Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

Cauliflower Fritters

Okay, first of all, let me just say, these cauliflower fritters are awesome.

I know what you’re thinking. Cauliflower fritters? That sounds kinda…ew.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with these either, but they far exceeded  my expectations. These are delicious.
After making pizza with a cauliflower crust, I should have realized the wonders of cauliflower, but I was still a little wary.

These are great for dinner, but they would be equally great for breakfast as well. They taste for all the world like they’re made with potatoes. I thought they tasted like a cross between hash browns and potato pancakes. You could definitely feed these to kids as a way to get extra vegetables in them (they go great with ketchup). They would think they’re potatoes. They’ll never know….(insert maniacal laughter here). I don’t have kids (I need to work on that), but when I do someday, I will feed these to them. Amen.

I adapted this recipe from SkinnyTaste, but there are many variations out there if you search. Feel free to add other things to these (maybe more vegetables?!), but I recommend trying them out in their simplest form first. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


Serving Suggestion: Serve to unsuspecting children (and adults) who will think they are eating a delicious potato cheese patty sent down from the heavens.

Cauliflower Fritters

(makes about 12 fritters)

  • 1 large head of cauliflower, steamed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 c. whole wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, diced or 1 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 c. hot water
  • dash of salt and pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Mix everything except the olive oil in a large bowl until well combined.
  2. Heat 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Scoop out a heaping 1/4 cup of the cauliflower mixture for each fritter. Cook in the skillet (about four fritters at a time, or whatever your skillet will allow) until golden brown on one side. Flip, and cook on remaining side until golden brown. Serve immediately.

July 20, 2012 at 7:38 am Leave a comment

Scalloped Potatoes With Onions

If you’re cooking dinner for a crowd, or want something classic and delicious that everyone will like to take to a potluck dinner; you can’t go wrong with scalloped potatoes with onions.

I made this for Easter to go with our Easter ham, and they were soooo good.

It’s hard to go wrong with potatoes, onions, cheese, and cream though.

Everyone loves potatoes, and it’s a fact of the universe that cheese and cream make everything better.

Don’t question it. Just accept it.

Feel the balance of the universe aligning as you accept this universal truth…



Scalloped Potatoes with Onions

(serves 8)

  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, washed, and thinly sliced
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (I used a cheddar jack mix, but use whatever you like)
  • 2 c. heavy cream
  • 2 c. chicken broth
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9 x 11 in. baking dish.
  2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent, 4 – 5 minutes.
  3. Layer 1/3 of the potato slices in the baking dish, slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then 1/2 the nutmeg. Add 1/2 the onions followed by 1 c. of the shredded cheese.
  4. Repeat with 1/3 of the potato slices, salt and pepper, the remaining 1/2 of the nutmeg, the remaining 1/2 of the onions, and 1 c. shredded cheese.
  5. Finish with the last 1/3 of the potato slices, this time arranging them in a spiral (if you want to be fancy). Sprinkle the last 1 c. of cheese on top.
  6. In a small bowl, combine the cream and chicken broth. Pour on top of the cheese and potatoes.
  7. Cover baking dish with parchment paper and then aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Increase temperature to 425° F. Remove parchment paper and foil, and cook for another 45 minutes, or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender.
  9. Let rest for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.


April 19, 2012 at 9:15 am Leave a comment

Roasted Asparagus

I love asparagus season.

Asparagus is one of those vegetables that always seems gourmet, no matter how you prepare it. And it’s always delicious. Except maybe when it’s not in season and has been sitting in the bottom of the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator for two weeks. Then it probably won’t be delicious. It will be limp and icky. And maybe a little slimy if you’re especially unlucky.
But if it’s asparagus season, and you don’t neglect your asparagus, it will be delicious!

I love all the things you can do with asparagus.

  •  Put it in a quiche or frittata!
  • Put it in an omelet!
  • Put it in a strata!
  • Put it in a salad!
  • Serve it with hollandaise sauce!
  • Serve it wrapped in bacon!
  • Serve it with toasted walnuts and drizzled with a balsamic glaze!
  • Serve it sautéed with garlic and pine nuts!
  • Serve it  with pasta!
  • Serve it in a stir-fry!

I could go on forever…

Or at least another 10 lines…

The great thing about asparagus though, is that you don’t have to do anything fancy with it. Keeping it as simple as possible really lets its great natural flavor shine through.
And it stills seems somehow gourmet.


Roasted Asparagus

(serves 7 – 8 as a side)

  • 3 lb. asparagus
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Wash asparagus stalks thoroughly. Trim about 1/2 inch off the ends. If stalks are thick, use a vegetable peeler to peel the thick base of each stalk.
  3. Place in a rimmed baking pan. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss until asparagus is well coated.
  4. Bake until tender, about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

April 13, 2012 at 11:45 am Leave a comment

Grilled Veggie and Pesto Sandwiches

It’s been unusually warm here in Oklahoma lately.

Well, actually yesterday and today have been a little cooler, and by that I mean more along the lines of normal April weather (temps in the 70’s).

Last week, the high temperatures were generally in the 80’s, and on Sunday it even got into the 90’s. Very weird for the end of March, beginning of April, no?

At our house, we just with it. Preview of summer? Okay then! Let’s crank the A/C and fire up the grill! And fire up the grill I did.

I wanted something quick, healthy, and tasty that wouldn’t heat up the kitchen any more than necessary. Grilling is great when it’s hot for that very reason. It’s usually easy, often tasty, and it won’t heat up your kitchen at all (unless for some odd reason your grill is in your kitchen, which is probably a huge safety no no, and generally just a bad idea).

I decided to make grilled veggie sandwiches on ciabatta rolls, which ended up being really really good. For my vegetables, I grilled sliced onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and eggplant (but feel free to use whatever you like). I cut the ciabatta rolls in half, buttered them, and toasted them on the grill as well. To serve them, I put pesto and mayonnaise on the rolls, some of the grilled veggies, and mozzarella cheese (again, use whatever cheese you want/have).

These were really simple and fast, but oh so good! I will definitely be making these throughout the summer!

 Serve them with your favorite salad or vegetable. Cole slaw and grilled corn on the cob come to mind.
After 4 years of not being able to have a grill in Japan, I’m looking forward to grilling everything I can this summer! Bring it on!

Grilled Veggie and Pesto Sandwiches

(serves 5 – 7)

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • ciabatta rolls
  • butter
  • pesto
  • mayonnaise
  • mozzarella cheese (or any sliced cheese of your choice)
  1. Heat up grill on high for a few minutes, then lower heat to medium.
  2. Slice eggplant and zucchini. Chop onion and green bell pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Grill vegetables until tender, flipping eggplant and zucchini slices once, and stirring onion and bell pepper around. Remove to a serving plate.
  4. Cut ciabatta rolls in half, and butter each half lightly. Grill, buttered side down, until slightly brown and toasted. Remove to a serving plate.
  5. To serve, spread pesto and mayonnaise on ciabatta rolls. Place grilled veggies and sliced cheese between rolls halves and enjoy.

April 5, 2012 at 8:58 am Leave a comment

Salad Bar Dinner

I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much less tired today. Hisa and I even went swimming this morning, although it was sooo cold out. We’ve been having a pretty mild winter this year so far, so it was a bit of a shock to have freezing cold temperatures when we went to the pool, and even when we came back (I thought my wet hair was going to freeze).

I’ve discovered, however, that it’s quite refreshing to go swimming early in the morning! I always thought I couldn’t never handle any form of exercise early in the morning before breakfast, but I’m getting quite used to it now. Hisa and I have been going to swim in the mornings about twice a week the past couple weeks, and I have to say, I’m quite proud of myself for it! I’ve exercise regularly in the late morning, afternoon, and evening before (all times of day have their pros and cons), but this is the first time I’ve been able to regularly exercise at the crack of dawn. As someone who thinks waking up before dawn is a form of cruel and unusual punishment, I have to say that if I can do it, I really think anyone can. 🙂

The other night for dinner, I decided to do something different, and laid out our own little salad bar. I thought of all the toppings I thought my family would like, prepared two different salad dressings, and laid everything out. It was a simple dinner, but healthy and quite fun really.
You could also serve bread sticks or focaccia bread with this. Or maybe some cookies for dessert. Mmmm, cookies…

I made a simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing and my honey mustard dressing made with greek yogurt, but use whatever dressings you like.

Here’s the toppings I used for our salad bar to give you some ideas:

  • organic spring lettuce mix
  • baby spinach
  • stir-fried chicken pieces (sliced grilled, fried, and baked chicken are great too)
  • broccoli florets
  • avocado
  • garbanzo beans
  • tomatoes
  • cubed tofu
  • matchstick carrots
  • olives
  • feta cheese
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • boiled eggs
  • walnuts
  • dried cranberries
  • mushrooms
  • blanched snow peas

Here are some more toppings ideas:

  • sliced apple/pear
  • Mandarin orange pieces
  • strawberries
  • crumbled goat/Gorgonzola cheese
  • slivered almonds
  • cooked quinoa
  • cooked salmon/tuna
  • sliced onion
  • bell peppers
  • cucumber

Even though it’s super simple to simply set things out, when you have a wide variety of toppings, it somehow seems a little fancy. Especially if you have all the toppings in matching bowls. I think this would be a fun lunch or light dinner for when you have guests over.

Mmmm, I love me some salad!

January 19, 2012 at 1:38 am Leave a comment

Puff Pastry Pie

We just had an electrician come out to the house this morning to fix some electrical problems. The main thing was the electrical fireplace, which hasn’t been working for a long time. There were also some electrical outlets inside and outside the house that weren’t working.

The electrician fixed everything in about five minutes without the use of any tools. I kid you not. He turned a knob, flipped a switch, and pressed a button, and suddenly everything worked perfectly.

Nothing like a skilled electrician to make one feel dumb and electrically challenged. I don’t think that’s a real term, electrically challenged, but I’m just going to go with it. Don’t think. Just feel it.

So all of our outlets work great now, and our fireplace has a lovely fire in it.

Respect the electrician.

That’s the moral of today.

Last night, I made one of my favorite recipes of my mom’s for dinner: Puff Pastry Pie. I loved this meal growing up as a kid. My mom just came up with the idea for this one day, and it’s been a hit with our family ever since.

First, brown your ground meat. Whatever kind you please. The steam made this picture look kinda funky. But it’s art, right?! I think I shall call it, “Meat Through the Fog”.


Second, steam your broccoli florets, potatoes, and carrots (not pictured – opps). Next, saute onion, garlic, and dried rosemary in a skillet with some olive oil until the onion turns translucent.


Add 1/3 c. flour and then mix it around well until it becomes paste-like.


Whisk in some milk and chicken broth, and continue whisking until it’s smooth and thickens. What an exciting picture this is. I think I’ll call this one, “The White Bog of Sauciness”. Respect art.

Lay out the thawed puff pastry sheets (both sheets) on a couple of baking sheets, and pop them in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until they’re golden brown. Mmmmm, puff pastry.

Mix the steamed vegetables with the sauce, and then serve everything. Don’t forget the cheese! Never forget the cheese!

Ah, this picture sings the song of my childhood!


Puff Pastry Pie

(serves 4)

  • 1 lb. ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, any will do)
  • 3 c. potatoes, diced
  • 1 c. carrots, diced
  • 2 c. broccoli crowns
  • 1/2 c. butter (or 1/4 c. butter and 1/4 c. olive oil)
  • 1/4 c. onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 2 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 1/2 c. chicken broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 package puff pastry
  • 1 – 2 c. shredded cheese
  1. Thaw out frozen puff pastry, and lay both sheets out flat on one or two baking sheets.
  2. Preheat oven to 400° F (200° C).
  3. Add ground meat to a skillet over med-high heat, and brown meat. When completely cooked, add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  4. Steam potatoes, carrots, and broccoli in a large pot together until tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
  5. In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and rosemary, and cook gently until onion is translucent, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  6. Add flour to pot, and cook until flour becomes paste-like, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  7. Whisk in milk and chicken broth until smooth. Continue whisking until sauce thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Add steamed vegetables to sauce and mix  until everything is well coated.
  9. Bake puff pastry until golden brown, 10 – 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into rectangles.
  10. Pour sauce/vegetable mixture and meat mixture into separate large serving bowls and serve along with puff pastry rectangles.
  11. To eat, pull one puff pastry piece in half. Add ground meat, vegetable mixture, and cheese as desired on top of bottom puff pastry piece. Place top puff pastry piece on top of filling and eat.

December 22, 2011 at 12:37 am Leave a comment

About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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