Monday, December 30, 2013

Kids in the Kitchen: Reindeer Noses

You know the scene: You're working in the kitchen and a little person comes in and wants to help.  This is what happened to me recently and my response was to hand her a bag of Hershey's Kisses and tell her to start unwrapping.

Are you ready for the absolute easiest holiday snack ever?  Here it is:

Mini pretzels
Hershey kisses
M&Ms

1.  Preheat oven to 170*

2.  Arrange pretzels on a baking sheet and top each with a candy kiss.

3.  Bake 5 min.

4.  Top each with an M&M and press down slightly.

So easy and the perfect combination of sweet and salty!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Vegetarian Chicken* Spaghetti

Our oldest came home for Christmas leave yesterday and brought with him one of his military friends who needed to spend the night before moving on with his own travels home.  They arrived long after my husband and I were in bed and they were hungry, apparently.  The spaghetti leftovers were gone!

This recipe has been a favorite of all my guys for several years.  It's just good comfort food.  One of these days, I'm going to try it with homemade cream of mushroom instead of canned soup though.  Also, this is vegetarian for us because I use a chicken substitute (Beyond Meat is amazing!) and chicken-less broth (Better Than Bouillon).


3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. chicken breasts or substitute
6c chicken broth or water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder 
1/4 c red bell pepper, chopped
1/4c green bell pepper, chopped
1/2c mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2c onion, chopped
1 (10.75oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
3/4c dry white wine
2c Cheddar cheese, shredded
8oz. spaghetti
1/4c Parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In large skillet, heat 1 TBSP oil  and cook chicken, seasoning with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste.  Remove chicken, shred it, and set aside.

3. Place spaghetti in a pot of boiling water and cook until it reaches al dente consistency, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain.

4. In large skillet, heat remaining 2 TBSP oil over medium high heat.  Add green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and onion. Saute until slightly tender, about 3-4 minutes.

5. In large mixing bowl, combine sautéed vegetables, cooked spaghetti, cooked chicken, white wine, and 1 1/2c Cheddar cheese.

6. Pour into prepared 9”x13” pan.  Bake, covered, for 30 minutes.

7. Uncover and top with remaining 1/2c Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese. Return to oven and continue baking, uncovered, another 15 minutes.
                                    
Served with a simple mixed greens salad.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Kids in the Kitchen: Easy Homemade Play Dough


On a recent Snow Day at home, I was feeling crafty.  I was also in need of new and fun way to keep a toddler happy and avoid the dreaded B word - boredom.  So, after a super quick search, I decided to try out this recipe for homemade play dough.

There are other recipes out there that don't require cooking or that call for a lot less cream of tartar but they, supposedly, have an off texture or the color doesn't stick well, etc.   This recipe is fantastic though and the ingredients are items you probably already have in the pantry.

2c water
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2c flour
2 TBSP cream of tartar
food coloring

1.  In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.

2.  Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously, 4-5 minutes.  You will see the liquid become firm, pull away from the pan, and form a ball.  You'll also get a fantastic mini workout!

3.  Remove dough from the pan and cool on a sheet of parchment paper.

4.  Wrap in plastic or store in an air-tight container.

                                

                                
                      
                             

Bonus:  It's completely edible!  It's super salty (yes, I tasted it), just like the store bought stuff (I can't be the only one who ever tasted that as a kid).  I'm not saying you should eat it; I'm saying you could.  ;-)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Artichoke Stuffed Mushrooms

For an appetizer that seems as if it took more time to prepare than it really did….stuffed mushrooms!

I made this particular recipe last night to serve with our spaghetti dinner and had to stop myself from continuously eating the filling right out of the mixing bowl.  Understanding that you will inevitably wind up eating a few spoonfuls before it's all said and done, this recipe yields exactly enough for twelve yummy appetizer bites:


12 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/8c onion, chopped
1/4c cream cheese, softened
6oz. jar of artichoke hearts, marinated in oil, chopped
1 TBSP Greek yogurt
1/2c Monterrey Jack Cheese
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
black pepper, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  In a small sauté pan, heat oil and cook the stems and onion just until soft, about 5 min.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine the onion mixture with the cream cheese, artichokes, yogurt, both cheeses, and garlic salt.  Season with pepper, to taste.

4.  Bake approximately 20 minutes and serve warm.
                             
For a little kick, add a dash or two of cayenne pepper sauce!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving Cranberry Sauce

I love cranberry sauce so much I could almost just sit and eat it all by itself.  The only time I make it though is Thanksgiving.  Maybe that's what makes it so special.  I like to prepare the sauce two days ahead of the big feast because 1) one less thing to do on Thanksgiving morning and 2) I'm convinced something magical happens with the flavors overnight.

If you're one of those people who buys the cranberry sauce in a can, stop that right now!  Once you've made the sauce with fresh cranberries, you'll never want to go back.  This is how I've made our Thanksgiving cranberry sauce for the last several years.

12oz. fresh cranberries
1c white sugar
3/4c orange juice
1/4c Grand Marnier 

1.  In a medium size saucepan, over medium heat, combine the sugar, orange juice, and liqueur    Stir until sugar is dissolved.

2.  Add the cranberries.  Cook and stir until the cranberries begin to pop open.  (Mine took about 10 min.)  

3.  Remove from heat and allow to cool down a bit.

4.  Pour the sauce into your pretty bowl and refrigerate at least overnight.  Sauce will thicken as it cools.
                                     
Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mushroom and Goat Cheese Crostini

On a recent date night, my husband and I enjoyed a fabulous appetizer at a local restaurant.  It was toasted bread, goat cheese, mushrooms - so simple and so tasty!  And, it turns out, super easy to recreate at home!

1 large baguette
7oz. pkg. herb goat cheese, room temperature
2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4c dry white wine
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 green onions, chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven.

3.  Allow bread to cool down and spread goat cheese, to taste, on each piece.

4.  In a medium skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the mushrooms and sauté, 3-5 minutes.

5.  Add garlic and continue cooking another minute or so.

6.  Add wine and balsamic vinegar.  Stir while liquids are reduced slightly.

7.  Stir in green onions and remove from heat.

8.  Top each crostini with the warm mushroom mixture and serve immediately.
                        
Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Easy Stir-Fry Sauce


After spending the entire day at home with a highly irritable and feverish baby, I needed a quick and easy dinner, aka vegetable stir fry!  I started some wild rice on the stove, heated up the wok, and pulled out a package of fresh mixed vegetables.  The only real "work" left to be done was make the sauce, and  even that was easy.
3/4c vegetable broth
1/4c teriyaki sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/3 tsp. ground ginger

1.  Combine ingredients in a small bowl and set aside until ready to use.  

I stir fried the vegetables in the wok over high heat with a TBSP grape seed oil.  Then, added the sauce, to taste and continued stir frying until everything was heated through.



Served over the wild rice and topped with sesame seeds and red pepper flakes.
Yum!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Veggie Gyros

This is what we had for dinner last night.  These gyros are ridiculously simple and so tasty! 

6 oz. container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 large cucumber - peeled, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper, or to taste
pita bread, 4 pieces
iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 medium tomato, sliced
8 oz. Italian herb feta, crumbled

1.  In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper.  Cover and chill.  I left mine in the fridge about an hour but it's probably fine if you have less time.

2.  Heat the pita bread in the microwave (wrapped in damp paper towel - 20 seconds or so).

3.  Assemble the sandwiches:  On each pita, layer the lettuce, yogurt sauce, tomato slices, and feta.  Fold over, taco-style and serve.
 
Served with cold pasta salad on the side.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Barbeque Portobello Sliders

I have made these sliders twice and both times they were practically inhaled by my family.  Be sure to get smoked Gouda, not regular - I'm convinced that's what put these little guys over the top for me!


1/4c red onions, thin sliced
6 baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed (biggest you can find of the baby variety)
1/4c olive oil
paprika, to taste
onion powder, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1/4c sweet, bourbon BBQ sauce
6 slices smoked Gouda
guacamole (I cheated and used the pre-made stuff)

1.  Heat a small skillet over medium high heat.  Heat about 1/2 tsp. olive oil and add the onions.  Stir and cook until caramelized; takes just a few minutes.  Set aside and keep warm.

2.  Brush both sides of mushrooms with remaining olive oil. 

3.  Sprinkle with paprika, onion powder, and black, pepper,

4.  Heat a prepared indoor grill pan over medium high heat.  Add mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes on each side.

5.  While the mushrooms are cooking, lightly toast the slider buns in the oven.

6.  Just before mushrooms are finished, brush with barbeque sauce and top with the smoked Gouda: allow the cheese to get nice and melty.

7.  Assemble the sliders:  On each bun, place a cheese-covered mushroom and top it with onions and guacamole..  Serve immediately.

*For a little extra BBQ flavor, I like to brush the buns with sauce prior to assembling.


 
These paired really well with baked mac and cheese!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rhubarb Crisp

Rhubarb is one of those vegetables I would always bypass in the grocery store because, really, I had no clue what to do with it.  I had never even tasted it before and neither had my husband.  Apparently, his mom used to make rhubarb pies when he was growing up but he would never try it because, well, it's rhubarb - gross.  Turns out, it's pretty good. 

This recipe yields two 6oz. ramekins:

1 1/4c rhubarb, diced
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. salt
3 TBSP rolled oats
1 TBSP brown sugar, packed
1 TBSP all-purpose flour
1 TBSP butter, melted
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. salt

1.  Preheat oven to 400*.

2.  In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, 2 tsp. flour, sugar, vanilla extract, 1/8 tsp. allspice, lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Pour into prepared ramekins.

3.  For the topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, 1 TBSP flour, butter, 1/8 tsp. allspice, and 1/8 tsp. salt.  Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture and press gently to make it stick.

4.  Place on cookie sheet and bake approximately 25 minutes, or until bubbly and topping is a pretty golden brown.

This has inspired me to keep experimenting with rhubarb. :)




Friday, June 14, 2013

Bang Bang Cauliflower

The weather here has just been too perfect to not sit outside at dinnertime so that's what we did again yesterday.  I never noticed before but it's true that the taste and texture of cooked cauliflower is very similar to that of shrimp.  I've made this style cauliflower twice now, once as an appetizer and again as an entrée salad last night.  The meal wasn't originally planned as a salad but I had some lettuce I needed to use or lose so... Bang Bang Salads for everyone!


1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1/4c cornstarch
1 1/2 TBSP flaxseed
1/4c + 1 1/2 tsp. water
1/2c Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2c coconut oil
1/3c mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. chili sauce
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1 tsp. agave sweetener
2 green onions, chopped

1.  Preheat oven to 400*

2.  In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, flaxseed, and water.  Whisk to thicken and set aside.

3.  In another small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Set aside.

4.  In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.

5.  Dip each cauliflower floret first in the cornstarch mixture, then in the breadcrumb mixture, to coat.

6.  Add the cauliflower to the hot oil and cook until browned on all sides.  (Use tongs to flip the cauliflower.  Stirring will only knock the breading loose.)

7.  Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.  Then, toss in the mayonnaise mixture, to coat.

8.  Place in a prepared 8x8 dish and bake for approximately, 10-15 minutes, or until desired crispiness.

9.  Top with green onions and serve.


For serving, I tossed the lettuce with just a tiny amount
of chipotle ranch dressing before topping with the cauliflower. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Tuscan Bean Pasta

This is one of those recipes that started out as one thing and morphed into something else in the process.  This was originally going to be a salad, of sorts and you could still serve it that way (just drain the tomatoes really well, or use fresh).  I didn't do that though.  Instead, I kept it saucy and served over Pasta e Olio.

2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4c ricotta salata cheese
1/4c Italian parsley, chopped

1.  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the beans, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes.
 
2.  Cook and stir until bubbly and heated through.

3.  Remove from heat and top with the cheese and parsley. 
Very nice dinner outside on the deck!


Friday, May 31, 2013

My Bacon and Bleu Burgers

These guys were originally on the menu for Memorial Day but we ended up going out so I didn't actually get around to making them until Tuesday.  We've eaten and loved these burgers before but, as usual these days, I made a vegetarian version using a good quality meat substitute, vegan Worcestershire, and fake bacon.  It was a very tasty, almost-summertime dinner.

1lb. ground beef
1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
2 TBSP Dijon mustard, creamy
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
Bleu cheese, crumbled, to taste 
 
1.  In a large bowl, combine the meat, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, thyme, bacon, salt, and pepper. 
 
2.  Form mixture into patties and cook/grill over medium heat until cooked through.  Mine were done in about 8-10 min. per side. 

Smeared guacamole on both sides of the bun and added
with Bleu cheese, lettuce, tomato, and red onion. 
Served with garlic fries.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baked Artichoke Bites

Last night's dinner consisted of gnocchi in a tomato basil sauce, topped with mozzarella and served with a side of French bread.  That was pretty good but the appetizer is what really stood out for me.  Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.  The flavors here were uncomplicated and really quite delicious. 

You will need to allow a good hour to drain the artichoke hearts though.  I realize that might sound a bit excessive, but it's not at all.  Those little things harbor a surprising amount of liquid.

1 can artichoke hearts (most contain 6)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 TBSP Panko breadcrumbs
1/4c Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP olive oil
 
1.  Slice each artichoke in half and place on paper towel to drain. (I had to change the paper towel several times due to the ridiculous amount of liquid.)
 
2.  Meanwhile, turn on the broiler, move the top rack to about 6" from the heat, and put some parchment paper down on a baking sheet.
 
3.  Place the artichoke hearts on the pan, cut side up.  Top with salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and cheese.  Drizzle with olive oil.
 
4.  Broil for about 5 minutes.  Could be more, could be less depending on your oven so watch it.
 

These were good straight out of the oven but they were also still
tasty after sitting there awhile so, no worries if you can't serve them right away.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

DIY Cream of Chicken* Soup

I don't eat chicken so, when a recipe calls for canned cream of chicken soup, I make my own vegetarian version.  It's so easy and I just feel better knowing I made it myself.  This recipe makes the equivalent of one can:

3 TBSP butter  (use Earth Balance to make it vegan)
1 TBSP all-purpose flour
1/2c unsweetened almond milk
1/2c chicken broth (I like Better Than Bouillon's No-Chicken Base)
salt and pepper, to taste

1.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add flour and whisk until smooth.

2.  Whisk in the milk, broth, salt, and pepper.

3.  Bring to a boil and whisk occasionally until it thickens (about 2 minutes).
Easy!

Monday, March 25, 2013

White Chili

It's a snowy Spring day here and I am planning to serve leftovers fantastic chili/soup for dinner.  I say, "chili/soup" because you can control the consistency.  We like it more soupy, so I simmer it with a lid.  If you prefer something thicker, leave the lid off.  It's good either way. 


1 TBSP olive oil
3/4c yellow onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
4oz. can Fire Roasted green chiles, diced and drained
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 pkg. mushrooms, sliced and chopped
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can light pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 green onions, chopped
3/4c Italian parsley, rough chopped
1c white wine
3 1/2c vegetarian chicken broth
2 tsp. vegetarian chicken bouillon
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
2 bay leaves
1.  Heat olive oil in a large pot, over Medium heat.  Add the onions, garlic, chiles, and pepper.  Cook and stir until onions soften, about 2-3 minutes.
2.  Add the bell peppers, mushrooms, beans, green onions, and parsley.  Cook and stir another 1-2 minutes.
3.  Add the wine, broth, bouillon, rosemary, thyme, oregano, cumin, and bay leaves.
4.  Cover, reduce heat to Low, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for approximately 90 minutes.  Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.
Serving this with cornbread tonight!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Make-Ahead Muffins for Baby

I've been talking about making and freezing meals for our littlest one for quite some time and, since we're having a Snow Day here, I decided today would be the day I finally started on that project and I'm so glad I did it. 

These muffins are perfect for little hands, packed with flavor, and fill the house with a wonderful aroma while they're baking!  For the baby food puree called for, I used a pouch of bananas, peaches, and mangoes.  I think I'll try blueberries and quinoa next time, or maybe pumpkin...or squash...this recipe is so easy to adjust to what's on hand:

1/2c butter, softened
1/2c brown sugar
2 large bananas, mashed
4oz. baby food puree
1/4c carrots, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
1c all-purpose flour
1/2c rolled oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
 
1.  Preheat oven to 375*
 
2.  In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth.
 
3.  Add the mashed bananas, baby food puree, carrots, and eggs. Continue mixing to blend.
 
4.  Stir in the flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined.
 
5.  Spoon the batter equally into 36 prepared mini muffin cups.
 
6.  Bake approximately 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Cool on a wire rack and serve. 
 
Freeze the leftovers!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Corn Chowder

I had actually planned on making something completely different for dinner but the weather that afternoon changed my mind.  There is just something about freezing rain that makes me want a good, hearty bowl of goodness and this definitely hit the spot:

1/4c butter
1/2c yellow onion, chopped
2 TBSP all-purpose flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 TBSP dry sherry
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1c milk (I use almond and it works great)
1 16oz. bag frozen corn
1 small-medium Russett potato, diced
1 4oz. can green chiles, diced
1/4c red pepper, chopped
1/2c Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4c green onions, sliced

1.  In a medium size pot, melt butter over medium heat.

2.  Add onion and saute until slightly soft and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.

3.  Add flour, salt, pepper, sherry, cayenne, and parsley.  Whisk to form a roux.

4.  Add milk and continue whisking until thickened.

5.  Add corn, potato, green chiles, red pepper, and cheese.  Cover and simmer over Low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

6.  To serve, ladle into bowls and top with Cheddar cheese and green onions.

The leftovers were really good the next day!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sloppy Joes

When I think, "Man Food", sloppy joes are definitely on the list.  Every time I make them, they are practically inhaled by my guys and they always go back for more!  I've been making these sandwiches like this for years and finally remembered to snap a photo before they were devoured at dinner recently:

1lb. ground beef substitute
1/4c onion, chopped
1/4c green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. yellow mustard
3/4c ketchup
1 TBSP brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
 
1.  In a large skillet over Medium heat, brown the meat, adding the onions and peppers toward the end so they don't get too soft.
 
2.  Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
 
3.  Reduce heat to Low and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
 
Served with the easiest green beans ever.  I threw some cooked beans in a skillet with a little butter, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper - done.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Lentil Curry

My husband and I are big fans of Indian food so I knew he would be happy to find this curry in the works when he came home yesterday.  I served it over a blend of wild rices and all the flavors together, with just the right amount of heat, were really quite fantastic.  This recipe (when served over rice) yields three hearty bowls:

1/2c red lentils, rinsed well
1 TBSP red curry paste
1 1/2 tsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. ginger root, minced
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2c yellow onion, diced
2 large roma tomatoes, diced
1/4c cilantro, chopped

1.  In a medium saucepan, add lentils to approximately 3 cups of water and simmer on Low until tender (but don't let them get mushy or the texture will be all wrong!).  Mine cooked in about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger; set aside.

3.  In a medium size skillet over Medium High, heat the oil and cook onions until tender and slightly caramelized.

4.  Stir in the curry mixture and tomatoes.  Reduce heat to Low and allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.

5.  Add the lentils and continue cooking another 5 minutes or so until heated through.  Top with cilantro and serve immediately.
 Served with naan and tzatziki sauce.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Garden Tomato Soup

I love this tomato soup because it's not thin and watery like so make others I've eaten in the past.  Also, there is no dairy in this soup!  Sure, you could use the dairy-based stuff in here, but it's not necessary for flavor.

I used my food processor to get the vegetables really finely chopped but you could easily accomplish the same thing with an immersion blender.

15 roma tomatoes, seeded and lightly pureed
1c carrots, finely chopped
3/4c onion, finely chopped
3 TBSP vegan butter
3 TBSP all-purpose flour
1c almond milk
1 3/4c vegetable broth
1 TBSP white sugar
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. dried basil (or 2 TBSP fresh, chopped)
1/2 tsp. celery salt
3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1.  In a large pot, combine the tomatoes, carrots, amd onions.  Bring to a boil then reduce to Low and simmer about 30 minutes.

2.  In a small saucepan, melt the butter and add the flour.  Whisk until thick and well blended.  Add milk and continue whisking until consistencey is smooth.  Add this to the soup pot.

3.  To the soup mixture, add the vegetable broth, sugar, sea salt, basil, celery salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.

4.  Allow everything to continue simmering about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.



This paired really well with sourdough and Havarti paninis.




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Black-Eyed Pea and Cabbage Stew

It is well known and understood in this house that everyone is required to eat the black-eyed peas and cabbage served on New Year's Day.  In previous years, I have served the peas and cabbage as two separate side dishes and watched as both boys put just the very teensiest amount they thought would be acceptable on their plates. 

So, this year I tried a new approach by putting everything in one big pot and the resulting stew was delicious!

1 TBSP olive oil
3/4c onion, chopped
1/2 large green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced
2c chicken broth (I used a vegan no-chicken broth)
3/4c brown rice
2 cans black-eyed peas with liquid
1 can diced tomatoes with green chiles with liquid
2 cloves garlic, minced
1c cooked cabbage
1.  In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2.  Add the onion, green pepper, red pepper, and celery; cook and stir until tender.
3.  Add the broth, rice, black-eyed peas, tomatoes, and garlic.
4.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer approximately 1 hour.  Add the cabbage during the last 15 min.
 

Served with cornbread.  Happy New Year!

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