Category Archives: Snacks

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds.

I love roasted pumpkin seeds and so does the hubs. We grow carving pumpkins because the hubs likes to carve them, but also because we just really like the seeds. They are blank slate that I can do anything with and then roast into a tasty snack. If you are purchasing pumpkins and want to roast the seeds, take care to purchase organic pumpkins to ensure the safety of your seeds.

This year we made a batch of curry pumpkin seeds. Curry is an amazing source of health benefits. I make my mix here at home. It contains organic turmeric (4 T), organic cumin (8 T), organic coriander (7 T), and organic ginger (2 T) ~ stored in a pint jar. Turmeric contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains curcumin, a compound thought to protect the liver. Cumin may also contain anti-inflamatory properties as well as immune regulating capabilities. Coriander could potentially protect the nervous system from damage through anti-inflamatory processes. And last, but not least, ginger. Ginger, long known for its healthful benefits to the digestive tract, ginger also contains anti-inflamatory properties. All said, these four spices combined are a powerhouse for protecting the body against many things. Just remember, they do work better alongside fat, hence the nice fatty coconut milk generally used in curries! Here we will sub oil.

One last note about the health benefits of this snack, it is important to remember that the pumpkins seeds themselves are packed with nutrition. Pumpkin seeds are a fantastic source of zinc. Zinc regulates the immune system and assists with our ability to taste food properly. They also serve as a good source for antioxidants and magnesium.

Curry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. Makes 16 0z of roasted seeds.

Ingredients

2 C fresh organic pumpkin seeds

2 t curry powder (see recipe above)

1 T organic olive oil or coconut oil

1/2 t salt (I used canning salt because it is fine and will stick well)

Process

Preheat oven to 325.

Rinse seeds and dry them with with a clean dish towel. This will remove any remaining pumpkin pulp. Place the seeds in a medium glass mixing bowl and mix in oil and curry, making sure to combine thoroughly.

Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Cook for 8 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with a 1/4 t of salt. Cook for 8 minutes and repeat. Cook for 8 minutes and stir. Cook 8 more minutes and remove from oven. If the seeds are not as dry or toasted as you would like, cook them longer, stirring and assessing every 5 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, DIY, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Indian Inspired, Paleo, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa.

We love new things in the garden. You might recall last year we grew mini Sweet Pea Red Currant Tomatoes that were so lovely in my Quinoa Caprese Salad. This year we went for mini cucumbers! They are just as stinking cute as the tomatoes were. This dish could even be made with both the mini tomatoes and the mini cucumbers and be the cutest tea party addition ever. In any case, I have been mixing it with some of our garden tomatoes to make a quick salsa/dip that goes well with corn chips, nachos, tacos, Potato Enchinados, just about everything.

Mexican Sour Gherkin Salsa. Serves two as a condiment with dinner.

Ingredients

8-10 Mexican Sour Gherkins, sliced

1 large garden tomato, diced (I used a purple cherokee)

1 small jalapeño, seeded and deveined, unless you like heat, and diced small

1/4 red onion, diced small

1 T cilantro, finely chopped

1 T cider vinegar, I used Bragg

1 t olive oil

pinch of kosher or sea salt

pinch of fresh cracked black pepper

Combine cider vinegar through pepper in a small bowl, whisking until oil is incorporated. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Dip, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Meatballs with Wings {Turkey & Chicken Meatballs}.

Ok, the meatballs don’t really have wings, but the meat that contributed sure did. The hubs wanted some meatballs and we thought it would be fun to make them out of something other than beef or pork. I think these turned out great. They are light and fresh and great for a spring dish.

Turkey & Chicken Meatballs. Makes 22 quarter sized meatballs (about 3/4 ounce each).

Ingredients

1/2 lb ground turkey (fresh from the meat counter if possible)

1/2 lb ground chicken (fresh from the meat counter if possible)

1T fresh chive

1 medium carrot, shred

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/4 t smoked paprika

1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 fresh cracked black pepper

Process

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into balls the size of a quarter. You may find that putting a little olive oil on your hands makes rolling these fairly sticky balls easier.

Bake on a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet for 20 minutes. Remove and serve with your pasta of choice. I tossed mine into this Pasta with Meyer Lemon & Basil from Serious Eats.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Chicken, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Poultry, Snacks, Vegetables

“Super Food” Kale Chips.

With Christmas travel coming up, the hubs and I were seeking some healthy snacks that keep well without refrigeration and that will keep us away from fast food temptations. We were browsing around at the store and saw some kale chips that looked really good. The only problem was that for a 3 ounce bag of the healthy goodness, they get you for $6.99, so yeah, we were not going to buy those. So instead we ran around the grocery store collecting ingredients to make our own.

Here is what we came up with. It is one of those recipes where I wish I was a dietitian so I would know more about just how good it is for me.

“Super Food” Kale Chips.

Ingredients

1 large golden beet (about .5 lb)

1/2 lb kale (I used the pretty purple kind)

1/4 lb spinach

1 t kosher salt

1 t granulated garlic

1/2 t chili powder

1 T coconut oil (heated to liquify in the microwave)

1 t toasted sesame seed oil

2 T chickpea flour, heaping (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

1/8 C flax seeds (I used brown)

Process

Roast golden beet at 400 degrees until soft (about 1 hour) — the easiest way to do this is to set the beet, skin and all, in the center of a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Close up foil and place the beet in the middle of the oven rack. When the beet is soft, remove and allow to cool in foil for about 20 minutes, or until it is cool enough to handle. Cut the ends off the beet and he skin should peel right off with your fingers. If it is stubborn, just use a vegetable peeler.

Prep kale and spinach by washing them. Remove the woody ends of the kale stems, but leave the rest there. Rough chop the kale so that the food processor doesn’t have too hard a time with the big leaves. Add all ingredients except the chickpea flour and flax seeds to the food processor and process until everything is completely chopped up. You may need to rock the processor just a little to get all of the kale leaves broken down.

Move the mixture to a large mixing bowl and  add the flour and flax seeds. Mix to combine. Add one tablespoon at a time to your dehydrator trays. Be sure to use the solid trays. Flatten the dollops and make sure you space them so they are not touching.

My dehydrator only has an on setting. Even the manufacturers website and manual do not state the temperature that it dehydrates at. But you can see what I use here. I think that it is about 120 degrees. We used two different methods for measuring the temp and that is the average we are getting. I dehydrated my chips for 10 hours, turning after 7, but I think they were too thick and turned them only to make them cook faster. If you make them thinner, I would bet that you are sitting at about 6-8.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Dairy Free, DIY, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nuts/Seeds, Outside of the Box, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Sea Salt & Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds {Updated}.

Yes, you heard that correctly. I said sea salt and vinegar. Homemade. What?? Yup! I have been working on this recipe all season, it is a vinegar brined pumpkin seed, oven roasted with olive oil and flake sea salt, backed by a hint of hot pepper.

This recipe evolved accidentally. I mentioned we had a pumpkin carving party a while back. Well, only one single pumpkin was carved due to intake of libations over dinner. The hubs was still motivated, so he carved his pumpkin, which of course, looked amazing.

But I was not motivated, with company and significant vino intake, to roast the seeds that evening. So we covered them with water and the hubs says, why don’t you add some vinegar to that? I thought, sure why not, it can’t hurt anything. In fact, it actually made it better. The next morning I roasted the seeds with some oil and salt and they were amazing. They tasted like dry roasted seeds. It was awesome. So we endeavored to make them even better. The result is these yummy salt and vinegar seeds with just a little heat imparted through adding a hot pepper to the brine.

Sea Salt & Vinegar Pumpkin Seeds.

Ingredients

Seeds from one pumpkin

1 T Sea salt

3 T white vinegar

1 hot pepper, sliced (optional, I used a scotch bonnet)

Olive oil

Flaked sea salt (I used Maldon as it is salty, but mild)

Put pumpkin seeds in a bowl and cover with water. Add vinegar, sea salt, and hot pepper. Leave on counter overnight. Drain seeds and put them in a dry bowl. Toss with olive oil and 1/4 t of flake salt to coat.

Preheat oven to 325.

Place seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Cook for 8 minutes. Stir and sprinkle with a pinch of flake salt. Cook for 8 minutes and repeat. Cook for 8 minutes and stir. Cook 8 more minutes and remove from oven. If the seeds are not as dry or toasted as you would like, cook them longer, stirring and assessing every 5 minutes. Cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

***Update, if you are a true vinegar lover and are looking for an extra tang to these seeds, sprinkle them with a little vinegar the first time you add salt (after the first 8 minutes of cooking).

Enjoy!

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Filed under Dairy Free, Edible Plants, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Nuts/Seeds, Seasons, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

A Garden Sleeper: The Tomatillo and some Salsa.

For two years I have tried to grow tomatillos and for two years I have failed (or so I thought). They take up a lot of space in the garden and never seem to ripen on time. So this season, the end of year two, I am cleaning out garden beds to make way for cover crops and winter veggies and I rip out the first of two tomatillo plants.

Annoyed I am thinking about how I am not going to plant tomatillos next year. All I want is a little green salsa, that is all. And I toss the gigantic plant to the side and look down into the bed and see two fully formed, ripe and ready to use tomatillos. What?!? So I start investigating the plant and there are more, MORE! I was so excited I ran inside and woke up the hubs, who was trying to sleep past 8 (which is tough to do when you live with me), I shove handfuls of fully ripe, ready-to-use tomatillos in his face, exclaimed LOOK! and ran out to check the other plant straight away. In all, I ended up with a mere 16 ounces, but that is 16 ounces I did not know even existed! That is 16 ounces that I used to make this lovely salsa.

Easy Tomatillo Salsa.

Ingredients

1 lb tomatillos

1 small onion, rough chopped

3 T cilantro

juice of 1/2 lime

1 jalapeño

1/4 t sugar

1/4 t kosher salt

Peel and wash the tomatillos. Seed the jalapeño if you want to control the heat of the final product and rough chop it. Put all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until the mixture is the texture you are looking for. Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or as a topping for any Mexican style dinner.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Condiments and Seasonings, Dairy Free, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Midwest Inspired, Sauce and Gravy, Snacks

Taco Dip for a Crowd.

Before I launch into this I have to tell you all something, this is the third time I have made this recipe for the blog. The first time was during our Eastern Oregon trip. I made the dip, but the measurements were altered because I did not have the right dish to make it in. The second time was this past weekend. I made a perfect batch for our camping trip…only to put it in the bottom of the cooler and have it fill with water. It was a complete loss. So I resolved to make this again and get it on the blog already! However, you will see in the photo below, I am just plain cursed…I forgot the cheese! Don’t fret, I added it to the top before we munched on it, but still! I cannot win with this one. So, onward!

This is one of my oldest recipes. It really isn’t a recipe at all. It is a combination of foods that are simply layered together in a typical party salad fashion. This dish was born out of my dislike for traditional seven layer salad. The one with the mayo and peas. Yuck! So in college I came up with this variation, which is actually just a taco dip. I will tell you though, I thought I was so smart!

Anyway, I still use this recipe when going to summer parties. It is quick, cheap and ingredients can easily be subbed if you don’t have something on hand. It is also plain enough to be enjoyed by even the pickiest of eaters.

Taco Dip for a Crowd.

Ingredients

1 can refried beans

10 oz sour cream

1/4-1/2 C taco sauce (use your favorite)

1-2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 C shredded lettuce or green cabbage

1 large tomato, seeded and diced (drain on paper towel to avoid excess water in your dip)

15 black olives, sliced

2 scallions, chopped (can sub 1/4 C red onions if you prefer) ~ optional (I don’t normally add either)

1 bag of tortilla chips

Spread beans out in a 2 quart oblong baking dish. Combine sour cream and taco sauce in a bowl. Spread over beans with a spatula. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives, and scallions. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve.

And this is what it looks like when I remember all of the ingredients!

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Beans, Cheese, Dip, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Mexican Inspired, Snacks, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Smoked Cream of Celery Soup.

Do you ever make something really good, but find yourself at a loss for how to use it all? I did exactly that with last year’s Thanksgiving duck. We smoked the duck to serve alongside our grilled turkey. It was very good, and I rendered the fat, and that was very good…especially in gravy. And then I made broth out of the bones and skin, and put it in the freezer…and left it there. What exactly does one do with a delicacy like smoked duck broth? Well, I have determined if they are doing anything, most people are not posting it on the internet!

So as the world turns and the autumn air brings in a desire for warm, comfort food, I started thinking about soup. I found this bacon cream of celery soup over on The Kitchn and started thinking about my smoked duck broth. If smoky bacon tastes good in this soup, smoked duck broth should too. And it does! It tastes so good, in fact, that I am no longer intimidated by the duck broth, instead, I am going to see what else I can make with it.

Smoked Cream of Celery Soup.

Ingredients

4 thick cut strips of bacon

5 C celery, chopped into 1 inch long pieces

1 small yellow onion, chopped

1 large or 2 small/medium shallots, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 T fresh thyme, removed from stems

1 large potato, cubed

2 C smoked duck broth (can sub smoked chicken or turkey)

2 C chicken broth

2 C milk (you can experiement with how fatty you get-1%, 2% or whole, the soup is pretty creamy without the milk, so you could even try leaving it out)

kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

Preheat a large stock pot over medium heat. Ass bacon slices and cook slowly until done. Remove bacon and set aside and chop when cool. Add celery, onion, shallot, garlic, and thyme. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the celery is soft. Add potato and broth. Increase heat to medium-high, bring pot to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.

Remove from heat. Using an immersion circulator puree until smooth. You can use a blender here, but I highly recommend purchasing the immersion circulator…less chance of burning yourself.

Fold milk and bacon into soup. Serve hot with your favorite garnish.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Outside of the Box, Side Dish, Smoker Fare, Snacks, Soup/Stew

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.

I grew a mystery pepper this year. It came out of a mixed bag of hot pepper seeds I got two years ago…I had no idea it would take. Through a little internet searching…and simply reading the varieties that were listed on the mix, I have decided it is a Hungarian Wax Pepper and it is doing quite well. After figuring out what the heck it was, I had to decide how to use them. I settled on stuffing and roasting them. It was good decision because they turned out quite well. Do you have any mystery peppers? What did you do with them?

Stuffed Hungarian Wax Peppers.

Ingredients

4-6 Hungarian wax peppers

1 oz cooked Mexican chorizo or lump crab

1 oz shredded cheddar cheese, chopped

1.5 oz cream cheese, softened

2 T chives, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Cut tops off each pepper and set aside. Using a small spoon, a pepper corer, or the back of a fork, remove the seeds from the peppers. Combine remaining ingredients in the bowl and mix until well combined, a fork works well for this. Carefully stuff each pepper full. Replace top (it will stick to the filling) and place each pepper on a silpat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes, or until peppers are tender, golden and filling is bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pork, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegetables

Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs.

On our first attempt as we travel down the road to perfecting the pickled egg we made beet pickled eggs. I have a lot of small beets in the garden that did not want to continue growing so I thought, perfect, I have a reason to try those beet pickled eggs I always think about.

I used most of the recipe on SimplyRecipes but omitted the star anise as I did not have any on hand and don’t prefer the flavor anyhow. The recipe turned out great and I cannot wait to try new variations of it. With my beet pickled eggs I made a lovely deviled egg I wanted to share with you here.

Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs.

ingredients

4 beet pickled eggs

1 t sweet hot mustard

1 t yellow mustard

1 T mayonnaise

1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 T fresh chives or dill, minced

Cut eggs in half and remove yolks.

Set whites aside. Using a fork combine remaining ingredients in a bowl. Load 1/8 of the filling into each half of egg white. Garnish if desired and serve as a side, snack or appetizer.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizer, Eggs, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Pickles, Side Dish, Snacks, Vegetarian