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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cooking at Mom and Dad's House - a three course in the oven night...

My parents have done so much for me my entire life.  They stuck with me through the thick and the thin, and they still help me out no matter what - it's what family is all about.  I think the least I can do is prepare dinner once in a while.  I believe that if it wasn't for my mom desperately researching to find out what it was in my environment that was making me sick, stupid, and sad that I myself would never have become so interested in food, and what it does to our bodies good or bad.  Through the years I have really developed a love for food, and also a real passion for how food can heal or kill.  Just maybe I can partially repay my parents love by helping them to be healthy and to age gracefully through food, so that one day they may happily grow old without surrendering the last quarter of their life to detrimental illnesses that so often incapacitate the mind and the body.  So tonight represents one meal in that quest - roasted artichoke hearts, mushrooms, onion, and cauliflower, egg souffle with green onions and cilantro served with salsa, a nice salad, and finally (because I believe that my parents secretly cannot eat a dinner without having some sort of dessert - I will have to break them of this) baked apples and raisins with honey and pecans.  Sound good?  Yeah, it was.  Let's start with the roasted veggies:
Ingredients:
2 cans artichoke hearts quartered
1 large head of organic cauliflower (chop off the florets)
1 large pack of baby Portobella mushrooms
1/2 large white onion or 1 small sliced
Dried basil and oregano
6 cloves garlic whole but crushed with a knife blade just to let oils out
Butter
Lemon Juice 
Parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper 
Of course - a little cayenne!!


Preparation:
Let's be serious people - if this isn't the easiest but best tasting veggie dish ever then you don't like food - period.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Butter a large baking dish, throw the artichoke hearts, mushrooms, cauliflower, garlic cloves, and onions in the dish.  Sprinkle about 1 tbsp basil and 1 tbsp oregano all over it, hit it with a little lemon juice, 2-3 pinches of salt, pepper it a little and don't forget a couple pinches of cayenne, and lastly as if this sentence wasn't long enough already, pour about 1/3 cup melted butter all over it.  Now mix it all up so that all of the ingredients get a coat of everything, pack it down a little bit and pop it in the oven for about 45 minutes.  When it comes out, grate a little bit of fresh Parmesan cheese on top and that's it, and it is the best part of this meal - delicious!!


Now for the egg souffle.  This thing is light and fluffy and full of eggy tastiness with a little oniony bite.  I served it with some salsa on the side, but it really didn't even need it.  You will need:
Ingredients:
10 eggs, whites separated from yolks to start (you will use both so don't discard anything - except the shell)
1.5 cups green onions chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Butter

Preparation: 
This is so easy.  The oven is already on for the roasted veggies.  With a beater, whisk the egg whites until they get very thick and creamy - like a stiff foam.  Beat the yolks and add a pinch of salt, green onions, and cilantro to them.  Butter an oven safe, deep dish pan like a large cast iron skillet.  Mix the yolks back in with the whites on low speed with the beaters.  Pour the mixture in the pan and stick her in the oven - just make sure and try to distribute the onions and cilantro evenly.  That will be done when the top turns a dark golden brown - about 30 minutes.  Serve it like it is or with some salsa!

I'll leave the salad ingredients and prep. to you guys.  Let's get it on with some baked apples.

Ingredients:
3 Braeburn apples (cut in to boats, triangles? You know.)
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pecans 

Preparation:
Place your apples in a baking dish, sprinkle on the raisins and pecans, pour the butter over this, drizzle on the honey, mix it all up really well and bake it in the oven until the apples reach your desired softness - some like 'em crisp and some like 'em soft.  I actually took mine out after about 10 minutes and stirred it all up again just to make sure the apples on top didn't dry out, and then I put 'em back in for a while.  That's it, another three courser and all in the oven and all stupid simple.  Enjoy!!







As always, gluten free




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