Showing posts with label could be gluten free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label could be gluten free. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer

When you think about appetizers, do you throw a bone to the healthy contingent and include some carrot sticks and hummus?  Is your conscience soothed by adding celery sticks to your Buffalo chicken dip?  Do you pick up a veggie tray at the store and call it good?

Are vegetable appetizers an afterthought?
I want to change that.

I'm on a quest to create awesome vegetable appetizers--ones that are demolished before the cocktail weenies or cheese balls, because they are just damn good.  I've got a Pinterest board, Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks, and as I find new ways to turn vegetables into desirable appetizers I'm pinning them there.  Please leave suggestions in the comments so I can add them--thanks!

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer
Cherry tomato confit, cucumbers, banana peppers, artichoke hearts, olives and feta
Last winter, I started things off here with a Slow Cooker Salmon Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip and a Skillet Mushroom Dip for Two.  In the spring I started a craving for Five Layer Mediterranean Chicken (or Chick Pea) Dip that continues today.  Lately, I've been kinda dippy, with Fattoush Dip with Kale and Sumac Hummus and Indian-spiced Eggplant Yogurt Dip.  Today I want to share another delicious way to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your happy hour, cook out, tail gate, or indulgent dinner for one:  the Layered Summer Vegetable Appetizer.

While the autumnal equinox is weeks away here in North America, the mood has shifted to autumn.  The kids are in school, football marching band season is in full swing, and the sled hockey gear is back out. However, the garden and the farm share are packed with late summer vegetables--peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and squash are filling up my weekly box.  I created this layered appetizer to show off the best of late summer produce.

Layered Summer Veggie Appetizer
Grilled red peppers, grilled red onion, grilled yellow squash, artichoke hearts and feta

Discerning readers will say "hey, that looks like the Fattoush Dip she posted 3 weeks ago" and you'd be correct.  Other clever followers will think "what, another Wednesday eggplant dip recipe?"  Right again.  However, I'm sharing this recipe now, not next summer, for a few reasons:
  • the base of this appetizer, roasted eggplant, is still very much in season and you might be looking for new ways to enjoy it
  • I think this is a party-worthy appetizer, and while I'm not hosting anything until Fall, you may be looking for new appetizer recipes
  • with the variety of special diets around, vegetables are a great way to create a dish that nearly everyone can enjoy

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Baked Swai with Pesto and Ricotta

A simple sauce of prepared pesto and ricotta cheese makes a moist and  flavorful coating for fish, pasta, or roasted vegetables

If you follow me on Facebook, you may have seen the photos of my first cheese-making efforts.  I got a gallon of milk marked down and made 2 balls of mozzarella with a cheese making kit I bought from Standing Stone Farms.  With the leftover whey (boy howdy there's a lot of whey) I made a bonus batch of ricotta cheese.
There was still a lot of whey leftover after making the ricotta and mozzarella, and I've been experimenting with it.  So far whey-soaked oven oatcake is a hit, and pizza crust using whey instead of water is also a winner.  Details to come.
Here's the thing, though--normally I'll use ricotta in something hearty, like my Quadruple Roasted Mock Lasagna.  This summer has been gloriously--and unusually--cool, but not cool enough for that.  I decided to use up the very last cubes of last fall's pestopalooza with the ricotta cheese, and play around.

All of the recipes I'm sharing today involve the oven or stovetop, but when it's really hot I think it'd be great to toss freshly grilled items (chicken thighs, fish fillets, eggplant or zucchini) with this ricotta-pesto mixture and keep your kitchen cool.  It would be delicious as the dressing in a pasta salad, with cherry tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and squash.  It's probably good on a cracker.  Since I thawed my put-up pesto to make these dishes, I'm positive this idea will work with winter fare (peeled, sliced, roasted sweet potatoes or delicata squash?).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Simple and Satisfying Green Beans

Subtitle:  Oops, I did it again*

I recently realized that I don't have any peach recipes, or green bean recipes, on the blog.  I've joined a group of food bloggers who love recipe round ups, and when someone was looking for peach recipes I consulted my Master Spreadsheet and . . . crickets.
There are no peaches in this green bean recipe, if you're wondering.  I'll happily stick kohlrabi and Spam in a sushi roll, but I have to draw the line somewhere.
 We got green beans in last week's CSA farm share so I could remedy one deficiency.  Yes, if you're my mom following the blog closely you will note that I call for (leftover) green beans in my Thanksgiving Leftover Remake Shepherd's Pie.  Until this past weekend, Shepherd's pie was the only way my kids would eat green beans.
I know--they don't eat cereal and they don't eat green beans.  They are such weird interesting kids!  Perhaps all the 'we've got all this kale, here, drink a green smoothie' of this summer has rubbed off on them, because they ate these beans right up.
They (the beans now, not my kids) are delicious (duh, otherwise I wouldn't be blogging about them) and the perfect side dish to serve to a gathering of folks with different dietary needs because they are vegan and gluten free.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Chicken Adobo Summer Rolls (A repurposed leftover)

Even though I live with people who are happy to eat leftovers 90% of the time, I love recipes that transform a leftover entree into an entirely new dish.  One of these repurposed leftover ideas is to make summer rolls.  You can stick just about anything in a summer roll!
I wrote this post the second month of my blog, since the chicken adobo we repurposed was from this post, my 11th post.  I've been sitting on this recipe for months, since by the time I was ready to post we were fully into the Fall season and it would not have been appropriate. There's a lot of sat upon posts appearing this week on the blog.  Something about the beginning of June marks summer eating for me, even if we won't hit the solstice for a few more weeks.

I love summer rolls but shy away from planning to make them because I often think they require too many fresh herbs that I don't have in my garden.  (This year I've planted a stealth herb garden with mint near the downspout by the driveway, and rosemary nestled under the dogwood. I'm attempting to fool whoever has been "going out to eat" in my raised beds, decimating the first round of parsley, dill, and fennel I've planted thus far this spring.)
The basic ingredients for a summer roll, however, are shelf-stable.  Once you've stocked your pantry with rice paper wrappers and rice noodles, you're set when the right herbs, vegetables, and even protein collide in your farm share, garden, or farmer's market.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Skillet Mushroom Dip for Two (Quick Take)

Wine-soaked mushrooms sautéed with farm share vegetables and herbs, finished with creamy goat cheese. Makes enough for two--to share with your honey.

There are nights when I just want appetizers for dinner.  There are nights when I plan a romantic meal with my spouse.  And there are nights when the whole family feels like grazing.  Do you ever have those nights?

I had a hankering for something hot and shroom-y, but not all of the ingredients necessary for stuffed mushrooms.  So I decided to Dip It.  (Dip it good).

This comes together fast, fits great in my small skillet, and is the perfect appetizer for two mushroom lovers.  Using some of my freezer stash of put up veggies makes this a fast-to-assemble dish.  Just chop everything up finely, sauté it, add the wine, simmer, stir in the cheese and you're done.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Chicken Saltimbocca Stuffed With Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese

I am not the type of person who needs a shower upon waking in order to get my day started.  In fact, it would have been tough when I worked on a dairy farm and rolled out of bed, pulled on my boots, and was in the barn before achieving full consciousness.  This means that I shower at weird times.  (Why am I talking about my shower habits on a food blog?)  Lemme 'splain.

I think pretty well in the shower.  The idea for this recipe came during a late weekend afternoon shower.  I'd already cooked the sweet potatoes for the hash and decided to shower while they were cooling.  I was pondering the rest of the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve.  It came to me--in between the first and second time I washed my face--why not shred a butternut squash?  Why not stick that shredded squash onto a thin piece of chicken, roll it up, and cover it with a sauce?  (I think I ended up washing my face twice because I was distracted debating between grapes and band fundraiser oranges for the sauce).

Then I got out of the shower, dried off etc, and got on my computer.  First, I found this, followed by this.  Then I found this.  Then this.  And finally this.

After mulling all of those over for a while, this is what I ended up making:

Thanks to a comment from Annemarie of Real Food Real Deals, I decided to try rice noodles with this dish.  Depending on the type of chicken broth you use, this recipe could be gluten free.  Despite my utter inability to make it look as easy as in the videos, it was pretty quick to assemble, cooked fast, and tasted great.  I think it would work well for both an impressive Valentine's day meal or a tasty family supper.

And then stay tuned, because I've been busy stuffing shredded butternut squash into muffins and pizza!
I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Salmon in the Company of Good Oranges (Fruit Fundraiser #2)

Salmon and fresh oranges in a poppy seed vinaigrette, served over hot pasta. The bright and fresh flavors of this dish lighten up the dark winter days.

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A recipe for salmon and fresh oranges in a poppy seed vinaigrette, served over hot pasta. The bright and fresh flavors of this dish lighten up the dark winter days.
New photos from the 2015 Band Fruit Fundraiser!

After you've had your Band Fundraiser Tangerines for breakfast in this dish, it's time to think about what to do with your Band Fundraiser Oranges! Here's a recipe round up for ya.
This is one of those 'so crazy it must be good' combinations--salmon, with oranges, green onions, and poppy seed in a vinaigrette.  Served over noodles.  Sounds weird, right?

It did to me.

A recipe for salmon and fresh oranges in a poppy seed vinaigrette, served over hot pasta. The bright and fresh flavors of this dish lighten up the dark winter days.

I was sick of eating fruit fundraiser oranges just out of hand, and my friend Debbie told me about her sister Chrissy's recipe from a magazine (Cooking Light maybe?).  The combination sounded so weird that I had to try it.  Debbie brought it over and we enjoyed it while watching Love, Actually.  So in my mind, the holiday season, the fruit fundraiser season, and this recipe all roll together.

(You can make it at other times, as well.)

A recipe for salmon and fresh oranges in a poppy seed vinaigrette, served over hot pasta. The bright and fresh flavors of this dish lighten up the dark winter days.

I normally make this recipe with a salmon fillet, but in the interests of trying to be more frugal, I decided to try it with canned salmon.  I've never used canned salmon before.  If you eat blindfolded, the dish is about the same (slight textural difference).  But I eat with my eyes first, so to me the dish is better with a salmon fillet.

What do you think?

A recipe for salmon and fresh oranges in a poppy seed vinaigrette, served over hot pasta. The bright and fresh flavors of this dish lighten up the dark winter days.
Canned salmon.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Enchilada Casserole

Could have called it enchilada-lasagna, or enchi-sanga, but in the end I went with a straightforward name. This dish takes all the ingredients of enchiladas, but instead of rolling each tortilla up individually, I stacked them in the dish and spread the stuffing over the whole mess.

I know, food porn, right?  This was a particularly photogenic dish, if you're into melty-cheesy goodness.  It ought to be-I made it twice before I was happy with it, so there are photos from each preparation.  My fault, not the recipe--my homemade salsa-not-quite-verde wasn't the right sauce. I repeated it with canned enchilada sauce and it was just right.

My first time trying real, homemade, enchiladas was at a baby shower of all places.  Our hostess made cheese and onion enchiladas and I was amazed how soft and flexible the corn tortilla became in the warm sauce.  Up until that point, I'd assumed that corn tortillas were good for tortilla chips and that's about it.  Not anymore!  I loved the combination of cheese and onion then, and it's still my favorite kind of enchiladas by far.

Because I eat seasonally, I've got butternut squash from my farm share.  The farmers at the weekly pick up said there'd been some insect damage to the squash, and to eat them up this week.  Normally I'd be holding off on the squash until later in the fall and focusing on the greens now, but needs must.  I decided to roast the squash because I've been roasting anything I haven't pickled lately (and pickling anything that hasn't moved). I've revamped my Visual Recipe Index! For more ideas on what to do with your butternut squash, click here.
The pig is very concerned he's going to get pickled too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Red Russian Kale, Tomato, and Eggs Baked in Ham Cups

My mother, myself, most of her best buds from her first job (pre-marriage, pre-kids, when she was Just Herself), and most of the daughters of these women gathered for a weekend in St Louis.  A reunion for the moms, in some cases a first meeting for the daughters.

It is a gift, to hear all about your mom from her friends, when your mom is sitting right next to you.

Three of us daughters got that gift.  Our hostess, Alanna, did not.  Instead, she selflessly created the opportunity for her mother's friends to reminisce about the one member of their group who is no longer with us.  It was a very special weekend.

Alanna, of Kitchen Parade and A Veggie Venture, is a clever Foodie.  She arranged for our meals to be catered by Karen of Family Style Food.  So a bunch of women who all enjoy delicious food got to sit back, relax, visit, and be treated to fabulous dishes like the one I'm writing about today.

This dish was inspired by Karen's Individual Prosciutto, Spinach, and Egg Pies.  I loved it at that weekend, begged for the recipe, and have made it on many occasions since.  It's great for a weekend brunch, a weeknight dinner, even a PTA teacher appreciation breakfast!  Extra veggies without bread products are always appreciated on a breakfast spread.

I usually don't have baby spinach, the original veggie.  But many other greens from the farm share or the garden or the farmer's market will work--Swiss chard, Tat soi, or the Red Russian kale used here to name a few.

The original recipe uses prosciutto, but I had a fair amount of ham slices on hand so I decided to forgo a trip to the grocery store and use what I got.  Frugality!

If you happen to have 4 sizes of muffin tins like I do, let's start a support group use the second largest.  It's larger than a standard muffin tin (7/8 ounce vs 3/8 ounce). If you only have the standard muffin tin, just use a little bit less of everything but the egg.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Processing a Pile of Pesto before the Frost comes!

A tutorial for how to put up a large quantity of basil pesto. Remember this at the end of summer!

Forty-one degrees out this morning-not expecting that!  I figured I'd better harvest all the basil and put it up before it gets OBE (overcome by events).  Here's what I did.

To me, pesto is all about ratios.  If you have a ton of leaves, you will need 1/8 ton of toasted pine nuts, 1/4 ton of shredded parmesan cheese, 1/4 ton of olive oil.  Oh, and 2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Ish.
Even if this harvest is short of a ton, it's still a lot of leaves to get through.  I buy pine nuts and parmesan during the basil season just so I don't get caught short when I'm ready to make pesto.
Forgot the garlic. Again. And salt.

For other recipes using mass quantities of herbs, please see my Herb Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Adobo with Sauteed Farm Fresh Veggies

An easy overnight marinade and then a day in the slow cooker for this flavorful chicken. The farm share Daikon and Bok Choy side dish comes together quickly.

If you've ever bought a family size pack of chicken breasts marked down at the grocery store,
if you've ever gotten bok choy and daikon radishes in the farm share and wanted recipe ideas,
if you've ever wanted to cook the meat once and repurpose the leftovers into a new meal,
if you've ever wanted to have an entree ready-to-go in the freezer,
if you've ever wanted a new crock pot recipe,
read on

Update:  Somehow I deleted all the original text between the intro and the recipe.  Here's some new thoughts:

During my time on active duty I was fortunate to work with nurses from all over the world.  In addition to learning about different points of view and different cultural aspects of nursing care, I also got to eat the most amazing foods at work functions.  I've never been to the Philippines, but I first tasted Chicken Adobo thanks to a Filipina nurse.  
It's crazy easy to make in the slow cooker using pantry ingredients (start the night before) and results in a bunch of moist, tender, flavorful meat, along with juices suitable for flavoring CSA farm share veggies in a way that entices your kids to eat them.

For other recipes using Bok Choy, please see my Bok Choy Recipes Collection. For other recipes using Daikon, please see my Daikon Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. If you'd like to know how to Use This Blog, click here.

Stretching Meat, Part 1: Tacos

Make a pound of ground beef go further by adding finely chopped and shredded vegetables.

I am always looking for ways to stretch our money while feeding the family the farm fresh produce.  One way, as I've mentioned, is to make 1 pound of ground meat (beef, turkey, chicken) stretch to serve more than 1 meal to our family.  Tacos are one way I've done this recently.

We like to eat tacos, especially when our farm share has salad mix in season (all but the hottest weeks of summer).  One batch of this taco mix can feed us 2 meals if I repurpose the rest into Taco Rice.  Frugal, filling, and a farm fresh feast!

NOTE:  Normally I'd start with uncooked meat, cook it, drain it, set it aside and then toss the veggies in the same pan.  But today I'd tried to make turkey burgers for lunch, using frozen turkey burger patties, and they didn't retain the patty shape so I ended up with a pound of cooked ground turkey and started from there.  Always have a Plan B.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Cucumbers, and . . . sushi?

Smoked salmon, cucumber, and cream cheese in a homemade sushi roll.
It helps me to divide up all my ingredients by the number of rolls I am making.
My family isn't crazy about cucumbers.  But our farmers have always provided us with farm fresh cukes.  So when I'm not pickling them, or donating to the food bank, or keeping it simple, I do like to make sushi.  It keeps the kitchen cool on a summer day, it's a great portable lunch when we're out on an adventure, it makes a terrific lower-fat and messy hand free snack for watching football, and the whole family loves it.

For other recipes using cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

K.I.S.S. {Beau Monde Dip with Cottage Cheese and Vegetables}

My family doesn't really go for cucumbers.

When we get them in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share my first thoughts are big:
I'll make gyros and use the cucumber to make tzatziki sauce!  
We'll have Indian food and I'll make raita!  We'll have sushi!

This past summer I got into pickling.  The one common burger topping in our house is pickles.  Thanks to Food In Jars, I've discovered how easy and tasty it is to put up a couple of jars of refrigerated kosher dills.  I've expanded that to include pickling several other vegetables.

But sometimes I need to remember the KISS principle.

Keep It Simple, Sillybilly.

For other vegetable appetizers, please see my Awesome Veggie Apps and Snacks Pinterest board. For other recipes using cucumbers, please see my Cucumber Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. Want to know how to Use This Blog? Click here.