Eat Your Vegetables!
Everyone knows how important it is to ‘Eat Your Vegetables’.
We’ve heard it said since we were small children by our mother’s, father’s, grandmother’s and grandfather’s, and anyone else who may have fed us.
(Dedicated to my brother Frank, age 3 here. He’s 10 year’s younger than me.)
As a matter of fact my little brother, Frank’s, first words were “Pass the peas.” Frank skipped right over a first word of ‘Mama, or Dada’ to a whole sentence, one night at dinner.
Surprised the heck out of us. 🙂
So I would like to start off with the green pea recipe for Frank.
Although we have recipes for vegetables all over this website, this is where the ‘strays’ will end up. Odds and ends not necessarily associated with any big dinner’s. Just something simple and easy that can be pared with most anything you will be serving for dinner, such as the pork loins pictured here.
I hope you will stay and enjoy!
P.S. My favorite vegetable is OKRA.
Frank’s, “Pass the Peas”
Pass Those 70’s Peas!
This really isn’t much of a recipe but sometimes I like simple food and not such elaborate eats today.
I opened 2 cans of early peas and placed into a pot on the stove top on a medium heat. I did drain the liquid from one can and poured it down the sink. The peas are already cooked, you just want to heat them up and add some butter/margarine, and some salt. Maybe even a little pepper. Other than that they are great! What could be more simple?
These are the onions that strawberry grower’s plant at the end rows of the strawberry’s. They are a sweeter variety that are popular in Florida around the Strawberry Festival.
Roasted Brussel Sprouts, to be Precise
(This recipe can be halved if you don’t want this many.)
To start, prepare your Brussel Sprouts the day ahead… or in our case 3 days ahead. You want to marinate them in your spice mixture.
First You Need:
30 Brussel Sprouts
6 Tbsp. Seasonings – Any you like
2 Gallon Baggies that you can Seal (You will divide the Brussel Sprouts, Seasonings, and Olive Oil into separate Baggies to marinate.)
1 Cup Olive Oil – 1/2 Cup in each bag
Cut 15 Brussel Sprouts in half, then wash them. Per Bag!
The Seasoning that we Used
You can use something with herbs, garlic, with a touch of salt and pepper or you can use an already prepared seasoning as we did.
Here is a Greek Seasoning
Place your cut Brussel Sprouts in two large zip lock bags.
Add about 1/2 Cup Olive Oil to the bag and your seasonings.
Zip the bag shut and toss to mix the ingredients.
The oil will help distribute the seasoning.
Place the bag in the refrigerator overnight to let the sprouts marinate.
We left them in the refrigerator 3 nights before cooking. That extra time with the marinade made them extra tender and delicious.
Here, we marinated the two bags of sprouts with different seasonings.
You could freeze one for later use if you like.
BUT FIRST, allow them to marinate for a day or two so that all the flavors can blend together before you place them in the freezer.
After 24 hours or so, place the sprouts on aluminum foil laid over a large sheet pan.
Ensure the sprouts are cut side down.
Roast them in the oven for ~35-40 min. at 350’F
Here is a great picture of what they should look like when done.
The tops are well browned and the cut side caramelized.
These are PERFECT!
And a family favorite of my brother Ben’s.
(I’ve dedicated this blog post to my brother Frank, well, his son Joseph came to visit us and wanted Gordon to teach him how to cook, as he is a college student at Georgia Tech. So, as we were taking Joseph around to visit with family, we went over to our daughter, Veronica, and her partner, Brian’s house. We knew we would be there visiting around dinner time so I told Gordon to pick up two rotisserie chicken’s and some dinner rolls when he got off work, and I would make my famous Macaroni and Cheese, and bring over a few cans of green beans……. then we could meet at V. and B.’s house and have dinner.)
Gordon and Joseph in Veronica and Brian’s Kitchen
That is when Gordon said that he would also buy some cauliflower from the commissary so that he could teach Joseph to make his Roasted Cauliflower. My job was to remember to bring the spices that were needed for this dish from home, as we all met here for dinner.
Gordon and Joseph’s Roasted Cauliflower
4 Tbsp Curry Seasoning
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Head of Cauliflower
Preheat your oven to 425’F
Wash your Cauliflower and cut off the florets, removing the stalk.
Cut the florets in half and place in a large Ziplock bag.
Add your Olive Oil and Curry Seasoning, close the bag, and shake well to distribute the spice.
Place the florets cut side down on a sheet pan.
Place the sheet pan in the oven and cook for about 25 min. or until the cut side is caramelized.
Veronica and Brian Doing Dinner Prep
Julie and the Mac and Cheese
Julie’s Dinner Plate
(Although the roasted cauliflower seems to be hidden underneath my dinner roll.)
The Family Photo
L-R, Veronica, Gordon, Julie, Joseph, and Brian
P.S. Gordon did buy Joseph a container of Curry Powder for him to take back to Atlanta so that he can make his own Roasted Cauliflower.
VeG ALL Casserole
Recipe Taken from Cherished Recipes from The First Christian Church, Rome, Georgia
This was a casserole that my grandmother made quite often because it was quick and easy and inexpensive. Although we bring you the original “canned” version, it would taste so much better by using fresh ingredients. (Although we did use a few fresh ingredients.) Don’t get me wrong, it tastes fine here, but everyone knows that most of the time fresher does taste better. Besides, I really just wanted to relive a food memory.
Although Gordon did have a great idea that next time we could roast all the vegetables and then assemble them into a casserole dish, add few toppings and that would would be delicious. 🙂
VEG ALL Casserole
Recipe by: Montine Moseley and Anne Shannon
as taken from Cherished Recipes from First Christian Church, Rome, Georgia
This southern recipe was very popular at Covered Dish Dinners because all of the ingredients were always on hand in most every southern kitchen.
You can of course, use fresh veggies for this recipe but I wanted to relive a food memory so we made it the same way that most southern women did, they used CANS!
Topped with a Cracker Crust
and Baked in my Grandmother’s Vintage Casserole Dish.
Recipe as Written in the Book
2 Large cans Veg-All, drained
1 can Water Chestnuts, sliced
1 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup Grated or Finely Chopped Onions
1 Cup Mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Mix all ingredients. Pour into greased casserole and cover with cheese cracker crumbs.
Bake about 30 minutes at 350*.
(We also added a few shakes of Tabasco Sauce)
It wouldn’t be a Veg All Casserole without the cans of Veg All.
Let me just add that there is no need to add salt to this casserole as there is so much sodium in those cans of Veg-All!
Start by adding all your cans to a large mixing bowl.
Be sure to drain them first.
Here Gordon Chopped a Vidalia Onion and a Red Onion
Grate the Sharp Cheddar Cheese and add to Bowl.
Next Comes the Mayo, you can add to Taste
Gordon Grating some Black Pepper, Adding a few Shakes of Tabasco, and Grating a Florida Blend Seasoning Mix.
Now spray your casserole dish with a non-stick cooking oil spray.
We ended up doubling the recipe so that we could freeze two of them for later use.
In our freezer at any given time are casseroles just like this one. That way if we find we don’t have enough food to stretch to an extra person that shows up unexpectedly, we can always throw in the oven an extra casserole or two in order to have enough food for all.
Just make sure that you wrap them up really well with Saran Wrap and Wax Paper, and Saran Wrap again.
Here Gordon is adding the cracker crumb topping.
(I do think that had we cooked the casserole about 15 minutes first, then added the cracker topping that it wouldn’t have burnt like it did.)
DO NOT add any of the cracker crumb topping to the casseroles you will be freezing.
Into the Oven
Sometimes the Best Food to eat is a Memory
L. Chicago Style, R. Southern Style
In the photo left, you see chili on spaghetti noodles, topped with sharp cheddar cheese. On the right, you see chili on corn chips topped with chopped onions and sharp cheddar cheese.
I did not know where to put this so I Googled “Are beans vegetables?”
They said “Yes.” So here we are!
Chili Cheese Rice
(Sans the Cheese)
I do not have some fancy recipe to give you.
My chili is not some hand me down recipe from long ago by a deceased family member of mine, or some vintage secret recipe, but it is Darn Good!
As in “Darn Good” Chili
Not everything has to be homemade in order to be good. I use this as a base and I build on it by adding other ingredients. I can also stretch it to feed more people. A good idea for a large family living on a budget. Throw in the sticky rice and you can get it to stretch even further.
Here’s What I Do:
Set out all your ingredients along with the pot, utensils, and rice cooker.
In addition to the 1 bag of “Darn Good” Chili, I add 3-4 cans of Light Red, and Dark Red, Kidney Beans, and some black beans, but no more than 4 cans of all. I add 1-2 cans of Tomato Paste, some dashes of Tabasco Sauce, 2 cans of diced Green Chili’s, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Start making the chili by using the package directions on the bag of “Darn Good” Chili, or any chili that you prefer.
The recipe only calls for one can of tomato paste. Here is your base, now build on it.
So start with your chili base and start adding the cans of beans and other ingredients to the pot, but be sure to drain the water out of your beans first.
Bring everything to a boil then lower the temps gradually, that’s what I do anyway. I’ll reduce it from high, to med-high, then to med., then to med-low, then to low. Making sure the chili isn’t sticking and burning on the bottom.
After about 20 minutes I’ve got the chili on a very low heat and I keep it there for the next 2 hours. Although it’s done after 20 minutes, I don’t care. I like it to really thicken up. Just make sure not to burn the chili.
When it starts to look like this I always like to dip Saltine Crackers in it just to snack on. (My confession.) 🙂
Calrose Rice is a staple in Hawaii. It’s a short to medium grain rice that works very well in island cooking.
It’s nice that the rice cooker does all the work here.
Add the Chili and Cheese and you’re all Set
A Great Dinner and a Nice Memory
“Beans, beans, good for your heart,
the more you eat, the more you ……”
Another Way to Eat the Chili…..
Cornbread Topped Chili
This is an excellent way to eat Chili….
You first want to heat your oven to 400F and melt some Crisco in a Cast Iron Skillet.
You Then Want to Take Your Chili and Place it into a Cast Iron Skillet, Like so….
Next use your favorite cornbread recipe……
Place it over the Chili……
Then Bake on 400F for the package instructions…..
Now you have an excellent dinner. Even by adding some corn chips. 🙂
And yet ANOTHER great way to eat our Chili…..
This is when a stale baguette comes in handy.
Just make the Chili as we talk about above, except this time I added a can of Shoepeg Corn for an added flavor.
Slice your baguette into 2 inch thick slices and place onto a baking sheet and place underneath the broiler in your oven.
I just browned one side of the baguette. I’ll show you why coming up.
I placed some of the chili into a small little baking dish of mine and then I added the browned side of the baguette face down over the chili.
I then placed some shredded cheeses on top of the uncooked baguette side, and then I baked in a 350F oven for about 20 minutes or so. The chili is already cooked I just wanted to warm it through and to melt and brown the cheese’s on top.
This was really good and yet another way to eat Chili!
Still Great Ways to Eat Chili……
Photo left: Sometimes I just get a Hankerin’ for a Chili Slaaaw Dawg with plenty of Yellow Mustard and a sprinkling of chopped onions. Kinda like those ballgame hotdogs that they serve at sporting events in stadiums. And, btw: They are called Hot Dawgs not Hot Dogs. (If you are in the south.)
Photo right: Chili topped red baked potatoes with a dollop of Sour Cream.
There are so many delicious ways to eat CHILI. 🙂
Mary Keith and John’s
Creole Celery and Okra Casserole
This casserole is from my mother and step-father. I hadn’t eaten it in decades but found the recipe card my mother gave me long ago. I gave it to Gordon to look over and told him that although I remember it being very good, that he could “Whann it up” and make it even better. So he did!
I Especially Love the Colors
(That’s why I went a little overboard posting the photos because the colors were just so beautiful)!
1/2 Chopped Med. Onion
4 Tbsp Butter/Margarine (We used Olive Oil)
2, 4.5 oz. Cans Chopped Green Chilis
2, 14.5 oz. Cans Cooked or Stewed Tomatoes
1 1/2 Cups Diced Celery
4 Cups Okra, (We used chopped, frozen)
1/2 Chopped Green Bell Pepper
1/2 Chopped Red Bell Pepper
1/2 Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 Chopped Orange Bell Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves sliced
1/2 tsp Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
Hot Sauce to taste (About 2 T.)
Fresh or Dried Basil or Oregano ( About 2 t.)
1 1/2 Cups Garlic and Herb Bread Crumbs
3/4 t. Paprika
3/4 t. Smoked Paprika
1 t. Onion Powder
1 t. Chipotle
1 t. Worchershire Black Pepper
Gordon Used Frozen Okra
All Prepped and Ready to Start
The Okra was still a little bit frozen, so Gordon ran it under the water in a strainer. Once thawed, he drained the water and added it to a saucepan with a little olive oil.
Adding Olive Oil:
To the Frying Pan and the Casserole Dish
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Adding the 2 Cans of Chili Peppers to the Okra
Dicing the Celery
Add Celery to the Frying Pan
The saucepan in the top of the photo holds the okra and chili peppers. It just needs to be warmed through.
Next Gordon Chopped the Onion
Green Bell Pepper
Saute the Celery and Onion in Olive Oil
Okra and Chili’s Being Warmed Through
Add the Chopped Green Bell Pepper to the Frying Pan
Chopping the Red Bell Pepper, Adding to Pan
Chopping the Orange Bell Pepper, Adding to Pan
Chopping the Beautiful Yellow Bell Pepper
Adding to Pan
You can see the steam rising up from the cast iron skillet.
Here Gordon is making a ring and adding olive oil to the center of the pan.
Now Come the Spices Added to the Oil, doing this brings out the flavor of the spices.
Continue to Saute and Add some Salt if you Like
Look How Beautiful!
Now You Add the 2 Cans of Diced or Stewed Tomatoes
Now you just want to warm it through.
I Love the Pretty Green and Red Above
Adding The Skull Hot Sauce
(It wouldn’t be Creole without it.)
Ready to Pour Into the Casserole Dish
This has to be the prettiest casserole we’ve ever made.
Here Gordon topped the casserole with bread crumbs and a little bit of olive oil to help it brown.
Next, into the oven on a 350F oven for about 20 minutes.
Fresh Out of the Oven
Although not the most attractive when brought out of the oven, it did not lack in taste!
We ate this delicious casserole with Gordon’s excellent ribs.
For the recipe just click on the title:
Julie’s Oven Baked Potatoes
This recipe was born out of leftovers.
I can’t remember the meal that they came from, but all of these ingredients were leftover from that meal.
We had leftover red potatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs.
I decided to gather everything up and place into aluminum foil. The red potatoes, the garlic cloves, some margarine, and our fresh herbs. Oh, and I sprinkled sea salt flakes over top, and some freshly ground pepper.
I just placed everything into foil and placed it in a 350F oven for about 45 minutes or so. I knew they were done when I could slide a fork into the potatoes.
My son Brodie loved them and said they were the best potatoes he had ever eaten.
Wow! That’s when you know you scored as a mom. 🙂
Here is Another Version of the Potatoes From Above
I did everything here that I did above, except I cooked more potatoes so therefore they required a longer cooking time.
Photo at left I removed the potatoes from the oven after 30 minutes, that’s when I added the herbs, then put them right back into the oven. Photo at right is the finished results after 1 hour of cooking.
I used red potatoes as well as white fingerlings and blue potatoes.
Perfect, served with most anything.
Gordon’s Quick Roasted Red Potatoes
Before Left, After, Right
We had some (10) old red potatoes that would soon go bad, so Gordon quickly made this one night in order to use them up. They turned out very nice which is why they made it here. 🙂
Wash, then slice your red potatoes in half, then slice the half into thirds on the bias.
In a large plastic bag, add the potatoes and enough olive oil to coat them, and not have them swimming in it. It is easiest to pour a little at a time.
Next, add your seasoning dry dill, garlic powder, turmeric powder, onion powder, black pepper, sea salt, etc. to the bag. Close the bag and mix them well.
Pour your seasoned potatoes out onto a sheet pan covered with foil, adding more seasoning if needed.
Roast/Bake your potatoes at 400’F for about 35 min. turning after 15 min.
Lightly salt when done cooking if you would like!
Don’t forget to eat your vegetables!