ChefUptothePlate

Food, Nutrition and Cooking


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Nothing says lovin’ like stuffed cabbage from the oven

More delicious than you can imagine, easy and can be prepared in advance for Passover or anytime

Sweet Stuffed CabbageIMG_2243.JPG

1 small head of green cabbage

~ 4 lbs of sweet potatoes or yams

1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or canned in own juice, drained

2  peeled, chopped apples

3/4 cup raisins

1.5 t cinnamon

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

29 oz can tomato sauce + 1 cup water

Cook, peel  and mash the sweet potatoes, add all the remaining ingredients except cabbage and tomato sauce and water. This step can be done a few days ahead of time. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare a large pot of water filled about 1/-1/3 full. Heat to boiling.

Prepare cabbage by removing as much of the core as possible with a paring knife. Peel apart each leaf carefully and set into the pot of water. Cook about 5 minutes, drain.

Once cool enough to handle. Take each leaf and fill with about 1/4 cup of prepared potato mixture filling. Larger leaves can be cut into 2 by removing the hard “spine”. Smaller leaves can have the spine shaved down with a paring knife. Fold each leaf around the filling, folding in the sides and rolling up. Place seam side down in a 9″ x 12″ baking dish. Place filled leaves very close together in the baking dish. When you get to the very small leaves and you are out of filling, shred those leaves and add to the baking dish.

Pour combined tomato sauce and water over the dish and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes. Cover with foil until ready to serve. Serves 14 as a side dish and 6-8 as a main course. Serve hot.

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Yes to Pesto

Basil Pesto

Nothing smells as good as fresh basil and its natural destiny Pesto. Don’t limit pesto to pasta. IMG_2131.JPGPesto is great on eggs, toast, chicken, fish. The flavor is deep and earthy and a little goes a long way.

2 cups (packed) washed and dried fresh basil, stems removed

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

1 cup walnuts or pine nuts or a combination of both

1/2 extra virgin olive oil

1 cup grated Parmigiano Regianno

salt and black pepper to taste

In a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine the basil, garlic and nuts. Chop until almost a puree. With the food processor motor running, add the olive oil in a stream. Then add the cheese until just combined to the desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Yields ~ 1.5 cups of pesto: refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.


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Plum Delicious

Fruit Tart – This can be made with plums, apples, pears, peaches. It’s truly delicious.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour (at Passsover substitute matzo cake meal)

3/4 cups walnuts (or almonds)

1/2 granulated sugar

6 T unsalted butter, cut into pieces (butter should be cold)

1 egg yolk

Approximately 2 lbs of ripe fruit, cut into small wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a food processor combine walnuts, sugar and butter. Process until walnuts are finely chopped. Add flour and egg yolk and process another few seconds until well combined with a sand-like texture.

Press about 1.5 cups of dough into a tart pan (9-10″) cover the bottom and go up the sides as well. Arrange the fruit in concentric circles on top of the dough, overlapping the wedges of fruit. Sprinkle remaining dough on top over the fruit.

Bake 45 minutes until top is browned. Remove from oven, cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6


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You calling me Chicken?

Kitchen Sink Chicken Salad

This fresh approach to chicken salad adds fiber by pumping up the fruit and veggie intake for your day. It’s a great way to use up leftover chicken and incorporate small amounts of greens you may have (parsley, cilantro, sprouts).

1 small roasted chicken, (skin and wings removed), cut into 1-2″ chunks

1 stalk celery

1/2 small onion, cut into 4 pieces

1 handful pea shoots or other greens

1 small apple, in small chunks (leave skin on)

1/2-3/4 cup walnut pieces

2-3 T mayonnaise

1tsp-1 T curry powder (to taste)

In food processor chop onion, celery, pea shoots (or other mild greens) until finely chopped. 

Add chicken, apple, walnuts, mayo, curry powder and process, using pulse button, until desired consistency is reached. 

Serves 4-6


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Tromp les papilles

Looking for vegetarian hors d’oeuvres and/or watching your cholesterol, the following recipe will definitely “tromp les papilles” (fool the taste buds):

String Bean Pate (Mock chopped liver) – serves ~ 12

1/2 lb frozen string (green) beans cooked in the microwave (no water added) for about 5 minutes, then left to continue steaming (without further cooking) another 5 minutes

3 large chopped onions

2 hard boiled eggs or 3 hard boiled egg whites

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

~ 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Spray skillet with cooking spray and saute onions for ~ 10 minutes until they soften and are slightly browned. In a food processor, chop cooked green beans and onions for a few pulses. Then add the remaining ingredients and continue to process until the texture is pleasing to you and resembles chopped liver.

Serve on matzo or other crackers.