Thursday, July 30, 2015

Triple Mid East Treat-Hot or Cold

Mid East Kebabs, Almond Yogurt Sauce and homemade Arab Bread proved delicious meals-hot and cold. The dinner last night included chicken kebabs and pita breads hot out of the oven.  Today's lunch was served cold as a picnic on our trip along the Lincoln Highway.
The Kebab recipe is from Maria Elia. The chicken thighs were pre-ordered from Working H Farm Store.  The yogurt sauce was inspired by Maria Elia, in her Full of Flavor Cookbook.  I substituted almond butter for the tahini and the result was delicious.

Mid East Chicken Kebabs

(Serves 4)

2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon allspice
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs
Mix garlic, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice in a measuring cup.  Pour over chicken thighs and marinate in the refrigerator.  (Mine marinated for 10 hours).  

When ready to bake, place on skewers.  (I love the 11-thigh skewer presentation in Maria's book)  Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.  Lower heat to 325 and bake for an additional 20-30 minutes, until internal temperature of chicken is 165 F.

Almond Yogurt Sauce

(Serves 6)

2 tablespoon almond butter  
Pinch of cumin
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
 Blend all ingredients together in mini food processor.

Both meals were served with cucumbers, tomatoes and spinach.  The Arab Bread recipe is from Fleischmann's Yeast.  We each enjoyed 1/2 pita at each setting.

Bob said this meal served cold the next day was his favorite picnic meal.  We found the perfect spot along the Lincoln Highway at the Caledonia State Park.
Now for a dinner out in Pennsylvania Dutch Country!




Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Rhubarb Roundup

Ever wonder what to do with that rosy celery like vegetable spotted at farmers markets?  Rhubarb is often paired with strawberries in recipes, and is also good with those first of the season peaches arriving locally.  

Rhubarb stalks look like celery.  After purchasing, wrap the stalks tightly and store in the refrigerator.  Do not eat the leaves.  Rhubarb is tart and needs sweetening.  When cooked, it turns into a jam-like sauce.  

Peach and Rhubarb Sauce

(Serves 1)

1 stalk rhubarb, blemishes removed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup peaches, peel and chopped
4 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup water
On stove top, cook in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. 

My favorite way to use the sauce is to mix it with yogurt as a Peach and Rhubarb "Fool":
This 1 cup serving is made with the sauce recipe above, blended with 1/2 cup of yogurt.  I also like to layer these with more fruit, freeze and take on picnics!

I also incorporated the sauce into a grits porridge for breakfast:
For this 1 cup serving of porridge, I cooked 1/4 cup of stone ground grits in 1 cup of skim milk and 1 recipe of sauce , simmering over low heat until thick, about 15 minutes.  My cereal is garnished with 2 tablespoons yogurt, orange zest, 1/3 cup diced fresh peaches and 2 tablespoons toasted almonds.

Rhubarb adds a tartness to crisps and pies.  The crisp I made Monday thickened and was sweeter the next day.

Peach Rhubarb Crisp

(Serves 6)

Mix peaches, rhubarb, brown sugar, ginger, peel and juice in a bowl.  Spread into the bottom of a small baking dish sprayed with olive oil spray.  (My oval baking dish is 8 inch X 6 inch)
3 cups peaches, peeled and diced
3/4 cup rhubarb, blemished removed, and diced
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel
2 tablespoon orange juice

Mix oats, pecans, sugar and fats together.  Sprinkle over fruit in baking dish.
1 cup oats
1/2 cup ground pecans
2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon buttery spread
1 tablespoon olive oil

Sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg. 
Grated fresh nutmeg

Bake at 350 F. for 40 minutes.

Serve 1/4 cup crisp with yogurt or vanilla ice cream.  Here's mine, layered with plain yogurt in a parfait:
  Here's to a rosy and peachy day!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Terrific Trio

Steak Pinwheels, Picnic Caviar and Masala Gobi was a menu with interesting spices, textures and ingredients.  The Masala Gobi recipe was posted previously.  The small orange cauliflower purchased locally at the Farmers Market has Vitamin A & Vitamin C.  The Picnic Caviar was inspired by Vegetarian Times.  I marinated the black eyed peas with herbs and a vinaigrette this morning and bought the corn for the "caviar" fresh picked this afternoon.  (I cooked the ear of corn, cut it off the cob and added to the salad about an hour before dinner.)

Klotz's Corn and Pumpkin Store is located on Friendsville Road in Maryland.

The Steak Pinwheel recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine. I did not grill the steak, but baked it while I cooked the Masala Gobi.  When I saw the recipe, I thought it would be perfect with the sirloin tip steak cut carne asada style I'd already purchased and froze.  The 8 ounce raw steak was thin and ready to fill and roll.  I did not have to pound it.  I filled the steak with herbs and cheese this morning, rolled, covered in foil and refrigerated- ready to put in the oven when I returned home this evening!  Here's how I made it:

Steak Pinwheels

(Serves 2)

1-8 ounce sirloin tip steak, cut thinly carne asada style
2 ounce goat cheese
1/3 cup celery leaves and thin stalks, diced
1 fennel stalk with 2 tablespoon bulb, diced
2 tablespoon fresh oregano, snipped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, snipped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, snipped
Lay the steak flat.  Cover up to within 1 inch from outer edges with cheese and herbs.  Roll from the longest side.  Place seam down in foil and cover.

Bake at 325 F. for 30 minutes.  Slice thinly with an electric knife.

As promised, I'll post the Peach Rhubarb Crisp recipe soon!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Meatless Monday with 3 courses of local foods

Spaghetti Squash from a local Farm Store, goat cheese, broccoli, peaches and rhubarb from local farmers markets and cucumbers-also red pepper-from my container garden.  Delicious and nutritious foods with little carbon footprint.  That makes me happy.

The spaghetti squash recipe was from Eating Well. This picture below is from a previous post.


Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

(Serves 2)

Half squash lengthwise and seed.  Place face down in water and microwave 10 minutes.
1 medium spaghetti squash

Cook vegetables in olive oil for 2 minutes.  Add water and cook 3 more minutes.
1 broccoli crown, chopped
3 mini sweet peppers, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons water

Using a fork, scrape the squash from the shells into broccoli mix.
Add seasonings and cheeses.
3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Fresh ground pepper
1 cup goat cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded 

Fill squash halves with mixture.  Bake at 450 F. for 10 minutes.

The cucumber has ground toasted sesame seed, white vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil.

I will post the crisp recipe tomorrow!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Nutritious Fort

"Nutter" Fort picnic shelter was the spot;  Orange Fennel Salmon and Green Gold Quinoa Salad comprised the platter.  Dessert was Blueberry Ricotta Pie with Cranberries.  Our cold, colorful selections energized us on this very hot summer day in West Virginia. 

The salmon recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.   

Orange Fennel Salmon

(Serves 2)

Arrange salmon in center of parchment lined foil.  Brush with olive oi.  Top with orange, fennel and lemon.  Fold and close packets.  Place on baking sheet.
2-4 ounce salmon fillets
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 orange, sliced thin
1/4 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1/2 lemon
Bake at 375 F. for 20 minutes.  Chill.

The salad recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray Magazine.   It tastes just fine without adding dressing!  

Green Gold Quinoa Salad

(Serves 4)

Cook quinoa in twice as much water, bringing to a boil, covering and simmering for 25 minutes, or until all the water is absorbed.
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

Saute zucchini and scallion in olive oil.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
1 scallion, diced

Mix sauteed vegetables, quinoa, corn and parsley together.  Chill.
1/2 ear of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
2 tablespoon shipped fresh parsley

Serve with lemon wedges and sprinkle of ground pistachios.
Lemon wedges
1 tablespoon ground pistachios

The blueberry pie recipe was posted Friday.  I cut rounds from the chilled pie with biscuit cutters the size of the individual jars, which slid easily from the cutter.  I forgot to keep blueberries for garnish, so I pulled 1/2 cup fresh cranberries from the freezer and cooked them in 1/2 cup water with 2 tablespoons of sugar for about 15 minutes.  The white topping is Greek Yogurt.

There were several reunions and picnic gatherings that filled the shelters at the Veterans Memorial Park.  This shelter at nearby Nutter Fort City Park had a cool breeze and an open table.

This was south of Morgantown, but on route past the Bridgeport Farmers Market, one of the oldest and busiest around the area.  I love what they do with the Power of Produce Stand.



Friday, July 24, 2015

Blueberry Refrigerator Pie

This blueberry-ricotta pie with yogurt and granola topping made a delicious breakfast on  this lazy summer day.  The recipe was inspired by a newspaper version.  It had cream cheese, and since I'm not a cream cheese person, I substituted unflavored gelatin.  That worked just fine.  Next time I'll make it in a small springform pan, so the height will change but not the portion.  My granola recipe was posted last week.  That added more flavor and color to the recipe.

Blueberry Refrigerator Pie

(Serves 8)

Graham Cracker Crust
Pulse in food processor.  Press into bottom of springform pan. 
7 graham crackers
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread, melted

Cook blueberries over medium heat with buttery spread for 5 minutes.
1 pint of blueberries
1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Mix sugar and gelatin.  Stir into blueberries.
1/3 cup sugar
1 pack unflavored gelatin

Pour blueberry mixture into food processor.  Add ricotta and lemon.  Pulse until blended.
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Grated lemon from 1 lemon

Pour into prepared springform pan.  Cool and refriegerate.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sorbet Smiles

Mango Sorbet, molded in grapefruit halves, then sliced-were darling treats served after dinner with fresh mango slices.  The idea was inspired by Bon Appetit.  I used an electric knife to cut the wedges.  I bet these are super cute in orange cups. . . or lemon or lime cups!

Dinner was cod packets cooked in parchment with fresh vegetables.  The fresh green beans were picked today by Dorothy and sold at the Westover Farmers Market.  My packets included celery I purchased today, tomatoes from my container garden-picked just before dinner, farmers market squash, carrots, scallions and garlic from previous markets.  Any vegetable works!  I simply added a few thyme sprigs, lemon wedges and juice, olive oil and a sprinkling of Mrs. Dash.  The cod is wild purchased frozen at Aldis.

Have a great evening!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Rainbow Salad with Avocado Dressing (Meatless Monday)

Beets, garlic and basil from the farmers market, cherry tomatoes and peppers from my container garden combined with a few other fresh foods to create this yummy salad and dressing.  The recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine.   

Rainbow Salad with Avocado Dressing

(Dressing serves 4)

Arrange vegetables, seeds and cheese on a plate.  These are ingredients for 1 salad.
3 small beets, cooked, peeled and halved
1 small banana pepper, seeded and sliced in rings
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
2 tablespoon chopped pistachios
2 teaspoon unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Dressing for 4
Place all ingredients in a food processor.  Process until smooth.  Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to achieve desired thickness. 
2 cloves garlic
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
Juice from 1 lime
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 teaspoon honey

Have a great evening and week!


Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tagliata Picnic

We weren't in Tuscany, where "tagliata" means "to slice", but our Stonewall Lake (WV) picnic meal included slices of green tomatoes, sirloin and chocolate cake.  The tagliata recioe is from Maria Elia in her "Full of Flavor" cookbook. Including roasted vegetables from last night's dinner, I turned this recipe into a cold salad platter.

Tagliata, Green Tomatoes & Roasted Vegetables

(Serves 2)

Green Tomatoes
Heat olive oil in a large pan.  Remove from heat and add garlic.
Return the pan to the heat and add tomatoes.  Season with Mrs. Dash.  Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 10 minutes.  
2 large green tomatoes, cores removed and sliced in 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon oregano
Pinch of cayenne
2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup white wine

Drizzle steak with olive oil and seasoning.  Sear in a preheated ridged cast iron grill pan for 2 minutes on each side.  Set aside.  Slice thinly across the grain with an electric knife. 
6 ounce sirloin tip steak, cut thinly for carne asada
1 teaspoon olive oil
Mrs. Dash

Roasted Vegetables
Clean and cut vegetables.  Peel carrots.  Place in zipper bag with oil and seasoning.  Shake.  Roast at 325 F. for about 45 minutes. 
2 red potatoes, cubed
2 small carrots, quartered
1/2 celery rib
1 4 inch piece zucchini squash, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Fresh cut herbs, basil, thyme and cilantro

Dressing for Vegetables
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
3 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme 

Serve with fresh spinach leaves.

Dessert was a refreshing slice of chocolate cake with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.  I converted a chocolate cake recipe for "Texas Sheet Cake" into a smaller yield with less added sugar, no icing and 1/2 whole grains.  Here's how I made it:

Chocolate Cake

(Serves 6)

Beat egg and sugar well with electric mixer.
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar

Combine water, buttery spread and cocoa in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
6 tablespoon water
1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery Spread
2 tablespoon cocoa

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix warm cocoa mixture with other liquid ingredients.
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Alternately add liquid and dry ingredients to mixing bowl with beaten egg and sugar.  Stir only until mixed.

Pour batter into a small baking dish sprayed with Pam.  Bake at 375 F. for 35-40 minutes.  To serve, cut in 6 pieces.  We only had a 1/2 portion with our picnic dessert!

We've attended conferences at Stonewall Resort before, yet never had a picnic here.  We found a beautiful spot.  After our meal, coffee was by the lake.

 Have a great week!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Aromatic Muesli Parfait

The Line Hotel in L.A. makes a memorable Fennel-Honey Granola.  Here's how I made it at home:  

Fennel Muesli

(12 servings)

Toss on a wide rim baking sheet.  Toast in a 350 F. oven for 7 minutes.  Reduce oven to 275F.
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup pecans
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 teaspoon fennel seeds

Mix honey, peanut butter, oil, orange and vanilla until smooth.  
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon vanilla

Toss peanut butter sauce with nuts and seeds and oats.  Mix until completely covered.
2 cups old fashioned oats
Spread onto parchment lined rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Stir.

Chop apricots and cranberries in a food processor.  Mix with partially roasted granola.  Bake in oven for another 30 minutes.
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped (I buy several bags of fresh cranberries in December and freeze, as they are not available after the holiday season)

My breakfast included Greek yogurt, fresh strawberries and muesli parfait with a glass of skim milk.  Delicious!
 Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Exceptional Eggplant (Meatless Monday)

Classic Eggplant Parmesan is made even healthier with a tofu and egg white layer.  This is one of our recipes from the Healthy Cafe, converted by a Dietetic Intern to a much lower sodium version by substituting the tofu for cheese and low sodium tomato juice for sauce.  Here's how I made it Monday with the 3 local eggplants I purchased from Richardsons' Farm at the Bridgeport Farmers Market.

Eggplant Parmesan

(Serves 6)

Saute garlic in olive oil.  Blend all ingredients in food processor.
8 ounce no added salt tomato sauce
10 ounce no added salt V-8 juice
3 ounce tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
Fresh ground pepper

Place all eggplant slices on baking sheets and broil in oven, 3-4 minutes per side.  Cool.
3 local eggplants, peeled and sliced into 3/8 " rounds

Pour liquid from tofu.  Drain.  Place on a double layer of paper towels;  pat dry.  Process tofu and egg white until smooth.  Set aside.
8 ounce tofu
1 egg white

Shred cheese.
3 tablespoon  parmesan

Layer as follows in baking dish sprayed with Pam:
1/3 sauce
1/2 eggplant slices
1/3 sauce 
Most of shredded cheese
All of tofu-egg mixture
Remaining eggplant slices
Remaining sauce
Rest of shredded cheese
Bake in 350 F oven for approximately 60 minutes, until internal temperature is 150 F.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Monday's meal was served with local green beans, multigrain rolls and skim milk.  We ate a portion with lunch yesterday.  I ate another serving for breakfast!  

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Roasted Beet Morganara

Yes, that's "Morganara" (from Morgantown) versus "Muhammara" (a Mediterranean dip made with peppers and walnuts), as I did not have the traditional ingredient-pomegranate molasses- and used local Morgantown beets.  The recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine.  I used honey and balsamic reduction in place of the pomegranate molasses.

Roasted Beet & Walnut Dip

(1 1/2 cups)

Brush beets with olive oi.  Wrap in foil and roast in a 375 F. oven for 1 hour.
8 small beets, trimmed and washed
1 teaspoon olive oil
Combine beets and remaining ingredients in a food processor bowl.  Pulse until finely chopped.
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup walnuts
1 small scallion
3/4 tespoon honey
3/4 teaspoon balsamic reduction
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teapsoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

I enjoyed a bowl for breakfast with multigrain bread, grapes and skim milk!

The beets were purchased at the Morgantown Farmers Market from Judy Stewart.   She always has a beautiful display and great prices!

Have a lovely day!