broccoli and carrots and more

Thoughts:

Hello readers. Let’s face it, 2020 has been a pretty awful year all around. I’m sure we can find bright spots but it’s been grim. And now hurricane season has arrived. Yikes! But I did not decide to write again because of “all the bad stuff”. No, I figure I like to write so I should write. I’ve cooked and I’ve baked and I’ve taken pictures of food but that’s been it. I’ve also been sewing, clothes for me, and masks for everyone!

So what is new with me? We did find some campgrounds open this summer and have had a few camping weekends. Finally my daughter and the grandchildren were able to join us for two nights this month in their humongous tent.

Earlier, in the middle of the summer, I fell off my new bike and broke my wrist, the one on my dominant hand. It’s hard to do many of the things I enjoy without the use of my right hand. Hubby has been, literally, my right-hand man! After surgery and physical therapy I am on the mend. I have been out of work but will be returning soon. Returning to work will be an adjustment. Teleworking was an adjustment earlier this year, and now going into a new office space (they moved us around, the space is not really “new”) and then figuring out how long and if partial teleworking will still be in place. This bit of a taste of “retirement” will come to an end.

Food:

Hubby recently decided he would like to reduce carbohydrates to address the pandemic weight gain. I, too, have gained. Any change in eating habits in this household must come from Hubby. I have not been able to induce him into any changes such as less meat, lean meats, more fruit and veggies, vegetarian fare, etc. I was thinking of eating in a semi-vegetarian way, vegetarian during the week and meat on the weekends. That would be 4 days vegetarian (not vegan, I like my eggs and cheese, and need the calcium) and three days of meat. Sounds reasonable to me. I’ve also been getting produce delivery from Imperfect Produce and have need to use the vegetables in a timely manner.

So I got out my One Pot Vegetarian (by Sabrina Fauda-Role) cookbook and browsed. So tonight I cooked an adaptation of her recipe for Sauteed tofu, broccoli and butternut squash on pages 82-83. I do not have tofu in the house, nor do I have butternut squash. I’m also cooking this just for me. So here’s my list of ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small head of broccoli, sliced
  • nub of ginger, peeled and chopped, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 small carrots, cut in rounds (original recipe calls for a pound-plus of grated butternut squash)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce!!! this was too much. Use 2 tablespoons at most, maybe even two teaspoons.
  • 2 ounces goat cheese with herbs (original recipe calls for 9 ounces of herb tofu to be sauteed in the first step with the veg.)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut flakes, to serve

Heat oil and saute the broccoli, ginger, and carrots for 10 minutes, stirring as needed. Then add the soy sauce and cook for another 5 minutes at the end of which I added the cheese and stirred until melted into a nice sauce. Serve in a bowl and top with the coconut.

This was tasty but clearly there was too much soy sauce for my taste. If I used twice the vegetables, the amount given may have made more sense. The original recipe’s butternut squash would have absorbed more of the soy sauce along with herb tofu. My single serving did not need all that soy sauce.

This cookbook is excellent. These one-pot dishes can be adapted easily. I have mine covered with post-it notes and commentary on what I have made and what I would like to make. I hope to make more vegetarian dishes to round out our eating habits, both for our health and for the planet.

Be well, stay safe, avoid crowds, wash your hands, and wear the mask!

 

 

Glorious Morning Glory Muffins

IMG_0875

I haven’t written for a few weeks. It’s not that I’m not cooking, I’m just not creatively cooking. Or I make standard fare that I have already written about, such as chicken pot pie and chocolate cake. We had a fabulous post New Year Thanksgiving dinner with a roast turkey and all the trimmings including sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and apple pie. Sometimes I just throw chicken in the oven to bake with barbecue sauce or pan sear steaks or pork chops. Frozen vegetables, in a multiple of varieties, round out the meal. And I confess, sometimes dinner is sandwiches made with frozen breaded fish fillets!

And then there is the impetus for weight loss and heart healthy cooking. Hubby and I are not getting any younger and the medical folk have been looking at our hearts regarding cholesterol levels and hypertension, and our sedentary lifestyle, a little more closely lately. So how can I bake yummy desserts with these issues in the front of my mind?

I wanted to bake something. I used to bake muffins every week so that Hubby and the Girls would have something to take along for the commute to school. The Girls are now all grown up with boyfriends and fiances and such. But a healthy muffin might take the place of cupcakes, right? I have an entire section of my recipe notebook devoted to muffins. Most of them claim to be low-fat and have whole wheat and/or oatmeal in the list of ingredients. I chose this one because it has apple butter as an ingredient and I found half a jar of good apple butter when I did a recent fridge cleaning and inventory.

Morning Glory Muffins: this is an adaptation of a recipe submitted to All Recipes.com 2005 by a Jack D. I adjusted the eggs and the amount of sugar and the raisins.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (in future I would use 1 cup all-purpose)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (in future I would use 1 cup)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons toasted wheatgerm (I did not remember if the wheatgerm I have is toasted already so I dry toasted it in a small skillet over high heat on top of the stove)

Oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 18 muffin cups or line with papers. I was able to make 20 muffins.

Whisk eggs, apple butter, oil, and vanilla together in a medium bowl

Whisk all dry ingredients together in a larger bowl. These are the first 7 ingredients.

Add the goodies, carrots, apple, Craisins, to the dry ingredients. Then stir in the apple butter mixture just until all is moist.

Mix the wheat germ and the walnuts together in a small bowl.

Spoon into the muffin pans, sprinkle each with the wheatgerm mixture, and bake for 20 minutes. The tops will spring back when lightly pressed.

These were fabulous. I don’t remember baking these before even after printing out the recipe back in 2006. They are enjoyable warm right out of the oven, in the middle of the morning as a snack, and also the next day, and evening, and then for morning again…

French Carrot Salad from an American kitchen

In my everlasting love of cooking and reading I have the charter edition of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Magazine. You will recognize him from America’s Test Kitchen. There are some interesting recipes in here, one of which was grated carrot salad. I have several recipes for this and have made it, adding Craisins in the past and sometimes crushed pineapple. Having matured in my food tastes I can now understand the addition of olive oil. Before I would only add the fruit juice, lemon or orange or combination of both.

Having carrots in the house I thought I would try this. I, naturally, did not have all of the necessary ingredients. I don’t have white balsamic vinegar, nor fresh tarragon. I never let any of these problems stop me, do you? I use a fresh lemon and dried tarragon. So this is not really the recipe from the magazine, but is definitely inspired by it.

  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 carrots, peeled and shredded
  • handful of fresh parsley

Using my food processor with the shredder blade, I shred the carrots. I mix the first five ingredients to make a dressing. Mix that into the shredded carrots. Then chop the parsley, leaves only, and stir that into the salad. Voila!

20161026_220241963_ios

Hubby describes it as “hmmm, what did you season it with? Oil and herbs?” Yes! And they like it. And it’s probably good for us, too!