Miso Soup + Dashi

Tonight my daughter and I made miso soup with homemade dashi. Usually when we make miso soup we cheat and just use some store-bought chicken or vegetable broth and add miso, figuring it was good enough, but wow, this was so much better! There is so much complexity to this soup now that it has the smell of the ocean from the kombu and bonito flakes and the salty/savory flavor from the miso. So Delicious! The added bonus is that we don’t feel like we just ate a salt bomb as we often do after eating miso soup at a restaurant.  I think the sodium levels are pretty moderate in this version. Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures, so will have to add them next time I make this.

Miso Soup

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Savory homemade miso soup

Credit: Bon Appetit and Epicurious

Ingredients

Dashi

  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 – 6 x 5 inch pieces dried Kombu (a type of seaweed)
  • 1 1/2 ounces bonito flakes (about 3 cups)

Miso Soup

  • 8 cups of Dashi
  • 1/2 cup dried wakame (a type of seaweed)
  • 1/3 cup white miso
  • 1/2 pound tofu (I like firm tofu), drained and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup thinly cut scallions

Procedure

Dashi Instructions:

  1.  Pour water into a large saucepan. Add kombu and let sit until kombu softens, about 30 minutes.
  2. Bring water and kombu mixture to a slight boil and immediately remove from the heat. Discard the kombu.
  3. Add the bonito flakes and carefully stir once to submerge them. The broth will be clearer if you don’t vigorously stir it. Return to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for five minutes, skimming off any foam that might form.
  4. Strain the dashi (broth). You can let it cool and store it in the fridge for a couple of days or use it now to make the miso soup.

Miso Soup Instructions:

  1. Pour the dashi into a medium pot and mix in the wakame.
  2. Heat the dashi mixture over moderately high heat until hot. While the dashi is heating up remove about 1/2 cup of it and whisk it in a separate bowl with the miso until well combined.
  3. Add the tofu and scallions to the broth (dashi). Cook one minute. Turn off the heat.
  4. Mix the miso mixture into the soup and serve immediately. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    March 13, 2018

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miso!
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Dashi and vegetables before adding the miso mixture
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Mixing in the miso.
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Spoonful of umami heaven!
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Roasted Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

This is a Food and Wine Recipe that I pretty much followed except I used white wine instead of vermouth, deleted the butter, and added spinach and extra mushrooms. The recipe is quite creamy and decadent tasting but with only stock, wine, olive oil and vegetables added to the rice I think it is pretty healthy and nutritious. I made this three times already, and everyone I have made it for has really liked it. The original recipe says it only takes 35 minutes, but it has taken me at least an hour each time I have made it, so it is not quick, but I think it is worth it.

Roasted Mushroom and Spinach Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Rich, creamy yet healthy risotto with mushrooms and spinach

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound mixed wild mushrooms, such as oyster, hen-of-the-woods and chanterelle, cut or torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 7 cups low-sodium vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine (or vermouth as the original recipe was written)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus a little more for garnishing

Procedure

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the mushrooms with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread the mushrooms in an even layer and roast until golden and crisp, about 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
  3. While the mushrooms cook, warm the stock in either a pot or if you are lazy like me in a glass measuring cup in the microwave (one less pot to clean).
  4. In a large deep skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat stirring until softened, about 4 minutes.
  5. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 1 minute.
  6. Add the wine and cook, stirring until the wine is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
  7. Add 1 cup of the warm stock to the rice mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Repeat adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring constantly until the liquid is nearly absorbed between additions, for about 15 minutes (you may not use all the stock).
  8. Add 3/4 of the roasted mushrooms and all of the spinach to the risotto and cook, adding more stock as needed, until the rice is just tender and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve immediately, topping each potion with the remaining roasted mushrooms and a sprinkle of parmesan. Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    February 25, 2018

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the rice
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the mushrooms before roasting
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Rice mixture when liquid is first added
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Rice mixture when liquid is nearly absorbed and ready for more liquid to be added
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Adding spinach to the almost finished risotto
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Finished risotto

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Vegetable Ragu

Spaghetti Squash Parmesan with Vegetable Ragu

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: medium
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Fun and healthy twist on spaghetti and parmesan dishes using spaghetti squash and a hearty vegetable ragu.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into a small dice
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into a small dice
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 24 oz. can low-sodium crushed tomatoes
  • 24 oz. can low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano (or fresh if it is available)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil (or fresh if it is available)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Squash Preparation:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 6 oz. bag of fresh organic spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup (approx.) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salt and freshly ground salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Carefully slice the squash in half from top to bottom.  Remove the seeds with a spoon by scooping them out and lightly scraping the inside of the squash to get it completely seed-free.
  3. Rub a little olive oil on the inside of the squash and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until tender and slightly golden on the cut sides.
  4. While the squash cooks, prep the vegetables and make the sauce by heating some olive oil in a dutch oven or stock pot over medium-high heat.
  5. Sauté the onions for a few minutes, then add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the sliced mushrooms and chopped bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until the vegetables are softened.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and cook one minute. Add the tomatoes, herbs and a little more salt and pepper and red pepper flakes if desired. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes, longer if possible so the sauce gets thick.
  7. When the squash is tender remove it from the oven and run the fork along on the inside so it divides up like spaghetti.
  8. Turn the oven on to Broil.
  9. Microwave the spinach for one minute and press out the excess water. Divide up the spinach and parmesan in half and add to each squash half. Add about 1/2 cup of sauce and mix into the squash. Top with a little more sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  10. Place squash under broiler and cook until cheese is melted and starting to brown slightly.
  11. Depending on the size of the squash and your appetite either cut each half again so they are in quarters or serve as is.  Enjoy!

Notes: 

  • You can slice the very top and bottom of the squash to make it easier and safer before cutting it in half, or you can microwave the squash for a minute or two (poke a hole in the squash first) to soften it slightly before cutting.
  • You can save time by using jarred pasta sauce, but I think that the sauce plays a very important role here, so I prefer to make my own. This recipe actually makes much more sauce than you will need, so I freeze the rest for another use. Make once and eat many more times! I put mine on homemade pizza the next day!
  • Make it dairy-free: My daughter does not eat cheese, so I made hers without the parmesan and mozzarella and it was still very delicious.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    February 24, 2018

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Mushrooms, onion, and garlic sautéing
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Cleaning the seeds out of the squash
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The sauce when it was thick and finished cooking. Delicious!
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Separating out the squash “spaghetti strings”
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The finished product. We cut ours in quarters because it was pretty big. Worked out well, we both ate the rest for lunch the next day. 

 

 

Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Butternut Squash

This is based on an old Cooking Light recipe haven’t made in years but tried it recently when we were in the mountains skiing and thought it was worthy to post. It is wonderful cold weather comfort food that is also healthy and nutritious. I made it in a dutch oven but it also works well to throw it in a crock pot and leave it to cook while you go about your day.

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Dijon Chicken Stew with Kale and Butternut Squash

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy-medium
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Healthy and hearty winter vegetable and chicken stew

Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups of sliced leeks
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour, plus one tablespoon
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 4 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 5 large cremini mushrooms, sliced in large chunks
  • 8 cups of loosely packed torn kale (one large bunch)
  • crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Procedure

  1. Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the leek for about 6 minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Add garlic and sauté for a minute. Spoon leek mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Place 1/3 cup of flour in a shallow bowl and dredge chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess flour.
  5. Heat a little oil in the dutch oven and add half of the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper and cook for about 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Add browned chicken to leek mixture and repeat with rest of chicken.
  6. Add the wine to the pan, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits.
  7. Combine 1 cup of broth and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
  8. Add the broth mixture, remaining broth, and mustard to the pot and bring to a boil.
  9. Stir in the chicken mixture, garbanzo beans, butternut squash, and mushrooms and cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  10. Add the kale and simmer for 10 more minutes or until the butternut squash is tender and the kale is wilted. Garnish with crushed red pepper flakes and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  11. Serve in bowls and Enjoy!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com    February 24, 2018

 

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Pumpkin Spice Granola

I have often wanted to make granola but always thought the stuff from the store is good enough, why bother. Well now I get it. Before I even tasted the granola, I was won over while the granola was baking by the heavenly smells of the pumpkin spices, roasting nuts, and oats permeating through my house. This was enough to convince me that I will never buy packaged granola again! Give it a try and feel free to substitute types of nuts/dried fruit that you prefer and spices that you prefer or that are seasonal. Thank you to Jen Jones of Sweet Green Kitchen for the recipe. I only made very minor adjustments.

Pumpkin Spice Granola

  • Servings: 5 cups of granola
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthy and savory homemade granola with pumpkin spice.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar (I have read don’t use honey because the delicate enzymes will be destroyed by the heat)
  • 1/2 cup of no sugar added, 100% fruit jam (apricot or strawberry is recommended)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 cups of rolled oats (I like thick old fashioned rolled oats)
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw pistachios
  • 1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, shelled)
  • 1/8 cup flax seeds
  • 1/8 cup ground flax
  • 1/8 cup psyllium husk (ground)
  • 1/8 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 -2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ginger or just 2 teaspoons cinnamon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried fruit-sweetened dried cranberries

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a large 12″x17″ rimmed baking pan with parchment paper (or grease the pan). Set aside.
  3. Mix the coconut oil, sugar and jam in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until well combined.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and water, stir and set aside to cool slightly.
  4. Mix all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) in a large bowl.
  5. Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry mixture. Stir until the dry ingredients are fully mixed with the wet. Add additional water if necessary.
  6. Press granola mixture into the pan, press mixture down so it all sticks together. Press hard (with a back of a measuring cup for example).
  7. Bake the granola in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir the granola and re-press into pan. Cook for 10 more minutes and stir again adding the chopped cranberries and re-press into pan. Place back into the oven for 15 more minutes, but make sure not to let it burn, granola can be perfect one minute and burned the next!
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan. It may cook a little longer after you take it out. When cool store in a large airtight container. Enjoy!

Notes: updated 11/9/17

  • Don’t add dried fruit right away, it tends to take on a burned flavor. I have had more success adding it in the last 15 minutes of cooking, although a lot of recipes say add it after cooking, but then it won’t stick to the granola and I like my granola chunky. 
  • I have tried both cooking the wet ingredients and not cooking them and I see the logic in cooking them, the ingredients emulsify that way, but I am not sure the end result is any different. I re-wrote the recipe to include the cooking of the wet ingredients step, but I am still on the fence about this.
  • Overall cooking granola is pretty tricky! I am finding that it can burn very quickly, so cooking it low and slow is my mantra. I have experimented with cooking it at 280 degrees, but maybe that is too conservative, seems a little raw, so I think 300 is better.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

October 30, 2017, updated 11/9/17

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Granola before baking
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Granola after baking
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Finished product in my storage jar.

Braised Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

I braised the chicken and vegetables in a ceramic dutch oven, but the inspiration recipe cooks it in a crock pot. Either way, this is a pretty easy and healthy recipe that you can throw together the night before or in the morning and cook all day in a crock pot or for a couple of hours in a dutch oven. I made this very mild so the spice phobe will eat it and the rest of us can add chopped chili peppers at the table, but if you don’t have any spice phobes it would certainly be better with spicy peppers cooked in it!

Braised Santa Fe Chicken Bowl

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Healthy chicken breast braised with onions, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and corn for an easy make-ahead meal .

Credit: adapted from Crock Pot Santa Fe Chicken on  www.skinnytaste.com 

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of no-salt or low-sodium chicken stock (or broth)
  • 1 small sweet onion chopped (or half a large onion)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large bell peppers (whatever color you like) chopped
  • 2 jalapeños chopped (seeded if you want less heat)
  • 2 ears of fresh corn, shucked and cut off the cob
  • 1 – 14.4 oz. can of no salt added roasted tomatoes with the liquid
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or fresh, use a few sprigs and pull the stems out before serving)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast meat, sliced in quarters (can leave whole if you are willing to cook a longer time or are putting in a crock pot all day)
  • 1 – 14.4 oz can of no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • chopped romaine lettuce (about 1 cup/person)
  • *Mexican brown rice (or whatever you prefer)
  • approx. 1 cup of shredded mixed Mexican cheese blend (or cheddar) –  Optional
  • guacamole, diced tomatoes and a few pieced of chopped cilantro as a topping — optional

*Mexican Brown Rice:  Cook rice with 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken broth, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin and a shake of oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook according to rice package directions (I like to use a rice cooker).

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large dutch oven combine chicken stock, onions, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeños, corn, tomatoes with their liquid, and spices. Mix well and then add chicken.
  3. With the lid on the dutch oven, put the chicken mixture into the the oven for an hour and stir it occasionally.
  4. After the first hour check that it has not become too dry, there still should be plenty of liquid in there. Add the black beans and cook another 30 minutes without the lid, or until the chicken is falling apart and the liquid has mostly evaporated and the dish looks more like a stew and less like a soup.
  5. Remove pot from oven and let cool for a few minutes.
  6. Serve by first layering a cup of chopped lettuce, a 1/4 – 1/2 cup rice, 1/4 to 1/2 cup  of the chicken mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, a dollop of guacamole, a sprinkling of diced tomatoes and a few sprigs of cilantro.
  7. Enjoy!

Note:  This can also be put into a tortilla and eaten like a taco; or put into corn tortillas with a spicy red Mexican sauce and melted cheese to make it enchiladas; or spread chicken mixture over tortilla chips and melt cheese over it for nachos. It would also be very nice as a vegetarian dish with extra vegetables and sub the chicken stock for vegetable stock and leave the chicken out. The possibilities are endless!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

October 24, 2017

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The vegetables and broth
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The chicken mixture after cooking.
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Ready to serve!

MUSHROOM (AND BEEF) BOLOGNESE

The only one who usually eats pasta in this house is my son, and frankly he can eat enough of it for all of us if I let him! We call him a “pastaterian.”  I came across a Food and Wine recipe entitled Spaghetti with Mushroom Bolognese that I based this recipe on.  I changed several things, most importantly I added ground beef and a little chicken breast sausage to 3/4 of the the recipe to satisfy my son who was craving a meaty Bolognese sauce but still left lots of vegetables in to make it healthier than a traditional almost all beef sauce. I also left 1/4 of it vegetarian to satisfy my daughter. The original recipe also called for eggplant but since I added meat I left out the eggplant.  Overall we all really liked how both the meat and the vegetarian versions tasted.  I noted where you can add the meat or leave it out depending on your preferences.   Note:  The quantities may look large in the pictures because I doubled the recipe so I can serve it again for a kid party in a couple of days. 

Mushroom (and Beef) Bolognese

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
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Vegetarian Bolognese Sauce that can also have lean ground beef and mild chicken breast sausage added to it for a more traditional but vegetable-laden bolognese sauce

Ingredients

  • ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • extra virgin olive oil or oil of choice
  • one small onion, small dice
  • 2 carrots, peeled and small dice
  • 3/4 lb lean grass-fed ground beef –IF it will not be vegetarian.
  • 1/4  lb mild ground chicken breast sausage —Note: This may be hard to find, at Whole Foods they made this up for me, just ask you butcher, or just use plain ground chicken breast or pre-made chicken sausage or lean ground beef. I think spicy chicken sausage would be really good except for my spice phobe… so I used the mild sausage.–IF it will not be vegetarian.
  • 1 lb cremini mushrooms, small dice
  • ½ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps diced
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon mild white miso (this is surprising but turned out to be worthwhile)
  • one 2-inch chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus grated cheese for serving
  • one 14.5 oz can crushed peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • one 14.5 oz can chopped peeled tomatoes (organic or no salt added if possible)
  • 3 thyme sprigs (or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano (I probably add more, but I don’t measure)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar (or honey, to cut the tomato acidity)
  • 1 package of fresh tagliatelle pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil (I think fresh is important here, dried basil really doesn’t taste the same, but do what you can)

Procedure

  1. In a small bowl, cover the porcini mushrooms with 1 cup of boiling water; soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Finely chop the porcini mushrooms, discarding any tough bits. Drain mushrooms, reserving 1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Chop the mushrooms finely.
  2. In a large pot (I like to use an enameled cast-iron casserole, it cleans up easily) heat 1–2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and carrots and cook over moderate heat for about 5 minutes. Add additional oil if needed and then add the ground beef if using, chicken sausage if using, cremini, shiitake and chopped porcini mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste and miso and cook for 2 minutes. Add the chunk of cheese, tomatoes and their juices, thyme, oregano, sugar and reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Halfway cover the pot and cook over low heat so it simmers gently, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is very thick, about 1–1.5 hours. Discard the thyme and oregano sprigs (if using fresh herbs); season the sauce with salt and pepper and more oregano and thyme if needed.
  4. In a pot of boiling water (salt optional), cook the pasta until al dente. Drain
  5. Add the pasta and chopped basil to the sauce; toss to coat. Serve in bowls, topped with grated cheese.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

March 16, 2017

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Onions, carrot and garlic
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onions, carrot, garlic and mushrooms

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ground beef and chicken sausage

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Finished product! yum!

Beef and Vegetable Bourguignon

This is a project, I have to be honest, but well worth it, it came out AMAZING! The beef was so tender and the vegetables were so full of flavor! Last night my husband and I had dinner at Zola, a French bistro here in town. The food was really good, very rich, but in portions that one can handle the richness. My husband and I like sharing our food so we can try more things that way and generally control the large portions that most restaurants dish out. We have been to this restaurant one other time so I knew the portions were normal human sized, so we shared a beet salad, which was delicious, and got a scallop dish and Short Rib Beef Bourguignon. The beef dish was so delicious that my husband requested that we try to recreate it at home. “We,” hah! Anyways, the cooking thing is my new hobby, so I said why not try it.

I made this following a recipe by Melissa Clark on the New York Times Cooking site. I added twice as many vegetables, much less bacon and a pound less beef than the original recipe. I also decided to throw the mushrooms into the stew while it was cooking instead of the traditional method of sautéing the mushrooms with additional onions in butter and adding them when serving. This way I saved some calories (no butter) and an extra step that I won’t miss! If you want it richer, then go ahead with this step. I also added some baby potatoes to the stew, so it can be a complete one pot meal and will hopefully feed us for the next two nights (because now I am tired).

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Beef and Vegetable Bourguignon

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: medium
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Lighter and healthier version of the traditional French Beef Bourguignon with added vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds beef (beef chuck is most common, but can be very fatty – today I used organic grass-fed chuck eye steak and beef ranch steak), cut into 2-inch cubes and patted dry.
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 strips of applewood smoked bacon, thick cut (or any bacon)
  • 1 large yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3 large carrots, large dice
  • 3 celery stalks, large dice
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved or quartered depending on the size (I also had some trumpet mushrooms in my fridge so I threw those in)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tomato, medium dice
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine, preferably a light young red such as Pinot Noir
  • 1 cup beef stock or low sodium beef broth
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 3 large sprigs of thyme
  • 3 sprigs of parsley
  • 2 cups of mixed color baby potatoes (or large potatoes cut in 2 inch cubes)

Procedure

  1. Season beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Heat a large dutch oven over medium  heat and cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove bacon to a paper-towel line plate and pat off as much grease as you can. Wipe out at least half of the bacon grease left in the pan, leaving a little grease and all the browned bits for flavor.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Raise the heat under the dutch oven to medium-high. When pot is fully heated, add the beef in a single layer in the pot, leaving space between each piece. Cook until well browned on all sides and transferring pieces to a plate as they brown, about 10-15 minutes. Repeat with remaining beef.
  4. Crumble or chop the crisped bacon into a small pieces. Set aside.
  5. Reduce heat to medium to prevent burning and stir in onion, carrot and celery. Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder and cook until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes.
  7. Add garlic, tomato and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute and then add wine, stock, bay leaf, thyme and parsley, scraping up browned bits at bottom of the pot.
  9. Add the browned beef and bacon back to the pot, along with two cups of mixed baby potatoes and then cover with tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven. Let cook in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the beef is very tender.  Occasionally stir the beef mixture while it is cooking in the oven.
  10. When finished cooking taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Fish out the bay leaf, parsley and thyme sprigs and discard. Serve in  individual casserole dishes or in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of fresh parsley. Bon Appétit!

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

March 4, 2017

 

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

What a wonderfully warming and hearty Winter dish, that truly exceeded my expectations (and I think my husband’s as well)! I haven’t attempted risotto in years, but I came across a roasted butternut squash risotto recipe and decided that it would be a fun project to make today. Be warned, this takes time, but not the traditional standing over the pot and stirring for hours kind of time. For much of the time the dish was minding itself in the oven baking, which is not too bad for risotto! I based this off of a recipe by Cookie and Kate, but I made a few changes: I added a little more water, I added shiitake and cremini mushrooms in the risotto, added crispy mushrooms as a garnish and I skipped the butter. I also roasted the squash whole before cutting it because I really dislike cutting into hard squash – so worried about cutting off a limb! Risotto with only a cup of cheese and no butter, as well as brown rice for added nutrition! Pretty healthy and still so creamy and comforting.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto

  • Servings: 4 mains or 6 sides
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Healthy and savory vegetarian risotto that bakes in the oven.

Credit: Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto by Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • small yellow onion or sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 large shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 large cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (plus 2 more below for the garnish)
  • olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thyme

Crispy Mushrooms and Crispy Sage

  • 2 cremini mushrooms, paper thin slices (if you are short on time skip this, it will still be delicious)
  • 20 sage leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Procedure

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place washed whole butternut squash on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, or until skin starts to brown and shrivel. Turn once or twice while baking. Let cool until you can touch it long enough to peel it.
  3. While squash is baking, heat a large dutch oven or pot on medium heat with some olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 more minutes or until mushrooms begin to shrink and soften. Add some salt and pepper while cooking. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes or until garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water to the onion mix, cover, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the rice. Cover the pot and bake in the 375 degree oven for 60 minutes. It may seem pretty dry when you remove the lid but don’t worry you will add more liquid soon!
  5. While the risotto is baking peel the cooked squash, scoop out the seeds and cut into a small dice. Place the diced squash on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes or until the squash begins to brown around the sides. Remove the squash from the oven and set aside.
  6. To make the crispy mushrooms and sage place the paper thin slices of mushroom and the sage leaves on a baking sheet sprinkled with olive oil and a little salt. Bake the sage for 5 minutes or less, you just want them a little crumbly.  Bake the paper thin mushrooms for around 30 minutes, turning once, until they become crispy but not burned. Check them often. When crispy remove from oven and set aside.
  7. Remove the risotto from the oven after one hour and place on the stovetop over medium heat. Pour in the wine and stir for 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup of broth, thyme  and parmesan and stir vigorously for 3 minutes. Add more water if needed. You can keep it on low heat at this point if not ready to serve, adding water periodically to keep it from drying out and to keep the consistency creamy.
  8. Serve in shallow bowls with a pinch of cheese, crispy mushrooms and sage. Tastes great with a dry chablis.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

February 22, 2017

 

 

 

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Creamy and rich risotto in the pot!
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Garnished and ready to eat.

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Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

This is pretty much a straight-up Food and Wine/Andrew Zimmern recipe. Really easy and really flavorful! Original recipe included 2 scallions, thinly sliced and did not include the mushrooms or avocado (or sometimes tomatoes) that I added. I think some grilled shrimp or hardboiled egg would be really good in this as well.  I served this with Quick Brined Roasted Salmon with Lemon Garlic Oil and some simple brown Jasmine rice. Very easy and delicious meal. My son could not get enough of the salmon and the salmon’s savory sauce.

Kale Salad with Miso and Pistachios

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Quick and savory kale salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds kale – stems discarded and leaves thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon brown miso
  • 1 teaspoon coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cremini mushrooms, thinly slices
  • 1 cup of baby tomatoes, sliced in thirds
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios, roasted  and chopped

Procedure

  1. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar with the sesame seeds, miso and sugar. Gradually whisk in the oil.
  3. Add the tomatoes and mushrooms to the kale and then add the dressing and toss. Add the pistachios on top and serve.

https://healthyseasonalcooking.wordpress.com

February 21, 2017

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Here is it with the tomato and as a side dish with salmon.img_3976IMG_4552