Posts from February 2015

Vegetable Beef Soup

02/27/2015

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When Gary was in graduate school, he fixed this meal often. He called it “Pauper’s Stew” because it’s extremely cheep to make; you can make a bunch for the entire week, and it’s healthy and fairly tasty. Gary’s version just used beef broth (no meat), a bag of frozen vegetables, pearled barley, a couple of potatoes, and tomato juice. (His other grad-school staples were chili, bean & cheese quesadillas, and home-made mac & cheese. These all still grace our table quite often.)

To soup up Gary’s recipe (pun intended!), I used beef from a roast I made the night before, including all of its stock. I threw in our garden’s carrots, frozen beans from the spring, and our tomato juice. It’ll warm the belly for sure.

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked beef roast (and all the drippings. Use beef stock if you don’t have this.)
1 quart tomato juice
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion,
2 c beans, chopped
2 c frozen peas
3 potatoes, chopped
1 c pearled barley
3 c water
S&P

Instructions:

Throw everything in a large stock pot, and bring to a boil. (You made need quite a bit of salt since the potatoes will soak it up. I think we put in about two teaspoons, but you can add yours to taste.) Cook for 45 minutes to a hour, to let the barley expand and the flavors to gel. Enjoy on a cold winter day!

Roasted Vegetables with Egg & Avocado

02/25/2015

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It’s root vegetable time here. My carrots and beets are ready. An easy way to prepare any cold weather vegetable is to roast them in the oven, which is how I did mine here. We roasted a bunch of beets, carrots, onions, and brussel sprouts for dinner the night before, and used the leftovers for a lunch transformation. Add a fried egg, avocado, and some sriracha, and you have a good midday meal. For those who aren’t close to a stove during lunch like I am, a hard-boiled egg would work just as well.

Ingredients:

1 beet, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 red potatoes, cut in cubes
1 handful brussel sprouts, cut in half
eggs (fried, poached, hard-boiled: your choice)
Olive Oil
S&P
1 avocado
sriracha (or salsa)

Instructions:

Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Prepare all vegetables and combine in a bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and seasoning of your choice. (Sometimes I like a splash of balsamic vinegar, other times herbs of Provence is nice, or a dash of red hot pepper.) Put on a baking sheet, and cook for 30-40 minutes. This can obviously be a nice side dish as is.

To make an easy lunch, prepare the roasted veggies ahead of time, and just add an egg, chopped avocado, and salsa or sriracha to give it some zing. You have a healthy, easy, gluten free, protein rich lunch to get you through the rest of your day!

Spaghetti & Spicy Pork Meatballs & Parsley

02/21/2015

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With adding a little umpf & spice to meatballs, spaghetti can turn from blah to yum.

I used my tomato sauce, and parsley from our garden. But of course good sauce & fresh parsley are found at any grocery store worth their salt.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground pork
1 onion, chopped
1 egg
1 piece of toast, chopped finely
1 T paprika
1/2 t hot pepper flakes
1 bunch parsley
S&P
1 bag spaghetti
2 c tomato sauce (or 1 jar tomato sauce)

Instructions:

First, turn on the oven to 350 degrees. Start a pot of water boiling on the stove. Then start making your meatballs. Put the ground pork in a bowl, and add the chopped onion, egg, breadcrumbs, most of the chopped parsley, and spices. Mix together, and form into small 1″ meatballs on a cookie sheet. Cook for 20 minutes, or until golden.

While the meatballs are cooking, heat your sauce in a small sauce pan. About 10 minutes before your meatballs are done, start cooking your pasta.

Add them all together, and garnish with the remaining parsley. Buon Appetito!

Green Salad with Grapefruit and Almonds

02/17/2015

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I’ve been a traveling fiend lately; just got back from a NY trip where I combined an art conference with seeing my brother and sister-in-law and mom. The four of us Aquarians celebrated our birthdays Aquarius style: we were immersed with good food, art, and company. Ahhhhh, I need both a dose of culture and hugs from my family like I need air.

I *HEART* both NYC and my family beyond words, but I will admit it was nice to leave the single digit weather to fly home to Florida in February. My garden is bursting with lettuce, and you can’t go wrong with ruby red grapefruits.

(P.S. Aren’t these napkins fabulous? They were made by my friend Josi Severson who is a textile artist. They can be found if you email her here.)

Ingredients:

1 bag mixed greens
1-2 ruby red grapefruits
1/4 c almonds, chopped
1/8 c grated Parmesan cheese

Dressing:

1/2 c olive oil
1/2 c lemon juice
2 T dijon mustard
1 T honey
S&P

Instructions:

Combine dressing ingredients in a mason jar and shake well. Combine salad ingredients together. Wait until dressing the salad until you’re ready to eat.

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Chicken Noodle Soup with Dill

02/07/2015

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Sooooo, after my super awesome trip to Mexico this past weekend, I came home with an unexpected Mexican souvenir: Montezuma’s Revenge. Oh well; an unhappy stomach and colon for a couple of days was WELL worth the adventure.

To quell them both, some chicken noodle soup was on the menu. Some dill from my herb garden helped give it an extra punch of flavor, too.

Ingredients:

6 c homemade chicken stock
1 c cooked chicken, chopped
1 package egg noodles
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 c peas
1 T fresh dill, chopped
S&P

Instructions:

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Add the chicken, carrots, and peas. Cook for 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook until done (about 8-10 minutes). Add salt and pepper and fresh dill.

Citrus Mojo Pork

02/04/2015

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I just returned from a *fabulous* trip to Mexico where I officiated my friend’s wedding. To get in the Mexican mood, I made citrus mojo pork right before I left. But just now while researching the history of mojo, I found it’s not Mexican after all–it originates from the Canary Islands. Oh well. I’m going to still add some Mexico pictures here, not because it has anything to do with mojo pork, but because Mexico is, frankly, awesome.

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{Fish tacos and margaritas}

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{I so want my next house to be this color.}

I used lemon and orange juice that I squeezed from our citrus. I amended this recipe from Food and Wine.

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil
1/2 c minced onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 c fresh lemon juice
1 c fresh orange juice
2 T distilled white vinegar
S&P
1 1/2 T ground cumin
1 T Worcestershire sauce
One 3 lb pork shoulder

Instructions:

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the lemon and orange juices and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar. Transfer all of the mojo to a blender. While this is cooling, add the S&P, Worcestershire, and cumin and puree the marinade. Let cool for a few minutes. Put the pork in a resealable 1-gallon plastic bag and add the marinade. Seal the bag, pressing out the air, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours, turning occasionally. Bring the pork to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 350° and set a rack in a roasting pan. Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry (though keep the marinade). Roast for 1 hour, and then reduce the oven temps to 275° for a half to one more hour, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 180°. (If your meat is more than 2.5 pounds, you may have to cook it for a couple of hours more.) Remove the roast from the oven and cover with foil; let rest for 30 minutes. (My meat was done way earlier than I had expected, so I threw the pork with all the drippings and the remaining sauce into a slow cooker on low for 3 more hours. You can probably do this from the start, too; just sear the meat, add the sauce, and cook on low for 6-8 hours.)

Serve the roast with the remaining mojo drippings. Enjoy!

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