Springer's Kitchen

Vegetarian. High-Altitude. Mormon. Food.

Zucchini &/or Eggplant Bruschetta Boats

You can use two of each, or four of either one.  Just note that this really only works with Chinese eggplant, which are long and thin.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
  • 2 small each zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 2 small Chinese eggplant, ends trimmed
  • 1 cup mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Directions

Heat large pan over medium heat.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine tomatoes and 2 Tbsp. dressing.

Cut zucchini and eggplant lengthwise in half; brush with 2 Tbsp. of the remaining dressing.  Cook in pan, cut-sides up, 6 minutes.  Flip over and cook an additional 6 minutes, until vegetables are tender.  Place cut-sides up on a baking sheet, and top cut sides with cheese.  Bake 2-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Gently mix basil into tomato mixture.  Spoon over vegetables, then cut them in half.

From Zucchini & Eggplant Bruschetta Boats by Kraft Recipes.

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Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup

Our favorite place to go out to eat in Utah is Zupas.  Our choice of soup, salad, and/or sandwiches with a chunk of french bread and a chocolate-dipped strawberry – heaven!  This is hands-down Tyson’s favorite soup there.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 can (13 3/4 to 14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 head (2 1/2 pounds) cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese

 

Directions

In 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally. Stir in flour and salt, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually stir in milk, broth, and 1 1/2 cups water.  Add cauliflower and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, then cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 10 minutes. In blender (with center part of blender cover removed to allow steam to escape), blend cauliflower mixture at low speed in small batches until very smooth. Return cauliflower mixture to saucepan, and heat over medium heat until hot, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat.  Stir in mustard and cheeses until melted and smooth.

From Wisconsin Cauliflower Soup at The Coterie Blog.

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Fresh Tomato Soup

What to do with all the tomatoes your plants keep producing?! Or, in my case, what to do with all the tomatoes my sweep and generous neighbors keep giving me??? I suggest this recipe, ideally served with grilled cheese.  It’s also great because you can make a few batches and freeze it. 🙂

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cups chopped celery
  • 3 cups diced onions
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. sugar

 

Directions

Rough chop all the vegetables. It doesn’t matter what they look like because the soup will be blended later, but make sure the carrots, onions and celery are all about the same size so they cook at the same rate.

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil. Add in the carrots, celery and onions and cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook another 5 minutes, but don’t let the vegetables brown. Add in the tomatoes and water or chicken stock. Allow to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the carrots are soft.

Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Puree the soup, either with a stick blender or in batches in a conventional blender.  Once the soup is all pureed, push it through a sieve or strainer. The point is that you want to get out the tomato skins and seeds, but push through the rest of the vegetables. If you use too fine a mesh strainer, you will just end up with tomato juice. I lost about 2 cups of “solids”, mostly skin and seeds, during the straining process. (Note: If you prefer, you can skin and seed your tomatoes before making the soup. But this is time consuming and I found it just easier to strain.)

Put all the strained soup back in the pot and add the salt and sugar to taste.

To serve, reheat the soup. Garnish it with a dollop of homemade pesto, a bit of milk or cream to make a “bisque”, chopped tomatoes to make a chunky tomato soup, fresh grilled garden vegetables (corn, zucchini, yellow squash, etc), or even tiny meatballs.  The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination!

Freezes well for a few months.

From Homemade Fresh Tomato Soup by Former Chef.

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Creamy Vegetable Soup

Just over 10 years ago, I was served an amazing vegetable soup with cornbread on my mission.  I asked the sister for the recipe, and she gave me instructions over the phone.  Finally this summer I felt that I was competent enough in the kitchen that I could try decoding my decade-old hurried scribbles.  This is the result.

My favorite part?  My husband, who doesn’t like beans, loves this soup, and I love that he enjoys eating something healthy. 🙂  (P.S. It’s even vegan!)

Ingredients

  • 2 15-ounce cans white beans
  • olive oil
  • water
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (not drained)
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans
  • 1 cup or so of fresh chopped zucchini &/or yellow squash
  • 1 cup small pasta of choice (I use shells)
  • handful of spinach leaves

Directions

In a blender or food processor, puree the beans with enough oil and water to make a smooth paste.  Set aside.

In a large pot, saute onion in oil until translucent (or beginning to caramelize, if you hate onions like I do).  Add garlic, carrot, and celery, and saute a few minutes more.  Add broth, tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and green beans.  Bring to a boil.  Toss in kidney beans, zucchini, and pasta.  Boil until pasta is al dente.  Reduce heat, add spinach leaves, and simmer until wilted.  Stir in white bean puree and simmer until heated through.

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Basic Flaky Pie Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup shortening, chilled
  • 1/4 cup cold butter, cut up
  • 3 tablespoons ice water

 

Directions

Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium size bowl.  With a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour.  Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.

Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.

Roll out dough between to pieces of parchment or waxed paper, and put in a pie plate.  Fill with desired filling and bake.

Variations

For a sweet pie, particularly a fruit pie, I like to add 2 teaspoons of sugar.  If I top the pie with a crust, I’ll also brush it with milk and sprinkle sugar on top to give it a little sparkle.

For a savory pie, I will often substitute 1/4 to 3/4 of the flour with whole wheat flour.  Occasionally, I may add a few spices, too.

 

Adapted slightly from Basic Flaky Pie Crust from AllRecipes.com.

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Veggie Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 pie crust crusts (I use my basic flaky pie crust)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat oil in a large skillet or saucepan.   Cook mushrooms and garlic in oil for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in carrots, potato, broccoli, frozen peas, and vegetable broth.   Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer.   Cook until vegetables are barely tender, about 5 minutes.   Season with spices.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and 1/4 cup water until cornstarch is completely dissolved.   Stir into vegetables, and cook until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Roll out 1/2 of the dough to line a pie tin.   Pour the filling into the pastry lined dish.   Roll out remaining dough, arrange it over the filling, and seal and flute the edges.  Pierce top of pie a few times with a knife.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.

Adapted from Veggie Pot Pie from AllRecipes.com.

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Cheddar Cauliflower Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 unbaked pie crust
  • 4 cups cooked cauliflower, chopped small
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.   Line unpricked pastry with a double thickness of foil.  Bake  for 5 minutes.  Remove foil and bake 5 minutes longer.  Turn oven down to 350 degrees.

Spoon cauliflower into crust; top with 1 1/4 cups of cheese, and sprinkle with almonds.  Beat together eggs, milk, mayonnaise, nutmeg and pepper.  Pour over almonds; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.  Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting.

Adapted slightly from Cheddar Cauliflower Quiche from AllRecipes.com

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Spinach Quiche

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or mozzarella and maybe some feta)
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Press ¼ cup cheese onto bottom of crust and bake for 5 minutes.

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add mushrooms, garlic and spinach.  Cook several minutes until mushrooms are giving off juices and spinach is heated through.  Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Combine eggs and milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in melted butter.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.

Adapted from Easy Broccoli Quiche from AllRecipes.com.

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Broccoli Quiche

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½  onion, minced (or a handful of mushrooms, diced)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar (or colby jack) cheese
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Press ¼ cup cheddar cheese onto bottom of crust and bake for 5 minutes.

Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan.  Add onions, garlic and broccoli.  Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.  Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese.

Combine eggs and milk.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in melted butter.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.

From Easy Broccoli Quiche from AllRecipes.com.

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Madjadara

I do not like onions – do NOT like those stinky, vicious, little things!!  However, this dish, made for me by my friend Julia Parkinson, introduced me to caramelized onions.  And they are heavenly!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 (or 2) cups brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup long grain rice, cooked
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 tsp – 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1-2 Tbsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp pepper
  • 6 shakes Mrs. Dash
  •  1/4 cup oil
  • 2 large onions, cut into long slices, moon shaped*
  • Mrs. Dash, cumin, salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Bring lentils to a boil, and add salt.  When cooked, add rice, cumin, pepper, and Mrs. dash

Meanwhile, sauté the onions in the oil until brown (caramelized) with spices.  Put some of onions and onion oil into lentils when they are done, garnish the dish with remaining onions (the best part).  Eat warm or cold with plain yogurt.

*I’ve never figured out how she cut the onions into beautiful crescent shapes.  I just halve them (and maybe quarter them) and slice them.

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