Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Friday, November 18, 2011

Five Reasons You Should Make Crock Pot Stuffing This Year

One year ago next week, I had a guest post on Wonderland Kitchen, which is now Brighton Park - aka Katie's Place.

I shared one of my favorite holiday recipes - Crock Pot Stuffing.

It's now time to revive that GLORIOUS recipe just in time for what is possibly my favorite holiday!

Five Reasons that Crock Pot Stuffing is the BEST way to cook stuffing for Thanksgiving.!
5. No need to deal with the nasty germs that baking your stuffing in a bird engenders.
4. It's easy to please vegetarian guests (swap the chicken stock for vegetable stock).
3. Small kitchen? Single oven? Small oven? Not a problem. Plug and play in a different room.
2. Spend time focusing on your turkey, your guests, or your table settings rather than slaving over a stove.
1. It's easy to make ahead and bring with you to a meal at someone else's home!

Additionally, there's one more reason that goes almost unspoken when discussing Thanksgiving... LEFTOVERS!

Recipe below:

Crock Pot Stuffing
12 cups lightly toasted bread, cubed (I used stale bread)
1 onion, chopped
3 large stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 apple, peeled and diced
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons ground oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock (if making a vegetarian-friendly dish, substitute vegetable stock)

Place bread crumbs in a 6 quart crock pot. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, and saute the onion, celery and apple until soft. Stir in the spices and then toss over the bread cubes. Stir together well. Pour chicken stock over the mixture and coat evenly. Cook on high for one hour then reduce to low and cook another two to three hours, stirring each hour.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake Minis

Looking for a great treat for that Halloween party?

I've found the new greatest treat!!!

I have had an amazing sugar pumpkin sitting on my counter until recently... very recently. Isn't it gorgeous?

I've been watching for pumpkin recipes that I want to try and located two... one of which is... you guessed it Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes! The original recipe came from Little Rays of Sunshine, and I thought it sounded simply amazing!

Boy was I right! It made K happy since he has been wanting cheesecake, and it made me happy, because, well, I love anything mini! I think mini things are so cute... and that's why I renamed the recipe from Pumpkin Cheesecake Cups to MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes!

They're so tasty and they even have a crust! And the only thing I love more than mini things, are all things pumpkin - I even have a pumpkin spice dish soap and counter spray set from Williams Sonoma.

MINI Pumpkin Cheesecakes
modified from Little Rays of Sunshine

2 (two) 8-oz packages of cream cheese (I used fat-free)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used sugar pumpkin, but you can use canned)
24 gingersnap cookies
whipped cream for garnish

 Pre-heat the oven to 375.

Place your foil muffin cups into the muffin tray... aren't these guys I found cute? They're decorative AND foil. I love having the best of both worlds! It's important to use foil on these cups so that they easily pull away from your mini cheesecakes and you get the full-on gorgeous-ness!

Next, pop the gingersnaps in the bottom of the cups... however they fit best. Mine had to go upside down.

Though the original recipe calls for you to cream the first five ingredients, since I use my food processor for almost everything, I just dumped all the ingredients together and processed until smooth. It's always so hard for me to resist eating the batter... even though I know with raw eggs it's not recommended.  And, let me tell you... it's SO good.

Next, drop the batter into the cups until about 2/3 full. I found that using a 1/4 cup measuring cup as a spoon gave me almost exactly the right proportion. Pop these puppies in the oven and bake 10-12 minutes... or until the edges are firm and the center jiggle just a little.

Once cool, remove the foil wrappers and serve. This is what the little guys look like, pre-whipped cream, but what good is pumpkin-flavored anything without whipped cream?


proudly linking to 

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Monday, October 17, 2011

How to Cook Pumpkins and Other Squash

Before last year, I didn't know an acorn squash from a butternut squash from a hubbard squash from a spaghetti squash.

I also had no idea that they were related to pumpkins or that they could often be interchanged with pumpkins.  Nor did I have any idea how to cook them!

Fast forward to Squash-a-palooza 2012.

I'm going to assume that some people are starting where I did, and don't know how to cook a squash. Here is your how to guide... for spaghetti squash, for meatier squashes, and for pumpkins and squash to be made into pies and other sweet treats.

I showed you these photos of my squash bounty from the Farmer's Market a few weeks ago.
From left to right: Sugar Pumpkin, Mini Blue Hubbard, Pink Banana Squash, purple potatoes, Stripetti Squash.
Squash-a-palooza, like it's concert festival forebears, has gone on for more than just one day.

Day 1 featured spaghetti squash and pink banana squash.
Though spaghetti squash can be baked, my favorite way to cook it is by boiling; this makes the "noodles" less crunchy and softer... and therefore is a great way to make the squash serve as a gluten free replacement for traditional pasta.

To boil spaghetti squash, make fork holes in the squash, plop the squash in a large pot of water and boil on high heat for at least an hour. Make sure that your squash rotates in the water, otherwise you'll end up with half soft noodles and half a little crunchier. After allowing to cool, slice in half and scoop out the seeds and fibrous innards (be sure not to take too much out, as the "noodles" will be easily scooped out with the innards). Then drag a fork through the meat to create noodles. Either set aside for dinner, or place in freezer bags and freeze for use later.

Pink Banana Squash - weighing in at 23 pounds!

I know I showed you this banana squash, but it's truly a beast and deserves to see the light again. Twenty-three pounds of squash!!! Though the farmer offered to sell me this baby in chunks, I wanted to buy the whole thing so I could stock up my freezer. K won't let me buy more squash now. :( Understandable, but still makes me sad. I could eat and buy and prep squash for ages!!

This baby got chopped into half, and then half again, and then half yet again! Yes ... eighths. It was that monstrous. How do you cut a giant squash in half? VERY CAREFULLY!

As the chunks of squash became manageable, I then scooped out the goop and seeds from the center. I saved the seeds for roasting, and then forgot about them in the oven. Whoops!

To cook this monster, and most other squash, season the "meat" with salt and pepper, or whatever other seasonings you want, (or you can skip the seasoning step altogether if not sure what you'll be using the squash for), and then place meat-side down in a lightly greased baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until squash meat is very tender and can be easily pierced with a fork.

Pull out and cube, setting aside for your dish of choice, OR place in freezer bags to freeze and then cook later. If freezing, it's worth noting that your squash upon thawing may be best suited for use in soups or purees.

Fast forward a few weeks, when I was ready to tackle squash again. It really did take a while! The 23 pound banana squash and two giant spaghetti squash took a lot out of me! It's now time to bake some sweet treats using the sugar pumpkin.

What's a sugar pumpkin? Honestly? I have no idea. It's a small pumpkin that came to us very green. After several weeks on the counter, it turned a brilliant orange and just screamed to be turned into something delicious. I've been watching Pinterest and Friday Potluck for the best pumpkin sweet treats on the net and opted for Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes from Little Rays of Sunshine and Spiced Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars from From Apples 2 Zucchini. Watch for my versions of the recipes to come soon.

How to cook a pie pumpkin or sugar pumpkin.
Slice the top off and then slice in half. Enjoy the beauty of a gorgeous pumpkin. Scoop out the pulp and seeds. If you wish to save the seeds, you can do so (rinse the seeds and dry with paper towels, then spread out in a single layer of a cookie sheet, seasoning with salt and pepper and put in oven on low heat for a few hours... be sure to check regularly!)

Place the pumpkin halves meat side down on a cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about an hour until the meat is tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Scoop the meat from the shells and push through a sieve to reduce the amount of water in the pumpkin. Then place in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside and start cooking!!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus

There are a few words that spawn thoughts of Birkenstocks, patchoule, and memories of an annual event in my hometown called the Forest Fair. One such word is "hummus." I love hummus.

It wasn't something we ate in my family. Ever. And, I'm pretty sure, though not positive, that my father is mistrustful of it. (Sorry Dad, if I'm wrong!) I know my husband looks at hummus as hippie-food and isn't entirely comfortable turning his back on it... as we all well know, that vegetarian stuff is dangerous. Ha!

I really love hummus. It's such a delicious dipper, a good source of protein, and is delicious plain or with add in flavors.

Given my family history with hummus, I've had to strike out on my own to learn how to make it. Once again, Google is a good friend. The best recipe I've found is actually here on e-how. I use it frequently -- and I haven't played around at all with other recipes, it's just that good.  I have, however, played with all of the different flavors to create different varieties.

Pasilla chile hummus. Chipotle in adobo hummus.

And the latest (and best!), sun-dried tomato and basil hummus.

It's fast, it's easy, and it can be a dip, a sandwich spread and so much more!

Sun-Dried Tomato Basil Hummus
recipe modified from E-How

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
juice of 1 lemon (3-4 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
4-6 cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
6 basil leaves

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you achieve the texture you want.

Place in a serving bowl and enjoy.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Lentil Chili (Vegetarian): Recipes on a Budget

I just love lentils! 

I've been craving them for the last week or so. So last week (before the great Facebook fandango), I posted on my wall asking for your favorite recipes. The lovely Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips responded with this fantastic lentil chili.

I planned to make it several times, but finally did it tonight! And wow! What an amazing dish.

As Rhonda says, "This is a great vegetarian chili to prepare than standard chili because lentils cook quickly." 

It's thick and tasty and... the piece de resistance -- vegetarian, yet it keeps the meat eaters happy! Not to mention, it's really fast!

Though we've only made/had once time, this chili is easily a favorite of mine. Quick, delicious and healthy! I'm in love.

Lentil Chili
modified from a recipe by Rhonda Cunningham-Phillips

4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium onions, chopped
1 small Jalapeno or cayenne pepper, minced
1 TBSP. olive oil
3 cups brown lentils
6 cups water
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. thyme
3/4 cup tomato paste
1 small can V-8 or tomato juice
2 TBSP. red wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 large Red Bell pepper, chopped (I omitted due to lack of availability)
2 stalks celery, chopped (I doubled due to the lack of bell pepper)
Salt & pepper to taste

You can also add some toppings: grated cheese, green onions, sour cream, cilantro or parsley

Saute' garlic, onion, and hot pepper in oil. Add lentils, water and spices. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes in a covered pot until the lentils are tender. Add tomato paste, juice, vinegar, sugar, red pepper, and celery. Add salt, pepper, and additional water if needed. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until vegetables are tender. Serve with brown rice.


I'm proud to enter this into Miz Helen's Chili Cookoff!

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Monday, October 3, 2011

Basil Dijon Egg Salad: Recipes on a Budget

I just love hard boiled eggs! LOVE them.

I'm always looking for great recipes using them. When you dice them up and add a few things, it makes them seem much more substantial.

Have you come across this product? Kraft Sandwich Shop Horseradish-Dijon Mayo. We first found it when we were buying sandwich materials to take picnicking. It's particularly fantastic when you have limited space, and great on sandwiches, as a dipping sauce, etc. It's companion piece -a Chipotle Mayo is great dipper for quesadillas. YUM

Back to my hard boiled eggs. I was looking for some tastyness while making a meal for one (1)... which means you can't add a whole lot of ingredients. This egg salad resulted, mostly because this may is PERFECT for a great egg salad. It resulted in part also because I  have a fabulous basil plant that stares at me all day and begs to be eaten.

It really does "Erin, Erin..." I hear the little voice.
Ok. Maybe not.
But I did need to eat some basil!

Egg salad is a great way to enjoy hard boiled eggs, get a good dose of protein with relatively low fat and low calories. I started making this recipe a lot when I first started using Advocare's products. It's a FANTASTIC recipe... and I hope you enjoy!

Basil Dijon Egg Salad

1 hard boiled egg, diced
1 tbsp Kraft Sandwich Shop Horseradish-Dijon Mayo
4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1/2 stalk celery, diced
fresh ground pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients together. Voila. Lunch!
A great mixture of soft and crunch with some great flavor.

Note: Kraft didn't provide me with any product and this post is in no way sponsored by them. My opinions (and poor photography) are my own.

Hearth & Soul Hop

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grandma's Sweet and Tangy Tomato Dressing






I'm incredibly jealous of all of you who have been sharing lovely tomato recipes. From your bushels of tomatoes that grow so lovely in your yards. I really really miss going to the Farmers' Market in Colorado Springs and coming home with 25# of tomatoes.

Tomatoes and Alaska are not the best of friends... unless a greenhouse is involved.

With all of the recent tomato bounty posts that have been flying around BlogLand, I did what any jealous self-starting cook would do -- pulled myself up by my bootstraps and made the trip to Costco. Typically my tomato adventures start at Costco. Oh! How I love Costco.

Proudly walking in my front door with a few small containers of tomatoes, the wheels started turning.
My grandmother's tomato dressing is simply amazing. Sweet and tangy, with absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever, it's the best thing that happened to tomatoes ever. It's so easy to make too. To call it a tomato dressing is a bit of a misnomer, since there are no tomatoes in the sauce; rather, it's what you put on tomatoes to enjoy!
I've also found that it's quite stunning on baked breaded chicken. Stunning.
Eating the dressing on tomatoes is really the best part though. Really. It will make your taste buds sing.

And your tomatoes will disappear.

A bowlful of  delicious dressing with some gorgeous
yellow heirloom tomatoes. MMMMM.

Grandma's Sweet & Tangy Tomato Dressing
4 teaspoons French's prepared mustard (the yellow stuff)
4 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
dash of salt
dash of paprika
Mix sugar, salt, paprika and mustard in blender. Add vinegar. Turn on blender. Add oil slowly, one tip of the measuring cup at a time (about 10 small blips of the cup). Beat until mixture is thickened to your preference.
Serve immediately or refrigerate and serve.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pete's Creamy Coleslaw

One night, early this summer, I was at my parents' house for dinner. Mom had made some amazing coleslaw, and I just HAD to get the recipe so I could make it for myself. I'm in love with this dish in so many different ways, I can't begin to describe the light flavor, the sweet and tangy twist of the pineapple, and the overall amazing-osity of the slaw.

Mom told me this came from a long-held time-honored tradition of cooking in the household - The Jack Daniels Old Time Barbeque Cookbook by Vince Staten. This book has been the source of many a delightful dinner and even more requests for recipes from family and friends. I am but one in a long line of people who've fallen in love with the recipes in this book.

Pete’s Creamy Coleslaw
modified from the Jack Daniels Old Time Barbeque Cookbook

5 oz can evaporated milk
¼ c apple-cider vinegar
2 T sugar
1 t salt
¼ t celery seed
¼ t pepper
½ c mayonnaise
Mix all together (fits in a 1 cup measuring cup and use a wire whisk) and pour over
the following in a big enough bowl to stir everything up.

4 c shredded cabbage ( I usually use 1 large head of cabbage for this amt of
1 medium carrot shredded / grated
1 rib celery diced
1 can of crushed pineapple, drained.

I typically mix the dressing in a separate large bowl.

Then, using my most favorite-est kitchen tool, the food processor, I cut the other large ingredients into small chunks and feed through the cheese grater function to get little shreds of cabbage, carrots, and celery.

Mix dressing and salad together and serve.

Mom's advice: "This is very good right away, and even better if it has several hours in the
refrigerator prior to eating.

Mine doesn't always make it to the fridge first...

Proudly sharing this with

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Dressing & Alaska Salad -- Friday Potluck Recipe Hop #47

One of the only things in the fridge when I returned home was a container filled with kiwi fruit. After pawning some of the kiwis off on various grateful friends, I was still left with 8-10 kiwis. I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to do something with them.

I love kiwis... the fruit, the birds and the people. However, outside of eating them plain, which I had already burned out on, I had no idea what to do with them.

So I did what any sensible lady would do when faced with such a dire dilemma, I turned to Google.

I found a lovely blog That British Woman, which has lots of fun posts.

Back to the matter at hand though -- kiwi fruit! She has a post titled 50 + 1 Recipes for Kiwi Fruit, a round up of some of her favorite kiwi recipes from which I was able to draw wonderful inspiration.

Taking inspiration from recipe number 33, and the contents of my fabulous CSA box, I created an amazing, mainly Alaska-grown salad. The salad didn't feature my mystery veggie, which turned out to be kohlrabi, because I had no idea what to do about it; you can read about my adventures with kohlrabi another day.

However, complete with Alaska red and green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, and non-Alaska grown baby bellas, 1/2 apple, and bleu cheese, this spectacular salad goes perfectly with the new kiwi fruit dressing.


Sweet 'n Tangy Kiwi Salad Dressing
as seen here

3 Kiwifruit, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp Grated Fresh Root Ginger
5 tbsp Olive Oil
The juice of 1 Lime
Salt and Black Pepper

Puree all ingredients in a food processor, then add to your salad.

*Note: the original recipe calls for 2 Kiwi and 1 teaspoon of ginger; however the dressing tasted too olive oil-y for me. Adding an third kiwi and the additional ginger made a fantastic flavor, though the dressing was a little thick. This is a keeper.


In addition to Friday Potluck, I'm pleased to be linking this up to

And now, on to Friday Potluck!

I love all of the recipes that you've been bringing by, and can't wait for this week's edition!

grab the code!

Just a few quick and easy rules for joining the party:

1. Link directly to your recipe (not your main blog).
2. Only one recipe per blog each week.
3. Be sure, in the linked blog post, to link back here to Friday Potluck @ EKat's Kitchen using the button above or text.
4. Have fun, do some visiting and enjoy!


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Low Carb Portabello Burgers w/ Kidney Beans

Ready for an incredibly tasty burger?

I was too! I'm doing a cleanse - the Advocare 24 Day Challenge - so I haven't been cooking a whole heck of a lot. That's why you haven't seen too many posts from me recently... that and life has been C-C-C-razy!

I've been craving pasta like you wouldn't believe. A visit to the grocery store today for a few needed items, had me gasping over the chip aisle. I prevailed though. Here's a tasty treat that's nutritious, filling and delicious!

I originally found the recipe on e-How and ended up making several adjustments. I can't find it again for reference, but this is a really tasty treat.

1 14 oz can kidney beans, no salt added, drained and rinsed
1 medium carrot
1 cup portabello mushrooms, chopped
1/2 onion
1/2 large orange or yellow pepper (or one whole small), seeded
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp garlic powder

6 small slices tomato
3 large leaves romaine lettuce
horseradish dijon

Using a food processor, shred your carrot. Add the beans and all other ingredients, except the tomato and lettuce.The original recipe calls for the mix to cool for an hour, but I was hungry, so I just split into six patties and broiled for about 5 minutes on each side.

Plate up on half a lettuce leaf, topped with a small amount of horseradish dijon and a small slice of tomato.


Linking this up to:

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pesto Bruschetta Recipe

One of my favorite things to order is bruschetta... I love all of the tomatoes and balsamic and flavors that mix together. I set out to make bruschetta as an appetizer for myself and K one night, but I went a little overboard on the basil, in part because I had beautiful basil from the supermarket, and in part because I was also going to make pesto to go along with my cremini "marsala" (recipe to come). I just lost track of what I was making at one time.

We ended up with a lovely pesto bruschetta, and it was fantastic. I cheated on the bread pieces, and got pre-toasted bread from Costco. Yum.

Pesto Bruschetta
basil leaves (I filled up the 4 oz bowl of my food processor)
3 tomatoes, skin removed
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
bruschetta chips (or make your own with french bread by brushing with olive oil)
freshly grated parmesan

To skin tomatoes, first boil water and remove from heat; immediately place tomatoes in the hot water for one minute.

Remove the tomatoes and you'll see that the skins peel right off.

Next slice open the tomatoes and remove the seeds and cores. Chop roughly.

Fill up your food processor with basil. Isn't it beautiful? I processed the basil first to make more room for the other ingredients, but the end goal is to lump everything but the cheese and the bruschetta in.

Why not? Let's add some cheese to the pesto.

Spoon the pesto over the bruschetta chips and top with a little bit of cheese. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

I'm pleased to be linking this up with

Miz Helen’s Country Cottage

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sweet & Spicy Glazed Shrimp with Pineapple Ginger Salsa

Did the title hook you? If not the title, how about the photo?

I came across this recipe while watching the Food Network. Are you guilty of turning it on and watching show after show, mesmerized by all of the great ideas? I am. This was actually a planned show though. If you get the chance, check out Spice & Easy... a show by the owners of Denver-based Savory Spice Shop.

A few weeks ago, as my parents were cleaning out their freezer from last year's myriad shrimping expeditions, my dad brought us several bags of Prince William Sound spot shrimp. I also happened to have a pineapple in the fridge leftover from our pizza making party (which I still haven't posted about).

A match made in heaven? I thought so!

I've been planning for several nights now, but finally made these last night. Wonderful.

Sweet & Spicy Chile Glazed Shrimp with Pineapple Ginger Salsa
(as seen on Spice and Easy and here)

Ingredients for the shrimp:
5 to 6 whole dehydrated red Thai chiles (I used Chinese)
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large orange, zested (no oranges to be found in the house, so I skipped this)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
Bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 1 hour
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
Pineapple Ginger Salsa (below)

Pineapple Ginger Salsa
1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced (I used a whole one)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves (I love cilantro and went overboard here)
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Start soaking your chili peppers in hot water; also soak your bamboo sticks in a casserole type dish. Both peppers and bamboo sticks should soak for about an hour.

Make your Pineapple Ginger Salsa by tossing all of the ingredients together.

Shell and skewer shrimp. Place in bottom of a casserole dish

Place your chili peppers and red pepper in a food processor and process until smooth. Mix all ingredients for marinade together and brush over the shrimp. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes; meanwhile pre-heat the grill at medium-high heat.

Grill the shrimp for 1-2 minutes on each side, brushing any excess marinade on the side that it didn't get brushed onto initially.

Serve over the salsa.

K really liked using Tostitos scoop chips to combine a shrimp with salsa and consume in nice bites. The salt and crunch of the chips was a fantastic add-on!

The verdict? This recipe is as beautiful and tasty as the title is eye-catching.

I'm pleased to be sharing this recipe with


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