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Roasted Baby Golden Beets

We went to Whole Foods yesterday. It was a fun trip. It is a vegan eaters dream. I decided I would pick out two vegetables that I have never made before – Beets and Orange Cauliflower. I have had beets one time in a restaurant, and I loved them. I saw these golden baby beets and knew I had to make these as one of my new veggies.

I served this in a salad. The recipe will follow soon in another post. If you have not tried golden beets you are missing out on a truly delicious bite.

  • 4 baby golden beets with leaves
  • All-purpose seasoning

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash beets thoroughly. Cut ends off of beets. Save the leaves for future use.

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Place beets into a parchment baking bag or make a packet out of the parchment paper and sprinkle with my All-purpose seasoning.

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Lay parchment packet onto sheet pan. Place into oven and bake for 60 -75 minutes. The beets should feel tender to the touch, but not mushy.

Remove from oven and let cool until you can touch them so that they can be sliced.

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Note: This would be the time you would peel them if you prefer. It is a personal choice.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Batch Cooking – Vegetables

Batch cooking is one of my favorites ways to get a lot of variety into my meals throughout the week. By chopping and dicing one time during the week I can get a lot of my meals half way finished before it is time to eat.

This is just a sampling of what I do. I try to vary the vegetables every week, so it does not get boring.  This is what was in my refrigerator at the time.

  • Green Beans
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Sweet Potatoes

There really is no rhyme or reason to the ingredients, it is just what caught my eye when I went to the grocery, and what I had not yet used.

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I chopped all the veggies. Then I tossed them in some vegetable broth and All-purpose  Seasoning.  Then I roasted them at 425 degrees until the veggies were fork tender.  Each veggie is a little different, depending on its density. The key is the hot oven.

What to do with all of these? Well, Buddha Bowls are always good. Use brown rice, millet or quinoa for a base and go from there. There is also wraps. Use a gluten-free tortilla, some greens, the roasted veggies and your favorite sauce and you have a fabulous meal in minutes.

Soups are great for using up the remnants of the veggies. You could make it chunky or creamy by using a blender. Throw in some type of grain and greens and you have something different.

Quesadillas are a fun way to use the roasted veggies. Maybe, a tofu scramble or breakfast burrito. There are so many possibilities, and you do not have to eat the same thing over and over.

Just by adding a few seasonings or some fresh items you can transform any meal.

I mentioned sauces. Everything tastes better with a sauce. Here a few I like to use.

I hope I gave you some fresh ideas to help your meals come together. There is no need to spend the whole day or evening in the kitchen if you do not want to. Let it not be a chore, but a culinary adventure.

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Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans with Walnuts

Roasting is my favorite way to prepare vegetables. It enhances their natural flavors, making them come alive. By roasting my veggies my hands are free to work on other parts of the meal while the veggies do their thing.

This mixture has color, crunch, crispy and creamy all on one sheet pan – Yum. the smell is divine. I generously season the vegetables with my All-purpose Seasoning. This recipe is under 5 ingredients.

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  • 16 oz baby golden potatoes, quartered to like sizes
  • 10 oz green beans, fresh
  • 1 c walnuts, shelled
  • All-purpose Seasoning
  • Cooking Spray (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread veggies out evenly onto a sheet pan.

Spray veggies with cooking spray. (optional)

Generously season veggie mixture with All-purpose Seasoning.

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Roast vegetables for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables halfway through the cooking time.

Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

DSC_0043 70Note: My All-purpose Seasoning is for sale in my Online Store Page or you can find the recipe in my basics category.

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Savory Roasted Butternut Squash and Broccoli

When I roast vegetables I try to roast a mix of different types and colors of veggies. This makes your meals more interesting and nutritious. These two different veggies make such a beautiful combination. They are bright, colorful and delicious.

I used my new Savory Spice Blend on these lovelies and the have came out of the oven amazing. I am looking forward to you trying this new spice blend blend.

  • 1 bag of broccoli florets, frozen
  • 1 bag of butternut squash frozen, cubed
  • Savory Spice Blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Spread out vegetables evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle Savory Spice Blend onto veggies.

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Roast vegetables for 20 minutes. Stir vegetables halfway through the roasting process.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Smokey Southwestern Roasted Cauliflower with Lime

This was another assignment for my cooking class. The lesson was roasting vegetables without oil. The outcome of the assignment turned out very well. I divided the finished product to use in two different dishes. One for a bowl meal and the other for a creamy dip.

Today I will show you the base of these two different dishes. Then I will do two other posts for these two dishes another time. Actually, I think I will have three different meals out of this sheet pan of cauliflower. I love it when I can stretch an ingredient into multiple different meals.

Note: You can find the recipe for Smokey Southwestern Seasoning in the basics section or you can purchase the blend pre-made on my store page.

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or silicone baking mat (this is what I used).

In a large bowl mix together broth, half of lime – juiced and Smokey Southwestern Seasoning.

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Stir in cauliflower florets into marinade.

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Evenly distribute cauliflower onto sheet pan. Add lime half to sheet pan.

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Roast cauliflower for about 20 minutes. Halfway through roasting process stir cauliflower.

Remove from oven. Using tongs to pick up lime half and squeeze juice of lime onto roasted cauliflower. Stir.

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Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Baby Potatoes Topped with Spinach Artichoke Dip

The truth is I made this up for a meal for myself. It wasn’t this pretty, yet it is just as tasty. This is a little bit more elevated to the original Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip just by switching out the base ingredient. These would be great for small parties : Baby showers, Dinner parties, and even a Girl’s Night In. There are so many possibilities.

I have a secret for you, but you can tell anyone you want. I used leftover roasted baby potatoes for these little delectable bites. The combination is … it is so hard to put the right words for these little bites. They are that good and they look pretty.

I promise people will think you worked really hard. I made these a day ago. All I had to do was warm the spinach dip and baby potatoes in the microwave and assemble. However, they are just as good cold.

  • Spinach-Artichoke Dip
  • Roasted Baby Potatoes
  • Fresh Parsley

Slice as many Roasted Baby Potatoes as you think you will need. I would use about 4 halves per person. Warm in microwave (if using leftover, cold potatoes). Otherwise, slice potatoes in half when you are able to handle them.

Warm Spinach-Artichoke Dip in microwave until heated through. Length of time depends on your microwave.

Assembling is extremely simple. I like to give the potatoes a light smash, just enough to give them a slightly flat base. This helps the potatoes stay upright. Put a dollop of dip on top of the potato. I used a teaspoon, however you could use a snipped ziplock bag and pipe it onto the potato. That would probably be easier. Garnish with a fresh parsley leaf.

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Share. Eat. Enjoy.

 

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Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip

I plan on using this dip for our Super Bowl Party. The boys (men) all come over and we eat and watch the commercials and the game too. So I am testing it out now, you know, just in case there needs to be any tweaking to the recipe. However, I think it is perfect the way it is.

I will probably be working on a couple more recipes for the big game. So keep a watch out for more to come.

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbs garlic, minced
  • a couple of dashes of red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 16 oz. silken tofu, drained
  • 1/2 c nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tsp all-purpose seasoning, divided, (2 tsp- 1/2 tsp – 1/2 tsp)
  • 14 oz canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • Bread or tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8×8 baking dish

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of all-purpose seasoning onto onions ; stir. Cook until onion are softened and golden.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add artichoke hearts, spinach and 1/2 tsp of all-purpose seasoning. Stir mixture until spinach is wilted.

In a blender or food processor, blend together tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and 2 tsp all-purpose seasoning until smooth. Add onion, spinach and artichoke hearts to tofu mixture. Pulse about 15 times. Add red pepper flakes.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes, until top of dip is golden.

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Let cool about 5 minutes. Serve with bread, crackers or tortilla chips.

Share. Eat. Enjoy.

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Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries 3.0

This might just might be my favorite version of Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The original version was Brussel Sprouts and Cranberries. The second version I add butternut squash, just as appealing and tasty as the first. However, this version ranks right up there with the first two.

The 3.0 version uses compound butter, an orange and pecans – Yum. Just a little twist, but oh so good.

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  • 1 pound of Brussel sprouts, halved
  • 1 c cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 c pecan, pieces
  • 3 tbsp compound butter, cut into cubes (see website)
  • all-purpose seasoning (see website)
  • 1/4 c maple syrup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spread Brussel sprouts, cranberries, pecans evenly onto a sheet pan.  Dot compound butter onto Brussel sprout mixture. Generously sprinkle all-purpose seasoning onto veggies.

Roast in oven about 20 minutes or until Brussel sprouts are fork tender.  Stir vegetables about midway through roasting time.

Drizzle Maple syrup over veggies. Stir. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.

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Traditions

The past week I have came across probably over a hundred posts regarding Christmas traditions. It got me thinking about ours and how they have changed or evolved over the years.

For many years we pastored and a lot of our traditions were centered around our church.  We always had a children’s program. That was always fun, you never knew what was going to come out of the mouth of babes. We would have a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service with Communion. It was only an hour long, but it was a wonderful time, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas. We would then gather at my in-laws and have a meal, nothing extravagant, but we were all together. Sometimes our boys and their cousins would stay at Mamaw and Papaw’s house Christmas Eve night. Somehow Santa always knew where the kids were going to be in the morning.

Our boys always knew why we were celebrating Christmas, Jesus. Santa was just fun, and that was okay. Christmas Eve night George (my incredible husband of almost 33 years) and I would fill the boys stockings and lay out a few things to keep them occupied until we got up Christmas morning. What is funny is that as the boys grew older they slept in longer and we were waking them up to see what Santa brought.

Some Christmas mornings I would make Cinnamon Rolls (Just like Cinnabon – No lie), or a Breakfast Casserole. I plan on make a Breakfast Casserole this year. I am still working on a gluten-free cinnamon roll recipe. I sure do miss those cinnamon rolls. Anyway – traditions.

I would say over the past decade we have been making up stockings for my in-laws. That has been fun. Mamaw (mother in-law) loves Christmas. We always put in some Christmas themed magazines and her favorite candy, plus some other goodies in her stocking. My mother in-law loves Christmas, so much that there are some decorations that stay up all year. For a while, every year I would paint a miniature house/building and give that to my Father in-law for Christmas. Now he has quite a collection that have a permanent place on their mantle all year round.

Now that the boys are men, 28, 26 and 24 years old. I know, where does the time go? Our traditions have changed. The past few years we have been having all the boys with their girlfriends over Christmas Eve Night. We have a no fuss buffet of simple fare: Meatballs, Turkey Sliders, Crudites with dip, Assorted Fruit and Dip, and Cookies, Easy. Lots of stories are shared, presents opened, and tons of laughter. It is wonderful.

Christmas day we all head to Mamaw and Papaw’s house (the in-laws) and have lunch. All the cooking duties are divided up so it is not a burden to just one person. I am usually in charge of the veggies, rolls, and desserts. This year my Green Beans with Walnuts was requested. I am still thinking on the desserts.DSC_0037 6

Of coarse there is presents to open. Soon after, the boys and their girlfriends leave and participate in the festivities of their girlfriends’ families. Now that they are grown we do not get to keep them all to ourselves. Just like everything else, things change and evolve. There will be a time when they will have their own traditions. My hope is that we will have a part in what they choose for their own lives, future families and traditions.

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Have a Merry and Joyous Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!

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Steakhouse Meal @ Home

Last night I made us a steakhouse steaks with the sides. When you buy the cuts of steak that you would love to get at your favorite restaurant and make them at home you save $$$. A Filet Mignon can cost you from $25 – $50 per person, a la carte. Then you add on the sides and any type of drink from tea to alcohol and you have spent $100 – $150 for a dinner for two. Oh, and do not forget the dessert. I think you get my point. It can get very expensive.

With only 5 minutes of prep work in the morning you can have a steakhouse steak in the comfort of your own home that night within 20 minutes. Really, only 20 minutes.  Not only will you be eating in less time than it would take you to get your order and something to drink, but you will be saving lots of $$$.

One of the ways that I accomplish this is by purchasing a beef tenderloin and cutting the steaks myself. I like to do this for two reasons :

  1. I get more bang for my buck. More steaks for less money.
  2. Control portion size. I like a fairly thick steak. Cutting it myself lets me control the thickness of the steak.

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In a past post I shared how to cook a Steakhouse steak. Here is the link to that previous post. I prepped the steaks just like I did in the previous post, however, I pan seared the steaks in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the steaks were cooked to our desired temperature I removed them from the heat and set them aside to rest. Then I proceeded to make sautéed mushrooms.

Sauteed Mushrooms:

  • 2 12 oz. packages of sliced mushrooms. (Another time saver)
  • 1-2 c beef broth
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 3 dashes of fish sauce ( I use this instead of worcestershire sauce)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In the same skillet I cooked the steaks add mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping any bits that are stuck on the skillet. Add beef broth and garlic. Stir and reduce broth to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over steaks and greens beans.

Also, here is the link to cook the Green Beans. I made these for Thanksgiving. They were wiped out.

Cauliflower puree can be rather mundane unless you elevate this side dish. I have used this ingredient when I have made a mashed potato casserole. The secret ingredient is – Cream Cheese. It only takes a little bit, but it makes all the difference to take cauliflower puree from ordinary to an extra Yum factor.

Creamy Cauliflower Puree

  • 15 oz. Steam in bag Cauliflower Florets, thawed (this cuts back on time)
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook cauliflower according to package directions. I cooked mine about 7 minutes in the microwave.

In a food processor add cooked cauliflower, butter, cream cheese, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend ingredients until creamy and smooth. Serve. Eat. Enjoy and Save.