Broccoli Raisin Cashew Salad


Broccoli Raisin Cashew Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Side
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6-12
 
This is a wonderful salad that surprises people who think they don’t like broccoli and excites people who already know they love it. It is a very simple, easy salad with just 5 ingredients and some seasoning to taste. The sweetness of the raisins makes this a salad that even children enjoy. Sometimes people add a little sugar to the mix, but I don’t find it necessary. If you like it especially sweet, increase the quantity of raisins you include. While this recipe may not make a convert of George H. Bush (who claimed to hate broccoli), you will find that this disappears quickly although it can be refrigerated for a day or two and remain crisp and delicious. Like any recipe, this one can be tweaked to your taste by using dried sweetened cranberries instead of raisins, sunflower seeds instead of cashew pieces, different onion types, or even some yogurt instead of mayonnaise. You can use some bacon bits to add a smoky, meaty flavor. This is my favorite version. I like to use the microwave oven to cook vegetables quickly without a lot of vitamin-robbing water; however, you can choose to steam the broccoli or even drop it into boiling water and remove it as soon as the color changes to bright green and then cool it. The broccoli should remain crisp after cooking, not soft as it might be if you were serving it as a hot vegetable side dish.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds of broccoli crowns
  • 2 ounces of raisins
  • 4 ounces of roasted salted cashew pieces
  • 4 ounces of finely diced red onion
  • 10 tablespoons of mayonnaise (This salad can be vegan if you use a vegan mayonnaise.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the broccoli crowns (including the stem parts) into small bite size pieces. Rinse them and drain them, leaving a little water clinging to the florets. Cook on high in a microwave-safe casserole dish (such as Corningware) or bowl for about 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. If you are using Corningware, you can submerge the bottom of your container in cold water to cool it quickly. If you are using something like Pyrex, transfer to a cool bowl.
  2. Add the raisins, cashew pieces, diced red onion, and mayonnaise to the broccoli. Mix gently until all of the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if you like.

 

Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup


Roasted Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: ~2 quarts
 
When the weather cools, a bowl of hot soup is a lunch or dinner favorite. Fall and winter bring delicious squashes and hearty root vegetables in abundance. You can make a particularly tasty soup by roasting your vegetables and pureeing them with some broth to achieve the consistency you like. The quantities of the vegetables can be adjusted and even the choice of vegetables can vary. In the base recipe here, I have used butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and a yellow onion, but you can change up the taste a bit by adding garlic, carrots, other squashes, or even something more exotic such as a small beet. If you use vegetable broth and leave out the sour cream garnish, this recipe will meet the guidelines for being vegan.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups butternut squash cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 4 cups orange yams or sweet potatoes cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 1 large onion cut into ~1 inch dice
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (a microplane works well for this)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Diced red pepper for garnish (optional)
  • Celery leaves or parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Light sour cream thinned with a bit of milk or water for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a 1/4 sheet pan or a large baking pan with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables in a large bowl and stir to mix. Drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with ~1 teaspoon of salt, and mix to coat all of the vegetables evenly. Pour into the lined baking pan and distribute the vegetables into an even layer. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and are beginning to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven. At this point you can use a standard blender to puree batches of the vegetable mixture with the broth and spices or you can use an immersion blender. In either case, you transfer the mixture to a sauce pan (3 quarts or larger) so that you can heat it to serving temperature. If you would like a thinner consistency, add additional broth or water. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into serving bowls and garnish with a sprig of parsley or celery leaves, diced red pepper or some sour cream. An especially attractive way to use the sour cream is to use a small spoon to distribute dots of thinned cream in a circle. Use a toothpick to drag a line connecting through the middle of all the dots to make a pretty pattern.

Turkey Dressing with Bread or Gluten-Free Rice

Turkey Dressing with Bread or Gluten-Free Rice
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: Varies
 
Ingredients
BREAD DRESSING
  • 2 pound loaf of sliced, wheat, butter-top bread (about 16 cups)
  • 2 pounds of mushrooms (sliced if small, chopped if big)
  • 6 cups yellow onion, diced or chopped (about 2 pounds)
  • 4 cups celery, diced or chopped (1/2 of a large bunch of celery, 1 pound)
  • 1/2 pound butter
  • Sage to taste (Start with 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Stock or water to moisten, if necessary
Instructions
Bread Dressing Instructions
GLUTEN-FREE RICE DRESSING
Gluten-Free Rice Dressing Instructions

Cabbage Ramen Salad

Cabbage Ramen Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Chicken, Salads, Tofu, Vegetarian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 18
 
My family loves this salad. It is a great dish for taking to potlucks as you can feed a lot of people without spending a lot of money. I have doubled and even tripled the recipe for parties and it always seems to disappear. Cabbage is one of the superfoods that should have a bigger role in our diets. It is low in calories, high in fiber, and a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family which is associated with a reduced incidence of a number of cancers. You can buy coleslaw mix, but cutting your own cabbage will give you a fresher salad and save you money. If you are concerned about nut allergies, toasted sunflower seeds make a substitute for the almonds. If you are serving vegetarians, you can use Top Ramen brand Oriental flavor, which contains no animal products. To turn this into a full meal, add shredded roasted chicken or sautéed tofu cubes (dredge in corn starch to get them to brown well) to the salad. This makes 4 generous servings as an entrée.
Ingredients
  • 1 head of cabbage, grated or sliced thinly* You can use a mixture of green and red cabbage for variety. (2 - 2 1/2 lb. cabbage = ~9 cups)
  • 4 whole green onions (scallions), sliced into thin rings
  • 1 3-ounce package ramen noodles with chicken flavor seasoning packet
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup of slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup salad oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, but white vinegar is fine too.)
  • Black pepper
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)
Instructions
  1. I love almonds, so I use the larger quantity. Toast the almonds in the oven, microwave, or while stirring in a small heavy pan on the stovetop, but watch them carefully as they can burn easily. If you are using a 350 degree oven, it will take about 8 minutes and you can reduce the chance of the nuts burning by placing them on a silicone sheet such as Silpat. Set aside to cool.
  2. Crush the ramen noodles while they are in their original bag. A small mallet, hammer, or meat pounder used gently does a good job. It helps to put the ramen noodle bag in a larger plastic bag to avoid getting noodles all over the place if the bag breaks.
  3. For the dressing, dissolve the sugar and the chicken seasoning packet from the ramen noodles in the vinegar in a small jar. Add the salad oil and black pepper to taste and shake to mix.
  4. The cabbage and onions can be prepared the day before, mixed together and refrigerated in the serving bowl or a plastic bag. The almonds and noodles can be prepared the day before and mixed together and stored in a plastic bag at room temperature. The dressing can be made the day before and refrigerated in a small jar.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together shortly before serving. If you like cilantro, don’t forget to add it now. This salad will still taste good on the second day, but the cabbage and noodles will soften after storage with the dressing on them.
  6. *To slice cabbage, cut it in half through its core. Put the flat side down and cut in half once again through the core. Holding one of the quarters vertically, slice the tough core part out down the length of each quarter. Put one of the flat sides of the cabbage quarter on your cutting board, and make very thin slices across the wedge. Start making slices at the pointy end and continue making slices until you finish at the core end. Now you can use your knife to slice the pile three or four times across all the slices to make smaller pieces.

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper


Made with Juice and Zest from a Lemon, and Capers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta, Vegetarian, Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6 servings
 
When I am tired of tomato sauces and I want pasta with an easy, yet satisfying taste I turn to extra virgin olive oil, lots of garlic, red pepper flakes, flat leaf Italian parsley, and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sprinkled over the top. A microplane grater makes quick work of grating a block of cheese. Although Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is expensive, a little goes a long way because of its depth of flavor. Once you have tried freshly grated cheese, you won’t be satisfied with pre-grated parmesan cheese in those green cans. The olive oil loses some of its distinctive taste when heated, which is why we are reserving half of it to add to the dish when it is off the heat. After the basics, you can throw in extras like tuna fish, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, Kalamata olives, broccoli, spinach leaves, asparagus, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil leaves or a myriad of other ingredients to switch up the pace. If you are adding chunky ingredients, it is good to use chunky-shaped pasta. The base recipe clings nicely to any of the long pastas. There is a classic Italian dish called Pasta Aglio Olio e Peperoncino which is made with those basic ingredients I described. Here is a base recipe which you can tweak to your own tastes.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of pasta of your choice
  • 12 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, sliced very thin or minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed flat Italian parsley leaves, chopped coarsely
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in a large amount of salted water for a minute or two less than the time suggested on the package. Taste. The pasta should be cooked, but still a little short of the ideal “al dente”. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking water.
  2. In a skillet large enough to hold the drained pasta, heat 6 tablespoons of the oil. Sauté the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the oil until the garlic is golden, but not browned, about a minute or two. Stir in the drained pasta and some of the pasta water to moisten the pasta if needed. Add the reserved extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste, the parsley and any add-ins that you would like. Serve the pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.

 

Eiko Ahuna’s Sukiyaki

Eiko Ahuna’s Sukiyaki
Author: 
Recipe type: Beef, Chicken, Tofu, Entree, Vegetarian, Dinner Party
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 6
 
When I started work at my very first “real” job, I met a wonderful woman of Japanese descent who came from Hawaii. She was a great cook who was happy to share her expertise with friends, including me when I was a newly married young woman transplanted from the east coast to the west. This dish is the version of sukiyaki that Eiko taught me to make to wow dinner party guests. The ingredients can be arranged attractively on a tray or platter and cooked at the table in an electric skillet in front of your guests. It is actually very easy to prepare. A rice cooker can steam rice while you are preparing the dinner. Serve the sukiyaki with steamed rice (white or brown), a salad (with Asian-style dressing from a bottle or homemade), and a pickled vegetable such as Asian-style pickled cucumbers with sesame seeds. The sukiyaki can be made vegetarian by using only tofu as the protein component. You can eliminate the step with the meat and increase the amount of tofu used later or cut the additional extra firm tofu into cubes, dry them on a dish towel or paper towels, dredge them in cornstarch (pat off the excess) and sauté them in hot oil in a non-stick pan until they are golden brown on all sides. Continue with the recipe with the sautéed tofu in place of the meat.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs tenderloin or rib eye beef, sliced thin or 3 chicken breasts sliced thin
  • Oil for sautéing the meat
  • 1 can of bamboo shoots (approximately 8 ounces)
  • 1 can of water chestnuts (approximately 8 ounces)
  • 1 bunch of green onions (tops included), cut in 1 inch slices
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 bundles of dry rice noodles (~ 6 ounces total)
  • 1 pound of bean sprouts
  • 1 pound Extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • Several large handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
Sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (low sodium or “light” soy is fine)
  • 3 tablespoons dry white wine or mirin
Instructions
  1. Mix the sugar, soy sauce, and wine in a small cup, pitcher, or bowl. Set aside.
  2. Heat the electric skillet or large pan and add some vegetable oil to film the bottom of the pan. Add enough meat to fill half the pan. Sauté quickly until the meat no longer looks raw. Add the sauce and bring to a boil. Move the meat to one side of the pan and add the vegetables, tofu, and noodles, ensuring the noodles are in the liquid to soften them. Cook for 10 minutes or until done.
  3. Serve with rice, a green salad and a pickled vegetable for a complete meal. Serve tea at the end of the meal.
  4. Notes
  5. The easiest way to slice the meat thin is to freeze it for a while first so that it doesn’t move with the knife strokes. If you have a food processor, that is effective for slicing the slightly frozen blocks quickly. Just make sure that you cut the meat against the grain so that it will be tender. You can also buy the meat already sliced at Asian grocery stores or have your butcher do it, but it tends to be very expensive that way.
  6. You can use any vegetables that appeal to you and except for including the sauce, most ingredients are optional and to your taste. Spinach leaves wilt down to almost nothing very quickly, so don’t worry about putting in a lot even if you have to do it little by little because of the size of your pan.
  7. The rice noodles come in small bundles of about 2 ounces. They are the white crinkly ones you see fried in some Chinese dishes. In this recipe, they turn soft and glassy.