Orange Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans

Orange Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pecans

My wife found this and we made when Mark and Missy came up from DC, we had no cranberries so we tried it with tart dried cherries. This was great, I mean really good. I asked Marie if I could use her pictures and post she said no problem. You can find more of her recipes here citronlimette, it is a nice site with some great recipes and ideas. Thank you Marie for this great treat!

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Seasonal acorn squash stuffed with quinoa. pecans and cranberries is my idea of a healthy vegetarian meal. This recipe for orange quinoa stuffed acorn squash is easy to prepare and a real feast. I love the sweetness of the squash and the nuttiness of the quinoa.

Quinoa is addictively delicious.  Quinoa is usually treated like a grain or starch, cooking up like rice or pasta in a fraction of the time.

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Choose squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, deep-colored rind free of blemishes or moldy spots.

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Once the seeds are removed, winter squash can be baked, steamed or simmered.

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Ingredients

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved length-wise, seeds removed
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ cup dried cranberries – we were out of these so we substituted tart cherries
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)

How:

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Rub squash flesh with 3 tablespoons oil and place face up on baking sheet. Roast 30-35 minutes or until flesh is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from oven and cool.
  • Meanwhile, in saucepan bring broth and orange juice to a boil; stir in quinoa, lower heat and simmer, covered until ready. When quinoa is done cooking, turn off heat.
  • In medium pan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion and celery and sauté until soft and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté an additional 1 minute.
  • Add onion mixture, cranberries and pecans to cooked quinoa and toss until combined; add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fill each squash half with quinoa mixture. Drizzle with a bit of maple syrup before serving, if desired.
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Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Lyn wanted some sweet potato puffs or tater tots and because it was not on the list we forgot. We also forgot where we saw them. The list is becoming very important these days for two reasons, it keeps our impulse buys to a minimum “not on the list, not in the carriage” (In theory at least) and recently if it is not on the list we tend to forget about it. Hey, we talk as we shop and we forget things, that is until we are putting away things. That’s Ok because shopping for food ideas is one of our favorite things so we tend to hit a lot of grocery stores on the weekends. So I thought quickly and came up with this as a substitute and served with my Herb Marinate flank steak. She gave these a thumbs up on her second one.

 

Ingredients:

I eyeballed most of this

  • 1 Sweet potato or yam (this one was white) grated
  • 1 tablespoon (estimated) fresh flat leaf parsley chopped fine
  • 1 Shallot finely minced
  • 1 egg beaten
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan cheese – depends on how finely grated could be more or less.
  • Salt and pepper to taste- I went light on the salt and then sprinkled more on them when they were done.

sweet potatoe pancake

How

Micro wave the potatoes for 3 minutes and let cool, when cool enough to touch where it will not cook the egg then proceed.

Combine all ingredients

Heat small amount of canola oil in pan

fry them up

Form pancakes and flatten on pan

Brown on each side turn when necessary.

Sweet potatoe pancakes

I did it in batches so as not to lose the heat of pan which would have been steaming

I kept the ready ones on a pan on cookie rack in low oven to keep crisp

eat

BTW – these made a great topper in my Dill Chicken sandwich the next day.

Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Next to work is a bakery called Ray and Dicks and they make a great bread or sheet pizza. The sauce is heavy tomato paste base and when slightly warmed it melts in your mouth. My wife does not care for it likes the Portland style sheet pizza better. I will buy one for work every once in a while freeze in single servings of the left overs to reheat and top with whatever is left over or in the frig that hits me when I open the door. This week it was in celebration of avocado season.

 

So this is simple reheat top and eat!

 

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Crispy Traditional Potato Pancakes

Crispy Traditional Potato Pancakes

By Joan Nathan

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds russet (baking) or Yukon Gold potatoes

russett

  • 1 medium onion

onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, including the green part

scallions

  • 1 large egg, beaten

egg

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil for frying

How:
1. Peel the potatoes and put in cold water. Using a grater or a food processor coarsely grate the potatoes and onions. Place together in a fine-mesh strainer or tea towel and squeeze out all the water over a bowl. The potato starch will settle to the bottom; reserve that after you have carefully poured off the water.

2. Mix the potato and onion with the potato starch. Add the scallions, egg, and salt and pepper.

3. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons* of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately. You can also freeze the potato pancakes and crisp them up in a 350-degree oven at a later time.

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*I like really big pancakes so my pick show much larger ones, maybe 4-6 tablespoons. remember I am a pinch of this or handful of that kind of cook.

Variation: If you want a more traditional and thicker pancake, you can add an extra egg plus 1/3 cup of matzah meal to the batter.

Big Fat Cod Potato Pancakes

Crispy Oven Baked Russet Fries

 

 

It’s Avocado Season!!

It’s Avocado Season!!

When I was younger so much younger than today I lived in Temecula California doing under the table asphalt work for Rich McDonnell’s uncle I think. We lived in their country house so to speak and whenever he had a job down our area we were readily available   workers. It was a tough life we had to take care of the 2 horses a dog, got   the old Willy jeep working and explored the area. It was what they called mud flat desert and it went on for miles and miles. We once found a small town somewhere out in the middle of nowhere with the sing Welcome to “sorry Can’t remember the   name” 12 happy and 3 grumpy residents. Temecula was not a huge town and in   fact if you remember the Clorox commercials away from…. well Temecula was one   of those towns. We made 104 people in the town and maybe 8 of them used   Clorox. It was in the height of the gas rationing odd even days and we never   knew it since the gas station was only open 1 day a week. Anyway when a crew came in to build hydroponic I struck up a friendship with the contractor a fellow Yankee but from NJ and was soon working there.  What has this got to do with avocados, my god when he said he was a flow of thought writer he was not kidding here it is….I love avocados whether in everybody’s favorite guacamole or sliced with a drizzle with 18 year old balsamic vinegar, mixed in a tuna melt, in salads and am always looking for new ideas. Temecula is next door in desert terms the Avocado capital of the world or at least California, Fallbrook CA. I used to joke playing with the old wives tale that a lobsterman could legally shot you for pulling up his trap that the same was true with avocado ranchers and picking from their trees.I got this notice from California Avocado Commission.

Ah, April! The month that brings us   spring also means the start of the other season we’ve been waiting for all   winter-California Avocado season has begun! Starting this month, you can find the premium, hand grown fruit at your local market. Look for California on the avocado label to make sure you’re selecting this fresh, California-grown fruit. If you are unable to find them, let your produce manager know of your preference!

avacoda season

No matter the meal, the occasion or the flavors you’re craving, California Avocados consistently deliver the fresh and creamy taste that makes any dish a delight. Refresh your palate with this chilled soup recipe from one of our growers: Abbott Family Gazpacho with   California Avocado. Try the simple, yet elegant Fresh California Avocado Crepe Wrap for lunch. Or, find a new love for springtime salads with this hearty and flavorful Fried Chicken Breast Salad with Avocado, Corn, Basil & Housemade Ranch Dressing from Chef Hugh Acheson. The season is ripe for the tasting-start now!By the way I met someone recently that tells me Temecula is now a booming retirement community.

 

avacoda about

Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable

I’ve always been fascinated by avocado. It is such a delicious, creamy and rich treat that’s pretty versatile. You can enjoy it savory as well as sweet dishes. It’s rather healthy but also incredibly rich and fatty. One of the questions that often comes up is this: Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable?

Since it grows on a tree (the avocado tree) and is part of the reproductive organ of the plan that also carries the seed, it is technically / biologically a fruit. We do tend to think of it more as a vegetable though because of the way we use it in the kitchen.

Most of the time we use it in savory dishes and salad. And since avocado aren’t naturally sweet, we don’t think of them as fruit. We add it to salads, make cold soups from it or use it as a sandwich spread. Of course then there’s the ever popular guacamole, a simple avocado dip. Here’s my favorite recipe.

 

Carrot Orange Juice Chicken Noodle Soup

Carrot Orange Juice Chicken Noodle Soup

We were sitting on the couch being our regular weekend couch potatoes when Lyn with outstretched arms asked me can you make this or something like it and passed me the better homes and gardens magazine. She loves carrot juice and for a while was concerned her skin was going to turn orange she was drinking so much. I can just picture her looking like the “Tangerine Man” John Boehner walking into work with that lovely skin shade of orange. Anyway she did not turn orange and is still drinking it. I was never a fan although I can’t say that I really gave it a chance. So with my non love of carrot juice and being an ever supportive husband I said sure if you want.

The carrots in this came out so sweet the spice was just right if you like spicy and I got to say I really like this quick and easy soup.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ teaspoons curry powder

4 cups refrigerated orange-carrot juice – you can buy this or we used 3 cups carrot and 1 cup orange, Lyn is a Carrot Juice head.

1 14 ½ ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth

½ teaspoon salt (I left out the Salt)

1 cup carrots, diagonally sliced

1 cup sliced celery

2 cups dried medium noodles (2 cups) –

1 cup sugar snap peas, trimmed (I used regular frozen peas)

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

¼ – ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cups shredded cooked chicken

Ingredients

How:

1. In a 4- to 5- quart Dutch oven heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add curry powder; cook 1 minute more. Carefully stir in orange-carrot juice, chicken broth, 1 cup water, and salt; add carrot and celery. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes.

Bring to boil and simmer

2. Add noodles; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and sugar snap peas; heat through. Stir in cilantro and crushed red pepper. Where I used frozen peas I did not defrost them just added they were cooked perfectly.

Note: If you are going to serve the whole batch then add all the noodles but I always found they can end up absorbing too much of the soup if they sit in there so I cooked separately and added to the bowls when served. You will find if cooked in soup they will absorb more of the spice flavors.

 

Momma Bowl

Momma Bowl

Papa bowl

Papa bowl

 

 

 

 

What are the Health Benefits of Drinking Carrot Juice?

From WiseGeek.com

English: Glass of juice and carrots Français :...

 

Many people consider drinking carrot juice one of the healthiest lifestyle choices possible. Carrot juice is known for beta carotene which gives the body Vitamin A, B Vitamins, Vitamin E and many minerals. The health benefits of drinking carrot juice are thought to be good prenatal health, eyesight, bones and teeth, liver and nails, skin and hair as well as helping in cancer prevention.

 

Carrot juice is thought to reduce the risks of many different types of cancer including skin and breast cancer. The cancer-fighting properties of carrot juice are often thought to be excellent due to the high amounts of beta carotene. Beta carotene changes to Vitamin A in the body. Studies have connected Vitamin A with cancer prevention by its antioxidant properties that help eliminate cancer-causing free radicals in the body.

 

Deficiencies in Vitamin A can cause dryness and damage to the skin, nails and hair. Drinking carrot juice to produce Vitamin A is said to benefit many different parts of the body. Vitamin A also strengthens bones and teeth.

 

Drinking carrot juice is thought to be extremely beneficial for the liver due to Vitamin A’s cleansing effects. Vitamin A reduces bile and fat in the liver. However, for the liver to reap the maximum benefits of Vitamin A, it is said that drinking carrot juice needs be done regularly rather than occasionally. The liver can store Vitamin A.

 

Drinking carrot juice is also thought to improve eyesight due to Vitamin A creation in the body. Deficiencies in Vitamin A can lead to night blindness which can be very dangerous. For example, if a person with night blindness is driving a car at night, the glare of the headlights from oncoming cars in the opposite direction can affect him or her in a way that makes the eyes not refocus properly. An easy way of detecting a Vitamin A deficiency is to walk from a well-lit room to a dimly-lit or dark room. Your eyes should have little trouble adjusting to the change in light.

 

Drinking carrot juice, as well as eating carrots, is thought to be especially beneficial for prenatal health. Beta-carotene that forms into Vitamin A is said to be very healthy for both mother and child. Some studies have shown that when babies drink both milk and carrot juice they get the best possible amount of Vitamin A.

 

The darker the color of the carrot, the more carotene it contains. Many people find the taste of carrot juice enjoyable and surprisingly sweet. Carrot juice does have a high concentration of natural sugar, so those with diabetes should consult their doctor as to how much they can drink. Drinking carrot juice is also thought to be good for reproductive health due to the Vitamin E content.

Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

 It was a Saturday morning 7:45 AM and I dropped Lyn off for her appointment and drove across the parking lot to Stop and Shop to grab most of what we needed for the week in groceries. The store was empty not being my typical store I was unfamiliar with the layout and so where many of the employees out of three asked none knew where the raisins were. I have taken to a full beard these days and one kid kept pushing me toward the razors.  Anyway I could not find a small box of cherry tomatoes so I grabbed a huge 2 labs box of Baby Roma figuring I would think of something. I did and during halftime yesterday I roasted most thinking I would make a small batch of tomato soup. Lyn made a corn salad it was soooo good but she can’t remember how and I threw a few in my Avocado Tuna Fish Melt and store the rest for a now very small batch of soup.

Baby Roma Tomote 

Ingredients:

  • About 2 pounds of Baby Roma Tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Dried Basel a good couple of big pinches
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes

 Roasted Baby Roma Tomatoes

How:

Spread tomatoes on roasting pan or cookie sheet cover with parchment paper.

Drizzle with olive oil

Sprinkle salt and pepper and pepper flakes

Toss to coat

Place in 450 degree oven and roast 30-40 minutes until desired doneness