Baked French Toast

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Baking french toast makes this a fabulous dish for entertaining. I will never go back to making french toast on the stove top!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large loaf organic fresh white or wheat bread (this is extremely important – fresh bread really makes this recipe)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups organic skim milk
  • 2 tbsp organic half and half
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp organic, unsalted butter, melted

DIRECTIONS

  1. Spray a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Cut loaf of bread into six to eight 1.5-2-inch-thick slices (reserve ends for another use). Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. Whisk together eggs through salt in a bowl until well combined, then pour evenly over bread. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, turning bread every 5 minutes, until all the egg mixture is absorbed by the bread. (It helps to poke the bread with a fork on both sides to speed up the absorption process.)
  4. Sprinkle bread with melted butter, sugar and cinnamon. Bake until bread is puffed and top is golden (about 20 minutes). Serve immediately with maple syrup, powdered sugar, and fresh berries.

Japanese Shiitake & Cabbage Stew with Udon Noodles

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Adapted from Udon with Mushroom Broth, Cabbage and Yams

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, outer dark layers removed, all but bottom 4 inches cut off and discarded
  • 2 6-inch strips dried seaweed (kombu)
  • 1 tbsp dried japanese red pepper (tokai togarashi wagiri)
  • 2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 10 ounces fresh, shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced garlic greens (or green onions)
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch-wide crosswise slices cored Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups slender carrots, peeled, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 10 ounces Japanese-style udon noodles or soba noodles
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 to 6 ounces semi-firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
  • Tamari soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring broth and water to simmer in large pot over medium heat. Add ginger through red pepper. Cover; simmer about 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large non-stick pan, saute onions, mushrooms and garlic greens in 1 tbsp oil over medium high heat until mushrooms are tender (about 5-10 minutes). Set aside.
  3. Prepare udon noodles according to package instructions. Set aside.
  4. Using tongs, remove kombu; discard kombu. Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer into another large pot; discard solids (except for ginger pieces) in strainer. Chop ginger pieces and add back to pot.
  5. Add chopped carrots, onion/mushroom mixture, and cabbage to the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until carrots and cabbage are crisp tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add cilantro, tofu, tamari, and rice vinegar to broth and stir. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Using tongs, divide noodles among bowls. Ladle broth over and serve.

NOTES

Lemongrass, an herb that resembles a green onion, has a mild lemony flavor.

Kombu (a.k.a. kelp) is a variety of seaweed that’s often used for making stock. It’s usually sold dried.

Tokai Togarashi Wagiri is a type of japanese dried red pepper (be careful, it’s extremely HOT)

Tamari is a dark sauce made from soybeans.

Udon is a thick wheat-or corn-based Japanese noodle.

 


Sweet Potato, Kale & Corn Nachos

These colorful and healthier nachos are a great appetizer, and are totally more impressive than your average version. I used extra filling from enchiladas I made earlier in the week. Enjoy with organic sour cream and your favorite salsa.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup already prepared sweet potato, corn and kale filling
  • 1/2 cup shredded organic cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded monterey pepper jack cheese
  • 20 large organic, yellow corn tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS

  1. On an oven proof plate, spread tortilla chips in a single layer. Sprinkle with sweet potato, corn and kale filling. Top with shredded cheese.
  2. Place in a toaster oven and toast for 4-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and begins to brown, checking every 2 minutes. (Note: you need to monitor the nachos closely to make sure that they don’t burn.)
  3. Serve with organic sour cream and your favorite salsa.

Black-Eyed Peas with Sweet Potatoes, Red Bell Peppers & Swiss Chard

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I originally made this deliciously simple dish for New Year’s but made it again a few nights ago with the ingredients I had on hand. Yum!

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded for less heat, or keep the seeds for more heat), diced
  • 3/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups dried black eyed-peas (or 3 cups fresh)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (or organic, free-range chicken broth if you aren’t vegetarian)
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1 large bunch winter greens (such as kale, collards or swiss chard)
  • cooked basmati rice
  • crumbled feta cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion through jalapeno. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in allspice and red pepper flakes and cook for a few more minutes.
  2. Add the peas and broth. Bring to boil, then lower the heat to simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and sweet potatoes, and cook for 15 additional minutes and add greens.
  3. Cook for another 15 minutes or until the peas, sweet potatoes and winter greens are tender.
  4. Serve over cooked basmati rice and top with crumbled feta.

Winter Enchiladas with Sweet Potato, Corn & Kale

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It’s the end of winter, beginning of spring, which means slim pickings from the farmers’ market and Star Hollow Farm’s winter CSA. With a plethora of root vegetables, apples, sweet potato, and winter greens, it’s easy to get in a winter time vegetable rut. Therefore, I decided to try altering my Enchiladas recipe with some winter veggies. WOW were these delicious…I didn’t miss the summer veggies at all! The filling is delicious and extremely versatile. I was able to make both quesadillas and nachos with the extras.

Adapted from CookingLight. Original enchilada recipe and sauce recipe available at cookinglight.com.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1  tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into small 1/4″ cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large bunch kale, chopped (stems removed and discarded)
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn*
  • 1  (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3  cups enchilada sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) monterey pepper jack cheese, divided

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare enchilada sauce.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. While enchilada sauce is simmering, saute onions and sweet potatoes in olive oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick pan and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add chopped kale and corn, cook until vegetables are just tender. Stir in beans and 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce.
  4. Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer one row of tortillas across top of sauce (you may need to cut tortillas in half). Spread 1/3 of vegetable mixture on top of sauce; sprinkle with 1/4 of cheese;  and 1/2 cup enchilada sauce. Repeat layers, ending in sauce. (Alternatively: Spoon about 1/4 cup vegetable mixture down center of 1 tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese, and roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, vegetable filling, and 14 tablespoons cheese. Spread remaining 2 cups sauce evenly over enchiladas.)
  5. Cover with foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

*Filling alternatives/options:

  • 2 cups diced zucchini, 1 (10 oz) package frozen whole-kernel corn
  • 3 medium eggplant; 1 bunch collard greens, kale or swiss chard; 1 medium to large leek
  • 1 bunch garlic scapes; 1 bunch swiss chard; 2 ears fresh corn; 1 large onion

 

Irish Guinness Beef Stew

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A few summers ago, my husband and I spent 10 days traveling throughout Ireland. One of our favorite things to do, after a long day of urban or rural hiking, was to find a pub and have a pint of Guinness, followed by a bowl of hearty, Guinness beef stew and listen to live music. This recipe is based on The Irish Pub Cookbook, that I picked up while in Ireland. To make it healthier, I reduced the butter, oil, and beef, and increased the vegetables. Plus I added some tomato paste and red wine vinegar for some extra flavor.

Serve over a bowl of mashed potatoes.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 lb sustainably raised, organic boneless beef sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • all-purpose flour for dredging
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium onions
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (14.9 oz) can Guinness stout
  • 5 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 4 parsnips, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 4 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp organic tomato paste
  • 1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp flour

DIRECTIONS

  1. Season the meat with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. In a stockpot or large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Working in batches, cook the meat on all sides for 5-7 minutes, or until evenly browned. Remove from the pot. Stir in onions and cook 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Return all the meat to the pot and add enough of the beef broth and the Guinness to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes,  or until the meat is nearly tender. Add the carrots, parsnips, turnip, and tomato paste and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the vegetables and meat are tender and the stew begins to thicken.
  3. Mix 3 tbsp flour with 1/2 cup of stew liquid in a small bowl. Stir into the stew and cook for 5 minutes longer.
  4. Add red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper to taste, stir, and remove from heat.
  5. Serve over mashed potatoes in shallow bowls.

Mashed Potatoes

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Serve these hearty mashed potatoes with Irish Guinness Beef Stew.
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 ¾ to 3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Prepare potatoes in a pressure cooker.
  2. Mash in a large bowl with half and half through parmesan cheese. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

More from Rooting DC – Canning with Mo Moodie

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More videos from Rooting DC, sponsored by the DC Food to Fork network.

During the canning session, Mo Moodie from the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture demystified the art of canning. She assured the nervous group that if you follow safety precautions (such as keeping jars sterlyized, always using new lids, etc.) that there shouldn’t be much of a problem.

This is something I will definitely be trying in the coming months – as soon as I can find some cheap ball jars on eBay or Criagslist. You can find additional videos from my day at Rooting DC at Grown in the City.

Making Kimchee with Ibti Vincent, Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

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On Saturday, I had the pleasure to attend Rooting DC, sponsored by the DC Food to Fork network. One of the sessions I attended was “Puttin’ it up: Canning for Beginners”.

There, I was able to shoot a video about making kimchee with Ibti Vincent, from the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. It’s very easy – greens, ginger, scallions, salt, and hot pepper get mashed until the liquid from the greens covers the mashed greens. If there isn’t enough liquid, it can be topped with water or the whey from yogurt.

I can’t wait to try this! You can find additional videos from my day at Rooting DC at Grown in the City.

Roasted Cauliflower & Purple Potatoes

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, cored and cut into 1 inch wide florets
  • 1/2 to 3/4 lb. purple potatoes, washed, and cut into 1 inch cubes (do not peel)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 5-7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss cauliflower, potatoes, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread evenly on a 9X13″ baking dish.
  2. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.