food amongst family and friends

MIso Vegetable Soup with Barley January 14, 2013

Filed under: Mains,Quick and easy,Slow Cooker,Soups — blisteringlydrunk @ 7:26 pm
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Miso Vegetable Barley Soup

I’m home sick right now with the cold/flu from hell, so a little shot of miso is just what the doctor ordered.  And I tell you, this was easy and super delicious.  And came out of the slow cooker, so I basically just had to sit around for it to do its thing.  I prepped everything yesterday (using my food processor to chop and dice) and threw it all (less the beans, miso and toppings) in the slow cooker this morning.  Prep time was about 15 minutes all together. I got this from Judith Finlayson’s Sensational Slow Cooker Gourmet.  Ahhh, Judith, how I love your recipes…

The stuff

1 t olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and diced
4 stalks celery, diced
2 onions, finely chopped
1 t dried thyme
1/2 t cracked black peppercorns
1 c barley (I used pot barley – yum!)
7 c vegetable or chicken stock (I used a combo)
2 c sliced green beans
1/4 c dark miso
1/2 c finely chopped fresh parsley
smattering of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

And now…

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds.  Add carrots, celery and onions; cook until carrots are softened, stirring occasionally – about 7 minutes.  Add thyme and peppercorns and cook for about a minute.  Add barley, tossing to coat.  Add stock and bring to a boil.  Transfer to the slow cooker (or cover and refrigerate for up to two days).

Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or High for 4, until barley is tender.  Add green beans and miso.  Cover and cook on High until beans are tender – about 15 minutes.  Stir in parsley.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with Parmesan.  We had this with lovely Sourdough from the Farmer’s Market. (For 6 servings, a bowl was 4 Weight Watchers points). Enjoy!  Ren


Cauliflower-Cheese Pie with Potato Crust January 6, 2013

Filed under: Mains,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 7:02 pm

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Christmas did its work on my butt.  So we’re trying new, less fat-intense meals around here.  I know, boring, right?  (Actually, now that I think about it, it’s my fella that keeps doing this, and he’s really thin.  Hint, perhaps?) Anyway, this delicious pie came from the Moosewood.

Crustphoto (1)

2 c (packed) grated raw potato
1/4 c grated onion
1/2 t salt
1 egg white,  lightly beaten
flour for your fingers
small bit o’ oil


1 T olive oil
1 c chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
black pepper to taste
1/2 t basil
1/4 t thyme
1 medium cauliflower, in small pieces 2 eggs
1/4 c milk (I used skim)
1 c (packed) grated cheddar


Preheat oven to 400°F.  Spray a 9-inch pie pan.

Grate cheese,  potato, onion, then chop remaining required amount of onion – setting each aside when complete.  This just minimizes clean up, as you don’t really need to rinse between each of these.  Combine and mix together grated potato and the 1/4 c onion you grated with salt and egg white in a small bowl.  Transfer to pie pan and pat into place with lightly floured fingers, building up the sides into a handsome (yes, that’s how they put it in the Moosewood.  Loves it!) edge.

Bake crust for 30 minutes, then brush it with a little oil and bake it 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and turn the temperature down to 375°F.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and herbs and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Add cauliflower, stir and cover.  Cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spread 1/2 the cheese over the baked crust.  Spoon the sautéed vegetables on top, then sprinkle on the remaining cheese.  Beat the eggs and milk together and pour this over the top.  Dust lightly with paprika.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until set.  Serve hot or warm.  I served mine with Pear Feta Arugula Salad.

For those of you who care, for 5 servings, it’s about $1.75 per serving (I used organic cauliflower), and 6 Weight Watchers points (add 2 more for the salad if you have that).  Cheers!  Ren



Odds and Ends Pasta January 4, 2013

Filed under: Mains,Pasta,Quick and easy,Thrifty,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 8:48 am
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20130101_132427I’m a sucker for pasta. And for recipes that help me make use of things like stale bread and about-to-go-bad coffee cream. And especially for recipes so comforting and delicious that you’re looking for an excuse to make them again. So for me, this recipe is a win.

It’s not exactly a recipe, more of a guideline, so I’ll just talk you through it. The result is a steaming bowl of pasta that’s gooey, crunchy and fresh all at the same time. It’s exactly what you want to eat when you have the house and a movie to yourself on a Friday night.


makes 1 hearty bowl of pasta

Gather up all your nearly-empty bags of pasta  and throw 2 handfuls of dried/frozen/fresh pasta into a pot of boiling water. While the pasta cooks, melt a spoonful of bacon drippings or butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Finely tear/chop 1 stale piece of bread and add it to the now hot bacon drippings. (You could also cook up 1-2 strips of bacon and crumble it instead of, or in addition to, the breadcrumbs.) Cook and stir the bread until nicely browned and crispy, then remove from heat. When the pasta is 2 minutes from al dente, add a handful of fresh or frozen veggies (peas, edamame, asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower would all work well) to the pot. Cook until pasta is al dente, then strain, reserving 1/2 C of the cooking water. Transfer the pasta back into the pot. Drizzle in 2-4 T of cream, stir, then add a handful of grated sharp cheese, a generous pinch of sea salt and hammer it with freshly ground pepper. Give it a good stir and add some of the reserved cooking water to loosen it, if necessary. Mix in the bread crumbs, being sure to use all the nice bacon drippings from the pan. Taste the pasta and add more cheese, salt and pepper as desired. Because this is a bowl of starch and cream, I find you need to give it a good hit of salt.


Enjoy with a blanket, a movie and glass of wine!