February 23, 2011

Creamy Potato, Fennel, Celery root Soup!

warm, easy and nutritious....shall I say more? 

What you need:

2 1/2 C. Cubed peeled yukon gold potatoes 
1 C. Celery root peeled/cubed
1 Bulb Fennel diced and divided
1 Leek (white part) chopped
1 shallot 
2 cloves garlic
1 T. butter 
6 C. hot broth (veggie or chicken)
1/2 C. white wine (optional)
1/2 C. Soy/Almond milk
1 tsp Cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
fresh parsley and sage

Step 1: Heat 1 T. EVOO in a heavy bottom pot, add in leek and sweat about 6 min. Then add butter, finely chopped shallots, garlic and 1/2 chopped fennel bulb, cook for a few more min. until browning starts to happen throw in S&P at this time.

Step 2: Add in celery root and 2 C. potatoes, gently sauté for a few min.

Step 3: Raise heat and de-glaze pan with white wine, a little at a time until absorbed. You will start to notice the starches being released and becoming almost sticky.

Step 4: Add in 4 cups of broth and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover for 30min.

Step 4.5: While you are simmering get out a saute pan and add 1 T. EVOO and remaining potatoes and chopped fennel, allow to saute till lightly caramelized.

Step 5: Once veggies are tender blend quickly (this meaning don't over blend unless you want glue)

Step 6: Bring puree back to stove and a gentle heat, add in milk and the gradually add remaining broth until it gets to a consistency you like, dump in sauteed potatoes and fennel, add cumin, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs and S&P to taste, cook on med. heat till potatoes are completely soft.

Step 7: put in bowl and garnish with fresh herbs and creme fraiche or croutons if desired.


February 22, 2011

Quick Meyer Lemon Grilled Chicken with Lemon Couscous and roasted winter Vegetables

Unfortunately I am one of those working stiffs, who pulls out their creative cooking juices on the weekends aka weekend food warrior? hmmm I am sure I can come up with something better, but alas it is a work day and my brain is tapped. I made this dinner the other night and it was just perfect, fast and lo-cal...., just because work can beat you with a stick it doesn't mean frozen pizza should be what you have to look forward for dinner tonight!

Meyer Lemon Grilled Chicken

2-4 Chicken Breasts
1 Meyer Lemon juiced and zest
1 Shallot chopped
fresh parsley chopped
salt and pepper

Step 1: make marinade with lemon juice/zest, garlic, parsley and whisk in EVOO.

Step 2: rinse chicken and pat dry, sprinkle S&P to season and put the chicken in marinade, refrigerate for at least 15min. flipping to make sure it marinades evenly.

Step 3: heat BBQ or grill pan, once heated brush with EVOO. Put chicken on hot grill for about 5-6min. each side depending on size of (.)(.) breasts, (I couldn't help it......). I use a meat thermometer to check for doneness, I hate the days where I would rest my meat only to find out it's raw....

Step 4: rest meat.

Lemon garlic couscous

1 C. whole wheat couscous
1.5 C. water
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 meyer lemon (thin sliced)
1 tsp. Cumin 
chopped parsley

Step 1: with a dash of EVOO lightly sauté garlic (I used green garlic here), before it browns add water, lemons and bring to a boil.

Step 2: when water reaches a boil add couscous and cumin. Cover and remove from heat for about 10min. 

Step 3: Fluff with fork and season with S&P and sprinkle in parsley.

Roasted Winter Veg.

whatever you have in your fridge that looks like it wants to commit suicide for me it was the miniature trees and root things.
lemon juice
2-3 cloves garlic rough chopped

Step 1: pre-heat oven to 350˚,  chop all sad veggies up into 1" sized pieces (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots et al.), put in a big bowl.

Step 2: add garlic, lemon juice and drizzle with enough EVOO to cover all vegetables, season with S&P.

Step 3: place in a single layer on a backing sheet and roast till vegetables turn lightly brown.

put all items on a plate and eat!

February 12, 2011

rustic grass fed pot roast...set it and forget it!

If there were 365 days of Pot Roast I would be a happy lady!
Shall I say more? This is such a simply divine way to dine after creating a disaster of Christmas Armageddon in your living room....Since we are fatties that love left overs I got a 4 lb. cut for two...romantic huh?

What you need:
A really good butcher.
4 lbs. of grass-fed (local preferred) Chuck Roast Center cut, have butcher tie it up or do it yourself.
5 cloves Garlic
1 Leek Chopped
1/2 lb. Mushrooms Sliced
4 Carrots quartered
1 Onion Quartered
1 lb. Yukon gold Potatoes
1 C. Red Wine
3 C. Organic low sodium beef broth
fresh herbs (parsley, sage, marjoram, thyme and oregano)

Step 0: Rinse and pat dry roast, salt and pepper.

Step 1: Slice 3 cloves of garlic. Make small slices into beef and insert garlic.

Step 2: Drizzle EVOO into a hot dutch oven, place beef into dutch oven and brown, for a large roast this can take about 20min.

Step 3: Remove roast set aside, turn down heat and add a bit of EVOO, add leeks to dutch oven and sweat down.

Step 4: Chop remaining garlic and add to leeks, then add mushrooms and Onion, S&P.

Step 5: pump up heat and add red wine in small amounts, when it reduces add beef broth and return roast. Add Carrots and Potatoes, fresh herbs and more S&P. Cover with lid and put in oven. Get back to the Christmas story and start hitting the hot toddies!

Step 6: When meat fork tender (about 3 hours I say) it is ready. remove roast and let rest, remove carrots and potatoes and put on a serving plate with roast- with the remnants in the pot either use a potato masher or an emersion blender and make into a sauce.

Step 7: Make a happy plate and smother in gravy....shown with a pear, almond, blue cheese salad...


Halloween Chili

This recipe is based on my mom's Halloween chili; we I call it that because for as long as I could remember every Halloween my Mom would have chili in the crock pot, and the soup soup soup  bowls sitting next to it, ready and waiting for someone to eat something nutritious and fiber filled before going  out on a candy bender.

Now don't get me wrong this chili is good any day of the year, and the best when it's really cold outside 

I prefer my chili to be hearty, beanie and meaty with a nice texture of veggies- most chili fails in at least one of these categories....I hope you enjoy, once you eat this chili you will never go back to the grease slick of dog food they try and pass as chili in a can. 

what you need:
1 C. black beans 
1 C. pinto beans
1 C. kidney beans 
(or 1 can of each if you are lazy)
1 lb. grass fed beef (or whatever type of meat you choose, I like ground turkey or bison as well)
1/2 onion chopped
1 green garlic or 3 cloves garlic chopped
1 green bell pepper rough chopped
1 lg. can whole peeled tomatoes (or fresh depending on season) chopped
10 mushrooms sliced
2-3 T. chili powder
3 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. paprika
few dashes of tabasco 
2 bay leaves
fresh herbs (oregano, parsley)

Step 0: make your beans- put beans in a pot and cover with water (3-4" covering), bring to boil and simmer covered till soft about 2-3hrs adding more water if they look like they need it- test every 30min.

*I usually do this before work and put them all together in a crockpot with a bayleaf- you can use canned too but I prefer making mine. 

Step 1: in a dutch oven or heavy pot put 1 T. of EVOO and heat up, add meat season with S&P and brown. Remove from pot when brown (not fully cooked just brown) and set aside. Don't leave the small amount of drippings in pan, since you are using lean meat there shouldn't be much.

 while browning meat chop all of your vegetables

Step 2: in now empty kinda greased pot add onion and saute, then garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms allow to brown. 

Step 3: return meat to pot and add spices allowing them to coat and cook for a min. then add tomatoes (with juice), cooked beans (with bean juice if canned or add 1/2 C. bean juice from beans), and herbs. 

Step 4: bring to a boil and put a lid on it, simmer for at least an hour if you are antsy, if you are a patient person that can wait, wait as long as you can....you will be rewarded with full flavor development. After awhile of cooking taste and season with S&P and spices (everyone has a different threshold)...

Step 5: serve with creme fraiche, cheddar cheese, scallions, whatever you want...

soup soup soup


ps. I usually freeze my leftover, leftovers in individual containers for lunch....