Meatless Monday Recipes: Split Pea Soup courtesy of inSHAPE

Taking an old classic and turning it into a modern, one-dish meal, this hearty soup is great for lunch or dinner (Kim even encourages clients to try soup for breakfast too). Best of all, it’s a really easy dish to prepare!

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Taking an old classic and turning it into a modern, one-dish meal, this hearty soup is great for lunch or dinner (Kim even encourages clients to try soup for breakfast too). It incorporates crimini mushrooms in place of meat, and manages to develop a bit of a smoky flavor with a dash of smoked chipotle powder. Best of all, it’s a really easy dish to prepare! Once you get everything cut up, it’s a matter of minutes to put it all together. Then just let it simmer as long as you can or put it in a slow cooker for the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. carton of crimini or baby bella mushrooms
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 bags of dried green peas
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp. smoked chipotle powder
  • 2 Idaho potatoes, skinned and cubed
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped

Instructions:

First dedicate a little time to your mise en place. Having all of your ingredients at your fingertips makes the preparation of this comfort-food favorite so easy!

Drizzle olive oil in a large stock pot (make sure it has a lid!) and saute onions for 2-3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue cooking on high heat for another 2-3 minutes. Add water and stir thoroughly in order to deglaze any flavorful tidbits from the bottom of the pot. Then add peas, potatoes, parsley, salt, pepper, and chipotle.

Once pot is boiling, turn heat down to low and mix in carrots and celery. Cook at least an hour, but for best results, cook 3-4 hours for full flavor development. Enjoy with a small salad and snuggle up with a great book.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Walnut Sage Sauce courtesy of inSHAPE

When you see the ingredients in this recipe, you will know that we are not exactly following the rules of healthy cooking. This is the richest dish we’ve created so far, but I just couldn’t help myself! The sweet potatoes looked so great at the market this week, and I have been wanting to give gnocchi a try. Likewise, sage makes me smile when the cooler weather arrives.

 

When you see the ingredients in this recipe, you will know that we are not exactly following the rules of healthy cooking. This is the richest dish we’ve created so far, but I just couldn’t help myself! The sweet potatoes looked so great at the market this week, and I have been wanting to give gnocchi a try. Likewise, sage makes me smile when the cooler weather arrives. So, my advice is to get a great workout in with me or my team, and brace your body for some decadence. Serve with a big green salad, and a glass of light red wine.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, baked and cooled (takes about 45 min in oven)
  • 2/3 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 3 big sprigs of fresh sage
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • salt and pepper of course

Directions: 

Bake the potatoes the night before. This will at least break up prep time of this flavorful dish. With the potato baked, mash them in a large mixing bowl (make sure that you have 2 cups of mashed potato), then adding the ricotta, nutmeg, and salt/pepper to taste. If you have a countertop mixer, turn it on then start the sauce.

Melt the butter over low heat, then whisk in 1/3 cup flour. Slowly add milk, sage, and stir continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste along the way.

As the sauce thickens, return to the business of making the gnocchi. Fill a large stock pot with water and a bit of salt, then turn on high heat so that it will be boiling when the gnocchi is ready. With the potato, ricotta, and spices well blended, slowly adding the 1 1/3 cups flour in 1/3 cup increments. You’ll use the remaining flour when it comes time to handle and prep the gnocchi.

Once the mix is doughy, remove it from the bowl and place on floured counter. Spilt into 4 sections and roll out into one-inch ropes. Cut one-inch segments, then use a fork to tine the cut sides of each piece and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper or parchment. Gently drop 8-10 pieces at a time into boiling water, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they float to the top of the water. Drain in a collander.

Stir the walnuts in to sage sauce, then mix thoroghly with gnocchi. Top with a bit of parmesan cheese and definitely be sure to have a salad before or with this dish. It’s very rich, but very yummy!

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: French Onion Soup courtesy of inSHAPE

French onion soup shows up on the menu when the temperature starts to drop, but we wanted to make one that offers a little more nutrition. We still added a bit of mozzarella cheese but feel free to cut it out without losing great flavor from the chestnuts.

French onion soup shows up on the menu when the temperature starts to drop, but we wanted to make one that offers a little more nutrition. We still added a bit of mozzarella cheese but feel free to cut it out without losing great flavor from the chestnuts.

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3-4 fresh leeks, chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7-8 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 oz roasted chestnuts (about 24 of them)
  • 1 cup rice milk
  • 1-2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup mozarella cheese

Preparation:

Note: To guarantee the most flavorful soup, I really recommend that you get the base prepared the day before. 

In a large stock pot over high heat, drizzle olive oil and saute leeks and garlic for 5-6 minutes. Don’t let anything burn but a slight brown is ok. Pour in water, then add salt and pepper, and spinach. Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover and let simmer as long as possible (this is when we put the pot in the bag).

In a small saucepot over low heat, simmer chestnuts in rice milk for 20-25 minutes. If you purchase the roasted nuts in a package, they will already be quite soft, but the rice milk will help soften them even more and help liquefy them in the soup. When you are ready to puree the entire batch, stir the chestnuts into the soup pot and liquefy (I used a hand mixer). Taste for flavor and adjust salt and pepper tastes, then return to pot and simmer.

Drop sliced onions into the base and continue to simmer until the onions are tender. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and either put in salamander or use a hand held torch to brown the cheese in the bowl. 

 Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. 

Meatless Monday Recipes: Mushroom Stew courtesy of inSHAPE

As the days get shorter and cooler, the body craves heavier comforting dishes. Meat tends to be a center of attention in these meals, but with a bevy of fresh mushrooms, you can create an earthy stew in less than an hour.

As the days get shorter and cooler, the body craves heavier comforting dishes. Meat tends to be a center of attention in these meals, but with a bevy of fresh mushrooms, you can create an earthy stew in less than an hour.

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 8 oz package cremini mushrooms
  • 1 8 oz package baby bellas
  • 1 8 oz package button mushrooms
  • 4 cups organic vegetable stock (see note below)
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 1 tsp chopped sage
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup flour

Preparation:

In a large stock pot over high heat, drizzle olive oil and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms, coat them with onions and turn down the heat to medium. After about 10 minutes, as the mushrooms begin to soften (we used larger chunks instead of slicing), add stock, potatoes, carrots, and spices. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Shake flour into a cup of water to fully blend, then slowly stir into stew to thicken the sauce. Simmer for another 10-20 minutes. Remember: the longer the simmer, the better the flavor.

Note: we cheated with organic vegetable stock this week. It’s not super challenging to make but does take considerable time. Alternative, use water and increase your spice content. 

  Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter. 

Meatless Monday Recipes: An ode to kugel courtesy of inSHAPE

This week we have made a spin on kugel, a traditional Jewish dish that is already meatless. This spinach & squash kugel is a fantastic total meal in a single dish, perhaps served with a salad for some additional roughage!

This week we have made a spin on kugel, a traditional Jewish dish that is already meatless. This spinach & squash kugel is a fantastic total meal in a single dish, perhaps served with a salad for some additional roughage!

Note: This recipe yields a family sized casserole dish, so half the recipe if you are serving four or fewer people.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 kabochi (or acorn) squash
  • 1 16 oz package egg noodles
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz grated mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut squash in halves, remove seeds and place in roasting dish face down. Pour 1/2 cup of water in bottom of dish, cover with foil, and roast for 20-25 minutes. You want the flesh to be cooked but not mushy. Remove from oven and cool (I put them in the freezer to cool completely for about a half hour while preparing the rest of the ingredients).

Cook egg noodles (add a little salt to the water). After straining, shock the noodles in cold water to stop the cooking process and set aside.

To make the yummy sauce, melt butter over low heat (don’t let it burn), stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, add salt, pepper, and nutmeg, then cook over medium heat until sauce thickens. Remove from heat, and add chopped spinach and ricotta. Blend with a spoon thoroughly and set aside for a few moments.

If your oven is still on, turn it down to 350 degrees and wait for proper temperature (otherwise, preheat it again). Rub baking dish with oil. Remove squash from fridge/freezer, cut squares into cooked halves then scoop out squares into a bowl. Some of the softer, mashed pieces can be used with the cheese on top when you get to the assembly.

Mix noodles with sauce thoroughly making sure that all of the noodles are coated. Spoon and spread 1/3 of noodles into baking dish. Drop squares of 1/2 of squash into dish, then add the next 1/3 of noodles, followed by the remaining squares of squash, and finishing with the remaining 1/3 of noodles.

Sprinkle cheese on top and dollop any smaller mushy pieces of squash (this will add additional color to the dish).

Bake covered for 20 minutes, then remove cover and bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese browns. Cool but serve warm.

We want to thank inSHAPE clients Rebecca Reich and Anna Suh for their contributions to this dish. It was great fun inventing it. If you want a taste of it, book a session with Kim. Her tiny family of three should have plenty left, and will need a year to finish off the completed dish!

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Tomato and Corn Pie courtesy of inSHAPE

Served with a green salad, this meal is not to be missed! Garden
tomatoes and fresh corn are superstars of the summer plate, and this
dish blends their flavors with a creamy, herbacious base. Served in a
blended pie crust that gives your body the protein it needs, its a
perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Or any other day of the week!

Served with a green salad, this meal is not to be missed! Garden tomatoes and fresh corn are superstars of the summer plate, and this dish blends their flavors with a creamy, herbacious base. Served in a blended pie crust that gives your body the protein it needs, its a perfect dish for Meatless Monday. Or any other day of the week!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour blend (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus 2 tsp melted butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 pounds tomatoes
  • 3 ears of corn, sliced off cob
  • 1 tbsp. basil, minced
  • 1 tbsp. thyme, minced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella and cheddar)

Flour blend: We used a blend of Cinque e Cinque chick pea flour from Lucini Italia, which we mentioned in a previous recipe with traditional flour for our crust to add protein content and reduce empty calorie load. Granted we aren’t concerned with fat content in this recipe, but to make it a complete meal, we suggest experimenting with flour mixtures that offer a little more than enriched white flour.

Preparation:

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl, then blend in cold butter (3/4 stick) with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal. Add milk, stirring until mixture just forms a dough, then gather into a ball.

Flour the counter or another work surface, and divide dough in half and roll out pie crusts. Gently lift into a lightly buttered 9-inch pie pan. Secure crust and trim edges as desired. Fold top half and place in the fridge.

Once you get through this step, go ahead and preheat oven to 400°F, and ensure that the rack is in the middle.

Slice a one-inch X in bottom of each tomato and blanch in a large pot of boiling water 10-15 seconds. Immediately transfer to an ice bath to cool. Peel tomatoes, then slice and remove seeds (you just want the fleshy part). Arrange half of tomatoes in crust, overlapping, and sprinkle with half of corn, one half of basil and thyme, 1/4 cup onion, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and one cup of grated cheese. Repeat layering with remaining tomatoes, corn, basil, chives, salt, and pepper. Whisk together mayonnaise and lemon juice and pour over filling. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover with top pie crust.

Pinch edges to seal. Cut 4 steam vents in top and brush with melted butters. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until pie is golden. Cool on a rack for about 20 minutes before serving.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

Meatless Monday Recipes: Veggie Polenta Pie courtesy of inSHAPE

This is a recipe I look forward to trying out on my father-in-law. Despite being Brazilian-born, my father-in-law’s family has strong Italian roots, so much so that their entire family, including my wife, have Italian citizenship.

This is a recipe I look forward to trying out on my father-in-law. Despite being Brazilian-born, my father-in-law’s family has strong Italian roots, so much so that their entire family, including my wife, have Italian citizenship. One of his absolute favorite things is polenta, typically served up with a meat of some kind. But, this veggie version in pie form seems like a great way to pay homage to his roots, while going meat-free for a day. As always, many thanks to Kim Watkins and the great team over at inSHAPE Fitness!

Ingredients:

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked polenta
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 stick of butter (5 tbsp), softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preparation:

(Note: At some point in the preparation, take advantage of those “quiet” moments when cooking down the wine and veggie mixture, or freezing the dough in the tart pan to prep the spinach, red pepper, and cheese. Or, you can obviously do this in advance.)

Add uncooked polenta and salt (about a tsp) to boiling water, slowly with a whisk. Once the ingredients are well blended, lower heat to medium-low and continue to stir until you are happy with the texture and taste of the polenta. Remove from heat.

In a saute pan, heat olive oil then add garlic, onion, and spices to brown for about 5 minutes. Pour in red wine to de-glaze pan and lower heat to simmer. Add tomatoes, carrot, and celery then cover and cook for 30-45 minutes. When happy with the flavor, insert hand blender and liquefy sauce for later.

Measure out 3 cups of cooked polenta and blend with butter. Gradually add corn flour and when mixture gets doughy, cover and refrigerate for 10-15 min.

Butter a tart pan, or use cooking spray. Using your hands, spread dough into pan as evenly as possible. Freeze for 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375-degrees.

Once you pull the crust from the freezer, spread about 1/2 cup of sauce first. Then add spinach, then red peppers, pine nuts, and finally cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown and remember to give the dish about 20 minutes to cool before serving.

Find out more about inSHAPE Fitness. Be sure to check them out at www.inshape-fitness.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.