Thursday, January 30, 2014

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

My guys have reformed! They used to curse brussel sprouts, but now they extol the virtues of the vegetable, mostly because of the bacon. I think if they served bacon at any type of revival meeting, people would turn out in droves.


I found this recipe on the All Recipes website. It was just perfect for my sermon...err, servings.

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon

1/2 pound bacon, diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1/4 onion, diced (*I used leeks tonight)
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts,
        trimmed and cut in half
2 cups chicken stock

recipe yields 4 servings

Rinse brussel sprouts and cut in half.
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, but not crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the skillet. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease and stir in the olive oil, butter, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the onion softens and the garlic lightly browns, 5 to 7 minutes.Stir in the balsamic vinegar and bring to a simmer; cook until the liquid has reduced by 1/3. Add the reserved bacon, the halved Brussels sprouts, and the chicken stock. Stir, then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the Brussels sprouts are tender, yet still slightly firm, about 10 minutes.
Leeks were cooked in the same pan as the bacon.
Black Cod, brussel sprouts and mashed yams made a completely wonderful meal, absolved of any sins of bacon because it was so healthy!

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Pretty simple: Roast sweet potatoes in a moderate 350° oven for 45-60 minutes. Cool. Slip off skins and put potatoes into a mixing bowl. Mash, adding in 3-4 teaspoons of butter. Seasoned with sea salt and ground black pepper. 

Black Cod with a Honey-Soy Glaze

This is our large tote from SLO Veg, along with a pound of fresh caught fish from SLO Fresh Catch. I get to pick from all of this to make something yummy to go with the fish!
So I was reading the Facebook post from SLO Veg listing all the great fruits and veggies we would be getting in our tote box this week: lettuce, sweet potatoes, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, garbanzo sprouts, red beets, sugar snap peas, leeks, brussel sprouts, kiwi, kale...I think that about covers it. I wanted to cook the brussel sprouts with some bacon...the guys love it that way! But we also get a pound of fresh caught ocean fish delivered with the box in a co-op kind of thing. Its an additional $13.50 for the fish, and its always something so fresh and wonderful that I want to cook it that very night for dinner. Tonight we were to receive Black Cod in the box, and SLO Fresh Catch has a recipe by Captain Hackeman for it on their blog, "Black Cod with a Honey Glaze over Mashed Yams". Well, we got yams! or sweet potatoes! whatever!!'s

Today was my early day to get off work, which works out good because I can bring the veggies in soon after they are delivered and get to sorting it all out. I still had some kiwis in the frig from our last box, so I cut them in half, scooped out the fruit and made of some baggies of fruit to put in the freezer for our morning smoothies. Today's blend was kiwi and oranges from SLO veg, plus cherries and mixed berries that I bought at the grocery store. I put the fruit mix in baggies and then they are ready to pull out and pop into the blender in the morning along with a fresh banana, some yogurt and coconut milk and our protein powder. 

While I was doing the smoothie prep, I also was roasting my beets and yams in the oven. I let them go for an hour, then cooled them on the counter. The beets are going into the frig and I will deal with them another day, but the yams got peeled and mashed for tonight's dinner. Captain Hackeman's recipe suggests serving the cod on top of mashed yams. I would have done the sugar snap peas like he suggested as well, but my son like the brussel sprouts better.

I posted the brussel sprout recipe and  the mashed sweet potatoes recipe separately tongight. 


January 28-30 2014 
The glaze is brushed onto the top of the fish prior to searing it.
Black Cod Caught By Captain Hackeman 
Honey Glazed Over Mashed Yams
Posted on by margie on January 28th, 2014 | 

Black cod with  mashed Yams
Prep time: 40 min

Ingredients for black cod:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 black cod fillets
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
your favorite recipe of mashed yams enough for 3 servings
salt and pepper 

Prepare your favorite mashed yams and keep it warm. Preheat oven to broil. Heat soy sauce and honey for about a minute in a small pan to melt honey and mix it well with soy sauce. Brush the top  of each black cod fillet with about half of soy sauce and honey mixture. You should have half of this mixture left. In a separate large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat until hot. Place fish fillet glazed side on the skillet  and sear for about 5-7 minutes on high heat, until the top of fish browns. Turn fillets over and sear them on the other side down for 5 minutes. Brush the original top of fillet with soy sauce and honey mixture again, place the fish right under the broiler and broil for 5-7 minutes until the top of fish darkens and browns even more. You can brush more glaze over fish half time through broiling. Remove from oven.
To serve: place a serving of mashed yams to each plate and place a fillet of black cod on top. Serve with stir fried snap peas. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Tandoori Chicken & Roasted Cauliflower

I cut up my Tandoori chicken into bite-sized pieces to make it easier to dip into the spicy yogurt. SLO Veg cauliflower coated in olive oil and seasoned with turmeric complimented the chicken.
From Jody's cookbook, "Fifty Shades of Chicken"
My friend Jody posted a picture on Facebook the other day of a Chicken Mole she made and it looked so dang good, so several of us friends asked for the recipe. She posted it, along with another recipe for Tandoori Chicken. 
"Doesn't that call for Garam Masala?" I wondered. I had a whole bottle of that spice that I probably should use up, since I think I only used it in one recipe over a year ago. Yup, it called for it. Perfect. So I promptly took out some frozen chicken breasts and defrosted them in the microwave while I mixed the yogurt sauce for marinating. I let the chicken soak in the spicy yogurt for most of the day until it was time to bake it. The chicken went in at 6:30 followed by the cauliflower at 6:45 and we were eating by 7:15. Not too shabby.
I had blogged about the roasted cauliflower earlier, so just search for it on my blog page and you can find the recipe for that, too. Turmeric is a really handy spice to have on hand, as well as garam masala.

Our dinner was accompanied by a green salad using Curly Leaf lettuce from our SLO Veg box. I topped it with mushrooms, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries and parmesan cheese. I used a balsamic vinaigrette that I had mixed up this morning for the dressing.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cauliflower pasta

Okay, so I got the INSPIRATION for this bowl of pasta from the Eating Well recipe site, but I changed it up a little...not too much. 

The recipe directs us to cook the pasta and the vegies all together, but I didn't do that. Also, instead of adding lima beans, I used frozen green peas. Oh, and I didn't serve it with a spinach salad, but I added some chopped spinach to the dish, along with some basil leaves. But other than that, it was the same as the recipe for Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta.

Instead, I roasted a head of SLO Veg cauliflower, broken up into florets, and some peeled and cubed butternut squash in the oven with a little coating of olive oil. I cooked the pasta until al dente, then drained it while I sauteed the onion and garlic in olive oil and butter. Then I mixed in about a cup of broth and a half cup of white wine along with some dried sage. I chopped up some SLO Veg spinach and a few leaves of basil and tossed it into the broth mixture. The roasted vegies went in to the pot and I mixed it all up, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and then topped it all with mozzarella cheese. The guys loved it and it didn't even have any meat in it! Amazing!!!


Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta
Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta In this vegetable-studded vegan dish we braise cauliflower, butternut squash and pasta in white wine and broth in an unconventional technique that yields delicious results. Serve with a spinach salad with red onion, orange segments and a light vinaigrette.
From EatingWell: November/December 2010
Yield: 4 servings, about 2 cups each
Active Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed
  5. 4 cups vegetable broth
  6. 1 cup dry white wine
  7. 8 ounces whole-wheat medium pasta shells or other small pasta
  8. 2 cups bite-size cauliflower florets
  9. 2 cups bite-size butternut squash cubes
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  12. 1 10-ounce bag frozen lima beans, thawed


  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  2. Add broth and wine; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add pasta, cauliflower, squash, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is not quite tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lima beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lima beans and pasta are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Lemony Chicken Thighs with Scalloped Red Potatoes

Planning dinner by defrosting chicken thighs, mixing the marinade for brussel spouts, and inspecting the red potatoes.
I wanted to make something with chicken tonight, so I took out a couple of packages of thighs to defrost. Then I found this recipe on Pinterest from another blogger, Alejandra. It looks like a lemon chicken dish I had made before, but check out her blog. It looks great..
Her dish was paired with a potato gratin, and I remembered I had some red potatoes in the pantry that had come in our SLO Veg box almost 2 weeks ago. I love scalloped potatoes, so that is what I will make for this dinner. I also had a basket of brussel sprouts that need to be eaten, because I just read that we are getting some more brussel sprouts in this week's delivery.

Crispy Roasted Lemon Chicken Thighs
 Serves 4, multiply as necessary

8 bone-in chicken thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 large lemons
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
kosher salt and black pepper
2 teaspoons red chile flakes (optional)

For garnish:
1 bunch rosemary, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 large lemon, thinly sliced 
Pat chicken thighs very dry, then place in bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, and mustard. Pour over chicken and season generously with kosher salt, black pepper, and red chile flakes. Cover and marinate in fridge at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken, skin side up in a roasting pan. Tuck in slices of lemon and rosemary sprigs. Roast uncovered 40 minutes, or until skin is golden and crispy and chicken is cooked through.
Sauced and ready to bake chicken thighs


Alejandra suggested serving the chicken with gratin potatoes, and I just happened to have some red potatoes from SLO Veg to use in this scalloped potato casserole. I think the red potatoes will cook faster than russets, so we'll see. I will use canned evaporated milk instead of heavy cream, because, well, I have it on hand. Might add some rosemary and garlic in here, too.

Scalloped Potato Gratin

Servings: 4-6  Level: Easy

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and
  cut into 1/8-inch thick slices
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for broiling
Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a saucepan, heat up the cream with a sprig of thyme, chopped garlic and nutmeg. While cream is heating up, butter a casserole dish. Place a layer of potato in an overlapping pattern and season with salt and pepper. Remove cream from heat, then pour a little over the potatoes. Top with some grated Parmesan. Make 2 more layers. Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle some more Parmesan and broil until cheese browns, about 5 minutes.


I still have a basket of brussel sprouts to use up before our next tote box arrives. This recipe from SLO Veg's collection looked really good and gives me a chance to use some of the turmeric spice that I hear is so good for your health. Winner-winner!

Sweet and Spicy Brussels Sprouts  

Servings: 6  Level:  Easy  Prep/Cook Time: 25 Minutes

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
1 cup chicken stock 
1 fresh bay leaf 
1/2 red onion, chopped 
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 
2 teaspoons mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric 
2 tubs Brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons celery salt
Black pepper 
Directions: In a skillet, combine vinegar, honey and stock with a whisk. Stir in bay, onion, pepper, mustard seed and turmeric, stir and bring to a boil. Trim the Brussels sprouts and halve them. Add to stock mixture and season with celery salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, uncover and cook 5 minutes more.  

Timing wise, I put the chicken in the oven at 6 p.m., then sliced the potatoes and layered them in the casserole dish and covered it with the heated milk and herb-spice mixture. That went into the oven at 6:10 p.m. Next I halved the brussel sprouts and put them in about 6:15 p.m. The sprout recipe had a sauce to put on them, but I wanted them to roast with just olive oil for about 15 minutes.  At 6:30 p.m. I spoured the marinade on top of the brussel sprouts and let it all cook for another 20 minutes, 3 casserole dishes in the oven at once. Then chicken was on the top shelf, with the potatoes and brussel sprouts side-by-side on the bottom shelf. When I took it all out at 6:50 p.m., everything was done to perfection and ready to serve.
The finished plate: brussel sprouts, lemony chicken and scalloped potatoes.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Paleo Apple Bacon Sliders

It's 7 am and its my day off and I'm hungry. Where is the darn room service when you need it? 

You know what sounds good right now? Grilled cheese on sourdough. With bacon. And cheddar cheese. And an apple sliced up in between it all.

So I drag myself out of a warm bed and creak down the stairs in search of sustenance. I am thinking "coffee". But first I pull out a few sheets of paper towel and lay that on a dinner plate, then top it with the last four slices of bacon and pop it into the microwave for 4 minutes. Now I turn to the bread basket and grab that loaf of sliced sourdough that has been languishing there for over a week. 

What? No! Darn, its all moldy! Into the dumpster it goes. Well, I still have my apples, those ones from SLO Veg. I think they are Fugi's. I grab the two largest ones...yuck.  One is beginning to rot in the center, but the other one is okay. I need to use up the rest of them, pronto!

We only get our basket delivered biweekly now and this is the tail end of the last delivery. Fresh stuff is coming this week. 

I slice the apple thinly into 5 rounds and cut out the tiny core. Then I sprinkle on a handful of grated cheddar cheese. The bacon is ready, so I cut 3 pieces in half, laying each piece on top of the cheese. I have 1-1/2 pieces of bacon leftover, so I eat them! Yum! 

The plate goes into the microwave for one minute to melt the cheese. Then I think, no on the coffee, I will heat up some of that spiced apple cider. Breakfast complete! Back to bed with a tray of gooey apple bacon sliders. I will let Lee have 3 since I ate the extra bacon.♥

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Italian Turkey & Spaghetti Squash Pie

I made an Italian-inspired dish tonight, meaning it had spaghetti sauce, onions, peppers, and parmesan cheese. Its a pie, but its a sort of lasagna, too. Its like a pizza pie! Without the pepperoni.

Spaghetti squash shreds just like spaghetti noodles after being roasted in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
I found a recipe on Pinterest and adapted it to the ingredients I had on hand. That included spinach from SLO Veg, red bell peppers, carrots, celery, red onions, basil, and spaghetti squash. That's right, no pasta -- just vegetables. I had some turkey in the freezer that was left over from Thanksgiving, so I decided to use that for the meat component. I started out by dicing the onions and peppers and sauteing them in a pan, then added the chopped celery and carrots. Next I added the diced turkey meat and a little slosh of chicken broth. I let that simmer for a bit to sort of tenderize the turkey bits that had been frozen solid just a few minutes before. I had a bunch of fresh basil, so I gave a good chop to 5 or 6 big leaves and stirred that into the mixture, then added a can of spaghetti sauce.

Cheesey, gooey, vegetabley deliciousness!
While the sauce was simmering, I mixed up a cheese filling of cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley and one egg for a binder. I scooped out into a casserole dish one half of the spaghetti squash that had been baking in the oven and dotted it with some butter. A sprinkle of salt and pepper, followed by a thick layer of the cottage cheese blend made the base of this dish. I had some spinach in the frig, so I couldn't resist slicing about 10 leaves into ribbons and sprinkling them on top of the cheese layer. That was topped with the sauce mixture, then a generous layer of mozarella cheese.

About 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven so everything was heated through and this dish was ready to serve. Self serve.