Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tired of Boring Green Beans?

One of the things that seems really popular among my clients is to pour bacon grease and crumbled bacon over their green beans. This makes the health conscious part of me cringe. However, bacon bits or crumbles without the bacon grease works very nicely. Here's some other quick and easy ideas to add some interest to your beans.
Add some mushrooms, peppers, water chestnuts, green onions and/or chopped onion.
Add some salsa
Toss cooked beans with a tablespoon or two of Parmesan cheese
Saute with onions, mushrooms, celery and/or peppers
Simmer in cream with mushrooms and/or onions
Toss with a little bit of sour cream and chives
Toss with sauteed or toasted almonds
Cook with a crushed clove of garlic
Add fresh thyme, basil or parsley
Add a dash or two of Worcestershire or soy sauce
Saute with one or two seeded and chopped tomatoes
Cook with a small can of diced or stewed tomatoes
Sprinkle with lemon juice
Sprinkle with crushed red peppers

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Here's an Idea

One of my readers, Molly, sent in this idea I haven't tried it, I don't cook at home enough but this is basically how it goes:

Deb , a Mennonite friend introduced me to Mennonite stew what we do is we take a butter dish and put it in the freezer when we have left overs just a small amount we put them into the dish in the freezer when the dish is full i defrost it put it in a casserole dish and bake at the end i cover the top with shredded cheese. Most things will work in this as long as it isn't too soupie. The casserole is always different and I haven't had a bad one yet. The dish might have several different types of meat and veggies in it and it eliminates almost all waste of food.Molly : O )

Coleslaw Scramble

My veggie scramble can involve a lot of preparation that some people may not be up to first thing in the morning. You could, of course, do it the night before if you can plan that far ahead (something I'm not really good at), so I've tried this the other day and it's a fast and easy alternative to get more veggies into a meal that is traditionally devoid of them.

The recipe is based on two eggs for one person, you can of course make it for any number of people by increasing the ingredients.

2 eggs
about a 1/4 cup of fresh coleslaw blend (the one I used had broccoli and cauliflower "hearts" as well as the cabbage) you can adjust the amount to suit your own tastes
Green onion sliced or small amount diced onion
Shredded cheese

Spray pan with cooking spray. Saute onion and coleslaw blend until just tender
Beat eggs and add to vegetables. Right before eggs are done sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Of course, you could add any of the ingredients listed for the veggie scramble too. Once again it's a great way to use up leftover meat or vegetables from the night before

Freezing Onions and Peppers

A lot of veggies take some preparation and blanching to freeze, but all you need to do for onions and peppers is clean, chop and freeze. I use a lot of both in my cooking and having them ready to use can save a lot of time. You don't have to do large batches (unless you've found a really good bargain), there's been times I've used half a pepper for a recipe and froze the rest.

Doing it this way keeps them from sticking together in one big clump so you can remove the quantity needed. The procedure is fairly simple:

1. Peel onions and clean and seed the peppers
2. Slice or dice them as you would for different recipes
3. Spread out on a cookie sheet
4. Place in freezer until frozen
5. Then place in bag or container and return to freezer until needed