Beets with Balsamic Glaze

This is from Simply Recipes.  Beets always look like gems to me.  The color and the shine say beauty.   I had a few, in the house, and I want

ed a simple recipe, very simple and Simply Recipes gave it to me.

Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze 

  • 2 pounds red beets, medium sized, scrubbed clean, green tops removed
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the beets in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil.

Roast for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are. After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven.

While the beets are cooling, prepare the balsamic glaze. In a small, shallow sauté pan, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat.

After the beets have cooled for several minutes, but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard. Cut the beets into quarters or more, bite-sized pieces.

Place beets in a serving bowl. Pour balsamic glaze over the beets. Stir in grated orange zest, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with a little orange zest to serve.

Savory Avocado Cake – Power Foods

This week, our power food is the avocado.  If you have followed my adventures, you know that the artichoke was a new experience for me and asparagus was a vegetable, my hubby detested and now we go to a favorite of mine, the avocado.  I do have to tell you that hubby is not crazy about avocado but as I have been adding it more and more into dishes,  he is eating it, without making a face.  When, I made today’s recipe, I didn’t tell him about the avocado and he really liked this.

Fruits of avocado (Persea americana)

Fruits of avocado (Persea americana) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let me assure you, I am not being sneaky when I do this.  I trust my husband enough to know that he understands when I “hide”  a food in a recipe.  If he doesn’t like it, he says so and that is the end of it.  If in the case of the last two, he really has come around a little.  When I made asparagus for a second time, he helped himself to some.  The funniest part of this is that it is the artichoke, he never wants to see again and that he did not have an aversion to.  Of course, he most likely, never has eaten one.

The avocado has monounsaturated fats which may lower the level of  LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise the good cholesterol (HDL).  High in fiber and potassium, they are easy to choose as an aid to good health.  I was surprised to find out that an avocado has more potassium than the banana.

I have never made or thought about a savory cake other than a cheesecake.  I will vouch for how good savory cheesecakes are.  So, maybe a savory cake would also be good.  If you add corn meal, yes, it works.  The best part is that my husband who doesn’t like avocado loved it.

What I liked about this is that by adding avocado, there is no need for any fats, no butter, margarine or oil.  At least, the fat in an avocado is the healthy kind

Savory Avocado Cake

11/2 cup gluten-free  flour mixture

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 egg beaters

1/4 cup Rice milk

1 whole avocado

1/4 small tomato cut into pieces

   

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl mix flour, cornmeal, sugar baking powder and salt

 Cut and seed avocado. In a food processor (I used my mini) process avocado and tomato until smooth.  My tomatoes stayed in small chunks  but my goal was smooth.

Mix eggs into the gluten-free flour mixture, one at a time. Add milk and avocado. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated

 Grease 2 loaf pans or 6 mini cakes or mini bundts or (I think – a regular sized bundt pan)

Bake the minis  for 25 minutes or until the tops start to turn golden brown.  Bake the loaves for 35 – 40 minutes.  

This is our group.  Stop by their blogs and see what they did with the mighty avocado.  You might want to look through their blogs.  They are new to me and I am finding a lot of value in each of them.

Alyce – More Time at the Table
Ansh – Spice Roots,
Casey – Bookcase Foodie  – Me

Jeanette -Jeanette’s Healthy Living
Jill – Saucy Cooks
Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living
Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits,
Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink

This is linked to

Mix it Up Monday              Inspire me Monday                    My Meatless Mondays           Jam’s Corner

Italian Cauliflower Bake

I came across a recipe for an Italian Zucchini Bake and planned to make it for dinner with a main course salad.  Off I went to the kitchen and pulled out all of the ingredients and set them, on the counter.  I, then went to get out the zucchini, but the cupboard was bare.  No zucchini.  What is a woman to do?  

Substitute, of course……  Now, what to substitute?  What is like zucchini?  Nothing came to mind.  I thought onions and I knew, I would love it but I would probably  be the only one.  I jumped to tomatoes and I do want to try it but it was too far from zucchini.  Then, I noted the fresh cauliflower just sitting there, crowding the shelf and I knew, this was it.  My Zucchini Bake became an Italian Cauliflower Bake and I even used pizza cheese to keep to the theme.

The recipe came from  Jam’s Corner, a brand new blog to me and one, I want to visit often.  There is something about the spirit of the blog that speaks to me.  I bet, you would like it too.

Italian Cauliflower Bake

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
1/8 cup  chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup  shredded  Pizza Jack cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
 Method:
  1. Saute garlic, onion and cauliflower in olive oil until tender
  2. Meanwhile, chop the basil and parsley.
  3. When the cauliflower mixture is done, remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg, basil, parsley, tarragon, Parmesan cheese and salt together in a large mixing bowl. After mixing well, add the cauliflower mixture, cream cheese and the Pizza Jack cheese. Mix well.
  5. Add the mixture to a greased 1 quart baking dish  and bake at 350 for 25  minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let it cool slightly.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh

The hostess of our picnic is the amazing Louise from Months of Edible Creations.  If you have not been to her site, you honestly must get over there.  It is unique and fascinating and lots of fun.  Just click here.

Join us on an annual picnic.  Each participant has a letter from A-Z and she cooks something for the picnic starting with her letter.  I chose the letter C.  C  is probably the best letter.  You have chocolate, candy, cookies, cakes, crab, carrots, cheese, ……you see what I am saying.  What do you think I chose?  CAULIFLOWER.  

I do understand you might be happier if I had brought dessert like a caramel cake or a cheese cake.  I hope you will like my cauliflower instead.  I made a cauliflower tabbouleh.

“This is a Tabbouleh (Arabic: تبولة‎ tabūlah; also tabouleh or tab(b)ouli) is a Levantine Arab salad traditionally made of bulgur, tomato,and finely chopped parsley and mint, often including onion and garlic, seasoned with olive oillemon juice and salt.] Traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world, it was adopted by Cypriots, variations of it are made by Turks and Armenians, and it has become a popular ethnic food in the United States.”  Wikipedia

My first problem was — how to spell tabbouleh.  Fortunately, I found several ways so if I make a mistake, just assume, I did in purposely.  This reminds me of a girl who had great difficult spelling.  One day, she spelled the same word, in a piece of writing, 4 different ways.  I decided to discuss it with  her.  I pointed out her four different spellings.  She happily smiled and told me, “I figured if I spell it in different ways, at least one of them would be right.”  It didn’t work for her.  Not one of the words was correct.  This girl was extremely bright  and I am sharing this to disprove any thinking that weak spellers are poor students.  This woman is now a teacher and doing beautifully.

I love raw cauliflower.  It almost seems wrong to cook it.  Take a crisp bite and it is yummy.  This tabbouleh is filled with this goodness.  On our picnic, be careful not to let the little pieces fall on the ground.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh adapted from Eating Bird Food, a brand new blog to me and one, I am happy to have found.  If you have a moment, stop over and introduce yourself.

  • 1 medium head white cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, or to taste
  1. Cut the cauliflower to remove the stem and the chop into pieces small enough to fit into your food processor.
  2. Place the cauliflower, parsley, onion and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower pieces are the size of a grain (like bulgur). Place the mixture in a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to mix. Serve chilled or room temperature. Store covered in the fridge for up to one week.

Brown Sugar Chewies

I am a fan of brown sugar so when I came across this recipe, I knew, I had to make it. It was a smart choice.  Although, I don’t like Paula’s use of butter, I find I can cut it down and the recipe works just fine.

Brown Sugar Chewies  adapted from Paula Deen                       9 servings

Ingredients

 1/4 cup margarine

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup gluten-free flour mix

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup chopped pecans

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray an 8-inch square pan with vegetable oil cooking spray.

In the microwave or on the stove, melt the margarine.

Turn off the heat, add the brown sugar and stir until smooth.

Stir in the egg.

Stir together the flour and baking powder and stir into the brown sugar mixture.

Stir in the vanilla and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes.

When cool, dust the top with a sifting of confectioners’ sugar.

 

Broccoli Slaw

Occasionally, I pick up a bag of broccoli slaw.  It is a nice change from the more traditional cabbage slaw.  Seeing this recipe on Smitten Kitchen helped me make a yummy recipe.

Broccoli Slaw  (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

1 bag of cabbage slaw

1 carrot, sliced thin

1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 small red onion, finely sliced

 Dressing
1/3 cup Tofutti sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Toss the sliced broccoli with the carrots,  almonds, cranberries and red onion in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Pour the dressing over the broccoli and toss it well.

Summer Salad Sundays     See Ya in the Gumbo     Yummy  Inspirations Breakfast     My Meatless Monday  Mop it Up Mondays    Mix it up Monday     Mealtime Monday Recipe Link  Makin’ You Crave Monday    Melt in Your Mouth Mondays      Mangia Mondays      On the Menu Monday

Power Foods – Asparagus

You might remember, last week, I learned how to handle an artichoke, a brand new vegetable, to me.  This week, I learned how to  hide asparagus, in a recipe so that my husband, who has refused to eat it, since he was a child, wouldn’t know it was there.  When, we married, there were three foods, he would not eat, tuna, chicken and yes, asparagus.  Twice, I tried to have him see the light and made asparagus, the first as a newlywed and the second. twenty years later.  Both times, he soundly rejected the asparagus with moans and groans and a matching facial expression.

I knew, this was going to be a challenge.  I made a stir-fry, hoping to camouflage the asparagus, in the midst of other delicious vegetables. 

Camouflage Stir Fry  – done in great trepidation

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 thin asparagus spears, cut into small pieces (about an inch in length)

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup carrot slices

1/4 cup sliced mini orange peppers

1/4 cup onion slices

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon ground ginger (fresh is best)

2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey

Procedure:

Combine, in a small bowl, soy sauce, ginger and brown sugar or honey.

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add vegetables to skillet and cook for 4 minutes.  You can add the asparagus for just the last minute, if you would like it to retain a slight crispness.

Add soy sauce combination to skillet and mix in with the vegetables.  Cook, stirring for an additional two  minutes.

*** I didn’t tell my husband, there was asparagus in the stir-fry but I figured, he would recognize it.  He didn’t.  He cleaned his plate completely.  I have to add that the soy sauce did camouflage the asparagus taste so that he ate with relish.  Can you imagine?  He was not perturbed when I told him those green “sticks” are asparagus.  He just kept eating.  Does that mean, he will eat asparagus, in the future?  I doubt it.   It is deeply ingrained in him that he despises it.

You are entitled to a giggle.  I made him this, the following night and he ate it.  Recipe at a later date…

 

Please check the following blog to see what they did with the asparagus.

Second Course: Asparagus with Morels

Second Course: Asparagus with Morels (Photo credit: ulterior epicure)

Jill – SaucyCooks 2girls@saucycooks.com
Sarah – Everythinginthekitchensink sarah.toskanoski@gmail.com

Too Hot To Cook Omelet

 

The hot weather almost prohibits cooking.  I locked myself in our bedroom, closed the door, turned on the air conditioner and lay down.  I don’t think, I moved for  30 minutes.  It was still hot, oppressively hot, but I was pretty sure, I would throw together something simple so we would have dinner.  Who could eat that much, anyway?

An omelet was what I had in mind but the new me automatically thinks vegetables so my omelet had to have eggs.  This is where the mandolin came into play.  What a difference.  It is not that chopping vegetables is hard work but the mandolin makes them fly from its blade into the skillet.  I took anything, I could find that was already cut or that I had an abundance of.  Yellow squash, green pepper, tomato, carrots, onion, all fell into the pan which had a little vegetable broth in it, enough to cover the bottom.  While they cooked, I made a smoothie to go with it.  Funny, how a smoothie fills me up. 

Both of us were full, after the combo omelet-smoothie dinner.  I guess hot weather is made for dieters.

Veggie Omelet

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth, no salt

5 eggs, beaten

1/4 onion sliced thin

1/4 green pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow squash, sliced thin

1 tomato, mushed up to get the juice into the pan to mix with the broth

1 carrot, thin sliced

1/2 cup broccoli florets, broken into smaller pieces

1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese

Procedure

Heat 1/2 cup broth in medium skillet.  Keep on low flame until you are ready to add vegetable.

Slice vegetables into broth and raise heat to medium.

Add the rest of broth as the original liquid evaporates.

Cook 3 – 4  minutesThe rest of the broth will evaporate in that time.

Add the eggs and cook slowly for about 3 minutes.  Top with cheese, pushing gently down so it is inside slightly.  Cook until top is firm and flip.  Cook other side of omelet for two minutes or until slightly browned.

Cherry Almond Ice Cream

Improv ChallengeTime for another Improv Challenge and this month, we are using cherry and almond as our two ingredients……Yummy.  At first, I thought, I would bake a coffee cake or cookies but the weather is warm and ice cream sounds, even better.  The happy result, cherry almond ice cream, delicious cherry almond ice cream.

Kristen from The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker organizes this great project, each month.  Thanks Kristen.

I make my ice cream without eggs since we avoid raw eggs.  I, also should be avoiding, all the cream, in this recipe.  I am now looking for a low fat ice cream, even if it isn’t as creamy.

 Please check out the cherry-almond recipes from all of the other participants.
 
Cherry Almond Ice Cream 

Ingredients

3 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon almond extract
1 cup  cherries, quartered
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted

Procedure

Pour 1 cup of the cream into a 2 quart saucepan.  Add the sugar and salt and stir mixture until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the almond extract.  Then add the remaining cream.  Mix together.
Chill for 30 minutes and put into ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Add the cherries for a few minutes, at the end, of the churning.
Sprinkle almonds on top of ice cream, in the serving bowl, for crunch.
Put into containers and see how long it lasts.


Rice Crispy Treats

All year, my class has been asking for Rice Crispy Treats and I have finally come through.  I hope their waiting is worth it.

I use Marshmallow Creme in place of Marshmallows and it is a cinch to put together.  I also melt the margarine and creme in the microwave.  Another easy step.

 

 

Microwave Marshmallow Fluff Treats
Place Fluff and margarine in 2 1/2 qt. microwave safe bowl.

Microwave at 50 %  for 1 minute.  The original recipe says 3 minutes at full power.  I found at the one minute mark, the marshmallow creme was almost too dry looking.

Stir in cereal until coated.

Using a buttered spatula or waxpaper, press mixture evenly into buttered 13 X 9 inch pan.

Cut into 2 X 2 squares. Yield: 24 squares.

 

For chocolate, melt 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips by laying them on the top of the Crispy Bars.  Put in oven at 250 degreees for two minutes.