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Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

A Breakfast Skillet And Dessert

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First let me say how encouraged and overwhelmed I am by all the support from all of you good people. Thank you, thank you!! Because of the outpouring of support it made me even more resolute. I have to say it really helps baring your soul to your friends, I have always found that a diet and exercise buddy helps me stay on track,  I  live alone it’s and it’s really easy to fall off the wagon, my best friend Carla lives in Long Island, not exactly close to Brooklyn but we talk on the phone almost every day and encourage each other. I feel now like I have LOTS of diet buddies in all of you and it has helped tremendously. I encourage anyone in the same shoes to do this, we will all cheer you on.  Special thanks to Elaine @foodbod who chatted with me by PM on Instagram in the wee hours and Cheryl @cheryl cheffie cooks Wiser, who did a special post for me with fantastic salads, I am so touched.  It means the world to me.

So far I am doing fine. This morning I wanted something substantial that would nourish and keep me from getting hungry. There is nothing worse than being hungry and perusing all the food blogs and food photo’s on instagram. I used what I had for this breakfast skillet, eggplant, zucchini (used the pieces left from spiralizer) tomatoes, kale and micro potato. Half roasted in the oven, I wanted the kale crisp like a kale chip, transferred to a 6″ skillet (portion control) added an egg and completed the cooking until the egg was done. At the very end I added a little bit of raclette and put it under the broiler for a minute. A dash of hot sauce and it was a great meal.

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Skillet Breakfast

Made 2 #6 inch individual size servings

4 micro potatoes cut in half

approx a half of a medium zucchini cut into bite size pieces

handful cherry tomatoes larger ones cut in half

generous handful of kale leaves

4 asparagus stalks with tough end broken off and cut in half

4 tiny fairy eggplant cut in half or quartered lengthwise

Cheese, just a little, didnt’ measure. I used raclette but any good melty cheese will do

Pre heat oven to 375. Place all of the vegetables on a parchment lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, make sure the vegetables are coated with the oil. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, kale will be crisp and vegetables will have softened. Arrange in skillet, crack an egg on top and bake (again at 375) until the egg is done to your liking it took about 20 minutes for an egg where the white was done but yolk was runny.  Add some cheese, I used raclette, and place under the broiler just until the cheese melts.

Dessert

Dessert

I have to have dessert, something sweet it’s part of the fabric of my being. You have to be a bit creative when trying to lose weight and maybe a little crafty. I came up with this recipe, well it’s not really a recipe, but it is really good.  It made 2 small parfait or maybe they are more like an ice box cake or a combination thereof.

Strawberry and peach parfait

makes 2 small parfait

4 Carr’s whole meal biscuits smashed into crumbs

1 7 oz container plain greek yogurt (I used whole milk yogurt)

3 tbs heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

honey to taste ( I used a little more than a tbs for both the fruit and yogurt mixture)

fruit of your choice, I used strawberry and peach.

Cut the fruit into bite size pieces and drizzle with a little honey. Smash the whole meal biscuits into crumbs. Whip the yogurt and cream, sweeten to your liking and add the vanilla. Layer into small containers and refrigerate at least an hour or two before eating. The biscuit absorbs some of the fruit juice. It’s delicious.

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I just have to show you the throw pillow I won in a charity auction to help pets with liver shunt disease. I love it!!

pug pillow

pug pillow

Lastly in memoriam for little Caleb a 3-4 month old dog in Atlanta that was brutally abused, if you think of the worst this is 100 times worse than you could possibly imagine. You can sign a petition by going to my facebook page . This has me so upset, to my very core, and it’s all over the news. Hoping they catch the monsters that perpetrated such a heinous and evil crime. Little Caleb is not the first dog to suffer horrific abuse and unfortunately he will not be the last. Raising awareness, supporting rescue organizations and being pro active reporting abuse perceived or otherwise is so important. RIP little Caleb. #justiceforcaleb

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Chicken And Vegetable Roast For Fiesta Friday #104

Chicken and vegetables

Chicken and vegetables

This was a quick meal I made for yesterday’s dinner using what I had on hand, this really isn’t a recipe, you know how it is when you don’t really know what exactly to make and start putting things together.  I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, red micro potatoes, shallot, baby orange, red and yellow peppers, cherry tomatoes and garlic and before serving finished it with a parsley/garlic/lemon gremolata of sorts. Because I used boneless skinless breasts I made everything separately rather than roasting the vegetables in with the meat the entire time. You have to be careful how long you cook those breasts as they can dry out rather quickly and I wanted the vegetables to brown and caramelize. You can change the vegetables to suit your taste, add some spice if you like, harissa would be delicious, use chicken with skin and bones if you like. The whole meal took me about an hour and a half from start to finish and because I did most of it in the oven I didn’t have to babysit a pan on the stovetop.

For a change I thought I would bring a main course rather than dessert to Fiesta Friday. Join in, bring a dish and remember to link to Fiesta Friday, Angie’s old blog The Novice Gardener is no more it’s all in one place now. Angie and her lovely co hosts this week are  Mila @ milkandbun and Hilda @ Along The Grapevine

See you at the party!!!

Chicken and vegetable roast

Serves 3 or 4

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 lemon

3 small cloves garlic smashed

12 micro potatoes cleaned and cut in half

6 baby peppers of assorted colors halved, seeds and membranes removed

12 cherry tomatoes cleaned and cut in half

1 shallot cut in half

1 cup chopped parsley

Pre heat the oven to 375 degree’s. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and place the tomatoes, peppers and shallot, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove and set aside. Place another sheet of parchement and add the potatoes, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 30 minutes. Set aside.

Heat oven to 425 degree’s. Rub the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and thyme. Heat cast iron skillet or heavy pan on stove top, get it good and hot. Add some olive oil and the chicken breasts, sear until lightly browned. Remove from heat source. Add the garlic cloves, squeeze half a lemon onto the chicken, cut the lemon half in two and throw in the pan. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes remove from the oven, and take the lemon quarters and garlic out of the pan, set the garlic aside and discard the lemon, (NOTE: If there is a lot of liquid or oil in the pan remove all but a few tablespoons before adding the vegetables) add the potatoes and other vegetables and arrange arround the chicken breasts. Return to the oven and roast for another 15 minutes, the internal temperature of the chicken breast should be 165 degree’s. While the chicken and vegetables are in the oven chop the parsley, cut the soft garlic and add, squeeze the juice of the remaining half lemon on and season with salt and pepper.

When ready to serve, garnish with the parsley mixture.

Bread Poha

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This is the recipe for Bread Poha that I saw on Sonal’s site Simply Vegetarian777  and  fell in love with. Bread, spices, pea’s, simple comfort food and a delicious Indian dish. I saw the photo’s and immediately saved the recipe and then sweet Sonal sent me the  spice packet so I have everything I need to put this dish together quickly. I decided to serve it with a 5 minute egg, a little runny, that golden yolk flowing on that delicious bread, well my friends it doesn’t get much better than this. Make this dish, you will be glad you did, really  you have to try it, the recipe is linked above!

Step by step instructions and spice mix

Step by step instructions and spice mix

Bread Poha literally takes minutes to make and is the very definition of Indian comfort food it can be used as a side dish, snack or main dish. I did a little research and saw many variations one showed the Poha with paneer (that looked delicious) among other things. Sonal masterfully mixes the spices,  she sent me a packet that contained everything you need to properly spice the dish, It could not have been easier and I feel totally spoiled.

The Poha was breakfast with a medium soft egg (5 minute egg), I had some leftover cubed brioche that I had used in my Thanksgiving dressing the bread was oven dried and held up nicely during the cooking process but you can use any stale bread torn into bite size pieces.  Thank you Sonal for sending me the spices you are so sweet and it opened up a new breakfast avenue for me, I think I could eat this every day!

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I have had several people ask about the egg, how to do it. It is in between soft and hard boiled. I call it a medium soft egg. It is boiled for exactly 5 minutes. The egg has to be warmed first, not straight from the refrigerator, a room temperature egg is perfect. Bring lightly salted water to a rolling boil, gently lower the egg into the water and time it, at 5 minutes remove the egg and place in a pot or bowl of cold water. Let sit for 1 minute in the cold water then gently peel. The yolk will still be runny but the white of the egg will be firmly set. It works every time and yields a perfectly cooked medium soft egg.

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Crunchy Noodles, Pork Belly And Vegetables

Crunchy noodles, vegetables and pork belly

Crunchy noodles, vegetables and pork belly

I step a bit outside my comfort zone here. I love Asian food especially anything involving noodles but I usually eat out and don’t make it myself at home. Food52 as you know has recipe contests and this time it’s your best recipe using noodles.

This recipe is really pretty simple and straightforward but the sum of all it’s parts is delicious. Crunchy noodles, marinated pork belly fried until crisp, oven roasted bok choy and steamed snow peas all nestled in a really flavorful broth. The pork belly marinade is so flavorful and the resulting meat is delicious. The noodles are deep fried and retain texture and crunch even in the broth. Now this is not a bowl of soup, there is broth but it’s not a lot of liquid, what I went for was intense flavor.
Marinade and roasting the pork belly:

2 garlic cloves smashed
1 spring onion cut into small pieces white and green part
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 pound pork belly ( I used berkshire 3 strips)
broth (chicken, vegetable,pork. beef your choice) enough to come to middle of the piece of pork (approximately 2 cups).
Mix all ingredients together, place pork belly in zip lock bag or container and pour the marinade on the pork. Squish it around until each piece is coated and refrigerate over night.
Pre heat oven to 325. Place pork belly in a baking dish, reserve the marinade. Cover the pork half way with broth (your choice, chicken, vegetable, beef or pork) Cover baking dish tightly and roast in the oven for 1 1/2 -2 hours. When done remove pork belly and wrap in foil or place in covered container and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight Pour the broth into a fat separator, if you don’t have one refrigerate the broth and skim off the fat, reserve the remaining broth you will use it for serving.

bok toy and snow peas

bok choy and snow peas

Vegetables, noodles and putting together:

4 baby bok choy
1/2 pound approximately snow peas
vegetable and toasted sesame oil
season with salt and pepper to taste only if desired NOTE: the broth is quite intense and has salt so bear that in mind when seasoning the vegetables
1-2 packets fresh chow mien or lo mein noodles
vegetable oil to deep fry the noodles
1/2 tsp minced ginger (for broth)
pork belly and reserved marinade
Pre heat oven to 375. Cut Bok Choy in half and place on baking sheet lined with parchment or foil. Brush with vegetable oil, sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with toasted sesame oil. Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetable is slightly browned and soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. Steam your snow peas. (I steamed in the microwave for 55 seconds in a glass bowl with a splash of water) Set aside.

fresh noodles

fresh noodles

I used fresh chow mien noodles that came in individual packets. One packet made two servings. Take out a packet of fresh noodles. Heat about 3 inches of oil in a pot to 375 degrees. Divide the noodles into portion size desired and drop noodles in one piece into the hot oil, let fry until golden brown, turn over and fry the other side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Place reserved broth in a skillet add a little minced ginger and cook until reduced by about half, you want the broth to be slightly thickened and very rich. Remove the pork belly from the refrigerator and cut into slices. Heat a skillet with a little oil, dip the pork belly in the reserved (left over) marinade and fry on high heat until crisped and browned. Place fried noodles in a bowl, arrange, bok choy. snow pea’s and pork belly slices on top of the noodles. Pour some broth over it all, garnish with spring onions.

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The Virtuous Lacto-Fermented Vegetable For Fiesta Friday

Mixed Vegetables

Mixed Vegetables

You will probably think I am terribly boring bringing lacto-fermented vegetables to a party. But wait until you taste them, they are absolutely delicious and go so well with any number of savory dishes. I found some beautiful carrots. kirby cucumbers, sugar snap peas and spring onions at the farmers market and decided to try my hand at lacto-fermentation. I recently read about the health benefits you get from eating vegetables preserved in this manner on the wonderful website Healthy Green Kitchen it sounded delicious and super easy to do, mind you I am not one who is adept at preserving anything. So this is my offering for the party, crunchy healthful lacto-fermented vegetables.

I am very excited to participate in Fiesta Friday #17  and this weeks hosts are Jhuls@the not so creative cook and Selma@selma’s table and Alex@Dinner Daydreams.  Of course I can’t forget the always effervescent Angie who put this whole party together. Thanks Angie and our lovely hosts.

Lacto Fermented Mixed Vegetables

Makes 2 large Weck Canning jars

3-4 kirby cucumbers cleaned and cut into quarters

4 small carrots. cut in half and halved again

4-6 scallions with part of the green cut off, cleaned and ends trimmed

approximately 1 cup sugar snap peas

4 cloves garlic, smashed

4 tbs sea salt

2 tsp peppercorns, I used a mix

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Wash your jars with warm soapy water. Place all the vegetables, salt, garlic, peppercorns and crushed pepper in large non reactive bowl and toss to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes stirring frequently to coat the vegetables with the salt.

Fill the jars with the vegetables and top off with spring or filtered water leaving about an inch space at the top. Make sure your vegetables are covered or completely submerged in the water. Place lid on the jars and secure. Let sit on the counter for 2-4 days. They are now ready to eat. Refrigerate after opening.

Pretty vegetables

Pretty vegetables

Pasta With Half The Carbs

Half the carbs pasta

Half the carbs pasta

Part of my resolution this year is to lose some weight and  try to eat more healthful foods. I respond really well to low carb diets and do lose weight pretty quickly but I am a carb addict, I love bread and pasta and rice. Once I get used to eliminating or lowering my carb intake it becomes easy but the first week or so is a bit difficult. I created this dish to ease myself into a reduced carb lifestyle. It’s fresh and very simple to prepare. I use less than half the amount of pasta that I normally would and replaced it with julienned zucchini. The hot pasta is tossed with the zucchini (raw), oven roasted (caramelized) cherry tomatoes, roasted garlic and a nice handful of chopped flat leaf parsley. Finish with the grated or shaved cheese of your choice, I used peccorino romano.

Serves 2-3

10 cherry tomatoes halved

2 cloves garlic

1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 medium zucchini julienned

1/4 lb pasta (dry or fresh)

2 tbs olive oil plus more to drizzle on tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

grated cheese of your choice

Heat oven to 350 degree’s place cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for 15-20 minutes, garlic will be soft and tomatoes soft and caramelized, remove from oven and place in serving bowl mashing the garlic, be sure to include the juice from the tomatoes and any caramelized bits of tomato.

Put a large pot of water to boil, julienne the zucchini and add to the tomato and garlic, add the chopped parsley, olive oil and season. When water has come to a full boil add enough salt so that water tastes salty (about 1 – 2 tbs) depending on how much water you have in the pot, add the pasta and cook until done (al dente), remove from pot and add directly to the zucchini and tomatoes, toss to combine, sprinkle with cheese and serve. If it seems too dry add a little pasta water and/or olive oil to moisten.

Warm Green Bean,Fennel and Potato Salad

I had this dish when I lived in Italy, if memory serves me this is pretty darn close to the salad I had in Naples. It was a warm salad with assorted vegetables in a citrusy dressing. We had it for lunch with grilled fish. There is nothing complicated about this it has simple ingredients and flavors that work so well together. Eat alone or with grilled meat, fish or even eggs. The potato and fennel are roasted in the oven and the green beans are blanched so they are still somewhat crisp. The dressing is roasted garlic, olive oil, lemon juice. Toss it all together and you have a quick and nutritious vegetable dish.

Serves: 4-6 depending on serving size

2  potatoes (yukon gold or russet)

1/2 lb green beans

1 small fennel bulb cut in half and quartered

the juice of two lemons + plus zest of 1/2 lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

4-6 cloves roasted garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Pre heat oven to 425. Put the garlic cloves in their skin on aluminum foil, drizzle with olive oil and close to make a packet, place in oven for 6-8 minutes until garlic is soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

Peel the potatoes and cut into bite size pieces.Cut fennel into bite size pieces. Line sheet pan with parchment and place potatoes and fennel on sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oven roast until potatoes and fennel are lightly browned  about 25-30 minutes. Stir them to turn over so they brown evenly on all sides.

While the potatoes are roasting make the dressing, juice the lemons and add to the blender along with the zest, add the garlic and whiz a few times to blend the lemon and garlic, slowly add the olive oil through the top of the blender so that you have an emulsion, season with salt and pepper. If you don’t want to use a blender just smash the soft garlic in mortar with a little salt, add to small mixing bowl with lemon juice, zest and olive oil. Whisk until it emulsifies.

Clean the green beans and blanch in boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes, remove with spyder or slotted spoon. Reduce oven temperature to 350.

Put the green beans, potatoes and fennel in mixing bowl, pour the dressing on and toss to combine. Place in baking dish and put it in the oven for 8-10 minutes just to warm it up, the vegetables will absorb the flavors in the dressing.