Tag Archives: corn

Roasted Vegetable and Farro Salad

Mark and I have exciting news… We built a Kegerator! A kegerator is a device that dispenses draft beer in your home. Ours is comprised of a chest freezer that has been set to refrigerator temperatures, with a tap coming out of the top. We also have a CO2 tank that keeps the beer from going flat. It only took a peruse of the internet and a few trips to Lowe’s to get our rig up and running. And let me just say, it was quite the engineering feat… Luckily engineering is in my blood, my dad is an engineer.  Our first keg is Harpoon IPA (one of my favs!) Mark is beyond excited, he has been dreaming of building one for years… and now we have the space. He drank out of a 4oz glass last night just so he could keep using the tap.

Fun Fact: Mark and I met 4 years ago, this weekend, at our freshman orientation at Hobart and William Smith. I also met my best friend from college, Tracy, that same weekend. Little did I know that I was meeting two of the most important people in my life. I’d be lost without them!

 

Tracy and Me, Sept 2008,

Don’t ask what I was wearing, I think I was trying to change out of that dress. We have no normal pictures together…

Mark might be excited about beer, but I have been excited about farro, (I know, I’m weird). Farro is an ancient grain, thought to be the first grain cultivated by humans. It is rustic, hearty and nutty. It looks kind of like a puffy brown rice grain. It’s great because in one serving (1/4 uncooked) there are 7 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber. Topped with roasted veggies and some balsamic vinegar, it is delicious and it feels hearty yet light on a summer night.

I used edamame, corn, tomatoes, onion and kale, but you can use whatever veggies you’d like. I found farro in the bulk section at the local co-op (for cheap!)

Roasted Veggie and Farro Salad

1/2 cup of farro

2/3 cup of corn kernels

2/3 cup of deshelled edamame

12-15 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 a medium onion sliced

1 hot cherry pepper (optional. but we have hot peppers growing out of control)

1/2 cup of kale, shredded

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, divided

1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning

1 clove of garlic, smashed

Black pepper to taste

3 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, divided

1 tablespoon of olive oil, divided

Preheat the oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place the edamame, corn and tomatoes and cherry pepper on the baking sheet, top with 1.5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and 1/2 a tablespoon of olive oil, Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and black pepper. Toss the veggies around to coat. Place in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, tossing occasionally.

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. While you are waiting for the water to boil, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add in onions and let sauté for 10 minutes, only moving them around occasionally. Back to the farro, once the water is boiling, add in the farro and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes. Let the farro cook for about 20 minutes, it should still have an al dente bite when done, and there should still be water reaming in the pot. Back to the onions, after 10 minutes, lean back and add in the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Do not keep your face over the pan when you do this. Stir it, add some black pepper, and let it cook for another 5ish minutes, until the balsamic vinegar reduces and becomes sticky.

For the kale, I covered mine with a little water and microwaved it for 45 seconds to wilt it. You could steam it if you’d like. Place the kale in the bottom of a large bowl. Top with onions, and roasted veggies (the veggies are done when they are browned a bit on all sides and make sure you try to scrape the reduced balsamic vinegar off the pan and into the bowl). For the cherry pepper, run it under cool water for 30 seconds and remove the skin, it should come off rather easily. Then mince it finely and add it to the bowl. When the farro is done, pour it into a colander, run cool water over it for 30 seconds to stop the cooking process and add it to the bowl. Toss everything around to distribute everything evenly and enjoy

This dish is a good potluck or picnic dish because it can be served warm, cold or room temp, the flavors meld the longer it sits, and it looks pretty fancy.

 

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Corn and Potato Chowder

The pace of life has picked up a little bit lately, hence the lack of blogging. Here’s a little recap: 2 weeks ago, Friday, I got a call asking if I could start the coming Monday at the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Research and Development Lab as a Test Technician… um yes? They are a temp-t0-hire company, so as of now, until I can prove my skills in the lab and work hard, I’m a “temporary” employee. Which for me, is fine, I am still on my parent’s health care and after 2 months off from work, I’m not really in need of a paid vacation. It’s been going well, I’m enjoying it a lot, but it is a 30 minute commute each way…  which means that 6 am runs are now a part of my life.

On Saturday, to celebrate my employment, we went to Vermont Brewers Fest. You paid 30 dollars, got a souvenir tasting glass and 15 drink tickets. There were 40 craft brewers from Vermont, New England and beyond. It was an awesome time, but let me just say that when you start drinking at 11:30 am and all you’ve had to eat was a banana, you get toasted pretty fast. Needless to say, Mark was more than happy to use up the rest of my beer tickets. Here’s our fav’s of the day:

The next weekend I went home for the weekend for a family reunion, and my mom and I did a 16.5 mile bike ride to meet my friend, Ali, for breakfast at Sunny Side Up Cafe. It was great to hangout with my family for the weekend, especially since my brother is leaving for college in 2 weeks.

On Tuesday, Mark’s Parents came up for dinner and brought us a cooler full of veggies from their garden… it was like a CSA delivery. They brought: yellow squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and cucumbers. Here’s a look at our veggie packed dinners using their veggies:

And they took us out to the Farm House Tap and Grill for dinner.

Now that I’ve filled you in on the happenings, let me rant about sweet summer corn… can you say Yum?!? We picked up a ton of corn at the farmers market and man oh man was it good. I made a corn and potato chowder after seeing a recipe on Taylor’s Blog.

Corn and Potato Chowder (serves 2 to 3)

1 Hungarian wax pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 ears of Corn

2 potatoes, cubed, skin still on (you can use russet or red or Yukon)

3 cups of water (plus more, depending on how starch everything is)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Lots of black pepper

15 basil leaves

Place the Hungarian wax pepper under the broiler or over a gas burner and char on all sides until the skin becomes blistered. Place in a zip top bag for a few minutes and then run under cool water, removing the skin with your fingers. Pull out stem and seeds. Slice thinly and set aside. While the pepper roasts, remove the corn from the cob, I found that if you invert a small bowl in a larger bowl and place the corn cob on top of the inverted bowl, using it as a stand, you can use a sharp knife and cut down the sides of the cob, and the kernels will be caught by the big bowl instead of going all over your kitchen. Make sure you keep an eye on the pepper though.

In a large pot, add in one tablespoon of oil; add in the garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Then add in the corn (reserve one cup of kernels for later), cubed potato and water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

While the soup simmers, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan, add in in the basil leaves and 1/4 of the wax pepper slices. Sauté until the basil is crisp. Scoop them out of the oil, and onto a paper towel. You can save the oil for pizza sauce or spaghetti, as it’s been flavored quite nicely.

Once the potatoes are tender, remove from heat. Add in the red peppers flakes, black pepper, and the remaining Hungarian wax pepper. Let it cool a bit then, using and immersion blender (or regular blender), blend until smooth. Return to the heat, add in the 1 cup of reserved corn kernels and simmer for 15 minutes.

Serve up garnished with fried basil leaves and wax peppers slices and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. I served mine with a side salad and a thick slice of homemade beer-rye bread. (Yes that’s right, BEER-RYE bread, it contains one bottle of lager)

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Pinto Bean, Peppers and Corn Burgers

On Saturday we went to the Burlington Farmer’s Market, though it was rather impressive, we’re sure not in Geneva anymore. With $20 in Geneva, I could get our produce for the week, now $20 barely buys the ingredients for a simple salad. I’m going to scope out some other not-so-central farmers markets in the future. Saturday night, we headed down to the Lake Front Park to watch the sunset and listen to an outdoor Jazz concert, for free.

On Sunday, we hiked Mount Mansfield, a 6.6 mile hike with awesome views. And it’s the tallest Mountain in Vermont!

And it was VT Day so parking was free! On the way home we stopped to pick our own strawberries, which saved us $3 by doing it ourselves. When we got home, we walked down to the lake for a swim. Then, Mark made Pad Thai (maybe one day he’ll share the secrets). We capped off the night by watching Gasland, it was highly informative and utterly depressing. Good thing Vermont has banned hydrofracking.

Not too shabby of a weekend. This week, I’ve been logging a fair amount of miles (Monday: 5.5, Tuesday: 7, Wednesday: 4.75, and hopefully 6 today) and doing a lot of reflecting.

So, I’ve tried to make my own veggie burgers before, and I’m not a huge proponent of using fillers like rice or flour to hold them together. I think that they should be mostly veggies, as their name states. Needless to say my last few attempts have been pretty mushy and not really blog worthy. This recipe uses a little less than a quarter cup of corn meal to bind it all together and it’s chocked full of spices and flavor. Not to mention, gluten free. I’m going to fiddle around with the recipe to see if I can crisp them up a little more, possibly broiling them in the oven. I served them with my Tex-Mex Salad with Chipotle Crema and Couscous Cakes (quinoa cakes, but with couscous)

Pinto Bean, peppers and Corn Burgers

Makes 4 Burgers

1 1/2 cups of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoon of olive oil, divided

1/2 an onion, diced

1/2 a red bell pepper or a poblano pepper, diced

1 cup of frozen corn

1 cayenne pepper, minced, I used a dry one that I re-hydrated in warm water

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper powder

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of oregano

1 clove of garlic, minced

Scant 1/4 cup of corn meal

Lots of black pepper

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. While the oil warms, in a medium size bowl mash the pinto beans until about 75% of the beans are completely mashed. Add in the onions into the skillet and sauté for 3 minutes, then add in the bell pepper and sauté for another 4 minutes, then add in the cayenne pepper and garlic and sauté for another minute. Then add in the corn and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add in the cayenne pepper powder, cumin, oregano, and black pepper and stir to incorporate. Add the onions and peppers into the pinto beans then add in the corn meal and mix everything together. Wipe out the skillet and add in the other tablespoon of oil. Return the heat to medium.

Divided the  pinto bean mixture into four equal portions and form the patties. Place in the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown then flip the burger and brown the other side, about 4 minutes. Once golden on both sides, remove from the pan. The Chipotle Crema dressing makes a great dipping sauce.

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Tex-Mex Salad with Chipotle Crema Dressing

After spending a week in the land of no cell phones or computers, the North Woods of Maine, I think a post is very overdue.

Mark and I headed up to his cabin in Maine for 7 days of hiking, running, kayaking, and just plain relaxing. The cabin, aka Red Camp, an hour from the nearest town, is right on a lake. In its rustic charm, it lacks electricity and running water. Everything, the fridge, lights, stove, runs on propane. We hiked the tops of 3 different mountains, went on 3 long runs, one kayak trip through some big waves and had 5 moose sightings.

Almost every night, we grilled outside over an open flame and passed the dark hours playing board games. Over the fire, I made traditional grill food 3 nights, chili and corn bread, avocado lime rice, and tacos.

Then we headed to Mark’s house for one night before we moved into our new apartment in Burlington, VT. That’s right; we are now Vermonters, living in a restored Victorian from the 1800’s… classy, right. So we’ve been spending the last few days getting settled in.

I made this simple salad and dressing the night before the big move. (More to come on our new apartment soon). The dressing is a Mexican “crema”. Traditionally, crema is a product similar to sour cream, with less tang and more milk fat. However, I swapped in fat free Greek yogurt for the same effect and flavor but with less fat. Adjust the chipotle peppers to your desired spice level

Tex-Mex Salad with Chipotle Crema Dressing

Dressing

3 0z plain, fat free Greek yogurt

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced very fine, it will become almost like a wet paste.

1-3 teaspoons of adobo sauce

1-3 teaspoons of water, to thin the dressing out to desired consistence, it will vary depending on the water content in your yogurt.

black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

Salad, makes 2

4 cups of spinach

1 ear of corn, cut off the cob, we grilled ours because Mark was making sausage on the grill, or you can boil it or use frozen corn, but I like the flavor and char the corn gets from the grill

1/3 cup of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tomato chopped

1/2 an avocado, diced

Divided all ingredients evenly between 2 plates. Top with desired amount of crema dressing.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

We have less than 3 weeks until the Seneca 7. I’m getting a little jittery about the race… I’ve never run 11 miles before. However, training is going really well. Since I got my running app for my phone in the end of February, I’ve logged 100 miles, and that doesn’t include team runs or spring break.

I ran 5 miles 3 days in a row, followed by a speedy 5k yesterday (sub-8 pace). One of those 5-mile days, Mark and I had the team over for a run though Seneca Lake State Park (the finish line for the race) and a BBQ. We grilled up some burgers sausage and veggie burgers. We also made some guacamole, chipotle dip, a spinach salad and a pasta salad. The pasta salad is not your usual mayo-laden, heavy salad. A few summers ago, while in Maine, we were trying to use up all the veggies before we headed home… and this pasta salad was born. Its more veggies than pasta… just the way I like it. I made 2 pounds of pasta salad for the BBQ and the 7 of us ate it all.

You can put pretty much any veggies you like or any you have on hand… all veggie amounts are approximate, there’s really no need to measure

We also got our team t-shirts, courtesy of Mark’s brother, Matt… GO TEAM LAVA TIGERS!

Everything but the Kitchen Sink Pasta Salad

1 lb whole wheat or quinoa penne

1/2 bunch of asparagus, woody ends removed and cut into 1/2 inch segments

1 bell pepper, diced

2 cups of kale, shredded

1 1/2 cups of corn

1 cup of baby portabellas, wiped clean and quartered

1 medium onion

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, depending on size

1/4-1/2 cup of Italian dressing

2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning

Lots of black pepper

Bring water to a boil in a medium or large pot for the pasta. Once it is boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the box directions. While it boils, prep the veggies. In a medium sauté pan, over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add in the onion and sauté for 4 minutes, and then add in the mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. With 3 minutes left in the pasta cooking time, add the asparagus and bell pepper to the boiling water. Add the kale to the bottom of a colander and place it in the sink. Pour the pasta over the kale and add the corn to the colander. Transfer the ingredients from the colander, the ingredients from the sauté pan, and the tomatoes to a large bowl or casserole dish. Mix it together. Then add in 1/4 cup of the Italian dressing, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Mix it and give it a taste, adjusting it to your taste. You might need a bit more dressing or some more pepper… it’s up to you.

Also, look at the pretty Tulips Mark got me…

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Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

It’s finally starting to feel like winter…

Mark and I went to go see the Bruins play the Canucks at the Garden.. in the the 9th ROW.

1. I have never been to a Bruin’s home game

2. I’ve never sat any closer than the nosebleed section

3. my parent’s gave Mark and I one of the best Christmas presents EVER!

4.  and we got to spend the night in Boston in a swanky hotel

Then we headed up to Burlington, our future home, in a snow storm, to meet with Mark’s boss and then we snuck in some prime skiing at Stowe! My car is quite the snow kitty… we saw about 30 cars off the road, but Mark coaxed my little hatchback down all the steep mountain passes and around all the sharp curves like a pro

Now we’re finally back in Geneva and even with the heat at 61, our furnace is still cranking away almost constantly and the temp outside has been hanging out in the single digits… back to real life, time to pay the bills.

When the temperature drops I want nothing more than to curl up on the couch and eat some warm comfort food, oh and watch football. (I’m hoping for a Pat’s-Giants showdown).

The other night I made a lightened up version of shepherds pie, and trust me you won’t even notice its lacking ground meat

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

3-4 medium russet or Yukon gold potatoes, quartered

3 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds 1/4 in thick

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

4 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and  chopped

10 crimini mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

1 1/2 cups of light life vegetable protein crumbles, or 1/2 block of tempeh, crumbled up

1 cup of corn

1/4 cup of flour

2 cups of low sodium veggie stock

1/4 cup of milk

1 table spoon of poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

dash of garlic

black pepper to taste

1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350. Add quartered potatoes to a pot of water and turn on high, cover with lid. Let it boil for about 20 to 30 minutes or until a fork pierces through the potatoes easily.  Meanwhile, chop the veggies. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Then add onions and carrots, sauté for 5 minutes, then add mushrooms and sauté for 4 minutes, and then add vegetable protein crumbles and sauté 3 minutes. Then add corn and sauté an additional minute. Add in the flour, spices and stock. Mix to incorporate. The flour and stock should form a “gravy”, adjust the flour or stock until that consistency is reached. Turn off heat.

When the potatoes are done, drain them and let them cool until you can handle them, peel them and place them in a large bowl. Add milk and some black pepper, and blend together.

Spoon the gravy and vegetables into a greased casserole dish. Then spoon the potatoes over the top and spread them into an even layer. Top with a bit more black pepper. Bake at 350 for 30ish minutes or until the top becomes lightly browned. Top with cheese and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from heat spoon onto plates and enjoy.

Are you looking for a good winter beer? try Southern Tier Old Man Winter

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Black Bean Chili and Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

I took a little hiatus from the blogging world. I have been super busy. While everyone else prepared to head home for fall break… I was pulling my hair out trying to get data analyzed and a poster completed for the Geological Society of America Conference in Minneapolis. I was lucky enough to have my summer/fall research abstract accepted for presentation at this national conference. The conference was great… as some friends put it “I got to nerd out with 6,000 other people just like me”. It was a great experience and a serious resume builder.

 

Then mid-terms hit, during which I ran a 101 fever. Now that all of the craziness is behind me I finally feel like I can breathe. Enough complaining…

Soup Sundays has become a regular thing, especially now that the air has turned cold and damp… and there’s snow in the forecast.. eek! Chile might not be a soup technically speaking but it fills all of the requirements of a soup in my eyes. It’s warm, hearty and filling… and comes with cornbread! Not just any cornbread… jalapeno-cheddar cornbread. I grew up eating Jiffy cornbread from the blue and white box. I have memories of  helping my dad make them when I was really little. However, he likes to add in a few things and stray from the directions on the box, as do I.

Jalapeño Cheddar Corn Bread

Makes 6-8 muffins

1 box Jiffy Corn Bread Mix

1 egg

1/3 cup of milk

1 Tbs of butter

1 jalapeño, diced

¼ cup of cheddar cheese

Line muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 400. Mix together the corn bread mix, milk and melted butter. Then mix in cheddar cheese and diced jalapeño. Let stand for 10 mins (so the baking soda can react and you get light and airy muffins). Bake at 400 for 12-15 mins or until the tops are starting to turn golden brown

Black Bean Chili

1 medium onion diced

1 red bell pepper diced

1 green bell pepper diced

1 jalapeño, diced very fine

1 can of diced tomatoes and liquid (32 oz)

1 cup of water

1 chili seasoning packet (low sodium if possible)

1 can of black beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 can of pinto beans, drained of liquid but not rinsed

1 cup of corn kernels

Shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat a soup pot over medium heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add in the diced onions, sauté one minute then add in the peppers. Sauté 4 minutes or until they appear soft. Add in the diced tomatoes and liquid form the can. Let it come to a simmer; add in the water and seasonings. Bring back to a simmer, then add in beans and corn, stir and let simmer for 10 minutes. If too thick add a bit more water to thin it out, if to thin let it simmer longer. Serve topped with cheddar cheese or your other favorite chili toppings

On a side not… my family went to a Chili Cook-off to raise money for my brothers ice hockey team… I’m so jealous… a whole afternoon of chili, cornbread and beer!

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