Thursday, April 17, 2014

Tuscany Stuffed Peppers with Lemony White Bean Puree ~ Healthy Italian!

Tuscany Stuffed Peppers with Lemony White Bean Puree ~

This dish was inspired by a client who wanted all the flavors of Italy with a healthy twist. This one delivers on flavor and is extremely satisfying! Plus, it's really quite easy to put together -- great for a weeknight meal in under an hour.
Serves 4

Ingredients ~
1/2 c. quick cooking brown rice, made according to package directions
4 medium/large red bell peppers
1 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. golden raisins
2 T. capers
2 t. dried oregano (reserve 1 for sauce)
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. cracked pepper
1/3 c. Pecorino Romano cheese
Pinch Cayenne pepper
1 t. smoked paprika
1 T. steak sauce (any brand)
1/4 c. beef stock (or chicken)
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
dash Worchestershire
sea salt

Prepare rice. While rice is cooking, brown beef in non-stick skillet. (I add a dash of EVOO.) Cook until no longer pink -- 3-4 min. Add onion, garlic, raisins, capers, and oregano. Cook until onion softens -- 4-5 min. Stir in rice, salt, and pepper, cayenne, paprika, and steak sauce; cook 1 min. Remove from heat and add the cheese.

Hull out the peppers and reserve tops. Fill peppers with beef-rice mixture. Place in a sauce pan that keeps them snuggly together.

In a blender, puree tomatoes, beef stock, remaining 1 t. oregano, Worchestershire and salt. Pour carefully around bottom of peppers in sauce pan. If it's a little thick, add a little water. Bring to boil. Turn down to low/med and cover. Cook for 32-35 min.  Remove peppers from pot and let rest. Place pot on burner on high and reduce tomato sauce by half. Check for seasoning.

For Bean Puree ~

1/2 c. chicken broth
2 large cloves garlic, sliced
2 cans cannellinni beans, drained
grated peel of one lemon
1 T. unsalted butter
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. sea salt

Combine stock, garlic and zest of one lemon in sauce pan. Bring to boil. Reduce and simmer 10 min. Let cool. In food processor, combine, beans and broth mixture. Pulse to a thick puree consistency. Return to sauce pan. Add butter, lemon juice and salt. Stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly--about 10 min.

To plate, spoon a mound of puree on plate and top with stuffed pepper. Drizzle on reduced tomato sauce. This dish is packed with flavor and a VERY healthy, high fiber option! Delicious!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Radishes: The Underused, Undervalued Cruciferous Vegetable ~ Creamy Radish Soup

Creamy Radish Soup
by Chef Valerie Cathell

I guess it's about time I got back into blogging my recipes; I only have about 300 new ones that I've been tweaking and reinventing over the past year and a half! And somewhere along the way, I finally gained some education and became a personal chef to a fabulous family! I still have my mom/teacher duties, but I am moving in the direction of my passion with food as the next phase of my career in life. I will be redesigning this blog with some expert assistance and hope to have it up and running by summer. The life of a non-idle "thinker" -- organized chaos, I guess! But it's bringing happiness to me and others, so I'll remain on track.

Enough boring stuff about me; but, here today I am posting a newly created recipe using radishes that I adapted from COOKS.COM (,1848,150164-251201,00.html? )that I hope you will give a try. I would venture to say most radish haters wouldn't even know what they were eating. This is really good and can be served hot or cold. I'm also posting a wonderful link to educate others on the nutritional benefits of radishes. You may be surprised!

On to the recipe:

2 bunches red radishes, washed and quartered (about 4-5 cups)
1 sm. sweet onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
2 T. unsalted butter
1/2 c. Greek non-fat yogurt
1 3/4 c. low sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
2 T fresh chopped tarragon
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
Fleur de sel
2-3 T heavy cream (optional)
1/2 t. dried tarragon
splash of lemon juice
cracked pepper

Clean and quarter radishes. (If you have nice greens attached, clean, dry and roughly chop.) In a medium sauce pan melt butter careful not to burn. Add the onion and sweat a couple minutes. Add the greens if available. Add the bell pepper and stir cooking another two minutes. Season with a pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper. Add the fresh tarragon and cayenne. Stir another minute. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

In a blender pour in the stock, spoon in the yogurt, add the sauteed veggies, the dried tarragon and blend on high for about 3 minutes. Return mixture to soup pan. Heat on low. Add the cream if using and the splash of lemon juice. To serve, garnish with paper thin radish slices, a drizzle of EVOO, and fresh tarragon. This is great hot or cold. Enjoy! Don't forget the link above about why you need radishes in your diet! <3 i="">

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do Not Be Afraid of Oxtails! {Stew} ~ With Some Help from Emeril ~

Oxtails... just the word always made me afraid to try them. I had no idea truthfully, whether they were really "tail" meat or not, nor whether they came from oxen. Today, oxtails have become a more "exotic" meat to use in various methods of cooking, but the slower they are cooked is really the best place to start.

I purchased my tails and put them in the fridge for a day, so I could really think about what I wanted to do. In the end, I scoped out some of the recipes from chefs I particularly enjoy replicating their dishes and came up with Emeril's Oxtail Stew. My variation is very close to his version, but I took a few minor liberties as usual.

First, plan on a lot of time to prepare this dish. The prep work is not that difficult, but the cook time is very lengthy to get the most tender, flavorful dish.

Ingredients ~

1 pkg. oxtails (I used about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1/2 c. flour
1 t. sea salt
1/2 t. cracked pepper
1 1/2 T. herbs de provence
olive oil and canola oil blend (1 T.)
8 slices bacon, chopped
1 small sweet onion, chopped
2 med. carrots, sliced in chunky rounds
2 stalks celery, cut the same as the carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. tomato paste
1 t. smoked paprika
1 t. thyme
1/2 bottle (or more) good red wine -- I had Malbec
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 can beef stock
additional salt and pepper to taste
~ good French bread for dipping ~

First, place flour and first seasonings in a large ziplock bag and add the oxtails. Seal and shake around to coat. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, heat oil and add the bacon. Cook until crispy and remove to a paper towel with slotted spoon. Turn up heat and add the oxtails to the bacon fat. Brown on all sides and remove to a plate. Cover.

Add the veggies and cook until slightly tender. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Add the tomato paste and stir well. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat a little and let reduce by half.

Next, add the tomatoes and stock. Add remaining spices and check for seasoning. Return the oxtails and bacon to the pot. Make sure the meat is immersed.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat. Cover and let simmer on low for 2 1/2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Remove lid and continue cooking another 30 minutes to thicken slightly. (I saved my flour from dusting the meat and mixed about 1/4 c with 1/4 c. cold water. I stirred this in to help it get to the thick consistency we like.) Serve with a good French bread for dipping. This is the MOST flavorful, rich tasting stew we've ever had! I will be making this on cold winter days in the near future again!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

So I Like Squash! Double Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash for #SundaySupper {All Things Orange}

I am so happy to be back participating in the Sunday Supper Movement! For this week's #SundaySupper, we have put together a fabulous menu of "All Things Orange." These creative chefs have really done it this time! See below for a list of all the delicious offerings this week and enjoy sharing #SundaySupper with your loved ones and us!

My dish is inspired by fall and my love of squash. Just this week I posted a squash casserole that put a new spin on the old traditional version my mother used to make and one I think is absolutely my favorite from here on out!

I believe this one is just as good, if not better but YOU be the judge!

Ingredients ~ (Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main)

1 medium/large acorn squash
1 small/medium yellow crooked neck squash, chopped in pieces the size of a dime
1/2 chopped sweet onion
1 T. canola oil
1 T. butter
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. cracked pepper
1 t. curry powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. chili powder
2/3 c. nonfat Greek yogurt
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 c. crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 t. Very Very Teriyaki
1/2 c. plain bread crumbs
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese

To start, pierce acorn squash 4 times and place on microwave safe plate. Cook about 8-9 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. While the squash is cooking, heat oil and butter in large skillet and saute onion 1 minute. Add squash and continue cooking 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, curry, paprika, and chili powder.

In a separate bowl, mix yogurt with mustard, Teriyaki, Gorgonzola and stir well.

Cut acorn squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place on a baking sheet.

To the yogurt, add the bread crumbs -- tossing gently so they don't get soggy. Spoon into hollowed acorn squash. Top with almonds and cheddar.

Place tray in preheated 400 degree convection oven, or regular oven. If using convention, bake for about 15-18 minutes. If using regular oven, bake about 10 minutes longer. Let cool slightly and cut in halves if serving 4 as a side or serve as is as an entree. This is AMAZINGLY good! The Teriyaki is a little surprise....that really works

Please be sure to check out what everyone else has brought to the table this week:

Sunrise  (Breakfast and Brunch)
Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes is bringing her Orange Ricotta Pancakes
Erin from Dinners Dishes and Desserts is baking up some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Heather from Girlichef is bringing Pumpkin Doughnuts with Spiced Buttermilk Glaze
Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes is making Pumpkin Donut Puffs
Patti from Comfy Cuisine is bringing  Classic Orange Marmalade
Sunithi from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz is making Spiced Pumpkin Ricotta Muffins with Craisins and Walnuts
Wendy from The Weekend Gourmet is cooking up some Pumpkin Maple Oatmeal
Jamie from Mama Mommy Mom is bringing Butternut Squash Butter
Chelsea from Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence is bringing Pumpkin Spiced Donuts with Chai Icing

High Noon (Soups, Salads and Sandwiches)
Renee from Magnolia Days is serving up some Butternut Squash Soup
Beate from Galactopdx is bringing her Carrot Ginger Soup
Jen from Juanita’s Cocina is making some Curried Sweet Potato Salad With Cranberries and Pecans
Megan from I Run For Wine is making Skinny Roasted Butternut Squash and Italian Sausage Soup
Sarah from What Smells So Good is filling our bowls with some Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
Alice from Hip Foodie Mom is coming with her Roasted Carrot and Red Quinoa Salad
Susan from The Wimpy Vegetarian is making Cider – Spiced Sweet Potato Soup
Tora from Tora’s Real Food is bringing Butternut Squash and Tomato Soup
Melanie from From Fast Food to Fresh Food is making Monty’s Pumpkin Soup
Lyn from The Lovely Pantry is bringing Roasted Pumpkin & Coconut Soup
Kim from Cravings of a Lunatic is whipping up some Mandarin Chicken Salad

Sunset (Dinner and Main Dishes)
Sarah from Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends is offering up some Pumpkin Ravioli
Shelia from Pippis In The Kitchen Again is serving her Roasted Squash and Ricotta with Honey
Pam from The Meltaways is making Spooky Stuffed Peppers
Patsy from Famfriendsfood is bringing her Carrot Souffle
Laura from Small Wallet Big Appetite is bringing Chicken and Sweet Potato Fritters
Mehereen from Chattering Kitchen is making Sichuan Orange Glazed Chicken with Toasted Sesame Seeds
Tammi from Momma’s Meals is making Hearty Pork Stew
Kristin from Kwistin’s Favorites is making Orange Chicken
Soni from Soni’s Food For Thought is cooking up some Rigatoni with Pumpkin Ricotta Sauce
Shelby from Diabetic Foodie is cooking up some Moroccan Vegetable Stew
Dara from Generation Y Foodie is bringing Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
Brandie from Home Cooking Memories is sharing a DIY Baked Sweet Potato Bar
Amber from Mama’s Blissful Bites  is bringing Rice and Fig Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

By The Bonfire (Sweets, Snacks and Sips)
Carla from Chocolate Moosey is making Pumpkin Tiramisu with Pumpkin Butter Caramel Sauce
Heather from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks is offering up some Pumpkin Cake Truffles
Shelia from Cooking Underwriter is bringing Sweet Potato Bacon Beet Salsa
Anne from Webicurean  is making some Drunken Pumpkin Bread
Karen from In The Kitchen With KP is making Oven Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Leslie La Cocina De Leslie is making Sweet Potato Atole
Seet Fei from My Trials in The Kitchen is bringing Sweet Potatoes Mini Balls
Tara from Noshing With The Nolands is bringing Oranges En Suprise
Susan from The Girl in The Red Kitchen is making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Scone with Pumpkin Glaze
Conni from Mrs. Mama Hen is making Orange Glazed Poundcake
Isabel from Family Foodie is baking up Moist Pumpkin Bread
Cindy from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings is baking up a Vegan Pumpkin Orange Cake
Brenda from Meal Planning Magic is whipping up some Creamy Pumpkin Dip
Laura from Family Spice is making some Unprocessed and Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread
Kathya from Basic and Delicious is baking up Butternut Squash and Carrot Bread
Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake is serving up Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
Stephanie from The Cookie A Day Challenge is whipping up some Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches
Katie from She Like Ruffles, He Likes Truffles is bringing Pumpkin Harvest Cookies
Nancy from Gotta Get Baked is baking up some Orange Macadamia Dark Chocolate Cookies
Angie from Big Bear’s Wife  is bringing Orange Soda Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes
Katy from Happy Baking Days is bringing Carrot Cake with Orange Glaze
Sandra from Midlife Road Trip is bringing Orange ya glad it’s fall! Hungarian Apricot/Walnut pastries

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper.
We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm(Eastern) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes featuring our favorite fall color.
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat.
We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.