The North Dakota Coxes (Four of us left)

Some things simply matter more than others

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Jumping on the recipe wagon...

Several of you have posted recipes on your blogs; Leona has asked for healthy recipes. So I thought I would join the fun with this rather strange, but really healthy and surprisingly satisfying "stew" recipe. Let go of your stew stereotypes, because this doesn't fit them. It does satisfy the antioxidant "colorful" qualification... Sorry I don't have a picture.
African Peanut Stew

1 T. olive oil; 1 med. red onion, chopped; 1 med. green pepper, chopped; 2 carrots, chopped; 1 rib celery, chopped; 3 garlic cloves, minced; 2 T. peeled, minced fresh ginger; 1 T. curry powder; 1 bay leaf; 1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained; 4 c. chicken or vegetable broth; 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces; 1 1/2 c. cooked chicken; (opt.); 1/4 c. creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter (so there's no extra oil or sugar); 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped;

5 oz. baby spinach leaves, washed and torn into bite-size pieces; 1/2 t. salt; pepper to taste.

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or 4-qt. saucepan; add onion, bell pepper, carrot and celery; saute about five minutes, til translucent. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute about 1 minute; do not brown garlic. Add bay leaf and tomatoes, cooking about 3 minutes.
Add broth and sweet potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 8 minutes. Stir in chicken and peanut butter until combined. Cook until thoroughly heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and spinach until spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 8 (1 cup servings).

Karla's notes: The recipe substituted shelled edamame for the chicken -- I don't even know what that is. Serving it over rice makes it a heartier meal.

With a low-cal main dish like this, you can splurge and have Alisa's Molten chocolate cakes! Or, for more of you, there's this similar chocolate fix:

Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Cake: 2 1/4 c. flour; 3/4 c. cocoa powder; 1 3/4 c. sugar; 1 3/4 c. butter, softened; 6 eggs; 2 c. powdered sugar; 2 c. walnuts or pecans
Glaze: 3/4 c. powdered sugar; 1/4 c. cocoa powder; 2-3 T. milk or canned milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 12-c. bundt pan.
Combine flour and cocoa, set aside. In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter til light and fluffy; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Gradually add powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. Stir in flour mixture by hand until well blended, gently stir in nuts (batter will be thick). Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until the top is set and edges begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool upright in pan on wire rack for 1 1/2 hours to allow fudge inside cake to set. Invert onto serving plate.

To prepare glaze, combine powd. sugar and cocoa. Add 2 T. milk, mix thoroughly, adding more only as needed to create smooth but pourable glaze. Spoon over cake, allowing to drizzle down sides.
Serves 20.
(From Minnesota Historical Society, Susanna Short's Bundt Cake Bliss)

Let me know if you try them, and of course if you like them! To be honest, I love the stew, but I won't be making it often until Suzie's out of the house. Anyone surprised? ;->

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Random picture... and Answer to the Book Tag...

Just to include a picture (everything needs pictures to be interesting ;> ), I picked, completely at random, a photo from Suzie's file without knowing what would show up. Now you tell me if you know what the photo depicts. A different kind of game, I guess (though not too hard, especially for the bighappyfam that spent Christmas together!)
For the Book Tag, I'm guessing I should have posted the book title along with the quote, but I followed Alisa's pattern and the fun of not knowing right away; the book is called The Doctors Mayo, a surprisingly interesting story about the family who created and made a success of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.
And now you know why AJ would know the book: we got it from Josh! (Was that your guess, AJ?)
Incidentally, everyone should see that place - the Mayo Clinic, I mean. It is amazing in many ways at on all levels. I've never been in underground tunnels that were full of precious works of art! Enough said for now; visit AJ and Josh, ask them for a tour, and see what YOU think.