Archive for the 'Ingredients' Category

Harvest Cake with Cider-Cinnamon Frosting

Posted on Dec. 17th 2011 No Comments »

Here’s a cake you can serve for the holidays and feel good about it, as it’s full of fruits and veggies. And don’t be nervous about the amount as they all blend in and bake nicely. The recipe calls for a 9 x 9 pan; I have an 8 x 8 and a 10 x 10 so used the larger. The cake came out a little short so I would recommend using a 9 x 9. The recipe is from Edible, A Celebration of Local Foods.

  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded or grated
  • 1 large parsnip, finely shredded or grated
  • 1 medium zucchini, finely shredded or grated
  • 1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and finely shredded or grated
  • 1 1/4  cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup grapeseed oil, or another neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Cider-Cinnamon Frosting

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider
  • 1 cup powered sugar, plus more if needed
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon, plus more if needed, and 1/4 teaspoon for garnish
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

For the cake:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 9 inch square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper; set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together the carrots, parsnips, zucchini, and apple; set aside.

In another medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ginger; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and frothy. Add the oil and vanilla, and whisk until blended. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir using a rubber spatula until just combined. Add the shredded vegetables, apple and the nuts, if using, and stir until they are completely coated with the batter. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake on the middle oven rack until the cake is uniformly brown and quite firm when lightly touched in the center, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes, then invert onto another cooling rack. Peel off the parchment paper and invert back onto a rack to continue cooling for at least 1 hour.

For the cider-cinnamon frosting:  In a small bowl, add the butter, cream cheese and apple cider. Using a hand mixer (or paddle on a stand mixer) whip together on medium speed until very smooth, about 3 minutes. At low speed, slowly add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and beat until blended. Taste the frosting and add more powered sugar or cinnamon as needed.

Spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cake, and on the sides if desired. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and nuts, if using. Cover the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (poke several toothpicks in the cake to keep the plastic wrap from sticking). Serve chilled. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Serves 16

Posted by poppa-d | in Apple, Ingredients, Parsnip, Zucchini, carrot

Arugula and Salami Scramble

Posted on Dec. 10th 2011 No Comments »

The peppery arugula goes great with the salty salami, which will satisfy any Italian food cravings that come along. This recipe was taken from one of my favorite cookbooks, Eggs.

  • 1 Teaspoon Canola Oil
  • 1/4 pound Good Quality Salami, diced
  • 8 Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2  Tablespoon Butter
  • 1 Cup Arugula, firmly packed

Warm the canola oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the salami and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots, 3-4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Continue whisking until the eggs are nice and frothy.

When the salami is well browned, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the butter. When the butter has melted, add the eggs and let cook until they just begin to set, about 1 minute. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, gently stir the eggs around the pan, letting any uncooked egg run onto the bottom of the pan. When the eggs are about half cooked, 1-2 minutes more, stir in the arugula. Stir gently, cooking until the eggs have set, about 1 minute more. Transfer the eggs to a warmed serving platter and serve right away.

Makes 4 servings

Posted by poppa-d | in Arugula, Egg, Ingredients, Recipe

Sautéed Swiss Chard

Posted on Dec. 3rd 2011 No Comments »

This is a simple and really delicious way to prepare Swiss Chard. It’s a great side for many different dishes. I found the recipe on the Food Network site.

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 Bunch Swiss Chard, washed, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until pale golden color, about 1 minute. Add Swiss Chard and sauté until soft, but still a little crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 to 4

This is a simple and really delicious way to prepare Swiss Chard. It’s a great side for many different dishes. I found the recipe on the Food Network site.

3 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

5 Cloves Garlic, sliced thin

1 Bunch Swiss Chard, washed, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

-Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until pale golden color, about 1 minute. Add Swiss Chard and sauté until soft, but still a little crisp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 2 to 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Chard, Garlic, Ingredients, Recipe

Sweet Potato Casserole

Posted on Nov. 26th 2011 No Comments »

I’ve been making this dish for years. The family requests it every Thanksgiving. There are never any leftovers. My version is based on this Better Homes and Gardens recipe.

  • 1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 Cup pecan pieces

Scrub, wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut off woody portions and ends. Cut into cubes. In a large saucepan, cook potatoes, covered, in enough boiling water to cover for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender; drain.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Transfer potatoes to a large mixing bowl. With a wooden spoon stir in granulated sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, milk, egg, vanilla and cinnamon. Transfer sweet potato mixture to a greased 2-quart casserole dish.

Combine brown sugar and flour; cut in the 2 tablespoons butter till mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecan pieces and sprinkle crumb mixture on top of potatoes.

Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Posted by poppa-d | in Ingredients, Sweet Potato

Pasta with Red Chard and Pancetta

Posted on Nov. 18th 2011 No Comments »

A light tasty dish featuring Red Chard.  Inspired from a recipe in Greens, A Country Garden Cookbook.

  • 10 ounces dried pasta (I like whole wheat)
  • 2 bunches red chard
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces pancetta (8 to 10 slices), cut into pieces (you can use Canadian bacon in a pinch)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Wash, dry and remove the stalks from the chard. Stack the leaves and cut crosswise into ribbons.

Boil a large pot of salted water for the pasta.

In a small pan over medium heat, toast the bread crumbs in the EVOO with the salt. Set aside.

In a large pan, sauté the pancetta over medium heat in 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and cook until golden and crispy. Drain the pancetta on paper towels, and wipe out the pan. In the same pan, add the rest of the olive oil and add the onions. As soon as the onions have softened, add the salt, garlic, and red pepper flakes and continue cooking for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Briefly blanch the chopped red chard in the salted boiling pasta water. Drain well and add to the onions. Remove from the heat and add the vinegar and salt to taste.

Cook the pasta until al dente (follow directions on package), stirring occasionally to separate the stands, and toss with the greens. Serve sprinkled with the toasted crumbs.

Serves 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Chard, Ingredients, Recipe

Kale and Lentil Soup

Posted on Nov. 11th 2011 No Comments »

The original version of the recipe calls for chicken, but instead I like to add the white beans. I just think the overall texture and flavor is better. Of course, some shredded parmesan cheese is great melted into this soup.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 
cup chopped onion
  • 1 
cup coarsely chopped carrots
  • 2 
cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 
cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 
tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 4 
cups coarsely chopped fresh kale (about 8 ounces)
  • 1/4
teaspoon salt
  • 1/8
teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15 oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 
medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2
cup dry red lentils*

Add the oil to a large nonstick saucepan. Preheat over medium-low heat. Add onion, carrots, and garlic to hot saucepan. Cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are nearly tender, stirring occasionally.

Add chicken broth and dried basil (if using) to vegetable mixture. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in kale, salt, and pepper. Return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in beans, tomato, red lentils, and fresh basil (if using). Cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more or until kale and lentils are tender.

Note *If you wish to substitute brown or yellow lentils for the red lentils, you’ll need to increase the cooking time. Check the package directions for cooking times and add the lentils in Step 2.

Makes 6 servings

Posted by poppa-d | in Basil, Ingredients, Kale, Onion, Recipe, Tomato, carrot

Brown Rice and Kale

Posted on Nov. 5th 2011 No Comments »

There are lots of ingredient variation opportunities with this recipe, I’ve listed some. So feel free to mix and match according to what you have on hand. This version is based on a recipe from the 101 Cookbooks blog.

  • splash of extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (or quinoa, or other grain)
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups kale, spinach or other hearty green, finely chopped
  • 2 cups extra-firm nigari tofu, browned in a skillet a bit (cooked chicken works well also)
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (or pumpkin seeds)
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (or chopped sun-dried tomatoes)

In a big skillet or heat the olive oil and salt over medium-high heat. Stir in the shallot and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the brown rice and corn and cook until hot and sizzling. Stir in the kale and then the tofu, cooking until tofu is heated through. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the pesto and pine nuts. Mix well so the pesto is spread throughout. Fold in the cherry tomatoes.

Serves 4-6

Posted by poppa-d | in Corn, Ingredients, Kale, Recipe, Tomato

Butternut Squash Soup

Posted on Oct. 29th 2011 No Comments »

A delicious vegetarian soup that features roasted butternut squash. This was adapted from a recipe that was in an issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 Butternut Squash (1 1/2 pounds) halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups (plus more if needed) vegetable broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon minced seeded serrano chile (optional)
  • Course sea salt
  • Plain nonfat yogurt

Preheat oven to 400. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Sprinkle halves of squash with salt and pepper. Arrange, cut side down, on prepared sheet. Roast squash until tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Turn squash cut side up and cool. Scoop squash out into a medium bowl.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Mix in the celery and garlic. Add 1 cup of the broth. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, 5 cups broth, and cumin. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Being very careful, take a hand blender and work it through the soup until smooth. Thin squash soup to a desired consistency with more vegetable broth. Add the red bell pepper, cilantro, thyme and serrano chile. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Season soup to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish each with a dollop of yogurt and sprig of cilantro.

Posted by poppa-d | in Butternut Squash, Corn, Garlic, Ingredients, Onion, Recipe, celery

Salmon with Swiss Chard

Posted on Oct. 22nd 2011 No Comments »

This is a very tasty dish with lots of health benefits from the salmon, tomatoes and chard. It is based on a recipe from Ellie Krieger on Food Network. If you have extra sauce leftover, it’s great to use over veggies, eggs or pasta.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 (12-ounce) can low-sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained, rinsed and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 cups (loosely packed) Swiss chard, washed well, tough center stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 4 (approx. 6 oz. each) skinless salmon fillets
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 350. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, red peppers, cumin, coriander and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until sauce thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Place the chard over the bottom of a 9 x13-inch glass baking dish. Season fish fillets with remaining salt and pepper and place in on top of chard. Spoon sauce over the fish and bake, covered, until fish is just cooked, about 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Serves 4

Posted by poppa-d | in Chard, Garlic, Ingredients, Recipe, Tomato

Vegetable Frittata

Posted on Oct. 15th 2011 No Comments »

This is a great dish for when you have extra veggies around and need to use them up. You can use different combinations of vegetables, cheeses and herbs. Inspired by a recipe in Sophie Dahl’s, Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights, get creative with it!

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 baby zucchini, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or fresh basil to taste if you have it)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled (or feta)
  • Low fat sour cream

Heat olive oil on medium in a 10 inch OVEN PROOF (remove rubber handle) non-stick pan. Saute zucchini until slightly golden.

Turn on broiler. Mix eggs with the salt, pepper and basil. Pour evenly over the zucchini. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Cook for 2-3 minutes to set the bottom.

Place pan under the broiler a few inches and cook about 2 minutes. Spin pan around and cook another couple of minutes until evenly browned and the cheese is melted. Watch it carefully as it will burn quickly. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes to set.

Slice and garnish with sour cream if desired. Serve with a nice leafy salad.

Serves 2

Posted by poppa-d | in Basil, Egg, Goat Cheese, Recipe, Zucchini