Category Archives: 52Weeks

Careful Making

Quinoa with Beets, Beans, and Berries

beets_with_quinoa

I still can’t believe this year is almost over – and that /52weeksofcooking is almost done (again).  It’s been a fun adventure with new ingredients and techniques and cuisines, which is why I can’t wait to see what themes are picked for next year.   I’m also a little behind, so today’s dish is actually from week 49 where dried fruit were the theme.  I debated going with something sweet, oatmeal raisin cookies or similar, but after seeing some fantastic looking beets at the market I decided to go with something savory.  After all, there is more than enough junk food this time of year!  The beets I picked up still had the greens attached, however I know that’s not always the case so feel free to switch out for some swiss chard or collards.

Quinoa with Beets, Beans, and Berries

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 large beets, diced
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup tri-color (or red) quinoa, pre-rinsed
  • 2 1/4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cannellini beans, presoaked
  • 2 cups beet greens, torn
  • 1/2 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the red onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes before adding the diced beets. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  2. Add the herbs and pepper, and stir well before adding the quinoa - continue to stir until quinoa is coated in the oil (about 1 minute). Add the vegetable stock and bring to a quick boil.
  3. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, add the beans, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes then start adding the greens a 1/2 cup at a time. Once they have wilted, add the next portion, stirring as needed.
  4. Once all the greens have been added cook for a final 5 minutes. Mix in the cranberries, then Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/12/careful-making.html

This dish is one where layering the ingredients really comes off – and keeps the leaves from turning bright pink.  I enjoyed this dish “naked” while Joe topped his with some grated Parmesan cheese, soy crumbles would also work for those wanting to add more salt to the dish.  I’m more of a bitter person, which is why I loved how the tart of the cranberries went against the natural sweet of the beets.

In my Brain

Banana Waffles

banana_waffles

When life makes you bananas – make a banana split!  Or at least so said my boss last week after a way more stressful than it needed to be week.  While I’m not much of a banana split kind of girl (milkshakes, all the way) I did get a bit stuck on the idea of using bananas.  The next day a coworker gave me a perfectly brown banana that was perfect for mashing and doing something with – so I knew the universe, or at least my colleagues, were telling me I needed to do something with bananas.  Since I was gifted the banana on a Friday it was in perfect shape for breakfast the next morning and after a quarter toss to decide between pancakes and waffles, I got to work!  I used the base waffle recipe in my Joy of Cooking book, and just swapped out the eggs for the bananas.

Banana Waffles

Serves: Yields 6 waffles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 2 normal sized bananas)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Mix together the banana and milk until smooth and set aside. Sift together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and then make a well in the middle.
  2. Preheat waffle oven
  3. Quickly whisk in the wet ingredients, and mix until just blended
  4. Spoon mixture into waffle oven based on directions. Continue until done - then Enjoy and Serve!

Notes

Our machine takes a 1/3 cup batter for each waffle

http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/in-my-brain.html

Joe topped his with standard maple syrup while I went for some local Pear Butter, which worked perfectly with the cinnamon in the muffins.  I know there are people out there who teased me for asking for a waffle maker on our wedding registry but I am so so so thankful that I did!  There are few things as simple and basic as a good waffle – which is why I’m sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their rustic challenge.  It might not be the easiest thing to make on a camping trip, but a waffle in the morning with a cup of coffee (by which I mean Iced Caramel Latte) is pure heaven!

Having Fun

Fava Bean Soup

fava_bean_stew

I don’t willingly watch horror movies – this is a fact long established and reinforced after various events during my college years.  So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a horror movie for an inspiration, I thought about “cheating” by making some gory dessert thing and saying I was inspired by The Saw or I Know What you did Last Summer or some other horror flick thing.  Then I decided to get serious and consider the various “thriller” style movies that I do enjoy, such as Cabin in the Woods and Silence of the Lambs.  From there I was between doing a red wine dish (CitW) or something with fava beans, and in the end fava beans won out.  There is something so iconic about that moment in SotL and while liver will never appear on this blog, fava beans are certainly welcome!  I wanted to have a nod to the Chianti as well as the general feel of the movie, so I decided a chunky red tomato stew would be perfect.

Having Fun

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 Spanish onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup dry fava beans, well rinsed
  • 3.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp dry red wine
  • 1 can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large dutch oven. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  2. Add the fava beans along with the vegetable stock, red wine, and stewed tomatoes. Bring to a boil, and keep boiling for two minutes.
  3. Turn down to a simmer, then add the bay leaf and pepper and cover. Simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring at the halfway point.
  4. Season to taste with pepper - Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/having-fun.html

This is one of those dishes that really benefits from being cooked for a long time, in fact it’s generally best at lunch the following day.  It can also be converted for the slow cooker, cooking on low for 8 hours before turning to high for 30 minutes.  For the ultimate results serve with some crusty bread that can help soak up all the tomato goodness

Gotta, Gotta

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin_choco_cookie

When I was in college it was my best friend’s “job” to make a batch, or five, of pumpkin cookies after fall.  After college I realized that if I wanted my pumpkin fix I needed to figure out the recipe or accept a life without these delicious treats.  The main trick I have found is to pre-roast the pumpkin and store the mash in the fridge or freezer until it’s time to use.  In a pinch, canned pumpkin can also work but just make to grab mashed pumpkin and not the pre-made pie filling as it tends to be too runny.  As for the chips, I’m a fan of milk chocolate but as long as chocolate is being used there is no wrong option.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie

Serves: Yields around 60 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar for 10 minutes, until slightly fluffy. Add in the egg, salt, and vanilla extract and beat for 5 minutes before adding in the mashed pumpkin.
  2. Preheat oven to 350
  3. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and spices. Slowly add to the wet ingredients and beat until just mixed.
  4. Spoon the dough onto cookie sheets in walnut sized portions. Bake for 15 minutes, or until a golden orange shade.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/11/gotta-gotta.html

These cookies are so good – your dogs might climb up on to the table cat ninja style and eat the last dozen.  Thankfully milk chocolate is not as toxic for dogs as semi-sweet chocolate and Calli is good to go.  Lesson for the future as now we know that she can jump in to the table, regardless of chair placement.   At least we got to enjoy a few dozen before that happened!

I’m sending these over, slightly last minute, to the /r/52weeksofcooking pumpkin challenge!  I also sent a large number of these to my office, where they were totally and utterly destroyed in a short amount of time.

Come True

Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit

acorn_squash

When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons.  Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation.  While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing,  I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago.   In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from.  After all, everyone has to eat!

 

Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 lb acorn squash, partially peeled and diced (reserve 1/4 cup of the seeds)
  • 1 1/2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1/2 cup cranberries
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic, squash seeds, and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the herbs. Stir well and cook for a minute.
  2. Add the diced acorn squash and cook for 10 minutes, or until soft and shiny - stir frequently to prevent sticking.
  3. Add the wild rice, stir well and allow to soak up some of the liquid in the pan before adding the water/stock. Bring to a boil, then cover, and turn heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove lid, stir, and add the cranberries along with the raisins. For a more "stewlike" option serve now - or wait 5 minutes and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/10/come_true.html

 In the end,  it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck.  I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his.  I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.

I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.