This is a super easy dessert that is a perfect ending to any meal. There is no need to defrost the frozen cherries, but I do like to cut them in half before tossing them with the sugar, cornstarch, and almond extract. Adjust the amount of sugar in this recipe to your tastes. Some cherries are naturally sweeter than others and keep in mind that the crumble topping has sugar in it too. Nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts) are a great addition to the crumble. Any frozen fruit could be used for this dish. Serve warm or at room temperature with whip cream or vanilla ice cream.
1 12 – 16 ounce bag frozen pitted cherries
1/4 – 1/2 cup sugar (to taste)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick), cold, cut into chunks
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix the cherries, sugar, almond extract, and corn starch together. Place in a baking dish.
Combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, and salt in a bowl. Work the cold butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or with your hands until evenly distributed. Top the cherry filling with the crumble mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
A perfect side dish for summer.
Roasted Corn Coleslaw
4 ears of fresh corn, husked or 16 ounce bag of frozen sweet corn kernels
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and shredded
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon vinegar
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
dash ground cayenne
Roast the corn. If using fresh corn on the cob, you can roast it in the oven or on the stove top (or even on a grill). For the oven method, preheat the oven to 400° F. Place the ears of fresh corn directly on the middle rack and cook for 25 minutes, or until golden. Let cool. Cut the kernels off the cob and set aside. For the stove top method, heat a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn and cook, turning often, until there is a little char around the entire ear of corn. This takes about 8 – 10 minutes. Let cool. Cut the kernels off the cob and set aside. Alternatively, if using frozen corn, add the frozen corn (no need to defrost) to a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring often, for 10 – 12 minutes. You want a little char on the kernels. Let cool.
Combine the roasted corn, shredded cabbage, jalapenos, and cilantro in a large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne. Pour over the corn and cabbage mixture. Toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
This is a delicious eggplant and pasta dish. This recipe makes a big batch and freezes well.
Rigatoni alla Disgraziata (Rigatoni with Eggplant and Bread Crumbs)
2 medium Italian eggplants, trimmed and cut into 1 ” cubes (Japanese eggplants can also be used, you’ll need about 4) – you don’t have to peel them
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 pound rigatoni
2 cups of your favorite marinara or tomato pasta sauce
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
Parmesan cheese, grated
Toast the fresh bread crumbs in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until golden. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
In a clean skillet, heat 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil over medium-high. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes (sometimes I have to add a bit more olive oil to the pan if the eggplant is sticking to the bottom). Season with salt to taste. Add marinara (or pasta sauce) to the eggplant and bring to temp. Lower temperature and keep warm.
Meanwhile, cook rigatoni according to package directions. When just tender, drain well. Add to the warm eggplant and tomato sauce mixture. Add the toasted bread crumbs and mozzarella and mix well. Serve with grated Parmesan.
This recipe is adapted from: Italian Classics: Fourteen Favorite Recipes from the Pages of Saveur Magazine (World Publications, 2003).
Vegan Carrot Bacon is great as a snack or as part of a sandwich or wrap. Use it to make a vegan BLT (with avocado) on your favorite bread.
Vegan Carrot Bacon
I do not enjoy icky-sweet cocktails. These Strawberry Margaritas are just right with no added sugar or gross margarita mix. You can easily double, triple, quadruple, etc… this recipe.
1 1/2 ounces tequila
1 1/2 ounces triple sec
1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
1/4 cup frozen strawberries
lime slices, to garnish (optional)
Blend the tequila, triple sec, fresh lime juice, frozen strawberries, and about 1/2 cup of ice (more or less, to taste) in a blender until smooth. Garnish with a lime slice.
I was volun-told to make a Broccoli Casserole for a Christmas luncheon at work last week. In the South, a typical Broccoli Casserole contains a boat-load of mayonnaise. I think it is gross. I wasn’t too happy about having to make the dish, but set out to create a Broccoli Casserole recipe I would be proud to serve to people. I wanted to make one that had way less mayo and fat, but still maintained the essential elements of the dish. I think my revamped Broccoli Casserole turned out great. It was creamy, but didn’t have an overpowering mayonnaise taste. I really liked it. I will definitely add this side dish to my repertoire.
2 12 oz. packages frozen broccoli florets
1 10.5 oz. can Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup
1/4 cup mayonnaise (I recommend Duke’s)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350º F. Spray a casserole dish (a 9 X 13-inch will work) with cooking spray.
Cook the broccoli according to the package directions (I just zap it in a bowl in the microwave) and drain well in a colander.
In a large bowl, combine the cream of mushroom soup, mayonnaise, sour cream, egg, cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add the drained broccoli and mix well. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and spread evenly.
Mix the crushed Ritz crackers with the melted butter. Spread evenly over the top of the broccoli mixture. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until nicely browned.
I have been making this Minestrone Soup recipe for over 20 years. It’s one of our favorite soups. This soup is very versatile and can easily be tweaked to use what you have on hand. Garbanzo or cannellini beans are excellent substitutes for the kidney beans. Other veggies, like green beans, can be added to this soup. If you like a brothier soup, add 1 or 2 cups more of vegetable broth when you add the pasta. This recipe freezes very well.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups vegetable broth
1 can (15.5 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 – 3 teaspoons dried basil
½ cup dry pasta (small shells, ditalini, or elbow macaroni)
2 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 cup fresh spinach or kale (optional)
salt and black pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and celery and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté 2 more minutes. Add the vegetable broth, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, sliced carrots, and dried basil. Bring the soup to a boil, lower heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add the dry pasta; return to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 5 – 7 minutes. Add the zucchini and spinach or kale, if using, and cook until tender, about 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese is a perfect topping for this soup.
I love this salad! It’s something I make quite a bit. It’s fresh, crunchy, colorful, virtually fat-free, nutritious, and very flavorful. This salad keeps fairly well in the fridge for up to two days.
Southeast Asian Cabbage Salad
1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1 to 2 carrots, grated
1/2 to 1 cucumber, seeded, peeled, and chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 (or more) fresh chiles (I usually use jalapenos or serranos), seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fish sauce
chopped roasted peanuts
Combine cabbage, carrot, cucumber, cilantro and chiles in a large bowl. Mix vinegar, sugar, garlic, and fish sauce together in a small bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over cabbage mixture and toss well. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts right before serving.