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Starred Recipes

3 Stars - A Family Favorite
2 Stars - Really Good, Will Make Again
1 Star - Good Recipe, Probably Won't Make Again

December 10, 2012

Cranberry Roasted Winter Vegetables

Cranberry Roasted Winter Vegetables
My 250th Y'all Come Eat recipe!
This recipe comes from the December 2012 Southern Living and sounded wonderful.
We eat quite a few vegetables around here, and the boys eat roasted vegetables really well.
I thought the addition of the cranberries would be a nice touch.
The article recommends pairing it with their Pork Roast with Sweet Onion-Pumpkin Seed Relish, which sounds yummy.
You trim, peel, and slice carrots and turnips and place them on one baking sheet.
I am the world's worst and trying to cut vegetables all the same size. 
The recipe says 1 inch pieces of carrots and turnips. 
Mine are all over the place, but it worked just fine.
Toss them with half of the minced fresh rosemary and olive oil in the recipe. 
Season with salt & pepper.
Cook at 400* for 30 minutes.
blurry photo - yuck

You do the same for your halved Brussels sprouts in another baking sheet.  Since the Brussels sprouts roast more quickly, you cook them in separate dishes.
Cook the Brussels sprouts for 20 minutes at the same temperature.

When the carrots and turnips have been roasting for 30 minutes, take the pan out of the oven, give them a little stir, and add fresh (or thawed frozen) cranberries to the baking sheet.

And roast the vegetables for another 5-10 minutes.  The cranberries will pop open.

Toss all of your vegetables together on a large platter and drizzle with molasses.
I didn't have molasses so used brown rice syrup.  I think you could also use maple syrup.
We liked the vegetables and the cranberries were a nice touch, but tart!
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December 7, 2012

Rice and Lentils

Rice and Lentils
When I took cooking classes with Sandy earlier this year, she made this dish for us to eat with our yummy herb-inspired dishes.  It is one of those dishes that she just tossed together and it was so good.  I hadn't "just tossed it together" yet for my family, but had been meaning to.
I always have cooked grains in the fridge, to make school night dinners that much easier to pull together.  We really like lentils, so this was a no-brainer.
When I asked Sandy for her "recipe", she had to think about what she did that so inspired me.
She shared that she used brown Basmati rice, green lentils, fresh rosemary, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt.  Seemed easy enough for me!

I pulled out brown Basmati from the fridge and warmed it up just a little in the microwave.
Then I cooked lentils on the stove according to the package directions. 
Instead of plain water, I used vegetable broth and a bay leaf to flavor the lentils as they cooked.
Lentils cook much more quickly than rice.

Once tender, I combined the rice, lentils (minus the bay leaf), chopped fresh rosemary, onion powder, garlic powder, and celery salt.
This dish has a great mild flavor, and is perfect as a main dish, or as a side dish with meat and vegetables.

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December 6, 2012

Hot Purple Cabbage

Hot Purple Cabbage
So I made up the name of this recipe.
It comes from my friend Jan, who makes it for holiday meals all the time.
It's originally from Roger's German side of the family.
Roger and Jan

Jan brought it to our Oktoberfest Wine Club party a couple of months ago and David and I really liked it.  I'm always up for a new veggie recipe.
Jan assured me it was really easy, so I pestered her until she emailed me the recipe :)
She said that she puts all the ingredients together in a large pot.
I had a really large head of cabbage, so I dealt with the other ingredients first, then added the cabbage.
I placed the apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar, and water in first and let the sugar dissolve over medium heat.

Then I added in my purple cabbage.  When Jan made this recipe, I think she used red cabbage.  Or, there may not be a difference.  My outcome just looked a lot purple-r than Jan's!  Regardless, it worked just fine.

Mix it up, cover, and let it cook for an hour on medium-low heat.  Stir often.
This is after just 10 minutes.

Serve piping hot, even if you have to microwave it again after transferring to a serving bowl.
I love the flavors and will make this again soon I'm sure!
Thomas had 3 helpings the night I made it, and Brennan had leftovers the next day with his after-school snack. 
(Results not typical)
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Guten Appetit!


Cinnamon Apples

Cinnamon Apples
My friend Kami, who makes the best whole-foods dishes for her kids, sent me this recipe from Taste of Home for a sweet treat.  It's a quick dish that can be made ahead of time and pulled out after dinner.
There are only 4 ingredients, all of which I have on hand, except for the red hot candies.
I couldn't find them anywhere!  Do they only sell red hots at Valentine's Day? 
Well, honestly, I only looked in 3 stores, but still.
So I went with hot cinnamon Jolly Ranchers, and I think they worked just as well.
I boiled water, sugar, and Jolly Ranchers in a saucepan until the candies fully dissolved.

Then I carefully added in my peeled & quartered apples, and let them cook until they were tender - about 15 minutes.  You could go longer, as long as the apples stay intact.
Here they are after 10 minutes. 

When they're tender, you place the apples in a serving dish and pour the syrup over the top.
Let them cool for a couple of minutes, then cover them and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
I wish I had a plated photo of this dish, but they disappeared so quickly! 
They were good and cinnamony, and a nice after dinner treat.
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Cumin and Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Cumin and Lime Roasted Sweet Potatoes
This is a great, easy recipe from the September 2012 Vegetarian Times. 
I'll certainly make this recipe again and again.
I rarely eat sweet potatoes when they're not sweet - boiled and mashed with butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar.  Delicious!  But I was curious about this savory version.
I was delighted to find that these are delicious, and even mildly sweet, roasted with cumin, paprika, and topped with lime and cilantro.  They're really, really good!
I started by peeling and cubing my potatoes while the oven was pre-heating to 425*.
I tossed them with 1 tsp of olive oil and placed them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Then I sprinkled them with smoked paprika, cumin, and the juice of half a lime.

The potatoes roasted for 45 minutes and were plenty tender, so I transferred them to a platter and sprinkled them with the other half of lime, and topped them with chopped fresh cilantro.

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December 2, 2012

Five Ingredient Pasta Toss

Five Ingredient Pasta Toss

At the end of a very busy weekend, I decided to throw this dish together so we could all watch a family movie together.  So easy, and great with a side vegetable, or by itself as we chose to eat it tonight!
I cooked bowtie pasta al dente.  While it was cooking I added olive oil and crushed garlic to my serving bowl.

Then I tossed in rinsed & drained pinto beans, and chopped fresh basil.
The original recipe calls for white beans, but I chose pinto and they worked well.

I drained the pasta and tossed it together right away with the remaining ingredients, and served.
The original recipe also calls for a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with the juice.
Because my kids don't like tomatoes, I skipped this ingredient.
David recommends doubling up on the beans.
I am reminding myself to season the pasta water because the pasta needed a little extra salt.
The boys think there was too much garlic, so I cut it back to 2 cloves in the recipe below.
Perfect accompaniment to Elf tonight!
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Buon Appetito!

November 29, 2012

Mediterranean Grain Salad

Mediterranean Grain Salad

I really love the versatility of a grain salad.  This version comes from Sandy who taught me the yumminess of this kind of dish.  It's great as a side dish, a main dish, to take to a pot luck, and keeps for a couple of days easily in the fridge.  This version was especially yummy!
You start with 6 cups of cooked grains - whatever you might have on hand.
I had made couscous (not actually a grain) and brown Basmati rice before and froze them to use later.  So I pulled out some of each and defrosted them.
But you could use any grain, or combination of grains including rice, quinoa, barley, couscous, etc.
Once I was ready to make this dish, I heated the rice and couscous in the microwave for a couple of minutes to take the chill off and combined them in my large mixing bowl. 
To my mixed grains I added a can of chickpeas (rinsed & drained), a jar of Kalamata olives (drained), chopped scallions, a chopped cucumber and fresh basil.  I mixed it all up together and seasoned with garlic powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper.

Because I wanted the boys to eat this dish as well, I didn't add tomatoes to the dish, but halved some cherry tomatoes for David and me to top ours with.  If you have tomato lovers at your house, you can incorporate the fresh or sun-dried tomatoes in your grains with the other ingredients.
Then I added bottled Balsamic vinaigrette, tossed the salad together, and served it alongside my other dishes for dinner.
The grain/vegetable/herbs/vinaigrette combinations are endless, but I liked this Mediterranean flair.
If you wanted to, you could also add any additional protein like other beans, meat, cheese, tofu, fish, or shrimp.
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Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

This versatile recipe comes from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa herself.  Brennan requested tilapia for dinner this week, and I thought this make-ahead salsa would be an easy topping.  We all liked it and I'll certainly make it again for other dishes.
I modified the dish somewhat and will share my changes with you.
I started by sauteing onion and minced ginger in olive oil until the onion was translucent - about 10 minutes.  Then I added garlic and cooked it for 1 minute.  At that point I added in diced mango, orange juice, light brown sugar, salt, pepper, and diced  jalapeño and cooked it again for 10 minutes.
Ina suggests 2 onions diced, but that seemed like a ton of onion for this non-onion loving set of parents.  So I used 1/2 a yellow onion and the balance seemed right.  I can't imagine quadrupling the amount.
I used 1 tsp of diced  jalapeño, but you could certainly use more!

Then you transfer the dish to a serving bowl and top with mint.  Ina suggests 2 tsp of fresh mint, but I chopped up quite a bit more.
You can then serve it warm, let it come to room temperature, or do like I did and cover it in plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge for later.

It was great on hot out of the oven tilapia!

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November 19, 2012

Corn and Chickpea Patties

Corn and Chickpea Patties

I had my first chickpea patty when I took healthy cooking classes with Sandy, Healthy Coach and Natural Foods Chef.  They were delicious.
I found several other recipes that were similar and I tried one of them recently - and they were super dry.  There wasn't enough dip to make them palatable.
Chickpea Patties are also known as "croquettes" and "burgers".
Tonight I made Sandy's version, and they were so much better!
I cooked frozen corn and chopped onion in olive oil, then combined the vegetables with corn meal, bread crumbs, herbs, and spices with just a few pulses of the food processor.

I knew immediately that these were going to be moist.

Here is my last iteration.  Waaaay too dry.

Once the ingredients were pulsed just to combine, I formed them into patties, dusted them with cornmeal, and heated them for a few minutes on both sides in the same oiled pan I used to cook the onions and corn, spraying on just a little more oil.
I served them with a Greek yogurt and herb dipping sauce, and delicious!
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Chickpea and Tofu Mild Curry

Chickpea and Tofu Mild Curry

I have never made curry from scratch, so I was excited to try this mild curry from the You Are What You Eat cookbook that I've used so much.
There are a lot of ingredients to this dish, but most of them I already had in the fridge, pantry, or cabinet.
I started by cooking onions in olive oil for 10 minutes until they were very tender.
(there's a theme, I'm venturing out and cooking with onions more and more these days)
Then I added in drained/cubed tofu, chickpeas, fresh cilantro, diced carrots, spices, and water. 
I brought it to a boil, then covered it and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

While it was simmering I boiled a large pot of salted water and cooked a pound of shredded kale for about 4 minutes until it was good and tender.
I added in dissolved cornstarch and miso that I had dissolved with a little bit of the curry liquid, and let the curry cook another few minutes.

I drained the kale and placed it on a platter, topping it with the curry and some fresh cilantro.
I served the curry with rice and warmed naan.
The flavors are very mild and might need a little more salt during the cooking process.
But everyone liked it and it made for a nice change of pace!
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आप का खाना स्वादिष्ट हो
(Hindi for "Bon Appetit!")

Dill and Chive Peas

Dill and Chive Peas

This quick and easy side vegetable comes from the October/November 2012 Taste of Home magazine.
We like peas around here, so I thought I'd give this a try.  It couldn't be simpler.
I heated frozen peas in a Corning Ware dish according to the package directions.
I drained out the little bit of excess water.
Then I mixed in the other remaining ingredients - butter, Kosher salt, fresh chives, dill, and lemon pepper.

And served immediately!

They're very tasty, and so quick to make.
The original recipe calls for fresh dill, but I used dried dill.
I'd like to try it with fresh dill the next time I think to pick some up!
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