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Tag Archives: Vegetables

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For the Love of Food: Tuna Burgers (aka: how NOT to alter a perfectly good recipe)

Posted on by Alycia

In general, when we find a recipe we like, we have to remove a few non-whole foods (dairy, cheese, bread, rice, corn, etc). We also usually find a way to add in some extra vegetables to the dish, to make it even more nutritious.

There are a few times, however, where adding random ingredients, especially vegetables that give off water when they cook, results in a (temporary) culinary misstep. But not to worry – in our opinion, if it still tastes good, we just eat it anyway!

Here’s an amazing recipe that was link off of another CrossFit recipe blog ( I’m still searching for the recipe’s original author…I WILL find it and link here!).

Cook about 4-5 slices of bacon on the stove top.

While that’s cooking, mix together an avocado, 1/4 white onion, paprika, chili powder and some fresh lime, if you have it. Mix together until it looks like guacamole. Feel free to add a tomato in there.

This is the part where I derailed.

Mix together 4 cans of tuna, about 1/4 cup of almond meal, the chopped up cooked bacon, some white or red onion, and the leftover bacon fat. Also sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and paprika.

I went ahead and added broccoli and red peppers here as well.

Now, it becomes a “choose your own adventure”. Will you stick with the original recipe, which yields yummy looking tuna burgers? Or add in some more veggies ( doesn’t have to be broccoli and peppers – just use whatever you have)?

Still looking good

Total meltdown

Mix all of the ingredients ( minus the avocado spread) together in a bowl, form patties, and cook the patties, just for about 2 min on each side, or until warmed all the way through.

Even though the patties fell apart in the pan, the meal came out amazing!

Try it for yourself, and alter the recipe, or not  :)

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For the Love of Food: Roast Pork Loin in Tomato Sauce

Posted on by Alycia

This is a variation on a pork roast that we wrote about in August.  It was so good that we had to make it again….and add some ingredients!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Put a (roughly) 4lb pork loin/pork roast into an oven safe glass or metal pan. Season it with about 1T each of chili powder, garlic powder, oregano and cumin. Pour a 1/2 of a 15 oz jar of crushed tomatoes on top.

Cook at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 for the remaining time ( about 50-60 more minutes)

Since the over is already on, cut a spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast that once the oven temp has been lowered ( about 40-50 minutes, depending on size)

After the pork and squash have come out of the oven, sautee about 1/4 of a white onion in a pan with coconut oil, and add red Swiss chard. Cook with a lid for about 8 minutes, then 2 minutes without the lid.

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For the Love of Food: Whole Foods Salmon Burger with Eggplant and Broccoli Stir Fry

Posted on by Alycia

No meat or fish in your fridge? Running low on time? What to do?!

We suggest stopping on your way home at your local supermarket for the next best thing. When you run out of all the local, grassfed, raised right meats and fish, or when you are on your way home to a hungry family and you have no time to cook, the next best alternative is usually found in the prepared foods section of Whole Foods or Wegmans.

We found these great salmon burgers at Whole Foods that have only a few ingredients: salmon, spinach, pine nuts and feta cheese. Unlike crabcakes, these babies are free of fillers, breadcrumbs, or any other necessary ingredients.

We cooked them on the stove, flipping after a few minutes and serving right away.

Also on the stove, we steamed some strips of eggplant and florets of broccoli. We didn’t even bother to use the steamer – we just cooked them in a shallow pan with some water and a lid, until they were soft. Then, we drained the water, added a little olive oil, and sprinkled on some Italian spices ( thyme, oregano, garlic powder, black pepper) and cooked for an additional 3 minutes.

We ate the salmon and the side dish with a half of an avocado, which melted onto the salmon burgers really nicely.

Not bad, for a quick meal from the store!

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For the Love of Food: Butternut Squash Stuffed with Swiss Chard

Posted on by Alycia

Cut a butternut squash in half, lengthwise, and set down on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Poke some holes with a knife into the skin of the squash. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.

As the squash is almost done baking, rinse and chop up the Swiss chard into small squares and sautee in olive oil with sliced onions and a handful of raisins.

When the squash comes out of the oven, flip the halves over, and let them cool. The entire inside of the squash should be really soft.

Turn off the heat on the stove, scoop out the insides of the squash, but try to leave the skins intact. Mix the squash in with the Swiss chard, onions and raisins. When it’s thoroughly mixed, put the whole mixture back into the squash skins.

Return the stuffed squash to the oven, this time with the skins side down, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Cool and serve. This is a perfect fall side dish!

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For the Love of Food: Farmer’s Market Veggie Delight

Posted on by Alycia

This colorful dish was crafted using only vegetables that were grown right here in South Jersey.  Last summer/early is a great time to stock up on vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant before the frost comes in.

This dish is super-simple, and very flavorful.  It’s great if you’re trying to impress a friend, a first date, or your family – it looks intense, but all it takes is a sharp knife and some simple seasonings!

Chop up some heirloom eggplant (purple and squat), white onion, baby tomatoes (we got these from this farmer), zucchini, and sweet red peppers.  Very quantities depending on how many people you are serving.

Toss all of the vegetables, except the tomatoes, into a large sautee pan with some olive oil, a splash of water, and cover. Cook on low to medium heat for about 7 minutes.

Uncover and add in the tomatoes, season with black pepper and garlic powder, and continue to cook until the skins of the tomatoes begin to wrinkle.

Add to your dinner plate and eat!

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For the Love of Food: Just Add Eggs

Posted on by Alycia

A simple recipe for a wonderfully hearty weekend breakfast for those of us who have 5-star taste, on a $5 budget.

THIS WAS DINNER

1. Make some coffee

2. Open the fridge and remove last night’s leftovers.

3. Heat up the leftovers in a pan on the stove.

4. Cook up some eggs- either in the same pan or separately.

5. Eat.

6. Smile.

THIS IS BREAKFAST

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For the Love of Food: Grilled Free Range Chicken, Salad and Eggplant

Posted on by Alycia

This one’s super-simple to prepare, although it does require a few extra pre-cooking steps.  First, head to Reading Terminal Market, or anywhere else that sells free range, locally grown chicken parts ( thighs, breasts, legs). The ones that we used in this recipe were only $2/lb at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia.

(NOTE: An in depth look into all of those buzzwords you here these days, like “free range”, “grassfed”, will be in an upcoming post)

Marinate a bunch of chicken overnight in a plastic bag in the fridge with Newman’s Own Family Recipe Italian Dressing if you’re strapped for time, or make your own dressing with 1-2 T each of Italian spices (oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper) with 2/3  cup of olive oil and a few teaspoons of vinegar ( white or balsamic. keep adding and testing, until you get the amount you like). Save the leftover dressing in an airtight container in the fridge.   The Newman’s Own version is one of the best store-bought options, but it does include some non-foods in there.

Where was I? Oh yeah, so marinate that overnight. The next night, remove from the fridge and fire up the grill.  While the grill is heating up….

Rinse and chop up some baby spinach and/or arugula and pat dry. Chop up a bunch of salad toppings (red onion, red peppers, baby bella mushrooms,  broccoli, cucumber, or whatever you want!). Combine the greens with the toppings, and add some sundried tomatoes on top, or a little of that Italian dressing that you made the other day ( no, not the stuff that’s at the bottom of the chicken bag). Toss and set aside.

Put the chicken on the grill on a low temperature. Continually check it and flip it. Some good tips are not to let it catch on fire, and to cook it all the way through  :) . For more grilling tips that are specific to the type of grill you have, use Google.

During the first 5 minutes of the chicken on the grill, turn on the oven to 375. ( or, you can skip this part and just use the grill for double duty, if there is room on it).

Slice a purple Italian eggplant into rounds, season with olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika. Lay the pieces out in a single layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 20 min, flip the pieces, then cook for another 15 minutes or so. OR, put them on the grill with the chicken, and flip occasionally. Cook until the edges start to get a little crispy and the middle is really soft.

While the eggplant is cooking, continue to flip the chicken every 5 minutes. The chicken should be done cooking after about 20-25 minutes on the grill. The skin should be crispy and golden brown.

Start with the salad, continue to check on the eggplant in the oven, and when it’s done, enjoy the meal!

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For the Love of Food: Cooking White Eggplant

Posted on by Alycia

How the heck to you cook white eggplant, you ask?

The same way as purple eggplant!

Same vegetable, different color.

You can drench it in olive oil and bake in the oven for 20 min. You can grill it. You can saute it with chicken. You can slice it super thin, add some salt and olive oil and bake them into eggplant chips….the possibilities are endless, really!

For this dish, I resisted the urge to add the holy grail of meats, bacon, to the recipe. A vegetable as flavorful as eggplant doesn’t really need any help. :)

For this dish, here’s what I did:

Wash the white eggplant, and cut off the top part with the green leaves and stem.

Cut the eggplant into round pieces, trying to keep the thickness of each slice relatively consistent.

Cut half of a white onion into thick, long slices.

Saute both in a large saute pan for with some olive oil or coconut oil, turning frequently.

While those are cooking, wash and chop a bunch of kale, removing the thick parts of the stems. Chop the kale into bite sized squares or so. Also chop a small red tomato into bite sized pieces.

When the white eggplant starts to turn a little brown and translucent, add the kale and the tomatoes to the pan and saute for about 3-4 minutes, or until the kale just starts to wilt.

Enjoy!

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For the Love of Food: Cooking Kohlrabi

Posted on by Alycia

Cooking WHAT??!!

Kohlrabi is a root vegetable. It looks like a bunch of beets, and tastes like something in between a turnip and a potato. Our member, Beth, asked if I had ever made it before, and I admitted that I had never even HEARD of it before! It’s available at the Wegmans up on Route 38, but I have yet to find it at the one on Route 70.

After finding it at the store,  and not really knowing what it would taste like, I was decided to turn it into a side dish that involved a little more  than just boiling and seasoning the pieces, which is what we would normally do to sweet potatoes, turnips or parsnips. Instead, we decided to turn it into a hash. This is what we did:

Remove the kohlrabi from it’s leaves and remove the outer layer of skin with a vegetable peeler.

Chop each bulb into small sugar cube-sized squares (no need to be exact with the cuts) and drop them into a pot of boiling water for about 15-20 minutes.

While that’s cooking, cook two strips of (nitrite and nitrate free) bacon on the stove in a frying pan. Turn as needed, and drain out some of the bacon fat ( but save it!) so it gets nice a crispy in the end.

Meanwhile, dice about 1/4 of two different types of pepper and 1/4 of a red onion. For this dish, we used a small organic pimento pepper, and part of a ‘purple beauty’ pepper, both of which we got from the Haddonfield Farmer’s Market.

After the bacon is done, pour all of the bacon fat into a large saute pan, and start to cook the onions and peppers.

By now, the Kohlrabi should be just about done. Drain and add that to the saute pan.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add a few (or many) shakes of Frank’s Red Hot, or your hot sauce of preference.

Add in the bacon, just as the onions and peppers get soft.

Serve and eat for breakfast or dinner!

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For the Love of Food: Oven Roasted Pork Loin with Asparagus and Peppers

Posted on by Alycia

Justin turned 30 this past June and we had some friends over to celebrate. Among his favorite gifts was an enormous 16 lb. pork tenderloin. It was giftwrapped and presented to him with care by his good friend, Bob, who obviously knows him well.

We decided that the best use of the meat would be to chop it up into 4 equal parts, and cook each 4lb section on a different day, and in a different style.  The first three variations all started in the crock pot. For the last piece, however, I decided to use the oven to cook the meat, hoping that it would still retain it’s juiciness. It did. :)

To prepare for this recipe, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the pork loin ( about 3-4 pounds) in a baking dish. If there is a layer of fat on the meat, position it so that the fat layer is facing up. It might be helpful to use a roasting pan that has a rack. If you don’t have one, some twisted up tin foil will do just fine.

Season the meat liberally with a mix of olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. The first three spices should equal up to about 1T, and the salt and pepper should be another Tablespoon, combined. Mix those spices and the olive oil in a small dish and create a paste. Then, slather it on the top and sides of the meat.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 250 degrees and cook for an additional 50-70 minutes. It’s done when the center is slightly pink, but not fleshy. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before eating.

While the roast is cooling down, chop up some thin asparagus into halves, cut up half of an orange or yellow pepper, and about a quarter of a red onion. Steam the asparagus and peppers by cooking them in a large saute pan with a few teaspoons of water, and covered with a lid. After 5 minutes, uncover and add in the onions.  Season it simply, and let the water boil off. Serve and eat!

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