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Category Archives: Vegetable

Tofu Stir-Fry

Tofu. I’m not sure about you– but let’s just say this wasn’t my idea of “yum” just a few years back. Diets do interesting things to you, and this recent one has gotten me trying many new things. As children, my sisters and I would tease our mom when she had tofu. Well, I have had to literally eat my words, because I’ve grown to like it! I enjoy eating it in all sorts of things, but most especially I love it now in stir fry!

 

Besides the fact that tofu is very healthy for you, it leaves you with a light but satisfied feeling. You won’t feel overstuffed or bloated after you have this dish. Even my husband, who I was a littler nervous for, looked down at his plate asked if this was tofu, proceeded to take a bite and said “it’s good!”. 🙂

 

 

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 carrot, sliced on diagonal

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into small florets

1/4 cup reduced- sodium vegetable broth

1 pound reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

8 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1 onion, sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons asian sesame oil

pinch red pepper flakes

 

 

Directions:

1. Heat nonstick wok or deep large nonstick skillet over high heat until drop of water sizzles in pan; add oil and swirl to coat pan. Add carrot and stir-fry 1 minute. Add ginger and garlic; stir-fry 30 seconds. Add broccoli and broth; cook, covered , 2 minutes

2. Add tofu, mushrooms, and bell peppers to wok; stir-fry until bell pepper is soft, about 3 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients; stir-fry 1 minute longer

 

 

*taken from Weight Watcher’s New Complete Cook book

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1 Comment

Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Main Dish, Peppers, Rice, Tofu, Vegetable

 

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Jambalaya

Awhile back, my husband got enthralled with the show “Swamp People” awhile back. I would occasionally peer over to see what it was he was so interested in, but mostly I just let him tell me about it. Apparently, sometimes the “swamp people” would also cook things. One episode, they must have referred to “Jambalaya” or something, because Tom started asking about it. I explained how it’s a Cajun dish and it generally has shrimp and beef and chicken and rice in it with a nice smattering of vegetables. Ever since that day, it’s come up in conversation now and again with Tom always being curious how it tasted. On a whim, he requested to make jambalaya today. Well, I don’t usually keep frozen shrimp on hand or fresh for that matter, so I made a jambalaya without it. Let me tell you though, it turned out beautiful! Tom loved it so much, he had three bowl-fulls! 

 

  • 2 c uncooked rice
  • 4 c water
  • 1/8 c turmeric
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 lbs boiled chicken
  • 1 lb boiled sausage (mild or hot)
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 14 oz. diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp thyme
In a medium pot, fill halfway with water, and bring to a boil. Add chicken, and let boil. In another medium pot, fill with water and bring sausage to a boil. In the meantime, dice onions and celery. When sausage is cooked thoroughly, remove from pot, and remove skin from sausage. Dice sausage. Set aside.
In a third pot, measure out four cups of water. Add 2 cups of white rice. Add turmeric. Bring to boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
Return to your boiling chicken, check for doneness and meat falling off the bone. Remove from boiling water, and debone chicken. Reserve chicken stock.
In a frying pan, brown the chicken and sausage in 1 tbs of olive oil. Add celery and onions, when onions become translucent, sprinkle with flour and cook two more minutes. Then, add diced tomatoes and juice, chicken stock, cumin, chili, cayenne, bay leaf and Worcestershire. Bring to a boil.
Ladle broth into a bowl and top with a scoop of rice. Enjoy!
 
15 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Chicken, Main Dish, Meat, Onions, Pork, Rice, Vegetable

 

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Venison Pot Roast with Butternut Squash

Ever since I tried butternut squash, I am slightly obsessed with it. I can’t seem to try it in enough ways or seem to get quite enough to satisfy my appetite for it! Probably my new most favorite vegetable, I am constantly looking for new recipes to incorporate it into.

This recipe happened a bit on accident, which sometimes in the cooking world, can be your greatest success. Genius seems to strike at the oddest times, with the most unpredictable of circumstances, and with the most unsuspecting items.

The gamey flavor of venison suits nicely with the extra celery and the unique flavor of butternut squash. I could see this recipe also doing nicely with the addition of parsnips, but I did not have them at the time.

  • 2 lbs venison pot roast
  • 6 carrots, cut into 3rds or 4ths
  • 2 cups sliced celery, including leaves
  • 1 large butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 4 onions, quartered
  • 1 cup flour
  • Italian seasoning
  • Garlic salt
  • Onion salt
  • Black pepper
  • Steak Seasoning

Coat roast with steak seasoning, and sear in a frying pan, making sure every part of the roast is seared. Toss chopped vegetables in bowl with the cup of flour, garlic salt, onion salt, and Italian seasoning. Place the roast, and vegetables in a Crockpot slow-cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Butternut Squash, Meat, Onions, Vegetable, Venison

 

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Red Lentil & Turnip Soup

Today was one of those blustery windy sort of days. Today was a day where the entire time from morning till afternoon was gray and rainy. When I drove into school at the early hour that I do, it was hard to tell the difference between the puddles and the actual blacktop it was so dark out! I kept candles burning in my office all day to keep the cheer going. I do like blustery days, but it can soon get you into more of a down trodden mood.

It drizzled on my way home, stopped raining, and then started raining heavily the closer I got. In an attempt to stay “looking nice”, I attempted to use my umbrella to shield myself from the wind and rain. No such luck. It was like what you see on commercials on tv, the umbrella turned itself inside out and took my hair with it! I was quite the sight: hair blowing everywhere, and completely unable to remove the umbrella from my head because it was caught in my hair!

Thursdays, as I’ve stated before, are the one day that Tom is actually home for dinner at a normal time. So, I always do my best to make that meal something well thought through. I had even remembered last night to take some chicken breasts out of the freezer and place them in the fridge so that they would have time to thaw. But, by the time I got home, all I kept thinking about was soup. “My this would be a great day for soup,” my mind kept hinting at me. Tom is a huge fan of soup on top of everything! The deal was sealed when he came home and tried to guess what we were having for dinner- and his first guess was soup! How could I resist?

This dish is a beautiful, homey, and warm soup. The earthy taste of turnips and the rustic taste of lentils take your imagination to years of the past. Perfect for a day like today, this dish would also work perfectly on a cold winter night.

  • 2 (28 oz.) cans of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz.) cans of tomato paste
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups chopped celery, including leaves
  • 8 large turnips, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper

Fill a 12 quart pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic cloves and half of onion. Chop celery leaves and add to pot. Let boil for 5 to 7 minutes.  At this stage, make sure the seasonings are balanced, taking extra time to test and add accordingly.

Add lentils to boiling mixture, let boil for 15 minutes or until almost finished. Add parsnips and celery. Let simmer for 5 minutes, add celery and simmer until just cooked. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

 
11 Comments

Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Lentils, Parsnips, Red Soup, Soup, Turnips

 

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Russet Potatoes and Winter Vegetables with Venison Steaks

Living in the Chicago area has awaked my interests to the world of food. Not just food I’m used to, but all foods from all nationalities and ethnicities. I love the diversity that is here! Now, I am interested in those “other” items in the store, whereas I probably hardly noticed them, and in many places they probably weren’t available. Before you assume I’ve gone and found some extremely *unheard of* vegetable, think again, you have heard of both of these, but I’ve never cooked with them until recently. Parsnips and Butternut Squash. I fell in love, head over heels, with Butternut squash in the last recipe I used it in. I eye it temptingly as I pass it by in the aisles.

Today when I was in the store, I passed by a whole aisle of root vegetables. The turnips looked great, so did the parsnips. I looked across the way and eyed some butternut squash that also looked very lovely. I will do something with the turnips another day, but I so enjoyed using the Parsnips and Butternut squash in this recipe.

I originally was going to use white onions in this dish, but lacked the right amount, and had enough purple onion, and realized how much more beautiful it would look with that instead. Tom loved this dish. He couldn’t quit raving about the quick little sauce I put together for it.

I was not expecting to like this dish as much as I did. I thought it would be good… but I wasn’t anticipating the explosion of flavors and the warm embrace of the butternut squash, potatoe, parsnip, and onion mixture. A beautiful combination I would recommend for the winter especially.

  • 6 or 7 large Russet potatoes
  • 4 large parsnips
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large purple onion
  • 6 venison steaks (can be subsituted with beef steaks)
  • parsley
  • Olive Oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Celery Stalk
  • Cayenne Pepper

Preheat over to 450 degrees F. Wash and chop Russet potatoes, leaving skin on. Peel and chop the butternut squash, onion,  and parsnips, making sure to leave in large chunks. Toss with a generous amount of olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, and oregano. Add more salt than seems necessary, as the vegetables and potatoes will all soak it up. Place into the oven for 20 minutes covered in foil, check for partial doneness. If at least half way cooked, uncover until cooked thoroughly. If not, recover and cook for 10 minutes more. Using a flat spatula, gently turn the mixture, letting each piece have a chance to brown and crisp slightly. When dish is cooked through, potatoes are soft, remove, add chopped parsley. Set aside.

Pat dry venison steaks or beef steaks. Pierce with a fork multiple times, and massage in your favorite spice for either meat. (I used “Chicago Steak” from Weber Grilling Options. I would recommend anything with a high pepper content to highlight the venison.) In a heated frying pan, sear venison steaks, watching carefully to not let meat overcook.

In food processor, add a handful of parsley, celery stalk, 1/3 cup of Olive Oil, 1/3 raw parsnip, sliced, Cayenne pepper and Italian seasoning. Blend, adding salt and pepper to taste. Use to accompany the meat. Enjoy!

 

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Pork Steak and Peppers with Creamy Parsley Sauce

Thursdays one of my favorite days of the week, is the one day in the week that Tom *usually* is not working. For this reason, I normally like to make Thursday dinners extra special. My husband had been asking a lot about having one of his favorite dishes that I make- a sausage, pepper, and onion dish- something that I’ll have to tell you all about another time. I went to the store, all intent on getting some sausage, unfortunately the price was astronomical! Bummed at how to make this still work, I started trying to think of alternatives. Peppers and chicken, peppers and steak, but I doubted on the steak, because that price too was rather steep. And then I saw the pork steaks…. BEAUTIFUL marbling, along with a rich bright red color was all I needed to let me know that that was what I was taking home with me.

You could accompany this dish with rice, pasta, or potatoes. Tom is a huge fan of pasta, so I thought I would make him one of my signature pastas to go alongside this. Originally, I didn’t have a sauce of any kind to go with this dish, but watching Food Network has really gotten to me…so I decided to invent! I think it came out very well! My very first sauce!!! 🙂

Peppers:

  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 3 Orange Bell Peppers
  • 2 Yellow Bell Peppers
  • 5 medium small onions or 2 large onions
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Parsley chopped and for garnish
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Salt
  • Pepper

On a cutting board, slice and cut the red, orange, and yellow peppers into large chunks. Cut onions in half, and then each half in fourths. Add peppers and onions into a large pot. Lightly drizzle with olive oil. Season with Italian seasoning, Garlic Salt, Cayenne, and pepper. Slowly cook on medium heat, stirring frequently.

 

Pork Steak:

  • 4 thin sliced pork steaks, bone in
  • McCormick Garlic & Herb seasoning

Spear the pork steak with a fork or a sharp knife. Season with the Garlic and Herb Seasoning, massaging the herbs into the pierced openings of the pork. In a heated frying pan, sear one side until the blood starts to secreat through the bone and you have a nice tan color on one side. Flip and sear the other side. Lower heat if the meat is not finished to let it cook through.

 

Creamy Parsley Sauce:

  • ½ cup of cooked pepper/onion mixture
  • ½ cup coarsley chopped parsley
  • 2 heaping tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Cayenne Pepper

In a food processor, blend pepper/onion mixture with parsley until very fine. Add olive oil and sour cream. Add seasonings to taste. Spoon onto plate in a desirable flourish.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Creamy Parsley Sauce, Meat, Onions, Peppers, Pork, Sauces, Vegetable

 

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Veggie Salsa Salad

Dieting has always been a part of my life. Because of being a connoisseur of “good” food, “diet” food has always seemed to lack the luster and sparkle of calorie and carb packed meals. Determined to find an enjoyable meal while on a diet, this fresh salad was born. With a “salsa” of veggies, this salad is popping with color, flavor, and texture.

  • Head of iceberg lettuce
  • Head of purple cabbage
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • purple onion
  • sprigs of parsley
  • baby carrots

Slice iceberg lettuce in thick slices. Cut purple cabbage in coordinating sizes. Stagger iceberg lettuce and purple cabbage on plate. Dice tomato, yellow pepper, and purple onion. Slice carrots. Sprinkle tomatoes, yellow pepper, purple onion, and carrots over arranged lettuce and cabbage. Add parsley to garnish. Enjoy with your favorite fat free dressing!

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Salad, Side Dish, Vegetable

 

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