A Bit Of Alteration

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While red beans and rice are a more popular go-to meal, sometimes it’s good to change things up. Field peas, like red beans, are a great source of fiber and other nutrients and make a great option for a change or an inexpensive bean meal during the week. I added oven fried chicken with a Shake n’ Bake since red beans are often eaten with fried chicken in the south. You can always add fresh herbs and spices to the mix to make it your own. This is the meal that is great to have going while your doing other things around the house as it is no fuss. I hope you give it a try.
Field Peas and oven fried chicken

1 lb dry field peas
1 lb smoked sausage
8 oz fresh or frozen green beans
10 cups of water
2 cups chopped onion
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder

Rice:
1 cup of Rice
2 cups of water
Oven fried chicken
2 drumsticks
2 wings
1 pack of shake n bake (box comes with 2)
2 tsp. fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Empty peas into a bowl and rinse under cool water. Remove any debris.
2. Put a large pot on the stove over medium heat. While the pot heats, peel and chop a large onion and add it to the pot.
3. Once the onions began to sizzle, strain peas and add them to the pot.
4. Add the water and seasonings, cover and bring to a boil. Stir the pot then cover and reduce heat to medium-low.
5. Let cook for an hour. Within the last 10 minutes of the cooking, preheat the oven to the temp on the shake and bake box. Add seasoning and herbs to shake and bake mix in the included bag and coat chicken one piece at a time before placing on a foil-lined sheet pan.
6. Place chicken in the oven and add green beans to the pot and let both cook for 20 minutes.
7. Rinse and cook a cup of rice in two cups of water. Bring to a boil then reduce to low heat and cover.
8. When the timer goes off, turn off the heat from the stove, remove chicken from the oven, plate and enjoy.

A Bit Of Mobile Fun

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I was happy to take part in the first mobile market of the season with BREADA to host a food demo. Though still warm out, there was a great variety of fall produce. I decided to make a fall salad with a fresh satsuma balsamic vinaigrette. I’ve eaten many salads that have included kale, but I decided to make it the base. The trick is to tear it small and add it to the vinaigrette first to help it break down quicker and be less bitter. Turnips, often boiled or roasted, are great raw and made a great addition to the salad. They were peeled and thinly sliced or shaved using a mandolin. If a mandolin is not part of your kitchen tools, a potato peeler or box grater on the smallest setting would also work. While I love veggies, I prefer to add meat to the dish. You can really add any protein of choice, a piece of fish, baked or grilled chicken, grilled steak or even a pork chop if desired. It was great to see so many people try the dish and not only like it, but buy kale to try something new at home. The ingredients and directions for the salad and vinaigrette are listed below. Enjoy!

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
2 satsumas juiced by hand or juicer (about 1/4 cup of liquid)
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
Pinch of salt

Salad ingredients:
3 cups chopped or ripped kale
1/4 cup shaved turnips
1/3 cup sliced cucumber
1/3 cup sliced zucchini
1/8 cup diced bell pepper
1/8 cup diced green onion

Directions:
1. Peel 2 small to medium-satsuma (small orange). Over a medium-sized bowl, juice sections of the fruit at a time. Remove seeds, if any.
2. Add balsamic vinegar and oil and whisk until well blended. Add seasonings and mix well.
3. Rinse kale and set on a paper towel. Remove the leaf from the stem and rip into small bite-sized pieces into the bowl with the vinaigrette. Mix with tongs or a fork until kale is well coated.
4. Peel two small turnip roots with a potato peeler and slice with a mandolin over the bowl or if using the peeler or box grater, on a plate before adding to the bowl. Stir to coat turnips in dressing.
5. Wash zucchini and cucumber and cut off both ends. Slice the zucchini in half longwise before cutting the half in half and then into thin slices. Repeat with cucumber and add both to the bowl.
6. Wash green onion and bell pepper. Cut off the tips of a few green onion stems before chopping roughly until you have roughly 1/8 of a cup and adding to bowl. Cut of a fourth of the bell pepper and remove any seeds before slicing thinly and chopping it small.
7. Toss salad, plate and enjoy.

A Bit Of Change

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At the first hint of cool weather this past weekend, I made my first pot of gumbo of the season and shrimp corn and crab soup. I also made some chicken salad so I would have three options for lunch and dinner this week. It’s always great to set some aside to freeze in individual servings for easy meals on busy days in the weeks to come. The great thing with each of these dishes is you can make so many versions; chicken and sausage gumbo instead of seafood, add cream cheese and green onion to the chicken salad instead of mayo or make a thick, cream based shrimp corn and crab soup. While I like the rich flavor heavy cream adds, I opted to make a spicier, less heavy version with a tomato cream base and the addition of shrimp to the more traditional corn and crab soup. This was a quick dish that took about 45 minutes to make. I topped my soup with a some fresh savory microgreens from the farmers market for color, nutrients and spice. I also paired it with a nice glass of a white wine blend. Try it and share your thoughts.

Shrimp corn and crab soup

Ingredients:
1 lb peeled and deveined shrimp
2 cups fresh corn
5 cups of water
8oz lump crabmeat
1 can of diced spicy pepper and tomato no salt added
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk (2% or whole)
1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1tbsp of flour or cornstarch (optional)
2 tbsp. fresh microgreens (optional garnish)

Directions:
1. Cut ends off of a small onion and cut in half. Peel off skin and slice each half into thin strips, then cut into small dice.
2. Wash and cut a bell pepper in half. Remove seeds and slice into thin strips before dicing.
3. Shuck corn by removing husk. Rinse off remaining stringy husks in water. Stand in a large bowl on the flattest end and cut down the length of the corn removing kernels and any liquid. When cutting the corn off the cob, aim for one fourth of the cob at a time.
4. Place corn, onion, bell pepper, water and the can of tomatoes in a pot over medium heat. Cover and let come to a boil.
5. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Add seasonings, half and half and milk and stir before simmering for an additional 10 minutes.
7. Add shrimp and crabmeat and optional flour or cornstarch and stir. Let cook for 5 minutes on low heat and turn off heat.
8. Let steep for 10 minutes.
9. Serve and top with optional microgreens and enjoy.