Jan 29, 2011

Curried Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

1 (2 pound) butternut squash
3 T unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 t. minced fresh ginger root
1 T curry powder
1 t salt
4 c. chicken broth
2 Pears, peeled & diced
1/2 cup half and half (or yogurt, milk, sour cream)

1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut squash in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membrane. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until very soft, about 45 minutes. Scoop the pulp from the peel, and reserve.
2. Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, and salt. Cook and stir until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.
3. Pour the chicken broth into the pot, and bring to a boil. Stir in the pears and the reserved squash, and simmer until the pears are very soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender. Puree in batches until smooth.
5. Return the soup to the pot, stir in the half and half, and reheat.

*Cheryl found this recipe on allrecipes.com when looking for recipes that had ingredients she got from her Bountiful Baskets produce. Apparently she got rave reviews about it from Mom and Dad, so I had to post it.

Jan 24, 2011

Nutritional Yeast: An Simple Food Addition

Ever heard of nutritional Yeast? I'm not one for supplements, but this is more like a food that you can just throw onto/into anything! And, it's great for It's not just a pill that may or may not work....it's food! It's great to add to things because of it's cheesy, nutty flavor. The type I have looks like fish flake food. It is a complete protein with the B-complex vitamins and helps intestinal health along the lines of probiotics!

Things to add it to...
-Popcorn (with butter and salt)
-Pasta with a little oil (in place of parmesan)
-Soups (to thicken a little or add to the flavor)
-Create a dip with a flavor twist

This is esp. helpful because I don't eat a lot of dairy, and so this seems a better cheese alternative, for little things. I bought a huge tub of it on amazon, but it should be at local grocers in the bulk natural foods aisle. It is kept in my fridge and lasts a long time.

Here's what wikipedia says about it:
"Yeast is used in nutritional supplements popular with vegans and the health conscious, where it is often referred to as "nutritional yeast". It is a deactivated yeast, usually Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is an excellent source of protein and vitamins, especially the B-complex vitamins, whose functions are related to metabolism as well as other minerals and cofactors required for growth. It is also naturally low in fat and sodium. Some brands of nutritional yeast, though not all, are fortified with vitamin B12, which is produced separately by bacteria. Nutritional yeast, though it has a similar appearance to brewer's yeast, is very different and has a very different taste."Nutritional yeast has a nutty, cheesy, creamy flavor which makes it popular as an ingredient in cheese substitutes. It is often used by vegans in place of Parmesan cheese. Another popular use is as a topping for popcorn. It can also be used in mashed and fried potatoes, as well as putting it into scrambled eggs. It comes in the form of flakes, or as a yellow powder similar in texture to cornmeal, and can be found in the bulk aisle of most natural food stores. In Australia it is sometimes sold as "savory yeast flakes". Though "nutritional yeast" usually refers to commercial products, inadequately fed prisoners have used "home-grown" yeast to prevent vitamin deficiency."

Jan 17, 2011

Tender Slowcooker Pork Chops

6 pork chops
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
1/2 cup flour (I use brown rice, ground)
1 large onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I use ground brown rice)

lots of salt (to taste)
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (I use yogurt, or you can do milk)

1.Season pork chops with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then dredge in 1/2 cup flour. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly brown chops in a small amount of oil.
2.Place chops in slow cooker, and top with onion slices. Cover, and cook on Low 7 to 8 hours.
3. Take out pork chops and salt remaining sauce.
4.Optional: In a small bowl, blend 2 tablespoons flour with the sour cream; mix into meat juices. Turn slow cooker to High for 15 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is more thickened. Serve sauce over pork chops.

*Serve over yummy mashed potatoes or with a bed of rice or noodles! The meat was so tender and delicious! My husband said he'd never had such great chops!

Another alternative is to just take 5 minutes and make the gravy on the stove instead of the 15-20 minutes back in the pot.

*from allrecipes.com

Jan 8, 2011

Stuffed Cabbage Parcels

12 oz. lean minced pork
1 med. onion
8 oz. diced canned tomatoes
salt & pepper
10 oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
16 large Savoy or Napa cabbage leaves
3 T butter
3 T flour
3/4 pint milk
2 oz. med. or sharp cheddar cheese
pinch of paprika, to finish

1. Put the minced pork in a saucepan, preferably non-stick, over med. heat and cook in its own fat until beginning to brown, stirring from time to time to ensure that it does not stick.
2. Add the onion and fry until softened and lightly colored. Add the tomatoes with their juice and bring to a boil stirring. Season to taste, then simmer over med. heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pork is cooked and the sauce thick and well reduced. Stir in the kidney beans and remove the pan from the heat. Set aside, covered, while preparing the cabbage leaves for stuffing.
3. Blanch the cabbage for 3 minutes for minutes in batches of 4 leaves at a time, in a large pan of boiling salted water. Drain cabbage leaves, rinse them under cold water and pat them dry with absorbent paper towels.
4. Lay the cabbage leaves flat on a chopping board. Using a sharp knife, cut out the thick central stalks. (I cut them into bite size pieces and put in soups or stir-fry's to not waste).
5. Put 1-11/2 T filling mixture a the stalk end of each cabbage leaf. Fold the 2 sides inwards to cover the filling mixture, then roll up to make a neat, compact parcel.
6. Arrange the parcels, seam down close together in a well buttered flameproof serving dish.
7. Put the butter, flour and milk in a saucepan. Heat, whisking continuously, until the sauce thickens, boils and is smooth. Simmer for 1-2 minutes. Season to taste. Pour the sauce evenly over the cabbage parcels in the dish.

taken from: The Diary Book of British Food

Vegetable Curry

2 T. vegetable or olive oil
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
2 garlic cloves
1 med. onion, skinned and chopped
1 small cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 potatoes, roughly chopped
2 carrots, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
8 oz. tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 oz. plain yogurt
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, then add the coriander, cumin, chili, turmeric, garlic and onion and saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously.
2. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, carrots and green pepper and stir to coat in the spices. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/4 pint of water. Bring to a boil, cover and gently simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
3. Remove from heat, stir in the yogurt and season with salt & pepper. Serve with rice and chutney (optional).

taken from: The Diary Book of British Food