Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Custom Platter with Sprouts, Pesto & Marinades

Sprouted lentils, horseradish pesto and a turmeric marinade seasoned tonight's salmon, soba noodles and roasted vegetables-producing a unique clean-your-plate dinner.  There are endless possibilities for the leftovers!  The recent issue of Bon Appetit Magazine features many mini recipes that complement and when pieced together create a custom plate like no other.  

Horseradish-Pumpkin Seed Pesto

(Serves 4)

Finely grind pepitas in a mini spice grinder.  Add it to fresh leaves, lime juice, horeradish and oil in a small food processor.  Pulse, stir and pulse again until pesto is thick.
1/2 cup toasted pepitas
2 tablespoon grated peeled horseradish
2 cups spinach leaves, stems removed
2 tablespoon cilantro leaves
4 basil leaves
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

Marinated Cheese with Roasted Lemon

(Serves 4)

Toss lemon slices and oil on a baking sheet;  roast until lightly charred for 10 minutes.  Combine lemon slices, cheese, bay leaf, juice and oil in a small dish.  Season with fresh grated pepper.  Cover and chill.
1/2 large lemon, sliced, seeds removed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup bleu cheese crumbles
1 bay leaves
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Fresh grated pepper

Turmeric Dressing

(Serves 4)

 Whisk all ingredients together.
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoon oive oil
2 tablespoon finely grated carrots
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
2 teaspoon finely grated turmeric
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Sprouted Lentils

(Serves 4)

In a small ball jar, add lentils.  Pour 1 cup room temperature water and 1/4 teaspoon vinegar over dry lentils.  Allow to sit overnight.
1/4 cup red lentils
Drain lentils.  Add more room temperature water.
Cover lid with cheesecloth, then secure with the jar ring.  Pour out water through the cloth.  Invert jar onto a cloth lined bowl.  
Repeat 3 times a day until sprouted, about 1 1/2 days.

Mix 2 tablespoon Horseradish Pesto with sprouted lentils.

Platter Assembly

Pour 1/3 of turmeric marinade over 2 salmon fillets.  Roast at 400 F. for 15 minutes.

Roast winter squash slices with 1 tablespoon olive oil for 40 minutes.  

Boil soba noodles for 8 minutes.  Drain.  Sprinkle with turmeric marinade.

  • Scatter sprouted lentils over bottom of plates.
  • Arrange salmon, roasted vegetables and soba noodles over lentils.
  • Garnish with lemon roasted bleu cheese crumbles.
  • Garnish with additional pesto.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Meatless Monday Toast Topper

After taking a day off from cooking to eat holiday leftovers and eat out with family, it was fun to get back in the kitchen to try out Christmas pans and utensils as well as to get back into a routine.  Meatless Monday is always part of the routine!  

The Herbed Chickpeas were inspired by Bon Appetit Magazine

Herbed Chickpeas with Greens

(Serves 2)

Rinse and cover beans with 2-3 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 2 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Cover and sit for 1 hour.
1/4 cup dry garbanzo beans
Drain beans.  Cover with 2-3 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower to simmer.  Cover and cook until tender, approximately 1 1/2 hours.  Drain.

In a cast non-stick skillet, saute garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes.
1 large garlic clove
1 teaspoon olive oil
Add beans.  Fry 7-8 minutes, stiring occasionally and covering in between.

Add greens and saute 1-2 minutes until withered.  Remove from pan.
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves

Add additional oil.  Fry eggs until desired. 
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon olive oil

Arrange chickpeas and greens along side toasted dinner roll.  Top with fried egg.
1 large butternut squash dinner roll 

Our meal is served with 1/2 pink grapefruit.  This is the season when citrus fruits are the best they can be!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Feast with Fig Glazed Turkey and Stuffing

Our Christmas smorgasbord entrees features free range turkey and grass fed beef from Working H Farm ,though me favorite part of this meal is the stuffing.  Our 2015 Christmas Dinner for the Gays and the Hunts includes:

Fig Glazed Turkey
Cornbread Stuffing
Multi-Grain Rolls
Whipped Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Mozzarella, Tomato Basil Salad
Warm Cranberry Wassail
Michelle's Pies:  Pumpkin and Dutch Apple

Fig-Glazed Turkey & Cornbread Stuffing

(Serves 15)

Pour warm water over figs, syrup and lemon juice in a large bowl.  Set aside for 30 minutes.  Drain liquid into a separate bowl.
1 1/2 cups figs, chopped
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups warm water

Saute rosemary and onion in olive oil for 4 minutes.
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoon olive oil

Add crumbled sausage and saute for 10 minutes.
4 ounce Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)

Scrape the sausage mixture into the bowl with the figs.  Mix with cornbread.
5 cups cornbread, crumbled (I posted my cornbread recipe yesterday)  

Beat eggs with milk and stock.
2 eggs
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup turkey stock
Mix into cornbread-sausage-fig stuffing.  Place in oven-proof casserole greased with an olive oil spray.  Refrigerate until ready to bake.  Bake at 325 F. for 1 hour.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Fig Glaze
Reserved fig liquid
Bring reserved fig liquid to a simmer.  Simmer until reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Add balsamic vinegar.  Cook until syrupy, about 8 minutes.
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
Baste over turkey every 30 minutes.

Original recipe from Food Network Magazine .

The Wassail Recipe is from Ocean Spray.


Warm Cranberry Wassail

(Serves 12)

Combine all ingredients, except garnishes, in a large saucepan.  Heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.  Garnish with orange slices and cloves.  Serve warm.
1 64 ounce bottle Cranberry Juice Cocktail
2 1/2 cups apple juice
3 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Orange slices, garnish
Whole cloves, garnish

Our daughter-in-law Michelle makes the pies.  

We love having our immediate and extended family join us. 


Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Christmas Lite

With the Christmas Day dinner preparations at hand, a simpler meal on the days preceding is a good plan.   This Apricot Chickpea Soup by RD Nikki Bennett is one of several great soup recipes in the November/December issue of Food and Nutrition Magazine. What goes great with soup?  My Cornbread with Apples, Onion & Thyme!  I made it today in preparation for my Turkey Stuffing.  This recipe is a keeper.

Cornbread with Apples, Onions & Thyme

(16 Servings)

Melt buttery spread over medium heat in a 12-inch cast aluminum skillet that is oven proof.
1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Spread
Pour melted spread into a separate bowl.

Add onion to the skillet and saute for 4 minutes.
1 large onion, thinly sliced

Add apples, 3 tablespoon sugar and 1 tablespoon thyme to the skillet.  Saute 4 more minutes.  Place onion-apple mix in a colander to drain any excess liquid. 
3 apples, sliced thin
3 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon thyme leaves

Mix dry ingredients-cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and 4 1/2 tablespoon sugar together.
2 1/4 cup cornmeal, whole grain
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 tablespoon sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and buttermilk.  Add melted buttery spread.
3 eggs
2 1/4 cup buttermilk
Melted buttery spread
Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (no lumps).  Stir in 1/2 of the apple-onion mix.

Pour batter into skillet (oven proof).  
Top with remaining apple-onion mix.  Sprinkle with1 teaspoon thyme. 
1 teaspoon thyme 

Bake in 400 F. oven for 40 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.  To remove from pan, place another rack over the top of the skillet and invert.  The bread slides right out.  Invert onto cooling rack.  Cool an additional 20 minutes before tasting.

Though it's time for another issue of the Food and Nutrition Magazine, the November/December issue is a keeper, with several easy soup recipes.

Cream of Tomato Soup
Chicken & White Bean Soup
Moroccan Farro & Lentil Soup   

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Say Goodbye to 2015-Not to Local Produce

Cold weather crops-root vegetables, some greens, potatoes, winter squash and cabbage-sell at winter farmers markets in the northeast into the winter months.   Protective growing methods, like high tunnels with covers on raised beds, extend the growing season.  Proper storing allows holding many of these vegetables for months.

Our winter farmers market, held every other week, featured an array of greens, root vegetables, cabbage, squash and more at the years' end.

Cabbage and potatoes are found in most of the country.  

Potatoes keep for many months in an unheated corner of the basement that stays cool and dark. 

Root vegetables store well for winter.  Carrots, beets, turnips and cabbage can keep for months in cold (32 degrees) humid conditions. Trim the tops short and store in the crisper drawer.

Winter squash keeps for months at temperatures of 50 degrees and moderate humidity.  

Embrace winter produce and try new recipes!

Here's an idea for using winter squash in a bread roll recipe adding color, taste and vitamins to this bakers dozen.  I substituted 1 cup of roasted, pureed squash for some of the liquid in the roll recipe.  While not enough to count as a serving of vegetable. it adds 35% of the RDA for Vitamin A to just one roll!  Just look at the inviting color of the baked product!

Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls

(Serves 13)

Cut squash in half.  Remove seeds.  Wrap in foil and bake at 400 F. for 45 minutes.
Scoop squash from peel and place in a food processor.  Puree.  Mix in buttery spread.
1 cup butternut squash, roasted and pureed
1/4 cup buttery vegan spread

In the bowl of a standing mixer with dough hook in place, mix 1/2 cups of each flour with dry yeast, sugar and salt.
1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup corn flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Gradually add warm water to flour mix in bowl.  Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
1/2 cup warm water (125 F)

Mix in egg and squash-buttery spread.  Beat on low for 2 minutes.
1 egg

Gradually add remaining flours, kneading after each addition until dough leaves the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup corn flour
Turn dough into a bowl sprayed with olive oil spray.  Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down.  Divide into balls, 1/4 cup dough each.  Place in 9-inch round springform pan, greased with olive oil spray.  Let rise until double (about 1 hour.)  Bake at 400 F. for 15 minutes.



Friday, December 18, 2015

Dip-lightful Crabcakes

The December issue of Cooking Light Magazine has several cocktail recipes perfect for the holidays.  We enjoyed these seafood perfections as Friday dinner entrees.   The pickled celery and the dip were all very good.  

Crab Cakes in Mini-Muffin Tins

(12 mini crab cakes-2 dinner entrees) 

Pickled celery
Heat water, vinegar and sugar in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Stir in celery.  Let sit for 15 minutes.
1 tablespoon +1 1/2 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon & 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup celery, finely diced

Mix crab, mayonnaise, shallots, mustard, egg white, wheat germ and 1/2 of the pickled celery (drained).  Refrigerate crab mix for 15 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400 F.
6 ounce crabmeat
1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon shallots, diced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 egg white
2 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1/2 pickled celery

Crumb Mixture
Mix wheat germ, shallots and oil.
2 tablespoon toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon shallots, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Grease mini muffin pan with olive oil spray.  Place 1/2 teaspoon crumb mix in bottom of each tin.
Fill muffin tins with heaping tablespoon each crab mix.  Sprinkle with remaining crumb mix.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Turn oven to broil and toast the top of cakes. 

Mix mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard and remaining pickled celery.  Serve with crab cakes.  Garnish with lemon wedges
1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 pickled celery

Happy Friday!



Thursday, December 17, 2015

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

I admit I browsed the cookbook I purchased for my nephew and his wife for Christmas prior to wrapping it.  Dinnertime Survival Guide by Sally Kuzemchak has easy and fast recipes for people of all ages.  The recipe for slow-roasted pulled pork is the one I copied.  Today I made it with a sirloin tip roast and cooked it in the slow cooker.  The beef is from Working H Farm Store.

Slow Cooker Pulled Beef

(Serves 18)  

Place brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, cumin, black pepper and dry mustard in a large zipper bag.  Shake to mix.  Place beef in the bag and cover thoroughly with the spice mix.
2 1/2 pound sirloin tip roast
2 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
Place a rack in the bottom of a slow cooker.  Spray rack and inside of cooker with olive oil spray.

Place water in bottom of cooker.  Place seasoned beef roast on rack.
1/2 cup water
Cover;  turn cooker to low.  Roast 2 hours.

Mix vinegar and ketchup.  Baste roast every hour with this mix.  (I refrigerated the basting mix and brush between bastings). 
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoon ketchup (without high fructose sugar) 

After 6 hours, add more water.
1/2 cup water
Roast is ready after 8 hours.  Slice thinly (I used an electric knife), then break slices apart.)  

Sauce for 6

Heat vinegar, ketchup, paprika and chili powder on stove top for 5 minutes, stirring till thick.  Mix sauce with pulled beef.
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup ketchup (without high fructose sugar)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

We ate our sandwiches with cole slaw on a small multigrain roll. My slaw dressing is 1 tablespoon each plain yogurt and olive oil mayo, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.   


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mango Magic

Ribollita as the first course and Mango Spice Tea Cake as the second course was a satisfying Sunday dinner full of vegetables, beans, fruit and whole grains. Making a vegetable soup the day before grocery shopping is a great way to use various vegetables one has on hand.  My soup has yellow squash, eggplant, spinach, cabbage, potatoes, carrots and navy beans.  I used a can of low sodium V-8 in place of the tomatoes as I did not want to open another can.  The cake was inspired by Saveur magazine.   I made mine in small (4 1/4 inch) pie pans.

Mango & Pumpkin Spice Cakes

(4-4 inch Pans:  8 Servings)

Mix together dry ingredients (flours, spices, baking soda and salt).
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Beat sugar and eggs for 5 minutes.
3 tablespoon sugar
2 eggs

Add pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla.  Stir in dry ingredients.
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dice 1/4 of the mango.  Add to cake batter.  Divide batter between pans that were sprayed with an olive oil spray.
1 mango, peeled and pitted
Arrange mango slices on top of each cake.

Bake at 325 F. for 1 hour.  Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy your week!    

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Fragrant Grains

3 whole grains, 2 nuts, 2 fruits and fresh herbs comprise this rice and quinoa "stuffing" that complements many entrees.  The recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.  Knowing that wild and brown rice (other than the "instant" kind) takes an hour to cook, I cooked the rice in the morning, then sauteed the vegetables, adding the quinoa and the other ingredients before dinner.  I knew I'd be too hungry to tackle 2 hours of meal prep at one time.  Here's the recipe:

Wild Rice & Quinoa Stuffing

(Serves 6)

Cover rice with water and bring to a oil on stovetop.  Cover, reduce heat and cook 45 minutes.
2 tablespoon wild rice
6 tablespoon short grain brown rice
3 cups water

In a separate pan, saute shallots and celery in olive oil 3 minutes.
1 teaspoon shallots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Stir in apple, garlic and herbs.  Saute in olive oil 2 minutes.
1/4 cup apple, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 teaspoon fresh sage, chopped
2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add broth, wine and quinoa to rice.  Stir in sauteed vegetable-fruit-herb mix.
1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup wine
1/4 cup quinoa
Bring to a boil;  lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Crush nuts and toast.  Stir into rice-quinoa mix.
1 tablespoon walnuts
1 tablespoon almonds

Stir in dried fruit.
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Scoop stuffing mix into a baking dish greased with an olive oil spray.
Cover with foil.  Bake at 350F. for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 10 minutes. 

Last night the grainy stuffing was served with a honey and sesame pan browned chicken.  Today I layered the stuffing with fish and asparagus in parchment packs and baked for another delicious meal.

The honey and sesame glaze for the chicken dish is another keeper.  Cooking Light published the recipe in the current issue.  

Honey and Sesame Glazed Chicken

(Serves 2)

Combine sesame oil, honey and mustard with chicken stock in a saucepan.  Heat and stir until mixture is syrupy.
3 tablespoon low sodium chicken stock
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Brown chicken breasts in a non-stick cast aluminum pan, 6 minutes per side.
2 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, 4-5 ounce each

Top with sauce.  Garnish with sesame seeds.
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds