Category Archives: Veggies

Spinach and Beet Cornbread Muffins

I love cornbread, there is no question about it.
Using the little time off from our No.2, who is finally sleeping on her own, IN her own bed, I want to share one of my favorite cornbread recipes EVER.
This can be baked in 9 inch pan

or in muffin forms

For some reason I prefer muffins. I think, it’s because with those muffins I can limit myself more and control myself in eating them all in one sitting. No matter what shape this cornbread has it is still delicious.
The spinach kind has no spinach flavor whatsoever, I would say it’s even sweeter than the one without it, while you can surely taste the beets; not a lot, though.
Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
3 heaping tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup baby spinach, rinsed*
1 very small beet, steamed
If you want to make JUST spinach or JUST beet cornbread then double the amount of the veggies (1 cup of spinach, and 2 small beets or 1 medium).
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a blender, puree the butter, sugar, eggs and evaporated milk for about 30 seconds.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. Add the dry mixed ingredients to the blender and blend until just combined.
4. Pour half of the batter out leaving another half in a blender.
5. Add the spinach to the batter left in a blender and blend until the mixture is evenly green and there is no big pieces of spinach left.
6. Pour the batter into muffin forms to about 3/4 full.
7. transfer the remaining batter into the cleaned blender and add cut into small cubes steamed beet. Blend until well incorporated.
8. Transfer the batter to muffin forms.
9. Bake for 25 minutes.
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KitchenFun

Tortilla bowls

Tortillas are the “must have” in our house lately.

My husband likes quesadillas.

Our daughter can eat them just with peanut butter. She likes them a lot!

I like to use them in all kinds of wraps. So far, my favorite are spinach-strawberry wraps on homemade whole wheat tortillas.

My husband is not a big fan of the homemade ones so we still buy them for him.

Anyway, homemade or not we eat a lot of them.

Lately I’ve discovered tortilla bowls and the are a big hit in our home.

Whenever I make them our daughter tends to eat more of what’s inside, what I use to sneak more veggies in her.

They are super easy to make.

I use big muffin baking forms:

Not to torn the bottoms of the tortillas, very delicate I fold the tortillas inside the muffin form. 

Bake in 350 F for 10 minutes.

Fill with whatever you want.

Sometimes I make it just for my daughter so she has a funny bowl for her nuts to snack on. She loves it! And I have less dishes to wash ;)

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Flax-seed meal pizza crust

 

Surprisingly enough, I rally liked this crust. It is such a unique and much healthier substitution for the regular one. 

I will make it again,

however next time I’m going to bake it for a bit longer in order to get rid of that slightly slimy texture of the crust. I am not sure if that can be done, though.

From this recipe I made pizza that had fed me and our daughter for dinner and lunch the next day. Husband wasn’t brave enough to try it. I spread the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and it took about 3/4 of 9×12 inch baking sheet. Next time I’ll try to make it thinner as it raised while baking.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 flax-seed meal

1 tsp. baking powder

2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped

2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar (or your choice of sweetener)

1/2 cup water

3 eggs, beaten

3 Tbsp. olive oil,

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F

Mix well flax-seed meal, baking powder, basil, mint, salt, sugar. Add water, beaten eggs and olive oil. Mix util all ingredients are well combined. It will be very watery but that’s ok. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes.

Spread the batter over a baking sheet layered with parchment paper (do not have to grease it, at least I didn’t and it worked just fine).

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I baked it for 15 minutes but in my opinion it wasn’t enough. Next time I’ll bake it for 20 minutes.

Add your favorite toppings and bake for additional few minutes until the cheese is melted.

Enjoy.

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Polish flat bread with onion, corn, flax-seed meal and fresh herbs / tzw Cebularz Lubelski

While this dish is very popular in Poland and you can find it in almost every single bakery I had no idea that it comes from Jewish culture and it is actually called “Cebularz Lubelski” after one part of Poland where it suppose to originated from.

“Cebularz” means something with onion… and in this case it doesn’t mean that the onion is incorporated into the bread. It is not an onion bread.

After reading many descriptions of this dish it seems like I should say that it is a wheat cake with onion. I’ve decided to call it a flat bread but it is not a bread. The dough is more like for sweet buns or dinner rolls.

There are many ways people prepare the onion and many recipes mention is should be prepared a few days ahead. I didn’t have that much time and I was really craving this dish so I simply fried the onion while the dough was in my bread machine. Originally the topping is made from onions and poppy seeds. I didn’t have poppy seeds and I’ve decided to make it more colorful and flavorful by adding different ingredients.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup milk

3 Tbs. butter, unsalted

2 tsp. sugar (any kind: white, brown, turbinado)

1/2 tsp. sal

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour *

1/2 cup bread flour +1Tbs (if needed)

1 tsp. instant yeast

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup flax-seed meal (can be switched for chia seeds)

1/2 or 3/4 big purple onion, chopped roughly

fresh corn from one cob

2 Tbs. olive oil

1/2 cup fresh herbs (I used mix of cilantro and parsley)

cherry or yellow pear tomatoes (optional)

Fresh picked from our “buckets garden” :)

* you can use different amounts of bread and all-purpose flours. If you don’t have bread flour you don’t have to use it. I have never tried this recipe with whole wheat flour, but I think, it would be ok to incorporate it into the recipe as well.

Directions for bread machine:

In a sauce pan put together the milk, butter, sugar and salt. Heat it up on low heat until the butter melts. The mixture should be lukewarm not hot. Pour it into the bread machine, add flours and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set the machine on “dough” and turn it on.

During the second kneading open the lid and add the egg saving about 2 tsp for later use. Add flax-seed meal.

At this point you might need to add an extra 1 Tbsp of flour (all-purpose or bread). The dough should form elastic, soft and shiny ball around the kneading hook inside the bread machine.

Meantime chop the onion and cut the corn of the cob. In a frying pan heat up 2 Tbsp olive oil, add chopped onion and corn. Fry until the onion is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the dough is ready, take it out of the bread machine and divide into 6 balls. On a lightly floured surface roll them into a flat circles, about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.

Transfer them into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Brush the edges of each piece with the remaining egg. In the middle of the flat bread put about 3 Tbs of the onion-corn mix.

Bake for 15 minutes in 395 F or until the edges are golden brown.

To make this dough without bread machine just follow a regular directions for making yeast dough by hand or Kitchen Aid.

Dissolve the  sugar and yeast in very warm milk and wait until bubbly. Add melted and cooled butter, salt, flours and knead. Add beaten egg and knead until the dough is not sticking to the side of the bowl and creates easy to work with ball. Transfer the dough to lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth or plastic foil. Leave in a warm place to rest until doubled in size. When it’s ready punch in in the middle, add flax-seed meal and knead a little bit more until everything is well incorporated. To finish follow the instructions above. 

Serve warm, topped with fresh herbs and cut into wedges fresh tomatoes.

Whipped Cream and Beet juice Sponge Roll

So here we are.

It is 4th of July and we are not going anywhere to watch fireworks tonight. My husband is not very happy about that but with our two little munchkins and him still recovering from his surgery it is what it is and being honest with you, I am happy about that. Although he really tried to convinced me into going out but as stubborn as I am and as hurting as he is, I won. We are not going and I have more time to blog as it’s my second post today :)

To make the 4th of July a bit special, though (just for him), for the first time in my life I made a roll cake.

Since I discovered this recipe I had looked at it several times thinking that it actually does not look like a very hard work to make a roll cake, and the recipe for a sponge cake is incredibly easy and fast to fix. I’ve changed the recipe a little by whipping the egg whites separately, adding a beet juice as a natural food coloring to the filling and using blueberries as a garnish.

Ingredients for the cake:

5 egg whites

5 egg yolks,

5 Tbsp. powdered sugar

4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. corn starch

Ingredients for the filling:

(2 cups) half and half whipped cream

4 Tbsp. powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh strawberries, cut into pieces

1 Tbsp. fresh beet juice (for coloring)

Directions:

1. Whip egg whites to stiff peaks. Add sugar and egg yolks and whip for additional minute.

2. Meantime sieve both flour and corn starch to a separate bowl.

3. With a hand whisk gently mix the flour with the egg and sugar mixture.

4. Heat the oven to 320 F. Line a 17×11 baking sheet (the deep kind) with parchment paper. 

5. Gently spread the batter over the baking sheet.

6. Bake for 25 to 3o minute.Do  not overbake as it will be crumbling and breaking as rolled into a log. It should be slightly brown and soft to the touch. Mine was done after 25 minutes.

It looks like the original recipe was made in smaller dish so it was thicker. I used 17 x 11 baking sheet and my cake was very thin and delicate but still easy to handle.

7. As soon as it’s baked move it from the baking sheet, keeping the parchment paper on the bottom.

8. Using new piece of parchment paper, very lightly greased, cover warm cake (the greased part touching the cake).

9. With the two layers of parchment paper and the cake in the middle roll the cake. The log should be rolled pretty tight and even.

10. Leave it for about 45 minutes to cool.

11. Meanwhile whip the half and half with powdered sugar adding only one tablespoon at a time and tasting it after each time. I used 4 Tbsp. of powdered sugar as in the original recipe and it came out too sweet as for my taste. Add vanilla extract and beet juice (you can use canned but I prefer using fresh). Beat until well incorporated. You can use more juice for deeper color but be careful not to add to much!

12. Unroll the cake, removing the top layer of the parchment paper. Spread the whipped cream and strawberries over the top. Leave some of the whipped cream for later. 

13. Roll the cake removing the bottom layer of the parchment paper as you roll.

14. Spread the remaining whipped cream over the top of the roll.

15. Garnish with fruits.

16. ENJOY:

My plan for this cake was a little bit different. I wanted to make it more “patriotic” by adding the beet juice to half of the batter and blueberry juice to the remaining batter. By doing so I would have blue and red roll with white filling. If I had done it, I think it would have looked pretty cool, but I remembered to do that when the cake was already in the oven. I totally, totally forgot about it even after my previous, 20 minutes fight with my blender to get the beet juice!!! ugh…

After that I’d decided to add the beet juice into the whipped cream and use the blueberries for a garnish. After all I think it came out great even without the colors I had planned.

The roll tasted great served immediately but chilling it in the fridge for a few hours made it WAY BETTER; moist and so soft. Next time though, I will use more strawberries. Biting into a piece of a strawberry gives it such a great kick of freshness! I really recommend this cake. Easy to make. Tastes great. Looks cool! and it has beets in it which you don’t taste at all!!!! you can go wrong with that ;)

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Apple-Cherry Pizza and Sundried tomatoes Pizza on Mint-Basil dough

I have to admit, WE LOVE PIZZA. Whenever there is a pizza in the oven our two-year old always does her pizza song: “pizza, pizza, we eat”, and her pizza dance.

When my husband and I were dating I had surprised him with the skills of making pizza while he did the same eating it topped with a pineapple… .

These days we eat pizza quite often.

The base for my pizza dough is always the same. I have found the perfect one and I stick to it EVERY SINGLE time. I make mine in bread maker.

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups water

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3 1/2 cups bread flour *

1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active yeast

1/4 cup chia seeds/flax-seed meal (or mix of both)**

* sometimes I use a few cups of all-purpose flour with a cup of bread flour. sometimes I use whole wheat flour with all-purpose flour plus a cup or half of bread flour. No matter what kind of flour I mix I always try to include the bread flour as it gives a nice crisp to the crust. and depends on how much of each flour is used the amount of water needs to be adjust as well.

** to add an extra twist to the dough sometimes I add:

a handful of chopped fresh parsley, mint or basil, or mix of these.

I’ll tell you, the moment you bite the crust filled with those herbs you’ll be in love!!!!!!!!

Directions for bread maker:

wet ingredients first plus salt and sugar, next flour and yeast on top. close the machine, set on “dough”. press “start”. During the second kneading open the lid and add herbs, chia seeds/ flax-seed meal. close the lid. after it’s done take it out, knead a few times on a lightly floured surface and let it rest for about 10 minutes, covered. Divide into 6 parts.

For deep dish pizza spread 1 part of the dough inside a pie pan. For New York, roll the dough thinner and put it on a baking sheet.

Refrigerate or freeze the rest of the dough.

Bake in 450 F.

For deep dish pizza for 15 to 20 minutes.

For thin crust for 12 to 15 minutes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My husband’s pizza is pretty much the same each time.

Cheddar cheese, tomato pizza sauce (homemade), chicken breast, pineapple (fresh or canned), corn (fresh or canned), green or red bell pepper (not always). Thin crust.

chicken pineapple pizza

Mine varies, but a few weeks ago I have found an all time favorite:

cheese (cheddar, jack or mozzarella),

apple (granny smith),

cherries,

corn,

and pineapple (optional).

I know that it might sound weird but this pizza is one of the best dishes I have ever ate.

I came up with this idea after eating a pear gorgonzola pizza at California Pizza Kitchen a few moths ago.

My last creation was pretty tasty, too:

Sundried tomatoes in olive oil,

mushrooms,

cheese,

red bell pepper.

Although I burned the tomatoes too much it still was delicious! 

I spread the olive oil from sundried tomatoes over the dough first. Not a lot, just a bit. Then went cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers and sundried tomatoes.

Next time I’m going to add the tomatoes a few minutes before taking the pizza from the oven. This way I won’t burn them.

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Pasztet z marchwi – Polish Carrot Pâté with coconut sugar glazed carrots

Dish this was in my head for a long time. As once vegetarian I used to make it quite often. I made a few changes like the glazed carrots inside or coconut oil but the rest of stayed pretty the same. 

Normally pasztet is meat based dish. In Poland it’s made from ground poultry, pork, ham (It actually could be made from any kind of meat). The meat is minced into a spreadable paste. It’s mixed with flour or bread crumbs, eggs, seasonings and baked in a loaf-like pan. It’s not the healthiest dish as it’s made mostly from the “strange” parts of the animal (like liver) and its fat.

There is many variations of this dish. Vegetarian variations as well. Mine is one of them. To like this dish you really must like carrots. It is essentially a carrot paste with whole sugar glazed carrots inside. I LOVE it. My husband DOES NOT.

Ingredients for glazed carrots:

4 carrots, lengthwise the size of a loaf pan*

2 Tbsp  butter, unsalted

1 Tbsp coconut sugar (brown sugar is fine, too)

orange juice from one orange, fresh squeezed

* You can cut those carrots in half but you don’t have to if you have a pan wide enough to cook them in.

First of all I need to mention that I’m in love in coconut sugar, lately (as well as coconut oil).
I discovered this sugar in our grocery store for about $5 per lb. It’s not the cheapest thing but I had to try it. Now I am hooked. I use it only in small amounts and in a few dishes so it lasts longer.

Place carrots in a sauce pan. Add coconut sugar, butter and fresh squeezed orange juice. Covered bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a medium low and cook for about 20 minutes or until almost all the liquid is gone. Stir it often.

Ingredients for pâté: 

9 medium carrots, washed

2 Tbsp plain yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

zest from one lemon

2 Tbsp coconut oil

 1/4 big red (sweet) onion

1 stick celery

salt, pepper, sugar (to your taste)

feel free to use ginger and nutmeg as well

Directions:

wash the carrots, cut into small pieces and place into blender. add flour, eggs, yogurt and lemon zest. blend until smooth. add spices and blend again. set aside.

in a small pan heat the coconut oil, add onion and celery. cook until both are soft. add it to the carrot mixture and blend again until smooth.

Pour half of the mixture to a loaf pan. Place 2 glazed carrots side by side.

Pour the rest of the carrot mixture over it and place the remaining glazed carrots on top of it pressing them so they are slightly covered.

Cover with aluminum foil. Baked in 355 F for 1.5 hour in a water bath.

After that let it cool covered or serve warm immediately.

It could be served warm or cold.

As a main dish or a side dish.

As a paste on a sandwich or with crackers.

It looks great and taste delicious with fresh mint :)

Store it in a fridge for up to a week. It actually tastes better after a few days.

Food on Friday button

Yellow mango – avocado salsa (with coconut oil)

I love Spring, its richness (and low prices) of so many fresh fruits and veggies.

It makes me want to eat fresh and raw. I am not any near to say I eat raw a lot. To be able to say that I would have to stop eating all that home-baked breads and pies that I like so much (maybe too much), ah… and ice cream.

Sometimes, I wish my husband wasn’t such a carnivore, but that is his choice… I prefer to spend a little more time in the kitchen preparing two dinners (or lunches) just so I don’t have to eat meat. I think it’s worth it on a long run… and I feel so much better when I don’t eat it. I am not a vegetarian (I used to, though). I spoiled myself with a good and flavorful homemade chicken stock… and all kinds of soups made with it :)

Anyway,

once, after a long trip to a grocery store, which is always a challenge with two kids, we came back exhausted. Husband had quick leftover lunch (with meat) and I was planning to go through the afternoon snacking on some almonds. It didn’t work that way. I was too hungry. Unloading all the groceries I’ve decided to make a salad.
I thought, I came up with a great recipe. Later browsing the Internet I saw I wasn’t the first who invented mango-avocado-tomato salad… and that it actually has a name already: “mango salsa”.

I thought I found my “signature dish” ;)

Ingredients:

1 avocado

1 yellow mango

1 Roma tomato

1/4 red onion

2 Tbsp raisins

2 tsp coconut oil

1 Tbsp almonds, (optional)

salt

pepper

Directions are easy :)

Cut everything into pieces (except raisins) and mix with coconut oil. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped almonds.

Enjoy!

I have to add that the coconut oil in this recipe is a MUST!!!


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Delicious creaminess: avocado-spinach-cucumber smoothie

Fast and easy with not a lot to prepare before and to clean after… . That is my motto these days if it comes to food. If it tastes delicious it’s even better ;)

Having this motto in my mind I came up with a super delicious and creamy avocado-spinach-cucumber smoothie. I had no idea how good cucumberis for us and how much freshness it brings when blended into a smoothie.

Yesterday I fixed myself this smoothie for dinner.

I’m trying to lose my extra pounds that are seem to hold on to me for dear life. No wonder… if you look at those pictures below you’ll see not only the smoothie but a fresh-baked apple pie. I say, if it’s made with brown sugar and whole wheat flour it means it’s good for me and I feel less guilty eating it, untill I look at the mirror… .

btw, it’s a kid friendly dish with no questions asked.

Anyway,

I ate a whole jar of that smoothie and after I finished it I was THAT close to make another one but then I thought: “pie or another jar of smoothie”. Pie won.

This morning I couldn’t wait to fix myself the same smoothie with a few changes. 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup vanilla yogurt, (plain will do just fine, but using it you may want to add more honey or dates) *

1 big orange

1 avocado

1/2 medium english cucumber,

BIG handful spinach

2 Tbsp honey (or more, if you like) **

* if it’s too thick add a smal amount of pineapple juice (or whatever juice you like)

** the second time (today) I made it using dates (about 12) instead of the honey. Liked it better with the honey.


Blend it all together until creamy and smooth. It will take more time to get that consistency if you’re using dates. That’s why I didn’t like it that much as with honey because I ended up with very small, not blended very well pieces of dates in my smoothie.

… and that’s how we were working today in order to take those delicious pictures ;)

The weather is just gorgeous here, perfect for a green and refreshing treat like this smoothie!

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Baked potato-kale soup with sweet cornbread

Our very needy no 2 has reached a point where she doesn’t want to fall asleep or relax without somebody holding her all day long. It got to a point when my back said NO MORE! PLEASE!!!

A few days ago our no 2 was screaming her lungs out while I was trying to ignore her. Our no 1 got upset as well just because no 2 was upset!

Seeing that miserable family portrait my husband digged out an old swing chair.

A day later he went out and bought batteries.

I’m saved!

And finally I have two free hands to write posts and comments :)

Yeay!

But I need to be fast, these days. Those quite times do not last long.

So,

I made a soup. I made it twice, so far. It tasted better the first time I made it. I think I overcomplicated it the second time, so I’ll share the simplest recipe.

I am too lazy (or I do not have much time these days) to experiment with cooking kale or spinach so I simply throw it into a jar with a smoothie or soup, blend it all together and call it good food.

That’s exactly what I did with this soup. The only thing you have to really prepare here are the potatoes. The rest of the ingredients don’t have to be cooked at all.

Ingredients:

2 medium red potatoes, baked with skins *

1 3/4 cup warm milk,

4 oz cheddar cheese,

1/4 yellow sweet onion, peeled

2 big leaves kale (about a cup)

salt and pepper to taste

plain yogurt (optional for garnish)

1 Tbsp almonds, chopped (optional for garnish)

 

* this soup taste awesome when it’s made from potatoes cooked on the grill (wrapped in an aluminum foil with some salt and butter and cooked on the grill for about 25-30 minutes).

Directions:

Throw everything to a blender and blend the heck out of it. Garnish with yogurt or almonds and serve.

If you want that soup to be very warm or hot it needs to be transferred to a pot and heated up.

I served it with homemade sweet cornbread. I used this recipe to which I added 1/4 cup chia seeds and 1/4 flax-seed meal.

My husband LOVES  Marie Callender’s cornbread so I was hoping for somehow close final effect but it wasn’t that good. The taste was sweet and pretty comforting, I would say, but the texture was too grainy. I think I used the wrong cornmeal. I’m not sure. I will try to make it again but definitely I’m going to use a different recipe. 

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