Veggie waffles

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Who resolved to eat more vegetables a few weeks ago? Who's still doing it? I'm going to be optimistic and say, "Good for you!"

I, for one, didn't make any resolutions this year, so I haven't broken any. However, I did make a list of cooking goals. For someone who cooks a lot, there are still many things I want to learn and master. Like bread. I've never made bread! How that possible?

Until then, these savory waffles are delicious for breakfast, but even better for lunch as a swap for sandwich bread. The veggies are held together with gluten-free garbanzo flour, eggs, and a few tablespoons of potato starch. The waffles are sort of latka-adjacent and as such, the potato starch makes them a bit crispier when they're first cooked. (In case you didn't know, potato starch is the secret to crispy latkes) However, once they cool, they get softer and more bread-like, so the starch isn't strictly necessary.

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After giving all of the veggies a rough chop, you want to pulverize them in the food processor. This keeps the final product from being too chunky. Also, releasing some of the veggie liquid makes the batter more batter-y, so don't worry if the blended vegetables look too wet.

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Veggie waffles

¾ lb potatoes (about 1 large or 3 small potatoes)
½ medium onion
½ cup cauliflower (heaping)
½ cup broccoli (heaping)
1 medium carrot
1 large garlic clove
¾ cup garbanzo flour
2 Tbsp potato starch (optional)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 eggs
1 Tbsp olive oil

Heat your waffle iron.

Roughly chop all of the vegetables and place in a food processor. Process until all large chunks have been emulsified. Dump out into a large mixing bowl.

Add the garbanzo flour, potato starch (if using), salt, pepper, eggs, and olive oil and stir well to combine.

Grease your waffle iron with olive oil or avocado oil (spray is the easiest) and spoon about ¼ cup of batter into each opening of your waffle maker (ours makes two medium-sized waffles at a time). Cook until done according to your machine.

Top with fried eggs, cheese, ham, turkey, avocado, etc.

Yield: 9 waffles

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The best broccoli, maybe ever.

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I don't make that claim lightly. Even the toddler eats this with abandon, though he's intermittently a huge fan of broccoli. I say "intermittently" because, like all toddlers, he's mercurial and what he loves one day, he abhors the next. But broccoli falls back into favor more often than any other vegetable. All that to say, this broccoli is great- salty and crunchy and garlicky, but with a bit of freshness from the basil and something indefinable and unctuous from the anchovies.

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Two things: Don't fear the anchovies and don't skip the fresh basil or substitute dried. It won't be the same. But back to the anchovies: This is a divisive little bottom-feeder. Love them or hate them, try them in this recipe. You won't really taste them because they are broken down at the start of the cooking process, so they really just become a salty, briny background note.

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This dish is a great side for grilled proteins or mixed with whole grain or white pasta. I haven't yet tried it, but I also want to mix in some lentils for some non-meat protein.

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Broccoli with anchovies and basil

2 medium heads broccoli, chopped into small pieces
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2-3 large anchovy filets (or 4-5 small ones)
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup whole wheat panko
15 basil leaves (about 1/3 cup chopped)

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the broccoli and spread evenly over a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Add 2 Tbsp of oil and toss to coat. Add a small pinch of salt (the anchovies are salty, so you don't need much extra seasoning). Roast for 30-40 minutes until the broccoli is deeply browned on at least one side (usually the side touching the hot pan roasts first). Check the broccoli occasionally to make sure it isn’t burning. If it looks like the greens aren’t cooking evenly, give them a shake.

While the broccoli is cooking, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of oil over a medium flame. Turn the heat to low and add the anchovies. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, squash and chop the filets while they cook until they are completely broken up.

Add the minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

Increase the heat back to medium low and add the breadcrumbs. Mix ingredients thoroughly and toast the breadcrumbs for 4-5 minutes, shaking the pan often to stir the ingredients and distribute the heat.

When toasted to a slightly darker golden brown, remove from the heat and place in a large bowl. When the broccoli is done, add it to the breadcrumb mixture and turn to coat.

Add the chopped basil and turn a few more times to distribute.

Yield: 4-6 side servings

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Broccoli and cheddar corn bread

Broccoli and cheddar corn bread | Me & The Moose. Sneak in some more vegetables in your corn bread. #meandthemoose #cornbread #cornbreadrecipes #broccoliandcheddar #quickbread #hiddenveggies #sidedishes #toddlerrecipes

When we were but wee lads and lasses, M's dad took me to a fancy pants restaurant called Dovetail on the UWS in Manhattan. Despite its pedigree, the restaurant served this perfectly salty and sweet corn bread instead of the traditional sourdough or focaccia. It definitely had whole corn kernels--either fresh or roasted, I'm not sure-- and probably more salt than is healthy. I don't even remember the rest of the meal, but that corn bread haunts my dreams 10 years later. We're planning a return trip in March for our wedding anniversary and I'll be Instagramming the hell out of that dinner.

This also feels like a good game day food and is perfect with a bowl of chili. (My favorite chili recipes here and here.) I have mixed feelings about football (the brain injuries, the low pay for the non-all-stars, turning a blind eye to domestic violence), but we'll be watching the Superbowl this weekend for the commercials and Lady Gaga, at least. So, why not have an appropriate accompaniment, right?  

M refuses fresh corn kernels, but make no mistake, we'll be trying again come corn season 2017. To get that extra corn-y flavor of the bread from Dovetail, I subbed corn flour for the AP flour that most recipes call for, which has the added bonus of turning this bread gluten-free. The flour isn't a perfect swap for fresh or roasted corn, but it gets the flavor closer while still being something M will eat.

Broccoli and cheddar corn bread | Me & The Moose. Sneak in some more vegetables in your corn bread. #meandthemoose #cornbread #cornbreadrecipes #broccoliandcheddar #quickbread #hiddenveggies #sidedishes #toddlerrecipes

Cheese makes everything better and broccoli makes me feel like a good mother, so I've thrown some of that in too. 

Broccoli and cheddar corn bread | Me & The Moose. Sneak in some more vegetables in your corn bread. #meandthemoose #cornbread #cornbreadrecipes #broccoliandcheddar #quickbread #hiddenveggies #sidedishes #toddlerrecipes

Broccoli and cheddar corn bread

Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 cup corn flour
1 cup corn meal
2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or granuated)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1.5 cups buttermilk
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1.5 cups frozen broccoli, chopped
6 large scallions, chopped
2 tbsp butter
Flaky salt, such as Maldon, for the top

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the corn flour, corn meal, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and lightly whisk. Add the buttermilk, eggs, cheese, broccoli, and scallions, and stir to combine.

Place the butter in the cast iron or oven-proof skillet and put the skillet into the hot oven just until the butter melts. Take it out and carefully swirl to coat the bottom and sides.

Pour the mixture into the hot skillet (be careful!) and bake until golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Let the corn bread cool before cutting.

Yield: 8-10 large slices of bread.

Broccoli and cheddar corn bread | Me & The Moose. Sneak in some more vegetables in your corn bread. #meandthemoose #cornbread #cornbreadrecipes #broccoliandcheddar #quickbread #hiddenveggies #sidedishes #toddlerrecipes

Green curry fish stew

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Guys, Friday happened. I'm still in denial and I can't have wine for 6 MORE DAYS. Why did I do a Whole 30 now? I'm talking about the inauguration of DJT, obviously. A more thoughtful post is in the works, but I couldn't write about food without mentioning the thing that has occupied my brain for the past week.

For me, one of the things I like about having a child is that his needs are so immediate that caring for him forces me to be in the moment much more than I ever was pre-parenthood. That required compartmentalizing has gotten me through the past few days. I feel this way about cooking too. It's an activity that forces me to pay attention and helps me to block out the worry that can sometimes drag me into its vortex.

So, it'll be an active four years in my kitchen.

No doubt, I'll be making this Thai green curry fish stew A LOT. It's a very delicious vehicle for vegetables and while not technically "hiding" them, the vegetables become part of a whole and don't taste like themselves necessarily. When M was a baby, one of his favorite purees from Baby Foode was chicken, carrots, mango, and Thai red curry paste, so he's always liked these flavors.

This version of Thai curry is not at all traditional and is also technically more of a soup than a stew because there's a lot of sauce. But to me, that's the best part, so I'm not complaining. If you're doing a Whole 30 or are just curious about what's in your food, check your labels because not all Thai curry pastes are created equal. Thai Kitchen brand is definitely Whole 30 compliant.

And don't be scared of kohlrabi. If you can't find it, cabbage or broccoli stalks are the closest substitutes and also the closest in taste. You can eat kohlrabi raw, sauteed, boiled, or roasted and it's available in most grocery stores and farmer's markets. Here is a great description of what kohlrabi is and some suggestions about what to do with it.

A note about stock: Read carefully because we've only found one brand that is Whole 30 compliant. We could make it ourselves, but stock is one food prep area where I get REALLY lazy, largely because we have a store around the corner that makes homemade stock that is cheap, Whole 30 compliant, and really really good. And then I don't have to handle a whole raw chicken again. Bully for me.

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes

Green curry fish stew

½ large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cup fish stock (or chicken/vegetable stock or water if you can't find a Whole 30 compliant stock)
1 can full-fat coconut milk
5 Tbsp Thai green curry paste (or just go ahead and use the entire little bottle)
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 bunch baby broccoli (if using regular broccoli, use 6 oz or about 2 cups)
1 medium kohlrabi bulb, chopped
2 cups raw baby spinach (1 cup frozen)
1 lb white fish (thawed, if frozen)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
Cilantro for garnish

Heat oil over a medium flame and add onion and garlic, cooking until the onions are opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until they start to wilt a bit, about 5 more minutes. Add the baby broccoli and cook for one minute. (I removed the long stems because they didn’t fit into my pot, but you can absolutely leave them on or cut them up into chunks.)

Add the coconut milk and the fish stock and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, kohlrabi, and fish and bring back to a boil (this only takes a minute). Push the fish down to make sure it's covered by the cooking liquid.

When the pot is back to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let simmer until the fish is flaky. I had extremely thin slices of cod, so this only took about 8 minutes, but if your fish is thicker, it will take longer. When the fish is cooked, stir in the fish sauce and sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 7-8 cups, which was about 4 adult servings and 2 toddler servings

Green curry fish stew | Me & The Moose. Bottled green curry makes quick work of this tasty Thai-inspired stew that’s chock full of fish and veggies. #meandthemoose #Thaicurry #healthymeals #whole30 #whole30recipes #onepotmeals #dinnerrecipes