vegetable

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Would I call this a dressing? A Sauce? Yummy stuff I would eat by the spoonful straight out of the jar? Um…I mean I would never do that. I’m way too ladylike. WAY to ladylike *cough, cough*.

Creamy Avocado Dressing

Whatever the case, and whatever you would like call this recipe, just make it. This creamy avocado-y yogurt-y goodness is totally worth trying at least once in your life. And then you will realize that once is not enough and decide it’s worth trying at least 1000 more times. More or less.

Creamy Avocado DressingThis recipe is loosely based off of a ranch-style dressing so it’s perfect for salads (I *love* this on a taco salad!). I also put it in a buffalo chicken wrap. Incredible way to cool down a spicy wrap! This would also be amazing as just a sauce for spicy grilled chicken or fish. OH MY! Anything spicy should automatically be paired with this dressing/sauce. No questions asked.

Creamy Avocado DressingMy recipe has buttermilk in it (since, like I said, it’s kind of based off of a ranch dressing), but you can totally up the amount of yogurt or olive oil if you don’t have buttermilk. I just love the buttermilk to give it that extra creamy, decadent texture. AHHH, I made this awhile ago and just talking about it makes me want to make it again. Like right now. SO GOOD!

Creamy Avocado DressingLet me get to dreaming about what to put this dressing on next. I expect to hear soon what you used this avocado magic dressing on (that’s what I should have called it…magic dressing). Yum!

Creamy Avocado Yogurt Dressing
Creamy, ranch-style avocado dressing
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 medium avocado
  2. 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup buttermilk
  4. 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons lime juice (or juice from about 1 lime)
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
  7. 1 tablespoon diced fresh chives
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. olive oil, optional, to reach desired thickness
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients (except the olive oil) in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add olive oil (about 1 tablespoon at a time) and blend if the dressing is too thick.
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Roasted Kohlrabi and Potatoes

Kohlrabi and PotatoesHaving a newborn has completely changed my view of food. My food thoughts these days consist of things such as: “How can a little baby pack away that much food? He must be a magician,” and “I’m SOO hungry…I will eat anything. Seriously. Anything.” (Breastfeeding moms, are you with me there? I can eat all day and still be hungry). Oh, and my favorite recently pondered question is whether or not I have somehow turned from human to milk-making machine. Because sometimes I feel like that’s my new job. Actually, that is my new job along with professional cuddler, diaper changer and swaddler. I’m learning on the job. I think my client is happy but he doesn’t talk yet.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesAlong with these very deep and profound thoughts (hey, they’re profound if you’ve been sleep deprived), there’s just no more TIME! I was always the person that used cooking and baking as my calming factor after a busy day. Kind of like yoga for someone who can’t balance on one foot. No joke, I made a hot dog the other day on an indoor electric grill and was proud of myself for the amazing feat I accomplished…I don’t even like hot dogs! Well, except for at a good summer cookout. But that was one good hot dog because I made it myself! One step at a time…I’ll get back to making full meals I’m sure!

So I guess where I’m going with all this rambling is that despite the fact that the next several recipes I’ll post, including this kohlrabi and potato recipe, are fairly simple and 100% delicious, I was smart enough to stock up on recipes and photos prior to baby’s arrival. I don’t feel like you all would be impressed with a recipe on how to make a hot dog. Just a hunch.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesBack to the reason you’re here…I’m pretty sure everyone has heard of potatoes so let’s jump right to the kohlrabi. Kohlrabi is a mystery ingredient for many. I must admit I had no clue what it was or how to use it prior to acquiring this fine specimen from VanScoy Farms awhile back (again, I made this before the little guy arrived). After some research, I found a simple recipe and was on my way. I personally think kohlrabi kind of tastes like brussels sprouts a little. You can disagree though. I won’t take it personally.

Kohlrabi and PotatoesTo prep the kohlrabi, remove any stem or leaves. Slice it into quarters and cut the core out. Peel the kohlrabi through the outer fibrous layers (if you have a bigger kohlrabi like I did, make sure to get through all the outer layers to the completely white part or you’ll end up with tough sections. I learned from experience). After that, you’re ready to dice and use!

Kohlrabi and Potatoes

Roasted Kohlrabi and Potatoes
Serves 4
Simple and tasty roasted vegetables
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 kohlrabi, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  2. 1 pound petite potatoes, halved if large
  3. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. zest from 1/2 lemon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or 1.5 teaspoons fresh)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary (or 1.5 teaspoons fresh)
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place diced kohlrabi and potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper over the top and toss. Spread out vegetables into a single layer on the baking sheet.
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, toss, then bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender.
Notes
  1. You can use larger potatoes, such as red potatoes. Just cube them into pieces the same size as the kohlrabi.
Adapted from Sweet Phi
Adapted from Sweet Phi
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Broccoli Stalks and Big Baby News

Broccoli StalksIf any of you have been wondering why I’ve been MIA this past month or so, I swear I have a good reason. I went on a last minute cruise around the world…oh wait. This just in: that actually didn’t happen. That was someone ELSE I saw going on a cruise around the world in travel magazine. The REAL reason is *even* better! Travis and I met our handsome baby boy! He decided to come a couple weeks before his due date. Just like his dad–always on time and a little early, just in case. For any parent out there, you know what a whirlwind the first month is (little guy will be a month old already!). I’ve been SUPER busy with dirty diapers and feedings and keeping the guy happy but it’s all been more than worth it! I get to see him grow a little every day, which makes me so happy. I can already tell we’ll have so much fun together!

Broccoli StalksSo with that said, I have had little time to shower (no joke, unfortunately), let alone time to think about blogging. Bummer, right? Well I thought I’d kick things back off with a very simple, but delicious tip about broccoli. Yes, who knew there could be a broccoli tip?  The vegetable seems so straight forward! But I’ve been lacking in my knowledge of broccoli for years it turns out. 

As an adult, I’ve always loved broccoli (not so much as a kid but I just didn’t know any better). I went about my cooking using the broccoli florets like it was my job, throwing away the seemingly useless broccoli stalk. For awhile, I bought just the broccoli “crowns” at the store because I started to wonder why I was paying for the stalk that I just threw away. Just recently, I realized that I could actually use the broccoli stalk in stir fry recipes and basically any other recipe that calls for broccoli. Am I late to the game? Probably. But my mind was blown nonetheless.

Broccoli StalksThe broccoli stalk is just as amazing as the florets! And I hear it’s also good for you, but since I’m not a nutritionist I won’t even try to tell you why. You may wonder how to prep those stalks because they seem so tough and inedible. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Cut off the florets and use as normal. Yum!
  2. Cut off the top and bottom so you have a nice thick section of stalk to work with.
  3. Cut off the thick outer layer of stalk. I cut off 4 sides so it looks like a square cylinder (see above picture since “square cylinder” really makes no sense otherwise). 
  4. Cube, slice, dice, shred, etc. the remaining inner section of the stalk.
  5. You’re done! Use the broccoli stems in any recipe that calls for broccoli!

Broccoli StalksI used the cubed stalks from the pic above in some fried rice and it was oh-so-yummy. You could use the stalks in stir fry recipes, coleslaw, salads, etc. Opportunities are endless! I could get at least an extra cup of cubed stalk out of a large bunch of broccoli. I feel so sad knowing that I threw away all that good broccoli in the past! Here’s to learning something new every day! 

Talking about learning something new, the little guy teaches me something new every day. So now back to diapers and learning new things. Hopefully another recipe will come soon, if the little guy cooperates! Wish me luck with that!

 

Sesame Ginger Green Beans

Sesame Ginger Green BeansThere’s nothing more summer-like than fresh green beans. So green and fresh and crisp. YUM! We’re growing green beans in our backyard…the rabbit that keeps popping up around our yard appears to enjoy them. There are lots of blooms on our green bean plants. The baby green beans look like they have great potential. Usually the day after I notice a couple green beans that are close to full grown we find some nice stems that were eaten clean by that very sneaky bunny.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansHowever, I have to say that I did save 1 green bean from said rabbit and it can be seen here in these pictures! Yes, one single green bean. A little sad, but still, I’m like a proud parent. I have no idea which lonely green bean is ours unfortunately, but it’s in there! The rest came from my mother-in-law, who brought them from VanScoy Farms, so I could still be assured that they would be fresh and delicious.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansThis recipe is little different from other green bean recipes with its slightly Asian inspired ingredients. I guess you could say I’m embracing the spirit of the Olympics and thinking more global. Plus they’re delicious. Let’s be honest, delicious is my main concern here. Also, slightly spicy, which adds a new and interesting flavor to the green beans. I’m so used to the typical salt and pepper take on fresh green beans, which is also delicious, I may add. This just seems like a great way to “spice” up your green bean eating experience…no pun intended. Ok, pun intended.

Sesame Ginger Green BeansSpeaking of the Olympics, have any of you been sucked into the games like I have? I’ll start by saying that I don’t know much about sports. The only sport I ever participated in was cross country. If anyone knows the rules to cross country you know there aren’t any really. Pretty much just stay on the path and run the fastest. However, I somehow legitimately feel like I’m a sports expert all of a sudden for every summer sport ever. Travis and I have no problem doling out scores on gymnastics and diving, talking about who has the best chance for swimming or cycling based on their turns and form, and watching beach volleyball like our lives depend on it. I’m pretty sure the irony only grows when you think about the fact that I’m almost 9 months pregnant, sitting on the couch, and eating ice cream while this occurs. Maybe I’m living vicariously through the athletes, remembering what it was like to touch my toes…

Sesame Ginger Green Beans
Serves 3
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound green beans, ends trimmed
  2. 1 tablespoon honey
  3. 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  4. 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  5. 1 clove garlic, minced
  6. 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  7. 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  8. 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
  9. 1/2 cup frozen peas
  10. salt and pepper, to taste
  11. 1-2 teaspoons sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Bring large pot of water to a boil. While it is coming to a boil, prepare an ice bath by adding ice to a large bowl of water.
  2. Add the beans to the boiling water for approximately 4 minutes (a little less if they are small or more if they are large). Remove beans from the water with tongs and place directly in the ice bath. This will help stop the cooking and keep the beans bright green. Let them sit about 5 minutes in the ice water.
  3. Drain the beans and pat dry with a towel. You can refrigerate them at this point to finish later, if desired.
  4. Mix the honey, vegetable oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a bowl.
  5. Pour sauce mixture into a large saute pan over medium heat. Stir continuously until the sauce becomes bubbly (about 2 minutes).
  6. Add in green beans. Heat until warm. Add in peas and salt and pepper, to taste. Saute until peas are heated through. Top with sesame seeds.
Adapted from The Cafe Sucre Farine
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/

Rosemary Cheddar Squash Bread

rosemary cheddar squash breadLet’s start with the good stuff. I was able to make this delicious rosemary cheddar squash bread recently which was AMAZING! I’m so used to seeing zucchini or squash in sweet cakes or breads. This recipe was quite the welcome change and totally worth it! When my in-laws came to visit recently my mother-in-law brought me some gorgeous squash from VanScoy Farms in Ohio so of course I immediately started thinking of options. After eating some of it plain because, yum, I used about half of a yellow squash to make this bread. Also, yum.

rosemary cheddar squash breadThe rosemary adds that lovely earthy flavor that I adore. I am obsessed with the fact that our rosemary is finally growing in our back yard so I was super excited to put it to good use. You can certainly mix up the herbs in this recipe to fit your taste or use dried herbs if you don’t have fresh (but try the fresh if you can!). Chives seem to always be in abundance in our yard and it’s a perfect pair for this savory bread. Also, let’s at least mention how the olive oil is SPOT ON in this recipe and adds more earthy, savory flavor that can’t be replicated without it. Scrumptious!

rosemary cheddar squash breadNow to the not so good stuff of the week…the worst thing that could possibly EVER happen to a food lover happened this week. Yes, my oven broke. Dun dun duuun. I was making Travis his birthday dinner (steak and mac and cheese, of course) when all of a sudden my oven popped and sparked and then it started beeping and beeping more and beeping louder and LOUDER and then the dreaded “error” suddenly appeared on the little screen. *Sigh* Keep in mind, the beeping kept going. And of course this entire time I was panicked from the loud pop and spark and was absolutely CERTAIN the oven was about to explode. I can be a little overdramatic at times. But hey, an oven freak out is not something that happens everyday.

After I got my head a little more together, which was hard with the beeping from the oven that would not go away, I decided the best route of action was to turn off the electrical fuse. Travis was running an errand so I was pretty proud of myself to think of this…even if it’s fairly obvious. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the right fuse so I was becoming more and more panicked as everything else seemed to turn off EXCEPT the oven. And the beeping. just. would. not. go. away!! Luckily as I started to reach maximum panic, Travis showed up and took over the situation. Thank goodness for handy husbands that can read panic on their wives faces.

I am happy to say that dinner was mostly done at this point, so we were still able to eat an unfortunately somewhat average birthday dinner due to all the issues. Nonetheless, it was food and it was cooked. Also, in other good news, my handy husband was able to order a new electronic panel (which apparently is what shorted and popped and sparked) that showed up magically fast and the oven is working very nicely again. No explosions did occur in this situation despite my panic and all is well in my kitchen again. We only ended up with a few days thrown together leftover meals until the oven part came, so I really can’t complain that much. Let’s just say, I love my oven when it works. Especially to make things like this squash bread!rosemary cheddar squash bread

Rosemary Cheddar Squash Bread
Yields 1
Wonderfully savory and herb-y squash bread.
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (or 2 teaspoons dried and chopped)
  7. 2 tablespoons diced chives
  8. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  9. 2 eggs
  10. 1/4 cup olive oil
  11. 1/2 cup milk
  12. 1 cup shredded and packed squash or zucchini
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper). Stir in rosemary, chives, and cheddar cheese.
  3. In a separate bowl, use a whisk to beat together the eggs, oil and milk.
  4. Place the shredded squash in a cheese cloth or kitchen tea towel and squeeze any extra moisture out. Add the squash to the liquid mixture and stir.
  5. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before cutting.
Notes
  1. You can use a mix of herbs or your favorite herbs in place of the rosemary, but rosemary is a favorite of mine.
Adapted from Graceful Little Honey Bee
Flavor From Scratch http://www.flavorfromscratch.com/