Savory recipes

Savory recipes

Hot and Buttered

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Well how’s that for a steamy title?

And to think we’re just going to talk about veggies!

I used to think that cooking vegetables was a lot of work, but since I’ve been doing it for so many years, I realize that it’s a pretty quick process.  Well, my mind has caught up with that reality now.  And we all know that it doesn’t matter how long something actually takes to do physically, if we can’t wrap our heads around it mentally first, it’s likely not going to happen. (At least that’s how I roll.)

So here’s just a bug in your ear to remind you that steaming vegetables takes about five minutes.  Peeling or chopping and then putting them in a small amount of water in a sauce pan, covering with a lid and steaming them for 2-3 minutes.  It’s really fast and pretty painless.

My granddaughter (1 1/2) walked in after I made these and ate nearly the bowlful.  Kids go crazy over steamed veggies!

And part of their appeal is that you add butter when they’re steamed! Nope, it’s not going to make anyone fat. And they’re going to absorb the vitamins and minerals better that way, so don’t stress.  And if for some reason you can’t or don’t do dairy, drizzle on a little olive oil.

And… if you want to take it up another taste temptation notch, add Redmond Season Salt! It adds a crazy amount of flavor.

Of course you can make this into an entire meal speedy quick too; cook a little rice and or roast a little chicken or shrimp or whatever floats your boat.

Remember, only steam vegetables for a few minutes, they shoul dn’t be super soft, just barely beginning to soften.  And not too much water, because you don’t want to pour the nutrients down the sink.  I’d guess I use about 1/4 cup tops, maybe less.

Love your babies!  Feed them real food!

I love and admire you for all you do!

Jacque

Lisa’s Roasted Veggies

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My sister-in-law is a great cook and we were so happy to find that while we had been traveling, she had been shopping and cooking and had this beautiful meal waiting for us!  Isn’t it true that cooking is love made visible?

She cooked a pork roast in the crock pot, made a fresh fruit salad, a wonderful green salad and these roasted vegetables.  It was all so, so tasty! And so welcome because we were hungry!  And there may have been a few in our party who were also a bit “hangry,” if you know what I mean…

She said that her roasted veggies are a favorite dish that she and her teenagers make all the time.

Simply cut up potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, beets,onions and sweet potatoes, or whatever vegetables you have. Try to make them uniform, all about the same size, 1″ pieces works well. Then put them on a roasting pan or cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, rosemary, and or whatever spices you love.  Stir a bit to coat evenly. Then roast for 30-45 minutes at 375°- 400° (the hotter, the browner.) Stir once or twice while cooking.       .

The last ten minutes or so, she said she added a few dollops of butter. Mmmm!

How easy is that?  And I tell you these veggies were divine.

So, I hope that’s a little inspiration for your weekend!

Sending you much love!

Jacque

Pumpkin Pasta

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I’ve been cooking pumpkin and squash like crazy!  Then I’ve been using it to make cookies or cheesecake or pancakes or I just throw it in freezer bags to use later. Last week though I tried making a sauce with pumpkin, garlic and basil and I was really pleased with how it turned out!

As with all of my recipes, there are few ingredients and they’re very easy to put together. Here’s the full dinner idea: I served this pasta with a simple salad of leaf lettuce, grape tomatoes and grated Parmesan dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing and hot fresh garlic bread. And since I’m not worried about too much pumpkin, I served pumpkin cheesecake for dessert!

Oh, I’ll throw that recipe in too since it’s time for pie!

But first the pasta…

All you need to get started is a 12 oz. bag of pasta.  I use brown rice pasta, but any would work.

While it is cooking, according to the instructions on the bag, cook 4 medium sized minced cloves of garlic in 1-2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet.

To the garlic and butter add 1 cup of cream, 1/2 cup of cooked, mashed pumpkin, about 16 fresh minced basil leaves, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and a 1/4-1/2 cup of grated Parmesan  cheese.  Stir and heat through. Then pour over the hot, drained pasta.  Garnish with more basil, grape or cherry tomatoes and more cheese.

This dish is so tasty! I hope trying it will lead to more of your own creative recipes.  You could use any squash in place of the pumpkin, banana or butternut would be most similar, or you could vary the herbs and spices and varieties of pasta. Hopefully you can grow some herbs in a sunny window and just clip them with your kitchen shears when you need them. It’s certainly much less expensive that way and I love cutting into my basil plant and smelling that heavenly scent!

Ok, now the cheesecake!

Pumpkin Cheesecake
from Lioness at the Door

Beat together:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup buttermilk
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

You could make a nut crust or graham cracker crust for this, but so far I’ve just greased the pie dish with butter or coconut oil and cooked the filling without a crust. If you opt to use the chocolate chips, they sink to the bottom and turn into a crust of sorts. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Cool and then refrigerate for several hours at least, overnight is best. We served this with freshly whipped cream and a little chocolate sauce made of agave, cocoa and vanilla. I would guess that a sprinkle of nutmeg would be yummy on the cream and or a little orange zest would be nice too!

Happy, happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! May you have a healthy, happy celebration with your loved ones.
Much love,
Jacque
 

 

 

Let’s Eat Cake!

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Hi!  I am so excited to share something new with you!  New to me, maybe new to you too…first a little background:

Three years ago this fall I took drastic measures.  I came to grips with the fact that gluten was hard on me and decided it was time to give it up.  It was a HUGE change, one that challenged me to tears on and off through the first few months. As many of you know, it is quite a shift to change your diet that drastically! Our family had made this change before, years ago,  when we (I, the girl in charge of food) cut out gluten and dairy after I attended an autism conference and learned about the possibility of such a diet helping our son.  It wasn’t easy then either, but only lasted the summer.  This time it was me who needed the help.  Thankfully, eating a gluten-free diet made a huge difference in my health within just two weeks!

Fast forward to last month when a friend of mine asked if I had ever heard of natural yeast.  I hadn’t.  I immediately went to town reading up on it.  What I discovered is that like a traditional sour dough starter, natural yeast dramatically changes the chemistry of regular wheat when it is combined with water and kept in a cool place. Ooooo.  The more I read the more interested I became.  I believe that there are ways to prepare foods that are much easier for us to digest, and culturing is one of the major tools we use to accomplish that. Could this work for me I wondered? Me, eating wheat again? Eating waffles again?  And toast and sandwiches….It was a heady thought.

After reading Caleb Warnock’s blog on natural yeast, I determined that I wanted to find out if I might be one of the people with an intolerance or celiac who might be able to use wheat prepared in this way.  Shortly after that decision was reached, my friend called again and asked what I had learned.  When I said that I wanted to try it she surprised me by saying that she had a start for me and that her daughter had baked a loaf of bread for me to try!  (I owe you Pam Thomson!) I was so hopeful that I would be able to graduate from pasty starchy gluten free “bread” but mostly to be able to get the nutrients in the seeds and grains that I have felt I’ve been missing.  I decided to try it….

(Note: We are each responsible for our own health decisions.  What works for one may not be a good option for someone else.  Caleb suggests that you take some of this bread to your doctor to lab test it and see if it is something you could tolerate if you are concerned about getting sick. For some, better safe than sorry.) I personally went with a “gut feeling” that it was ok for me to try it carefully and slowly. It was great to eat bread again.  I ordered the book!

I can’t say enough about the quality and thoroughness of this book by Melissa Richardson and Caleb Warnock. (Melissa’s blog is http://www.thebreadgeek.blogspot.com fantastic stuff there!)  The book is a delight in so many ways; the writing is witty and real, the pictures are beautiful and instructive and the recipes are tasty and healthy. 
 Can’t ask more from a cookbook than that can you?

Over the past few months, I have devoured the principles in the book and tried the recipes, created some of my own recipes and of course learned to keep my starts going. The actual hands-on time this kind of baking requires is minimal, it’s the thinking about what you want to make a day ahead that is a little tricky.  I have baked bread, made many different kinds of pancakes and waffles (which are crispy and light and taste a bit like a funnel cake), an amazing chocolate cake and cinnamon rolls.

Holy cow!  It is so much fun to create and to try new things!  I have been tweaking the sugars (another difficulty for me, maybe you can relate) and have found that natural sweeteners work well in these recipes. For instance, in the chocolate cake, I used sucanat and agave in place of white sugar which made the cake sweet, but calmly so.  It certainly takes time, when shifting to a whole foods diet, to untrain your taste buds to expect sweeteners on steroids, but this brand of baking sure helps.  You eat a piece of chocolate cake made with natural yeast and natural sugar and wait for the blood sugar spike…..and wait…..and it doesn’t come!  And that may mean that diabetes won’t come knocking either!


 Fresh garden tomato
Fresh basil
Toasted natural yeast bread
Mustard/mayo/basil pesto spread

“Mammy’s Bread” recipe by Melissa Richardson

We think this cake tastes divine!  And wow, it’s just so pretty!!!

Please let me know if there is some way that I can help you get started cooking with natural yeast if you are interested. I have only scratched the surface of what there is to learn about this here, so please continue to read on the author’s blogs.  They are amazing.

Hey!  I can share a start!  (8 starts went out of my fridge last night for cooking class! Hoorah!)

Happy eating!

Love,
Jacque