Saturday, April 16, 2016

American Vegetarian: Everything You Need to Know About Ramps with Five ...

American Vegetarian: Everything You Need to Know About Ramps with Five ...: Ramps 101   Ramps are one of those wonderful gifts we get to look forward to every spring, only in season for 6 to 8 weeks! I cook ...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mango BBQ Sauce


Summer is almost here!!  I'm getting ready to dust off the grill and start cooking outside.  This BBQ sauce is perfect for all your summer cooking, sweet with a little heat and so tangy from the mangos and apple cider vinegar.  Brush on grilled portobellos and veggies or use with your favorite BBQ recipes! 

Happy Memorial Day!
Enjoy,
Holly 


Mango BBQ Sauce

Sweet, Tangy and Spicy!  Brush on everything!

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Whole Fennel Seed
  • 1 Whole Chipotle Pepper in Adobo
  • 2 Ripe Mangos, Peeled, Seeded and Chopped
  • 2 Fresno Chiles 
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Harissa (This is hot stuff, use less for less heat.  If you don't have Harissa use hot sauce to taste.)
  • 1/4 Cup Molasses
  • 2 Cups Ketchup
  • Zest and Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Directions
  1. In a medium sized saucepan add canola oil, turn on medium.  After oil has warmed add onions and garlic.  Stir and saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add salt, cumin and fennel seed, toast in oil with onions for another 4 minutes.
  2. Add chipotle, mangos, fresno chiles, vinegar, harissa, molasses and ketchup.  Stir until combined.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. To allow flavors to marry.  Taste for seasoning.
  3. With stick blender blend bbq sauce until smooth.  If using a stand blender wait until bbq sauce is cool before blending.
  4. Add lemon juice and zest. Stir.
  5. Store covered in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Feeding Henry! New Blog!! Stage One Baby Food -Make at Home, Simply


I have cooked for hundreds of thousand of people and I must say cooking for Henry has been the greatest thrill of my life.  I started planning and reading before he was born, pinning and planning with grand allusions of spending the day making baby food.  I read every baby blog I could with catchy headlines, "Make a months worth a baby food in one day!".... And then I had Henry and reality sunk in, why would I want to spend my day off making baby food.  
I'm going to tell you why this concept does not work.

1.  Who has a million ice cube trays to freeze all the baby food you're going to be making.  Ice cubes take up a lot of room and they get covered in freezer frost fast.  And how about space in your freezer.......  Where does your ice cream go?
2.  You can't take advantage of produce that's on sale,  when organic carrots are on sale thats when you stock up.  
3.  When tasks turn into a huge events they get put off because life is busy.....Then it's Monday and you feel bad about yourself.

Life doesn't have to be that complected and making baby food doesn't have to be complected either.  If you're making sweet potatoes for dinner put a few more in the oven, cool, puree and freeze.  Now, that's a start!  If you just make a little extra everyday it's never a task or chore. 


How to store?  I have one silicone tray and I use breast milk bags.  The bags are great because I can label them, they lay flat (more room in freezer) and defrosts quickly. 


Henry's first time eating applesauce.





Making Stage One  Baby Food

Roasting, steaming and pureeing raw are the three basic techniques for making stage 1 baby food.  ALL simple with these simple steps!

Roasting in the Oven

Perfect way to cook winter squash and root vegetables!

Sweet Potato
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash sweet potatoes and place on sheet pan.
  3. Bake in oven until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Cool, remove skin and dice into 1 inch pieces.
  5. With blender, stick blender or food processor blend until smooth and creamy -adding water as needed. TIP- when using a standard blender add water first.
  6. Chill in refrigerator before placing in trays or breast-milk bags.  (you never want to put hot food in the freezer)  




Pumpkin
All Winter Squash is Done the Same Way!  Butternut squash and acorn squash make amazing baby food!

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash pumpkin/squash.
  3. With a sturdy knife carefully cut in half. 
  4. Scoop out seeds. TIP- Save those seeds, perfect snack for you!
  5. Place on sheet pan cut side up.
  6. Roast in oven until fork tender.
  7. Cool and scoop out center leaving outer skin.
  8. With blender, stick blender or food processor blend until smooth and creamy -adding water as needed. TIP- when using a standard blender add water first.
  9. Chill in refrigerator before placing in trays or breast-milk bags.  (you never want to put hot food in the freezer)  

Steaming

Peas, broccoli  and carrots are great stage one foods.  I waited a bit to give Henry spinach and green beans because they tend to be a bit fiberous.   I use a stainless steam basket and a 2 qt sauce pan and lid.  

Peas
Frozen peas are a great value, easy to prepare and they are tiny powerhouses full of vitamins C, K, A and folic acid.

  1. Fill the bottom of a sauce pot with a about 2 inches of water.
  2. Place stainless steam basket in center and turn on high, cover with lid.
  3. When water comes to a boil add frozen peas to cover basket by 3 inches, don't over fill -you want the peas to cook evenly.  
  4. In about 4 minutes peas will be bright in color and tender, fresh peas will take a few minutes longer.
  5. Cool peas in ice bath to stop cooking or what I do (restaurant trick) spread cooked peas out on a half sheet pan to cool.
  6. After peas are cool blend with water until smooth.  -At first your baby will need the purees to be very thin but as they get older you can make it thicker.
  7. Chill in refrigerator before placing in trays or breast-milk bags.  (you never want to put hot food in the freezer)  
Carrots
Carrots are one of Henry's favorites!  Now that he's a bit older I roast them for him but at first steaming is best.
  1. PEEL!  Even if they are organic it's a very important step.  
  2. Chop into one inch pieces.
  3. Fill the bottom of a sauce pot with a about 2 inches of water.
  4. Place stainless steam basket in center and turn on high, cover with lid.
  5. When water comes to a boil add frozen peas to cover basket by 3 inches, don't over fill -you want the carrots to cook evenly.  
  6. Cook carrots until tender about 8 minutes.
  7. Spread cooked carrots out on a half sheet pan to cool.
  8. With blender, stick blender or food processor blend until smooth and creamy -adding water as needed. TIP- when using a standard blender add water first.
  9. Chill in refrigerator before placing in trays or breast-milk bags.  (you never want to put hot food in the freezer)  

Pureeing Raw

This is a simple one!!  Papaya, bananas and avocado are all amazing options! 

Papaya
Wait until the papaya is ripe before blending.
  1. Peel outer skin, cut in 1/2 and scoop out seeds.
  2. Cube into one inch pieces and blend.  You may need to add water.  Tip- for older kids this puree makes an amazing ice pop.
  3. Chill in refrigerator before placing in trays or breast-milk bags.  (you never want to put hot food in the freezer)

Banana and Avocado
These two are baby staples!  As Henry got older and we moved into stage 2, I would blend them together with oatmeal and he loves it!
I don't freeze bananas or avocado, I always have them on hand.
  1. Peel, place in bowl mash with fork or use food processor.
  2. Serve right away or will turn brown.

Coming Next....
The Slow Cooker and more stage one foods

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Perfect Hummus

I had a small party for Dan’s 40th birthday last Saturday and it’s always strange to me what people comment on…  Hummus, basic hummus.  Everyone loved it and wanted to know how to make it.   So I thought I would share my basic, perfect hummus recipe.  Tons of flavor and totally addictive.  I always have a batch in the refrigerator, Henry loves hummus.


Hummus,  I’ve made so much in my life!  We served roasted red pepper hummus at the restaurant for years and we would make 8 quarts at a time.   This recipe of basic hummus brings together all the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years.  Sometimes making the simplest seaming recipes are the most complicated.   -There’s a lot of bad hummus recipes out there!  I broke down each tiny step to add the most flavor and to maximize creaminess.
-Enjoy
Holly
Happy Birthday Dan!!  


American Vegetarian has been nominated for best blog in Bucks County!!  Please take a second and vote for me.  Thank you in advance!!!!


Bucks Happenings List 2015


Perfect Hummus

Ingredients 
  • ⅓ Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • 4 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ½ Cup Water
  • ⅔ Cup Tahini
  • 2 (15.5 oz ) Cans Chickpeas, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp. Toasted Cumin (Very Important! Place cumin in dry pan and toast on medium heat until darkened and fragrant, stirring often)
  • ½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Directions
  1. In the base of a food processor add lemon juice, zest, garlic, water and tahini, pulse until combined.  
  2. Scrape sides, add chickpeas, spices and salt.
  3. Blend, stopping to scrape down the sides often. Blend until creamy, about 4 minutes. While the processor is on drizzle in olive oil.  
  4. Taste for seasoning.  
  5. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Bruised Kale Salad with Orange and Pomegranate in Orange Maple Mustard Dressing

Happy New Year!!!
The new year starts with all good intentions of eating healthy, organizing your closets and exercising…  I can’t help you with your closet but I can give you a fantastic recipe for a flavorful, healthy delicious kale, orange and pomegranate salad in a super easy orange maple dressing.  It has the indulgence of December but won’t mess up your New Year’s resolutions.


All the ingredients for this salad I got in my Door to Door Tristate box order.  And helps me stay on the right track for eating healthy!  Here’s some info from my last blog!
I’ve been ordering from Door to Door Organics for years and during the holidays having one less stop on the way home from work makes my life a lot easier especially with a baby.  I’m very particular with my produce, having to check in produce for over 10 years at the restaurant.  I must say I’ve never gotten anything in my Door to Door Organics Tri-State box that was not seasonal, beautiful and fresh.  AND I’m so excited to let you know Door to Door Organics Tri-State is giving my readers a $10.00 off coupon code on your order!!!  The COUPON CODE IS, AMERIVEG1415T  How great is that!!!!!!!!!!

Here’s how it works-
  1. Order the size box you want, there are four sizes (I normally order small).  
  2. Choose all veggies or all fruit or a combination of veggies and fruit (I’ve done just veggies and combo boxes).
  3. Choose how often you want your delivery.
  4. Type in your address and you get your delivery date.
  5. A few days before your delivery date you can check your box and then you can swap out up to five things.
Here’s a sample of my last order.
(2) Braeburn Apples
(2) Gala Apples
(1) Carrots 1lb
(2) Garlic
(2) Navel Oranges
(2) Bosc Pears
(1) Pomegranate
(1) Carrots 1lb
(1) Celery
(1) Pomegranate
(1) Green Kale
(1) Yellow Onion
(1) Acorn Squash
(1) Butternut Squash, small (Local) - $3.99
(1) Organic Canned Cannellini Beans - $2.49
(1) Fennel Bulb - $3.49

That’s it!  I then after taking a look at the order I look to see what other things are on special and plan my menus.  They have a huge pantry section so I order what I need and because you can focus when you’re ordering I feel like I don’t over buy.    I choose to have my order delivered to my work so I can put it in the fridge but you can request them to put the order in a cooler.  As you know I’m a huge fan of their philosophy of eating good food seasonally from local farms and businesses.
Enjoy-
Holly


Bruised Kale Salad with Orange and Pomegranate in Orange Maple Maple Dressing



Kale is so popular right now and this makes me so happy.  I’ve been a huge fan since I started to grow it in my garden years and years ago.  I’ve sauteed it as a side dish with some red pepper flake and salt but I’ve been seeing these kale salads all over the place and wanted to give it a try.  First thing I learned, cut the kale in a very thin chiffonade and massage the chopped kale leaves with some sort of  acid before continuing with the recipe or you’re going to be giving your jaw a good workout, it’s tough to eat. Well, it’s not edible and I’m not ashamed to admit it.  Second thing,  you can make this salad the day before dressed and all.  The extra time really makes the chopped kale tender.


Ingredients
  • 1 Bunch Of Kale
  • ½ Whole Lemon, Juice
  • 2 Whole Oranges, Zest Of 1 And Supreme Both
  • 2 Whole Pomegranates, Seeds Removed
  • ½ Cup Sunflower Seeds (optional)
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Pepper To Taste
  • Orange Maple Dressing



Directions
  1. Remove the stems from the leaves of kale and roll kale up like a cigar and slice into ½ inch strips this technique is called chiffonade.  Put chopped kale in large bowl and pour juice of ½ a lemon over and massage kale with your hands for at least 5 minutes.  This starts to break down the kale to make it tender.
  2. Add orange supremes, pomegranate seeds, sunflower seeds(optional), salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
  3. Add orange maple dressing, toss until combined and all kale leaves are coated.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

*If making the day ahead add sunflower seed just before serving so they stay crunchy.



Orange Maple Dressing


Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. Orange Zest
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • Pepper to Taste
  • 1 Clove Garlic, Minced
  • ¼ Cup Canola Oil
  • ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil



Directions

  1. In a medium sized bowl whisk together all ingredients together except oils.  While whisking slowly drizzle in both oils until combined and thickened. Check for seasoning.  
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Here's how I did it!
Remove stems and roll kale leaves into a cigar shape and cut into 1/2 inch strips.

Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon, massage for at least five minutes.

Chopped kale will be come dark in color.

Pomegranates! YUM.
Slice the pomegranate in 1/2 and break apart to easily remove the seeds.

Slice the out peel off the oranges and then follow along the membrane with knife to cut out orange segments. (Photo from another recipe...forgot to take a picture of the oranges)


EAT!




Friday, December 5, 2014

Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Bisque












 The holidays are here!   For me, it seems I try to a squeeze a years worth of activities into four short weeks.  This is the time of year for short cuts, make aheads and for some shopping help!  I’ve been ordering from Door to Door Organics for years and during the holidays having one less stop on the way home from work makes my life a lot easier especially with a baby.  I’m very particular with my produce, having to check in produce for over 10 years at the restaurant.  I must say I’ve never gotten anything in my Door to Door Organics Tri-State box that was not seasonal, beautiful and fresh.  AND I’m so excited to let you know Door to Door Organics Tri-State is giving my readers a $10.00 off coupon code on your order!!!  The COUPON CODE IS, AMERIVEG1415T  How great is that!!!!!!!!!!


Here’s how it works-
  1. Order the size box you want, there are four sizes (I normally order small).  
  2. Choose all veggies or all fruit or a combination of veggies and fruit (I’ve done just veggies and combo boxes).
  3. Choose how often you want your delivery.
  4. Type in your address and you get your delivery date.
  5. A few days before your delivery date you can check your box and then you can swap out up to five things.
Here’s a sample of my last order.
(2) Braeburn Apples
(2) Gala Apples
(1) Carrots 1lb
(2) Garlic
(2) Navel Oranges
(2) Bosc Pears
(1) Pomegranate
(1) Carrots 1lb
(1) Celery
(1) Pomegranate
(1) Green Kale
(1) Yellow Onion
(1) Acorn Squash
(1) Butternut Squash, small (Local) - $3.99
(1) Organic Canned Cannellini Beans - $2.49
(1) Fennel Bulb - $3.49


That’s it!  I then after taking a look at the order I look to see what other things are on special and plan my menus.  They have a huge pantry section so I order what I need and because you can focus when you’re ordering I feel like I don’t over buy.    I choose to have my order delivered to my work so I can put it in the fridge but you can request them to put the order in a cooler.  As you know I’m a huge fan of their philosophy of eating good food seasonally from local farms and businesses.   


You are going to love this soup, elegant, simple and can be made ahead!  Flavorful, creamy, hearty, healthy and freezes beautifully….
The apples, onions and butternut squash get caramelized and sweet in the oven which brings an amazing depth of flavor.  This soup is blended to finish and is so creamy no one will  believe it’s dairy free.  So versatile could be a first coarse at an elegant holiday party to a weeknight dinner with some crusty bread.




Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Bisque

Makes 2.5 Quarts



Ingredients
1 Large Butternut Squash
4 Apples (I used Gala and Braeburn)
2 Large Onions
4 Cloves Whole Garlic
1 ½ tsp. Salt
5 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
3 Stalks Celery, Diced
2 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
Pepper To Taste
½ Cup Apple Juice Or White Wine
5-6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 ½  Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions
Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
  • Cut butternut squash long ways and scoop out seeds.  Place on sheet pan cut side down.  Roast in oven until fork tender, about 45-55 minutes.  After roasting cool and scoop out center, set aside.
  • Quarter apples, remove core and seeds add to another sheet pan.  Quarter 1 of the onions, add to apples.  Peel 3 cloves of garlic and add to sheet pan. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt and 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil and mix together until apples, onions and garlic are coated.  Place in oven and roast for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and apples are soft. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • In a heavy bottom stock pot on medium add 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 1 diced onion and 1 minced garlic.  Add 1 tsp salt and pepper to taste, stir.  Add celery and carrots, stirring often and saute until onions are translucent about 10 minutes.
  • Deglaze pan with apple juice or wine and continue to cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add butternut squash and apple mixture, stir.  Cover by one inch with vegetable stock, stir.  Simmer on medium low for 20-30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
  • After all vegetables are soft remove from heat and add apple cider vinegar.  Blend with stick  blender until very smooth.  Taste for seasoning.

This soup freezes beautifully!!  


TIP-If you don’t have a stick blender a regular blender would work great to but wait until soup is cooled before blending.   Trying to blend hot soup is very dangerous and messy.

Here's How I Did It!


#joydelivered


Roasted butternut squash
Simply remove peel with spoon

Roast apples, onion and garlic

Roasted until soft and golden
Add roasted veggies to soup base
Add apple juice/wine then stock and simmer until all vegetables are soft

Blend until smooth!