Artichoke Heart Heaven/ Recipes You’ll Love

 

So there I was at that mega huge warehouse shopping club picking up my  mega huge cans of olives and pickles our 4th of July bbq that didn’t have fireworks because of the fire ban when I spied the largest jar of marinated artichoke hearts I’d ever seen. Not only was it the largest jar of marinated artichoke hearts I’d ever seen, it was only one of the 6 jars that came in the case. I’d gone to warehouse shopping heaven. Thank goodness I brought the SUV, there’d never have been room in the trunk of the car for the 3 cases I just had to buy.

Since I was having a ton of people to watch the fire works (which will be postponed until Labor Day, neighbors take note) I know we’ll polish off more than a couple of jars.  The trick will be to make sure that my kids don’t eat them as snacks or in salads before I get a chance to make some of my favorite recipes.
MARINATED MOZZARELLA AND ARTICHOKE HEARTS

1 (9 oz.) container fresh Mozzarella cheese balls in water, drained or 1 (8
oz.) pkg. Mozzarella, cubed
1 (6 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 of a 7 oz. jar roasted red peppers, cut into 1 x 1/4 inch strips
1/2 teaspoon each dried rosemary leaves, crushed and crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients together in a large glass bowl. Mix to combine, cover and chill at least one hour. Serves 6 to 8. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

NIBBLES

2 (6 oz.) jars marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 eggs
1/4 cup. bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon oregano
1/8 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/2 lb. (2 cups.) sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons minced fresh or 1 Tablespoons dried parsley

Preheat oven to 325. Grease a 9X9 pan. Drain the marinade from 1 jar of artichokes into a fry pan and set the artichokes aside. Drain the second jar and discard the marinade. Chop both jars of artichokes, and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion and garlic to fry pan with the marinade and saute until onion is limp. In another bowl, beat the eggs well. Add the bread crumbs, salt, pepper, oregano and Tabasco, and then stir in cheese, parsley and artichokes. Mix well.  Turn the mixture into the greased pan. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. Serve warm. Serves 6 or 8.

TORTELLINI AND ARTICHOKE PASTA SALAD

 

1 10oz pkg cheese  tortellini

1 jar artichoke hearts

2 to 3 tablespoon roasted red pepper or pimento, diced

4 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoon basil, chopped

2 tablespoon parsley, chopped

salt and pepper

 

Cook the tortellini according to the package directions, rinse and drain well. Place the cooked tortellini in a bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the marinated artichoke liquid over the tortellini and toss to keep them from sticking together.  (You can add more to taste).  Drain the remaining artichokes and cut them into chunks. Add the artichokes to the tortellini and then add the red pepper, mayonnaise, mustard, Parmesan, basil, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to combine.  Refrigerate if not served immediately.

SHIRLEY’S CHICK PEAS WITH ARTICHOKE HEARTS AND OLIVES

Canned non-marinated artichokes can also be used – in that case, use

some olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking together and a little bit

of vinegar to give the salad a kick.

 

1 1/2 cups chick peas, drained

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 clove garlic—minced (crushed)

16 kalamata olives

2 jars marinated artichoke hearts—quartered

2 teaspoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt and set it aside. In a large bowl combine the chick peas, artichoke hearts and olives in a bowl then place equal amounts in the middle of two plates. Drizzle the top of the salads with the olive oil and lemon juice dressing, and top with the chopped flat-leaf parsley and a little freshly cracked black pepper. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

 

ARTICHOKE BRUSCHETTA

 

1 (6.5 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

5 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 French baguette, cut into 1/3 inch thick slices

Preheat the broiler.  In a medium bowl, combine the marinated artichoke hearts, Romano cheese, red onion and mayonnaise. Top French baguette slices with equal amounts of the artichoke heart mixture. Arrange slices in a single   layer on a large baking sheet. Broil in the preheated oven 2 minutes, or until toppings are bubbly and lightly browned. Serves 6 to 8.

TOM CARTLIN’S LINGUINE WITH TOMATOES AND ARTICHOKE HEARTS

My friend Tom created this sophisticated dish from an assortment of pantry staples when company stopped by unexpectedly.

2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 16-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 14 3/4-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
12 ounces linguine, freshly cooked
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese (about 5 ounces)

 

Heat olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, reserved juices, basil and oregano and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Add the artichokes with the marinade to the sauce and cook for 3 or 4 more minutes. Add the pasta and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to sauce. Toss until sauce coats pasta and mixture is heated through, about 2 more minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the pasta to large serving bowl. Serve, passing the remaining 1 cup Parmesan on the side. Serves 4.

 

BAKED CHICKEN WITH MUSHROOMS AND ARTICHOKES

 

4 chicken breast halves
Salt and pepper
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
5 green onions, chopped
1 cup dry white wine

 

Preheat oven to 350. Season chicken breast halves with salt and pepper. Place skin side up in 9×13-inch baking dish. Drain the artichokes, reserving marinade. Cut artichoke in half. Top chicken breasts with artichokes, mushrooms and green onions. Pour reserved marinade and white wine over the top of the chicken and then bake, uncovered for about 20 minutes. Spoon the sauce from the bottom of pan over the top of the chicken and cook an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.

 

Bon Appétit March 1991

MEDITERRANEAN CHICKEN SALAD
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cups diced cooked chicken (from one 3-pound purchased cooked chicken)

1/2 cup orzo (rice-shaped pasta; about 3 ounces)
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes (about 10 ounces)
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 cup dried currants
1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers

 

Combine oil, vinegar, tarragon, lemon juice, and mustard in small bowl; whisk to combine. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in medium bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup of the dressing.  Cook the orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse under cold water to cool; drain well. Transfer orzo to large bowl. Stir in remaining dressing and toss to coat. Add the chicken mixture, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives, currants, and capers. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 4.

 

 

MARINATED OLIVES, RED BELL PEPPER, ARTICHOKE HEARTS AND MUSHROOMS

 

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 9-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, drained well, halved lengthwise
1 large red bell pepper, cut into matchstick-size strips
4 ounces small button mushrooms, trimmed, quartered
1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup)
3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, quartered lengthwise

 

Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Add vegetables and olives. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Keep refrigerated. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.) Transfer mixture to bowl and serve.

MY SISTER LOIS’S WILD RICE AND ARTICHOKE SALAD

3/4 cup wild rice
3/4 cup brown rice
3 cup  water
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 oz Jar marinated artichoke hearts; drained, halved
1 red pepper (sweet) cut into 1/2-inchpieces
1 medium carrot; very thinly sliced

DRESSING
2/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1 Garlic clove; minced
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
1 small Head leaf lettuce; washed, dried, and torn into bite size pieces

Rinse the wild rice in a strainer under cold running water. Put in a medium size-bowl and pour on boiling water to cover. Let soak for 30
minutes, and then drain thoroughly.

Rinse the brown rice in a strainer and put in a medium-size saucepan along with the drained wild rice, 3 cups of water, oil and salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes. Do not stir rice at any time. When done, put the rice in a large bowl and chill until very cold, about 2 hours.
When the rice is cold add the artichoke, pepper, scallions and carrot, and toss well.

To make the marinade combine all of the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake vigorously. Pour the dressing over the
salad and toss well. Chili for 2 hours or up to 24 hours. To serve, arrange equal portions of lettuce on 4 large plates and mound on the rice salad.

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Black VS Green Olives, Which Would You Choose? Great Recipes

Every parent who has ever sent a child to summer camp knows about color wars. That fight to the death Olympic like couple of days where what color/team you’re a part of defines you, empowers you and generally consumes every waking moment. In our house color wars revolves around olives; team green and team black.

Yes, we’re a house divided and while I’m the captain of team black and my husband is the captain of team green our ambivalent side shifting children could care less. They just want olives.

Just so we’re clear, aside from their taste and color olives all come from the same tree. The only difference between them is the state of their ripeness when picked (green ones are harvested when they are immature, a bit denser and a tad more bitter and black ones stay on the tree just a little longer and have a more mellow flavor). All olives must be cured before being eaten and they way they are cured with determine their, final flavor and texture.

Olives are one food you can keep on your pantry shelf, unopened for 3 to 4 years. Once opened, keep them in their original brine in a container with a lid or the original jar. For the most part we use the stuffed green olive or the black from the can in most of our recipes. However, get creative and try some of the other varieties that specialty markets and gourmet sections of your supermarket now carry

 

manzanilla:  Spanish green olive, available unpitted and/or stuffed

 

picholine:  French green olive, salt-brine cured, with subtle, lightly salty flavor

 

kalamata:  Greek black olive, deep purple, almond-shaped rich and fruity flavor

 

niçoise:  French black olive, small in size, rich, nutty, mellow flavor, high pit-to-meat ratio, often packed with herbs and stems intact

 

liguria:  Italian black olive, with a vibrant flavor, sometimes packed with stems

 

ponentine:  Italian black olive, salt-brine cured then packed in vinegar, mild in flavor

 

gaeta:  Italian black olive, dry-salt cured, then rubbed with oil, wrinkled in appearance, mild flavor, often packed with rosemary and other herbs

 

lugano:  Italian black olive, usually very salty, sometimes packed with olive leaves

 

sevillano:  Californian, salt-brine cured, very crisp

 

Modified from about.com

 

Olives are typically not the main ingredient in a recipe. That being said the following recipes are all olive centric and showcase the full bodied flavor of these bite size treats. While you can interchange the different types of olives in the recipes you should know that some are saltier than others and you need to adjust the recipe accordingly.

 

TRADITIONAL TAPENADE

This is a thick olive topping that is terrific with crackers, bread or on chicken or fish.

 

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 to 4 tablespoons capers

2 anchovy fillets, rinsed

1 3/4 cups pitted black or green olives (or a combination)

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (fresh is best)

1/3 cup olive oil

Black pepper to taste (optional)

 

In a food process combine all the ingredients and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. Makes approx 2 cups

 

Modified from epicurious.com

CLASSIC GREEK SALAD

 

4 large tomatoes cut into chunks

1 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 green pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red pepper, cleaned and chopped

1 red onion, sliced thin

1 head romaine, shredded

1 to 1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

14 to 16 Kalamata olives, pitted

 

Dressing

 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Salt and black pepper to taste

 

Combine all the dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake to combine and set it aside. In a salad bowl combine the tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, onion and romaine and toss to combine.  Top with cheese and olives and drizzle the dressing on top. Toss to coat and serve. Serves 6.

 

My files source unknown

GREEN OLIVE CHICKEN

 

4 chicken breasts

1/2 cup olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

1 1/2 cup uncooked rice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 large can whole tomatoes

14 to 16 large green or black olives

1 cup chicken broth

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder or more to taste

 

In large skillet heat the oil and lightly brown the chicken. Don’t cook it totally, just brown the outside. Remove the chicken from pan and drain it on paper towels.  Don’t clean the pan.  Add the onion and green and red pepper to pan and cook slightly. Stir in the garlic and rice. Cook stirring until rice is turning golden. Add the tomatoes, olives, chicken broth, oregano and chili powder. Bring the mixture to a boil and then add the chicken. Cover the pan and cook, at a simmer for 30 to 35 minutes or until the chicken is done. Serves 4.

 

My file source unknown

 

OLIVE PEPPER CHEESECAKE

 

Butter for greasing pan

1 cup panko bread crumbs

16 oz cream cheese, softened

8 oz grated sharp cheddar

1 pkg. taco seasoning

16 oz sour cream, divided

3 eggs

1/3 cup diced green or black olives, drained well

1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced

1/2 cup salsa

2 cups of your favorite guacamole or avocado dip

Chopped tomatoes for garnish

Chopped olives for garnish

Cheddar for garnish

Corn chips

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch spring form pan and then coat it with panko bread crumbs and set it aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, cheddar and taco seasoning until fluffy; stir in 1 cup sour cream. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time. Fold in the olives and peppers. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on a wire rack. Combine remaining sour cream with salsa and spread the mixture on top. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then remove sides from spring form. Top with the guacamole. Garnish the additional tomatoes, olives and cheese. Serve corn chips.    Serves 12 to 16.

 

Submitted by Reggie Magaran Chicago IL

FRESH OLIVE CHOP

 

2 (6 oz.) can Lindsay Naturals Green Ripe Olives, drained and chopped

1/2 cup jarred roasted red pepper, diced

4 ounces crumbled feta

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

toasted pita wedges, crackers, thinly sliced baguettes or tortilla chips

Italian flat leaf parsley as a garnish

 

Place the olives, red pepper, feta, oregano and lemon zest together in a bowl.  Gently toss together.

 

Spoon the mixture into a small bowl and place on a larger platter.  Surround the bowl of with the pita wedges, crackers, baguette slices and/or tortilla chips.  Or spread the olive mixture onto the pita wedge and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.es, crackers and/or baguette slices, garnish with flat leaf Italian parsley.  Place on a platter and serve immediately.

 

This recipe was created By cookbook author Joanne Weir, modified.

 

ARTICHOKE AND BLACK OLIVE DIP

 

1 (7.5 oz.) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained and diced

1/2 cup diced Lindsay® Ripe Pitted or Lindsay® Greek Kalamata Pitted Olives

1/2 cup diced plum tomatoes

1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese

2 tablespoons light or regular sour cream

2 tablespoons light or regular mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients; mix well. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. Serve with crackers or chips. Serves 6 (1/4 cup) servings.

 

Modified from Lindsay.com

 

CHICKEN CHILI MAC N CHEESE

 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 chili peppers, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons flour

2 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (1 lbs.) box macaroni pasta, cooked

8 ounce grilled chicken breast, diced

1 (6 oz.) can California Black Ripe Olives, whole, pitted

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/8 teaspoon paprika

 

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a saucepan melt the butter. Stir in peppers and garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes until smooth and golden. Whisk in the chicken broth, a half cup at a time, until smooth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Add the cooked pasta, chicken and olives. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle the top with the paprika and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serves 6 to 8

 

Recipe courtesy of the California Olive Committee, modified

 

OLIVE CORN AND RICE SALAD

You can add or subtract the amount of veggies as you please!

 

1 (16 oz.) can whole corn, drained or 2 cups fresh off the cob

3 to 4 cups cooked rice

1/ 2 cup chopped red pepper

1/ 2 cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped black olives

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded

1 to 2 tomatoes, chopped and seeded

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1/ 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/ 4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

 

In medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, corn, rice, peppers, green onions and olives. Toss to combine. In a jar with a lid combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, parsley, mustard and garlic powder. Shake the dressing to combine and pour over the salad. Cover and chill several hours. Stir in the shredded lettuce just before serving then top with the Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 8

 

My files source unknown

 

BAKED PASTA WITH OLIVES

 

1 pound pasta (fusilli or bow tie), cooked according to the package, drained, kept warm

5 small zucchini cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 (28 ounces) can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped

1cup black olives, sliced

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 pound Mozzarella cheese shredded or cubed

2 to 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese for topping

 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9X13 baking pan. In a large frying pan, heat the oil and saute zucchini until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper and put them in a large bowl. Add the pasta, tomatoes, olives, 1/3 cup Parmesan, rosemary and 1/2 of the mozzarella. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper and mix to combine Place the mixture into the prepared pan and then sprinkle the top.

Cover the top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan and bake until cheese is melted and the top slightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Serves 4 to 6

 

Modified from The New Pasta Cookbook by Joanne Glynn

Carrots Carrots and More Carrots/ Kosher and Non Kosher Recipes

 

So when is a vegetable bargain REALLY bargain? Answer:  when it’s a 10lb bag of carrots and you only need 2 lbs but the 10lb bag is only $1 more than the 2 lb bag. No brainer, you buy it. The truth is I always have carrots in the fridge; sometimes I just have more of them than other times. It’s when I have too many that I really great creative.

Carrots are my go to veggie that are always in season and ALWAYS cheaper than any other vegetable out there. They are delicious cooked or fresh you can always count on them to lend color and fiber to any meal. I call them the Robin Williams of vegetables, all over the place when it comes to their color. They come in the ever popular international orange we all recognize, white, or red, yellow purple (yes purple) and everything in between. On top of being the “pretty” vegetable  carrots  are a terrific source of  potassium, manganese, foliate, phosphorus, magnesium and vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C and K.

So now I’ve got all these carrots and I can only needed 2lbs for the soup I was making (recipe below). I figured that since I had them I might as well use them all at once because, well, I just cook that way. I went digging for carrot recipes that were just a little bit different and easy to make and delicious enough that even the most finicky of non veggie lovers would like.

 

PARSNIPS AND CARROTS WITH HONEY AND ROSEMARY

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound carrots (about 4 large), peeled, cut into bite sized pieces

1 pound large parsnips, peeled, cut into bite sized pieces

kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

 

Heat the oil in large skillet. Add the carrots, sugar and parsnips and saute until the carrot and parsnips start to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the butter, rosemary, and honey and mix to coat. Cook, stirring constantly until the vegetables are coated about 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serves 8

 

Modified Bon Appétit November 2007 submitted by Molly Stevens

CARROT SLAW

 

6 medium carrots, shredded.
1/2 a head of green cabbage, shredded

1/2 a head of red cabbage, shredded.

4 green onions, sliced thin
2/3 cup of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon of orange juice

Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 1 cup salted sunflower seeds

 

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, green onions, cabbage. Toss to combine. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, sugar and orange juice. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour but up to 6 hours before serving. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top and serve. Serves 10 to 12

CARROT SOUP WITH A KICK

 

8 carrots, chopped
5 celery stalks, cut into pieces

1 parsnip, peeled, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped

4 cups of water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons of curry powder
sea salt to taste

 

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil. Add the garlic, celery and onion for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly until they are soft. Add the curry powder and mix to coat. Add the carrots, parsnip, and water. Cover and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Cool slightly and then process in a food processor or blender until the soup is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat and serve. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Submitted by Antonia Marcarni Chicago IL

CARROT & PASTA

 

3 large carrots, washed, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

A little kosher salt

1 onion, sliced into rounds

1 red bell pepper, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic, finely diced

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup your favorite spaghetti sauce

1 lb cooked pasta, spaghetti, rottini or bow tie

 

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots into long thing strips. Place the strips in a bowl and sprinkle them with a little kosher salt. Place the oil in the bottom of a large pan and add the carrots and onions and stir frequently.  When the carrots start to soften, add the garlic and pepper and continue cooking for about 5 minutes but make sure not to let the veggies get too browned. Add the spaghetti sauce, oregano and basil and then continue to simmer until the everything is hot. Serve the sauce over the cooked pasta. Serves 6 to 8.

 

My file source unknown

 

APRICOT CARROTS WITH WILD RICE PILAF

 

3 cups baby carrots or regular carrots, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons oil

12 to 16 dried apricots, chopped

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon cloves

1/8 teaspoon allspice

salt and pepper, to taste

1/4 cup water

2 cups wild rice/white rice mix cooked

 

Steam carrots until tender, but still firm and then set them aside. In a skillet saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are soft. Add the ginger, cloves, sugar, and apricots and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the sugar has been incorporated. Add the water and whisk until the sauce thickens slightly.  Add the carrots, and cook for a few minutes until the carrots are hot throughout. Add the rice, mix to combine and serve. Serves 6.

 

My file source unknown

ULTIMATE CARROT CAKE

 

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

1/2 cup buttermilk or milk or non dairy substitute

2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained

1 pound finely grated carrots

1 cup toasted chopped pecans

1 cup golden raisins

1 batch Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

 

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans by lightly coating with oil and lining with parchment paper. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt and nutmeg together in a bowl.  Set aside.

 

In a large bowl combine the eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, brown sugar, vanilla, and pineapple together, mix to combine.   Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated.   Stir in the carrots, pecans and raisins just until evenly distributed throughout the batter.

 

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake on the center rack for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Cool cakes in their pans for at least 30 minutes before attempting to remove them.  Then, removed from the pans and peel off the parchment paper.  Continue to cool the cakes completely before frosting.

 

To assemble the cake, place the bottom layer on a cardboard round or other flat surface and put on a cake turntable. Scoop about 1 1/2 cups of the cream cheese icing onto the top of the bottom cake layer.  Using an offset spatula, spread the frosting evenly over the surface.  Carefully place the second layer on top.  Scoop another 1 1/2 cups or so of the frosting on the top of the cake and spread evenly, easing the frosting down the sides.  Spread the icing around the sides of the cake, adding more as needed.  Lift the cake off the turn table and place on a cake stand or platter and chill a bit to firm up the frosting before slicing.

 

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 ounces cream cheese, softened

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar to taste

 

Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth.  Add extracts and beat just until incorporated.  Beat in sugar, one cup at a time, until frosting has the flavor and consistency you want.  You may not need to add all of the sugar.

 

Adapted from The Essential Baker via Zoe Bakes

© Eileen Goltz carrots12

Gourmet Sprouts Make Good Salads Spectacular/ Kosher recipes

When “mung bean sprouts” first made their appearance as a healthy, natural food in the 60’s and 70’s many people dismissed them as a food fad. Thank goodness nobody paid attention to the nay sayers and the sprout survived and thrived. Today dozens of varieties of gourmet sprouts grace the shelves of supermarket and farm stands and each is more delicious, and surprising, nutritious than the last one you tried. All sprouts are low in calories and are virtually fat free. A cup of alfalfa sprouts contains about 10, count them 10 calories and mung bean sprouts about 30 calories.  While the nutrition value varies bean and lentil sprouts both deliver vitamin C, folic acid and vitamin B.

A sprout is produced when a seed starts growing into a vegetable. Sprouts can grow from the seeds of vegetables, from grains such as buckwheat, and from beans. They vary in texture and taste. Some are spicy (radish and onion sprouts), some are hardy and are often used in oriental food.  Mung beans are the most popular and hardy others are more delicate (alfalfa, onion, broccoli) and are used in salads and sandwiches to add texture and moistness.

Sprouts are fresh when their roots are moist and white and the sprout itself is crisp. You should store spouts the vegetable crisper of the refrigerator and use them as soon as possible.

The following mung bean recipes are a combination of salads and main courses that should tempt even the most salad phobic child. There are a variety of other vegetable sprouts used in many of the recipes so you’ll have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of different flavors.

EZ BEAN SPROUT SALAD   (pareve)

1 lb. mung bean sprouts

1/2 cup sliced radishes

1/3 cup broccoli sprouts

2 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

salt and pepper to taste

 

Blanch mung bean sprouts and place them in a bowl. Add the radishes, broccoli spouts soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Toss gently, taste and then season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

 

SHREDDED CHICKEN WITH BEAN SPROUTS AND PEA PODS (meat)

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 lbs.

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

4 oz. Chinese pea pods

1 lb. bean sprouts

2 tablespoon chicken broth

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/2 cup toasted almonds

cooked rice (optional)

toasted slivered almonds (optional)

 

Cut the breasts into 2 x 1/2 inch pieces. Stack slices; cut into thin strips. Place the chicken in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the white pepper. Toss, cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

 

Remove the strings from pea pods. Place pea pods in boiling water; cook for 30 seconds and immediately remove the pea pods from the water; drain and rinse in cold water; drain. Rinse the bean sprouts in cold water; drain thoroughly. In a bowl combine 2 tablespoons broth, soy sauce, 2 teaspoon cornstarch, and the sugar.

 

Heat wok until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; tilt wok to coat side. Add bean sprouts and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir fry 2 minutes. Remove bean sprouts from wok; drain.

 

Heat wok until very hot. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; tilt wok to coat side. Add chicken, garlic, and ginger root; stir fry 2 minutes or until chicken turns white. Add bean sprouts and pea pods; stir fry 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup broth; heat to boiling. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook and stir until thickened. Serve immediately over rice and garnish with the toasted almonds.  Makes 4 servings

 

SPINACH BEAN SPROUT SALAD (pareve or meat)

 

1 bag of baby spinach, washed and broken into bite size pieces (aprox. 4 cups)

2 cups fresh mung bean sprouts, washed and dried

5 or 6 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup fake bacon bits or 4-6 slices kosher breakfast beef, fried and crumbled of

2 to 3 hard cooked eggs, sliced

1/2 diced red onion

 

DRESSING:

 

1/4 cup oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

3 tablespoon ketchup

2 tablespoon brown sugar

 

In a salad bowl combine the spinach, bean sprouts and green onion. Toss gently. In another smaller bowl combine the vinegar, ketchup and brown sugar. Whisk to combine.  Pour the dressing over the vegetable salad and toss. Serve with crumbled breakfast beef bits, red onion and sliced eggs on top. Serves 6. Can be doubled or tripled

HAWAIIAN BEAN SPROUT SALAD (pareve)

2 cups fresh bean sprouts

1 can (12 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained

1/2 cup mandarin oranges, drained

1/2 green pepper, cut in strips

3/4 cup diagonal cut celery

2/3 cup mayonnaise

1 1/4 teaspoon curry powder

2 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

 

In a large salad bowl combine the bean sprouts, pineapple chunks, oranges green pepper and celery, toss to combine. In another bowl combine the mayonnaise, curry powder and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.  Serves 4. Can be doubled or tripled

 

THAI CARROT AND SPROUT NOODLE SALAD

This recipe is an interesting take on the traditional pad Thai.This is great at room temperature after the flavors have blended.

12 ounces linguine
4 tablespoons oriental sesame oil

8 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili sauce or a few dashes of hot sauce
2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 cup finely shredded carrots

 

Cook the pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Transfer pasta to large bowl; add 3 tablespoons sesame oil and toss to coat. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 6 green onions, garlic, and ginger; sauté until onions soften, about 2 minutes. Add honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, and chili sauce; whisk to blend. Simmer sauce 1 minute. Cool to room temperature. Pour the mixture over the cooked pasta and toss to coat. Add the sprouts and carrots; mix well to combine. Transfer to a bowl or platter; sprinkle with remaining green onions. Serves 3 to 4. This can be doubled or tripled.

 

WARM TERIYAKI BEEF SALAD

This salad is really a great winter dinner.

3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons medium-dry cooking wine
3/4 pound steak, cut across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1/2 pound mushrooms
3 scallions
1 small cucumber
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
2 tablespoons water
2 cups packed spinach leaves, washed well and spun dry

 

In a measuring cup stir together the soy sauce, vinegar, and cooking wine. In a glass bowl combine the cut up steak with the garlic, gingerroot, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce mixture. Mix to coat and let set while preparing vegetables.  Discard the stems from mushrooms and cut the mushrooms and scallions into thin strips, keeping them separate. Peel the cucumber and cut in half lengthwise. With a spoon scrape seeds from cucumber halves, discarding seeds, and cut each half crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

 

In a large non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking and brown the steak, stirring frequently, until any liquid evaporates, about 3 minutes. Transfer steak to a clean bowl.

 

In the skillet heat the remaining tablespoon oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid they give off is evaporated. Add the scallions and bean sprouts and cook 1 minute. Remove the skillet from heat and add the cooked steak, remaining soy sauce mixture, and water. Mix to combine.

 

In a large bowl toss together spinach, cucumber. Add the warm steak mixture and toss just to combine. Divide salad between 2 plates. Serves 2. This recipe can be doubled or tripled

 

LINGUINI WITH SPROUTS, CUCUMBERS AND PEANUT SAUCE

 

The combination of cooked and raw vegetables is refreshing and satisfying enough to please everyone. Serve the pasta immediately after tossing it with the peanut mixture; the sauce gets thick if it sits too long.

 

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/3 cup peanut butter

2/3 cup chicken broth or pareve vegetable stock

1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 pound linguine

1/2 pound snow peas, cut diagonally into thin slices

1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts (about 1/4 pound)

2 scallions including green tops, chopped

1 cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and sliced thin

onion sprouts

1/2 cup chopped peanuts
In a blender or food processor, combine the garlic, soy sauce, peanut butter, chicken broth, lime juice, red-pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Puree until smooth and set aside.

 

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until almost done, about 9 minutes. Stir in the snow peas and bean sprouts and cook until the vegetables and pasta are just done, about 3 minutes more. Drain the noodles and pea post and place the noodles in a large serving bowl. Add the peanut sauce, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, the scallions, cucumber, mung bean sprouts and 1/3 cup of the peanuts. Toss to combine. Serve with the remaining peanuts and onion sprouts sprinkled over the top.

 

NOTE: The seeds from a mature cucumber can be somewhat bitter and watery. Scoop them out of the halved cucumber with a spoon or melon baller and discard them. Better yet, buy the English (hothouse) cucumber. They are almost completely seedless. Serves 4

Cilantro, Love it or Hate it/ Recipes for Everyone

There are very few things in the world of herbs and spices that evokes as strong an opinion and feelings as those generated by cilantro. Love it or hate it, it is a fundamental flavor/ingredient in many a recipe. I freely admit that I belong to the not so fond of it group. To me, the taste is sort of a cross between parsley and soap. Still I do find it occasionally does really perk up a dish and that quite a few of my readers adore the stuff. I’ve always know that cilantro is part of the coriander plant and is sometimes referred to as Chinese parsley but what I didn’t know is that it is front and center in recipes from around the world.

Coriander is used in Middle Eastern/Mediterranean, Central and South American, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Chinese and African cuisine and so is cilantro.  You can get cilantro year around and it looks a lot like flat-leaf parsley. The best way to tell if what you’re getting is cilantro is to smell it. The leaves should be bright and crisp (avoid the wilted stuff). You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Just cut off the ends and plunk it in a jar or glass of water and cover it loosely with a plastic bag. I suggest that you change out the water every other day.  You can, of course, store it in a plastic bag but it won’t stay as fresh.

There are health benefits associated with eating cilantro and it’s considers a really good addition to any diet due to its anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties. It also been shown to help lower blood pressure and is a good source of fiber, magnesium and iron.

So, even though I’m not cilantro’s biggest fan I have tons of readers who can’t live without the stuff. The following recipes are all just a little different and use cilantro in really wonderful ways.

CILANTRO CORN AND CHICKEN DIP

 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled, cooled and cut into bite sized pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 to 2 avocados, diced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 red pepper diced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon grated lime zest

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

 

In a bowl combine the chicken, avocado, corn, tomato, red pepper, oregano, cumin, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, and chili paste. Mix together gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with corn chips or pita.  Serves 6 to 8

 

AVOCADO AND CILANTRO PASTA

 

2 1/2 cups pasta shells or bow tie pasta

4 cups chicken stock or 1/2 stock and 1/2 water

4 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 avocados mashed

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves

1 cup white cheddar, grated

1/2 to 1 cup pine nuts, toasted

 

DRESSING:

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

2/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Zest of 1 lemon or lime, grated

1/2 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

cilantro leaves for garnish

 

Cook the pasta in the stock until al dente about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Place pasta into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. In another combine the celery, avocado, garlic, and cilantro and set it aside. Make the dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl or tightly lidded jar. Whisk or shake until well combined. Toss the dressing with the celery/avocado mixture. When the pasta has cooled add the dressing to the pasta and stir to coat. Add the cheese and pine nuts and toss gently again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the cilantro leaves. Can be refrigerated and served later or served immediately at room temperature. Serves 6

 

Modified from Cooking with Herbs & Spices

 

CILANTRO CHICKEN WITH ZUCCHINI AND CREAMY PASTA

 

2 to 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/3 cup lime juice

1 small bunch cilantro, chopped and divided in half

1/3 cup olive oil

12 oz ziti pasta cooked and drained according to package directions

2 medium zucchini, diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 diced tomatoes

6 green onions, diced

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese

16 oz whipping cream

pepper, to taste

 

Cook In a plastic sealable bag combine 1/2 the cilantro, lime juice and olive oil. Add the chicken breasts, close and marinate in the refrigerator for an hour, turning once. Remove chicken from marinade and cook in a grill pan until just done, turning about half way through cooking. When done, remove from pan and cut into bite size pieces. In a skillet, while the chicken is cooking saute the zucchini with the tablespoon of oil until the zucchini is just starting to soften. Add the tomatoes, remaining cilantro and garlic. Simmer for 4 or 5 minutes. In another pan the cream to a simmer and then add it to the vegetables and simmer on low for 2 or 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the pasta to the vegetable mixture and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pasta and vegetable mixture from the heat and add the chicken pieces and the Parmesan and toss to combine. Place in a serving bowl and garnish with the green onions. Serves 4 to 6.

 

 

SIZZLING SZECHUAN BEANS

 

2 cups oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 ounce hot chili garlic sauce

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon white wine

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 pound green beans, cleaned

2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

 

In a Dutch oven heat 2 cups of oil to 350. In medium saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add ginger and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until it turns light brown; quickly add soy sauce, chili sauce, rice wine vinegar, hoisin, mirin, sesame oil and cilantro.

 

Fry the green beans in the canola oil for about 45 seconds, or until beans turn dark green. Remove, strain, and add to sauce. Toss and garnish with peanuts and parsley. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Modified from the FoodNetwork.com

ORANGE CILANTRO SLAW

 

1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1/3 cup oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 (8-ounce) bags coleslaw mix

2 cups fresh or frozen corn

1 cup shredded carrots

1 red pepper, chopped fine

6 medium green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup mandarine oranges, drained

 

In a bowl combine the orange juice concentrate, vinegar, and oils in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. This dressing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated.

 

In a large bowl combine the coleslaw mix, oranges corn, carrots, red bell, sliced green onions, and cilantro. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Season slaw to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 15 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss again and serve.

 

Submitted by Candi Simmons Boca Raton FL modified from epicurious.com

 

SALMON WITH PECAN CILANTRO PESTO

 

1 cup pecans, chopped and toasted and divided in half

2 1/2 cups chopped cilantro

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 6- to 7-ounce salmon fillets, with skin

 

Season salmon with salt and pepper and set them aside.  In the bowl of a food processor, combine 1/2 the pecans, cilantro, cheese, stock and vinegar and process to a puree. With the machine running gradually add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season the pesto with salt and pepper. In an oiled grill pan grill the salmon until done, about 4 minutes on each side. When done place the salmon on a plate and top with a dollop of the pecan pesto. Garnish with the remaining toasted pecans Serves 4.

 

Submitted by Raymond Liturie Chicago IL

 

KRAZY COUSCOUS

 

1 to 1 1/2 cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

6 to 8 sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

3/4 cup peas

3/4 cup coarsely chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

3/4 cup couscous

Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

 

In a large saucepan saute the onion, mushrooms and garlic in the oil until the onion is tender. Add the cumin and cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Add the broth, peas, tomato and cilantro. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the couscous. Stir over the heat for 1 minute, cover and then remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and spoon the mixture into a serving dish and garnish with extra cilantro if desired. Serves 6

 

HONEY CILANTRO DRUMBSTICKS

 

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon minced cilantro

1/4 cup honey

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried ginger

12 chicken drumsticks

2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Cilantro sprigs for garnish

 

Mix the hoisin sauce, cilantro, honey, sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a large bowl to blend. Use a sharp knife score the drumsticks in at least 4 or 5 places. Add the chicken to the marinade and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to broil and place the rack in the top 1/3 of the oven. Line a large rimmed cookie sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place the drumsticks on the foil covered pan and broil for 15 to 20 minutes turning every 4 or 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.  When the drumsticks are done, place them on a serving platter and garnish with the sesame seeds and cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.

Spectacular Acorn Squash Recipes

 

They’re everywhere you look these days. Green and round-ish they kinda look like alien pod people could erupt from them at
any moment. But wait, don’t be alarmed, it’s just that acorn squash are in season and they’re affordable, available and just waiting for you to take them home.  These green and orange/gold and hard squash are, in my cookbook, the best squash to cook to bring fall flavor
to your table. They are chock full of vitamins and beta carotene and lend themselves to sweet and savory dishes with equal aplomb. As far as I can tell their only drawback is that they can be insanely difficult to peel. That issue aside, they’re yummy delicious and oh so good for you.

Acorn squash available from August through March; however, they are at their best from October to November when they are
actually in season. To peel the raw acorn squash you gotta have muscles, good knife, a ton of patients and quite possibly a few band-aids. Personally, I prefer to roast the squash, cool it and then scoop out the good stuff. Some people prefer to steam it but roasting or baking it seems to give most recipes the maximum burst of flavor.

Acorn squash along with other members of the winter squash family (denoted by their hard protective skins) can, for the most part, can be used interchangeably. Acorn squash are cheap right now and it is so satisfying and versatile that you have no excuse not to try these hearty recipes.

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH BLACK BEANS AND QUINOA

 

3 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon margarine, melted

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup raisins

1 cup uncooked quinoa

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

6 teaspoons shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Remove the squash from the oven. While the squash is baking, heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the garlic, celery, and carrots and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans and raisins and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat and set the mixture aside. In a saucepan boil the broth and add the quinoa. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until quinoa is done according to the directions
on the package. Add the cumin, salt, and pepper to the quinoa and mix to combine. Add the vegetable mixture to the quinoa and mix to combine. Mound each squash half with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese, if using. Return the squash to the oven and heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

 

ITALIAN SAUSAGE STUFFED SQUASH

 

3 acorn squash

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1/2 cup bell pepper, diced

3 green onion, thinly sliced

1 1/2 pound mild Italian sausage

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 stalks celery, diced

1 teaspoon ground pepper or to taste

salt to taste

2/3 cup maple syrup

 

Preheat oven to 400. Cut both ends off of the squash and then cut it in half width wise and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half into 2 inch rounds for a total of 12 ring slices.  Arrange squash rings in single layer on a foil lined rimmed cookie sheet.

Melt butter in heavy medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper,garlic, celery and green onion. Saute until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and let cool for about 15 minutes. Add the sausage, pepper and salt. Divide mixture into 12 portions and mound mixture in center of squash rings. Brush sausage and squash with half of syrup. Bake 15 minutes. Brush with remaining syrup and bake until squash are tender and sausage is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Makes 12.

 

ACORN SQUASH WITH CORN SOUFFLE

 

2 acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup milk or half and half

2 eggs

1/2 cup to 1 cup corn kernels (fresh is best)

1/3 cup chopped red onion

Pinch of nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

2 to 3 green onions, sliced thin

 

Preheat the oven to 375.  Cut a small slice off the bottom of the squash to make sure it sits level. Make sure not to cut all
the way through so that the filling won’t run out. Brush the inside of the squash with oil. Place cut side up on a baking sheet. Cover the squash with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.

 

While the squash is baking, in a bowl combine the milk, eggs, corn, the red onion, nutmeg, and salt. When the squash is cooked fill each of the squash halves about 3/4 full with the corn mixture. Continue baking uncovered for another 30 to 40 minutes. Done time will depend on how big the squash is and if the soufflé is set. When you feel that everything is done sprinkle the cheese on the top and put it under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese and make it bubbly. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. To serve place on a platter and sprinkle the top with the green onion. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled. You may have extra filling. Just grease a glass baking dish, pour it
in and bake until it’s set. About 30 min.

 

Submitted by Cary Whiteside NY NY

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH AND APPLE SOUP

 

2 acorn squash, seeded and cut in large pieces

6 cups apple cider

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Slices of granny smith apples dipped in apple cider

1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

 

Preheat oven to 400.  Place the squash in a stock pot. Drizzle honey over the halves. Pour apple cider and stock over the squash.
Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and then cook for about 45 minutes to an hour until the squash is tender.  Remove the squash pieces and let them cool. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and put it in a food processor or blender and puree it with some of the broth.  Continue
the process until all the squash is pureed and everything is returned to the stock pot. You can strain this at this point but I never do. You can adjust the consistency with stock or cider depending on your preference. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a dollop of cinnamon sour cream a few toasted pecan pieces and a slice of apple in each bowl. Serves 6. This recipe can be doubled.

 

Cinnamon Sour Cream

1/2 cup sour cream

1 teaspoon cinnamon

 

In a small bowl combine the sour cream and cinnamon and mix to combine.

 

SQUASHED SOUP

1 acorn squash, seeded and sliced but not peeled

1 large butternut squash, seeded and sliced but not peeled

2 zucchini cut into chunks

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon curry

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon white pepper

salt to taste

olive oil and butter

1 to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

 

Preheat the oven to 375. Drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan and place pats of butter underneath the squash slices on the pan, placing the acorn and butternut squash flesh side down.  Cook it all for about 30 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the minced garlic to the bottom of
the pan and cook an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Let the squash to cool to room temperature. In a stock pot combine the broth with the zucchini and onion and cook at a low boil until the onions and zucchini are soft. When the acorn and butternut squash is cool enough to handle scoop the flesh into a food processor or blender. Add the broth and vegetables and process until you’ve got a nice not too thick not too runny consistency. You will need to do this in batches. Place everything back in the stock pot and season with curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Mix to combine and cook for an addition 2 to 3 minutes until everything is hot. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Submitted by Marsha Parker Oaklawn IL

 

SQUASH STEW

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 large onions, chopped

2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 large acorn squash, peeled and chunked

1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 pound) green beans cut in half

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1/2 cup barley

1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until onion begins to become translucent. Add the squash chunks, green beans, and chile and saute for another 4 or 5 minutes. Add the corn, barley tomatoes, broth, and vinegar. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Cook for 30 or 40 minutes, until squash and green beans are tender and the barley is cooked. You may need to add a
little more liquid if this is cooking up too quickly and is too thick. This can be served over a baked potato. Serves 6.

 

WILD RICE AND ACORN SQUASH TOPPED WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 medium acorn squash, quartered and seeded

 

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

11/2 cups wild rice mix

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small red onion, diced

2 teaspoons minced garlic, minced

 

Roasted Vegetables

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks (1½ cups)

2 cups baby carrots

2 cups sugar snap peas

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cranberry sauce for garnish, optional

 

To make acorn squash: Preheat oven to 350. Coat baking sheet
with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Whisk together olive oil,
maple syrup, soy sauce, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of water in small bowl.
Brush inside and edges of acorn squash wedges; place on prepared baking sheet.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to prick with tip of
knife. Keep warm.

 

Cook the rice according to package directions and then set
it aside. Heat the olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion
and garlic for 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the cooked rice and pine
nuts, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

 

To make roasted vegetables: Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or
large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the eggplant in oil 10 minutes, or until
softened. Add carrots and sugar and sauté 5 minutes more, or until carrots
begin to brown. Add 2 cups water, cover, and steam vegetables 10 to 15 minutes,
or until soft. Add snap peas, and steam 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt
and pepper.

 

To serve: Place 1 Acorn Squash wedge on each plate. Spoon
the rice mixture into center of each squash quarter, and top it with the vegetables.
Sprinkle the top with the chopped parsley, and add a dollop of cranberry sauce,
if desired. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Modified
from vegetarinantimes.com

Krazy Kool Kale

            These days we see superheroes everywhere. From the big screen action figures like Green Lantern, Thor and Harry Potter to the billionaires like Gates, Buffet and Zuckerberg pledging to give away their personal bounty to worthy and noble causes. While taking the global view is fine for an evening’s entertainment or the news when you want to be a superhero in your own home you need to start serving what I like to call “super foods”.

            In my perfect world, chocolate would be front and center as the number one super food. Alas, while dark chocolate is really good for you, a better choice for the top spot would be kale. Ok, stop laughing and scratching you head and let me explain exactly why, even if you have no idea what kale is, you should start utilizing kale in your diet ASAP.

Kale (AKA borecole)  is veggie that belongs to the Brassica family (which includes Brussel sprouts, broccoli and collards is related to cabbage (a second cousin once removed) and is currently being touted  as one of the primer healthy vegetables on the planet.  A leafy green plant, kale is available in curly, ornamental, or dino varieties and comes in a variety of colors from deep green to purple to deep red.

In addition to being “burdened” with an abundance of calcium, vitamins A, C, K, E, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus kale is a fiber rich food as well as a low-glycemic food which is great to add to your diet when trying to lose weight. Kale and collards are very similar and they both are like cabbages in that they can because, for lack of a better phrase, be flatulence producing,  so be warned.

I always say it’s best to eat your veggies, fresh and raw so utilizing kale in salads is always a good choice. However, I will concede that kale has a very distinctive, slightly bitter taste in its raw state so most people prefer the taste of kale when it’s been cooked slightly. While you do lose some of the nutrients and benefits it’s not enough to forsake the gains. You should look for firm, deeply colored leaves with firm stems. Smaller leaves tend to be milder in flavor and taste. To store your kale keep it unwashed, in an air-tight container. It should last for up to a week in the refrigerator.

If you want to keep the cooking simple I suggest you do I like do and just lightly saute the kale with garlic and olive oil and add pine nuts and lemon juice or balsamic vinegar. You can also steam your kale for to five minutes and use it as substitute it for spinach.

Or, if you’re feeling just a tab bit adventurous yet want to keep your recipes user friend, tasty and “healthy” I suggest the following recipes. Trust me; your family will never guess they’re actually eating something that’s good for them.

 

BEAN AND KALE SOUP (meat or pareve)

 

1 bunch kale, trimmed

1 onion, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional to taste

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves or dried

1/3 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 cup cooked small white beans or drained and rinsed canned beans

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 cup small shell macaroni

freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving (optional if using vegetable broth)

 

In a medium saucepan, simmer the kale with 1/2 cup water and the salt until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the kale, reserving any liquid that remains. Coarsely chop the kale. In the saucepan, stir together the oil, onion and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the garlic and onion are light gold in color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Stir in the kale and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to combine coat. Add in the beans, mix to combine and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the reserved cooking liquid and the stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and stir in the macaroni. Boil for 6 minutes, or until the pasta is tender. Adjust the seasoning, if necessary. You can serve it with Parmesan cheese as a topping at the table if the soup is pareve. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled.

 

Modified from: Soup: A Way of Life by Barbara Kafka

 

WILD RICE WITH KALE, TOMATOES AND ALMONDS (pareve or meat)

 

1 cup wild rice

2 cups water or broth

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/4 cup minced onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 14-ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained, seeded, and chopped

3 to 4 cups finely chopped rinsed kale leaves

1/2 to 1 cup toasted almonds

 

In a  saucepan bring 2 cups water to a boil, add the rice and salt, cover and cook  over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. In a heavy skillet saute the garlic and onion in the oil stirring constantly, until soft and golden. Add the tomatoes and kale, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the kale is just wilted and tender. Place the rice in the serving bowl and add the kale mixture. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste and top with toasted almonds. Serves 6 to 8.

 

Modified, Submitted by Katie Marscaroni, Chicago

 

KALE PASTA SALAD WITH PISTACHIO DRESSING (pareve)

 

8 ounces angel hair pasta (you can use whole wheat spaghetti) broken into 2 inch pieces

1 cup pistachios, toasted

1 tablespoon minced garlic, smashed and chopped

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1 large bunch of kale chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 cup dried cranberries or cherries

 

In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine 1/2 cup pistachios, garlic, salt, olive oil, rice wine vinegar and process to combine. Set it aside. Bring a large pot of water (with about 1/2 tablespoon of salt) to a boil. Add the pasta and cook al dente.  Just before the pasta is done add the kale and let cook for about 20 seconds then immediately drain the pasta and kale into a colander and rinse it with cold water. Drain well, using paper towels to soak up any excess water. Place the mixture into a serving bowl and add about 1/3 of the dressing.  Toss to coat.  You can refrigerate the salad at this point and finish just before serving if you like. To finish add half the cranberries and 1/2 the remaining pistachios. Toss to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle the remaining   cranberries and pistachios on top. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the top and serve.

 

CHICKPEA AND KALE BULGUR STEW (pareve or meat)

 

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

2/3 cup uncooked bulgur

1 14-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1/2 cup orange juice

1 1/2 cup cauliflower, trimmed into small trees

3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds

3 stalks celery, cut into chunks

2 cup kale, de-stemmed and cut into thin slices

olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped for garnish

 

In a soup pot over medium-high heat saute the onion in the olive oil for a minute  then add the sugar and salt and cook for 1 more minute until the onion begins to soften a bit. Stir in the bulgur. Stir in the chickpeas and the stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for another few minutes, it should start to thicken. Taste to see if the bulgur is cooked through, if so add the orange juice. If not, simmer for a couple more minutes before adding the juice. Stir in the cauliflower, carrots, celery and the kale and then simmer another 4 to 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is just tender. If the stew is on the thick side, thin with a bit more water or stock. Taste, and add salt if necessary. Serve garnished with a drizzle of olive oil and red onions. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Modified from cookbook101.com

 

CHICKEN KALE AND WHITE BEAN SOUP (pareve or meat)

 

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
4 cups packed chopped kale
1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2  large carrots, peeled and sliced

3 stalks celery, diced

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and onion and cook 4 to 5 minutes stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add broth, kale, tomatoes, celery and carrots and stir to combine. Cover and cook 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Add the beans and cook an additional 4 to 5 minutes until the beans are hot. Serve immediately. Serves 4

SUPER SIMPLE KALE SALAD (pareve)

 

1 head kale, shredded

1 cup chunky salsa (I use mango salsa)

2 avocados, diced

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 to 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste

1/8 teaspoon cayenne or black pepper

1 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 cup pine nuts or almonds

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

 

In large salad bowl combine all ingredients together and toss to combine. Serves 6

 

© Eileen Goltz kale11a

 

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