beetroot pasta with braised kale & spicy sausage.

looking back at all of the possibilities i could have chosen from for a first time experience, beetroot pasta was quite honestly probably a questionable place to start. i could have gone with spinach dough or even plain. plain pasta. how come i didn’t think to do simple & plain?

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i had found a pretty incredible recipe on delicious shots and just had to test it out. peeling the beets was my least favorite part and it led to heaps of red-stained messes all over the place. since that time, i have had friends tell me that i should definitely use non-latex gloves next time. good to know. i was prepared for everything but the beet peeling, as you can so clearly see here.

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i didn’t have any foil on hand and so i followed instructions online & roasted the beets at 400°F for about forty minutes without any foil, which worked perfectly. you can find the specific instructions i used right here.

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around christmas time, my grandfather on my dad’s side had given me my great grandmother suzanna’s pasta maker [you know, from way back when] and i have been wanting to put it to use since.

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i did portion my noodles out, similarly to what you will find on the delicious shots blog — as i thought this would make it easier in the end when boiling. however, after portioning i changed my mind a bit and decided to dry the noodles for a while first before cooking. having them in piles like this sort of caused me a sticky mess and i wound up having to re-roll, flatten & cut all of the noodles a second time which was quicker than untangling the piles of knotted soft dough. **oh! while i am giving you a few pointers here, or more so ‘what not to do’s. . . .’ i’d like to mention that you could so easily leave the sausage out of this meal & make it vegetarian!! i almost did and actually in the end, preferred it without the meat [as i do most meals].

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in this recipe from delicious shots, she explains that she had some leftover braised kale which was used for the ‘sauce’ and i don’t think anything could have paired more nicely with the noodles. it was utterly delicious. even the kids, who question out-of-the-ordinary meals full of vegetables, liked it a lot!

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and voila! ‘it’s spaghetti time!’ the finished meal was absolutely delicious and i have the link for the recipe listed just below. pasta making is super time consuming but honestly, a whole lot easier than i ever imagined and in this particular recipe, she has all of the steps listed out very clearly, making it practically fool-proof [right? ;)]. it is especially simple if you have a machine to do the flattening & cutting for you so that the noodles all turn out uniform! you should certainly give this recipe a go and check out her other tasty food blog recipes while you’re at it! xx.

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recipe courtesy — delicious shots.

spicy, vegan sweet potato and green rice burrito bowls.

these spicy, vegan sweet potato and green rice burrito bowls from cookie + kate were dinner for our family on a recent night when i was still experiencing those meatless meal cravings. these were utterly delicious!

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and so easy to make. while the potatoes were roasting i worked on the rice & beans. i used a mixture of jewel yams, garnet yams & sweet potatoes in mine.

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i seriously feel like whenever i make vegetarian or vegan meals or treats. . . .which is quite frequently these days — i am then having to talk the entire family into eating said food. you would think there were disgusting meat pieces in there or something. [ha!] recipe link is posted below! xx.

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recipe courtesy — cookie + kate.

vegan chili with cashew [sour] cream.

i’ve been on a long-lasting vegan kick as of late. i went vegetarian for over two years. and then i had another six month period where i wasn’t eating any meat a few years ago. most of the time now, i pick at everything on my dinner plate until i have nothing left but meat and that winds up going into the garbage. i really hate it. sometimes i just crave food without the meat and without the dairy. i want to eat things without having to think disgusting thoughts like how those things probably came from a weird, sad place. the family always tells me they don’t mind when i make meat-less/dairy-less dishes — but i know otherwise. i see the kids with their weird faces when i place the meals in front of them. i make them all eat it anyway. 🙂

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this vegan chili is the best chili i have possibly ever tasted. ever. and the cashew [sour] cream — don’t skip that extra step! i soaked my cashews using the quick-soak method because i didn’t have an extra day to spare but if you read this ahead of time, soak them overnight.

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this recipe is perfect. i did not seed the jalapeños & the chili had just the right amount of spice, even for the kids. recipe link listed below! xx.

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recipe courtesy — oh she glows.

 

krautbergers.

if you recall last fall, i went out to a local farm with a good friend of mine and she & i picked vegetables like mad.

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i brought home the largest head of cabbage either of us had ever laid eyes on. it was seriously three times larger than any typical head you would find in the market.

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i figured it would be perfect for making krautbergers. tons of krautbergers. like so, so many i had to freeze them.

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i forget now how many cups of chopped cabbage that one head made up but it was utterly ridiculous.

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i was named after my great grandmother suzanna. she traveled here from germany after leaving russia and she & my great grandfather henry hardly spoke much english. heinz is my maiden name & i have grown a serious appreciation for both my middle name and my last name after learning about all of the family history and hearing stories of what an incredible woman my great grandmother was. my great, great grandmother taught her how to make krautbergers — and our entire family has been making them as far back as i am able to recall. so i wanted to share these on the blog. it’s the most basic recipe. really. but it’s how they made them for years & it’s how i was taught. i know many people like to add {jalapeño} peppers and cheese to their krautbergers but i didn’t grow up eating them that way. if you enjoy other things in yours, please add to this recipe as it is only a base!

2 lb. grass-fed ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 head of cabbage, washed well & chopped

salt & pepper to taste [i usually wind up having to split the recipe between two med/lg stock pots because it makes so much and i use 1 tsp. sea salt & 1 tsp. coarse black pepper/pot]

dough mix — sadly, i do not have the dough recipe that my grandmother originally used. over the years, i have found one that is very suitable to what i think a krautberger should be made with. i have attached a link at the bottom of the page for my absolute favorite homemade dough recipe when making krautbergers. it is the best.

**keep in mind that the recipe yields a large amount of dough so you may want to scale it down before starting depending on how many krautbergers you plan to make.

**i highly recommend making the dough well-ahead of time before you plan on starting the krautberger mixture, as the dough takes a couple of hours.

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in a large pot, brown the ground beef until cooked thoroughly. drain well. return to pan & to the beef add the chopped onion. cook 3-5 minutes more. add the chopped cabbage and stir until evenly incorporated throughout. add seasoning to taste. continue cooking for an additional 30 minutes over low-medium heat. adjust seasonings at this point if needed. roll out squares of dough & fill with a couple Tbsp. of the krautberger mixture [trying not to wet the edges of the dough].

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fold up the four corners, crimp the edges together tightly, closing the pocket & forming a square. flip over into a baking dish lined with parchment paper.

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at this stage you can either butter the tops, use an egg wash or simply leave them as is. i have tried everything. and they all turn out equally well. the ones photographed below were actually my first time using an egg wash {last fall}. they came out looking completely different and less puffy than how my krautbergers typically look. the spreading could definitely be due to my using a cookie sheet instead of a 9×13 baking dish {which was also a first & a mistake}. happy bergering! xx.

dough recipe — hot roll mix.

minestrone soup with dill.

my friend invited me to go with her out to a local farm to pick vegetables. actually, it was more like digging. yeah, we dug up those tasty vegetables.

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it was one of the funnest experiences i have ever had. there is something about working hard for the food we put into our bodies & taking pride in eating things that are local and good-for-us-foods. there were rows upon rows of brilliantly vivid rainbow chard, fields of fresh dill and mountains of onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, brussel sprouts, baking pumpkins, leeks & potatoes.

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we went around to several different fields and somewhat had to fend for ourselves when it came to figuring out what was what. however, it was such a wonderful opportunity to learn what all of the different vegetables looked like while they were still growing in the ground.

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i came home hauling in bags that were overflowing with greens. i hadn’t really thought about what would happen once i got home. genius. the vegetables would all need a thorough scrubbing. many of them, in fact nearly all, still had the roots in tact & dirt and bugs were making their way into my house along with all of the plants.

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it took several sink loads full of vinegar baths to wash all of the vegetables. after they were all washed i began cooking. i had a few things in mind while i was picking — it wasn’t all completely blind. like i found the largest head of cabbage i had ever seen. and although my photos won’t do it justice, i assume my telling you that this one head made over 35 C. of chopped cabbage will. i grabbed that specifically for krautbergers. a family tradition. on my side. there will be an entirely separate post about those so i will stick to the soup for now! a few days in to this cooking process, i wanted to make a minestrone soup. so many of the vegetables that i had picked specifically for it were perfect, as well as any leftovers i may have had that i was not particularly planning on using for any meals. i threw them all in. nearly everything i had left. minestrone is such a lovely soup because you can use whichever vegetables may be in season. it’s incredibly flexible in that regard.

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in the end, i was left with additional carrots that wound up being enough for a double batch of carrot cupcakes [enough for my husband to take two dozen in to his office, me to bake a cake for my grandparents, a dozen for us to have at home & then another dozen for rigby eleanor to rip from the counter top and eat all to himself while i wasn’t home — wrappers and all. yes, he figured out how to open my cupcake container. no, there weren’t any crumbs left on the carpet. he has become quite fond of my baked goods when they’re left about for him to snatch up. it’s a problem.] okay, on to the soup! you get it; i used every. last. vegetable.

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minestrone soup with dill {makes 12-14 servings}

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 large red onion, washed properly & diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 medium leeks, trimmed, washed very well & sliced — make sure you wash in between all of those tiny crevasses! there are bugs & dirt lurking in shadows of leeks. i’m not joking.

4 medium turnips, washed up properly & diced

1/2 stalk celery [5-6 ribs], washed up properly & sliced thinly — let me clarify: [definitions for celery have become quite blurry these days – but in any of my recipes single sticks will be listed as ribs and an entire head will always be referred to as a stalk. **ahem** which is how it should be in all recipes, might i add. a stalk or a bunch. seriously. read about it.]

3 large carrots, washed properly & chopped

2 large red potatoes, washed & diced [i do not ever peel my potatoes. however, if this is something you prefer — peel, peel, peel!]

1/2 C. dry red wine

1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand. watch out! if you squeeze them too quickly, juices will be flying. everywhere. if you are opposed to using canned shite as i often times am, fresh tomatoes could so easily be used in place here!

8 C. low-sodium stock|broth [i prefer low-sodium organic vegetable broth for this soup. however, you could use organic free-range chicken broth or organic beef broth if you prefer]

2 C. cooked navy or northern beans

1 C. kale, washed well & chopped finely

1 C. your favorite tiny pasta {optional} i used a gluten-free, wheat free orzo in my soup but you could use in place tubetti or mini farfalle or any type of small elbow.

1 tsp. fresh dill, chopped

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 tsp. fresh basil, chopped

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/2 tsp. dried rosemary

2 fresh bay leaves

sea salt + freshly cracked black pepper, to taste [i used 1 tsp. salt & 3/4 tsp. pepper]

one wedge of parmigiano-reggiano for grating|topping {optional}

flat-leaf parsley, washed & chopped for garnish {optional}

super simple. you will need a very large stock|soup pot. heat olive oil until glistening. add onions, garlic & leeks and cook until fragrant [3-5 minutes]. add turnips, celery, carrots & red potatoes. continue cooking until potatoes & carrots have softened a bit and the veggies have had time to sweat [8-10 minutes]. add the red wine and let it reduce. add the crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. add the broth as well as all herbs, spices, salt & pepper except for the fresh basil & dill. reserve those for the end! let the soup simmer for 30 minutes more. add to the soup the beans & kale and continue cooking for 20 minutes. 10 minutes before serving, add pasta & fresh herbs. top with parmigiano-reggiano & flat-leaf parsley. xx

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hearty winter potato & leek soup.

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i was serving a large dinner party – so this recipe yields roughly 16-20 servings or two large pots of soup. the recipe could very easily be halved to make one large pot of soup or even quartered if you want to make just a few servings. i froze the additional soup that we had leftover at the end of the night. freezing is a great solution to cooking in excess as well! it’s really nice to have frozen meals on hand for busy evenings or days where the weather is drab & you don’t feel much like cooking.

i should add also that because i do not own one of those super awesome, gigantic stock pots that sits really tall – i had to resort to two large, shorter stock pots. meaning that if you are going to do the same thing as i, you will want to split these ingredients evenly/divide them between the two pots.

hearty winter potato & leek soup

1 large onion, rinsed & chopped

2 medium leeks, washed up properly & chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

10-12 medium russet potatoes, skin on, washed well & cut into small cubes

1 lb. bacon or bacon ends, cooked and cut into small pieces

16 C. [two 32 oz. containers] low-sodium, organic vegetable or free-range, organic chicken broth

1 stalk/head of celery, washed up properly & diced | let me clarify: [definitions for celery have become quite blurry these days – but in any of my recipes single sticks will be listed as ribs and an entire head will always be referred to as a stalk. **ahem** which is how it should be in all recipes, might i add. seriously. read about it.]

10 carrots, washed up properly & diced

1-2 hot pepper(s), washed up properly & diced, seeds left in or taken out is up to you in its entirety [i used a fairly large pepper (probably 4 inches in length, a hybrid of the pasilla chile pepper) from our garden that had some really nice heat. i left the seeds in for added spice. you could use a jalapeno here, any pepper(s) of choice, or simply omit it altogether if you can’t handle heat. however, it did add really nice flavor to the soup. and my children ate it which says something about the level of spiciness.]

1 tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. black pepper

2 C. whole milk [if you have 1% or 2% on hand, the world isn’t going to end – but whole will definitely be better]

4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 C. half-and-half [if you happen to have heavy cream lying around and no half-and-half on hand, again, the world isn’t going to end – you’ll just wind up with an even thicker soup in the end]

 

for topping (optional):

½ C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

½ bunch scallions, chopped

½ bunch fresh chives, chopped

 

in your soup pot(s), on medium/high heat cook bacon until crispy. remove bacon from pot(s), however, save some of the excess grease in there for the next step. wait for the bacon to cool before chopping into small pieces. set to the side for later use.

to the remaining bacon grease, add the chopped onion, leeks, garlic, celery, carrots, and hot pepper(s). let them sweat for a few minutes on medium/high heat, stirring occasionally.

add the diced potatoes, season it all with salt, pepper & anything else you may fancy that you think will make your soup the tastiest ever, and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes.

pour in all of the broth and bring to a boil for 12-15 minutes or until the potatoes and vegetables are tender.

with a whisk, blend flour into milk.

add milk/flour mixture and cook a few minutes longer.

at this point – you can follow my instructions in the next step, or, if you prefer a less creamy, more chunky soup, don’t and move on just below the blending directions to adding the cream. i highly recommend at least blending a small portion of your soup to thicken the consistency & add smoothness.

if you have never made a soup that needs to be blended, i like noshon.it’s guide to blending hot liquids. you can avoid explosions, burns & blending disasters by following the simple steps provided on their site.

if you’re lucky enough to own an immersion blender, give yourself a hard high-five and then use that incredible blender in the soup pot(s). i, however, do not and had to transfer half of each pot to my food processor. i prefer using the food processor over a blender in this step because it allows for more control over the consistency of the blended portion. i recommend blending half of the soup fairly well and then adding it back in. all recipes differ as to the amount you should blend. honestly, it’s just personal preference for texture & consistency. so do whatever you like best.

once part of the soup has been blended and mixed back in, you can add the half-and-half. if you prefer heavy cream to provide a more thick, heavy consistency, you can certainly use that in place of the half-and-half i have listed.

add half of the bacon to the soup directly and use the other half for garnish.

serve garnished with toppings of your choice [bacon, scallions, sharp cheddar, chives]. xx