Michaela, day 1—my own hand, blue ink on printer paper @ work
Michaela, day 1—my own hand, blue ink on printer paper @ work
Michaela, Day 1 - my own hand, blue ink on printer paper (while at work, lol)
Vegan! Sweet potato biscuits—recipe to follow soon.
Made it this morning because nothing in the fridge looked appealing for lunch:
(makes 1 serving)
- 1 cup of kale….2 large kale leaves (I have the curly variety) washed, dried, and de-ribbed
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp toast almonds (walnuts would work too)
- 1 tsp each of salt & pepper
Throw it all in the food processor and pulse until combined—I put it on top of carrot & parsnip ‘noodles’ (thinly shredded with a peeler) for lunch today. Solid experiment!
I was looking for something different to do with tempeh, and stumbled upon the recipe above. It is very good, but very balsamic—next time I would serve it with sweet peas or something citrusy to cut the strong flavor profile. I really like that nothing in this goes to waste—the marinade becomes a roasting liquid becomes the sauce.
You’ll notice I served this over jasmine rice and my new favorite veggie combo: ribbon carrots and parsnips. I saw the idea for this somewhere online and had fun with the peeler—will definitely be repeating for salads in the near future!
Dreamy, yummy POT ROAST!
I’ve made pot roast before and deemed it ‘guest-worthy,’ however this was half as easy and twice as good. I did this in the crock pot on low for 7 hours, adding the last of the little potatoes and carrots from the farm share for the last hour. Here’s all it takes:
- one roast—the cheaper the cut, the better. Mine was just under 4 pounds and comfortably fed four people.
- a package of brown gravy mix—go for low sodium if you can.
- a package of italian dressing mix
- a half-package of ranch dress/dip mix (you can use a whole package if you like, but ranch is not my most favorite thing)
- 1/2 cup of water
Seriously, that’s it. Mix the seasonings and use them as a rub on the meat—I rotated the meat every two hours since there’s not a ton of liquid. It was sooo good, and the ‘gravy’ created in the bottom made for incredibly flavorful veggies and drippings.
This was my first time making homemade pasta, and based on the reviews of this recipe I was very intimidated. Undaunted, I figured gnocchi had to be easier than any other type, and after house and dog sitting for the last 10 days I was owed a day of kitchen play at home. These are well worth the effort!
Go ahead: treat-yo’-self!
This technically is dessert for breakfast, but given the overwhelming majority of good ingredients, I think it’s a solid way to start the day. Next time I will go ahead and add the chopped nuts (here I used pecans, but you could absolutely do walnuts) and raisins right into the batter rather than hold to the side for a garnish.
- 1 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (warmed so it’s liquid)
- 1 1/2 cup of milk (I used vanilla almond)…ideally at room temperature so the coconut oil won’t congeal
- 1 tsp each of: nutmeg, vanilla extract, allspice
- 1 tbsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1 egg
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup of chopped raisins
- 1/4 cup of chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Separately, beat the egg, vanilla, milk, and carrot shreds together. If the milk is really cold, let it stand for a little bit before you add in the coconut oil (I made this mistake and it seized up and was flaky in the batter). Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.
Cook as you would regular pancakes—in a buttered pan on medium-low heat, flipping when air bubbles emerge from the center of the pancakes. Depending on whether you added the raisins and nuts directly into the batter, you can add once the pancakes are forming on the pan (dropping on as you would other fresh fruit), or as a garnish after the fact. Enjoy!!
kale salad recipe, chopped with pine nuts
OMG this is good! If you’ve read this blog, you’ll know my feelings on salad, so this was a big win for me. I substituted toasted almond slivers for the pine nuts and raisins for the currants…because that’s what I had. It was best at room temperature, but I bet it would be even better warmed up a little.
So here it is…my braggart-worthy meatball recipe! I’ve turned ground-turkey haters into lovers with these bad boys and successfully tricked my dad into eating a food that technically has more than his threshold of “3 colors.”
The trick is the veggies mixed in—it adds so many layers of flavor and keeps the meatballs from drying out. I started cooking them this way after lots of research into what make meatballs the ‘best’ or ‘delicious’ or ‘flavorful’ (all Google search words).
You will need:
- 1lb sweet Italian sausage
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, depending on how big they are and how garlicky you like your Italian foods :)
- 1 small/mediumish yellow onion (I have done this with red onion from the farm share before and found the sweeter onions add a superior flavor; same is true of leeks)
- dash of red pepper flakes
- 1 generous tbsp of Italian herbs (this is a popular blend, but I have an extra special bottle of the local, organic variety from a ‘treat’ one farm share pick up a few months ago)
- salt & pepper—maybe 1tbsp of each? I don’t measure.
- 1/3 cup of Parmesan (or a combo of Italian cheeses, but really you just need the Parmesan—I used the sprinkle variety or the ‘Off the Block’ shredded kind)
- 1/3 cup of the sauce you’re going to simmer/serve the meatballs in later (I cheat here and usually buy two jars of the Newman’s Own Marinara which is the perfect amount)
And your choice of any 3 of the following (my favorites are *starred*):
- *1 cup of spinach (fresh or frozen that’s been thawed and drained—you do not need the extra water in this!!)
- *1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- small pepper, cleaned and diced (any color)
- *1 large or 2 smaller stalks of celery, chopped
Start by getting a blender or large food processor set up to help you with the breaking down of the veggies. I try to rough chop everything up before I throw it in to help with the even distribution in the blender/processor. Put the onion, garlic, veggies of choice, and sauce in and let it rip. Once it’s good and blended, I usually throw the egg in and pulse a few more times.
Preheat the oven to 350*F and get a large cookie sheet (I have two smaller ones that I typically need both of) out and ready to go for when you start rollin’. I cover mine in tinfoil for easier clean-up, but if it’s a non-stick surface you don’t really need it.
In a big mixing bowl, get all the other ingredients together (minus the extra sauce, which you’re reserving for simmering later). I start with the cheese, panko, and spices (including S&P), mixing a bit to ensure that everything is co-mingling nicely. Add the meat and the veggie mixture you’ve prepped and fold together. Make sure you mix this really, really well—folding the meats with a spatula helps tremendously, but so does mashing everything up with your hands…see why we got the tray ready first??
Here’s where you can make this your own and pick the size—I seem to default to about 1.5” balls because that’s the size my two palms naturally make when cupping the meat mixture together and rolling. You can go smaller or larger, but if you go really big, you’ll have to leave them in the oven longer.
Place the meatballs on the tray as you roll, giving them a bit of space in between—some of the excess fat from the sausage will seep out as you cook and you want to leave room for that to happen.
Cook in the over for 35 minutes. Once they’re done, remove from the oven and place either in a stove top pot with the sauce or a slow cooker (depending on how far ahead you’re making them). I’ve had dinner guests coming but made these at lunch time and left them in the crockpot on ‘keep warm’ for hours. My one word of caution—if you leave them in the sauce for too long at a higher temperature, they will fall apart and you’ll be having pasta bolognese instead of meatballs!
If I’m cooking for immediate consumption, I opt for stove-top. I use tongs to remove the meatballs from the cookie sheet so I can scrape the bits of fat off and nestle them in the sauce. I put the burner on medium-low and leave them simmering, covered, while I cook whatever pasta I’m going to serve them with.
Once the pasta is ready, place a few meatballs on top and ladle some extra sauce. I garnish with fresh parsley and a little additional cheese!
Here’s a final photo from my adventures in trying to create a non-bland stuffed pepper…which has proved more challenging than I would have thought! Readers of this blog might recall that I’ve tried my hand a more traditional variety in the past. I took my own advice and cooked these in the oven instead of the crockpot to retain some of the vitality of the peppers, which proved successful—however they take a LONG time, close to two hours, to bake.
- 3 large peppers…the red ones looked stunning in the store and there the perfect size, but you can do whatever colors you like!
- 1lb of lean ground beef—next time I would opt for sausage or chorizo for more flavor
- 4-6 oz of feta
- small can of diced tomatoes (I got an herby variety that featured oregano)
- 1 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
- medium onion, diced
- a few table spoons of olive oil for cooking, some really nice stuff to finish them after they’re cooked!
- 2 cups of spinach (I used frozen that I thawed and drained)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp oregano (I used Italian seasoning because it’s what I had, but I would recommend straight oregano next time)
Heat the oven to 400*F. Reserve about 1/3 cup each of feta and tomatoes to garnish the top of your stuffed peppers, then combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well. I whisked the egg in a bowl separately before adding it and the meat last. Add salt and pepper as you see fit, but a minimum of a tbsp each.
Cut the peppers in half from top-to-bottom and scoop out the seeds and ribs. In a 13” x 9” baking dish, stuff them with the filling and lay out. Cover the tops of the stuffing with the remaining tomatoes and feta, then sprinkle with a little more S&P. Cover with tinfoil and put in the over for 50 minutes.
After 50 minutes, reduce the heat to 350*F, uncover, and cook for another 30 minutes. Depending on how they look at that point, leave them in for an additional 15-30 minutes, or until the pepper vessel is done to your liking (I like mine to still have some body, not be mushy).
Another crockpot success! The picture doesn’t do it justice, but this yummy fall mash-up is chicken with sweet potatoes and apple. I served it over quinoa, but over rice or with a side of good bread would have been just as good.
Here’s your grocery list:
- 1-2lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast (I bought tenders because they were on sale, but all that did was reduce the cooking time slightly)
- 4-6 medium sweet pototoes (or 2-3 giant ones), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup of diced red onion
- 1/3 cup of apple sauce…here I cheated and used one single-serve cup plus an actual apple (good baking kind like Macintosh or Macoun) that was peeled and diced
- 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1tbsp ginger
- 1tbsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
Layer the sweet potatoes, apple and chicken in the crockpot, salting and peppering the meat as you go. Mix all the other ingredients together to make the marinade and then pour across the top. I cooked this on Low for 6 hours, stirring every hour after the first 2.
Mmmmm! Fall is in the air, which means all things lovely, delicious, and orange are available in the markets and our farm share. This is my mother’s famous butternut squash soup! You’ll need:
- 1 carton each of beef AND chicken broth (the dual notes gives it a heartiness that allows you to omit any fatty dairy products)
- 1 large squash, though I used two smaller ones from the farm share, peeled and sliced
- 1 large potato, peeled and sliced
- 1 onion, diced
- cinnamon, ginger, & nutmeg, to taste
- salt & pepper
In a large stock-pot, saute the onion with some butter or olive oil until translucent. Add the broth and the squash & potatoes and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for about 40 minutes—basically until the squash is easily mushed against the side of the pan with a fork.
I have an immersion blending tool that is perfect for this next step—once everything is cooled down a bit, add your spices. I usually go with a 1/2 tbsp each of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, then 1tbsp of black pepper. Stir in then get to blending! The potato helps to thicken the soup up so it’s hearty and scrumptious. I tend to like extra pepper and nutmeg, and you’ll need to salt to taste too.
This week’s fruit share was 3+ lbs of nectarines. I was thrilled, thinking I could take them to work for lunch snacks or mix with yogurt in the morning for breakfast.
Unfortunately, they were too ripe and spoiling quickly; too quickly to wait on eating them leisurely. I decided to try my hand at combining two cobbler/crisp recipes I found online—I didn’t have all the ingredients for either one on it’s own, lol.
Here’s the low-down:
- about 9 nectarines, skin on, sliced
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tbsp of cornstarch
Put all those ingredients in a buttered backing dish and put in the oven at 375’F for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping:
- 2 cups of flour (I used whole wheat)
- 1/2 tbsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of baking powder
- 6 tbsp of sugar
- 2 tbsp of apple cider (it’s what I had on hand)
- 1 beaten egg
- 1 stick of chilled and chopped butter
Work the butter into the dry ingredients and then add the wet, mixing. It will be a thick, ungainly dough—don’t worry if it’s pretty. Take the baking tray with the hot fruit out and add the mixture on top. For a little extra oomph, I added about 1/2 cup of equal parts oatmeal and brown sugar to the top.
Let cook for 40 minutes (longer if the dough hasn’t cooked, but check at he 35 minute mark)—serve hot with ice cream or whipped cream!