Category Archives: Veggies

“Peg’s” Spinach & Ranch Dip

hiddenvalley.com

While I am sure I have had this dip many times in the past, our recent trip to Charleston reminded me how downright good it is. I though it so good, in fact, that I told Peg she just had to give me the recipe because I’m always looking for a good cold dip.

To which she replied, “Um sure, Ashley – it’s on the back of the packet.” And then she and the rest of the Davies pointed and laughed as they are wont to do. And that is why I love them.

My embarrassment aside, this dip is solid, and I actually prefer it with veggies for dippers than chips, which is miraculous on its own.Also, you can definitely use light sour cream in this without any adverse effect. I know. My inner fat girl cries out with shame at this suggestion.

And don’t skip the water chesnuts – they are what gives this stuff its cracktastic crunch.

10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
8 oz water chestnuts, rinsed, drained and chopped
16 oz sour cream (you can go light here)
1 packet Hidden Valley Original Ranch Dips Mix
salt, black pepper and hot sauce to taste
French bread, cut into pieces
fresh veggies

  1. Mix first four ingredients (and s&p and hot sauce) together and chill for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
  2. Dip the other stuff in it. Pretty straightforward.

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Filed under Appetizers, Comfort food, Dips, Veggies

Susu’s Chicken Divan

thekitchn.com

Before Katers learned how to do more in the kitchen than boil water, this was a standard weekly dinner at Morrow Ave.
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While she is clearly now a master chef, it is a testament to the goodness – and easiness – of this recipe that it was always delicious and immediately devoured.
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This recipe is Susu’s version of the quintessential Southern classic, and I must admit I was pretty thrilled to find out you can just cube the cheddar cheese instead of grating it. Bloody knuckles are not appetizing.
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Casserole:
8 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
2 pkgs broccoli, cooked and drained
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Sauce:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup cubed sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cup mayo
2-7 tbsp cooking sherry
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  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Mix all sauce ingredients together.
  3. Pour over chicken and broccoli in 9×12 casserole dish.
  4. Cook 30-35 minutes, or until a little bubbly.

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Filed under Chicken, Comfort food, Southern food, Veggies

Peg’s Veggie Soup

tasteofhome.com

Claire sent me this recipe several weeks ago, but in all of the Christmas hullabaloo, I forgot to post it. Now, as I sit at work doing very little of it, I figured I’d give this a post.

Usually when people send me recipes, I clean up the spelling errors and the stream-of-consciousness typing. But I’m not going to do that here because I love how weird this ingredient list came out. Apparently Peg was insisting Claire type this up and send it to me, and Claire was not all that committed to the undertaking. The sentence “drain a can of corn and drain” speaks for itself.

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2 lbs ground beef
1 large can whole peeled tomatoes
1 large can tomato sauce
chop yellow onion
chop 3 celery stalks
chop 4/5 carrots
drain a can of corn and drain
cut up 2 large potatos
chop 2 zuchinis
water til soupy
1 tbs italian seasoning
salt and pepper
1 packet dry ranch dressing
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  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Drain and cut up the tomatoes. (“For some reason this is different than diced tomotoes in peg’s head.”)
  3. Add tomatoes and rest of ingredients.
  4. Cook 1.5-2 hrs.
  5. Serve with Jalapeno Corn Bread.

“Always better next day.”

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Filed under Beef, Comfort food, Soups, Veggies

Vegetable Garlic Herb Lentils

With the colder weather finally creeping in down here, I have really been into hearty warming meals.  Lentils are my latest thing.  I have cooked them a lot of different ways, but this one is definitely the best.  It needs a bit more attention then just simmering in liquid because this recipe cooks it risotto style.  The outcome is amazing, and you won’t even notice that it is extremely heathy too!  I served these along a rack of lamb (cooked with same herbs), and it was the perfect combination.  Sorry the picture shows the lamb more then the lentils. – ts

3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 cup Beluga lentils (or French green lentils)
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt and pepper
1 full sprig fresh rosemary
3 large cloves garlic, sliced

  1. In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil for one minute over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot, and sauté the vegetables until they are softened, 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, sliced garlic, rosemary and bay leaf and sauté for 3-5 minutes more, coating all the lentils. Increase the heat and add the red wine. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered, stirring, until the mixture becomes dry.
  3. Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm. Add the warm chicken stock to the lentils (like cooking a risotto) 1/2 a cup at a time, letting the lentils absorb the liquid with each addition. Repeat, stirring the mixture constantly. After 30 minutes or so the lentils should be slightly chewy and tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Filed under Beans, Comfort food, Main Course, Party food, Side dishes, Veggies

Carol’s Corn Chowder with Jalapeno Parsley Puree

thenakedbeet.com

Well in case you haven’t heard, Carol is famous. That’s right, young Carol was featured in the Times Free Press a few week’s ago for offering her soup expertise, and clearly we could not be more proud.

This is a recipe Carol adapted from Epicurious.com, and I can personally attest it is delish.

The really fun part here is the jalapeno parsley puree. It’s bright (in taste and in the bowl) and it gives the creamy corn chowder a wonderful kick.

This would be a perfect dish for a day like today in which everyone is feeling gray, wet and pretty darn depressed that the long Thanksgiving weekend is over.

Except me. Because I’m about to go see Twilight. By myself. And no, I could not be happier, so don’t you cry for me, Nummy! Now get your soup on.

Puree:
5 fresh jalapeño chilies
1⁄4 cup olive oil
11⁄2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp water
1-2 garlic cloves, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)
1 cup packed fresh parsley leaves
Salt, to taste

Chowder:
1 onion, chopped fine
2 ribs of celery, chopped fine
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
21⁄2 cups water
11⁄2 lbs boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 3⁄8-inch cubes
4 cups fresh corn kernels including the pulp scraped from the cobs (organic frozen mixture of white and yellow corn works just as well)
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, minced (very important; adds a great finishing touch to the soup)

  1. For the puree:
    1. Broil the jalapeños on the rack of a broiler pan under a preheated broiler about 2 inches from the heat, turning them about every 7 minutes, for 20-30 minutes or until the skins are blistered and charred.
    2. Transfer the jalapeños to a zipper-lock bag and let them stand, covered tightly, until they are cool enough to handle.
    3. Peel the jalapeños, cut off the tops and discard all but 1 teaspoon of the seeds.
    4. In a blender, puree the jalapeños and reserved seeds with olive oil, lime juice, water, garlic, parsley and salt. The puree may be made 3 days in advance and kept covered and chilled.
  2. For the chowder:
    1. Cook onion and celery in vegetable oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the celery is softened.
    2. Add broth, water and potatoes; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in corn and thyme; simmer for 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
    3. To thicken, purée in blender 2 or more cups of the chowder, depending on the consistency you prefer your soups, and return to pot.
  3. Serve the chowder with a small dollop of the jalapeño and parsley puree swirled into it. Add salt and pepper to taste as well. For added crunch, sprinkle with tortilla chips.

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Filed under Soups, Veggies

Barrett’s Baby Bok Choy

Aight, Imma be straight wichu: this has been in my backlog for months. And it’s not because I don’t think it’s good.

ieatmostlymeat.com

I actually can’t remember anything The Chef has cooked for me that wasn’t awesome… barring one incident with some enchiladas. And that was a disaster mostly because I was hopping around the kitchen on one leg with a large knife and we were too tired to be cooking anything more than frozen chicken nuggets. (And we actually forgot to turn the oven on when we tried to cook those, so that kind of indicates what level we were on that day.)

Anyway, I’ve been less than anxious to post this only because it’s not in my comfort zone, meaning it is not soup or pasta or a dip made with cream cheese.

But you know what? That’s exactly why it needs posting. This dish actually has some nutritional value and is pretty tasty when you sauce it up all Asian-like. And it’s downright different. So Free Yo Mind, y’all. The rest will follow.

6 oz baby bok choy, cleaned
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp garlic. minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp scallions, thinly sliced
1 /2 tsp sesame oil
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Blanch and shock the bok choy.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a saute pan. Sweat the ginger, scallions, and garlic until tender.
  3. Add bok choy. Season with salt, pepper, and sesame oil.

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Filed under Asian food, Side dishes, Veggies

Wild Mushroom and Leek Wild Rice Salad

I have not posted in a while, but that is because I have not been making new recipes recently.  We have so many great recipes on this site, and I had fallen into a trap of cooking the same 4 or 5 things because they are so tasty.   Yesterday I decided to browse my list of “to make” recipes and came across one that for months I kept meaning to make.  When it came down to buying the ingredients, it always just looked a little too healthy.  Since the holidays are around the corner, I thought it best to start getting the health in now.  This is a recipe for mushroom and leek wild rice I saw on Closet Cooking, with my own tweaks.  It is so tasty and surprisingly filling.  It reminds me of a healthier version of my mushroom and leek risotto recipe!  I highly recommend making this.  I served the rice over a bed of baby greens and added a couple slices of skirt steak for extra protein (quickly marinated in a soy, garlic, onion, sugar mixture and grilled).  
Wild rice takes longer to cook then regular rice so start it first!  The mushroom, leek, herb, rice mixture is tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.  Feel free to use your favorite recipe, I wrote down a standard one below.– ts

1 cup wild rice
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 – 3 leeks green and white parts cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic
8- 10 ounces mushrooms (sliced) – I used a mix of cremini, shiitake and oyster
1 teaspoon thyme (chopped)
salt and pepper to taste
a large handful chopped pecans
about a 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

  1. Simmer the wild rice in the broth on medium-low heat, covered, until it is tender and it has absorbed all of the broth, about 50-60 minutes and remove from heat.  Drain excess liquids.
  2. Heat the oil and melt the butter in a large dutch oven/pan.
  3. Add the leeks and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  5. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and saute until the mushrooms are just starting to caramelize, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Mix the wild rice, mushrooms, pecans and balsamic vinaigrette
Balsamic Vinaigrette
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1-2 large cloves garlic minced
chopped herbs (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Mix/shake everything together

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Filed under Main Course, Rice, Salad dressings, Side dishes, Veggies