RealishFood

Relish Real Food!


Leave a comment

Tell Your Turkey to Hit the Road – To Southeast Asia

Today we will address how to use up leftover veggies. Whether boiled, roasted, or just sliced and diced, there are always leftover veggies. We will call on a favorite, fast, and easy dish from Thailand and Vietnam to turn those veggies into appetizing packages. Summer Rolls are delicious, filling, and refreshing – and they’re really fun to make and eat.

Summer Rolls with Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

Rice Wraps – 8-12
Leftover Veggies – 2 cups – carrots, celery, etc.
Cilantro – 1 handful of leaves
Mint – 1 handful of leaves (optional)
Vinegar – rice wine or apple cider – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste
Neutral Oil – ½ cup
Sesame Oil – 1 tsp. (optional)
Pomegranate Dipping Sauce – recipe follows

Directions

  1. Chop or shred veggies into small pieces.
  2. Make a light dressing with the vinegar, salt, and oils. Toss veggies with a minimal about of dressing.
  3. Fill a shallow bowl or baking dish with water.
  4. Pass rice wrap through water to make it pliable.
  5. Lay it flat and fill bottom third with veggie mix. Add a few cilantro leaves and some mint if you are using it.
  6. Roll like a burrito. Roll up from the bottom to cover mixture. Fold in the sides and continue to roll.
  7. Cut in half diagonally. Serve with pomegranate dipping sauce.

 

Pomegranate Dipping Sauce

Ingredients

Pomegranate Juice – 1 cup
Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) – 1 tbs.
Brown Sugar – 1 tsp.
Fresh Ginger – 1 tsp. grated
Garlic – 1 clove grated
Scallions – 2-3 thinly sliced.
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Simmer all ingredients in a small pan until combined and slightly thickened. Allow to cool. Garnish with scallions.
  2. Serve with summer rolls.


Leave a comment

Tell Your Turkey to Hit the Road – To Mexico

Today’s International Idea is sure to become a leftover fiesta favorite. This is a new take on how to use up both turkey and cranberry sauce. In this case we are using the cranberry jelly that comes from a can, but any extra cranberry sauce will work.

Turkey Enchiladas

Ingredients

Turkey Meat (white or dark) – 2 cups
Chili Powder – 1 tsp.
Cumin – 1 tsp.
Salt – to taste
Lime Juice – ½ – 1 lime – to taste
Olive Oil – 1-2 tsp.
Corn Tortillas -12
Monterey or Pepper Jack Cheese – 4-8 oz. shredded (optional)
Cranberry Tomatillo Salsa – 2 cups or as needed (recipe follows)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Toss together turkey, chili powder, cumin, salt, lime juice and olive oil.
  3. Heat corn tortillas until they are pliable.
  4. Spread about 2 tbs. of turkey on the bottom half of the tortilla. If using cheese sprinkle about 1 tsp. over the turkey mixture.
  5. Roll up the tortilla and place fold side down in baking dish. Continue until all tortillas are filled and rolled.
  6. Spoon salsa over the top to lightly cover the enchiladas.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through.
  8. Serve with remaining salsa.

Note: If you love cheese, feel free to sprinkle some extra over the whole thing before you bake the enchiladas.

Cranberry Tomatillo Salsa

Ingredients

Tomatillos – 1½ pounds
Red Onion – ½ of small onion
Garlic Cloves – 2
Serrano or Jalapenos – 2
Jellied Cranberry Sauce – ½ – 15 oz. can (or more to taste)
Lime Juice – 1 lime or to taste
Cilantro – 1 handful
Salt – to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a sheet tray with cooking spray.
  2. Remove husks from tomatillos, rinse and cut in half. Peel and cut onion in half.
  3. On sheet tray place tomatillos, onion, garlic cloves, and serranos or jalapenos. Spray lightly with cooking spray or drizzle with oil.
  4. Roast until tomatillos are softened.
  5. Peel garlic gloves and remove stem and seeds from chiles.
  6. In a food processor, puree roasted veggies with cranberry sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and salt until combined. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Leave a comment

Tell Your Turkey to Hit the Road!

It’s that time of year again. We all know what to do for Thanksgiving Day. Okay, let’s pretend we all know what to do. We will make a turkey. That’s pretty standard unless we are vegetarian. We will likely also have mashed potatoes, veggies, some kind of sweet potato, and stuffing (or dressing depending on where you live). My family has stuffing, in case you were wondering.

That’s all fine and good, but then there are the leftovers. Chances are that even if you don’t host the big event, you are likely to have leftovers. Either some well meaning relative will bestow you with some, in a thinly veiled attempt to reduce the amount that they have to deal with the next day. Maybe you will bring a side, or an appetizer, or dessert to said relative’s house and you will have bought too many of something. You might have extra sweet potatoes or canned pumpkin, or more veggies than you can ever imagine using up.

Over the next several days I will provide you with some International Ideas to transform your leftovers into fun new favorites. Who knows? You might not even wait for leftovers. You might want to use some of these recipes to rejuvenate your traditional favorites. Just don’t tell my brother-in-law. He could not understand why we would consider changing anything up. I’ll guess we’ll just have to surprise him with the sweet potato gnocchi.   Sssshhhh…

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Ingredients

Sweet Potato – 1 large

Egg – 1 large or 1 flax seed egg

Olive Oil – 1 tbs.

Salt – 1 tsp.

Flour – ½ to 1 cup (any kind: regular, corn, rice, gluten-free mix) plus extra for rolling

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  1. Roast sweet potato until completely cooked through and soft. Remove from oven and cool.
  1. Peel and mash with egg or egg substitute, olive oil, salt, and flour as needed. Knead into a dough.
  1. Wrap in plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt to boiling water.
  1. Cut dough into quarters. Roll into long cylindrical pieces. Cut into ½ inch pieces and roll on a fork to get lines.
  1. When all pieces have been cut and rolled, drop into boiling water.
  1. When they float to the top, drain and toss with flavored butter. Serve while still hot.

 

Note: The final product can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

To make flax seed egg, mix 1 tbs. ground flax seed with 3 tbs. water and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Orange Sage Butter

Ingredients

Butter – 1 stick

Orange Zest and Juice – 1 orange

Sage Leaves – 5 (or as needed)

Salt – to taste

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan or frying pan combine butter, orange zest, 2-3 tbs. orange juice, and sage leaves.
  1. Melt butter and simmer for a couple of minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  1. Drizzle over gnocchi. Garnish with more zest or sage leaves, if desired.


Leave a comment

All You Need is Love II

Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 5.49.05 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All You Need is Love II

In my most recent post, I suggested a list of ingredients that I recommend you keep on hand on a regular basis. My reasons for choosing these ingredients are that they are easy to find, healthy, and inexpensive – and can provide a long list of versatile and delicious meals.

I gave you a list of ingredients and a list of 8 dishes you can make with them. I have previously provided 4 recipes and now I will provide the final 4. In my next post I will provide a game plan for keeping an abundance of prepared food on hand with minimal planning and work. If you are willing to do a little extra labor for a couple of nights, you can probably save yourself 2 or 3 nights of cooking later on.

I previously provided recipes for Black Beans and Rice, Lentil Soup, Vegetable Soup, and Stuffed Peppers. The remaining recipes follow.

Vegetarian Chili
Veggie Stir Fry
Fried Rice
Quick Refrigerator Pickles

Vegetarian Chili

1 medium onion – chopped
1 medium to large bell pepper – chopped
1-3 cloves of garlic – minced
1 (or more) chile of choice – minced (I like serranos and jalapenos for this)
3 cups of canned tomatoes (pureed, strained, sauce)
1 cup of water
3-4 cups of cooked beans of choice (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
Cilantro (optional)
Oil, Salt, Pepper (as needed)

Heat up some oil (enough to coat the bottom of the pan or pot you are using). Saute onions and peppers for a few minutes. Add garlic and chile and saute for another minute or two. Add tomatoes and water and simmer for 5 or 10 minutes to combine flavors. Add salt and pepper as needed. Add in cooked beans.  Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Adjust seasonings as you go. Finish with chopped cilantro to taste. For a more filling meal, serve over rice.

Note: Try to use at least 2 kinds of beans for this dish. It’s nice to have variety. My favorite beans for chili are black, pink, kidney, and garbanzo. Feel free to use any kind you like.

Veggie Stir Fry

Chopped Veggies of your choice (2-4 cups)
1-3 Garlic Cloves – minced
Chile – minced (optional)
Oil (one that can stand a high heat such as canola or coconut)
Water – approx. ¼ cup
Tamari – to taste
Cilantro (optional)
Cooked Rice – 2 cups

I like to use big chunks of veggies for this. Just make sure they are similar in size so they cook at the same rate. The veggies we have on hand from the shopping list are carrots, celery, onions, and bell peppers. Heat up some oil in a sauté pan. Add all the chopped veggies and sauté for a few minutes. When veggies are cooked about halfway through, add the garlic and chiles. Small pieces of garlic burn quickly and can ruin a dish so we add them later in the cooking process. Cook for about 2 minutes and add some water. We add the water for 2 reasons. One, it will create steam and speed up the cooking process. Two, it will keep the garlic from burning. Add tamari to taste. Finish with cilantro and serve over cooked rice.

Fried Rice

Chopped Veggies of your choice (2-4 cups)
Garlic – minced
Chile – minced (optional)
Oil (one that can stand a high heat such as canola or coconut)
Water – approx. ¼ cup
Tamari
Cilantro (optional)
Cooked Rice – 2 cups

I like to use smaller chunks of veggies for this. Just make sure they are similar in size so they cook at the same rate. The veggies we have on hand from the shopping list are carrots, celery, onions, and bell peppers. Heat up some oil in a sauté pan. Add all the chopped veggies and sauté for a few minutes. When veggies are cooked about halfway through add the garlic and chiles. Small pieces of garlic burn quickly and can ruin a dish so we add them later in the cooking process. Cook for about 2 minutes and add some water. We add the water for 2 reasons. One, it will create steam and speed up the cooking process. Two, it will keep the garlic from burning. Add tamari to taste. Stir in the fried rice and cook until everything is mixed together and heated through.

Note: This recipe is very similar to the Veggie Stir Fry. The difference is that you chop the veggies into smaller pieces and you add the cooked rice into the pan instead of serving the veggies over the rice.  Also, this is a great time to use the leftover rice from the fridge.  No need to make fresh rice.  The old stuff actually works better.

Quick Refrigerator Pickles

2 Cups of Water
1 cup of Vinegar (I like white or apple cider)
1 tablespoon of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar (or agave or honey)
3 cups of Veggies of your choice (carrots are my favorite but celery works too)

Bring water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a boil and let simmer for a few minutes until salt and sugar dissolve. Clean, peel, and slice veggies into bite-size pieces. Place in clean glass jars. Pour in pickling liquid. Let this cool before you cover with lids. Place in refrigerator.  These will be ready in a few hours and keep for about 2 weeks, if refrigerated.   They only get better with time. Serve as a snack, side dish, on a sandwich, any way you like. These pickles will be very mild. Feel free to adjust salt and sugar ratios or add garlic or chiles to spice things up a bit. If using garlic or chiles, add them to the cooking liquid and simmer along with the other ingredients.

Note: You can save old jars from store-bought pickles, or salsa for this use. No need to buy new ones. You can also use plastic containers, but I prefer glass for this.  


Leave a comment

Pulled Chicken

Well, I know that summer has come and gone, and what a beautiful summer it was. In my neck of the woods it remained around 80 degrees most days. I don’t think we ever even got close to 100 degrees. That’s my kind of summer.

Now autumn is here and while I’m eager to start thinking about how to use apples and pumpkin, I’ve got to share my pulled chicken recipe. Even though we associate barbecue with summer, there’s no bad time for barbecue. This is the perfect recipe for football season, potluck parties, and any time you have a large gathering. I substitute the chicken for the more traditional pork. You will need a little more “sauce” at the end for tossing as the absence of fat in the chicken will make it dry out a little faster than pork shoulder.

In keeping with my mission of cooking with “ingredients” I wanted to show you how easy it is to make your own rub and even, in effect, your own barbecue sauce. There’s no reason to buy ready-made products when you probably have most of the ingredients on hand anyway.

Another recommendation I have for those of you who avoid gluten and wheat is to skip the sandwich and serve this over a baked potato, a baked sweet potato, fries of any kind, and even over tortilla chips to make a unique nachos dish. While I like to use fresh ingredients as much as possible, there are some great frozen fries out there both made from potatoes and sweet potatoes. I like the Alexia brand. Just seek out a brand with limited ingredients like only potatoes or potatoes with salt. Avoid any product that has a long list of ingredients or ingredients that you cannot pronounce.

Of course feel free to pile it on your favorite bread with cole slaw and pickles. Don’t mess with success if that’s what makes you happy.

Pulled Chicken

3-4 lbs. Chicken (boneless/skinless breast or thighs or combo)
Rub (recipe below)
Tomato puree (15 oz. can)
Apple cider vinegar – 1/3 cup
Worcestershire sauce – 2 tsp.

Rub:
Coarse Salt – ¼ cup
Cumin – 1-2 tbsp.
Chili Powder – 1-2 tbsp.
Cayenne – pinch or 2 according to taste
Black Pepper – pinch or 2 according to taste
Cinnamon – pinch or 2 according to taste
Agave (or brown sugar)- ¼ cup

Rub the chicken. Put the chicken in a slow cooker or large heavy pot. Cover with tomato puree, apple cider vinegar and worcestershire sauce. Cook on low for at least 3 hours or until chicken shreds easily.

You will have an excess of cooking liquid at the end. I like to reduce it and toss the chicken with it instead of using barbecue sauce, which is the more traditional route. Serve with your favorite barbecue sauce on the side or, to switch things up, serve pineapple salsa.

All measurements are approximate. Adjust according to your taste.

Serving Suggestion: Top your pulled chicken with pineapple salsa.

Enjoy!

 


1 Comment

Welcome to RealishFood.com

Why Realish Food? Do I want you to eat food that’s only real-ish? No. That’s not it. I want you to relish real food. Get it?

Real + Relish = Realish.

Relish has a double meaning.

Rel-ish

noun: something savory or appetizing added to a meal, as pickles or olives

verb: to make pleasing to the taste

My mission is to get people to eat REAL food. I want to show you how to buy ingredients and make beautiful, real food.   And I want you to (you guessed it) RELISH it. I’ll even teach you how to make a relish or two along the way.

I am excited to start this blog now. Spring has sprung and the farmer’s markets will be overflowing with an abundance of local, fresh, seasonal ingredients readily available to you.

I’m not a nutritionist.   I’m not an expert in organic or sustainable food. I’m not waging war on the packaged food industry. I’m just someone who wants to eat well and feed my family the best food that I can find.

Along the way, I’ll introduce new ingredients and I’ll show you how to use them. I’ll share some of my favorite recipes. And eventually I’ll tell you the reasons why I cook heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly, allergy-free, and gluten-free options; sometimes all at once.  And I’ll show you how delicious that can be. I’ll even show you vegetarian and vegan options that will delight the carnivores in your life. Okay, it might not delight them but it will make them complain less when you omit the meat from their meals.