veggies


It’s SPRING!  I LOVE Spring!  Flowers!  Planting the Garden.  Cool days and nights.  Fresh Spring Veggies.  Spring Fruits. I know there aren’t many but what is Springy is always fresh and delicious.  Each region of the US has a different growing season and different fruits and veggies available.  The South has a nice long growing season so were are more fortunate than some areas.

Since it has been a busy week I went with something quick and simple for Peggy’s pick this week – Spring Harvest.

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Cauliflower “Rice” Pilaf

Since I am still doing the Whole30 program for 90% of my meals this fit in perfectly.  And only four main ingredients:  cauliflower, pine nuts/almonds, onions and parsley.  It was perfect with some leftover Black Pepper Chicken.  

I did make one change.  Ellie called for OO for sauteeing the onions and cauliflower but I decided to use some toasted sesame oil instead.  It added a little Asian flair to the rice and a little bite.  Good!

The recipe is from Ellie Krieger’s You Have it Made.  page 306.

For more Spring Harvest visit Eating with Ellie.

And if you want to cook/bake along with us the weekly themes are listed on the right of the Ellie page.  We don’t publish the recipes.  We would rather you purchase Ellie’s books.

It’s the third Monday in October.  While that may not mean much to many of you it means a lot to some of us.  It’s Group C Reveal Day for Secret Recipe Club.By this time each month many of us have browsed through our ‘assigned’ blog and chosen what recipe(s) we want to cook.  Some of us chose 1 or 2. I like to use three so I can get a full idea of what my Blogger is all about.

“I am on a never ending quest for healthier eating. Oh, I totally enjoy fries, and burgers and chocolate, but I try to make the majority of our meals as healthy and unprocessed as possible. Then, in moderation we can enjoy other things that we don’t have as often anymore. I’ve also learned how to tweak some of those old “favorites” to make them a bit healthier. “

So says Kirstin of Loving Life. I think that sums up Kirstin’s food philosophy.  It is a journal of her life and the recipes within it. Good days, bad days, but always great recipes.

I started out making Kirstin’s Cauliflower  Pizza Crust.  Like most of you I have seen a ton of recipes using a cauliflower crust for pizza and I have wanted to try it.  And there it was, right there on Kirstin’s blog.

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The crust is made from ‘riced’ cauliflower, eggs, cheese, and seasoning.  It gets nice and crispy around the edges.  I topped it with marinara, mushrooms, black olives and lots of cheese.   If you are looking for a gluten free alternative this is what you need to try.  It wasn’t bad.  But I think I will stick to my bread crust.  But that’s just me.

I make bread every week.  The Man eats sandwiches and store bought just isn’t right.  Too fluffy.  Too white.  So every week – Whole Wheat Bread.  This week when I needed bread I used Kirstin’s recipe for  Multigrain Bread.  

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It is very similar to the Whole Wheat Bread I make but has MORE!!  She adds sunflower seeds, 7 or 10 grain cereal and oatmeal.  The oatmeal is supposed to go ON the bread but when Kirstin said she had trouble keeping the oatmeal ON the bread I decided to put it IN the bread instead.  I also used 1/2 water and 1/2 milk instead of all water for cooking the cereal.  The Man really liked it.  Dense and moist.  Very healthy!   I think I will this bread from now on.  {Kirstin – used the bread machine to mix the dough but baked it free-form.  It worked just fine.  Next I will bake it in the machine as well.}

Ok.  One more.

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I made Kirstin’s Quinoa Squash Pilaf for lunch today.  Delicious!   This is the dish where she mentioned she wanted to make her meals healthier and less processed.  This one – perfect.  Just the right amount of seasoning and veggies added to the quinoa.  The only change I made – I added some sliced mushrooms.

    1 c. Quinoa rinsed
    1 can (14 1/2 oz.) vegetable broth {I used all broth so two cups of broth.}
    1/4 cup water {NOPE!}
    2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
    1 c. chopped leeks (white portions only)….I used onion
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 Tbs. olive oil
    1 large tomato, chopped
    1 Tbs. minced fresh cilantro (I used parsley)
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. dried oregano
    1/2 tsp. chili powder
    1/4 tsp. pepper
    1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (I left these out)
    2 c. fresh baby spinach, chopped
    I cup sliced mushrooms {My addition}

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, toast the quinoa over medium heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
In a small saucepan, bring broth and water to a boil. Add the quinoa. Reduce the heat; simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, saute the zucchini, mushrooms, yellow squash, leeks and garlic in oil until tender. Lower heat to medium low and stir in tomato, cilantro, seasonings and quinoa. Mix in the spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

All in all I had a lovely visit with Kirstin. I have several more recipes I want to go back to. Thanks, Kirstin.

Want more “Seecret” goodies. Click the FROG!

This week’s theme for IHCC is Local and Seasonal. Which is perfect because our garden is now producing. That’s definitely local and absolutely seasonal. We have been harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes, and zucchini for about a week now. The corn is growing beautifully and the eggplant is ALMOST there. In addition our neighbor’s garden is also thriving with all the rain we have been having. Between the two gardens I managed to find all the right ingredients for Curtis’

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crispy vegetable fritters

These little fritters are full of zucchini, carrots, potatoes, and onions and that’s really about all.  There is no flour, no milk, just two eggs, seasoning and the veggies.  They are light and crispy and delicious.  They went together in no time and were the perfect side.

The veggies are cut into very thin strips ( I used my mandolin and the smallest julienne setting) then simply mixed and fried.  Shallow frying with very little EVOO makes them healthier than deep frying.

The recipe is on page 34 of Curtis’ Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.

What more Local and Seasonal?  Click on over to I Heart Cooking Club for this week’s table full of goodness.

Curry, any kind of curry, is comfort food to me.  And even though it is 87 degrees out today {UGH!} this was just too good to pass up.

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I did make a couple of changes to the recipe:

  • The recipe calls for Spanish Pardina lentils, I only had brown {YUCK!} in the pantry.   I will use yellow next time.
  • I used two heaping teaspoons of Curry powder rather than the 1 teaspoon Keller called for.  I LIKE the flavor strong!
  • I made mine more of a stew and only used 4 cups chicken stock rather than 8.

You can find the recipe on page 121 of ad hoc at home, but I also found it HERE.

Of course, because I was making this soup/stew I also had to make the curry powder itself.  A foodie friend sent me a jar of curry powder and then sent me the recipe, which I subsequently lost. I never knew where it the recipe came from until…..

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…I found it again – in ad hoc. {page 336}  I was so happy. Now I have a jar in the pantry ready to use.  There are 20 different spices in this mix,

  • allspice, anise, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg, mace, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika, flaky sea salt. {The only thing I didn’t have in the pantry was mace but since it is very similar to nutmeg in flavor, only stronger, I subbed in 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ground allspice.}

some whole some already ground,  and worth all the trouble to make it.  It is much more fragrant and tastier than what you can buy and the recipe makes about 1 cup of powder.

Okay,that ‘s the last recipe from ad hoc at home.  This has been fun this month cooking with Thomas Keller.  Next month I will be gone mostly so I’ll be back in June with……?

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Just two days left in April which means only two days left to try a few more of Keller’s recipes from ad hoc at home.  It’s been fun cooking through Thomas Keller’s book.  I still have several recipes marked but not as many as it was.

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Last night I tried fritto misto. Defined it merely refers to small morsels of meat, seafood, or vegetables coated with batter and deep fried. Here in the south we deep fry anything but you won’t see deep fried veggies on any menu of Southern food.

This reminded me a lot of tempura frying.  The batter is a little heavier but the results are about the same.  In the recipe Keller lists 1 1/2 cups cold water.  I found it worked better with just a little more water for a thinner batter, but your choice.  The broccolini fried up the best. With the thin ‘branches’ there was more batter in between for fry up.

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This was so good!  The veggies came out crispy but sogged up quickly if they weren’t eaten right away.  My one tip for you:  Don’t drain them on paper towels as Keller suggests but on a wire rack OVER paper towels.  They don’t get soggy as quickly.

The eggplant and squash were also very tasty.

Keller lists several choices to fry including carrots, fennel, mushrooms, and calarari rings. All of these would be great.

The recipe is on page 173 of ad hoc but I also found it HERE (if it comes up).

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

This week’s choice, from Chaya, is simple and delicious. It’s perfect for just any meal. Breakfast? Yes! Lunch? Definitely! Dinner? Oh, yeah!

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Lots of color with the cherry tomatoes. Lots of flavor with the feta and parsley. Lots of good eats with the eggs and potatoes.

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Thanks, Chaya, for this one. It will show up often in my kitchen.

If you want to try it the recipe is on Donna’s Website. You won’t be sorry.

And if you want to join us cooking with Donna, just leave a comment on our Wednesdays with Donna Hay website.And while you are there check out the other’s frittatas.

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