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Monday, September 29, 2014

Herbaceous Hot Pot/ Chicken in the pot--good cold weather English dish

This was  very tasty and a good dish for the cooler weather.  I found this at Better Home and Gardens in this months edition.(October 2014)  I forgot to take a picture before scooping out some servings. This serves about 4 people .  I did leave out the mushrooms and it was still great!

It can also be found at taste of home (link at bottom)

Herbaceous Hot Pot

2 large onions, sliced crosswise 
1 large garlic clove, minced (I actually used 3)
1 T. olive oil
1 lb. Button or Crimini mushrooms, sliced (6 cups)(I didn't have any--still yummy)
1 T. each snipped fresh Thyme and Rosemary or 1 T. each, dried and crushed
3 Large red skin potatoes, sliced (3 cups)(I used regular ones with skins on)
salt and pepper
8 skinless, boneless, chicken thighs or 4 - 1" thick pork chops (about 8 oz. each)
1/4 C dry white wine or chicken broth
1 T. butter, cut into small pieces
Shaved White Cheddar or Lancashire Cheese (optional)

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a skillet, cook onions and garlic in hot oil over medium heat until onions are golden, about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl. Add mushrooms to same skillet; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain off excess liguid. 

2.In a 3 quart casserole, spread one-half of the onion mixture across the bottom of pot. Sprinkle with half of each of the herbs. Spoon one-half of the mushrooms over top. Layer with one-third of the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

3.Lay the chicken thighs on potatoes. Add white wine. Layer the remaining onion mixture, herbs, mushrooms, additional salt and pepper and the potatoes on top, overlapping if necessary. Dot the potatoes with butter. 

4.Cover and bake for 2 hours. Remove cover; increase oven to 400 degrees and bake for an additional 30 - 40 minutes more, or until potatoes are golden brown. To serve, spoon into large soup bowls. Top with cheese. Makes 4 main-dish servings.

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

vegetarian pumpkin and bean chili

  This is a quick hearty soup. Vegan or if desired you can do vegetarian and add cheese when you serve.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • large onion, chopped
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (from the can or homemade) (15 ounce or so)
  • 1 can canned tomatoes (about 2 cups--I like the fire roasted ones)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz, 425 g)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans  or white beans
  • 1 can mixed chili beans (see photo) or substitute your choice (NOTE-these pictured have no chili seasoning--they are just beans to use in chili
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder (start with half the amount--or less, and add more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon up to 2 tablespoons chili powder (start with 1 teaspoon or add more, depending on your tastes and also on how spicy your chili powder is)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika (smoked is different from regular)
  •  salt and pepper
  • fresh cilantro,green onions  for topping if desired
makes about  for 4-6 servings or about 2 & 1/2 to 3 quarts
1) In a large pot or skillet, cook chopped onion and minced garlic in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium heat until soft.
2) Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes (you can chop them up into smaller chunks), vegetable stock (or water), black beans and garbanzo beans and chili beans. Add  the cumin and the amount of chili powder you desire, stir everything well, and season with salt and pepper. Taste your chili, season some more with salt and pepper if needed.[After cooking you can  add the more cumin or and more chili powder , if desired]. Bring to boil, make sure to stir all ingredients well together to combine flavors and spices. Reduce to simmer and cook for 5-to20 minutes on simmer.  It will get spicier as you heat it--this is why it is better to add the spices as you go if you don't like a lot of heat!
3) Serve in soup bowls, garnished with chopped green onion and or cilantro. Can add cheese or sour cream if you are not vegan

Saturday, September 27, 2014

vegan vodka penne

 This was excellent. The basic recipe is from Veganomicon : the ultimate vegan cookbook. Pictured here is a gluten free pasta.  35 minutes --seves 4

2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 PINCH crushed red pepper (recipe called for 1/4 tsp--which would be too much for me)
28 ounce can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes (recipe calls for regular crushed                     tomatoes)Muir Glen is good)
1/4 cup vodka
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
salt (recipe called for 1/2 tsp --I used less
a few dashes of fresh black pepper
almond meal-between 1/4 to 1/2 cup ( recipe calls for 1/2 cup sliced or slivered almonds using                             immersion blender--easier to use the meal)

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, plus a little extra for garnish
1/2 pound penne

Bring a pot of water to boil for the pasta.  Preheat a saucepan (I like using my ceramic one) over medium/low heat.  Add the oil, garlic and crushed red pepper to the saucepan and saute for about asute, until fragrant, being careful not to burn (I did it on a low setting for a bit).  Add the crushed tomatoes, vodka, thyme, oregano, salt and black pepper.  Cover and turn the heat up a bit to bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally . Meanwhile , add pasta to the water and cook according to package directions.
    Once the sauce has simmered for 20 minutes, add the almonds.  Use an immersion blender (if not using the almond meal) to blend the almonds into the sauce until creamy and only slightly grainy.  The pasta should be done by now, so drain and set aside.  Add the basil to the sauce, and mix the sauce and pasta togethr .  Serve, garnished with a little extra chopped basil.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

pasta with basil pesto and artichokes

 This was very tasty and we made it with spiral type pasta and gluten free spaghetti noodles for the

second dish.


Pasta of your choice
olive oil
1 medium RED onion (must be red--delicious)
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2-5 tab of dry chardonnay
1/2 tsp salt
bit of fresh ground black pepper
Basil Pesto
1 15 ounce can artichoke hearts (the kind that come quartered or sliced in chunks)

Cook Pasta and while it is cooking saute the onion in a medium high skillet for 5-8 minutes. Add the sliced garlic and cook a minute or two more. Add the wine, salt and pepper and cook for another minute or so turning to low. Throw in the artichokes and add a bit more wine if desired. Stir around and shut off heat. When it is all mixed and warm then toss  the drained pasta with some pesto. Add the artichoke mix. We added some chili cornmeal crusted tofu on the side (

Chili Cornmeal crusted Tofu

The triangles above are the cornmeal tofu
You can bake or fry this.  I found the basic recipe from a book called Veganomigon The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

I changed it a bit because I can not have really hot spice.

Olive oil
1 pound extra firm tofu, drained 
1 cup soy or almond or rice milk
2 tab cornstarch
1 cup cornmeal (I used Maseca a corn masa flour)
2 tab chili powder (I used only ONE)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (I omit)
1 tab grated lime zest (I didn't have)
1 and 1/2 tsp salt (I used way less)

Slice the tufu width wise into eight then cut each of those slices in half diagonally--from t
he upper left corner to the lower right corner---so that you have sixteen long triangles.  Set Aside.

Combine the milk and cornstarch in a bowl.  Mix vigorously with a fork until the cornstarch is mostly dissolved.

In another bowl combine cornmeal, and seasonings. Dip the tofu slices individually into milk mixture. Then dip each into the cornmeal mixture using , now, your dry hand to coat well. Place each piece on the parchment paper on your prepared sheet--see below.

For baking--preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment Place coated tofu on the baking sheet in a single layer.  Spray with oil lightly coating and flip and spray other side.  Bake 12 minutes on a side flip and 12 more minutes. 

To Fry instead of baking: heat 1/4 inch oil in large cast iron skillet over med. heat.  To test if the oil is ready sprinkle a pinch of batter.  When batter sizzles, and bubbles form rapidly around it you are good to go. Transfer the coated pieces in 2 batches so as not to crowd.  Fry 3 min on one side and use tongs to flip and fry 2 more minutes.  Drain the fried tofu on a clean paper bag or towel.