Summer Pie

Summer Pie

With all the fresh veggies and herbs coming out of the garden and the Farmer’s Market, why not utilize them and make a great dinner pie? It’s hearty and filling! If you like pasta, veggies and ricotta you can’t go wrong with this dish!

What You’ll Need:
1 – 1 pound package of fettuccine noodles, cooked according to package directions
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups of fat-free ricotta
2 eggs
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup of parsley, chopped
1 large zucchini, sliced into rounds
2-3 Roma tomatoes, sliced into rounds
3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Summer Pie

Cook fettuccine according to package directions, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Saute onion and garlic in a little extra virgin olive oil until tender and set aside.

In a large bowl mix ricotta, eggs, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper until completely mixed. Stir in parsley, cooked onions and garlic and stir until incorporated. Add noodles and stir to mix/coat.

Spray an 8 inch spring form pan with non-stick spray and pour noodles mixture into the pan and press down. Next add a layer of zucchini to cover the noodles completely. Then add a layer of tomatoes on top of zucchini and cover completely. Sprinkle the top of the pie with Parmesan and bake for 30-40 minutes until top is browned. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes, cut and serve.

Summer Pie

Notes: You could add in more/different veggies if you like. Mushrooms would be good. Yellow squash would make a nice addition as well. It’s completely up to you and what you like. If you would like, you can substitute chopped spinach for the parsley.

Dad’s Cucumbers

Dad's Cucumbers

Every time I make these I can’t help but think of my grandfather and smile. We always called him “Dad” even though he was our grandfather. This was one of his summer favorites that he made when we spent summers out at the lake. I’m not a fan of sweet pickles at all, but these are really delicious! It’s a cool, sweet, yet tangy treat. If you like cucumber and/or pickles try them and see!

What You’ll Need:
Cucumbers, sliced
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1/2 to 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (Or vinegar of your choice…If you like the twang go with more, if not go with less.)
About 2 cups of water

Fill a Mason jar with sliced cucumbers to the top of the jar. Mix sugar and vinegar and stir until sugar dissolves. Pour sugar/vinegar mixture into the Mason jar. Slowly add water (about 2 cups) until the jar is full. Tightly place the lid on the jar and shake to mix. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Notes: These will keep in the fridge for about a week. They are by no means long terms pickles. In fact I only like them the first or second day they are made. After that to me they become too rubbery, but a friend of mine likes them after about 4 days. It’s completely a matter of your taste. You can also add in sweet onions or bell peppers to the mix for a bit of a change.

Sushi Salad

Sushi Salad

I love this time of year! This is the time of year that things start coming in in the garden! Not only do we have strawberries galore, we’ve got carrots that were over looked last year during harvest that are ready to go and we’ve got snow peas that are starting to pop up! When these early harvest things start coming about it’s fun to start making things using those ingredients! You can’t get more local than your own back yard!

This dish is a variation of the one I found at Fat Free Vegan last fall. This is my twist on her original idea. Sometimes I use sushi rice and sometimes I use short grain brown rice as I did last night (which for all practical purposes is sushi rice that hasn’t been processed). In fact any sort of rice you prefer would work fine. I bet orzo might even pass in a pinch and it’s pasta, not rice, but that’s neither here nor there.

Anyway, Sushi Salad Dianne Style is cool, delicious and gives you that sushi kick if you like that sort of thing (which I do) without the roll. Even if you don’t really care for sushi (or think you don’t) try the salad…It’s a dish in and of itself and if you like fresh, you’ll love this!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of uncooked short grain brown or white rice, cooked according to package directions
3 tablespoons of sushi vinegar
1 – 10 ounce package of frozen edamame
1 carrot, cut into rounds
1/2 a large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 – 6 ounce jar of sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tablespoon of prepared wasabi (Optional…I LOVE wasabi, but if you aren’t a fan of the heat then leave it out. It definitely gives it a bit of a kick, though it does mellow out in the leftovers.)
1 cup of snow pea pods
1 sheet of nori, chopped or torn (Optional)

Cook rice according to package directions. Remove from heat and place in a very large bowl (I prefer glass) and stir in sushi vinegar immediately. Next stir in frozen edamame into the rice/vinegar mixture while the rice is still hot to thaw them and let sit for about 10 minutes. Add carrots, cucumbers and mushrooms and stir to mix. Add wasabi and stir well to incorporate. Sprinkle the top of the salad with snow pea pods. Chill at least 1 hour before serving. Right before serving add a bit of chopped or torn nori as a topping to each serving if desired.

Notes: You can add in anything you like in your sushi rolls. I like it topped with avocado and sprinkled with Furikake.

Goat Cheese Pizza with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

Goat Cheese Pizza with Zucchini and Cherry Tomatoes

If you’ve been reading Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ve probably figured out I love goat cheese. You’ve also probably figured out I love tomatoes and rosemary…put them all together and you’ve got one heck of a pizza! Throw in some zucchini and garlic and it’s heaven! This is one of my favorite homemade pizza combos. If you like zucchini and cherry tomatoes, I promise, this is the pizza for you!

What You’ll Need For the Crust:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 cup of warm water (or more depending on the humidity)
1 tablespoon of sugar
4 teaspoons of yeast
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

In the bowl of your food processor pulse flour and salt until mixed (roughly 4-6 pulses). In a glass measuring cup add honey and yeast to warm water and let sit for 3-5 minutes until foamy. Add olive oil to the food processor and turn the machine on. Slowly add water/yeast mixture until ball of dough forms. (Note: Depending on humidity and such you may need a little more or a little less water. Eyeball it as you go. Once the ball forms you’ll know to stop. It’s hard to mess this recipe up. It’s very forgiving. If you go too far wit the water add more flour a tablespoon at a time until ball forms. It’s all about the dough ball! 😉 )

Once the dough ball forms you need to let it rise. This make roughly one large pizza or 4-6 personal sized pizzas depending on how big you like them. I like to make personal sized pizzas so that way everyone can have their own favorite toppings. If you’re making one big pizza simply place the dough on a baking sheet in your oven with your oven light on (the oven light puts out just enough heat to rise to dough) or if you want to make personal sized pizzas divide the dough into 4 to 6 small balls and place on a baking sheet and follow the same procedure as for the large ball. Let the dough balls rise for at least one hour. Then roll or push out the dough and top with your favorite pizza toppings to bake.

What You’ll Need For The Pizza Topping:
1 zucchini, chopped
2 cups of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 an onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
2 sprigs of rosemary, stripped and chopped
2 springs of thyme, stripped
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place tomatoes, onion and zucchini on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with minced garlic, a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Top with the rosemary and thyme leaves and place in the oven for 8-10 minutes until zucchini is slightly tender.

What You’ll Need To Complete The Pizza:
Extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Cooked veggie mixture
Sliced black olives
1/2 of a 5 ounce log of goat cheese crumbled
1/3 cup of fresh Mozzarella, grated

Preheat oven to 425 F.

While the veggies are roasting, spread out pizza crust(s) and brush it with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 5-7 minutes until crust is done, but not browned and remove from oven.

Top baked crust with veggies mixture and black olives. Sprinkle with crumbled goat cheese and mozzarella. Place back in the oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted and crust is browned. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Even though it looks in depth it’s really quite easy. Once you start making your own pizzas you’ll love them a lot more than carry out or order in any day! 😉

Mushroom Broth

Mushroom Broth

I started using mushroom broth about a year ago. A lot of the commercially prepared options have way too much salt in them though! I did a little research and most broths are made from dried mushrooms. I purchased some dried varieties and I put them in the cupboard meaning to make broth. Months passed and I still hadn’t done just that!

Every spring I like to clean out the cupboards and freezer, It’s part of my spring cleaning routine. When I came across the dried mushrooms I decided it was high time to make some broth! This is the first time I’ve made homemade mushroom broth, but it turned out to be delicious! Plus it’s super simple and that’s always a plus.

Mushroom broth can be used in place of any broth. It is especially good at replacing beef broth because many mushrooms have a beefy flavor, especially portabella mushrooms, though there are no portabellas in this rendition. Mushroom broth also makes a very good soup similar to French Onion soup as well.

What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 ounces of dried wild porcini mushrooms
1/2 ounce dried crimini mushrooms
1/2 ounce of dried oyster mushrooms
OR
3 packages of the fresh mushroom of your choice, or a mix of mushrooms
AND
Water
Sea salt
Black Pepper

Place mushrooms in a medium sized stock pot and add enough water to just cover the mushrooms. Add a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Remove mushroom broth from stove and strain. Keep mushrooms for another recipe. (Mushroom soup is a good choice.) Store broth covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or you can freeze it for up to 6 months.

Note: The broth is very strong, so you will need to dilute it with a little water when you actually use it for cooking. You can also use whatever type of dried mushrooms you like or can find. It’s completely up to you.

Guinness Risotto With Goat Cheese And Thyme

Guinness Risotto With Goat Cheese And Thyme

What do you do with left over Guinness from Saint Patrick’s Day? Why get creative of course! Throw in a little goat cheese and a few veggies and you’ve got a risotto that is to die for!

What You’ll Need:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 small package of button mushrooms, sliced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 – 15 ounce package of Arborio rice
1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups of frozen green peas
1 – 11.2 ounce bottle of Guinness
Water (4-6 cups)
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 – 5 ounce package of goat cheese, crumbled

Note: If you’ve never cooked risotto before, don’t be intimidated by this dish! It has an aura about it, but it’s really quite easy to make. Basically you just keep adding liquid. The liquid is almost absorbed and you keep adding more 1 or 2 cups at a time until the risotto is tender and ready to serve.

In a large pan saute onion and mushroom with sea salt, black pepper and thyme until veggies are tender. Add Arborio rice and let cook 1-2 minutes to slightly toast the grains. Stir in mixed veggies, peas and the bottle of Guinness. Cook until liquid mostly evaporates and then add 1-2 cups of water to cover grains. Cook again until liquid evaporates and keep repeating this step until risotto is fully cooked and tender. Once the risotto is fully cooked remove from heat and stir in Parmesan and goat cheese until smooth and melted. Serve immediately.

Vegetable Enchiladas

Enchiladas

My sister and Nelson came over to play in the dirt last Thursday (You’ve gotta love spring…It’s time to plant things again!) and we decided to whip up some dinner. My sister suggested enchiladas and I thought that sounded heavenly! We whipped up this dish and it’s not something you’d want to eat every night (lots of cheese, and thus calories), but it most definitely is worth making now and then! 😉

What You’ll Need For The Enchiladas:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 a large onion, chopped
4 large or 6 small mushrooms, chopped
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese
1 – 8 ounce block of cheddar, shredded
1 – 8 ounce block of Colby cheese, shredded
1 cup of milk

What You’ll Need For Toppings:
Guacamole
Salsa
Sour Cream
Tomatoes
Green onions
Etc.

Enchiladas

Mix cheeses together and set aside.

In a large skillet saute bell pepper, onion and mushrooms until tender with a little salt and pepper. Stir in cream cheese and half of the cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Spray a 13 X 9 inch dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spoon cream cheese/veggie mixture into the middle of corn tortillas and fold over. Place seam side down in the baking dish and repeat until all the filling is gone. Top with remaining cheese and milk and bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

Enchiladas

Top with toppings of your choice after serving.

Notes: You can add whatever you like in the filling. Next time I think I’m going to try some crayfish and shrimp! You could also add some green chilies, or jalapenos, or even a little salsa. Whatever strikes your fancy go for it! 😉

Vegetarian Red Beans and Wild Rice

Vegetarian Red Beans And Wild Rice

I LOVE red beans and rice! But even when I ate pork, I never cared for the sausage they put in the dish and I would always eat around it. This is the first time I’ve made it from scratch, though I have tried the Zatarian’s mix a few times over the years (usually with chicken or shrimp instead of sausage though). I started thinking about how easy it would be make my own version and I must say I was very pleased with the results! It’s hearty, delicious and it has just the right spicy kick!

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a large yellow onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped (leaves are fine)
3 large garlic cloves, minced
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of Creole, Cajun or Soul Food seasoning (Any of the three will work. I used Soul Food seasoning)
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 can of red beans (Or you can soak some beans overnight and cook them instead)
1 cup of wild rice
2 1/3 cups of vegetable broth
Several generous shakes of hot sauce

Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic until tender. Stir in a pinch of sea salt, cayenne pepper, Creole, Cajun or Soul Food seasoning and paprika. Add 1 cup of wild rice and let cook for about 2 minutes to bring out its nutty flavor. Add beans, broth and hot sauce and cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. (Usually about 25-30 minutes. Check the directions for the wild rice you purchase to get an idea of how long your rice takes to cook.) Serve warm.

Vegetarian Red Beans And Wild Rice

Notes: Left overs with this dish are delicious! It also reheats very well. After sitting overnight the spicy flavors meld even more! It’s a win, win situation!

Vegetarian Dingle Pies

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

This is an adapted version of a Dingle Pie. Dingle Pies normally have mutton or lamb in them, I don’t eat baby anything, so it wouldn’t have worked for me even then. So I decided to play around with it a little and come up with a vegetarian version. This is what I came up with! They were delicious! My sister and her husband both liked them, and my nephew did too!

What You’ll Need For The Crust:
2 1/4 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
9 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of ice water

Process flour and salt in a food processor to mix. Add butter and process until butter is crumbly. Add water and let crumbly dough form. Pour out onto a floured surface and form into a dough ball. Place in the refrigerator wrapped until filling is ready.

Note: If you don’t have a food processor you can make the dough with a pastry cutter or fork. Simply mix flour and salt and then cut in butter until crumbly. Then stir in water until dough forms.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie: The Inside

What You’ll Need For The Filling:
1 small potato cut into small cubes
1 carrot grated
4 large or 6 small button mushrooms chopped
1/4 of an onion, chopped
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Place cut veggies in a glass microwave safe bowl and microwave for 3-6 minutes or until tender. Remove from microwave and season with sea salt and pepper.

Cut pie dough into fourths and roll out flat. Cut circles with a biscuit cutter and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle. Top with another circle and crimp edges with a fork. Once you have used all of your dough and filling poke each pie a couple of times with a fork to vent. Brush the top of each pie with a beaten egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Vegetarian Dingle Pie

Lentil Taco Soup

Lentil Taco Soup

This soup is a vegetarian version of your standard taco soup. It’s warm, hearty, and trust me…You won’t miss the meat!

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 a red onion, chopped
1 large celery rib, chopped
4 large button mushrooms, chopped
1 cup of lentils
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 pinch of sea salt
1 pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3/4 of a 2 pound box of vegetable stock
1 – 16 ounce jar of medium salsa

Saute onion, celery and mushroom until tender.

Add lentils through vegetable stock and cook for about 50 minutes until lentils are plumped.

Stir in salsa and cook for an additional ten minutes.

Serve warm. You can eat it plain, or top it with a sprinkle of cheddar and a dollop of sour cream.

Notes: Sometimes I add green pepper into this soup and/or textured vegetable protein, but last night was out of both. If you like things a little less spicy then use less chili powder and mild salsa.