I might judge you if you don’t cut off the little dry nubs at the end of the garlic cloves before using…so you probably should. I’ve always had this hangup, this thing, this annoyance with garlic. When it comes right off the bulb, the little clove has one delightful and beautiful smooth side and then this incredibly gross, haggard, dry, crackled side that makes me hate it. I cut that piece off every, single, time. You should too-it creeps me out.
Previously, the only thing that George HW Bush and I had in common was our dislike of broccoli. I’m proud to say that after eating this dish from Appetite for Reduction, I can distance myself a little more from HW, with only a slight dislike of broccoli and have narrowed it down to when it is 1) overdone or 2) raw. I love broccoli in this dish.
Warning, this is one ugly dish. I mean, there isn’t a food blog around that would claim this dish a beauty. So maybe not on the top 5 of dishes to serve when say the Queen is coming to dinner, but certainly a fail-safe dish for a busy week day dinner. After you roast this off the possibilities are endless, it would make a great soup with some veg broth added, perhaps toss it on a piece of naan for a sandwich, over rice, lentils, quinoa, etc. Or do as I do and just eat it off the baking sheet as you don’t want to dirty another dish. I won’t judge you.
- 1 lb broccoli, cut into large spears and stems chopped into 1/2-inch pieces (around 9-10 cups) – I really hate the spears, so I used just florettes out of a bag, 2 bags worth.
- 10+ cloves garlic, peeled and smashed-use what you want. I’ve done up to 20 and an no worse for the wear.
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or a 19-oz can, rinsed and drained)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp lemon zest (zest from 1 lemon) reserve the juice
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano or 3 tsp fresh
- 1 cup vegetable broth
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the broccoli, garlic and chickpeas in a 9×13 inch baking pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, chili flakes, lemon zest, oregano and black pepper to taste. Toss to coat and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, flipping once.
After 30 minutes, mix broccoli and chickpeas again and add broth, deglazing any browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Continue to bake another 15 minutes until the garlic is tender and the broccoli is browned in some places.
I finished this dish with the lemon juice from the zested lemon, and baked for another 5-10 minutes until it was absorbed.
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction
Posted in Dinner, Gluten Free, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged broccoli, chickpeas, garlic, George HW Bush, quick dinner, vegan, vegetarian
I’m a pickled veggie snob. I will spend $12.00 on a jar of pickles. I will eat one a week so as not to get rid of them too soon, savoring every bite, then I will keep the jar of juice and dump baby carrots into the remaining sea of spices until I drain the jar dry.
Today I noticed some very much neglected pickling cukes in the back of my crisper, not looking so much crisp as sad. Here is my science experiment and foray into quick pickles. I hope you like it spicy.
- 6 baby cucumbers washed and cut into rings
- 1 habanero pepper cut into 4ths
- 2 jalapeno peppers cut in half
- 2 whole cloves garlic smashed
- Handful kosher salt
- 1 1/2 C white vinegar, cause I’m old school
- 1 C water
- 1 1/2 T garlic chopped
- 5 bay leaves, whole
- 2 T dried dill, or 4 T fresh dill
- 1 T black peppercorns
- 1 T agave nectar
- 1 T cumin seeds, whole
First, prep the cukes. Cut into rounds, place in colander, salt generously, let sit for 15-30 minutes. This should perk up your cukes if they were a little sad like mine. Place cukes, peppers, and garlic cloves in a couple of jars you have lids for, it could be a jam jar for all I care, just make sure it’s clean. Since we are not “canning” here, it doesn’t make a difference.
To make the brine, boil for 15 minutes the ingredients listed in brine list. Remove from heat, pour over veggies in the jars. Let cool on counter, then pop in the fridge.
Eat these little guys within the week.
Posted in Fridge Finds, Less is more, Make Ahead, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged agave nectar, baby cucumbers, bay leaves, cumin seeds, dill, garlic, habanero, jalapeno pepper, McClures Pickles, peppercorns, pickles, quick pickles, white vinegar
Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of ‘payday isn’t for 2 more days, so use what you have in the fridge’. This recipe comes from precisely that situation. Thank goodness Trillium Haven Farm CSA and Doorganics day was yesterday, so at least there were fresh veggies from which to create goodness. The result is Vegan Zucchini Pancakes not to be confused with a prior post, Zucchini Fritters which are definitely NOT vegan (goat cheese).
Vegan Zucchini Pancakes
Cucumber Salad (topping)
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 2 small cucumbers
- 1T balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp EVOO
- 1 1/2 zucchini or summer squash, shredded
- 1 medium, sweet yellow onion
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste…err on the side of less)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 C egg substitute
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 3 T flour
- 2 T fresh basil, chiffonade
- 2 T Parmesan cheese (if Vegetarian, do not include for Vegan)
1. To create the cucumber salad chop the tomatoes and cucumbers coarsely and top with EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
2. Grate the zucchini and onion, roll up in paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze until it is fairly dry.
3. Combine the pressed zucchini and ionion with garlic, salt, basil, nutmeg, fake eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Pour 1/4 C of the batter into the oiled pan. The batter will be lumpy. Let the pancake completely brown on one side then flip to brown the other side. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels.
5. When you are ready to serve, top the pancakes with the cucumber salad and enjoy.
Thanks to a reader for writing in that the original recipe for these pancakes were too salty! I’ve changed the recipe to account for her feedback. If you are putting these on a bun or in a flatbread, you will need additional salt, but if just eating as a pancake, please follow the change in added salt. Thanks!
Posted in Recipes, Salad, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged balsamic vinegar, Basil, CSA, cucumbers, Doorganics, egg substitute, EVOO, garlic, Nutmeg, onion, seasonal recipe, summer squash, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian, zucchini, zucchini pancakes
Mike Hughes I salute you.
It’s a rare opportunity when you can shake the hand of the person who not only planted, but harvested and DELIVERED your fruit and/or veggies to, your, door. I don’t want to ruin the fantasy I have playing in my head about him digging up my little french radishes, putting them in a cooled green bin and driving them over to me personally just to say hi…but he basically did just that.
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Doorganics delivered today, thus, these tacos were created from my bin. Go online, hook up with Doorganics and be pleasantly surprised. I was.
I give you Doorganics Tacos.
- 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil
- 2 cups fresh white or yellow corn kernels
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced ( I used purple)
- 4 french radishes, finely diced
- 4 green onions, green parts diced only
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 large zucchini, diced
- 1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 warm corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup salsa
- goat cheese or Daiya to taste
Heat half of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Toast corn 5 minutes, stirring; season with salt. Remove corn; set aside. Heat remaining oil in skillet. Cook onion, stirring, until it caramelizes, 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, both peppers and cook 1 to 2 minutes, until warm-I like ’em crunchy still. Add zucchini; cook until tender but not mush, 6-10 minutes; season with salt. Add corn, beans, oregano and pepper. Cook 3 minutes. Split filling among tortillas; top each with 1 1/2 tsp salsa, a few bits of radish, green onion and 1 tsp cheese. This makes a TON more than 8 tacos worth. I’m taking it to lunch tomorrow sans shells.
Posted in Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged bell pepper, black beans, corn, CSA, Doorganics, garlic, green onion, jalapeno pepper, Michigan, Mike Hughes, onion, oregano, purple bell pepper, salsa, seasonal food, tomatoes, veg, vegan, vegetarian, veggie, zucchini
My herbs are staging a coup d’état in the backyard.
I’m striking back with pesto.
One of my fave 101cookbooks.com blog posts is entitled “How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother”. She’s right. It’s a brilliant recipe; however, sometimes I do not have 1) pine nut cash allowance (so expensive!), 2) oh, I don’t know 1000 extra calories to inhale a 2 tablespoon mouthful of wonderfulness or 3) time to chop BY HAND (wtf?!) a zillion leaves into a paste-like substance-I guess that’s where the grandmother part comes in for Heidi Swanson’s recipe; grandmothers have lots of extra time for this stuff.
Tonight when I realized my parsley was about to FLOWER for goodness sake, I took it upon myself to hack it all down, grab some garlic and headed to the food processor to make, “Certainly not an Italian Grandmother’s Pesto” while muttering to myself, “it’s a damn good thing I like pesto.”
Pesto from the Fridge
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 2 large handfuls of something delish and green from your herb garden (could really be anything)
- 4 cloves of garlic, 2 if you are not interested in vampire protection (TrueBlood starts at the end of the month)
- 1/4 C good EVOO
**To make this real pesto, add 1/2 C toasted walnuts or pine nuts, sometimes called Pinons and 1/2 C grated parm cheese to the mix then increase your EVOO as needed to get a nice puree.
Hack down a bunch of your herbs you have been neglecting, use the tender leaf part for the pesto (wash and dry it) and the stems to clean out your garbage disposal, it will make it smell better after you grind them up in there and send them to their new water home.
In a food processor, take the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest and all of that beautiful greenery and blend while slowly adding the EVOO. You might need less than 1/4 C depending on how liquidy you want the pesto. I like mine a little bit on the dry side.
To store, I take an old ice cube container, spray a little oil in the bottom and on the sides then portion out my pesto in the little wells which happens to make a nice amount of sauce for 2 people when I decide I need a pasta fix; freeze and then pop out and store in a freezer bag.
I have also used this concoction as:
- Tofu marinade
- Combined with greek yogurt to make dip, or thinned with water to make salad dressing.
- Mixed with more EVOO and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create a quick and flavorful vinaigrette.
- Tossed with pasta and raw veggies for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Tossed with pasta, a little pasta water, goat cheese and toasted walnuts for a yummy dinner.
- On top of crusty bread for the base for bruschetta or plain as garlic bread.
- Tossed with saute’d mushrooms.
- Base for marinated olives and bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) skewers.
- Base for tortillini soup.
Technically this recipe might be considered a Coulis due to lack of cheese; but whatever the case, it’s a flexible, cheap, quick and yummy way to put that herb garden to use and just about any herb or green will due. I’ve even used spinach with fantastic results. Pulling one of these little cubes out of the freezer in February makes my heart remember spring.
Posted in Fridge Finds, Make Ahead, Noodles, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, Basil, coulis, dip, dressing, EVOO, freezer, garlic, green, heidi swanson, herb garden, herbs, ice cube trays, parsley, pasta, pesto, spring, tofu marinade, vegan, vegetarian, Yummy
Some nights I just don’t feel like cooking. Really. Yes, even me. Which is why I’m thankful that I am competitive enough to make a game out of what I can scavenge from the fridge to pull dinner off. Mr. Wonderful loves anything in the family of pizza. So naan is a great quick pizza crust and Costco has the best deal on naan in the free world. Enter naan from freezer and let the creative juices flow. The most difficult part about this recipe is the patience it takes to caramelize the onions…chop them up and toss into a fry pan over very, very low, for a very long time. You can vacuum, do dishes, watch some YouTube videos in the mean time. Hell, get crazy and read a real book.
Here’s a quick flatbread recipe as rummaged from the fridge/freezer/pantry:
Grilled Asparagus, White Bean and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
- 1 very large onion, any type, chopped finely into half circles (approx 2 C raw)
- 1 bunch asparagus trimmed and washed
- 1 C Provolone cheese, grated (goat or gorgonzola cheese would be better here, but none in the fridge, alas)
- 4 C white beans, cooked or 2 cans, drained-reserve this liquid in case your hummus is too thick and you can drizzle some in (I pulled these from my freezer-reserve 3/4 C to sprinkle on TOP of flatbread, the rest will be used for “hummus” for the sauce on the flatbread)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-3 T Tahini (or just use a little of the juice from the beans if you don’t have this in your cupboard)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or a handful fresh
- 1/2 tsp dried cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried chipotle or red pepper flakes, omit if you are not pro-heat
- 2 T lemon juice, fresh squeezed preferred, but that little plastic lemon kind won’t kill you here
- salt to taste, this will take more than you think…white beans have little flavor
- 2 pieces commercial naan bread
Cut up onion, toss in hot frying pan with a swig of EVOO, then turn way, way down to low. Here is where the patience comes in…now, wait. Stirring every 15 minutes or so. Caramelized onions take TIME. Like, an hour or so. Good news, you don’t have to do anything to them except poke around at them every quarter hour….seriously quit your complaining.
Take the following ingredients and zap them in the food processor until smooth:
white beans (minus 3/4 C for topping of flatbread)
pinch of salt
You just made white bean hummus which is the “sauce” for the flatbread.
Asparagus should be washed, trimmed and tossed with a splash of EVOO, then turned out onto a hot grill, or in a grill pan until just warm, they should be crispy, semi-raw still, they will be cooked again in a hot second.
Fire the naan for a few minutes in a 400 degree oven to crisp it up just a little.
Apply “sauce” to naan bread, then onions, reserved white beans, asparagus and top with provolone cheese. Toss back into hot oven until cheese melts. Season with a bit of black pepper.
Posted in Bread, Leftovers, Less is more, Quick Cooking, Recipes
Tagged caramelized onions, cheese, chipotle, cook, create, delish, EVOO, flatbread pizza, food processor, freezer, garlic, grilled asparagus, lemon juice, lemon zest, Mr. Wonderful, mr. wonderful approved, naan, oregano, Provolone, recipe, red epper flakes, salt, seasonal cooking, tahini, vegetarian, white beans, yum
Curry on the brain this week I guess. Monday I wrote about Curried Hash and now, we have the Curried Noodle Pot courtesy of the lovely Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com. This recipe comes from her cookbook Super Natural Cooking. Why buy one of her books? Her photography. You can thank me later for the copious amounts of food porn present.
Curried Noodle Pot
- 8 oz whole-grain wide Asian noodles ( I used whole spelt udon)
- 2 T coconut oil
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 onion chopped
- 1-1/2 tsp red curry paste
- 12 oz extra firm tofu pressed and cubed
- 1-14 oz can coconut milk
- 2 C veggie stock
- 2 tsp ground tumeric or curry powder
- 2 T shoyu sauce (or any other type of soy sauce)
- 1T agave syrup
- juice of one lime
- 2/3 C peanuts (optional)
- 1/3 C slivered shallots
- 1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro
Cook noodles in plenty of water until just tender.
Start making curry while noodles cook. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, onion and curry paste and mash the paste around the bottom of the pan a bit to distribute evenly. Cook until fragrant – just a minute or two. Add the tofu stir until well coated with curry. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, shoyu and agave, bring to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the lime juice and add the noodles. Turn to coat.
To serve, heap big piles of noodles into individual bowls and top with a ladle or two of curry. Top with peanut and cilantro and shallots.
Note: I thought this needed a bit of salt because I used unsalted peanuts for garnish. From start to finish, this took me less than 20 minutes to make. Bonus points for quick dinner.
Posted in Quick Cooking, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian
Tagged cilantro, coconut oil, curried noodle pot, curry, garlic, limes, noodles, quick cooking, red curry paste, shallots, shoyu sauce, tofu, tumeric, udon
In an effort to get Spring to hustle up a little, I bought asparagus today from my new fave food store Horrocks on 44th and Breton in Kentwood. It’s not quite Whole Foods or Trader Joes, but it is a fine substitute. When I saw asparagus was on sale, I started dreaming of my fave stir fry recipe from Heidi Swanson at 101cookbooks.com. When I think of stir fry, I think of this recipe. Salty, sweet, crunchy, tart, easy to add ingredients to, a great clean out the fridge starter recipe and very, very pretty, super green. It just reeks of good for you. And if you serve it over soba noodles or brown rice, it will net you 2 dinners and 2 lunches. Enjoy!
Asparagus Stir Fry
- toasted sesame oil
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cubed 1/2″
- 1 cup shelled edamame
- 1 hand full pea pods
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon freshly chopped ginger (peeled)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 bunches of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- a couple big pinches of fine-grain sea salt
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 big handful of toasted cashews, chopped up a bit
- a few handfuls of spinach, or chopped kale, or chopped chard
- zest and juice of two limes
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 small handful fresh mint, slivered
- 1 small handful fresh Thai basil, slivered
Have all your ingredients prepped and within arms reach of the stove. Heat a splash of sesame oil in a large pan, or well-seasoned wok over medium high heat. Alternately, you can do this in a dry non-stick pan – one of the few occasions I still use non-stick. When it is hot, add the tofu, and cook until golden – a few minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
Add another (generous) splash of oil to the pan and, as soon as it is hot, add the onions, ginger, red pepper flakes, asparagus, edamame and salt. Stir fry for about a minute, then add the garlic, cashews, and spinach and stir-fry for another minute, or until the spinach wilts. Return the tofu to the pan. Stir in the lime zest and juice and the hoisin sauce. Cook for another 10-20 seconds, stirring all the while.
Remove from heat and stir in the mint and basil. Taste and add a bit more salt if needed. I like to serve this over soba noodles or brown rice.
Posted in Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Stir Fry, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, asian, asparagus, cashews, create, delish, garlic, ginger, heidi swanson, Horrocks, limes, noodles, soba, soba noodles, spinach, spring, Stir Fry, tofu, veg, vegetarian, yum, zest