So Many Veggies, So Little Time!

A Week Of Healthy Eating!

We’ve come back home after 4 and a half months at the cottage, and aside from condiments, the fridge was bare. It was such a rainy day that we decided we might as well be visiting a few favorite places to grab some fresh food.  When you think of farm-fresh produce around here you think of Linton’s Farm Market. That’s were we ended up today.

Linton's Farm MarketDespite the down pour we filled our market basket with everything from Apples to Zuchinni! It’s going to get very interesting around here in the next few days.

Market BasketYour TwoFoodNuts Meal forecast for this week!

We’d say this bountiful trip to Linton’s will be followed by a chance of Curry Squash & Apple Soup and a downpour of Roasted Root Vegetables in Balsamic with a flurry of German Potato pancakes.  Expect to see a Plum Pie in the evening with a clearing trend that ushers in Iona’s Wax Beans In Cream to round out the forecast.

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We’re certainly going to be healthy when this week is over. What’s your favorite Farmer’s Market?  Use the handy form to comment.

 

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Visit Our Tiny Cottage Kitchen

Our Tiny Kitchen Saw Some Amazing Food!

We’ve had so much fun at the cottage this summer.  But all good things must come to an end.  We actually launched out Blog and Facebook page while we have been here.  Much of the fun was exploring local produce and the Farmer’s Market helped us do that.  We created more than a few new dishes for you because we were inspired by fresh local ingredients as they became available.

We thought you might like a peek at our tiny cottage kitchen while we talk food!

our cottage kitchenSome of the things we cooked this summer were completely new to us. One of the big triumphs were the Zucchini Flowers that we received.  They were a gift form a new friend and the first time we had ever made them.  The other was the Summer Ratatouille that developed out of a shopping trip that left us with just too many fresh vegetables.

kitchen vingetteWith all the sunshine, we had a bumper crop of Basil.  The Pesto we made offered us an opportunity to make Pasta, Pesto and Peas and to add that special touch to our Tomato Lover’s Lunch.  The local corn was outstanding so we made Mexican Street Corn, (everyday for about 2 weeks). Then we took a break and just had buttered corn.

We did a lot of baking this summer so of course we had to feature our Apple Blossoms and lets not forget about the Black Forest Cupcakes. The guests at the pot luck fell upon them like a herd of locusts!  Luckily we made a few extra so we actually got to enjoy them.

dining area Then there were the parties! You can’t have great party without fabulous food. Cool and Creamy watermelon feta bites went fast and our Wine and Cheese Appetizers had more views than any other recipe to date when it was posed. You guys love your wine and cheese don’t you?

This weekend will be the last Get-to-gether of the season with our cottage friends.  We’ll be making those awesome Maple Bacon Donuts as well as the Apple Blossoms in miniature.  And since we all need to eat our veggies, there’s Carrot Cake for the health nuts!  I’m sure they will all be delicious served with a Rose’ wine, Vin Santo and Apple cider.

Next week we’re heading home and we’re looking forward to that. Its been an awesome Summer but its time to go home. We’ll be out shopping in our favorite places once we’re back in town.  We’ll take you on some shopping and cooking school adventures too.  Don’t forget to check out our new page called “Lets Shop” here on the blog.

We wish you the best that the Fall can bring. Thanks so much for your readership over the Summer!

 

Zucchini Carbonara

 Zucchini and Pasta Together Are Winners!

Zucchini is an underrated vegetable. We have never been great lovers of this particular summer squash but this year something changed. We learned to understand Zucchini and we have now come to love it.  There a time in summer when zucchini just goes crazy and we were exposed to a lot of it. we tried it in our Summer Ratatouille, we made stuffed Zucchini flowers which were sublime and we let it star in our Zucchini Carbonara!

Summer Squah carbonara This was our first attempt at this luxurious dish and it was a hit! We invited our Cottage neighbor Donna to join us as the guinea-pig for this new recipe and she loved it.  So here goes!

Cook’s Tip:  Carbonara is a simple enough dish to prepare if you understand that you are making a sauce from raw eggs and cream. The secret is to remove the pan from the heat once the pasta and veg are ready.  This way the eggs will not scramble and the sauce will be rich and creamy.  Too much heat will simply scramble the eggs ruining the texture of the dish. The pasta water is added to loosen the sauce so it is light not thick.

Two Food Nut Zucchini Carbonara:

For 4 people

  • 8 slices of bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 Tsps olive oil
  • 2 cups dried pasta (we used Penne)
  • 1 cup each of yellow and green summer squash of your choice
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • We used Patty Pan and Globe squash cut in the shape of the Penne
  • 4 egg yolks,
  • 1 and 1/3 cup cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • a bit of reserved pasta water, about 1/2- 3/4 cup.
  • Pepper
  • Minced Italian Parsley and more grated Parmesan for garnish.

Carbonara ingredientsBegin by cutting up the zucchini and bacon.  Mix the egg yolks, cream, grated Parmesan and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Set aside.  Heat the water in a large pot for the Pasta and start frying the bacon lightly in a skillet.  You will need to watch the timing on this dish just a little.  As the bacon becomes lightly browned, toss in the Zucchini and garlic.  Stir fry the Zucchini but just till it softens a little. DO NOT OVER COOK the zucchini.

Zucchini carbonaraThe moment the pasta is al Dente, drain it and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Put the pasta in the skillet and remove the skillet from the heat.  Pour in the egg and cream mixture.  And just enough of the pasta water to create a silky sauce. Serve with chopped parsley and grated Parmesan.  Bellissimo!

 

Black Forest CupCakes

Chocolate and Cherries Topped with Whipped Cream. Sensational!

We love making these cupcakes for special occasions. A cupcake is the perfect dessert for a crowd since they come in their own little containers.  Just pop them on a pretty plate and you are the baking hero of the day.

Elfie is of German heritage so its little wonder that this recipe ended up on the blog. Cherries just happen to be one of her all-time favorite fruits.  And chocolate, what can I say? You never go wrong using chocolate in a dessert.   Just try to keep these treats away from her. I dare you!

We like to use real whipped cream in our recipes. It is not a lot of extra effort to use fresh ingredients and the end result, from our experience is just “Better”.

Black Forest cupcakesWhat you’ll need.

  • 1 package Devil’s Food Chocolate cake mix
  • 1 can of cherry Pie filling
  • 1 pint 8 oz of real whipping cream. (35% cream)
  • 2 tbsp sugar to sweeten the whipped cream
  • 1 package gelatin (this is in the baking section of the grocery store)
  • 2 Tbsp real chocolate chips melted to drizzle over whipping cream.

This recipe is made using a chocolate cake mix. The reason is that the texture of the cupcake is so light.  It’s hard to achieve that when baking from scratch. We’ve tried it but the truth is Duncan Hines has perfected the lightest chocolate cake you can produce and it makes the cupcakes perfect. One package of Devil’s Food cake mix is enough for 12 cupcakes. Bake using the directions provided.

While the cupcakes are baking:

Whip the cream  in a cold bowl using a hand or stand mixer.   Beat it just until the beater leave swirls in the cream. DO NOT OVER WHIP.

whipped creamIn a small bowl, pour 1/4 cup cool water over the gelatin powder and allow it to soften. After a few minutes add the 1/4 cup hot water to the gelatin and stir it well.

Knox gelatinMeasure half of the gelatin (1/4 cup)  to use in the whipped cream. DO NOT USE IT ALL.  With the mixer on the lowest setting gently pour the gelatin into the whipped cream and mix just to incorporate.

blending gelatinPlace it into a piping bag with a large star tip and chill for 1 hour.

piping bagCook’s Tip: Gelatin is simple to use and can help stabilize any liquid when making dessert.  It’s easy enough for a novice to use and adds no taste to what you are making.

Once the cupcakes are cool, use a melon-baller  or small ice cream scoop to remove the center of the cupcake.  Fill just to the top of the cupcake with the Cherry Pie filling.  Now pipe the chilled whipped cream over the cup cakes.

scooping out cupcakeFinally, place the chocolate chips into a sandwich bag and microwave for 30 seconds on half power just to melt the chocolate. ( you may need to do this a couple of times) Take care not to melt the bag. Cut the smallest tip off the sandwich bag and lightly drizzle the chocolate over the whipped cream. You’re all done!

Black Forest cupcakesLook how great these individual Black Forest Cupcakes turn out!  Your friends won’t believe you made them.  And just wait till they get a mouthful of the luscious whipped cream mixed into the tart cherries and enveloped in the lighter-than-air cake. Heaven.

We hope you give this recipe a try.  A beginner can produce these results just by following the directions!

 

Tostatas

There’s More Than One Way To Top Tostatas!

Here’s a dinner that the whole family will love. Kids and adults like being able to assemble a dish just the way they like it. Tostatas give everyone at the table artistic license.  Today we are doing our version using ground beef, but you can easily use ground chicken or forget the meat entirely and use re-fried beans as the key ingredient. We love when food is flexible. That means you can use what you have on hand.

TostatasThis is also a chance for the kids to get involved with making dinner.  Let them fill the dishes with all the toppings.  You can make life easy with cheese that comes grated, sour cream, ready made salsa and guacamole.  All you have to do is make the meat mixture and  its ready in about the time the kids get the sides assembled.

Here’s our Two Food Nuts Tostatas Meat Filling:

Makes enough filling for 6-8 Tostatas

  • 1 lb ground beef or chicken
  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 celery ribs minced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced or crushed
  • 1 red chili pepper, (or Jalapeno) seeded and chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp anco chili powder or 1/2 tsp Tabasco Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp cumin seeds ground in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
  • 1 tsp Worchesteshire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • one small bunch cilantro minced or torn
  • 1 bag of Tostatas Rounds (In the ethnic foods section not in the snack isle)

Beef TostatasBegin by browning the meat in a hot skillet. Once it becomes brown, add all the other ingredients except the ketchup and stir until the meat mixture is well cooked.  When you see everything come together, turn off the heat and add the ketchup. Stir and serve.

Tostatas ToppingsYou can top your Tostatas with anything that you like.  Lettuce, cilantro, chopped tomatoes, tomatillo sauce, re-fried beans, you name it!

TostatasHave fun at your next Mexican night dinner! Ole’

 

Our First Pop-up!

Our First Pop-up Was A Success!

Pop- up by definition: Denoting a store or other business that opens quickly in a temporary location and is intended to operate for only a short period of time.

TwoFoodnuts pop-upOn Friday we packed the car with everything needed to cook for the owner of Silgrey Resort We planned on making lunch for Mike using the fruits of his garden.  He was very generous with his produce earlier in the week when we had just met him.  We wanted to show our appreciation for the beautiful Zucchini Flowers  he gave us by cooking for him.

filled zucchini flowersWe arrived at the resort about 11:30 with everything necessary to Pop-up. Harry and I got started by cooking a wonderful farmer’s sausage to accompany the Summer Ratatouille. You’ll remember we made it last week for the first time after our visit to the local farmer’s market.  Next the chopping of the veggies began. Its Harry’s specialty.  Nobody preps food like Harry! I  like to do a lot of the actual cooking but his skilled prep makes the whole thing come together so professionally. TwoFoodNuts pop-upEven Mike lent a hand with the stirring. He told us he had been so inspired by our walk through the garden earlier in the week that he had harvested and prepared one of his own spaghetti squash for dinner the night before. Lets not mention here that he and his wife ate like a family of 4 because it was so delicious! Its just between us Mike.

Mike cooks RatatouilleWithin no time our lunch came together.  Today we had the most varied Summer Ratatouille yet.  Mike’s garden provided us with Tomatoes, Globe Squash, Swiss Chard (stems and leaves), Green Beans and we supplemented that with Sweet Peppers, Pearl Potatoes, Patty Pan Squash, a Hot Red Chili and Double Smoked Bacon.  What doesn’t benefit from the addition of Bacon?

TwoFoodnuts ratatouilleWell, it looks like we’ve come to the point in the festivities where we get to indulge, taste, eat, savor and delight in the spontaneous cooking experience of the pop-up!

Dinner's readyWe wish you could be here to try this wholesome lunch made mainly of right-from-the-garden vegetables with a bit of quality Farmer Sausage and topped with fresh Feta.

To make this a meat free dish don’t use bacon and do not add a side of sausage. This dish has great flavor as a vegetarian meal!

Two Food Nuts Summer ratatouilleA great big thanks to Mike of Silgrey Resort for providing such an amazing setting for our very first pop-up!  Lets do this again real soon!

We concluded the meal with a dessert of Muffin Guts, but you’ll have to wait to find out what that is in a few days. We can’t give it all away right now.  Just so you know, Mike loved it!   So don’t be scared when you see us post it.

 

The Gift of Zucchini Flowers

If Someone Gives You Flowers…Eat Them!

We were out on one of our adventures today and we came upon a lovely rustic resort on the shore of the York River. It’s called Silgrey  We had the good fortune of meeting the owner Mike as he and a friend dragged a 700 pound piece of burl through the woods. Both men were exhausted from the hard work of physically pulling this large piece of a tree through the forest. But in the end it will be an amazing piece of art.

Stuffed Zucchini flowersOnce Mike caught his breath we had a chance to chat about the resort and marvel at the raw beauty of his setting on the shore of the York River. He is a very interesting transplant from Toronto and he and his wife have created a wilderness retreat that’s just heavenly.

As we were about to say our good-byes, Mike asked if we would like to take home some bounty from his garden. As with most gardens, the crops all come in at once and there is waste. But not today!  We walked around looking at the selection of vegetables and I spotted some gorgeous zucchini flowers. Mike encouraged me to take some and I wanted to hide my sheer excitement so he wouldn’t think I was some food weirdo.  I’m 62 years old and have never had these delicate blossoms stuffed with fragrant ricotta, but today would be my luck day.

zucchini flower fillingWhen we got to the car and started down the driveway to home, I was able to share my pure delight with Harry. How could he know that as a foodie, weird or otherwise, this was like a dream come true. A gift of fresh off-the-vine zucchini blossoms would be transformed into dinner tonight!

Here is the Two Food Nuts Recipe.

  • Fresh Zucchini Flowers (we had 6 of them)
  • 400 gram container Ricotta Cheese
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • handful of fresh Basil leaves sliced thinly
  • Salt and pepper

Mix everything together in a small bowl and fill a piping bag with the cheese mixture. Remove the stamen from the center of each flower and stuff them by putting the piping nozzle fully into the flower and squeezing the filling to fill the blossom. Then twist the tips of the petals to form a little flower pouch.

filled zucchini flowersFor the Batter:

  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chilled sparkling water or club soda
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Canola or Peanut oil for frying.

Place everything into a bowl except the sparkling water.  With a whisk, quickly stir in the water and mix just until incorporated. Do Not Over Mix or the batter will be heavy.

This batter must be used within half an hour.  So make it after you have filled the flowers and you have the oil heating. 

Dip  the filled blossoms into the batter, allow the excess to drip off and deep fry at 400F for 4-5 minutes or until the batter becomes just golden.

Take extreme care when deep frying. We take the deep fryer outside and place it on a sturdy table that we have lined with newspaper. This avoids oily smells and clean up is a matter of folding up the newspapers. If using a dutch oven only fill to 1/3 full never leave unattended. Use a thermometer to be sure not to overheat the oil.

DSC01741Serve on a light marinara sauce or your favorite spaghetti sauce.

Zucchini Flowers are as rare as hen’s teeth so if you have the good fortune to receive them as a gift, make sure you eat them!  These Two Food Nuts certainly did!

Harry’s Amazing Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers are Real Comfort Food!

This is one of the best times of the year for produce hands down. Farmer’s markets are bursting with the freshest ingredients and it’s up to us to be creative with our cooking. Harry is a stuffed pepper lover!  Me, not so much but I do find myself asking him if he will share just one now and again. I suspect today will be one of those days.  Harry’s going to walk you through his secrets and tips for making the best stuffed peppers in town!

Harry Hayes Stuffed PeppersThis recipe uses the crock pot so you won’t heat up the kitchen.  You can also do this for a busy day. Make the stuffing on a Sunday when you have a few minutes, then let the crock pot do the cooking.  Voila!  Dinner’s ready when you get home.  The ingredients are fresh so the end result will be savory and a bit spicy with a luxurious sauce.

TwoFoodNuts Stuffed Peppers:

Makes 6 medium stuffed peppers

  • 6 sweet peppers, tops cut off and seeded
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup minced celery
  • 1 tsp minced fresh Rosemary or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1 Tbsp dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 medium chili pepper seeded and minced
  • 1 large or two small garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup stewed tomatoes with their juice

For the sauce:

  • 1 19 0z can  Tomato Juice
  • 1/2  a  680 ml can of Spaghetti Sauce (this is about 12 oz or 1 1/2 cups ) Harry uses Hunts Extra Spicy
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp ground pepper

Begin by: Make the sauce by placing everything into a pitcher. Stir well and reserve.

Stuffed Pepper IngedientsThen: Mix all the ingredients in the first segment and stuff the peppers.

Seed the peppersPlace peppers into the crock pot or if baking in the oven place them in an oven proof dish that is deep enough to hold the peppers and the sauce.

stuffed peppers into crock potOnce the peppers are stuffed and placed in the crock pot or oven proof dish pour the sauce no more than half way up the peppers. These are now ready to cook.

Stuffed Sweet PeppersCooking times and method:

  • For the crock pot, set it on low for 6 hours
  • For the oven set it on 350F for 1 hour or until a knife easily pierces the pepper.

Stuffed peppersHarry’s Tip:  I prefer yellow, red  or orange peppers to green peppers since they are much sweeter tasting.  There’s  no room for the slight bitter edge of green peppers in my recipe.

We hope that you give this recipe a try. You’ll find that the savory filling and succulent pepper is an unbeatable combination. Happy Fall!

Summer Ratatouille.

The Lighter Side of Ratatouille.

Today we were at the farmer’s market and the produce was outstanding.  It led us to think of how to make a satisfying lunch of a few vegetables. Lately we have found ourselves creating some pretty remarkable dishes using what’s in season and what’s local.  Farmers aren’t given enough credit for their hard work and passion for growing wonderful wholesome food. Thankfully these Two Food Nuts appreciate everything that they put on our plates.

ratatouilleRatatouille is a dish found in Provence. It is a comfort food, made with a tomato base and lots of winter vegetables. It’s the inspiration for this lighter summer version.  Just look at those colors! A few humble ingredients put together with a pinch of love and a few herbs!  I know of a few restaurants that should be jealous of this creation!

The beauty of this dish is it’s simplicity and variety. You can decide what you want to add into it.   Look at what’s in the market and what your family enjoys eating. Go ahead be brave!

To make this a vegetarian dish simply leave out the bacon. There is still so much flavor with just the vegetables.

ratatouille vegetablesFor our Two Food Nuts Summer Ratatouille we used:

This recipe serves two as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

  • 6 slices of diced bacon to get the party started
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 15 of tiniest potatoes halved or one thinly slice one large potato.
  • 1 Patty Pan Squash sliced
  • 1 large luscious field tomato sliced
  • 2  fresh garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Herb de Provence
  •  A few thyme and oregano sprigs
  • 1/2 of a red chilli finely diced for interest
  • 5-6 leaves of CavoloNero (Italy’s black Cabbage) or baby kale leaves and Greek Feta to finish.
  • Greek Feta to sprinkle on top

Notice there is no salt in this dish. We found the bacon and the Feta provided all the salt that was necessary. The chili brought the mild heat so no pepper was added either!

Begin by putting the bacon and oil in the skillet. Fry on high until the bacon is just beginning to brown. Add the potatoes now, stir to coat with the bacon fat and oil and add a small splash of water. Cover and cook on medium-low to allow the potatoes to soften.

ratatouille flavoringsAfter a few minutes, add the garlic and layer on the vegetables and the herbs and chilli. Cover, increase heat to medium high and allow all the ingredients to soften and the flavors to mingle. This only takes a few minutes but depends on the density of the vegetables used.

ratatouille ingredientsOnce everything has cooked down and  you can see a light broth in the skillet, your Ratatouille is done. Grab a big bowl and some amazing bread to sop  up all those glorious pan juices.

This dish can include other vegetables such a sweet peppers, snow peas, green zucchini, kale, sliced brussels sprouts, mushrooms or rapinni. It’s whatever you love.

Crepes Are An Outstanding Dessert.

Simple Crepes For Amazing Desserts!

We both love crepes!  Harry likes his with Bananas and Nutella. Blasphemy!  I like mine with lemon juice and sugar, the way they should be served!  But we both agree that filling them with a velvety cream cheese filling and topping them with fresh seasonal fruit is never wrong!

We love to make everything from scratch and share our recipes as you know,  but we do rely on the skills and knowledge of a few really great cooks.  For this recipe we like to use Martha Stewart’s Simple Crepe recipe.  It works beautifully and tastes great. What’s not to love? We can’t  improve on this one folks so trust us and try it for this or any other dish that calls for crepes.  The recipe makes 12 crepes. Our filling recipe is enough for all 12.

Martha Stewart's Simple CrepesHarry was manning the crepe pan and he stacked the completed crepes between sheets of parchment so they don’t stick.  You can let them cool, slide them into a zip-lock bag and freeze them at this point.  It makes it so easy to create a professional dessert in no time once the crepes have been made.

Cook’s Tip:  You can leave out the sugar in the crepe recipe if you want to stuff them with a savory filling such as Asparagus with cheese sauce or Chicken a la King.                            Harry used an actual  Crepe pan (a low sided non-stick pan) to make these but a good non-stick skillet about 10 inches in diameter can also be used.

We made a lovely cream cheese filling for the crepes.  It’s so easy we’re embarrassed to call it a recipe, but here goes.

Two Food Nuts Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 brick, 8 oz cream cheese.
  • The grated zest of one lemon
  • The juice of 1/2  of the lemon (reserve the juice from the other lemon)
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

Allow the cream cheese to soften at room temperature. Add all the other ingredients and beat until smooth.

Once the crepes are cooled follow our photos for filling them. We used a pastry bag without a tip to pipe the filling onto the crepes, then flatten the cream cheese with a spoon before drizzling a bit of the reserved lemon juice (from the second lemon half) and a bit of sugar on the crepes before folding and rolling the crepes.

Crepe recipe by Martha StewartFold the crepes from the outside to the center to enclose the filing and roll them up gently.

Martha Stewart Simple crepesWe said this dessert would look professional, didn’t we?  Your guests will just love them.

Crepes with Fresh FruitHere we used fresh raspberries and whipping cream with a dusting of icing sugar and a fresh mint sprig to complete our delicious dessert. Serve one or two crepes per person. If you have leftovers, go to the fridge at midnight and indulge your need, we certainly have!

Korean Vermicelli Salad

You Won’t Know This Is So Good For You!

When I was still working, a Pho restaurant opened across the road from Harry’s office. My business partner David and I found ourselves eating there almost once a week.  While Harry is not a great friend of Pho, he does love when I make the Vermicelli Noodle Salad. It just happens that it’s very warm today so guess what?  I’m making us the salad for lunch.

Korean vermicelli SaladKorean Vermicelli Salad as with much Asian food is very healthy.  We just love that we are eating well and enjoying such fabulous tasting food at the same time.  This dish relies heavily on fresh produce and today we used what we have on hand.  That’s one of the best things about this style of cooking.  It can be different each time you make it depending on the veggies or protein that you use. Today we used leftover shrimp.  There is no right or wrong!

Two Food Nuts Vermicelli Salad:

This recipe is for two hungry people

The Vermicelli Salad

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium carrot shredded
  • 3 green onions finely sliced
  • 20 Basil leaves sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts or chopped salted Cashews if you have a peanut allergy.
  • We had 6 leftover cooked shrimp from our Garlic Shrimp Dinner, so in they go!

salad veggiesSwitch it up with other vegetables like: sweet peppers, bean sprouts, snow peas or cucumber.  Use whatever you have on hand be creative!

Place all the prepared veggies into a mixing bowl.  Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions for the brand that you buy.  They are not boiled like regular pasta.   Rice noodles do not expand like pasta noodles either so you need to start out with approx the amount you intend to add to your salad. When cooked we use 1 cup per person.

Cook’s Tip: Buy a medium sized rice noodle also known as vermicelli for this recipe. The very thin ones do not hold up to all the veggies, the very thick ones overwhelm them.

Dressing for the salad:

  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (use 1/2 tsp if you only have dried ginger)
  • 1 medium garlic clove grated or minced
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar  (use Palm sugar if you have it on hand)
  • 2 Tbsp Rice Wine vinegar
  • Juice of half a fresh lime
  • 1/2 minced red chili pepper (optional) we like the heat it provides.

Pour the dressing over the veggies and noodles, toss well and sprinkle with the chopped peanuts or cashews.  Al meokkesseumnid!    Korean for Bon Appetite!

Korean vermicelli SaladDon’t forget to share this recipe with your friends and family via Facebook or twitter!

 

Waste Not Want Not!

Wasting Food Is Just Too Costly!

Everyday we have little bits of this and that left over when we are preparing our meals.   We just hate waste so we have a system for saving what might seem like scraps and turning them into valuable ingredients for the next meal. Your freezer is your best friend when it comes to saving money. Not only can you buy in bulk or stock up when your favorite items are on sale, but by creating a small inventory of things that would otherwise be wasted, you can save even more.

waste notHere we have a small sample of some of the things we bag up and save to add to our next creation. Pictured here we have from top to bottom:

  • Chicken Backs to use for stock when making soups or stews.
  • Jalapeno peppers seeded and ready to add a boost of heat.
  • Left over muffins to be torn up in the next Mini Triffle
  • Diced onions can be added to anything savory.
  • Diced sweet peppers make your next rice Pilaf sing!
  • Parmesan Cheese rinds added to Minestrone or your favorite Spaghetti Sauce
  • Peas, well what can we say you can do so much with a 1/2 cup of peas.
This soup contains all the ingredients above except the muffins!

This soup contains all the ingredients above except the muffins!

Not pictured above but equally as good:

  • Brown Bananas  freeze well till you have enough to make a Banana bread!
  • bits of cranberries or nuts can be frozen till you make stuffing or muffins.
  • Herbs should be minced and covered with olive oil then frozen in ice-cube trays.
  • Bits of grated cheese tossed into one bag will add up to great Mac and Cheese.
  • Over-ripe tomatoes are great in your next chilli!

We also use our less-than-fresh bread to make our “Really Crumby Topping” and our Home Made Croutons. Check it out.

These are just a few ideas that keep food out of the compost bin and on your table where it belongs. We hope you find this helpful in your own kitchen.