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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

wilted spinach, white beans and tomatoes

This side dish is delicious. Stephen thought it was ok, but I am a sucker for balsamic vinegar, so I loved it! It has a unique taste, so if you’re just beginning to build a relationship with plain vegetable dishes, you might want to wait a while before trying this.

Ingredients

This recipe makes 4 servings. The original recipe came from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, where it’s called “White beans & wilted spinach salad.” This dish is served warm, however, in which case I simply cannot file it into the “salad” category of my brain. Hence, the name change.

  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (use one of my favorite kitchen tools ever – it will change your life)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil (or thereabouts… of course I didn’t measure)
  • 1 can navy beans or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I used cannellini)
  • 1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (I used about 1/2 tsp because I’m not a fan of thyme if it’s too strong)
  • 4 cups fresh spinach, torn (I was lazy and didn’t tear mine)
  • 2 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled (this didn’t make a huge difference in the flavor… if you have some on hand, use it, but if not, don’t worry about it)
  • 4 tsp balsamic vinaigrette (you can also use red wine vinaigrette)

Directions

This seriously just takes a few minutes to put together.

  1. Sauté the onion and garlic with the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until tender (about 3 minutes).
  2. Stir in the beans.
  3. Drain the tomatoes, reserving 1/3 cup liquid. Stir in the tomatoes, reserved liquid and thyme. Cook and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the spinach and bacon, stirring about 30 seconds to wilt the spinach.
  5. Divide into bowls and drizzle each bowl with 1 tsp vinaigrette (but seriously… who’s going to measure that?). Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

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Roast chicken

I’ve been super busy…. Not too busy to cook, but too busy to post about it. I’m going to try and catch up on a few recipes in the next several days, because I’ve come across some yummy concoctions.

This roast chicken was pretty cheap and fed us for a few meals. I had never cooked a whole chicken at once before, but I really wanted to try. It was so easy!

Ingredients

I bought a whole chicken at Elrod’s on Cooper Street for about $3.50, and I already had a few potatoes, onions and carrots on hand. Also, these measurements are approximate.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1-3 potatoes
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 Tbs butter, melted
  • Seasonings like salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, etc.

You can also add mushrooms or celery, but I didn’t have any.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place it in a 9 x 13 pan. Tie the back legs together with some string and tuck the wings under the chicken so they don’t brown too quickly.
  2. Melt some butter and brush onto the outside of the chicken. Use your fingers if you don’t have a brush. Mix up some salt, pepper, oregano and thyme and press that onto the chicken with your fingers.
  3. Cut the potatoes into cubes, slice the carrots and cut the onion into chunks. Dump them into the pan around the chicken. Brush them with butter as well, and sprinkle some salt and pepper over them.
  4. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, for about 1 1/2 hours. If you have a meat thermometer, you’ll know it’s done when the inside of the chicken is 165° F.

It makes a healthy and delicious meal, and it looks like you worked really hard. 😉

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Coffee rub roast

First off, I’d like to announce that I purchased this huge chunk of beef (originally $8.37) for a mere $3.30. Hooray for Kroger Manager Specials!

Secondly, the reason half the roast is gone and the vegetables are sparse in the picture is because Stephen dished out our portions before I even had a chance to grab my camera. I guess I can’t blame him for having to smell it for so long before I finally pulled it out of the oven.

But isn’t coffee for early mornings and fancy desserts?

Apparently it’s also for various slabs of meat. This coffee rub roast was amazing. My Mom got the coffee rub for me, and I was a little curious about what to do with it. After a quick phone consultation with the Momma Chef, however, I couldn’t wait to use it!

Ingredients:

The amount is really up to you, but here’s a rough estimate of what I used. It will feed four people (or two people for dinner and lunch the next day).

  • Beef roast, rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • 4 small new potatoes
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 large handfuls of sliced mushrooms
  • 2-4 Tbs. cooking sherry (this is a major guess; I just splashed some over the veggies)
  • 1 Tbs. coffee rub (I realize you probably don’t have this. For a makeshift rub, toss together some coffee, salt, pepper, sugar, garlic, cumin, thyme…. you get the picture. As long as it contains some coffee.)
  • 1 Tbs. flour

Directions

Set the oven for 350 degrees.

  1. Place the rinsed, patted-dry roast on a plate and sprinkle the coffee rub onto the surface of the meat. Press it in with your fingers. Once it is covered, do the same with the flour.
  2. Put a small amount of oil in a sauté pan on high heat and sear all sides of the roast. Basically, you’re barely browning the outside so it seals in the flavors. This process is very quick, so don’t walk away from it. When you’re done, place the roast in the pot.
  3. Wash the vegetables and chop them into chunks. Sauté them for a minute or two in the same pan you used for the beef, then dump them into the pot around the roast.
  4. Splash the cooking sherry into the pot and cover. Place in the oven for one hour to one hour and 15 minutes, depending on how well-done you like your meat.

Theoretically, you could do this in a pot on the stove, in a crock pot or in the oven, but I did it in the oven with my cast-iron pot and lid. Whatever you use, make sure the lid stays on to seal in the flavors! If you’re using  crock pot, follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you’re using a pot on the stove… well, I can’t help you there. According to a quick Google search, try bringing it to a simmer, turning the heat down to low and leaving it there for 3 1/2 – 4 hours.

Here is a photo guide. I didn’t include all the steps, but hopefully this will give you an overview.

This is after I seared the meat:

I used a small sauté pan because it doubled as a lid for my pot:

I’m not a fan of raw celery, but in roast or soup it’s delicious! And it’s healthy too:

The plate I used for the dry rub doubled as the veggie roots-and-ends plate:

Uncooked roast looks awfully dry and crunchy. This was pre-mushrooms and onions:

But the magic happens in here:

Feel free to play around with different ingredients. Let me know what you try!

Enjoy!

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