Friday, January 21, 2011

Wild Rice

This recipe from The New Laurel's Kitchen (one of my favorite cookbooks) has been a reliably satisfying winter recipe for us for years. There's nothing that makes it exclusively wintery I suppose, but it seems like it's usually cold and wet out when I think of preparing it. It's hearty and filling as is, but it's over-the-top good alongside a hunk of salmon (maybe baked with mayo/ mustard/ dill spread over the top).

Here's the recipe as it reads in Laurel's Kitchen, with notes on my changes.

1 cup wild rice* (I use less wild rice and more brown rice to reduce the cost.)
1/3 c. brown rice*
1 carrot* (I sub or add parsnips.)
1 large stalk celery
6 green onions
1 garlic clove
2 Tbs. oil
5 cups boiling water* (For some reason this is too much and I usually use 2.5 cups. I also forgot to bring it to a boil first last time and it didn't make a difference.)
1 tsp. marjoram
1/4 tsp. thyme
pinch rosemary
1 tsp. salt
dash pepper
1/3 cup toasted almonds

Rinse grain well. Chop carrot and celery in 1/4" cubes. Chop green onions and sauté them with garlic in oil. Crush garlic clove with a fork. Add water and bring to a boil. Stir in the vegetables, rice, herbs, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and cook gently for an hour or more, until the rice is tender. Chop the almonds and add them about 20 minutes before serving. Makes about 5 cups.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Loaded Borscht Stew

1 C. beef broth (or water)
2 lbs. stew meat
2 lg. onions, sliced
2 lg. celery stalks, sliced
2 C. sliced carrots
1 head cabbage, sliced
2 C. sliced beets PLUS 1 C. grated beets (divided)
1 T. salt
1 bay leaf
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1 T. sugar (optional but in original recipe)
1/2 pt. sour cream

In a LARGE pot, combine broth, beef, onions, celery, SLICED beets, carrots, cabbage, salt and bay leaf.
Simmer for at least 2 hrs.
Add grated beets, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar.
Simmer 30 min more.
(This next part seemed unnecessary to me, but here's your option:
Cool and refrigerate. Skim fat from soup. Reheat.)
Serve topped with sour cream.

Freezes well, which is good because it makes a lot.

Super delicious, nutritious, power house, eat it up!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Easy Winter Salad-- Dinosaur Kale!

We love this super easy winter salad with avos and Lacinato/ Italian kale (fondly known by our little guy as Dinosaur kale).

- Make dressing from equal parts olive oil, lemon juice, and tamari.
- Pour dressing over kale pieces and thinly sliced red onion and let sit while you prepare the rest of dinner.
- Add chunks of avocado and enjoy.

P.S. Pairs nicely with tomato-lentil soup or roast chicken and a grain.

Roasted Chicken & Butternut Soup

This came to us by way of Leslie's Mama... I haven't tried it yet (and I can't recall if Leslie has or not) but it sounds delicious.

4 servings

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
1 med. butternut squash (2 1/2 lbs), peeled, seeded, and diced med.
1 sm. onion, diced
2 T. olive oil
Salt & pepper....
4 C. chicken broth (I used turkey broth made from Holiday turkey)
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. coriander
1 T. lemon juice
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Heat oven to 425. In roasting pan, toss together chicken, squash, onion and oil.
Season w/ salt and pepper.
Roast for 30 min. or til cooked through.
Put chicken on plate to cool.
Transfer squash and and onion to soup pot. Add broth, cumin, and coriander.
Bring to simmer over med-hi heat.
Mash some vegetables til soup is thick and chunky.
Discard bones and skin from chicken, add meat (cut into sm. chunks) to soup.
Stir in lemon juice and season to taste w/ salt and pepper.
Serve, topped w/ cilantro (if desired).