Category Archives: Vegetables

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Please note: this post was written last week, so the “today” and “yesterday” are not literal. Thank you for understanding.

ImageDon’t you love the concept of devouring a huge salad? It’s a gorgeous concept—dozens of flavors, textures, and colors, all tossed into one enormous mound. For you. For your hunger and your health. And if salads make you happy, it’s for your happiness, too.

I’ve become a salad fanatic lately, but I have a hard time coming up with new combinations. Sometimes a salad is a salad is a salad. Our side salads are usually lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage, avocado, and nuts. My main dish salads consist of…well, whatever I feel like putting on them. (If you’re really interested, my lunch salad today was lettuce, cucumber, grated carrot, meatloaf, orange bell pepper, and poppy seed dressing. It was fantastic.)

Right now, however, I’m going to tell you about yesterday’s salad. The salad mentioned above is not the All-Gong Oriental Salad of the title. Let me tell you about that one.

I feel like making a huge salad and eating it like a starving herbivore. (Well, not exactly.)

I grab The Two Sisters’ Cookbook and go to the Salad section.

I see the All-Gong Oriental Salad.

I start mixing. Not sure how much of all the ingredients, so this is a non-recipe.

Be advised: This recipe is NOT the same as the All-Gong Oriental Salad in the Two Sisters’ Cookbook! I just used that recipe for ideas and inspiration.

Vegetable Couscous Salad

Salad:

Lettuce, chopped

Carrots, diced

Green onion, sliced

Black olives, sliced

Broccoli, chopped

Frozen peas, thawed

Purple cabbage, chopped

Couscous

Fresh ginger, grated

Dressing:

¼ cup water

1 – 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch

Soy sauce

Lemon juice

Brown sugar

Rice wine vinegar

Fresh garlic, minced

Toss desired amount of salad ingredients in a large bowl. As you can tell from the pictures, I went heavier on the vegetables and lighter on the couscous. But that can change!

For the dressing, combine water and cornstarch. Microwave a minute or two, stirring frequently, until the mixture is bubbly and thick. Whisk in several tablespoons (each) of soy sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, and rice wine vinegar. Toss in a little garlic. Drizzle over the salad and toss well. I would recommend chilling the salad for awhile, but yesterday I didn’t have time.

Now you can devour the salad!

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In case you’re wondering, I don’t like the calories of normal oil-and-vinegar dressing, so I prefer to thin them out a little with a cornstarch-and-water mixture. Thinner dressings go farther on my salads.

I’d like to know…

What do you like to add to your salads?

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Ah. It’s so satisfying to post, isn’t it?

See you next time!

rachel

“Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord” (Romans 12:11).

Special Green Beans

Do you ever want to make something different but not too weird? Or an everyday dish that’s dressed up a little?

Thursday, I was in charge of making lunch for my dad, brother, grandfather, and sister. Meatloaf, baked potatoes, apple slices, and bread made up the menu. Green beans sounded like a good idea, but I did NOT want plain, boiled green beans with a little butter and salt. Vegetables should be delicious. And please, please, PLEASE don’t smother low-calorie vegetables with butter and cream cheese and cheese sauce!

I found a recipe that helped me get started: The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole. Please note, Special Green Beans are not vegan, but please be assured that they are quite healthy. I’ll include nutrition at the bottom of the post.

I had fun mixing up this dish, and I probably enjoyed them more than the rest of the family did. (That’s probably because I’m a vegetable lunatic!) Ah. Green beans covered with a creamy sauce speckled with onions, mushrooms, and bacon bits. Oh yes, and don’t forget the cracker crumbs on top! That’s an idea I got from The Pioneer Woman, but I just realized that she put crackers on broccoli, not green beans. Oh well!

Let’s get on to the recipe!

Special Green Beans

1 pkg. (probably 12 oz.) frozen green beans

2 tsp. coconut oil, olive oil, or butter

1/2 cup onion, diced

3 mushrooms, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 slice turkey bacon (I used Applegate Farms)

1/2 cup 2% milk

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 T. cornstarch

Salt and pepper to taste

4 crackers (like Ritz, I used Late July)

Boil the green beans in salted water until tender, 7-8 minutes.

In a small saucepan, saute onions, mushrooms, and garlic in oil until vegetables are wilted. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine milk, chicken broth, and cornstarch. Add to vegetables; cook and stir until sauce is hot and bubbly. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain green beans and place in a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over them. Crumble the crackers on top, and serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Nutrition Facts: (1/6 of a recipe) 76 calories, 2.7g fat, 1.6g saturated fat, 2mg cholesterol, 11.1g carbohydrates, 3.1g fiber, 3.3g protein.

Try these out if you’re looking for something new to do with green beans! Remember? Something different but not too weird. An everyday dish that’s dressed up a little.

What is your favorite thing to do with green beans?

Well, that’s all for now!

Because He lives,

~rachel~

Spinach Pesto Penne

I cook weird things for myself. Really. My family walks in, looks at my plate, and asks, “What’s that?” The answer to that question can be quite long and/or disturbing.

Please don’t be disturbed about Spinach Pesto Penne. Be adventurous. It’s  delicious…and healthy…and GREEN. It’s a combination of my pesto craze and my pasta craze.

Spinach Pesto Penne for 1

2 oz. whole wheat penne pasta, cooked a la dente

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup 2% milk

1 cup spinach

1 – 1 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

1-2 T. pesto

Salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley to taste

Dash cayenne pepper, optional

1-2 T. parmesan cheese

In a food processor or blender, combine chicken broth, milk, spinach, cornstarch, pesto, and desired herbs. Place cooked pasta in a small saucepan; pour spinach mixture over it. Cook over medium heat until hot and bubbly and the sauce coats the noodles. Stir in Parmesan cheese until it’s melted and creamy. Eat and enjoy. Yield: 1 serving

I ate it all. I highly recommend it.

I know the pictures are a bit dark. I had no natural light, I’m afraid.

Please excuse all the appearance changes. I want to play around and find a look I like for my blog!

See you next time for another pasta recipe!

~Rachel~

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Do you have a recipe in your mind, then start looking for it? And you aren’t contented until you find it? You want to make something up, but first you want to prove to yourself that this is legitimate? “Surely there’s a recipe with this and this and this….”

I wanted to make a Tomato Cucumber Salad. A fuzzy image hung suspended in my mind. Big chunks of tomatoes and cucumbers. Mom suggested olives. A tangy marinade. Fresh herbs.

What’s wrong with me? I don’t even like tomatoes. But I liked this salad.

Where was I? I had a salad in mind, but I needed a recipe to back it up. A little Taste of Home searching revealed a recipe – THE recipe!

I adjusted the salad ingredients a tad, but the dressing was perfect. All in all, the ingredients fall in love with one another. I don’t like olives either, by the way. But I liked this salad.

Tomato Cucumber Salad

2 medium tomatoes, cut into large chunks

2 medium cucumbers, peeled and cut into large chunks

1 (4-oz.) can sliced olives, drained and rinsed

2 small green bell peppers, cut into large chunks

2 T. fresh parsley, snipped

2 T. fresh basil, snipped

1/3 cup light olive oil

2 T. red wine vinegar

2 T. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/4 tsp. pepper

Combine the tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, green bell peppers, and herbs in a large salad bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over vegetables; toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes, up to 3 hours, before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. Yield: 8-10 servings

Note: The original recipe called for mozzarella cheese. Feta cheese would be fantastic, too. 

See the original recipe at Taste of Home! 

I’m glad to get back into blogging a little more! I know I always seem to post on Sundays. That’s because I almost always do. I feel justified “playing” on my blog when I’m relaxing on Sunday afternoons. But I hope to post a little more during the week. That, of course, depends on whether I have recipes and pictures or not. Maybe I can create something for my Sunday night supper and share it with you.

Leave a comment. I love comments.

Thanks for stopping by!

Rachel

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza Night!

As I concocted pasta sauce a couple of hours ago, I thought, “I should write this recipe down and post it.” Then I started taking pictures…of Corrie’s pizza crust dough, the mushrooms, and on and on. Then I got to adding things and on and on and I forgot about taking pictures. Then I remembered again. Yum.

It was goooood pizza. Especially the veggie one (that’s because it’s the only one I had). So….I’m not writing down Corrie’s pizza crust dough recipe (I don’t know exactly how she did it). You can just do whatever dough you like and add some spices. Corrie did whole wheat pastry plus some gluten. Whatever.

Here’s pictures, and I’ll give you the pasta sauce recipe when we get to the pasta sauce.

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The beginning of the dough. Carbs are so good.

Then the mixer did all the work. And you can go do other things while it kneads. Hah.

Check it out. Hands in the dough.

Blob of dough. Sorry about all the dough pictures. I must be obsessed with dough or something.

Here’s the pasta sauce. Roll out your dough. Put the wonderful herby sauce on.

1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes

1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. onion powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp. sugar

1 1/2 tsp. basil

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/2 tsp. parsley

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/4 tsp. thyme

1/4 tsp. marjoram

1/4 tsp. rosemary

Stick everything in a blender or food processor. Blend until desired chunkiness.

Now add the toppings….

This one had chopped bell green peppers, homemade beef sausage, and cheese. Traditional and favorite.

This one had green bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, pineapple, and spinach. I like veggies, too.

Look at your kitchen. Isn’t it a mess of love?

Make some chubby breadsticks if you have extra dough. Thanks, Corrie!

Corrie said it looked good, so I came and took a pictures. Pizzas are beautiful….

View no. 2. Same pizza, though. You knew that.

Here’s the sausage pizza. Of course, it’s already after we cracked into it.

Cheeezzzy. Great pizza, by the way. And I’m not bragging. I just say so if I like what I make. That’s okay, isn’t it?

Eat all the pizza you want [need]. Put the rest in the refrigerator for breakfast tomorrow morning. Or maybe stray brothers that come in late and haven’t had pizza yet. Leave a happy pizza stone and pizza cutter.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the pizza night tour. It was a great night. Love cooking with and for my family. What about you?

~rachel~

“I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spinach Souffle

Please don’t be frightened. This is amazingly delicious. And moderately easy. When to eat it? We like it for supper with muffins on the side. Simple and tasty.

I love Spinach Souffle. You will, too.

Spinach Souffle

From The Living Cookbook

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup whole wheat flour

2 T. minced onion (I use more!)

1/2 tsp. dry mustard

1/2 tsp. Italian herbs (or parsley, basil, oregano, and thyme)

1 1/2 cups milk

2 cups spinach, steamed and chopped (or three-fourths of a frozen package, thawed and drained)

1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

6 eggs, separated

3/4 tsp. cream of tartar

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and add the flour, onion, mustard, and herbs. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk all at once. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Stir in the spinach and cheeses. In a large bowl beat the egg whites and cream of tartar at high speed unti lstiff but not dry. In a small mixing bowl beat egg yolks slightly. Add to spinach mixture. Gently but thoroughly fold spinach mixture into whites. Pour into a greased souffle dish and bake at 350 for 25-35 minutes* until delicately browned and knife inserted near center comes out clean. Serve immediately. Yield: 4-6 servings

*We usually have to bake it longer than this.

I encourage you to give this a try! Like I said, don’t be frightened by the spinach or the souffle. Your tastebuds will thank you.

Have a good evening!

~Rachel~

 

Roasted Broccoli

Oh, how I love broccoli. Oh, how I love broccoli. Oh, how I love broccoli.

Please don’t tell me you torture your broccoli. Broccoli has feelings, just like the rest of us.

It doesn’t mind being served raw. It likes making you feel healthy as you munch and graze through it.

It loves being steamed until crisp-tender, then flavored with butter and herbs. Just loves it.

Broccoli, however, hates being fully cooked and then served all limp and sick-green. Just hates it. That’s how you torture broccoli….you cook it on high for 20 minutes until it mushes in the bottom of the pot. Please don’t.

But Broccoli’s favorite way to be cooked is this: ROASTED. It just can’t be happier than when it’s tossed with olive oil and minced garlic and roasted in a hot oven until it’s seared, tender, and crispy on the edges.

I realize that this broccoli doesn’t look happy. It’s hard to make it look happy when you take a picture of it. But just know that it is, all the same.

Roasting broccoli is so, so easy.

1. Cut your broccoli into medium-sized florets.

2. Place it in a baking pan and drizzle with olive oil.

3. Mince up some fresh garlic and sprinkle it over the broccoli. Add a little salt and pepper if you’re so inclined.

4. Stick it into a 425- or 450-degrees oven. Let it roast for around 10-15 minutes until it’s just tender. Don’t overdo!

5. And there you have it. Dump it into a serving bowl and feed it to your ravenous family before it gets cold.

You will love it as much as the broccoli does.

Forever and always,

~Rachel~

 

The Red Bell Pepper

The Pioneer Woman is having a photography assignment: food. That fits me pretty well! I entered my picture of the German Chocolate Cookies, and today I entered this picture:

Comments? Critiques? I’d love to hear!

Have a wonderful day!

~Rachel~

He who called you is faithful, who will also do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).

Our Dog is a Health Nut…

Maggie (the dog) likes good food, too. She insists on the raw and fresh.

True story: the broccoli was old and we put it in our compost pile. Maggie found it.

End of story.

Have a blessed, beautiful, fantastic, glorious day. God gives those.

Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength….

~Rachel~

Catch-A-Cashew Salad

Hi. My name is Catch-A-Cashew Salad. Nice to meet you, too.

I’m a little different. But I’m yummy. I originate from a recipe in the Two Sisters’ Cookbook, but Rachel’s putting me down as a non-recipe.

I’m very adaptable.

P.S. Rachel’s excited to be taking pictures of me with her new camera.

You’ll need:

Cauliflower

Cashews

Green onions

Carrots

Green peas

Mayonnaise/Yogurt

Lemon juice

Worcestershire sauce

Basil

Salt, pepper, garlic

Chop up some cauliflower and throw it in a salad bowl. Whatever looks right. Do the same thing with the cashews, green onions, peas, and carrots. Wait. Grate the carrots first. Or peel them into strips…however you like it. Now for the dressing. A little mayo or yogurt, then the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and herbs. Stir it together, and then taste it. Need a little more mayo? Or lemon juice? Whatever tastes good.

Enjoy. But you won’t enjoy it as much after it sits in the refrigerator a day. Enjoy it now.

Have a super day.

~Rachel~

Blessed be the name of the Lord….