Friday, October 30, 2015

Roasted Pear - Butternut Soup w/ Crumbled Stilton

Yummmm ~

I didn't have any butternut and there was none to be found anywhere around here!  No problem use other delicious squash!

LOL - as normal for me, the recipe has been floating around in one of my many files.  This flavorful soup is out of the Oct/Nov 2006 issue of Eating Well.

Nothing was changed in this recipe except for - I doubled it, I was short 2 pears and used apples, I only use 2 tomatoes (it's what I had and I don't thick more would have been better), the broth I used was bone broth and unsalted broth (both chicken).

2 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2 inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 large leek, pale green and white parts only, slice lengthwise, wash throughly and slice (about 1/4" slices)
2 + cloves of garlic, crushed
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp salt, divided (I used Kosher)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth, or reduced sodium broth dividend
2/3 cup crumbled Stilton or other blue veined cheese
1 TB thinly sliced fresh chives or scallion greens (it was raining so I didn't make it to the garden)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2.  Combine pears (apples), squash, tomatoes, leek(s), garlic, in a large bowl and with drizzle oil, add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper; toss to coat.  Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet.

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 40 - 55 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

3.  Place half the vegetables and 2 cups of broth in a blender; puree until smooth.  (If you double go with quartering vegetables etc.

Add to a pot each batch of puree and stir in remaining salt.

4.  Cook the soup over medium - low heat, stirring, until hot, about 10 minutes.

When heated through, divide among bowls and garnish with cheese and chives (or scallion greens).  Original recipe serves 6 with 1-1/3 cups each, give or take.

This cheese was worth the find and price so smooth and delicious!  If you're a fan of blue cheese this is the one and if you don't care so much for it - it's the one.  No bite and perfect for this soup.

I severed it up with Rosemary Focaccia from Cottage Bakery in town.

Note on the squash.  The butternut would have been easier to peel since it didn't have the ridges other squash has.  Other squash is definitely doable and has a delicious flavor too!  I used, Gold Acorn, Delicata, and the small squash might be a red kuri (miss labeled but yummy).

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Adzuki Beans & Brown Rice ~


It's beautiful Autumn time and I've been bouncing around "fall-ish" type recipes again.  So much so that when I gathered up the ingredients for this recipe and I had three going on in my head!  This recipe does not have tomatoes but since I took the picture I decided to leave it for added color lol ~

For this recipe found here at Epicurious I had everything I needed except for Kombu and used dried paper thin seaweed shown below.   I have to say you need some cooking time as to allow the beans to soak.   The original recipe allows for the soaking but is incomplete -  not stating when to add the squash. lol - I've made similar before and "figured" it out, however, for a new cook or "unseasoned" it might be confusing, as, does it really use squash as listed?  Since I pictured tomatoes that aren't!  :D

For this recipe you will need:

1 cup dry adzuki beans (soaked for 2 hours)*
1/4 diced red onions (I used over 1/4 cup)
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced butternut or kabucha (I used Delicata/ pealed and diced) Squash 
1 leaf Kombu, rinsed well*
1 TB extra virgin olive oil
1 cup brown rice, (soaked for quicker cooking/ I used my pressure cooker)*
1- 1/2 cups cold water

Dice and make ready ingredients.  Don't forget to soak beans - I used the same method as with all dried beans - that is do a quick boil with water covering the beans and let set.  As stated the recipe calls for 2 hours of soaking and the Adzukis are very small.  You wouldn't think they would need to soak but they do need some soaking time to tender up or it will cut into your cooking time.  I'm sure you could do and over night soak but not really necessary.

Heat your oil in a medium pot and saute all diced vegetables (including squash).

Yes ~ Coming along nicely ~
Soaked Adzuki Beans :)
Add Adzuki beans to your pot with 3 cups of water. 

At this point your would also add the Kombu that has been rinsed well but since I didn't have it and could not find it anywhere locally, being I live in a small community and would have to order on line or drive 2-4 hours out.

I used 2 sheets of dried seaweed and using a knife cut it in slices, nothing uniform, then threw it to the mix.

Bring all of this to a boil - reduce your heat and simmer for 40 minutes checking and stirring occasionally until the beans are done.
Since I use my pressure cooker I made my rice and left it on warm until I was ready to serve.  So at this point I would get my rice going.  The original recipe said to soak your rice as well and that well also cut down time putting it all together.  Realistically, know how long your rice needs to cook and plan accordingly.

When done serve it up rice first and beans on top.  I added to mine (on the rice) a few sprays of Bragg Liquid Aminos - (a healthier alternative to regular soy) outside of that no other seasonings were use and very good and healthy for you too!

*Recap -

Beans - need soaking at least 2 hours before adding to sautéed vegetables.  Simply put into pot, cover with water and bring to a boil.  Cover and let set 2 hours or more.  Drain before using you can rinse if you'd like.
Kombu - is sea kelp very nutritious for you and found dried, raw etc.  It is salty as dried seaweed. I'm not an expert on any of it but there are several awesome links worth checking out.  Listed is one - I just happen to like it!
Rice - can be soak for quicker cooking, or if you rice takes 40 - 50 minutes to cook start it right after to get the beans and vegetables going for its 40 minutes or so of cooking.  You just want to have it ready close together for severing.

"I apologize for this lengthy post, it shouldn't be hard and isn't.  I'm hoping it isn't confusing either in my effort to make it easier.  lol  It's very good and I hope you try it.

They do add nice color!  :D

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Not Your Ordinary Meatloaf!

As with a few recent posts - this recipe I found several years back the only difference is - I've made it a few times and each time loved it.  Monday I decided to make it, though I didn't want to go through my box of recipes, so I looked on line with what I remembered.  I found it but the recipe was now listed as being made with turkey.  So out the box came and on to a delicious meatloaf!

Karina's Meatloaf

1 3/4 lbs. organic grass fed free-range ground beef
1 small sweet or red onion, peeled
1 medium to large carrot, washed and trimmed
1 smallish green bell pepper, cored and seeded - or 1 mild chili pepper, such as Anaheim or banana
4-5 cloves fresh peeled garlic
2/3 cup tomato ketchup - organic
1 TB of steak sauce, or Worcestershire sauce (I used Pickapeppa, has a similar taste a tad thicker)
1 TB agave nectar maple syrup, or molasses (I used maple)
2 organic free-range eggs or omit for egg-free (I used the eggs)
1 scant cup Crunchy Golden Crumbs (without the oil), gluten free rolled oats, or your favorite gluten free bread crumbs  (I used bread in the past & most recent Uncle Sam's cereal with flax) lol
A small pinch of nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
A good pinch or two of cumin
1tsp dried basil
1-2 tsp Italian or French herbs- oregano, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put ground beef into a large bowl and using a fork or spoon, break it apart a bit.

Roughly chop the vegetables into the same sized chunks and place them into a food processor; add the garlic cloves, pulse until the veggies are uniformly diced - fine- not too chunky; add to meat.  I did this before without using a food processor, I just used a very good knife!  :)  This time I use my old cheap-y processor - I didn't care for it but it was doable.  Add veggies to meat. Toss lightly with spoon or fork to quickly distribute the veggies.

Add the catchup, agave, eggs (if using) crumbs, herbs and spices.  Mix it all up- but try not to over mix it (it makes for a dense loaf).  If the mixture is to dry, add a little more catchup.  If it's to wet, add more crumbs.

Spoon the meatloaf mixture into a loaf pan and firmly press into place, smoothing the top.  Obviously I choose not to use a loaf pan.  :)
Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature - it should reach 160 degrees.  Pour off the excess fat and allow the cooked loaf to cool for ten minutes or so before slicing and serving.

If you like a sauce on your meatloaf, pour it onto the meatloaf half way through baking time and cover loosely with a piece of foil.


1/3 cup ketchup
1/4 cup real maple syrup, or molasses (I used a mix)
A dash of mustard, and or balsamic vinegar (I used balsamic)
A dash of steak sauce, Worcestershire or chile sauce, to taste (I use pickapeppa sauce)
A pinch of nutmeg and curry or cumin to taste ( I use cumin)

The sauce was awesome but in all the excitement of the meatloaf I forgot to snap a picture!

I had mine with broccoli and also slices of cantaloupe - everyone else with salad.

Original recipe was found here but now with turkey and check out Karina's Meatloaf Pie.  The recipe above is so yummy I can't imagine changing it and there wasn't any leftovers for the pie.  Next time!
Karina has a wonderful gluten free site.
And for just some possible interest on the spelling of ketchup, catchup, and catsup - check here; it's one of many interesting site on the subject.  I just used "ketchup."  Enjoy ~