Saturday, April 30, 2016

Dining Alfresco with Sweet & Sassy

Our picnic today began with Peach Glazed Turkey and ended with Rhubarb Shortcake.  The Lemon Green Beans on the side were a tasty complement. 

I've found that roasting turkey tenderloin is simple and fast, producing a uniform and easy to cut portion of lean turkey breast meat.  My friends at the Working H Farm Store were kind to save the loins for me when they processed the turkey.

Yesterday, I brushed a simple glaze of mustard and marmalade on a loin prior to roasting.

The glaze was excellent on the cold picnic platter today.

Peach Glazed Turkey

(Serves 3)

Mix marmalade and mustard.  Brush on outside of tenderloin.  Roast at 325 F. until internal temperature reaches 165 F.  (about 45 minutes).
2 tablespoons peach marmalade
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
6 ounce raw turkey tenderloin

Slice thinly with an electric knife.  Keep cold for service.

Field grown rhubarb is now available in the markets.  The diced stalks soften quickly when cooked with a small amount of water on stovetop.  Rhubarb is quite tart and usually combined with a fair amount of sugar prior to cooking.  Like most dishes I make, I decreased the sugar.  Since I cooked the fruit a day ahead, it sweetened even more in the refrigerator overnight.  I added a little honey to the yogurt topping and sprinkled the tops with a little brown sugar to serve.  


Rhubarb Shortcake

5 Biscuits
Combine dry ingredients in a food processor.  Slowly add evaporated milk.  
Transfer the dough to a floured surface.  Knead a few times.  Press to a 1 inch high round.  Cut with a 2 inch biscuit cutter.  
Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.  
Bake at 425 F. for 12 minutes.
1 cup multi-grain flour (I mixed all-purpose, whole wheat pastry, hard spring wheat and oat flours)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup evaporated skim milk

Rhubarb Compote for 3
Bring all ingredients to a simmer.  Cook, stirring often about 15 minutes.
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon wine
2 tablespoon water
4-1/2 inch pieces orange peel

Yogurt Topping
Stir honey into yogurt.
1/4 cup Greek yogurt, nonfat, plain
1 teaspoon honey

To serve, cut biscuit.
Place biscuit half on bottom of serving bowl.
Top with 1/3 cup compote,
2 tablespoons yogurt
Biscuit top.
Sprinkle with brown sugar.

Our picnic today was at Pleasant Creek Wildlife Management Area between Grafton and Phillipi, West Virginia.  The lake was high and the carp were spawning and jumping out of the water.  

We found a peaceful picnic spot in the camping area and finished our meal just as it started to rain.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

Quinoa Veggie Burger

Sauteed shallots, garlic, carrots and celery flavored the quinoa and garbanzo beans just right for this flavorful lunchtime entree.  The original recipe from Cooking Light included Tabasco..........I'm just not a hot sauce fan! 

Quinoa Veggie Burgers

(Serves 3)

Saute vegetables in oil for 3-4 minutes.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup shallots, diced
1/4 cup celery, diced (include leaves)
1/4 cup carrot, peeled and diced
1 garlic clove, crushed

Add quinoa, stir, then add water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
2 tablespoons quinoa
1/2 cup water

Combine quinoa mixture, garbanzos, wheat germ, egg and seasoning in a mini food processor.  Process until mixture comes together.
2/3 cup cooked garbanzo beans 
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash

Heat oil in skillet.  Form bean mixture into patties.  Brown on both sides for about 3 minutes each. 
1 teaspoon canola oil




Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Egg-cellent Noodles

Fresh vegetables, whole grain noodles, an Asian sauce and poached egg-a simply delicious dinner with endless substitutions!   

To prepare, cut fresh vegetables on hand. Saute vegetables in sesame oil.  Some vegetables, like green beans or carrots, require longer cooking times.  These can be leftover from another meal or pre-cooked slightly. 

Prepare whole grain noodles.  Whole wheat spaghetti, soba noodles and brown rice noodles are choices that are all whole grain.  Even broken pieces of whole wheat lasagna noodles are good.  Since this is a quick, but multi-pan meal, I prefer brown rice noodles.  I simply heat some water in a 2 cup glass measuring pitcher and soak the noodles for 5 minutes prior to draining and serving. 

Poach the eggs.  Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the simmering water prior to adding the egg.  This helps to coagulate the egg white and retain the round shape of the egg.  If preferred, prepare the egg "over easy" by cooking in a non-stick skillet.

Combine and heat the sauce.  Simply heat long enough to remove the chill from the orange juice and prevent cooling the rest of the dinner.

Asian Sauce

(Serves 2)

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup orange juice
Juice from 1/2 fresh lime
1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey

To Serve
Layer noodles and vegetables in a bowl.
Add sauce.
Top with the egg.

Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.


Monday, April 25, 2016

Impeccable Day-Perfect Picnic

Blue sky and spring temperature were perfect complements for the menu of a stew and parfait.  The turkey vegetable stew with multi-grain biscuits warmed us up for the Almond Joy parfait to begin an adventure in a new park with many amenities.  The stew recipe was inspired by Cooking Light-one of their freezer friendly meals.  Since I do not have self rising flour for the biscuits, I'm using my version with just the right amount for two servings.  I'm not posting a stew recipe, as these biscuits are good with any stew or even soup recipe, using any combination of vegetables on hand.

Multi-grain Biscuits for Stew

(Serves 2)

Pulse flours, baking powder and salt in a mini food processor.
1/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour

Add buttery spread, pulsing to cut in shortening.
2 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Mix lemon juice with milk.  Add to food processor bowl and mix in.  Add thyme.
3 tablespoon skim milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Drop by tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake at 350 F. for 10 minutes.  Pour warm stew over biscuits to serve.

The no added sugar crumb layers in my strawberry parfaits were inspired by a crust recipe in Clean Eating Magazine. 

Almond Joy Parfait

(Serves 2)

Crumb Layer 
Pulse coconut, dates, nuts and cocoa in a mini food processor until of desired consistency.
3 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
1 Tablespoon 2 teaspoon Medjool dates, chopped
1 TaIblespoon 2 teaspoon walnuts
1 Tablespoon 2 teaspoon almonds
1 Tablespoon cocoa (non-alkalized)

Add extract and mix in.
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Creamy Layer 
Mix Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese.  Stir in blended strawberries and syrup.
I added the ricotta as I had a small amount left in a container I wanted to use. Just use yogurt if that's all that's on hand. 
4 tablespoon Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, part skim
3 tablespoon blended strawberries
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup (or honey)

Layer as follows:
2 tablespoon cream mixture
2 tablespoon crumb mixture
2 tablespoon cream mixture
2 tablespoons crumb mixture
Garnish with chopped fresh strawberries.

Our picnic today was at Mingo Creek Park in Washington County (Pennsylvania).  The park has 2 covered bridges, a historical house, trout fishing, bike, walking and horse trails.

Enjoy your week!   



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Nuts About Buckwheat

No doubt about it, buckwheat has a fragrant and nutty taste.  The whole grain, gluten free seed comes in a variety of forms.  Kasha (featured in the salad above) is roasted buckwheat groats, the hulled and crushed kernels.  Buckwheat flour is milled locally and used to make pancakes.  I combined it with pecan flour in a tasty "assertive" tea cake (featured below).  Here are the recipes.

Greek Kasha Salad

(Serves 3)

Heat olive oil in a non-stick cast aluminum pan.  Add shallots, pepper and celery.  Saute 2 minutes.
2 tablespoon shallots, diced
1/4 cup sweet yellow pepper, diced
2 tablespoon celery leaves and ribs, finely diced
1 teaspoon olive oil

Add garlic and seasoning.
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon fresh minced oregano

Add dry kasha and water.  Bring to a boil;  lower heat and simmer until water is absorbed, about 8 minutes.
1/4 cup kasha
3/4 cup water

Stir in lemon zest and parsley.  Remove from heat.
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 teaspoon parsley, minced

Refrigerate kasha mix.  Before serving, stir in zucchini, tomatoes, olives and dressing.
1/4 cup zucchini, diced
1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil

Garnish with feta cheese.
1/3 cup crumbled feta. 


Buckwheat Pecan Tea Cake

(Serves 8)

In bowl of electric mixer, beat egg, syrup and sugar for 5 minutes.
1 egg
2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoon brown sugar

Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup pecan flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix liquid ingredients in a separate bowl.
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon vegan buttery spread, melted
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 tablespoon skim milk

Alternately add dry and liquid ingredients to the egg-sugar mix.  Stir just until blended.

Spoon batter into an 8 inch cake pan greased with olive oil spray.  Bake at 350 F. for 30 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

I ate my "cake" for breakfast with Greek yogurt, strawberries and a glass of skim milk.



Sunday, April 17, 2016

Picnic Season 2016 Opening

Spring weather has finally arrived in West Virginia.  It was a fine day to debut our first Sunday picnic of the season at Oglebay Park in Wheeling.  The tulip gardens are at peak and the weather is in the 70s!

This is the third season Bob and I have planned for Sunday picnics.  At the beginning and the end of the season, I usually feature a soup, kept hot in a preheated thermos.  

 Today's menu:

Vegan Three-Bean Chili with Groats and Dark Chocolate
Apple, Pear & Pecan Crumble
Spinach-Feta Bread

The soup recipe is from Dietitian Debbie as featured in the March issue of Food and Nutrition Magazine.  Mine was modified slightly using the dried beans  and grains I had on hand.  I also grated the chocolate and chilled in the cooler to add at table side.  Boy, was that a nice touch!

Vegan Three-Bean Chili with Groats

(Serves 4)

Cook dried peas and beans until softened.  Drain and rinse.
1/3 cup dry yellow eyed peas
1/3 cup dry pinto beans
1/3 cup dry black beans
3 cups water

Brown vegetables in olive oil for about 10 minutes.  
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in coins
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 shallot, diced
1/3 cup yellow pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Add tomatoes, paste, seasoning, broth and groats.  Cook until groats are softened.
1 cup petite diced tomatoes, canned without salt
2 tablespoon oat groats
2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teapoon coriander
Dash cayenne
1 tablespoon tomato paste

Stir in vinegar.
1 teaspoon vinegar

Sprinkle with chocolate.
1/2 ounce 100% cacao unsweetened chocolate, grated

 The dessert recipe was inspired by Clean Eating Magazine.  

Apple, Pear & Pecan Crumble

(Serves 3)

Cut buttery spread into flour.  Add oat and barley flakes.  Stir in pecans, sugar and salt.
3 1/4 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
3 1/4 tablespoon oat & barley flakes
3/4 tablespoon pecans, ground
4 teaspoon sugar
Pinch salt

Mix fruit with lemon juice.  Place in bottom of baking pan, greased with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle with crumbs.  Bake at 375 F. for 40 minutes.  Increase temperature to 425 F. and bake 10 minutes more.
1 apple, peeled, cored and sliced
1 pear, peeled, cored and sliced
1 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Pinch salt

Mix syrup with yogurt.  Add garnish at tableside.
2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
2 teaspoon maple syrup

Sprinkle with grated nutmeg.

The Spinach Feta Bread was purchased locally at Phoenix Bakery.

We take a thermos of coffee to finish our meal.  The cut flower is brought from home.

Enjoy your week!  



Friday, April 15, 2016

No Hassle Hasselbacked Potato

Sliced potatoes, brushed with a fragrant oil and roasted with tucked in carrots. . . these crunchy spicy russets are quite tasty.  The recipe by Rachael Ray is in the April issue of the magazine.  

Hasselbacked Potato with Arabic Spices

(Serves 2)

Scrub potatoes.  Cut a small slice off the bottom of each potato so that the potato sits level on a foil lined baking sheet.
Slice potato from top to within 1/4 inch of the bottom, at about 1/4 inch intervals. 
2 medium russet potatoes

Tuck carrot coins in between every 2 or 3 slices.
1 carrot, peeled and sliced in coins

Mix oil and spices.  Brush on all sides of the potato and between vertical slices.
2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cumin

Roast at 425 F for 1 hour, turning pan midway.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Yes Bones About It Veggie Soup

The secret to making vegetable soup like your Mom used to do may be soup bones!  It's been a long time since I've seen bones for sale in the grocery store.  But our local farm store family members seem to be able to get you any part of the animals they raise.  Here's how I prepared those beef bones for the soup crock:

Soup Bone Base for Vegetable Soup

Mix spices together to make a rub.
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash original blend

Trim fat from bones.  Rub dry spice mixture over bones.
2 pound beef soup bones

Add bones along with carrot, celery and onions to a non-stick skillet.  Brown over medium high heat for about 10 minutes.  Turn bones to brown all sides.
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 cup celery stalk and leaves, sliced
1 medium onion, sliced 

Place bones in bottom of soup crock (I used a crock pot since I was leaving home for the day).  Add other assorted vegetables of choice to the soup pot. Add enough water to almost cover the bones and vegetables.  Add 1 bouillon cube to the pot.  Mine simmered for the entire day in the pot.

We enjoyed our soup with an Asparagus and Broccoli Kugal.  While the soup was still hot, Bob took extra soup to his coworkers who both said it was the best vegetable soup they ever had!  Thanks to my friend, Betty Forbes, for buying these for me!