Coleslaw Dressing

Coleslaw is one of those side dishes that you are always taking a chance on at a restaurant or potluck.  The dressings are sometimes too vinegary or it is just swimming in a pool of creamy dressing.  I am always willing to try it, though most of the time it is just OK.  The trick is to remember that when you first put it all together it may seem too dry, but DO NOT add more dressing!  As it sits and your slaw softens it will not be dry.  You can always add a little more of dressing before serving, if needed, but chances are you won’t need it.

As for your actual slaw, think outside the box.  Coleslaw doesn’t have to be just cabbage and carrots.  Try mixing in broccoli, Brussel sprouts, jicama or fennel for something different.   I like both mayo and no mayo dressings, but prefer a little sweeter than vinegary.  Our taste buds are all different but once you have the base done you can tweak to your liking.

Just like when making potato or pasta salad, mix your dressing in a separate bowl then add to your salad.  This way you can tweak the actual dressing and your salad will be uniform in taste.  There are so many recipes out there and families have their favorites.  Once you make it a few times you can change it up with what you have on hand or to make it your own “secret recipe”.

This dressing is mayo based.  As we all know mayos (or salad dressing like Miracle Whip) all have a unique flavor.  Start with one that you like.  I am using Spin Blend in today’s coleslaw.  All you need to do is whisk all the ingredients together then add to your salad.    Don’t add all at once as you don’t want more dressing than salad.  Stir together making sure not too wet, cover and put in fridge to allow all the flavors to come together and your slaw to soften.

Coleslaw Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup mayo
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (sub celery salt if you want)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons onion (I used dried onion flakes I had)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (sub white vinegar, malt vinegar or red wine)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds

 

Butternut Squash and Quinoa Soup

First of all I apologize for no picture.  I know….bad blogger!  I was going to wait to post this recipe after I made it again and took pictures, but it was so yummy and perfect for the fall weather that I couldn’t wait to share it.

This is more of a stew as it is thick and hearty.  The inspiration of this came from reading about using butternut squash to thicken a chowder, then elsewhere on how butternut squash is an anti-inflammatory and low histamine food.  The great thing about this recipe is the small number of ingredients needed and you can use shredded chicken from a previous meal.  Earlier in the week, I had boiled a whole chicken with some spices to make enchiladas and then stock.

So what do you need:

  • Butternut Squash:  peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
    • medium sized squash to equal about 4-6 cups of chunks
  • Chicken broth (about 4 cups or 2 cans)
  • Shredded chicken
    • If not using left over from another recipe I recommend using thighs (4-6) for the most flavor
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium Onion:  finely chopped
  • Tomatoes: finely chopped
    • 1- 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 tsp dried or 1/3 cup fresh Oregano
  • Garlic, minced
    • If using can chicken stock I would use 4 cloves. If you made your own stock with seasonings you may not need as much garlic.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Quinoa, 1 cup

I hate putting amounts for soups and stews as it is so much on your preference and taste. That being said the amounts listed are a guide.

  1. Put the cut pieces of squash in a bowl.  Toss with 1 Tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Place in pre-heated oven (425 degrees).  When barely tender, take out half of the squash and set aside.  Put the other half back into oven until roasted and tender.  Take out the very tender squash and mash.
  3. If you are not using pre-cooked chicken then you need to cook the chicken.   This step can be done in conjunction with #2.   You can roast in the oven, on the stove top, or cook in chicken broth.  You are going to want it to cool so you can shred.
  4. In a Dutch oven heat about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.  Add your onion and sauté until translucent and slightly caramelized (8-10 minutes), now add salt, minced garlic and oregano.  Sauté another minute.
  5. Add your chicken stock, squashes, and tomato.  Stir to combine.
  6. Add quinoa.  Bring to simmer, cover and cook until quinoa is done, about 15 minutes.  Never cooked quinoa?  It is cooked when it looks like it popped open and you can see the germ of the kernel. It looks like a ring.
  7. Now you can add the shredded chicken, cook uncovered another 5- 10 minutes, taste and adjust your seasonings (salt, pepper).

Note that if you are using canned broth and/ or tomatoes you may not need much salt.

Cabbage and Ground Beef Stir Fry

Looking for a new way to use cabbage?  This is a quick, easy and budget friendly recipe.  I am having difficulties scaling back family size recipes to  just the two and half of us but this was even good the next day.    It is amazing how much you get from a small head of cabbage.  Do all your chopping ahead of time and then you will be ready.  I am serving this over rice, so start your rice following your favorite brands directions first.  If you don’t have gochujang, no worries, it will still be good.  Gochujang will add some smoky heat and a unique flavor.  The vegetables are all chopped to approximately 1 inch squares.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef

1 head of cabbage, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon gochujang

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Heat a large skillet or better yet a wok with approximately 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium- high heat.  Sauté the onion till almost translucent (2-3 minutes) then add the garlic and ginger.  Continue to sauté until fragrant. Add ground beef and brown.  Season with salt and freshly cracked ground pepper (to taste).

Once ground beef is browned add the peppers and cabbage.  ***hint:  I added handfuls of cabbage until I thought it was enough.  It was about 6 handfuls and I still had a lot of chopped cabbage left over.  Now you can add your seasonings:  soy sauce, gochujang and sesame oil.  Season with more salt and pepper as needed.  As always….taste taste taste and adjust.

Continue to sauté until cabbage is slightly wilted.  Serve over rice.

cabbage

Grand Marnier French Toast

French Toast was never my favorite breakfast when growing up…not that I didn’t like it but because my brothers always wanted French Toast and I wanted pancakes.  You guessed it!  French Toast usually won.  Now we didn’t get this recipe as kids, but it a winner.  This recipe is perfect for a special morning.

Ingredients

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 Tablespoons sugar

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup half and half

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Thick sliced bread (challah, brioche, white)

**Strawberries, powdered sugar, whip cream optional

Mix all ingredients (up to Grand Marnier) in a shallow bowl-or pie plate.  Heat a skillet or griddle with some butter.  Dip bread in the egg mixture.  Place on skillet and flip over when toasted.

Top with sprinkled powdered sugar, sliced strawberries and or whip cream.  I like to keep the strawberries fresh, but for an added change you can place sliced strawberries, sprinkled with about 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Grand Marnier in a bowl.  Let sit while preparing the French Toast.