posted by on family, Nebraska

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Me and my Mom

Wishing all the mothers out there a very Happy Mother’s Day!

posted by on healthy, quick, side dish, vegetable

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cucumber and cabbage salad ingredients

My apologies for not getting a new recipe up sooner than this, but life has been crazy with work, the BF graduating with his Masters degree today and a big move to the San Francisco Bay area later this month! I’ve barely had time to cook or bake anything.

The original recipe for this came from healthyseasonalrecipes.com but as usual, I’ve made some changes according to my taste and what I had in my kitchen. I served up this salad with my pork chops and cabbage recipe. It makes a large amount, but I wouldn’t recommend keeping it for a second day so next time I’ll halve this recipe for 2 people. Besides all of the chopping, this would be a quick hit for a picnic or group dinner. Here goes:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 head of cabbage (recipe calls for Napa, but I just had a regular head of cabbage), finely sliced
  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled and julienne cut
  • ½ a lime, juiced (please use fresh! recipe calls for ¼ but it just wasn’t enough)
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, leaves removed and roughly chopped. (discard the stems)
  • about 2 cups of frozen sweet corn, thawed (I steamed mine and let them cool down)
  • ¼ cup canola oil (I also used a little bit of olive oil)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • ¾ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • Chili powder to taste (optional)

Get your veggies chopped. I’ll be honest and say mine did not turn out as pretty as in the original recipe. Mostly because I got tired of julienne chopping cucumbers so just do your best. Heck, slice up the cucumber however you like, it all goes to the same place anyway, right? In a big bowl mix the cucumber, cabbage, cilantro and corn.

cabbage saladIn a small bowl, mix your oils and seasonings and whisk together really well. Pour over the veggies and mix really well. If you have time, let the salad sit to let the flavors mix together. We ate ours right away and it was really good. I’m sure this will a recipe I’ll experiment with. What would you add in yours?

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, Vegetarian

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finished veggie sandwich

I am loving my subscription to Vegetarian Times! Yes, I still eat meat but sometimes I really crave a switch up, especially on days that meat just sounds so unappetizing. This month’s issue is seriously full of great recipes that I can’t wait to try.

Here’s the first I tried and it was great! It even fits the bill for you vegans out there. Next time I need to find a sturdy multigrain bread and toast it before assembling the sandwich. My version below makes two sandwiches.

Roasted Vegetable Sandwich with Bean Spread
Prepare the veggies for roasting in the oven:

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into ½ thick slices (cut longways)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into eighths
  • 1 small onion (red, white, sweet yellow – doesn’t matter)

In a small bowl, mix together ½ tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. ground coriander, ½ tsp. sea salt, ¼ tsp. ground black pepper. Place the cut veggies into a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle the season mix. Mix well with your hands. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, stirring/flipping half way or until golden brown and roasted. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Prep the bean spread:

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ can of white beans (I used cannellini)
  • Juice from approx. ½ of a lemon (if you use a lime, use less)

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet. Add your minced garlic and let cook just long enough until you can smell the garlic. Add in the beans and using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the beans up. Stir in ¼ cup water or vegetable broth and let cook until the water is absorbed and the beans look like a nice, thick spread. Remove from the heat and stir in your lemon juice. Let it cool.

Time to assemble the sandwich!
Spread the bean mix onto each slice of bread and top with half of the veggie mix and top with tomato slices and arugula.

original recipe can be found here from Vegetarian Times

A better BLT

Apr
2013
10

posted by on guilty pleasure, Nebraska, quick

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BLT ingredients

Summers in Nebraska meant visiting Grandma Herbert on the farm. It also meant fresh tomatoes and the best tasting BLT you’ll ever have. Times change, but luckily Grandma lives close to me here in Arizona and every time I make a BLT I think of her. She always made the best (so does my pop!) and I guarantee it had something to do with her tomatoes.

Now, I try and think of ways to not totally ruin a good, basic BLT but I am always curious to see how I can enhance the flavors of what a BLT is all about. Here’s my version! P.S. do not skimp on the bacon, don’t even bother with turkey bacon and buy really excellent (organic or homegrown if you can!) tomatoes. Heirloom are the best!

What you’ll need:

  • Lettuce
  • Arugula
  • 1 package of bacon (get all natural and center cut if you can – I love Applegate’s)
  • Mayo & mix-ins like cayenne, basil, cumin – whatever you like
  • 1 tomato
  • Bread of your choosing (grandma of course used good ol’ white bread – I use whole wheat now)
  1. Cook your bacon – I’m not giving you instructions on this. You may like it burnt, or undercooked, done in the microwave, oven or grill. I don’t care – just cook it.
  2. Clean up your greens (please use both, the arugula gives it an extra kick that’s fantastic – you could also add in spinach if you prefer)
  3. Slice up the tomato (thinly for easy stacking)
  4. Toast up your bread
  5. Assemble your sandwiches (duh).

My order usually looks something like this:
bread, mayo, bacon, tomato, lettuce, arugula, tomato, bacon, bread

Get creative with that mayo too! The mix-ins make a huge difference and enhance the taste. I also sprinkle my tomato with fresh ground black pepper!

duck eggs

Apr
2013
01

posted by on Phoenix

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My first duck egg

A few weeks ago we were at our friend Fara’s house to celebrate her birthday. She asked if we wanted a “tour” of her backyard chicken coop. Sure, right? How often do you see an urban chicken coop in someone’s backyard…in the city? Aside from the smell (which Fara warned us about) it was pretty cool to see her grab a few eggs from the chicken and duck nests and take them inside to her refrigerator.

I didn’t think anything else about this until this past week she brought over 2 dozen duck and chicken eggs. It’s odd to think of eating duck eggs, at least for me. Fara explained that they are much larger than a normal chicken egg.

chicken vs. duck

chicken egg on the left & duck egg on the right

She also told us that the taste is basically the same and can be used in anything just like you would a normal chicken egg. Fara did warn about frying them and said the white can easily be overcooked and rubbery. I decided to do a little research on this new-to-me ingredient in my fridge.

Saturday morning I whipped up my normal crustless quiche recipe for brunch replacing normal eggs with Fara’s duck eggs. Since they are so much larger, I used four of the duck eggs. Man, were they a pain to crack. The shell is pretty dang tough and took a bit to crack through (this thick skin & shell is also the reason the duck egg will last a month-6 weeks in the refrigerator vs. a store bought chicken egg).

Cracked duck eggs

Cracked duck eggs

I really slammed it down on my counter to get all four of them open. They had such an amazing bright yellow yolk and a very clear egg white. I was excited!

Aside from my spring form pan being warped and some of the egg seeping out of the side while baking, it tasted pretty good! I can’t wait to try the duck eggs in some of my baking, especially with that giant yolk. Should make for some good fluffiness. I’ll keep you posted.

switching gears

Mar
2013
25

posted by on cooking, Phoenix

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ripe seedless watermelon

This is the time of year I switch gears when it comes to what gets done in my kitchen. It’s starting to stay warm here in Phoenix (sorry for those of you who are still dealing with the early spring snow) and the thought of using my oven even to reheat something is not my favorite thing to do.

I hope to be posting more frequently now in terms of “summer” style recipes. I love to keep fresh fruits and veggies in my fridge at all times when it gets hot. Makes for easy snacks and pulling together quick meals during the week and honestly, I tend to eat even healthier when it hits this time of year.

I love this interactive map from epicurious that lets you pick where you live and see what’s in season and easily available for you to get in your local grocery store or your favorite, local farmer’s market!

Almost seedless watermelon

my almost seedless mini watermelon

I picked up these mini watermelons a couple of days ago. They are so sweet and juicy! Don’t forget the fresh cracked black pepper on mine – trust me, try it. It brings out the flavors of the watermelon like you would not believe!

Have a favorite summer-style recipe you’d like to share? Leave me a comment, I’d love to have you share yours with everyone! 

Simple Kale Salad

Mar
2013
01

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, quick, side dish, vegetable

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Kale Salad

I love my friends. I love them even more when they share recipes! I’m just now getting into the kale kick and I love it. This easy recipe will be a go to from now on.

This one’s from the super talented (and green friendly) Mandy Stos. When you’re done eating your greens, go check out her handmade goodies at iamthemandy.com!

Mandy’s Hail the Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch organic kale
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Lemon
  • 2 tbl Parmesan cheese
  • Small bread crumbs
  • (red pepper flakes if desired)

Cut and de-stalk the each piece so only the leaves are left. Tear or cut into bite sized pieces like a normal salad. Add to a large bowl. Add in olive oil, squeeze half of a lemon, salt, and pepper. Stir up. Next add in the parmesan cheese and mix. Add as much as you like and it really depends on how much kale you are making. Once you are done, add to your plate and sprinkle bread crumbs on top. I add chicken to mine as well!

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