Monday, September 30, 2013

Meatless Monday - Spicy Chili Bean Medley

A soup, or as a side dish with meat. You cannot beat this simple, easy to make dish as a hearty, re-heatable lunch item.

Makes about 5-6 bowls. Prep/cook time approx. 30 mins.

You will need:

1/2 large, sweet vidalia onion, chopped
1 cup of mixed chopped peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
4 oz can of mild green chilis (or jalapenos if you like a lot of heat)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can each, Great Northern Beans, Black and Cannellini - drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
28 oz can Rotel tomatoes with chilis
24 oz jar Newmans Own Sockarooni Sauce
1/2 fresh grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon Chili
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Oregano

Heat oil in pan and saute on low the onion, mixed peppers, chilis and garlic about 6 mins.

Add the 28 oz can Rotel tomatoes, all the beans, corn and Newmans Own. 

Now fill the empty Newmans Own jar half way with water and add that to pan. It's ok, don't panic it will thicken up. Add all the seasonings.

Allow to simmer at least 20 mins on low heat.

Just before serving grate 1/2 lemon rind over the top and stir in. It really adds zest and depth.

Serve in bowls with spoonful of sour cream (if desired) and a side of corn tortilla chips to mop up all the flavorful sauce and beans.

Sit back and indulge. Go ahead have another helping - you deserve it!

"You're Going To Love The Way You Eat!"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Meatless Monday - Sweet n' Savory Almost 'Shepherds' Pie

Prep time: 45 minutes -- Cook time: 45 minutes -- Servings: about six

You will need:

for the pie filling --

2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil - I used Coconut oil
1/2 a large Sweet Vidalia onion - Chopped fine
8 oz Tempeh
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup peas (frozen works)
1/4 cup corn (frozen)
1 tsp minced garlic
3 Tablespoons Ketchup
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 cup veg broth
1/2 Granny Smith Apple

11" x 7" ungreased baking pan - I'm using glass

for the topping --

4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup low fat milk (or soy milk, or just veg broth)
Butter/ marg or oil or sour cream
1 cup of shredded cheese
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pan, saute the onion until lightly browned - about 10 minutes. Add 1 tsp garlic and stir occasionally for an additional 2 minutes.

While onions are cooking, grate the tempeh (view my previous blog here for tips Method of Grating tempeh).

Tempeh mixture simmering
To the onion/garlic mix, add the grated tempeh, 1 1/4 cups veg broth, the carrots, corn and herbs, stir well. Then add the 2 Tablespoons ketchup and 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Add peas, put lid on and simmer on low heat. Peel and chop 1/2 the apple and to the contents of pan.

In a separate pan, boil water, peel and chop potatoes and cook until soft. Remove from heat. Drain and put back into warm pan, allow water to evaporate. Mash with 1/2 cup of milk (soy or veg broth), 2 teaspoons of butter (I used coconut oil again) until light and fluffy, add salt and pepper to taste.

Put the tempeh mixture into an ungreased baking pan and add the potato mixture on top. Smooth down and sprinkle 1 cup shredded cheese on top.

Bake 30 minutes on the middle rack, then raise temp to 400 and cook for an additional 15 minutes for a lovely crispy, cheesy 'crust' (take a peek after 10 mins).

Allow to stand 5 minutes and serve with a side salad or vegetable of your choice.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Meatless Monday - Zesty Tempeh Tortilla Casserole

You will need:

19 oz can Enchilada sauce - you will only use 12 oz
1/2 cup water
Packet of Taco mix 
Flour tortillas
2 oz of mild chopped green chiles
1 cup sour cream
Bag of shredded cheese
1 cup chopped green/red/yellow peppers (set aside 2 Tablespoons)
8 oz organic Tempeh
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup corn - frozen or canned

Takes 1 hour from start to finish. About 6 servings.

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
Heat oil in a skillet on low heat (I used Coconut - Canola works too)
Gently saute the green/red/yellow pepper mix - about 3 minutes until softened

Add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to liquefy - about 8 minutes -

While mushrooms cook, grate the tempeh or use a food processor

Tip: Keep tempeh in fridge well chilled until ready to use, it's easier to grate when it's COLD!
While grating the exposed top half of tempeh, I kept the bag on the lower half - otherwise your hands will get icky quick. Had to chop the bottom 1" of tempeh when I removed bag fully.

Grated tempeh
Tempeh included and simmering on low heat

To mushroom/pepper mix add the green chiles, taco mix, 1/2 cup water, the corn and 12 oz of enchilada sauce. Stir well and add the tempeh, allow to simmer 5 minutes.

In an un-greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish, spread one cup of hot tempeh mix on the bottom. 

Cut tortillas in half and layer on top (see left photo).

Spread thin layer of sour cream on top of tortilla halves and then sprinkle with cheese and add another cup of tempeh mix on top of cheese layer.

Repeat layer. Tortillas, sour cream, tempeh and cheese.

Grate black pepper on top if you like, and/or some red pepper flakes if you like additional heat.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes in top of oven. 

The finished dish.

Serve with a little sour cream and the remaining, fresh chopped pepper mix.


And....while you're eating so healthy maybe have a juiced drink to go with it?

Just Another Manic Monday - - Mango Smoothie

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thursday Juicer Recipe - Fancy Name Wanted

I really have to start calling my juicer recipes fancy names, I guess I'm not that creative. You will love this juiced beverage-with-no-name though.

Going forward on my various recipes - which I have juiced but have no-names-for-yet, I'm thinking .....

"Just Another Manic Monday" Mango
Tuesday's Terrific Tomatoe/Tomahto - "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off"
"When Summer Comes Around" - Watermelon Wednesday 
"Thriller" Thursday - Cool and Sweet With A Bite
"Friday's Child" Chugger
"Summer Wine'' Saturday Smoothie
Sunday's "Sundown" Sippy

My tastes in music are very all-across-the-board, you probably didn't even notice, and I didn't even include my classical preferences.

.........well you get the idea. Any suggestions for me for this recipe?

You will need:

2 sticks celery
12 small carrots
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 large ripe tomato
1/2 medium size cucumber
1 ripe banana
squeeze of lemon juice

Chop the larger pieces into smaller chunks. I used already-bagged baby carrots, they have a sweeter taste.

If you are new to juicing, I suggest alternating
the softer ingredients followed by the carrots or celery for example. I personally find this method to extract the most juice from the softer fruit and it seems to clean the extraction basket at the same time.

Because I had chopped everything down to a manageable size, it went into the chute very smoothly.

Add your squeeze of lemon juice on the top of the veggies going in.

Lovely rich color! 

The verdict is: Rich, smooth, semi-sweet veggie flavor. I could taste the celery through everything else, and so if you are not that 'into' celery, just use one stalk. 

The amount of ingredients that I used only made this one glassful. The consistency was not that thick, so I would not dilute it down myself.
Destined for the worm bin

I enjoyed the beverage-with-no-name so much, I made up a second batch all ready to go for tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Florida Fall Veggie Garden - Let the Planting Begin!

Winterbor Kale and Packman Broccoli 
Saturday in South Florida was overcast and gloomy, loved it! The day was a tad cooler at a mere 88 deg.F and as I wrote this post at 5.00pm it was already down to 75 deg.F.
Lemon Boys, Sweet Pepper, Red Sails Lettuce and Radicchio

I thought it would be a good day to get some transplants in the above-ground-veg boxes so I made a quick trip to Home Depot. I'll explain why I'm mentioning them in a moment.

They have just about everything! Broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, peppers, zucchinis, kale, and a plethora (I love that word) of both tomatoes and herbs. Also they have a HUGE selection of seeds available which I don't remember - in previous years - being readily available until late October.

At the moment Home Depot have a sale of a 9 pack of vegs for $2.50 - that's .30 cents a plant!

When I got home with my goodies, a thunderstorm had blown up so any delirious ideas about planting was squished.

Sunday though.....

Packman Broccoli
I planted 9 of the broccoli in the garden and, as a companion plant, also sowed seeds of Nasturtium in between broccoli. 

Other good companion plants for broccoli are: carrots, bush beans, cukes, lettuce, potato, radish, onions and celery. Herbs include: dill, sage, basil, rosemary.

Note: Various sources do not recommend planting onions with bush beans.
Lemon Boy with Red Sails Lettuce and Radish seed
After the disastrous tomatoes-in-the-ground harvest of last season, I'm growing all my tomats in pots this year!

One is sharing a pot with the Red Sails Lettuce and the other is nestled in among the bush beans. I included a few radish seeds with the lettuce.

Other companion plants for tomats include: basil, cabbage, carrots, celery, chives, garlic, onions and peppers.

I buried a ripe banana with its skin on under both the tomats here. In years gone by I have noticed they take off once their roots reach the banana. The brick is to hold the pot down so the raccoons cannot dig banana up.

Flowerlady Lorraine over at Flowerladys Musings asked me how I prevented the raccoons digging my vegetables up, this is one of my techniques. The good old brick trick! And here's my other 'secret' weapon. Our fierce little guard dog Pikachu!

"Did someone mention Raccoon! Let me at 'em!"
Elsewhere in our backyard paradise. I want to show you my rose bush, Chrysler Imperial.

See all that new growth? This has occurred over a four week period.

The rose is blooming it's head off! Julie over at A Succulent Life told me she uses banana peels in her rose garden and has had fabulous success with her roses.

I followed her advice about and agree that Roses go bananas for bananas! Who would have thought! Thanks Julie!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Meatless Monday - "Buffalo" Burgers

- no Buffalo meat used in this recipe -

You will need:
2 cans cooked black beans, drained
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon oregano or cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of buffalo sauce (the kind they use on hot wings)
1 tablespoon of dried garlic powder
1/2 cup corn niblets
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon mayonnaise

1/4 cup of finely chopped and sauteed green/red peppers
or A small onion chopped fine and sauteed

Drain the beans through a sieve, but don't rinse.
Jiggle sieve up and down to remove most of bean sauce. Place beans in a big bowl.

Add the garlic, salt, cumin, oregano/cajun seasoning, buffalo sauce and the teaspoon mayo.

Mash the beans - I find it helps if you mash and then twist the masher to pulverize beans.

The mixture should stick to masher - not too moist.

Add the sauteed veg of your choice, the 1/2 cup corn niblets and the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs.
Mix thoroughly. Refrigerate one hour - so the flavors mingle.

Optional - for more heat. You could add to mixture. 2 teaspoons hot green chilies.

Now put the 1/2 cup flour on a plate. Make patties out of the mixture and push patties into flour until coated. 

Heat oil in a pan and cook gently on both sides until slightly crispy on both sides.
Serve with your favorite burger fixings!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

My Last Summer Tomato - Lemon Boy

For the first time ever I was able to grow a few tomats all the way through to the end of August! 

One tomato was the amazing and just-so-Florida 'Lemon Boy'

Left is Lemon Boy 2011

I harvested the only Lemon Boy tomato before it was completely yellow and ripened it on an outside window shelf safely away from the Cardinals and Woodpeckers, who apparently also love tomatoes - who knew?

In 5 days it was a gorgeous, golden color and, I brought it inside and admired it for quite a few days while it nestled happily alongside the bananas in the fruit bowl. The bananas may have contributed to its sweetness but that's just a guess.

I'm going to call my hybrid The Golden Child - what do you think?

Here is the ripened Lemon Boy which is a rich yellow color compared to the very Lemon color - photo above.

Our little golden-nugget tomato begged to be "so much more than the sum" of its quartered parts - so to speak. So I incorporated it into one of my favorite Meatless Monday recipes, where it takes pride of place as part of the top layer. 

Oven ready

Eating ready!
Served with a side salad - what a great lunch!

Here is the recipe for the dish Spinach, mushroom, and feta cheese casserole

Note: I used 1/4 cup Gorgonzola instead of 4oz Feta and it was even better than before.
Note: The other tomatoes that made it through to August were Cherry Sweet 100's.

I grew the Lemon Boy tomato featured here from seeds of the VERY last tomatoes that fruited in 2012. That would explain the smaller size and also why the Lemon Boy was able to mature through to August ------- they usually melt in the heat of Florida Zone 10.
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