Tag Archives: side dish

Thanksgiving: Cranberry Sauce with Orange & Cinnamon

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Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching. Now is the time to start planning your menu. Over the next week, I will share some of our family’s favorites.

We love our cranberry sauce around here, especially on leftover turkey sandwiches the next day. The addition of orange peel and juice, and a hint of cinnamon gives this cranberry sauce a nice tang. The picture above is a Sugar Free version, made with stevia. The recipe below includes instructions for making it with full sugar or a sugar substitute. In the past I have had problems getting a proper gel with sugar substitutes, so I now add a little unflavored gelatin (Knox). I like it sprinkled with toasted finely chopped pecans, but the kids don’t like it as much this way, so I usually leave it plain.

RECIPE:

Cranberry Sauce

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½ cup water
½ cup fresh orange juice (or additional water)
1 cup sugar or sugar substitute (Stevia, erythritol, Splenda) **
1 tsp Knox gelatin (only if using sugar substitute)
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh grated orange peel
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, optional

Place water in a medium saucepan. If using a sugar substitute, sprinkle gelatin over water and let stand 5 minutes. Heat to a boil. Stir in orange juice, sugar (or substitute), cinnamon stick and orange peel. Return to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Stir in cranberries, return to a boil. Boil 5 minutes or until cranberries pop. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Serve warm or cold with toasted pecans.

**NOTE: Sugar substitutes vary a lot in sweetness, especially stevia. I use Sweet Leaf brand powdered stevia and usually use about 1/2 tsp. Start on the low side; taste cranberry sauce and add more to your taste, if necessary. You can also use part sugar/part sugar substitute.

 

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Filed under Condiments/Sauces

Not Just for Summer: Open-Faced Sloppy Joes and Baked Beans

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Sloppy Joes with Baked Beans is always sure to please even the pickiest of eaters in my house. Again it is all about the toppings around here: cheese and sliced green onions go perfectly with the simmered savory meat.

I know that baked beans are traditionally a summer barbecue food, but I prefer to make them when it is cold outside and I need to heat the house up with some extended oven baking time. I usually start with canned beans because I am rarely successful in getting good finished texture when cooking this with dried beans.

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Want the convenience of canned beans at the price of dry beans? Can your own with a pressure canner: 1 cup beans + 1 tsp salt in each quart jar. Add hot tap water, leaving 1” headspace. Process in a pressure canner at 15 lb pressure for 60 minutes.

Some in our family like to eat our Sloppy Joes open-faced. When I don’t have homemade bread on hand, I serve the Sloppy Joes on these thin sandwich breads, toasted:060610 009-1RECIPES:

Sloppy Joes

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2- 2 ½ lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
½ of a red or green bell pepper, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup packed fresh parsley, chopped or 1 Tbs dried parsley
1 ½ cups water
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
½ cup ketchup
1 Tbs chili powder
½ Tbs brown sugar (or golden low-carb sweetener)
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
½–1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp dry mustard
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp black pepper
Pinch ground cloves

Hamburger buns or Homemade Bread, toasted
Shredded cheese
Sliced green onions or finely chopped red or yellow onions

Brown ground beef in a large skillet until thoroughly cooked; drain fat. Add onion, red or green pepper, garlic and parsley to the skillet. Cook until onions are translucent.

Add remaining ingredients (except buns and toppings) and simmer, covered, for 15-20 minutes. Uncover and continue to simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until Sloppy Joes are thickened as desired.

Serve over toasted buns (open-faced or full buns) with shredded cheese and onions for toppings.

**NOTE: Use a food processor to chop the onion, peppers, garlic and parsley if you want fine pieces that are less noticeable to children!

Baked Beans

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8-12 oz bacon
1 onion, chopped
2 cans (16 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans (16 oz) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
½ cup water
2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs molasses
2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp liquid hickory smoke flavoring
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Chop bacon and cook until almost crisp. Remove bacon from pan; drain grease, leaving 2-3 Tbs drippings in the pan. In the bacon drippings, sauté onion until soft. Combine bacon and onion with remaining ingredients in a 2-quart baking dish. Cover and bake at 300°F for about 3 hours (or 325°F for 2 hours), stirring every 30-45 minutes. Add additional water if the beans begin to stick to the pan.

Or cook in a crock-pot on low for 6-8 hours.

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Filed under Canning/Freezing, Main Dishes, Side Dishes

End of Summer Produce: Greek Tomato Salad

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We are still getting a few ripe tomatoes off of our garden tomato plants, but with nights getting cooler and days getting shorter, most of our tomatoes still look like this:

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So here is one last summer tomato salad. When we start getting frost warnings, which could be any time now, I will bring in all of my green tomatoes and make some Green Tomato Salsa.

RECIPE:

Greek Tomato Salad

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3-4 tomatoes, chopped
3 small pickling cucumbers or 1 English seedless cucumber,
——– chopped (peeled if skin is tough)
½ red pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or ½ tsp dried)
½ tsp Greek seasoning, optional
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, red pepper and onion. Stir together remaining ingredients, except feta. Pour over salad. Serve right away, or refrigerate. Stir in feta just before serving (or serve on the side to be sprinkled on).

 

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Filed under Salads, Side Dishes

Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad

One more grilling recipe while the weather is still warm!

Asian flavors make a frequent appearance at our dinner table. Thai is one of my personal favorites. It can be made as spicy or mild as you like by adjusting the curry paste or red peppers. This chicken can either be prepared on the grill, or inside in a skillet.

I used the last of the Thai basil from my garden in this, but it is also good with chopped cilantro.

When I cook it inside, I pound the chicken flat first, so that it will cook more quickly. On the grill, I leave the chicken pieces unpounded. The sauce is made from coconut milk, peanut butter and red curry paste, plus a few other standard Asian ingredients (ginger, garlic, soy sauce). The sauce goes together quickly with the use of a regular blender (although, after a cooking demo today, I am feeling some serious Vitamix envy!)

This Thai cucumber salad was a nice accompaniment to the chicken. It is light, just a little sweet, and a little spicy. Made with my favorite little pickling cucumbers.

RECIPES:

Chicken with Red Thai Peanut Sauce

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic
¼ cup soy sauce
2 Tbs rice vinegar
1 Tbs brown sugar or 5 drops liquid stevia
2 tsp red Thai curry paste
1 tsp chicken bouillon

4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
about 2 Tbs peanut oil
3-4 Tbs finely chopped Thai basil or cilantro

In a blender combine first 9 ingredients. Blend until combined.

Put each chicken breast inside plastic bag or between plastic wrap and pound to even 1/2 inch thickness. (*NOTE: Pounding the chicken will make it cook quickly on the stovetop. Alternately, you could grill the unpounded chicken breasts on an outdoor grill)

Heat 2T oil in a large skillet. Season chicken with salt and black pepper, then add chicken to pan and sauté until chicken is cooked through. If you need to cook your chicken in batches, then keep chicken warm (on a plate under foil) while cooking additional chicken.

Add sauce to pan. Scrape off browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Turn off heat and mix in chopped Thai basil or cilantro. Serve immediately over warmed chicken breasts, with additional chopped Thai basil or cilantro for garnish, if desired.

Thai Cucumber Salad

4-6 small pickling cucumbers, sliced
½ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar, unsweetened
¼ cup fresh lime juice (or use additional 1/4 cup rice vinegar)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs sesame oil
5 drops liquid stevia (or 1 Tbs sugar)
1 tsp kosher or sea salt
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes

Mix sliced cucumbers, onion and cilantro in a bowl. Stir together remaining ingredients. Pour over cucumbers.

 

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Grilling with Chipotles

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As summer winds down, I find myself grilling even more. Trying to squeeze out every last drop of fresh summer goodness, before giving way to the rib-sticking comfort foods of fall and winter.

Grilled flank steak is one of our favorites. I love that I can prepare several at a time: preparing the marinade in the morning and putting one marinated flank steak in the fridge for dinner, and a couple more in the freezer for meals another night.

This flank steak has a wonderful smoky,  slightly spicy flavor. Which went perfectly with this Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad. Quinoa (KEEN-wa), is a gluten-free grain that has a similar texture to couscous, but with a slightly nutty flavor (which makes sense since it is actually the seed portion of a grain).

RECIPES:

Grilled Chipotle Flank Steak

2 chipotle peppers in adobo
1 Tbs adobo sauce (from chipotle pepper can)
2 cloves garlic,  chopped
¼ cup orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbs honey
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
1  tsp oregano
¼ tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
1 flank steak (about 2 lb)

Combine everything except the steak in a blender, and process until peppers are chopped. Place flank steak in a Ziploc bag or glass baking dish, and add the marinade.  Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or overnight (or freeze in the Ziploc bag until another day).

Heat grill. Remove steak from marinade. Brush grill lightly with oil. Grill steak for 7-8  minutes per side for medium rare (adjust time based on thickness of meat and heat of grill). Let meat rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice across the grain.

Serve with Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad OR use it as a base for fajitas with grilled onions and peppers in tortillas.

Adapted from The Perfect Pantry

Chipotle Lime Quinoa and White Bean Salad

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob (or 1 can corn)
½ cup chopped red bell pepper
2-3 green onions, chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 limes, juiced (about 6-8 Tbs)
Zest of one lime
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 chipotle peppers, finely chopped
1-2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from can of chipotle peppers)

Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cool.

In a large bowl, combine cooled quinoa, beans, corn, red pepper, green onions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, stir together the lime juice and zest, olive oil, salt, garlic powder, chipotle peppers and adobo sauce. Stir into quinoa mixture. Cover and chill until serving.

Note: This can also be made with cooked brown rice or couscous instead of quinoa.

Adapted from Picky Palate

 

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Filed under Main Dishes, Salads, Side Dishes