Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is probably one of my favorite carbs. This is probably one of my favorite dishes.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

One (1) box of risotto -- I use Lundberg's Alfredo risotto.
1/2 bundle of asparagus
One (1) carton of button mushrooms
Two (2) tablespoons of butter -- I used vegan butter
Two (2) cloves of minced garlic

Cook risotto according to the box.
While risotto is cooking, wash and chop veggies. -- I left the button mushrooms whole, but if you are using larger mushrooms, you may want to chop them so they cook all the way through quickly.
When your risotto only has about five minutes left to cook, heat butter and garlic in a pan.
Place vegetables in the pan and saute for a few minutes. -- You'll know when they're done when the asparagus is a bright green color.
Spoon risotto onto plate and cover in veggies.
Eat ravenously.

Cupcakes: St Paddy's Edition

As my friends around me were cooking corned beef & hash to celebrate Irish heritage, I decided to take it a little less seriously (or more seriously, depending on who you ask) and incorporate Lucky Charms into St. Paddy's Day. Now, this idea isn't my own (shout out to Pinterest!), but I had a fun time making it. I used all boxed stuff to make it easier on myself, but feel free to use any homemade cake mix or frosting recipes that you have.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 18-22 minutes (depending on your oven)

One (1) box of Funfetti cake mix -- this includes all of the ingredients needed to bake the cupcakes according to its directions
18 cupcake liners
One (1) jar of white whipped frosting
Six (6) drops of green food coloring
1 1/2 cups of Lucky Charms marshmallows

Separate Lucky Charms marshmallows from the cereal and set aside. -- This seriously took about five full minutes to do. You will end up with cereal dust all over your hands. It'll be worth it.
Mix cupcake batter and pour into cupcake liners.
Bake at directed temperature.
While your cupcakes bake, mix the food coloring with the frosting. Set aside.
Let cupcakes cool completely once they are done.
Frost and top with marshmallows.

The marshmallows don't last very long outside of the box, so try to share and/or eat all cupcakes as soon as you can. If you'd like to take your time with them, you can always top with marshmallows right before you eat.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Orzo Salad

This is such an easy and delicious dish, and it can be a side dish or an entree. I usually use another type of pasta, but tonight tried orzo and I think I'm hooked. I actually made two versions: one with mini pepperoni for my partner and one "plain" for me. I hope you enjoy. If you make it yourself, leave a comment on any different ingredients that you put in yours; I can only imagine something like asparagus or artichoke would be an amazing addition.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes (plus waiting time for the pasta to cool)

8oz of orzo pasta
1/8 cup of chopped red onion
1/8 cup of diced cheddar cheese
1/8 cup of quartered cherry tomatoes
1/8 cup of halved black olives
1/8 cup of chopped cucumber
4 tablespoons of Italian dressing -- I am actually guessing this, as I didn't have the foresight to measure, I just poured. I put enough that it was lightly coated, but the flavor was more of an accent than anything else.

Cook the orzo as directed on the box.
Drain and place aside to cool. I put mine in the fridge and stirred it around occasionally because I was being really impatient and hungry.
Once it has cooled almost completely, pour the Italian dressing into the pasta and toss.
Toss in all of the veggies and cheese (and mini-pepperoni, when applicable).
Serve & enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Taco Soup

Two things simultaneously happened in my life a week or so ago. A wonderful reader of this blog (Hi, Whittany!) requested that I post a soup/stew recipe at the same time that I discovered Juliet of The Broken Plate posted a Taco Soup recipe on her blog. My making of taco soup was meant to be.

This recipe is completely vegetarian, but if you'd like a meaty version, check out Juliet's recipe here. It is delicious and can be served with tortilla chips for an amazing meal.

Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: 1-4 hours


One (1) package of "veggie crumbles" -- this is the vegetarian version of ground beef. I used the Morningstar brand.
One (1) package of Hidden Valley Ranch mix -- this is the only part of the recipe that is not vegan, but there are vegan versions of this out there, if you'd like to make a vegan-friendly taco soup.
One (1) package of taco seasoning
One (1) box of vegetable stock -- you can also use that fake chik'n stock for more flavor, but I didn't this time
One (1) can of black beans
One (1) can of sweet whole kernel corn
One (1) can of tomatoes with chile -- think Rotel or a comparable brand
One (1) red onion, chopped -- someone please tell me a way to chop onions without it looking like I'm watching the saddest part of a Lifetime movie!
Three (3) tablespoons of salsa -- feel free to add more, depending on how much space you have left in the CrockPot.


Like soup? This is your new best friend.
Toss the veggie crumbles and the onion into the CrockPot with a little bit of vegetable stock.
Turn the CrockPot to "high."
Once it thaws out and starts smelling good, pour the rest of the vegetable stock in.

Pour the contents
of the ranch mix and the taco seasoning into the CrockPot. Mix well.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix as you go.
Put the lid on the CrockPot and let cook. After about 10 minutes, turn to "low."
Let cook at least one hour, but up to four hours or so. You know how CrockPots are; the longer it's cooked, the more flavorful it usually is.
Spoon into a bowl and enjoy!

Feel free to garnish with cheese, sour cream, or anything else you'd like!