Tortes are for Vegetables Too

Who doesn’t love a torte? Now, thinking on tortes, I’ve never seen or eaten one that wasn’t sweet. But, the other night I started thinking about some of the extra veggies I had on hand and what to do with them. I needed a fresh and new way to get them onto the table.

Turns out, there’s lots of vegetable recipes on line (duh!). I came across this recipe from Buona Pappa that you can see a great video for here: http://www.buonapappa.net/zucchini-and-carrots-roses-tart/

It’s a beautifully crafted rose torte where the veggies are peeled and the peels are turned into beautiful roses. That’s some great food art!

After thinking on the idea of making a torte with (gasp!) VEGETABLES and NOT CHOCOLATE I decided to try something similar.

Here’s what happened:

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Here’s a shot of the ingredients

Turn the oven to 350 deg F.

Get a puff pastry and unroll it over a flat surface. Then place it into your torte pan. (I didn’t have a pan solely for tortes but I had a spring form pan for cheesecake and this worked well)

 

 

 

I put some wax paper on the pastry and weighed it down with some dried beans (or you could use pie weights if you have them).  I then put the torte crust in the oven for about 20 minutes (make sure it’s golden brown when you take it out of the oven)

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I used some beans I had in the pantry to weigh the crust down

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the crust was baking I made the filling and diced the veggies.

For the filling:

I cracked 2 eggs into a glass bowl (seriously you could use any bowl, I just like the glass ones) and poured in the small curd cottage cheese and Parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg, salt, chunked mozzarella and Italian seasoning and stirred

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YUMMY FILLING

 

 

 

 

 

For the veggies:

I cut them into chunks like mini towers. I used egg plant, green and yellow zucchini, and carrots.

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Cutting veggies

(Keep in mind you could also do slices for thinner chunks of veggies, or if your really brave, you could do the awesome roses like on Buona Pappa’s site)

 

 

 

 

After the crust was cooled, I poured the filling into the cooled torte crust until it was thick enough to hold the veggies upright (about ½ inch thick).  Then I placed the veggies all around to make a colorful veggie wonderland

 

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Looks like a veggie wonderland!

I put it in the oven at 350 deg F for another 50 to 55 minutes.

When the torte was done I sprinkled some leftover cheese to melt on the top (I grated some mozzarella and Parmesan and mixed it).

Forgive me for not having a after cut picture but it was so yummy that it was gone before I realized I’d forgotten!

Note: If you have leftover filling like I did make sure to use it as there’s raw eggs in it (DON’T eat it out of the spoon even though it smells good!). It goes wonderful baked into macaroni and cheese!! (Seriously I have a mac and cheese fetish that is out of control, I think we know what my next recipe is probably going to be…that is if I don’t come across a good chocolate one!)

Have a great day everyone!

Recipe Below:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 puff pastry crust
  • 16 ozSmall curd cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cup chunked mozzarella (plus half cup grated)
  • 8 oz shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp Italian Herb seasoning
  • Vegetables for torte (I used zucchini, eggplant, and carrots)

 

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 deg. F.
  2. Unroll pastry crust onto flat surface and place into torte pan
  3. Weigh down the crust with pie weights over wax paper and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown
  4. Mix eggs, cottage cheese, nutmeg, garlic, salt, mozzarella, parmesan cheese and herb seasoning
  5. Cut vegetables
  6. After pastry is done and cooled, pour cheese mixture into the pastry crust
  7. Place vegetables in cheese mixture
  8. Bake in already heated oven for 50 to 55 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

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Squash-Tots!

I have two words (or well, one hyphenated word) for you. Tater-Tots!

About two weeks ago when I was out and about I stopped at a farmers market and bought a fresh butternut squash. Yum!

But…when I got home, I couldn’t figure out what to make with it. We’d had lots of squash for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and while both of us love it, we didn’t want to overdo a good thing. So what to do with said squash?

Fast forward about a week. Standing at the open oven putting homemade French fries in to bake, it hit me. Tater-tots. We love them. Who doesn’t love them!

I thought why not try a tater-tot butternut squash.

Challenge set!

So, after looking around on the Internet and reading through various versions of this tater-tot recipe, I decided to make it my own.

Here’s what happened:

 

I preheated the oven to 350 F and sprayed a baking dish with non-stick spray. Then I peeled and cubed the squash and diced about ¾ of an onion.

I tossed the squash and onion in about 2 tbsp. of olive oil and Italian herb seasoning and put them in a greased baking tin.

I baked the vegetables for about 40 minutes. Honestly I lost track of time during this as I had to feed the baby, so it may have been a couple minutes more. Just make sure you can pierce the squash cubes with a knife or fork when you take them out of the oven.

I took the pan out (finished feeding the baby) and let it cool for about half hour.

When it was cool enough to handle I put the squash/onion mixture into the food processor.

When it was smooth and looked like baby food, I took it out of the food processor and scraped it into a bowl where I added some flax seed meal to help the soon-to-be tater-tots stay together (it can be used in place of eggs in most recipes).

Then I added some flour about ¼ cup at a time (I ended up using about ¾ cup). Add this slowly to ensure that you don’t add too much which could make the squash too much like dough.

Then I placed the gooey tater-tots on a cutting board to get ready to place in the fry pan

I used a non-stick pan and put about 2 tbsp. of olive oil in and heated it up.

I cooked the tater-tots on each side flipping after two minutes on each side.

Then I let them drain on a paper towel.

Once they are cool enough to pick up, make sure to put one in your mouth and enjoy it! They were so good and enjoyed by not only my husband and myself. Even Sam the dog got in on the tater-tot action.

There you go. Dietitian, husband, and dog approved! Butternut Squash Tater-tots…who knew?

Ingredients:

1 Butternut Squash

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

2 Tbsp. Italian Herb Seasoning

½ of an Onion, Diced (or more to taste)

1/4c-3/4c Flour of choice

3 Tbsp. Water

1 Tbsp. Flax Seed Meal

Recipe:

  1. Peel Butternut squash
  2. Cube the squash and dice the onion
  3. Toss with olive oil and Italian herb seasoning
  4. Bake cubed squash and onion together at 350 degrees F. for about 40 minutes (until you can easily pierce the cubes with a fork)
  5. Take out of the oven and let cool
  6. Put the squash into a food processor and puree
  7. Mix 1 tbsp. of flax seed meal with 3 tbsp. of water and let sit for two minutes, then mix into squash mixture (this can be used in place of egg in many recipes)
  8. Mix in ¼ cup flour at a time. Do this part slowly and stir well after each ¼ cup. You can use whatever flour you like (potato, oat, rice). I had regular flour at home and used that.
  9. Time to get your hands dirty! Form the tater-tots
  10. Once the tater-tots are ready to be put on the stove get out your non-stick skillet.
  11. Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the skillet (you could potentially not use olive oil if you are really cutting back on your calories but this would affect the buttery and crunchy flavor of the tater-tots so be aware.
  12. Cook the tots for two minutes on each side. I had to turn mine onto each side (so that would be four rotations) to get the entire tot browned.
  13. Once they are cooled ENJOY!!

Back in the (Running) Game!

So it has been quite a while since I have followed a training schedule.  One year exactly last week.  With the new year, I have set some new running goals for myself and here I’d like to share them with you.

  1. On May 7, 2016 I will be running the New River Marathon as a fun training run…and to get a little revenge on this course (more on that later!!).
  2. On June 5, 2016 I will be running the San Diego Marathon as my first official marathon back from my pregnancy. I will be celebrating being back running, while at the same time assessing where I am physically and mentally in order to get ready to run my goal race in the fall.
  3. My Goal race to attempt to qualify for the Boston Marathon will be this coming fall (to qualify for Boston 2018 race).  I will run either the Syracuse NY Empire State Marathon (no 2016 date yet, last year it was in October) or the Peak to Creek Marathon in North Carolina (also in October). My goal for this race is to cross the finish line with a time below 3 hours and 25 minutes (which would be a personal best for me by almost 6 minutes).

I am giving myself the winter and spring to have fun getting back into the game and to slowly ease back into a training schedule. With a new baby I am still learning how to juggle working out, work and home life so I want to make sure there’s as little stress as possible so I can enjoy that baby girl!

Also, I still have on about 10 pounds from my pregnancy and my body is tired but continuing to recover, both of these affect my mile times and cardiovascular endurance.  I want to make sure that as I slowly loose the weight, I also gain muscle and keep my body strong and healthy while it heals.  In this, patience, consistency and a positive attitude will be key.

So for now, there it is.  Three Marathons. Two for fun and One with a gutsy goal.

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