Sunday, January 31, 2010

Collard Greens

Since we started receiving our organic food delivery last week, I've been challenged to find recipes that I never thought to search for. I've never cooked collard greens. They are a leafy-green, with a different texture than that of spinach or kale. All the recipes I saw said to take off the stems, so I wanted a recipe that was relatively simple and not time consuming so that I could see if I like to eat collard greens.

I found out that I actually do! I wasn't sure about the vinegar in this recipe, but it actually worked. Sometimes I just have to leave it to the professionals to tell me what to do.

Ham, Collard Greens, and Egg Noodle Bowl

To speed up the preparation of this Southern-style noodle bowl, cook the pasta and broth mixture at the same time. Spice it up with hot pepper sauce, if you wish, and serve it with corn bread.

6 servings (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups)

3 1/3 cups uncooked wide egg noodles (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups diced reduced-sodium smoked ham (about 11 ounces)
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups sliced collard greens, stems removed
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add smoked ham; cook 8 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add chopped onion and next 6 ingredients (through garlic); cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender, stirring frequently. Add collard greens; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vinegar; cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Stir in the egg noodles and black pepper, and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 270 (29% from fat)
Fat: 8.8g (sat 2.8g,mono 2.3g,poly 3g)
Protein: 18.8g
Carbohydrate: 29.4g
Fiber: 3.5g
Cholesterol: 76mg
Iron: 2.1mg
Sodium: 999mg
Calcium: 76mg

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The BEST Cranberry Sauce

I tried this sauce out last Thanksgiving and made a double batch. It's good that I did because it quickly disappeared. This last holiday season, I made it twice, and I think now I just need to find excuses year round to make it. I love my grandmas, but their cranberry sauces didn't even compare to this one! (It's a Real Simple recipe.)

Warm Apricot-Cranberry Sauce
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated
16 ounces cranberries (I used fresh)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup apricot preserves

In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, sugar, orange juice, and preserves. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes (it happens faster if you cover the saucepan). Transfer to a bowl and serve warm.

Make-Ahead Note: The sauce can be made up to two days in advance. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to reheat.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Morning Hash

By the way, in case you were wondering, the Root Vegetable Hash with Horseradish Cream tastes excellent the next morning with a Fried Egg on top and Crispy bacon on the side. Finish it off with a half a banana and a glass of Orange Juice. The breakfast of champions!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Organic Goodness

I recently watched the documentary film called Food Inc. I'm not one for preachy documentaries but I have to say I was immediately grasped by this in terms of conviction and empowerment. I had no idea of the huge food conspiracy going on in this country by corporate foodies to keep hidden from us what we are actually eating. We have a right to know! Let's just say, Don and I have been persuaded to switch entirely to only pasture raised antibiotic free meat products and organic sustainable agriculture. One of the first things I did was sign us up for weekly deliveries of fresh organic produce from Dandelion Organic Delivery in Bellingham, WA. I've been so excited about this and our first Harvest Box arrived today! I have lots of fun meals planned for the week. Below is what we tackled for our first meal. It was fun and delicious!

Root Vegetable Hash with Horseradish Cream
This first recipe is from the Food Network website. Surprisingly there were no reviews or ratings on this one so it was a complete unknown for us trying this one out. The hash was delicious and I really cannot wait to eat the leftovers for my breakfast tomorrow. But the horseradish cream sauce is just amazing! Don doesn't like sour cream so we used plain organic yogurt instead. Also we added some fresh graded horseradish root to the hash itself that we had leftover in the fridge. I'm quite happy with our substitutions as I think they were an improvement on the original recipe. Also, trying to press the hash into individual cakes didn't really work so I left that part out. A simple standard hash is fine for this recipe. Below is the recipe as we made it and recommend.


Horseradish Cream:

  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup plain organic yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch freshly ground pepper


  • 4 tablespoons butter, diced
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly, 1 cup (4 ounces)
  • 2 springs fresh rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound Yukon gold or other waxy potatoes, skin on
  • 1 large carrot (2 to 3 ounces)
  • 1 large beet, peeled (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated horseradish root
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


For the horseradish cream, whisk the horseradish into the sour cream and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large (10-inch) nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add the onion and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the onion and cook another minute.

Meanwhile, with the shredding blade of a food processor, or with a box grater, grate the potatoes into a colander. Rinse and pat very dry. (Giving them a turn in a salad spinner helps, too.)

Stir the potatoes into the vegetables in the skillet. Cook the potatoes, undisturbed until they get crusty on the bottom. Then, stir the crispy bottom into the tender potato, and continue to cook to re-crisp the bottom. Continue this browning and periodic stirring until the potatoes are almost cooked through, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, shred the carrot and beet.

Remove the rosemary sprigs. Stir the carrot and beets into the potato hash, and cook until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in bits along the sides of the skillet, and then brown the hash over high heat. Turn the hash in large sections with a spatula to brown the other sides, another minute.

Divide the vegetable hash among 4 plates and serve warm with the horseradish cream.

Mustard-Roasted Fish

So very good and so very simple! It's hard to do wrong with this recipe. The sauce is light and flavorful and appeals to a broad range of pallets. Make with just about any white fish fillet. We made with fresh Dover fillets from Vis Fresh Seafood in Bellingham. We couldn't find Cream Fraiche so we used regular organic heavy whipping cream.


  • 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it's barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it's done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Hearty (and easy) Veggie Winter Soup

Delicious.  Hubby loves it (and he normally doesn't like straight veggie soups).  Slowcooker recipe.  Need I say more?  Thanks to Mary for this recipe!  I don't know why I waited so long to make this, I should have tried it years ago.  It's delicious!

Vegetable Barley Soup

3 cups water
14 1/2 ounces canned diced tomatoes
10 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
4 ounces tomato sauce
1/3 cup regular barely
2 each vegetable bouillon cubes or 4 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
dash ground red pepper

In a 3 1/2 or 4 quart electric crocker cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover; cook on low-heat setting for 9 to 11 hours or cook on high-heat setting for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours. Makes 5 side-dish servings.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Getting Creative

Last week our printer broke. This proved especially difficult since I use Master Cook to meal plan. I can print out all my recipes and it even creates a grocery list so I don't have to wonder if I missed something. But as I sat at my computer and began to meal plan, I realized it was moot since I couldn't print out anything. So I turned to my cook-books and came up with a week full of new recipes. I had so much fun and am excited about these new dishes!

Monday: Hamburger Soup (courtesy Nancy, my MIL)

Tuesday: Penne w/ Chicken Sausage & Broccolini (from Almost Meatless)

Wednesday: Quick Beef Tacos (from Real Simple)

Thursday: Italian Tuna Melts w/ White Beans and Provolone (from Rachel Ray)

Friday: Meatballs with Sauteed Chard (from Real Simple)

Saturday: I think we're going out to dinner

Sunday: A new week begins! Maybe our new printer will have arrived, otherwise I'll be going trudging through my cookbooks once again. Maybe I'll just do that anyway, I never know what I'm going to find.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fresh Summer Pizza

Pizza is generally not one of my favorite meals during the summer. It's usually heavy with cheese and sauce, and don't feel good afterwards. But lately I've started making my own (still using a boboli but will eventually make my own crust) and they are so much better! For one, I can use any sauce I want and TWO it's not drowned in cheese. Cindy & I made a great pizza a few weeks ago -- and I'll post that recipe eventually -- but last night I decided to try a new version and it was delicious! I used mozzarella instead of provolone cheese, but it still tasted yummy!

I have no idea where I got this recipe, I've had it for years. It's probably from Cooking Light or Real Simple!

Fresh Tomato-Pesto Pizza


4 cups basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 Italian cheese-flavored pizza crust (such as 1lb Boboli)
3 cups chopped seeded tomato (about 2 pounds)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded provolone cheese (4 ounces)
1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves


Preheat oven to 475°.

To prepare pesto, place 4 cups basil leaves and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor, and pulse 5 times or until coarsely chopped. With processor on, add broth, Parmesan, and oil through food chute; process until well-blended.

To prepare pizza, place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread pesto over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; top with the tomato, garlic slices, and provolone. Bake at 475° for 12 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup basil. Cut the pizza into 8 wedges.