Tag Archives: potatoes

Corn & Potato Chowder

As summer winds down and schools re-open, some mourn the loss of hot, carefree summer days at the beach, while others rejoice at cooler nights and empty houses (I see you, moms everywhere!). For those who garden, or anyone who eats locally, you know this means that corn and potatoes are coming to the end of harvest season. There isn’t much better than biting into a crisp, sweet corn on the cob! But in case you get tired of that, this is a great way to use corn, or feel free to substitute in canned or frozen too.

Now that the heat of summer is starting to wane, soups and chowders become more tempting. Save some of your bumper crop of corn in the freezer, and potatoes store well for months in a cool dry place, and you can have this chowder anytime in the coming months. You can take fresh cooked corn cobs, and using a sharp knife just cut all the kernels right off.  Freeze those in bags, and you will have a taste of summer any time. Or use the freshest, sweetest corn you can get your hands on and make it right now!

Corn and potato chowder

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 ears of cooked corn, with kernels cut off (or 1 can/small bag frozen)
  • 3-4 medium red skin potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3-4 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • 2 small leeks
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Black pepper & salt to taste

Step 1: In a frying pan, cook the onions, leeks, garlic, and potatoes in oil for 10-15 minutes, until onions are translucent and potatoes are soft. Add the corn and chicken stock, bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes.

Corn and potato chowder with biscuit

Step 2: Remove a few tbsp of the soup, and add the flour to it. Mix well to create a roux, then pour back into the pot along with the milk. Bring to barely a simmer, season to your tastes. Serve with fresh biscuits and top with fresh parsley if you like!

 

Corn & Potato Chowder

Corn & Potato Chowder

Ingredients

  • 3-4 ears of cooked corn, with kernels cut off (or 1 can/small bag frozen)
  • 3-4 medium red skin potatoes, diced
  • 2 tbsp butter or oil
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3-4 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • 2 small leeks
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Black pepper & salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a frying pan, cook the onions, leeks, garlic, and potatoes in oil for 10-15 minutes, until onions are translucent and potatoes are soft. Add the corn and chicken stock, bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Remove a few tbsp of the soup, and add the flour to it. Mix well to create a roux, then pour back into the pot along with the milk. Bring to barely a simmer, season to your tastes. Serve with fresh biscuits and top with fresh parsley if you like!
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One-Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

 

 

Do you love tasty food?

Do you love having fewer dishes?

Do you love meals that you can make in under 30 minutes?

One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

You guys. You have to try this recipe. If you only try ONE recipe from this blog, make it this one. (Unless of course you are vegetarian or allergic to potatoes or whatever.)

This dish was inspired by one of my favorite blogs Don’t Waste the Crumbs, but upon Googling I found oodles of variations! You can use any vegetable your heart desires, change up the type of hot sauce, and add as much or as little of any type of cheese that you want. And the best part is that I nearly always have all the ingredients in the house already, so no extra trips to the store.

One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

Combined with the fact that the ingredients are all pretty darn frugal, that makes this dish an instant hit with me. Using on-sale potatoes, frozen on sale mixed veggies, and even with all the fixings, a 9×13 pan costs me under $10. It is now on my “mental rotation of last-minute meal ideas” along with stir fry, chili, and tortilla soup.

The crispy roasted potatoes, the tasty shredded chicken, spice from the hot sauce with the cooling sour cream, added health boost from the carrots and veggies… mmmm now I want some!

Pan of Baked Potato Wedges

As for the additional vegetables, I’d recommend things that you or your family like of course, and things that are quick cooking. Try spinach, peas, or thawed frozen veggies.

I used okra because I had some and I love the flavor, but go wild with mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, or broccoli. The more veggies you sneak in and slather in hot sauce the better!

Cup of Shredded Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 2 cups vegetable of choice
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • Optional: 1/4 – 1/2 cup sour cream or Ranch
  • Optional: 1/2 – 1 cup shredded cheddar

Frying Chicken Breasts

Step 1: Dice the potatoes to about 1-inch cubes, and spread them in an oven-safe pan sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until soft inside and crispy outside.

While the potatoes bake, cook your chicken breasts by baking, broiling, boiling, or sauteing. Or you could start with already-cooked chicken to be ahead of the game.

Layered Baked Potato Shredded Carrots and Cooked Chicken

Step 2: Shred the cooked chicken and spread it over the baked crispy potatoes.  Add the shredded carrots and other veggies.

One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake with Sour Cream

Step 3: Layer on the hot sauce and sour cream or Ranch, if using.

One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

Step 4: Add the cheddar (or other cheese) if using. Bake at 350 for another 10-15 minutes.

One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

Step 5: Try to stop yourself from devouring the whole ooey-gooey pan all at once.

 

You are welcome.

 

One-Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

One-Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake

Ingredients

  • 6-7 medium potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 2 cups vegetable of choice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup hot sauce
  • Optional: 1/4 - 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Optional: 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheddar

Instructions

  1. Cook your chicken breasts by baking, broiling, boiling, or sauteeing. Dice the potatoes and spread them in an oven-safe pan sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until soft inside and crispy outside.
  2. Shred the cooked chicken and spread it over the baked crispy potatoes. Add the shredded carrots and other veggies.
  3. Layer on the hot sauce and sour cream if using.
  4. Add the cheddar (or other cheese) if using. Bake at 350 for another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Try to stop yourself from devouring the whole ooey-gooey pan all at once.
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Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes

 

Ahhh, the humble potato. This starchy, much-maligned root vegetable that is a darling and then an outcast, depending on which way the media winds blow. The reason Ireland didn’t completely starve to death. The bearer of cream cheese, chives, and chili.

Potatoes are pretty cool.

Origins of the Potatovarieties of potatoes on a map

The potato is the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize. There are many many different types, or cultivars, or potatoes, from blue to red to yellow to the hardy workhorse russet.

The highest potato yields are produced in the United States, in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Burbank Russet potato harvest begins in late August or early September and ends by the first of November. Idaho’s harvest begins in September after Labor Day and ends by the first of November. Available year round, November to late June Burbank Russet supplies come from storage potatoes.

The Inca Indians in Peru were the first to cultivate potatoes around 8,000 BC to 5,000 B.C. Then in 1536 Spanish Conquistadors conquered Peru, discovered the wonderous flavors of the potato, and carried them to Europe.  Before the end of the sixteenth century, families of  sailors began to cultivate potatoes along the  coast of northern Spain.  Sir Walter Raleigh introduced potatoes to Ireland in 1589 near Cork.

Eventually, Europeans found potatoes easier to grow and cultivate than other staple crops, such as wheat and oats. Most importantly, it became known that potatoes contained most of the vitamins needed for sustenance, and each acre of land cultivated could provide a year’s worth for nearly 10 people. Talk about an agricultural feat!

In the 1840s a major outbreak of potato blight swept through Europe, wiping out the potato crop in many countries. The Irish working class lived largely on potatoes, so when the blight reached Ireland, their main staple food disappeared. This famine left many poverty-stricken families with no choice but to struggle to survive, starve, or emigrate out of Ireland. Over the course of the multi-year famine, almost one million people in Ireland and Europe died from starvation or disease. Another one million people left Ireland, mostly for Canada and the United States.

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Potatoes arrived in the Colonies in 1621 when the Governor of Bermuda sent two large chests containing potatoes and other vegetables to Governor Francis Wyatt of Virginia at Jamestown.  The first permanent potato patches in North America were established in 1719 in New Hampshire.  From there, the crop spread across the country.

Idaho, the present-day largest producer of potatoes, did not begin growing potatoes until 1836, when missionaries moved west in an effort to teach the native tribes to grow crops instead of relying upon hunting and gathering methods.  However, it wasn’t until 1872 when the Russet Burbank variety was developed, that the Idaho potato industry began to flourish.

The original Russet Burbank potato clone was discovered in the 1870s by Luther Burbank and was called “Burbank’s Seedling”. It developed from a first generation seedling of an open-pollinated cultivar “Early Rose” in Massachusetts. In the late 1800s, he marketed this special seedling to Western states, under the name “Burbank”. The Russet Burbank potato became and still is the major cultivar grown in the USA, especially in the Pacific Northwest. – Read more here.

French Fries were introduced to the U.S. when Thomas Jefferson served them in the White House during his Presidency of 1801-1809.  Collinet, chef for French King Louis Phillipe unintentionally created soufflés (or puffed) potatoes by plunging already fried potatoes into extremely hot oil to reheat them when the King arrived late for dinner one night. To the chef’s surprise and the king’s delight, the potatoes puffed up like little balloons.

In 1853 railroad magnate Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt complained that his potatoes were cut too thick and sent them back to the kitchen at a fashionable resort in Saratoga Springs, NY. To spite his haughty guest, Chef George Crum sliced some potatoes paper thin, fried them in hot oil, salted and served them. To everyone’s surprise, Vanderbilt loved his “Saratoga Crunch Chips,” and potato chips have been popular ever since.

The good historians at “potatogoodness.com” supplies this list of fun facts about the humble, yet oh-so-popular spud.

Did you know…

  • During the Alaskan Klondike gold rush, (1897-1898) potatoes were practically worth their weight in gold. Potatoes were valued for their vitamin C.  And gold, at that time, was more plentiful than nutritious foods!
  • In October 1995, the potato became the first vegetable to be grown in space. NASA and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, created the technology with the goal of feeding astronauts on long space voyages, and eventually, feeding future space colonies.

The Incas had many uses for potatoes other than dinner:

  • Placed raw slices on broken bones to promote healing
  • Carried them to prevent rheumatism
  • Ate with other foods to prevent indigestion.
  • Measured time: by correlating units of time by how long it took for potatoes to cook.
  • Various folk remedies recommend using potatoes:
  • Treat facial blemishes by washing you face daily with cool potato juice.
  • Treat frostbite or sunburn by applying raw grated potato or potato juice to the affected area.
  • Help a toothache by carrying a potato in your pocket.
  • Ease a sore throat by putting a slice of baked potato in a stocking and tying it around your throat.
  • Ease aches and pains by rubbing the affected area with the water potatoes have been boiled in

http://www.potatogoodness.com/all-about-potatoes/potato-fun-facts-history/

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Ingredients:

  • 4-5 large Russet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Shredded cheddar, optional

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Step 1: If you really want to, peel your potatoes. I just give them a good rinse, because the skin is where the gorgeous vitamins are most concentrated. Dice the potatoes, and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Drain and put back into the pan.

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Step 2: Using a fancy potato masher (or a simple spoon, fork, your hands, a wooden spoon…) mash up the potatoes. This part will take a little elbow grease, but think of how toned your bicep (at least, one of them) will be afterwards!

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Step 3: Add in the butter while the potatoes are still hot. Continue mashing, and add in the sour cream and milk. If you like your potatoes super runny, add more milk. If you like them thicker, use less. Mash until your desired consistency (I love just a little bit of chunks still left).

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Step 4: If using, sprinkle on some sharp cheddar cheese, and add garlic salt to taste. (Add some, mix it well, taste a little spoonful. Then add another 6 tablespoons, stir again, and taste…repeat as necessary)

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Your potatoes are ready to roll! Top with some fresh chives or herbs, more garlic salt, chili, gravy, sauce, whatever…

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These are an amazing, down-home side dish. Goes great with meatballs, meatloaf, ribs, steak… pretty much any meat thing. If you make a whole lot extra, you can use the leftovers to top shepherd’s pie, or use it as a filling in classic potato pierogi.

 

Buttery Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4-5 large Russet potatoes
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Garlic salt to taste
  • Shredded cheddar, optional

Instructions

  1. If you really want to, peel your potatoes. I just give them a good rinse, because the skin is where the gorgeous vitamins are most concentrated. Dice the potatoes, and boil them for 15-20 minutes. Drain and put back into the pan.
  2. Using a fancy potato masher (or a simple spoon, fork, your hands, a wooden spoon...) mash up the potatoes. This part will take a little elbow grease, but think of how toned your bicep (at least, one of them) will be afterwards!
  3. Add in the butter while the potatoes are still hot. Continue mashing, and add in the sour cream and milk. If you like your potatoes super runny, add more milk. If you like them thicker, use less. Mash until your desired consistency (I love just a little bit of chunks still left).
  4. If using, sprinkle on some sharp cheddar cheese, and add garlic salt to taste.
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Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

 

A favorite of some, a mystery to others, the sweet potato is a nutritional powerhouse long under-appreciated by the mainstream. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, copper, and several B vitamins. They also contain digestive-health-promoting fiber, potassium, and phosphorus.

Luckily more and more people are getting on the sweet potato band wagon. While delicious on its own baked or steamed with a drizzle of cinnamon-sugar or maple syrup, there are many ways to use this delightful vegetable. Cook as you would a regular white potato and use instead for healthful results.

This recipe takes a classic comfort food and switches up the ingredients to create a new classic that’s far more nutritious and healthy. Small swaps can lead to big results, and can introduce your taste buds to whole new worlds. Starting small is a good way to slowly introduce someone (or yourself) to a new flavor without being overwhelming.

I use half white and half sweet potatoes for the topping here, and create my own creamy filling to keep the fat content in check. Stuffing as many extra veggies as possible in is also a great addition.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup soy/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt

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Step 1: Dice your potatoes into small chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain, and mash together.

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Step 2: Spray an oven-safe pan, and add the frozen mixed vegetables. You could microwave and thaw them first if you have time. Add the milk, sour cream, and turkey and mix well. Leave the turkey out if you’d like a vegetarian dish.

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Step 3: Cover the veggies with the mashed potatoes. Pop into the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Cook longer if you didn’t thaw the veggies first, less time if using fresh chopped veggies that are dry.

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Scoop out a helping and season as you wish. The sweet potatoes do live up to their name and will add a slight sweet taste to the dish. I think just about any mix of veggies would work here, but I especially liked the broccoli/cauliflower and zucchini. This dish has tons of healthy nutrients and minerals with very little fat.

 

Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 regular potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cooked turkey or chicken
  • 1 16oz bag of frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1/2 cup soy/almond milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Dice your potatoes into small chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes for 10-15 minutes, until soft. Drain, and mash together.
  2. Spray an oven-safe pan, and add the frozen mixed vegetables. You could microwave and thaw them first if you have time. Add the milk, sour cream, and turkey and mix well. Leave the turkey out if you'd like a vegetarian dish.
  3. Cover the veggies with the mashed potatoes. Pop into the oven at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Cook longer if you didn't thaw the veggies first, less time if using fresh chopped veggies that are dry.
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Less than 5: Honey Sweet Potato Snack

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Happy almost 4th of July! Whether you are having a small family get-together, a backyard BBQ, or going out to a picnic-and-fireworks party, enjoy our independence from the Crown and be safe! I’m sure there are overwhelming amounts of recipes involving burgers, apple pie, and anything red white or blue flooding the internet. So I went another way: to highlight a simple, humble veggie that I think doesn’t get enough attention.

Little bright orange jewels, so good for your health, sweet potatoes are more than a Thanksgiving side dish. Any time of the year, they can add nutrients and fiber to your diet and become an easy side dish or snack, even a main dish or dessert.

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Sweet potatoes are one of nature’s best sources of beta-carotene, the provitamin-A carotenoid. And an adequate supply of Vitamin A ensures  proper growth and development, immune system function, and healthy eyesight. Vitamin A deficiency is estimated to affect roughly 1/3 of children under the age of 5 worldwide, leading to developmental problems, eyesight deficiencies, and blindness. However Vitamin A is fat-soluble, not water-soluble, which makes it harder for your body to get rid of excess, leading to the possibility of toxicity if over-supplemented. Always ask a doctor or physician before starting a supplement regimen.

Not all sweet potatoes are orange, they can also be purple due to anthocyanin pigments. These molecules have important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. World’s Healthiest Foods states: “Particularly when passing through our digestive tract, they may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals.”

They also clear up the common confusion: sweet potato vs. yam. They can be very similar in terms of size, shapes, and skin colors, though they both come in a variety of flesh colors. Turns out, sweet potatoes are FAR more common in the US than are yams, so at a store it is pretty safe to assume you are buying a sweet potato, even if a sign says “yams”.

Anywho, sweet potatoes were on sale, and I wanted to incorporate more into my diet, so I bought a few. Luckily they keep for a long time so I could figure out what to do with it. Turns out, these can be the simplest snack ever. Simply take one to work with you, and whenever you need a tide-me-over between lunch and quittin time, or breakfast and end-of-board-meeting, pop it in the microwave, top as you please, and you have a filling, healthy snack. This is a sweet treat, though you could go savory instead with, say, goat cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small-med sweet potato
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • -or- 1 tbsp sugar + 1 tsp cinnamon

So simple, just stab the potato a few times with a fork to let steam escape. Microwave the potato for 8-10 minutes, until soft. Break it open, drizzle on some honey, and enjoy! With about 100 calories per cup, this is a super healthy choice all around.

Try using sweet potatoes anywhere you would use regular potatoes for extra fiber and vitamins. Make sweet potato chips, roast chunks in the oven as a side dish, boil and mash them with some brown sugar and butter (just be careful of amounts, it’s easy to overwhelm the health benefits with sugar and fat!), throw some into soups, stews, and curries. See how you can creatively add some sweet potatoes into your 4th of July festivities!


 

100th post: Pheasant is pleasant

 

I know I started this blog as a poor college kid. And trust me, I still enjoy mac-n-cheese, ramen noodles, and hot dogs. There will still be simple recipes with 3 ingredients or less. But as I’ve progressed through my Masters and am now in PhD school, my tastes have evolved and I like to expand my horizons. Thus I decided at least once a month I will try making something I’ve never had, slightly exotic dishes.

For June, as my 100th post, I give you, roasted whole pheasant! The ~3lb bird itself was $25, but the brine and the accompanying roasted veggies were less than $10, so it’s still not bad for a super cool and fancy meal for two plus leftovers. Also you then have forever bragging rights.

Brine:
8-10 cups water (enough to cover the bird)
3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp whole cloves
3 cloves crushed garlic
2-3 bay leaves
Juice of 1 whole lemon
Juice of 1 whole lime

Step 1: Add salt and maple syrup to water, bring to a boil so all salt and syrup dissolves.

Step 2: Let cool to room temp, add spices and juices. Place the whole pheasant in the brine. Mine was frozen so I thawed it in the fridge overnight, but you can put it in there frozen whole too. Let the bird soak a minimum of 4 hours up to overnight. The longer it soaks, the saltier and more flavorful it will get. Mine soaked overnight, about 20 hours total.

Step 3: Take the bird out of the brine and drip dry it. Rub it all over with butter, including loosening the skin and rubbing butter underneath, directly onto the flesh if you can. Optional: place spices from brine over the bird or add fresh.

Step 4: Place a quartered onion and/or halved apple inside the cavity of the bird. Place it in a buttered or sprayed oven-safe pan and tent tin foil over it.

Step 4: Roast the pheasant at 400 degrees for ~1 hour. Then lower the oven to 350, remove foil and roast an additional 30-50 minutes, until no longer pink and juices are clear. I’m sure there’s a temperature recommendation too but as I have no meat thermometer, I just looked and said, yup that looks done and delicious.

For vegetables:
1 yellow potato
1 normal russet
(I wanted one purple too but the grocery didn’t have them)
1 onion, sliced
1-2 cups baby carrots
Garlic salt

Add the cut veggies in a sprayed pan to the oven for the final 30-50 minutes of baking. Add some bringing liquid if you like for extra flavor. Sprinkle with garlic salt when done.

And so you see, you can make a magazine-looking-worthy meal with very little work. If a busy, poor PhD student can do it, you can too! And trust me, brining overnight is definitely worth it! The meat was salty and tender, not at all tough or dry or gamey. I would highly recommend trying this.

Easy side dish: Oven-Roasted Vegetables

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This is seriously one of the best side dishes ever! You can use literally any vegetable you have on hand, it takes only a few minutes, and it is super healthy AND tasty. I could eat oven-roasted veggies with every meal and not get tired of it.
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Ingredients:
1 baking potato, diced
1/2 onion, cut into strips
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow squash, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
Nature’s Seasoning
Garlic salt
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Step 1: Dice up your veggies. This is the only work you have to do.
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Step 2: Coat your veggies in olive oil, put into an oven-safe pan.
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Step 3: Sprinkle with seasonings. Bake at 350 for ~20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.
You could use any kind of potato here, add broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, parsnips, bok choi, kale, mushrooms, eggplant, the list goes on and on. Enjoy!


 

Shepherd’s Pie my way

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As you can see in a post prior to this, I had recently made a large amount of mashed potatoes & cauliflower. I had quite a bit left over, so I was browsing some of my favorite recipe web sites for ideas. I wanted to make pierogi (I am slovak & polish you know) but I was out of eggs (used my last one in my breakfast BELT recipe!) so I couldn’t make the dough.
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Then I stumbled across this recipe for “Italian Irishman’s pie” on Allrecipes.com. It used sausage instead of beef in shepherd’s pie. Since I had a pack of Johnsonville Cheddarwurst Brats in the freezer, I figured this could work. So with what I had on hand, I pared it down to serve two (since a large amount of food almost always goes to waste) and gave it a try. It came out pretty tasty!
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Ingredients:
2 brats, sliced thin (reserve the drippings)
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup cream or milk
Salt & pepper
1/2 zucchini, diced
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 – 2 cups mashed potatoes
Optional: 2 slices cheese, or 1/2 cup shredded cheese
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Step 1: Cook the brats until they’re done, put into a loaf pan.

Step 2: To drippings, add flour & brown for 2 minutes. Add water, cream, salt & pepper to taste, whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil, cook until thickened. Pour the gravy over the brats.

Step 3: In the same pan, add diced vegetable. Cook until tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini, squash and onion to the loaf pan.

Step 4: Layer the mashed potatoes on top of everything. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Now you have layered your sausage, gravy, veggies and potatoes. You can brush the top with some melted butter or margarine if you like.

Step 5: Bake in the oven set to 350 for 20 minutes.

Step 6: The gravy and potatoes should be bubbly. I added 2 slices of colby cheese on top and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes to melt.

Step 7: Spoon a big helping onto a plate and enjoy! You can top with extra shredded cheese and salt/pepper if you like.

Delicious, filling and not as bad for you as you might think, assuming you used the potatoes/cauliflower mixture!

Mashed potato & cauliflower

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I have read about mashed cauliflower several times and never had tried it. Since my grocery store had cauliflower on sale this week, I decided to give it a go. Cauliflower has far less calories than potatoes, and aren’t starchy. So you can eat more of this when you mix half and half, and not feel guilty!
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Ingredients:
3 small potatoes
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
3 tbsp butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
Optional: 2-3 green onions
Garlic salt
Large pot of water
Salt
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Step 1: Put several cups of water on the stove to boil, adding salt to make it boil faster. Rinse and dice the potatoes (you can peel them if you don’t like the taste, but the peel is where most of the nutrients are so I left mine on.)  Cut up the cauliflower.
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Step 2: Boil the potatoes and cauliflower together for 10-15 minutes, until both are easily smashed with a fork.
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Step 3: Using a spoon or a mixer, mash the potatoes and cauliflower together. Level of smoothness vs. chunkiness is personal preference, I made mine pretty smooth. Mix in butter or margerine and milk. Add garlic salt to taste.
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Step 4: Optional – slice green onions thinly and add for crunch and flavor.

These taste almost exactly like simple potatoes, so if you don’t tell I won’t! 😉

 


 

Kale chips really are good!

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I am working on a CSA farm this summer, and we have begun harvesting and distribution. This week the take-home was:
  • 1 bag mixed lettuces.
  • 1 bag kale.
  • 1 carton snow peas.
  • 1 bunch radishes.
  • 1 bunch turnips.
  • 1 bunch pak choi.
  • Handful broccoli .
  • Herbs – spearmint, pineapple mint, oregano, thyme, farrow
I have been hearing so many people and blogs talk about how kale is bitter and hard to cook, but kale chips seem to be wildly popular. And they are amazingly easy to make! Then when searching recipes for turnips, I kept “turning up” (haha) mashed potatoes and turnips recipes. The pak choi lends itself well to stir-frying, add in some extra veggies and you’ve got yourself a meal! So my good (brave) friend and I embarked upon a cooking adventure to use up most of the farm food.
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Mashed Potatoes & Turnips:
2 large potatoes, diced
3-4 turnips, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter/margerine
1/4 cup cream cheese or sour cream
Garlic powder
Step 1: Thoroughly wash veggies. Dice potatoes and turnips into small pieces. The smaller the pieces the faster they cook.
Step 2: Put the potatoes and turnips into a pot and cover with water. Get to a rolling boil, then boil for 20 minutes or until soft.
Step 3: When soft, drain and place in a large bowl. Break big chunks with a fork.
Step 4: Add wet ingredients, and blend well. Add as much garlic as you like!
The turnips have a soft taste to compliment the starchy potatoes, and of course you can experiment with other milk products and butter and spices or salt. But honestly, after you get used to the first few bites, mashed vegetables au natural tastes like nothing else! And it is delicious. We both had seconds.
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Pak Choi Stir Fry:
1 bunch pak choi
1 large carrot
~2 cups snow peas
1/2 cup broccoli
2 tbsp olive oil
Step 1: Thoroughly wash all veggies. Dice the carrots and broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Put the oil into the pan and put on medium heat.
Step 2: Add veggies in order of firmness, carrots and broccoli first, then snow peas, then pak choi for the last 5 minutes. Stir and keep covered throughout.
About 10 calories per serving, mostly from the oil! You can also steam the veggies.
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Kale Chips:
1 head kale
2 tbsp olive oil
~2 tbsp sea salt
Optional seasonings – we did one batch with chili powder to spice it up
Step 1: Tear the kale leaves from the main stem, and tear into bite size pieces.
Step 2: Place in a bowl and drizzle olive oil, in small amounts. Toss until just coated.

Step 3: Lay in single layer on a cookie sheet. Bake at 300 for ~20 minutes, tossing once. When chips are just beginning to turn brown and are crispy to the touch, they’re ready.

Crispy, healthy Kale chips!

These chips are light and airy, but totally delicious. It’s a strange sensation your first bite, but I guarantee it won’t be your last!

Dinner fresh from the farm!