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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Roasted Artichoke Salad Mounds of colorful roasted artichoke salad, drizzled with basil vinaigrette, sat on a bed of fresh mixed greens. With roasted red peppers and artichokes hearts, capers, red onion, and parsley leaves, this salad made a perfect side dish for my mom’s Italian-themed birthday celebration. Don’t limit this spectacular salad to Italian dinners, though. You’ll want to serve this versatile dish at al fresco dinner parties, family barbecues, holiday brunches, and more!

Roasted Artichoke Salad
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten

INGREDIENTS
4 boxes (9 ounces each) frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 shallot, minced
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
6 tablespoons capers, drained
2 roasted red peppers, sliced thin
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 pinches hot red pepper flakes, optional

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Place the artichoke hearts in a bowl with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss until the artichoke hearts are coated. Dump the artichoke hearts onto a sheet pan and spread out into 1 layer; roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Place the minced shallot, lemon juice, mustard, 1 tablespoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 5 seconds. Add the basil leaves and process into a green puree. With the processor running, slowly pour 1/2 cup olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube until the ingredients are finely pureed. Set aside.

4. Place the roasted artichoke hearts in a bowl and toss with enough vinaigrette to moisten. Add the capers, red peppers, red onion, parsley, 4 tablespoons vinegar and red pepper flakes, if using, and toss gently. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend. Serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I couldn’t find frozen artichoke hearts, so I substituted canned. I let the artichokes drain in a colander. Before using, I gently squeezed any excess liquid from them.

2. I doubled the recipe, but probably should not have doubled the salt. I normally eat a low-sodium diet, so this recipe seemed a bit salty to me, especially with the addition of the capers, which I rinsed and drained first. I used one 4-ounce jar of capers, which amounted to 7 tablespoons of capers. The doubled amount would have been 12 tablespoons worth of capers.

3. If you double this recipe, make sure you roast it in a single layer in two separate baking sheets.

4. To get a good roast on the artichokes, I needed to roast them 30 minutes longer than specified.

5. In step 4, I cut the amount of vinegar by half and did not add any additional salt.

6. Although the photo doesn’t show it, one of my favorite ways to serve this salad is on a rectangular serving platter. Place a mound of greens lengthwise on the platter and then mound the artichoke salad on top of the greens. Additional basil vinaigrette may be drizzled on top.

7. I made this salad the day before the party. Because it can be made ahead of time, it is a great salad for entertaining.

Enjoy!

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Sweet Potato Fries For Dogs Hold the ketchup! Hold the salt! These baked sweet potato fries are perfect just the way they are! Perfect for dogs, that is. If most people could adjust their palates to accept baked fries with no added sodium, these would be perfectly delicious for humans, too!

Sweet Potato Fries For Dogs
Adapted from a recipe from Food.com

INGREDIENTS
Uncooked sweet potatoes or yams

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

2. Wash the skins of the sweet potatoes thoroughly and blot dry.

3. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise.

4. Cut the halves in lengthwise slices.*

5. Place the slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer.

6. Bake in the oven for about 3 hours.

7. After the fries cool down, it’s time for a taste test! Romeo keeps his eyes on the prize and he lifts his paw to a begging position . . . sniff, sniff . . . yes, he likes it! Romeo's Taste Test

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I experimented with two varieties of sweet potatoes. My dog liked them both, but obviously the orange variety is more attractive-looking.

2. Try cutting the sweet potatoes as uniformly as possible for consistent baking. Leave the skin on for added fiber and micronutrients.

3. I set my oven to 280 degrees F. and baked the fries for 3 hours. Some of the fries were crunchy and some were chewy at this point. If your dog likes them crunchier, remove the crunchy ones from the sheet and continue to bake the chewy ones a little longer.

4. *As the slices bake and lose moisture, they will shrink. Take this into account when you are slicing the sweet potatoes and make the slices the appropriate size for your dog.

5. Sweet potatoes will release a sticky syrup as they bake, so I covered my baking sheets with parchment paper.

WOOF! WOOF! ENJOY!

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Zucchini with Corn and Green Chilies Trying to think of different ways to prepare the summer bounty harvested from your vegetable garden? This recipe, from the famous Pink Adobe Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico, utilizes summer favorites such as zucchini, fresh corn, and green chilies. For an additional fresh pop of flavor and color, dice and toss in some sweet vine-ripened tomatoes from your garden.

Zucchini with Corn and Green Chilies
The Pink Adobe Cookbook

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh green chilies
4 cups sliced zucchini, 1/2-inch thick
1½ to 2 cups fresh corn kernels, scraped from about 4 ears
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/2 cup chicken or beef broth

DIRECTIONS
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet.
2. Sauté the onion and green chilies for about 3 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini, corn, salt, oregano, and cumin seed. Mix well. Stir in the broth.
4. Cover the skillet and simmer until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. The ears of corn I used must have been on the large side. I had a lot more than 2 cups of kernels. Not wanting the extra to go to waste, I threw them in to the mix. It probably would have been better if I measured the kernels after I cut three ears.

2. Try to cut the zucchini the same thickness, so that all the slices cook evenly.

3. In my post Creamed Summer Corn, I wrote a tip on how to safely and easily cut kernels off of a corn cob. Here’s the tip again: Place a damp kitchen towel on your kitchen counter. Place a tube pan or Bundt pan on the towel to prevent the pan from slipping. Insert the stem end of the corn cob into the hole of the pan. Hold the top of the ear of corn and slice down straight, pressing against the cob until you reach the bottom. The kernels will fall into the pan. Kitchen Tip: How to cut kernels off corn cob

4. When I cut chilies, I wear gloves that are designated for food preparation only. A little bit of chili oil rubbed in the wrong place (eyes, mouth, nose, etc.) can burn! Kitchen Tip: Designate a pair of gloves for food preparation

ENJOY!

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Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing Hot summer days evolve into lovely summer evenings. The sun mellows in the sky and temperatures drop to a comfortable warm. It’s the perfect time of day to dine al fresco and to entertain company. Keep the evening enjoyable and effortless, by preparing a simple menu that can be made ahead. Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing is just such a recipe. It’s easy to prepare and it can be made earlier in the day. Plus, it’s delicious, visually appealing, and a great accompaniment to grilled meats.

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame Seed Dressing
The Loaves and Fishes Party Cookbook by Anna Pump and Sybille Pump

INGREDIENTS
4 pounds sugar snap or snow peas
1/3 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup sesame seed oil
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons coarse salt

DIRECTIONS
1. Blanch the peas in a large quantity of boiling water just until they turn bright green, about 1 minute. Drain and plunge the peas into very cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain again. Transfer the peas to a mixing bowl.

2. Place the sesame seeds in a large skillet over medium heat. Tossing lightly, toast until golden brown, and add to the sugar snap peas.

3. In the same skillet, heat the sesame oil until smoking hot. Remove from heat and add the red pepper flakes. Let stand for 5 minutes.

4. Pour the oil over the peas, add the salt, and toss to blend.

5. Transfer the peas to a deep bowl or platter and serve hot.

Serves 16

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. I purchase jars of pre-toasted sesame seeds at Asian markets and store them in my freezer. No need to defrost them. Just add them directly from the jar to whatever you are making. If you are toasting your own, keep an eye on them while they are in the skillet. Because they contain oil and because they are small, they can burn quickly.

2. Sesame seed oil is a thick and heavy oil. A little bit goes a long way. That being said, I felt the recipe called for too much of it. The next time I make this recipe, I will start with half the amount.

3. Stir the red pepper flakes into the hot oil and keep stirring. Some of my pepper flakes burned as they sat in the hot oil. Stirring them might have helped prevent burning.

4. Although the recipe says to serve this hot, it also says that it can be served cold. In my opinion, room temperature is best.

5. The recipe can be prepared without the red pepper flakes if you prefer, but I think the little added “kick” really makes the dish.

Enjoy!

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Java-Style Cauliflower Salad Like an artist’s blank canvas, cauliflower’s subtle flavor provides the perfect background to let dynamic flavors shine. Cauliflower is rich in nutrients, low in calories, and high in fiber, so by adding the bright and zesty flavors of coconut, lime, cilantro, and cayenne pepper, you’ve got a winning combination. In addition, this cauliflower salad can be served hot or at room temperature which makes it a great make-ahead dish.

Java-Style Cauliflower Salad
Adapted from Living Low-Carb by Fran McCollough

Salad Ingredients:
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
Half a small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons shredded coconut

Dressing Ingredients:
1 garlic clove, chopped
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup coconut cream

Directions:
1. Drop cauliflower florets into a large pot of well-salted boiling water. Boil just a few minutes, until barely tender. Drain and dry on a kitchen towel.
2. Dice the red pepper and set aside.
3. Wash and chop the cilantro and set aside.
4. Chop garlic and put in blender.
5. Add lime juice, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and coconut cream to blender. Pulse until well-blended.
6. Pour dressing over the hot cauliflower. Toss well and transfer to a serving bowl, scattering the red pepper, cilantro, and coconut on top.
7. Toss before serving.

Serves 4

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Make sure the cauliflower florets are well-drained and reasonably dry before adding the dressing. If they still contain a lot of moisture, the dressing will become diluted and runny.
2. I had to rework the dressing recipe. The original recipe called for 1 cup of freshly-grated coconut and 4 tsp lime juice. There was just not enough liquid to make a dressing. I added some coconut cream I had in my pantry to make the dressing “flow.” The grated coconut became a topping, rather than part of the dressing.
3. Because of time constraints, I substituted shredded coconut in a bag instead of grating fresh coconut. Also, toasting the coconut first can bring out its flavor and give it more “crunch.” I will do this the next time I make this salad.
4. Adjust the seasonings to taste – more or less lime juice, sugar, cayenne pepper, and salt.
5. The cookbook author says, “Don’t be tempted to skip the tiny amount of brown sugar; it’s a secret ingredient that pulls everything together.”
6. The addition of coconut cream does not significantly raise the amount of carbohydrates in the recipe. The coconut cream has only 3 grams of carbohydrate per 1/3 cup.

Enjoy!

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crudities  with dip Instead of serving a tray of high-calorie appetizers at your next party, how about presenting a beautiful platter of fresh crudités? Boring, you say? Not if you serve the crudités with a variety of interesting dips! Don’t be fooled by the simple list of ingredients in the Herb Dip; the fresh herbs really shine in this easy and delicious recipe. Tempt your guests with the cooling flavor of lime juxtaposed against the heat of chilies in the Chili-Lime Sour Cream Dip. Last, but certainly not least, the Peanut Sauce is sure to be a crowd favorite – what’s not to like about peanut butter with a little attitude?

Herb Dip
Recipe by Ina Garten

Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 scallions, white and green parts, minced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, minced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 2 cups

Linnell’s Notes:
Due to the cream cheese, this recipe produces a thick dip. To further cut calories, you could experiment with low-fat versions of the cream cheese, sour cream and mayonnaise. For best flavor, though, you’re going to have to leave some fat in the recipe!

Chili-Lime Sour Cream Dip
Recipe from Better Homes and Garden

Ingredients:
One 16-ounce carton of sour cream
Two 7-ounce cans of diced green chilies, drained
1/4 cup snipped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup jarred salsa
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mild or hot chili powder
2 teaspoons finely shredded lime peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
Bottled hot pepper sauce to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl combine sour cream, chilies, cilantro, salsa, garlic, chili powder, lime peel, salt and bottled hot pepper sauce. Cover and chill overnight.

Makes 3¾ cups

Linnell’s Notes:
The level of preferred heat can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amounts of chili powder and hot pepper sauce. Also, the type of salsa you use, will affect the heat of the dip. Chilling the dip overnight allows the flavors to meld.

Peanut Sauce
Recipe originally from Sunset Hors D’oeuvres Cookbook

Ingredients:
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
3 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup
1/2 – 1 teaspoon soy sauce, to taste

Directions:
Mix ingredients until well-blended. Serve with raw vegetables (cucumber, jicama, bell pepper, carrot and celery)

Makes 3/4 cup

Linnell’s Notes:
After tasting this at one of her parties, I begged my friend Tina for this recipe. Because it’s a crowd-pleaser, I double or quadruple this recipe when I make it!

Enjoy!

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Roasting Brussels Sprouts on a Stalk
Are you a hater or a lover . . . of Brussels sprouts, that is? Which category do you fall into? Scientists at Cornwall College have discovered a genetic reason why people fall into one category or the other. These scientists discovered that some people have a mutated gene which makes them immune to the bitterness of Brussels sprouts. Too bad for those who don’t eat these sprouts, though, because they are packed with nutrients – with high levels of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron, just to name a few. I purchased a whole stalk of Brussels sprouts at an Asian market for only $3.99 and roasted it, stalk and all, in maple syrup and olive oil. For an added nutritional punch, I sprinkled fresh pomegranate seeds over it. Treat your family to this visually interesting, nutritionally-charged vegetable this Thanksgiving and you’ll feel less guilty about serving them the other nutritionally-challenged Thanksgiving fare!

Brussels Sprouts Roasted On The Stalk
Recipe from Trader Joe’s and The Fresh Market

Ingredients:
1 Brussels sprout stalk
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and sea salt, to taste
Fresh pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries, for garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Trim the stalk down to the fullest, best looking part, if necessary. Trim sprouts off one side of stalk to make a flat bottom. Also trim off any discolored or blemished leaves. Brussels sprouts stalk 3. Rinse stalk and trimmed sprouts in fresh water.
4. Wrap damp stalk in plastic wrap and heat in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes (or blanch in a large pot of boiling water). Place trimmed loose sprouts in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.

Blanched Brussels sprout stalk

Blanched Brussels sprout stalk

5. Whisk maple syrup and olive oil together. Place stalk flat-side down along with any loose sprouts in a roasting pan and pour the maple sugar mixture over it.
6. Use a pastry brush to mop the maple syrup mixture onto all sides of the sprouts and stalk.
7. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Brussels sprout stalk

Ready for oven

8. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes or until sprouts on the stalk are fork tender and caramelize to a golden color.
9. To serve: Place stalk on a holiday platter, pour any syrup from the roasting pan over the stalk. Garnish with something bright and tart such as cranberries or fresh pomegranate seeds*. Roasted Brussels sprout stalk with pomegranate seeds

Serves 6 – 8

Linnell’s Notes:
1. The stalk I bought was covered evenly with sprouts, so I did not need to trim off any straggly stem.
2. Before trimming the sprouts off of one side, you need to decide first which side is the most attractive, then turn it upside down and trim off the sprouts that prevent it from laying down flat. Trim off as few as possible. I did not trim off any near the top back portion of the stalk, because when I flipped it over it was balanced and laid flat nicely.
3. If you are blanching the stalk in a large pot of boiling water, instead of microwaving it, you will have to turn the stalk over so that the both ends of the stalk gets some time in the hot water.
4. For easy clean-up, I covered my roasting pan with a sheet of parchment paper.
5. When selecting pomegranates, select the heaviest ones. They’ll contain more juice. It’s not important how red they are on the outside, unless you’re buying pomegranates to dry for decorations.
6. To serve, I just snipped the sprouts off with kitchen shears and served them on the same platter.

*How to cut open a pomegranate easily and without a mess:
1. Wash and dry the exterior of the pomegranate.
2. Fill a medium-large bowl with water and put it in the sink.
3. Cut off the top, just below the crown, and then cut the bottom off.
4. Notice that four to six sections of white membrane are now exposed. Cut the skin vertically along each section.
5. Put the pomegranate into the bowl of water and break apart along the cut lines.
6. Break the sections into smaller parts, loosening the arils and allowing them to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
7. Using a spoon or your hands, scoop up the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the surface of the water.
8. Pour the arils and liquid through a strainer and let drain.

ENJOY!

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