Posts Tagged ‘#JudyValdes’

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Friday, November 18th, 2016
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

We had a late harvest of turnips and radishes, more than we could eat raw, so we included these in a roaster full of vegetables.  I’ve not cooked with radishes much so this was something different for us.  I’ve listed the veggies that were in this mix but you can use whatever you have.  Everything came from our garden except the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.


1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Crushed Clove Garlic mixed with 1/4 tsp. Salt

Potatoes – 1 large, cut in wedges & several small baby potatoes

Sweet Potatoes – 1 peeled and sliced

Cabbage – 1 small head cut in wedges

Carrots – 2-3,  cut in quarters

Turnips – 3-4,  cut in quarters

Radishes – 4-5,  cut in halves

Onions – 2-3,  left whole if small, cut in half or quarters if larger

Shallots –  3, left whole

Garlic – 5-6, peeled, left whole

Sage – 1 tsp. crushed

Rosemary – 1 tsp.

Thyme – 1 tsp.

Parsley – 1/4 cup freshly chopped (garnish)

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Crush 1 clove of garlic and mix with salt in a large mixing bowl.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the vegetables. Mix in the olive oil, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Toss in all the veggies and mix with a spatula until all are coated in the oil mix.  Place in a well oiled roaster and cover.  Bake for about 1 hour in a 400 degree oven.  Stir the veggies halfway through the baking time.  Check for doneness, toss with the fresh parsley and serve.


Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Friday, November 4th, 2016
Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Tis the fall season when the harvest of garden veggies are brought in and placed on every available flat surface in the kitchen.  It’s not always easy to find a place to have lunch or dinner but I did my best to use up enough food to make room for the soup bowls……

Feel free to throw whatever you have in the soup pot. The spices, celery, veggie broth and black beluga lentils were the only items not harvested from the garden.


2 T. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups cabbage, chopped

4 fresh paste tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

8 cups veggie broth

1 cup black beluga lentils, rinsed

2 carrots, chopped

1 cup baby potatoes, cut in half

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme

1/4 cup cilantro

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 handfuls chopped kale

Heat olive oil in soup pot.  Add onions and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute before adding cabbage.  Brown this mixture for 5 minutes then add the tomatoes, cumin and turmeric.  Cook about 10 minutes until the tomatoes release their juices, then add veggie broth, lentils, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 45 minutes, then add two handfuls of chopped kale and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings and serve with your favorite crackers or bread.

It did turn out quite tasty.  Just follow the basic soup pot idea and use the veggies you have on hand.  I’m sure you’ll come up with something delicious!

Balsamic Sautéed Beets, Greens and Onions

Thursday, October 27th, 2016
Beet Greens and Onions

Beet Greens and Onions

We have a nice patch of fall beets. The thinnings are great for sautéing  and if there’s a baby beet attached, so much the better.

Way back when, my mother used to serve cooked spinach with a splash of cider vinegar. I just changed it up to balsamic vinegar which has a natural sweetness to better complement the beet greens.

Here’s the recipe:

1-2 T. olive oil or butter

1 cup sliced onions

1/2 pound of beet greens and baby beets

1-2 T. balsamic vinegar or to taste

Sautéing Onions

Sautéing Onions

Preheat cast iron frying pan on medium.  Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes, then add any peeled and sliced baby beets you may have. Cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the washed beet greens to the pan and any water that’s still clinging to them, along with the balsamic vinegar.  Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes until the beets are cooked through and the greens are wilted.  Serve as a tasty side dish.

Sauté with Beets Added

Sauté with Beets Added

Greens Added to the Mix

Greens Added to the Mix

Balsamic Sautéed Beet Side Dish

Balsamic Sautéed Beet Side Dish

The Beet Patch

The Beet Patch

Hot Tomato Sandwich

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

Are you looking for something to do with all those cherry tomatoes?  In addition to salsas, cobblers, pasta sauces, etc., how about a hot tomato sandwich?  This is a vegetarian version of your typical hot beef or hot turkey sandwich and just as satisfying.


1-2 T. Olive Oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (about 2 pounds)

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

Basil garnish – optional

Shredded parmesan cheese – optional

Whole grain bread slices, toasted

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Preheat cast iron pan on medium.  Add oil and garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.  This should keep the garlic from getting too brown or burning.  Add the prepared tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over your favorite toasted whole grain bread.  Top with fresh basil and/or shredded parmesan if you wish.  The open-faced sandwich is  pictured here with freshly picked steamed green (plus purple and yellow) beans.  Enjoy – we do!

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Roasted Butternut Squash Medallions with Sage Garnish

Monday, November 16th, 2015
Butternut Squash with Sage

Butternut Squash with Sage

You may have read about our harvest of smaller squash in a previous post by Noel.  The trellised squash yielded about 35 winter squash. We hadn’t even started counting the large varieties which included a 37 pound Boston Marrow, four Hubbards, several Red Kuris, large pumpkins, small pie pumpkins and some unknowns.

So this is the year to get creative with squash. It’s very filling and a little goes a long way. It’s good just roasted and it works in soups, stews, cakes, breads and smoothies, to name a few.

Here’s a recipe I tried last night. I don’t remember where I read about the concept but the oven temperature and timing stuck in my brain so here’s what I did.

1 or 2 Butternut Squash – depending upon how many servings needed

2-3 T. Butter or Olive Oil or oil of your choice – coconut oil? sesame oil?

Fresh sage leaves – one for each medallion

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the solid neck only of the butternut into 1/2″ slices and peel. Brush the slices with melted butter and place on a well greased baking pan. I used parchment paper for a liner instead of greasing.  Bake for 15 minutes on one side. Turn the squash over, place one fresh sage leave on top, brush again with butter and bake for another 15 minutes. The squash should pierce easily with a fork. If it’s still firm bake a little longer. Season with salt and pepper and serve. Yum!

Notes:  Use the remaining bulbous part of the squash for another dish. If you have no fresh sage leaves just use some dried sage mixed with the butter.


Grilled Zucchini

Saturday, August 15th, 2015
Zukes and Summer Squash

Zukes and Summer Squash

Noel outdid himself with the squash plantings in this year’s garden. Barring any complications with squash bugs, squash vine borers, and other varmints that come along we should be up to our eyeballs in squash of all kinds. This includes a wide variety of winter squash as well as at least five kinds of summer types – three different zukes and two different yellow summer squash.

Last year I made pureed zucchini onion and yellow summer squash soups for the freezer. I also roasted and froze zucchini and tomatoes. This year, besides sharing the wealth, I will be drying 1/4″ slices of zucchini. They’re a great addition when added to lasagna. They don’t need to be re-hydrated – they soak up the extra liquid in the sauce.

Preparing the Slices

Preparing the Slices

Noel has been grilling the squash slices basted with a vinaigrette dressing. They only take about 10-20 minutes to cook and are delicious.

Try to pick the squash when they’re smaller and more tender – around 7″-8″ long and about 1 1/2″ wide. Slice them lengthwise into 1/4″ pieces. We have a perforated metal grid to lay over the grill slats. There is too much of a chance for the sliced squash to fall through or stick to the wider slats of the grill. Noel has been using sunflower oil to grease the grid and it’s been working very well both to keep the slices from sticking and imparting some nutty flavor.

Basting With Herbed Vinaigrette

Basting With Herbed Vinaigrette

Brush squash pieces with your favorite vinaigrette or just olive oil, salt and pepper and grill until they are done the way you like them. I happen to like them a little softer.

Grilling  Squash

Grilling Squash

Here’s the marinade that we use:

1-2 garlic cloves, mashed

1 tsp. stone ground mustard

2 T. white wine vinegar

4 T. olive oil

1/4 tsp. salt

a few grinds of fresh pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

Squeeze the garlic and mash with the salt. Mix in the mustard, vinegar and beat in the oil using a fork. Add the pepper and stir in the parsley.

Coat the squash pieces with the marinade and cook on grill preheated to high. Turn down to medium high if it seems too hot. Turn every 5 minutes, basting if necessary with extra marinade, until done.   Obviously, thicker pieces will take a little longer. Yummy!

Garden to Table

Garden to Table



Roasted Tomato Zucchini Sauce

Sunday, August 24th, 2014
Roaster Full of Raw Ingredients

Roaster Full of Raw Ingredients

We’re having an excellent harvest this year. Of course, this is due to Noel’s diligence in the garden. With the abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, onions and garlic I’m trying something new – at least for us.

I filled a roasting pan with chunks of washed and cored, unpeeled tomatoes – the more variety the better. Then I added about 6 small chopped zucchini – yes a few were harvested at optimal size – 2 large chopped onions (1 yellow and 1 red) and a whole bulb of peeled, minced garlic.

I added about ½ cup olive oil, 2 tsp. salt and several grinds of black pepper. After mixing it all together the veggies were roasted uncovered for about 4 hours at 350 degrees. I stirred them every hour.

Tomato Zucchini Mix Tossed with Oil

Tomato Zucchini Mix Tossed with Oil

The veggies were certainly cooked after 2 hours but were still quite juicy. I chose to roast them for another 2 hours until they were of a stew-like consistency. This is a delicious way to use up a couple of trays of tomatoes before the next batch comes in from the garden! As much as I wanted to eat a bowl full right away, I froze it all in 1 quart containers. It yielded 3 1/2 quarts.  We’ll appreciate it more in the middle of winter as a quick start to a belly warming meal.

Finished Tomato Zucchini Sauce

Finished Tomato Zucchini Sauce

Meatless Thanksgiving “With Gravy”

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

I thought I’d share a couple of recipes the Valdes Family uses to make our Thanksgiving as traditional as possible without the time-honored big bird as the centerpiece. In some ways it’s probably one of the easiest meals to make without meat because your favorite dishes usually associated with the meal don’t have to change – mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, salad, green vegetable, corn, pumpkin pie, whatever you like.

Usually our Thanksgiving meal is almost entirely composed of food that we grew in our own garden such as potatoes, squash, corn, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, etc. We’ll also have other Wisconsin grown foods like cranberries and wild rice.

The last couple of years we have filled sweet dumpling squash halves with wild rice and bread stuffing and baked them to perfection. This year we started our squash late but still got a 17 lb. Hubbard so we will have a masterpiece in the center of the table!

Probably the hardest item to recreate is a tasty gravy. Here are a couple of ideas for you:

The first one uses chicken style seitan from White Wave.

1 package chicken style seitan in broth
2 T. Flour
2 T. Nutritional Yeast
1 tsp. stone ground or Dijon mustard

Drain the seitan setting aside the juice in a glass measuring cup and add water to make 2 cups. Heat a heavy bottomed or cast iron frying pan and dry roast flour and nutritional yeast until slightly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly. Remove from pan and blend with the 2 cups of liquid set aside earlier and mustard. Pour this mixture back into the frying pan and cook until thick. Add the sliced seitan heating until warmed through. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper or veggie broth if needed.

Or if you prefer no seitan try this one:

1 T. Olive Oil
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 Cup Sliced Shiitakes
2 T. Cornstarch or Arrowroot
1 T. Tamari
1 T. Liquid Aminos
2 Cups Water

Sauté shallots and garlic in a little bit of olive oil, add some sliced shiitakes or other mix of mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes. Blend water with cornstarch or arrowroot, Tamari, and Liquid Aminos. Add to pan and cook until thick. Adjust seasonings with salt, pepper or veggie broth if needed.

Or experiment and try a combination of the two recipes. The amounts in these recipes are for 3-4 people so be sure to double or quadruple the recipes for larger crowds.

Have a peaceful and tasty Thanksgiving!