• from Cooking Light, June 2011

    4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream.
    1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
    2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Directions:

    Place potato pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap; cut a 1-inch slit in the center of the plastic wrap.  Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes.  Add sour cream and remaining ingredients to bowl; mash with a potato masher.  Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).

    Southwest Variation:

    Omit sour cream and chives; decrease milk to 2 tablespoons and salt to 1/4 teaspoon.  Add 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.

    Roasted Garlic Variation:

    Omit sour cream and chives; increase milk to 3/4 cup.  Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage.

    Bacon And Cheddar Variation:

    Decrease salt to 1/4 teaspoon.  Add 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese and 1 slice center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

  • from Barefoot Contessa Family Stylemacncheese

    Kosher salt
    Vegetable oil
    1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
    1 quart milk
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
    8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
    1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

    Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

    Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

  • 4 cups cooked red beans, drained (rinsed if canned)
    2 tablespoons bacon grease (obviously, oil or shortening will do)
    1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 a green bell pepper, diced (or jalapenos) (or omit)
    1 teaspoon salt
    fresh black pepper to taste
    1 (15 oz) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 cup chopped cilantro
    juice of 1 lime

    Directions:

    Melt the bacon grease in a dutch oven or other pot set over medium heat.  Add the onion, and cook until softened, about 5-6 minutes.  Turn the heat down if necessary- you don’t want them to brown.  Add the garlic and bell pepper if using, and cook for another two minutes or so.

    Add the salt, pepper, diced tomatoes and water.  Stir to combine, cover the pot, turn down to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.

    Check for seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if necessary.  Just before serving, add the cilantro and fresh lime juice.

    Serves about 6 or 7 as a side dish.

  • adapted from Bon Appetit

    2 cups milk
    1 cup water
    3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 4-ounce cans chopped green chilies, drained
    1 cup drained canned corn, divided
    2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
    2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
    1/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup sour cream

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter 8 x 8 x 2-inch glass baking dish.

    Mix first 5 ingredients (2 cups milk through salt) in a heavy medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook until polenta is tender and thickens, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan.

    Pour half of polenta into prepared dish, spread evenly to the edges. sprinkle with one can of the chilies and half of corn. Top that with half of the cilantro followed by 1 cup of Jack cheese.

    Combine the 1/4 cup milk and 1/4 cup of sour cream, whisk together to completely incorporate.  Drizzle half of the sour cream mixture over the shredded cheese.  Spoon remaining polenta over, again, spreading to the edges evenly. Cover with remaining chilies, corn, cilantro and cheese. Pour the last 1/4 cup sour cream mixture over. (Can be made 1 day ahead to this point. Chill.)

    Bake until polenta puffs and cheese begins to brown, about 25 minutes if not chilled or 30 minutes if chilled. Cut into squares and serve.

  • Serving Size  : 6    

    6        tablespoons  fresh blood orange juice
    1 1/2      teaspoons  rice vinegar
    1           teaspoon  honey
    1/4           cup  olive oil
    1/4           cup  mayonnaise
    1 1/2    tablespoons  chopped shallot
    1        1 1/4 pound  savoy cabbage — halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1 1/2          pound  head of radicchio — halved, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    1              large  red bell pepper — sliced
    1/2           cup  dried cranberries

    Directions:
    Whisk juice, vinegar, and honey in bowl. Whisk in oil, then mayonnaise and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into jar with lid; chill 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.

    Place cabbage, radicchio, and bell pepper in large bowl. Just before serving, shake dressing well and pour over vegetables; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle dried cranberries over.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 206 Calories; 17g Fat (69.5% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 13g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 102mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 2 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.

    NOTES : Pomegranate juice makes an excellent sub when you can’t find orange juice.  This one’s a keeper.

  • from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman

    2 eggs
    1/2 cup milk, half-and-half, or cream, plus more as needed
    1 1/2 cups cooked white or brown rice
    1/2 cup freshly grated cheese (I used cheddar, Parmesan is called for in the book)
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    Salt and cayenne to taste
    1/4 cup neutral oil or 4 tablespoons butter
    1/4 cup minced parsley for garnish (optional)

    Directions:

    Heat a heavy skillet or griddle to a temperature of about 375ºF.

    Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl until well-combined.  Whisk in the rice and cheese.  Switch to a spoon, add the flour and baking powder, sprinkle with just a little salt and cayenne to taste.  Add enough extra milk to make a smooth, medium thick batter.

    When a drop of water skips across the skillet or griddle before evaporating, it’s ready.  Put a little oil or butter in the pan and let it bubble.  Using a large spoon, scoop up a bit of batter and put it in the pan.  It should spread about 3 inches.  Cook as many griddlecakes at once as will fit comfortably, turning them after a couple of minutes, when they are brown.  Total cooking time will run between 5 and 8 minutes.  Serve immediately, ideally straight from the pan, sprinkled with parsley if you like.

  • Serving Size  : 8

    1 butternut squash — peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
    2 teaspoons  olive oil
    salt and pepper — to taste
    1 can  black beans — drained and rinsed (15 oz. can)
    1 bell pepper — seeded and diced
    1/2 cup  red onion — diced fine
    1jalapeno — seeded and finely diced
    3 tablespoons  fresh parsley — chopped
    5 slices  bacon — cooked and crumbled
    Spicy Sweet Vinagrette:
    1/3 cup  apple cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons  honey
    1/2 teaspoon  red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup  fresh lemon juice — juice from 1 lemon
    1teaspoon  lemon zest
    1/3 cup  olive oil
    salt and pepper — to taste

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

    Place the cubed butternut squash on the baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper to taste.  Mix it around a bit to evenly distribute the oil and seasonings

    Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes, stirring the squash twice during baking, until the edges are golden brown and the squash is easily pierced with a fork.

    Meanwhile, place the black beans in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for three minutes, or until the beans are nice and hot. Prepare the vinaigrette by placing all the ingredients into a mason jar with a tight-sealing lid and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds.

    Gently put the cooked squash in a large mixing bowl.   Add the black beans, bell pepper, onion, jalapeno, parsley and 1/2 cup of the vinaigrette.  Toss gently and season with a touch of salt and pepper if desired.

    Transfer the salad to a serving bowl or platter.  Top with bacon crumbles. Serve with extra dressing on the side.

    - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 319 Calories; 13g Fat (33.5% calories from fat); 9g Protein; 48g Carbohydrate; 8g Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 75mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 2 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

  • from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

    1 pound Brussels sprouts
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    5 cloves garlic, peeled, or more to taste
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

    Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Trim the hard edge of the stem from the Brussels sprouts, then cut each in half through its axis.  Put the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. When it shimmers, arrange the sprouts in one layer, cut side down.  Toss in garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

    Cook, undisturbed, until the sprouts begin to brown, 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer to the oven.  Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the sprouts are quite brown and tender, about 30 minutes.

    Taste and adjust the seasoning; drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, stir, and serve hot or warm.

  • 4 cups carrots, sliced
    salt and pepper to taste
    3 Tbsp butter
    1 Tbsp onion, chopped
    3 Tbsp flour
    1 1/2 cups milk
    1 cup grated cheese

    1.  Cook the carrots by steaming or boiling gently in water.  Drain, season with salt and pepper to taste, and place in a greased baking dish.

    2.  Melt the butter in a saute pan.  Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent.  Add the flour and stir until smooth.  Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly to keep lumps from forming until the milk is all combined.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add the cheese and stir until melted.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

    3. Pour the sauce over the carrots and stir gently to combine.  Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes.

    Makes 8 servings.

  • from “From Amish and Mennonite Kitchens”

    2 TBS butter
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 1/4 cup rich beef broth
    2/3 cup water
    1 cup uncooked, long grain rice
    slivered almonds

    1. Saute’ onion in butter.  Add broth and water, bring to a boil.

    2.  Place rice in a buttered casserole.  Pour the hot broth mixture over the rice.  Cover and bake at 350ºF for 40-45 minutes.  Sprinkle with almonds.

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