Category Archives: Vegetarian

Herbed Green Beans

It has been three years since my last canning of green beans; this is not because I haven’t wanted to, but because nature has not allowed me to!  In both 2011 and 2012 I battled bugs, lots and lots of bugs.  And I’m not talking about a bite here or a nibble there.  Those tiny mouths of destruction waged an all-out war on my garden and made Swiss cheese of my bean patch!  This year I had the bunnies to thank for completely devouring my plants before they ever had a chance to produce beans… that the bugs could then eat.  The bunny mishap could have been prevented (and will be for next year’s growing season); however, due to the time constraints of my “workforce” the garden gate has yet to be constructed.  This translated into a big flashing sign that read EAT HERE!!!  Sigh.

My non-existent green bean harvest has forced me to continually set aside a canning recipe I’ve been wanting to try out.  Fortunately, Farmer Josh’s second planting of beans was ready for the pickin’, so I was able to secure a half-bushel along with my yearly order of corn.

herbed green beans Herbed Green Beans – yields 6 quarts

24 cups snap or wax beans, washed, ends trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces.

3 cups chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tsp celery seed

1/2 tsp pickling salt – optional

Place beans in a large stock pot and add enough water to cover the beans.  Bring to a boil and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.  Drain beans and return to pot and add onion, garlic, herbs, and if desired salt.  Mix well to distribute herbs.  Fill sterile quart or pint jars leaving 1″ headspace; add boiling water, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust lids to fingertip-tight.  Process quarts for 25 minutes and pints for 20 minutes in a pressure canner at 10lbs-weighted-gauge or 11lbs for a dial-gauge, at sea-level.

PDFBadgeImages and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from a book I borrowed from the library several years ago and did not write down.  I know, worst credit acknowledgement EVER!

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Stuffed Chard Rolls

My career change (which I’ll elaborate more on in a future post) has afforded me two luxuries: less stress and more time!  Clearly a win-win situation, which makes me a very happy girl!  This new-found freedom if my day-to-day work-life has given me the delight of once again stepping back into the garden, albeit a smaller one, but a glorious garden none the less!

In my garden I have a small row of rainbow chard, 6 plants in all.  Knowing they are abundant producers I contemplated cutting back and only planting half of them; however, being someone who is always up for a challenge, especially one involving the kitchen, I decided to go for it!  So far I’ve received a thumbs up regarding my sautéed chard and I know this cheesy bread is sure to please his picky pallet.  Unfortunately, neither of the former foods happen to be meal worthy.  So, I started spinning my foodie wheels  to come up with something that can stand on its own.  That is when I started playing around with the idea of stuffed chard rolls! stuffed chard rolls Stuffed Chard Rolls - yields approximately 14 rolls

3/4 cup cooked lentils – I used brown

3/4 cup cooked rice – I used black Thai rice

one large bunch of chard leaves, washed with stems cut off at base of the leaf

1 leek, (white part only) chopped

1/3 cup minced garlic scapes

8 oz sour cream

2 tsp pureed salt preserved lemons – zest and juice of 1/2 lemon can be substituted

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

olive oil

Greek yogurt – optional

Cook rice and lentils using a 2/1 ratio of water to rice/lentils.  Depending on what varieties you select this can take anywhere from 20 – 45 minutes.  Once they have finished cooking set aside.  Place a large saute pan over med heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil.  Cook scapes and leeks until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.  Add rice, lentils, and sour cream; mix well.  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic power, add pureed lemon and feta cheese, stir well to combine. Blanch chard leaves 3 or 4 at a time in boiling water for approximately a minute, remove from water and lay flat.  If the center rib is too thick and does not bend without tearing the leaf, then cut it out. chard leaf

chard leaf cut Once the rib has been removed gently overlap the two sides. chard leaf overlap Place several tablespoons of filling at the base of the leaf.  Tightly roll the leaf around the filling while tucking the sides in. chard leaf filling Place rolls into a baking dish seam side down and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. chard leaf rolled  Stuffed chard rolls can be enjoyed hot or cold and are delicious when paired with a side of Greek yogurt.  I can see myself making a version of these with ground beef and a cheesy red sauce; this will definitely make my carnivore a very happy boy! stuffed chard rolls 3 Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

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German Apple Puff Pancake

Several weeks ago I (re)found a stack of folders containing hundreds of recipes that I had squirreled away.  Initially, these folders were completely forgotten about until last Fall when I had packed them up in preparation for moving.  Finally, I took some time to go through all those folders… thank you productivity stopping headache!

Always on the lookout for something delicious to start my day off with, I found an old print-out for German apple puff pancakes.  What I had envisioned in my head (fluffy pancakes with a layer of apples on the bottom) was completely different from the end result.  Turns out I was very much okay with that!

GAPP top1_wmbOGT

German Apple Puff Pancake

2 medium firm apples, cored, peeled, and sliced 1/4″ thick

3 Tbsp butter

3 Tbsp sugar

1 1/2 Tsp cinnamon

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

splash of vanilla

Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a small bowl mix cinnamon and sugar, set aside.  Peel apples and cut into 1/4″ slices.  Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet; add enough apples so that the bottom of the skillet is covered.  Sprinkle cinnamon/sugar mixture evenly over apples and sauté until they become soft and light brown on both sides, approximately 4-5 minutes.

Gently mix remaining ingredients into a smooth batter and pour over-top apples.  Place skillet into preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  DO NOT open the oven door while your puff pancake is baking, instead, use the oven light to see if it is done.  Once the pancake no longer appears wet it is done.

To serve, invert skillet over a large round plate.  It helps to run a metal spatula along the underside before flipping, this way the apples do not stick to the bottom.

I’m definitely making this again, and most likely it will be tomorrow!  However, this time I think I’m going to slice up some of my canned peaches instead of apples.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from the magical melting pot blog (no longer available).

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Muffin Madness

Yesterday was one of those days where I wanted nothing more than to spend every available minute in the kitchen. And with the exception of a few domestic chores, that is exactly what I did! I’ve had muffins floating around my brain for the past few weeks and decided the time had finally come to test out a few ideas.

It’s no secret that I have a wicked sweet tooth! I put too much sugar in my coffee, cake is my favorite food, and if allowed I could easily put down back-to-back pints of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food and Half Baked. Yeah, it’s that serious. Fortunately, I posses enough self-control to keep myself from going overboard! I’ve found that a daily dose of sweetness is just enough to keep me on the straight and narrow. So when I was dreaming up healthy alternatives to the cake-like muffins I really wanted to make, I was reminded of all my jams and jellies quietly calling out to me from the basement.

jam-filled almond oat muffins

Jam-Filled Almond Oat Muffins

1 cup AP flour

1 1/4 cup oat flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla soy milk

1/2 cup light brown sugar

the fresh-squeezed juice from a medium-sized orange (approximately 1/4 cup)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/3 cup fruit butter, jam, or jelly of your choice (I used blueberry butter and peach butter)

sliced raw almonds

granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl combine eggs, milk, vanilla, brown sugar, oil, and orange juice.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  In a separate bowl mix fruit spread and almond extract.  Fill muffin cups halfway with batter and spoon in 1 tsp of the fruit spread, then top off with more batter.  Lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and a sprinkling of sliced almonds.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 14 muffins.

strawberry banana oat muffins

Strawberry Banana Wheat Bran Muffins

3/4 cup AP flour

1 cup oat flour

1 cup wheat bran

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs

1/4 cup grapeseed oil

1 cup vanilla soy milk

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup mashed strawberries (frozen and then thawed work best for mashing)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400°F.  In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl mix eggs and brown sugar until smooth; add milk, vanilla, wheat bran, oil, bananas, and strawberries and mix until well incorporated.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until barely blended; be careful to not over-mix the batter or your muffins will become tough.  Pour into muffin cups and lightly dust on a bit of granulated sugar and top off with a strawberry.  Bake for 20 minutes at 400°F or until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.  Transfer muffins to a wire rack and allow to cool 5-10 before eating.

Recipe yields approximately 18 muffins.

Both of my taste-testers were very happy with the outcome of these recipes, so much so that one suggested I open a bakery.  While I don’t think they are that amazing, judging by the ratio of eaten to non-eaten muffins left on the counter, I had better make another batch, SOON!

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge.

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Some Like it Hot-Hot-Hot

Looking back, it was around 2005 when my love affair with capsaicin began.  During this time I could be found wearing mandarin collars and stunning imported silks, mainly because I was a server in one of my best friend’s family owned restaurants.  Sukhothai started it all.

Ever since, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to heat things up in the kitchen… and in the garden!  For the past 3 years I’ve grown Chinese Five Color peppers and this year will be no different.  Not only do these little babies pack a serious heat-punch, they also add a burst of vibrant color anywhere that needs a little livening up!

Chinese 5 color peppers

Last fall, I made the strategic decision to head over the river and through the woods and set up camp in my old stomping grounds… but not without first harvesting all my remaining produce still growing about the property!  With several quart boxes in tow, I was now faced with the challenge of preserving these bright beauties to be savored during the cold winter months.  In years past I’ve both frozen and dehydrated them, but never have I pickled them!

pickled peppers

Pickled Peppers

4 qts peppers – I used Chinese Five Color

4 cups distilled white vinegar

4 cups water

4 tsp pickling salt

olive oil

Wash peppers thoroughly.  Remove core, seeds, and stems of large peppers and coin; small peppers can be processed whole with stems intact.  Make 2 small slits in whole peppers.

Mix vinegar and water; heat to boiling.  Be careful to not boil your vinegar too long as it is rather volatile.  Tightly pack peppers into sterile, hot jars and pour the vinegar-water on top, leaving 3/4″ headspace.  Add 1/4″ olive oil and a pinch of salt, if desired.  Wipe rims, add two-piece adjustable lids and process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and place on a wire rack for 12-24 hours, undisturbed, so seals may properly set.

Makes 8 pints.

Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Putting Food By

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Southwestern Pot Pie

Sooooo, it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted.  Yes, I know you are aware of that.  However, in my defense, mid-September I packed up and moved out.  Yep.  Left it all behind.  Over the river and through the woods I went.  Literally.  Then, in October I was promoted.  A good career move?  Yes indeed!  Is it incredibly stressful?  YOU BETCHA!  I traded in a 500 mile/week commute for 60.  Unfortunately, I’m still putting in the same amount of hours.  This is still a good thing.  No really.  It is.

So, with the new life and new work comes less time and I’m surprisingly ok with that.  I’m spending my time living, laughing, and loving.  This is a very good thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I still think about the blog.  A lot.  Every time I embark on a new canning adventure, or cook up something delicious I want to share it with you.  Really, I do.  But then days turn into weeks, and weeks fade into months; then, the season has passed.  And in my draft que those forgotten posts hibernate until their season of plenty returns.

Now you know where I’ve been and why the blog is so quiet.  It’s not that I’m no longer canning, preserving, and obsessing over food, because I am.  TRUST ME!  I just lack the required time to write about it.  Now that my days are darker and the air is colder I’m hoping to change that.  But, I make no promises.

We can thank my bestie for giving birth and a much needed 4 day holiday weekend for this very tasty season-appropriate recipe.  Friday I headed back over the river and through the woods toting food and a few other necessities, in exchange for cuddles with that sweet little baby boy.  She and the hubs had lunch and dinner, I got to feed, rock, and snuggle baby Grey!

Southwestern Pot Pie

1 pt tomato salsa

1 pt Spicy V8

1/2 pt water

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed.

1 butternut squash neck, peeled and cubed.

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup kidney beans

1 cup northern beans

1 cup corn

a light sprinkling of cinnamon

olive oil

1 small box cornbread mix

1/3 cup milk

1 egg

In a large pot heat oil over med-high heat and add onion; sauté until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Stir in sweet potato, squash, salsa, water, V8, and cinnamon.  Heat mixture until boiling.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until potatoes and squash are tender.  Stir in corn and beans.

In a medium bowl combine cornbread mix, milk, and egg.  Spoon on top of vegetable mixture.  Cover; simmer approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cornbread comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Images and content copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Easy Everyday Vegetarian

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Corn Cob Stock

Often I find myself wondering how something so simple can be so delicious?  That very question was running through my mind as I was putting up another waste-not-want-not recipe.

Several weeks ago I stopped by the farm to pick up my yearly bounty of sweet corn.  Typically, I freeze the kernels and the cobs are cooked down and transformed into a sweet, honey-like jelly; this year, however, I wanted to do something a little different!  Yes, corn was still frozen and cobs were cooked, but instead of adding sugar and making jelly I jarred that savory, sunbeam-yellow liquid and canned a big ol’ batch of stock!  Three gallons to be precise!

This recipe is soooo easy-peasy; you need just two simple ingredients: corn cobs and water.  That’s it!

Corn Cob Stock

Corn Cobs

Water

Place cobs into a large stock pot and cover with one inch of water; you may need to cut your cobs in half to get them to fit.  Bring pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 90 minutes.  Strain liquid through several layers of cheese cloth or a coffee filter.  Fill sterilized pint and or quart jars, reserving 1/2″ headspace.  Wipe rims, adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight and process at 10 pounds in a pressure canner for 20 minutes.  Place jars on a wire rack and allow to cool, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours so seals may properly set.

Corn cob stock must be pressure canned to ensure safe shelf-stability.  If you do not own a pressure canner you can freeze it, just be sure to allow enough headspace so your jars do not break as the liquid freezes and expands!

I probably used anywhere from 24-30 cobs to make my stock, but I also had two large stock pots reducing at once!  I knew this was going to be delicious so a double batch was definitely in order!

PDFBadge

Images and content copyright © 2012 Danielle R Limoge.

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Fruit-Infused Vinegar

I can’t believe almost a month has passed since my last post, which by the way, was only a picture!  Lame, I know!  What can I say, life has taken a turn and unfortunately it isn’t in the direction of my garden.  When I take something on I throw everything I have at it.  In the past it was sewing, then food growing, and now my career.  I also happen to be someone who refuses to fail; when I’m told I can’t do something I will stop at nothing to prove you wrong.  Well, I finally hit a wall.  I’ve been struggling for months, refusing to admit what everyone else has been telling me.  I. can’t. do. it. all.

I can’t work 14 hour days, take on custom orders for PixyPatch, blog, and maintain close to 2000 square feet of growing space.  There I said it.  –>Insert HUGE sign of relief (and defeat).<–  Something has got to give and unfortunately it’s the garden.  Fear not friends, I’ll still be around, I’m just scaling back.  Way back.

Over the past month I’ve done a bit of canning, dehydrating, and cooking.  As to when those posts will actually make it onto OGT has yet to be determined.  I whipped up a delicious vanilla-ginger rhubarb jam several weeks ago and I’d love to share it while rhubarb is still in-season, but I make no promises! :)

I am however going to share a quick recipe for fruit-infused vinegar.  It is the perfect addition to all those fresh-from-the-garden salads!

Strawberry-Infused Vinegar

2 cups fresh fruit: I used strawberries but plan on trying cherries, blueberries, and peaches!

2 cups distilled white vinegar

Place fruit and a bit of vinegar in a food processor and purée until smooth.  Combine liquid fruit and remaining vinegar in a sterilized quart jar, add lid and shake.  Allow mixture to sit in a cool dark place for 10 days; shake daily to blend flavors.

Strain vinegar through several layers of cheesecloth or coffee filters and discard solids.  Vinegar will keep at room-temperature for up to a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe courtesy of Put ‘em Up.

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A Post For The Impatient

Twenty-one days.  That’s it my friends.  We’re talking three short weeks between germination and harvest.  And just what is this presto-pronto-producer you ask?  Why the undervalued radish of course!

When I planted my first garden in ’91 the only veggie request I had was from my father; he asked for radishes.  To this day, I remember sitting in the kitchen watching him enjoy a plate full of those crunchy, lightly salted, ruby-red radishes, that I oh-so-proudly grew.  I too share his excitement over that cruciferous vegetable: they’re delicious raw, cooked crisp-tender, fermented, and (I can now say) pickled!

Pickled Radishes

2 large bunches of radishes (I used French breakfast, but any variety will do!)

1 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

4 tsp sea salt or any non-iodized salt such as kosher

1/2 tsp brown mustard seed

1/8 tsp whole coriander

1/4 tsp black peppercorns

3 cloves garlic – sliced

Coin radishes and place into a bowl of ice water.  Set aside.  In a large sauce pot combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar; stir to dissolve sugar and bring mixture to a slight simmer.

Fill each sterilized pint jar with the above mentioned spices, add one clove of garlic to each jar, then add (drained) radishes; fill jars with hot brine, leaving 1/2″ headspace.  Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and add two-piece adjustable lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 15 minutes.  Remove jars from canner and allow to cool on a wire rack for 12-24 hours, then store for up to a year.  Yields approximately 3 pints.

This recipe also produces a delicious refrigerator pickle; however, you should wait two weeks before enjoying so the brine can properly develop!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Canning Homemade.

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Split Pea Soup

I enjoy soup no matter what the current season happens to be; however, there’s something extra special about a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day!  Even though I have a pressure canner, I typically freeze my soups and stews since they tend to be recipes I’ve created and are not suitable for canning.  With my freezers still full from last year’s homegrown organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s time I began canning soup and reserving my precious freezer space for other goodies!

Last December, I began flipping through the pages of my canning books deciding on what soups I would put up.  The first one I am going to share with you is split pea.  The original recipe called for ham, which I immediately omitted; it also listed allspice, which complements the flavor of ham.  I omitted that one too.

Dried herbs are considered a “freebie” when canning; they are interchangeable and you can add as much or as little as you would like.  Remember that this rule only applies to dried herbs and spices.  Some recipes can be safely doubled without challenging the integrity of the finished product, this is one of them.

Split Pea Soup

2 lbs dried split peas, yellow or green (2 cups dried split peas weighs 1 lb, so I used 4 cups for this recipe)

4 quarts of water

2 cups chopped onion

3 cups sliced carrots

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp granulated garlic

2 tsp celery seed

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

Combine (rinsed) dried peas and water; bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot.  Skim off any foam that develops.  Reduce heat; simmer covered for about one hour or until peas are soft.  If a smooth soup is desired, press mixture through a food mill.  I skipped the food mill since processing will generally result in a semi-smooth consistency.  Return mixture to the sauce pot.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, about 30 minutes.   If mixture is too thick add boiling water.

Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a weighted gauge steam-pressure canner: pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure.  For a dial gauge steam-pressure canner: process pints for 60 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes, at 11 pounds of pressure at sea level.  If you have a mixture of jar sizes, process at quart time.  Turn off the heat.  Once the pressure has dropped to zero, open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Because I doubled the recipe it yielded 4 quarts (or 10 pints).  Should you want to make a single batch (just half all the listed ingredients), it will result in 5 pints or 2 quarts.

This recipe can be frozen; however, to ensure shelf-stability it  MUST be processed in a steam-pressure canner.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.

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