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Portobello Recipe – Roasted Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinegar

In Dinner, Easy Impress, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Side Dishes by TomLeave a Comment

Healthy recipe ideas for dinner, Portabellas make a great side dish


Portobello Recipe – Roasted Mushroom Side Dish / Appetizer


Portobello mushrooms are from Mars… A UFO shaped meaty treat magically grows on composted poo… Yep an alien species! I am always amazed by their interesting structure (pop off the stalk and observe the texture) and how they seem to hover somewhere between the animal and veggie world.  Maybe they are actually more like fish, they do have gills.

Anyways enough of the tangent… This recipe for preparing portobellos is SUPER simple and will give you the confidence to just pick up a few mushrooms and make them anytime.  I will often grab a few of these mushrooms to make as a snack while enjoying a glass of wine cooking dinner.  A great appetizer idea.

Fun Fact: Portobellos are actually just mature cremini (button) mushrooms.  Check out mushroominfo.com

Recently I picked up a bottle of some exquisite balsamic vinegar a cool little shop called Old Town Oil in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago.  I love finding places like this that are amazingly authentic with true quality ingredients.  So just to tell you how cool it is, they have an entire store with large kegs of various olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  The kegs have taps on them, and they encourage you to try EVERYTHING.  This place is definitely on the list for further exploration.

Let’s cook!

 


Roasted Portobello Mushroom Recipe


Ingredients

  • 3 – portabella mushroom caps
  • 2-3 tablespoons – olive oil to drizzle
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.  Clean the mushrooms.  I like to rinse them with the gill side down, with a gentle water sprinkle on the top.  Dry immediately with a paper towel. Many people worry that rinsing the mushrooms will water-log them.  But for me, the fact that they grow on poo makes me want to give them a quick rinse.  Or if you are cooler than me, just give them a wipe down with a dry paper towel.
Healthy Recipes, Chicago Food Blog, Whole Food Diet, Veggies are good, Easy to Make Dinner, Tom Schmidt, Eat with Tom, Exciting Tastes, Organic Ingredient Foods, Delicious Food Preparation


2. Pop off the stems and scrape the gills from the bottom of the caps with a spoon.
How to prepare portabella mushrooms for roasting, healthy recipe ideas


3. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.

4. Cover a baking sheet with foil and arrange mushrooms in a single layer.  Cook for 10 minutes.

5. Flip mushrooms and cook for an additional 10 minutes.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Easy dinner side dishes, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper


6. Slice mushrooms and drizzle just a bit of balsamic vinegar on top.  If you are feeling wild, pour a small dish with additional vinegar for dipping.
Slice the mushrooms with a chefs knife and drizzle with balsamic vinegar


Let’s Eat!

Slice and dip in fine balsamic vinegar for a gourmet dish

Portobello Recipe – Roasted Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinegar
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This recipe for preparing portabellas is SUPER simple and will give you the confidence to just pick up a few mushrooms and make them anytime. I will often grab a few of these mushrooms to make as a snack while enjoying a glass of wine cooking dinner. A great appetizer idea.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 3 – portobello mushroom caps
  • 2-3 tablespoons – olive oil to drizzle
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Clean the mushrooms. I like to rinse them with the gill side down, with a gentle water sprinkle on the top. Dry immediately with a paper towel. Many people worry that rinsing the mushrooms will water-log them. But for me, the fact that they grow on poo makes me want to give them a quick rinse. Or if you are cooler than me, just give them a wipe down with a dry paper towel.
  2. Pop off the stems and scrape the gills off the bottom the caps with a spoon.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides.
  4. Cover a baking sheet with foil and arrange mushrooms in a single layer. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Flip mushrooms and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
  6. Slice mushrooms and drizzle just a bit of balsamic vinegar on top. If you are feeling wild, pour a small dish with additional vinegar for dipping.
  7. Enjoy!
 

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Grain Free Fried Rice Recipe – Grated Cauliflower and Shrimp

In Dinner, Easy Impress, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Great Left-Overs, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegetables by Tom4 Comments

Eat with Tom makes easy recipes that promote healthy living


Grain-Free Fried Rice Recipe made out of Grated Cauliflower


Seriously, is that fried rice without a grain of rice??  The amazing cauliflower strikes again!  Really, what can’t you do with cauliflower?  Recently I have ran across recipes utilizing this humble plant in all kinds of uncommon ways, such as pizza crust and taco tortillas to name just a few.  Maybe I will have to do an entire series on innovative uses of cauliflower.  I am intrigued.

This fried “rice” experience is so fast and easy to prepare, it will likely go onto your list for weekday dinner meals.  This meal will satisfy even a hearty desire for savory spice without lots of meat.  I have also made this without shrimp and its 93% as good.  Just add all of the spices to the onions and carrots to make a pure veggie version.

This was one of first times putting ancho chiles to work.  The fragrance and color take this dish to the next level.  I picked up some that were already ground up at the Spice House in Old Town.  As I was testing this recipe, one attempt got so spicy that I nearly made my girlfriend cry… and we are not talking about my spicy dance moves either.  So be sure to measure out the peppers in this one or cut them back a bit if are feeling a little less adventurous.

To top off this recipe, don’t forget the squeeze of lime right at the very end.  The touch of acid brightens the flavor and finishes it so nicely.

My favorite thing about this recipe: It’s cauliflower, eat as much as you want.

Let’s Cook!


Cauliflower Fried Rice Step by Step Recipe


Ingredients

For the Shrimp

  • 1 pound – shrimp (thawed, rinsed, shelled, deveined)
  • ½ tablespoon – olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon – sesame oil
  • ½ inch piece – ginger (minced or shredded)
  • 2 cloves – garlic (pressed or minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon – cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon – salt

For the “Rice”

  • 1 head – cauliflower
  • 3 – carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup – peas (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ tablespoon – olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon – sesame oil
  • ½ inch piece – ginger (minced or shredded)
  • 2 cloves – garlic (pressed or minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon – cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon – salt
  • 1 – lime (juiced)
  • 2 eggs

Create the Rice out of Cauliflower


1. Rinse the cauliflower.  Chop the head in half and cut out the tough stem core.  Cut into pieces small enough to fit down the chute of your food processor, roughly 2 inch chunks.[/column]

Methods to cut up cauliflower for vegetarian recipe


2. Shred the cauliflower in a food processor with the medium-grating blade.  This can also be done with a cheese grater if you are without a food processor.  Voila, “rice”!
Recipe ideas for a vegetarian or Paleo version of fried riceIdeas to use your cusinart food processor.Unconventional ways to use food processor cheese grater


3.  Add cauliflower to a steamer basket.  Add 1-2 inches of water to pot and bring to a boil.  Cover and steam for 5 minutes.  Alternatively, you can microwave the cauliflower in covered with plastic wrap (vented by folding back one corner).
Steam cauliflower in Fagor pressure cooker


Shrimp Fried Rice Recipe


4. Prepare the carrots, garlic, ginger and spices.

5. Heat a large wok or deep fry pan over medium heat.  Add ½ each of the olive and sesame oil to the pan.  Allow to heat until a drip of water sizzles (wet hand, and flick a drip in to test).  Add shrimp, and garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, ancho chile powder, white pepper powder, and salt from shrimp ingredients.
Saute shrimp with garlic, ginger and hot peppers


6. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the shrimp turns pink.  This will go pretty quick, finishing in 3-5 minutes.  Once done, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

7. Return the pan to the heat, and add remaining olive and sesame oil.  Saute the carrots and peas for 3 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, ancho chile powder, white pepper powder, and salt from “rice” ingredients.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
Saute carrots and peas for fried rice


8. Add the steamed cauliflower to the vegetables and stir gently to incorporate.  Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the cauliflower begins to fry.  The “rice” will begin to take on a wonderful golden hue.
Combine the carrots, peas and cauliflowerFry the rice until it becomes slightly brown


9. Using the back of a spatula or spoon, arrange the ingredients into a donut shape with a hole in the middle.  Crack the eggs into this spot and stir to scramble.  Allow eggs to cook before incorporating into the rest of the ingredients.  According to an Asian friend, this the proper way to make fried rice!
How to make paleo recipes at home


10. Once eggs are cooked, stir together with the “rice.” Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for just a few minutes to warm the shrimp.
Directions to make healthy recipes at home


11.  Serve in a bowl or on a plate if you are real hungry!

Great leftovers, eat to live healthy


Let’s Eat!

Eat healthy recipe ideas for cauliflower and shrimp

5.0 from 2 reviews
Grain Free Fried Rice Recipe - Grated Cauliflower and Shrimp
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Seriously, is that fried rice without a grain of rice?? The amazing cauliflower strikes again! Really, what can’t you do with cauliflower?
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Side Dish
Cuisine: Asian Vegetarian
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
For the Shrimp
  • 1 pound – shrimp (thawed, rinsed, shelled, deveined)
  • ½ tablespoon - olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon - sesame oil
  • ½ inch piece – ginger (minced or shredded)
  • 2 cloves – garlic (pressed or minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon - cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon – salt
For the "Rice"
  • 1 head - cauliflower
  • 3 – carrots (diced)
  • 1 cup – peas (fresh or frozen)
  • ½ tablespoon - olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon - sesame oil
  • ½ inch piece – ginger (minced or shredded)
  • 2 cloves – garlic (pressed or minced)
  • ¼ teaspoon - cayenne pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ancho chile powder
  • ½ teaspoon – ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon – salt
  • 1 – lime (juiced)
  • 2 eggs
Instructions
  1. Rinse the cauliflower. Chop the head in half and cut out the tough stem core. Cut into pieces small enough to fit down the chute of your food processor, roughly 2 inch chunks.
  2. Shred the cauliflower in a food processor with the medium-grating blade. This can also be done with a cheese grater if you are without a food processor. Voila, “rice”!
  3. Add cauliflower to a steamer basket. Add 1-2 inches of water to pot and bring to a boil. Cover and steam for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave the cauliflower in covered with plastic wrap (vented by folding back one corner).
  4. Prepare the carrots, garlic, ginger and spices.
  5. Heat a large wok or deep fry pan over medium heat. Add ½ each of the olive and sesame oil to the pan. Allow to heat until a drip of water sizzles (wet hand, and flick a drip in to test). Add shrimp, and ½ of each garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, ancho chile powder, white pepper powder, and salt.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the shrimp turns pink. This will go pretty quick, finishing in 3-5 minutes. Once done, remove from pan and set aside on a plate.
  7. Return the pan to the heat, and add remaining olive and sesame oil. Saute the carrots and peas for 3 minutes. Add remaining garlic, ginger, cayenne pepper powder, ancho chile powder, white pepper powder, and salt. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until carrots begin to soften.
  8. Add the steamed cauliflower to the vegetables and stir gently to incorporate. Cook on medium heat for 5 minutes until the cauliflower begins to fry. The “rice” will begin to take on a wonderful golden hue.
  9. Using the back of a spatula or spoon, arrange the ingredients into a donut shape with a hole in the middle. Crack the eggs into this spot and stir to scramble. Allow eggs to cook before incorporating into the rest of the ingredients. According to an Asian friend, this the proper way to make fried rice!
  10. Once eggs are cooked, stir together with the “rice.” Add the shrimp back to the pan and cook for just a few minutes to warm the shrimp.
  11. Serve in a bowl or on a plate if you are real hungry!
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Vegetable Soup Recipe – Lentil Beans, Tomatoes and Spinach

In Dinner, Easy Impress, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Vegetables by TomLeave a Comment

Vegetables to feel healthy, hearty soups to fill you up, start a vegetarian diet, lose weight eating whole foods


River Cottage Veg Inspired – Vegetable Soup Recipe – Lentil Beans, Tomatoes and Spinach


Simple lentils and tomatoes with a fresh twist from spinach and parsley make for a surprisingly satisfying meal.  Add bit of hard goat cheese at the end to further blow your mind.

This soup changed my life.  That might be a little dramatic, but it has been one of my absolute favorites when:

  • I am starving
  • I feel lazy
  • I want to impress girls
  • I am trying to be a vegetarian
  • A friend asks for a quick and easy healthy meal recipe
  • I have a busy week (because it freezes up amazing)

Recipe Inspiration – River Cottage Veg, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

The recipe is adapted from the River Cottage Veg cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  I can’t say enough good things about this book.  Hugh is such an interesting vegetable recipe author because actually became famous for a cookbook full of meat recipes called the The River Cottage Meat Book.

In an earlier life, I would have considered myself a meat-a-tarian, and then something happened.  I read a few health and food books, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, listened to Rich Roll’s Podcast, and decided to do a life experiment.  I set out on a non-meat diet for a month or so to see what would happen.

Would I die from a lack of protein or feel so hungry that I wanted to chew off my arm?  Maybe… The first day or two were a challenge until I settled into a few new habits.  Then came some amazing results.  I began feeling overly energetic, fit, and generally healthy!  (PS I am not that good at playing by the rules, so I might have had a random meal of chicken wings or steak in there, but even then, the results were REAL from going mostly veggie!)
Add lentil beans to the tomatoes, onions and carrots with herbs de Provance, eat with tom

The introduction to this book struck a chord with me because (like me) Hugh enjoys beautifully crafted meat dishes, but felt it was necessary to allow veggies to play a larger role in his diet.  His philosophy is not based around meat replacements, but rather satisfying and flavorful preparations of vegetables.

With Hugh’s recipes, you will not feel emptiness in your heart due to a lack of meat.  Actually, you may even start to dream of all of the amazing vegetables and lust for the next meal of green stuff.   I did…

Let’s cook!


Vegetable Soup with Lentil Beans Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ – onions (chopped)
  • 3 – carrots (halved longwise, sliced)
  • 3 cloves – garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 2 tablespoons – Herbes de Provence
  • 4 – tomatoes (chopped into ½ inch pieces)
  • 32 ounces – chicken or veggie stock
  • ¾ cup – french lentil beans
  • 1 bunch – flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 2 handfuls – spinach
  • Hard goat cheese to garnish

1. Sauté on medium heat onions, carrots, garlic, and Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper in a large wok pan or medium sized stockpot.  Cook and 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften.  Put lentil beans into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.
Cut onions with Wustof chef knife


2. Add tomatoes and sauté for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and integrate with the other ingredients.

Saute onions and carrots - Veggie Lentil Soup


3. Add chicken stock and rinsed lentil beans.  Continue cooking at medium heat until soup begins to boil gently.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35 minutes.  Stir gently occasionally.

Healthy ways to feed your family River Cottage Veg recipe - Veggie Lentil SoupMason jars at work, homesteading, vegetable soup recipe, french lentil beansSoup with tomatoes and French lentil beans - Lentil Veggie Soup RecipeAdd lentil beans to the tomatoes, onions and carrots with herbs de Provance, eat with tom


4. Take a taster spoonful of soup and test the lentils doneness.  Ideally they will be softening up, but if not continue simmering for another 5 -10 minutes.

Test your vegetable soup for lentil bean done-ness, simmer longer if vegetables and lentil beans are not ready


5. Add parsley and spinach stir in gently.  If the soup has boiled down, feel free to add a 1-2 cups of water to expand it.  Simmer for 3 minutes until parsley and spinach have wilted into the soup.  Add additional salt to taste.  Depending on your stock, you may need to add a significant amount.

Add the parsley to create a mind-blowing flavor in your classic lentil vegetable soupTurn spinach into vegetable lentil and tomato soupSunday afternoon meals for a healthy family


6. Ladle into bowls and add a bit of hard goat cheese to garnish.

Let’s Eat!

easy-dinner-recipe-healty-veggies-start-your-life-today-15

Vegetable Soup Recipe - Lentil Beans, Tomatoes and Spinach
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Simple lentils and tomatoes with a fresh twist from spinach and parsley make for a surprisingly satisfying meal. Add bit of hard goat cheese at the end to further blow your mind.
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ – onions (chopped)
  • 3 – carrots (halved longwise, sliced)
  • 3 cloves – garlic (minced or pressed)
  • 2 tablespoons – Herbes de Provence
  • 4 – tomatoes (chopped into ½ inch pieces)
  • 32 ounces – chicken or veggie stock
  • ¾ cup – french lentil beans
  • 1 bunch – flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • 2 handfuls – spinach
  • Hard goat cheese to garnish
Instructions
  1. Sauté on medium heat onions, carrots, garlic, and Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper in a large wok pan or medium sized stockpot. Cook and 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and carrots begin to soften. Put lentil beans into a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.
  2. Add tomatoes and sauté for another 3-5 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften and integrate with the other ingredients.
  3. Add chicken stock and rinsed lentil beans. Continue cooking at medium heat until soup begins to boil gently. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 35 minutes. Stir gently occasionally.
  4. Take a taster spoonful of soup and test the lentils doneness. Ideally they will be softening up, but if not continue simmering for another 5 -10 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and spinach stir in gently. If the soup has boiled down, feel free to add a 1-2 cups of water to expand it. Simmer for 3 minutes until parsley and spinach have wilted into the soup. Add additional salt to taste. Depending on your stock, you may need to add a significant amount.
  6. Ladle into bowls and add freshly grated hard goat cheese to garnish.
 

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Pressure Cooker Recipe – How to Cook Dry Beans w/ Timetable

In Dinner, Essential Homemade, Recipe, Vegetables by Tom3 Comments

Mason Jars, Hippie eating, Eat with Tom, Best bean recipe


How to Cook Dry Beans – Pressure Cooker Recipe


Do people actually cook with those dried beans or does everyone just layer them into Mason Jars to gain hipster points?  The traditional way of preparing beans, with the overnight soak, hours of cooking, and on and on is just too much for me.  Fine I’ll just eat the canned stuff if that is the only option.

Then I was introduced to one of my favorite new tools in the kitchen, the pressure cooker!  My dad bought me this one (Fagor Duo 8-Quart ) on Amazon and had it sent to my apartment.  I thought “Cool Dad, maybe I’ll use this once or twice…”  Little did I know how awesome this tool would be for producing a few key foods that can take your dishes to the next level.

With dried beans, a whole new world of fresh and clean food opens up that cannot be obtained from a can.  On top of the variety of dried beans available, you can even save some cash over purchasing organic canned beans.  If you can do a few extra steps and save a little, that might just allow you to splurge on a few other healthy eating items or better wine!  At least this is how I validate it to myself.

Recipe Inspiration – Bean cooking time table from FastCooking.ca

Pressure Cooking time table, Cook Organic Beans at Home

I challenge you to bring home some new varieties of beans and try them out!  I found a very useful table from www.fastcooking.ca to assist you in your quest to prepare the perfect bean.  The recipe I have detailed here is an “Unsoaked, Quick Release” application.  Supposedly a pre-soak cleanses some of the “gas” producing enzymes from the beans, but I kind of think this is an old wives tale.  For me, organic beans prepared this way are fantastic, and do not cause any additional fragrant side effects.

Be sure to leave out the salt!  This will make your beans moooshy and kill the texture.  Another big win over the commercially canned version.

Preparing beans fresh each time you want to toss together a chili can be a hassle, but luckily they freeze up pretty well.  I am big fan of storing them in quart sized ziplock freezer bags and stacking them flat in the freezer.  There are also methods to can your own beans in Mason Jars, but I have not worked out the best practices yet.

Let’s cook!


How to Cook Dry Beans – Pressure Cooker Recipe


Ingredients

  • 3 Cups – White Beans (Soldier Beans, Navy Beans)
  • 9 Cups – Water
  • 2 Tablespoons – Olive Oil
  • 2 – Bay Leaves

1. Rinse white beans (AKA Great Northern) in a colander with cold water.  Check for any foreign objects or flawed beans.

2. Add beans and water to pressure cooker.  A basic rule is 1 part dry beans to 3 parts water.

Soldier Beans, Navy Bean Recipes, Kitchen Basic Education


3. Add bay leaf and olive oil. Remember no salt!

4. Heat on medium-high un-covered until boiling.  Cover and secure lid.  Set to high pressure (#2 on the Fagor, or 16 PSI).  Leave heat at medium-high until the cooker begins to vent and steam is steadily escaping.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 28 minutes after reaching pressure.
Bay Leaf, Olive Oil, Essential cooking skills, basic ingredients


5. To perform the quick-release method, take the cooker (still locked) to the sink and run cold water over the top.  This will rapidly release the pressure preventing your beans from over cooking.

Let’s Eat!

White Beans, Homemade food, Organic beans, Whole Food Diet

Pressure Cooker Recipe - How to Cook Dry Beans w/ Timetable
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Dried beans are more than just a way to look like a cool hipster. Organic dried beans prepared in the pressure cooker are quick and delicious.
Author:
Recipe type: Bean Recipes
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 Cups - White Beans (Soldier Beans, Navy Beans)
  • 9 Cups - Water
  • 2 Tablespoons - Olive Oil
  • 2 - Bay Leaves
Instructions
  1. Rinse white beans (AKA Navy Beans, Soldier Beans) in a colander with cold water. Check for any foreign objects or flawed beans.
  2. Add beans and water to pressure cooker. A basic rule is 1 part dry beans to 3 parts water.
  3. Add bay leaf and olive oil. Remember no salt!
  4. Heat on medium-high un-covered until boiling. Cover and secure lid. Set to high pressure (#2 on the Fagor, or 16 PSI). Leave heat at medium-high until the cooker begins to vent and steam is steadily escaping. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 28 minutes after reaching pressure.
  5. To perform the quick-release method, take the cooker (still locked) to the sink and run cold water over the top. This will rapidly release the pressure preventing your beans from over cooking.
  6. Enjoy!
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Roasted Broccoli Recipe, Simple Side Dish

In Easy Impress, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Side Dishes, Vegetables by TomLeave a Comment

Roasted Broccoli - Eat with Tom


Broccoli Recipe for a Super Easy and Delicious Vegetable Dish


Broccoli is often cited as everyone’s favorite vegetable, especially raw.  Wrong…  Until now!  Roasted broccoli is guaranteed to change your feelings to pure love for this flowery green veggie.

I learned about roasting various vegetables a few years back, and still whip out this technique on a regular basis.  Roasting has a unique effect on veggies that draws the sugars out and carmelizes them on the surface.  This creates a wonderfully different taste and texture than steaming, etc.  You will eat more broccoli than in your wildest dreams, and even like it!

This technique can be applied to many other ingredients and is especially great with root vegetables like sweet potatoes.  Another of my favorite applications of roasting is the uncanny combination of brussel sprouts and red grapes. My favorite tool for this dish is a vintage copper bottomed Paul Revere Au Gratin pan.  This was another funny, but amazingly useful item resulting from my father’s Ebay habit.


Roasted Broccoli Recipe


Ingredients

  • 1 pound – Broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons – Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon – Salt
  • 1 tablespoon – Black Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Rinse your broccoli crowns in cold water.
2. Cut into 1.5-2 inch florets.  Toss the stalks into your veggie scrap bucket.

3. Put broccoli into a large mixing bowl.  Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I like a lot of black pepper in this dish, so don’t be scared.

4. Spread broccoli into a single layer in a gratin dish or on baking sheet.  For a crispier finish, use parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Broccoli is delicious, Fall in Love with Veggies, Eat with Tom


5. Cook for 10 minutes on the middle rack.  Remove from oven and gently stir.  Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes.  If you like it crispier, another 5 minutes should do it.

6. Share with your friends!

Let’s Eat!

Fresh easy methods to prepare vegetables, Roasted Vegetables, Impress your friends with cooking skills

Roasted Broccoli Recipe, Simple Side Dish
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Roasting broccoli creates a wonderfully different taste and texture than steaming, etc. You will eat more broccoli than in your wildest dreams, and even like it!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 pound - Broccoli
  • 2 tablespoons - Olive Oil
  • ½ teaspoon - Salt
  • 1 tablespoon - Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse your broccoli crowns in cold water.
  2. Cut into 1.5-2 inch florets. Toss the stalks into your veggie scrap bucket.
  3. Put broccoli into a large mixing bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. I like a lot of black pepper in this dish, so don’t be scared.
  4. Spread broccoli into a single layer in a gratin dish or on baking sheet. For a crispier finish, use parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  5. Cook for 10 minutes on the middle rack. Remove from oven and gently stir. Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes. If you like it crispier, another 5 minutes should do it.
  6. Share with your friends and enjoy!
 

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Green Smoothie Recipe – Cucumbers, Avocado, Spinach

In Breakfast, Green Smoothies, Paleo Friendly, Recipe, Vegetables by Tom1 Comment

Health benefits of green smoothies, blenders for great smoothies


Green Smoothie Recipe with Avocados, Spinach, Cucumbers, Apple, Pear


There are infinite combinations of fruits and veggies to grind up into smoothies, but some small additions to norms are a real treat.  This time around I added cucumbers to some basic green smoothie ingredients resulting in a little lighter and brighter combo.

For me the trick to most amazing smoothie is a great blender.  I invested in a Blendtec blender a few years ago, although it did take a while for me stomach the price tag, I am so happy that I took the plunge.  This blender is ridiculously strong, to say the least.  The speed is high enough to even smooth out those pesky raspberry and blackberry seeds that get caught in your teeth.  Want proof of how wildly strong this blender is, check out the Blendtec CEO in his famous “Will it blend” series on YouTube.

Enjoying a green smoothie with a few eggs is my favorite breakfast, although this smoothie is hearty enough for a meal.  If you have a job where you have to leave the house early in morning, the ingredients can be roughly chopped and stored in the fridge.  This is one of my favorite methods to add a healthy green habit to your day.  When it comes to the spinach, the amount can be increased / decreased based on your taste for the green stuff.  If you find yourself out of spinach, kale can be substituted.  An additional apple  can be substituted for the pear.  The banana can be omitted for less sweet, less creamy finish.


How to Make a Green Smoothie


Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Pear
  • 1-Handful Spinach
  • 1-Cup Water

1. Prepare fruits and veggies for blending. Be sure to trim out the seeds on the apple because they contain arsenic (although it may be a very small amount, no need to injest…)

Ingredients for green smoothie recipe, fruit and greens, spinach and cucumber

2.Blend on the “XL Smoothie” setting on the Blendtec.  To blend manually, start with a slow setting for 10 seconds,  and then increase to high speed for 15-20 seconds.

Let’s Eat!

Bright green smoothie recipe, Chicago Food Blogger

Green Smoothie Recipe - Cucumbers, Avocado, Spinach
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A bright and hearty green smoothie to kick-start your day!
Author:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Cuisine: American
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ½ Cucumber
  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Pear
  • 1-Handful Spinach
  • 1-Cup Water
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender.
  2. Blend on the "XL Smoothie" setting with a Blendtec. To blend manually, start with a slow setting for 10 seconds, and then increase to high speed for 15-20 seconds.
  3. Enjoy!
 

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How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

In Basics, Dinner, Essential Homemade, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Vegetables by TomLeave a Comment

chicken stock recipe mason jars


Chicken Stock Recipe with How To Instructions


Chicken stock from scratch is one of the most under-rated, and under appreciated beauties in cooking.  This winter I have been making lots of soups and they all seem to require some form of soup stock.  Then I got kinda cheap, and thought…man, 4 bucks for some chicken flavored water…  So I began making my own.  Then I started canning it too.

I have utilized a pressure cooker to make this a quicker process, but you can do it with traditional methods as well.  I have included timing notes below for alternative methods.

Another beautiful thing about homemade chicken stock is that when you splurge on an organic chicken, you can really get your money’s worth.  I have started a bone bucket, a Gladware 8 cup tub, that I toss all my chicken scraps into throughout the week and then store it in the freezer.  When the bucket is full its time to make some stock!  Also I have began keeping a veggie scrap bucket with things like kale stems, onion trimmings, carrot scraps, parsley stems, etc.  This practice of saving the both the chicken and veggie scraps gives me plenty of stock material and I barely have to use any new ingredients.  In other words, think of the stock as a your fresh food garbage disposal!

Ingredients

  • Bones from a whole chicken
  • 2 – carrots
  • 1 – onion
  • Leftover kale stems
  • 1 Tablespoon – Herbs de Provence or a general Italian Seasoning
  • 10 – black peppercorns
  • 2 – bay leaves
  • 12 cups – water (approximately)

 

How to Make Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Chicken Stock
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • Bones from a whole chicken
  • 2 – carrots
  • 1 – onion
  • Leftover kale stems
  • 1 Tablespoon - Herbs de Provence or a general Italian Seasoning
  • 10 – black peppercorns
  • 2 – bay leaves
  • 12 cups – water (approximately)
Instructions
Pressure Cooker Method
  1. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker. Add water and heat over medium-high heat. Water should fill the pot to about ⅔ full. The pressure cooker requires some airspace to get up to pressure and work properly, so don’t get too ambitious.
  2. Once stock has begun to boil, cover with lid and lock the handle. Set your pressure gauge to “high” pressure or 16 psi. Reduce heat to medium until the pressure release valve begins to hiss. Your pot is now up to pressure.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low heat. This should maintain enough heat to hold the pressure. If your pot stopping releasing steam, increase heat slightly. Cook for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and release the pressure valve. Be careful of the escaping steam!
  5. Once the pressure has released, unlock and open the pot. Place a large bowl or second stockpot in the sink with a colander on top. Dump the entire pressure cooker contents through the colander into the bowl. Throw out all bones and veggies.
  6. (optional) Return stock back to the pressure cooker pot. Rinse out your bowl and find your fine mesh sieve. Pour stock through sieve to remove all remaining small pieces of spices, etc. I usually do this if I am going to can the stock just to make it more versatile.
  7. Stock is DONE!
Variations
  1. Cook in crockpot / slow cooker for 6 hours on low. You may need to adjust your water and other ingredients to fit in your cooker.
  2. Cook in a traditional stockpot on a low simmer for 2-3 hours.
Storage methods
  1. Canning - Chicken stock is one of the easiest things to can in Mason Jars, but for this you need a pressure cooker. The pressure cooker on high (16 PSI) reaches a temperature of 240F / 116C which kills the botulism spores, making it safe to store without refrigeration.
  2. Freezing – Stock freezes well and keeps for a few months. I like the freezer Gladware 8 cup containers.
  3. Ball also makes freezer safe 24-ounce Mason Jars. This method of canning, does not require any special equipment or treatment. Just be sure to leave ¾ inch headspace to allow for expansion.
 

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White Bean Soup w/ Mushrooms, Vegetarian

In Dinner, Great Left-Overs, Recipe, Vegetables by Tom1 Comment

Sage, Thyme, Shitake Mushrooms, Onions, Soldier Beans


White Bean Soup with Mushrooms and Sage


Recipe Inspiration – She Wears Many Hats (blog)

A big and hearty winter soup to warm up your spirits through the winter.  My favorite elements of this soup are the roasted mushrooms, wow!  Combined with the onions and herbs, the roasted ingredients fill the house with a wonderful aroma.  We even sampled the mushrooms this time before adding to the soup and they are a great snack.  The addition of the blended beans and onion component build up a thick richness in this soup giving it an almost creamy effect.

Uses for sage and thyme, Lunch ideas

Winter 2014 in Chicago, aka Chiberia is shaping up to quite the monster. As an old man in the elevator said, “Ahh boy, this is winter on steroids this year.”  Today I am making this soup and looking out over the ice flows and glaciers of Lake Michigan, whoa.


White Bean Soup with Mushrooms and Sage Recipe


Ingredients

  • 2 – Onions
  • 16 – Ounces of Mushrooms (shitake are nice)
  • 6 – Garlic Cloves
  • 5 – Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 – Stems of Sage (10 leaves)
  • 2 – Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 6 – Cups of Cooked White Beans in Cooking Liquid (or 3 – 15 ounce cans)
  • 1 1/2 – Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ½ – Teaspoon of Pepper

1. Pre-heat oven on to 450 degrees.  Chop the shitake mushrooms into bite sized pieces, quartered works well.  Other types of mushrooms are also good, but the shitake’s add another level of richness.  Arrange in a single layer on one half of a foil lined sheet pan.

2. Roughly chop the onions and arrange in a single layer on the other half of the foil lined sheet pan.  Toss the whole garlic cloves in with the onions, no need to chop or mince because they will be blended.  Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the ingredients. Dust with salt and pepper, sage and thyme stems.  Toss lightly, but try to keep the onions separate from the mushrooms.
Chicago food blogger Tom Schmidt, Filling vegetarian meals, Aromatic herbs


3. Roast the mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes, stir gently and return to oven.  Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes until the onions wilt and become slightly carmelized on the edges (ya know, kinda burned in a good way).  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.  Pop a few of those mushrooms, they are a treat!
Whole ingredient cooking, eat at home, quick dinner ideas


4. While the mushrooms and onions are roasting, combine the stock, white beans, thyme leaves, sage leaves, salt and pepper in a medium sized stock pot.  Simmer on low.

5. With a ladle, transfer two cups of beans and stock to a blender.  Add the roasted onions to the blender.  Blend until smooth.  This mixture will act as the thickening component in the soup making it awesome.
Blendtec is the bomb, interesting uses for beans, home cooked meals


6. Add the blended mixture and mushrooms back to the stock pot.  Simmer on low until ready to eat.

Quick dinner ideas, basic ingredients for gourmet meal


Let’s Eat!

Tom Schmidt creates and share delicious recipes from his high-rise Chicago apartment kitchen

White Bean Soup w/ Mushrooms, Vegetarian
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
My favorite elements of this soup are the roasted mushrooms, wow! Combined with the onions and herbs, fill the house with a wonderful aroma when roasting. We had to sample them before adding to the soup, and they are actually a delicious snack. The other reason why this is a notable soup, is the addition of a blended bean and onion component to build up a thick and richness to the soup.
Author:
Recipe type: Winter Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 – Onions
  • 16 – Ounces of Mushrooms (shitake are nice)
  • 6 – Garlic Cloves
  • 5 – Sprigs of Thyme
  • 4 – Stems of Sage (10 leaves)
  • 2 – Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 6 – Cups of Cooked White Beans in Cooking Liquid (or 3 – 15 ounce cans)
  • 1½ - Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 ½ - Teaspoon of Pepper
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven on to 450 degrees. Chop the shitake mushrooms into bite sized pieces, quartered works well. Other types of mushrooms are also good, but the shitake’s add another level of richness. Arrange in a single layer on one half of a foil lined sheet pan.
  2. Roughly chop the onions and arrange in a single layer on the other half of the foil lined sheet pan. Toss the whole garlic cloves in with the onions, no need to chop or mince because they will be blended. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the ingredients. Dust with salt and pepper, sage and thyme stems. Toss lightly, but try to keep the onions separate from the mushrooms.
  3. Roast the mushrooms and garlic for 5 minutes, stir gently and return to oven. Roast for another 5 to 10 minutes until the onions wilt and become slightly carmelized on the edges (ya know, kinda burned in a good way). Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Pop a few of those mushrooms, they are a treat!
  4. While the mushrooms and onions are roasting, combine the stock, white beans, thyme leaves, sage leaves, salt and pepper in a medium sized stock pot. Simmer on low.
  5. With a ladle, transfer two cups of beans and stock to a blender. Add the roasted onions to the blender. Blend until smooth. This mixture will act as the thickening component in the soup making it awesome.
  6. Add the blended mixture and mushrooms back to the stock pot. Simmer on low until ready to eat.
 

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Lacinato Kale and Eggs Recipe (Black Kale)

In Breakfast, Paleo Friendly, Recipe by Tom3 Comments

Dinosaur Kale, Delicious breakfast, paleo

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Kale Recipe for Breakfast with Eggs


When I wake up, I walk directly to the stove.  Regardless of the day, I enjoy a nice hearty breakfast.  This dish is a rather quick way to get both your greens and eggs.  I have made this dish with all kinds of kale (Curly Kale, Red Kale, Lacinato Kale, etc.), but Black Kale (aka Lacinato Kale) is by far my absolute favorite.  The flavor and texture is strong enough to give you the feeling of eating a “real” meal, but not so much to chew on that you are late for work!

For a while, I was on a spinach and eggs kick. It’s easy and boosts the greens intake and with a bit of cheese, almost tastes like an omelette. Then one day I ran out of spinach and I wanted to eat greens with my eggs… Enter Kale. You will love the richness of the kale and how it holds it shape a bit better than spinach. Additionally the eggs cook a little better without the wetness that usually accompanies cooked spinach. If you want a softer kale, just put a lid on it for a minute or two prior to adding the eggs.

Ingredients

  • 1 Bunch – Lacinato Kale
  • 6 – Organic Eggs
  • 1/4 Cup – Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 tsp – Olive Oil
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