Suburban Pioneers

The Adventures and Misadventures of Homesteading in 21st-Century America

Lauren: Squashpuppies: A Yellow Squash Recipe June 23, 2014

Filed under: Food & Cooking,Gardens & Compost,Real Food,Vegetarian Dinner,Veggies — lkcook20 @ 6:23 pm
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I have to admit that I don’t love yellow squash. It’s okay, but it doesn’t come close to how I feel about asparagus or beets.

But I love this yellow squashpuppies recipe, probably because it isn’t super healthy and you can’t really taste the yellow squash. Ha ha. Oh well. It’s super delicious!

Ingredients:

4 cups of oil (I used olive oil)

3-4 yellow squash, sliced (You’ll end up using 2 c. the squash puree)

2 eggs beaten

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour or 1 3/4 c. cup freshly-milled flour

1/3 c. cornmeal

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 1/3 tbsp. oil

2 tsp minced onion

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 c. cheese

 

Directions: 

1. Heat oil to 375 degrees in a small pot. (It takes a little longer to cook all of the squashpuppies in a small pot, but you can use less oil.)

2. Place squash in saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Simmer ten minutes, or until tender. Drain and puree. Let cool.

3. In a small bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, onion, garlic powder, and cheese. In a medium bowl, mix 2 c. of squash puree with the eggs. Add the dry mixture into the wet.

4. Drop by rounded spoonfuls into the hot oil. (It’s okay if the batter is a little on the runny side.) Cook until they are brown and crisp on one side. It should only take a couple minutes, then flip. Once they are brown and crisp on both sides, remove, and drain on paper towels.

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Sarah: Quick Tomato Soup May 28, 2014

1. Saute yummy vegetables and spices together in olive oil.

1. Saute yummy vegetables and spices together in olive oil.

A few years ago, my sister and I were at the store and grabbed a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, thinking we’d have a quick dinner together.  When we heated the soup later, we were sadly disillusioned.  I hadn’t expected to be able to taste the high fructose corn syrup that Campbell’s had (inexplicably) added.

We tried seasoning it, but in the end we had to give up: the soup of our childhood did not taste anything like we remembered.

Giving up Campbell’s tomato soup was easy since it wasn’t even edible to me.  However, giving up tomato soup in general was impossible–it’s the best thing ever with grilled cheese.  So here’s a quick recipe that doesn’t involve long cooking times, roasting tomatoes or red peppers, or doing any other sort of elaborate cooking. I’m sure you can find more delicious recipes out there, but this is a good, basic, and fast way to have soup without having to buy the high-fructose-corn-syrup version.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-5 tomatoes, chopped
1 32 oz. can tomatoes (I like the diced ones)
a splash of broth (chicken or veggie)
Italian seasoning to taste
salt & pepper to taste

2.  Add the liquid ingredients to make the soup base.

2. Add the liquid ingredients to make the soup base.

Directions:

  1. Sauté onion in olive oil until translucent (about 2-3 minutes).  Add in garlic, then tomatoes and Italian seasoning, and sauté another minute or so (sautéing your spices makes even dried spices far more flavorful, and it means you don’t have to later simmer the soup quite as long).
  2. Just before the veggies start to stick, dump in can of tomatoes.
  3. Add broth and salt/pepper.
  4. If you, like Campbell’s, feel the need to sweeten your soup, you can add about a teaspoon of sugar, but please don’t overdo it!  I don’t find I really miss the sugar, and it’s just extra calories that I don’t need.
  5. Allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the flavors mix together.
  6. Blend with a handheld blender (also called a stick blender or immersion blender–if there was one kitchen appliance I could take to a desert island, it would be my handheld blender).
  7. Serve with grilled cheese.
3. Simmer, blend with handheld blender, and serve with grilled cheese!

3. Simmer, blend with handheld blender, and serve with grilled cheese!

 

Sarah: Egg Drop Soup May 18, 2014

Filed under: Eat-In May,Food & Cooking,Soups,Veggies — suburbanpioneers @ 3:29 am
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Friday night dinner: rice wraps filled with chicken and veggies, rice, and egg drop soup.

Friday night dinner: rice wraps filled with chicken and veggies, rice, and egg drop soup.

 

One difficult thing for me about eating in all month is that, while I’m pretty good at cooking pastas, vegetable soups, and frittatas, I don’t know much about ethnic cooking, and I really miss going out for Thai or Chinese or Nepalese.

 

However, there is an exception: egg drop soup is so easy to make that even I can’t mess it up.  Keith went ahead and grilled some chicken with a little hoisin sauce, and, since I was waiting for him to finish the chicken and we had leftover veggies, I decided we should just go all out and have rice wraps with chicken and veggies to go with our soup.  It was a feast outside my usual repertoire, which was a welcome change for us all!

 

 

 

 

Easy Egg Drop Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups chicken broth (you could use veggie if you’re going vegetarian, but it won’t taste like restaurant egg drop soup)
4 eggs
1/4-1/2 tsp. sesame oil (to taste)
salt & pepper (to taste)
green onions (optional–I didn’t have any, so the soup went without)

Directions:

1.  Bring chicken broth to a boil; add in sesame oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

1. Bring chicken broth to a boil; add in sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

2.  Crack eggs and gently break up the yolks with a fork (no vigorous beating, folks).

2. Crack eggs and gently break up the yolks with a fork (no vigorous beating, folks).

3.  Turn down heat on the broth and slowly pour eggs into it, stirring in circles with a fork until the eggs are distributed in streamers through the soup.  Top with green onions if desired.

3. Turn down heat on the broth and slowly pour eggs into it, stirring in circles with a fork until the eggs are distributed in streamers through the soup. Top with green onions if desired.

In case you’re wondering about the rice wraps, these can be found at most major grocery stores (King Sooper’s or Kroger carries them) or at Asian markets.  They’re just sheets of dehydrated rice starch, but if you dip them in hot water and fill them with veggies or meat, they’re the perfect vehicle for a healthy and delicious meal!  We like to have hoisin sauce and plum sauce on hand (also easily found at major grocery stores) to add a little flavor.

Look for these--you can make spring rolls, or you can fill with meat, veggies, or tofu!

Look for these–you can make spring rolls, or you can fill with meat, veggies, or tofu!

Some of our favorite fillings: cilantro, peppers, avocado, spinach, steamed veggies, or chicken.

Some of our favorite fillings: cilantro, peppers, avocado, spinach, steamed veggies, or chicken.

Boil water in the kettle, pour into a bowl, and then dunk the rice sheets in--you don't need to leave them in.  Just a quick dip and then put it on your plate.

Boil water in the kettle, pour into a bowl, and then dunk the rice sheets in–you don’t need to leave them in. Just a quick dip and then put it on your plate.

Pile on the fillings and fold two sides over, then roll the rest.

Pile on the fillings and fold two sides over, then roll the rest.

Ta da! Don't forget to dip it in sauce!

Ta da! Don’t forget to dip it in sauce!

 

Lauren: The Best Sauteed Fresh Corn Recipe: the taste of grilled corn on the cob in a fraction of the time July 23, 2013

Filed under: Food & Cooking,Veggies — lkcook20 @ 11:30 am
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I don’t know about you, but I have not mastered the art of grilling corn. We’ve tried leaving the husks on, taking them off, wrapping them in foil and found that it is just so hard to predict the precise moment they are done. And sometimes they end up burned which is such a waste because I love the taste of grilled corn on the cob.

And then I discovered the awesomeness of sauteed fresh corn. How did it take me so long?

It was like the scene from Sleepless in Seattle when Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks finally meet on the top of the Empire State Building: perfect and a long time coming. They stare into each other’s eyes and just know. Cue happy, emotional music.

Sauteed fresh corn is that good.

Our story: I needed something to do with all the fresh corn we get from our CSA (community supported agriculture) program. Side note: I highly recommend CSA’s. When we pick up our box of local fresh produce, it seriously feels like Christmas every week. Some weeks our present is a bushel of corn. That’s 45 ears! We give some away, freeze some, and one day I decided to slice the kernels off and saute them. The idea just came to me. Then it was love at first bite and the rest is, as they say, history.

It’s so easy I feel weird calling it a recipe. So here’s the “recipe”:

Ingredients:

1-2 ears of corn per person

1 tbsp of butter per 3-4 ears of corn (or more or less to taste)

Kosher salt to taste

Directions:

1. Remove husks and silks from the corn cob.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet. DSCN17873, Slice off kernels with a knife (remember to cut away from you!) into a bowl or right into the skillet.DSCN1791

4. Saute over medium heat for about 8 minutes. Add salt. Salivate, then enjoy! DSCN1792

 

5 Reason It’s So Good: 

1. It still maintains its fresh crunch. Canned corn cannot compete.

2. You can taste the butter and salt in every bite.

3. It’s the taste of grilled corn in a fraction of the time!

4. You can eat more of it because you can pile giant heapings on your spoon instead of trying to maneuver around a cob.

5. You can avoid the debate of whether it’s better and more efficient to eat in rows across the ear of corn or to go around in circles. My husband claims his family tested it one time and the circle method was far superior time-wise. I’m not convinced and think maybe he’s been reading too much Cheaper by the Dozen. But anyway, if you saute your corn, you can avoid that argument. That’s right, I’m claiming that sauteed fresh corn is better for your marriage. It doesn’t get any better than that.

 

 
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