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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Brownies

from King Arthur Flour

These tasty brownies are a good place to use whole wheat flour, which has more nutrients than white flour.

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/14/13

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee powder, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or you can use all-purpose)
  • 2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9″x13″ pan.

In a large bowl in the microwave or in a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Microwave 20 seconds more, or continue to cook about 1 minute more.

Remove from heat. Add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, instant espresso (if using), and vanilla. Whisk to combine. Add eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each one. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips, if using.

Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake until brownies are set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with wet crumbs on it, 27-33 minutes. Cool completely before cutting.

Yield: 24 brownies.

 

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Artichoke Heart and Chickpea Salad

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/14/13

Marinated artichokes are a great addition to a salad. They also make for easy salads – the artichoke hearts come in little jars, and the liquid in the jar is all you need for salad dressing!

  • 2 jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb salad greens (lettuce, spinach, or spring mix)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz feta cheese, optional

In a large bowl, toss together the artichoke hearts with their liquid and the drained chickpeas. Add the lettuce and toss to coat evenly with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, top with feta cheese.

Serves 8-10.

Bratwurst, Butternut Squash, Potato, and Kale Stew

Variation from 4/3 - buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Variation from 4/3 – buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Adapted from CHOW

Community training session dinner, 2/20/13; Community training session dinner, 4/3/13 (with bison Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, and turnips)

Lots of colors in this stew mean that there are lots of vitamins and nutrients in it! You can substitute any kind of squash (or even sweet potatoes) for the butternut, and any kind of greens (fresh or frozen) for the kale. You could even try it with a different kind of sausage! Feel free to experiment to find what you like.

I have included a stovetop version and a lazy slow cooker version. In the stovetop versions, you brown the sausage and onions first, which gives a deeper and better flavor to the stew. But if you don’t have much time to prepare, you can skip it with the lazy version.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh bratwurst sausage, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 lb, chopped into roughly 1” cubes

Cut the squash between the rounded part and the straight part. Peel the skin off the squash using a vegetable peeler or a knife. After peeling, cut the rounded part in half (top to bottom). Use your fingers to take the seeds out of the squash (you can roast them later for a snack). Using a spoon, scoop out the stringy part that was around the seeds and throw it away. Cut the squash into roughly 1” cubes.

  • 10 ounces red potatoes, chopped into roughly 1” cubes
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (or 1 quart home-canned tomatoes)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 oz kale or other greens, fresh or frozen
  • Black pepper, to taste

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the sausage pieces: allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is browned. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned sausage to a plate or bowl – it doesn’t need to be cooked through, just brown on the outside.

Add onion to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until onions are soft, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and caraway seeds (if using) and cook 1 minute more. Add sausage back to the pot, then add the squash, potatoes, tomatoes with juice, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 35-50 minutes. Add the kale and simmer 6-8 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

LAZY SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients except for kale and oil (kale comes later, and we don’t need oil here) in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1.5-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add kale, cover, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes on high or 20-30 minutes on low, until kale is wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

photo (2)Chocolate Yogurt Cake

Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

This simple cake doesn’t need a mixer. You can make a loaf cake, a sheet cake, or even layers – try frosting them with this cream cheese frosting.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (or use vanilla and see changes below)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (3/4 cup if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract (omit if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×9″ cake pan, or use two 8″ round cake pans, or one loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Add yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined.

Add oil and fold in: place the spatula in the center of the bowl so the edge hits the bottom. Slide the spatula under the batter, up the side of the bowl, and then flip the batter you just scooped into the middle. Continue this motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until the oil is fully incorporated.

Pour batter into prepared pan(s), then sprinkle with chocolate chips, if using. Bake until cake springs back when gently poked and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean: 15-20 minutes for 8″ rounds, 22-27 minutes for 9″ square, and 40-55 minutes for loaf.

Beef and Vegetable Stew

 Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

Beef stew is a delicious way to stretch a smaller, less expensive cut of meat. Slow cooking makes flavorful but tough cuts (like chuck roast, round roast, or pot roast) tender and delicious. In this stew, there is lots of hearty beef flavor, plus lots of healthy vegetables.

  • 6 tablespoons flour, divided between beef and vegetables
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless stew meat (chuck roast, round roast, pot roast, or other tough cut), cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup combination of chopped carrots and celery, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth (or use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 6 – 8 cups chopped root vegetables – any combination of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, or other, cut into rough 1” cubes

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: In bowl or plastic bag, combine 4 tablespoons flour and pepper. Add beef cubes and toss or shake to coat.

Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the beef in batches: place some of the beef in the pan, just enough that it’s less than 1 layer (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in places). Allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is deep brown. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned beef to a plate or bowl – it won’t be cooked through at this point, just deep brown on the outside.

Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add beef back to the pot, then add the broth, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, add the chopped root vegetables. Stir, cover, and simmer for an additional 20-40 minutes, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Follow instructions above to prepare beef and flour. Brown beef in a large pan (see instructions above), then remove beef to slow cooker crock. Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add 1 cup beef broth to the pan, scraping up any browned-on bits. Pour vegetables and broth into crock with the beef. Add remaining broth, tomato paste, and thyme. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Then, add root vegetables, cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour on high or 1-2 hours on low, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.