Making Room In the Fridge For Thanksgiving

We often have remnants of veggie odds and ends in our crisper. I’ll usually make a quick soup with the veggies, broth and some thyme and oregano. It’s a family staple. But I thought I’d try something new since I also had a bunch of eggs from the girls (our chickens).

This is also a quick meal you can prepare in the “week before Thanksgiving” calm.

Cleaning the kitchen frittata

Egg and Veggie Frittata (kinda)

  • 4-5 eggs, beaten
  • Any veggies cut into bite sized pieces (I used broccolini, cabbage, leeks, peas and zucchini) Leeks are really good in this.
  • 3 TBSP goat cheese (chevre)
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat butter in a large non-stick pan. Add all your veggies and cook until just tender. Reduce the temperature to medium/low. Add the eggs and goat cheese. Move the bottom of the eggs around so they begin to cook through (but don’t stir). Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Flip the egg mixture and cook until fluffy.

Enjoy with a nice salad or toasted bread!

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Salad Hugs

Did you know salads are capable of giving hugs? I had no idea either – until I had this salad and every time I’ve eaten it since (which has been a lot).

The roasted jalapeño in the dressing is the key to the warmth. But the richness of the avocado, the refreshing jolts from the mandarins/tangerines and the feistiness of the arugula all add to the excitement of this salad’s hugs.

I love it so much we have had it almost every week since first having it back in March.

What an experience. Try this recipe to get your salad hug today.

The Hugging Salad

* baby arugula
* 2 mandarins or tangerines, peeled and segmented
* 1 avocado, cubed
* a few leaves of mint (or cilantro), sliced thinly
* goat milk feta, half a handful of crumbles

Dressing
* 1/4 cup olive oil or walnut oil
* 1 roasted, deseeded jalapeño, minced
* 1/2 shallot, minced
* 1/4 cup orange juice
* 2 TBSP red wine, champagne, or peach vinegar.
* pinch of salt

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Make the dressing in advance so you can put a proper chill on it. The flavors also have a chance to get acquainted and taste even more divine.

To make the dressing, heat the orange juice in a pot over medium high heat until it reduces down to about 2TBSP. It should coat the back of a spoon.

While that’s cooking on the stove, roast your jalapeño. I have a gas stove and simply place it on the burner until it’s charred all over. You can also use your broiler. Once it’s charred, wrap it in some paper towel or a clean cloth to steam a bit. After 10 mins, you can easily peel the pepper. Deseed it then mince it into tiny pieces.

Add all your dressing ingredients together (you might want to reserve some of the jalapeño if you want to control the heat). Whisk until it’s emulsified. Taste for salt. Put it in the fridge.

When ready, assemble all the salad fixings and then dress it with your salad dressing.

Then prepare for a hug!

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Old Fashioned Potato Salad

Along with the chili (below), mac and cheese (recipe to come) and pulled pork (see”Carnitas”) sammies, we’re making potato salad for the 60 or so people coming over on Saturday for the kiddo’s 3rd birthday party. I know! We’re bonkers. But it’s fun because I have the best team of Nanas and Papas and Daddies helping with the cooking and prepping.

I have to document the recipe so Papa and Nana can follow it while we run some errands. I’ll let you know how it tastes on Saturday.

Old Fashioned Potato Salad (hopefully feeds 30 adults)

  • 8 lbs red new potatoes
  • a couple handfuls of green beans, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 4 stalks of celery, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch of italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP pickle juice
  • 1 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup mayonaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 3 TBSP fresh dill, leaves
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Fill a couple pots with cold water and add the potatoes (and maybe a pinch of salt too). Cook (slight boil) until fork tender (but not like you were making mashed potatoes). They should be just soft enough to easily run your knife through without falling apart. Remove the potatoes from the water. Add your green bean pieces to one of the boiling pots.

Cut your potatoes into quarters or eighths depending on the size of the potato. (This is when you start yelling, “hot potato, hot potato”). You’ll want them bite sized. Add the vinegar, pickle juice, olive oil and a bit of salt while the potatoes are still warm.

Remove the green beans from the water and add them to the potatoes. Now, fold in everything else. Salt and pepper to taste. Now, refrigerate.

Enjoy at your next picnic or massive kid party 🙂 Wish me luck.

 

NinaLee’s Chili

Do you have lots of people to feed and want to give them something scrumptious and filling? Check out my BFF’s recipe for veggie chili. It’s a hit every time.

NinaLee’s Chili

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • a large handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP chili powder
  • 2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bottle of beer (preferably something amber or darker)
Preparation
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, mushrooms and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer on low for 45 minutes or until desired thickness (I usually cook it for about an hour).
You could add meat (during the saute step) if you like but it’s really not needed.
Enjoy with sour cream, cheese, diced white onion, cilantro and avocado. Perfect for Super Bowl or a big party.

Orzo Salad

The weather can’t make up its mind. We went from comfort food earlier this week to pasta salad and grilled ribeye last night. And this wonky weather has given the whole family a nasty cold.

I don’t mind either weather type. It’s really this cold that sucks. Who wants a stuffed up nose when all this amazing produce is popping up at the farmers’ markets? I can’t taste a thing!

Well, if you’ll remember from last year’s post about the Summer’s bounty, I live for Sunmer veggies. Heirloom tomatoes kissed by the sun, zucchini and cucumbers and the crunchy, sweet, colorful bells. We haven’t had our first heirloom yet but I couldn’t resist mixing this pasta salad together highlighting the start of our Summer bounty.

And many thanks to my BFF for the salad recipe inspiration years ago during one of our many awesome camping trips. xoxooxox

Orzo Salad
* 1 tomato (if you can get heirloom, do it!), diced
* 1/2 cucumber, diced
* 1/2 red onion, diced
* 1 1/2 cup cooked orzo pasta, cooled
* 1 handful of pitted kalmata olives, sliced
* 1/2 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
* 1/2 zucchini, cut into 4 spears lengthwise and then sliced thinly
* 6-7 leaves of fresh mint, sliced
* 4 leaves if basil, sliced
* 1 handful of crumbled feta
* glug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (to taste, think like you’re dressing a salad and then add from there)
* pinch of salt and pepper

The key to this recipe is the size of all the veggies and adjusting the oil/vinegar/S&P. Hint: the cucumber and red onion should be little dices no bigger than the orzo.

Now that you have carpel tunnel syndrome from chopping so much. Mix everything together and put it in the fridge to cool.

Enjoy with a grilled steak for an easy (well besides all the dicing) Summer meal.

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Roasted Eggplant Dip-ish

I’ve been lost. But now I’m found. I’m archiving recipes again. I didn’t mean to be on a four month hiatus. No recipe really inspired me to write. In fact, I’ve been referencing Scrumptious Bits a bunch.

Though I’ve made this recipe before, it wasn’t archived and its so good. It needs a spot in here. It’s great to bring to a party with some bread or crackers. And it’s super delicious for dinner with a cracked egg on top (hence, “dip-ish”).

Go out and get an eggplant and let your leftover veggies dictate the rest.

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Roasted Eggplant Dip-ish

1 eggplant, peeled and chopped in 1/2″ cubes
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, roasted
1 can of fire roasted, diced tomatoes
1/2 can of water or chicken broth
1 tsp each oregano, thyme and cumin seed
1 tsp garlic salt
Here’s where you get creative:
I added 1/2 red pepper, 1 pint of cherry tomatoes and feta cheese for the top.
You could add zucchini, mushrooms, spinach, etc.

Put it all in a Dutch oven. And set it in the oven at 325 degrees. Check after 1 hour. You want the eggplant to be so soft it melts in your mouth. Once it’s nearly there, take off the cover and cook until the liquid becomes a bit more thick.

Top with feta and serve warm.

I highly recommend this pot for cooking it. It’s a Bulgarian ceramic pot with a hole in the lid. I love it for stewing and slow cooking.

Enjoy!

Spinach Dip

To me (and I apologize in advance), Super Bowl Sunday means scrumptious bits and funny commercials.

Our menu today consists of my BFF’s chili recipe, nachos, chicken wings and spinach dip. I’ll post the most important recipe, the chili once I have clearance from my BFF. In the meantime, here’s the spinach dip recipe. Go Niners!!

(BTW: does anyone else remember the 49ers song, “49ers, ha! we’re dynamite!”)

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Spinach Dip

* 1 pkg. Simply Organic Spinach Dip mix OR Knorr Vegetable Soup mix [dry mix]
* 2 cups sour cream
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach defrosted
* 2 green onions, finely chopped
* 4 oz. of water chestnuts, drained and diced into tic tac sized pieces

Mix it all together. Pop it into the fridge for at least 30 mins.

Serve with sourdough bread.