I love naturally colorful food. I try to incorporate as many different colors into each meal as possible. I feel like every color is a different nutrient. I don't know if that's accurate, but as far as I'm concerned it's enough to make me feel good. The other night I made some super stuffed peppers using all the colorful veg I got from my CSA share. In fact, they were so stuffed they overflowed. So I'm calling them:
Super Overstuffed Peppers
1 large pot of boiling water
4 green bell peppers- keep 3 whole and mince half of the 4th)
1 lb 85% lean ground beef
1/2 cup cooked rice
1 clove garlic- minced
1 small carrot- minced
1 zucchini - minced
1 small yellow squash- minced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup prepared salsa
Preheat the oven to 375°. Place the 3 whole green peppers into the pot of boiling water to blanch them for about 4 minutes. Remove them and let them cool slightly then cut them in half lengthwise removing the seeds and stems. Place the halves cut side up in a deep baking dish. In a large pan, Brown the meat along with the minced garlic. Add all the remaining ingredients (except the salsa) to the pan and mix together. Spoon the mixture into the pepper halves and top each with a bit of the salsa. Bake for about 30 minutes and enjoy.
Sorry the picture isn't all that great, but we were hungry. I wasn't waiting around to get any better shots! Hope you like it.
The last few days I have seen a picture floating around the interwebs of a gorgeous layer cake containing blueberries, zucchini, and butter cream frosting. I found the recipe on iambaker.net. I wanted to try it, but when I went into the fridge I noticed that I had to move all the yellow squash and carrots out of the way to get to the zucchini and blueberries. Instead of putting those extra veggies back in the fridge, I decided that incorporating them into my own version of a similar cake might not be a bad idea. I loved the idea of all those natural colors mingling around together.
I had the thought that all those veggies might make the cake a bit dense, so I figured instead of a layer cake, I'd make a bundt cake.
And guess what? I didn't have any butter to make buttercream frosting. I know, I know. You're SHOCKED to find out that I was out of an ingredient. But I thought the frosting might be a little heavy anyway, so I opted to make a glaze instead.
Well, ever since yesterday when I made my cake, I haven't eaten anything BUT that cake. It's so soft and delicious I really don't want to share. But I will share the recipe. Here ya go.
Blueberry, Yellow Squash, Zucchini, and Carrot Confetti Cake
with Lemon Glaze
1 cup vegetable oil
seeds from one vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 small zucchinis, 2 small yellow squashes, 1 carrot- grated or finely processed in your food processor. Drain as much liquid out as possible.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a bundt pan. Lightly beat the eggs. Add the oil, vanilla, and sugar. Once mixed, stir in the drained zucchini, squash, and carrots. In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder). Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Once fully incorporated, fold in the blueberries. Pour the batter into the bundt pan and let it bake in the 350° oven for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and then carefully flip it onto a plate. Let it cool for about 1/2 hour. Make your glaze by mixing the confectioner's sugar with the lemon juice and drizzle it over the top of the cake. Voila! Delicious.
Now, I don't like "sneaking" vegetables in anything. I normally like to be straightforward about the ingredients I'm using in anything I make. But I know that it might be easier to get a picky eater to eat cake laced with vegetables if they don't know they are there. If you want to try this cake with your kids, I suggest maybe peeling a bit of the squash skin off and grinding the veg up as small as possible and to lessen the veggie taste a bit. Because while it is a very slight taste, you can taste the vegetables a bit. I personally love that flavor, and hope you will give it a try!
Growing up in Wharton, NJ, we had the best little locally known shop called Rocky's where you could get these awesome little meat and potato filled pies called pasties (pronounced "pass-tees", not "paste-ees"). Rocky's is still there, but I'm not. Even though my mom sometimes still brings me a pasty or two when she visits, I find myself craving them more often. I love their flaky exterior and slightly peppery taste once you get to the insides. So I came up with my own south Jersey version using turnips I got from my CSA last week. They are pretty easy to make and so tasty. I love them with some ketchup and a side salad. My version is a bit "rustic" and isn't very neat, but I sort of love that about them.
1 prepared recipe of pie crust large enough for 2-crust pie
1 pound 85% lean ground beef
1 large onion chopped
1 large potato chopped
2 small turnips chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp butter divided into six pieces
Preheat oven to 400°. Separate prepared pie crust into 6 equal pieces and roll into circles about 1/4 inch thick. Stir together ground beef, onion, potatoes, turnips, salt and pepper in a bowl. I use my hands to make sure everything is equally distributed. Divide the mixture between each circle of pie crust and fold each over to form a small half circle pocket. Seal the edges of each little pasty and place them on a cookie sheet. Make a small slit on top of each and place a small piece of butter in each slit. Bake at 400° for 50-60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them sit for a few minutes to cool and then remove from the pan.
They freeze very well, too! Just wrap up the cooled pasties in foil and place in a bag in the freezer. Reheat by placing the foil wrapped pasties in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes.