Borscht, Vegetarian Style, w/Beets, Cabbage, Potato

This soup can now be found in my ebook, Soup’s On. Alas, I couldn’t post the duplicate content, even on my own webpage, so… I’ll just sum up the recipe for you here. For more details, maybe you can get the book?! :)

Authentic Borscht recipes might use rye flour to thicken the soup, or even “Kwas” (a fermented rye brew). For those used to fermenting foods, it’s nothing too tricky; after rye flour and water ferments for a few days, the water’s poured off. The water gets fermented some more, which gives the soup its twang.Bowl of Bright Red Russian SoupSauerkraut (homemade or store-bought) can sub for the Kwas; it will give the soup a tangy kick as well. If using store-bought sauerkraut, do NOT purchase the one in a can. It really smells like garbage, and then you’ll think you don’t like it. The one in the jar should say, “naturally fermented”; once the product gets canned though, I think it’s subjected to too much heat in processing, which ruins it…

Add beef broth (and/or chunks of beef) for a hearty soup, if you want. But it’s good vegetarian-style too!

To make the soup, just bake (or slow cook) some beets until tender. Or cook them the old-fashioned way, in water on the stove top. Any way you slice it, they get rather messy. Oh well! Set the cooked beets aside.

You’ll also want to cook up some diced potatoes and carrot, in water to cover (again, until tender).

Grill some cabbage in a bit of olive oil (or coconut oil). Add 1 tablespoon or so of rye flour (or sub white flour), plus some caraway seeds (toasted first to bring out flavor). Slowly add some of the cooking water from the potato/carrot pot, stirring until smooth.

At that point, everything can go into the potato pot, including the beets (sliced in thin strips), plus some salt to taste. Add that “Kwas”, or a half cup or so of sauerkraut, or a teaspoon of white vinegar.

Serve it with some sour cream (or a dollop of coconut cream), and maybe a sprinkle of dill weed. Pretty dang good!

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Carrot Soup w/Dill: Nutritious, Delicious!

You can still order my ebook, SOUP’S ON! But if you want a “peak” at recipes, I’ve posted the following…

The New Deli's Carrot Soup w/Dill

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The Phytate-Sphere: Soak Grains, Eat “Sensibly”, Don’t Worry

Foods High In PhytatesBran is not  as trendy as it was ten or twenty years ago. I remember the days- we used to stop by our favorite bakery and consume mass quantities of sugary, sweet bran muffins (probably loaded with unhealthy oils too). I was having a bran fest- I even added raw bran flakes to my cereal. All in the name of “FIBER”!

Was it any wonder that I had some serious anemia? Bran is particularly rich in phytates, which can bind with the iron and other minerals in our system, which can lead to that anemia. Who knows what other health issues might have been connected to my “bran diet”?!

Bran is quite high in phytates; phytates can also be found (in lesser quantities) in grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.  So I’m not a bran fiend anymore. And I do try to soak my grains. Or I ferment them–I’ve really been into homemade, whole-grain sourdough bread lately. (Now that I have a Vitamix that grinds my whole wheat berries into  fresh whole wheat flour…)

Not that I’m not going on a Phytate Rant here. Phytates can be good. Consuming them in our foods probably isn’t going to upset the average person’s health. One caveat: but it might.

Just as in the bran days of yore, any one food trend might lead to unbalance, as the misinformed attempt to overcompensate, adding too much of a good thing to their diets. One of the latest trends is the “Gluten-free” craze (and the GAPS diet). One catch: folks might start chowing down on that gluten-free cake, made with almond meal instead of flour, on a fairly regular basis, telling themselves that this will help them to avoid gluten and regain health. The cost might be a phytate overload…

That was me. After bran went out of style, I forgot about it and prided myself instead on eating “healthy” breakfasts of raw, soaked grains topped with nuts, cacao nibs, and coconut. Another vegetarian meal or two might follow, featuring beans and/or grains. A snack or dessert might include a treat high in cacao nibs and nuts. Ironically, that particular diet of “wholesome” whole foods might have been slightly unbalanced. (Ya think?!)

Not to sound the alarm. There is a plus side to ingesting those phytates. Yes, they are enzyme inhibitors, but also: They can bind to excess minerals in our system. This is a valuable service, considering that excess iron generates free radicals in our bodies. So, while excess phytates might be a problem for an anemic person (like I’m prone to be), they would help someone else who was prone to an excess of iron.

Also, phytates act as antioxidants. They can even fight the proliferation of cancer cells, and improve cardiovascular health. One other feature: They might lower a food’s glycemic load, for the very reason that they slow digestion.

In conclusion: Moderation is our friend. We might consider reducing a potential overload of phytates by soaking some of our grains, beans, seeds and nuts (this will break down phytates, allowing for easier digestion). We might make bread (the yeast/fermentation process decreases phytates), and we might toast some grains, seeds (which also decreases them).

But, unless you’re going off the deep end (like I’ve often done), you can probably just adhere to this simple rule: Eat a sensible diet, be aware of the danger of raw nuts, grains, and seeds consumed in excess, and then… don’t worry about it!

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Homemade Tooth Powder: Healthy Gums & Teeth

I tried a simple, homemade toothpaste recipe, but I wasn’t super-thrilled about coconut oil going down the drain. Not that it’s a huge deal. But I decided to make some tooth powder for a change of pace.

I had bought some Uncle Harry’s Tooth Powder five years ago, but never made a habit of it. If you don’t conscientiously discipline yourself into doing something for thirty days, until it IS a habit, it can easily just become such a chore that you give it up. Know what I mean? (This applies to many things…)

Homemade Tooth Powder w/Salt, Bentonite Clay, Baking SodaSo I’d never gotten into the habit of using the tooth powder I’d had on hand. But when I started reading about the things going into toothpaste (stuff like fluoride, which is an endocrine disruptor, etc.), and started getting tired of the expense, I decided to take home-made dental care more seriously.

I’d already started using essential oils on my gums- rubbing a drop or two on them after meals, since my gums had deteriorated during my many years of undiagnosed hypothyroidism. (I believe that one “disease” of the body can affect many other parts.)

I tried coconut oil “pulling” for awhile (letting a tablespoon of coconut oil sit in the mouth for ten minutes or so, to pull out toxins and such). And I made an easy coconut oil/baking soda toothpaste (recipe here). But my favorite homemade dental product has become the tooth powder I made a few months ago… thought I’d share the recipe here.

First off, you can add essential oils of any kind, or not. You can add spearmint extract, etc. Or not. You can order excellent quality oils from Nature’s Gift (where I get most of mine). Or you can order on Amazon, or from Uncle Harry’s, to name a few. Some blogs mention adding powdered spices (cinnamon, etc.), since they’re cheaper. But I think the oils work better and are worth every penny. Here’s the healing oil recipe I use on my gums:

HEALING GUM OIL BLEND

You can use these proportions, but a different proportion might be more to your liking. In any proportion, all these oils support dental health!

  • 8 parts Tea Tree Oil
  • 1 part Myrrh Oil
  • 1 part Clove Oil
  • 1 part Cardamom Oil

 

Next project- the actual tooth powder. I had a big ol’ bag of Calcium Carbonate in the garage, that I’d bought to make cheap chalk paint out of, and wondered if I could use it to make my own tooth powder. After all, it is apparently the same main ingredient found in Uncle Harry’s stuff (AKA dolomite, chalk).

Answer (after research on several websites): Maybe not. The U.S. National Library of Medicine website mentions here, that when purchasing oyster shell calcium, dolomite, or bone meal, we ought to look for the word “purified” or the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) symbol on the label. Otherwise, the product may contain toxic metals like lead. We do NOT want lead in our tooth powder!

So I found food grade calcium carbonate, also know as dolomite. I used the proportions below, although, again, your personal preference may be to change it up a bit:

HOMEMADE TOOTH POWDER

  • 6 parts Calcium Carbonate (purchase here)
  • 4 parts bentonite clay (purchase here)
  • 1 part sea salt
  • “Healing Gums” oil, above (“to taste”, or about 8-12 drops favorite oil or blend, per cup o’ powder mix)

My husband and I have gotten quite used to brushing with this stuff, and I think our teeth are the better for it!

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Orange Polenta Cake (Olive Oil Cake to Some)

Here’s a cake recipe that’s quick and easy enough, but still delicious (& slightly healthier than average!)- a moist cake with a fresh orange flavor and slightly crunchy texture from the cornmeal. Traditional Italian recipes might add some Amaretto to the cake; to preserve more of the liqueur’s flavor, it can be added to the orange peel garnish. (Unless serving the under-aged, that is!) Serves 12.

Olive OIl Cake w/ Orange, Corn MealINGREDIENTS

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 c. milk (or yogurt or buttermilk)
  • 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating the pan
  • 3 oranges, for zest and garnish
  • 1 TBS. orange zest
  • 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 c. coarse-ground cornmeal (fine-ground works too)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Optional: 2 TBS. each sugar and water, for orange peel garnish
  • Optional: 2 TBS. amaretto liqueur, added to orange peel garnish
  • Optional: (Instead of orange peel) Confectioner’s sugar to decorate top

PREPARATION

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Press foil into a 9” spring form pan and coat with olive oil and flour. Or, use two 9-inch round cake pans, which won’t need a foil liner, but which should still be coated with olive oil and flour. (If using two pans, they’ll bake faster.) Tap out any excess flour.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whip until well blended and light in color: > 3 large eggs > 1 c. granulated sugar

3. Stir into whipped egg/sugar mix: > 1 1/2 c. milk (or yogurt or buttermilk) > 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil > 1 TBS. orange zest

4. In another bowl, stir dry ingredients together: > 1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour > 1/2 c. cornmeal > 1/2 tsp. baking powder > 1/2 tsp. baking soda > 1/4 tsp. salt

5. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring until just blended (the batter should still be slightly lumpy). Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool, then run a knife around the edges of the pan and turn it out onto a serving plate.

6. To make a garnish of candied orange peel, carefully cut away the outer peel of one orange, slicing it into thin strips. Mix together in a microwavable bowl (or in a small saucepan): > Thin strips from 1-2 oranges > 2 TBS. sugar > 2 TBS. water

7. Microwave (or heat in pan) the sugar/orange/water mix for one minute. If using microwave, stir and repeat this three times, until peel has absorbed most of the sugar. (In saucepan, just keep simmering a few minutes until peel gets soft.) If desired, at this point, stir in: > 2 TBS. amaretto liqueur

8. Garnish the cake with the orange peel. Alternately, it can be decorated with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar instead.

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Pesto: Make from Scratch, Freeze Portions- So Fresh!

I was sorting through old food pics and found this colorful one of pesto. Seemed apt to post the recipe, if only to enjoy all the bright colors of summer in the picture- before summer fades!

Pesto- Add Spinach, Garlic, Pine Nuts, ParmesanTake advantage of fresh basil in its prime in late summer. To keep it at its greenest, process it first with the olive oil and spinach; the oil seems to protect the leaves from oxidizing and darkening. The acids in the garlic, nuts and parmesan can darken the basil, so add those last. Another tip: pesto seems to stay greener when the leaves are processed at room temperature. In our many years of making pesto at The New Deli, we’ve found that the leaves don’t seem to like to get too cold in the fridge, only to heat up when processed…

Some recipes suggest blanching, to retaining pesto’s ideal green color; experiments at the deli have not proven that technique to be superior. Plus– this recipe’s easier!

Frozen portions of the pesto will keep for months. For an easy meal, add pesto and grilled veggies to pasta (tortellini is especially tasty). Or add to pizza, drizzle in soups, or use for a Pesto Torta appetizer . Makes approx. 2 lbs. (4 c.).

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 c. fresh basil leaves (12 oz.)
  • 4 c. fresh spinach
  • 3/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. fresh garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 c. pine nuts

PREPARATION

1. Process the following: > 4 c. fresh basil leaves (12 oz.) > 3 to 4 c. fresh spinach > 3/4 c. olive oil

2. Add and process again with: > 1/2 c. fresh garlic cloves, peeled (or 1/4 c. minced)

3. To the above, add and process: > 1 c. pine nuts > 2 c. parmesan

4. The pesto can be stored in the freezer, added to a zip-lock bag and flattened out; this makes it easy to break off a chunk of it as needed. Or, it will keep a week or so in the refrigerator; add a thin layer of oil on top (or press some plastic wrap against the surface), as exposure to air will darken it.

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Carmalizing Sugar (for Walnuts, Caramel Sauce, Etc.)

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One more episode of “From the Land to the Table” (above)- it’s a local show running on Pinole TV. Some friends helped put this together; a fun project, even if I’ve been too busy to continue producing more…

All you need for some excellent caramel sauce is a bit of sugar and some cream. It’s that easy! Or, for caramelized walnuts, just “melt” (caramelize) the sugar first in an iron skillet; add the walnuts, then turn out onto a sheet to let cool. Add to your favorite salads- yum!Homemade Caramel Sauce

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Homemade: Chicken Stock AND Raspberry Vinaigrette

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Above is Episode Two of “From the Land to the Table”. Yes, you can still catch reruns on local Pinole TV. Whoot! This video shows how easy it is to make Raspberry Vinaigrette from scratch. Maybe you want to strain the seeds out, to use the yummy pulp in a dessert? Just save the seeds- soak ‘em in white vinegar for a tasty salad dressing (add a bit o’ honey, salt, olive oil- yum). You can also just use mashed raspberries, brewed a week or so in vinegar, to make a VERY flavorful infused vinegar.

Oh, and I show how to make chicken stock from scratch. No need to buy cans or boxes of this stuff when you can make your own out of bones you might have even thrown away. It’s good not to waste any part of the chicken, especially when you’re using a quality, free-range chicken.Steep Raspberries in White Vinegar- Great Dressing

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Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas w/Mexican-style Red Sauce

YouTube Preview ImageOld friends helped record the above episode of “From the Land to the Table”, shown on local TV back in 2007. (Apparently, they’re still playing re-runs!). Ah, secrets for making vegetarian Black Bean Chili! or enchiladas…

The beauty of this recipe is: It’s ideal for bulk cooking. It will cook up well in a big batch; just  scoop 1/2 c. portions onto plastic wrap and freeze for future meals. It starts out thick; for Chili, just add water when heating up, to desired thickness. Top with grated cheese, sour cream, and fresh chopped tomatoes as desired. The filling is versatile; use for burritos, tostadas, and enchiladas.

Skip using chicken stock or adding cheese, to make this a vegan entree. Still full of flavor! Serves 6-8.

Grateful-Table-Vegetarian-Black-Bean-EnchiladasINGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. black beans
  • 3 to 4 c. chopped yellow onions
  • 2 TBS. minced garlic
  • 3 to 4 TBS. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. dry basil
  • 1/4 c. oregano
  • 2 TBS. whole cumin seed
  • 1/2 c. tomato paste
  • 1 TBS. salt
  • 1 TBS. paprika 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. paprika
  • 1-2 TBS. Chile Powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 pt. hot chicken stock or water (optional—substitute tomato juice for liquid)
  • 10 corn tortillas (or more or less)

Black Bean Filling

PREPARATION

1. Bring approx. 2 qt. water to a boil, then add and simmer 1-2 hours until tender: > 1 lb. black beans

2. Strain cooked beans, return to pot and mash some with potato masher. Set aside. In iron skillet, sauté the following on med. heat until tender (an hour or so): > 3 to 4 c. chopped yellow onions > 2 TBS. minced garlic > 3 to 4 TBS. olive oil

3. Cover onions with a lid at first, so they “sweat” and cook down quicker. Stir occasionally, turning heat down as necessary. Meanwhile, in a hot, dry skillet, stir the following until toasted, setting aside when done: > 1/4 c. dry basil > 1/4 c. oregano > 2 TBS. whole cumin seed

4. Finally, mix the following all together: > Cooked, mashed beans > Sautéed onions/garlic > Toasted herb mix > 1/2 c. tomato paste > 1 TBS. salt > 1 TBS. paprika > 1/4 tsp. cayenne

Red Sauce

PREPARATION

Make this completely vegetarian by omitting the chicken stock. It will still have plenty of flavor.

1. Mix dry ingredients together: > 1/3 c. flour > 1 TBS. paprika > 1-2 TBS. Chile Powder > 1 tsp. salt

2. Add and mix in well: > 1/3 c. oil

3. Then add: > 1 1/3 pt. hot chicken stock or water (optional—substitute canned tomato juice)

4. Bring mixture to a boil, boil 2 minutes, turn off heat.

Black Bean Enchiladas

PREPARATION

1. Sear in hot skillet in a bit of olive oil: > 10 corn tortillas (or more or less)

2. Lay out on board and fill with 1/4 c. Black Bean Chile Mix. Roll up, place in 13x 9 inch pan. Pour Red Sauce over, add 3/4 lb. or so cheddar cheese (grated or sliced in strips). Bake at 375 degrees, 20 minutes or so, until bubbly and golden on top. Top with sour cream or guacamole if desired, or cilantro garnish.

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Baba Ghanoush: Lo-Carb Paleo, Mideast Dip w/Roasted Eggplant

Eggplant Dip- Paleo Style, Low -CarbWe have fun chowing down on this dish at parties- ah, a dip that’s not loaded with chemicals and bad fats! It’s even naturally low-carb and paleo. Not everyone’s savvy to what it is, and some may even be afraid (“I don’t think I like eggplant”). But with the way the eggplant’s roasted, then mixed with plentiful garlic, lemon, and sesame (butter or even sesame oil), it’s got a great, silky texture. Yum!

Sometimes we feel a bit silly about the name. (Say that fast, three times.) The word means “Father who spoils”… you can tell it’s been affectionately named, right? One Jewish tradition is to drizzle a bit of pomegranate juice on top, or garnish with pomegranate seeds; other recipes might add a bit of yogurt.

This Mideastern recipe also includes tahini, a nut butter made from sesame seeds. In East Asian cultures, the tahini is often made from unhulled, brown sesame seeds, which are most nutritious, with extra minerals and fiber. The seeds can be ground to a paste with a small electric coffee/spice grinder.

More typical is a ground paste of hulled white sesame seeds, which is a bit smoother than its unrefined cousin, often found at specialty stores (or here, on Amazon). An other alternative to tahini, for those with limited resources: Toasted sesame oil, found in the Asian section of many grocery stores.

The standard Globe eggplant takes longer to cook through; Italian and Japanese eggplants will cook more quickly. The eggplant is broiled or pan-roasted (or grilled) until the skin is quite charred, which yields a soft, silky “meat” inside- the basis of this spread. Serves 6 as a side dish; serves 10-15 as an appetizer.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb. eggplant (one large eggplant, or up to 6 skinny ones)
  • Zest of half lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 1 TBS.)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh garlic (about 3 big cloves)
  • 1/4 c. Tahini (see notes above, or substitute 2 TBS. toasted sesame oil)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. Virgin olive oil (plus extra for garnishing)
  • Parsley for garnish
  • 6 or so Pitas, or crackers or other bread, for dipping
  • Optional: 1/4 c. black or Greek olives
  • Optional: Pomegranate juice, for drizzling on afterwards, or fresh pomegranate seeds

PREPARATION

1. Use a charcoal grill if available, or roast the eggplant in a dry skillet on highest heat. Use: > 1 lb. eggplant, whole

2. Let the eggplant cook on a hot charcoal grill, or in an iron pan. Turn every 7 minutes or so, as needed, until the skin is charred on each side, and the eggplant feels soft. This will probably take 30-60 minutes, depending on heat and the size of the eggplants. Covering the pan will help it to cook through.

3. Let the eggplant cool enough to handle. Peel the skin and discard. Hand-chop the eggplant, or use a food processor (or blender), processing until smooth. Add: > 1 tsp. grated lemon peel > 1 TBS. lemon juice > 1 1/2 tsp. garlic cloves (3 big cloves) > 1/4 c. Tahini (or 2 TBS. toasted sesame oil) > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1/4 c. Virgin olive oil

4. To serve, turn mixture out into shallow serving bowl, drizzle more olive oil on top, and garnish with chopped parsley. Other garnishing options: top with olives, pine nuts, or pomegranate seeds, or drizzle pomegranate juice on top, or even yogurt. Serve at room temperature, with toasted pita triangles, crackers, or other breads.

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Whey Protein Fruity Mix- Use Quality Ingred. w/Home-Made Mix

 

Fruity Whey Protein Powder Mix

I talked about a basic Protein Powder Mix I make in this article. Below is another real simple recipe you can work off of, to make a top-quality, fruit-flavored protein mix that contains no cheap fillers, but only the highest-quality, organic products. Opt out of certain herbs and/or super-fruit powders, according to your individual needs and preferences. (And pocket-book, haha!)

I don’t add every ingredient to every batch of “Fruity Protein Mix”, but use some variation of this every time. For a change-of-pace, I also mix up a “Vanilla” blend, using a basic whey powder/acacia senegal/psyllium seed powder mix, plus some of this super-pure, organic Vanilla Bean Powder, which does NOT contain dextrose and other junk (like many dry flavorings do).

Use the following as a basic guideline, but feel free to just add your favorites!

INGREDIENTS

PREPARATION

1. Mix all the ingredients together in a large, large bowl. Store in glass jar in cupboard. Use 2-3 scoops in a smoothie, to add tons of nutrients!

2. To make an easy smoothie that’s low-sugar (and pretty Paleo!), use: > 2-3 (1-oz.) scoops “Fruity Protein Powder” Mix > Half banana > small handful organic, frozen berries of choice > 2 Brazil nuts (or other fave) > 1 TBS. coconut butter > water (or kefir or kombucha)

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Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs, Deviled Eggs, and Easy Peeling

My friend asked me to post my secret for perfect hard-boiled eggs, so I thought I’d share how we do that at The New Deli. We’ve learned a thing or two in thirty-plus years in the business- we boil about fifteen dozen eggs a week. So take it from us!

Easy-Peel Eggs for Deviled Eggs, Etc.

It is quite common to put eggs into a pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. (Then, eggs are removed from the heat to sit for 10 minutes. After that, the hot water is poured off and the pot’s refilled with cold water to cool them.)

The above method might work all right, but it’s not fool-proof. A fellow co-worker tried that method last week, and said peeling them was torture. I think the reason’s because the eggs take longer to get up to a boil if you start with cold water, and the eggs closest to the burner get too hot (becoming overcooked and rubbery).

Instead, at the deli, we bring a separate pot of water to a boil first. We pour the boiling water over a pot of eggs… see the full method below.

If you’re thinking of doing some Fourth of July deviled eggs, you can let the eggs sit in a mix of food-coloring and water for two hours, to color the outsides in a festive, patriotic way! Also, there’s this recipe for “No Mayo Deviled Eggs”, using avocado and such.

Oh, and for Easter, the egg coloring companies aren’t joking when they tell you to use cooled-off eggs. I tried using very freshly boiled, slightly warm eggs one year, thinking it would help the colors to stick better, but they don’t!

Deviled Eggs (& Hard-Boiled Eggs)

We often make a tray of deviled eggs for church events, so some of the ladies wondered how to do that. Deviled eggs are easiest to make right after cooking the eggs; the yolks mash up best while slightly warm, making creamy eggs. Makes 24 eggs.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 eggs, boiled
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 2 TBS. sweet relish
  • 2 tsp. mustard (hot and spicy is nice)
  • For garnishing: Paprika and parsley
  • Optional: Capers (for garnish)

PREPARATION

1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and pour over another pot filled with: > 12 eggs

 2. Bring pot of eggs and boiling water back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to low for 4 minutes.

3. Turn burner off; let eggs finish cooking as they sit it the hot water for 20 more minutes. (They can sit up to an hour).

4. Pour off the hot water, toss the pot of eggs around so that shells will crack. Fill pot with cold water, and peel eggs under water.

5. Cut each egg in half by scoring around the egg, not cutting through the yolk. This way, the two halves of egg whites can be turned to separate them, and the yolk can pop out whole.

6. To make filling, mash yolks (best done before chilling). Use potato masher if available (or a fork), then add remaining ingredients to taste: > 1/2 c. mayonnaise > 2 TBS. sweet relish > 2 tsp. mustard (hot and spicy is nice)

4. Put deviled egg yolk mixture into zip-lock (or other) bag. Cut tip off and pipe filling into whites. Sprinkle w/ paprika, garnish w/dill. Optional: Add a sprinkling of capers.

 

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Veggie Tray w/ Ranch Dip

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ADD COLOR TO THE BUFFET TABLE

The Veggie Tray with Ranch Dressing is a healthy recipe to serve at parties. The homemade Ranch Dressing below improves on the grocery store version, flavorful and chemical-free. Salad dressing recipes made from scratch are bound to be healthier than store-bought.

For extra color, hollow out a red cabbage to serve the dip in. The leftover cabbage can be sliced up and mixed with any leftover Ranch Dip for a great side dish the next day. The Ranch Dressing recipe makes enough to serve a large crowd, with plenty of veggies on the side. Or use it in salads; it will keep weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 1 quart, serves 35-45.

Red Peppers, Carrot, Broccoli, plus Ranch Dip in Cabbage Bowl

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 pt. sour cream
  • 1 TBS. dill weed
  • 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs
  • 1/2 TBS. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 TBS. VegeSal (found at health food stores)
  • 2 TBS. sugar
  • 1/4 c. lemon juice
  • Green leaf lettuce (to line veggie tray)
  • 2 lb. or so carrots (approx. 6 large)
  • 1 lb. or so broccoli crowns
  • 1-2 cucumbers
  • 1 lb. or so red peppers (approx. 3 large)
  • 1 red cabbage for holding the dressing

PREPARATION

1. Mix the following in a bowl: > 2 c. mayonnaise > 1 pt. sour cream > 1 TBS. dill weed > 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs > 1/2 TBS. black pepper > 1 1/2 TBS. “VegeSal” (found at health food stores) > 2 TBS. sugar > 1/4 c. lemon juice

2. To assemble veggie tray, line a platter with some green-leaf lettuce (or ornamental kale). Set the hollowed-out cabbage in the center, filling with the dip just before serving, if transporting the tray. Arrange the following veggies on the platter. The broccoli looks especially appetizing added last, nestled around the edge of the cabbage-dip-bowl.

Use the following:

> Carrots: Peel, slice, and add to a jar, with a splash of white vinegar and salt. Shake thoroughly, drain. You can prep the carrots the day before, draining the vinegar mix off and refrigerating until ready to assemble. This process really brings out the color, avoiding the “dry look”.

> Broccoli: Rub the tops in a bit of olive oil. Again, this brings out the color, tastes great, and is easier than blanching them. Also, they won’t have that dry look. (Steam as mentioned for Green Beans below, if desired.)

> Green Beans/Asparagus/Etc.: Get a big (preferably iron) pan very hot. Add prepped veggies and steam quickly by adding a splash of water and a lid. Broccoli and asparagus will only take a minute or two like this, then cool off quickly by spreading on a cookie sheet and refrigerating. Their color will be bright and the flavor will be fresh.

> Cucumbers: Score lengthwise with tines of a fork; cut into 1/4″ thick slices.

> Red peppers and any other favorite veggies: Cut into strips, to add color to the tray.

Posted in 4. Appetizers, Recipes, Video Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
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