Category Archives: Vegetables

Green Bean Fries

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My in-laws have an amazing garden, and every year I cannot wait for the bags of fresh veggies to start flying into our home.    This year the green beans seem to be growing non-stop! I was trying to think of fun ways to use them up and fried green beans came to mind.  Now I love my deep fryer don’t get me wrong, but the hubby and I are trying to eat healthier this summer.  Therefore, I looked for a fried green bean recipe and then adapted it to baking.  This was especially easy since my faux fried ingredient has definitely become panko crumbs.  Panko crumbs give such a crispy crust without have to deep fry anything.  These came out wonderful! Next time I am going to make a sauce similar to an onion dipping sauce to accompany the fries.  We will definitely be making them again in order to keep using all the fresh veggies we are receiving.

 

Green Bean Fries

from Prevention RD

Ingredients:

1/2 lb green beans
1 cup  whole wheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup skim milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
Kosher salt, pinch
pepper, pinch

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F.  Fill a large pan with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a boil. While water comes to a boil, trim the green beans. Prepare a large bowl of ice water and set aside.  Blanch the beans for 3 minutes and immediately remove them to the ice bath.  To prepare beans, gather three bowls. In the first bowl, combine the flour and spices. In the second bowl, combine the egg and milk, whisking to combine. In the third and final bowl, place the panko and season with salt and pepper. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour mixture and whisk into the egg/milk mixture.  Pat the beans dry and dredge in the flour mixture, then into the milk/egg mixture, and finally into the panko to coat. Arrange the beans in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil which has been sprayed with non-stick spray.  Prepare all of the beans in that manner. Lightly spray beans with olive oil spray. Bake beans at 425 F for 15 minutes, or until slightly browned.

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Avocado, Tomato, and Mango Salsa

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When Friday rolls around at 3 pm, most people are  just trying to get through the next couple hours to start their weekend.  I am sitting there instead thinking about all the amazing things that I want to make over the weekend and how I can incorporate them into our weekend plans.  This weekend is no exception.  We are going to our first Symphony on the Prairie  tomorrow night!  This is something the hubby and I absolutely love going to, and this time we are going with some good friends so I can make a larger amount of food then normal.  This made my mind race with recipes, and I was sitting at work reeling to get home so I could start my menu items for tomorrow.  I decided on a Mexican theme for the evening.  Our appetizer is going to be this delicious salsa. I have been in love with this salsa since the first time my mother-in-law made it for us.  Trust me once you make it, you will end up eating it with a spoon and forgetting about tortilla chips.

Avocado, Tomato, and Mango Salsa

from Allrecipes

Ingredients

1 mango – peeled, seeded and diced
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and diced
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 tablespoons olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine the mango, avocado, tomatoes, jalapeno, cilantro, and garlic. Stir in the salt, lime juice, red onion, and olive oil. To blend the flavors, refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Fennel-Spiced Salmon with Gazpacho Salad

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So for the second day in a row we decided to cook out of our new Weber cookbook and it did not disappoint.  The weather was so hot here yesterday that I was unsure if I would even be hungry for dinner.  We went to a local park and had a picnic for lunch and you would have thought we ran a marathon how we looked when returned home.  This is probably why we chose a light fish dish for dinner.  All the rage now on the cooking shows is deconstructing dishes and therefore I was a little skeptical when I saw a gazpacho salad.  Now I love gazpacho and knew I would enjoy all the flavors, but my worry lied with whether the hubby would enjoy it or not.  The salmon was perfectly seasoned and the gazpacho salad was cool and refreshing.  These two components on their own may not be my favorite, but together we both agreed they were the perfect bite.

Fennel-Spiced Salmon with Gazpacho Salad

from “Weber’s Charcoal Grilling – The Art of Cooking with Live Fire”

Salad:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup  1/4 inch-diced red onion

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 cups  1/4 inch-diced tomatoes

1 cup  1/4 inch-diced zucchini squash

1 cup seeded, 1/4 inch-diced cucumber

1 cup 1/4 inch-diced red bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill

Tabasco sauce

Rub

1 teaspoon ground fennel seed

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon pure chili powder

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 skinless salmon fillets, about 8 ounces each and 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick

Extra virgin olive oil

1.  In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the oil.  Cook the onion until translucent but not golden, 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.  Add the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, and the red bell pepper.  Cook the mixture for about 1 minute, stirring occasionally, to draw some liquid from the tomatoes.  Remove the skillet from  the heat.  Add the vinegar and dill.  Transfer the salad mixture to a large bowl and chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour or as long as 8 hours (more liquid will draw from the vegetables during this time).  remove the bowl from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.  Taste the salad and adjust the seasonings with salt, pepper, and Tabasco.

2.  In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.  Brush each of the salmon fillets evenly with oil.  Season them on both sides with the rub.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

3.  Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat.

4.  Brush the cooking grate clean.  Grill the fillets over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until cooked to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once after 6 to 7 minutes.  Swap their positions as needed for even cooking.  Serve warm with the salad, using as much or as little of the vegetable juices as you like.

Mojo Marinated Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

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We are loving summer, but have really not started to enjoy our grill to the fullest since we have been traveling so much.  Well, we decided this weekend that we need to start grilling out more!   Weber grill has some of the best cookbooks, and the new one we purchased is no exception.  Chicken tacos sounded amazing and this recipe did not disappoint.  I would put the fresh salsa on fish tacos or even a shingle to be honest it is that good.  The first bite and we both looked at each other declaring that these were the best tacos we have ever had.  Everyone definitely needs to try these right away they are worth it.

Mojo Marinated Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

from “Weber’s Charcoal Grilling – The Art of Cooking with Live Fire”

Marinade:

¼ cup fresh orange juice
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno chile pepper, including seeds
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (without tenders), about 8 ounces each

Salsa:

1 medium yellow onion, cut into ½ inch slices
extra virgin olive oil
10 medium tomatillos, about ½ pound total, husked and rinsed
1 small jalapeno chile pepper, stem removed
¼ cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
1 medium clove garlic
½ teaspoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt

12 flour tortillas (8 inches)
3/4 cup sour cream

1. In a medium bowl, whisk the marinade ingredients. Place the chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag, and pour in the marinade. Press out the air and seal the bag tightly. Turn the bag to distribute the marinade, place the bag in a bowl, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

2. Prepare a two-zone fire for high heat.

3. Lightly brush the onion slices on both sides with oil. Brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the onion slices, tomatillos, and jalapeno over direct high heat, with the lid closed as much as possible, until lightly charred, 6-8 minutes, turning once or twice and swapping their positions as needed for even cooking. Be sure the tomatillos are completely soft as you remove them from the grill. Combine the onion slices, tomatillos, and jalapeno in a food processor along with the remaining salsa ingredients. Process until fairly smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour the salsa into a serving bowl.

4. Check the heat of the grill. You may need to add more charcoal to the fire for medium heat. Remove the chicken from the bag and discard the marinade. Separate the tortillas into 2 piles of 6 tortillas each. Wrap each pile in a sheet of aluminum foil. When the fire is ready, brush the cooking grate clean. Grill the chicken over direct medium heat with the lid closed as much as possible until the meat is firm to the touch and completely opaque in the center, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once or twice and swapping their positions as needed for even cooking. At the same time, grill each packet of tortillas over indirect medium heat until warm and soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken and tortillas from the grill. Keep the tortillas in the foil while you slice the chicken as thinly as possible.

5. Put some sliced chicken in each warm tortilla. Pass the salsa and sour cream for toppings. Serve right away.

Stuffed Baby Bellas

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I am from “The Region” in Indiana, and if you know anything about us region rats we have certain places that we all relate to a type of food.  If you are looking for stuffed mushroom caps, chances are you are going to go to Tiebel’s.  Now it is true I am partial to the coffee shop with their relish tray, mushroom caps, and perch.  I have no idea where to get the type of pan they use to cook the mushroom caps, but I hope to some day find one.  I tried to recreate the texture, flavor, and smell of the mushroom caps, and I think I achieved it.  I used a muffin tin to simulate the type of pan which is used, since each mushroom is cooked in a separate chamber.  The cheese blend and meat mixture were almost spot on.  The hubby enjoyed them  very much.  These are definitely going to be an appetizer in our house more regularly.

 

Stuffed Baby Bella Caps

1 package of baby bella caps

1/4 pound of lean ground sirloin

1/8 cup of breadcrumbs (I used homemade)

1/2 Tbs worchestershire sauce

1 Tbs of minced garlic

2 Tbs grated parmesan cheese

2 dashes of hot sauce

1/4 tsp of grey or sea salt

pinch of black pepper

1/2 cup shredded colby jack cheese

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brown meat over medium heat in a small skillet.  While browning the meat, use the spatula to break the meat into small crumbles.  Do not drain the meat.  Add the remaining ingredients up to the colby jack cheese to pan and continue cooking for 2 minutes.  remove from the heat.  Clean the mushroom with a tea towel and take the stems out carefully.  Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray.  Place a cap in each well.  Take a heaping teaspoon of the mixture and put in each of the caps.  Make sure to press down the mixture, so that it is flush with the top of the cap.  Sprinkle the cheese over each mushroom cap.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Take the mushroom out of each well and place on platter.  Enjoy!!

 

Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus

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If you are anything like me, the minute your farmer’s market is open you rush to see what goodies are in store for this year.  We are fortunate enough to have a great one a couple blocks away.  This last weekend, I found some great produce which included some beautiful asparagus.  I was searching for a different way to prepare it when I came across a proscuitto recipe.  My husband and I love proscuitto so I figured there was no way this recipe could fail.  I was completely shocked by the simplicity of the recipe, yet depth of flavors.  I did use balsamic glaze instead, which created a sweet crust over the smoky proscuitto. 

Grilled Proscuitto-Wrapped Asparagus

slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
1 bunch of asparagus, thick or thin
5 slices of thinly sliced proscuitto
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the grill or a grill pan to medium-high heat, and oil the grate.  Wash, dry and trim asparagus spears.  Lay out one piece of proscuitto on a work surface.  Bundle a few spears of asparagus together near one end of the proscuitto, and wrap them up tightly with the meat.  Lay seam side down on a plate.  Repeat with remaining asparagus and proscuitto.  Brush the bundles lightly with olive oil.  Drizzle with a few splashes of balsamic vinegar glaze.  Season with freshly ground pepper to taste.

Transfer the bundles to the heated grill, seam side down, and cook until nice grill marks have formed.  Flip gently with tongs, and repeat on the second side.  Cook until the asparagus has reached your desired doneness, testing it with a fork.  Remove from the grill, transfer to a platter, and serve.