Mar 312015
 

I fully admit that I am accident prone and kind of clumsy.

I’ve never used the mandoline that came with the salad spinner Michael’s mom got me for Christmas one year. It just seemed like a bad idea. Especially for me. But last weekend I decided that I wanted to try my hand at pickling some radishes (because I love pickled things and I recently discovered that I quite enjoy radishes so why not?).

I asked Michael if he wanted to help me with the Mandoline or take me to the ER. Either way, he needed to be aware and on hand. :) He said “didn’t it come with a widget?” I had no idea so we poked around and found a widget. He experimented and low and behold it was for the mandoline! YAY! I feel excited that we discovered I CAN use the mandoline with the widget thingy and I don’t have to worry about slicing off my hand.

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You stick the radish on the prongs and then slide it down the mandoline and your fingers are all intact afterward. Brilliant. I’ve often wondered why they didn’t come with like metal gloves or something because seriously, these babies are dangerous weapons!

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Tada! Sliced radishes ready for pickling and no fingers were lost in the making of it. I sliced up the bunch and some cuts were less attractive than others but it got the job done and I’m really excited to use this thing for other veggies! Here is the recipe I used:

Spicy Quick Pickled Radishes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

From: http://cookieandkate.com/2014/spicy-quick-pickled-radishes/

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch radishes
  • ¾ cup white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (this yields very spicy pickles, so use ½ teaspoon for medium spicy pickles or none at all)
  • ½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds (optional)
  • Optional add-ins: garlic cloves, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, coriander seeds

Instructions

  1. To prepare the radishes: Slice off the tops and bottoms of the radishes, then use a sharp chef's knife or mandoline to slice the radishes into very thin rounds. Pack the rounds into a pint-sized canning jar. Top the rounds with red pepper flakes and mustard seeds.
  2. To prepare the brine: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, honey or maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then pour the mixture over the radishes.
  3. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. You can serve the pickles immediately or cover and refrigerate for later consumption. The pickles will keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks, although they are in their most fresh and crisp state for about 5 days after pickling.
  4. MAKE IT VEGAN: Substitute maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey.
  5. CHANGE IT UP: To the best of my knowledge, you can pickle any thinly sliced vegetables in this manner. Try carrot ribbons, cucumbers, red onions, cabbage and/or fennel! The thinner you slice the vegetables, the faster they absorb the vinegar solution and taste like pickles.
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=46209

It seemed simple enough and I had everything on hand, except honey, but it said you could use syrup instead.

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I added the red pepper flakes and some of the peppercorns. I also sliced up about four cloves of garlic and added that to the radish mixture in the jar. I followed the instructions and boiled the water, vinegar, salt and syrup. I ran the jar under hot water then put the radishes, garlic, red pepper flakes and peppercorns inside, mixed it up a little and then poured the liquid in the jar. I mixed that up, sealed it and put it in the fridge. Unfortunately it takes a few days for the radishes to pickle and be ready to sample but I’m confident that they will be good!

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I waited about 6 days and then gave them a try. They were perfectly pickled! And SPICY!!! Super spicy. I loved it! I had some with dinner, which didn’t really go together but who cares. Pork chops with brussels sprouts cooked with bacon and onions, and the pickled radishes on the side.

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They were crisp and crunchy and like I said, very very spicy. I will probably eat this jar pretty quickly. :) I need to make some more!

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Jan 282015
 

Spaghetti squash is one of my new favorite meals in our rotation. We had it a few years ago in place of spaghetti noodles and then for some reason, didn’t eat it again for a long time. The last 6 months or so we’ve been having spaghetti squash on a regular basis. At least twice a month.

The traditional method we’ve been doing was using it in place of noodles and having marinara sauce and meatballs. It’s been a tasty, filling meal for not a lot of calories. Recently I wanted to try a new recipe I found and I had a spaghetti squash already so I gave it a try. Here is the recipe:

Garlicky Broccoli and Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 3-4 servings

Calories per serving: Around 250 calories

From: http://theseasalt.com/2013/11/05/garlicky-broccoli-and-spaghetti-squash/

Ingredients

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 head broccoli, washed at cut into medium florets
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • EVOO
  • 1 cup stock (veg or chicken)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar or parmesan)

Instructions

  1. To cook squash:
  2. Preheat oven to 350.
  3. Cut squash in to quarters (lengthwise and then width)
  4. Place in large pan filled with 1/2 inch water, cut side up (don’t want domes)
  5. Cook 35-40 mins
  6. Let rest until it is cool enough to handle, then shred in to a large bowl.
  7. Season with S&P and drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Top with your choice of cheese, and mix in so that cheese begins to melt (If squash isn’t hot anymore, just give it all a good turn in the microwave).
  9. To cook Broccoli
  10. Meanwhile, in a large pan coated with olive oil, saute garlic over medium-high heat for about 1 min stirring continuously.
  11. Add broccoli and saute for 3 mins stirring constantly, making sure not to burn garlic.
  12. Add 1 cup stock and continue to saute over medium heat until broccoli is tender and most of liquid is absorbed. (About 10-12 more mins)
  13. Season broccoli with S&P.
  14. Serve broccoli over a bowl of the spaghetti squash and enjoy!
http://www.110pounds.com/?p=45688

It sounded amazing to me. I love garlic. The more the better. This was a new method of cooking broccoli for me and I really enjoyed it. I did change the recipe a tad because I though the garlic would burn if I cooked it first. Instead I cooked the broccoli first, then added the garlic, then the chicken broth. I cooked it down while the squash was baking.

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I loved this broccoli! It was SO good! The garlic was perfect and everything tasted so great. I baked the squash with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the no-salt Costco seasoning. Because of this I didn’t need to add salt and pepper to the broccoli.

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Michael baked two chicken breasts (just seasoned with salt and pepper) to go with the squash and that was a good call because the dinner is super low in calories. I chopped up the baked chicken and tossed the “noodles” with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Really, the calories in this dish come from the cheese I think. We split a chicken breast.

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The dinner itself is less than 400 calories total. It’s a super low calorie, super healthy dinner and I felt satisfied and full. I didn’t feel like I was deprived because it was low in calories. This is one of my favorite new recipes we’ve tried lately and I will be making this dish on a regular basis. It can be vegetarian, or with chicken and I think shrimp would also work really well with this recipe. I can’t wait to make it again!

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