Aunt Weezie’s Barley and Mushroom Pilaf

Aunt Weezie is an amazing cook, and undaunted by hoards of hungry guests.  She told me that this recipe is from Canada’s “Chatelaine Magazine”, back in the 70’s.

  • ½ cup butter, divided
  • ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced (approximately 2 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups pearl barley
  • 5 cups hot chicken broth, divided

Preheat oven to 350F.

In 2 Tablespoons butter, sauté the mushrooms until they are tender, 4 – 5 minutes. Lift out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon, and set aside.

In same skillet, heat remaining butter; and sauté the onion until it’s golden, about 5 minutes.

Add barley to onions in pan, and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until barley is golden brown, another 5 minutes..

Remove from heat; stir in mushrooms, and 2 cups of hot broth.

Turn mixture into a 2-quart casserole, and bake, covered, about 30 minutes.

Stir in 2 more cups hot broth, cover, and bake another 30 minutes or until barley is tender.

Finally, stir in remaining cup of broth, and bake 20 minutes longer.

Serve hot as a “side”.

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Filed under Grains, comfort food

Breakfast Burritos

Elie Krieger’s recipe

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup drained, rinsed canned black beans, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 cup (about 1 1/2-ounce) shredded pepper Jack cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 (10-inch) whole-wheat tortillas (burrito-size)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 small avocado, cubed
  • Hot sauce

Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over a medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until onions are softened and peppers are slightly charred, about 8 minutes. Add black beans and red pepper flakes and cook until warmed through, another 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a dish.

Whisk the eggs then stir in the cheese. Spray the skillet with cooking spray, and reheat the skillet over a medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add eggs, scrambling until cooked through, about 3 minutes.

Spread each tortilla with 1 tablespoon each sour cream and salsa, then layer with black bean mixture, scrambled eggs, diced tomato and avocado. Season, to taste, with hot sauce.

Roll up burrito-style and serve.

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Filed under Breakfast, dinner, lunch

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Adapted from recipe by “vegangela”.

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger root, grated
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste (from a tube)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (we like Lahlah’s Madras)
  • 1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes
  • 4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red lentils
  • 2 or three handfuls of sliced or chopped kale or spinach
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro, plain Greek yogurt
  1. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until onion is translucent.
  2. Add the tomato paste, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the broth, coconut milk, diced tomatoes, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil, the lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are very tender.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the greens and cook for another minute, if desired.
  6. Serve with garnishes.

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Filed under comfort food, Soups, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)

Super Quick Tomato Soup That’s Better for You

Sauté in a Dutch oven or large pot, until softened:

  • 1/2 a small onion, finely minced
  • 1large celery stalk, finely minced
  • 1 medium size carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1tsp garlic paste, or one finely minced garlic clove

Add:

  • 1 28oz tin of diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, include juice*
  • 1 14.5 oz tin of diced tomatoes, include juice

With a hand blender, purée the soup. Alternatively, dump the sautéed vegetables into a blender, and add half of the tomatoes.  Purée until smooth, then pour into the soup  pot.  Add the second half of the tomatoes to the blender, purée until  smooth, and add to pot. And put back on heat. Add:

  • 3/4 cup cream (any fat content that you prefer)

Stir and heat through.  Add salt and black pepper, to taste.
If desired, top with any of the following:

  • Sour cream dollop
  • Plain Greek yogurt dollop
  • Fresh basil, chopped or chiffonaded
  • Home made croutons
  • A sprinkle of shredded sharp cheddar cheese

* you can use plain diced tomatoes and just add some Italian seasoning, or fresh basil and oregano.

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Filed under comfort food, food, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo), whole food

Doug’s Cowgirl Cookies

Doug makes these cookies from an old recipe book; the authors of the recipe are Bev Almageur and Nancy Fry of Fargo, North Dakota.  Doug has tweaked the original recipe a little.

Makes 4 dozen

Preheat oven to 350F

  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 (to 2 tsp) baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • + anything else you want to add, eg, dried cranberries, nuts, raisins, sunflower seeds, chopped dried fruit, etc
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
  2. Combine the shortening and sugars, and cream well. Beat in the eggs until thoroughly blended.  Add vanilla.
  3. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix well.
  4. Add oats and chocolate chips.
  5. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes or until golden brown.

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Filed under baking, comfort food

Vinaigrette/Marinade for Vegetables

We use this to marinate vegetables for grilled veggie and soft goat cheese sandwiches on ciabatta buns; we marinate and grill red peppers, red onions, eggplant, zucchini, portobello mushroom caps, and anything else that strikes our fancy, topped off with fresh baby greens.

  • 1 tsp garlic paste (prepared, or make your own by mashing a garlic clove with salt)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. In a jar, shake together all of the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil.
  2. Add olive oil to the jar, and shake well.
  3. Taste, and adjust seasonings.

OPTIONAL (and recommended):

Add 1/3 cup minced fresh herbs, of choice (such as flatleaf parsley, basil, thyme)

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Filed under dinner, food, Vegetables

Mesa Grill’s Southwestern Potato Salad (Bobby Flay)

We had this recently at a potluck dinner at Aunt Weezie’s in Washington; her friend Kent brought it, and it was delicious, served at room temperature.

  • 16 new potatoes, about 3 to 4 lbs, cooked, drained and sliced 1/2-inch thick

  • 1 ½ cups prepared mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp chipotle pepper purée
  • 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 3 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp cayenne
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare potatoes and set aside.
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients, except the potatoes, in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Place warm potatoes in a large bowl and pour the mixture over potatoes and mix well. Season again with salt and pepper, to taste.

Read more at Food Network

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Filed under Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian (lacto/ovo)