Tag Archives: Vegetable

Gingery Bok Choy

So much to talk about!

I guess I’ll have to split it up over a couple of days, ’cause I have some serious test-age coming up this week, and I need to start studying as of three days ago.  So this’ll have to be quick.

We had a mini-BBQ on saturday, and our favorite LI couple, the Jensens, came over to hang out.  They were later joined by Carrie and Mike, and we had a blast just running around and playing (well, the boys did), eating, and taking pictures.

That night, we picked up Fritz’s parents from the airport and his sister from the train station, and a Zietsman fest commenced.  More on that later.

Off in the land of food, I had some CSA loose ends to tie up (meaning: greens to use up before they went bad), and I searched for a quick ‘n’ easy bok choy side dish recipe that only used ingredients I already had in stock, and preferably one that used only a few of said ingredients.  Success.

Gingery Bok Choy  (serves 2-4, original recipe here)

  • 1 lb baby bok choy (the grown-up kind is okay, too)
  • 1 t canola oil
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (I used dried–I know, shame on me)
  • salt to taste

Most important part–cut off the ends of the bok choy and submerge all the leaves in water.  This is vital especially if you got your veggies from a CSA or farmer’s market, ’cause there’s a lot of grit in there that I assume you’d rather not eat.  Leave it in there for a few minutes, swish it around, drain, and rinse one more time.

In a cold wok/pan, add the canola oil, ginger, and garlic and place over medium heat.  I learned this today–start with a cold pan because otherwise the ginger and garlic will burn really fast.  This is especially true for me since I used dried garlic, which is halfway to burnt anyway.

Once it starts to sizzle, add the bok choy leaves and stir it around, allowing the leaves to get nice and tender.  This should only take a few minutes.  Then boom!  You’re done!  Season with salt to taste.

I love easy recipes like this.

Plus, it sounds fancy because it’s made with bok choy.  Most people have never seen or eaten bok choy (but they should! It’s delicious!).  I love ginger, but even if you don’t, give this a try.  The ginger isn’t overwhelming and goes really well with the garlic.

Oh–someone wants to say hi.

It’s been a while.  He’s feeling much better and back to his evil, biting, cuddling, purring, sleeping on my neck all night long self.  So glad to have him back to normal!

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Filed under Side Dishes

Sausage and Egg Muffins

Ah-mazing news, my friends.

When Fritz and I did our taxes for this year (okay, when Fritz did our taxes this year), we got a surprisingly large refund. 

That would be money coming in that we didn’t budget for–a surplus!

Considering gas prices, it’d probably be wise to set it aside.  However, that’s no fun, and Fritz suggested that we make a large purchase.

A fun large purchase:

A camera!!

I’ve been lusting after digital SLRs since I started blogging, and I’ve felt rather limited in my blogging abilities by our point-and-shoot digital camera.  I think I’ve pretty much exploited it’s abilities to the max.  My beautiful sisters and some equally gorgeous girlfriends that are into photography all have DSLRs that take the most perfect, focused, striking photographs with a real-live depth of field, and other cool photography things that I know absolutely nothing about.

So in the name of surplus, and hobbies, and learning how to navigate the manual world of grown-up photography, I’ve been exploring the world of Nikon and Canon and all their lesser-known counterparts.

And I need your help.

But before we talk about that, let’s talk about sausage, eggs, and muffins.  Better yet, all three of those rolled into one quick-‘n’-easy breakfast. 

I borrowed this recipe from one of those lovely girls I was talking about earlier, Cait, and while in between drooling over those lovely DSLR photos I was also talking about, I managed to put together this recipe.  It’s almost exactly the same as hers, with a few modifications.

Sausage and Egg Muffins (Cait’s post here)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook the sausage fully (if you bought sausage links, just pull off the casings and use it as ground sausage) over medium heat.  If you used my recipe for chicken breakfast sausage, here’s the instructions.

Crack the eggs into a medium-sized bowl and add the diced onion, peppers, and sausage.  Whisk until light and fluffy.  Add salt and pepper now if you like, or later so you can taste it and see how much you want.

 

Spray a mini-muffin pan (or a large muffin pan–or both!) with canola oil.  Fill the muffin cups to the top with the egg mixture.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven, about ten minutes for the mini-muffins, and 15-20 for the regular sized ones.  Check every few minutes, because there is nothing worse than dry eggs.

I mean, there are a few things that may rank a little worse than dry eggs, but not much.  I really don’t like ’em.

Between the veggies and the sausage, though, these turned out to be nicely moist eggs.  Muchly preferred by yours truly.

Not to mention fun to stack in pyramid shapes before eating!

Besides being cute as a button, I love that these eggs are highly transportable.  The mini ones were my favorite, but that might just be because I can’t resist anything that is a diminutive version of something else.  That especially includes muffins.

 

Also, as a side note, I thought you might like to know that I almost accidentally submitted this post with the blog title “Sausage and Eff Muggins“.

Kinda has a nice ring to it.

But wait!  Before you go, what kind of camera or lenses do you or your friends and family use?  Do you love it?  Hate it?  Canon?  Nikon?

Help!

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Filed under Breakfast

Lentil Vegetable Barley Soup (Crock pot)

Hello all!

Last semester I loved Tuesdays, and this time it’s Wednesdays.  I just love having late mornings–I can sleep in (’til eight), catch up on our budgeting, clean, and still have time to set up dinner in the crock pot before I have class.  Now that is just amazing.

So here’s the latest and greatest from that lovely little invention known to we mortals as a slow cooker:

Lentil Vegetable and Barley Soup

  • 1/2 large onion or one small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 medium summer squash (or zucchini), halved lengthwise and sliced thinly
  • 1 C carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 C red lentils
  • 1/2 C yellow split peas
  • 1/2 C barley
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 C vegetable broth (or chicken or beef), plus ~2 C extra water
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • fresh or dried basil to top (optional)

As with all crock pot recipes, this is a breeze to put together.  Dice and layer all the veggies, and top with the grains, liquids and the spices (except the basil).  The order I used was: onions and bell peppers, squash and carrots, lentils, peas, and barley, diced tomatoes and broth, salt, pepper, sugar, and finally the extra water.

Aren’t the colors of this soup just gorgeous?  I was lucky and actually got to take pictures in daylight for once (another great thing about late mornings).

Set the crock pot on low for eight hours or on high for four hours.  The lentils, peas, and barley will absorb a lot of water, so you may need to add even more extra (unless you like a nice thick soup like I do–then you will be very pleased when you arrive home from class!).

Top with a sprinkle of basil and some pepper and enjoy!

Before I’m off to bed, I thought I’d share one last thing with you.  It’s a favorite of mine–I have some every day (often two or three times), and it calms me while awakening me at the same time.  It’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s a blast in a glass.

Any guesses?

Nope, not Deena from J-Shore (is it cool that I abbreviated that?).  It’s tea.  The best tea I have even been given the privilege to steep.  I’m nearing the end of the tin and every day I die a little more inside knowing that I’m one day closer to running out (melodramatic, much?).  It was a gift–a great one.

I would like to thank a certain South African for allowing this beautiful marriage between me and Zululand to happen–you know who you are.

Thanks!

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Filed under Soups/Stews, Vegetarian

Meatless Monday: Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup

Cold times call for desperate measures.  Which to me, means lots and lots of soup.  I just love being wrapped in a plethora of sweaters and blankets, wool socks that go almost to my knees, drinking multiple mugs of tea and eating bowls of hot soup to keep warm while watching Love Actually and The Holiday and The Family Stone over and over again.

Fritz would rather I just reset the thermostat.  But I can’t keep everyone happy, can I?

The two of us have been feeling the post-Thanksgiving rundown, and I wanted to make a soup that was chock full o’ veggies to try to give us a little boost.  I did a little searching and found a great recipe in 100 Best Health Foods–it’s a non-meat recipe, but it promised to be “hearty”, which is a necessity for the Fritz stamp of approval.  That man does not like a thin broth, no sir.  So if you are eagerly awaiting the holidays like me, or just trying to save your landlord some money, turn down the heat and get your blankets out!

Hearty Vegetable Barley Soup (adapted from 100 Best Health Foods)

  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 6 C vegetable broth (okay…I used bouillon cubes again–don’t judge me!)
  • heaping 1/2 C barley, rinsed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • few dried sprigs of thyme
  • 1 t dried parsley
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 16 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 head cabbage, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t need any extra salt)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, celery, and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the stock, barley, and herbs, reduce the heat to low, and cook covered until the barley is just beginning to soften, 30 minutes to an hour.

Gather up your veggies!  Add the carrots, potatoes, and tomatoes (and a pinch of sugar if you like) to the pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat back to low and simmer for another 30 minutes, until everything is nice and tender.

Finally, add the cabbage and season with salt and pepper to taste.  You may need to add a cup or two of hot water at this point, depending on what your desired “chunk” to “broth” ratio is.

I’m sorry.  That’s a disgusting phrase, isn’t it?

Simmer until the cabbage is cooked through (about 15-20 minutes), then serve in warm bowls. 

Who needs the thermostat up now?  Not me!

In other exhilarating news, Fritz and I have made a life-changing decision.  Momentous and quite exciting, if I do say so myself.  Are you ready for this?

(No, it’s not babies.  God, no!  You can all take a deep breath.  We are both still in school, for goodness’ sake!  And we’re still babies ourselves!)

We have officially unplugged the TV.  It’s still there in all of its 37″, HD glory, but only for our designated movie nights (that’d be the weekend).  We have realized that we spend way too much time watching horrendous TV–we never got higher than channel 21, anyway–and not enough time just being.  Isn’t that so hippie of us?

Anyway, since this big change (that happened Friday morning), we’ve studied a lot more, read a lot more, cooked more, slept more (!), and just hung out together.  It has been really, really nice.  You don’t even realize what an obnoxious background noise the TV is until you turn it off.  It’s just plain peaceful in these parts now!

And I can still watch The Office and 16 and Pregnant on the internet.  I haven’t gone completely off the deep end.

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Filed under Soups/Stews, Vegetarian