I love cabbage. It can be used in so many different dishes. In the United States, especially the southern US, coleslaw is a very common dish made with cabbage. There are a gabillion different ways to prepare it, but I like a basic slaw. If you shred your cabbage and carrots in a food processor, coleslaw is quick to prepare. Serve it alongside BBQ, sandwiches, or fried fish.


1 head green cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
2 carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon celery seeds, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Combine the cabbage and shredded carrots in a large bowl. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, celery seeds, salt, and pepper together and pour over the slaw. Toss together and refrigerate the coleslaw until time to serve

Chicken and Turnip Stew

Chicken and Turnip Stew

I have gotten some wonderful turnips and turnip greens from my CSA the past couple of weeks. My little one has requested turnip pickles, so I have set aside some turnips for that. Luckily, I still have plenty left for other recipes. I made this soup for lunch today. It’s earthy and comforting.  Definitely a keeper. I revamped this recipe I found in the current issue of Eating Well magazine.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large turnips, peeled and diced
8 ounces baby bellas mushrooms, sliced
4 cups turnip greens, chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a Dutch over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook, until no longer pink. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pot. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the turnips, mushrooms, greens, broth, and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Add the chicken (and any accumulated juices) and reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes or until the turnips are tender. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Mix the cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Stir the mixture into the stew and cook until thickened.

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

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I really liked this soup. The ingredient list is kind of long, but it results in a very flavorful soup. This soup doesn’t contain sugar, gluten (unless you use soy sauce), or dairy.

I love Southeast Asian inspired foods, so I pretty much always have the ingredients in this recipe on hand. I don’t use ginger on a weekly basis, so when I do buy ginger, I peel and mince it and then freeze it in 2 tablespoon- size portions. If I happen to find fresh lemongrass (usually at Asian markets) I buy a couple of bunches and cut it up and put in freezer bags for later use. I always keep a jar of sambal oelek (easily found at Asian markets) in the pantry. I like Huy Fong Foods brand (they also make that sriracha in the bottle with a rooster on it)

Spicy Beef Noodle Soup

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, slivered
8 ounces beef, thinly sliced (I like sirloin)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated in 2 cups of hot water, stems removed, and sliced (save the soaking water for the soup)
6 cups of beef broth (or more if you like a more brothy soup)
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
8 ounces snow peas, ends trimmed, and sliced lengthwise (sugar snap peas would work too)
2 tablespoons fresh lemongrass, finely minced
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (a ground chili paste)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce, which contains wheat)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 small head bok choy, root end removed and roughly chopped (or spinach)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
rice noodles, cooked (I like rice vermicelli)
fresh cilantro

In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they start to soften. Add the beef and continue to sauté until the beef is no longer pink. Add the garlic, ginger, and mushrooms and sauté for 4 more minutes.

Add the beef broth, mushroom soaking liquid, carrot, snow peas, lemongrass, sambal olek, tamari, ground coriander, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chopped bok choy and simmer 10 more minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Turn off the heat and stir in the sesame oil.

Serve soup in bowls over cooked rice noodles. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I finally made that Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese recipe that has been all over Pinterest and various food blogs. I pinned the recipe months ago, but was reminded of it when I saw a post at Cottage Grove House a couple of weeks ago.

I adapted Bon Appetit’s recipe a bit. For one thing, I omitted the white wine. I’m not going to waste 2 1/2 cups of wine just to boil a cauliflower in it. I also cut back on the salt and fat. The results I got were amazing! I’m seriously in love with preparing cauliflower this way. Boiling the cauliflower first ensures that it is tender. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the cauliflower, but also gives it a caramelized, nutty flavor. The Whipped Goat Cheese was good, but honestly, the cauliflower does not need it.

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I couldn’t help it, I pulled the florets from the whole cauliflower and ate them with my hands. It was an enjoyable experience. : ) I’m so glad I finally prepared this recipe. I will be making this over and over.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Whipped Goat Cheese

8 cups water
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 head cauliflower, leaves removed
Whipped Goat Cheese (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 475°.

Bring water, kosher salt, olive oil, butter, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and sugar to a boil in a large pot. Add cauliflower, reduce heat, and simmer, turning occasionally, until a knife easily inserts into center, 15-20 minutes.

Gently remove the cauliflower from the pot using 2 slotted spoons (or tongs and a spatula) and drain well. Transfer the cauliflower to a rimmed baking sheet and roast in the oven, rotating sheet halfway through, until brown all over, 30-40 minutes. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. Serve with Whipped Goat Cheese.

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Whipped Goat Cheese

4 ounces goat cheese
3 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces feta cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, to taste

Blend the goat cheese, cream cheese, feta, milk, and olive oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt. Transfer whipped goat cheese to a serving bowl. Can be made ahead of time.

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Find the original recipe from Bon Appetit here.

The Bitten Word’s Cover to Cover Challenge – Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli

Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli

I signed on to participate in The Bitten Word’s Cover to Cover Challenge. The gentlemen at The Bitten Word chose the September 2013 issue of Bon Appetit magazine for the challenge. They randomly assigned each of the almost 500 participants one recipe (out of a total of 47) from that issue. With so many participants, several people will be cooking the same recipe. I am looking forward to seeing the results of the challenge on their blog next week.

I was assigned Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli. It’s probably not a recipe I would have chosen on my own. Part of the fun of the challenge was to get out of one’s comfort zone.

Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli 2

I enjoyed preparing the recipe, Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli. It looked good. I followed the recipe as written with the exception of a pinch of freshly ground black pepper. Unfortunately, my husband and I were not crazy about the results. Overall, we found it to be quite bland. The crab and lemon aioli were both so rich and soft (texture-wise) that it was a bit off-putting for our tastes.  We are not mayonnaise people (aioli is very similar to mayo) so that is probably part of the reason we didn’t care for this dish. I couldn’t taste the fennel fronds in the finished product, but thought their inclusion in the dish was visually appealing. We felt like it needed more crunch (perhaps some of the fennel bulb) and something extra to enhance the flavor (a drizzle of sriracha, maybe?). Even with those changes, I don’t think I would make this recipe again. Despite not really caring for this dish, I’m so glad I participated in this event. I’m looking forward to doing it again next year.

Find a copy of the recipe for Crab Toast with Lemon Aioli here.

9-9-13:  The Bitten Word has the Appetizer and Beverage portion of the Cover to Cover Challenge up on their blog. I loved seeing how others interpreted the dish I was assigned.  You can check that out here.

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

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I planted 8 jalapeno plants in my garden this year. So far they have survived the copious amounts of rain we have gotten, leaf-footed bugs, and hornworms. They are producing a fair amount of peppers, although they are not as hot as we would like.

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Last week my husband was out of town and I picked a bunch of peppers. I decided to pickle them since I could not eat them all by myself. These quick pickled jalapenos are not processed in a water bath, so they are kept in the fridge. I actually like them this way because they stay a little crisper. If you would like, add some sliced carrots to the jalapeno and onion mix.

Quick Pickled Jalapenos

10 fresh jalapenos
1/2 small onion, slivered
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons Kosher salt (or pickling salt)

Bring the vinegar, water, and salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Turn off the heat as soon as the solution comes to a boil. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, wash the jalapenos and cut off stem end. Slice into rings (or cut into quarters), Place the jalapenos, slivered onions, and smashed garlic clove into a clean Mason jar. Pour the pickling solution over the jalapenos and screw on the lid. Allow to cool on the counter and then refrigerate. Let pickle for 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge before eating.

Black Beluga Lentil and Mushroom Burgers

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These are delicious vegetarian burgers. I found the black Beluga lentils in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. Get creative with your toppings. I topped my burger with spicy mustard and freshly pickled cucumbers and onions. Some crumbled goat cheese would have been nice.

Black Beluga Lentil and Mushroom Burgers

1 cup dried black Beluga lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (or your favorite mushroom), finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1/4 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
hamburger buns
desired condiments (cheese, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, etc….)

Place the Beluga lentils and 1 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce to low. Let the lentils simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 25 – 35 minutes.  You may need to add more water to the lentils as they cook. Once the lentils are cooked, strain in a colander.

In a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic ands sauté until the onion is tender. Add the chopped mushrooms and continue to cook another 3 minutes or until the liquid the mushrooms release is cooked away. Turn off the heat.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked and drained lentils,  onion-mushroom mixture, egg, brown mustard, and 1/4 bread crumbs. Add more breadcrumbs as needed if the mixture is too wet. Divide the mixture into 4 portions and form each portion into a patty.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in large skillet. Add the patties and cook until browned, about 5 minutes on each side.

Serve patties on buns with desired condiments.