Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pan-Fried Asparagus

So simple, yet so good.

1 bunch asparagus
1/8-1/4 c. butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced or crushed

1. Melt butter in frying pan. Add olive oil, salt, pepper.
2. Add asparagus and fry for about 5-8 minutes or until crisp tender, stirring a few times to make sure they cook evenly. Add garlic during the last few minutes so the garlic doesn't burn (like mine almost did).

Serves 4

Baked Cauliflower with Bread Crumb Topping

1 large head cauliflower
1/2 c. bread crumbs
1 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c. butter, melted
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1 pinch dried oregano

1. Clean cauliflower and trim off leaves. Place cauliflower into a steamer basket (or directly in pot if you don't have one) and add one inch of water (if you have chicken broth you can use this instead for more flavor). Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for about 20 minutes or until tender.
2. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, mix together remaining ingredients. 
3. Place cauliflower in baking dish, brush with a little melted butter or oil and coat with breadcrumb mixture.
4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lentils with Mushrooms and Bacon

I don't know if lentils are more of a girl food, but it seems the majority of men aren't super excited when they are on the menu. Adding bacon should entice those who might be hesitant :)

1 1/4 c. brown or green lentils, rinsed
1 quart (4 c.) cold water or chicken broth
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces mushrooms (I used cremini), coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
1 tsp. lemon juice
6-12 slices bacon, preferably thick cut
grated cheese, optional (about 1 cup, since cheese makes anything taste good and makes the good taste better)

1. Place lentils in a large saucepan, cover with water or broth, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer gently until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain well (oops, I forgot this part but it turned out fine).
2. Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and saute just until softened and pale golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Add the butter and the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are tender. Add the lentils, 3 Tbsp. parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat just until warmed through.
3. In a separate skillet fry the bacon until crisp.
4. Sprinkle the lentils with parsley, bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces and cheese (We used cumin gouda). Homemade bread or some fresh hearty rolls are a delicious accompaniment.

Serves 6
* all ingredients are available at the Green Barn

Here is another lentil recipe that I think is yummy. It is from one of my mom's old cookbooks called The More With Less Cookbook (or something like that)

Sweet & Sour Lentils
1 c. lentils, rinsed
2 c. water plus 2 tsp. Better than Bouillon beef base or 2 c. beef broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. salt
-bring the above ingredients to a boil and simmer 20 minutes

1/4 c. apple or pineapple juice
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/8 tsp ground cloves
some sauteed onion
-add the above to cooked lentils, heat until bubbly.
serve over rice
You can also add sausage or chicken
4 servings

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Maple Cinnamon Granola

We have noticed recently that a lot of customers are making their own granola. Here is a recipe for you to try. A huge thanks to my good friend Rianne who shared this recipe with me last week (and was happy for me to share it with you). Until then, I had never attempted making granola. It is so yummy! It is great for snacking, having with milk or on top of yogurt or oatmeal. I would like to try it on top of a fruit crisp. What a great start to the day. The prospect of having this for breakfast the first time made me excited to get up in the morning.

1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. sliced or chopped almonds
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. flaxseeds
1/2 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 c. maple syrup (I did as Rianne suggests: 1/2 syrup and 1/2 honey)
1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
and the fun part to experiment with: 
up to 1 cup of dried fruit (this time I used chopped apricots and golden raisins but you could try dried cranberries, cherries and a whole lot of other things)
other nuts and seeds (this time I added about 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds)
you can also try 1/8-1/4 c. wheat germ

1. Preheat oven to 250°F
2. Combine oats, nuts, flax seeds and coconut. Place on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes
3. Combine syrup, oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and warm on med-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla
4. Take the oat mixture out of the oven and drizzle with liquid. Stir until coated. Spread out and put back in the oven for 40 minutes, or until browned, mixing every 10 minutes.
5. Let cool and add dried fruit

Makes about 4 servings. You may want to at least double the recipe as it will be gone in no time!