Archive for the ‘Fruits & Veggies’ Category

Got Leftovers?

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Now that you’ve made those fabulous roasted carrots with ginger and turmeric, and yams, and rice …. here’s an idea for “refreshing” the leftovers.

Heat a bit of avocado (or coconut) oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until the oil just starts to shimmer. Add about 1/2 cup rice per serving and cook a a couple of minutes, stirring frequently. Add the leftover roasted vegetables and combine well with the rice – you judge your serving size. Add a handful of fresh or frozen peas and stir to combine well. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and heat through. If you want a little extra protein, cook an egg or add some tofu. If you’re using tofu, I would probably use a firm tofu and cook that with the rice.

Not quite a stir-fry, not quite a scramble ...

Not quite a stir-fry, not quite a scramble …

This makes an easy and satisfying post-ride or work-night meal.

Aaaah, a quick and chilly ride yesterday.

Aaaah, a quick and chilly ride yesterday.

I need to start gearing up for the 2017 Napa Valley Tour de Cure … will you join me this year? Please help to support a great cause and take the ride of your life!

 

Rain!

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

It has been raining on and off all day and it is pouring right now.

I got a lot of stuff done at home today, but no cycling due to the unpredictable weather. I’ve still got a touch of a cough that’s been hanging on for a while, so it’s likely best to not risk it getting worse. At least this rain will clean the air and that’s wonderful!

Tonight was a great night to make some more roasted carrots.

Tonight was a great night to make some more roasted carrots.

It’s looking like rain until Thursday, then rain again on Saturday and Sunday. It’s looking like a gym in the morning before work kind of week, isn’t it?

Roasted Wild Mushrooms

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Here is another easy to prepare side dish. Mushrooms are considered to be a “superfood” due to their nutritional benefits, so you can feel great about eating this delicious and healthy side dish.

Roasted Wild Mushrooms

12 to 16 ounces of your favorite wild mushrooms
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Rinse and gently pat dry the mushrooms. Drizzle with a little olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and a grind or two of fresh pepper.

Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 to 30 minutes (the size and type of mushroom will make a difference, so watch carefully).

From left to right: Velvet Pioppini, Nebrodini Bianco, Shiitake, and Forest Nameko mushrooms.

From left to right: Velvet Pioppini, Nebrodini Bianco, Shiitake, and Forest Nameko mushrooms.

You can roast the larger mushrooms whole and add the smaller mushrooms after 10 minutes or so. You could also slice the larger mushrooms and cook them all about 15 to 20 minutes. There is such variation in the mushrooms that it might take a little trial and error to get them to your liking. We cooked all of these at the same time and the smaller mushrooms (Velvet Pioppini & Forest Nameko mushrooms) were a little more cooked that I would have liked, but they were still delicious.

Serving suggestion ... serve on top of pasta with a brown butter sage sauce.

Serving suggestion … serve on top of pasta with a brown butter sage sauce.

To make a brown butter sage sauce for pasta, place 1 tablespoon of salted butter in a heavy bottomed pan and heat on medium-high heat until the butter begins to bubble and turn golden brown and cook until the butter is a deep golden brown. Watch carefully as the butter can go from perfect to scorched very quickly. Add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, whisk together, and allow to heat through. Add about 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh sage and cook just a few minutes on medium-low heat to infuse the sage flavor throughout. Add the cooked pasta and gently toss to coat. Portion the pasta onto plates and top with the roasted mushrooms. Garnish with fresh sage.

Roasted Yams with Turmeric & Ginger

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

These make a delicious side dish that packs a nutritional punch. Yams have many nutritional and health benefits that you can read about here. Ginger and turmeric are also nutritional powerhouses. The combination creates a deliciously sweet, rich, and mildly spicy side dish. To make it a bit spicier, you could add some additional fresh ginger (grated or minced), or even cayenne pepper, just before serving.

Roasted Yams with Turmeric & Ginger

1 large yam
fresh ginger root, about a 1-inch piece
fresh turmeric root, about a 1-inch piece
1 tablespoon of olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Rinse and scrub the yam well, dry, then slice into about 1/2-inch thick slices. Peel the ginger and turmeric, coarsely mince, place in your roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and combine well. Add the sliced yams in a single layer, turning to coat with the oil. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

You can prepare ahead and store in a zip-top bag overnight.

One large yams makes about 3 servings.

Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned.

You can prepare these ahead and store in a zip-top bag up to one day ahead. 

Enjoy!

Ginger & Orange Roasted Carrots

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

This year’s Christmas menu had a few new items for me. Normally I am not a fan of cooked carrots, but these were really good.

Ginger & Orange Glazed Roasted Carrots

I used a festive combination of orange, yellow, and maroon carrots.

Clean, peel, and cut about 6 medium to large carrots into 1/4-inch slices. Peel and coarsely mince a 3 to 4-inch piece of fresh ginger. Combine the carrots and ginger with the zest of one orange, a splash of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place them in a single layer in a roasting pan or baking dish. Roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, or until they’re slightly caramelized and tender.

You can prepare them a day ahead and let them marinate overnight. 

The roasting will bring out the natural sweetness in the carrots, but if you like this a bit sweeter, then you can add a touch of honey or maple syrup before roasting.

Easiest Veggie Dip Ever!

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

This is so easy, but tastes surprisingly decadent. Stir together non-fat plain Greek yogurt and a few grinds of Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning. Cover and refrigerate overnight. This would also be great in place of sour cream on a baked potato.

Fresh vegetables - heirloom  tomatoes*, celery, maroon carrots, and fennel.

Fresh vegetables – heirloom tomatoes*, celery, maroon carrots, and fennel.

*Yes, I know that tomato is a fruit, but it’s wonderful on a “veggie” platter.

Non-fat Greek yogurt is high in protein, calcium-rich, and can be a great substitute for sour cream.

Pomegranate, Fuyu, & Pecan Salad

Monday, November 7th, 2016

Pomegranates are becoming one of my favorite holiday foods. They are super healthy – here’s a good article on some of their nutritional benefits – and every cyclist needs to pack as much nutrition into their diets as possible.

This is a twist on a salad a friend made for me recently.

Pomegranate, Fuyu Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

Pomegranate, Fuyu Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

Pomegranate, Persimmon, & Pecan Salad

1 large pomegranate
2 Fuyu persimmons
juice of 1 lemon
splash of Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup of pecans, chopped

Combine all ingredients. Enjoy.

You’re welcome.

If you don’t have pure maple syrup, you could use honey or agave syrup. (But never use fake maple syrup. Yuck. Just yuck.) If you don’t have the TJ’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, you can use a little fresh-squeezed orange juice, or just a little more lemon juice. Oooh, Meyer lemon juice would also be fabulous.

If you’re not sure how to prepare this amazing fruit, here is a great article on how to cut and de-seed a pomegranate.

Happy Monday … off to work I go!

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

Want some good, healthy comfort food? Here’s an idea for a healthy addition to your holiday table. The bacon gives just the right touch of decadent richness that many of us tend to crave during this time of year. Try roasting brussel sprouts with just a bit of olive oil and a touch of lean bacon.

Rinse brussel sprouts in cool water, trim the end, and then cut in half. Drain well.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. While the oven is heating, cook a slice or two of lean bacon and trim away most of the fat. Drain the bacon on paper towels, then chop. Combine the trimmed and halved brussel sprouts and bacon, drizzle a bit of olive oil, and a pinch or two of kosher salt and a grind or two of pepper. Toss to combine well and place in a roasting pan in a single layer. Roast to your desired doneness. I don’t like to overcook brussel sprouts, so I roast until just tender and a little browned – usually about 30 minutes or so.

Ready to go into the oven.

Ready to go into the oven.

Want to keep this dish a bit lighter and vegan? Simply omit the bacon and add a few grinds of Trader Joe’s South African Seasoning before roasting. Oh, so good!

 

A Little Rain … A Little Party …

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

Sunday we had quite the little storm. I grabbed a quick ride in the morning and then came home to cook for a housewarming party (finally!)

Sunday morning, October 30th, near Pena Adobe Park.

Sunday morning, October 30th, near Pena Adobe Park.

A few friends came over on Sunday for a housewarming party. We had a fabulous meal.

Lynda brought some yummy mushroom brie and crackers.

Lynda brought some yummy mushroom brie and crackers.

Herbed Chevre and Smoked Gouda.

Herbed Chevre and Smoked Gouda.

The Herbed Chevre is a quick and relatively inexpensive way to “dress up” a plain Chevre. Simply take your favorite plain Chevre cheese, let it come to room temperature. Mix in some chopped fresh herbs (dried will do in a pinch), a couple of splashes of good extra virgin olive oil, and mix until smooth.

Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms

The Stuffed Mushrooms are quick and easy, too. Here’s the recipe. I modified the filling a little bit – the filling was simply light cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, and a few grinds of Trader Joe’s South African Smoke Seasoning Blend (paprika flakes, sea salt, garlic, basil).

One friend brought a beautiful Corn & Shrimp Chowder, which I heard was fabulous. It had bell peppers in it, so I couldn’t eat it. What’s funny is that the soup that I made had peas in it, so he couldn’t eat my chicken soup!

Marsh's Corn & Shrimp Chowder

Marsh’s Corn & Shrimp Chowder

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Another friend made Pork Tenderloins with a Bourbon-Maple-Molasses glaze that was fantastic.

146

Rick’s Pork Tenderloin with Bourbon-Maple-Molasses glaze.

Of course there was salad …

Mixed Greens with Fresh Fuyu Persimmons, Pomegranate, Feta Cheese, and a light and refreshing Citrus Vinaigrette.

Mixed Greens with Fresh Fuyu Persimmons, Pomegranate, Feta Cheese, and a light and refreshing Citrus Vinaigrette.

… and what is a party without dessert?

Tartlets: Fresh Lemon Curd and Caramel, Macadamia & Chocolate Tartlets.

Tartlets: Fresh Lemon Curd and Caramel, Macadamia & Chocolate.

The Lemon Curd recipe can be found here. I used pre-made tartlet shells … a little “semi-homemade” time-saving trick. I also cheated a bit with the caramel. I used Trader Joe’s Flue de Sel Caramel Sauce. This is my go-to caramel sauce.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful day. If you get the chance, would you please ride a few miles for me today? I’ve got to run to work now.

Curry …

Monday, October 17th, 2016

I have been informed recently that buying curry powder is cheating … or something like that. OK, fine. I suppose it is time to start making it from scratch.

When I run out of my pre-made curry powder, I’ll try Alton Brown’s Curry Powder Blend and this recipe also looks promising. In the meantime, I need to come up with some more ways to cook with curry.

 

101516-curry-2

Roasted Curried Yams – one of my favorites, spicy and sweet.

Happy Monday. Here’s wishing you a lovely day!