Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sheila's How To for Freezing Whole Corn on the Cob

Corn has a ridiculously short season. Tempting though it may be to purchase a whole basket full of sweet corn from the farmer's stand, you know you won't eat it all before the sweet begins to fade. It is quite a fun production to remove the kernels and freeze them (though they do fit into your freezer better that way) and you may not have time to do that. So, just freeze a few whole ears for a time when you only dream of summer. The nutrition facts for one ear of unbuttered corn were designed at Calorie Count.

Sheila's Method for Freezing Whole Corn on the Cob


as many ears of corn as you have room for in your freezer


Rinse the ears. Pull back the husks but do not remove. Pull off all the silks as best you can. Recover the cob with the husks, give a twist at the top to seal.

Pop into a freezer bag, remove as much air as you can, and place in the freezer.

Boil, grill, or microwave frozen or thawed ears. If frozen allow more time.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Brandy's Grilled Sweet Corn

Brandy's wonderful hint for grilling corn will work well with whatever seasonings you enjoy.

The nutrition facts for one ear of non-buttered corn was designed at Calorie Count.

Grilled Corn


1 ear corn
seasoning of your choice: salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic, etc


Rinse cobs well. Pull back, but do not remove the husks. Remove the silks.

Season with your favorite seasonings.

Recover the corn with the husk and grill for 15 minutes or so over medium coals turning every now and then. It's fine if the husk burns a bit, just don't cook so long the kernels burn. You can check one just to make sure.

Peel back the husks and enjoy!

Brandy on How to Freeze Fresh Sweet Corn

Brandy is a cousin of mine and fortunate enough to live smack dab in the middle of the best corn growing land there is. The family farms, which means that when it's corn season, there is a LOT of corn! You can't eat it all... though you might try. So, what Brandy and all my other cousins do is freeze it. Here's how.

Freezing Fresh Sweet Corn

First make yourself one of these:

It's a Redneck Concoction for standing corn on end.

You'll need a 2x4 long enough to sit atop a big pan, and a nice long nail.

Sterilize the nail in boiling water. Then whack it with a hammer until it goes all the way through the 2x4 in the middle on the flat side. That's it.

Next you need to do this:

Head on out to the farm and pick as much corn as you can. Get the whole family involved, three generations of Leggetts will do. Take it home and shuck and shuck and shuck. Put the corn in a bucket.

Have your brother, C.O., get the big kettle going. Yet another sister is necessary for handing off the corn for blanching in the hot water (about two minutes in the water is all it needs).

Your brother, and sister Sherry, will plunge the hot blanched cobs into another container filled with icy water. This stops the cookery.

When the corn has cooled, tote the buckets back to the house where Brandy and her Mom Bev await. The toting is best done by the younger members of the family, Abby and Zoie, who must have their hands clean by now from all that shucking.

Brandy and Bev will take the corn and pin it to the nail on the board and centered over a tray big enough to catch all the kernels.

Then comes the fun part. You can use a sharp knife or use the fantastic corn scraper from Pampered Chef. Brandy says it makes short work of the corn.

Here's Bev showing the proper technique for scraping the corn. Her hands are a blur!

Scrape off the kernels right into the pan. Repeat until you have the container filled or run out of corn. Put the corn in small containers or zip lock bags, seal well and place in the freezer. If you use bags, squish out as much air as you can before popping into the freezer.

Enjoy your corn! Man, I wish I didn't live so far away, the corn in Houston is ok, but not as sweet and good as what we grow on the farm in Illinois.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Janice's Microwaved Corn on the Cob

Sometimes it is just too hot to boil water much less get outside and light the grill. But, it's sweet corn season! So, take advantage of the microwave and in just a few minutes you will have delicious summer corn.

The nutrition facts for a single ear of corn was designed at Calorie Count!

Microwaved Corn on the Cob


1 ear of corn
1 sheet of wax paper
or a lidded microwaveable casserole dish large enough to hold ears of corn (you can cut the corn in half to make it fit!)


Remove the husk and clean off the strands from the ear of corn.

If you have time, soak the ear in a water dosed with salt for a short while. The cob will soak up the water and provide an assist in the steaming department. The bit of background salty taste blends so well with the corn that you may not need butter.

Wrap the ear in the wax paper or place in the casserole and cover.

Microwave on high. Now, times for this will vary depending on the age and speed of your microwave. Most new ones can handle an ear of corn in about two - three minutes. My microwave is old, well to be precise, it is 27 years old and not as fast as the new ones. I microwave an ear of corn in about five minutes. Increase the time if you nuke more than one ear at a time. In a new fangled microwave, add about a minute or so per extra ear. In an old antique, add a couple minutes extra per ear.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Carole's Eggplant Stuffed Peppers

Terrific vegetarian stuffed peppers from our newest contributor. Welcome to the team Carole!

The nutrition facts can be found at Calorie Count.

Carole's Eggplant Stuffed Peppers


1 Red Pepper
1 small Italian eggplant (the long tiny ones)- peeled and chopped small
1 small tomato, chopped small
1-2 T tomato and basil flavored crumbled feta cheese
1 T parmesan cheese, ground
1 T fresh basil, chopped fine
1 T whole wheat bread crumbs (I just grind up one slice of bread in the mini-chopper)- or, 1 T panko plain breadcrumbs
1/4 c. roasted garlic flavored hummus (I like Good Neighbor brand low fat)
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pepper in half, and scoop out the membrane and seeds. 

Mix together all other ingredients in a small bowl. 

Mound stuffing into peppers. 

Put about 1/2 inch of water in small casserole pan; place peppers into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until peppers are done.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lemongrass Marinade for Shrimp

Nutrition facts were set for one shrimp and an estimate that 1/4 t oil would be retained by one shrimp. The nutrition facts were made at Calorie Count.

Lemongrass Marinade for Shrimp


1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1 T Ground Chili and Garlic Sauce* – or equivalent amount of ground chilis and ground garlic
1 T chopped fresh garlic
1 4 inch stem fresh lemongrass – peel the outer layers, rinse, and smash with a mallet, do not chop
1 T fresh lime juice
1 T low sodium soy sauce
¼ t fresh cracked black peppercorns
smashed lemongrass stem
12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed

*Ground Chili and Garlic Sauce found in the Asian section of your grocers. Look for the little jars with a rooster drawing on it. If you prefer, you can sub in Sriracha sauce.


Mix the oil, chili and garlic sauce, the stems of lemongrass, lime juice, soy sauce, black peppercorns and place in a zip lock bag. Prepare the shrimp and add to the bag. Squish out as much air as you can and seal the bag. Marinate in the fridge for 1-2 hours before grilling. Discard all remaining marinade after skewering the shrimp.

Janice's Louisiana Style Marinade for Shrimp

Calories for marinades is difficult to determine. Most of the marinade does not stay with the food to be cooked. I used 1/4 t of olive oil as a reasonable estimate of oil calories added to the shrimp and have set the nutrition facts for one shrimp at Calorie Count.

Louisiana Style Marinade for Shrimp 


1/4 cup good quality olive oil
1/4 cup white wine
1 T Paul Prudhomme’s Toasted Onion and Garlic seasoning – can substitute ground garlic and onion
1 t dried parsley or 2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh garlic
¼ t fresh cracked black peppercorns
1 T lime juice
Dash or three of hot pepper sauce, oh what the hey, make it a whole bunch of hot pepper sauce!
12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and rinsed


Mix oil and seasonings. Place in a zip lock bag. Add the prepared shrimp, press out the excess air and seal. Marinade in the fridge for 1-2 hours before grilling. Discard all remaining marinade after skewering the shrimp.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Paul's Pasta with Veggies

Pure Vegan deliciousness. The nutrition facts were designed at Calorie Count with wine instead of olive oil. If you use olive oil, remember to add the calories.

Pasta with Veggies
Serves 6


1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup wine (or 1 T olive oil)
2 cups cremini or Portobello mushrooms, sliced
2 cups Brussels sprouts (frozen or fresh, cut in half outer leaves removed)
2 cups broccoli florets (frozen or fresh)
28 ounces Roma tomatoes, crushed
1 t dried basil or thyme
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti, thin


tomato paste for a thicker sauce
vary the proportions of the veggies to suit your taste.


Saute small onion and 2 cloves of garlic in wine or 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 3 minutes over medium heat.

Add wine or water if pan gets dry.
Add 1 or 2 cups of sliced cremini or Portobello mushrooms.

Saute for another 3 minutes.

Add 1 or 2 cups of brussel sprouts.

Add 1 or 2 cups broccoli florets.

Cover the pot and steam veggies until soft. Add water or wine if pot is dry.

Add 28 ounce can of roma tomotoes.

Add basil or thyme, black pepper, and salt to taste.

Add some tomato paste if the sauce is too thin.

Simmer for 15 minutes or more.

Serve over whole wheat spaghettini pasta. 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Susan’s Apple, Almond, Curried Quinoa

Susan makes enough of this to last her a week - it's great cold! Make it up on Sunday, divide into containers, and take it to work for a deliciously healthy lunch! The nutrition facts were created at Calorie Count!

Apple, Almond, Curried Quinoa
Serves 6


1 cup Quinoa
1 Apple (seeded and cut into little pieces, like 1/2 inch squares)
2 t Dried Onion Flakes
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds - toasted for crispness - (a small handful)
1 t Curry Powder (I use boring old regular spice aisle kind, you might like more curry powder when you make it, so taste!)
1/4 cup Dried currants (a small handful)
2 T Honey (to taste)
Pinch of Saffron (for color, so just use a smidge)
6 Cardamon Pods, whole


Get water boiling and add honey/onion/curry powder/cardamon pods/saffron/ - then add quinoa and cook until done.

Find and remove cardamon pods (they were just for flavor and I hate biting into one of those pods!). Let cool a bit.

Add apple and almond and mix well.

Dress with a bit of salt and lemon


Make a mixture of olive oil/lemon and salt and drizzle that and mix it in.

Adjust the seasonings and amount of almonds and currants to your taste. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Joan L's Stove Top Italian Hamburger

Instead of buying a pack of Hamburger Helper, I save a lot of money by making this cook on the stove top casserole. The nutrition facts were made at Calorie Count.

Stove Top Italian Hamburger
6 servings


1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion
32 ounces tomatoes
2 cups elbow noodles
1 t salt
1/4 t ground pepper
1/4 t oregano
1 t ground garlic
1 t basil
1/2 cup Mozzarella


In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon. Drain excess fat and return the beef in the skillet to the stove over medium heat.

Chop the onion and tomatoes. You can peel the tomatoes or not as you prefer. Add onions and tomatoes to the ground beef.

Add the elbow noodles and seasonings. Stir til well blended, reduce the heat to low and cook slowly until the noodles are tender (about 20 minutes). Top with cheese and continue to cool on low until the cheese melts.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

jk87hgtfhg387’s Zucchini with Feta

This dish is a favorite of ours.  My son is a vegan, so I've included how to make the dish vegan in the notes below.  As a side dish, this serves 4-6.  As a main dish, it serves 2-3. The nutrition facts were designed at Calorie Count and set for a side dish of four. The dish is just as delicious prepared with less oil.

Zucchini with Feta


4-5 Medium zucchini squash, sliced into ¼” thick circles
1 Ripe tomato sliced and quartered
1 Clove garlic, chopped
½ cup Extra virgin olive oil
8 oz Crumbled Feta Cheese
2 oz Shredded Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350º.  In a deep casserole dish, combine olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper (remember to go easy on the salt since feta cheese is salty too).  Stir together then put in the squash and tomatoes.  Stir until all the vegetables are coated with the oil mixture.  Press down the vegetables until you have a flat well mixed casserole dish with tomatoes and squash evenly distributed.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are soft then remove from oven.  Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the top of the dish and then do the same with the parmesan cheese.  Return to oven and bake until the cheese is golden brown (approx 10 minutes).


Serve with:

Shrimp Scorpio and some toasted Italian or French bread.


Larger, tougher zucchini can be used here since it’s baked.  Just peal and remove the large seeds from the middle.  Then cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters and slice crossways into ¼” thick slices.  When baked, they will be juicy and tender.

Optional Ingredients:

Add red onions, mushrooms or green or red sweet peppers

Lighter Version:
nutrition facts

Use less oil and cheese and more veggies and garlic.

Vegan version:

Leave out the cheeses.  Add another clove of garlic and one cup cubed medium firm tofu to the vegetables when tossing in the oil mixture.   Don’t put the tofu on top like the cheese because it will burn and it needs to be in the mix of vegetables, oil and garlic to absorb the flavors of each.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Suchit's Napa Cabbage Salad V1

Suchit brought this delicious salad to my house for dinner the other day. I managed to convince her that the left overs should remain with me. :D

The nutrition facts were made at Calorie Count.

Napa Cabbage Salad V1

Salad ingredients:

1 head Napa cabbage, chopped
1 daikon radish, sliced to 1 inch "fingers"
1 cup carrot, shredded
2 serrano pepper, red preferred, sliced thinly
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients:

10 cloves garlic, minced or ground with mortar and pestle
3 T good quality fish sauce
3 T fresh lime juice
1 T sugar


Prepare and toss the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix the dressing and toss with the salad.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Janice's Quinoa with Grilled Veggies

Simple, quick, and delicious. A real hit with my family. If you have not tried quinoa, this is the perfect introductory recipe. If you are not a fan of spicy peppers, substitute any kind you like. The nutrition facts, set for side dish, were made at Calorie Count!

Quinoa with Grilled Veggies

Grilled Veggie Ingredients:

4 banana peppers, deseeded and cut in half
2  hot chili peppers, deseeded
1 habanero pepper, deseeded and cut in half
1/2 onion, cut into large chunks
6 baby bellas, rinsed and dried

Quinoa ingredients:

1 1/2 cup quinoa (cooked to package directions)
2 t extra virgin olive oil
1 t ground garlic
1/4 t fresh cracked black pepper
pinch of salt


After prepping the veggies, run them all through skewers in preparation for grilling. There is no need to marinade, but if you want to, you could use some olive oil, garlic, and black pepper.

Start the quinoa before you put the peppers on the grill. I got fast cooking quinoa - simmering time 10 minutes, then sitting time 5 minutes. It never hurts to have things like this done ahead of time. Waiting on the quinoa while the veggies cool off would not be tasty.

Grill over medium-hot coals, turning frequently approximately 15 minutes or until nicely charred and cooked through.

When the quinoa is done, sprinkle with garlic, pepper, and salt. Drizzle with olive oil and give the whole a stir.

To serve, top the quinoa with the grilled veggies. Quinoa has a lot of protein, but it has a fairly mild or bland flavor and needs seasoning. This spicy dish can serve either as a side dish or as a main if you are vegetarian.


Jalapeno or serrano would be just fine as milder peppers to sub for the hot chili and habanero. Use a pretty colorful mix of bell peppers if you just can't stand the hot kind. I used the peppers in the recipe because that was what was ready in the garden! The quinoa seemed to cut the heat a bit which was great as that was one HOT Habanero!

Summer Squash Chips

Have a dehydrator? Looking for a healthier snack for you and the kids? The nutrition facts for summer squash were found at Calorie Count. There's nothing added here except a pinch of salt. Eat them out of hand or dip them. Just eat lots of them, they're good for you!

Summer Squash Chips


as many summer squash (zucchini or yellow) as you want to use
Salt to taste
Optional: onion or garlic powder


Slice summer squash into 3/8 inch thick slices.

Sprinkle with salt.

Arrange the slices on a dehydrator. They'll shrink, so crowd away!

Dry at 140 degrees F for 5-10 hours or until they are nicely dried.

These can be left at room temperature if you eat them within a week. Otherwise, store them in the fridge!

Meganr’s Yellow Squash and Tomato Chutney Frittata

Frittata recipes are a little loosy goosy. Mix and match seasonings based on your preference for that day. Meganr says the cast-iron skillet is necessary for a perfect frittata and an investment that is worth every penny. The nutrition facts were made at Calorie Count.

Meganr’s Yellow Squash and Tomato Chutney Frittata

four servings


6  eggs (at room temperature)
¼ cup  water
½ cup tomato chutney
½ tsp oregano, dried
½ tsp basil, dried
½ tsp thyme
Pepper to taste
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil 
2 cups yellow squash, diced
½ cup onions, minced (or 2 green onions)


Preheat your oven to 500 F.

In a medium mixing bowl, beat the eggs, chutney, water, herbs, and garlic. Add the Parmesan and mix well.

In a large cast-iron skillet, sauté the yellow squash and onions in the olive oil for 3 - 5 minutes, or until tender.

Before adding the egg mixture to the pan, make sure the sauté mixture is evenly spread across the bottom of the skillet. Then add the egg mixture, but do NOT mix or scramble, and cook for about 6 - 9 minutes or until the edges of the frittata are starting to separate from the sides of the pan.

Then place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for another 5 minutes or so, until the center of the frittata is fully cooked. Remove from the oven, let set a few minutes, slice and serve.