Monthly Archives: July 2018

Vegetable Pot Pies

Small Vegetable Pot Pies

 

Hearty vegetable pies hot out of the oven are a satisfying and fulfilling meal for lunch or dinner any time of year. Pot pies can be made-ahead and frozen for those busy days a quick dinner is needed.


Vegetable Pot Pies

Ingredients                                                Makes: 2 large pot pies or 12 small pot pies
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion ~or~ 2 leeks, diced fine
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced or dicedVegetable Pot Pie
3 carrots, slice or dice
3 celery stalks, diced
2 medium-large potatoes, diced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets
3 cups vegetable broth *see recipe below
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 Tbsp cornstarch ~or~ 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup milk
sea salt and black pepper, adjusted to taste
~Pastry Ingredients~
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp coconut sugar ~or~ fine organic sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup ice water
~Crust Glaze~
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk

Instructions
Prepare vegetables. Slice and dice the onion or leeks and then set aside in a medium-sized bowl. Mince the garlic cloves and then add to the bowl of onions. Clean the mushrooms, cut off the ends of the stems and peel if desired. Slice or dice the mushrooms, your preference, and then transfer to the bowl of diced onions and garlic.

Peel the carrots and cut off the ends, and then dice or slice; set aside in a different medium to large-sized bowl. Remove the eyes and any sore spots from the potato and dice, along with the celery, and add to the bowl with the carrots. Cut cauliflower into small florets and add to the bowl with the carrots.

Prepare stew. Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan. Cook onions, mushrooms, and garlic in oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in carrots, celery, potatoes, cauliflower and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.

Cook until vegetables are near tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch or flour, soy sauce, and milk until the cornstarch/flour is completely dissolved. Stir into vegetables, and cook until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Give the stew a final taste test and adjust seasonings to suit taste. Remove the vegetable stew from the heat source and allow it to completely cool before filling the pie crusts.

To make the pie crust pastry. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and sea salt. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Slowly mix the ice-water into the batter one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Allow dough to rest covered for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.

Prepare pie crusts and tops. On a clean and lightly floured surface, roll out just over half of the pastry dough to line 12 small pie plates or two large pie plates. Roll out the remaining dough to make tops for the pies. Lightly flour the tops and stack them until the pies are filled with the stew; then arrange the tops over the filling, seal, flute edges and cut slits in the tops for vent holes.

*Pie plates come in different sizes as well dough can be rolled thin or thick, thus how many pie crusts this recipe actually produces can vary. Top crusts can also be made with this recipe which can also vary which can alter how much dough is used. The dough is best if rolled as thin as possible.

Fill and top the pies. When the stew has cooled, pour equal portions into the prepared pie shells. Top the filled pies with the tops to either rest on top or be crimped with the pie shell. Flute the edges if desired and cut slits in the top to vent the heat.

Bake the pies fresh. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F. Prepare crusts with an egg-milk glaze. In a small bowl mix one egg and a couple tablespoons of milk. Using a pastry brush, rub the mixture over the tops of the pies to give the pies a finished glaze.

Bake the pies uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes for the small pies and 40 to 45 minutes for the large pies or until the crust is golden brown. Let the pies stand for 10 minutes before serving or cutting.

Freezing instructions. If you want to freeze the small pies for Prepare Vegetable Pot Piefuture meals, you may assemble the pie and freeze instead of baking.

Lightly flour the tops of the pie to prevent sticking. Cover the pies with foil, label and freeze. If you have extra plastic lids around, putting that on the top of the pie before wrapping in foil will protect if from being banged Freeze Vegetable Pot Piesin the freezer. I write the instructions on the freezer bag I store them in.

Bake the small pies from frozen (instructions do vary from baking fresh). Preheat the oven to 380 degrees F. Remove the plastic lid and mildly tent the foil that wrapped the pie over the top of the pie. Bake, covered for 35 minutes, then uncover the foil and bake for 30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting or serving.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Pie Crust Pastry

Pastry Pie Crust

 

These crispy pastry pie crusts are great for breakfast and dinner pie recipes, but can also be used for dessert pies. The raw pie shells can be made ahead of time and frozen for future use.

Pie Crust Pastry

Ingredients                                               Makes: 4 pie crusts or 2 double crusts
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or spelt flour
3 Tbsp coconut sugar ~or~ fine organic sugar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup ice water
~Crust Glaze~
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk

Instructions
Combine ingredients to make the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and sea salt. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Slowly mix ice-water into the batter one tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Allow dough to rest covered for at least 10 minutes before rolling out.

Roll out dough and make pie crusts. Evenly portion dough into four, then roll one portion of dough out to fit a pie plate. Press the dough into the sides and bottom of the pie plate evenly.

*Pie plates come in different sizes as well dough can be rolled thin or thick, thus how many pie crusts this recipe actually produces can vary. Top crusts can also be made with this recipe which can also vary which can alter how much dough is used. The dough is best if rolled as thin as possible.

Glaze and Bake pie crusts. Prior to baking the pie crusts, a crust glaze using a milk/egg mixture can be gently rubbed on to prevent the pie from becoming soggy later. In a small bowl combine the egg and the milk. Using a pastry brush, rub the milk/egg mixture unto the crusts. When baking atop crust, the milk/egg mixture will produce a glaze appearance. Bake the pie crusts in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes.

Freeze pie crusts. If making the pie crusts to freeze, press the pie pastry into the tin pie plates Frozen Pie Crust Pastrythat can be bagged and frozen. Do not apply the milk/egg mixture to the crusts; instead sprinkle a little flour over the fitted pie shells to prevent them from sticking while storing. A small strip of parchment paper can also be used between stacked pie crusts to help prevent sticking.

Layer two fitted pie shells together and put into a ziplock bag with the air removed. These pie shells can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months before using. Be sure to place the frozen shells somewhere they will not be banged and broken prior to using as they are fragile when frozen.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Spanish Tortilla Frittata

Spanish Tortilla Frittata

 

 

Thinly sliced potatoes are baked into this seasoned egg dish. It is easy to make and serves as a very satisfying and delicious breakfast meal.

Spanish Tortilla Frittata

Ingredients
2 + 1 Tbsp avocado oil, coconut oil ~or~ extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium potatoes thinly sliced
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced & chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup sweet bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley and/or cilantro greens, de-stemmed & roughly chopped
8 eggs
1 Tbsp plain unsweetened yogurt
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1/5 tsp black pepper
~Required Tools~
Large Cast Iron Frying Pan

Instructions
Prepare ingredients. Peel potatoes and cut out the eyes as necessary; then thinly slice the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds and set aside in a bowl. Thinly slice the red onion then chop; add to the bowl of potatoes. Mince four cloves of garlic and set aside in a separate bowl with the diced bell pepper. De-stem the herbs and roughly chop, then transfer to a bowl with the crumbled feta.

Cook vegetables. In a large non-stick frying pan add a couple tablespoons of cooking oil and warm over medium heat. Add the sliced potatoes and diced onion and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or when the potatoes have become tender and can be broken with a fork; stir occasionally.

When the potatoes are tender, add the minced garlic and diced bell pepper; cook for about 4 to 5 minutes longer. When the vegetables are fully cooked remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven. Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Ensure the oven is empty and that the rack is placed in the middle of the oven .

Prepare eggs. Break the eggs into a medium-large bowl and then mix the eggs well with a fork. Add the yogurt, chopped herbs, crumbled feta, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and the black pepper to the mixed eggs and stir to combine; then set aside.

Rub one tablespoon of coconut oil unto the surface of a large cast iron pan. Layer half of the potato mixture unto the bottom of the pan then add 1/4 of the combined egg mixture. Spread out the egg over the potatoes and then give the pan a little bit of a shake to mix the egg well into the potatoes. Next layer on the remaining potato mixture then top with the remaining egg mixture. Spread out the egg evenly over the potatoes and with a fork gently move the potatoes slightly to get the egg mixture mixed in.
Spanish Tortilla Frittata

Bake. Place the cast iron frying pan with the Spanish omelet mixture in the oven. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or when the center of the frittata is firm and no longer jiggles. Remove the frittata from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting. The frittata can be cut into slices and best served warm. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or salsa. Enjoy.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich

Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich

 

Grilled fruit sandwiches are perfect for picnics, and for making brunch or lunch tasty and fun.

 

 

Grilled Cheddar and Apple Sandwich

Ingredients                                             Makes: 1 sandwich
1/2 apple, peeled and sliced
2 oz. white cheddar cheese, sliced thin
1/2 tsp honey mustard
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 tsp unsalted butter

Instructions
Preheat skillet on burner. Heat a non-stick frying pan, skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Make the sandwich. Spread1 teaspoon of the butter unto one side of each piece of bread. On the other side of both pieces of the bread, spread 1 teaspoon of honey mustard. Layer the apple slices followed by the cheddar cheese onto the honey mustard side of one slice, top with the other slice and press together firmly.

Fry the sandwich. Transfer the prepared sandwich to the hot pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Enjoy warm or cold.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Grilled Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich

Grilled Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich

 

 

A delicious grilled fruit sandwich that is perfect for breakfast or lunch and can be enjoyed warm or cold.

Grilled Almond Butter and Banana Sandwich

Ingredients                                              Makes: 1 sandwich
1/2 to 1 banana, sliced lengthwise
2 Tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp honey, liquid
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 tsp unsalted butter

Instructions
Preheat skillet on burner. Heat a non-stick frying pan, skillet or griddle over medium heat.

Make the sandwich. Spread1 teaspoon of the butter unto one side of each piece of bread. On the other side of both pieces of the bread, spread 1 tablespoon of almond butter, then drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon of liquid honey. Place banana slices onto the almond buttered side of one slice, top with the other slice and press together firmly.

Fry the sandwich. Transfer the prepared sandwich to the hot pan and cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes per side. Enjoy warm or cold.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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Blueberry Oat Bars

Blueberry Oat Bars

 

Delicious dessert bars that serve great at parties and as a snack; and are quick and easy to make.

Blueberry Oat Bars

Ingredients
1 Tbsp coconut butter (for greasing) ~or~ unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour ~or~ spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup fine raw sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/5 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 1/2 cups blueberry preserves (jam) *see recipe below

Instructions
Preheat oven and prepare baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with coconut oil or butter.

Combine crumble ingredients. In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, sugar and sea salt until well blended. Add the vanilla and the softened butter and blend into the flour mixture evenly until a workable crumble texture is formed. Divide the crumble mixture, setting aside 1 cup in a separate bowl to be used as the topping later.

Filling the pan. Evenly distribute the remaining crumble mixture into the bottom of the greased baking pan and then press it down to form the cookie base. Spread the blueberry preserves over the crumble crust and then loosely sprinkle the reserved crumble topping evenly over the preserve

Bake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or when the jam is bubbly and the crumb topping is lightly golden. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Storage. Store the blueberry bars in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.

Recipe shared by J. Marshall

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Blueberry Freezer Jam

Blueberry Jam

 

Freezer jam skips the canning process which can be time consuming, instead the jam is carefully stored in small jars in the freezer.

 

Blueberry Freezer Jam

Ingredients                                   Makes: 2 cups ~or~ 16 ounces
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 3/4 cups raw organic sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
11x 1.5oz jars ~or~ 4x 4oz jars

Instructions
Prepare. Sterilize jars (if necessary) in boiling water and allow to air dry.

Wash blueberries and pick over, removing any debris and spoiled berries. Give the berries a final rinse and then allow to drain in a colander and air dry for a few minutes.

Cook the berries, making the preserve. Place the berries in a 5 quart ceramic coated pot like a dutch oven or a stainless steel pot. Crush the berries with a potato masher to break the skin (if fresh), then stir in the sugar.

Turn the heat to medium (6 on electric stove). Stir as the mixture begins to come up to a boil, to help the sugar get mixed in and to keep from the berry mixture from sticking and burning. Once it is at a hard boil; which means the boil can’t be “stirred down”, reduce the heat a bit (5 on electric stove).

Continue to stir the boiling mixture often to keep it from sticking and scorching which can ruin the whole batch. The closer it is to being done, the thicker and stickier the mixture will become, so keep stirring.

After about 20 minutes the preserves can start to be checked for readiness. You can check with an instant read thermometer – you are looking for a temperature of around 210º. It usually takes around 25 to 30 minutes at a full boil. If your thermometer reads 210º to 215º then there is a good chance it’s done.

You can also check whether the preserves are done by testing if the jam gels on the back of a spoon or plate cooled in a freezer after cooking for 20 minutes. How long it takes is going to depend largely on the moisture content of the berries you are using.

When the preserves pass the gel test and are done, stir in the lemon juice and the sea salt and cook for 2 more minutes. Avoid over cooking the berry mixture as it will lose the gel consistency eventually and begin to harden.

Transfer preserves to jars and store. Unless the jam is made for another purpose, fill the sterilized jars using a small ladle or spoon. Do not over fill, leave a little space at the top for expansion otherwise the jars may break in the freezer. Allow the jars of jam to cool at room temperature before transferring to a freezer.

Storage. This is not a canning recipe which means the jam cannot be stored at room temperature. The jam can be stored for up to 6 months in the freezer; and will keep in a refrigerator for 7 to 10 days once thawed.

Additional Notes:
Gel thickened? One way to determine when the mixture will form a gel is with the spoon test: Dip a cool metal spoon into the hot blueberries. Immediately lift it out and away from the steam and turn it horizontally. At the beginning of the cooking process, the liquid will drip off in light drops. Try again a minute or two later and the drops will be heavier. The jam is done when the drops are very thick and two run together before falling off the spoon.

If burning or scorching does occur. If the jam does stick and burn, don’t stir or scrape the burned part from the bottom. Instead, pour the preserve mixture into another pan, and just leave the burned part in the first pan. You can cook it down the rest of the way in the new pan, and then taste it to ensure the batch tastes ok.

If the preserves harden. Water can be added to preserves that harden from being overcooked. Just add a couple of tablespoons of water and stir in; add more if necessary; until a gel consistency does return to the batch.

Jars cleaned and ready. Use 1.5 oz to 4 oz glass jars with lids, depending on your jam eating habits. Remember once the jam is thawed and opened it is only good for 7 to 10 days. Sterilize jars if necessary in boiling water and allow to air dry. The cleaner the process is kept, the longer the jam will last.

Recipe shared by: J. Marshall

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