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Archive for the ‘Vegetables’ Category


Kohlrabi is in season and if you love the steamed stems of broccoli, you’re going to love this recipe. It is from Seasonal and Simple, the University of Missouri Extension recipe collection available on-line and as an app here..

Sauteed Kohlrabi

4 small kohlrabi, peeled and trimmed of leaves and stems
1 teaspoon salt
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 teaspoon dried basil leaves, crushed or 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped

Grate the kohlrabi and place in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and let stand for 30 minutes, then squeeze the water out. In a skillet, melt butter or margarine. Brown the onions and stir in kohlrabi. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and turn the heat to medium. Cook another 2 minutes. Sprinkle with basil.

kohlrabverticle

You’ll find kohlrabi at your local farmers market in spring and fall.

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zucchini

To be at the farmers market last Saturday and see the beautiful fruits and vegetables gave me hope that summer is just around the corner.  I had almost given up hope as I listened to the rain beating down lately.  We are truly blessed to have professional farmers that are able to overcome the weather challenges of southwest Missouri and grow beautiful fruits and vegetables.

 Recently I did a cooking demonstration that focused on Cooking for One or Two (people).  Sometimes the quantity offered at the market seems a bit overwhelming for a small household.  So think about multiple uses for that food.  For example, when purchasing a basket of tomatoes you may use them in a salad, a sauce, sliced eaten alone, a BLT or taco, or even tomato and cottage cheese.  Planning ahead will prevent waste from your purchase.  Looking at the many vegetables at market Saturday I could see multiple uses:  salads, stir fry’s, roasted, a simple soup. 

 Another idea suitable for many vegetables is to preserve them for later use by blanching and freezing.  Blanching is a process that stops the enzyme action in the vegetable and will help preserve the color and texture when it is frozen.  To blanch a vegetable, drop the vegetable in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and place in ice cold water to stop the cooking process and then drain.  Once the vegetable is drained you can place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.  This is a great way to package in servings for 1 or 2.

The following recipe is so easy and  can be reduced or multiplied to fit your family size. Place the meat and vegetables in foil or parchment paper and bake or grill until the meat is done.  The freshness of the market vegetables will make this a delicious simple dinner.  Feel free to substitute with what’s available at your market.

Chicken en Papillote with Garden Vegetables

Serves 4       

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 oz each) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 
  • parchment paper 
  • 1 whole lemon, thinly sliced 
  • 4 oz baby zucchini, quartered lengthwise 
  • 4 oz baby carrots 
  • 4 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered 
  • 16 asparagus spears, trimmed 
  • 16 fresh morel mushrooms 
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil, plus more for garnish 
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place each piece of chicken in the center of a 14-inch square piece of parchment paper (or foil) and top with lemon slices, zucchini carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, morels, and basil, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each with 3 tablespoons wine and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Bring the edges of the parchment to the center and fold together twice to seal tightly, leaving space between parchment and contents. Place the 4 packets on a large baking sheet.

3. Bake until parchment is browned on edges and center puffs up, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven, put each packet on a dinner plate, and serve, letting people pierce the center to reveal the food.

Nutritional Facts per serving

Calories         355.3 calories

Fat                  11.9 g

Saturated fat2.1 g

Cholesterol   108.9 mg

Sodium          516.6 mg

Carbohydrates          13.3 g

Total sugars              4.4 g

Dietary fiber              4.9 g

Protein                       41 g

From:  http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/chicken-en-papillote-with-garden-vegetables.aspx

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Kale Chips


Kale Chips Kale is one of those vegetables that I’m experimenting with this winter.  I find that like many greens, consumers are a little unsure oh how to make this leafy green tasty enough to serve for their families.  According to WEB MD, Kale’s risk-lowering benefits for cancer have recently been extended to at least five different types of cancer. These types include cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. Isothiocyanates (ITCs) made from glucosinolates in kale play a primary role in achieving these risk-lowering benefits. That’s a lot of goodness packed inside those green leaves.

You can bake, saute or even roast Kale.  Here is a recipe that a friend passed along to me that has become a favorite with my 2-year-old son.  Kale Chips…provides that crunch of a chip and all the nutrition needed for a growing tot.

KALE CHIPS

1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 T. Parmesan Cheese

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.

Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.  Half way through sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and return to over to finish baking.

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When I told folks I was going to make my own homemade baby food..they laughed. “Yeah, we will see how much time you have for that after the baby comes…” It’s mind over matter people!

Well, if you were to come on over to my house and see the bags of baby food I made over a year’s times for my son- you would be impressed. I was always experimenting with new combinations of flavors and textures.

I choose fresh vegetables mostly (shopped at local farmers markets), and the fruits and vegs that are high in pesticides typically, I purchased either locally or frozen.

If you are unsure about the differences in homemade baby food compared to the jarred stuff- just make a batch of sweet peas.  I used this example the other day for a Parents As Teachers baby food cooking class I put on.  I made sweet pea puree and showed how brightly colored the peas were. The jarred stuff looked like a brown-green color and I’ve never known a baby to like peas. Well, mine did, it was one of his favorite foods as a baby and as a toddler.I’m also made sure Caston had an adventurous palate by incorporating things like avocado, salmon, pumpkin, butternut squash and even kale. I think kids are picky eaters bc they aren’t shown how fun food is!  By making your baby’s own food, you can show them the adventures of the food pyramid and the farmers markets is a great place to start.  And, don’t fret…just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that all market are closed.  There are many communities that offer winter markets.

If you are interested in making your own baby food check out these resources:
Baby Center
Wholesome Baby Food

Cookbook: So Fresh

Once a week I took about an hour and made a couple batches of baby food and froze the food in ice cube trays and some freezer cups. Then, when ready to use some of the food pull out only what you will need (yeah- no waste) and you can either thaw overnight in the fridge or microwave in a bowl.

I whole-heartily believe this is the best food for your baby….no preservatives and additives just fresh and healthy food!  Give it a try, you won’t be sorry.

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Creamed Turnips

Yesterday I made a visit to the Uhlmann farm, just down the road from my parent’s home.  Steve and Debbie Uhlmann have been long-time friends of my family and I grew up with their children.

Debbie comes from a family of split white oak basket makers that dates back more than 60 years and Steve’s family have farmed their homestead since 1888.  Talk about some major history- the Uhlmann family are also well known for hardwork and good country cooking in Douglas County.  Which brings me to why I stopped in about lunch time to visit with Debbie.

I am working on a couple cooking articles and Debbie was my subject, plus she hadn’t seen my son in quite awhile and asked me to bring him with me.

She was preparing Cranberry Tea, a Cheese Ball and Creamed Turnips.  Now, I’m not a really big fan of turnips.  I’ve found them hard to prepare and if you don’t do it just right, they turn out bitter.  But, saying that, I love a good turnip recipe.

It was fitting that Debbie made this recipe because mom and I had taken my son down to the corral to feed the steers and dig up some turnips from the garden for me to take home earlier in the morning- so I was in need of a new recipe.

Debbie provided we with this advice in cooking turnips- never overcook them or they will have a very strong taste and become bitter.  If you have to reheat them, do it slowly and do not cook them more.  She says you want them to still be “tender crisp” when ready to eat.

Here is Debbie’s Creamed Turnip recipe that would make an excellent side dish on your Thanksgiving table.

Creamed Turnips
4 cups turnips, peeled and chopped (about ½ inch)
Cover turnips with water in medium saucepan and bring to boil.  Simmer for 7 minutes or until tender crisp- do not overcook.  Pour out water, cover and set aside.

Sauce:
¼ cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2-2 ½ cups milk
¾ tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of sugar (optional)

Melt butter in pan or skillet, add flour and mix well.  Add 2 cups of the milk and stir constantly until it thickens and comes to a full boil.  Cook 1 minute, and then add salt, pepper and sugar.  Add extra milk if it’s too thick; mixture should be a bit thicker than gravy.  Stir into turnips and enjoy!  This recipe is from my mom, Helen Davis, but she never measured anything and it always turned out great.

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Interested in an easy kabob recipe…I’ve got your covered with my Market Style Kabob Cooking Video from the Marshfield Farmers Market.

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Light and Fresh Pasta Meal

Ever have those nights when you really don’t feel like cooking?  I do, we all do – but instead of reaching for that frozen pizza or calling for take-out, turn to some of my quick and easy meals to help sooth your soul!

Tonight was one of those nights in the kitchen for me. We were all hungry, but didn’t feel like making a meal that would take forever, so we opted for a quick pasta dish. Garden tomatoes and basil, capers, olives…and some grilled chicken breast. Talk about a light and healthy meal and oh so delicious!  But, you better hurry out to the market to take advantage of the tomatoes and basil still available….fall is coming on fast.

Try this recipe for a weeknight meal- you won’t regret it!

McConnell Fresh and Light Pasta
3 cups Penne Pasta (whole grain)
1/3 cup kalamata olives, diced
2 T. capers
1/2 cup garden tomatoes, diced
15 basil leaves, chopped
1 lemon squeezed
3 T. olives oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 grilled chicken breasts, sliced

Toss everything in a large bowl and serve with toasty french bread!

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