The Lean Green Bean

Thursday, September 16, 2010

NYC Dinner

Roasted Beet Crostinis:
*my recipe below, original recipe here

  • 1 bunch beets with greens attached
  • 16 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette, preferably whole-grain, cut on the diagonal
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • 4 ounces creamy goat cheese (ours was garlic and herb flavored)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
-Preheat oven to 400°F.

-Trim greens from beets, reserving stems and greens. Place the beets in a baking pan, cover with foil and roast until very tender when pierced with a knife, 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the beets. Uncover and let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. (Our beet greens were wimpy so we bought some arugula to substitute)

-While the beets cool, arrange baguette slices in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake, turning the slices over once halfway through, until toasted but not browned, about 14 minutes.

-Saute the greens with some garlic in a pan:

-Peel the cooled beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Place 3/4 cup beet pieces, goat cheese and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth.

-To assemble crostini, spread about 2 teaspoons beet-cheese spread on each slice of toasted baguette and top with sautéed greens.

The pink is kinda crazy but the taste is good :)

Pasta with Roasted Broccoli, Pancetta & Pine nuts
*my recipe below, original recipe here


  • 8  ounces  uncooked cavatappi pasta (any kind will do)
  • 1  pound  asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces (we couldn't find asparagus :( so we used broccoli and brussel sprouts)
  • 1  teaspoon  minced garlic
  • 3  tablespoons  pine nuts
  • 2  ounces  diced pancetta
  • 2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 2  teaspoons  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) crumbled Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions;
3. Roast garlic, brussel sprouts and garlic

4. Bake pine nuts at 400° for 3 minutes or until golden and fragrant, stirring occasionally. Place in a small bowl.

4. Increase oven temperature to 475°.
5. Arrange pancetta on jelly-roll pan. Bake at 475° for 6 minutes or until crisp.

6. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper, stirring with a whisk.

7.Drizzle over pasta mixture; toss well to coat. Sprinkle with pine nuts, pancetta, and cheese.


We thought it was a bit boring flavor-wise so we added some thai chili sauce and cayenne pepper!

Spicy Cashew Crusted Salmon

We found an awesome crust for our salmon at the grocery store. I mean what can be better than something called Nutcrusters?! We chose spicy pecan. It was very low sodium and the ingredients were panko breadcrumbs, crushed pecans, paprika and cayenne pepper...very easy to recreate at home:

Put some eggs and some nutcrusters in separate pans:

Dip the salmon in both:

Bake at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes until it flakes easily with a fork:

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans & Tomatoes:

Slice the ends off the sweet potatoes and bake the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until tender:

Mix 1 can black beans,  1 diced tomato, some olive oil and some cumin in a small bowl:

Remove potatoes from oven, slice open with knife and fill with bean mixture. You can return to oven to warm through if desired:

Here's the final dinner spread:

 GOOD STUFF! Now for dessert:

The hubby and I came VERY close to  ordering cheesecake last night for dessert but we passed it up for some gelato. Since, as you know, I was already thinking about making mini cheesecakes when I got home, mom and I decided to give them a try! We combined a couple different recipes so I'll try to give you our new one below:

To make the crust:

2 cups graham crackers crumbs (or you could use gingersnaps)
2 Tbsp sugar
7 Tbsp unsalted butter

Put the graham crackers in the food processor and process until crumb sized. We used 2 packages:

Melt the butter:

Put the crumbs and sugar in a bowl, add the butter and stir to combine:

Line your muffin pans with liners. We had enough to do 24 mini cheesecakes. Scoop and press a spoonful of the crust mixture into the bottom of each muffin tin:

Bake at 275 for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

For the filling:

4 8-oz pkgs cream cheese (We used 2 low fat and 2 regular)
2 Tbsp flour
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature
lemon zest

In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese, flour, vanilla and lemon zest until creamy:

Beat in sugar. Then add eggs, one at a time, beating just until mixed after each addition. Don't overmix. If your eggs aren't at room temperature, place them in a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes:

Now your mixture should look like this:

Spoon the cream cheese mixture into each muffin tin:

Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or so..The middle jiggle just a little bit. We had enough mixture to make 24 but only had 18 muffin tins so we tried just setting muffin liners on a tray for the last 6. I wouldn't advise it:

But the rest looked fine!

Let cool, then remove from pan and peel off muffin liners.

Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. We served ours with fresh strawberry puree:



Blogger Kristine said...

i would just like to say a few things:
- i love your blog
- i wish I was in NYC with you and the fam
- everything you make looks delicious
- i love you lots!

ps: i saw earlier you had trail mix with animal crackers in it! why have i NEVER thought of that?? :)

September 16, 2010 at 11:04 PM  

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