Chard, Broccoli and Cannellini Bake

Dear Reader.  Please meet my new best friend.  (I'm sorry KT but you've been sidelined.
I feel that it will only be brief however.  If you'll take me back that is.)

This is my new best friend, my new 'I'm-going-to-stand-over-this-eating-it-forkful-by-forkful-until-it's-half-gone-and-I-feel-guilty' dish.  You know that kind of dish.  The one that keeps you at the table even after eating to continue picking away at it until there is ridiculously little of it left and the only reason that you stop picking is because you were hoping that there would be leftovers for a few days... No this totally didn't happen or anything.  This dish knocked my socks off, and a couple of other articles of clothing too.  I mean Holy @*%! who would believe that these ingredients could taste this good.

As I recuperate myself I have to tell you that D wasn't nearly as overwhelmed as I was.  In fact, he was quite underwhelmed with it.  So, it just goes to show you that everyone's taste is different and you might not like it.  I don't often get attached to food in this way but when D told me that it wasn't completely changing his life I found myself getting angry at him and defensive for my BFF!

Sometimes, I like to think that I could go totally whole hog (no pun intended) and be totally vegan but when I eat something like this I just can't imagine it.  Either that or I totally (albeit briefly) forget that the word 'vegan' even exists.
Yeah, so my new best friend and I had some time together yesterday after school (I'm hungry when I come home you know).  Oh yeah, and today after school too.  I'm thinking about not sending any tomorrow with Kid #1 for lunch so that I can sneak in another day with my new BFF.  We really love each other.

Chard, Broccoli and Cannollini Bake
inspired by 'Great Greens' cookbook
serves 6

2 tbsp oil (olive or whatever)
1 bunch of chard cut into thin slices
1 bunch broccoli cut into florets
1 small fennel bulb cut into thin slices
1 rib celery cut into small pieces
1 small onion sliced thin
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can Cannellini beans (with liquid as long as it's not excessive)
2 organic bouillion cubes (I used low sodium vegetable)
1 tbsp Worcestershire
2 tsp each parsley, oregano
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika
4 dashes nutmeg
a couple of dashes of pepper sauce (optional)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (plus a little extra if it gets too thick)
1 cup cheddar, shredded
parmesan for topping

Get a large baking dish ready.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a large pot or dutch oven and add the oil, onion, broccoli, fennel, celery and chard.  Cook it all together for about 7 minutes or so.  Keep the heat lowish so that nothing burns.
Add in the garlic and swish around for a minute or two.
Add in the Cannellini beans, the bouillion cubes and the Worcestershire.  Let that cook together for just a few minutes.
Add in the herbs, salt, sugar, smoked paprika, nutmeg and pepper sauce.  Mix well.
Add in the flour and mix well.
Pour in the milk, slowly - mixing the whole time.  You might need a little extra if it thickens too quickly. Once the consistency is right then add in the cheddar (save a little for the top).  Once the cheese is melted, transfer everything to a baking dish.  Top with a little of the cheddar and some parmesan.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until everything is bubbly and golden...
serve however you like...

Rutabaga, Potato and Sweet Potato Gratin

Fact:  Sometimes it's easy to trick kids.  Sometimes it's not.
Fact: The first thing that I want to do when I come home from work is change out of the work clothes, jewelry and all, and put on the grubby, comfy stuff.
Fact:  This is the first time that I've ever cooked Rutabaga.  It wasn't terrible.
Fact:  Right now I'm trying to write this post with a 4 yr old talking a blue streak beside me.  It's not easy.

I'm trying not to think about it.  'Just put your head down and get the work done' is what I'm telling myself.  That's right my peeps, next week is March Break.   Seriously, when did that happen.  Middle of March... and a week off.  Like I said, I'm trying not to think about it.  I don't know exactly what we are going to do yet but I know that it will involve cooking, baking, running, yoga and doing fun stuff with kids.  Like I said, I'm trying not to think about it yet.

So, yeah, I made this thing with Rutabaga.  I actually rocked.  Rutabaga is another one of those weird, knobbly veg things that a lot of people have just forgotten about.  It's not nasty.  It has a distinctive but friendly scent when cooking.
Every week in my food box comes some recipe suggestions for the veggies that are included in the box.  This one came with the rutabaga box.  I've adapted it a bit by adding sweet potato and more garlic and onion than originally called for.  It's really a very straight forward kind of scalloped potato.  Came off beautifully and went really well with the roasted chicken and roasted (in the same pan of course) carrot and parsnips (I know.  Parsnip and rutabaga in the same meal... )

Let's recap Fact #1.  Kid #1 and Kid #2 definitely got tricked with this one.  What's cool is that they didn't figure out that it wasn't all potato and subsequently there were no undue complaints and everybody was happy. Yeah.  The end.

Rutabaga, Potato and Sweet Potato Gratin
adapted from Deborah Madison 'Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone'
serves 6

1 lb (about 4 med) potato sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 lb rutabaga, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 small/med sweet potato, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

4 tbsp unsalted butter
4 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups milk (I mixed milk and cream)
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic (1 clove cut in half, save one half and crush the rest of the garlic)
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup grated cheddar
salt to taste
Parmesan to taste
Crumble topping (optional) to taste

Steam the potato, rutabaga and sweet potato for about 7 min. or until they are softening nicely.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Warm the milk in a saucepan.
Rub a large baking dish with the half of garlic clove that was saved and then rub the dish with butter.
Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Once melted and a little bubbly, add in the flour.  Whisk together until it's well mixed.  Slowly add in the warmed milk, mixing well as you go along.  Once the milk is completely added then add in the onion, crushed garlic, bay leaf and thyme.  Heat over med/low heat and whisk frequently.  Once the mixture begins to thicken add in the nutmeg and a little salt.  (Just for the record I threw in a splash of Worcestershire here too).  Add in the cheddar and stir until melted.
To Assemble:
Line the bottom of the baking dish with an assortment of the steamed veg.

Sprinkle with a little parmesan and then a thin layer of the milk/cheese mixture.  Continue layering until everything is used up.
Sprinkle the top with a little more parmesan and a handful or so of crumble topping (optional).
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.

Banana Chocolate Chunk Cookies... and an INVITE.

I just got an invite (my first ever!) to a 'Sweet Treat Linky Party' by Lisa at Sweet As Sugar Cookies.  This is very cool for me.  I'm totally stoked, my first blogvite... how cool.  Check out Lisa's stuff, there is a lot there.  And... Thanks for the invite Lisa.

Also, I had a fab time last night with my BFF KT and Kid #1 (KT was gracious enough to include Kid #1 in our girlie movie night just this once but I gotta tell 'ya, it just wasn't the same for me.  I cannot compartmentalize parent/BFF very well and let's face I'm not chumming with my 10 yr old just yet - Thanks a million though KT, you're a doll.).  KT and her dude had this mondo tub of Kraft peanut butter  and I just kinda tripped out over it.  I don't buy kraft any more and when I taste it now it's just like candy.      Awesome.  KT ended up melting the peanut butter together with some corn syrup and then pouring in some crispy cereal.  Peanut butter treats, red wine (not for kid #1 though), Sushi and Salt... great movie night.  Great weekend!

On to the cookies.  These were going to be Chocolate cookies with white chocolate chunks.  Sounds good doesn't it?  Yeah... then I found these....

Gross.  Please take note of mold in various places.  Gross.
These were definitely in need of some immediate attention.

The thought of Banana Bread or Muffins just wasn't making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  So, I found this recipe in Martha's Cookie Book (Yeah, I guess we're on a first name basis by now) and got a little excited at the thought of trying something new.  I like the thrill of the unknown.
So, I cut out the molding, gross parts of the bananas and mashed up the rest.

I didn't have quite enough dark chocolate so I substituted with a little bit of milk chocolate.  Not that anyone in my house will care.  These cookies are cakey and nicely sweet.  It's like a banana bread cookie... that's what I'm going to call them now.

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chunk Cookies  (Banana Bread Cookies)
adapted from Martha Stewart Cookies
makes about 3 doz.

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (could half and half with whole wheat)
1 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temp.
1/2 sugar
1/2 brown sugar (I only had dark but light is fine too)
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mashed banana (I used about 2/3 cup)
1 cup old fashioned oats, whizzed to a crumb
8 oz dark chocolate cut into chunks
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Mix and set aside.
In another bowl combine the butter and both sugars.  Whisk or beat until light and fluffy.  Add in the egg and the vanilla and continue to whisk until well mixed.  Add in the banana and mix.
Add the flour to the banana mixture and stir until combined.
Add in the oatmeal that's been whizzed and stir until combined.
Add in the chocolate and the nuts and stir just until mixed.
Refridgerate for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Prepare a cookie sheet with a liner or parchment.
Drop the dough in tablespoons onto the cookie sheet.  Leave a little space for them to expand.
Bake for about 12 minutes.
Cool just a little on the cookie sheet and then remove to a cooling rack.

Powered by Blogger.

Archivo del blog

About Me

My photo
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

My Favourite Cookbooks

  • Naparima Girls High School Cookbook
  • The Silver Palate Cookbook
  • More-with-Less Cookbook
  • Moosewood Cookbook

About Me

My Photo
Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
View my complete profile



Blog Archive



FBC Member