Good grief!!! How did it get to be Saturday and I haven’t posted anything? It isn’t that I haven’t been cooking. I think the problem is most of what I have been cooking isn’t mine to share. I was picked to help recipe test for a cookbook that is coming out in the fall. Since the cookbook isn’t small batch I have sooooo many leftovers. I will share more with you when I can. For now I will tell you it is going to be an awesome electric pressure cooker cookbook when it comes out.
In the mean time, I am going to tell you about another cookbook that is already out and you should have in your cookbook library. On Sunday, I picked up a copy of Mark Bittman’s 10th anniversary edition of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. My love for Mark Bittman is no secret so it was no surprise, I love this book. The book isn’t just a reprint of the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian. The majority of the recipes are new. The recipes have also been revised to rely less on dairy and cheese to fill out the recipes so many of them can easily be made Whole 30 compliant, which has become important to me. As usual, Mark Bittman’s recipes use ingredients you probably have on hand already.
I noticed two things about this book that are different from his other How To Cook Everything books. First, there are absolutely gorgeous food photography. Mr. Bittman”s other How To Cook Everything books have line drawings. The second thing I noticed about this book is the recipes don’t have as many variations to each recipe as the original How To Cook Everything Vegetarian does. I think this is in line with Mark Bittman’s adoption of a simpler style of eating and in no way detracts from the loveliness of this book. `
Adapted From The 10th Anniversary Edition How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
3/4 lb Brussels sprouts
2 1/2 TBS olive oil
1 TBS lemon juice
1/2 small red onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
1/4 cup nuts, chopped
Using a paring knife thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Transfer the sprouts to a medium bowl. Add a pinch of salt and gently work the salt through the sprouts with your hands. Just left, separate the strands while rubbing the salt through it. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, red onion, cranberries, and nuts. Mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
I have always wanted an indoor herb garden. Every year I go a little nuts planning what herbs I will plant and then decide it would be too expensive and decide not to do it. Last year I decided to scale my plans down to a managable level and give it a try. I planted oregano, thyme, basil, and cilantro. The plants did pretty well until one of my animals disappeared for a total of 7 days. On the 3rd day after Callie disappeared, I woke up to the utter destruction of my herb pots. I couldn’t blame Callie for eating my herbs. She was literally starving.
The experiment did well enough before Callie got to the pots that I decided to try it again. This year, I found a pot that has thyme, rosemary and basil in it. You can see from the picture that they plants are already established and ready to use. I have been looking for ways to use up my bounty. It’s horribly hot here in North Dakota so I have been eating a lot of salads so I though salad dressings might be a good place to start. This is one of the first recipes I tried with my fresh herbs.
Before I started eliminating processed food from my diet, Suddenly Salad Bacon Ranch pasta salad appeared on my table almost weekly. It was quick, easy and, best of all, cheap. What more could you ask for? I was really disappointed that Suddenly Salads couldn’t be part of my diet anymore.
What I didn’t know then is that homemade Bacon Ranch pasta salad is just quick, easy and cheap as the boxed stuff and best of all, devoid of unnecessary chemicals the manufactures feel need to be there.
Last week I gave you a recipe for a homemade ranch dressing mix. You can use that here. You could also buy a package of Hidden Valley ranch dressing mix or use already prepared ranch salad dressing mix here also. Also, feel free to add or eliminate any vegetables you want.
Bring water to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Add shell pasta and carrot; boil for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together, the peas, ranch mix, bacon bits, onion powder, and mayonnaise. Mix well. Add pasta and carrots. Stir together until everything is coated. Chill and serve.