Category Archives: Vegetable

potato leek soup

Here in the trenches the fist of the Beast

For fear of an atmosphere poisoned deceased

With a gas mask to keep me from breathing my death

It’s American soil I hope for at best

But the duty I serve can’t begin to compare

To my ancestors battles and wars through the years

Though the loneliness strikes like an enemy shell

I pray for my home but still sit here in hell.

“Far Away Coast” by Dropkick Murphys

Tomorrow is St. Pat’s Day and we are having a shindig at work.  I’m making my all time favorite soup, potato leek. I have made this on many occasions and it always seems to peek its head out at Thanksgiving dinner.

What’s the secret to this soup? Love. Not really, it’s actually just copious amounts of dairy products (namely cheese, butter and heavy cream).


6 c chicken stock
½ stick of butter
2 leeks sliced in ½ lengthwise (top and bottom trimmed), soaked in cold water to remove dirt, drained in a colander
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1-3 t salt (estimate, to taste)
1/4-1/2 t pepper (to taste)
½ c heavy cream
5 oz. Boursin Garlic and Fine Herb cheese chunk


1.Put butter in a large pot, heat over medium-low heat
2. Add leeks, cook until soft 4-5 minutes
3. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute
4. Add potato and stock and simmer for 30 minutes
5. Process with stick blender, add cheese and cream, continue to process until smooth
6. Add salt and pepper to taste

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Filed under Easy, Pub Food, Soup, Starch, Uncategorized, Vegetable

thai red curry with vegetables

And all I see is little dots

Some are smeared and some are spots

Feels like a murder but that’s alright

Somebody said there’s too much light

Pull down the shade and it’s alright

It’ll be over in a minute or two

“Drugs” by Talking Heads

Use whatever vegetables that are in season, I would not skip the dried shitakes, they really make the dish.

Adapted from


1 green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ white onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
.5 oz dried shitake mushroom caps, reconstituted in hot water for 20 minutes
2 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch coins
1 small eggplant, cut into ½ pieces
1 cup green beans
1 lime, juiced
1 can coconut milk
1 cans worth of water
3 tablespoons red curry paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
¼ cup fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
Cashews, for garnish


  1. In a large pot, whisk together lime, coconut milk, water, curry paste, brown sugar, and fish sauce, bring to a boil, then lower to a strong simmer
  2. Allow mixture to thicken slightly, about 5 minutes
  3. Add cilantro and vegetables, simmer for 20 minutes
  4. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro and cashews

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Filed under Asian, Vegetable

wisconsin roots: escalloped potatoes and ham

I saw them holding hands

She was standing there with my man

I heard them promise

Til death do us part

Each word was a pain in my heart

“All I Could Do Was Cry” by Etta James

As you can see by the picture, I tried to cut up the ham before baking and I paid the price. The ham chunks that were exposed on the top of the casserole were extremely dried out.  I compensated for this in the recipe by placing a final layer of potatoes over the top of the ham.  While the ham was dried out, the potatoes were awesome.


6 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8 inch slices
3 tablespoons butter
½ medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ inch thick ham steak


1. Preheat over 325 F
2. In a small casserole dish, layer potatoes, reserving enough potatoes to layer over the top
3. In a small pot, melt butter and simmer onions over medium-high, cook until soft
4. Add flour to onions, cook for about 1minute
5. Add milk, salt and pepper, cook until thick
6. Pour cream sauce over potatoes, place ham steak over potatoes, and place final layer of potatoes over ham
7. Cover with a lid and bake for 2 hours

If there is anyone out there that reads this blog and has Wisconsin roots, I would love your recipes and suggestions.

Some previous posts on food from my favorite state:

Brandy Old Fashioned Sweet

Bratwurst, cooking

Bratwurst, making

Cheese curds

Potatoes, Escalloped with ham

Potato Salad, German


Summer sausage

Torte, Poppy Seed


Filed under American, Cheese, Meat, Pork, Side, Vegetable, Wisconsin, Wisconsin Roots

italian barley, bean, and kale stew

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane

Ain’t got time to take a fast train

Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home

My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend

Got to get back to baby again

Lonely days are gone, I’m a-goin’ home

My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

“The Letter” by The Box Tops

I strictly vegetarian dish, from me? Oh yes. While I do not often dabble in -air quotes- “healthy cooking”, here is my attempt. The Chronicle mentioned that it should be a soup-like consistency, but I think the lentils and barley really lend themselves to stew.

Adapted from The San Francisco Chronicle


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/4 inch coins, divided
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch coins, divided
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups barley
8 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup lentils
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, thinly sliced
1 cup whole peeled canned tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan for serving


1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add onion, half the celery and half the carrots, cook until the vegetables are light brown
2. Add tomato paste and garlic, cook for 30 seconds, add barley and stock, bring to a boil, making sure to scrape any bits off the bottom of the pot, season with salt and pepper, simmer for 30 minutes
3. Add remaining celery and carrots, lentils, chickpeas, kale, tomatoes, and sage, simmer until lentils are tender, about 30-40 minutes
4. Add water, Tabasco, and balsamic, season with salt and pepper
5. Garnish with parmesan and serve with crusty bread


Filed under Italian, Vegetable

calo verde

Set me free, why don’t cha babe

Get out my life, why don’t cha babe

Cause you don’t really love me

You just keep me hangin’ on

You don’t really need me

But you keep me hangin’ on

“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Diana Ross and The Supremes

I have two kale dishes from my farmers market bounty, today’s soup and a vegetarian stew later this week. Both recipes were adapted from a wonderful feature the San Francisco chronicle did a couple of months back on soup.  I don’t have a lot of experience cooking with kale, it was just not something that showed up on the dinner table growing up. This soup, Calo Verde, is a traditional Portuguese soup, another one of those good winter belly-warmers.

Adapted from the San Francisco Chronicle


2 tablespoons olive oil
10 oz. linguica (or Spanish chorizo), sliced into 1/4 inch coins, divided
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4 inch slices
5 cups chicken broth
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves cut into thin slices
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco (more or less depending on your preference)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, add half of the sausage, spreading it out in a single layer, cook until caramelized on both sides, remove sausage and set aside
2. Low heat to medium-low, add onion and garlic, saute until soft, stir in potatoes and lightly season with salt and pepper, add chicken broth and simmer for about 15 minutes, until potatoes have softened
3. Using a potato masher, smash the potatoes until the soup has thickened but some chunks of potato remain
4. Stir in kale, browned and unbrowned sausage and simmer for 10 minutes
5. Season to taste, serve with crusty bread


Filed under Farmers Market, Meat, Soup, Vegetable

at the farmers market: kale

I was carried to Ohio in a swarm of bees

I’ll never marry but Ohio don’t remember me

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe

I never thought about love when I thought about home

I still owe money to the money to the money I owe

The floors are falling out from everybody I know

“Bloodbuzz Ohio” by The National

Some of my favorite blogs do kale:

Steamy Kitchen: Crispy Kale

Simply Recipes: Sauteed Kale with Smoked Paprika

The Kitchn: Kale and Potato Gratin

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Filed under Farmers Market, Vegetable


Come over baby whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

Yes, I said come over baby

Baby you can’t go wrong

We ain’t fakin’

Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on

“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On” by Jerry Lee Lewis

This is a great recipe for an Italian bread salad, the crouton-like chunks of bread do a wonderful job of soaking up all of the delicious vinaigrette.  If you can find a decent tomato, have at it, otherwise it might be better to wait with this recipe.  One tip, place the sliced onions in ice water for ten minutes or so to remove some of the bite, I always do this when using raw red onions.

Adapted from an Ina Garten recipe

Ingredients for the vinaigrette:

1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions for vinaigrette:

1. Whisk all of the ingredients together

Ingredients for salad:

4 tablespoons good olive oil
1 small loaf of French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 seedless cucumber, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
20 large basil leaves, chiffonade
4 tablespoon parmesan cheese, grated

Directions for salad:

1. Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat
2. Add the bread and salt cook until browned, add extra oil if necessary
3. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, yellow pepper, red onion, and basil
4. Add the bread cubes and parmesan and toss with the vinaigrette
5. Season with salt and pepper

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Filed under Appetizer, Italian, Salad, Vegetable

black bean and couscous salad

You may be here today and gone tomorrow

You might as well get what you want

So go on and live, baby, go on and live

“Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville

I’m heading down to San Jose this afternoon to catch the Spartans of San Jose State take on Utah State.  My good friend Mark Libbey is hooking me up with the tickets and taking me for a little college tailgating. I was given the side dish assignment and decided to make my favorite cold salad recipe.


1 cup uncooked couscous
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Zest of one lime
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 green onions, small chop
1 red bell pepper, small chop
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
1 (15 oz. can) black beans
1-2 teaspoons Tapatio hot sauce
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In a small pot, bring chicken broth to a boil, stir in couscous and cover, let rest for 5 minutes
2. In a large bowl, whisk: oil, lime juice, lime zest, red wine vinegar, and cumin
3. Add green onions, red bell pepper, cilantro, corn, and black beans to the dressing
4. Mix couscous with vegetable mixture, add hot sauce, salt, and pepper to taste

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Filed under Easy, Fast, Side, Vegetable

asian lettuce wraps

I was dancing with my baby

To that Tennessee Waltz

When an old friend I happened

Happened to see

Well I didn’t know I was going to see him

I introduced him to my baby

While, while they kept on playing

That friend stole my sweetheart

Away from me, yes he did

“Tennessee Waltz” by Otis Redding

So now I’ve got all of these pickled vegetables, what do I do with them??? I would have loved to have made bánh mì but I didn’t have the access to the rice flour baguette, nor do I think I am skilled enough to make them. That left me with simple lettuce wraps. The marinade for the meat that is similar to one I posted earlier.  While this was good, the dish I made from the leftovers was even better (HINT: it involves frying rice…what a head scratcher).


1 can of coke
2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, minced
½ cup mirin
1/3 cup soy sauce


1. Combine ingredients and marinade with a flank steak, pork tenderloin, or chicken thighs in a zip top bag for at least 1 hour
2. Grill until crispy and cooked to temperature
3. Wrap in a lettuce leaf and serve with rice, cilantro, pickled vegetables, and a squirt of Sriracha


Filed under Asian, Beef, Vegetable

pickled carrots and daikon radishes

Once at night Catillion squared the fight

And she was right in the rain of the bullets that eventually brought her down

But she’s still dancing in the night

Unafraid of what a dude’ll do in a town full of heroes and villains

“Heroes and Villains” by The Beach Boys

This is a traditional Vietnamese condiment, great with any Asian salty meat and rice dishes. It is also always placed on top of my favorite sandwich, bánh mì, along with jalapenos and cilantro.  I’ll show you later this week what I do with these sweet/sour/crunchy veggies.

Adapted from


2 large carrot, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into thick matchsticks
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons plus 1/2 cup sugar
1  1/4 cups distilled white vinegar
1 cup lukewarm water


1. In a large bowl, place carrot and daikons, sprinkle with salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar
2. Knead the vegetables for about 3 minutes, until liquid begins to collect at the bottom of the bowl
3. Drain vegetables in a colander and rinse under cold water
4. Pack vegetables in a 1 quart mason jar
5. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, vinegar, and water in a small bowl, pour over vegetables
6. Let marinate for at least 1 hour


Filed under Asian, Side, Uncategorized, Vegetable