Meatless Monday: Cauliflower Farro Bake

I’ve been collecting farro recipe ideas since I discovered this wonderful ancient grain. It’s got loads of heath benefits, it’s hearty and filling, and it’s got a lovely nuttiness that makes it great on its own or with other ingredients. I found this lovely idea over on the wonderful Smells Like Home blog, and her recipe was adapted from another fan favorite blogger, Smitten Kitchen‘s pasta version. I’ve been cooking a lot of mushrooms lately, so I adapted it myself, using the basic recipe as a jumping off point. And if ONE PAN MAGIC + Kid-FRIENDLY + NO LEFTOVERS isn’t a selling point, I don’t know what to tell ya! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* ½ cup dry farro
* olive oil
* 1 small cauliflower, broken down into small florets
* 1 small sweet onion, chopped
* 2t minced garlic
* salt
* freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4C cooking sherry
* 2T unsalted butter
* 3T flour
* 1 1/2C vegetable broth (chicken broth us fine, too)
* a few sprigs fresh rosemary
* 1/2C grated Parmesan cheese
* 4 oz mozzarella, cubed small
* handful thinly sliced fresh basil
* crushed red pepper flakes, optional

WHAT TO DO
Preheat oven to 400 F.

Heat a few glugs of oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until the florets begin to soften amd brown. Add the onions an garlic, and season to taste with salt and pepper, then cook until the onions soften and become somewhat translucent.

Add in the sherry to the pan and stir to scrape any bits up from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 1 minute. Add the butter, and when it’s melted, sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir it in so everything gets a little coat. Add the broth slowly, stirring as you go, then add in the rosemary.

Simmer 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the farro and cheeses.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the edges are bubbly. Remove the rosemary sprigs and sprinkle with the fresh-cut basil. serve immediately with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

2 Ingredients: Sweet Potato Mash

I have always been a big time sweet potato fan. And I don’t understand how anyone could not be. Sweet potatoes are sweet (duh), beautiful, and delicious but still lovely and savory. And they’re so good for you! Among their many heath benefits, they’re packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, B6, B1, and B2, as well as potassium, dietary fiber, and more. And while there is no shortage of indulgent recipes featuring sweet potatoes, there’s really no need to add much to them. They’re full of flavor on their own. This simple 2-ingredient recipe proves that. Roast and barely season these babies and you have a perfect side or a base layer on your plate to top with fish or sliced steak or almost anything! Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 2 large sweet potatoes
* garlic salt

WHAT TO DO

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Place the sweet potatoes as-is on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on how big your sweet potatoes are, until they’re cooked through and tender.

Allow the sweet potatoes to cool on the pan just long enough to be able to handle them, 2-3 minutes should be enough.

Slice each in half lengthwise and scoop the flesh into a bowl or other serving dish. The skin she slide easily off. Mash the sweet potatoes in the bowl and season lightly, to taste, with garlic salt.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Frittata

My grandma loved a frittata. When I was a kid, whenever I stayed over with my grandparents for a few days, Grandma and I always went out for a special lunch together. We’d go to a cute little diner and follow it up with either a movie or shopping and I loved it so much. I always ordered an egg salad sandwich and Grandma always ordered a frittata. Always. So there’s a special place in my heart for frittatas, by it wasn’t until recently that I’d actually made one myself. I think I reserved frittatas for dining out because of the memory. But I’ve gotten over it and now I love the idea of bribing that memory home.

This frittata is easy, healthy, and works great for any meal. Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 2T olive oil
* 3t minced garlic
* 1t dried thyme
* 1 average sized head of broccoli cut down into small florets (about 2C worth)
* 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into ~1/2-inch chunks
* 8 eggs
* 1/2t salt
* 1/4t ground black pepper
* 1/4C shredded mozzarella cheese
* 1/4C shredded cheddar cheese

WHAT TO DO
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large, 8-10-inch oven-safe pan. Add the garlic and thyme, and stir about a minute to release the aromatics. Add the sweet potatoes and broccoli and cook about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are softened and cooked through. Stir frequently to ensure the veggies dont stick. Add just a bit more oil if this starts to happen. Turn off the heat.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the salt, pepper, cheese, and the contents from the pan–the broccoli, sweet potato, garlic, thyme).

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture. As the bottom of the frittata cooks and begins to solidify, lift the edges with a spatula to let the liquid eggs run underneath. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook about 10 minutes, until the frittata is nearly set except for the top.

Turn the broiler on high. Remove the lid from the pan and place the pan under the broiler. Cook until light golden brown on top, no more than 5 minutes. Watch carefully–you don’t want a dry or burned frittata!

Let the frittata cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Meatless Monday: Hearty White Bean Chili

When starting off a new year with painfully cold temps, the only way to deal is to bake and cook up a big pot of something warm and hearty and cozy to fill your belly and heat your whole body from the toes up. This chili is so simple, but so layered with flavor and warmth. Four types of beans, sweet corn, spices, and a creamy surprise ingredient elevate this from a basic to a really special bowl of hearty chili perfect for welcoming in a new year (or otherwise driving out the chill). Here you go.

WHAT YOU NEED
* 1 large yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
* 1 sweet onion, chopped
* 3t minced garlic
* 32oz vegetable broth
* 4 15.5oz cans of white beans, any type, and a combination is great. Possibilities: garbanzo, cannelini, Northern white, navy, butter, etc.
* 4oz can mild green chilis
* 1T chili powder
* 2 1/2t cumin
* 1t dried oregano
* 1t paprika
* 1/2t salt
* 1/4t ground black pepper
* 1/4t cayenne pepper (optional)
* 1C frozen sweet corn
* 3/4C tahini
* fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
* fresh lemon wedges for serving

WHAT TO DO
Heat a large pot over medium hear. Add a few tablespoons of water, and when its just shimmering, add the peppers, onion, and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to begin softening the vegetables and release the aromatics.

Add everything else but the frozen corn and tahini, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 40 minutes.

Add the frozen corn and the tahini. Raise the heat back up to medium and cook until heated through, just a few minutes.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.