato

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

As we've been enjoying sunny warm weather here, this year's St. Patrick's Day dish took traditional Irish ingredients and turned them into a light, flavorful quiche.  Kale, leeks, potatoes and Irish Cheddar made a delicious combination with the eggs and crisp pastry crust.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

I boiled some little fingerling potatoes and dino kale separately until just tender. I sliced the cooked potatoes and drained the kale, squeezed as much water out of the cooked kale as I could, then chopped it fine.  A leek was sliced then sauteed in lovely, salty Kerrygold butter, then I added the kale to the leeks as soon as I turned off the heat to dry it out a little more.

I use a quiche custard recipe adapted from The Green's Cookbook by Deborah Madison. I use 2 eggs, plus one egg yolk, which are beaten with enough half-and-half to make a total of 1 1/2 cups of custard.  Add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

I used a premade frozen pie crust. I always put it on a baking sheet before I add the custard so it easily makes it to the oven without spilling.  I covered the bottom of the crust with grated Kerrygold Irish cheddar cheese, added 2/3 of the kale/leek mixture over the top and placed some potato slices evenly around the quiche. I then add the egg custard and top it off with the rest of the kale/leeks mixture a few more potato slices and a little more grated cheddar.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until a sharp knife in the center produces no liquid.

Pretty and delicious!

For more St. Patrick's Day recipe, follow the link below.

St. Patrick's Day recipes from previous years

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Lentil, Farro, Asparagus & Mushroom Salad

Spring just around the corner, and good-quality and reasonably-priced asparagus making a show in our local stores inspired this delicious, high-protein, vegan salad of lentils, farro, roasted asparagus and portobello mushrooms.

It took quite a few pans to create this healthful dish, but it's still easy to make and worth the washing up.   I cheated by using Trader Joe's pre-cooked lentils (3/4 cup), but you'd never know by tasting it.  I roasted 1 lb cut asparagus in the oven with a tiny amount of TJ's Roasted Walnut oil and sea salt (400 for 20-25 minutes).  The farro was also TJ's 10 minute Farro, which I simmered in water for 10 minutes, left for 5 minutes, then drained and fluffed (2/3 cup cooked). The portobellos (1 1/2 large) were cut into 1 inch pieces and fried with a little olive oil and minced garlic and a dash of balsamic vinegar. I also caramelized a shallot in a little olive oil.  The ingredients were all combined with salt and pepper, a little more roasted walnut oil, some citrus champagne vinegar to add spark, fresh basil and a handful of pine nuts.

It's hard to beat the satisfaction when a dish turns out exactly how you have envisioned it! Super healthy, but this one's all about the taste. Enjoy!