Food

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

Here in Wisconsin (and I suppose many other places too) fresh cranberries are hard to find anytime other than late fall.  I like this recipe.  It is best with fresh berries but it’s OK with Craisins.

The thing is…. I love pan-seared Brussels Sprouts.  And, barley has a glycemic index of 28 while white rice is way up to 89!  Similarly, a baguette (which I love) has a glycemic index of 95!  ARGH!  But, I like the flavor of barley!  So this is a win-win for me.   I do cut the maple syrup in 1/2, using 1/2 T instead of an entire Tablespoon.  I think I’ll swap out the syrup completely and use honey instead.

So — here goes…. try it.  You’ll like it.

Pan-Seared Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries & Pecans

Serves 3-4

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, de-stemed and halved
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/3 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 2 cups barley, cooked
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Heat skillet with drizzling of olive oil over medium heat. Season brussels sprouts with salt & pepper and combine with cranberries in skillet.

Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts

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Food

Butternut Squash with Cinnamon, Coconut and Honey

Recipe Box

Another recipe in my series of vegetarian recipes to take along in the RV

I came across a blog that promoted the use of honey and cinnamon as an aid to good health.  No more had I saved that article for future reference than I came upon this recipe.

I usually prefer acorn squash to butternut, but in this instance the acorn doesn’t hold up as well.  So, I guess I’m stuck with the original recipe.

Give it a try…. It’s Scrummy!

All you need:

  • 1 Large butternut squash
  • Cinnamon (sprinkled)
  • Nutmeg (sprinkled)
  • Spinach
  • Raw Organic Unsweetened Coconut
  • 1 Gala Apple
  • Raw Organic Honey to taste
  • 1 Tsp Chia Seeds (actually — I prefer sesame seeds)

Directions

Dice up butternut squash.
Preheat oven to 365 degrees.
Spread butternut squash out on baking sheet.
Sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon
Bake for 20 minutes.
Take butternut squash out and flip.
Sprinkle more cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Let  butternut squash chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Slice a small gala apple into thin slices.
Dip apple slices into honey
Coat the honey edges in raw unsweetened organic coconut.
Fill a bowl with spinach.
Top with one cup of butternut squash
Add apples and a sprinkle of Chia seeds
Drizzle one tbsp of honey over the top of the salad. If you don’t like honey, a raspberry vinaigrette or honey mustard would be a great salad dressing choice!

Butternut Squash with Coconut, Cinnamon and Honey

Butternut Squash with Coconut, Cinnamon and Honey

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Food

Cauliflower with Balsamic and Parmesan

Recipe BoxI have always liked cauliflower.  Roasting isn’t the first cooking method you might think of for cauliflower but the results are quite delicious. The florets are cut into thick slices and tossed with extra-virgin olive oil and herbs. Wherever the flat surfaces come into contact with the hot roasting pan, a deep browning occurs that results in a sweet, nutty flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets, (about 1 large head; see Tip)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

I am playing with an alternate preparation of this recipe, steaming the cauliflower for about 5 minutes and then sauteeing in a hot pan with just a little oil to get the same kind of browning.  (the alteration is less for flavor and more for reduced cooking time.)  This recipe works well, my alterations are still sketchy.

roast cauliflower

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Food

Beets, Orange, Pomegranite and Quinoa Salad

Recipe BoxNow that I have more time to cook I find myself craving flavors I grew up with – but healthier.  One of those favorite flavors is beet!  I’ve never quite understood why beets are as expensive as they are (considering the cost of vegetables in general) but that doesn’t matter when I bite into something delicious like this:

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium beets (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups red quinoa (the red variety is for color, but if you cannot find red, white is OK)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 medium oranges
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1 whole pomegranate, seeded

PREPARATION

  1. Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F.
  2. Trim the root end of the beets and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover loosely and microwave on High until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)
  3. Meanwhile, bring broth, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.
  4. Zest and juice 1 orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining 2 oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange—if it isn’t quite 1/3 cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get 1/3 cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
  5. When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
beet quinoa salad

Beet & Quinoa Salad

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Food

Avocado and Olive Salad

Recipe BoxAnother lovely vegan recipe from a guy who loves salads.

I love avocados.  I love olives (the black ones anyway).  This is supposed to be a recipe for 4, but as an entree it’s doable for two.  Looking for new recipes for the two of us has me wondering about such things as herbs.  It so happens that the two of us aren’t all that keen on cilantro.  We will likely use parsley in place of the cilantro.

But the question comes to mind: is it possible for an RV’er in an RV that is only 32′ long to have some kind of herb garden?  It doesn’t pay to experiment while we are still in the school.  But I think that once we get mobile we’ll try a couple trial gardens — perhaps in coffee cans?  or some form of non-breakable pot.  It’s something to think about.  I doubt we’ll be able to grow enough to make a difference in our food budget but perhaps we can find a few items that we can grown enough of to make our diet uniquely “Peter & Peggy.”   I’ll keep you posted.

Ingredients

  • 1 Avocado, chopped
  • 5 cup Spring Mix Salad Greens
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Dried Sage
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 Lemon, juice
  • 20 Kalamata Olives
  • 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Process

  1. In a large salad bowl, place the mixed greens.
  2. Top greens with olives, avocado and cilantro.
  3. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with rosemary, sage, and salt.
  5. Toss to combine all ingredients, and serve.

    Avocado and Olive Salad

    Avocado and Olive Salad

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Food

Avocado Hummus

Recipe BoxWhen first I saw this recipe I scratched my head.  For some odd reason the idea of avocado and hummus didn’t compute.  I’m glad I reconsidered.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 very riped avocado, sliced
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Serve it up with pita chips or toast!

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a food processor, fitted with blade. Whirl away until smooth.
  2. To serve, top hummus with fresh sliced avocados, chopped cilantro, drizzle of olive oil with toasted garlic and garbanzo beans

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On the woes of eating healthier….

I am beginning to realize one disadvantage of a vegetarian or vegan diet.  The food is wonderful, the food is fine.  The problem has to do with the quantities you must make of some dishes in order have them work.

Two people — Peg and Myself — may have for a meal a total of three slices of homemade bread (bigger than normal store bought loaves) and either Guacamole made from one whole avocado or a couple leaves of lettuce with slices of avocado on top.  We’d have no room for 1 cup of garbanzo beans.  And unless you put a good layer of olive oil over the top of the completed recipe by the time we were ready to eat more the avocado would have turned brown/black.  (Avocado you know oxidizes in contact with oxygen.)

You can’t go out and buy 1/2 an avocado.  🙂

I’ll be playing with this recipe a little for our future use.  Most likely we’ll adjust the hummus amount to balance out our consumption level and I think we’ll eat it with lettuce leaves as a wrap.  But I like the idea.  Even though I’m a bread-aholic there are times that even I accept that eating less wheat flour would also be better for us.

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