next gen boyfriend’s one pot roasted brussels sprouts with maple syrup pecans & tempeh


As I grew up, every dinner my mother prepared included a side serving of vegetables– and that was what we had to eat to get dessert. A small pile of mushy green peas, corn, or carrots from the freezer, string or baked beans from a can were the norm. When my mother and I were a little older, she would occasionally serve fresh asparagus (steamed to mushy) or an artichoke (served with mayonnaise, another horror). Given that my mother truly didn’t like vegetables, I’m sure now she never chose to serve brussels sprouts, which is probably good fortune…  Sometime in my young adulthood I tried cooking brussels sprouts in my own kitchen, but my results weren’t great, so …. yea, brussels sprouts. Nobody I knew liked them.

A generation later, one of my daughter’s friends self identified as a brussels sprouts lover. Really? “Just roast them in a little olive oil and maple syrup.” So I thought I’d give it another try. Here’s what I came up with– and enjoyed! Easy prep and satisfying. With the brussels, broccoli, and yellow pepper, this is very high in vitamins K & C. By including the tempeh, it becomes a great ‘one pot’ main dish that is great for leftovers to take on-the-go for lunch.

ingredients:

  • 1 12 oz package tempeh, cut into cubes IMG_3331_2
  • 18 Brussels sprouts, quartered
  • 2T olive oil
  • 2T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup or more pecans, toasted
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 good sized stalks of broccoli, chopped
  • 1t thyme
  • 2t fresh ginger root, minced
  • champagne vinegar
  • black pepper to taste

instructions:

Turn on oven to 375F. Remove ends of brussels sprouts and any yellowed or browned leaves, then cut in half or quarters depending upon size. Pour 2T olive oil and 2T maple syrup into large frying pan, then add chopped brussels sprouts and stir to coat well. Wipe roasting pan with a little additional olive oil, then spread brussels sprouts onto roasting pan, also yellow pepper cut into 1/4 inch slices, and peeled garlic cloves. Roast for about 20 minutes, checking several ties to flip yellow peppers and stir brussels sprouts. The peppers will finish roasting first…roast brussels sprouts until lightly browned but still moist inside. When done roasting, transfer to casserole dish, and press the roasted garlic.

While the brussels sprouts roast, use that same frying pan which is now coated in olive oil and maple syrup to toast the roughly chopped pecans over medium heat, stirring constantly. Toast until lightly browned and fragrant. Set pecans aside in serving dish.

Using the same frying pan with an additional 2 T of olive oil, saute the chopped tempeh over medium heat, stirring for 3-4 minutes, then reducing the heat to medium low and covering to continue to cook. Check frequently every couple minutes to stir to prevent burning. Continue to cook until tempeh is nicely browned and cooked well inside without becoming dried out. Transfer to the casserole dish.

While tempeh cooks, cut away the tough outer stem of the broccoli, then chop the broccoli stems into large bite sized pieces. Then transfer broccoli stems to that same frying pan to saute — add 2-3T of water as necessary. Add minced ginger and thyme, continue to stir for 2-3 minutes, then add 2-3 T of champagne vinegar to pan, stir, cover, reduce heat and simmer for another 2 minutes before adding chopped broccoli flowerettes. Cover and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, until broccoli is bright green and tender but still has plenty of body. Transfer to the casserole dish, stir all together well. Add ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with toasted pecans.

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celery root gruyere au gratin


Having just explored making celery root soup, then raw celery root salad, it’s time to round out my exploration by turning on the oven to bake! It’s cold, and I’m thinking comfort food…so I envisioned a celery root gruyere au gratin. Here’s what I came up with: IMG_3219_2ingredients:

  • 1 medium celery root, cut into 1/8″ quarter rounds
  • 1 small turnip, cut into 1/8″ quarter rounds
  • 1/2 small cauliflower, flowerettes
  • 1 can white kidney beans, well rinsed
  • 6 oz Gruyere cheese, grated
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/8-1/4 c milk (I used 2% and wasn’t disappointed)
  • 2-3 T butter
  • freshly ground black or green pepper to taste
  • arugula

instructions:

Lightly butter 2 quart casserole dish, and preheat oven to 365F. Chop ends off of celery root, then cut away outer tough skin to reveal white root. Cut in half, then cut into 1/8″ quarter round slices. Also cut turnip into 1/8″ quarter round slices. Layer half of celery root around bottom of casserole dish as you would potatoes when making potato au gratin. Next layer half of turnip, half of arugula, half of white kidney beans, half of cheeses; then repeat with layers of celery root, turnip, arugula, beans, all of cauliflower, cheeses. Pour scant 1/4 c milk over all, and top with dots of chopped butter, freshly ground black or green pepper to taste. Bake in center of oven, covered for first 25-30 minutes, then uncovered for about 10-15 more, until nicely browned top crust (but not dried out inside).

Revisited: instead of layering in the arugula, I served the baked au gratin on a bed of arugula– I liked that better.

This is not your grandmother’s super rich potato au gratin– if that is what you’re craving, then use more Gruyere, cream instead of 1% fat milk, and 2-4T butter. That said, I thought it was totally satisfying– light yet sustaining with the beans adding protein, and the great flavor of the turnip and arugula complementing the Gruyere. What do you think?

I think if there’s any leftovers, I’d like this for breakfast…

butternut squash, green apple, & chevre red rice salad


I finished my Beet and Chevre Red Rice Salad but wanted more! So I thought I’d try a new variation on the fall theme…

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 1/2 butternut squash, roasted then cubed
  • 1-2 medium cloves garlic, roasted then minced
  • 1 medium-large granny smith apple, julienned
  • 2-3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 t each rosemary and thyme
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre. gorgonzola would be nice variation.
  • 1/4 cups walnuts
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar

instructions:

Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork and transfer to casserole dish. While rice is cooking, slice 1/2 butternut into 3/4 inch half round slices, remove hard skin, and place on lightly oiled roasting pan along with garlic cloves. Place herbs onto squash, then roast at 375F for about 15 min, flip then roast for another 15-20 min until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Don’t overcook- remove garlic while continuing to cook squash until soft but not mushy. Mince garlic into rice. Chop squash into small cubes, and add to rice.  Chop shallots and julienne the green apples, then add to casserole dish.  Remove stems from spinach, chop into ribbons, then add to rice mixture and stir to mix all well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with walnuts and generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and fresh apples.

beet & chevre red rice salad


IMG_2537This autumn salad recipe was inspired by beautiful yellow and red leaves which had fallen into a sword fern on the Marquam trail recently. Thinking then of yellow and red beets, I remembered a simply delicious side dish my cousin Ian made in August – thinly sliced beets topped with chevre. Green ribbons of spinach, earthy walnuts, and red onion were a natural choice.

ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Bhutanese red rise (makes 2 cups cooked)
  • 2 yellow and 1 red medium size beets
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, cut into ribbons
  • 4 oz fresh chevre
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • walnut or olive oil and balsamic vinegar

IMG_2530_2I used Lotus Foods heirloom Bhutan red rice for this recipe– it has a slightly nutty flavor, a fabulous texture, and beautiful red brown color. So it’s perfect for this autumn salad recipe (and also happens to be my favorite rice for Thai dishes.) I picked a chevre with honey, which is wonderful in how it offsets the raw onion and beets.

instructions:

Rinse rice well, then cover with 1 3/4 cups fresh water. Add a pinch of salt, bring to a boil then simmer cover for 20 minutes over low heat. Check for doneness, drain off any remaining water, then fluff with fork. While rice is cooking, remove root and rough stem from beets, then cut into quarters and steam or simmer covered for 15 minutes or so, until pass the ‘fork test’ for softness. Rinse with cold water, then use fingers or sharp knife to remove skin. Chop beets into small cubes. Remove stems from fresh spinach, then slice into ribbons. Transfer rice, spinach, beets and walnuts into casserole dish, mixing well. Dress with Balsamic vinegar and walnut oil or olive oil. Serve covered with generous small chunks of chevre stirred in. Heat gently before serving– I actually microwaved briefly– so that the chevre melds smoothly with the rice and beets.

cucumber almond coconut quinoa salad


ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded, lightly toasted
  • green onions, small bunch, finely chopped
  • 1-2 cucumbers, sliced into rounds then quartered
  • 1/2- 1 fresh lime, squeezed, include juice and pulp

instructions:

Rinse quinoa well. Bring to a boil in 1 1/2 cups fresh water with a pinch of salt, cover and  IMG_2119reduce heat to simmer.  Cook for 25 minutes until water absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff with fork. Lightly toast almonds and coconut on stove top, stirring constantly; add to quinoa. Chop green onions and cucumbers, then stir all together well. Dress with squeezed lime juice and pulp. I served this chilled with baked tofu in a sunflower seed butter sauce and romaine salad.

roasted cauliflower


ingredients
1 large head cauliflower, including stems, chopped
2-3 T olive oil
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
fresh ground lemon or green pepper to taste
1/8 t salt
Parmesan cheese

instructions:
Preheat over to 375. Chop cauliflower into large bite size florets, then toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread flat on a cookie sheet and roast, checking and stirring every 5 minutes (cooking time will be about 10 minutes.) Cauliflower is almost done when it is somewhat soft– but far from mushy– and lightly browned. Return to bowl to toss with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese. Return to cookie sheet, continue to roast until the cheese is melted, about 3-5 more minutes.