Friday, April 29, 2016

For The Love of Quinoa

A favorite for years I have tested many ways of making Quinoa and tonights was one of my new favorites.

1 Cup of Quinoa
2 Avocados, chopped
3 Vine Ripe Tomatos, chopped
3 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
Pickled Jalapeños
1/2 Can of Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 Can of Fresh Cured Green Olives, sliced
1 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, I prefer Olio Di Gio from Dry Creek Valley
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Dash of Sea Salt

Cook Quinoa as directed. Combine 1 cup of Quinoa with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir and let cool.  Mix all of the above ingredients. Once the Quinoa is cooled to a luke warm toss it in the mix. Salt to taste. Then enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Shephards Pie

My favorite recipe for Shepards Pie.

You will need the following ingredients when making Shepherd's Pie.  Sometimes I will use frozen peas instead of green beans.  Do NOT use canned peas for this recipe.

* any type of ground meat (beef, pork, lamb, etc).
* one medium size onion
* one can cream of mushroom soup
* one can grean beans or frozen peas (drain the green beans)
* potatoes (to be used for mashed potatoes)
* 3 cloves garlic (to be used together with mashed potatoes)
* butter and milk (to be used for mashed potatoes).
* grated cheese (cheddar it typically used, but other cheese varities may be used).
* I also add in a can of corn, drained

Peel potatoes and cut into cubes and place in large pot.  Peel garlic and place in pot with potatoes.  Fill with water and bring to a boil  While the potatoes are cooking, dice onion and saute in sauce pan with extra virgin olive oil.  Add the ground meat and brown.  Add the can of cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas or canned green beans, and turn heat to low and simmer while finishing the mashed potatoes.

Place meat mixture first in a casserole dish, cover with the mashed potatoes and top with the grated cheddar cheese.  Place in oven heated to 350F and bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese has melted and is slightly bubbled.  Serve warm with freshly ground black pepper.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

My friend Brook recommended this dish and it was delicious. Absolutely loved it!  A new holiday favorite. Taken from Food Network.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
Coarse salt and black pepper

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, recipe follows

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Garden Tinfoil Dinner

A few days ago I gathered a lot of different vegetables from my dad's garden and have been trying to figure out new things to make with them every night. With fall in the air I decided it was time to light the fire pit and make some Tinfoil Dinners. What a treat!

Vegetables picked fresh from the garden.

The finished product was absolutely delicious! I sliced up some cucumbers and tomatoes for the side.
Step 1: Cut the potatoes & squash into cubes. Slice onion, drizzle olive oil, sea salt, pepper and Italian Season and toss until covered (I also added in some leftover corn on the cob from the previous night that I sliced off the cob. Tear sheets of tinfoil enough to fold up. Place the mixture in the cent of the foil.
Step 2: Form loose balls with the ground meat and place on top. Seal the foil then wrap in a second layer of foil and seal.
Start a fire and get some nice hot coals from it. Place the foil dinners on the hot coals and cook for 30 minutes. Safely remove from the coals with long tongs and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Then open up and enjoy!