Monday, March 16, 2015

Roasted Vegetable Strata

I love roasting a big batch of veggies and then having them available for a quick side dish, to top with a fried egg or to use in a throw-it-all-together recipe like this one.

I love Cabot Cheddar Cheese. It is the best.

Bring two good things together in your favorite cast iron skillet and you've got an informal match made in heaven!

Did you know that cooking in cast iron skillets increases the iron content of your diet?

Roasted Vegetable Strata
  • 4 cups roasted veggies - I used sweet potato, onion and broccoli
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (I love Cabot brand cheese!)
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  1. Place your large cast iron skillet in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. If you don't have a cast iron skillet, butter a 9x13 baking dish, but don't preheat.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together your veggies, milk, cheese and eggs in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Once the oven and pan are preheated, pull the hot pan out of the oven and melt butter inside. Turn the pan or use a silicone brush to evenly butter the bottom and sides. 
  4. Pour egg mixture into prepared pan and place back into the oven. Bake until golden brown and puffy and until a knife inserted into the center comes out pretty clean. Start with 30 minutes and go from there; exact time will depend on the size of your skillet. The large the skillet the faster the cooking time.
  5. Scoop our serving with a spoon or cut into wedges or squares. It will be delicious either way.
Note: the husband didn't realize that I hadn't taken a picture of this dish yet...our apologies for the, er, interesting portions removed from the pan :)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

West African Groundhog (Groundnut!) Stew

This recipe is a favorite! I first discovered this recipe when I was nannying for my cousin's son during grad school. She has enjoyed this dish  at a friend's house and took the recipe home from her. I usually cooked dinner for them. One day she asked me to make this recipe. I thought the ingredients sounded so strange that I said to myself "sounds like a PB&J night for me!

Boy oh boy was I wrong!

The savory peanut sauce and the tender cubes of sweet potato are simply wonderful over fluffy couscous. This is a great dish that everyone can enjoy, vegetarians and meat eaters, alike.

My sister loves this dish too. Once she accidentally called it "groundhog stew" and for us, the name stuck.

West African Groundnut Stew
  • 1 tablespoon  canola, peanut or olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or finely shredded
  • 1/2 to 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes, chopped with juice
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 9 ounce bag fresh spinach
  1.  Warm vegetable oil in a large skillet or sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger and jalapeno and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add water, tomatoes and their juice, sweet potato, parsley and spices. Simmer 20-25 minutes or until sweet potato is soft.
  3. Add spinach and peanut butter, heat though. Covering your skillet helps the spinach to wilt faster.
  4. Serve over whole grain couscous or rice. Yum :)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Grape Glazed Carrots

February is Heart Health Month and I am celebrating with foods that promote heart health! Concord grape juice is one of 'em!

I think that it is common knowledge that wine may promote heart health. Did you know that concord grapes have many of the same effects?

4 ounces of 100% juice = 1 serving. 

One common question I get as a dietitian is whether it is better to eat raw or cooked foods. The answer actually depends on the food and the specific nutrients you're referring to. The polyphenols in the concord grape juice and the beta-carotene in carrots are actually more bio-available cooked! This is why variety is so important - eat a good mixture of foods each day, in a variety of preparations, both fresh and cooked.

Know your farmer, know your food! Meet Tim Grow, a concord grape farmer!

Grape Glazed Carrots
  • 3/4 cup Welch's 100% grape juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 8 medium carrots, peeled, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring  1 quart of water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add carrots, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, thoroughly.whisk the grape juice, cornstarch, vinegar and olive oil together. When no lumps of cornstarch remain, turn heat to high and bring mixture to a boil. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until mixture is thick. 
  3. Toss glaze with carrots, top with walnuts and serve immediately.
Note: the heart healthy fats in the walnuts and olive oil  promote absoprtion of fat-soluble nutrients, such as beta-carotene.

Recipe adapted from Welch's. 

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