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Gibbs Smack

After the best Thanksgiving Day (all things considered), this morning I found myself having a tizzy fit. I don’t shop on Black Friday, so…

Usually by Thanksgiving Day here we can expect a light snow, rain, and Foehn or Chinook winds that keep the cold in check. This year it’s unseasonably warm.

So on Wednesday, though it was in the mid 50’s outdoors, my oven heated the cottage to 80 degrees.

Much more comfortable with the door open and fans running, I blasted Pandora mixes and danced around my kitchen like a boss. All the food prepared, ready to eat and/or deliver around dusk, I was ready for a quiet, relaxing weekend, just the Holy Ghost and me.

But this morning some buzzing at nearly every window stole my attention from my steaming chai latte and my reading. And if that wasn’t enough, the tiniest flying insect ever violated the airspace between my face and my screen.

Lemme just say here, coming in I realized that flies would challenge me. Horses within 50 yards of the doors, cattle nearby, dogs, numerous amazing-mouser felines, the oh-so-entertaining chicken house and compost piles – there will be flies. In case I never mentioned this before, the absence of flying insects is one of my favorite aspects of colder weather. Again, this year’s weather is unusual.

So, this morning I began to wonder if flies had contaminated the food I labored over… but I resisted that brand of crazy and read on:

“One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to see Jesus. They noticed that some of his disciples failed to follow the Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating…” Mark 7:1,2

“So the Pharisees and teachers of religious law asked him, “Why don’t your disciples follow our age-old tradition? They eat without first performing the hand-washing ceremony.”” Mark 7:5 (NLT)

It’s a good story. But I admit:

in moments the buzzing captivated me again. Minutes later I was fully suited up, armed with flying insect spray, swatter, jump suit, goggles, mask, and hat…  With that I fully engaged.

A dozen or so casualties later, in the entire 800-plus square feet, two POWs were trapped between the screen and the sliding window and one eencie-teencie flying pest remained free. I showed him. I closed the laptop, got a hard copy Bible, another cup of chai and returned to what I’d been reading before the attack.

I’m not gonna lie here, though the near silence was nice (the POW’s were exercising their escape plan) – I was slightly annoyed by the smell of the insecticide. After a few minutes I put the mask back on (adding drops of eucalyptus and chrysanthemum oils).

I read on,

“Then Jesus called to the crowd to come and hear. “All of you listen,” he said, “and try to understand. It’s not what goes into your body that defiles you; you are defiled by what comes from your heart.” Mark 14, 15 (NLT)

 

 

These days more than ever before God’s generous, extravagant love amazes me. In the middle of studying the Master, the greatest Love of all teaching us, I had allowed my pet peeve to distract me and trip me up. And yet, He waits patiently until I returned to Him.

Unlike some bumbling, often well-meaning mortal/earthly fathers, instead of a rod or a Gibbs Smack, I now get a gentle hand. God grabs my attention and turns my head toward what really matters – no humiliating slap in the face. Flying insects aside – mostly – not even my wandering heart can separate me from God’s love.

So, now that I laid that burden down, what pet peeve can you whip into shape today?

“But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried over all these details! There is only one thing worth being worried about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41, 42 (NLT)

 

Roasted Butternut squash with pomegranate and citrus recipe courtesy Sangheeta Pradhan

NCIS Video clips courtesy YouTube

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Saved Vegetable Beef Soup

vegetable-pixabay

One thing that my limited budget affected is meat in my diet. I’m a fan of non-GMO, organic soy products, free range poultry, fish and organic cheese, but now and then I crave beef. Toward the end of the month supplies dwindled, so I made a pot of vegetable beef soup.

Without beef bones I used boxes of bargain beef broth from the emergency stash. My fresh veggies tasted less than great and the Great Value  beef (alleged) broth tasted like anything but beef – it was just plain yuk. I’m glad to know not to buy the product again.

I got creative and was delighted to not have wasted the food or my efforts. The friends that dropped by admired the end result so, my secret is secure.

Following is the recipe and the save I concocted. I’ve made it a few more times since with homemade stock, good boxed broths, Knorr Homestyle Stock or Knorr bouillon cubes (which contains less sodium than many other brands). Better Than Bouillon is also good.

knorr-soup-base

Since then I also discovered a culinary jewel at my local restaurant supply: Knorr Professional liquid Concentrated Flavor Base. Available in my area in Beef, Chicken and Vegetable, a 32 oz (946 ml) bottle makes 6.25 gallons. They’re gluten free, no MSG, store on the shelf even after opening, and easily dissolve. With 760 mg sodium per cup it’s less salty than bouillon cubes and quite tasty.

Saved Vegetable Beef Soup

Fresh vegetables chopped into bite-sized pieces:
6 celery ribs
6 medium carrots
1 large onion
Bell peppers (I prefer red, orange or yellow)
1 large potato (or 1 1/2 cups cooked rice)
1/3 large head finely chopped cabbage
3 large garlic cloves finely minced
Bunch fresh minced parsley leaves (to taste)
Cover with beef broth (or stock). When homemade stock is not available, use 2 – 3 boxes or hydrated bouillon cubes (omit additional salt)
Salt and pepper to taste

Simmer till vegetables are almost tender (about 20 minutes).

Once veggies are tender add:
2 cups cooked (or canned) beans; black beans (rinsed). Navy, cannellini, great northern or ceci (chickpea or garbanzo) beans are good and the liquid is great in soup.
16 oz frozen corn
½ small can (6 oz/170 g) tomato paste (avoid lumps and thin with some warm broth before adding), or a large can chopped tomatoes.

Stir and cook on medium heat till blended and heated through.

The save:

1 envelope onion soup mix
1 jalapeno or poblano, pasilla, or Anaheim (California or Magdalena) Chile, halved (remove before serving or chop, according to your preference)
Bunch cilantro leaves finely chopped (to taste)
Juice ½ lime (or more to taste). For extra flavor drop rinds in, but remove before serving).

Stir and cook on medium heat till blended and heated through. Remove lime rinds and peppers if desired and serve with crusty bread.

 

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous…” 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NLT)

Vegetable image courtesy Pixabay

 

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Eggsact Timing

chicken-coop-pixabay

I get eggs from an obliging neighbor’s chicken coop whenever I can. We’re huge fans of hard-boiled eggs (yolks are rarely on for me), so eggs are a mainstay for fast, easy protein.

Knowing which are fresh can sometimes be tricky, especially with free eggs. We faithfully place eggs in water before cooking. Fresh eggs roll right to their sides. Good, but older eggs stand up or roll around. These are best for hard-boiling. If an egg rises to the top of the water or floats it goes away, preferably unbroken.

 

Yesterday I realized a carton had been in the ‘fridge for longer than I could remember. None lifted, so all were edible, but some moved faster than I like. Remembering Cole loves deviled eggs (okay, and inspired by the marvelous Victo’s post), as I went about other tasks, I boiled them and then deviled them.

Sprinkling them with paprika and finely minced parsley for a festive touch, they were so pretty at my kitchen coffee station, I thought to take a picture and went into the bedroom for my phone. Tickled because I rarely think to shoot a photo, I wanted to share the joy. First I texted Cole that they were there, to please eat them. I didn’t realize the time and the shop has been unusually busy so I didn’t think anyone would respond right away.

I’d already seen Cole earlier, and still hadn’t changed from my lounging flannels, when I heard the door open I delayed long enough to make the bed – I even set the pillows that usually stay on the arm chair in the corner unless I expect visitors. When I heard the door again…

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I returned to the kitchen. Instead of a plateful of eggs all dressed up for the photo, four halves remained. The guys were hungry and the eggs didn’t suck.

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Sometimes my plans go better than I expect. But hey, there’s still lunch, a snack and maybe even breakfast tomorrow.

Oh, and I still haven’t changed from my lounging flannels. Jus’ Sayin’.

To perfectly cook hard-boiled eggs that peel easily every time:

 

 

Cover room temp eggs under  2″ of water and bring to a full, rolling boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes then remove from heat. Let the pot stand (don’t lift the lid) for 10 – 20 minutes. Altitudes (or whatever) vary so you’ll have to figure out the best timing for perfect, yellow yolks. After ten minutes rinse one till it’s cool enough to peel and split. If the yolk’s done to your liking pour out most of the water, fill the pot with ice or ice water and let the eggs cool enough to handle – about 7 minutes.

Once cooled, crack the eggs and then roll them between flattened hands enough for air to get between the membrane and loosen the shell all around, then peel the shells off. Voila!

Quinn’s Deviled Eggs:

For 6 hard boiled eggs, 12 deviled eggs

Slice eggs in half placing yolks in bowl and arrange whites on a serving plate. Into yolks mix 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, with a splash of mustard. We like dijon, but brown or plain yellow prepared mustard is good. You may also like a little more mayonnaise. Be brave and experiment. Add salt and white pepper and mix thoroughly.

We like to grate a tablespoon of onion into the yolks, 1/2 teaspoon of sifted Coleman’s mustard, and a tiny splash of white balsamic vinegar or drops of lime juice. Be bold – find what you like best! Quinn also likes to add a hint of ground, prepared horseradish. Personally I think the horseradish is too many flavors for the pallet, but to each his own.

Pipe mixture into the whites (a zipper sandwich baggie with one corner cut off works) and sprinkle with paprika. I also add a tiny pinch of finely minced parsley during the holidays or chopped, fresh dill is delightful any time.

Advisory: Our family throws caution to the wind and typically prepares at least 3 dozen eggs for family gatherings – and they’re gone before we sit down to the table together.

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV)

Eggs Freshness Test, Water video courtesy YouTube and HappyEggDelivery.com
Chicken image courtesy Pixabay

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Easy Home-Style Tomato Basil Soup

I practice fasting often, not just during the Lenten season. Recently I took up a liquids-only fast, overlooking our exceptionally scanty pantry. Determined to stay on course, I examined the ingredients on a can of tomato soup. Shoving the idea of a toasted cheese sandwich deep down, I quickly noticed the villainous high fructose corn syrup was the second ingredient listed. I put the can back on the shelf and drifted to the refrigerator.

I considered the marvelous turkey vegetable soup I’d made from frozen turkey stock. Chunky with fresh veggies, it was not exactly liquid, so I returned to the pantry. On a different can of tomato soup, I noticed the first ingredient: “Tomato puree (tomato paste and water).” I fast-forwarded from there.

Grabbing a small can of tomato paste and I was off and running with sudden inspiration for a healthier alternative. The result is so fantastic I made it again the next two days. I would have prepared the soup even if I had received the revelation I’d sought ;).

The soup can be dressed up with cheese; I like a finely grated Italian blend of Mozzarella, Provolone, Parmesan, Romano, Fontina and Asiago (available even at Walmart) and cheddar is also delicious. Also good to add are sweet corn, tuna or any white, flaked fish, a cup of milk, cream, or yogurt (and crumbled bacon is fabulous when one is not fasting from meat). Plain soup makes a delicious stand alone light meal (with croutons, toast or a sandwich) anytime – but the soup is especially good during a liquid fast!

Easy Home-Style Tomato Basil Soup
Makes 3 – 4 servings, 3 servings approximately 158 calories. 4 servings approx. 210 calories

Ingredients:

1  6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, rubbed
salt to taste
a few twists of fresh ground pepper blend
6 ounces sweet, red wine (I used a Cabernet Sauvignon. Pinon Noir or Moscato are also good)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 cups warm vegetable stock (bullion is acceptable, but don’t add extra salt)

Extra: finely grated cheese

Directions:

In a medium saucepan slowly brown tomato paste, basil, salt (if your not using bullion) and pepper, over medium heat. Stir constantly being careful not to scorch – you can’t over-brown the tomato paste and the darker, the better. As the paste thickens, gradually and slowly blend in wine in small increments. Continue browning paste and wine. Once the last of the wine is added also add the sugar.

Once all wine is stirred in, sugar dissolves and paste thickens again, slowly and gradually whisk in 3 cups vegetable stock.

Bring soup to a gentle boil and then remove from heat. Spoon into bowls, top with grated cheese and serve. Delicious!

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Celery and Yogurt Soup

Toward the end of the week we get very creative about meals. Recently I remembered a head of celery that had been pushed to the back of the veggie drawer and needed to be used – fast. Not realizing we were out of cow’s milk until I was ready to add it, I had to think quick. The large tub of plain yogurt seems to always be the last to disappear from the ‘fridge. I remembered tasting a delightful yogurt-cucumber sauce over the summer, so I went for it.

The result was so good that Opal, who doesn’t especially care for celery ate half of the batch. If you aren’t fond of dill, be daring and try another herb that suits you. Take a spoonful to the side and try your alternate herb separately first and avoid risking a potful of soup you don’t like! ; )

celery-74333_640

Celery and Yogurt Soup
4-6 servings

1 large head celery, cleaned & chopped
1 small or ½ medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
4 cups chicken stock (or 8 teaspoons soup base dissolved in 4 c hot water)

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer till celery is tender, about 20 minutes. Pour stock into bowl, celery into separate bowl.

Add to pan:

2 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons unbleached flour

On medium heat melt butter, add flour, stir with wire whip. Add stock gradually, stirring constantly till smooth & thickened but don’t boil.
Add:

¾ – 1 cup room temp plain unflavored yogurt,
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Blend together yogurt, dill, salt and pepper (to taste) until smooth. Add celery and onion to soup and stir. Garnish with a sprig of dill & serve.

 

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Rotisserie Chicken Soup

In our family circles my late aunt Patty was the reigning queen of up-cycling, recycling, repurposing and reusing most everything. One of my favorite stories (that I can share) was her making watermelon balls for a luncheon. Once done felling the melon, she held up the hollow half shell, examining it closely, wondering aloud what else she could make of it – aside from a bowl for the salad. That’s when another aunt swooped by, grabbed the melon shell and ran, rather than find it repurposed later.

Queen Patty (who literally was Lombard, Illinois’s 1949 Lilac Queen, the youngest queen in Village history) loved to entertain and tastefully made old things look new, long before shabby chic was popular. She was one of those lovely people one would assume comes from old money, and though she made the most of her life, our family history disproves family affluency. I think fondly of her every time I make this amazing rotisserie chicken soup recipe.

One of my tastiest finds ever, it came to me by accident. I’d been brainstorming an idea for an article that had me so fired up I had to walk away. So, I took inventory of the refrigerator, noting all the extra space days before payday. I would likely not have otherwise imagined how one of the most flavorful meals ever came about. In fact, it was so tasty I afterwards wrote every motion as best I remembered it to create it again, and again. And that it developed during a particularly difficult time when every penny and scrap mattered. It doesn’t make a lot, but it’s a good second meal from one often dry, leftover chicken.

Note: Try it. You’ll either love it or be relatively indifferent. Either way, take a photo and share it with me as I rarely remember to snap one myself 🙂 Until then, you can enjoy seeing me, Suze and the Beej back in the day.

Me, Suze and the Beej

Me, Suze and the Beej

Rotisserie Chicken Soup

One must think ahead and not serve the whole pieces of chicken. Instead, cut the meat from the bones and save the bones in the plastic container – everything un-mouthed, that is. Also keep the market packing (refrigerated, of course) without scraping or washing it.

Makes enough soup for 2 – 4 servings. Or by adding white cooking wine (and maybe a bit more stock) for a delightful reduction, tossed with rice, noodles or quinoa it will go even further with amazing flavor and considerable nutrients.

Instructions:

Put bones, skin, meat, drippings, everything left over from grocery store rotisserie chicken into a small soup pot. Pour 2 cups hot, not boiling, water to rinse and scrape drippings from container, pour into pot. Repeat with 2 more cups hot water. This gives the stock an extra pop of flavor.

Add more water if needed to just cover the chicken and bones.

Bring pot to boil, reduce heat and simmer till all meat falls from bones (nothing about this recipe is exact science – approximately 40 – 60 minutes, more or less).

Allow to cool and then pour through colander into a bowl or another pan, reserving the stock. Wearing gloves, take your time removing bones, (gently pinch between fingers to be sure no sharp pieces get through), skin and any undesirable pieces. Return meat to stock, refrigerate till separated and then skim fat from the top.

Once stock is near room temp, return it and the meat to the pot and add:

1 stalk celery, chopped (great way to use celery and onion trimmings from freezer)
1/2 small chopped onion
1 smashed clove garlic
1 chopped carrot
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1 rosemary branch (optional – remove before serving)

Add vegetables to stock and simmer till tender.

At this point you can either

1. Add cooked noodles, pasta, rice, couscous, quinoa or more cooked vegetables if desired. Serve with rolls or crusty bread.
or
2. To make reduction, remove meat and vegetables from stock to a bowl or platter, set aside. Add 2 cups wine to stock. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, lower heat to a fast simmer and continue stirring till just slightly thick (it will continue to thicken as it cools). You will have a flavorful sauce that’s healthier without thickening agents like flour or cornstarch. Then return meat and vegetables to pan with noodles, rice or whatever you like, gently fold in sauce, plate and serve with crusty bread or rolls.

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Turkey Medallions – Times of Feasting and Getting Famished

Have I mentioned how autumn is my favorite time of the year? In case the break in hot or hotter weather isn’t enough to inspire longer walks later in the morning, colorful vistas cause me to swoon. Unlike any other season, I’m actually excited about bargain shopping and exercising my mad couponing skills so that city traffic doesn’t even bother me.

Before (possibly during) the Avian Flu outbreak, discounted marinated turkey breasts reduced for quick sale became stars in our summer suppers. From the grill, oven or cut into medallions, they’ve not only delighted company served up with my From the Hip Mango Salsa (which is actually chutney **), but inspired other successful experiments.

Turkey Tenderloin Medallions

Turkey Tenderloin Medallions

One of the blessings is a taste delight I developed, first from leftovers, and then with the whole tenderloins fresh from the wrapper. Now with cooler weather coming on I’m contemplating how to make a twenty pound turkey disappear among three people. Since I alone actually like leftover turkey this is a hefty challenge.

The savvy shopper is ever watchful for clearance sales on wines that enhance many recipes with a broader flavor palette (alcohol cooks away leaving a thicker, more flavorful reduction instead of gravies). Cashing in those Catalina coupons from the grocers’ registers makes them more affordable.

With turkey one can bravely go where no cook has gone before. Worst case results, it’s still gonna taste like turkey (yet again) and can be livened up with sauce or gravy.

Back when I kept large breed dogs, my passion for good, natural food benefited the canids attached to my household as well. To make the food budget stretch, I’d roast turkeys, only I’d filet off, skins and tie together the breast, leg and thighs. I did likewise with chicken. The skins, spine, neck, giblets, etc. all went to the dogs, sometimes via the freezer. The people portions frozen raw in marinade made life simpler for delightful, quick meals.

Turkey Medallions in Chardonnay Reduction

Prepare ahead rice (steamed is good, pilaf is superb), risotto, quinoa, couscous, pasta or noodles. Enough to make a bed on platter.

Ingredients:

2# (Aldi’s) Rotissery flavor turkey breast tenderloin, sliced into 3/4″ medallions
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large sweet onion chopped
3 or 4 fresh zucchini 1″ slices
1# fresh white mushrooms, sliced in 3rds
garlic (to preference)
branch of fresh rosemary (can be easily removed before serving)
1 pound, bag or 2 bunches (well cleaned) chopped spinach – preferably baby, or arugula
3 cups chardonnay (or any sweet, white wine)
1 cup water

Slice turkey in 3/4″ medallions (or slice into bite-sized strips if you prefer). Heat deep skillet, coat with evoo, stir fry turkey pieces on hi temp till browned but still raw in centers.

Reduce heat to medium-high, (remove from burner for a minute or two if necessary to prevent scorching). Add onion and saute 3 mins, till just tender. add mushrooms, saute till firm-tender, about 3 mins. Add rosemary sprig and stir another minute till aromatic.

Add 1 cup wine, and 1/2 cup water. Bring to boil again, stirring to scrape skillet bottom till smooth. Reduce heat, top with zucchini, cover, simmer gently 2 – 5 mins. Gently fold in spinach, cover, cook 3 more mins.

Remove meat & veggies from pan. Turn heat to high, stir in remaining wine. Cover meat and veggie platter with another plate and pour into pan the juices that have now collected at bottom of platter. Continue slowly stirring to prevent scorching until mixture begins to thicken* and reduction is thick enough to cling and cover spoon. If mixture reduces too much, add a little more wine until slightly thinner than desired consistency. Cover and remove mixture from heat. Let sit 3 – 5 minutes.

Cover a deep platter with a bed of noodles, pasta or grain (or plate individually). Arrange meat and veggies on top. With rubber spatula stir reduction, scraping bottom and sides. Ladle sauce over meat and veggies on platter. Serve with crusty, warm bread or rolls. Bon appetit!

Also delicious topped with a dollop of Greek style yogurt and sprinkled with chopped, fresh parsley.

* One can substitute turkey or chicken broth instead of (or in addition to) wine. Reducing broth or stock takes longer, so be patient and careful to stir often to prevent scorching.

** God willing, I will also share that recipe.

Copyright © 2015 Roo’s Ruse. All Rights Reserved. roosruse.wordpress.com mailto:ashalowm53@gmail.com

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Wonderful Legumes – Lentil, Kale and Sausage Stew

LENTIL, SAUSAGE AND KALE STEW

Food is not my first passion. That would be relationships. I spent many of the happiest hours of my lifespan in kitchens, around campfires, grocery stores and farmer’s markets, mostly exploring great new foods. All typicaly within a very restrictive budget.

Recently a friend from Chicago-land shared a recipe from Eating Well *1 for a Lentil, Sausage and Kale Stew.

She had me at Lentils. Dietary restrictions during the course of overcoming diverticulitis (without medication), sent my cholesterol counts crazy. After recovery, still unwilling to pollute my body with cholesterol medication, I researched and targeted my diet and exercise habits toward changing those numbers – and that right soon. #

Legumes, especially lentils, and oats are nature’s blood scrubbers, so every day I eat at least one portion of one, the other or both and power walk (breathing too hard to sing) for a minimum half hour to an hour every day, rain or shine. Also, since I also recetly discovered I was not lactose intollerant, a portion of yogurt and cheese also became a mainstay to keeping diverticulosis under control.

This wasn’t easy at first. My body and subconscious screamed in rebellion while I refused to return to my nice, comfy bed and pull the covers over my head. But within 2 weeks the routine became second nature.

I search constantly for variety, keeping a portion of oats or legumes part of my daily diet. Within four months both cholesterol counts returned to very healthy, normal levels. Two years later, keeping this as a base line, I can also eat pretty much whatever else I want in moderation without pain or upset.

Photo courtesy Eating Well.com

Photo courtesy Eating Well.com

Lentil, Sausage and Kale Stew – my variation, of course, of the Eating Well Recipe *1

Ingredients:

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
At least a pound of chicken or turkey sausage, casings pierced several times with a toothpick (the more the better when official taste samplers lurk nearby)
1 large onion, thickly sliced
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (or more per your taste)
pinch of crushed red pepper, (or more to taste) *
2 ½ cups water (have more on hand in case needed)
1 ½ cups red wine (or 1/2 cup wine and 1 cup chicken or turkey stock. have extra on hand in case needed)
1 cup green lentils, washed
8 cups finely chopped kale leaves, tough stems removed **
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
¼ teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare by thoroughly washing kale, cutting away tough stems, and chopping (set aside separately), onion, mince garlic, and sage (also keep sage separate). Wash lentils. Measure wine (and broth if desired) & water.

1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove, set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil and onion to the pan and cook until clear, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper *and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute.

3. Add water and wine, bring to a boil, stirring constantly with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits from the sides and bottom of skillet. Add lentils, stir in and reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cook, partially covered, for approximately 60 minutes until lentils are cooked through (some altitudes may require more time). Check occasionally for sufficient liquid for stew to be saturated, but not covered over. Add more warm wine, water, broth as needed.

4. Add kale, sage and salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and kale are tender, about 20 minutes more.

5. Cut the cooked sausage into 1/2 inch slices and stir into the pan along with ground pepper. Cover and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Spoon into bowls or crocks, serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and crusty, toasted slices of sourdough bread.

Also delightful with your favorite salsa (I especially like salsa verde), pico de gallo or pesto and sprinkles of fresh herbs (like cilantro). Be creative!

NUTRITION FACTS
Provided by: Eating Well
Per Single Serving / Serves 4 Total
Calories 500 17%
Calories from fat 99 20%
Total Fat 11gm 28%
Sodium 665mg 64%
Cholesterol 60mg 19%

Total Carbohydrates 58gm
Fiber 16gm
Protein 32gm
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

# This may not be sufficient for some with different, more severe cholesterol counts, or other health complications. Consult with your experienced primary care physician and a licensed professional dietitian.

* Our family likes a hot/piquant palette, so I add a jalapeno and a Serrano peppers with the crushed, red pepper flakes.

** Though popular, some tastes (like my sister, Roan’s) don’t take to kale, even when well cooked. Substituting 10 cups chopped spinach provides additional folic acid with a milder flavor.

*1 http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/kale_sausage_lentil_skillet_supper.html

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2015-10-02 · 11:21

Bomb Diggity Baked Spring Rolls

In our household, dietary restrictions from salt, oil, etc. aside, we can’t get enough Chinese food. Aside from pot stickers and that amazing green onioney-ginger-soy dipping sauces we also relish spring rolls. Neither are ideal on a low-fat diet. One late spring evening an on-going craving form something crispy-gooey-steamy got the best of me. I set about experimenting, pulling everything from the ‘fridge that was left over from a lumpia* party the weekend before.

As typically happens, Opal arrived home from work as I mixed and tasted. Between the two of us, we brainstormed through to some crispy, tasty satisfying rolls that are very forgiving of experimentation and well worth trying. It’s become a thing at our house.

Bomb-Baked Spring Rolls

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Ingredients:

Grate:
1 large carrot
1 Tablespoon fresh, peeled ginger root
Finely mince:
1/2 cup Cabbage
¼ cup Red, yellow or orange sweet peppers
¼ cup Celery
1 – 2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
Approximately 12 Egg roll wrappers
Can of canola oil or coconut oil spray**

In mixing bowl mix 1 – 2 t. teriyaki sauce and grated ginger together well. Add and mix all remaining ingredients well, being sure to distribute ginger evenly (consider using ground, dry ginger according to taste).

Liberally spray a baking sheet with oil. Lay egg roll wrapper on sheet, fill with vegetable mixture, tuck ends in first and then roll. Set aside on tray setting rolls 1 inch apart until sheet is full. Lightly spray oil over all rolls.

Place in center of preheated oven, bake 8 minutes. Turn rolls. Bake another 4 minutes until wrappers are completely golden brown. Be careful to not let bottoms scorch.

Remove from oven, serve immediately with prepared hot Chinese mustard and duck sauce. Leftover packets from previous Chinese take-outs are never wasted in our house. Consider adding more ingredients according to your personal taste, like shrimp, crab, minced leftover chicken, etc. and more wrappers, of course.

*A Filipino spin on the asian classic

**Refillable aerosol or pump cans from a restaurant supply stretch the food budget farther and are well, worth the initial expense.

 

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Kitchen Sync

2015-02-06 19.27.02

Food is necessary for life. Good food is the spice of life. And creating new, great tasting, soul-satisfying food makes the whole world seem like a better place. The very best food seems to develop when hearts gather around the home fires. To date, I haven’t studied under great culinary masters, but nobody ever complained about food that vanished from my table.

My humble means makes this particularly interesting. I’ve never had a lot of money for long, but we’ve always eaten well. I learned early on how sharing a tasty, satisfying meal in good company is more about the company than it is about the elements or any training.

It’s more about the connection, developing relationships with some experience sprinkled in and the common bond – fueling the engines.

Most recently I’ve noticed how the best culinary creations developed in lean times – making do from the remnants of recent abundance. Spontaneously providing sustenance for unexpected crowds inspired more surprisingly great suppers than I can remember. Family, friends and I most often craftily compiled them from everything in the house BUT the kitchen sink.

This Category is more about intertwining stories than blending ingredients together. It’s all about family, friends, fun and food; making the most of whatever we have.

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