Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Extended Life for: Butternut Squash

This is yet another recipe I can take zero credit for. And as of yet, I have not even tried these enchiladas, however, I wait in such great anticipation as the mix smelled and tasted delish as I was preparing this vegetarian treat. Because we often end up with a small abundance of food, I prepared these, then promptly slipped them into the freezer to enjoy at another time. They will be the most perfect treat as mashed butternut squash melds with cream cheese and an all-star cast of flavors from chipotle peppers to to cumin to nutmeg. I wait in great anticipation to savor these, if you are so intrigued, go here for this stunning Vegetarian Times Recipe!

Black Bean and Plantain Burritos

Extended Life for: Plantains, Cilantro, Chiles and Onion I cannot take any credit for this recipe. I made very few adjustments and truly just wanted a fun way to experiment with plantains as our first attempt at fried plantains resulted in crunchy bland pieces of what looked like banana. Our plantains were, of course, sufficiently past there expiration date and one even housed some mold. The mold of course did not make it's way into the mix, however, being the one to prepare the dish, I struggled to taste a pure meal, sensing a small hint of moldiness throughout the enjoyment of my burrito. However, Mike and our dear friend Mark had no problems chowing down and claiming the meal was fully satisfactory. That being said, here is the recipe from Vegetarian Times online. Enjoy!

Spinach, Bean and Barley Soup

Extended Life for: Spinach, Chilies and Onion

Cooking with wine is one thing I wish I did more of. As the ingredients of the soup simmered in a small amount of white wine, I found myself being transported to a foreign experience, exchanging my snow-covered landscape with rolling hills of vineyards and the golden-orange sunshine of Tuscany. The smell is truly enticing. The recipe however, is hardly my own, I made a few alterations to a recipe off of to fit the ingredients of our household. The original recipe can be found here, while mine is presented below.


1 cup uncooked Pearl Barley
3 cups Green Tea
Olive Oil for sauteing
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 pkg. Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Pepper of choice, chopped
2 Tbsp. White Wine
2 cans Garbanzo Beans
1 can diced Tomatoes
2 cups Fresh Spinach, chopped
3-5 cups Green Tea or Chicken Broth
Italian Seasoning
Salt & Pepper


Bring barley to boil in 3 cups water, cover and reduce heat, simmer for 30 minutes. After about 20 minutes, begin preparing the rest of the soup. Saute onion, chilies, and garlic in oil for 1-2 minutes, add mushrooms, saute another 3-5 minutes. Add seasonings and white wine, allow to cook for about 5 minutes (imagine Italy). Stir in barley, beans, tomatoes, spinach and tea/broth. Bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes or longer and finish seasoning to taste. Enjoy with crusty bread and loved ones.

Sesame Chicken and Vegetables with Mock Fried Rice

Extended Life for: Carrots, Snow Peas, Onion, Celery I rarely rave about the dishes I produce, but this was absolutley fabulous! Many "mmmmm's" and "wow's" found their way into the surrounding atmosphere as we consumed this fabulous dish. The secret is surely this recipe from for Chinese Style Sesame Sauce. The only changes I made to the sesame recips was to use 1.5 cups of Green Tea rather than the 1.5 cups of broth and water. For me, things took a bit of effort, however it was definitely worth it - instant rice would likely be beneficial if you're attempting to cut down on time. Regardless, have all ingredients on hand and ready for the skillet before starting this Asian feast!


Mock Fried Rice:
1 cup dry Rice, prepare according to package directions
2 Eggs, beaten with following Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1/2 cup Onion, diced
1/4 cup Celery, diced
1-2 cloves Garlic, minced
Oil for Wok

Chicken and Veggies:
2 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
1 cup Carrots, sliced
1 cup Snow Peas
1/2 cup Onion, sliced
1 clove Garlic, minced
Oil for Wok
A few shakes Sesame Seeds (optional)


In wok, heat oil, saute onion, celery and garlic. Add Egg/Soy Sauce mixture to hot wok, let scramble. Remove egg from pan, add to prepared rice. Begin cooking Sesame Sauce in seperate saucepan. Add aditional oil to wok if necessary, saute onion and garlic. Add cooked chicken (or if you've simply seared the meat, continue cooking until no longer pink in the middle). Add carrots and snow peas, saute 5-7 minutes, until crisp-tender. Add sesame sauce, mix. Serve over rice and DEVOUR!!!

Smoked Salmon and Tomato Pizza

Extended Life for: Smoked Salmon, Tomatoes, Onion and Radish I like fish...only, not that much. Mike really likes fish. Apparently, the community of Laramie went through an anti-fish movement last winter, because our freezer is still packed with various fish fillets. Perhaps the greatest find and the only fish I semi-enjoy, is the salmon, particularly the smoked salmon. This pizza has become a household favorite!


1 Pizza Crust - you decide if you want to purchase or home-make the crust, I purchase
Olive oil for crust
A few shakes Italian Seasoning
1 package Smoked Salmon, bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup Dried Tomatoes
1/2 Onion, sliced
3 Radishes, sliced
Lots of Cheese, most recently I did a mix of mozzarella and feta


Brush crust with olive oil and shake some Italian seasoning on top. Top crust with veggies, salmon and cheese. Bake at about 400 (or whatever temp. is directed by pizza crust packaging) for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Blackberry Pancakes

Extended Life for: Blackberries Mike's specialty is fruit pancakes. More often than not, the fruit is banana. However, one recent Friday night, Mike came home with a handful of beautiful blackberries. Saturday morning came and he was eager to make a delicious breakfast for the two of us taking advantage of our semi-fresh berries. Saturday mornings don't get much better than that!


2 cups Master Mix
1 1/4 cups Water
1/2 cup Blackberries


Mix ingredients together. Cook on medium-high heat on griddle or in skillet. Flip when bubbles start to appear then cook for another 5-7 minutes until golden. Enjoy with syrup and a loving husband or good friend on a Saturday morning.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Asparagus and Red Pepper Strata

Extended Life for: Bread, Asparagus, Milk, Parsley and Sun-Dried Tomato Garlic Strata's simply don't receive enough culinary attention. I first discovered the concept while in high school and always enjoy the opportunity to throw old, crummy bread, vegetables, milk and eggs into the same pan, leave it in the fridge overnight and enjoy for the dish for the next days meal. To me, the strata is a lazy man's quiche - and who doesn't appreciate a great quiche!


2 cups steamed Asparagus, cut to 2 inch pieces
1/2 cup Roasted Red Pepper, diced
1 loaf of day old Bread, crusts removed and torn to pieces
Olive Oil spray
6 eggs
3 cups of Milk
1 cup Shreded Cheese
1/4 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons Sun-dried Tomato Garlic or simply 2 cloves of Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste


Grease a 9X13 pan. Place one layer of bread in bottom of pan, spray with olive oil. Layer in half of Asparagus, Red Pepper, and Cheese. Add another layer of bread, spray with olive oil then add layer of Asparagus, Red Pepper and Cheese. Whisk eggs, milk and spices. Pour egg mix over bread and vegetables, cover and place in fridge for 4 to 24 hours. Set oven to 325 and bake for 50 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired and bake another 10 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Curry Eggplant and Pumpkin Fritters

Extended Life for: Eggplant, Pumpkin, Onion, RadishA while back I made an abundance of Curried Eggplant. The dish was good on it's own, however it held too much heat for me to enjoy it on it's own. Therefore, it went into the freezer with my intentions to discover a better use for this spicy eggplant dish. Not a month later, I received my favorite magazine, Vegetarian Times which was showcasing veggie inspiration for this creation. I recognize you may not have leftover ingredients to put into these patties, therefore, I'll attempt to suggest alternatives...


3 large Eggs
4 cups mashed Curried Eggplant
(I used a food chopper, a food processor would work as well, if you don't have frozen curried eggplant, just roast some eggplant, season with curry and jalapeno and let me know how it turns out!)
1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
2 shakes of Curry Powder (unless your eggplant wasn't already curried...)
2 spoonfuls of Curry Pumpkin soup should you happen to have some on hand, otherwise, omit
1/2 cup Onion, diced
1/2 cup Radish, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup Mango Chutney
2-3 cups prepared Rice


Whisk eggs. Mix in following seven ingredients. Drop by spoonful onto hot griddle, cooke on each side for 4-5 minutes or until crisp and brown. Serve veggie patties on top of prepared rice and Mango Chutney. Enjoy!

Italian Tomato and Green Bean Soup

Extended Life for: Green Beans, Tomatoes, Carrots, Celery, Parsley, Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Mix

Having a large pot of soup cooking all day is one of this lifes greatest joys. I love the versatility of soup - whatever makes its way into our fridge is a perfect candiate for a pot of soup.


1 lb. bulk Italian Sausage, browned and crumbled
2 cups Green Beans - fresh or frozen
1 cup Carrots, chopped
1/2 cup Celery
1 medium Onion, diced
1 can Great White Northern Beans
1 can diced Tomatoes
1 cup Plum Tomatoes, diced
6-8 cups Cold Chaser Tea or Chicken Broth
Italian Seasoning, Salt, Pepper to taste
Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic topping, to taste
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped (add 30-40 minutes before serving)

Place all vegetables in slow-cooker add tea or chicken broth. Season with all seasonings except parsley. Turn on low, allow to cook for 8-10 hours. Enjoy with good friends and French bread.

Green Chili

Extended Life for: Cilantro

My favorite part about this particular pot of green chili, is that I was able to use local pork. Mike and I recently watched Food Inc. - we obviously have some opinions about food and it's relationship with the American people, the film however reinforced our desire to support local shops and especially local food producers. Laramie is home to the Butcher's Block, a freindly neighborhood butcher, I purchased my pork there and ultimately, I just really enjoy the interactions that always take place within the small shop on Laramie's westside - it's well worth a visit if you live in the area.


2 1bs. Pork Loin or Pork Chops

Cooking oil

1 head of Garlic, minced

1 medium Onion, diced

3 medium cans Green Chiles

4 medium Tomatillos, diced

2-3 Jalapeno Peppers, diced most seeds removed - leave some for spice

1 15 oz. can diced Tomatoes

6 cups Green tea

3 tsp. Chicken granules

Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, Cumin and Cilantro to taste


Heat oil in large stock pot, sear pork so that it is brown on outside but not fully cooked on the inside. Remove pork from pan and let cool before cubing. In same pot, saute garlic and onion until tender. Add enough flour to absorb the oil. Add chicken stock gradually to flour/onion mix to create a thick soup base. Heat to simmer. Add jalapenos, tomatillos, chiles, tomatoes and cubed pork. Bring to a simmer. Add spices a dash or so at a time until chili reaches desired flavor - bring chili to simmer between each addition of spices to determine if the flavor is correct. Let chili cook for at least an hour or longer for better flavor, at this time, you may place chili in the slow cooker and enjoy the days activities until the chili is ready!

Blender Salsa

Extended Life for: Tomatoes
and Cilantro

Few things offer greater joy than home made salsa. With a husband who tends to view as tomatoes as a least favorite vegetable, the abundance of such can make for difficult meal planning. However, even those who despise the tomato love salsa. This one comes out bit pinker than I prefer, but what it lacks in apperance it is quick to make up in taste.


2 cups Cherry Tomatoes, cut into thirds

1/2 Onion, chopped

2 cloves Garlic

2 Tbsp. Cilantro

A few Banana Peppers and juice

A few Jalapenos and juice

Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder and Cumin


Mix all ingredients in a blender. Enjoy with tortilla chips.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Crab Apple Coleslaw

Extended Life for: Grapes (raisins) and Soy Nuts

Unfortunately, I do not have a photo to accompany this recipe, nor do I have very specific directions. However, I can testify to the delicious nature of this dish!


Shredded Cabbage
Handful or two Raisins
Soy nuts
1 recipe Crab Apple Vinaigrette - from October 2009 post


Place cabbage, raisins and nuts in a bowl. Pour dressing over top, let set for a couple hours or overnight. Enjoy with fish tacos or as a delectable side dish.

Beans and Greens in Green Tea

Extended Life for: Collard Greens and KaleI have a deep love for the Food Network's Racheal Ray. Just last year, I spent 2 days sick at home watching a DVD set of 30 minute meals. I also have a deep love for soups. So when Racheal Ray makes soup, I listen and watch, anticipating the day I will be inspired to create a similar soup. Beans and Greens have been on my list of soups to make- so when the supplies made them selves available - I was all to eager to start a pot of this hearty dish.


6 cups fresh greens: Collard, Kale, Escarole, etc.
3 cans Great White Northern Beans
1 Onion, chopped
2 gloves Garlic, minced
6 cups Green Tea
3 Tbsp. Chicken Granules
Olive Oil for sauteing
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of Nutmet
Zest of 1 Lemon


Wash and chop the greens. Heat oil in pan, saute onion and garlic. Once tender, add greens a handful at a time until wilted, season with nutmeg. Add beans, tea and chicken granules, heat through. Finally add salt and pepper to taste as well as lemon zest. Enjoy with family and friends and a hunk of crusty bread!

Curry Pumpkin Soup with Curry Toast

Extended Life for: Pumpkin and Wonder Bread It's a shame that most pumpkins are simply carved into a face, become moldy, then are tossed. We the American people have forgotten that pumpkins are food and can be prepared before hitting the can. Here is a delicious way to enjoy next years Jack-O-Lantern.


1 Pumpkin; seeded, peeled, diced
4-6 cups Chicken broth
1 cup Onion
3 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Curry Powder to taste
Heavy Whipping Cream

Curry Powder


Place pumpkin, chicken broth, onion, garlic, salt in pepper in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Let cool slightly. Puree pumpkin mix in a blender, transfer to dutch oven. Heat pumpkin puree and add curry powder. Gradually add whipping cream until desired consistency. If desired, saute extra garlic and onion and add to soup. For toast, heat butter in a skillet. Sprinkle curry powder and salt in skillet, place bread in skillet. Toast each side to desired crispness, serve with soup.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Extended Life for: Pumpkin Seeds

Gut a pumpkin, clean off seeds. Bring seeds to boil in salt water. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Drain off water. Toss seeds with olive oil and choice of seasonings. Bake at 250 for 1 hour.

Sweet: Toss pumpkin seeds with cinnamon and brown sugar

Spicy: Toss pumpkin seeds with chili powder, cayenne, salt and pepper

Raspberry Cobbler

Extended Life for: Raspberries Ingredients:

2-3 cups Raspberries
2-4 Tbsp. Sugar
2 cups Master Mix
1/2 cup Water
Whipped Topping


Mix berries with sugar in a square baking dish. Mix master mix with water. Drop mix by spoonfuls on top of raspberries. Bake in oven at 400 for 20-30 minutes until biscuit topping is golden. Scoop onto small plates and top with a healthy serving of whipped cream!

Goose and Cabbage Pot Pie

Extended Life for: Goose and Cabbage Filling, MushroomsIngredients:

3-4 cups Goose and Cabbage Filling
5 Mushrooms, chopped and sauteed
1 clove Garlic, sauteed with mushroom
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Milk to desired consistency
Pie Crust, uncooked


Saute Garlic and Mushroom in olive oil. Heat Goose and Cabbage filling, add mushrooms and garlic. Add Cream of Mushroom soup and a splash of milk. Stir and mix until pot-pie consistency. Place mixture in a deep dish pie plate or deep casorole dish. Place pie crust on top of pie, make vents. Bake pot pie in oven at 400 degrees 30-45 minutes until crust is golden brown. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Goose and Cabbage Turnovers

Extended Life for: Carrots and Celery

While in High School, I had the opportunity to work in a quaint and wonderful local downtown bakery. Donuts and cookies were a huge bonus! But, one of my very favorite food items were the cabbage buns. Having recently uncovered my Master Mix recipe and noticing a recipe for "turnovers" I decided this was my best chance to re-create the familiar, yet updated flavors, of an old favorite.

Pre-made Goose and Cabbage Filling
Feta Cheese
4 cups Master Mix
1 cup water


Preheat oven to 400. Mix Master Mix and water. Divide into 12 equal parts. Roll each biscuit ball out to 5 or 6 inch diameter. Place 2 Tbsp. or so of Goose/Cabbage filling on flattened dough, sprinkle with feta cheese, bring edges together and press closed. Continue process until you have 12 turnovers. Prick each turnover with a fork. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 18-20 minutes until brown.
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