Tag Archives: vegetable

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Written by Char -

Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

There is something about sneaking a vegetable into the food served to my family. There is something even better about sneaking a vegetable into food served to my family and then hearing requests for seconds, particularly at breakfast time. Sweet potato pancakes are a tasty way to start the day and these fluffy vegetable-infused pancakes always receive requests for more. The added sweet potato lends a brightened color and additional moistness to the pancake recipe. If only spinach were this easy to hide…

The addition of the sweet potato in this recipe is actually quite easy. Why roast a whole sweet potato and measure it out for this recipe when sweet potatoes can be added conveniently by just opening a jar? A six ounce jar of GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables baby food is pre-measured, already cooked, puréed and ready for adding to this recipe.

I like my pancakes fluffy and light. This recipe results in pancakes that puff up as soon as the pancake batter hits the hot griddle and continues to rise slightly as the flapjacks cook to a beautiful golden brown. I like my pancakes to soak up any syrup or butter or topping I choose. Sweet potato pancakes taste terrific when coated in pure maple syrup; however, for an extra special breakfast I like to serve a maple bacon crème sauce. Note, however, that no sneaky vegetables were added to the crème sauce.

Sweet Potato Pancakes with Maple Bacon Crème Sauce

Ingredients for 12 Sweet Potato Pancakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 6 ounce jar GERBER® 1ST FOODS® Vegetables – Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 large eggs, separated

Directions:

PREHEAT a large skillet or griddle to 350° F.

SIFT the flour into a large bowl and then add baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar and cinnamon.

STIR in the buttermilk, melted butter, jar of sweet potato baby food and the egg yolks until only small lumps appear in the batter.

WHISK the egg whites until foamy and white.

FOLD in the egg whites gently, careful not to stir too much, as you want the whites to keep their bubbles for fluffier pancakes.

PREPARE skillet or hot griddle with enough melted butter to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the heat surface.

POUR the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. The pancakes will eventually start to form small bubbles across the top and will lightly brown around the edges.

FLIP the pancake once it appears that the first side is a golden brown. (You can peek at it before flipping, that’s okay!)

COOK the flipped pancake for a few more minutes, until both sides are a golden brown.

REMOVE pancake from griddle or pan and serve immediately.

Ingredients for Maple Bacon Crème:

Directions:

ADD evaporated milk, coffee creamer and maple syrup to a large mixing bowl. Slowly add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add bacon crumbles to the sweet crème mixture and spoon or pour over pancakes as desired.

Related Recipes:

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes Recipe French Toast with Creamy Maple Syrup Recipe
Whole-Wheat Pumpkin
Blueberry Pancakes
French Toast with
Creamy Maple Syrup

Easy Spring Pasta Recipe: Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

Written by Liz -

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks and Thyme recipe

Spring has sprung in California – as well as most of the country. To me that means spring vegetable season; asparagus, leeks, peas, artichoke, fennel and fresh herbs are bountiful in farmers markets. Much of this produce is available year-round, but spring is the best time to get the freshest spring vegetables, whether at your local market, grocery store or from your own garden!

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And those fresh spring flavors really come through in this easy spring pasta recipe, Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme. It’s a cinch to make and it’s packed with flavor and nutrients, plus spring is a great time to get hooked on the Mediterranean way of eating. Adding a bit of the pasta water instead of using sauce is a traditional way to make pasta dishes in Italy. This recipe is a sure way to eat more vegetables and wow your friends with your culinary savvy!

Wine Pairing

  • Italian wines can be hard to find, other than the super popular Pinot Grigio. If you can find a Soave wine, it’s a soft, fruity, clean wine with crisp lemon flavors and really complements this dish.
  • Grenache Blanc with its acidity and rounded flavors, or Sauvignon Blanc with its herbaceousness, would also be great wines with this pasta.

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

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Ingredients for 3 servings:

Directions:

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup cooking water. While pasta is cooking, prepare leek mixture.

fetpeasstove

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden. Stir in peas; cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, as shown above.

fetpeaslast

ADD reserved pasta cooking water, thyme leaves and cheese; stir in gently. Toss pasta with leek mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Links:

More spring pasta recipes:

Vegetable Tortellini Soup Recipe Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto recipe
Vegetable Tortellini Soup Butternut Squash Agnolotti
with Fresh Herb Pesto

Nourishing the Soul: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Written by Chris -

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Soup is comforting, especially during the winter months—creamy butternut squash soup warms the body and feeds the soul. Paired with salad and whole grain crackers or freshly baked bread, soup makes a healthy and satisfying meal.

Butternut squash is technically a fruit because it contains seeds, but most think of it as a vegetable. It’s shaped like a large pear, has cream-colored skin, deep orange-colored flesh with a slightly sweet flavor. Roasted and pureed, butternut squash adds flavor and texture to soups. In the soup recipe below, it’s the star ingredient!

I’ve made this soup with three different spices, curry being my favorite. Our test kitchen also tested it with cumin and ground ginger; all delicious. If you make it, let me know what you go with. Start with 1 teaspoon of spice and add more as needed.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients for eight 1-cup servings:

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

RINSE squash under cold running water before cutting. Cut squash in half through the stem and remove the seeds (check out the tip at the bottom of this post for roasting the seeds). Drizzle cut edges with oil; season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side-down on a baking sheet.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

ROAST squash for 1 hour or until very soft. Remove from oven; turn the halves over and let stand until cool enough to handle (as shown above). Scoop flesh from shells into a bowl and discard shells.

MELT butter over medium heat in large saucepan. Add shallots; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the squash flesh, water, bouillon and curry powder; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until squash is broken down.

COOL squash mixture for about 5 minutes before adding it to a blender. Working in batches, puree until smooth, transferring the mixture to a saucepan as you work (if you have an immersion blender, it works great with this recipe). Stir in evaporated milk and sugar. Season with pepper; cook a few minutes over medium heat to combine the flavors. Ladle soup into serving bowls; swirl in a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.

Storage tip: If you have any leftover soup, and don’t plan to eat it within a couple days, freeze it. I like to freeze soup in individual portions. Ladle in to small containers, cover tightly and freeze. When ready to enjoy again, simply defrost and reheat before serving.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Ok, now for those remaining seeds… seeds from butternut squash can make a great snack food, and can be prepared in the same way as pumpkin seeds. Once scooped out from inside the squash and separated from the pulp, you can place the seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet to dry. Once dry, toss them with a little oil and season with a little salt or seasoning of choice. Lightly roast them in a preheated 275°F oven for 15 minutes or until seeds are golden brown and begin to pop.

I hope you like this soup as much we do! 100 calories never tasted so good! Nutrition information can be found online.

Enjoy!

Chris

Links:

Related Recipes:

Cream of Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe Butternut Squash Soup Recipe
Cream of Chicken and
Vegetable Soup
Butternut
Squash Soup

Grilled Panzanella: A Twist on the Traditional Italian Bread Salad

Written by Chris -

Grilled Panzanella recipe

For a summery appetizer, nothing’s easier than fresh, seasonal produce and firing up the grill. Traditional panzanella is an Italian summer salad incorporating semi-stale bread which has been moistened by presoaking in water or vinaigrette. Garden-fresh produce like tomatoes, cucumbers and basil are common ingredients and it’s typically dressed with a simple vinaigrette. And it’s great for Father’s Day!

In this recipe, grilled bell peppers and zucchini, fresh cucumber, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil and sliced shallot are tossed with a pesto-spiked vinaigrette, and then placed on top of rustic grilled bread slices (like a bruschetta). I prefer less bread, so serving the salad over bread is a simple solution. If you want to go the more traditional route, tear or cut the grilled bread into pieces and add to the salad. Be sure to toss it well so that the bread can soften and soak up the tasty vinaigrette.

Served atop bread, I find it to be the perfect summer appetizer, especially with a medium-bodied white wine, like a Pinot Gris. It’s also wonderful with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. To make this a light meal (something I do all the time), pile the vegetable mixture into a bowl and serve with grilled bread.

A few tips before you get started:

  • Sweet bell peppers, yellow and red in particular, are especially tasty when grilled. They take on a complex, smoky flavor. Simply cut them in quarters, brush with a little oil, and then throw them on the grill. Once their skin wrinkles and blisters, they’re done.
  • Grilling zucchini couldn’t be easier – it’s the easiest way to cook zucchini. Cut in half lengthwise or into thick strips, coat with a little oil and grill.
  • I’m a huge fan of grilling bread. But watch it carefully – all it needs is about 30 seconds on each side. Any Italian-style rustic bread will be great. If you are using a larger/wider loaf, cut the slices in half for serving.
  • Cut the veggies into bite-size pieces so that they don’t fall off the bread slices as you take a bite (I’m speaking from experience here).

Grilled Panzanella

Ingredients for 20 individual appetizers or 4-6 light servings:

VINAIGRETTE

PANZANELLA

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 loaf (1 pound) rustic Italian, whole-wheat or French bread (10 to 12 inches long), sliced into 1-inch pieces, cut in half
  • 2 large bell peppers, any color, quartered
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil, plus more for garnish

Directions:

FOR VINAIGRETTE:
WHISK together ¼ cup oil, pesto, vinegar and garlic in small bowl; season with salt and pepper.

FOR PANZANELLA:
GENTLY toss tomatoes with ½ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Transfer to colander and set over bowl or in sink; set aside to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally (this will allow water to drain out).

Grilled Panzanella recipe

HEAT grill to medium-high. Brush bread pieces on both sides with some of the remaining oil (you will need about 2 to 3 tablespoons); sprinkle with a little sea salt. Grill for about 30 seconds on each side or until nicely browned. Set aside.

BRUSH peppers and zucchini with a little of the remaining oil (about 1 tablespoon will be needed); grill on each side for about 4 minutes. Cool; cut into bite-size pieces.

ADD tomatoes, cucumber, shallot and basil to large bowl. Add grilled vegetables and vinaigrette; toss to coat.

Grilled Panzanella recipe

SPOON a few tablespoons vegetable mixture over each bread slice and serve bruschetta-style. Or, for a light entrée, serve two bread slices with about 1 cup of the vegetable mixture. Garnish with additional shredded basil, if desired.

Here’s to a joyful, relaxing summer! Bon appétit!

Links:

Related Buitoni recipes:

Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Basil recipe
Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Basil
Vegetable Tortellini soup recipe
Vegetable Tortellini Soup with Pesto

Picnic Perfect: Apple-Infused Coleslaw in a Jar

Written by Chris -

Apple-Infused Coleslaw in a Jar Recipe

With a tangy, crunchy flair, this fresh coleslaw takes center stage. Purple and green cabbage meld with bright herbs, apple juice, Dijon mustard and honey to create flavors that hint of the summer ahead.

A couple years ago, I came across a beautiful Donna Hay recipe image – I knew I had to recreate the look in some way. A recipe wasn’t included, but she layered the makings for coleslaw in a narrow glass jar. She described this coleslaw as being the perfect picnic salad. Simply brilliant!

Pint-size mason jars make the perfect summertime portable vessel, so this is what I used. I basically took my favorite coleslaw recipe and deconstructed it. Apple vinaigrette is added to the bottom of each jar, and then colorful layers of shredded purple and green cabbage, carrot and green onion (or basil) are added. Once the lid is secure, pop the jars in your cooler with ice packs, and you are set! Before serving, just give them a shake so that the coleslaw is evenly coated with the vinaigrette.

Watch our step-by-step video above for this playful backyard serving idea — or go to our YouTube channel to see this and more.

Apple-Infused Coleslaw in a Jar

Ingredients for 8 servings:

8 (pint-size) mason jars

VINAIGRETTE

COLESLAW

  • 5 cups each thinly shredded purple and green cabbage, divided
  • 2 cups shredded carrot and/or thinly sliced red bell pepper, divided
  • 8 tablespoons sliced green onions, chives or shredded fresh basil, divided

Directions:

FOR VINAIGRETTE:
PLACE Juicy Juice in medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Boil for about 25 minutes or until reduced to ¼ cup (reducing the juice will add more sweetness and deepen the apple flavor). Cool to room temperature.

WHISK together reduced juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and honey. Gradually add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Divide vinaigrette between each of eight mason jars.

FOR COLESLAW:
LAYER about 1/3 cup purple cabbage, 1/3 cup green cabbage, 2 tablespoons carrot and 1 tablespoon sliced green onions in each mason jar. Add another layer (same quantities excluding green onions) of purple cabbage, green cabbage and carrots. You should have about an inch gap between coleslaw and lid so that it is easy to shake; seal closed. When ready to serve, simply shake to coat. Jars of unshaken coleslaw can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Cook’s Tip: In a hurry? Skip reducing the apple juice and just use ¼ cup apple juice. Increase honey to 2 tablespoons total.

Links:

Perfect Salads for Summer Entertaining:

Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette Recipe
Avocado and Tomato Salad
with Confetti Vinaigrette
Tuscan Tortellini & Melon Salad Recipe
Tuscan Tortellini
& Melon Salad

Ancient Grains: Spring Farro Salad

Written by Chris -

Spring Farro Salad Recipe

Farro is an ancient wheat grain that can be found in specialty foods stores, natural foods stores, and Italian markets. It’s sold whole (which is the most nutritious), semi-pearled, or pearled, all of which can be used in place of barley and other grains in salads. In Italy, where most farro is grown, the grain is often added to soups. It can be substituted for rice in risotto as well. And it’s fabulous for breakfast.

Farro has a hearty texture and nutty taste, making it the perfect base for this spring salad. I chose to use pearled farro because it can be prepared quickly. Since it’s hulled, the cook time is reduced to 15 to 20 minutes. If you prefer to use whole grain farro, plan on cooking it for about 45-60 minutes.

 Spring Farro Salad Recipe Package and Heart

Grain salads make a satisfying lunch, simple side or nutritious snack. Use whatever vegetables are in season and you really can’t go wrong. I chose fresh English peas, English cucumber, green onions, dill, micro greens and avocado. I didn’t plan to have everything green in color; it’s just what I had on hand. Fresh lemon vinaigrette brings it all together!

Spring Farro Salad Recipe

Spring Farro Salad

Ingredients needed for four 1-cup servings:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup pearled farro
  • 1 ½ teaspoons MAGGI Instant Chicken Flavor Bouillon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup English peas, blanched* (these are super tasty raw too!)
  • ½ cup sliced and quartered English cucumber, seeded if desired
  • ½ cup micro greens or wild arugula
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
  • ½ cup diced avocado

Directions:

COMBINE water, farro and bouillon in medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook for 15 to 20 minutes or just until farro is tender (it will not absorb all the water). Drain and set aside to cool.

WHISK together oil, lemon juice, lemon peel, vinegar and pepper in large bowl. Add farro; toss to coat. Add peas, cucumber, micro greens, green onions and dill; toss gently to coat. Taste and season salad with sea salt, if needed; fold in avocado. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

*Set aside a bowl of ice water and slotted spoon. Bring a pan of water to boil over high heat. Add a teaspoon of salt and the peas and boil just until bright green (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Quickly remove the peas with the slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice.

Links:

Related recipes:

 Whole-Wheat Couscous Salad Recipe
Whole-Wheat Couscous Salad
Apple Quinoa Salad Recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad
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