Be Prepared With a Well Stocked Pantry and Fridge
Now that Fall has arrived it’s a great time to get back in the Kitchen and start making lots of great Stews, Soups and Casseroles. Surprisingly enough many of the Ingredients for your Fall Favorites are already at your fingertips, either in your Pantry or Fridge. The beauty of these items is that you can create a meal even without the benefit of a Protein or Fresh Vegetables. The below list are items I keep on hand and can’t live without! Also check out the easiest Pasta Dish ever Cacio e Pepe https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/a24175464/cacio-e-pepe-recipe/
- Kosher Salt
- Extra Virgin Oil
- Boxed Stock and Broth
- Pastas All Shapes and Sizes
- Jasmine Rice, Quinoa, Barley, Couscous, Polenta
- Artichokes, Roasted Red Peppers
- Canned and Dried Beans All Varieties
- San Marzano Tomatoes, Tomato Paste in a Tube
- Coconut Milk, Curries, Water Chestnuts
- Nuts and Dried Berries
- Italian Tuna and Sardines
- Bread and Nut Crumbs
- Spices of your choice
- Lemons, Limes and Fresh Herbs *Keep Fresh Basil in a Jar with a Little Water and Plastic Bag over It on Your Countertop and Mint, Cilantro and Thyme Wrapped in Damp Paper Towel in a Ziploc Bag
- Parmesan, Asiago, Pecorino, Cheddar, Feta, Gruyere or Whatever You Like
- Olives, Capers
- Pickled Jalapenos, Banana Peppers, Relish
- Hot Sauces, Asian Condiments
- Mustards, Mayonnaise
Because my diet is primarily Vegetarian I struggle to get the Protein I need. As I really have trouble eating Meat I find that drinking Broths is much more palpable. So, in addition to Juicing I also keep Bone Broth and Thai Broth on hand especially for when I feel I am coming down with something. I know most of you don’t have the time to make your own so I have tested and tasted many store-bought versions and found Kettle and Fire to be the best! https://www.kettleandfire.com/pages/bone-broth-benefits
By far the best Scratch Made Broth I make is the base for Thai Chicken Soup that most of you have ordered and love. I have been asked many times to share the recipe so here it is. After you complete Day 1and strain the Broth that is when you portion Ziploc Bags of Broth for the Freezer or place in a Glass Jar for up to 5 days.This Broth has so many Medicinal qualities and really will help when you feel you are coming down with something!
Thai Chicken and Rice Soup
- 1 Whole Organic Chicken or 2-3 Bone in Chicken Breasts (Can Add More Chicken This Broth Freezes Beautifully and Since It Takes 2 Days to Make I Encourage That)
- 2 Boxes Organic Chicken Broth or Good Chicken Base Added to Water
- 1 Can Coconut Milk
- 4-6 Sticks of Lemongrass (Cut in Half Then Pound a Little to Expose Center)
- 3-4 Chunks of Ginger (Cut in Half or Quartered If Pieces Are Large)
- 1 Bunch Cilantro (Separate Stems) Reserve Roughly Chopped Leaves for Garnish
- Fresh Basil (Chop Before Serving)
- 1 Bunch Green Onion (Sliced Thinly on the Bias) Reserve Half for Garnish
- 1-2 Fresh Jalapeño for Garnish
- Pickled Jalapeños and Their Juice 2 Tbsp * You May Add More on Day 2
- 2-4 Kaffir Lime Leaves (Optional)
- 2-3 Limes (Juiced)
- Green Curry (Optional)
- Jasmine Rice (1cup) May Vary Depending on Number of People You Are Feeding. I like Add a Piece of Ginger and a Lemongrass Stalk in the Water. Then When Finished Zest Some Lime to Enhance the Flavor
Cover Chicken with Enough Broth or Chicken Base and Water to 3/4 of the Pot. Add Cilantro Stems, Ginger, Lemongrass, Kaffir Lime Leaves, Pickled Jalapenos and Their Juice (Probably 4-5 Slices and 2 Tbsp of the Liquid) If You like It Spicier You Can Add More the Next Day). Bring to a Boil Then Cover and Lower Heat to a Good Simmer Cook for 30-45 Minutes Depending on Size of Chicken. Cool Completely Then Store in Fridge Overnight.
Strain Stock into a Large Bowl, Take out Chicken and Shred and Place to the Side. Discard All the Other Stuff. Place Liquid Back in Pot and Bring to a Simmer for 15 Minutes. * This Is Where You Can Freeze Some Broth for When You Are Feeling Under the Weather. Add Coconut Milk Stirring Until Incorporated Then Add Chicken, Lime Juice and Green Onion If Using Green Curry Add a Little. *Taste Your Soup
Ladle over Hot Rice Then Garnish with Fresh Jalapeno, Basil, Green Onion and Cilantro
Cook’s Note: Lee’s Asian Market in Asheville on Highway 25 Has Everything You Need for This Soup and All Things Asian. Lime Leaves, Lemongrass, Ginger, Green Curry, Green Onion and Beautiful Cilantro. the Owner Is Very Helpful and If You Have Never Been to an Asian Market It Is Worth the Trip. Your Flavor Profile May Need Help Day 2 Depending on the Strength of Day 1. Adding a Little Salt, Extra Lime Juice or Jalapeno Juice or You Can Even Add Chicken Base to Really Amp up the Flavor. Play with It!
Summer is a great time to really clean out your refrigerator. With the farmers markets and fruit stands in full swing eating fresh is a breeze but it can seem like a lot of work! Here are a few tips to make your food prep really work for you!
- Throw out any old produce and try to plan a menu for the week ahead. If you are a person who would rather decide what to cook as you are shopping you still need to keep your purchases realistic, not only from a time management perspective but for reducing waste. Most people throw out 15- 20 % of fresh items weekly because they just don’t get to it or it goes bad before they do.
- When you return from the grocery or farmers market wash and store everything that day. By prepping all your vegetables that day you set yourself up to enjoy fresh salads and vegetables all week with only minutes to plate a salad or sauté whatever you like.
- Fresh Herb Storage: Basil should be kept at room temperature in a glass container filled with a few inches of water with a plastic bag covering it. This will keep it fresh all week. Other herbs like cilantro, dill and mint can either be kept the same way as basil but in the fridge or wrapped in damp paper towel and placed in plastic storage bag in the vegetable drawer.
- What to do with excess Herbs? Here is a link with great ideas https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/what-to-do-with-herbs
RECIPE: CARROT TOP PESTO
- 1 cup carrot leaves (from about 1 bunch carrots)
- 1/2 cup parsley leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup of nuts of your choice (roasted cashews, pine nuts, walnuts, pecans)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
Pulse the carrot tops, parsley leaves, nuts and garlic in food processor until coarsely chopped. With the processor on, slowly drizzle olive oil, and process until blended. Add the Parmesan and salt, and pulse until combined. *Cooks Note: Mint leaves are also a great addition to this recipe
With summer on the way, I have been busy developing lots of recipes and wanted to highlight Green Tomatoes. Living here in the south Green Tomatoes or Fried Green Tomatoes as they are known are featured on countless menus but there are so many other ways to use them! First check out some interesting information about all the amazing health benefits http://eatyourselfwell.com/the-surprising-health-benefits-of-green-tomatoes/.
Green Tomatoes aren’t a specific variety – any tomato that hasn’t ripened can be a Green Tomato. (However, don’t confuse them with the varieties that stay green when ripe, like Green Zebras.) Here are some tips for selecting Green Tomatoes http://cubitsorganics.com/2013/08/how-to-tell-when-your-green-tomatoes-are-ripe-and-ready-to-eat/.
So, if you are looking for new ideas this summer take your favorite Red Tomato Recipe and substitute it for Green…
Green Tomato Caprese
Scalloped Green Tomatoes
Green Salsa with Tortilla Chips (See below recipe) *Great topping for a Cali Mex Burger
- 2 green tomatoes quartered
- 1 small onion quartered
- 2 jalapenos seeded and quartered
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 haas avocado
- ½ cup cilantro tops
- 1-2 limes juiced
- salt to taste
Place Green Tomatoes in food processor and pulse until chunky, add cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapenos, avocado and lime juice and pulse until combined and chunky unless you like a smoother Salsa then puree. Taste to adjust seasoning.