Tag Archives: Vegetables

Korean-Style Vegetable Pancakes

Korean-Style Vegetable Pancakes

Korean-Style Vegetable Pancakes

There is a Korean restaurant near where we live that we visit whenever we get the chance.  They make a kimchi pancake that is fantastic; even the small Things love it.  The only problem is that when we get takeout, the kimchi pancake is cold and slightly soggy by the time we get it home.  The idea of my beloved kimchi pancake cold and soggy makes me sad… so we decided to try our hand at a home version.



These vegetable pancakes make a pretty nice substitute.  They have the flavor of the different vegetables and the use of rice flour makes them nice and light.  Even better, the batter comes together very quickly so you can have these on the table in less than 20 minutes.  They make an excellent side to Korean-style ramen noodle soup or to some beef and broccoli.

Pancake batter

Pancake batter

If you wanted to make these more like traditional kimchi pancakes, you could increase the kimchi to two cups, substitute 1/4 cup of water with 1/4 cup liquid from the kimchi, and omit the carrot, scallion, and cilantro.  You could also add some cooked and shredded pork to make these more hearty.

Cooking the cake

Cooking the cake

Korean-Style Vegetable Pancakes

Adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman


1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup rice flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 tbls neutral oil, such as peanut or canola

5 scallions, green parts only, finely diced

1 tbls fresh ginger, finely chopped

1/4 cup of cilantro

1 large carrot

1 cup kimchi

To Make:

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, eggs, 1 tbls oil and 1-1/2 cups water until a smooth batter is formed.  Let the batter rest while the veggies are prepped.

To prep the vegetables, coarsely grate the carrot and finely chop the scallions and kimchi.  Chop the cilantro.  Once the vegetables and cilantro are ready, add them to the batter and stir gently until just combined.  The batter will be thick, like pancake batter.

Heat a griddle or large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough oil to lightly coat the bottom.  When hot, ladle a quarter cup of batter and spread it out into a circle.  Cook until the bottom is browned (turn down the heat to medium if needed).  Flip and cook the second side until it is lightly browned, about another 5 minutes.  Repeat with the remaining batter.

As the pancakes finish, remove them and, if necessary, store on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve.

To Serve:

Serve warm, cut into triangles.  Dip in a sauce made with soy, rice vinegar, and a bit of sesame oil


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Filed under Appetizers, Dairy-free, Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Carrot Ginger Slaw

Carrot Ginger Slaw

It’s slaw season people.  The weather in New England has been hovering around the 80 degree mark for a week or so now (give or take a few dips into the 60’s and 70’s) and I am ready for strawberries, fresh vegetables,  and cold salads. 

Shaved Carrots

We definitely have an affinity for cold salads in our house.   We devour heads of lettuce in record time, broccoli salad makes a regular appearance at our dinner table, and I never turn down a cold noodle dish.  However, the nice weather is young, which means that things like lettuce and broccoli are still in short supply.  Luckily, we still have carrots.  Carrots that have been sitting around since the winter, concentrating all of that delicious sugar.  These bright orange beauties make a lovely cold salad.  Punched up with some ginger, curry powder, and raisins, carrots are great for when you don’t have any other veggies around or for when you just want something a little different.

Simple list of ingredients

Ginger Carrot Slaw

Adapted generously from Alton Brown


1/2 lb carrots (about 4 medium), washed and peeled

2 tbls mayonnaise

1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup raisins

pinch of celery seed (optional)

chives or finely chopped green onions for garnish

To Make:

Using a vegetable peeler, shave long strips* of the carrots into a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, curry powder, garlic, ginger, and celery seed.  Gently toss the carrot strips with the dressing until well coated.  Stir in the raisins and garnish with chives. 

To Serve:

Serve cold or room temperature.  The carrots are pretty hardy and can stand up to being dressed and refrigerated for a few hours without going soggy.  Serves 2-4 as a side dish.  Recipe is easily doubled (or more) for a larger crowd.

* Using the peeler to shave the carrot creates a lovely texture and look to the salad.  However, it is kind of a pain in the behind.  If you are pressed for time, grate the carrots using the largest holes on your box grater or food processor disk.  You could also julienne them using a mandoline if you are so inclined.

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Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Russian Cabbage Soup

Russian Cabbage Soup

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving.  We went to my mom’s and spent a few days with her and all of my siblings (there are 5 of us).  It was a lot of fun and there was a lot of food.  After four days of eating nothing but pies, cookies, brownies, whipped cream, mac and cheese, stuffed shells, and of course, turkey with all the fixings, Marc and I were feeling a little like we had food hangovers.  Arriving back home, we both felt the need to detox a little.  For us, this means eating things like soup, fresh bread, and lots of vegetables.

Soup ingredients

Personally, I couldn’t stop thinking about cabbage soup.  While that may seem like a strange thing to obsess about, I just knew that it was exactly what I needed to cure my food hangover.  I went searching on the Internet to find myself a recipe.  I started with one of my favorite food blogger sites, Smitten Kitchen.  Indeed, there was a very interesting recipe for cabbage soup.  Using that as my starting point, I found a few other recipes with interesting components that I incorporated. 

Chopped vegetables

The result is a hearty and delicious cabbage soup with tomato, celery, carrots, onion, and (obviously) cabbage.  Beef and beef stock add meaty flavor while the inclusion of sauerkraut and some white wine vinegar add a pleasing tanginess.  The vegetables are cooked but still retain some of their texture.  While this soup takes a little while to make, it is really easy.  Served with some crusty bread, it is the perfect meal for a wintery Sunday dinner… and an excellent way to rebound from the holiday gluttony. 

Simmering soup

Russian Cabbage Soup


4 cups beef stock

4 cups water

1 lb ground beef

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon marjoram

3 whole allspice berries

1 cup sauerkraut plus 2 tbls juice

1 medium potato, diced

2 medium carrots, finely diced

3 ribs celery, finely diced

1 small onion, finely diced

2 cups fresh cabbage, thinly shredded (about half a large head of cabbage)

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained (or 1 lb fresh tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped)

2 tbls white wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

To Make:

In a large soup pot, bring stock and water to a boil.  Add bay leaves, marjoram, and allspice.  Break the ground beef into small pieces and add it to the pot.  Turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about one hour.

Remove the ground beef and set aside.  Skim off most of the fat from the stock.  Add the sauerkraut and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the potato and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, and tomatoes (including the juice) and simmer for 20 minutes.  Return the beef to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat, stir in the sauerkraut juice, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. 

To serve:

Serve hot with additional vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and/or sour cream as desired.  Serves 6-8.


Filed under Dinner, Meat, Recipes, Soup, Vegetables

Meat Pie

Meat Pie

The other night we were trying to figure out what to have for dinner.  We had some ground beef, a few vegetables from our last CSA delivery, and the desire to do something a little different.  It was a cold and rainy day so both of us were in the mood for something warm and homey. 

Veggies sauteing

Marc suggested Shepard’s Pie but I generally find it to be pretty bland and uninteresting.  I thought about making a version of pot pie using a piece of puff pastry as the top crust but  Marc wanted a bottom crust too.  We finally struck an interesting compromise… use shredded potato cooked until crispy as the bottom crust, a savory meat filling in the middle, and a piece of puff pastry as a top crust.  Bake the whole thing in a cast iron skillet so there isn’t a lot of clean up and you have yourself an easy weeknight meal.

Meat filling

Ready for the oven






The meat is mixed with Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and fresh dill and parsley.  Chopped carrots, onions, and garlic add additional flavor and vegetable goodness.  Dried mushrooms add depth and savory flavor.  Puff pastry tops the whole thing with a light and flaky crust.   Feel free to spice up the meat with other herbs, spices, or hot sauce if you want.

Ready for dinner

Meat Pie


2 1/2 tablespoons butter

2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 lb ground beef

1/4 ounce dried wild mushrooms

8 oz beef stock

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon fresh dill

2 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste (or 1 anchovy fillet finely minced)

1 tbls Worcestershire Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

3 medium potatoes, peeled

1 sheet puff pastry, remove from the freezer at least 30 minutes before you are ready to use

To Make:

Bring the beef stock to a boil and add in the dried mushrooms.  Remove from the heat and set aside while the mushrooms rehydrate, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. 

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan and add 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the garlic, onion and carrot.  Cook until starting to soften and brown, about 10 minutes.  Add in the ground beef, cook until no longer pink.  Add in the beef stock along with the mushrooms, Worcestershire Sauce, tomato paste, and anchovy paste.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the dill, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.

Meanwhile, working on a lightly floured board, roll out the puff pastry sheet to cover the pan by 2 inches around.  Trim the puff pastry into a circle (leaving that 2 inch overhang).

Grate the potatoes with the coarse side of a box grater.  Using cheese cloth or a clean kitchen towel, squeeze the water out of the grated potatoes.  Melt 1 tablespoon butter in an oven safe pan (we like cast iron) over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Add the potatoes and use a spatula to press the them into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.  Cook 7 minutes.  Flip the potato over to the second side and turn off the heat. 

Spread the meat mixture on the potatoes.  Place the puff pastry over the meat and tuck the edges in.  Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until the crust is browned and the filling is hot.

To Serve:

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Dinner, Meat, Recipes, Vegetables

Yummy Vegetables (and Cream of Roasted Fennel Soup)

We got our first of three winter CSA distributions on Saturday.  Look at all the great things we got!

First Winter CSA Distribution

We got about 35 lbs of produce including apples, kale, various squashes, leeks, celery, parsnips, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, beets, peppers, cabbage, fennel, and a kohlrabi.  The bounty covered most of our kitchen island.  The biggest challenge is trying to find the right storage for all these vegetables. 

So far, everything we have eaten has been delicious.  The apples are super fresh, the carrots are sweet, and the celery has more flavor than any celery I have had before.  Tonight for dinner we made a cream of roasted fennel soup.  We didn’t take any pictures because, honestly, we weren’t really expecting much.  Fennel is one of those vegetables that I think people either love or hate.  The flavor is pretty distinct and strong.  I expected the soup to be strongly flavored of licorice.  Turns out, it was really delicious.  Roasting the fennel and cooking it with onions, potato, some half-and-half, and cumin creates a rich and creamy soup with subtle undertones of fennel.  I am posting the recipe for all those other CSA members out there who don’t know what to do with their fennel.

Cream of Roasted Fennel Soup

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Simple Soups and Stews


1-2 fennel bulbs (about 1 1/2 to 2 lbs)

1 large white onion, coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup half-and-half

2 tbls lemon juice

1/2 tsp ground cumin

To Make:

Trim tough stalks and bottom stem from fennel bulb.  Cut the bulb into 1/2 inch slices.  Arrange the fennel and onion on a baking sheet, toss with the olive oil, and sprinkle with salt.  Roast in a 375 degree oven until the vegetables are tender but not browned, about 25 minutes.

Transfer the roasted fennel and onion to a soup pot.  Add the stock and potato.  Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Puree in a blender in batches (or all at once with a stick blender).  Return the mixture to the soup pot and stir in the lemon juice, cumin, and half-and-half.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To Serve:

Serves 4 as a main course, 8 as a first course.


Filed under CSA Talk, Recipes, Soup, Vegetarian

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Pot Roast

Continuing along the comfort food road, we decided on a recent, rainy Saturday that it was time to break out the crock pot for the first pot roast of the season.  I believe that in a good pot roast, the meat is falling-apart tender and the vegetables are kept pretty simple.  We like to make ours nice and rich with a flavorful wine and broth sauce. 

Chuck steaks / roasts generally make the best pot roast.  These cuts have a good amount of connective tissue and need long, slow cooking to render them tender.  They also have a nice meaty flavor that can stand up to rich sauces.  We used a 7 bone chuck steak but pretty much any cut of chuck will do. 

Searing the Chuck Steak

Searing the Chuck Steak

You could probably do this in the oven but I haven’t had much luck getting the level of tenderness that I like that way.  The crockpot is easy, generally foolproof, and allows you to put all the ingredients together in the morning and forget about them until dinner.  We always take the additional step of searing the meat over high heat before adding to the crockpot.  Yes, it takes extra time and means there is another pan to wash but it adds such great flavor to the meat that it shouldn’t be skipped.  Serve the whole thing with some crusty bread and a glass of the red wine.

Vegetables waiting for the meat

Vegetables waiting for the meat

Pot Roast


1 1.5-2 lb chuck steak

1 red onion, sliced

2 ribs of celery, chopped

3 small potatoes, chopped

7 oz sliced baby bell mushrooms

2 medium carrots, chopped

1 bay leaf

2 tbls tomato paste

1/2 cup water with 1 tsp beef bouillon or 1/2 cup concentrated beef stock

1/2 cup good quality red wine (never cook with a wine that you wouldn’t drink)

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbls flour

To Make:

Trim any excess fat from your roast.  Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat.  Rub the meat with oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Sear two minutes on all sides until browned.

Place the onions, celery, potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms in a slow cooker and sprinkle with the thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste.  Place the roast on top and add the bay leaf.  Mix the wine, water and bouillon / broth, and tomato paste and pour over the meat.  Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours, until the meat is fork tender. 

In the last 30 minutes, remove about 1/2 cup of the liquid, place in a bowl, and add the flour.  Whisk together until well incorporated.  Pour back into the crockpot and stir to incorporate.  Set the heat to high, remove the lid, and cook for another 25 minutes, or until the gravy has thickened.

To Serve:

Pull any bones out of the meat and remove the bay leaf.  Place slices of meat on the plate, add the vegetables, and spoon the gravy over the top.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Meat, Recipes

Braised Spare Ribs with Brussel Sprouts

Braised Spare Ribs with Brussel Sprouts

Braised Spare Ribs with Brussel Sprouts

On Monday we picked up the last of our summer CSA distributions.  This is always a bittersweet time for me.  Sweet because I am looking forward to winter veggies like carrots, turnips, and leeks.  Bitter because this means that I won’t get to eat tasty, fresh tomatoes until next August!

As usual, we got a HUGE array of veggies (more than any family our size can rightfully eat in three weeks) including these guys:

Who knew brussel sprouts grew on big stalks

Who knew brussel sprouts grew on big stalks!

I am little embarrassed to admit it, but I had no idea what brussel sprouts looked like when they were growing.  I have only ever seen them in little plastic packages at the supermarket.  I can’t believe how large the stalks are.  Once the sprouts were removed, Marc had to use a cleaver to trim the stalks so they have any hope of composting in the next two years.

With my freshly trimmed sprouts in hand, I went looking for a way to cook them.  Brussel sprouts are vegetables that do not usually make it into our typical cooking repertoire so some research was in order.  I found a simple and interesting recipe in the Joy of Cooking and we decided to pair the sprouts with some country-style spare ribs we had in the freezer.  The sprouts were cooked in garlic butter while the ribs were brined, browned, and then slowly braised in the oven with stock and vegetables.  We then reduced the braising liquid to make a luscious sauce to top the ribs.

Browning the Pork

Browning the Pork

Veggies for the Braise

Veggies for the Braise






The result was (wicked) awesome.  The sprouts were sweet and delicious – even our picky toddler ate hers.  The spare ribs were the most tender and juicy I have ever had (I usually find them dry and somewhat tough).  This is a must make.

Brussel Sprouts Cockaigne

Recipe minimally modified from The Joy of Cooking


12 Brussel Sprouts, rinsed, patted dry, and cut in half lengthwise

1 1/2 tbls butter

1 1/2 tbls extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

Salt, pepper, and freshly grated parmesan cheese

To Make:

In a medium skillet (make sure you have a lid), warm the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat.  Once the butter is melted, add the crushed garlic cloves and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown.  Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and discard.  Place the sprouts cut side down in the garlic butter mixture.  Cover and cook over low heat until tender, 15-20 minutes.

To Serve:

Arrange the sprouts on a plate, drizzle with any remaining butter, and top with salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese.  Serves 2 as a side dish. 

Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs


For the brine

3 quarts of water

1 cup kosher salt

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbls pickling spice

For the braise

1.25 lbs country-style pork spare ribs

2 tbls canola oil

1 small sweet red pepper, finely chopped

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 small red skinned potatoes, finely chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons dry Sherry (the real stuff, not the cooking stuff)

2 cups chicken stock (preferably home made… we used the stock we made from smoked chickens so the finished dish had a slightly smoky flavor)

To make the brine:

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil to ensure sugar and salt are thoroughly dissolved.  Let cool completely and chill in the fridge.  You can speed this part up by boiling only two quarts of water and add the final quart in the form of ice.  Once cool, add the pork and let sit in the brine for about 6 hours.  Do not let it go overnight or you will end up with very salty meat.

To make the braise:

Rinse and drain the pork and pat it dry, discarding the brine.  Preheat your oven to 300F degrees.  Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet (make sure it has a lid) over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the pork and brown on all sides, about 3 minutes per side.  Remove the pork and set aside.  In the same pan, add the vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized and tender, about 8-10 minutes. 

Once the vegetables are cooked add the Sherry and cook for another minute or two, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.  Place the ribs (and all of their juices on the plate) back in the pan on top of the vegetables and add the chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and then cover the pan with foil, place the lid on, and put the whole thing into a 300F degree oven.  Cook for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the ribs are very tender.

Remove the pan from the oven.  Place the ribs on a plate and top with the vegetables (use a slotted spoon to get them out).  Tightly cover with foil and let it rest.  Meanwhile, boil the braising liquid over high heat until reduced to about 1/4 quarter of the original volume.  The consistency should be similar to a thin gravy.  Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.  Because we brined the pork, we found that we didn’t need any additional salt.

To serve:

Serve the pork topped with the vegetables and drizzled (or covered, depending on your preference) with the sauce.  Given the amount of meat, this could probably serve four.  However, Marc and I managed to eat all of it without too much trouble.


Filed under Meat, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables