Thursday, December 11, 2014

Beef Stew, Plain and Simple

Sometimes you want to eat a nice dinner at your desk before heading to a yoga double.  AKA 3 hours of zen.

Last night I made this delicious stew with the CSA bounty.  I essentially emptied the veggie drawer... And it is delish, I just didn't know it last night.  I had to wait until just now, eating it at my desk, to realize that its simplicity is indeed blog-worthy.

Splash canola oil
Package stew beef
2 small onions
1 leek
4 small-ish potatoes
3 turnips
3 carrots
Half a huge head of cabbage
2 bay leaves
3 beef bouillon cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 can tomato sauce

Brown beef in canola oil.  Set aside.  Toss in chopped leek, and onion.  Saute until soft.  Add a few cups of water.  And chopped carrots, chopped potatoes (I left the peels on), chopped turnips (I peeled them), and cabbage cut into chunks.

Add beef bouillon cubes, dissolve and add bay leaves.  Add beef back.

Simmer for 90 minutes or so.  Maybe monitor and add water, as needed. Add tomato sauce.  Simmer another 20 minutes.     Salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate / freeze in portions...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sauteed Cabbage

Sorry, friends.  I've been MIA.  But really, I just haven't done new blogworthy toiling in my kitchen.  And arguably this isn't too blogworthy.  But sometimes you just have a head of cabbage you need to figure out what to do with that isn't the same ol' same ol'.  (Which for me is an asian stirfry or slaw.)

Inspired by Ina, this recipe couldn't be simpler.

large head of cabbage - cut and sliced
2 T butter
salt and pepper

The results were a simple, slightly sweet cooked bowl of sauteed cabbage.  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My First, But Not Last Ratatouille

Ingredient Pile
Oh, hey blog.  Sorry you've been neglected.  But 1.  I've been busy - travelling like a crazy woman and also 2. I haven't done much new blogworthy kitchen-ing.  -- Basically meaning my blog is working for my selfish purpose of saying, 'oh, self what was it you did with that random ingredient?'  Look it up on your blog, and recreate it.  

So tonight.  Tonight there is tunes and chopping and prepping and solitude and rain and thunder.
Immediately following the CSA email with the contents this afternoon, came the brilliant suggestion from the sister-in-law, 'sounds like ratatouille!'  (We share the CSA...)

Indeed.  Leaving out the corn on the cob and cauliflower, all other veggies married well together.  I read up on Mark Bittman's Oven-Baked Recipe and a few others, and the rumor is that pretty much anything goes with ratatouille... But here is what I did, for what it's worth... 

Oven Ready

1 large eggplant - sliced and salted and let sit for a bit and wrung out
3 bell peppers coarsely chopped  
4 beautifully ripened heirloom tomatoes coarsely chopped (minus the two chunks I had to try because they were beautiful and purple and red and tempting)
4 tomatillos coarsely chopped
a dozen or so bright sweet small peppers
a large handful of yellow grape tomatoes
Seasoned with healthy pour of olive oil - Maybe 2T; salt; pepper; marjoram; oregano; garlic powder; and onion powder.

Directions: Layer in a large casserole dish.  Bake 350 for 1 hour periodically opening the oven to smash.
Taste test... Amazing...  Lunch all week..  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Impulsive Pulse and Quinoa Salad

The scene.  Carpooling to a winery potluck with friends at 10:45 am on a gorgeous Saturday for a afternoon jazz festival.  Woke up the same day with no idea what to make.  (I'll blame it on the nutty week I'd had.)  Open the fridge/pantry.  This is what came about.

1 cup dry quinoa - cook it according to directions.
1 cup dry lentils - cook according to directions.  (But first spill about a half of a cup on the floor and trash them because you hadn't had coffee yet.)
3 green onions sliced thin
1 bunch asparagus
Awesome garlic scape pesto made earlier in the week (you could get the same flavor profile with garlic powder, salt, lemon, oil, and  parm, probably.)
More lemon juice (~1 T)
More olive oil (~2 T)
A smidge more parm (~2 T)
Salt to taste

Cook lentils and throw in a bowl and put in the fridge to cool.  Cook quinoa.  The last few minutes of the quinoa throw in chopped asparagus to blanch.  (I didn't feel like getting another pot dirty.  You could steam the asparagus.  I wanted some crunch still left.)  Add into the lentils.  Mix in remaining ingredients.

This makes a lot.  I saved 2 servings for later and the rest went to the potluck with 10 people and a bit was leftover.  It had good reviews for something so impulsive!
Fun hayride with the owners schooling us on vineyard vs. wineries

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Kitchen Sink Crustless Quiche

That sigh when you've cleaned the kitchen after playing in it and you sit on the couch with your feet-up.  I love that feeling. It's like winning.  A combination of being well-nourished and de-stressed.  That just happened and I just heard myself sigh.

Tonight, I fetched veggies, rushed to Pilate's, came home and cranked up a sappy Joni Mitchell Pandora station and got into veggie prep mode.  

Inspired by being overrun with CSA eggs and veggies, a veggie quiche came to mind... I was mildly following this recipe... for time, temp, and a rough idea of ingredients.

After some stressful days at work, it was a nice mind and body reset to exercise and cook with tunes cranked.  My therapy.

6 farm fresh eggs.  One of them had 2 yolks.  Because, you know, that's how the CSA do.  So not sure if that's 7 eggs?  But, I cracked 6 shells, so...
A 2 cup package mexican cheese, 2% that has been in the freezer for awhile.
1 zucchini leftover from beach weekend.
2 bunches of CSA spinach.
2 green/purpley scallions from the CSA.
Healthy drizzle of canola oil.
2 tsp garlic diced.

Saute chopped zucchini, onion, and garlic in canola oil until cooked with salt and pepper.

Beat eggs in a bowl.  Add 2 C package of 2% Mexican cheese. Add cooked veggies and dump in casserole pan.  (I couldn't find my pie pans.  Probably in my trunk, knowing me.)

Cook at 350 for half hour.  Let rest for 10 minutes.

Portion out. Freeze half a dozen portions, so you don't feel overwhelmed by a quiche.  (Food shouldn't overwhelm.)  Save 3 portions for now, or meals later in the week.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Spinach - Microwaved

In the vein of, Sarah, what are you eating today?

Effort to clean out the fridge before vacay has commenced.  And the bagged spinach I brought to work looked wilty and unappetizing.  So I decided to microwave it to wilt it some more.

Pick out the culprits, add a spash of water and microwave for 40 seconds.  Add ham deli meat, avocado, hot sauce, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Serve with a side of yogurt, cherries, a lingering headache, and listening to a senate approps markup.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Oatmeal

So rhubarb was in the inaugural CSA box of the season.  Something I'm not all too familiar with using.  But I knew I wanted to make something that wasn't dessert.  Using inspiration from the Oatmeal Artist's recipe,  I went to town.

I decided to pre-prep the rhubarb in one big batch and will use it throughout the week in hot oats and probably my cold soaked oats as well - I have a hunch all of the ingredients below will make for some delish soaked oats.  But holy smokes, my hot strawberry rhubarb oatmeal was a lil bowl of heaven this grey morning.

The CSA rhubarb yielded 3 cups chopped rhubarb.

For rhubarb sauce/liquid stuff - 
3 cups chopped rhubarb
2 1/4 cups water
3 T maple syrup

Bring to a simmer and cook down for about 10 minutes.  I did this the night before and put in mason jars to use in oats later.

So for the oatmeal in the morning... Ingredients:
1/2 C oats
1/2 C rhubarb liquid/sauce
1/2 C milk
1 C sliced strawberries
splash vanilla extract
1 t sugar in the raw

In saucepan simmer oats, rhubarb, and milk.  Add in half of strawberries to cook with oats.  When consistency is right for you, put in bowl and add vanilla, rest of strawberries, and sugar.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Shredded Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad aka the Shallot that Brought me to Tears

Shredded Kale & Brussels Sprout Salad
Serves a dinner party of 10 with plenty leftover. 

My other Easter side was a yummy carrot salad.  Leave it to me to ensure there isn't a shortage of veggies on the dinner table.  It's kind of my thing.  This oober green salad was delicious and turned out really well, aside from the shallot making me bawl my eyes out.  My time tested trick on how to handle onions and shallots making you cry?  Suck it up, it will be over soon.

I don't need to bother typing out a recipe, when it's already written and photographed so elegantly.. So, see here.  But I will copy and paste it and and I'll add some notes...
For the dressing:
1 Tablespoon minced shallots (Just use a whole giant shallot, because what does one do with the leftover?)
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard (Apparently, optional, because I forgot it.)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (I wanted more.  Juice of 3 lemons.)
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (Zest of 1 lemon.)
2 teaspoons honey or agave nectar (A blop of honey. More like 2T.)
1/4 cup olive oil (I didn't measure it and I used canola.)
For the salad:
4 cups finely shredded Lacinato kale (loosely packed) (I didn't really measure - Bought a healthy loose amount from the store.)
4 cups finely shredded Brussels sprouts (loosely packed) (1 package of sprouts.)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (Toasting, meh.  I just used a package of slivered almonds.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (Measuring, meh.  I used the rest of a package of shredded parm.)


Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest and honey. Stream in the olive oil while whisking continuously until well combined. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to taste. (You can add more lemon juice or agave nectar to adjust the acidity or sweetness to your personal taste.)  (Or just add all ingredients and shake it in a mason jar.)
Assemble the salad:
In a large bowl, toss together the shredded kale, shredded Brussels sprouts and toasted almonds. Add as much dressing as desired, tossing to combine, then add the cheese and toss. Serve immediately. (I have a feeling it will be delicious a day later also.)
Kelly's Notes:
To shred the Brussels sprouts, cut off the stems, halve them and using a very sharp knife, cut them into shreds. (Or use the food processor.  Amaze-balls.)
To shred the kale, strip the leaves from the stems, stack the leaves on top of one another, roll them up and then cut the roll into ribbons. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carrot Raisin Pineapple Salad

An Easter potluck with friends and family. The perfect time to inflict a craving upon your loved ones. For whatever reason, I've been wanting this sweet carrot salad. And just like that, it is prepped, in the fridge, and awaiting consumption tomorrow.  (And perhaps a bit lighter than the one I occasionally snag from Chick-Fil-A.)

2 pounds carrots - shredded
20 oz can crushed pineapple
1 cup raisins
fat free greek yogurt and light mayo until moist enough.  I probably used 1/4 C each

Mix.  Voila.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Irish Soda Bread - Altered...

Wake up in the morning and make bread at 8am on a Saturday?  Why not...  Have a few gatherings to attend today and don't want to show up empty handed...

I used Ina Garten's recipe... So I will spare you most of the details.

But since I can't just let a recipe be a recipe... Here were my alterations:

1 C raisins instead of currants
1/2 the flour I used was whole wheat
I used fresh grated orange zest
I threw in 2  tsp of caraway seeds for good measure
I split the dough into two smaller loafs


Sunday Morning Update:  Makes phenomenal
french toast.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Kale Salad to Remember

A little while back, I was taken out to a fancy pants dinner at Teddy & The Bully Bar.  It was a fantastic meal of small plates.  One standout was the kale salad.  The ingredients seemed simple and I decided I wanted to recreate it.  Theirs had pine nuts and currants.  I made mine with dried cherries and walnuts.  Anyways - inspired by that salad, here is what will now be a staple in my fridge.

1 bunch kale
1-2 lemons
2-3 T olive oil
Salt, pepper, garlic powder
2 T dried cherries
1/4 C walnuts
Healthy sprinkle of Parmesan

Wash and finely chop kale.  Place in bowl.  Squeeze juice of 1 or 2 lemons, add oil, and all other ingredients.  Toss well.  Eat!  One of my favorite things about kale is how hearty it is.  You can leave it dressed in the fridge and it is still good days later.  Add a bit more parm when you go to eat, and voila.  Ready made salad.  Add more protein and you have a meal.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"BBQ" Chicken Sammich

Step 1. Impulsively buy a whole chicken when you're grocery shopping.

Step 2.  A few days later, after you've already eaten dinner, oil it, salt and pepper it, and season it with whatever herbs you want.  Last night I used Tony Chachere's because who doesn't love cajun spice?

Step 3. Roast it.  Time/Temp of 425 for 90 minutes for a normal sized chicken.  Magically, this is the same amount of time it will take you to watch 'You've Got Mail.'

Step 4. Let chicken cool and rest.  Pick it a part and package it up for lunch during the week.  (I think later this week I'll use some for my delicious curried chicken salad.)

Step 5. When packing your lunch haphazardly at 7:55am, grab a portion of chicken and add 2T of your fave BBQ sauce to the same container.  (Also pack, spinach, sandwich thin, veggie sides, and a piece of fruit.)

Step 6. Noon - go to the cafe.  Toast bread.  Heat chicken for 60 seconds.  Make a sammich with spinach and "BBQ chicken."



Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cumin Seed Roasted Carrots

Today is off to a pretty good start.  I got a massage, did some pilates, and then cooked all the vegetables... one of the yummies created was cumin seed roasted carrots.  So simple and uses up your cumin seed, one of those spices you buy for one recipe and then sits on  your shelf for all eternity... until now.

2 bunches whole carrots
healthy sprinkle of cumin seed ~ 1T
~ 2 T olive oil
salt and pepper

Peel carrots and cut in spears.  Toss in all of the rest of the ingredients.  Roast at 425 for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!