Meatless Monday Recipes: Vegetarian Enchiladas with Squash and Mole courtesy of inSHAPE

Enchiladas are a hearty favorite in many homes. They can be made with almost any type of meat, but for Meatless Monday, why not give this colorful veggie version a try. We've also crafted a tangy mole enchilada sauce that will knock your socks off!

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Enchiladas are a hearty favorite in many homes. They can be made with almost any type of meat, but for Meatless Monday, why not give this colorful veggie version a try. We’ve also crafted a tangy mole enchilada sauce that will knock your socks off!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 1 small acorn or kabochi squash, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, cubed
  • 2 cups of black beans, tender
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese, we used part skim
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 corn tortillas

Preparation:

Make the mole sauce the day before. The flavors will only get better. Mix the chili powder, cayenne, cocoa, cumin, oregano and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Skin and chop onion, then drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute or large sauce pan. Over high heat, sauté half of the onions until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add water to deglaze pan and reduce heat to low. After about 5 minutes, add tomato sauce and adjust seasoning to taste. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes, then allow to cool. After about an hour of cooling, puree by using hand mixer or food processor. Set aside or place in the fridge in a covered container until final prep stages.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray small baking dish with cooking spray. Pour about 3/4 cup of mole sauce into bottom of dish and set aside. In a skillet, drizzle canola oil and sauté the rest of the onion over high heat. After 3-4 minutes, add squash. Brown for about 4-5 minutes then remove from heat and immediately transfer to a room temperature mixing bowl (you want the squash to stop cooking). Add ricotta, black beans, red pepper, and most of the cilantro (you can use the rest for garnish when serving). Stir gently but thoroughly – and voila – you have your enchilada innards.

The last step is messy, but is worth it. Using the same skillet as before, heat a little more canola oil, and lightly saute corn tortillas, one at a time. After each, dry/cool on paper towels. On a prep plate, pour a little mole sauce, then set first corn tortilla on plate. Flip it over, making sure that both sides are lightly coated. Add bean/squash mix in center, sprinkle with cheddar cheese, then fold over in thirds and place seam down into dish. Continue with the rest of the enchiladas. Pour the remainder of the mole sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes covered, then set broiler on, remove lid, and broil for another 4-5 minutes. Cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with chopped cilantro.

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: 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!

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. 

An evening with Chef Kristen Kish: The autumn preview dinner at Menton

It’s funny how plans can change some times. Originally, I was set to attend the 1st Annual Blizzard Bash presented by the Barbara Lynch Foundation. In a monumental display of irony, the Blizzard Bash was cancelled thanks to, of all things, a blizzard.

It’s funny how plans can change some times. Originally, I was set to attend the 1st Annual Blizzard Bash presented by the Barbara Lynch Foundation. In a monumental display of irony, the Blizzard Bash was cancelled thanks to, of all things, a blizzard.

One of three compensatory options for Blizzard Bash ticket holders was to attend a special dinner at Menton, Barbara Lynch’s youngest brain child and Boston’s only Relais & Châteaux, AAA Five-Diamond, and Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star property.

Kind of a no-brainer. 

So, I would attend the Autumn Preview Dinner with Chef Kristen Kish. No write up. After all, I’m not a reviewer or critic by any stretch (and have no interest in being such). Just going to sit back and enjoy! No notes. No photos… just enjoy.

Like I said. It’s funny how plans can change sometimes. 

The singular expectation I had walking through the door of Menton was that I was going to have an exceptional meal. But, as anyone who enjoys an evening out will tell you, it’s about more than “just food”. It’s about the whole experience, and on this night I enjoyed an experience that forced my hand. How could I not write something about it?

I know that, for many, hearing the term “fine dining” evokes thoughts of the stuffy and uptight, making them feel intimidated or out of place. Menton is not that. From the moment you walk through the door, you are made to feel at home and comfortable. The dining rooms are impeccable and inviting – the staff friendly and accommodating.

A big part of any dining experience is who we end up dining with, and events like this are no different. I had the pleasure of sharing a table with John and Christine Williams (John is president and CEO of an early stage medical device company called NanElute, and Christine works as Regional Sales & Marketing Coordinator for All-Clad), Vivien Li (President of The Boston Harbor Association), and Chef Susan Regis. Comfortable conversation goes a long way to making a night fly. Before even realizing it, four hours had come and gone!

In those four hours, we were treated to course after course of delicious, seasonal fare expertly paired with wines by Executive Wine Director, Cat Silirie. The winners on the night, for me at least:

  • The lobster served with caviar, lychee and candied hibiscus (the wine pairing for this one was out of this freakin’ world, a 2012 Alois Lageder Moscato Giallo “Vogelmaier”);
  • A perfectly cooked beef sirloin alongside a 3-day beef tongue, beef cheek and a crispy rösti (paired with a 2009 Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Riserva, of which I couldn’t help getting a 2nd glass);
  • Dessert. … Now, I’m a fan of chocolate. Like, obsessed. Seriously. I should call someone about it. This dessert had no chocolate. And yet… this may have been the best dessert I’ve ever had. Period. Pecan sandies with crème fraîche, coffee and muscovado. I want this at the end of every meal. Every day. Forever.

The only thing that shined brighter than the 5-course menu was Chef Kristin (this being her debut menu since becoming Chef de Cuisine at Menton). You could feel the pride emanating from her as she introduced each course. These were her  dishes. This was her  show. Her moment. And she absolutely slayed it.

Menton is located at 354 Congress Street in Boston Fort Point neighborhood.

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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.