Monthly Archives: December 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables

I hope every one had a good holiday.

Mine was a cooks dream:

I got an immersion blender

It came with a wire whisk attachment, a chopping bowl that chops nuts, cheese, etc. and a blending jug to measure ingredients and make smoothies etc. I’m so excited for all of the Soup Sunday’s to come!


A 16 piece set of ceramic bakeware

(my aunt has the same set and I fell in love with at Thanksgiving)

A tripod for my trusty Canon

I think it makes him look like a robot. I shot this with my Dad’s Nikon D40X… maybe one day I’ll be able to afford a SLR like that. Not that I don’t love my Canon, he has 14x optical zoom, 14.1 megapixels and a manual setting

and… $100 to Wegman’s, our grocery store back in Geneva… yay free food!

Christmas dinner was great, I got to use all my new cooking gadgets and it was pretty tasty too.  I was responsible for veggies and salad. I roasted a bunch of root veggies in my new bakeware and threw together a fancy looking and sounding salad (but it was super easy to make). I also made some broccoli rabe, which  I though could have been better, it was a tad bitter. I blanched it, but I guess not long enough, I think part of the issue was that it wasn’t as fresh as I would have liked.

I’ll pass along the salad and roasted root veggies recipes and keep working on the broccoli rabe.

Roasted Root Vegetables

5 carrots, peeled and cubed (big carrots, not 5 baby carrots)

3 parsnips, peeled and cubed

2 turnips, peeled and cubed

4 red potatoes, cubed (not peeled)

1 medium onion, cut in half, ends removed and sliced thinly

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon rosemary

1 teaspoons thyme

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Placed prepared veggies on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish, top with oil, garlic and spices. Toss to coat, and bake in 400 degree oven for 30ish minutes, stirring occasionally,  until veggies are tender, and can be pierced though with a fork.

Spinach and Radicchio Salad with Pears and Parmesan

4 cups of spinach

1/2 head of radicchio, cored and sliced thinly

2 oz of parmesan, shaved (I used a vegetable peeler to do this)

1/2 a bosh pear cored and sliced thinly

Balsamic-Maple-Dijon Dressing

1 mason jar with lid (or other seal-able container)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

black pepper


Add all ingredients to mason jar, close lid and shake to combine. Shake each time before serving.

Stores in fridge or on counter for up to 2 weeks


For Dessert, we had Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls, cheesecake and my Aunt’s famous Chocolate Cake… check out that frosting


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Filed under Dinner, Salads

Fried Chickpeas

Happy Christmas Eve!

Do you still need an appetizer idea? This recipe requires a can of chickpeas, some olive oil, black pepper and your choice of spice. It’s so easy and delicious and when I say fried, I actually mean baked. The chickpeas get all crunchy on the outside but stay creamy on the inside and they pack a serious protein punch.

I used curry powder and cayenne but you can use whatever spices you like best. Rosemary would be nice.

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon of olive oil

black pepper

dusting of your favorite spice.

Preheat oven to 400. Pat the chickpeas dry with a (paper) towel.  Spread them evenly on a sheet tray, drizzle over oil and sprinkle with pepper and spice. Toss to coat and bake for 30ish minutes, stirring them every 10 minutes or so. They’re done when they are golden brown and crunchy on the outside

Also I’m super excited for Christmas Dinner… I’m making a spinach salad with radicchio, pears and parmesan and a balsamic, maple, dijon vinaigrette, spicy broccoli rabe and roasted parsnips, carrots, turnips and red potatoes. My mom is making her famous spinach lasagna and my dad is making baked stuffed shrimp (which I plan on passing on)

Also, if you’re still looking for appetizer ideas see this post by Mark Bittman (one of my favorite food authors)

Happy Holidays!

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Filed under Snacks

Navajo Stew

I’m home for Christmas visiting the fam. Let me tell you, it’s been a wild and crazy time…

I did a puzzle (well minus one piece… it’s missing)

I crocheted a head band to keep my ears warm (even though it’s 50 and raining)

I helped my brother pick out an ugly sweater (our resemblance… uncanny)

I’ve logged 20 miles on my parent’s treadmill in the past 5 days (training for the 11 miles I’m running in the  Seneca 7)

And I helped my best friend from home do some Christmas shopping

This recipe for Navajo Stew is from one of my professors. I quickly realized that I already had a copy of this recipe in one of my Moosewood Cookbooks. Mark’s parents got them for me a few Christmases ago.

And sure enough it was one of the pages I had doggie eared. I made this soup during finals. I’ll post the original recipe but I opted for a few changes. I didn’t roast the veggies, I sauteed them and I didn’t pure the veggies… I was trying to conserve the amount of dishes Mark would have to do. I also added some delicata squash and added a bit more spice than the recipe called for.

Navajo Stew (Moosewood Restaurant Ithaca, NY)

Serves 4

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 red bell peppers

1 large onion

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 15-ounce can of tomatoes

1 tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo sauce

2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained


plain yogurt or sour cream


Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Stem and seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onion and cut it stem end to root end into thin wedges. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. While the vegetables roast, puree the tomatoes, chipotles, and cilantro in a blender until smooth. Set aside. When the vegetables are tender, put them into a 2- to 3-quart baking dish, stir in the tomato-cilantro sauce and the beans, and return to the oven until hot, about 10 minutes. A few minutes before serving, warm the bread in the oven. Serve the stew in bowls topped with chives, and yogurt or sour cream,  with warm flatbread on the side.

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Filed under Dinner, soup

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Now that the most difficult semester of my life is over… I can relax. Note to self, 3 lab classes, an intensive history class and having 2 jobs is not easy. I got a 3.8 for the semester… I ‘ll take that, considering how there was a point when I thought I might fail Chemistry. Other note to self, do not wait until senior year to take Chemistry. Not that I had a choice, I was in sunny Australia last time the class was offered and the time before that I had not yet discovered my love for Geology.

Speaking of which my life was soo much cooler this time last year. I spent the beginning of December visiting Mark in Prague. (Recap: I spent Junior Fall in Australia and Mark spent his in Prague, Czech Republic). Aside from freezing to death in the snow (hey I was coming straight from 80 degrees to 30 degrees) I probably had the best time I’ve ever had in my life. Nothing like 9763.3 miles and 3 months apart to make the heart grow fonder.

Anywho enough reminiscing about how much more interesting my life used to be… this recipe has jumped the line of recipes waiting to make their blog appearance:

1. Because they are so good. Chocolate and peanut butter… win! (I feel like my blog down plays my love for peanut butter; I eat about a jar a week)

2. My computer is visiting the computer hospital today… it struggled to make it through finals, crashing a few times a day. So now it’s in the hands of professionals, as are all of my blog pics. So I’m using the ones straight from my camera for this post and lucky, lucky… I made peanut butter balls last night

This recipe is an old family favorite:

I just follow the recipe, except I swapped out margarine for canola oil based butter. And I use a slotted spoon to scoop the balls out of the chocolate, to let the excess drain off before I placed them down on the wax paper. Also, don’t fret about the paraffin wax, it just makes the chocolate set up better and makes it more shiny and it is completely fine to eat (in small amounts, don’t go gnawing it right from the block)

Also check out last night’s dinner… mushrooms stuffed with kale, goats cheese, shallots and bread crumbs


Filed under Dessert

Curried Sweet Potaotes and Kale Over Quinoa

Before finals hit with gale-force winds, one of my friends, Maria, and I made dinner together at my apartment. Cooking this dinner was a semester in the making, and luckily we squeezed it in the end. The recipe was her idea, adapted from Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. We had the recipe in mind but didn’t end up following it that closely. Neither of us seems to follow recipes when cooking; they’re more of a jumping off point.

One thing that really makes this dish is creating a bit of curry oil by heating up a tablespoon or so of curry powder in some olive oil. This allows the flavor of the curry to intensify and become infused with the oil. The oil was combined with onions and 1/2 veggie stock 1/2 water to make up the liquid to cook the quinoa in…. I’m not sure I can eat quinoa any other way now.

The veggies in this dish can pretty much be whatever you want; we used kale and sweet potatoes. The other night I made the same dish but with delicata squash (my other new obsession) and spinach.

Let me just rave about delicata squash for a minute… it’s a softer squash that tastes kind of like a sweet potato. It cooks up super fast and you can eat the skin, so no need for peeling. I like to cut it into little half moon shapes, by cutting it in half lengthwise and then cutting it into slices and sautéing it in a little bit of olive oil.

On to the recipe:

Curried Sweet Potatoes and Kale over Quinoa

serves 2-4 people

2 sweet potatoes

2 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon of curry powder

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 1/2 cup of water

1 cup of low sodium veggie stock

1 cup of  uncooked quinoa

1/2 a bunch of kale, chopped

Cook sweet potatoes using your desired method, we ended up cubing them and boiling them. For 20ish minutes, or until a fork pierced through them.

While the potatoes cook, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small pot. add in 1/2 of the curry powder, and let it heat up, (don’t let it get too hot because you’ll burn the curry and it’ll taste bitter) then add in the diced onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add in the water stock and quinoa, cover and let cook for 10 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Don’t forget stir it occasionally. A few minutes before the potatoes are done, heat some oil and the remaining curry powder in a large sauté pan, chop the kale and it in. Let it wilt down for a minute of two, stirring it and pressing it down. when the potatoes are done, drain them into a colander. Then add them to the kale and mix it in. the hot potatoes will absorb some of the curry oil. Top with black pepper to taste.

Serve the sweet potatoes and kale hash over the quinoa and enjoy.

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Filed under Dinner