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Friday, September 30, 2011

Spicy Veggie Noodles

I recently found a 1/2 dozen packages of udon noodles on sale at my local natural market. Of course I bought them all, not knowing when I would need them, but knowing I would certainly find a use for them. And I did. In our recent CSA shares we've been lucky enough to get wonderful veggies like bok choy, broccoli (lots and lots of lovely green broccoli), peppers, shallots, and of course my 1lb of weekly mushrooms. With all these fresh vegetables and those packages of udon noodles, I knew what we had to have for dinner Tuesday night. I spiced up the grown-up bowls after I mixed it all together so the kiddos wouldn't burn their mouths.

Spicy Veggie Noodles
1 green pepper, sliced (I leave mine big so the kids can pick them out)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot (or 2 depending on size), sliced
1 head bok choy, leaves ribbon sliced and stalks chopped - keep them separate
1 C broccoli, chopped

1/2 lb of mushrooms, chopped
2 T butter
2 T oil (sesame if you have it, but any type works)
1 package of udon noodles
1/3 C soy sauce
1/4 C rice vinegar
1 T corn starch
1/3 C water
Sweet chili paste

Boil water for udon noodles and cook according to package. Rinse and set aside. In skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter and add mushrooms. Cook until soft. Set aside. In large skillet or wok add oil over medium-high heat. Add peppers and shallots and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often so they don't burn. Add chopped broccoli and bok choy stems and cook, stirring often, until they are soft. Add bok choy leaves and mushrooms and cook until leaves are wilted. Meanwhile whisk soy sauce, rice vinegar, corn starch and water together. Add udon noodles to veggies with sauce and toss quickly and carefully. Serve in warm bowls with a teaspoon of chili paste and enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cottage Pie

Cottage Pie is a traditional british food, but too often mixed up with Shepherds Pie. The difference between the two is that Cottage Pie is made with ground beef, and Shepherds Pie with ground Lamb. Not being a fan of lamb, besides the fact that its not that locally available, I decided to make up some Cottage Pie the other night for dinner. We had about a 1/2 lb of ground beef from Caldwell Farms left-over from some lasagna I made for my mom's birthday, so the boys and I decided to make some comfort food. I had woken with a stomach flu that morning and by evening was feeling much better, but in need of something that would stick to my ribs. This is now my new favorite comfort food! Forget Chicken Noodle Soup when you're sick, this Cottage Pie will give you the vim and vigour you need to get better.

Cottage Pie
1/2 lb ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 head cauliflower
2 potatoes, quartered
1/2 lb of green beans, chopped into 1" pieces
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
6T butter
1/4 C milk
3 T ketchup
1/2 C shredded cheese
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease deep 8x8 casserole dish or pie dish. In skillet over medium heat cook ground beef for 10 minutes, or until brown and crumbly. Add onions and green pepper and saute another 5 minutes. Mix in ketchup, set aside. Steam potatoes and cauliflower separately, until they are soft. Mash and set aside. Steam carrots and green beans together until they are cooked through, but retain a bit of firmness - you don't want them smooshy so they hold up to the baking. In a saucepan melt butter and add milk to warm. Add to potatoes and cauliflower mash, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then mix in cheese. In pie dish or casserole dish add beef mixture, cover with green beans and carrots, then cover the whole thing with mash potato mixture. Dot with butter and bake for 30 minutes. Serve with warm rolls and a small side salad.

**NOTE: you can use any type of vegetables you may have on hand, such as peas or corn. That's the wonderfulness of this meal!