Archive for February, 2012

by Sarah Steimer

Just a note: I used no salt-added chickpeas for this recipe and definitely had to make up for it.

  • olive oil
  • 6-8 Brussels sprouts (depending on size), thinly sliced
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 slices bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • freshly grated Parmesan for topping

Sauté the Brussels sprouts in the olive oil until lightly browned. Add the chickpeas, bacon, walnuts, salt, pepper and nutmeg; cook for a few minutes more and adjust seasonings.

Serve topped with the grated Parmesan.

Recipe adapted from: How Sweet It Is


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by Caitlin Saniga

I have a feeling kids would be all over this fondue. It's a great excuse to serve a variety of vegetables and get kids excited about them. Some other ideas for dippers: pitted olives, celery sticks, bell peppers of all colors, cauliflower, mushrooms, zucchini sticks, bread cubes and rolled-up pepperoni slices. P.S. I made this fondue on the stove and then transferred it to my mini slow cooker to keep it warm.

  •  1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup white wine

I tried to make my dippers long enough that this could be a no-forks fondue. Broccoli crowns with long trunks, pretzel stick and bell pepper strips did the trick.

Possible dippers:

  • broccoli crowns
  • pretzel sticks (I used pumpernickel.)
  • bell pepper strips

In a medium pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat and saute the garlic for about 30 seconds. Add the marinara sauce and white wine. Bring the marinara mixture to a boil, 2 or 3 minutes.

Use your favorite tomato sauce for this recipe ... doesn't have to be marinara. A garlic or basil sauce might be nice. If it's chunky, run the sauce through the food proccessor before adding it to the fondue.

Meanwhile, mix together the cheeses and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Add the cheese to the boiling marinara mixture. Spray a wooden spoon with cooking spray, and stir the marinara mixture until the cheese has completely melted and the fondue is smooth.

Transfer to a warm serving bowl or fondue pot.

Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

*Throughout February we’ll post fondue recipes as part of our Fond of You guide (get the Valentine’s Day reference?). You can find all of our fondue recipes here.

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by Sarah Steimer

I used acorn squash, but would suggest using a less-stringly squash like butternut or delicata.

For the squash

  • 1 pound winter squash OR you can substitute sweet potatoes (probably awesome)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus some greasing for the pan
  • 1 or 2 canned chipotle chiles, chopped, with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (this comes in the same can, if you’re new to the chipotle scene)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon honey

    I actually could have gone for a little extra glaze on on my squash - might make more next time around.

  • Salt and black pepper

In a small bowl – or with a mortal and pestle – combine the olive oil, chiles, adobo sauce, garlic and honey. Toss the cubed squash in the mixture, or use brush to coat the squash. Either way, place the squash on a lightly oiled cooking sheet or glass dish. Roast at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until you can easily insert a knife into the squash.

For the black beans

  • 1 can black beans (drain only SOME of the juices)
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Sauté the onions and garlic on medium heat in the olive oil until soft. Add the cumin to the pan and combine. Add half the can of black beans to the pan, including the juices. Rinse the rest of the beans and add to the pan. Simmer the beans for 7-10 minutes (adding water if it seems to get too dry). Mash 1/3 or 1/2 the beans with a fork. Add the roasted red pepper, salt and pepper.

For the rice

  • 2 cups cooked rice (I’m a big fan of basmati rice – which comes white or brown)
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • loose 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Once the rice is cooked, add the butter, lime juice and cilantro.

Layer – in order – the rice, beans and top with the glazed squash. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges.

Makes about 2 or 3 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Cookie + Kate

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by Caitlin Saniga

I tried the deluxe waffle with strawberries, and Eddie tried the kiwi version. Next time I go, I might pick up a couple of the frozen Liege waffles to go, which sell for $2 apiece.

Cast Iron Waffles also has waffle specials. On the day we went, they were serving a savory waffle with bacon and a sweet waffle with a variety of berries and cream.

I visited: Cast Iron Waffles, a coffee and waffles shop with indoor and outdoor seating

I tried: Liege waffles deluxe with Nutella, fruit and whipped cream

Why it stood out: Cast Iron Waffles serves brioche-style waffles made in a cast-iron waffle press. The waffles are made with what a server described as a “dough,” rather than a batter, studded with Belgian pearl sugar that crisps and caramelizes when the dough cooks in the press. I chose a deluxe waffle because it comes with a drizzle of warm Nutella, a choice of two seasonal fruits (The options on the day I went were strawberries, kiwi and bananas.) and a pile of homemade whipped cream. The waffle was dense and smelled like vanilla, and the portion was perfect for breakfast or a snack,even though the dough didn’t fill out an entire square.

It cost: $4.25

How cute is this place?

Find out more:
9604 Longstone Lane, Charlotte, NC 28277

*$6 Snacks is a recurring feature that reviews an area eatery’s snack — for $6 or less. Look at a map of the places we’ve tried.
Cast Iron Waffles on Urbanspoon

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by Caitlin Saniga

I served this sauce over spinach and chive linguine from Trader Joe's, but any old linguine or long noodle pasta will do. And it just occurred to me now that it might have been nice to toast all of the walnuts, including the ones in the sauce. I couldn't get enough of the toasted walnuts on top.

  • 2 cups bread cubes (from odds and ends of different loaves or stale bread)
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 2 1/2 cup shelled walnuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into bite-size pieces and cooked in olive oil, salt and pepper
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces, for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

I see this dish as very flexible. Want to cut out carbs, serve the chicken and broccoli with just the sauce. Want to make it a meatless meal? Cut out the chicken, and replace the chicken stock with water or vegetable stock. Don't like broccoli? Something's wrong with you (but you can do without it in this recipe, too).

Place the bread in a medium-size bowl, and pour the milk over, and use a spatula to gently toss the bread in the milk. Let sit until the milk is absorbed and the bread is soft, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

Grind the walnut to a medium-coarse meal in a food processor. Squeeze the milk  out of the bread with your hands and add the bread to the ground walnuts. Add the garlic, paprika and salt, and blend well.  Pour in the chicken stock and blend until the mixture becomes creamy, adding more stock if necessary to reach a desired consistency.

Divide up the pasta between 4 dishes. Top with the sauce, chicken, broccoli and walnuts, and pass salt and pepper alongside.

Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Urban Pantry

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by Sarah Steimer

Never had celery root before? It taste like an earthier version of the celery stalk itself. Rocket science.

  •  3 leeks, white and yellow only parts only, cleaned and sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled cubed
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken OR vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 2 percent to healthy it up)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
  • 1/2 tart apple, cut into thin matchsticks

Using a Dutch oven or a medium-sized pot, sauté the leeks in the olive oil until softened.

Add the celery root, broth and 3 cups of water. Bring the liquids to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the celery is soft.

Puree the mixture with an immersion blender or regular blender (a little at a time). In the pot – but off the heat – add the cream or milk, along with the salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with the bacon and apples.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Picture and Pancakes

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by Sarah Steimer

Admittedly, I already had leftover chipotle peppers from another recipe, and I just bought a jar of honey that I've been crazy about from our winter farmer's market - so this recipe sort of fell into place.

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2/3 cup beer
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Possible dippers

  • carrots
  • steamed or raw broccoli
  • red pepper strips
  • crisp tortilla strips or tortilla chips
  • apples (as usual)

Toss the cheese in the corn starch to coat. Set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the beer to a boil. Lower the heat and slowly add the cheese, stirring constantly. Once the cheese is a smooth consistency, add the garlic, honey, chipotle pepper and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Add more beer if the fondue seems too thick.

Serve immediately – and keep stirring! This is definitely a good recipe if you have an actual fondue pot that you can keep over heat. Otherwise place the fondue in a bowl inside of a larger bowl that is well insulated. And like I said – keep stirring!

Makes four servings.

Recipe adapted from: Honey.com

*Throughout February we’ll post fondue recipes as part of our Fond of You guide (get the Valentine’s Day reference?). You can find all of our fondue recipes here.

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