Home Cooking · Italian

Little Bitty

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

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After a very mild few weeks, fall is 100% here and I’m becoming okay with that.  Something about having those extra few weeks of nice temperatures is somehow making it easier – feel like we “cheated” in a way.  The nice weather also made for some strange food overlaps as cherry tomatoes kept trickling in to the markets which are normally long gone by this point.  Again it feels like we’re cheating!  With that, I wound up with a bunch of random vegetables at the end of the week so I decided to just take everything out of the fridge and see what I could do with it.  In the end it came down to a pizza or lasagna and a rogue sweet potato made the decision for me: lasagna!

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 For a different twist switch out the sweet potato for any type of squash – or use a variety of wild mushrooms.  Spinach, swiss chard, or kale would also go fantastically in this dish either fresh or pre-cooked with the mushrooms and onions.  Since my main mission was to clean out the fridge I just used what I had on hand, and it worked fantastically!  If you don’t have alfredo sauce on hand a simple bechamel sauce can also work, tho you might want to add more garlic/salt/pepper in order to keep the dish from being too bland.

In other news, our little one made her appearance last Friday (11/27) and we are 100% smitten.  She arrived at 7:02 am weighing 8lbs 13oz and has the cutest chunkiest little cheeks!.  After years of fertility treatments and wishing/hoping/praying it is such a relief to have her home!

Gluten Free · Mexican · Secret Recipe Club

and Dance

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

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Welcome to May’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club  and what I hope is the start of a lot of new blog posts.  I wound up taking the last month off in order to deal with our kitchen renovation and a fantastic little stomach bug.  Now I’m back – with an awesome new kitchen that can’t wait to be used!  Today’s recipes is one of the first I did in the new kitchen, and was a great way to “break it in” since it required the stovetop as well as the oven.  The interesting part is that the recipe I wound up using from BCmom’s kitchen was not one on my original list.  My first plan was to make her delicious sounding Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup but then the weather decided to warm up, so I needed a new plan.  It was in my second search that I saw her Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie.   I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian, essentially dropping the meat and doubling the vegetables!

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There are more ingredients, and steps, to this than most of my recipes but it still comes together rather quickly.  I served this with some avocado,  a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips in order to ensure every last drop was enjoyed.  Another fantastic dish thanks to the SRC!

Baking · Home Cooking · Vegan

Walk it

Sweet Potato Biscuits

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I’ve posted before about how much I love the Farmer’s Market at my office, the market which will be ending for the season in two weeks – eek!  I’ve tried out so many different varieties of tomatoes, apples, and random greens that withdrawal is rather likely at this point.   A few weeks ago, Mark at Chocolates and Tomatoes (yep, still obsessed with the awesomeness of the name) tossed me the LARGEST sweet potato ever.  Not even joking, this beast was the size of my arm from wrist to elbow – total insanity.  He also challenged me to do something different with it, which really got me thinking.  It also had me asking around the office for ideas as I’ve already done a lot with sweet potatoes.  In the end, it was a suggestion from a coworker to do a sweet potato bread that had me thinking about drop biscuits.  Some quick googling gave me great information about all the different types of biscuits and with I decided to go with a quick rise drop biscuit – mostly because rolling dough is just never a good idea for me.

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The sweet potato I was gifted actually produced three times what I needed for this recipe, so the rest of the puree was frozen and used to make sweet potato gnocci.   As for the milk in the recipe, if using dairy based be sure to use whole or 2% – while for non-dairy a full fat coconut or almond milk marked “plain” will work the best.  I hesitate to suggest soy milk due the lack of fat, which is the same reason I would avoid a 1% or skim milk.

52Weeks · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Soup · Vegan

Break of Dawn

Sweet Potato Corn Stew

 Sweet Potato Corn Stew

I mentioned in a post last week that I recently received a LARGE amount of tomatoes from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm.  Today’s post shows were the vast majority of those tomatoes wound up – in a delicious stew perfect for /52weeksofcooking’s stew theme.  Since the tomatoes were all seconds I knew that I had very limited time to use them, and while the sauce took care of a fair amount, I still had a few pounds left.  With the clock ticking I decided to improvise and figure out what I could make with the little produce left in my fridge.  A sweet potato, the last of our Eastern Shore Corn, and a bunch of fresh herbs – perfect for a hardy soup.  Plus the weather has taken a clear turn for the cold so no worries of overheating the kitchen!  I debated roasting the tomatoes before hand, but decided that one-pot clean up was the right answer.

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I served this stew with some French Honey bread, which is staple this time of year – along with my favorite Apple Cider Bread.   This stew also included a variety of tomatoes, including the green zebra variety I mentioned the other day!

Note: For all my Jewish friends (and family), L’shannah Tovah! 

52Weeks · Appetizer · Gluten Free · Side Dish · Vegan

Wasted Time

Twice Baked Potatoes – Samosa Style

This recipe is probably one of the first ones I ever wrote down as a MUST DO and I’m finally getting to it – four years later! The original recipe that I saw oh so long ago featured a standard russet potato, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to try a sweet potato.  While regular potatoes are rather awesome, sweet potatoes are the definition of perfection in my opinion.  Previous curry experience gave me the confidence needed to start experimenting which is why this recipe went from a standard baked potato to a glorious twice-baked potato.  Twice baking gave all the ingredients time to get acquainted with each other, something I was worried wouldn’t happen in just making a topping and pouring it on top.

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The real trick with this dish is cutting up the cauliflower as close to the same size as the peas as possible.   Not only does it insure everything fits inside the potato skin, it helps keep an even cooking time.  I’m also sending this potato-tastic dish over to /52weeksofcooking for their potato challenge – for while it’s a bit late it’s the perfect dish as it’s all about the potato!

Appetizer · Home Cooking · Secret Recipe Club · Side Dish · Vegan

Felt Like Springtime

Sweet Potato Falafels

with Garlic Hummus

Sweet Potato Falafel

Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club Post!  It’s a little strange how excited I get when I find out what blog I’ve been assigned, and this month was no different.  This month I was given Isabelle’s Crumb Blog and I was hooked from the moment I saw her intro.  This “coffee-chugging, booty-shaking, bargain-shopping, cookbook-collecting, photo-snapping, trucker-swearing, farmers-market-loving self-taught cook with a Mister and two cats to feed” chick has a blog chock full of recipes, for which I can overlook her being a cat person.  I want to say I pinned close to 30 recipes are my first go thru, before finally narrowing things down to the top 5.  In the end it became a battle between Saag Paneer and Sweet Potato Falafels, with the inability to find any paneer being the deciding factor.  I loved that the falafel recipe was really three recipes in one, though in the end I only did two of the three.  I have attempted, and failed, at making falafels before but these held together amazingly well making it super easy to fry them up.

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I served these without the pita per husband’s request along with some vinegar carrots, cucumber, greek yogurt, and (of course) the garlic hummus from the original post.   They were delicious and as a bonus heated up rather well the next day for lunch!  Needless to say another awesome recipe thanks to SRC.

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Gluten Free · One-Pot · Secret Recipe Club · Slow Cooker · Soup · Vegan

We Had Everything

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

I’ve gotten lucky again with being able to adopt an almost orphan blog from Group B of the SRC.  In going through Corey’s Learning Patience – Hinz Adventures I was blown away by all the options.  However I was greatly limited in time, between getting the blog on Thursday and then having a medical procedure bumped up a few days (plus bed rest) – but then I saw THE recipe.  Not only did it call for ingredients already in my pantry but it allowed me to use my slow cooker, the kitchen tool that has saved me on many a day.  So I got out my trusty friend and got to work on her incredible Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Lentil Soup, which tastes (and smells!) as good as it sounds!  I did make a slight adjustment as I am not a fan of cooked celery, so I increased the other veggies and replaced some of the regular salt with celery salt.

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I served this with some crusty whole wheat sourdough bread and a bit of leftover salad, have to sneak the greens in somehow!  This soup was perfection, and it allowed me to follow doctor’s orders while making sure we had a delicious dinner.  I can’t wait to try out more of Corey’s recipes, especially her most amazing cookies ever because Nutella is AMAZING!

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