Roasted Beet, Carrot and Orzo Salad With Orange Dressing

December 30, 2013 - Written by Diana

At one family gathering, I brought a salad with beets.  My husband’s Aunt upon hearing there were beets in the salad asked if they tasted like dirt.  I responded that they had an earthy flavor, and she said, ” Well, they taste like dirt to me.”  Orange pairs well with beets, and helps to give the beets a less earthy flavor, as evidenced by my daughter’s statement when she tasted this year’s beet salad.  I handed her a plate and told her the beet salad was my offering.  She took a bite and said she liked it because, “it doesn’t have that really rustic flavor that beets sometimes have. ”

Roasted Beet, Carrot and Orzo Salad
Roasted Beet, Carrot and Orzo Salad


Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Soup

January 16, 2013 - Written by Diana
Turkey Wing Red Lentil Stew

Turkey Wing Red Lentil Stew

Did you know that Turkey Wings have just enough meat for a soup or stew ?  I buy whole turkeys portion the meat out into separate labeled containers or bags and use them for separate meals. The turkey wings were set aside together and tonight used in a really quick and delicious soup.  I am a beef and lamb lover – I also love turkey and chicken, but I forget sometimes that poultry is my husband’s preference over red meat.  He likes red meat a lot, but every so often he’ll whisper in my ear and let me know we haven’t had turkey or chicken lately.  That happened this week, so I today I dug through the freezer found a couple of turkey wings and threw together a delicious stew.  A little bit of meat, a bunch of veggies and red lentils that melt into a thick creamy broth.

Ever since my husband has been on a low sodium diet, we’ve given up the curry powder.  We try to stay away from herb and spice blends that include salt as an ingredient and curry powder included salt.  So instead, I’ve taken the list of ingredients and I throw some or all (minus the sodium) into my recipes.  Ginger and Turmeric have become one of my favorite combinations along with cumin.  Today I also threw in some dried green cardamon pods – which are oh my goodness tasty.

Because the red lentils cook and dissolve so easily – this is a quick cooking stew, easy enough for weeknight dinner.

Turkey Wing and Red Lentil Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A light but thick stew (soup) with lots of veggies, turkey and lentils.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Stew / Soup
Serves: 3
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 large turkey wings
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 garlic clove thinly sliced
  • 1 quart turkey broth
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 parsnip sliced
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • Sage leaves
  • Ground Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • 3 Cardamon Pods
  1. Heat oil in ceramic dutch oven or soup pot.
  2. Place turkey wings into hot oil on one side and after it crisps a little turn the wings over. Add in onion and garlic, saute lightly .
  3. Pour the quart of broth into the pot and add in the rest of the vegetables.
  4. When the vegetables are softened add in the red lentils.
  5. While the lentils are cooking, pull the turkey wings out to cool.
  6. Remove all of the meat from the turkey wing, and then pull off the meat and return it to the pot and add in the herbs and spices.
  7. The lentils will get soft and start to melt.
  8. It's ready.
The recipe only feeds three because of the amount of meat on a turkey wing. If you have a little extra meat to go back in at the end, you can add a few more veggies to make it for four people.



Borscht – Winter Stew

March 20, 2012 - Written by Diana

Borscht, a winter stew, has a long tradition in Russia and Ukraine. This recipe is from Cook Wild: Year-Round Cooking on an Open Fire by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi.  I made this dish for dinner, and it was very delicious. It is vegetable dense, with lots of red beets turning everything a bright red, and very pretty. This stew has a lot of steps to it, so you will be close to the fire cooking for a good amount of time to prepare, but it’s worth the time you put into it. Though it serves 6 – 8, there are only 3 of us, so we had it for two meals, Yay for leftovers!

Borscht - Winter Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Borscht - a Winter Beet Stew with Russian/Ukranian background. This recipe comes from Cook Wild - Year Round Cooking on an Open Fire
Recipe type: Main - Stew
Serves: 6-8
  • 1 lb beef brisket
  • 6 pints (12 cups) water
  • 3 beetroots uncooked
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 parsley roots
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red pepper, pitted
  • 3 tomatoes skinned, pulp removed and quartered
  • oil for frying (eg sunflower oil)
  • ½ medium white cabbage
  • 2 cups green beans cut into pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1⅓ cups sour cream or creme fraiche
  1. Put the meat (in one piece) in a pot with water, bring to a boil and simmer for a while.
  2. If there is foam on the surface, skim it off.
  3. Add the beetroots)whole and peeled), some salt and the bay leaf and simmer for about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Cut the potatoes and parsley roots into strips or slices. Quarter the onions, slice the carrots and cut the peppers into strips. Heat some oil in a pan and add the vegetables gradually (the onions first, the tomatoes last) and fry for about 10 minutes.
  5. Cut the cabbage into fine strips and boil in a separate pot with the green beans for 10-15 minutes and then strain.
  6. Add all the vegetables to the meat, cover and simmer for another hour.
  7. Take out the beetroot and the meat, cut them into small pieces and return to the soup. If the borscht is too thick at this point, add some water. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
  8. Put a generous dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche on each portion of soup and, if available, sprinkle some freshly chopped dill over it. Serve with fresh bread or blinis - and vodka as desired.
Borscht tastes even better when you warm it up the next day. Fire - a fire with low flames for instant heat.

Chicken & Fall Vegetable Soup

November 2, 2011 - Written by Diana

Staying with my mom while she recovers from her surgery, I made Chicken & Fall Vegetable soup for dinner.  Soup makes you feel good when you are sluggish and don’t want something heavy, especially if your throat is a little sore too. My mom is a fan of almost all vegetables, and since the fall vegetables are in season, this is the perfect time to make this soup.  It is easy to prepare but will take longer than 30 minutes because it takes  a while for the carrots and butternut squash to soften.  The soup was served in a bowl over warmed wild rice.  The rice would absorb the stock from the soup so we precooked the rice separately and then put a couple of tablespoons in the bowl and ladle the soup over top.  The leftovers were stored as single servings in the freezer for meals on busy evenings after I left to go back to my family and home.

Mom can’t eat onions or tomatoes; acidic vegetables and fruit upset her tummy.  If you feel it could use a few more vegetables, feel free to go ahead and add them.  Mushrooms might be nice added to this also.



In a stock pot heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute diced celery and whole chicken breasts.  Pull the chicken out of the stock pot, and add in the quart of chicken broth and heat.  Dice carrots and butternut squash and add to stock.  Tear chicken into bite size pieces.  When the carrots have softened but are still firm, add the chicken back in along with the chickpeas. Tear kale leaves and stir it into the stock along with ground sage, thyme, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in bowl over warm wild rice.

Farm Market Veggies and Leftover Spaghetti

August 4, 2011 - Written by Diana

My son’s specialty is now making spaghetti with sauce.  The most difficult part was NOT overcooking the pasta, believe it or not.  He’s not too keen on figuring out portions, which is why he just makes a whole box (pound) of pasta every time.  While this could cause some problems with waste, I’ve found a way to take the leftover pasta and make another meal with it using farm market and garden veggies.  Saute a few veggies, add in the pasta, a little more oil and white whine, toss until heated along with some herbs from the garden and voila you have a great dish.  We served this topped with a luna burger.  I had the garden thyme, my husband had a barbecue .  My daughter said she wanted real meat, but my son crumbled the burger up and mixed it in with the pasta.   My husband and I just broke off pieces with the fork then grabbed up some pasta and veggies on the same fork and ate it that way.  Let me tell you, it was super delicious.




Dice Shallot.  Chop the rest of the veggies to about finger width and 1/2 finger length.  Saute shallots in olive oil, when they are soft and translucent, add in carrots and soften.  Throw in squash and when that is softened add tomato  and herbs.
Chop spaghetti, and throw in with veggies, toss with olive oil.  Pour wine over top and scrap bottom of bits.    Keep tossing, when heated through, serve.

You can substitute any of your veggies  and change up the pasta.   Though I wish my son would think ahead to portion size and preparation, I love that I don’t have to heat up another full pot of water for another batch of spaghetti.  What do you do when you make too much?


Keep It Simple – Crockpot Beef Stew in Red Wine

May 19, 2011 - Written by Diana

As you know, I am a big fan of keeping it simple.  You can ruin a dinner by fussing too much.  My dad was a perfectionist and though his meals were technically perfect, sometimes there were other factors. Ask my mom how her friends loved dinner with my dad when his perfect meal didn’t show up until 9:00.  Ask how much we loved running out to the store at the last minute to pick up the perfect ingredient, that he couldn’t do without because the recipe called for it, and he didn’t do substitutions. Some of my favorite meals take just a few ingredients and a little bit of time.  Spending a couple of hours preparing an appetizer that disappears within a couple of seconds can be such a let down and who wants to come home to start a really in-depth dinner, when you just want to relax? This stew is super easy, fast and delicious.  I start meals like this before I go to work.  The first one home adds the carrots and cooks up some noodles.  Put it all together and dinner is done.


In a hot pan with two tbs olive oil, quickly saute the beef and onions.  Place into crock pot along with the rest of the ingredients. The wine and beef broth should cover the beef evenly.  Place the crock pot on medium.  When you come home from work, peel and slice carrots and add to the crock pot.  Cook up noodles.  Eat when the carrots are tender.  Serve the beef stew over noodles.  Yum.

Cumin’d Lentils and Carrots from The Heart Smart Diabetes Kitchen

May 20, 2010 - Written by Diana

This delicious idea comes from The Heart Smart Diabetes Kitchen recipe book, that I received to review.  This is the first time I made lentils, and I am pleased to say I enjoy them a lot.  My daughter isn’t so sure, my son and husband both liked it too.  My mother is a fan of lentils (though we’d have to leave out the onions for her) so we may have it again this weekend.  This dish was easy to prepare and took less than 45 minutes total to come together.  Cumin’d Lentils and Carrots were a great side dish along with our NuWave Rosemary Chicken for dinner on Sunday.



Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook carrots and onions 8 minutes or until richly browned, stirring frequently.  Add water, lentils and 1/4 tsp cumin.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover tightly and simmer 25 minutes or until lentils are tender.  Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients.

A plus from the recipe book – you get all the cool stats along with the recipe

Calories 130  – from fat 55

Total fat 6.0g

Saturated .4

Trans fat 0

Cholesterol 0 mg

Sodium 315 mg

Total carbohydrates 17g

Dietary Fiber 5 g

Sugars   4 g

Protein 5 g

Exchanges per serving: 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Farfalle with Creamy Peas and Carrots

March 25, 2010 - Written by Diana

We had to stop ourselves from eating too much for dinner tonight.  Another family weeknight meal that came together quickly.  Pasta comes together quickly and goes great with most veggies.  The carrots were thinly sliced using a mandolin and added along with peas to the sautéed onions and pancetta. Cream and parmesan were added in and heated up along with some parsley.  Toss with the cooked farfalle and dinner is ready.  We made a pound of pasta, so we’ll have enough for a leftover meal too. I had to put a restraining order on my son though.  He’s forbidden to touch the pasta for a snack – otherwise the rest of us will go hungry.

Farfalle with Creamy Peas and Carrots



Sauté onions in olive oil after about a minute add in pancetta.  When onions are translucent, add in peas and carrots. When carrots are soft, pour in cream and warm.  When cream is heated, add in parmesan cheese, herbs and spices.  Toss pasta in a large bowl with the cream and veggies mixture.  Serve warm.  Fast, Easy and Delicious.

Gingered Carrots & Kohlrabi

November 15, 2009 - Written by Diana

Kohlrabi from Wikipedia Kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi.  There’s a joke that goes – If you say the name of something 7 times it’s yours for life, and then some girl says – John, john, etc.  It doesn’t matter how many times I say kohlrabi, my mental picture doesn’t match up with that name and I go blank trying to remember. Kohlrabi is a nice crunchy vegetable, similar to a turnip, but tastes more like a cross between cabbage and turnips to me with a little bit of sweetness. My sister in law adds it to salads, or just peels and slices it up for people to chew raw.  My dish was baked, bringing out another level of flavor.

I peeled off the leaves, scraped off the skin and julienned the kohlrabi along with some carrots. I used my frozen ginger in this dish, which smells so wonderful when grating. I did all the mixing right in the baking dish, so it’s truly a one pot dish. Even though this would have served more , with my husband repeatedly dipping into the dish,  it only served 3.  It was delicious, did I say that yet?

Gingered Carrots & Kohlrabi Ingredients:


Throw all of the ingredients together in the baking dish – up to the olive oil, mix around a little. Drizzle white wine over top, sprinkle on herbs and spices,  cover with foil, bake at 375 until veggies are firm soft.



What was the name of that vegetable?  Carrot.  No the other one.  Ummm, (look at title) Kohlrabi.  Yes, that’s it.