Another “made on the fly” dish of mine so portions are not exact.
- 1 lb. brussel sprouts
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2-3 carrots topped and peeled (optional)
- apple – cored and sliced (optional)
- salt to taste
- Toss everything but the apple into the food processor and hit the “chop” button!
- Slap a portion on a dish, sprinkle with salt and/or pepper, dress with apple slices and enjoy!
I don’t really care for the texture of cooked eggplant so I was looking for a different way to make it when I came across several recipes for “vegan bacon”. As I don’t eat bacon, I can’t tell you if this tastes like it but I can, however, tell you eggplant jerky is quite crispy and delicious! The portions herein are so you you can make as much or little as needed as eggplants come in all sorts of sizes and what’s “medium” to me may not be medium to you.
- 2 parts Teriyaki sauce (I highly recommend SoyVey brand teriyaki sauce and is what I used)
- 1 part Maple syrup (agave or molasses is a good substitute but you’ll need to adjust the portions to your liking)
- Option: Liquid smoke
- Slice your eggplant fairly thin (mine was nearly paper thin and worked perfectly)
- Mix the ingredients in portions enough to coat your eggplant slices.
- Let slices marinate for a minimum of twenty minutes.
- Lay down parchment or wax paper on your work area and place your dehydrator tray on top of it (this is to catch any drippings).
- Cover the bottom tray of your dehydrator in parchment paper (also to catch any drippings while dehydrating).
- Lay out the eggplant on the trays close together but not touching.
- Dehydrate at 115°F for 12 to 18 hours or until crispy.
- Store strips in an airtight container or plastic bag. Place a paper towel under or around strips to absorb any excess oil.
From beet greens to kale, if it’s a leafy green you can turn it into a crispy chip in your dehydrator!
- Any leafy green such as kale, spinach, beet greens, etc.
- Olive oil
- Garlic powder
- Optional spices depending on taste such as chili powder, curries, steak seasoning, etc.
- Rinse and thoroughly dry leaves (salad spinners are great for this).
- Mix small batches of olive oil and spices in a bowl and set aside.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on your bottom tray to catch any oil drippings while dehydrating.
- Cut or tear leaves into bite size pieces.
- Rub oil/spice mixture onto leaves (you want to coat it without drenching it) and place on dehydrator sheets spaced apart.
- Set your dehydrator for 120F and dry leaves until crisp and tender (time varies depending on type & size of leaves, humidity, etc.)
Tips & Storage
- To re-crisp leaves, simply add them to the dehydrator again until crisp.
- To store, make sure chips are very dry and completely cooled before adding them to a well sealing jar. I add a small cheesecloth bag of rice at the bottom to absorb any moisture. Keep jar sealed closed when not eating.
Fennel bulb when cooked has a soft hint of licorice taste and can be used as a side, or with meats similar to how you would use caramelized onions. Citrus brings out the flavor in fennel so it’s popularly paired with orange chicken or lemon with fish.
- Fennel bulb with frons (keep for drying as a spice) and stalks (toss these in the compost heap) removed
- 2 Tablespoons Olive oil (extra virgin is best) or sesame oil (or enough to coat fennel)
- Teaspoon garlic powder per bulb
- Add oil to pan and heat until almost smoking.
- Add fennel, garlic and salt to the oil. Stir thoroughly.
- Continue to cook fennel, stirring occasionally, until fennel softens and browns along the edges (or cook to taste as some people prefer it a bit more crisp and less translucent).
- Remove from heat when done and add serve.
Quite some time ago, we had a delivery from Portland’s OrganicsToYou filled with the biggest leeks you’ve ever set your eyes on! I was quite happy to learn they could be frozen (sealed air tight as they will stink up your freezer and all your food in it otherwise!) and knew that I would be testing out some soup recipes later in the summer. Well… it’s later in the summer and the perfect time to create a new recipe. Of course “new” means I sort of threw it together without measuring anything so most of the measurements below are guesstimates except for the Bisquick because I happen to use a measuring cup to scoop it out.
Ingredients (6 quart slow cooker measurements):
- 2 cups chopped leeks (I used both white and green portions of leeks)
- 4 cups chopped raw potatoes (I had quite a few golden potatoes that really made this dish!)
- 2 tablespoons chopped carrot greens (I freeze these whenever we get carrots specifically for stews)
- 1/2 cup chopped celery or 1/2 tablespoon celery salt
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic in olive oil (again, I simply throw fresh garlic in the food processor and store in the fridge with olive oil in a jar)
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 6 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 cup chicken stock (yup, mine is from my freezer after making my whole chicken in the slow cooker)
- 1 tablespoon or 1 packet beef stew mix
- 1 cup Bisquick
- heavy cream (optional)
- Add all of the ingredient except the Bisquick and heavy cream into your slow cooker.
- Fill with water until ingredients are covered.
- Set your slow cooker on high for four hours.
- Go enjoy a few chapters of your favorite book.
- Come back after four hours and ladle out a few cups of water, whisk the Bisquick into the water until it’s thoroughly incorporated. Add thickened stock back into the slow cooker.
- Check potatoes for tenderness. If they are not fully cooked, set for another hour on high and check again.
- Turn off the cooker and let sit until ready to serve.
- When you’re ready to serve, ladle into a bowl and add heavy cream to taste/consistency. Stir thoroughly.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese for garnish and enjoy!
Now that I’ve introduced you to baked potatoes in the slow cooker, here’s a recipe for slow roasted potatoes. This is a great recipe to create in bulk and freeze in meal size proportions (freezing information is below the recipe).
- Potatoes (I create huge batches of 10 lbs. in my 6 quart slow cooker)
- Neutral flavored oil (I use Safflower or grapeseed oil – olive oil is often too heavy)
- Garlic powder
- Seasoning Salt
- Onion Powder
- Minced garlic instead of garlic powder
- Minced onion instead of onion powder
- Peel and rinse your potatoes as normal, making sure to remove any new growth (eyes), soft spots or areas that look on the verge of spoiling.
- Quarter potatoes into large 1 inch chunks.
- Drop them in the slow cooker.
- Drizzle oil over potatoes while stirring to LIGHTLY coat them (keeps them from looking gray while cooking) and add any spices at this time.
- Set cooker on high and cover.
- Cooking time depends on how many potatoes you have in your cooker. Generally, set your timer for two hours and stir the potatoes. (If you are freezing any portions: You are looking for them to be just slightly undercooked to allow them to remain firm after thawing. Freeze portions using a food saver or an air-tight container.) If they aren’t ready, continue cooking on high and checking hourly (stirring each time so not to over cook the bottom ones while the top of the pile stays raw) until done. 10 lbs in my 6 quart cooker took about five hours in total.
- Potatoes are done when they are soft but not falling apart.
- Option: You can add a bit of butter here if desired OR quickly fry them in a pan til the edges are crisp!
A great way to make meals easier during the week is to create portions of your meals ahead of time and store them in the freezer until you’re ready for them. There are a few rules regarding freezing potatoes in general:
- Don’t freeze whole potatoes. They become solid bricks.
- Always partially cook your potatoes before freezing. Raw potatoes do not freeze well and become tasteless once thawed.
- Using a food saver that removes any air and seals the packaging not only prolongs the amount of time you can freeze food but also helps them retain their flavor (not to mention keeps freezer burn away).
- Package them in MEAL SIZE portions or individual portions. Large batches thawed then refrozen leaves too much room for contamination and spoiling.
- Potatoes that have been stored at room temperature for two weeks to a month are best for freezing (as they are thoroughly ripened and the most flavorful).
- Thaw potatoes by microwaving or baking. Boiling will turn them to mush.
- If you plan on using your potatoes for fries and not mashed or chunks then simply make them into fries, allow to cool and seal. The above method would make the potatoes too soft for creating fries.
- If you wish to have potatoes ready for mashing in the freezer: Prepare the potatoes as normal by peelings, rinsing and cubing them. Boil the potatoes till they are about two-thirds cooked (should still be quite firm when speared with a fork). Drain and allow to cool. Package potatoes in meal size portions and use a food saver to remove any air from the package and freeze. You can also fully create the mashed potatoes as you would normally and freeze meal portions though remember, any frost on the potatoes may result it more watery potatoes.