Category Archives: Vegetables

Bacon and Brussels Sprout Gratin

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Brussels Sprout Gratin

Happy New Year!  Who doesn’t like to start the new year with some healthy new recipes?  I cooked up this skillet of Brussels Sprout Gratin earlier this fall.  The recipe came from Guy Fieri.  Well, not to me personally, but via the Food Network!  The bacon – well that is my addition.  Yum.

I’ve made this a couple of times to make sure it is blog-worthy.  From the first time we ate it we loved it!  I hope you do too.

Sliced Brussels Sprout

I always remove the outer leaf and slice off the bottom of the Brussels sprout. Once done these can be placed in a food processor with the slicer blade, sliced by hand or with a mandoline.  In seconds a whole bag of Sprouts is sliced and ready for the skillet.

You do not have to use a cast iron skillet, an 8″ x 8″ baking dish will do fine.  I just love using my cast iron skillet because it makes the cheese a little crispy wherever it touches the cast iron.  The skillet also creates a bit of crunchy crust to the bottom of this dish.

 When I mentioned I was blogging this recipe tonight to my brussels-sprout lovin’ husband he quickly said, “are you making that again soon?  I hope so!”  Well, I wouldn’t want to disappoint my honey.  I’ll be making this again this week!

Happy Cooking!
~Catherine

P.S. Don’t let the heavy cream scare you away from this recipe. It’s only a cup and it takes this recipe right over the top!

Bacon and Brussel Sprouts Gratin
 
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Loaded with a delicious blend of flavors this awesome side dish will have 'em coming back for more!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pounds brussels sprouts, cleaned and trimmed
  • ¾ cups grated sharp Cheddar
  • ¼ to ½ lb. cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon picked fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Shave the brussels sprouts horizontally into ⅛-inch slices with a sharp knife, mandoline or slicer blade in a food processor. Add to a bowl. Add the Cheddar, cooked, crumbled bacon, flour, thyme, garlic and some salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine.
  3. Add the mixture to an 8- by 8-inch baking dish or cast iron skillet, packing it in. Pour over the heavy cream.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the panko, Parmesan and oil and pour over the brussels sprouts mixture.
  5. Bake uncovered until the brussels sprouts are tender, the sauce is bubbling and the top is golden, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
The bacon is optional and you can use more or less depending on your taste. The recipe is still excellent without the bacon.

 

 

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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I’ve been cooped up at home with mono for the
past three days,  so with all that free time,
I’ve cooked up quite a few recipes I’m excited
to share (avocado brownies being my favorite)!!!

But today I’m sharing homemade hummus!  I love hummus with pita chips or celery sticks and carrots.  It’s a great healthy snack and a tasty addition to a salad!  There are all different kinds of hummus flavors that I like, but I went with Roasted Red Pepper.  I think next time I’ll have to do a garlic lime hummus or taco spices maybe.  It’s really easy to put your own spin on this recipe with whatever spices and flavors you want to use.

I started with two cans of garbanzo beans (chickpeas), one jar of roasted red peppers, and some olive oil.  I had that in the food processor ready to blend, then I started to get creative. I had about half a cup of sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil in the fridge.  That when in.  Then a couple teaspoons of garlic.  Half a cup of lemon juice.  Then I decided to turn up the heat.  So, I tossed in a jalapeño pepper and two heaping tablespoons of cayenne. Some salt and pepper to taste, and it was done!

I love to cook this way.  For something like hummus, you don’t need a recipe.  You can be spontaneous and imaginative and just get completely carried away with flavors.  The important things are chickpeas and olive oil (and in my opinion garlic), but after that, it’s your recipe!

I’m giving you the recipe for my hummus, but I hope you use it as more of a guide to creating whatever you want with the things you already have in your fridge!  That’s what makes it fun!

Thanks for reading!

Abby Hughes

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
 
This is a versatile recipe for hummus that's great for a snack, on a salad, or as an appetizer.
Author:
Recipe type: Healthy Snack or Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: approx. 24 oz.
Ingredients
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • 1 small jar of fire roasted peppers
  • ½ c. sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1 to 1½ jalapenos roughly chopped with seeds
  • 2 Tbs minced garlic or 3-4 cloves
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs cayenne pepper optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
Instructions
  1. Put all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Scrape the sides as necessary.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings or flavors as desired.

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

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The frost is almost upon us!  That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!


I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does.  I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.

Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months.  If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated.  At least, that’s what I used to think.  I know there are a couple different ways to do it.  Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them.  I think it preserves the flavors better, too.  It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined.  All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze  on a towel-lined sheet pan.  After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter.  It’s that simple!

While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes.  I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year.  I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative.  All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese.  Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting.  They taste like pizza!  You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.

I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread.  So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad.  This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend.  It was so good I had to make it for myself.

Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner!  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!

Abby Hughes

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
 
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A quick and tasty side dish or snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Thick slice the tomatoes and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan
  3. Spread about a tablespoon (more or less to taste) of basil pesto on each slice.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and broil on high until the cheese is lightly browned (about 4 minutes).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli Salad
 
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A light brunch or dinner side.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ c. Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
Dressing
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ c. mayo
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Small dice red onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, mayo, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss to coat all ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Broccoli Cheese Patties Shared By My Friend

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Broccoli Cheese Patties
Broccoli Cheese Patties

Got broccoli?  I really, really like broccoli.  As a kid, I don’t think I ever tasted broccoli, except maybe in a broccoli, rice, and cheese casserole, and even then that may have been after I grew up and started cooking on my own.

My last blog post was about friendship and this recipe comes from another of my God-given friends.  Sue and I met when I was 21 years old, a young wife and mother of a 2-week old baby.  We moved into the house next door to Sue, her husband Bill and their 3-year-old son, Warren.

Sue and I quickly became friends over the garden fence and migrated to her kitchen where we spent countless hours pouring over recipes, cookbooks and the latest news of the neighborhood. She taught me how to can green beans (and I ruined her canner in the process).  Canning pickles were next and I am sure cooking broccoli was in there somewhere!

Thousands of miles have separated us for many years.  But a phone call, an email, or a recipe, and we are in sync as if we have never been apart!

yum borccoli patties

Last fall she sent me this recipe.  She wrote a quick message saying she thinks they are “super” and even Bill liked them, and broccoli isn’t his favorite.

Well, broccoli is my favorite but this recipe settled near the bottom of a pile on my desk.  Thanksgiving came and went.  December was a blur.  January settled in cold and rainy.  We needed something “special” to perk up a mid-week dinner.  Broccoli cheese patties to the rescue!

broccoli patty upclose

These patties are quick and easy to make.  They are baked in the oven and while the recipe calls for sharp cheddar cheese, a hot pepper jack will take the flavor over the top!

Next time I make them I will include an aioli sauce and I really can’t wait!  These little patties are crisp on the outside and yummy, creamy, warm and tender on the inside.

For 39 years I have called Sue my “walking book of knowledge.” She has a home economics degree, a very quick wit and a heart of gold. She makes me laugh and sometimes we cry.  Who could ask for anything more in a friend?

I love you Sue and keep the recipes coming!

Happy Baking!
~Catherine

Broccoli Cheese Patties
 
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Let the fun begin with broccoli, cheese and this delicious side dish!
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable Side Dish
Serves: 8-9 patties
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ onion, chopped finely
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag frozen broccoli -- defrosted
  • ¾ cups breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. In a small frying pan melt butter on medium heat. Saute' the onions and garlic in the butter until translucent.
  2. Place defrosted broccoli in a strainer for 30 minutes (longer if still frozen) in the sink. Blot well and chop the broccoli into smaller pieces.
  3. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, cheeses, salt and pepper. Mix well. Add broccoli and onion mixture. Mix well.
  4. On a cookie sheet use the 1 teaspoon vegetable oil and grease the cookie sheet. Form patties, they are about ½ cup each. (A large scoop works well.) Press together well.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes on one side and then turn them over. Bake another 15 minutes or until browned and crispy around the edges.
  6. Serve with a favorite sauce or aioli.

 

 

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