January, EAT IN! Month


Not that I am  not all about supporting the local restaurants, but let’s be honest, December led us into a cream and butter crazed,  fried food, sugar loaded, anything goes state! A lot of people start resolutions, start to try to eat cleaner, or exercise more, at the start of the New Year. Makes sense to me, it is a great clean slate. In my opinion, eating at home is where you will get undoubtedly the healthiest foods. You can see what is going into every dish and control it. I tell this story to my classes a lot:

A couple years back, my husband had a favorite dish around town from a restaurant, it was mussels in this incredible broth. I love to eat at restaurants and recreate the meal at home, so I was off on a challenge. I would make them for him about once or twice a month, and every time he would tell me I was getting closer. Eventually I nailed it, and told him the truth about how I did so. I knew the base of the sauce was butter, but every week I was adding more and more. By the time I had “nailed it” it was a WHOLE STICK of butter in a pound of mussels. I couldn’t tell him during the process because I thought he would make me stop cooking them, and I got seriously intrigued by the copious amounts of fat, and I didn’t want to stop! Have I made them since? No. Point being, there is usually a reason that you can’t make your food taste like your favorite dish at a restaurant, you wouldn’t allow yourself to add that much butter, or cream , or even a crappy oil to your dish.

So I believe the cleanest slate is cooking from home. Your “splurge” will most likely become some homemade cookies or extra cheese on that taco rather than a plate of fried artichoke and aioli.

I invite you this month to eat at home as much as you can. I will be posting some good home cooked recipes here, hopefully they will help and inspire you.

See you in the kitchen,

Casey

 

 

 

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My Roman Sandwich

Italy

Does this sandwich make your mouth water? 

It’s so simple and so good! Inspired by the street corner sandwich shops of Rome.

Here’s directions to make 2 of these delicious quick lunches:

2 pieces pita bread (the fresher the better)
8 thinly sliced pieces of prosciutto
TBPS mascarpone (could use cream cheese, but mascarpone really makes it)
1/2 cup burrata (a very fresh mozzarella could be subbed)
a couple handfuls arugula
drizzle olive oil and cracked black pepper

Heat up the pita to warm, not crisp though, just to get it nice and pliable. Spread the mascarpone on half of it, then layer the prosciutto, arugula and a couple dollops burrata. Drizzle with the olive oil and crack some pepper on it. Fold in half and enjoy thoroughly.

 

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Lone Hawk Farm Dinner! July 25th

SimpleSpoon_LoneHawkFlyer1

 

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Happy 4th! Enjoy!

charcuterie

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Vegetable Fried Rice

fried rice

Here is a great versatile recipe for a vegetable filled and filling meal. If you want to add some  meat, it is super easy to just top it with chicken or shrimp too. Use  any vegetables for  you prefer, or some you have or came in your CSA. The vegetables I use in this recipe are the ones I love.

1 cup brown long grain rice (you can use short grain, but it gets stickier, which some people might prefer!)
1 cup red pepper, diced about the size of a dime
1 cup quartered brussel sprouts
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
5 green onions, sliced into small rings
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 piece ginger, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste
2 TBSP toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup tamari (I have been into the low sodium, you can get more taste with less salt)
1 egg
Handful fresh cilantro and or basil

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Heat large pan to medium high. Pour in oil.  Add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant. Add rest of vegetables, stir and salt.
3. Cook vegetables until they are almost done. Add rice and smooth over top. Let cook a few more minutes, then stir all together.
4. Crack egg in and stir until the egg is cooked and spread throughout. Toss in tamari and fresh herbs and red pepper flakes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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Posole!

Posole

Here is a recipe for Posole, which is a soup, but somehow (at least to me) crosses all of the boundaries into all seasons. The light broth, the hint of green chili, the fresh cilantro and onions… it doesn’t feel like JUST a winter dish.  But, when the air cools, all I can think about eating is this ancient stew. Posole is made with hominy which is a dried and treated (with lime) corn. I like to put it in dried and cook it to life in my broth, but you can always buy it in a can already hydrated. If you choose this option, make sure to add the liquid that the hominy came in to the soup.


1 bone in skin on chicken breast or whole leg
1 cup dried hominy (here you can sub a 24oz can hominy, save liquid and include in amount of broth)
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 pablano pepper, diced
3 roasted Hatch or Anaheim chilies, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 cups chicken broth
Cilanto
1 TBSP New Mexican Red chile powder (Los Chileros is my fav brand)

I like to serve a bunch of toppings on the side. Choose a few or all…

Shredded Cheddar
Diced onions
Cilantro
Lime Wedges
Pickled Radish (see below for recipe)
Tortilla Chips
Avocado
Plain Greek Yogurt (I use instead of sour cream)

 

1.  In a large soup pot, put in broth, hominy, celery, carrots, chilies, pepper, chicken, onion and garlic. Let simmer. Pull chicken out around 35 minutes after, set aside. Let simmer until hominy is soft, about 1 ½ hours.

2. When chicken is cool enough to handle, skin and bone. Shred the chicken and return to soup. Add cilantro and red chili powder.

3. Serve hot with toppings

.

 Quick Pickles Radishes

1 bunch radishes, washed, trimmed and sliced thin
1 cup champagne vinegar
¼ cup sugar
Clove garlic

1.In a pot, boil vinegar, sugar, garlic and herbs until sugar is melted.

2. Place sliced radishes in a bowl and pour over. Chill and serve.Posole

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Is There a Thing as Too Much Zucchini?

It is that time of year, where you show up to a friends house with a basket of zucchini as a “gift” and look around and everyone else has too! I loved planting zucchini for two reasons. 1. The blossoms. 2. The confidence it gave me as an amateur gardener. But this year I saved my garden space for other plants and decided to get my zucchini at the Farmer’s Market.
One thing you can do with zucchini is slice and freeze in an airtight Ziploc or container and pull to use throughout the winter. Three months for veg is optimal freeze time, but you can always go longer and check it out for yourself So for those of you who have the over abundance of the green machine this year, here are some ideas to turn those bad boys into things different than zucchini bread or gifts.

 

Scroll down the blog to see zucchini fries, zucchini falafel, zucchini soup, zucchini gratin, zucchini salad and possibly more.

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Zucchini Goat Cheese Gratin

 

Once we turn from fall into winter, try swapping the zucchini for sweet potato. Yum.

Zucchini Goat Cheese Gratin

 

4 zucchinis
1 fennel bulb, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
4 oz butter
8 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
1-2 cups milk
2 tbsp flour (optional for gluten people)
Dried thyme
Salt and Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2.Slice zucchini length wise (long way) about 1/4 inch thick.  Salt  and set aside for 20 minutes, we want to expel some water.
3. Heat a pan to medium high. Add butter. When butter melts add onion and fennel. Salt lightly and stir. Cook about 5-10 minutes, lower to low, add thyme, cover and let cook until the onion and fennel are REALLY soft, maybe 20 minutes. Check to make sure it doesn’t burn.
4. Gently squeeze or pat with paper towles to drain rest of water out squash.
4. In a medium cast iron or oven safe casserole dish, layer the squash, then onion fennel mix, then cheeses, sprinkle flour,salt and pepper,  repeat until all used. Save a little cheese for top! Pick a corner and slowly add milk  until you almost reached the top of zucchini. Cover and pop in oven for 40 minutes. Remove top, add rest of cheese and cook 10 more minutes. Let cool a little before you cut and enjoy!

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Zucchini Salad w/ Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a nice, simple easy cold salad. Add any vegetables from you garden or market.

Zucchini Salad

3 medium zucchinis
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 cup whatever favorite fresh herbs or fresh herbs on hand you have, chopped.
Lemon Parm Dressing

1. With a vegetable peeler, begin slicing the zucchini lengthwise until you get to the kind of soft middle. Repeat on other side. Do the same with cucumber, discarding though that first all skin slice from each side.
2. Cut cherry tomatoes in half. Toss into bowl with zucc and cuc.
3. Add in fresh herbs and toss in some dressing.
4. Top with pine nuts and serve.

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Zucchini Falafel

There are a so many recipes for zucchini cakes, I thought I would put a twist on them. So I’ve tried to take the flavor profile of a falafel to make these delicious little nuggets. I have paired it with a lemon tahini sauce, it would also be great with the Yogurt Dressing.

Zucchini Falafel

2 medium sized zucchini
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (you can absolutely use regular flour instead)
1 egg
2 cloves garlic, minced
Tsp cumin
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Few sprigs chopped mint if you have it in garden, won’t ruin it if you don’t have any!
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt
Oil for frying

Lemon Tahini Sauce

1 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup water
Juice of one lemon
1 small clove minced garlic
Salt

1. Grate on cheese grater your zucchini. Set in a colander and put the colander in another bowl to catch liquid. I don’t like putting it in the sink because it inhibits you from using the sink, and the sink is a big ol’ germ fest. Anyhow, heavy handedly salt the zuccs. Let sit for 20 minutes.
2. In the mean time, whip up that tahini sauce. It is great on salads too.
3. Ring out the zucchini with clean hands, pressing all of the liquid out of it that you can. You can also wrap it in paper towel or cheese cloth and ring.
4. In a large bowl, combine rung out zucchini, egg, flour, garlic, cumin, parsley, mint and juice and zest. Form as best you can into golf ball size balls and put on plate, not touching each other. Put in fridge until ready to fry.
5. Heat a couple of inches of oil in a small pot with high sides. When oil will splatter when you flick a TAD of water, you are ready. Carefully, using a slotted spoon, lower your balls in one by one. You do not want to over crown the pot, you will do this in batches. If you add too many balls, it will lower the heat too much and you will not get a crispy falafel, you will get a sad, soggy, oily zucchini mess. You could also force the oil out of the pan and create a fire. So, back to the balls… lower them in slowly, do not drop in. When they start to get golden brown and feel crisp, remove and set on paper towels to drain. Repeat until they are all done.
6. Serve hot with the tahini. You could be traditional and put them in a pita or serve on a salad with other raw vegetables and use the tahini dressing too. You can refrigerate the leftovers and heat up on cook top or enjoy cold.

 

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Lemon Dill Zucchini Soup


Zucchinis are a fairly versatile vegetable. You can add different herbs and flavors to achieve different outcomes. Here is a silky smooth soup. Remember, although taking pictures of your HUMONGOUS zucchini and putting them on Facebook is fun, once a zucchini gets past about 12 inches (and that’s pushing it) you are taking on quantity rather than quality. So try to get out there and pick your zuucs before that stage! Also, I use dill i this recipe. If you are anti-dill, just swap out (same amounts, dried or fresh) with your favorite herb. Mmm, lemon basil anyone?

If you want to make a complete full circle meal, cook up the squash blossoms and serve along side.

Lemon Dill Zucchini Soup

4 medium sized zucchinis
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
½ an apple, peeled and diced
1 small potato, Yukon or Russet or what you have on hand
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cups broth (veg or chicken)
½ cup cream OR cashew cream [see note]
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dried dill or chopped TBSP fresh dill
2 TBSP olive oil
Salt
Pepper

1 cup Plain Yogurt
Tsp Garlic Powder
Salt

1. Heat a medium sized soup pot to medium high. Add garlic and onion, let cook 5-10 minutes. Add celery, apple, potato and DRY dill (if that’s what you are using) and stir. Let cook down, stirring just to not let the vegetables burn , but not too frequently.
2. When the onions begin to brown a tad, and there are pieces of onion and garlic sticking to the bottom of the pan, add the broth. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. While the soup is simmering, mix together the dollop ingredients and set in fridge.
4. Back to the soup, add the cream and then blend with a hand blender, or wait until cool enough and blend in blender. Add juice of half of lemon and a tsp zest. Add fresh dill if you are using fresh.
5. Heat back up if its cooled, ladle into bowls and top with yogurt dollop. Enjoy!

Note: Cashew cream is made by blending raw, unsalted cashews with water until really smooth and then straining through cheesecloth or fine strainer to remove any more clumps. The amount of cashews you use will make the cream creamier or less creamy. I would recommend starting with 2 cups water and 1/3 cup cashews and go from there. It’s a nice way to add a fatty creaminess to soups without using cows milk.

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Zucchini Fries


I remember when I was little making fried zucchini in a Fry-Daddy. Now we have grown up and gotten fancy and call them “zucchini fries”. If you haven’t been to H-Burger, go and check out theirs. Off the hook. Anyhow, here is a recipe that you can try at home, and a little dipping sauce too.

2 medium sized zucchini (6-9 inches long)
Store bought bread crumbs, unless you want to make your own. I usually get the store bought plain, then add garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, maybe some chili powder. Add what you like!
2 eggs
High Heat Oil to fry

1 cup plain Greek yogurt (up to you whether it is 0%, 1% or 2%)
TSP garlic powder
Tsp dry dill (if you don’t like dill, sub a dry herb you like)
Cracked pepper, a dash
Salt
Squeeze of lemon or dash of champagne vinegar

1. Cut zucchini into large french fry type sizes. Put in bowl and sprinkle with salt.
2. In one bowl scramble the two eggs and on another put your breadcrumbs.
3. Fill a high sided heavy bottomed pot with a couple inches oil. I usually use a smaller soup pot, so I use less oil and just do a few batches of the zucchini. Heat the oil and you can flick a little bread crumb in it, if it sizzles quickly it is ready.
4. One by one, dredge the stick through the egg then into the bread crumbs. Press firmly so the breadcrumbs stick. Put one plate and repeat until you are done.
5. Slowly lower the zucchinis into hot oil, on a slotted spoon or tongs, and just enough so they are not totally crowding each other, it may take a few batches. Remove as they get golden brown and place on paper towels to drain.
Repeat until all done!
6. Mix yogurt with all other ingredients, (can be done a day or three ahead of time) and put in bowl and serve with hot zucchini. Yum.

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Salad Dressings!


A good friend of mine had asked for some salad dressing ideas to help her make it though the rest of the summer in Phoenix. I love dressings and sauces, it accessorizes your food. And now with all of the fun fresh harvest, nothing spruces up those veggies like some yummy oils, vinegars and herbs.

Here is a good guideline for simple oil based dressings in general:

2 parts good oil to 1 part vinegar/citrus
Salt
A dash of agave
*****
That’s great base. Then you can add your own flavors, fresh or dried herbs, garlic, ginger, onion. Cheeses! A good idea (and you can carry this into anything you cook) is when you are at the grocery store, look at the types of dressings. You can get tons of ideas. Also at restaurants, if you love a dressing, ask whats in it. They may not give you recipe, but they’ll tell you the main ingredients, as will the name of the dressing “Basil Vinaigrette” or such.

Scroll down and enjoy some dressings that you can keep in small mason jars or old cleaned dressing bottles. Toss them on grilled vegetables, raw vegetables, grilled chicken, cold noodle dishes and whatever else needs to be accessorized.

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Yogurt Dill Dressing

Yogurt Dill Dressing

2 cup plain Greek yogurt (up to you whether it is 0%, 1% or 2%)
TSP garlic powder
Tsp dry dill (if you don’t like dill, sub a dry herb you like)
Cracked pepper, a dash
Salt
Squeeze of lemon or dash of champagne vinegar

Mix it all together and serve as dressing or dip.

Goes great with:

Raw vegetables for dipping
Green Salad
Lamb Burger!

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Lemon Parmesan Dressing

Lemon Parmesan Dressing

This dressing came to be because I randomly had a big container of that big Kraft Parmesan that I wanted to use up. It shad become a staple, and I use fairly decent quality parm that I shred myself on a micro plane. That green jar of cheese works surprisingly well too though!

1 cup olive oil
1 cup shredded Parmesan
Juice of 1 juicy lemon
TBSP agave or honey
1 clove garlic, minced

Salt
Cracked black pepper

Blend all together and enjoy. Stores for a couple of weeks in fridge.

Good on:
Steamed carrots
Cooked cauliflower
Romaine lettuce
On on a spoon

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