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Unless otherwise noted, all content and photos are property of Elle @ Elle's New England Kitchen. Copyright 2008-14. All rights reserved. If you'd like to reprint an article or use a photo, please contact me for permission at ellenekitchen at gmail dot com. All photos, unless specified, have been taken by me, and if used without permission, an invoice will be forwarded to the proper business/individual. Thank you.

 

 

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Thursday
Nov212013

Bratwurst and Apple Kale Kraut Sandwiches

Bratwurst and Apple Kale Kraut Sandwiches

You’re going to love these! Bratwurst simmered in hard apple cider, served with a tangy, slightly sweet “kraut” made with sautéed apples and kale. It’s a little vinegary, a little sweet and a little spicy from cinnamon and cloves. Add some spicy coarse mustard and tuck it all into a bun and you’ve got my twist on sausage and peppers. German style! (Once again, I’ve continued the tradition of not being able to photograph a sandwich to save my life. They may not be gorgeous, but they’re damn tasty!)

I’m back with another Nature’s Greens kale post. It’s been a while, right? We’ve still been eating, I just haven’t been posting. Moving on though, and please read on to see how you can win a trip for two to Myrtle Beach or Charleston, SC for a two night hotel stay--plus $1,000 in spending money from Rawl/Nature’s Greens!

This contest is the Show Us Your Heritage Recipe Contest. It’s all about--you guessed it--your family heritage. I’ve touched on my husband’s heritage here once or twice, but not mine. I’m mainly German, with some Scottish, Irish and French tossed into my family tree.  I’m kind of hot tempered, but very interesting. Ha!

The Nature’s Greens products are washed, chopped and ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’s a full line of pre-cut and triple-washed leafy bagged greens like kale, collards and mustard greens. It’s available in both one and two pound packages, and ready for you to pick up year round.

Nature's Greens/Rawl

You’re probably wondering their policies on GMO’s. I asked Nature’s Greens about GMO products and was very happy with their reply:

“We support sustainability by incorporating integrated pest management into our growing practices. Integrated pest management means we release beneficial insects into the growing area, and grow certain types of flowers to attract these beneficial insects. In addition, our products are bred using traditional breeding methods and they are not genetically modified.”

Nature’s Greens are available in at Hannaford, Wegmans, Whole Foods and Wal Mart, they’re available in one and two pound packages, and available year round. They’re produced by WP Rawl, a leading producer of fresh bulk and packaged greens based in Pelion, SC.

· Visit www.rawl.net for recipes

· Like Nature’s Greens on WP Rawls’ Facebook at www.facebook.com/wprawl to stay connected

Bratwurst and Apple Kale Kraut Sandwiches

I was thinking about my German heritage. I don’t have any family recipes from that side, my dad’s side. His grandmother did all of the cooking when he was a kid--his mom? Zero. Zilch. Her idea of cooking was not to cook. And my dad never thought to carry on with his grandmother’s recipes--he was just a kid. To hear him talk about her cooking, though--my great grandmother and I would have been like two peas in a pod.

I was thinking about kale, and then Bratwurst came to mind. We love sausage and pepper sandwiches, so what if I could make a twist on those? Yeah, why not?! Since the Brats were going to simmer in hard apple cider, why not go that route and make an apple-onion-kale type kraut to serve with them? It worked beautifully! These are so different and delicious. Funny, we went to an Oktoberfest last month that was catered. THE most bland food I’ve ever had. When I got the “how did you like us” survey in an email? I told them I could cook circles around their caterer--and I just did. His brats and kraut were dismal. These are not!

Bratwurst and Apple Kale Kraut Sandwiches

Makes 5 servings

1 package of original style Bratwurst (I had a pack of 5)
2 - 12 oz. Hard Apple Ciders (I always have Woodchuck on hand, so I used that)
1 medium onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced thinly
2 apples, peeled and sliced thinly (I used Macouns, but use what you have - just not too soft of an apple)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
oil for sautéing
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 - 3 pinches ground cloves
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 cups Nature's Greens Kale

Rolls for serving the Brats on
Coarse pub-style mustard

Bring the two ciders to a low boil in a medium sized pot. Poke just a couple of holes in each brat and add them to the cider. Reduce to simmer and let them go for 12 minutes. Remove from the cider and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat a bit of oil--just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Finish the brats by browning them on all sides, about 2 minutes or so per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Using the oil that's still in the pan, sauté the onions and apples for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the garlic, a bit of salt and pepper, the cinnamon, cloves, honey, vinegar and kale. Cook for just a few more minutes, until the kale is wilted and everything is mixed together well. Taste for seasonings and adjust.

Spread some of the mustard inside the buns, add some of the apple-kale-onion kraut, and a brat to each bun.

  • These are incredibly simple to make. From a quick weeknight dinner to just before the game, you’ll be eating in no time. Tailgating? Try these this weekend and give your friends something different to eat!
  • I made these this morning and didn’t know if I’d want to eat one so early in the day after photographing it, but I could not stop going back for just one more bite. I ate the whole damn thing, and loved every single bite. In fact, the leftovers are for dinner tonight and I can’t wait to have more!
  • I think my great grandmother would have loved these. I know my dad will, and I can’t wait to share.
  • Oh! The kraut would be a nice side dish to any pork dinner, as well!

Now, go enter the contest! Dig down into your family heritage and twist those recipes up with some greens from Nature’s Greens and Rawl! Once again, one grand prize winner will win a trip for two to Myrtle Beach or Charleston, SC for a two night hotel stay--plus $1,000 in spending money from Rawl/Nature’s Greens! Hurry up!

Bratwurst and Apple Kale Kraut Sandwiches

Monday
Sep302013

Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta

Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta

My previous recipe for 30 Days of Family Health was, if you recall, all about the cooler weather and comfort food. This one is comfort food, as well, but focuses on that bountiful harvest from the garden that’s happening right now.

We’ve all got zucchini and summer squash up to our ears. Red bell peppers? Check. Red onions? If you’re lucky! Eggplant? If you’re really lucky! Tomatoes? I hope so! Basil? Yeah, we’ve all got basil lying around that needs to be used up before the first frost. Take those vegetables that you’ve got staring you down in the crisper drawer, and make Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta.

It’s so simple to make. You can chop the veggies and have them ready to marinate in under ten minutes. You don’t even have to peel any of them! I let mine marinate for just under an hour and they were full of flavor and ready to go into the oven. They marinate in a very simple mix of balsamic vinegar and a fruity olive oil. Easy! The recipe also makes a lot, so even after using up three servings, I’ve got enough roasted vegetables left to make great roasted veggie pizza, or toss some of them on top of a focaccia, have some fantastic roasted veggie sandwiches, or even puree them into a pasta sauce or soup.

This week, we’re cooking from The American Diabetes Association Vegetarian Cookbook, by Chef Steven Petusevsky. Once again, there were so many wonderful recipes to choose from, but I couldn’t get away from the one on the cover. That’s right, the Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta. It was calling my name. I’m so happy that it was calling to me, because we loved it. I served it with curly elbow-type noodles, and paired with the roasted vegetables, it made for a very hearty meal.

We’re winding down now on our month-long celebration of "30 Days of Family Health,” sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). We’ve been doing this all month, and I do hope you’ve been following along!

As you know, the best prevention for diabetes starts early in life, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing good habits at a young age. There are twelve bloggers promoting this healthy message for the month of September, so there is no shortage of recipe ideas brought to you by the ADA and some very talented cookbook authors! All you have to do is follow along and enjoy the ride. Check out Kitchen PLAY to get all of the latest details, links and recipes.

Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta

Makes 6 servings

If any of these vegetables are out of season, feel free to use whatever is local and fresh.

1 medium red pepper, large 1-inch dice
2 medium zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 small eggplant with peel, large 1-inch dice
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch-wide wedges
1/3 cup good-quality extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine or balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and ground pepper
to taste
1 tomato, cut into wedges
1 bunch fresh basil, coarsely chopped (about 3 ounces)
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 pound dried spaghetti or shaped pasta, cooked according to package directions

1. Combine all ingredients except tomatoes, basil, olives, and pasta
in a nonreactive container. Cover and marinate at least 1 hour at
room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Preheat oven to 450ºF. Place all vegetables except tomatoes
and basil in a nonreactive roasting pan. Roast 20 minutes or until
almost tender, turning occasionally.

3. Add tomato wedges and roast 5 minutes longer. Add basil and
olives and season with salt. Serve vegetables over or tossed into
pasta.

EXCHANGES/CHOICES

3 1/2 Starch | 3 Vegetable | 3 Fat
Calories 505 | Calories from Fat 160 | Total Fat 18.0 g | Saturated Fat 2.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g | Cholesterol 0 mg | Sodium 195 mg | Potassium 720 mg
Total Carbohydrate 73 g | Dietary Fiber 8 g | Sugars 9 g | Protein 13 g
Phosphorus 195 mg

All of the cookbooks highlighted this month are available in the ADA catalog. You can shop there now and receive a 25% discount on all books until October 4th, 2013! The discount code is KITCHEN2013. Remember, check out Kitchen PLAY for more links from the past month, and thank you for following along on this journey of 30 Days of Family Health. I hope that you’ve gotten some great ideas and discovered that healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland and boring. It’s exciting, fresh and delicious!

*This post is sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.

Garden Party Roast Vegetables with Pasta

Monday
Sep162013

Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew

 

Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew

 

Beef stew is one of my all time favorite comfort foods. Luckily, we’re just hitting our stride here in New England with cooler evenings. For me, that means stews, soups and all things comforting are going to start showing up in my weekly menu planning. When it was time to choose a recipe from this week’s American Diabetes Association (ADA) cookbook, it didn’t take me very long to decide. Home Style Beef Burgundy Stew. For me! Well, I’ll share, but it makes me very happy. I love it!

We’ve got tender beef cubes, sweet carrots and silky potatoes happening here. As for seasonings, there was one I’d never used in beef stew before--Allspice! Say what? Yes, Allspice. I didn’t question, I went with it. Upon first taste of the finished stew, I was sold. It’s a lovely flavor in this stew, and very fitting for the fall season. It’s warm and cozy.

This week we’re cooking from Nancy Hughes’ cookbook Gluten-Free Recipes for People with Diabetes. There are so many recipes in this book I want to try, as in the last book we highlighted. It’s a gluten-free cookbook, but unless you actually told someone you were feeding them gluten-free food, they likely wouldn’t know. The idea is: spotlight the stars of the recipe you’re enjoying instead of talking about what you’ve left out or made a substitution for.

As I said in my previous post, for the month of September, we’re celebrating "30 Days of Family Health,” sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The best prevention for diabetes starts early in life, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing good habits at a young age. There are twelve bloggers helping to promote this healthy message for the month of September, so there will be no shortage of recipe ideas brought to you by the ADA and some very talented cookbook authors! All you have to do is follow along and enjoy the ride. Check out Kitchen PLAY to get all of the latest details, links and recipes.

Home-Style Burgundy Beef Stew

Serves 4 • Serving Size: 1 1/4 cups • Makes 5 cups

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 pound lean boneless chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped onion
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces whole mushrooms
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
2 packets sodium-free, gluten-free beef bouillon granules
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 medium carrots, scrubbed, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces (8 ounces total)
12 ounces russet potatoes, peeled (optional), and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown half of the beef; set aside on separate plate. Repeat with 1 teaspoon of the oil and remaining beef; set aside. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan residue, cook the onions and garlic 3 minutes or until onions are brown on edges.

2. Stir in the mushrooms, water, wine, Worcestershire, sugar, bouillon, allspice, and return the beef to the onions in the Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes.

3. Stir in the carrots and potatoes, cover, and cook 45 minutes or until beef is tender.

For a thicker consistency, using a potato masher or large slotted spoon, mash some of the potatoes and carrots. This technique also adds flavor as well as thickness.

NOTE: There is no mention of the ¾ teaspoon of salt in the recipe directions, but I assume it’s added at the end when you taste and adjust for seasonings.

EXCHANGES/FOOD CHOICES

1 Starch, 2 Vegetable, 2 Lean Meat, 1 Fat

BASIC NUTRITIONAL VALUES:

Calories 255
Calories from Fat 70
Total Fat 8.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 50 mg
Sodium 540 mg
Potassium 1025 mg
Total Carbohydrate 25 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 7 g
Protein 21 g
Phosphorus 250 mg


There will be other cookbooks highlighted this month that are available in the ADA catalog. You can shop there now and receive a 25% discount on all books until October 4th, 2013! The discount code is KITCHEN2013. Remember, follow along at Kitchen PLAY for more links all month long, and stay tuned to this space for two more 30 Days of Family Health this month.

*This post is sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.

Tuesday
Sep032013

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

We all need more ideas for quick, healthy dinners, don’t we? I feel like I can never have too many recipes that I can  get on the table in just about a half an hour--especially now that it’s back to school time. We’re all so busy, but we still want to get good, home cooked food into our bellies!

For the month of September, we’re celebrating "30 Days of Family Health,” sponsored by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). The focus here is that the best prevention for diabetes starts early in life, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle and developing good habits at a young age. There are twelve bloggers helping to promote this healthy message for the month of September, so there will be no shortage of recipe ideas brought to you by the ADA and some very talented cookbook authors! All you have to do is follow along and enjoy the ride. Check out Kitchen PLAY to get all of the latest details, links and recipes.

One of the most reasonably priced cuts of meat that I can get at my local grocery store is boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and this recipe utilizes them beautifully and quickly. As a bonus, there are very few ingredients. It’s basically chicken thighs served in a sweet/tangy sauce made up of Port Wine, Apricot Preserves and Dijon Mustard. As I was looking through The Smart Shopper Diabetes Cookbook by Robyn Webb, it struck me that the Winter Squash Polenta would be the perfect recipe to contrast with the sweetness of the sauce from the chicken. I was right! These two recipes are made for each other. I added some simple sautéed sliced summer squash and zucchini to the plate and we were ready to dig in. (If you’re following a strict diet and guidelines from the ADA, you may want to use a vegetable side dish recipe from one of their approved cookbooks to track the exact nutritional info.)

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

CHICKEN THIGHS IN APRICOT PORT MUSTARD GLAZE

Servings: 4 Serving Size: 4 ounces Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup no-sugar-added apricot preserves

1/4 cup ruby port wine

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and sear on both sides for about 6–7 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet, add to a plate, and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and add the garlic. Sauté the garlic on medium heat for 1 minute. Mix together the preserves, port, and mustard and add to the garlic. Lower the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add back the chicken, nestle the chicken in the sauce, and cook on low heat for 1–2 minutes.

Exchanges/Choices

1/2 Carbohydrate
3 Lean Meat
1 Fat
Calories 215
Calories from Fat 100
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 2.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 105 mg
Sodium 370 mg
Potassium 255 mg
Total Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 19 g
Phosphorus 175 mg

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

Note: Because I averted from the following recipe for the Winter Squash Polenta by leaving out the Parmesan cheese, that would be a variation on an ADA-approved recipe, and not sanctioned by the ADA. Each recipe in all of the ADA’s cookbooks goes through a strict review process to ensure that they adhere to the nutritional guidelines for people with diabetes. The nutritional info below the recipe (as well as the recipe itself) reflects the entire recipe from the book, with the cheese.

WINTER SQUASH POLENTA

Servings: 4 Serving Size: ⅔ cup Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes

To serve this with the Apricot Port Mustard Glazed Chicken above, I left out the Parmesan cheese, but you can feel free to add it if you wish. Of course, leaving out the Parmesan cheese would change the nutritional information below slightly.

4 cups water

1 cup coarse Polenta

½ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup thawed frozen winter squash puree

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

Garnish: ¼ cup grated fresh parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the polenta, salt and pepper and whisk on medium-low heat until the polenta is thickened and comes away from the sides of the pan, about 15 minutes.

Add in the winter squash and maple syrup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with the Parmesan cheese.

Exchanges/Choices

2 ½ Starch
Calories 185
Calories from Fat 15
Total Fat 1.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.8 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 380 mg
Potassium 145 mg
Total Carbohydrate 36 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Sugars 4 g
Protein 5 g
Phosphorus 75 mg

There will be many cookbooks highlighted this month that are available in the ADA catalog. You can shop there now and receive a 25% discount on all books until October 4th, 2013! The discount code is KITCHEN2013. Remember, follow along at Kitchen PLAY for more links all month long, and stay tuned to this space for two more 30 Days of Family Health this month.

*This post is sponsored by the ADA in conjunction with Kitchen PLAY.

Chicken Thighs in Apricot Port Mustard Glaze with Winter Squash Polenta

Monday
Aug122013

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

I’m in love with this frittata! I’ve made them once or twice before, but they never really thrilled me. This one does. Last week, Billy wanted “some kind of eggs” with mushrooms and tomatoes. Um, okay… That could end up being very boring. But not this way! Trying to avoid another boring frittata, I’ve added diced potatoes, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions, and also some thyme, tarragon and garlic. It’s so full of flavor! Season at each cooking step and you can’t get anything but lots of flavor.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

I’m working against the clock here, but if I finish this post today, this will be a great recipe for Meatless Monday.

This frittata is made in a 9 x 13 inch pan. You know what that means. Leftovers! I can vouch for this being just as delicious the next day. It could also mean that this recipe is good for when you need to feed more than a few people. I cut ours into eight squares. You could certainly cut them smaller if you were putting them out for a brunch buffet or even a holiday breakfast.

Now let’s get to the recipe. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating. This “recipe” is a guideline. I love it as is, but if you absolutely hate one of the ingredients, go ahead and substitute something else. No big deal! If you’re adding in a watery vegetable, it’s a good idea to sauté it first and get the extra liquid out so you don’t have a watery frittata. Do you want to add some sausage, ham or bacon? Be my guest! In fact, those would be wonderful additions. Want to switch cheeses? Do it! No matter how you make it, it’s a hearty meal.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata
Makes a 9 x 13 pan

12-15 small potatoes, diced in about 1/2 inch chunks
Olive oil, for sautéing vegetables
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 pound sliced baby Portabella mushrooms (or your favorite)
5-6 green onions, sliced (both white and green parts)
6 -7 ounces grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 large garlic clove, minced
Pinch of dried thyme
Pinch of dried tarragon
1 dozen large eggs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half
Crumbled feta cheese, enough to sprinkle over the entire frittata (I used the better part of a 12 oz container. Because I love cheeeese.)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9 x 13 pan with foil, lightly grease, and set aside.

Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a skillet that has a lid on medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and sprinkle in some salt and pepper to season them. Let them sit without stirring for a few minutes to let them get brown on the bottoms. Sauté for about 5 minutes total, reduce heat and cover for about 3 minutes, then stir and give them about 3 more minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.

When the potatoes are done, pour them in the prepared 9 x 13 pan, spreading them all over.

In the same skillet, add a little more oil and then add the mushrooms, green onions, tomatoes, garlic, a couple pinches salt and pepper, the thyme and the tarragon. Cook until the vegetables are cooked down, about 8-10 minutes or so. When they're done, pour them over the potatoes in the pan. Again, try to get some everywhere in the pan so you get some in every bite.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, parmesan cheese, half and half, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Whisk it all up well! Pour over the vegetables and potatoes in the pan. Top with feta cheese.

Bake for 40-45 minutes. It's done when you stick a knife in the center and it comes out clean. Mine was done at 40 minutes, so start checking then.

Flavorful Potato Veggie Frittata