Tasty Tuesday – We Love Kale Too!

Hey It’s Jet Here.

One of the silver linings from Mom’s new food playbook is the fact that the woman has gone cooking crazy!  She’s scoured Paw-Jet  her data base to see what draws her attention based on ingredients that will hopefully play nice in her intestines.  Little Miss QC (Quality Control) and I relish this turn of events.  JJ and I have stashed some photos from Mom’s recent cooking sessions.

Shitake Kale Soup 2-9-13 009Remember our collard greens, post?  Well, when Mom waved a bunch of delicate red kale (should carry the name purple really) over the colander to drain the rinse water, Little Miss Hopeful and I shimmied Paw-Jet our tushies toward the sink.  Mom quarter-turned to the cutting board and began removing the leaves, tearing them into bite sized pieces.  And then…

Bliss… she broke the first stem in half and …

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Little Miss Double the Recipe and I showed our gratitude for Mom’s choice to make twice the Shitake and Kale Soup with Sweet Potato by keeping up with the kale stems.  Here’s the recipe:

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Kale Shiitake Sweet Potato Soup 

  • 4 cups water or low-sodium vegetable stock (Mom used 1 box of low sodium veggie stock and 1 box of chicken low sodium because she thought she had 2 veggies and did not.  She would stick to the veggie stock next time and possibly use mushroom stock!)
  • Shitake Kale Soup 2-9-13 0021 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (Mom thinks that she might use a regular potato or malanga next time, the sweet potato left the soup too sweet.)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh kale, washed and stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon Mellow white miso, per cup (Mom bought Mellow Yellow by mistake, no biggie!)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (Mom left this out for tummy reasons, she thinks the seeds would be delicious.)

Directions:

  • Shitake Kale Soup 2-9-13 013In a saucepan combine the water/broth, shitake mushrooms and sweet potato and bring to a boil. (At Casa Jetty, this takes forever, so, our times were longer…)
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, chop the kale into bite size pieces and add to the soup.
  • Cook until tender, another 8 minutes.
  • Dissolve a teaspoon of light miso in a bowl with a small amount of broth.
  • Ladle in the soup and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds.

Another great back to Tasty Tuesday day.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our forty-first participating post!

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Tasty Tuesday: Latkes for K9s or Lassie Latkes*

Hey It’s Jet Here.

tasty tuesdaysHave you enjoyed the Channukah Crawl as much as we have?  Boy oh boy, every post is so informative, interesting and uplifting.  Bet you’re not surprised that we selected to post on Tasty Tuesday!  Have to keep the cred as Mom’s Kitchen K9s you know.  Visit Meandering Moodys for another super Hannukah post.  Head over to Pumpkinpuddy and Spike the Cat tomorrow for more Hannukah celebrations.

We’re sending you to our feline pals Ateret, Livia and Abbi who posted the historical background of Hannukah so beautifully, including the detailed version of why we make latkes or potato pancakes.  (Speed version: the oil was expected to last one night and lasted eight, so, culturally, potato pancakes and donuts are featured.)

4Health concerns have entered the picture over the years, so, now, you can find baked latke recipes in place of fried.  Foodies, chefs and creative cooks have put their spin on ingredients, so, now, you can find: sweet potato latkes, parsnip latkes, spaghetti squash latkes, celery root latkes, beet and carrot latkes, zucchini latkes and Lassie Latkes*! (click here to see the varieties offered at this year’s Latke Festival.)

15Since traditional potato latkes contain onions, Mom knew she would make onion free sweet potato latkes.  Knowing that we enjoy parsnips, too, she thought she would search for a combo recipe.  When she found one that also included a chunky applesauce component, she printed and headed for the grocery store! (fever and all… gotta love Mom!)  Mom will share the recipe below, post photos on her Kitchen Counselor Facebook tomorrow with step-by-step pics and show you the experience from our eyes below.

Sweet Potato and Parsnip Latkes with Chunky 5-Spice Applesauce

For the Chunky 5-spice Applesauce:

  • 6 MacIntosh or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks (Mom used Fujis! See us testing below!)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder (Mom loved including this!)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the Latkes:

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1/2 pound parsnips, peeled
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup flour (Mom used whole wheat pastry flour, because she couldn’t find the spelt!)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

To finish:

Directions

For the applesauce: In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the apples, lemon juice, apple cider,lemon zest, 5-spice powder and sugar and stir to mix well. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes until apples begin to break down, but are still chunky. Remove from heat and cool.

6For the latkes: On a box grater, grate the sweet potatoes and the parsnips. Combine potatoes and parsnip in a large bowl. Season with salt and toss to combine. Add flour and stir to distribute evenly. Add eggs and stir well. In a large saute pan over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil (Mom used about 1/4 inch in her cast iron pan). Form the potato mixture into 3-inch latkes that are about 1/2-inch thick. Add to oil and fry until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate and season with salt. Repeat this procedure with all of the potato/parsnip mixture, adding more oil as necessary.

Serve with applesauce, sour cream and green onions.

As my BFF, Savannah, says… click on my pics to bigify!

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Among and within Jewish families, there can be a customs debate… do you eat applesauce or sour cream with your latkes?  Mom’s family was STRICTLY an applesauce family, although after asking her Aunt and my  Nana, they could not tell her why.  Mom’s heritage is predominantly (VBP) Lithuanian, although she’s not sure that contributes any insight.  After some research, Mom came up with two thoughts:

  • The history may be one of whether a family following Kosher Dietary rules wanted a dairy meal (sour cream) or a meat meal (applesauce).
  • Does the family prefer savory (sour cream) or sweet (applesauce)?

We agree and echo all the wishes written by our pals so far and wish to add that Little Miss Festival of Lights, Mom and I hope that all creatures have enough safe food and water to keep them healthy.

Another great sweet potato parsnip with chunky applesauce day!

Tasty Tuesday – String Beans for the Holidays

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-second participating post!

With Thanksgiving around the corner (for our blogpals in the USA like us), we thought you might like a few new ideas for the classic green bean.  Mom steamed hers this week to go along with a new version of turkey meatloaf with fennel and veggies.  (Remember we tried fennel last week?)

Little Miss I’m Getting into the Veggie Thing snapped up her raw string bean tidbit, while I enjoyed mine in repose (VBP – vocab builder project).  BTW, you can get a glimpse of my racing stripes (requested by Daisy yesterday) in the photo.

Green Beans with Goat Cheese, Cranberries and Bacon

  • 1/4 pound bacon, roughly chopped (Mom says you can substitute turkey bacon or vegetarian bacon as you wish)
  • 1 1/2 pound green beans, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar (no fussing, Mom says use whatever vinegar you have on hand…)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (4 ounces) log goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a papertowel-lined plate to let drain.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add green beans and cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Toss with oil, vinegar, salt and pepper and transfer to a large platter. Scatter bacon, cranberries, goat cheese and parsley over the top and serve.

Would you like to try a modern/vegan version of the traditional “Green Bean Casserole?”

Green Bean and Wild Mushroom Casserole

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced into thin moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morel or porcini), wiped clean and
  • thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces fresh shiitake or button mushrooms, wiped clean and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dry red wine
  • 4 tablespoons unbleached flour
  • 3 cups Silk Unsweetened Soymilk (Mom would use almond milk!)
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • Additional sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Two 10-ounce bags of frozen cut green beans thawed or 1&1/2 pounds of  fresh green beans cooked in salted water for 5 minutes, then drained.
  • 1. Preheat oven to 30°F. Lightly oil a 2-quart baking or casserole dish.
  • 2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil or butter in a large heavy saucepan,  over medium heat. Add the onions, season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and  cook the onions until slightly browned and soft, about 10-12 minutes.  Remove the onions with a spoon and set aside.
  • 3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the large heavy saucepan and then add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms over medium high heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown and there is very little liquid, about 5 minutes.  Add the red wine and cook for about 1 minute or until completely evaporated.
  • 4. Sift the flour into the mushrooms and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the flour is browned slightly in color, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 2 minutes.
  • 5. In a small saucepan, heat the soymilk with the bay leaf to just below the boiling point and turn off heat. Remove the bay leaf and slowly whisk the hot soymilk into the mushrooms, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the saucepan to the heat, bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer, stirring often and cook for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches the consistency of a thick cream soup.
  • 6. Stir in the tamari, salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • 7. Add the green beans and 1/2 cup of the onions. Place in the buttered casserole dish, top with remaining onions and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

Another great green bean/string bean day.



Tasty Tuesday: Our first Fennel Flip

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirty-first participating post!

Mom likes fennel, however, the bulb usually finds its way into Mom’s class menus before her vegetable bin.  Last week, she shopped at a different Publix location and the fennel packages stood like proper soldiers on their shelf calling for Mom’s attention.

Fennel, a beautiful vegetable, has wispy fronds like a dill plant at the tip of celery-like ribs leading to a greenish, white bulb at the bottom.  Mostly, the bulb is used and the fronds decorate the finished dish.  Fennel helps your digestive process, tastes like licorice and can be used raw or cooked. Mom’s colleague, Miss Diana, told Mom yesterday that in her family, they served a platter of fennel after the Sunday dinner meat course when she grew up.  Fennel seeds serve the same purpose and some cultures chew on them after meals to aid digestion.

Mom added small chopped pieces to her salad preparation and will look up some further ideas for the remaining pieces.  While proceeding through salad prep, she decided to flip us a few small tidbits.  As her faithful Kitchen K9s, we keep open minds to new (safe for K9s) veggies.  Turns out, we really like fennel, too!

Searching through her data base for the remaining fennel, this recipe caught Mom’s eye.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Fennel and Goat Cheese

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous, cooked (Mom will use other grains like oat groats, barley, rye and kamut!)
  • 6 Bibb lettuce leaves (Mom will probably leave this out, not practical!)
  • 1 (2.5-ounce) package goat cheese, crumbled
  • Garnish: fennel fronds

Preparation

  • Trim base from fennel bulb; cut bulb into thin strips, reserving fronds for garnish, if desired.
  • Whisk together olive oil and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add fennel strips, bell pepper, olives, and green onions, tossing to coat. Add couscous, and toss lightly.
  • Arrange lettuce on 6 plates. Top with couscous mixture. Sprinkle with goat cheese, and garnish with fennel fronds, if desired.

In her Kitchen Counselor role, Mom suggests adding protein of choice for another version of this yummy salad!  Also, you may need to refresh with a squeeze of lemon on the leftovers as grains soak up dressing!

Here’s another recipe for possible inclusion in your holiday menu planning!

Brussels Sprouts and Walnuts with Fennel and Red Pearl Onions

Another great fennel day.



Tasty Tuesday: Little Red and Yellow Orbs of Goodness

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Before we begin, we want to send out our heartfelt hope that all our friends affected by Hurricane/Frankenstorm, Superstorm Sandy are safe.  Mom hails from NJ, so, she has a good sense of where the storm came ashore yesterday.  When you can, let us know what you need and how we can help in the aftermath.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our thirtieth participating post!

Many regular readers know that as Mom’s faithful Kitchen K-9s, we sit in rapt (VBP – Vocab Building Project) attention when Mom prepares salads.  Grape tomatoes, the red kind or the yellow pear varieties, usually conclude the preparation process because they leave Mom’s cutting board a bit sloppy.  We may also favor them because Mom usually tosses one or two to JJ and I whole so the orbs represent our largest tidbits!

Before JJ arrived, Mom grew several varieties of tomatoes including: cherry, grape and Everglades in our backyard garden during the winter, as do many South Florida residents.  When harvest time approaches, a roster of yummy tomato laden dishes helps show off the hard work.  Here’s Mom’s version of the classic Italian Panzanella Bread salad which flew off her table during her Farmers Market demonstration.

Lori’s Panzanella Bread Salad (Adapted from Regina Cowles and Simply Recipes)

  • 1 tb. Italian Herbs
  • ¼ c. Olive oil (best quality you can afford!)
  • 4 c. slightly dried out rustic bread, cubed or torn in small pieces
  • 1 ½ ripe grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ¼ c. red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ c. arugula leaves, torn
  • 1 bunch basil, torn in small pieces
  • 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste

Mix Italian Spices into the olive oil, set aside.  Place bread in large salad bowl.  Add tomatoes, onion, cucumber, basil and arugula and toss gently.  Add the vinegar and toss again to blend.  Spoon the olive oil mixture over the salad, add the salt, toss again.  Set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the bread to absorb the dressing and the flavors. Toss once again before serving.

Mom’s Ideas:

  •  Add some fresh mozzarella or feta,
  • Throw in a few garbanzos or leftover roasted chicken, turkey or tuna
  • Switch spinach or other lettuce varieties for the arugula.

Another yummy grape tomato day!



Tasty Tuesday: Yes, We Eat Radishes

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Before we begin today’s post, we have sad news to share.  For those of you who regularly read our comments, you will note an almost daily visit from our loving friend, Miss Wendy.  We featured her treasured Barkely for our first Black and White Sunday post.   as well as a post on a few of our Cyber Pals.   Sadly, Barkley crossed OTRB yesterday and Miss Wendy and her family have aching hearts.  If you feel comfortable, please send them your support through us, as Miss Wendy doesn’t have a blog.  We know they will find your kindness meaningful.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our twenty-ninth participating post!

When Mom works at our Farmers Market, she often finds that humans scoff (VBP –Vocab Building Project) at the gorgeous family of radishes.  Mom loves to grow watermelon radishes, however, we also eat the traditional magenta orbs, the Easter Egg Collection, Daikon radishes, French radishes and such.   Radishes are fat burners, crunchy, and have a slightly bitter taste which can round out many dishes.

Today, we offer a pre-holiday cleansing salad from a fellow IIN alum, Alex Jamieson.

Refreshing and Cleansing Radish Salad

  • 2 cups peeled and thinly sliced daikon radishes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced green apple, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, sliced into half-moons
  • 1 red radish, grated
  • 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 leaves fresh mint and cilantro (optional)

1. Combine daikon, apple, carrot, onion, and red radish in a large mixing bowl.

2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the orange juice, rice syrup, lime juice, and salt.

3. Pour the liquid over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Garnish with mint and cilantro, if desired, and serve.

Another crunchy, radish day.



Tasty Tuesday: Plums for Me, Plums for Little Miss Happy Happy

Hey It’s Jet Here.

Thanks to Sugar and Kol for initiating Tasty Tuesdays, today is our twenty-eighth participating post!

Mom decided to make a quick lunch over the weekend and cut a Santa Rosa plum, a Red plum and a banana to mix with her lactose free Green Valley Yogurt.  She threw a few walnuts on, sprinkled nutmeg (I know, you’ve seen a variation of this before!) and that was that.

JJ and I, ever her faithful Kitchen K9s, sat attentively beside her to test (for Quality Control purposes) both plums, the banana and of course the yogurt.  (Mom called me Mr. Yogurt Nose the rest of the day for some reason!)

I’m going to share a savory plum idea and JJ asked to share a sweet idea.

Sticky Grilled Drumsticks with Plum Sauce

  • 12 chicken drumsticks (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 red or purple plums (4 ounces each), pitted and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup hot or sweet red pepper jelly
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup water

Light a grill. Rub the chicken with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderate heat, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the plums and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened and nearly broken down, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper jelly and mustard and bring to a boil, stirring until the jelly is melted. Carefully transfer the mixture to a food processor. Add the water and puree until smooth. Season the plum sauce with salt and pepper.

Liberally brush the plum sauce all over the chicken and grill, turning the drumsticks occasionally, until they are lightly caramelized, about 5 minutes. Serve the drumsticks with any remaining plum sauce at the table.

Spicy Roasted Plums 

Mom made this dish for her UMiami Diabetic Peer Support class.  They LOVED it.

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 medium plums
  • 1/2cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup light dairy sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

1. Coat a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Halve and pit plums. Place plums, cut sides up, in prepared baking dish. Stir together pineapple juice, the 2 tablespoons, the cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin. Drizzle over plums.

2. Bake in a 450 degree F oven about 20 minutes or until plums are tender. In a small bowl stir together sour cream and the 1 tablespoon brown sugar. To serve, arrange plums in dessert dishes; top with sour cream mixture and almonds.

Another great plum day.