Last Saturday was neighborhood yard sale day in my ‘hood. We can’t resist a yard sale, never mind a whole neighborhood full of them. Not only were there a lot of big sales, but there were a bunch of stuff that people put to the curb with a simple for sale sign on it. That’s the way that we got a Webber Gas Grill for $25! The grill is superb. But even more superb is the fact that the people selling the grill came out to talk to us. Next thing you know, we’re talking locavore food, raw milk deliveries and stay-at-home momming. The mom gave me this book to read and I’m so glad, in fact, I can’t really leave it alone. Not only does it have great recipes, but in all the margins of the book it has bits and pieces of research pertinent to the topic of the page. I’m hooked, I’m sold, I’m ordering my own copy off of Amazon right now! So can you, you won’t be sorry:)
Archive for the ‘Veggies and such’ Category
Need gluten-free breads and goodies? Come see us, Good Gluten Free Foods at the new Quarry Farmers and Ranchers Market in the Quarry shopping center by Whole Foods on Sundays from 8a-12p. This week-end is the soft opening and the big grand opening will be the first week-end in June. The market is all about the best food that South Texas has to offer. There will be natural meats, lots of farm fresh veggies, including the hydroponic veg from Markley Family Farms, the famous Cowgirl Granola (yes, she has GF granola), as well a hand-made cheese from Humble House Foods, lots more and of course, us.
So bring your own re-usuable bags and join us at the market for some good food buying, good music and starting in June, good educational stuff such as chef demos, composting/gardening demos and much more.
See you at the market!
This is not a dainty spinach salad. Spinach salad always makes me think of Easter. Small, tender spinach leaves support nicely cut boiled eggs, supremed oranges, and crisp bacon. This beast of a salad is not the dainty Easter kind. In fact, the people you are serving this salad to might tentatively serve themselves just a little bit at first. Only to go back for 2-3 more helpings! This salad involves big, craggy spinach leaves and a slightly sweet hot dressing that is poured on at the last minute and tossed immediately to slightly wilt the big spinach leaves. This goes well with everything from chicken to pork or just by itself! Serving a crowd? Then buy 2-3 bunches of big spinach and multiply the dressing into greater amount!
Warm Winter Spinach Salad, Serves 2-3 people
1 large bunch of big, craggy spinach leaves (washed very well and spun dry)
3 slices of thick applewood smoked bacon, diced small
3 boiled eggs, diced small
8 oz. button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 apple, any kind, diced medium
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced finely
1/4 c. whole grain mustard
2 T. maple syrup
1 T. Sherry Vinegar
1T. Rice Vinegar
3T. Olive or Canola Oil
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Method of Prep:
Wash all the spinach well and spin dry. Break into bite-size pieces by hand and put into a big bowl. Boil the eggs, cool, dice and set aside. Dice the bacon and saute until crisp. Leave the bacon and it’s fat in the saute pan as you will be using it when you make the dressing. Slice the mushrooms and set aside. Mix all the ingredients for the dressing together in a bowl and whisk together. Taste the dressing and salt and pepper to your taste.
When you are ready to serve the salad, heat the pan with the bacon in it. When the pan is hot again, throw the apples and minced garlic into the pan and saute for about 1 minute. Add the dressing and heat until the dressing begins to boil. Turn off the heat. Add the mushrooms and egg to the spinach in the bowl and toss. Then add the hot dressing to the top of the spinach and toss very thoroughly. The hot dressing with coat the spinach, but because you are using large spinach leaves, it will not wilt the salad very much. Serve immediately. You will probably not have any leftovers.
Here is a confession. I really try not to like ham and green beans. The whole time I am making them, I think about how much I don’t like them. And then, at dinner, I serve myself a small bowl and within minutes and a couple of grinds of pepper, I’m trying to figure out if I could manage to stuff another bowlful into my belly. The bottom line is this: ham and green beans are good, cheap enough if you have a ham bone handy and unbelievably filling on a chilly night!
Here is the first part of the recipe. You have to do this part, there is no way around it. It really is worth it though!
1 Ham Bone left from some kind of holiday ham etc. (you can also use 4-5 ham hocks if you don’t have a leftover bone)
3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
1 big onion, roughly chopped
5 Qts. of water.
Check out your ham bone. If there is a lot of good meat left on it, cut it off and save it for Part II. Throw everything in a soup pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about an hour. Next, you can cool it down and finish recipe another day, or you can fish out the ham bone and get ready for Part II.
With Thanksgiving a mere second away you may be faced with GF challenges that you haven’t even thought of yet. For example, you’re at kind of a fancy Thanksgiving meal and there are some French Green Beans served with toasted walnuts and blue cheese. SCORE! Right?
Maybe not actually. Some bleu is GF, some alas is not. Here is a link: http://surefoodsliving.com/2007/12/is-blue-cheese-gluten-free/ to a nice article about why or why not for GF Bleu along with a list of safe brands.
And while you’re at it…why don’t you be the one bringing the French Green Beans with Bleu Cheese and Walnuts to the fancy or not-so-fancy Thanksgiving Feast!
French Green Beans with Toasted Walnuts and Bleu Cheese
Serves: 4-8 depending on how many Bleu fans there are!
1 pound bag frozen French Green Beans (not FRENCHED)
1 shallot, small dice
2T. Butter or Olive Oil
1/2 c. Walnuts, toasted
4 oz. GF Bleu Cheese (I use Rosenborg)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Method of Prep:
Heat oil or butter in a saute pan and saute the shallots on medium heat until they start to caramelize, about 5-minutes. Throw the bag of green beans, still frozen on top of shallots and put a lid on the pan. The beans will steam. Open the lid and toss the beans around a few times. Cook until beans are thawed and hot, about 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour beans into a serving bowl or onto a serving platter. Sprinkle on walnuts and crumble on bleu cheese. Toss one more time and serve.
Don’t be afraid of the tomatoes in the picture! With this recipe you can turn them into something wonderful.
One of my daughters is a very picky eater. It has taken years to develop her palate beyond scrambled eggs and noodles with butter. I have found that if I can feed her something once, the next time will be a breeze and by the third time, she’ll request it! Several weeks ago, out of the blue, she asked me for my tomato basil soup.
So I went to my favorite tomato guy at the farmer’s market and asked him for his uglies. And ugly tomatoes are just that. They are over-ripe or spotty, or have a crack. They are just plain ugly. But more than that, they are cheap and so I can afford enough to make a giant pot of soup! For dinner I usually serve this with a home made Caesar salad and for lunch I serve it with some tasty very sharp cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches (gluten-free of course!).
Makes about a gallon
Fresh Ugly Tomatoes or pretty ones if you have them, about 10-14, chop them
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
About 4 cups of tomato juice, this helps stretch it out and make it smooth
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. half and half (optional)
About 10 fresh basil leaves (more or less to your taste)
Method of preparation:
In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil, saute the onions and celery on medium heat until they begin to caramelize. Throw in the garlic, stir briefly making sure not to brown the garlic. Throw in the tomatoes and tomato juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for about 45-50 minutes. Add the heavy cream if you wich, chop and add the basil. Salt and pepper to taste. At this point if you have an immersion blender:
run it though your soup. I like this method because you can leave the soup a little bit chunky. If you don’t have one of these, use your blender (be careful with hot soup in a blender!!!). You can make this soup as chunky or smooth as you like. And then you are done. Serve the soup, put away the leftovers for lunch tomorrow, wash the dishes, and go to bed:)
Brazilian carrot cake. It has carrots in it, but it is nothing like its American counter-part aside from being extremely moist. And it has chocolate frosting. Yes, chocolate frosting.
It takes about 5 minutes to mix up and about 40 minutes to bake. It takes 1 minute to glaze with chocolate and then it’s time to eat it up.
4 medium carrots, grated (about 3 cups or so)
3 large eggs
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil (olive or canola)
1 t. vanilla extract
2 c. My GF Flour Mix (click here for recipe)
1T. plus 1 t. Baking Powder
1 t. salt
1 1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/2 t. cinnamon (optional)
2T cocoa powder
Method of preparation:
In your blender combine the shredded carrots, oil, eggs and vanilla. Puree the ingredients in the blender until smooth. In a bowl, place all the dry ingredients and stir together. Pour the blender concoction into the dry ingredients and stir together until everything is well mixed and very orange. Put cake batter into a greased and floured 10-inch bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. While still warm, invert the cake onto the serving platter.
In a small saucepan, mix all the ingredients for the glaze. Gradually heat the pan while stirring the ingredients together. The icing will begin to bubble, keep stirring for about a minute. Pour hot glaze over the cake while the cake is warm.
I have a pretty carnivorous family. Until recently. Until I read too many food articles about what is really in food and how food is processed. Suddenly, the vegetarian entrees are at an all time high on my dinner table. Mostly no one is complaining. Which is good, because complaining gets you no where around my house. If it hits the table, it’s what’s for dinner!
Actually there are two other reasons for the high veggie content at our table these days. First, a wonderful friend of ours who is a vegetarian in staying with us for a few weeks. Second, I work Saturdays at a farmer’s market. There are 3 for $2.00 gigantic squash and a million other outstanding veggie deals. I would be a dummy to pass them up.
I’ll be sharing recipes for some good, easy and family filling-up veggie meals.
My parents have a story about a family picnic that occurred during the 1970′s. It involves the potluck family food buffet and a big bowl of macaroni salad. The way the story plays out is that no matter how much dry, flavorless and horrible macaroni salad was eaten, the bowl seemed to be just as full. A never-ending bowl of starchy and greasy horror.
Fast forward to now. A new era, a new generation, but gluten-free. I’m sure you’ve cooked GF pasta and tried to eat it again once it cold. I’m sure you’re thinking-”yeah, I have and it’s always hard and gross”. Well, I came up with this recipe the other night and served it to my friends and family at our Day-After-the-4th Celebration. I would be able to post a picture, except it was all gone.
Pasta Salad Worth Eating
1 bag Tinkyada Spirals
1 can artichoke hearts (in water), drained and chopped
1 small jar pimentos, diced
3 green olives, diced
6 Kalamata olives, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 green onion, sliced
6 slices salami, sliced very thin
6 fresh basil leavs, chopped or chiffonade
1 tsp fresh garlic, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
An optional sprinkle of parmesan for the top
Dressing:(you have two choices)
1. The quick way: about 3/4 of a bottle of Girard’s Champagne Dressing
2. Longer way:
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. vinegar (red wine, rice or sherry)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
Cook pasta according to package directions (the one where you bring the water to a boil, then put pasta in, cook on high for 2 minutes, then cover and turn off the heat and let sit for 12-15 minutes). Keep an eye on it as you want it cooked, but not mushy. When cooked, drain water, rinse with VERY HOT water, drain that off, rinse with a little cool water to cool it only slightly. Put into a big bowl and toss with about 1/4 of the dressing that you are using. Let it cool in the bowl while you chop and dice everything else.
Add all the chopped and diced items to the pasta (except for the parmesan), toss. Add the rest of the dressing. Toss again. Taste and adjust salt and pepper. Serve or chill and remove from fridge about 1/2 hour before serving. Sprinkle the parm on top just before serving:)
My mother-in-law and I have a soft spot for plants gone wrong. That is, the cheapo demon in us is always thrilled to see half-dead plants at a mere fraction of their price(or free)! We both have a few rose bushes that have been saved from the depths of the garden shop’s trash bin to satisfy our need to nurse these thorny prizes back to health.
Well, this year, my plant saving extended to veggies as well. So, now I have all sorts of vining plants crawling over my front side walk. What are they? Ummmm, I actually am not 100% sure. I know that one is a yellow watermelon, one is a yellow cucumber. The rest I just can’t remember. Maybe cucumbers, cantelope, butternut squash? Don’t really care what I get-I’m just so happy that they are growing! Oh-and I had a whole bunch of seed packets for things that were 4 years old by now. Popped those in the ground and they have all sprouted too! Must be all of my husbands excellent compost that he tilled into the gardens for me:)