Tag Archives: carrots

Food Matters Project #33: Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage

After moving, we’re back cooking in the kitchen!  Can’t wait to tell you more about our new house, but this first post will be a Food Matters Project recipe.

This weeks recipe was chosen by Keely Marie.  She has hosted a Food Matters Project before, the Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables (her version; our version was the Vegetable & Bean Casserole).  This time around she has chosen Mark Bittman’s version of Rolled Cabbage.  Check out Keely Marie’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls, and also take a look what other participants made.

We’ve moved into our new house, but there are many boxes which are still unpacked.  Therefore, I was unable to find my copy of Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  As we have been searching for the pizza cutter and our wooden spoons, I made my own version of stuffed cabbage.

Stuffed Cabbage

Fortunately, thanks to my Polish heritage, I knew exactly what I wanted to put in these, and how I wanted to cook them.  This version is not like my Mom’s, or traditionally Polish- I’m saving that for another blog post.  Until then, enjoy these- they are very filling after a busy day of unpacking and organizing.

Stuffed Cabbage 2

Rice & Lamb Stuffed Cabbage

1 cup uncooked rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 carrots, peeled & grated
4 small turnips, peeled & grated
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

1 medium onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
4 small turnips, peeled & chopped
2 32oz cans of crushed tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 head of green cabbage

To make the stuffing, cook the rice per package instructions.  Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a bowl.

In a large saucepan, heat up the olive oil.  Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until it is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic, carrots and turnips and cook for another 5 minutes.  Finally, add in the ground lamb, and saute until the meat is cooked, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Transfer the stuffing to the bowl filled with rice, stir all of the ingredients together.

To make the sauce, mix together the onion, garlic, carrots, turnips, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes in a bowl.  Then add the ingredients into a saucepan, over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes.  Stir the sauce every couple of minutes.

As the meat mixture is cooling off, and the sauce is cooking, prepare the cabbage.  Cut out the stem from the inside of the cabbage.  Then peel off each cabbage leaf from the head.  Once you have all of your leaves, begin to boil a large pot of water.  Once there is a rolling boil, add 2 leaves into the pot at a time, and cook them for about 1-2 minutes.  Carefully remove the leaves from the water, transfer them to a colander, then rinse with cold water.  Repeat with the remaining leaves, gently squeezing out the excess water.

Finally, lay a cabbage leaf on the work surface, with the edge side facing you.  Then add in a couple of spoonfuls of the stuffing (rice, veggies, meat) into the middle of the leaf.  Next, fold the outside edges in, and roll away from you.  This technique should be very similar to rolling a burrito.  Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Place each of the cabbage rolls, seam side down, into an oven-proof dish.  Pour the tomato sauce over all of the cabbage rolls.  Then bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.  Pull it out of the oven, and serve!

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar

Two nights before our wedding we got a box with presents from our registry- it was one of the first ones, and I got really excited (it felt like an early Christmas!).  First, I pulled out a set of dessert plates I’ve been eying for some time, but there was also a cute cookbook which I didn’t have on my list.

As any food blogger would do, I flipped through the cookbook- Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Sized Sweets & Savories by Sarah Billingsley & Rachel Wharton- and picked out my favorite recipes.  Immediately, I opened to the page with Shepherd’s Pie on it, and I knew this was going to be the first recipe I would make.  Since we still had a wedding, and a honeymoon I knew it’d be a couple of weeks- but the moment we came home this recipe was immediately on my “to cook” list!

Using mason jar’s was a great idea for this dish- it kept everything in equal servings, and it was so easy to store, heat up, and take to work.  The book suggested using smaller mason jars, but since I only had the medium size, this is what I used.  With nights getting colder, this is the perfect dish to wrap your hands around the mason jar to keep warm, and your tummy full!

Thank you Jen & Neil- this is a great addition to our cookbook collection!

Shepherd’s Pie in a Mason Jar
Adapted from: Handheld Pies: Dozens of Pint-Size Sweets & Savories

You can use lamb, beef or tofu crumbles- all would be great with this dish.  If there are other veggies you’d like to add in here, definitely do- we stuck with the traditional version the first time around.

3 russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled & quartered
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 carrots, peeled & finely chopped
3 celery stalks, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb ground lamb
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup green peas
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

In a medium pot, add the potatoes and water (so it covers the potatoes) and bring the water to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium, and cover the pot.  Cook until the potatoes are tender, when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).

When the potatoes are cooked, drain them.  In a large bowl, mash them using a potato masher (or mixer).  Then add the milk, cheese, butter, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper- stir well.

In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add in the onion, carrots, and celery and cook, until the onions are translucent.  Next, add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon and stirring frequently until it is browned, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the vegetable broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Finally, add the peas, red pepper flakes, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and stir well.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Place 6 medium-sized mason jars on a baking sheet.

First divide all of the meat mixture, then the mashed potatoes into all of the jars.  Place the jars and banking sheet on the top rack of the oven and bake for about 15 minutes (or until the potatoes turn golden).

The pies can be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat at 350ºF for 15 minutes.

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

Food Matters Project #26: Veggie Stir Fry

Another exciting recipe for the Food Matters Project!

This weeks host is Big Girls Small Kitchen College.  It’s a blog written by college students across the country on how to cook, eat, drink and live on and off campus.  There are a number of contributors that provide recipes and college stories.  Today’s contributor, Jen, chose the Crispy Rice Cakes with Stir-Fried Vegetables and Chicken; check out her version of the recipe here.  For all Food Matters Project contributors recipes, look under the comments section on this page.

I really enjoy making Asian food, especially since the home version is always healthier than the takeout!  Although I glanced over Mark Bittman’s recipe in the Food Matters Cookbook, I decided to do my own version of this dish.  First, we didn’t have chicken, so we enjoyed a vegetarian dish (you can also add tofu, chicken, beef or shrimp).  Secondly, although the rice cakes sounded great- I just wanted some regular stir-fry.  Sounds like everyone had some fun making the rice cakes, so check out Mark’s original recipe on page 324.  I was going to add water chestnuts, which I forgot about- so definitely add that into yours.

Veggie Stir Fry
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original
Servings: 4

1 cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp stir fry oil
1 large onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated
1 head of broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 cup snow peas, halved or quartered
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Cook rice per package instruction.  The cooked rice should yield about 2 cups.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp stir fry oil in a skillet.  Once it’s hot, add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garlic and carrots- cook for about 3-5 minutes.  Then, add in the ginger and broccoli, cook for 2 minutes.  Finally, add in the snow peas, jalapeño, fish sauce, soy sauce, 1 tbsp stir fry oil, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Cook all of these ingredients, while stirring, for about 5 minutes.  If you don’t want your broccoli or snow peas to be crunchy, cook for another 5 minutes.

Place the rice on the plate, add the stir fry veggies.  Then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds.  Serve with some chopsticks!

Food Matters Project #24: Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Can you believe that the Food Matters Project has been going on for over 6 months?  Yikes, how time flies when you’re trying out delicious recipes!  If you haven’t been with us on this blog for that long, here’s a little recap:

The Food Matters Project is made up of a group of bloggers (there are so many of us) who are interested in making recipes from the Food Matter Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  Each week one blogger is the “host” and chooses a recipe- and we all make it.  The Food Matters Cookbook is very open to interpretation, therefore making it perfect for this project- all of you should check out what each blogger made.  See what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has made here.     

This weeks host is Alyssa, of Everyday Maven.  She had chosen Mark Bittman’s recipe for Summer Rolls in Peanut Sauce.  Check out Alyssa’s recipe for the tofu version, and other Food Matters Project participants recipes.  This was a fabulous choice since it involved no cooking- which is perfect in mid-August.

I’m sure you’ve all had these garden rolls at many Asian restaurants, and you’ll find that they are very easy to make.  I love the fresh ingredients, and wanted to replicate the refreshing and light taste.

Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 96), A Chow Life, & A Cozy Kitchen
Servings: 9 + a little extra peanut sauce

Peanut Sauce:
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup roasted nuts
5 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Asian Rolls:
rice paper sheets
2 carrots, peeled & julienned
1 cucumber, julienned
1 red pepper, julienned
1 jalapeño, julienned (optional)
20 sprigs of cilantro
2-3 leaves of mint

Add all of the ingredients for the peanut sauce into a food processor.  Process the ingredients until the sauce is smooth.  Pour into a bowl, it can be refrigerated for a couple of days.

To assemble the Asian Rolls fill a shallow, wide bowl with warm water.  Gently submerge each rice paper under water, keep it there for about 10 seconds- until the paper is soft.  Transfer the rice paper onto a slightly damp towel.  Working quickly, place the ingredients on the edge of the wrapper (a few julienned carrots, cucumbers and red pepper, a piece of jalapeño, 2 springs of cilantro, small piece of mint).  Fold the side in front of you over (away from you), turn in the sides, and then keep rolling away from you.  Repeat until you have used all of your ingredients.