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Posts Tagged ‘lunch’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

For my next recipe, I want to encourage you to try something a little different — a little healthier, perhaps. With help from Barbara, the master of healthy cooking, I have whipped up a nice, crunchy concoction that all veggie lovers will love.

Goodness, look at those wheat berries, veggies, and tofu! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Goodness, look at those wheat berries, veggies, and tofu! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

First, let me introduce you to the wheat berry. Say it with me…wheat. berry. Good. That’s where that crunch is going to come from. Wheat berries are the truest whole grains you can find out there. Because their kernels are still together, none of the nutrients have been removed by the time you dig in. Here’s a whole wheat berry fact page.

 

The cool thing about this recipe is that you can follow it very loosely. There are a few staples that you must have, but other than that, the options are limitless.

MUST HAVE Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup cider vinegar (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup scallions, minced

OPTIONAL Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt*
  • fresh black pepper, to taste*
  • 1/4 cup minced dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)*
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley*
  • 1 cup cottage cheese or mashed tofu*
  • 1 medium carrot, minced*
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and minced*
  • a little bit of minced bell pepper*
  • 1 1/2 cups broccoli flowerets*
  • 1 can garbanzo beans or black beans*
  • celery
  • fresh alfalfa sprouts
  • sliced radish
  • minced red onion*

See? There are so many choices. Pretty much, we’re just talking wheat berries and a ton of minced veggies here. And if you want that extra kick of protein, definitely add the tofu. (That is exactly what I did with mine. The asterisks [*] are the ingredients in the picture above.) Anyway, here’s what you do…

Step 1: Heat wheat berries in 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil and stir once or twice. Cover and simmer 50 to 60 minutes or until the wheat berries are tender, but still firm. Drain.

Step 2: Toss wheat berries and remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Now that’s a healthy dose of vegetables and protein!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As promised, today I will be giving you a review of the Bethel Woods Harvest Festival and Mountain Jam. Now, if only it had been nicer weather! The entire day, it misted rain, which made things a little harder to navigate, but still great. Luckily, everything was under tents.

Well let me start by saying that Bethel Woods is such a beautiful place to go. Even if you’re not going to the Woodstock museum, you can walk the site of the original Woodstock. It’s expansive and you’ll be hiking around the hills of Yasgur’s farm for hours. By the way, the museum costs $13! (But worth every penny, I’m sure.)

It must have taken quite some time to graffiti this Bug! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

It must have taken quite some time to graffiti this Bug! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The Harvest Festival was very much like a large farmer’s and artisan market. There were displays of handcrafted quilts made by local seamstresses, an auction for some pretty neatly painted tables, and many interesting things to look at. My favorite was a painted VW Bug sitting in the middle of the field.

The tables of farmers was far more than I expected. Here’s a brief list of what was being sold that day: lettuce, cheeses, wine, peppers, apples, pumpkin, apple cider, soups, breads, squash, gourds, candies, sauces, and flowers. There were even some cool looking sugar cookies in the shapes of peace signs. How appropriate.

The farmer’s market portion of the Harvest Festival actually happens every Sunday. Here is a complete list of vendors.

Not only did the Festival have good food. It also had activities, too. There was a fun little corn maze to get lost in, which I definitely had to do. The corn was so tall I felt like I was in the jungle. There were also musician workshops and mini jam sessions for those interested.

Pumpkins, gourds, and veggies, oh my! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Pumpkins, gourds, and veggies, oh my! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

The shuttle bus ran from the Harvest Festival area up to the museum. The ride along the way was great! Our groovy bus driver pointed out famous Woodstock spots, like the skinny dipping pond and the area where the original stage once was.

Thank goodness for those tents — the bluegrass bands that played needed the cover to perform. They managed to grab the attention of many festival-goers, and some even sat out in the rain to watch them play. Unfortunately, the audience seating was not under a tent, so some people were deterred from the music.

To wrap this up, I highly recommed checkout out the Farmer’s Market next Sunday. You’ll be so glad you did because of all the wonderful fruits and vegetables you’ll come home with. Also, do the museum, too. Any Woodstock fan would be highly stoked, maaaan.

 

 

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Yummy little veggies. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Yummy little veggies. Photo by Kate Langenburg.

As of late, I have been getting into making a lot of cold mediterranean salads. I must admit, I like the feta cheese! But every time I open a new container of feta cheese, there lurks another wonderful recipe on the back of the lid.

Last week, I decided to make a special kind of green bean salad from the back of one of my feta cheese lids, so I went down to the local farmer’s market and picked up a few pounds of the locally grown veggie.

After reading a little bit about how I was going to make this salad, I got to work. I recommed using the basil and tomato flavored feta cheese for this one. Here’s my recipe for green beans and feta cheese with dill:

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1/2 cup italian dressing
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

Step 1: Cook beans in water seven minutes or until tender and crisp. Drain. Rinse with cold water

Step 2: Toss beans with dressing, cheese, onions, and dill in a large bowl.

Step 3: Refrigerate for several hours until chilled. (You can serve this immediately, but I don’t think it tastes as good as it does when you let it sit in the fridge for a while.)

After making this great concoction, I fed it to my room mate, family members, and I ate a whole bunch, too. This recipe is easy, and a must have for anyone who likes dolled up green beans.

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Mine is the anti-tomato version. It's still delicious! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Mine is the anti-tomato version. It's still delicious! Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As some of you may know, family gatherings are a great opportunity to bring different kinds of foods for everyone to enjoy. Well, as luck would have it, I recently had one of those kinds of family gatherings, at which I tasted the best pasta salad I’ve ever had.

I would like to introduce you to Mediterranean Pasta Salad, courtesy of Norma. In a span of about two hours, the huge bowl she had made completely disappeared, and the reserve stock in the fridge was eaten later that night!

The greatest thing about this dish is its versatility. As Norma herself said it, she never follows a recipe and she always puts her spin on it. That, my food loving friends, is highly recommended with this pasta salad. You can throw in new veggies, take out what you don’t want, or even include some other form of dressing other than the oil and vinegar suggested.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of spiral or curly noodles, cooked and drained
  • 3 ounces feta cheese, diced into 1/2 or 3/4 inch pieces
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium sized cucumber, peeled, seeded, halved and thickly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp finely sliced red onions, optional
  • 2 tsp minced fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Step 1: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently until well mixed.

Step 2: Refrigerate several hours before serving. That’s it!

If I were you, I’d double the recipe. It makes a smaller amount, so if you like to keep eating leftover pasta salad all week like me, doubling is the way to go. This stuff goes great with a sandwich and transports easily for lunches on the go!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Does this Southwest Black Bean Salad look great? Photo by Kate Langenburg.

Scanning my cookbooks for something tasty I could make in abundance and take for lunch, I came across a recipe for this Southwest Black Bean Salad. It comes from the Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook and boy, is it zesty and delicious.

It calls for one jalapeno pepper. I used one that I grew in my container garden. (Apartments leave little space for real gardens.) It was definitely zippy, but if you are a real fan of spicy things, I would recommend using two jalapenos. That way, you’ll get a little more bang in your salad.

Ingredients:

  • One 16 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn kernels
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients, then toss. Let stand, covered, until the flavors are blended, at least 1 hour.

Step 2: There is no step 2. It’s that easy!

This recipe would go great at a bbq or similar function. You’ll have all the guests on your invite list asking you for more when it disappears! In that case, of course, you might want to double the ingredients.

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Just look at all that cheese and cauliflower.

Just look at all that cheese and cauliflower.

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Well, since I just finished the last of my cauliflower casserole leftovers, I want to give you the recipe. This dish is excellent as a side for any dinner or lunch. I’ve just been eating it as a snack between meals because it’s so cheesy and delicious.

I even gave a bunch of this casserole away to friends. The compliments never stopped flowing! It was a real hit. Seriously, if you want to make some friends, bake this dish and serve it up!

Once again, I’ve got Hungry Girl to thank for this one.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 wedges Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat or light ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free (or reduced fat) cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2: Place cauliflower and onion in a large microwave safe bowl with 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. Once the bowl is cool enough to handle, drain the water and set aside.

Step 3: Place cheese wedges in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds. Mix until smooth.

Step 4: Add cheese and all the other ingredients to the bowl with the cauliflower and onion and stir until well mixed.

Step 5: Spray a medium to large baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer contents of the bowl to the baking dish. Sprinkle with paprika (optional). Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then serve warm.

If you’re watching your calories, this dish is right for you. 1 generous cup of the sweet creamy casserole is only 117 calories.

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