Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category

…is such a comforting type of food, particularly in the Winter.  Lately, I have been attempting to devise some original recipes, and came up with my own version of a turkey and corn chowder.  We made a batch last weekend, and it is actually pretty tasty!

For my turkey and corn chowder you need:

  • 2 cups corn kernels
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 2 chipotle peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 28 oz. fire roasted tomatoes
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high and cook the onion and garlic until slightly browned and tender.  Knock the heat back to medium and stir in the wine to de-glaze the pan.

Bump the heat back up to medium-high and add the turkey, cooking until almost no pink is left.  Stir in the peppers, adobo sauce, and spices.

Mix in the stock, regular corn, and tomatoes.  Cover the pot and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, until the turkey is finished cooking through.

Finish up by stirring in the creamed corn and cream.  Bring the soup to a bubble, stirring constantly.

We made some delicious spicy broccoli to serve alongside the chowder.  You need:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 chipotle en adobo, chopped
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1 bunch broccoli, chopped (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450.  Beat together the butter, garlic, chipotle pepper, and lime zest/juice.

Toss the broccoli in the oil and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the veggies out on a large baking sheet and roast until they begin to brown and crisp, about 15 minutes.

Combine the roasted broccoli with the butter mixture until the butter melts.  Place the mixture back into the oven for another 10 minutes, until the broccoli is tender.

Serve a bowl of chowder with spicy broccoli alongside.

This is a great meal to come home to on a cold day!  It is incredibly warm and cozy and simply tastes downright delicious.  Now, I know that broccoli looks absolutely burned and gross.  But, you must trust me–it is absolutely fantastic!




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…has about a billion variations, and we love trying them!  Most recently, we made Rachael Ray’s Spiked Spaghetti with Portobellos and Kale, and it was most tasty.  Boiling pasta in wine is actually an ancient Italian method, and it really adds a lot to this traditional meal!

For spiked spaghetti you need:

  • 750 mL bottle dry red wine
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps, gills scraped and thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lb. kale
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • Grated pecorino-romano cheese, for topping

Combine the wine with 3 quarts salted water and bring to a boil.  Toss in the spaghetti and cook to al dente, about 9 minutes.  When you drain the pasta, reserve about a cup of the liquid.

While that’s going, heat a large skillet and the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the portobellos and brown them for about 10 minutes.

Stir in the garlic for one minute, then wilt in the kale.  Season the veggies with salt, pepper, and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg.

Toss the pasta with the veggie mixture and add just enough of the cooking water to help the two combine.  Season the pasta with more salt and pepper to taste.

Serve up a plate of pasta topped with the cheese.

The Italians were really onto something when they came up with the idea to boil pasta in wine–it is such a tasty idea!  This is a great spaghetti, and is a particularly excellent dinner when you are cooking for vegetarians–it is quite hearty.


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…was a completely new experience for me–I had never eaten it until I made Rocco’s version to go with chicken and dumplings.  It is delicious!  Why am I just now jumping on the creamed spinach train?!

For Rocco’s slimmed-down spinach you need:

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 12 oz. spinach
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the garlic and shallots along with salt, pepper, and nutmeg for about 4 minutes, until the onions are tender.

Increase the heat to high and add half the spinach.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper.  Stir the spinach as it wilts, and when there is enough room, add the rest of the greens.  Continue cooking the spinach until it is tender, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle the cornstarch over the spinach and stir well.  Cook the spinach a bit more until the liquid has thickened a bit, about 1 minute.  Then, take the pan off the heat and stir in the yogurt.  Season with a bit more salt and pepper and the veggies are done.

Spinach has been one of my favorite vegetables for quite awhile, so I am still shocked it took me this long to try/make creamed spinach!  I could eat enough of this stuff to turn into Popeye, I kid you not.  If you already know you love creamed spinach, you must give this a try–the original version has almost 300 calories, and Rocco takes it to less than 100.  You really can’t go wrong!


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…are a Thanksgiving staple, according to most people.  In fact, Bobby Flay lost his Thanksgiving Throwdown simply because he didn’t make mashed potatoes!  Well, when we had our own after-Thanksgiving/leftover celebration, we made sure not to skimp on the taters and gravy–they are just too good to go without!

For Food Network Magazine’s perfect mashed potatoes you need:

  • 2 lbs. russet potatoes
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed
  • Pepper

Put the potatoes, skins on, in a large pot with just enough cold water to cover.  Salt the water and bring the potatoes to a simmer.  Continue to cook them, uncovered, for 45 minutes (until they are fork-tender).  Drain the potatoes and use a dishcloth or paper towel to rub off the skins.  Add the butter and warmed milk to the potatoes and smash them with a potato masher or fork.  Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper.

For Thanksgiving this year, Schatzi’s sister Megan made a delicious vegetarian gravy that we definitely wanted with our leftovers!  I’m not sure if this is exactly what she found, but it is pretty darn close and is delicious.  You need:

  • 3/4 cup white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp poultry seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet and saute the onions and mushrooms just for a minute over high heat.

Knock the heat back to medium and pour in the broth and soy sauce.  Slowly whisk in the flour until it is dissolved.  Bring the mixture to a simmer and turn the heat to low.  Then, add the poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper, and continue simmering the mixture for 8-10 minutes until it has thickened, stirring often.

Serve a plate of potatoes topped with rich gravy.

I am so glad Megan introduced us to this gravy–it is absolutely delicious!  And, you really can’t go wrong with these mashed potatoes.  When combined, the gravy and potatoes are absolutely unbeatable!


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…are one of my favorite vegetables to cook with.  They are just so delicious!  For Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, we made Ellie Krieger’s sweet potato-pecan casserole, and I could honestly eat this stuff every day!

For Ellie’s sweet potatoes you need:

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

Heat the oven to 350 and start boiling some water for the potatoes.  Salt it and cook the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.  Then, just mash in the honey, egg, sugar, and spices, using 1/2 tsp. cinnamon.  You can use a potato masher like we did, or, if you would like a smoother texture, whip the potatoes with a hand mixer.

In a separate bowl, mix the pecans with the brown sugar and the other 1/2 tsp. of cinnamon.

Pour the potatoes into a greased 9×13 and top with the pecans.  Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes, until it is nice and brown around the edges, then serve a scoop with your favorite Thanksgiving fixings.

This is a great casserole, and with 160 calories a serving, it is one Thanksgiving side dish you don’t have to feel bad about eating!  But, these sweet potatoes are so good, we will be fixing them throughout the Fall and Winter months–no holiday occasion necessary!


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…combine quite nicely to make a cozy, satisfying dinner.  This weekend, we made RR’s sausage and fish one-pot meal–it is super-easy and delicious!

For this quick fish dinner you need:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound bulk Italian hot sausage, casings removed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 white fish fillets (ours were small, so we used 8 whiting fillets)
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped (we used dried)
  • 1/2 lemon

Heat a tbsp. of oil over medium-high in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid.  Add the sausage and crumble it as it browns.  Then, toss in the garlic, onions, and potatoes and season the mixture with some salt and pepper.  Mix in half of the wine, cover the skillet, and cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and place the fish on top of the mixture.  Pour the rest of the wine over the mixture, season with a hint more salt and pepper, and cover the pot again, cooking until the fish is opaque, about 7 minutes.

Top the dish with the parsley, lemon juice, and a drizzle of oil.

We made a tomato-cauliflower mixture from Food Network Magazine to serve with the fish.  You need:

  • 7 cups small cauliflower florets
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric or dry mustard
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Cilantro, chopped

Simply toss everything but the lemon juice and cilantro together and roast in a 425-degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Then, toss in the lemon juice and cilantro.  Warning: you will want to eat the entire baking sheet!  This stuff is ridiculously tasty.

Serve up a juicy bowl of fish and sausage with the cauliflower and some crusty bread alongside.

Roasted cauliflower, where have you been all of my life?!  And, I had never thought to combine fish and sausage, but I am so glad RR did–this is one delicious, comforting bowl of soup!  And, make sure you serve this fish dinner with bread to mop up the tasty juices–you will be one sad panda indeed if you go without.


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…is not a dish that excites many people.  However,  last week we made Ellie Krieger’s version of tuna casserole and absolutely loved it!

For Ellie’s healthy casserole you need:

  • 5 slices whole-wheat bread, crusts included
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
  • 10 oz. mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat fettuccine noodles, broken into thirds and cooked according to package directions
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed
  • 10 oz. frozen peas, thawed
  • 24 oz. chunk light tuna in water, drained

Preheat the oven to 425.  Tear the pieces of bread into large chunks and toss them in the food processor for a few seconds to turn them into fine breadcrumbs.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium.  Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the celery and cook 5 more minutes, stirring often.  Then, stir in the mushrooms until they are golden, another (you guessed it) five minutes.  Add the flour and quickly stir it in to dissolve amongst the veggies and their juices.  Once it is dissolved, stir in the milk and broth and bring the mixture to a bubble.  Knock the heat back to a simmer and let the mixture thicken and reduce, about 8 minutes.  Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

Mix the tuna, noodles, broccoli, and peas with the sauce and pour into a 9×13.  Top the casserole with the breadcrumbs and bake it for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling.

We made some delicious lemon-anchovy broccoli from Food Network Magazine to go alongside the casserole.  You need:

  • 1 bunch of broccoli florets
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 5 anchovy fillets
  • 1 punch crushed red pepper
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt
  • olive oil

Simply toss your florets in some boiling salted water for about 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the garlic, red pepper, and anchovies.  Stir the fish until they dissolve into a paste.

Toss the broccoli with the anchovy mixture and lemon juice, then season it with a bit of salt and a drizzle more of oil.

Serve a plate of casserole (a serving is 1.5 cups) and the broccoli alongside.

I would be willing to bet that most of you are not at all convinced this is a meal worth trying, particularly the broccoli!  Alas, I am here to tell you that you’re wrong.  The casserole is full of delicious, creamy flavors, and in all honesty, the broccoli actually steals the show!  It is a bit salty and has a delicious hint of heat–absolutely delicious.  Challenge your taste buds and give both dishes a shot–I think you will be pleasantly surprised!


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