Posts by hgm:

Another Broccoli Slaw – Asian flavors

So, its summer and hot and we don’t want to stir fry. How are we supposed to stick with our “big bowl of veggies per day” plan? Salads of course.

But I bought broccoli  out of force of habit and its too dang hot to eat anyhow. So I remembered a previous experiment with broccoli slaw and decided to do it again but with some different flavors and less ingredients. Super quick, super easy and super yummy.

1 head broccoli – chopped fine
I ran raw stems through the food processor grater and lightly steamed the heads in the microwave before chopping them superfine by hand.

1 large or 2 small green onions – sliced fine – I used the ones I had regrown from the end cuttings I planted a while a go so they were pretty small – used greens and all

1/2 bell pepper - run through the food processor grater with the broccoli

A rather large handful of bean sprouts – chopped coarsly

I also think the 2 flowering heads of cilantro I minced in help pull the flavors together.

Dressing:

2 Tbs rice wine vinegar
1.5 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS Mae Ploy sweet hot chile sauce

Shake in a jar or stir in a bowl until blended

Pour over slaw mix and stir.

Let sit a couple hours for maximum yum.

Another New Author

zenaWhile celebrating the one year anniversary of Zena, the warrior kitty’s, new home with our neighbors Kassy and Victor we were served Martha Stewart style Hors d’oeuvres that Kassy concocted on the spot from what she had on hand. The tiny bites of dates, avocado and cheese toasted on crackers were delish.

This led to my bringing up this blog, at which point Kassy whipped out the cutest little handwritten recipe book just chock full of made up food goodness. Well, you can draw a straight line from there to officially welcoming our newest made up foodie, Kassy Daggett.

I can’t wait to see what she posts!

Cheddar Soybean Bake

cheddarsoyI was talking with my brother on the phone the other day and he was reminiscing about a side dish my mother used to make that we loved as kids. It was basically a casserole made up of tater-tots, mayonnaise and cheese and it was all kinds of brown and bubbly goodness. Now that he has been diagnosed with Diabetes those kind of carbs are off the menu so he has adapted it to use high protein soybeans instead. It sounded intriguing, so I took his idea and ran with it adding some sausage and eggs for a complete one dish meal.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 9 glass baking dish or any medium sized casserole. Layer the following in the bottom:

  • 1 can organic soy beans drained but not rinsed
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 pre -cooked chicken sausages, 1/4 in slices – mixed into beans

In a bowl combine:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1-2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tbsp Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp garlic (or whatever herb/seasoning you like)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or other real cheese
  • salt and pepper

Pour mixture evenly over ingredients in the baking dish and top with an additional 1/4 cup of shredded cheese pushing it down into the mixture a bit.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean and top is golden brown and bubbly.

I used eggs and sour cream instead of the larger amount of mayo originally called for because I was scraping the bottom of the jar, but I think the eggs especially added a nice heft to the dish and maybe even upped the nutrition a bit. The end result was a bit watery in the bottom and next time I will drain the beans much more thoroughly before adding to the pan.

Although it could never be the same as the tater tot version this is a really tasty dish in its own right and one I know we’ll be making again – especially since its so adaptable, fast and easy. If you try it and create your own variation please put it in the comments and let me know how it comes out.

Too good not to post: Asparagus and Israeli Couscous

So this may be breaking a bit from the philosophy of this blog (no real recipes followed to the letter) but since I made some additions/substitutions I feel like I can sneak it in. Plus as the title indicates, this is just too easy, fast and delicious not to share.

The original recipe (8 Minute Asparagus Couscous Soup – Quick and Easy) is on Recipezaar, which is really a great resource if you haven’t checked it out yet. Its so simple I hope they don’t mind me paraphrasing it here.

1 cup israeli couscous
1 bunch asparagus
3 cups broth – I used 1 Tbsp Better than Boullion Chicken & 2.5 c h20
parmesan cheese – I didn’t have any so I used a TBsp of leftover Parsley Pesto

Start the broth boiling and snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. Chop into bite size pieces. When the broth boils add couscous and cook 5 min, then add asparagus and boil for 3 minutes more. That’s it. I added the parsley pesto at this point and ladled into bowls. It smelled so good I burned my tongue because I couldn’t wait for it to cool down to taste it. I did end up adding a dash of fresh ground pepper as well but really the asparagus and couscous didn’t need much help and worked perfectly together in this simple dish.

I really wish I had taken a photo because it is truly beautiful with a gorgeous green hue. I was really pleased that the flavor of the fresh asparagus came through and the texture was perfect. This is the first time we have used Israeli Couscous (we bought a couple cups on a whim from the bulk foods aisle) and I have to say we are now big fans and will be using it a lot more. Its more like orzo than traditional couscous with a bit of pearl tapioca mouth feel. I plan to try this approach with other veggies and maybe even some meats. If you experiment with the recipe please let me know in the comments.

Semi-Homemade Egg Rolls

eggrollsThanks to co-author Alan, I found this great foodie blog called Full Bellies, Happy Kids which is now in the links to the right. This recipe I saw there inspired me to the point of actually buying some ingredients in advance that I wouldn’t normally have on hand. However, being us, we made a bunch of substitutions and in this case completely made up our own dipping sauces. Check out the original recipe for more instructions and ideas.

Had to buy:

  • 1 bag tri-color coleslaw mix
  • Egg roll wrappers

Had on hand:

  • a small Baby Bok Choi
  • 4 Green Garlic bulbs (like giant green onions)
  • 1/2 lb pre cooked frozen shrimp (TJ’s of course)
  • a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
  • canola oil
  • soy sauce
  • Sriracha (rooster hot sauce)
  • salt and pepper

First I thawed the shrimp and let them drain for a while. I combined 1/2 of the package of coleslaw with the finely chopped bok choi, garlic bulbs and added finely minced ginger. I also started the oven pre-heating to 400 degrees- which for my small egg rolls now seems a bit too high.

I stir-fried the veggies in olive oil and added the finely chopped shrimp at the end with a good strong dash of soy sauce, a small bit of the sriracha, and salt and pepper. This yielded a pretty wet mix, probably due to not draining and drying the shrimp enough, so we put it in a strainer over a bowl to get the good stuff high and dry.

On an oiled nonstick baking sheet we assembled the egg rolls following the folding directions on the package and also found in the recipe link above. After brushing the tops of our cute little rollups with some additional oil we popped them in the oven and set the timer for 18 minutes since we know our oven runs a bit hot.

Its a good thing I checked them early because they were done – more than done really about 4 minutes early. I was pretty sparing with the filling and next time – and there WILL be a next time – I will really load them up. These were so easy and so good that I am really wishing I had made more filling.

For our dipping sauces I decided to play around a bit and came up with the following quick and dirty and delicious condiments.

Mustard Teriyaki
This is simple but very tasty – I just mixed equal parts Dijon Mustard and Sesame Teriyaki Sauce (TJ’s again). This was just right with the egg rolls, spicy but not too hot for my husband.

Heather’s Generic Dipping Sauce
Equal parts Soy Sauce and Rice Wine Vinegar mixed together with a few drops of chile oil, a pinch of minced ginger, a pinch of minced garlic and this time a pinch of fresh ground horseradish. We usually make something similar to dip almost any Asian food into.

I hope you try these and enjoy them as much as we did.

Green Tomato Salsa

green tomato salsaThanks to fellow blog author and master gardener Julie, I found myself with 4 absolutely beautiful but mysterious green tomatoes. I decided to see what the nets had out there on green tomato salsa. Turns out there are quite a lot of recipes, but of course I decided after reading 4 or 5 to wing it and just sort of make it up as I went along. Besides, I am low on supplies right now so was out of most ingredients they called for. Here’s what I ended up doing:

4 medium green tomatoes, seeded and chopped fine, salted and put under a weight for 30 minutes,
drained
4 small pickled jalapeno chili peppers, seeded and chopped fine
2 cloves garlic minced
1 small roasted red pepper (from jar) chopped fine

Mixed these together in a hot dry skillet then I heated mixing continually until tomatoes were softened and changed color and some roasty-ness appeared on everything. I didn’t have an onion in the house but would have added some minced red onion here if i did.

Added 2 tbsp limeade, since I didn’t have fresh limes in the house and wanted the extra sweetness to counter the tart tomatoes anyhow.

I let this cool slightly and added 2 tsp chopped cilantro (little frozen cubes from where else? Trader Joe’s), a dash of cumin, 1 tb olive oil, another 2 Tbsp limeade, a tsp of brown sugar and 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. I used a handblender to mush this up and some of the liquids added above were mostly to get it loose enough to blend.

It turned out amazing – and addictive – and HOT. That kind of creeper hot that keeps you coming back for more. Next time, if there is a next time I will use less salt (I added a bit more than a tsp in the beginning) and less hot peppers – maybe 3 small to 4 med tomatoes. And I am really really wishing I had that onion around. Since its so spicy I am thinking of using this sauce, thinned out a bit for enchiladas with melty cheese. That is if it lasts long enough. Thanks for the inspiration Julie!

Broccoli Confetti Slaw


brocslaw

Last weekend our friend Lori hosted an outrageous Survivor themed multi-cause celebration and potluck. Steve cooked up some awesome terkyaki burgers to go with. It was going to be another hot one in the 90′s, so I wanted to make something fresh and cool.

I always look at potlucks as a time to get creative. This is usually because I didn’t think ahead to have the ingredients on hand to do a specific recipe and improvisation becomes a necessity. Mother of invention and all that,.

Taking inventory of the fridge turned up lots of broccoli and carrots and luckily we had just been to the farmers market the day before so we also had some lovely basil, zucchini and green onions on hand.

My typical hunt of the internet for some recipes to borrow from turned up lots of ramen noodle varieties and a yummy sounding broccoli coleslaw recipe to work from.

Alas, we don’t have a decent shredder and only a mini food processor bought from a friend’s moving across the country sale years ago and never really put to the test. I tested its limits with this dish though and more or less it passed.

This one came out well enough that several people have asked for the recipe and there were no leftovers at the host’s house or ours.

Broccoli Confetti Slaw
About 3 cups shredded, finely diced or mini-food processed broccoli
About 1 and a half cups shredded, finely diced or mini-food processed carrots
and for fun and because they were fresh I threw in a couple baby zucchinis as I was pulsing and chopping.

The mini food processor yielded the confetti texture which bemused some folks and more than one person asked me what it was and how you eat it. Someone even put it on their burger, which looked good to me.

I also ran 2 cloves of garlic and a small bunch of green onions through the chopper and sliced up a bunch of basil as finely as I could.

Once I had the base well mixed, I toasted about a half a cup of pine nuts, let them cool and gave them a coarse chop and tossed them in.

I also used the mini processor for the dressing, which i haven’t done before but will again. The dressing consisted of:

  • 2 cloves of garlic which I roasted and cooled for a bit of sweetening,
  • another couple green onions,
  • 1/3 cup EVO (extra virgin olive oil),
  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (which was actually half balsamic vinegar)
  • some sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

I whirled it all up and poured it over.

I think as the original recipe author did, letting this sit together to blend, meld and get to know each other is a key ingredient. So thankfully I had my butt in gear early enough to allow for a decent setting time before we ate. I think I’ll make some more this week.

If you try this or adapt it let me know what you think.

Found a great new geeks & food site

I was out on the web looking for some broccoli slaw recipes since I have a potluck to attend and lots of broccoli. After learning how to spell broccoli (2 c’s one l) I came across the “What Geeks Eat” blog. Well, as a geek, of course I had to check it out. Not only did the recipe sound great but also down-to-earth-doable for those of us that spend way too much time on the computer. Plus, the author is a fan of fresh local food – so I have a new food blog on the links here and in my RSS reader. I’ll be trying this recipe out later today. If it comes out well and I remember to take a photo, I’ll post my version (full of substitutions as always) here.

Meantime check out What Geeks Eat for some new ideas and delicious brain food.

Lemon Ginger Carrot Cornbread

lemon ginger carrot cornbreadSummer has come to our little corner of the woods, but no summer break in the craziness. So when I felt the need for fresh baked goods I had to fall back on good old “just add water” Marie Callender’s Cornbread mix. As a way to sneak some additional veggies into our diet I decided that grated carrots would be a good addition. And since I was getting creative anyhow, I decided to add some grated lemon peel and powdered ginger too. After smelling it in the oven, I was really glad I did. Jim was late for work but stuck around long enough to try some and declare it delicious enough to blog about – so here it is. Just follow the recipe on the package for an 8 x 8 pan and cut the water back to just over a cup for about 1/2 cup of grated carrots and add the rest to taste.

Experimental Snack a Success!

From my friend Jan:

A small dab of goat cheese on a small square of dark chocolate, washed down with a glass of blueberry juice 

her verdict: Yum Yum!