Crispy Green Chips

From beet greens to kale, if it’s a leafy green you can turn it into a crispy chip in your dehydrator!

Ingredients

  • Any leafy green such as kale, spinach, beet greens, etc.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Optional spices depending on taste such as chili powder, curries, steak seasoning, etc.

Directions

  1. Rinse and thoroughly dry leaves (salad spinners are great for this).
  2. Mix small batches of olive oil and spices in a bowl and set aside.
  3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on your bottom tray to catch any oil drippings while dehydrating.
  4. Cut or tear leaves into bite size pieces.
  5. Rub oil/spice mixture onto leaves (you want to coat it without drenching it) and place on dehydrator sheets spaced apart.
  6. 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.

Caramelized Fennel Bulb

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Add oil to pan and heat until almost smoking.
  2. Add fennel, garlic and salt to the oil. Stir thoroughly.
  3. 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).
  4. Remove from heat when done and add serve.

Perfect Pesto!

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 ounces (about 6 cups gently packed) any greens (parsley, basil, etc.)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (just about any would do)
  • 1/2 cup grated hard cheese
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Throw everything except the olive oil in a food processor and finely chop.
  2. Slowly stream in olive oil until paste forms (keep scraping down the sides as needed).
  3. Adjust ingredients to taste.

Peanut & Garlic Tofu

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup peanut oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or molasses
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
  • Crushed walnuts to taste (about 1/3 cup)

Directions:

  1. Drain & cube tofu
  2. In a saucepan, add peanut butter, garlic, honey/molasses, ginger and teriyaki sauce.
  3. Stir while heating until all ingredients are well blended and become paste-like again (this paste gets thinned in the final step).
  4. Set paste aside.
  5. In a frying pan heat the both the olive and peanut oil with a tablespoon of the peanut paste from above until simmering.
  6. Add tofu cubes and fry until browned.
  7. Turn off heat and WITHOUT draining any oil, add the remaining peanut sauce.
  8. Stir until well incorporated and tofu is coated.
  9. Serve over rice or noodles.

Pumpkin Mac N Cheese

One of Bre’s favorite dishes is creamy macaroni and cheese.  This year I introduced her to…pumpkin mac n’ cheese!  I know what you’re thinking, that I’m crazy for wasting a perfectly good pie filling but I assure you, it’s one of the creamiest recipes I’ve found to date.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb macaroni noodles
  • 1 lb shredded cheddar cheese (I use mild but sharp works just as well)
  • 1 small pumpkin (roughly 3-4 lbs) OR 1 can of pumpkin puree
  • 8 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. sour cream
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Cook macaroni al dente (i.e. leaving it cooked but still firm), set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. If you are NOT using pumpkin in a can: De-seed your pumpkin, cut it into wedges, place wedges on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 350 degrees until a fork easily slides into it.  Set aside to cool. Once cooled, remove skin and mash in a large bowl.
  4. Add ricotta, sour cream, pumpkin and cheddar cheese to a large mixing bowl and thoroughly incorporate.
  5. Add noodles to cheese mixture and mix till all the noodles are well covered.
  6. Pour noodle mixture into a large casserole pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake until peaks are a light brown.
  8. Top with sun dried tomatoes and sprinkle with garlic powder.

Butternut Squash Soup in the Slow Cooker

One of my favorite autumn soups is rich butternut squash!  The prepping of the squash is the only thing that takes up any time so you might want to give yourself ample time (guesstimate about a 10-30 minutes per squash) to peel and cube it.  And don’t forget to save the seeds for roasting!

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash med-large (roughly 3-4 lbs)
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup applesauce or 1 large apple peeled, cored and cubed
1/4 cup margarine or similar
3 cups broth (vegetable is good but chicken is fine if you aren’t vegan, beef is a not a good choice here)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick 3 inches long (removed when done cooking)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon fresh ginger
8 oz cream cheese (or coconut cream as a vegan option)
Sour cream (or vegan equivalent)

Instructions:

  1. Peel and grate your ginger (this is how I always have fresh ginger on hand).
  2. Peel, de-seed and cube your butternut squash.
  3. Peel, core and cube your apple if you are not using applesauce.
  4. Add everything to your cooker except your cream cheese and sour cream.
  5. Add enough broth or water to cover ingredients if your 3 cups aren’t enough.
  6. Put on high and find something fun to do for the next 4-5 hours (you can put this on low and cook it for 6-8 hours while you’re at work).
  7. Your soup is done once everything has liquified. You can help this along by stirring the soup every once in a while during cooking.
  8. Once it’s done, cut up cream cheese and allow it to melt in the soup.  As it melts, whisk briskly to help incorporate it and break up any squash chunks.
  9. Ladle into bowls, add a dollop of sour cream (this REALLY brings out the taste and makes the dish) and serve!
This soup freezes well though leave plenty of room for it to expand in the freezer.  When thawed, heat and whisk it back into the consistency it was previously.  Yes, you CAN freeze it with the cream cheese in it.  You can freeze cream cheese by itself though it doesn’t always have the best consistency once thawed so it’s best used for baking or soups such as this.  Enjoy!

Deven’s Divine Italian Sauce

One major plus about growing up in New York is the Italian food! I make an all-day sauce in the slow cooker that is just amazing! Here’s the recipe!
Ingredients:

  • 2 cans of 29 oz tomato Puree
  • 1 can 28 oz diced tomatoes
  • 6 cans 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic in oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of diced onions
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 4 crushed bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons oregano (I like my sauce with extra oregano so add this to taste)

Directions:Open and empty all cans into the slow cooker. Fill one of the large cans halfway with warm water and swish to remove any remaining tomato juice. Pour from one can into the next until all cans are satisfactorily clean. Then pour the water into the slow cooker. Add all other ingredients and stir. Set slow cooker on high for four-six hours (or until sauce thickens)

Tips & Hints: This is a big recipe and should almost completely fill a 6 quart slow cooker. Reduce recipe to fit yours or use a large pot on the stove top. This sauce freezes VERY well with or without meat already added. Be sure to leave room when freezing for slight expanding. Fresh tomatoes can be substituted for diced but extra puree should be added to compensate the less liquid. You will also have to cook longer to allow for them to soften completely. Sun-dried tomatoes add a unique and robust flavor with just enough olive oil that you don’t need to add any more to the recipe, least of all with the minced garlic in olive oil (I make it myself for added flavor and freshness).

And there you have it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!