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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Shredded Brussels Quiche

This year has been the strangest year for things like Brussels Sprouts.  I usually have gotten several batches and made bunches of dishes.  But this year, for some reason, the only Brussels Sprouts that showed up at the farmers market were ones that were quite large.  I like what people term "baby" Brussels sprouts.  It seems that once they get to a certain size, they are no longer as tasty as the young ones.  So, I avoided buying any because they were too big.

A couple weeks ago, I did find a bunch that were medium sized (a little smaller than a golf ball).  I gave in and purchased them.  And then, because life got crazy, I forgot about them.  I found them in my refrigerator this morning and they were still in good shape, so I decided I would make a quiche.  In the past, when I have made Brussels sprouts quiche, I have halved or quartered the sprouts.  But I am never satisfied with the texture of the quiche.  While we were organizing my house last week, we uncovered my mandolin, so I decided this morning that I would shred the sprouts and see if I liked that better.  This can be done by hand, but it is so much easier when you have a good mandolin.  But basically, you just thinly slice the sprouts and then separate the leaves.  I did remove all the cores from the mix because they can be bitter.  I also have fresh garlic and just bought a garlic slicer.  So, I decided to thinly slice the garlic and mix it with the sprouts before cooking them and putting them in the quiche.  I finished the quiche with crumbled bacon (turkey this time, but I bet regular bacon would be super too) and shredded Swiss cheese.  It turned out beautifully and I love the texture with the shredded Brussels sprouts.  I will do it this way every time from now on.

Brussels Sprouts, Bacon and Swiss Quiche
  • 1 pint Brussels sprouts**
  • 1 clove garlic*
  • 1 cup Swiss Cheese
  • 4 slices bacon (I used turkey this time)
  • 6 medium eggs*
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • salt and pepper
 Wash and dry the Brussels sprouts and then shred by slicing thinly (I used a mandolin, but this could be done with a knife).  Remove the cores for better texture.  Thinly slice the garlic and mix with the sprouts.  Put about 2 Tbsp of water in the sprouts (in a microwaveable dish).  Microwave for 4 minutes to start cooking the sprouts.  Drain the sprouts and transfer to your quiche dish.  Microwave the bacon slices about 4 minutes or until crisp.  Allow to cool and then crumble.  Mix with the sprouts.  Sprinkle with the Swiss cheese. 

In a bowl, beat the eggs with salt and pepper until smooth.  Slowly add the milk while continuing to beat until the entire mixture is pale yellow.  Carefully pour over the filling and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until a knife, inserted into the center, comes out clean.  Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.

*CSA ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Low-carb Spaghetti & Meatballs

Tonight's dinner has been in a long line of "healthified" comfort foods.  I have been sick for about 4 weeks with first a cold (which had almost gotten better) and now a sinus infection.  This latest started with a fever a week ago and I have been craving comfort foods all week.  Today, with a nod to HelloFresh!, I made a low-carb version of spaghetti and meatballs.  Since they had $30 off a box, I ordered my first HelloFresh! box this week and it contained ingredients and recipes for Basil Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash, Cashew Chicken with Snow Peas and Carrots, and Baked Shrimp and Linguine.  These recipes are supposed to be for 2, but as you know, I have had gastric surgery, so I have frozen the shrimp and chicken and chosen to do the meatballs because they sound good and because they have the most perishable ingredients.  It wasn't bad, if a little complicated.  However, I now remember the reason I don't pan-fry things like bacon and meatballs in this house.  There are 4 fire alarms in a very close vicinity to the kitchen (this is a small house) and every time I do, all 4 get set off.  Then it's a battle to get them to stop.  I end up losing my hearing for short periods of time (if you can imagine having four fire alarms going off within 100 ft of each other!).  But the meatballs were worth it!  If I do this again, I will roast them in the oven to avoid a repeat.

Basil Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash
Courtesy of: HelloFresh!

  • 12 oz Ground Beef
  • 1 (15oz) can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 4 cloves Garlic (this may be a bit much)
  • 1/2 oz fresh Basil
  • 1 small Spaghetti Squash
  • 5 oz Spinach (I would use baby spinach next time)
  • 1/4 cup Panko Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 T Olive Oil*
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Halve the squash lengthwise to remove the seeds with a spoon.  Smash two garlic cloves.  Rub the inside of each squash with 2 tsp olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Place the squash halves on a baking sheet cut side down with a clove of (smashed) garlic in the center of each squash to roast.  Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife or fork.

2. While the squash is roasting, chop the remaining cloves of garlic.  Stack the basil leaves and tightly roll into a cigar shape.  Then, thinly slice.  Chop the shallot.

3. In a bowl, combine the chopped garlic, basil, panko, and ground beef.  Season with a large pinch of salt & pepper.  Once combined, roll the meat into ping pong-sized balls.

4. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Sear the meatballs for 2-3 minutes or until they are golden brown.  Turn the heat down to medium low.  Add the shallot, Italian seasoning, and crushed tomatoes and simmer for 6 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, as needed.

5. Once the squash is done, set aside until it is cool enough to handle.  Take the roasted garlic and finely chop it.  In a pan heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and spinach and cook until just wilted.  Season with salt and pepper.

6.  When the Squash is cool enough to handle, scrape the squash with a fork to release the strands.

7. Finish: Place the sauteed spinach and the meatballs on top of the squash.  Finish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

*Not included in HelloFresh box

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Spaghetti Squash Pie

I received a large spaghetti squash from the CSA a couple weeks ago and have been trying to decide what to make with it.  Well, looking through my refrigerator, I realized that I had everything to make spaghetti pie, a favorite from our childhood.  But since I don't eat pasta anymore (it fills me up too fast), I figured I would try substituting the spaghetti squash for the spaghetti.  Since this was a large squash, it will yield about twice as much squash as I need for a regular sized pie, so I am doubling everything and making it in a 13" X 9" pan.  Since I have roasted vegetables left over, I put them in the sauce along with some cooked ground round. 

Spaghetti Squash Pie
Roast spaghetti squash: Preheat oven to 375F.  Poke several holes into spaghetti squash with a sharp knife.  Roast for 1 hour.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting.  Cut squash in half.  Scoop out seeds and membranes.  Then pull strands of squash with a fork.  Place in a large bowl.  Reduce oven heat to 350F.

Prepare crust: Mix  squash, butter, eggs and parmesan until well blended.  Pour into a prepared 13" X 9" pan. 

Assemble pie: Spread cottage cheese over crust.  Mix the tomato sauce, roasted vegetables and ground round.  Spread mixture over cottage cheese, leaving 1/2" edge all around.  Bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is set.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers Market Ingredients

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stuffed Poblanos

I have spent several days trying to figure out what to stuff my poblano peppers with this week.  This experience is brand new all around for me this week.  I have never roasted whole peppers before and thus, have never stuffed them before.  I went back and forth on the method of roasting.  I knew that fire was out because I have an electric range.  When I asked for tips on using the broiler, it was suggested to me that I should use an iron skillet and I considered it for about 20 minutes.  Then I remembered that I have 4 very loud and sensitive fire alarms in this house and decided against it.  Once they start going off, it takes me about a half hour to get them all turned off again.  So, not my idea of fun this time.  That left me back with using the broiler.  I researched it and saw an equal number of recipes which used oil to those which did not.  So, I decided to try it without.

Then there was the task of deciding what to fill them with.  Yes, I know, chiles rellenos traditionally are filled simply with monterey jack cheese.  However, I had such a supply of meat in my refrigerator, I decided I should choose from one of them.  The choices were chicken taco meat with corn and black beans, pulled pork or ground beef.  I really needed to use the ground beef (or at least cook it up), so I did that while I continued to decide what to fill the peppers with.  Then I figured, what the heck, let's take that meat, add corn and Rotel and fill the peppers with that.  So, here is what I did:

Beef and Corn Stuffed Poblanos
  • 5 poblano peppers*
  • 1 lb ground round
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh sweet corn*
  • 1 (10.5 oz) can Rotel tomatoes with peppers
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chile pepper
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar, divided
  • 1 cup Monterey jack, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade heirloom tomato sauce
Turn on broiler.  Wash and dry the poblano peppers.  Place peppers onto a foil-lined baking sheet and place about 6" from broiler.  Broil about 5 minutes per side (three sides), turning each 5 minutes, until the skin is blackened and bubbly.  Place cooked peppers into a Ziploc bag and seal; let stand for 15 minutes.  Open bag and let peppers cool until you can handle them.  Once cooled, pinch the skin and pull, the skin should easily pull away from the flesh.  Set peppers aside.

Meanwhile, cook beef in a large skillet over medium heat until no pink remains.  Add the corn, tomatoes, cumin and chile pepper and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  Turn off heat and cool for 30 minutes.  If peppers are ready, add bread crumbs and half of the cheeses; mix well.

To assemble, hold one pepper in your hand and stuff with the meat mixture.  Make sure you push down into tip of pepper and stuff as full as you can.  Place the peppers in crock of your slow-cooker.  There will be filling remaining.  Mix heirloom tomato sauce into the remaining filling and then spoon over the stuffed peppers.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.  Then turn heat to HIGH, sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover and cook until cheese is melted.

Picture of finished recipe is coming!
*CSA ingredients

Monday, September 1, 2014

Roasted Veggies

I had half a refrigerator full of zucchini, eggplant, and peppers, plus a few heirloom tomatoes and a large onion left.  I just ran out of ideas for things to make, so I decided to roast everything.  Then I'd have time to figure out what to do with them (or, I could just eat them as a side).  This time, I roasted the peppers whole and then chopped up everything else and roasted them separate.  In the end, I decided to take my rainbow of peppers and dice them to add to the rest of the vegetables, but they sure were pretty after roasting them whole.

Roasted Sweet Peppers
  • 4 large bell peppers*, mixed colors
Wash peppers and cut any blemishes.  Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Heat oven to broil.  Place peppers under broiler and broil about 4 minutes each side until the skins are bubbled and black.  Place peppers into a Ziploc bag and allow to sit for 20 minutes sealed.  Then open the bag and allow peppers cool to handling temperature.  Cut away the stem and core, remove any ribs and remaining seeds.  Peel the skin by pinching and then pulling away.

*CSA ingredients

Roasted Vegetables

  •  2 medium zucchini*
  • 3 small summer squash*
  • 2 small eggplant*
  • 1 large onion*
  • 1 ancho chili*
  • 4 orange heirloom tomatoes**
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Italian seasoning
Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash all vegetables.  Dice into large dice and split between 2 Ziploc bags.  Drizzle with about 1 Tbsp olive oil per bag.  Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.  Seal each bag and shake to coat the vegetables.  Transfer each bag to a 13" X 9" pan.  Roast vegetables for 40 minutes, stirring twice. 

*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients

BBQ Sauce

Okay, I'll admit it, I was lazy on that last post.  I didn't link the bbq sauce recipe for the pulled pork.  Probably because I knew it was part of another post from a couple years ago.  But my mom mentioned it this morning when I dropped off some of the pulled pork for her and Dad to enjoy.  So, here is the BBQ sauce recipe all by itself.  I created it when I received a bottle of sorgham from the CSA in Cleveland ( and it has become my favorite bbq sauce for pork (I've used it for both ribs and pulled pork).  You could easily adapt it for a light molasses and I think it would taste very similar.  Not sure where you could get sorghum around here.

Sorghum Honey BBQ Sauce
  • 3 C ketchup
  • 1 C sorghum*
  • 1/2 C cider vinegar
  • 1/2 C honey (this is the raw honey from Bob's hive)
  • 6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme

Wash the thyme and then gently pull the leaves from the stems; discard stems.  Place all ingredients in small saucepan.  Heat until boiling; reduce heat and simmer 1 minute.  Adjust flavors as needed (I did add a bit more honey because this seemed a bit tart).

I prefer this sauce on pulled pork and believe it would be good on beef brisket, but not sure how it would be on chicken. 

 *CSA ingredients

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pork, Heirloom Tomatoes and Apples

I am going to combine recipes on this post because I have been making all of these things at the same time.  My cousin, Chris Douglas and her husband, Don, were in town this weekend and asked if I was going to the farmer's market this morning.  Of course I will go to the farmer's market for the chance to catch up with them!  While I was there, I found (well, she found) my favorite heirloom tomatoes.  This is the solid orange ones.  The seller said they were valencia, but when you look them up online, they come up amana.  Either way, I have discovered that I really like these for making slow-roasted tomato sauce.  So, I bought two quarts (at least, that's the size container they put them in). 

On Thursday, after mom and I went to pick up the CSA, she wanted to go get some meats at Jack's Market.  While there, I decided to get a pork shoulder.  I ended up with twice what I intended to get, but today was the day to braise it and make pulled pork. 

And finally, at the farmer's market near school, I picked up some Paula Red apples.  They are a bit tart, so I stopped at Bayne's Apple Farm and picked up some Gingergold (I think), which are a bit sweeter.  Today, I am making applesauce out of them in my crockpot.  So, without further ado, here are my recipes:

Oven-Roasted Heirloom Tomato Sauce
  • 10 medium valencia (or amana) heirloom tomatoes**
  • Garlic cloves (I used 4)*
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Salt, as needed
Preheat oven to 250F.  Wash and dry the tomatoes.  Cut them in half and remove stem end.  Place cut side up on cookie sheet covered with foil.  Peel garlic cloves and intersperse them between the tomato halves.  Sprinkle all with Italian seasoning.  Roast in slow oven for 3 hours or until tomatoes are cooked through.  Remove from oven and transfer everything to blender bowl.  Puree until smooth.  Taste sauce and season, as needed, with salt.

*CSA Ingredients
**Farmers market ingredients

Braised Pork Shoulder
Adapted from:
  • 1 9-lb pork shoulder roast
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • cayenne pepper
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
  • 1 ancho chile, sliced*
  • 1 med candy onion, thinly sliced*
  • water
Season the roast with sea salt, pepper and cayenne.  Place in a large Dutch oven.  Add thyme, ancho pepper and onion slices.  Fill the Dutch oven halfway with water.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 4-5 hours or until thermometer inserted into the center reads 160-180F.  Remove roast to plate; cover and allow roast to sit at room tempurature for 10 minutes.  Drain onions and peppers and place in a large bowl. Skim fat off cooking liquid and save to use as pork stock.  Pull the pork, mix in the peppers and onions and then mix with BBQ sauce (I used my homemade sorgham bbq sauce).

 *CSA Ingredients

Slow-cooker Applesauce
  • 4 Gingergold Apples
  • 6 Paula Red Apples**
  • 2 Tbs water
  • Sugar (optional)
 Wash and dry the apples.  Peel the apples, remove the cores and then slice.  Place all apple slices into crockpot.  Sprinkle with water and mix until apples are all coated.  Cook covered, on LOW, for 4 hours, stirring periodically.  If needed, break up apples with potato masher.  If you prefer sweet applesauce, add sugar or sweetener.

 **Farmers market ingredients