The Friday Poem: Quiet on the Hill

QuietOnTheHill

The Sunday Recipe: Roasted Asparagus

 

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Maybe I have an odd child, but she LOVES roasted asparagus. It’s spring and I’ve been seeing it on sale in the stores here in New York State, probably brought from somewhere farther south. Next time you do a grocery run, or you have someone do one for you, grab a bunch and give it a try. When you bring it home, stand it upright in the fridge, in a mug with an inch of water, until ready to use.

Roasted Asparagus

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Snap off the bottom end about an inch up. (You’re looking to eliminate the woody bit.)
  2. Break the rest of the spear into bit size pieces, about an inch in size.
  3. Rinse the pieces in water then drain.
  4. Lay the pieces out on a kitchen towel then pat dry to eliminate most water.
  5. Toss in a bowl with the olive oil and seasonings.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
  7. Enjoy!

The munchkin enjoyed them recently with leftover fried scallops from a local diner.

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The Friday Poem: Life Goes On

LifeGoesOn

The Sunday Recipe: Irish Soda Buns

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It is time to embrace cooking substitutions!

This past Tuesday was St. Patrick’s Day and that’s a traditional time for Irish Soda Bread. I was a little overwhelmed with everything going on to prepare for working from home, but I still wanted to make a special meal. I did a quick search for Irish Soda buns, which would bake faster. I found a great recipe from the New York Times cooking blog at https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1014602-soda-bread-buns, but of course I didn’t have exactly what I needed so here come the substitutions.

This is a great recipe because it already uses some stuff that you might have on hand, and you can substitute for other things. I didn’t have yeast on hand so this was a perfect recipe for me because the leavening is a combination of baking soda, baking powder, and egg.

I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour, so I used some whole wheat flour – it was fine. I didn’t have caraway seeds and I didn’t want them, so I left them out. I did have some older dried currants, a little out dated but they were fine too. Raisins would be great, or chopped dates, or whatever you like and have on hand. I had unsalted butter but if you just have regular butter or shortening or coconut oil – it’s all okay! Even vegetable oil can be mixed in instead.

Embrace substitutions.

If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute milk and vinegar or lemon juice. The ratio is 1 cup of milk to a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice then let it sour for fifteen minutes or so.

My recipe went like this.

Irish Soda Bread Buns

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cup dried currants

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the fours, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
  3. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or a couple knives.
  4. Stir the currants in.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. (If you’re using oil instead of butter, put it in here.)
  6. Stir wet ingredients into dry.
  7. Turn out onto a floured surface and, with floured hands shape into eight portions.
  8. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until firm.
  9. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: New Growth

NewGrowth

The Sunday Recipe: Unstuffed Egg Roll

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Unstuffed Egg Roll

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of onion chopped
  • 6 to 9 baby carrots or 1 large, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  1. Warm the olive oil in the pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and saute a few minutes.
  3. Add the carrot and saute until soft.
  4. Add the cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stir, cook another five minutes.
  5. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir and cook another five minutes.

Working with what I had on hand, I improvised this today based on the “Paleo Egg Roll in a Bowl” recipe from http://www.ancestral-nutrition.com. That recipe used 1 tablespoon coconut oil and 1/3 cup coconut aminos, which I didn’t have. You can also substitute a bag of shredded cabbage and carrots for a faster product.

The Friday Poem: Self-care

selfcare

The Sunday Recipe: Butter Chicken

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A co-worker sent me this recipe years ago after I told him how much I loved the butter chicken at our local Indian restaurant and I’ve made it many, many times since. It is easy, makes a large batch for when you have company, is gluten and dairy free, and freezes really well. I made a few changes and you can too to make it convenient for you.

The garam masala can be difficult to find so I buy it online and share it with friends. I also prefer to use fresh garlic and put it in with the onion, but that’s not always convenient. You can even bake the chicken in the oven for an hour at 400 degrees if you don’t have time or inclination to use a slow cooker. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (Chicken Makhani)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 1 – 15 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca flour (or 2 Tablespoons wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 pounds of skinless chicken breast tenders
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onion until translucent, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste and coconut milk, stirring until blended.
  3. Add all the spices and heat until bubbly.
  4. Mix tapioca flour into a tablespoon of cold water then stir into sauce.
  5. Pour over chicken in the slow cooker and turn to coat.
  6. Cook on low for 5 hours.

The Friday Poem: Give it a rest.

Giveitarest

The Sunday Recipe: Simple Eggplant Parm

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Simple Eggplant Parm

(not breaded, gluten free)

Ingredients

1 medium sized eggplant

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup sauce

1 cup shredded mozzarella

2 tablespoons grated parmesan

 

  1. Heat a large saute pan on medium heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Peel and cut off the ends of the eggplant.
  4. Slice eggplant into 1-inch thick rounds.
  5. Brush one side of the eggplant with olive oil.
  6. Place, oil side down, in the pan.
  7. Brush the rest of the oil onto the top side of the eggplant round.
  8. Cover and cook about 5 minutes.
  9. Turn eggplant over and cook another five minutes.
  10. Grease or spray a large pie plate.
  11. Spread ½ cup of tomato sauce in bottom of plate.
  12. Place the eggplant rounds onto the sauce.
  13. Top eggplant with the remainder of the sauce.
  14. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese then parmesan cheese.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  16. Enjoy!

(This is a GREAT recipe for freezing as it tastes even better after it sits for a day or two.)

Optional simple tomato sauce: Combine 1 8-ounce can unsalted tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, and a pinch of sugar.

 

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