Posts Tagged With: Veggies

Dad Recipe: Mexican Cornbread

Fresh jalapenos and home-ground yellow cornmeal are key for this yummy south-of-the-border one-pot supper!

Fresh jalapenos and home-ground yellow cornmeal are key for this yummy south-of-the-border one-pot supper!

Our friend Lisa at Happy Place Organics hooked us up the other day with some fresh-from-the-garden jalapenos, and whenever there are jalapenos around Mullins Manor you can bet this dish is pretty sure to follow.

The dish itself is a family favorite, and relatively common summer fare where I grew up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky – although I’m not sure of the particular folkways that would account for its prevalence there.  Each person making it seems to have a slightly different take on ingredients, but generally there’s always meat, always some cheese, (almost) always whole kernel corn and definitely always jalapenos – the fresher the better, and the ones from Happy Place Organics were about as fresh as they come.  I think there might have been thirty minutes, if that, from garden to pan.

It’s an easy dish, has lots of flavor and very minimal clean-up.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef (although I used chorizo)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 c. cornmeal (I’m really lucky to have home-ground from my parents’ garden!)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 c. canola oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. diced jalapenos (or to taste)
  • 1 1/2 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese

Gear

  • An iron skillet is a BIG plus for baking this (or any) cornbread!  Otherwise, use a 9×13 pan.
  • Pan for browning hamburger
  • Mixing bowl
  • Oven at 450

Brown and drain your hamburger meat and onion.

Combine (in your mixing bowl) corn, eggs, cornmeal, baking powder, milk, salt, peppers and 1/4 c. of oil.

Heat the other 1/4 c. oil in your skillet or pan.  Pour half of the batter into the pan.  Layer meat/onion mixture and cheese, then top with the other half of the batter.  Bake at 450 for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

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Categories: Bringin' Home the Bacon: Dad Recipes | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dad Recipe: Tastes Like Summer!

(Farm-Fresh!) Veggie Pizza

(Farm-Fresh!) Veggie Pizza

2013-06-26 20.10.14Lisa – a great friend, all-around awesome person, and founder of Happy Place Organics just down the road from us in Midway, Kentucky – has a lot of produce starting to come in this summer.  I always like playing “Iron Chef” with whatever happens to be seasonal, which this evening happened to be an adorable little yellow squash, a couple of zucchini, a bunch of (incredible-smelling) basil, and some fresh green onions.  What to do?

On our weekly meal plan, it was supposed to be ‘hot dog’ night.  Yawn.  Instead, I started rambling through our pantry and cabinets to see what else we might have to go with the veggies.  I wound up having exactly what I needed to make (my version of) Paula Deen’s Vegetarian Pizza.  Here goes!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium or 2 small green onions with bulb
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 c. Ranch dressing (I used Kraft buttermilk)
  • 2 tbs. sour cream (I used lite)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 or 2 tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 c. fiesta blend shredded cheese (I used 2%)
  • 1/2 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • about 1/2 c. fresh basil (amount depends on strength)
  • 1 roll store-bought pizza dough

Gear

  • Sheet pan
  • Salad spinner
  • Mandolin slicer

Prepare your pizza crust according to package directions – you want to brown it on the bottom and just start to brown it on top, then remove it from the oven and let it cool.  Adjust your oven (after the pizza crust is out of it!) to 350.

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat.  Cut the ends off the squash and zucchini and trim the onion(s).  I like to use as much of the green shoots as possible; as a rule of thumb, when they start tasting less like onions and more like grass, that’s a good place to make your cut. 🙂 Position your mandolin directly over the pan and slice the squash, zucchini and onion into the oil.  Saute for about 10 minutes or until tender.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and dressing in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste.  Spread on the (cooled) pizza crust.

Add the squash/zucchini/onion and use your mandolin to slice the tomato(es) and place those slices on the pizza next.  (I sliced my tomato onto a plate and then moved the slices; I’m afraid if you tried to use the mandolin over the pizza there would be way too much tomato juice).  Sprinkle the garlic over the tomato layer and add salt and pepper to taste.  (Due to varying preferences at Mullins Manor, I only put tomato on half of ours).  Rinse the basil and give it a quick spin in your salad spinner to make sure it’s good and dry; add this layer next.  Sprinkle the cheeses over the veggies, and move the whole thing into the oven for about ten minutes or until the cheese melts.  Slice/serve/enjoy!

Categories: Bringin' Home the Bacon: Dad Recipes | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dadventure: More Veggies in 2012!

My main New Years resolution is to eat more of this in 2012! (See footnote for image credit.)

Over Christmas, I read the book Forks Over Knives by Dr. T. Colin Campbell and Gene Stone.  It’s the book companion to the documentary of the same title.  In short, the contributors claim that many health issues common today – heart disease, diabetes, many forms of cancer, etc. – are a direct result of unhealthy dietary habits.  This isn’t a review of the book or an in-depth examination of the science behind it, but the points presented seemed to make sense.  In fact, whether you want to pick apart the scientific claims or not, in the realm of ‘common sense’ it’s hard to argue that the less meat and processed foods you eat the healthier you should generally be.

So for 2012, I’ve resolved to find more ways to incorporate more veggies into the dishes I make for my family.  So far we’ve already tried a tofu tikka masala (not very good, although probably tweakable) and an eggplant spaghetti (actually pretty tasty!).  I’ll share some recipes as I find things that work.  I’ve also switched our family’s subscription over at E-Mealz to the “Vegetarian Meal Plan – Wal-Mart” option to get some more inspiration and ideas.

We’re fortunate that here in Lexington, in addition to the chain Whole Foods, we also have a great local coop in the form of Good Foods.  They’ve got a class coming up next week that covers some of the basics of switching to a more plant-based diet, and I’m hoping to be able to go check that out.  In-season, we’ve also got a very active farmers’ market downtown.

However, I’d love for this to be a switch that helps our food budget as well as our overall health.  To that end, I’m pondering whether or not to start a square-foot garden in our back yard.  We’re pretty limited on space and free time, but according to the SFG book that makes us the perfect candidate family to try it out.  Possibly more on that later.

So, that’s my main resolution for the new year.  If it works, we might go into 2013 with broadened culinary horizons and a little healthier to boot.  I’ll keep all of you updated on our progress!

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Image Credit: This photograph, “fresh veggies for the curry,” is copyright 2010 by Flickr user sweetbeatandgreenbean and made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.

Categories: Dadventures | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

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