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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

Pefect Fall Menu

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I love the changing leaves, the cool, crisp air, the smell of fireplaces and the sound of football (somewhere in the background).  But the best part about the fall is the food!  Pumpkins and squash and apples and cinnamon – all are fresh and in abundance – and they just smell so good when you cook with them!   Now’s the perfect time to start experimenting with some of these ingredients, and who knows, maybe you’ll find a new recipe for Thanksgiving this year.  So, why not invite a few friends over for the Pefect Fall Dinner and enjoy the best season of the year.

I scoured the web to come up with the Perfect Fall Dinner menu.   Enjoy and send me your favorite fall menus! 

Salad

Apple Pear and Walnut Salad 

     source: Sunny Anderson on the Food Network

Side Dish

Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash (skip the risotto if you’re short on time)

     source: NY Times

Main Dish

Boneless Pork Chops with Apple Chutney (you can easily switch out boneless chicken breasts if you prefer….i do!)

     source: Martha Stewart

Dessert

Figs with Orange and Ginger

     source: My Recipes

               

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With Labor Day right around the corner, summer is soon coming to a close!  But what better way to end the summer with some delicious new ways of eating sweet corn?  It’s easy to find right now, so get it while you can.  I came up with the combination for this recipe because they are three of my husband’s favorite foods – corn (he’s from Indiana), lima beans, and potatoes.  This is a really an incredible dish, and I paired it with some delicious scallops.  Stay tuned for that recipe tomorrow – they taste great with this fresh, summer salad.  I thought about adding black beans, feta, and basil at different points along the way, but it tasted so good, I didn’t want to mess it up.  They could be worth a try though.

Ingredients:

2 ears of corn – de-cobbed (is that a word?!)

1/2 cup lima beans (I used frozen and thawed them out)

Fingerling Potatoes – diced into 1 in. pieces (as many as you’d like)

1 Leek – thinly sliced and soaked in water

1 clove garlic minced

1 Tbs Dijon mustard

2 Tbs. lemon juice

2-3 Tbs. Olive Oil (for dressing)

Salt/ Pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1)  Bring saute pan to medium/ high heat.  Add 1-2 tbs. olive oil and saute the garlic and diced potatoes for 8-10 minutes or until almost cooked through.  Salt/ Pepper to taste.

2)  Add the lima beans, corn, and leeks to the mixture.  Add a little more salt/ pepper – it’s always good to season as you cook so you can adjust along the way.  You might also need to add a little more olive oil if you need more moisture.

3)  Meanwhile, prepare the dijon vinaigrette.  Whisk the Dijon and the lemon juice, then slowly add the olive oil until it emulsifies.  I try not to add too much olive oil, since there’s already some in the veggies.

4)  After the potatoes, beans, and corn have cooked for 10-15 minutes, remove from heat and add the Dijon vinaigrette.  Toss and enjoy!

To see the final dish come together – check out my scallops later this week!

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Lemon Lime Green Beans

One of my favorite bloggers, Heidi Swanson from 101 cookbooks, published this recipe in her new cookbook Super Natural Cooking. All of her recipes use fresh, healthy ingredients and are packed with flavor. These green beans are no exception. They are super simple to make – so simple I almost passed over this recipe thinking they might be too boring. So glad I didn’t! The zest from the lemon and the lime adds a nice punch of citrus flavor while bringing out the freshness of the green beans. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Ingredients
3/4 lb green beans – ends removed
2-3 green onions, chopped (Heidi calls for chives, but I didn’t have any on hand) 
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. water
1 zested lemon
1 zested lime
sea salt/ pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  After trimming the green beans, chop them on a diagonal cut.  They should be about a 1/2 inch.

2.  Add the green beans to a hot pan and coat with the olive oil.  Add the water.  Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

3.  Remove from heat and add zest, green onions, and salt/ pepper to taste

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Believe it or not, I’ve made this recipe three times in the last week trying to perfect it!  The only reason I’ve been able to make brussell sprouts so many times in one week is because my husband, Joe has been traveling the past few weeks – this is the one food he just doesn’t love.  So, I figured what better time to work on a great roasted brussell sprout recipe than now!  You would think with him traveling, I would be blogging a lot, but sorry, I’ve been making a lot of random things that just haven’t turned out to be “blog” worthy.    So, just what was it that made my third attempt at these brussell sprouts work?  Well, it may seem silly but I quartered them instead of halving them (this helped them cook faster so apples didn’t get too mushy) and I added minced garlic to give it a kick .  The roasted green apples add a nice sweet flavor – and helps make this dish seem a litte more “spring” like.  In my failed attempts, the apples turned to almost an apple sauce consistency, and it was still good, but I wanted them to be firmer.  If you have any other suggestions, I’m all ears!  For all of you who haven’t tried brussell sprouts since you were a kid – well, give them anonther try.  Roasting them really brings out their wonderful, earthy flavor.  Hey, I’ve had them three times this week and I’m not sick of them yet!

Ingredients:

7-8 brussell sprouts, ends trimmed and quartered (remember I just made these for me, so you may need to add more)

1/2 large green apple – medium dice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 white onion, diced

1/2 lemon juice

1-2 capfuls apple cider vinegar

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt/ Pepper

3 Tbs. Grated Parmesean cheese (or more if you’d like)

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 375.  Clean and quarter brussell sprouts.  Place in a small baking dish (spray with Pam).  Add apples, garlic, onion, lemon, olive oil, and salt/ pepper.

2)  Roast for 25 minutes.  Sprinkle with 3 Tbs. grated Parmesean cheese.  Add back to oven and let cheese melt – 2 minutes more.

3)  Serve!  You could also add toasted walnuts or almonds – I just forgot tonight.

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Skinny Mashed Potatoes

My skinny mashed potatoes are actually made with cauliflower, but I swear if you don’t tell anyone they would never guess!  The garlic and milk really help give it the same silky consistency as real mashed potatoes.

(I’ll have to add the pulled pork recipe another day!)

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

1/4 c. skim milk

Salt

Pepper

1 head chopped garlic

Directions:

1)  Boil water and blanch cauliflower for 4-5 minutes until stems are fork tender.

2)  Strain and return to same pot

3)  Add 1/4 c skim milk (maybe a little less, so add slowly) and the garlic.

4)  Using a hand mixer or blender, mix until the cauliflower is smooth in consistency.

Wasn’t that easy!  Just finish with salt and pepper to taste.

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