Roasting Red Bell Peppers

ROASTING RED BELL PEPPERS

Roasting red bell peppers without oil results in delicate pepper pieces full on nutrients. Use in salads, hummus, sandwiches, pastas and you name it. Roast the peppers until the skins wrinkle and the peppers are charred as shown below.

CHARRED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS
CHARRED ROASTED RED BELL PEPPERS


How to Roast Red Bell Peppers:
 Preheat oven 400° F. Thoroughly wash red bell peppers, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast the peppers in the oven for about 40 minutes (depending on size), turn several time during roasting. After roasting, place peppers in a bowl, cover the bowl with a dish for 10 minutes to steam (so the skins can easily be removed). Strain and save off juices. Remove and discard the core, seeds and skin. Don’t wash peppers, at this point, or they lose much of the nutritional value. Wipe remaining seeds out with a paper towel and strain juices.

Now they are ready to use – make a lovely sammy or enhance various recipes. We freeze some in zip lock bags, then add to marinara sauce. So yummy!

ROASTING RED BELL PEPPERS
ROASTING RED BELL PEPPERS

 

Irish Stew

Irish Stew

IRISH STEW:  This dish is simple yet hearty. It requires the sacrifice of a good stout such as Guinness but it is well worth it in the end. We serve with Irish soda bread and homemade apple butter. Turn on some Irish tunes and you’d think you’re in Dublin.

Serves: 4 || Prep Time: 30 minutes || Cook Time: 60-90 minutes (stove top) or 5 minutes medium pressure (pressure cooker)

1 bottle 11.2 fl oz Guinness Stout
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable stock
2 onions or leeks, coarsely chopped
4 stalks celery, sliced
6 carrots cut into 1″ chunks
6 yellow potatoes, do not peel, cut into large chunks
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans black beans, low sodium, include brine
1 tablespoon parsley flakes or fresh
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Optional:  If needed, use flour to thicken (make a roux by mixing a bit of the stew broth and a few tablespoons of flour – add the roux to the pot of stew and wait about 10 minutes to thicken).

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Stove Top:  Prepare all vegetables. Place all ingredients into a soup pot, stir and cover. Simmer on medium heat for 60-90 minutes until vegetables have softened.  If the stew needs to be thickened, for desired consistency, add flour  by the tablespoon to a small about of stew broth, stir, add roux to the pot.

Pressure Cooker:  Prepare all vegetables. Place all ingredients into a 5 quart pressure cooker. Cook on medium pressure for 5 minutes, take cooker off the hot burner and let rest until pressure is released. The stew will likely need to be thickened. Make a roux  by adding a few tablespoons of flour to a small amount of stew broth, stir, add this roux to the pressure cooker and wait about 10 minutes for stew thicken.
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Whole wheat soda bread is a nice companion.

Irish Stew with Soda Bread
Irish Stew with Soda Bread

Nutrition Facts
Calories 480  Calories from Fat 1, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 446mg, Total Carbohydrate 90g, Fiber 22g, Sugars 4g, Protein 22g


This is one of Tom’s favorites and we love the leftovers even better than the first plating.

 

 

Roasting Plum Tomatoes

Roasting Plum Tomatoes Plant-Based

Just call me a tomato snob! I really miss our home-grown heritage tomatoes during the colder months in Pennsylvania. Usually after October any store-bought slicer-type tomatoes are just so dull and not even worth purchasing. Of course you may choose to can tomatoes to savor their fresh taste. But I’ll talking about using tomatoes in sammys and on  salads. 

So here are two tips around this flavor challenge. If you have more tips, we’d love to hear from you!

(1) We have found that store-bought cherry tomatoes are still rather tasty during this season. We use in salads and in some soups.

Cherry Tomatoes at the Market
Cherry Tomatoes at the Market

(2) We have found roasting store-bought Italian Plum Tomatoes will get us through the winter. They are inexpensive and accessible but still rather flat tasting during the winter, that is, until roasted. After roasting they are taste busting gems! I roast plum tomatoes in my toaster oven about once a week; wrap left overs in the parchment paper which they were roasted on and store in the refrigerator so they are handy to grab.

Plum tomatoes
Plum tomatoes

HOW TO ROAST TOMATOES
TOMATOES (PLUM) – ROASTED:  Juicy caramelized tomatoes – use to enhance sauces, in salads, on sandwiches or just pop into your mouth for a tasty nutritious treat. It’s easy to make small batches in a toaster oven. They are particularly yummy in the colder months when store bought tomatoes are so tasteless.

Serves: 8 tomatoes || Prep Time: 10 minutes || Cook Time: 30 minutes
8 fresh Italian Plum Tomatoes
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt substitute
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

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Preheat toaster oven 400°F. Cut fresh tomatoes in half lengthwise, cut out stem. Place halves in a medium sized bowl, pour tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes. Stir until all surfaces are coated. Sprinkle with dried basil, salt substitute and garlic powder; gently toss. Place halved tomatoes, cut side up, on parchment paper; roast for about 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts
Calories 26  Calories from Fat 0, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 9mg, Total Carbohydrate 6g, Fiber 1g, Sugars 1g, Protein 1g

CoachBJ Roasting Plum Tomatoes
CoachBJ Roasting Plum Tomatoes

The Last Piece of This Season’s Watermelon

Gleaning Watermelons

Life moves along so quickly these days…a hot summer turns into a colorful autumn. It is October but today we ate the last piece of local summer’s watermelon, we extended the summer with this last piece of sweet summer. We will soon be moving onto this season’s beautiful food from the fertile Franklin County valley in PA. 

We have learned how to pick ripe watermelons while gleaning for The Gleaning Project of South Central PA. Consumer’s demand in our area is for seedless watermelons, hence that’s what growers grow. The rounder ones (female) are the ones we gathered during our field time, on the other hand, the larger oblong seeded-watermelons (males) are needed to fertilize, so we also gathered those.

It’s always a good exercise day when we are gleaning watermelons, when gleaners arrive on the site they stretch before lifting and are warned – safety first. Thus we do a lot of safe bending, twisting and lifting in the fields. Enjoying nature, exercising and gathering food for the less fortunate is truly a breath of FRESH air! Support our growers by purchasing local vegetables and fruits.

Gleaning Watermelon
Gleaning Watermelon
Beautiful Sweet Watermelon
Beautiful Sweet Watermelon
The Last Local Watermelon
The Last Watermelon of the Season – Grown Locally

So today we cut open our last local watermelon. And BOY was it sweet and delicious! Enjoy each season.

The Last Bites of Watermelon
The Last Bites of a Seasonal Watermelon