Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pasta with Sausage and Collard Greens

1 package of sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
1/2 large onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 box elbow macaroni pasta
1 bunch collard greens, stems discarded and leaves chopped into 1 inch pieces
parmesan cheese

Brown sausage in saute pan over medium high heat. Add onions and continue to cook until translucent. Add white wine and cook until it is evaporated. Stir in collard greens and cook until slightly wilted. Meanwhile cook pasta, drain and add to sausage mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Place into bowls and top with parmesan cheese before serving.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spring Onions, Fennel and Swiss Chard over Couscous

Last night I made a lot of chicken so tonight I served the leftover pieces of chicken with some new fresh vegetables and whole wheat couscous. The vegetable mixture was very tasty and didn't take much time to prepare.

Spring Onions, Fennel and Swiss Chard
Olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 bunch Swiss Chard, stems cut into 1/2 inch pieces and leaves chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 zest of lemon

Coat large saute pan with olive oil and turn heat to medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until garlic becomes golden brown and very aromatic. Then remove the garlic from the pan and discard it. Add the onion, fennel and swiss chard stems, stir to coat with oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir in white wine and lemon zest. Cook, covered, for 5-6 minutes, until the veggies becomes soft and wilted. Remove the lid and cook until most of the liquid has reduced, another 3-4 minutes. Toss in the swiss chard leaves, stir to combine and cook another couple minutes. Serve hot.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mustard Herb Chicken with Spinach and White Beans

I recently joined a veggie co-op and get fresh, organic vegetables once a week. You will be seeing a lot of recipes now with dark, leafy greens because that is mostly what we get from the co-op. Tonight I used the fresh spinach and sauteed it with some garlic and beans. (You could use any type of greens with this recipe, for instance, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe). I also used the fresh herbs I got from the co-op for my chicken.

Mustard Herb Chicken
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Put the herbs, mustard, olive oil, and chicken in a zip-lock bag. Mix to coat chicken. Marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours (8 hours would be better).
In a saute or grill pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil. Add chicken (discarding bag the marinade was in) to the skillet. Sprinkle each breast with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until chicken is browned. Turn chicken over and cook until done.

Sauteed Spinach with White Beans
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1 large bunch fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 can white beans, rinsed and drained
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth

Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until pale golden, about 1 minute. Add greens by large handfuls, stir until just beginning to wilt. Before adding more handfuls, toss to coat with oil. Add broth, cover and simmer until greens are tender. Add beans and simmer uncovered until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Meatballs submitted by Susan Hardy

Spaghetti squash:
Cut squash in quarters and put in baking dish with 1/4 cut water. Bake for 45 minutes at 400 degess or until fork tender.
Remove pan from oven and cool until the squash can be handled.
Scrape the "spaghetti" strands from the shell with a fork.
Return to the baking dish. (Drain the water before putting the Spaghetti in pan.)

Mix 1 pound of ground turkey with:
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (no stems)
2 teaspoons crushed fresh rosemary
1/2 finely chopped onion
1 finely chopped clove of garlic
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 heaping tablespoons romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten

Form into meatballs. Place on jellyroll pan sprayed with Olive Oil. Bake at 400 degrees along with the squash for about 30 minutes.

Sauteed Veggies:
Saute in 1 tablespoon Olive Oil until softened:
1 clove of garlic
1/2 roughly chopped onion
1 small zucchini, chopped
3 or 4 white mushrooms, chopped

2 rough chopped tomatoes

Heat through and pour over Spaghetti squash, service with meatballs and a green salad.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Smoky Spanish Style Pan Roast submitted by Christina Posencheg

Smoky Spanish style pan roast

1 pound small red new potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
3/4 pound unpeeled large shrimp
1/4 pound Spanish chorizo, thinly sliced
1 pound green beans, trimmed
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pilsner beer
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine potatoes, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large roasting pan, tossing well to coat potatoes. Arrange potatoes in a single layer, cut side down, in pan. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

3. While potatoes cook, peel shrimp, leaving tails intact. Devein shrimp, if desired. Set shrimp aside.

4. Stir chorizo, green beans, garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper into pan. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes. Add beer, paprika, and bell pepper, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Nestle shrimp into vegetable mixture. Bake at 400° for 10 minutes or until potatoes and green beans are tender and shrimp are done. Sprinkle with fresh parsley leaves.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Healthier Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Recently I bought coconut oil because I read about it great health benefits so I have been trying to figure out ways to use it. Today I made oatmeal raisin cookies and substituted half the butter for coconut oil... they were delicious. You can hardly taste the coconut oil so if you are serving to people that don't like coconut, they will never know it is in there!

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups oats
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Beat together butter, coconut oil and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add cinnamon, flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir in oats and raisins.
Drop by rounded tablespoons on to un-greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool 1 minute on cookie sheet then transfer to a cooling rack.

More information on coconut oil:
  • rich in lauric acid (which is a medium-chain fatty acid found in mother's milk that supports a healthy metabolism)
  • supports a healthy thyroid function & proper weight management
  • known to promote smooth and supple skin
  • can be used in place of other oils including butter
Also~ it is solid (just like shortening) at room temperature but melts like butter when put on heat. I bought it at Whole Foods but you can get it anywhere.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon submitted by Allie Richardson

It is not the quickest dinner to make, but after I watched the Julie & Julia movie, I had to try making it. It was well worth the effort!

  • One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 white onions, small
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

  • Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

    Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

    Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.

    In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

    Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

    Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

    Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

    Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

    Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.

    Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

    Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

    While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

    Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.

    Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.

    Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

    Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

    Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.

    Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

    When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

    Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

    Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

    If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

    Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

    Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010

    Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Kale and Quinoa submitted by Rachel Renninger

    This recipe comes from Healhty Green Kitchen (

    For the quinoa:

    1 cup quinoa

    1 1/2 cups water

    pinch of sea salt

    Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer (this is important or it will be bitter). Place in an uncovered 1 quart pan with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until all water is absorbed (about 20 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to sit in covered pot for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

    For the garlic shrimp with kale:

    1 Tb. olive oil

    1 Tb. butter

    2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced (use more if you really like garlic)

    1/2 pound wild caught shrimp, preferably sustainably harvested

    1-2 cups kale, chopped fine

    1/2 cup tomato sauce juice from

    1/2 lemon pinch or two of red pepper flakes

    course sea salt

    cooked quinoa

    fresh parmesan cheese for serving-optional

    In a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy-bottomed pan, heat the butter and olive oil. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, being careful so it doesn’t burn. Add the shrimp and kale and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until the shrimp have just turned pink and the kale is cooked through. Add tomato sauce and cook for another minute or so. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.

    Serve over quinoa and sprinkle with fresh parmesan, if desired.

    Monday, May 10, 2010

    Pork Tenderloin with Goat Cheese Pasta and Rhubarb Crisp submitted by Ginny Smith

    Trader Joe's Black Pepper and Garlic Pork Tenderloin

    Preheat Oven to 350
    Brown pork on both sides in skillet with 1T olive oil
    Transfer to baking dish
    Bake for 20 minutes per pound

    Leeks, Walnuts and Goat's Cheese on Pasta (From All is Forgiven Move on by Janice Taylor)

    Servings: 4

    Pasta - one lb. box - I used Conchiglie (shell shaped)
    1 tablespoon butter
    3 cloves garlic, chopped
    2 large leeks, chopped
    White wine, two splashes
    3 ozs. goat's cheese
    1/3 cup walnuts, shelled and shelled chopped into pieces
    parsley leaves


    Toast Walnuts for 5 minutes at 375

    Cook pasta per package instructions
    While pasta is boiling in a large saucepan, melt the butter
    Add garlic and leeks, saute for 4 to 5 minutes
    Splash in the white wine
    Cook until the wine has reduced
    Add to cooked pasta
    Crumble in goat's cheese and the walnuts
    Stir and garnish with chopped green onions

    Rhubarb Crisp with Walnut Topping ( from

    1/3 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup rolled oats
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1 Tb granulated sugar
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 cup softened butter


    5 cups
    rhubarb, cut into 1" pieces - I had 1/2 pint of raspberries that I threw in as well
    3/4 cup granulated sugar

    For Topping:
    Spread walnuts on baking sheet & bake in 375 oven for 5 minutes
    Let cool
    In medium bowl, combine nuts, flour , rolled oats, brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg
    Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until mixture is crumbly.
    For Filling:
    In large bowl, toss rhubarb with sugar
    Arrange in even layer in buttered 8-in square baking dish
    Sprinkle walnut topping evenly over rhubarb
    Bake, uncovered, in 375 oven 35 minutes
    Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

    Sunday, May 9, 2010

    Chicken Marbella submitted by Erin Hardy Burns

    I “made” Chicken Marbella from The Silver Palate Cookbook it is a recipe my Aunt Amy Haugh introduced to me over 10 years ago when it was a favorite of her small children!

    Actually, I did all the prep work back on January 15, 2010 and put ½ of it in the freezer at the marinate stage. All that needed to be done today was to dump the frozen chicken out of the Ziploc bag into the crock pot, add the white wine and brown sugar and cook it all day. When I arrived home from work my house smelled like I had been cooking all day! I quickly roasted asparagus, cooked a basmati rice medley from Trade Joe’s and served it with some leftover yellow zucchini I had grilled this weekend. A home cooked meal after a long day at work that the whole family could enjoy, including my 13 month old daughter!

    Chicken Marbella Recipe

    2 chickens, 2 1/2 lbs each, quartered, bone-in, skin-on

    1/2 head of garlic, peeled and finely puréed

    2 Tbsp dried oregano

    Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

    1/4 cup red wine vinegar

    1/4 cup olive oil

    1/2 cup pitted prunes

    1/4 cup pitted Spanish green olives

    1/4 cup capers with a bit of juice

    3 bay leaves

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/2 cup white wine

    2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley or cilantro, finely chopped

    1 In a large bowl combine garlic, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, vinegar, olive oil, prunes, olives, capers with caper juice, and bay leaves. Add the chicken pieces and coat completely with the marinade. Cover and let marinate, refrigerated, several hours or overnight. At this stage I separate it into 2 larger ziploc bags, ½ for now ½ for later!

    2 Preheat oven to 350°F.

    3 Arrange chicken in a single layer in one or two large, shallow baking pans and spoon marinade over it evenly. Sprinkle chicken pieces with brown sugar and pour white wine around them.

    4 Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, basting frequently with the pan juices. Chicken is done when thigh pieces, pricked with a fork at their thickest point, yield clear yellow juice (not pink).

    5 With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken, prunes, olives, and capers to a serving platter. Add some of the pan juices and sprinkle generously with parsley or cilantro. Serve remaining juice in a gravy boat.

    Serves 5.

    Guest Chef Weeks

    For those of you who don't know me...
    Lola Susan entered this world on May 5th!
    We are very excited and enjoying our new addition to the family!

    Since I will be adjusting to life with 3 children I need your help to continue my blog entries for the next few weeks. This week starts the beginning "Guest Chef Week." Please send me recipes and pictures of meals you are making and I will feature you on the blog!