Rhubarb Roundup!

Rhubarb1

When we moved this month, I left behind all my rhubarb plants at the old house.

Rhubarb

But, I did get the first harvest of spring (and if I wanted to…I could sneak in another harvest before the houses closes. Hah!). Not everyone loves rhubarb, and if anything are scared by it. It is sour and has its own flavor to be sure. Beyond strawberry-rhubarb pie or crisp, it can be “what do I do with this?”

And there is so much you can use it! Lop off the leaves on top and start slicing thinly. Dinner, breakfast and dessert…

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Linguini With Rhubarb

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Rhubarb & Pineapple Coconut Oatmeal

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Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

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Rhubarb Blueberry Cinnamon Honey Jam

RhubarbBlueberryJam

Individual Rhubarb-Strawberry Crumbles

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Rhubarb Honey Jam

RhubarbJam

Rhubarb and Apple Oatmeal

AppRhuOats

Gluten Free Rhubarb Crisp

RCrisp

Oat & Flax Pancakes with Maple Rhubarb Sauce

Oatflaxpancakes

Vegan Rhubarb Muffins

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

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Rhubarb Crumble

Trashy Throwbacks: Cheeseburger Rice

cheeseburgerrice

Those quaint old days. The ones I call “BI”. Before Internet. When our meals were similar week in and out. I grew up in a Spaghetti Sunday kind of house, and as I have mentioned many times, my Dad liked his food bland. And easy to chew. So, if there was something he liked, we ate a  lot of it. And he liked instant rice. (Which probably is why I used a lot of it in my backpacking recipes…..)

This trashy one pot meal came right off the back of the Costco sized box of Minute Rice. I got to where I had made it so many times I could do it out of memory. And lets just say that for the last 11 or so years I don’t I have made this once.

Back then, I didn’t have a lot of resources for recipes outside of cookbooks at the library, and well….my Dad was not open to new things very often. I have always been appreciative that Kirk will try most anything I create.

cheeseburgerrice

Cheeseburger Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 package ground beef substitute, 12-16 ounces (or for the carnivores, 1 pound lean ground beef)
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (vegan preferably)
  • 2 cups instant rice
  • 1-2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated, dairy or vegan

Directions:

Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high, add in oil, ground beef substitute and onion, saute until heated through (if using beef, don’t use oil and cook beef until fully cooked). Add garlic, cook for a minute. Stir in water, ketchup, mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil over high, add in rice, stir well. Sprinkle on 1 cup cheese, cover and let sit off the burner for 10 minutes. Stir well, add in a bit more cheese, as desired, to taste.

Serves 4 to 8.

Linguini With Rhubarb

Rhubarb2

In a very bitter-sweet way, I harvested the first and last of my rhubarb plants this week.

Rhubarb

I wanted one spring meal from my plants, before I said goodbye to them. We closed on our new house on Thursday of last week and our move is this week. I am leaving a number of plants behind, for the soon-to-be new owners, and of which all 8 rhubarb plants are staying. I figure I will take some time to see if I have a good spot for it, and buy some new starts. I still need to make a chart of the plants I am leaving behind, to let the new owners know what everything is, and how to raise/harvest it (they were very excited to know I was leaving some of the berry plants).

We walked into our house this afternoon and oh my mind was swirling! So much to think about and plan.

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Linguini With Rhubarb

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces linguini
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh rhubarb, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, fine chopped
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook as directed on package. Reserve 1¼ cups cooking water and drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium. Add oil and rhubarb, saute for about 5 minutes, add garlic, saute for a minute more.

Add cooked pasta, cheese and 1 cup of reserved pasta water, toss to coat, cook for 2 minutes over medium-low. Add in parsley and pepper, toss and add remaining pasta water if needed.

Serves 4 to 6.

Vegetable Stew & Dumplings

Stewdumplings

Classic comfort food to me is belly-warming, and it feels like a hug with every bite. This stew was that. I adapted a recipe I saw on Real Food Real Deals, and added more vegetables and made the dumplings more flavorful. Did I mention the left overs were even better the next day? Yum!

Stewdumplings

Vegetable Stew & Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups broth
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large crisp apple, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese (shaker can type, do NOT use fresh grated)
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning blend
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter

Directions:

Add the broth through black pepper to a large stockpot, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Taste for salt, if needed.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter till melted, over medium-low. Take off heat.

Whisk flour through sea salt together, add in milk and stir to combine, it will be thick.

Using your fingers, rip off bite size chunks and drop quickly into simmering stew, until dough has been used up. Let simmer uncovered, over medium-low, for 10 minutes.

Notes:

To make the stew more filling, add in a can of drained chickpeas, or for a classic chicken & dumplings, a 10 to 13 ounce can chicken breast, broth and all,  in the first step.

Barley Vegetable Soup

BarleySoup

With our moving date getter closer, I have been trying to use up as much food as I can. I figure better to not have to move it if I don’t have to. This was an easy dinner to pull together – and made use of the many bags of quick-cooking barley I bought at Trader Joe’s (and then ignored…yeesh!) And eek……10 days till we move!

BarleySoup

Barley Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 28 ounce can tomatoes with basil (unsalted)
  • 1½ cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups quick cooking barley
  • 14.5 ounce can green beans, drained

Directions:

Bring broth through garlic to a boil in a large soup pot. Add in barley, return to a boil, cover loosely and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for time directed on packaging (mine took 15 to 20 minutes), till barley and vegetables are tender. Add in green beans, heat through.

Season to taste and serve.

Chickpea Sammies

Chickpea

This sandwich filling is equally good on bread, crackers or even on lettuce leaves!

Chickpea

Be sure to make the filling the day (or night) before, the flavors will meld.

Chickpea Sammies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried onions (see notes)
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 14 to 19 ounce can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • Ground black pepper and fine sea salt, to taste

Directions:

Cover onions in a small bowl with water, let rehydrate for at least 15 minutes. Shake off any remaining water in a fine meshed strainer. Add chickpeas to a mixing bowl, smash with a potato masher. Add in onion, celery, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill weed. Season to taste with pepper and salt.

Let chill overnight, tightly covered. Makes enough filling for 3 to 4 sandwiches.

Notes:

I call for dried onions as they are uniformly small, and provide a less ‘sharp’ flavor. For best price, look in the spice section at Costco, and similar.

Why do I use vegan mayonnaise? To avoid eggs, which the youngest is allergic to. Oddly enough, Trader Joe’s carries a “light” version that is accidentally vegan.

Gluten-Free & Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

MushroomSoup

I was inspired by a recent recipe on Real Food. Real Deals., for her Mushroom Soup. I adapted it to vegan and upped the veggies. Greta as a thick soup, it is also perfect as a thick gravy served over hot rice (or even biscuits!)

MushroomSoup

Gluten-Free & Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ pounds fresh button or crimni mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ to 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes

Directions:

Heat a large stockpot over medium, add in oil, onions and carrots, saute covered for 10 minutes, stirring periodically.

Add in mushrooms and garlic, cook covered for 10 10 minutes.

Add in broth, bring to a boil, then simmer on medium low uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until vegetables are fork tender.

Meanwhile, cut up potatoes, add to a steamer basket in a separate pot, cook until fork tender.

Add in potatoes to soup, and puree soup with an immersion blender. Pour in coconut milk (start with ½ cup, add to desired thickness), heat through and season to taste.

Serves 6 to 8 as soup.

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Chili

Slocookerchili

It has been a very busy month, with a lot of work for me to get through. Which has led me to using my slow cooker (Crock-Pot SCV401TR 4-Quart Oval Manual Slow Cooker, Red) more in the past few weeks than I think it has in its whole time of being in my house….

Healthyslowcooker

Flipping through The Healthy Slow Cooker: 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness, I went through the Vegetarian Mains section and decided to try out Judith’s Vegetable Chili, on page 251. I doubled the beans and served it over spaghetti (kinda Cincinnati style…OK, maybe not). Your pasta can be gluten-free or regular. It would also be great over baked potatoes!

Slocookerchili

Slow-Cooker Vegetable Chili (As adapted from page 251)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cracker black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 2 15 ounce cans pinto beans, drained
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups corn kernels (if frozen, thaw first)
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 1 Jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • Sour cream & grated cheese, if desired.

Directions:

In a skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions, celery and carrots, cook for about 7 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, peppercorns and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, with juice, and bring to a boil.

Transfer to the stoneware crock. Stir in beans. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 3 hours.

Stir chili powder into lemon juice, then into chili. Add in corn, bell peppers and jalapeño and stir well. Cover and cook on High for 30 minutes, until peppers are tender.

Top chili with sour cream and chili, if desired. For a carb boost, serve over hot pasta (I cooked up a pound of gluten-free spaghetti).

With pasta it serves 6 to 8.

Notes:

For more spice, leave in some, or all of the jalapeño seeds.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy of the book.

Book Review: Rosehips on the Kitchen Table

Rosehips-on-kitchen-table

Rosehips-on-kitchen-table

Wether you choose to forage (which I love doing on trails and in town) or you find oddities at a local farmers market,Rosehips on the Kitchen Table is a wonderful and very pretty cookbook. While it is a British book, it covers nearly everything one can find in many parts of the Unites States.

I chose this tasty one pot pasta simply for the color and variety it offered. There is something that is so good when you combine pasta and potatoes. I made the portions bigger than the book called for, but that was the beauty of it – since it was only a guide, it was easily scaled up. Enough for dinner AND lunch the next day that way ;-)

SunflowerPesto2

Beans with New Potatoes, Pesto and Spaghetti (Adapted from page 91)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound green beans
  • 1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1 pound spaghetti, broken in half
  • 1 batch prepared pesto (see below)
  • Half of a can black olives, sliced
  • Ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Top and tail the beans. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in green beans, cook for about 5 minutes, until just fork tender. Scoop out beans with a strainer, setting aside. Chop beans into bite size pieces, stash in a large mixing bowl, cover to keep warm.

Bring water back to a boil, add in potatoes, cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until also for tender. Scoop out with a strainer, add into bowl with beans.

Return water to a boil, add in spaghetti, cook as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain spaghetti.

Add in pesto to hot pasta pot and half the reserved water, stir smooth. Toss with spaghetti, adding as much water as needed to coat (I used all of the water). Gently fold in green beans, potatoes and olives. Season to taste and serve with Parmesan cheese.

SunflowerPesto

Pesto is simple enough to make. For most people. Fresh basil, pine nuts, olive oil and a few other things. But lets take on two things: fresh basil is very, very expensive in the PNW out of season (and by “in season”, well that only occurs in June-August at Farmers Markets!). To make fresh basil, the basil would be around $4. Yes, $4. Ouch. That is not affordable. And then the nuts. I have never been a fan of pine nuts, and while one can use most any nut in pesto, once you start talking allergies, then you had best start making your own!

Dried basil gets sneered at, yet it has a lot of potential. If you have bulk bins of spices nearby, the dried basil, even in organic, will only cost you 50 to 75 cents. Dried herbs are often treated as second class citizens, yet there is potential to them if they are cooked with properly. Oil allows the flavor to release. As well, this pesto is nowhere as oily as commercial pesto is. It can be as smooth as you wish, or leave some texture in, which coats the pasta in a wonderful green way.

Dried Basil & Sunflower Pesto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup dried basil (will fill a 4 ounce spice jar tightly)
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Add basil, sunflower seeds, garlic and Parmesan cheese in a food processor. Process until seeds are ground finely, scrape sides.

With processor on low, slowly pour in olive oil, scraping sides as needed, until blended.

Let rest for at least 30 minutes before using, for basil to hydrate.

Store in refrigerator tightly sealed.

Makes about ¾ cup pesto.

FTC Disclaimer: We received a review copy.

Twice Corn Grits

Grits

Grits were something I didn’t try until in the last decade. My opinion of corn-anything was colored by some really bad memories of childhood. My Mom made cornmeal mush in similar fashion to how she made oatmeal: lumpy and severely bland. So my reasoning was pretty straight forward: Why would I possibly want to try grits, or even “polenta”, when cornmeal mush was so nasty. And I had seen enough scary grits sold at diners that made Jell-O look like a liquid. It wasn’t until I found stone-ground corn that I realized corn could be good. Quick-cooking grits, like many time-saving products, cut flavor out, so you can have it quickly. The germ is removed, which has so much flavor!

First I learned to love polenta (hey, you mean it isn’t hard to make? And that it comes in other ways than a tube?). Then last year I won a gift pack from Carolina Creole, during a bloggers conference. It had a bag of grits in it. Then I finally tried them.

grits2

And oh, was it the quality? Partially. But more so, it was the method in making the grits. My Mom could have easily made them great tasting had she known how (the internet is something I am grateful for!). She though cooked cornmeal or oats in just water, with maybe a pinch of salt. Give it love, with creamy milk and butter, and sooo good!

Grits

This is ultimate comfort food. Put on your fave yoga pants and get a pot on the stove. Wrap up in a blanket, have a bowl of these grits and a good movie. You won’t want warm weather to come. You will want this recipe over and over!

Twice Corn Grits

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups water
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 cup grits
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 15 ounce can sweet corn, drained
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

Add water through sea salt, into a tall saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Once boiling, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 or so minutes.

Stir in corn, then cheese. Season to taste with ground black pepper and hot sauce, if desired.

Serves 4 to 8, depending if main or side dish.

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