Saturday, March 27, 2010

Baked and Dressed Zucchini AKA Jamie Oliver Zucchini #2

This is one of easiest recipes ever, and yet still so good!  Try and find really small zucchinis.  I omitted the vinegar and mint and used dried parsley, and it was still awesome.


8 small zucchini
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
a small handful each of chopped fresh parsley and mint

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Wash and pat dry zucchini.  Toss them with olive oil and generous amount of salt and pepper, and lay in ceramic baking dish.  Bake for 15 minutes until soft and blistered.  Remove from oven and dress with a couple splashes of red wine vinegar and the herbs.  As Jamie says, "loosen and balance" the dressing with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle of S&P.

Simple Sauteed Zucchini with Chilli and Lemon AKA Jamie Oliver's Zucchini #1

My aunt gave me a Jamie Oliver cookbook a couple years ago for Christmas and I've been a fan ever since.  I wasn't much of a TV watcher so I didn't know him, but now I'm a big fan.  He's passionate about food and making a difference.

When it comes to Jamie's stuff, I am particularly fond of his veggie recipes.  They taste amazing, and as far as I can tell they're pretty hard to mess up!

Here's the first of two zucchini recipes I've made by him.  Thanks Jamie!


4 small zucchini
olive oil
1 dried red chilli, crumbled (I substituted dried chili powder... which I'm sure isn't the same, but was still yummy)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1/2 a lemon
a knob of butter (butter may be omitted)

Slice zucchini with a mandolin or sharp knife so they're under 1/4 inch thick.  Heat a large frying pan over high heat and pour in a "good" splash of olive oil.

Drop sliced zucchini into pan and fry for two minutes with the chilli and garlic until they begin to brown.  Season well with salt and pepper, add lemon juice and butter, and cook for another two minutes.  When juice has evaporated remove pan from heat and serve.

Prune Compote

As may be obvious by the lack of dessert recipes on my blog, I am not that big on sweets.  I like desserts, but I haven't been motivated enough to go the extra mile to learn how to bake gluten-free goodies.  So, when I want something sweet these days my go-to food is fruit.

This recipe is easy and quick just like most of my cooking.  It can be stored for two weeks in the fridge, making it a simple dessert that can be dipped into when you're too busy for much preparation.  Just be careful not to eat too much, after all prunes do help to keep things moving through the digestive tract.


1 pound pitted prunes
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
2 bags Earl Grey tea

Combine prunes with just enough water to cover in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover.  Cook for 20 minutes, then stir in sugar and 1/2 cup orange juice.  Add tea bags and cook about 10 minutes more or until all prunes are tender.  Refresh the flavor if desired by blending in another 1/2 cup juice.  Discard tea bags and remove fruit with syrup to a covered container and refrigerate at least three hours before serving. 

Eat on it's own, or with sour cream or yogurt.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Ground Beef and Celery with Kidney Beans

After living with ranchers for three months it is now time to finally post a beef recipe!  All the beef we eat here is grass-fed and butchered here on the farm, and it's so much better than most other beef I've had.  We are so lucky!  If you can get your hands on good beef I think it's really worth it, although I suppose you might as well splurge and get some steaks or a roast if you're going to go to the trouble.

Anyway, this particular recipe is one of the simplest things in the world to make, which is exactly how I like my cooking.  This realization was reinforced today while perusing some rather fancy-schmancy gluten-free blogs.  There are some amazing GF blogs out there, filled with baking galore and all kinds of ways to reinvent the glutenous favourites we all once had.  This blog is totally not that!  So, in summary I have decided that my niche market is gluten-free folks who want to make relatively simple, mostly health conscious, delicious food.

That being said here's my latest creation:


2lbs lean ground beef
one head of celery
one white or yellow onion
a splash of oil of your choice
whole bunch of seasonings: dry mustard, garlic powder, dried parsley, basil, and cayenne
one can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Start by chopping onion and celery into fairly small pieces.  Toss the veggies in a pan with just a bit of water and cover to steam and soften.  Remove lid and add a bit of oil.  Saute for a few minutes with the lid off so the water evaporates.  Set cooked veggies aside.  Then, cook ground beef in the same pan on medium heat until completely browned.  Stir in the veggies and add many dashes of the seasonings to taste and mix in the beans.  Serve on a bed of quinoa or rice.

Serves 4.