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Baked Corn Cob

I love corn on the cob. I don’t know if it comes from having a Northern Iowa Farmer for a Grandfather or living in Oklahoma my whole life, but if I can serve corn on the cob, I will. I also have a wide variety of recipes for cooking it. This one comes out somewhat sweet, with a little hint of saltiness. My husband loved this one and asked that it be made again soon, so ladies get into that kitchen — your husband will thank you!

 

Baked Corn Cob

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Corn on the cob
  • 2 TBSP Cumin
  • 2 TBSP Garlic Salt
  • 2 TBSP Butter

 


You can get the full directions here!

Doesn't that look delicious?! Now, wrap it tight in a foil envelope. Bake, and serve!!
Doesn’t that look delicious?! Now, wrap it tight in a foil envelope. Bake, and serve!!
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Potato Halves or Skins Fabulous Side dish or appetizer!

These were absolutely amazing! I couldn’t believe that we had made them at home! We didn’t have any chives or I probably would have sprinkled a few on top. I served these with baked chicken last week and roast beef hoagies Monday night. You can serve them with whatever you want though!

Potato Halves

 

Ingredients:

  • Potatoes (depends on how many you are feeding, my 2 eat 3 potatoes).
  • Butter
  • Sour Cream
  • Garlic Powder
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Chives
  • Black Pepper

 

Click here for directions and more images!

Your finished product!!
Your finished product!!
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Toasted Quinoa Tabouleh

quinoa tabouleh

This isn’t *exactly* tabouleh.  But it’s close enough that the name works, and I didn’t know what else to call it, other than delicious.  It’s super easy, packs well for lunches, and works as a main course or a side dish.  I love it as a light lunch and since quinoa is a complete protein, I know it’s a balanced meal despite being light and fresh. It also utilizes some of my favorite produce, so that’s a hit in my book. 

quinoa tabouleh

You will need:

2 cups of quinoa- any variety (This recipe makes 4 cups, you can adjust it to make more or less, but you’ll want to always use twice as much water as quinoa)

4 cups water plus some concentrated stock or boullion cubes, or just 4 cups of stock.  I use chicken, but vegetable works fine too

a couple of pats of butter

Your favorite Italian salad dressing

cut up tomatoes and avocados (you can absolutely add other veggies like peppers, roasted sweet corn, or whatever suits your fancy)

quinoa taboulehIn a large, dry pot, add quinoa and toast over medium/low heat until it is golden brown.  Do not allow to burn.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover.  Allow to cook for about 20 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender.  It’s okay if there is still a light spot in the center, as long as it is tender. 

Remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl, add a couple of pats of butter and mix (you can skip this, but the butter gives it a nice texture and rounded flavor).  Douse with about 1/2 cup of salad dressing and mix well.  Stick it in the fridge til it’s cool.  Once it’s cool, you can taste it and determine if you want more dressing.  I like mine to just barely have that Italian dressing zing without covering up the toasted and almost nutty flavor of the quinoa, but some folks may want a lot more of that dressing flavor. 

Just before serving, cut up some cherry or grape tomatoes and ripe avocados (or the veggies of your choice) and stir them in. tabouleh with stuffed avocados

This is also super delicious served with roasted garlic and kale hummus stuffed avocados! Enjoy!

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Roasted Garlic & Kale Hummus

Hummus

So, this didn’t start out specifically as a “roasted garlic and kale” hummus recipe.  It started out as a standard, although exceptionally awesome, hummus recipe using all the standard ingredients.  But normally hummus has parsley in it, which I didn’t have on hand.  And while normal hummus has plenty of garlic in it, you can only make garlic better by roasting it, and adding more of it to something, so here is one of those recipes that happens when you don’t have everything you quite need, but magic somehow happens.  I will also post the original recipe below.  This is one recipe you can certainly tweak however you like- add bacon, scallions, extra garlic, less garlic, more lemon, extra cayenne, you get the picture….

Hummus

You will need:

3 heads of roasted garlic (for instructions, see the recipe for “Roasted Garlic Parmesan Pasta” here on the blog)

2 cans of chick peas (I used low sodium, but use what you prefer) – drain them, but save the liquid to thin the hummus if needed

A couple of large kale leaves- I used about 1/2 cup

2/3 cup olive oil

1/2 cup tahini

1/3 cup lemon juice- I used the juice of 2 large lemons

cumin, about 1/4 teaspoon

salt

pepper

hummusIn a food processor, put your roasted garlic, kale (ribs removed), and some of the olive oil and lemon juice, process til smooth.  This ensures an even distribution of those flavors throughout the hummus.  Then throw in the tahini and chick peas, process til smooth.  It will probably be very thick, so add the rest of your lemon juice and olive oil.  If it is still too thick, or not processing well, add some of the drained liquid from the chick peas.  Once it is about the consistency you like, add the salt, pepper and cumin- I used Himalayan pink salt and fresh cracked black pepper, but use what you’ve got.  You can also add a pinch of cayenne, but I was going to serve this to a nursing mama whose baby had a sensitivity to cayenne, so I left it out. 

This hummus is the BEST I have ever tasted, and now I’m totally ruined for storebought hummus for life.  My kids, ages 2.5 years and almost 1 year, were eating it by the spoonful.  While use of a spoon is a perfectly fine serving method, it’s even better served with crudites, pita chips, on sandwiches….we generally just snack on it with baby carrots straight from the bag.  Hummus

Another serving suggestion, which is so good I might live on it for a while, is to slice a ripe avocado in half, peel it, and stuff the cavity with hummus.  Delicious doesn’t even come close to describing that taste sensation!!

The original base recipe is below:

Again, adjust to your liking…

1/4 C parsley

1 head of roasted garlic

2 cans chick peas, drained, (but save water it will help thin if needed)

2/3 C olive oil

1/2 C tahini

1/3 C lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin

dash of cayenne, salt & pepper

Put the parsley & garlic in food processor and mince, then add rest of ingredients and process until smooth.

Feel free to customize and have fun with your hummus too! I made some the other night that was a little skimpy on tahini because I ran out.  I added avocados and topped it with bacon and while they were kind enough to let me eat the bites with bacon on them, my kids were literally trying to grab handfulls of it and shove it in their mouths.  YUM!

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Easy Roasted Artichokes

I have always loved artichokes. I remember my mom used to make them in a steamer pot and they were one of her favorites. But I never learned how to make them well. I tried steaming them of course, but could never tell how long, how much water, etc, and one time I even burned my artichoke horribly. Alas.

cut artichokeBut then one day I realized there are dozens of ways to cook artichokes. So since I love roasting veggies, I figured why not try that?

All you need is an oven, preheated to 375, a 9×13 pan, artichokes and a bit of water.

First you need to trim up your artichoke. The tips of the leaves each have a little needle like thorn (they are in the thistle family), so fancier cooks than myself will tell you to cut off the top of the artichoke, and snip all the tips of the leaves. That’s an unnecessary step in my opinion.

I just cut off the bottom 1/2 inch of stem, and cut the artichoke in half. From this point you will see it’s full of fuzzy looking stuff (that’s called the choke). It has to come out. You can do that now, or after they cook. I do it before. You can use a spoon, but a melon baller works really well.cleaned artichoke

Now you’re ready to cook. Spray some olive oil in your pan, spray the artichoke inside and out and place cut side down in the pan. Add about 1/3″ water. Pop it in the oven, set your timer for 50 minutes and then you’re done! A few of the leaves at the base won’t have any meat on them, but the rest will have a delectable little nibble you can dip in any manner of sauces, drawn butter, or eat plain, like I do.

ready to roast

Once the leaves have been eaten, you get the delicious heart. My favorite part. At our house my 2 year old gets the leaves, and the baby and I share the heart.

You can also stuff the center with all sorts of interesting things before baking. I recommend lemon and garlic, but usually we prefer our artichokes completely plain, they are that good!

So don’t be intimidated by artichokes next time you see them at the store or farmers market. They are a delicious way to expand your palate!

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Sweet Potato Fries Easy Oven Baked!

A trend that I’m SO excited to see popping up at restaurants lately is a food that’s been a favorite of mine for years: sweet potato fries.  They are SO delicious, and better for you than plain old russet fries since they’ve got antioxidants and beta carotene in them.  But how do you get that amazing flavor at home? And how can you make them a little healthier than frying?

In your oven.  And what’s even better, is that they are EASY. 

halved sweet potatoFirst you’ll just need some sweet potatoes.  Sometimes marketed as yams, but usually in the US anything called a yam is really a sweet potato anyway (unless you’re shopping an organic foods store).

Preheat your oven to 375*.  First, you’ll need to cut it up.  I go for a size a little smaller than ‘steak fries”. 

Slice the potato in half, then with the flat side down (sweet potatoes are HARD, so be careful), cut thick slices.  Slice the skin off, and slice into your fries.  cut up fries

Throw  them on a baking sheet and toss them with a little oil, or just mist them with olive oil if you have a mister.  Spread them in an even layer on the sheet.  Let them bake for about 15 minutes, then stir them around a bit and redistribute.  Continue doing this until they are soft and, if you desire, crisp on the outside. 

fries in the ovenOnce they are done you can serve them immediately, as is. 

Or you can take it one step further and toss them in some brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, cumin and a pinch of cayenne when they are hot from the oven for a sweet and savory treat!!

cooked fries