Welcome spring! With warmer weather arriving here’s a few lighter recipe ideas.
Dandelion Stir-fry With Brown Rice
(Not your ordinary recipe, but don’t let that stop you from trying it!)
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 lb. dandelion greens, washed
- 1 1/2 c. brown rice (uncooked)
Prepare the rice according to your preferred method. While it cooks prepare the greens. Mix the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and 1 Tbsp. oil in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the greens and marinate for 30 minutes. drain the marinade and reserve. Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet. Add the greens and stir-fry 2-3 minuted until wilted and cooked. Quickly add the reserved marinade and heat through. Serve over the hot rice.
Stuffed Eggplant Rolls
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 2 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 2 oz. fresh goat cheese
- 1/2 c. cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp. minced oil cured black olives
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. diced oil-packed tomatoes
- 2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/4″ thick slices
Brush the eggplant slices lightly with oil and place under the broiler for 3 min. on each side (or grill). Combine the ingredients for the stuffing. Brush the eggplant slices lightly with oil and place under the broiler for 3 min. on each side (or grill). Spread 1 Tbsp. stuffing onto each eggplant slice and roll up starting at a short end. Serve warm or cold.
This recipe is so simple and so delicious!
Spinach and Potato Soup
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 c. chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 c. water
- 4 medium potatoes, peeled, quartered and parboiled
- 2 lbs. spinach, washed
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and gently brown. Add the broth, water and potatoes. Add the spinach. Cover and cook for 15 minuted until the spinach is very wilted. Serve hot with crusty bread and parmesan cheese.
Roasted Vegetable Stew
- 1 lb. rutabaga (peeled and diced) or small turnips scrubbed
- 1 stalk celery, sliced thick
- 2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced thick
- 1 potato peeled and diced
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced thickly into rounds
- 1 onion peeled, halved and sliced thickly
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large fresh tomatoes, halved ( or canned/frozen)
- 1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 c. white beans (cooked)
- salt, pepper
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
In a large bowl toss the rutabaga (or turnips), celery, parsnip, potato, carrots, onion and garlic with 1 tsp. salt, a pinch of pepper, and 2 Tbsp olive oil. Toss well and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast in oven at 350 degrees until fork tender, about one hour. Meanwhile on a separate tray, place the tomatoes cut sides up and sprinkle with salt, toss mushrooms with 1 Tbsp. oil and scatter over tray. Roast on lower rack until lightly charred, about 30 minutes. Place all of the vegetables into a large stockpot. Stir in the stock, bay leaves and beans. Bring to a gentle simmer and season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves and serve hot.
*BONUS* When the little girl I taught to bake promised me that when she grew up she would never cook and then a few years later shows up at our house with a beautiful treat and says, “You can post this on your blog, Mom” you can be sure I will! This recipe is from our daughter Katie and it’s delicious!
- 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 1/4 c. warm milk
- 1/3 c.butter, melted
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 large organic eggs
- 1 tsp. salt
- 5 c. organic flour
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, butter, sugar, eggs, salt and three cups of the flour. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a firm dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place into a greased bowl, turn once to coat, cover and let rise one hour until doubled. Meanwhile make the caramel sauce.
- 2/3 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/4 c. butter, cubed
- 1/4 c. heavy cream
In a small saucepan bring the brown sugar, butter and cream to a boil. Cook and stir for 3 minutes. pour half into a greased and floured 10″ fluted pan and sprinkle with half of the nuts.
- 3/4 c. chopped pecans (or your choice of nuts)
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 c. butter melted
Punch down the dough. Shape into 40 balls about 1 1/4″ in diameter. In shallow bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon. In a smaller bowl add melted butter. Dip balls in butter then in cinnamon sugar mix. Place 20 balls in the tube pan, top with remaining caramel sauce and nuts. Top with remaining balls. Let rise for 45 minutes, covered with a towel. bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Tent loosely with foil if needed. Cool for 10 minutes and invert onto serving platter while warm.
Tarragon Chicken Stew
- 1/3 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 4 1/2 c. chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 large leeks, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 c. carrots, sliced
- 2 lbs. small red potatoes, scrubbed, halved
- 1 bunch small turnips, scrubbed
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp. dried tarragon (or 1Tbsp. fresh)
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Dredge chicken in flour and brown well in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a Dutch oven. Sprinkle left over flour over chicken to thicken stew. Remove chicken and add 2 Tbsp. butter to pot. Add leeks and garlic, cook until tender. Add the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes more. Add chicken back into the pot, add stock and bring to a boil. Add the bay leaf and tarragon. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes). Serve hot.
Easy Lemon Mascarpone Layer Cake
- One jar lemon curd
- One box white cake mix
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- 2 c. heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 3 (8 oz) cartons chilled mascarpone cheese
Prepare cake according to package directions making four 9″ layers by dividing the batter evenly. Allow to cool and remove from pans. Prepare the syrup by placing sugar in a small bowl. Add 1/2 c. boiling water and stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in lemon juice and set aside. Prepare the filling by whipping the cream with the sugar until stiff peaks form. Mix the lemon curd and mascarpone cheese in a small bowl. Fold into the whipped cream until blended. To assemble the cake, set one layer on a platter and brush with the syrup. Spread with 1 c. of the lemon and mascarpone filling. Repeat with the remaining layers, using the remaining filling to coat the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate 6 hours before serving.
What would spring be without a lovely leek quiche?!
Mushroom and Leek Quiche
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 c. cold butter
- 4-5 Tbsp. cold water
Work the butter into the flour until coarse crumbs are formed. Add the salt and cold water, one Tbsp. at a time, and toss until the dough forms. Roll out and fit into a 9″ pie plate. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
Line the crust with foil and fill with pie weights, rice/beans/pasta to weigh it down. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. remove the weights and foil and bake another 5-6 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool while you prepare the filling. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash 3 large leeks and slice the white/light parts only.
Add to a saucepan with 2 Tbsp. of butter, 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 c. of water. Bring to a boil over med-high heat and cook until almost all of the water has evaporated.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes until the leeks are very soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
Meanwhile, thoroughly clean 7-10 medium sized mushrooms. These are portobello, any variety (or a combination) would be fine. Use a damp cloth to wipe clean and then slice.
Add 1 Tbsp. butter to a skillet along with the mushrooms and 1/4 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. red wine. (I used a cabernet/merlot.) Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 5-7minutes. Uncover, raise heat and simmer until the liquid has evaporated.
Combine the leek mixture and the mushrooms. Set aside while you prepare the cream mixture.
In a blender or bowl, combine 3 large eggs, 1 1/2 c. heavy cream (or whole milk), and salt and pepper to taste. Mix on low speed until well blended.
Pour into the mushroom/leek mixture and stir.
Place the prepared shell onto oven rack in the upper third of the oven. Pour in the filling mixture and layer slices of swiss cheese across the top of the filling. bake 25-30 minutes until golden and puffed.
Frittata of Asparagus, Peppers and Bleu Cheese
- 4 large organic eggs
- 1/2 bunch of very thin asparagus spears cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 small sweet red pepper, sliced (or roasted red pepper slices)
- 1 leek, white part only, sliced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 c. crumbled bleu cheese
Break eggs into a bowl and mix until combined, set aside. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus spears and blanche for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water. Drain again and set aside. Add 2 Tbsp. olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and saute until the leek is just tender. Add the peppers and saute 2 minutes more. Add the asparagus and stir to heat through. Remove the skillet from the heat, and slowly, stirring all the while, add the vegetables to the eggs. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to the skillet, return to the burner and add the egg/vegetable mix all at once. Sprinkle with the bleu cheese. Let the frittata cook until it is set on the bottom and sides. To finish the top, pop it under the broiler in the oven for 2-4 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Grilled Artichokes With Fettuccine
- 4 large fresh artichoke hearts (or frozen, thawed and patted dry)
- juice of one lemon
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small head of garlic, peeled and cloves crushed
- 4 c. chicken stock
- 1/2 c. corn
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh chervil 9 (0r 1 tsp. dried)
- 2 Tbsp. minced fresh marjoram (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. fettuccine
Rub the artichoke hearts with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and lemon juice. Grill until tender and slice thin. heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a skille until very hot. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown. Add the artichokes and chicken stock, cook until the sauce begins to have body. Add corn, herbs and butter. Simmer until the butter is blended thoroughly. Adjust seasonings. Cook the pasta. Drain and toss immediately with the warm sauce.
Spring Roasted Chicken
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 2 lbs. baby new potatoes or fingerling potatoes
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 1 (3 lb.) chicken, cut up
- 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
- fresh thyme sprigs
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Add the potatoes and 1 1/2 Tbsp. butter to a baking dish and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until golden. Place the chicken pieces on top of the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes. Scatter the asparagus, lemon and thyme sprigs around the chicken and top with the remaining butter. Roast until the asparagus is tender and the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot.
Rhubarb Crumble Bars
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare an 8″ square pan by buttering the bottom and lining with parchment paper. (Allow the paper to extend over the sides.) Butter and flour the paper. Set aside.
- 6 Tbsp. butter, melted
- 1 c. flour
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Toss together in a small bowl and set aside.
- 1/2 lb. fresh rhubarb cut into 1″ pieces
- 1 Tbsp. brown (or maple) sugar
- 1 c. organic flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. fresh butter, room temperature
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Combine rhubarb, 1 Tbsp. brown sugar and 1/4 c. flour in a small bowl. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine 3/4 c. flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a mixer beat the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. On low, mix in the vanilla and the flour mixture. Spread into the prepared pan and top with rhubarb then streusel. Bake 45-50 minutes.
Raspberry Swirl Bread
- 3- 3 1/2 c. flour
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) yeast
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1/3 c. butter, cubed
- 1 c. seedless raspberry jam
- 1/2 c. chopped nuts
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 Tsp. butter, divided
In a large bowl combine 1 c. flour, sugar yeast and salt. In a microwaveable cup, combine water, milk and butter. Heat on high until the butter is almost melted. Add to dry ingredients, beating until combined. Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and turn once to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.
For filling, combine raspberry jam and chopped nuts in a small bowl. Set aside.
Punch down dough and roll into a 20″ by 10″ rectangle. Spread with the filling to within 1/2″ of the edge. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Roll up jelly-roll style starting with a long edge. Pinch the seam to seal. Place into a greased 9″x5″x3″ bread pan; curving into an s-shape to fit. Combine topping ingredients by mixing flour and sugar and cutting 1 Tbsp. butter into it until crumbly. Melt remaining butter and spread over dough. Sprinkle the topping over the prepared dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove carefully to a wire rack to cool.