The kids and I enjoyed a creative lunch today, using a variety of olive oils, an aged balsamic vinegar, Parmesan seasonings, cheese, basil, lettuce, red onion, orange bell peppers, tomatoes and marinated cucumbers, paired with freshly baked tomato basil or rosemary baguette slices. Hummus and avocado sauces would have also been a great addition. Needless to say, the kids had a great time experimenting with presentation and trying new combinations.
Marinated Cucumbers – Use balsamic vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper
Posted in Avocados, Basil, Bread, Garlic, Grains, Lettuce, lunch, Marinated, Red Onion, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Sandwiches, Tomatoes, tomatoes, Vegetarian
1 Eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 Orange Bell Pepper, chopped
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
4-8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
4 Celery Stalks, chopped
half head Bok Choy, chopped
1-2 TBSP Cooking Oil of Choice
0.75-1.5 TSP Ginger Powder (Note: Use 2 TSP fresh Ginger if you have it.)
1 TBSP Sesame Seed Oil
1 TBSP Honey (optional)
1 cup Dried Rice (Jasmine is pictured here)
1. Cook rice according to directions and set a side, covered.
2. In a large skillet, add 1 TBSP cooking oil, eggplant, garlic, and onions, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add peppers, celery, fresh ginger*, and mushrooms, and cook for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add juice of half of a lemon, ~1 TSP ginger powder*, salt, pepper, and bok choy. Turn off heat. Stir mix to bury bok choy, allowing it to steep.
5. Add 1 TSP sesame seed oil.
6. Pour rice into a large bowl. Add 1-2 TSP sesame seed oil, dash of pepper, juice of half a lemon, 0.5-1 TSP ginger powder, and honey. Mix well.
Posted in Bok Choy, Brown Rice, Cabbage, Celery, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Mushrooms, Onion, Rice, Vegetarian
I recently discovered a recipe post online from a local aspiring chef, Tasting Independence, and HAD to try it!
2 large or 3 medium sized Portabella Mushrooms
1 Sweet Potato, cubed
0.25 cup Quinoa, uncooked
1.5 cups Spinach, fresh, lightly coated in oil
1.5 TSP Olive Oil
Salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450 F and cook quinoa in 3/4 cup water.
2. Coat the potato cubes in oil.
3. Bake the potato cubes on a cookie sheet, single layer just like you do when making baked sweet potato fries.
4. Bake the potatoes for 15-20 minutes on first side. Flip and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add spinach on top of the potatoes and bake for 5 minutes.
6. Mix spinach/potato mixture with cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
7. Lightly oil portabella tops.
8. Stuff portabella tops with spinach/potato/quinoa mixture and bake on cookie sheet at 400 F for 15 minutes.
Do you happen to have fruit that is reaching the end of its desired shelf life or has been hanging out in your freezer for a while? If so, this may be a great rescue opportunity.
6-12 Peaches (fresh or frozen, sliced)
1-2 lb Cherries (fresh or frozen, pitted)
8-16 oz Blueberries or Blackberries (fresh or frozen)
8-16 oz Cranberries or Plums/Plouts (fresh or frozen)
1 cup Bread or All Purpose Flour
1 cup Oats
1 cup Brown Sugar
1 cup Butter (or 2 sticks)*
Dash of Salt
*1 stick of butter might be enough if looking for a slightly healthier alternative.
1. Place peaches in a greased/oiled 9×13 dish and top with cherries and berries. The fruit should fill the entire dish.
2. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes at 400 F.
3. Mix flour, oats, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
4. After fruit has baked, pour the dry mixture over the fruit.
5. Drizzle the butter evenly over the dry mixture.
6. Bake for 30 minutes at 400 F or until the crisp is golden brown.
7. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Fresh fruit crisp pairs well with those frozen dairy desserts! Perfect for National Ice Cream Day (in the event you need an excuse).
Posted in Blackberry, Blueberry, Cherry, Cranberries, Desserts, Fruit, Peach, Plum, Pluot, Raspberry, Vegetarian
2-3 pints Sungold Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
1 large or 2 medium Heirloom Tomatoes (or 5-6 Roma Tomatoes), sliced
1/2 Onion, chopped
2-4 oz fresh Basil
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped or crushed
dash Italian Seasoning
2 TSP Oil
1/2 cup Water
Combine tomatoes, water, oil and salt in pot and cook on medium-high for 15 minutes (or until tender). Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Allow sauce to cool. Blend sauce in a blender or food processor until desired consistency. Pour sauce back into pan and cook for 10+ minutes. Serve over pasta of choice.
Do you ever find yourself with leftover veggies from a meal and wonder what you’re going to do with them? Well, that was the situation for me a couple of nights ago after hubby made dinner. He only used half an eggplant, half of the potatoes he had prepared, and then reminded me we had zucchini and yellow squash crying for my attention. “No worries,” I thought. I’ll just cook them up and find something to put them into later. And that’s exactly what I did.
A mixture of veggies such as…
1 half Eggplant, peeled
1 Potato, sliced
1 Yellow Squash, sliced
2 Zucchini, sliced
3 Tomatoes (I used Heirloom Ugly Tomatoes)
4-6 Garlic Cloves, sliced or crushed
1 small Onion, chopped
half cup Ketchup
a lot of Cumin
32 oz Black Beans, cooked
Salt as desired
Brown Rice, Cooked
Veggies to decorate your dish
To start, combine all veggies and garlic into a skillet and cook thoroughly. After they are soft and fully cooked allow them to cool. Once cooled, add ketchup and puree the veggies until they reach a desired consistency. (Some like their tomato base to be chunky, others like it smooth.) Place the tomato base into a skillet or sauce pan and add black beans. Bring bean mixture to a simmer and add cumin, salt, and cilantro if you have it. Place black beans over brown rice and decorate.
Needless to say, my kids took over with my plate and decorated it for me, giggling the entire time. The best part is that they also ate their entire meal never realizing I had hidden veggies inside.
Posted in Brown Rice, Cilantro, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Onion, Peppers - Green Bell, Peppers - Jalapeno, Peppers - Poblano, Potato, Red Onion, Rice, Romaine, Squash, Vegetarian, Yellow Squash, Zucchini
Are you looking for a new pizza crust? We decided to try a new style of pizza crust and found this recipe by Emeril Lagasse that turned out great!
Here’s the recipe from FoodNetwork.com:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
1 cup cornmeal, plus more for dusting pizza peel
In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add the 1 cup of cornmeal and all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not too sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6
Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.
1. We prefer our cornbread recipes to have a sweeter taste than this yielded, so next time I would add 2-3 TBSP honey.
2. We placed the dough in a moist and hot microwave oven for the rising step. (You can create this environment by first boiling 2 cups of water in the microwave for ~2-3 minutes. Then quickly place the bowl of dough in the microwave and shut the door (leaving the microwave off). It works wonderfully and cuts the rising time down to 30 minutes instead of 2 hours.)
3. We cut our dough into 4 equal pieces and rolled out mini pizzas. They each measured approximately 8 inches in diameter. We found 8 minutes at 500 F was plenty of baking time on a baking sheet.
4. This would be a great crust to infuse some herbs into the dough, such as sun-dried tomato, basil, rosemary, etc.
5. We topped our pizza with tomatoes, basil, and sweet bell peppers. Don’t be afraid to be creative too.
Posted in Basil, Corn, Garlic, Grains, Herbs, Mushrooms, Onion, Pizza, Rosemary, tomatoes, Vegetarian
Popcorn is a natural whole-grain snack food, but is often times used as a mobile source for salt, sugars, food coloring, etc. Getting back to the natural goodness of this grain is essential.
Inspired by our campfire popcorn popper (and recipe), I created THIS quick and simple recipe using a stainless steel pot and a gas range.
You will need:
2/3 cup popcorn kernels
2-3 TBSP oil of choice (I recommend canola or coconut)
Dash of Sea Salt
1. Preheat empty pot for 3-5 minutes on medium heat setting.
2. Remove from heat and add oil and kernels.
3. Place lid on top of pot and heat on medium heat. Vigorously shake the pot (using hotpads) every 30-45 seconds. When you begin to hear kernels popping, hold the pot ~3-6 inches above the flames and shake continuously until popping stops.
4. Remove from heat.
5. Remove the lid and add salt as desired.
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Wraps are a nice change from afternoon sandwiches, and this one looks like a great addition to our menu. EatingWell.com has posted a wrap recipe using red cabbage, white beans, avocado and other items frequently found in our weekly boxes. … Continue reading
Photo by CafeSucreFarine.com
The CafeSucreFarine.com has posted a mouth watering salad using avocado, cilantro and almonds with a white balsamic dressing. I’ve never tried a white balsamic dressing before, so this will be a new experience I’m eager to test out.