Monthly Archives: March 2014

Rose’s Pickled Red Peppers

I always liked my mother’s friend Rose.  They were friends in Kindergarten (in 1932), then ended up reconnecting when, as young mothers in the late 1940’s, their apartments were right by each other.  They remained friends ever since.

It was always a treat for me when Rose and her husband, Jack, would come to visit.  They were such positive people, even when life was throwing them some pretty difficult curveballs.  They just brought a great vibe into the house with them, I loved to sit and listen to them talk.  What was even more fun was going to visit them at their house, I adored their black lab, Midnight.

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One one visit when I was a teen, Rose served us some pickled red peppers with our lunch.  I had always thought pickled red peppers were one of the best foods, but we only got them at Passover.  And here, we were having them on a random day, and what’s more, Rose had made them herself!

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Well, here is Rose’s recipe.  I am making them just in time for Passover (some traditions stick with you).

Rose’s Pickled Red Peppers

3 large red peppers, organic, cut into 1″ strips

4 cups boiling water

3 cups water

1 1/2 cups white vinegar

~1 Tbsp sugar

Directions

Place the peppers in a bowl. Pour boiling water to cover the peppers.  Let sit for 10 minutes (or longer for softer peppers).

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Bring the 3 cups water, vinegar and sugar to boil.  Adjust sugar level, should be not too sweet, not too tart.

Drain, pack the peppers in jars.

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Fill the jars with the vinegar mixture.  Leave 1/2 in air space at the top of the jar.

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Seal, let cool, then store in the fridge.  They should be ready in about 2 weeks.

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Makes 2 pints.

 

Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Passover, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Asparagus – Leek Frittata

Spring is finally here, and that means Delaware asparagus!!

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This asparagus comes from my favorite all natural farmer in North Wilmington.  Their family farm is now 10 acres surrounded by suburbia in North Wilmington.  I mean it, they are surrounded on 3 sides by a neighborhood and across the street from the high school.  I have to say, when you are there, it seems much bigger, and they produce so much!  So, the only benefit of days that I need to drive to Philly is that I get to stop at Highland Orchards on my way home.

During this visit they also had some beautiful leeks, so I have adapted Mary Ann Esposito’s (of Ciao Italia) recipe for Asparagus Frittata to utilize leeks instead of red onions.  I also am using a local wine I picked up when I was in Virginia Beach last week, Chateau Morisette’s Sweet Mountain Laurel.  It is a sweet, flavorful wine, which imparted a nice flavor to the vegetables.  I was a little nervous about the combination of sweet leeks and sweet wine, but they worked quite well together.

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Asparagus – Leek Frittata

Slightly adapted from Mary Ann Esposito

1 lb asparagus, top half cut in 1/2” pieces (from Highland Orchards)

2 Tbsp, 1 tsp olive oil, divided

1 leek, diced (from Highland Orchards)

1/2 cup white wine

5 large eggs (locally raised)

Pinch of salt

1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat and put in 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, leek, and asparagus; mix well and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

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Add the wine and cook an additional 3 minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and put the vegetables into a bowl to cool slightly.

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Wipe the frying plan with a paper towel and add about 1 tsp of olive oil. Heat the pan over medium heat.  When the pan is heating, crack the eggs into a bowl, add the salt and cheese and mix well.

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Stir in the asparagus mixture.

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Pour the mixture into the frying pan and shake gently  to evenly distribute the asparagus over the bottom of the frittata.  Cover the pan and let the frittata cook for 5 minutes. Check to see if the liquid is set and the frittata moves in the pan easily.

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Flip the frittata onto a plate that is bigger than the frying pan.  Return the frittata to the pan.  Cover and cook another 5 minutes.

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Slide the frittata onto a serving platter, cut into wedges and serve immediately.

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Enjoy.

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Serves 4 – 6

Categories: Asparagus, Breakfast, Kosher, Leeks, Recipe | Leave a comment

Maple Oatmeal Scones

The soil in my garden was finally just dry enough to be tilled, so my wonderful husband tilled in order for me to start a new strawberry patch and plant my early spring seeds – parsnips, leeks, carrots, spinach, kale and sweet peas.  I will make a run to the garden center tomorrow for some plants to add some swiss chard, broccoli and cauliflower (and whatever else strikes my fancy).

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For now, I am content having fresh local eggs to use in my baking.  In honor of the sap flowing season, I made Ina Garten’s Maple Oatmeal Scones.  I love her baked goods recipes, and these were probably my favorite thing of hers I have made so far.

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Since it is only the 3 of us at home right now, I halved the recipe (and we still have plenty of scones – 9 to be exact).  I am including the full recipe here, but it is very easily halved.

Maple-Oatmeal Scones

From Ina Garten

For the Scones:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup oats (the recipe called for quick-cooking, I use old-fashioned and they worked fine)

2 Tbsp baking powder

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

2 tsp salt

1 pound cold unsalted butter, diced

1/2 cup cold buttermilk

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

4 eggs, lightly beaten (locally raised)

1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp milk or water, for egg wash

For the Glaze:

1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup pure maple sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt.  Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-size pieces.

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Combine the buttermilk, syrup and eggs.

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Add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture, mix until just blended.  The dough may be sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined.  Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1” thick.  You should see lumps of butter int he dough.

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Cut into 3-inch rounds and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

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Brush the tops with egg wash.

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Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.

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To make the glaze, combine the confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup ad vanilla.

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When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes and drizzle each scone with 1 Tbsp of the glaze.  The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.

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Enjoy!

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Makes 14 – 18 scones.

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Categories: Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Date-Walnut-Nut Butter Energy Fudge

When my husband, nephew and I ran the Shamrock half marathon on Sunday, I wanted to have a batch of Almond Date Energy Nuggets for us.  But I did not have any almond butter in the house.  What I did have was extra Date-Walnut Filling from the hamentaschen and some NuttZo seven nut & seed butter (chocolate).

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Out came my spoon, I dipped it into both and…a match made in heaven!

As usual,  after I made them, I cut them up and into the freezer they went.  These are a much softer texture, so they are best for pre-run energy, rather than to take with you on a run.  I brought them with us to snack on before the start.

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As for the half marathon… I did not feel ready to push for speed, my goal was simply to finish and to share a few smiles while I did.  We were in Virginia Beach and the theme was, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. My husband and I thought we would have similar times, so we were in the same starting corral.

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We kissed goodbye, wished each other good luck and were off.  I watched as he pulled ahead of me when I started my run-walk.  Then noticed that we were close to each other at 5 miles.  But from then on, he was ahead, sometimes I saw him, others I did not.  When I did see him was when he crossed the finish line 16 seconds ahead of me! I don’t think we could have run as close a race had we actually tried to run together.  I am happy, I set a new PR at 2:08:45.  As for my nephew, he completed his first half marathon in 2:23, even with an injury.  It was cold and very windy, but it was a great morning! (I will stop short of calling it fun, but in a way, it was).

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Date-Walnute-Nut Butter Energy Fudge

2 cups Date-Walnut Filling

2 cups NutZo seven nut and seed butter (chocolate)

Directions

Place the Date-Walnut Filling and the nut butter in the food processor with the dough blade.

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Process until well combined and smooth.

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Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment or waxed paper.  Spread the mixture in the pan, about 3/4″ thick.

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Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

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Cut into squares and store in either the refrigerator or freezer.  Enjoy and Energize!

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Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Brown Sugar Pancakes

 

 

Another snow day here in Dover, no school, no work…so the top chef returned to the kitchen to make the Brown Sugar Pancakes from The Batali Brothers Cookbook.  These were delicious!!

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But even better was seeing Cam back in the kitchen.  Although he still shies away from the stove, he really enjoys doing all the measuring and mixing.

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My goal is to get him back at the stove by the end of summer. I think he will feel even prouder when he manages the dishes fully from start to finish.

Brown Sugar Pancakes

from The Batali Brothers Cookbook

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 pinch salt

1 Tablespoon sugar

2 eggs (locally raised)

2 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons melted butter, plus more regular butter for the pan and more for the table

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar

Directions

1. Put a nonstick or cast iron pan on the stove over medium heat.

2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and granulated sugar together.

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3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs in with the milk. Add the vanilla extract and the melted butter then whisk some more.

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4. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in thirds and whisk. Make sure to get all the lumps out of the batter.

5. When you are done whisking the batter crumble two tablespoons of brown sugar on top and barely mix it in.

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6. Take some extra butter, not melted butter, and put it on the pan so it melts and bubbles.

7. Then cook in batches: Pour the batter onto the pan (not all of it — just a ladle at a time; we like a 2 or 3 ounce ladle) so you form good round circles. Flip the pancakes when they are ready (bubbles form on the raw side) and cook them till they are ready.

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8.Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of brown sugar over the top.

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9. Serve hot with maple syrup and more butter on the side. Enjoy!

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Makes 12 – 14 medium pancakes – serves 6 people.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Breakfast, Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Kosher, Recipe | 2 Comments

Salmon “Hamentaschen”

Happy Purim!

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I saw the recipe for these savory hamentaschen and I could not resist trying them!  Honestly, I was not expecting much, it was ust the novelty that I was going for, but to my great surprise, they were really, really good!  The only change I made was to make the cucumber-dill sauce as a chunky sauce rather than processed smooth.

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I had a lot of extra filling, so we made salmon sticks out of the remainder.  They were not pretty, but they tasted really good.

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We ate this for lunch, and between three of us, we polished off everything except 3 of the salmon sticks.  I call that a success!

Salmon Hamentaschen

Slightly adapted from Sharon Matten on aish.com

1 14.75-oz can red salmon (wild caught) – do not drain

1 1/4 cups bread crumbs

2 large eggs (locally grown)

1 small onion (white or red), diced

1/2 cup ketchup

4 sheets puff pastry, defrosted (I only had 1 sheet, which is why I had extra filling)

Cucumber-dill Sauce

1/2 large cucumber, peeled and diced

1/2 – 3/4 cup mayonaise

1/2 Tbasp dried dill

Directions

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Mix together the cucumber, mayonnaise and dill.  Adjust amount of dill and mayonnaise to taste.  Set aside.

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In a large bowl, crumble the salmon and, using your hands, mix together with the bread crumbs, eggs, onion and ketchup until fairly smooth.

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Roll a sheet of pastry to 9×11.  Use a round cookie cutter or glass to cut circles from the pastry dough.

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Spoon the salmon mixture onto the puff pastry circles.  Pinch into triangle hamentaschen.

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Bake for 15 minutes until browned.

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Serve warm or cold with the Cucumber DIll Sauce.  Enjoy!

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Categories: Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Purim, Recipe | Tags: | Leave a comment

Green Fried Rice (Snap Peas, Peas, Spinach, Sprouts & Scallions)

I stopped in at Highland Orchards on my way home and picked up a wonderful basket of green:  snap peas, peas, spinach and sprouts.  The first new fresh greens of the year!

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I was so excited!  The rest of the drive home was spent figuring out what I was making for dinner with my find.  Pasta?  No, it would be rice.  A stir fry.  But Cam loves fried rice, so I would make a healthy, vegetarian fried rice with all these green ingredients, adding eggs and scallions.

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When I got home, I put the rice up to cook, then set to work shelling peas (my wonderful husband helped). I love fresh peas!

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With all the fresh ingredients, dinner was incredibly quick to make.  Aside from shelling the peas, total active cooking time was under 5 minutes.  Can’t complain about that.

The other thing I can’t complain about… 4 year-old Cam, who loves snap peas and had already decided that scallions were one of his favorite new foods, decided that the spinach in this dish needed to be added to his list favorite foods.

Green Fried Rice (Snap Peas, Peas, Spinach, Sprouts & Scallions) 

2 cups jasmine rice, uncooked

1 Tbsp canola or peanut oil

1 cup shelled peas (from Highland Orchards)

2 cups snap peas, roughly chopped (from Highland Orchards)

2 cups baby spinach (from Highland Orchards)

1 cup sprouts (from Highland Orchards)

4 scallions, chopped

2 eggs, beaten (locally grown)

Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup white wine

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Directions

Cook the rice according to package directions.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together sauce ingredients.  Check for taste and adjust before adding cornstarch.

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until hot.  Add oil.  Add peas and snap peas and stir fry for 1 minute.

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Add spinach and stir fry another minute.

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Add eggs, sprouts and scallions, stir fry 1 – 2 minutes, until eggs are cooked.

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Add rice and sauce, stir fry until well mixed and cooked through.  About 2 minutes.

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Serve and enjoy!

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Serves 4.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Spinach, Vegetarian | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Hamentaschen

My last post was about needing to lose my winter weight, so it may seem odd for the following post to be about sweets.  But it is time for Purim, and that means hamentaschen!  Luckily, one of the traditions of Purim is to give gifts of food, so pretty much all that we bake will be given away (except for what my husband will insist I keep for him – he loves hamentaschen).

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I usually make hamentaschen with prune, apricot preserves, and strawberry preserves.  This year I wanted to try my hand at some home-made fillings. So I made homemade apricot and a date-walnut-peach fillings.  I have been won over, I am never going back to pre-made fillings.

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If you have never had hamentaschen, let me explain.  Purim is the Jewish holiday celebrating the triumph of Queen Esther of Persia over the evil Haman, a king’s advisor who planned to have all the Jews killed.  It was thought that Haman wore a tri-cornered hat, so, as part of the tradition, we eat cookies shaped like his hat: hamentaschen = Haman’s hat.

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The dough is wonderfully flavored with orange juice.  This recipe is one I have been using since I was a child and first made them with my sister-in-law Ginny.

Hamenstachen

4 cups flour

4 eggs (locally raised)

3/4 cup sugar

3 Tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp orange juice

Orange zest

Apricot Filling (see below)

Date-Walnut-Peach Filling (see below)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the first seven ingredients in a large bowl.

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Mix.

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Roll out to 1/8” thick.  Using a glass, cut as many circles as you can in the dough.

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Place a small spoonful of filling in each circle.

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Pinch up three sides to form a “tri-cornered hat”.  Repeat the process of rolling out the dough and making “hats” until all the dough is used.

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Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.  Enjoy!

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Makes at least 5 dozen Hamenstaschen.

Apricot Filling

Adapted from JoyofKosher.com

12 ounces dried apricots, chopped

2 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Place apricots in a saucepan.  Add sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and just enough water to cover the fruit.

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Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until liquid is reduced and fruit is thick, 15 – 20 minutes.

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Transfer to a food processor and pusle 3 to 4 times until desired consistency is reached (I wanted to keep mine with a little texture to it).

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Date-Walnut-Peach Filling

12 ounces dates, chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

3 Tbsp peach preserves

~1/4 cup water, if needed

Chop the dates in a food processor.

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Add nuts and peach preserves and process more.

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Depending upon your nuts, you may need to add water to get the desired consistency.

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Categories: Dessert, Jewish Holiday, Kosher, Purim, Recipe | 1 Comment

Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes (or Tomato Confit), Cannellini, Garlic and Spinach

OK, my snack-meal phase is over for now; I am ready to return to focusing on healthy meals.  My first half marathon is in just over a week and I have not lost the few pounds I have put on since Amsterdam.  I have been fighting injury and illness for the past few months, so my goal for this race is survival, not speed.  But it is time to focus on getting leaner for the races to come later in the Spring and the rest of the season.

So I will kick off my returning focus on healthy meals with a riff on traditional white beans, garlic and tomatoes.

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I love tomato confit with its intense tomato and garlic flavors.  So I built this around the confit.

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You can use roasted tomatoes as well, just add more garlic to the cooking of the spinach.

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Of course, you can also leave out the pasta and just have the greens, tomatoes and beans.  They are quite delicious by themselves.

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Pasta with Tomato Confit, Cannellini, Garlic and Spinach

2 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

8 oz spinach

1 Tbsp olive oil

Kosher salt

1 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup tomato confit or roasted tomatoes (made from the garden)

8 oz pasta (tube or spiral)

Freshly grated parmesan and crushed red pepper for passing

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and stir for about a minute.  Add the spinach and a touch of salt, toss continually until the spinach just starts to wilt. Remove from heat.

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Mix the cannellini and tomatoes with the spinach and garlic.

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Drain the pasta and mix in with the spinach mixture.

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Serve, passing grated parmesan and crushed red pepper.

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Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Spinach, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 3 Comments

Butternut Squash Chili Nachos

When I checked my freezer to survey what sauces and veggies I still have from last harvest, I found a surprise – black bean & butternut squash chili that I had made using squash and peppers from my garden and frozen in the fall.

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Since I seem to be in the mood for fun food lately, I decided to turn the chili into nachos. I added basic guacamole, chipped red onion, cheddar cheese, pepper jack, pickled jalapeños, and grape tomatoes.

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What a high fiber, protein-filled treat! OK, the chips, although organic, are not good for you; but since I only make nachos about 3 times a year, it is an acceptable (and fun) indulgence.

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Butternut Squash Chili Nachos

5 – 6 oz organic tortilla chips
1 – 1 1/2 cups black bean & butternut squash chili
4 oz cheese (cheddar and pepper jack ), shredded
Pickled jalapeno peppers, sliced
Guacamole
Grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

Directions

Heat the chili on the stove until hot.

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Line a large microwave-safe plate with the tortilla chips. Top with chili and the shredded cheese.

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Microwave 45 seconds – 1 minute until the cheese is melted.

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Top with pickled peppers, guacamole, onions and tomatoes.  Enjoy!

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Serves 4 – 6 as an appetizer/snack or 2 as a meal.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

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