"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~George Bernard Shaw

"Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time." ~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Thursday, December 23, 2010

XYZ-last of the ABC recipes

XYZ is for...... Christmas recipes, Yams  and Zest!

Above is the Olive Bread that Grace made.
It was very tasty! Thanks Grace!
This year I am trying out a variety of new recipes-
some are vegan and some vegetarian. We aren't
vegetarians per se, but we have found that the older
we get the less meat we eat the better we feel.
I am also including the revised Steamed Carrot Pudding
from my maternal Grandmother. No longer does it have
suet in it (yuck) -but just a bit of butter in place. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Quinoa Pilaf with Dried Cranberries
and Toasted Almonds
serves 3-4
1 T olive oil
4 scallions white and green parts separated
and thinly sliced
1 cup Quinoa rinsed and drained
2 cups low sodium veggie broth
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds
In medium nonstick skillet with a lid,
heat the oil over med heat. Add white parts
of onion and cook, stirring constantly for 1 min.
Add Quinoa and cook, stirring constantly
for 2 min until dry. Carefully add the broth,
cranberries, salt and pepper; bring to a boil
over high heat. Reduce heat to med low, cover
and simmer for about 20 min til liquid is asorbed.
Remove from heat, stir in almonds and reserved onion.
Cover and let stand for 5 min. Uncover and stir/toss
well to mix ingredients. Serve warm.


Brown Rice and Lentils
serves 4-6
3 1/2 cups low sodium veggie broth
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup lentils rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup brown rice
2 T olive oil
1T onion powder
( I am using 1/4 finely chopped onion)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
(I am using 2 finely chopped cloves of garlic)
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
In a medium pot bring all ingredients to a boil
over high heat. Reduce heat to med-low to low,
cover and simmer until rice/lentils are tender.
Stirring occasionally about 45 minutes.

Fiery Sweet Potatoes(Yams)
10-12 servings
Time about 2 hours
5 pounds sweet potatoes/yams
1 cup coconut milk
1T Thai red curry paste
1/2 c dark brown sugar
4 T unsalted butter
1 t salt
1. Heat oven to 375 F. Bake potatoes on a baking sheet
until very soft-about 1 hour. When cool enough to
handle, peel and mash.
2. Heat coconut milk with curry paste over low heat.
Mix coconut mixture, 1/2 the sugar, 1/2 the butter
and all the salt into the potatoes. Keep warm until
ready to serve or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
3. At least 30 min before serving, 
heat oven to 425 degrees F.
Put potatoes into baking dish, 
cover with foil and bake for 20 min.
Uncover potatoes, dot with remaing butter and sugar and
broil until brown and crusty on top, checking often so
they do not burn!!!!

Stuffed Winter Squash with Long Grain
and Wild Rice, Pecans and Cranberries
makes 4 main-dish servings
(or you can cut squash in 1/4's for 8 side sevings)
2 medium Delicata or Acorn squash- 1 1/2 pounds each
halved,seeds and membrane removed
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 T dry sherry
1 large garlic clove chopped
2 1/3 cup low sodium veggie broth
1 6oz package long-grain white and wild rice (3/4 cup)
(do not use seasoning packet)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup nuts* or sunflower seeds**
(*pecans,walnuts or slivered almonds)
(**use toasted sunflower seeds if some are allergic to nuts)
2 T chopped fresh Sage
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 425F (220c)
cut a small slice on bottom of squash halves
to keep from wobbling. Place squash cut sides down
in a shallow dish just big enough to hold all
in a single layer. Add about 1/2 inch of water, cover
and bake for about 30-45 min til fork tender. Remove
from oven, pour off water and turn cut sides up. Set aside.
Reduce oven temp to 350F (175c)
While squash is baking heat oil over med heat in medium
sauce pan. Add onion and cook stirring til soft about 3 min,
 add sherry and garlic-increase heat to high-cook stirring constantly til sherry has evaporated about 1 min. 
Add the broth, rice mixture, cranberries,pecans
(sunflower seeds if allergic to nuts), 
sage,salt and pepper. 
Reduce heat to med-low to low and cover simmering
for appx 25-30 minutes. The rice shoould be moist not dry.
Remove, let stand overed 5 min. Uncover, fluff with fork.
At this point everything can be cooled
 and refrigerated up to 24 hours before
 continuing recipe. Do add 10 minutes or so
to final baking time. 
Mound equal amounts of rice into squash halves, bake uncovered until heated through appx 10 minutes.

Grandmothers Steamed Carrot Pudding

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 T cinnamon
1/2 t each ground cloves and nutmeg
2 t soda
2 t salt
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 T melted butter
2 cups grated potatoes
2 cps grated carrots
2 cups chopped raisins or 1 cup each dates and raisins
1/2 cup hot water
Mis all dry ingredients in large bowl. Either hand grate or use
food processor for grating potatoes and carrots.
Chop raisins ( and I buy pre-chopped dates)and mix with
grated carrots and potatoes. Mix dry and wet ingredients together add hot water and melted butter 
and mix thoroughly. Put in well greased mold, 
cover with foil if it doesn't have a cover
and steam for 3 hours.*** see below for steaming
Serve with:

Hard Sauce 
1 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

( You don't have a mold? 
Use large 28 oz cans in place of a mold)
Leave at least 1 inch at top of mold to allow for rising.

***Place steamer rack in large pot. Place pudding mold on rack. If you don't have a rack place several canning rings to cover bottom of the pan. Fill pot with enough water to come halfway up sides of mold. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover pot and steam pudding until tester inserted near center comes out clean, adding more boiling water as needed to maintain level, about 3 hours. Using oven mitts as aid, remove mold from pot. Uncover and let stand 10 minutes. Cut around top center and sides of pudding to loosen. Turn pudding out onto rack and cool 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Cool completely. Return to mold; cover and chill. 

Resteam 45 minutes to heat through, then turn out of mold.) Transfer pudding to platter. Cut pudding into wedges; serve with the Hard sauce.
ps: So, now you are asking- where's the Zest? 
Hah- the zest is in how you approach your life and your cooking... I'll take the zesty
approach to life and food. Spice it up! Happy New Year!


  1. Fiery Sweet Potatoes sounds delicious, I love those yams and Thai food, sounds like a winning combo. Yum!

  2. Lovely recipes! I think I'll certainly try the carrot pudding and I also really like sweet potatoes

  3. Anonymous12:38 AM

    Vous passez un bon fétes de fin d'année.


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