Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Popeye's Special- 2 Recipes For the Price of 1

   Whenever I ask for a vote for dinner, the answer is usually "Caldo Verde."  This new recipe has become a favorite in the weekly menu planner.  This filling soup is great for a chilly or rainy day.  Even those who profess to not eat onions gobble it up since the onions are pureed so there is nothing to pick out.  Using my hand blender makes the job much easier than transferring batches to the food processor. The recipe says spicy sausage can be added as well, but we have been very pleased without it.  A few simple ingredients make a very satisfying soup. I use fresh or frozen spinach in lieu of the kale, chard, or collards.  This summer I will have to try it with Swiss chard when the garden starts producing.

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Green Soup)  from Vegan Kitchen by J. Bennett
1 diced onion
1 minced garlic
6 potatoes, sliced not peeled
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 lb kale, chard, or collards

Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 quarts cold water, boil. Simmer 10 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Puree potatoes. Roll greens into cigars and chop.  Add greens and simmer for 5 minutes until greens are bright and tender.

Bonus Hidden Spinach Recipe #2
    My second recipe is not new to me but is another popular spinach dish in my house.  In fact this has been my son's favorite meal since he could eat table food.  When he was a baby I became a fan of Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals and actually tried some of the recipes. It's a great way to get those extra greens in my diet.  I like it with the feta cheese, but I often make it without it as well.  I sometimes skip cooking the onion and just throw everything in the mixer. The original recipe calls for the turkey burgers to be served on a bun with roasted red peppers, kalamata olives, and pepperonchini.  I usually skip the bun and serve smaller burgers with a big Greek salad. You could try pairing it with a steaming bowl of CaldoVerde. They are awesome cold if you manage to have any left.

Spanakopita Burgers
from Rachel Ray's 30 Minute Meals

3 cloves garlic
1/2 red onion, chopped
10 oz frozen spinach, defrosted
2 tsp oregano
1/4 lb feta crumbles
1 1/3 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 tbs grill seasoning

    Sautee garlic and onion for 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Wring defrosted spinach by twisting it in a clean kitchen towel over your sink. To the spinach add the cooled garlic and onion and oregano. Add feta crumbles then ground turkey, grill seasoning and a drizzle of olive oil.  Mix and form into 4 patties, 1 inch thick. Raise heat to medium high and cook 6 minutes on each side.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Never Ending Salad

    So much has been going on here that I have been neglecting my duty to spread recipes to the greater good.  I can blame it on the holiday weekend.  I can blame it on the 90 degree weather since I didn't even want to go near the stove on those days.   Now that I am back from camping and catching up on a pile of laundry from our rainy woodland adventures it is time to get back to business and catch up on my writing. 
    I have been veering off the recipe pile lately and coming up with my own creations.  There is something fun about coming up with a nice meal with only a few ingredients.  While away I made a three bean salad that morphed into another meal of pasta salad and then evolved into a mayonnaise based veggie and pasta culinary delight.  It became the never ending salad for our Memorial day weekend.  It would be great for another summer trip, picnic or hot evening meal.  Keep in mind that I didn't use a recipe as we try to re-create my weekend salad.

Never Ending Salad (aka leftovers that keep on leaving)

Day 1- 3 Bean salad
2 cans green beans, drained
1 huge can, kidney beans, drained (but not rinsed)
1 can black olives, drained
olive oil
oregano, season salt

I poured all the canned items into a big bowl, added about 1/4 cup olive oil (I didn't pack measuring cups), 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon each

Day 2- Pasta Salad

1 bag Tinkayada brown rice shells
1 cup broccoli florets
1/4 cup salsa

   I boiled a bag of pasta shells for lunch and added the leftovers noodles to the 3 bean salad with some chopped broccoli.  I poured in 1/4 cup salsa and stirred everything up.  The vinegar and spices from the 3 bean salad made a nice pasta salad that everyone enjoyed.

Day 3- Veggie Salad

1/4 cup Vegenaise
1 cup cauliflower pieces

    My husband added Vegenaise and cauliflower and we had a whole new flavor for the third salad night.  This time we finished it off.