Category Archives: Home Cooking

Used to Call

Northern Bean Cassoulet northern_bean_casoulet

Quick and easy, or in the very least easy, is what I’m all about these days.  Which is why each week since the arrival of our little girl, I’ve made at least one of our freezer meals.  Just pop it in at some point around lunch (whenever that is) and there will be something warm to eat come dinner (whenever that happens).  I tried to add as many vegetables as possible to these meals in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet – even tho there is nothing wrong with having ice cream for breakfast!  I’ve made bean casseroles before but for this I want to jam as many veggies in as possible and with it being late fall when I prepped these meals, I went heavy on the root vegetables.

Norhtern Bean Cassoulet

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut carrot

1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut parsnip

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups cooked Great Northern beans, drained and well rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 bay leaf

3/4 cup organic vegetable broth (day of)

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (day of)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (day of)

2 tablespoons butter, melted (day of) - dairy or non

Instructions

  1. (Optional) Place all ingredients minus those marked day of in a gallon sized freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months in a standard freezer or up to 5 months in a deep freezer.
  2. When ready to heat, cut the freezer bag along the seam going up to the zipper or press seal and dump into slow cooker. Turn cooker for low and cook for 8hrs (or high for 4-5hrs) adding the vegetable broth.
  3. Thirty minutes before eating mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and evenly spread over the bean mixture. Top with the melted butter.
  4. Cook uncovered on high for a final 30 minutes. Topping should slightly crisp up.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/used-to-call.html

For a gluten free option just use your favorite GF breadcrumbs or go for something like hemp seeds.  Protein, vegetables, and the perfect sauce for some crusty bread makes for a fantastic dinner.  To really speed things up, use Gourmet Garden garlic pastes and their Italian Herb paste – tho be warned these do contain whey so are not suitable for vegans but are gluten free.

Love by Day

Apple Cake

apple_cake

Welcome to the 5th day of Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I’ve had such a fantastic time the past few weeks coming up with these recipes, and hopefully you’ll want to share the with your valentine.  Since I started with a soup I figured it was fitting to finish with a dessert – one that’s on the healthier side at that!  Envy Apples started in New Zealand with a mission to make a better non-GMO apple and I’m rather certain they have succeeded!  Now they have expanded to Washington state, allowing them to offer in season apples nearly year round.  While I debated using mine in a savory dish, in the end my sweet tooth won out.  Plus after the success with the hemp seeds in recreating a nutty taste I wanted to see if I could do that again.

Cinnamon Apple Cake

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup hemp seeds

2 apples, shredded and juices reserved

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a bundt pan (unless silicone)
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars for ten minutes, then beat in the eggs one at a time before adding the vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking soda. Slowly mix into the butter mixture until just mixed.
  4. Fold in the apple and reserved juice.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes then turn oven off. Allow to sit in oven for 15 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  6. Cut and Enjoy!

Notes

To get as much juice as possible, shred the apples over a bowl or dish with a thick lip.

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/love-by-day.html

Needless to say this cake was a total success!  The hemp seeds added the perfect nutty taste and texture, would easily have guessed the cake had walnuts in it.   Just one more reason why you should enter the giveaway if you haven’t already.  Plus as a bonus the envy apples come with an apple corer that is so easy to use that I managed it one handed while wearing a certain little fussy one.

 

A Certain Smell

Rosemary Popovers

Rosemary Popover

Welcome to day three of Fresh Tasty Valentines!  I’ve been having so much fun with this blog party thanks to all the fantastic sponsors and bloggers that have joined in.  One of my favorite things about events like this is being exposed to new-to-me vendors – such as Casabella.  When I received their Clip n Strip shears I think all my herbs gave  sigh of relief as I would no longer be torturing them with dull shears or nails in my attempt to get some herbs.  These shears are rather fantastic, especially since they have this awesome little notch in the handle for stripping the leaves off the stem.  Needless to say these scissors made quick work of the rosemary needed for these aromatic treats.  for best results, make sure the eggs are at room temperature and resist the urge to peek as they are baking – just trust in your oven as best you can!

Rosemary Popovers

Makes 6 popovers

Ingredients

2 eggs, room temperature

1 cup milk, room temperature

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary (about 1/ tbsp)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Beat the eggs and milk together and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together the salt, rosemary, and flour then quickly fold in the egg and milk mixture stirring until just mixed.
  4. Pour into jumbo muffin tins (or custard dishes) until 3/4 full. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Turn oven off and allow to sit for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Popovers are cooked when they pull away from the sides

http://dancingveggies.com/2016/02/a-certain-smell.html

Are they a dessert or are they a side dish?!?  I served them both ways and suspect they would also be fantastic as a breakfast item with some runny eggs.  Since I don’t have a proper popover pan, I use a jumbo muffin tin which works perfectly.  Now, have you entered the giveaway for a chance to win your own shears? herbs? or zester?

Note: I was gifted the shears and a garlic roaster as part of participating in Fresh Tasty Valentine however all opinions are my own.   

2015 in Review

It’s hard to believe that 2015 is already over – in so many ways this year has just flown by!  2015 was a BIG year for my family as we welcomed our little girl at the end of November.  It was also a year where I learned to let go and accepted that I can’t control everything, a lesson that I’m sure will be repeated over the next 18+ years or so.  I wasn’t able to post nearly as much as I had hoped (curse you HG) but I was able to catch up with some of my older cookbooks and make some great plans for the future.  There are about 21 freezer meals that will be reviewed between now and March (!), a return to the Secret Recipe Club, and a rather awesome Valentine’s Day series.  However, this post isn’t about what’s coming but rather a look back on the top posts of the year.  So without further delay the top three posts of 2015:

seitan_mac_cheese

Cheese “burger” Mac & Cheese

cheese_cake

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes

cherry_chipotle_brussel_sprouts

Cherry Chipotle Brussel Sprouts

Not at all surprised that two of these posts are from February’s Triple S Bites!  That was so much fun to participate in, and so many of the posts from that week really pushed me.  I still can’t believe I made mini cheesecakes!  This year my focus is going to be on quick and easy meals as I don’t see myself having that much spare time.  I also hope to get back on track with eating seasonal vegetables as well as local and sustainable goodies.  2016 has a lot to live up to after such a fantastic 2015 – I can’t wait to see what happens!!!!

Magic Works

Carrot Potato Mash 

carrot_potato

During my pregnancy I did my best to eat all the colors of the rainbow, and got a bit creative towards the end.  Possibly because I was due on Thanksgiving, I kept getting cravings for traditional Thanksgiving foods – especially mashed potatoes and stuffing!  While I didn’t have the patience to make stuffing from scratch, I was totally up for making some mashed potatoes.   However I couldn’t just make normal mashed potatoes so I grabbed some carrots and combined the two to make a very colorful dish.  As a bonus, I used redskin potatoes for an extra burst of color.

Carrot Potato Mash

Serves 4-5, as a side

Ingredients

1 lb red skin potatoes, quartered

1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 2inch chunks

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup 2% milk

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes before adding the carrots, then turn heat down and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are soft.
  2. Drain the potatoes and carrots then return to the pot and mash in the garlic, butter, and milk, adding more as desired.
  3. Season to taste then serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/12/magic-works.html

I served this up with some BBQ tofu but it would also make a bright addition to any holiday spread.  I have a feeling these ingredients have the potential to make a fantastic latke and hope to test that theory at some point!

It feels so good to be back in the kitchen and on the blog again.  I’m still in shock that after three years of trying and two years of treatment we finally have our little girl!  She has already changed our lives in some many amazing ways and is only 16 days old – can’t even begin to imagine all the joy heading our way.