Sunday, January 30, 2011

Swiss Chard & Garlic Pasta

As often as possible I try to incorporate fresh vegetables.  My kids will eat pretty much anything as long as it TASTE GOOD!!!! Swiss Chard is a lovely green to use in pasta dishes because it holds its own.  I used a ton of Garlic which makes everything better!!! Cherry Tomatoes... what can I say... most people don't even like them in salads!!! I love Cherry Tomatoes in pasta dishes because they are so full of flavor and have a beautiful texture. Here is what you will need for this dish:
1 Box of Spaghetti, I used Thick
1 Onion, chopped
1 -2 Cups Cherry Tomatoes, Blanched
4-5 Cups Swiss Chard, Rinsed and Chopped
5-6 Cloves of Garlic, use as much or as little as like
1 Tablespoon Basil
2 Teaspoon Oregano
5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
Pinch of Salt and Pepper to Taste

Cook your pasta according to instructions on the box.

Swiss Chard, chopped

Cherry Tomatoes

Whenever possible use fresh herbs!!! When I went Basil shopping I could not find any worth buying.  I always keep some sort of frozen herbs as back up and use dry as a last resort.

Boil tomatoes for 1 minute...

Have Ice Bath Ready

Throw your tomatoes in ...

Cut the Steam side off...

Peel the skin off ...

You will be left with just the flesh of the Tomato.  Sounds tedious but can be done fairly quickly.

Rough slice the garlic, I love it when I can not only taste the garlic but see it in my dishes.

Heat the Onion and cook on high for about 2 minutes.

Add the Garlic... cook for another 2 minutes... Be careful not to have the heat up too high, if you burn the garlic it will bitter your dish.

Add tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute.

Add Herbs, Salt and Pepper.

Add Swiss Chard

Cook for about 1 minute

Add cooked pasta (follow directions on the box) Toss and serve right away!!!

This dish is beautiful and light... Has a robust flavor and pairs well with a good white wine!

Spinach & Egg Soup

12 Cups of Water 
4-5 Cups Spinach, washed and chopped
2 Green Onions, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Onion, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Carrots, chopped
1 1/2 Cups Celery, chopped
3 Tablespoons Better Than Bouillon, Chicken or Vegetable, optional for Low or No Sodium Diets
2 Bay Leaves
3 Eggs, Lightly Scrambled
2 Tablespoons Salt, Optional 
Pepper to Taste

To make the broth bring water to a boil and add your trinity, onions, carrots and celery.  Add the Better Than Bouillon and the  Bay Leaves. Boil and then bring down to simmer... cook for 30 minutes. Strain the veggies out to leave just the broth. Turn the heat off ... add the spinach, pepper to taste and swirl the egg into the soup.  DONE!!! This is a light, simple soup meant to be a starter to a great meal!!! 

Trinity...Onions, Celery, Carrots

Fresh Chopped Spinach

Bay Leaves

2 Chopped Green Onions

Better Than Bouillon, this is optional for people on a Low or No Sodium

Bring to a Boil and simmer for 30 minutes

Strain the veggies out.

You will be left with a beautiful clear broth

Turn the heat off and add the Spinach & Green Onions

Swirl in the egg. 

This soup is truly lovely and light. 

Spaghetti Squash with Italian Turkey Sausage, Broccoli Raab with Vodka Sauce

I went to spend the weekend at a friends house. I took a Roasted Spaghetti Squash and some Broccoli Raab with me that I had received as a part of my Harvest 2 U box... I made this dish in less than 20 minutes, I used a Jar of Vodka Sauce (no time to make homemade) I was impressed at how wonderful it tasted... if your interested to know what kind it was.... Vons Brand, black label, Vodka Sauce. 

1 Spaghetti Squash, Roasted (see how to roast below)
1 Bunch Broccoli Raab, rinsed and chopped
4-5 Garlic Cloves, rough sliced
1 Pound Italian Turkey Sausage, casings removed
1 Jar Vodka Sauce
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese 

This is what buttered Spaghetti Squash looks like. 

Cooked Turkey with Garlic and Broccoli Raab

Heated Vodka Sauce

Heated Vodka Sauce over Spaghetti Sauce

First to roast your Spaghetti Squash preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Wash and dry your spaghetti squash. With a small thin knife or a fork puncture the skin of the squash, be careful not to hurt yourself, the skin can be tough.  Place on a cookie sheet and bake covered with foil for 1 hour.  Stick a thin sharp knife into the squash... if it goes in easy without resistance, it is done.  If not, cook covered for another 30 minutes.  Let the squash cool completely.  Slice the squash the long way, with a spoon scoop the seeds and center.  Next, take a fork and shred the squash strings out.  Place in a bowl and heat in the microwave with some butter for about 3 minutes. 

In a large skillet heat up oil and add the sausage and the garlic.  Break the sausage as you cook it.  When the sausage is thoroughly cooked add the chopped Broccoli Raab and cook for about 1 minute.  

In a separate saucepan heat the Vodka Sauce. 

In a large serving platter arrange the buttered Spaghetti Squash, pour the hot Vodka Sauce over the squash and the Sausage with Broccoli Raab over that.  Sprinkle with Shredded Parmesan Cheese and serve right away.  

This dish is absolutely delicious... and if you roast the squash the day before your can prepare this dish in just minutes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jeanette's Potstickers

My kids love eating anything they can use their hands to eat!!! I love making things where I can make a little extra and freeze for another day. I have been making these Potstickers for years and have always been a hit!!! My Harvest 2 U box came with some Tatsoi this week... Tatsoi is a form of Cabbage... so for this recipe please use what you can get locally... any form of Cabbage will work!! I also used Ground Organic Chicken Breast... you can substitute with a block of Medium to Firm Tofu. Here are your ingredients:

1 Package Won Ton Wrappers
4 Cups Finely Chopped Cabbage, I used Tatsoi
3 Green Onions, Chopped
1/4 Cup Cilantro, chopped
1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon Ginger, minced
1 LB ground Chicken, Turkey (try to buy organic when possible) or 1 Block Tofu, crumbled
3 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin
2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil
1-3 Teaspoons Asian Hot Sauce
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Fresh Cilantro, one of my favorite herbs to use.

Green Onions, commonly used in Asian Cuisine

Won Ton Wrappers


Ginger, Hot Sauce, and Ground Ginger

Sesame Oil

Soy Sauce and Mirin

Organic Ground Chicken Breast

In a Large Non Stick Skillet combine the Meat or Tofu, Green Onions, Garlic, Ginger and Hot Sauce.

 Cook until most of the liquid has been evaporated.

Add the Cabbage, Cilantro, Sesame Oil, Soy Sauce and Mirin

Cook until again most of the liquid is evaporated.

Put in a bowl and chill... I threw mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes.

So there are many fancy ways to fold a Potsticker... I went with this fold because it is quick and easy and if your kids are helping you cook, like they should be, it is easy for little hands to get the job done. Place the Won Ton Wrapper on your work surface.

Add about 1 Tablespoon of the mixture in the center.

Have a small ramekin with water handy (this is your glue).  Wet all 4 edges, use your fingers, and please don't saturate, a little will do!

Fold up to make a triangle.

Fold the bottom edges in ...
And fold the top down, it should look like a little envelope filled with goodness as my son Jake would say. Make the entire package of Won Ton wrappers... cook half and freeze the rest.  If you are going to freeze them, you do it before you cook them, place them on a cookie sheet so they are not touching... freeze this way.... once frozen, put in a Freezer Bag and you are done....

In the same pan you cooked the filling in (don't need to wash it, I prefer you don't all that flavor is in the pan) place a few Potsticker's making sure they are not touching. ALWAYS use a good Non Stick Pan... and add about 1/2 cup of water... set heat and med to high.

Cover and cook for about 2 minutes or until water in evaporated... you can crank up the heat if its taking a while.

Uncover and add another 1/2 cup of water

Cover again until water is gone... you will end up with a soft fluffy steamed side, and a crispy browned side... Serve right away with Soy Sauce.

They are crispy, soft, savory, spicy and flat out delicious!!!!!!!!!