Breakfast/ Brunch/ Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Vegetarian

Greens with Polenta and Poached Eggs

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

These are a few of my favorite things!  You know the song… Raindrops on roses…and yes, there have been a few raindrops in the area, which is a very good thing!

One of my fun favorite places for brunch is, The Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa, California.

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Main Ingredients

Now, Port Costa is not a place you will drive by.. No, you need to plan to go there as it is not by any freeway.  Even though it is only 45 minutes from the bay area.  What is so delightful about the teeny tiny town of Port Costa is that the downtown looks as if it stayed still since the Wild, Wild West Days.

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

See just 7 minutes!

Including Bull Valley Roadhouse. Except the food is not as it was back then.   There are not a lot of vegetarian brunch choices at Bull Valley Roadhouse, and that’s ok.  Several of my family, my niece Ashley (Dr Ashley) and Claudette, my sister-in-law usually get our own creation- Polenta with poached eggs and greens.

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Poaching ingredients

It is so yummy! My favorite brother Roger and yes (I can call him my favorite brother since he is the only brother I have :))  He usually will get some fabulous waffle combo.

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Eggs poaching

 

You may be thinking, oh polenta takes too much time, stirring all that work!  Polenta is so fast in the Instant Pot.  It cooks without stirring in 7 minutes!

While the Instant Pot is doing a ‘natural vent” process you can poach your eggs (you can make them whatever doneness you want) and sauté your organic baby greens and there you go!

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Greens ready to Wilt

An amazing gluten-free breakfast is ready for you.  Of course, you can eat it any time of day….

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

It’s ready! yummy creamy polenta!

Ok, I’ll wait here while you go make some, I know you’re hunger for it now! Enjoy!

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast
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Creamy Polenta Greens with Poached Eggs

Instant Pot Polenta with Greens and Poached Eggs is ready in 15 minutes!

Course Breakfast, brunch, dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth* see notes for option
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Greens

  • 3 cups packed organic baby power greens (baby kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil

Poached Eggs

  • 2 cups water enough water to cover eggs in saucepan
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 4 eggs

Instructions

  1. Put polenta and vegetable broth in Instant Pot, stir to blend.  Set manual pressure 7 minutes.  let natural release for 7 minutes.  Release and stir polenta, add kosher salt to taste.  

    Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Sautéed Greens

  1. Heat oil in skillet, add greens stir a few times to wilt, approximately 1 minute.  

    Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Poached Eggs

  1. Put at least 2 cups water in saucepan or skillet, add vinegar, bring to simmer. Crack eggs individually into small cup. Pour egg into simmering water. Add each egg separately.  Poach for 3 minutes or longer depending on the preferred doneness.  You can poach the eggs before hand but cook only 2 minutes ladle out each egg and put in cold water.  Refrigerate until needed then ladle each poached egg back into simmering water and reheat for 1-2 minutes.  

    Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Serving Creamy Polenta, Greens and Poached Eggs

  1. To serve:  put creamy polenta in bowl add sautéed greens then poached eggs.  Enjoy!

    Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

Recipe Notes

If you don't have vegetable broth use 2 cups water with extra teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper,  1/4 teaspoon rubbed sage,

1/8 teaspoon turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon rubbed thyme and 2 pinches cayenne pepper.   

You can also use 1/2 cup heavy cream and only use 1-1/2 cups of broth in polenta for extra creamy texture. 

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest

Creamy polenta, easy polenta, brunch food recipes, eggs breakfast

There may be affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

Desserts/ Vegan option

Raspberry and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Ooolalah!  Let’s take a break from winter humdrums and make way for Valentines Day!♥  Ok, I know you may not have a valentine, I don’t either, but you know what?

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Ingredient options

You are my Valentine!   And before you go oh, I don’t eat dairy or I don’t want sugar there are natural sweetener options and non-dairy options too for this luscious dessert!  And yes, there is vegan unflavored gelatin.  It just so happens, I didn’t have any for this post.  But I’m sure that you do, a great unflavored vegan gelatin is Vegan Jel by Natural Desserts.   I tried to find a link for you on Amazon, but they were out of it.

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Smashing the raspberries in sieve

There are a lot of people that do have a love of their life; so Raspberry and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta is for all of you! And for girlfriends.. guy friends -Galentine, Palentine (that means a pal ok?) day is just as important!

And just because it is almost Valentines Day, I have not forgotten my determination to reduce and eliminate refined sugar.

This week is well ‘er let’s be honest, I’m not doing so well, at not eating refined sugar…  birthday cake, birthday cupcakes and they all had sugar in them!  I can tell you its not even my birthday yet and what an amazing celebration it has been so far!  Dinner with my girlfriends, so very special.  And one of my girlfriends, Lynn K also had a birthday in January, so we got to share the birthday dinner.

 Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

Adding cassava syrup to raspberry layer

Well, back to Raspberry Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta, if you have not made Panna Cotta before and you think it is hard.. it isn’t. This recipe doesn’t look easy, but it is!  It does take 3 -1/2 hours from start to finish; which is more than a fast recipe!  The active time isn’t more than 30 minutes and the result-is wow oh, wow!  You can wow someone for sure!

 Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

Adding dissolved gelatin n water to raspberry puree.

There are some sweetener options.  You can use as I did Cassava syrup which is a natural sweetener from the cassava tuber with no aftertaste.  Or you can use agave nectar or stevia if you don’t mind the aftertaste or yes, raw or white sugar.   If you are thinking maple syrup, use it only if your maple syrup is really light in color otherwise I think it may darken the white cream part of the panna cotta and not be so pretty.

Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

pouring raspberry layer into stemless glasses-see how it is resting in muffin tin?

Non-dairy options include: use canned coconut cream in combination with either coconut or almond milk.

I used vanilla bean paste, which I really love, love but you can also just use vanilla extract.

You can use stemmed wine glasses instead of the stemless type that I used if that is all you have.  If you use stemmed wine glass, tip the glass in a loaf pan instead of muffin tin and it will work just the same.

 Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

For stemmed wineglass -use loaf pan to set it on its side.

You will want to refrigerate the raspberry side first.   Allow it to gel completely then turn the glass to the other side, pour in the creamy panna cotta  layer in and refrigerate again.  Of course, you can use strawberries instead of raspberries.  I used frozen raspberries, with just a small box of fresh raspberries for garnish.

Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

poured vanilla bean layer in glass now that raspberry layer has gelled.

Ok, my friends I am so excited for you to try this and come up with all kinds of fun variations with it!  Once you see how easy it is you are gonna think why didn’t I do this before??  Who said it was hard??  I’d love for you to post a pic of your creation in the comments!  Enjoy!

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Raspberry Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Raspberry vanilla Bean Panna Cotta is an easy dessert to make that will wow your friends and family!

Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 35 minutes
Servings 3 -1 cup serving size

Ingredients

Raspberry Layer

  • 2 cups frozen or fresh organic raspberries (14 oz package will equal 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice juice of one lime= tablespoon
  • 1/3 cup cassava syrup or agave nectar or sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 cup water

Vanilla Bean Layer

  • 1-1/3 cups organic half and half or use 2/3 cup canned coconut milk and 2/3 cup coconut or almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1/4 cup cassava syrup or agave nectar or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste may use vanilla extract instead

Garnish (optional)

  • Sweetened whip cream
  • few fresh organic raspberries

Instructions

  1. Raspberry Layer:

    Smash the raspberries with back of spoon into a fine mesh sieve over a large glass measuring cup (with pour spout) to remove the seeds.  (Or put raspberries in several layers of folded cheesecloth squeeze it to drain out the raspberry juice over glass measuring cup). You will have about 1 cup of raspberry juice. 

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  2. Add lime juice and cassava syrup to raspberry puree.  

  3. In a small saucepan add water and sprinkle gelatin, stir to mix well.  Let mixture sit for 1-2 minutes.  Stir over low heat until gelatin completely dissolves.  Once dissolved add the gelatin liquid to the raspberry mixture, stir well to combine.  

  4. Put 2-3 stemless glasses on their sides in muffin tin; pour in equal measure raspberry gelatin into each glass.  Refrigerate until firm approximately 1-1/2 hours.  

Vanilla Bean Layer-make once raspberry layer has gelled

  1. Place cream in small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin on top of cream.  Stir to combine.  Let sit for 1-2 minutes.  Turn on low heat, stir until dissolved approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.  Add cassava syrup or other sweetener and vanilla bean paste, stir to mix well.  

  2. Put vanilla bean mixture in glass measuring cup with pour spout.  Cool for a few minutes.  Turn glasses so that raspberry layer is on top;keeping the glasses in the muffin tin for support.  Pour the vanilla bean mixture into glasses.  Refrigerate until firm.    Garnish with sweetened whip cream and fresh raspberries.   Enjoy!  

    Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

Recipe Notes

 

 

 

Active time = 30 minutes; Refrigerator time at least 3 hours. 

My stemless wine glasses were large, 16 ounce size.  I used 1/2 cup each of raspberry and Vanilla bean layer.  Recipe is enough for 3 servings in those amounts.  

Vegan option:  use vegan/vegetarian unflavored gelatin; use 2/3 cup canned coconut cream and 2/3 cup coconut milk or almond milk.  

Cassava syrup is from a tuber, it has no aftertaste and tastes similar to sugar.  

I love this vanilla bean paste it is wonderful to use and smells so divine!

These are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

Easy Panna Cotta, panna cotta recipe, raspberry vanilla panna cotta, valentine dessert

Anti-inflammatory/ Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free/ Soups/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Red Lentil Soup

healthy soup, easy soup, easy lentil vegan soup

Options, Options!  I love options and with this recipe you get options!  In winter, when the weather is foggy, chilly, rainy or snowy, bright colors are energizing.  This recipe uses the baby power greens that you used for the Green Fuji smoothie earlier this week.  I want you to be able to use up your greens up!

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Ingredients see the power greens again?

Ok, there is a funny story about this recipe.  I mentioned what recipe I would be making to Bobbie, my daughter- in-law. I picked up a bag of yellow split peas, tried using the split peas for this post and my brain could not wrap around why the “red lentils” were not cooked in 30 minutes.

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Cooking in 30 minutes

Oh! what a brain fog I had!  Yes, when red lentils are cooked they resemble yellow split peas when they are cooked, but they don’t taste the same and red lentils are faster to cook than yellow split peas.  I know, I know.. my birthday is coming, but please! I hope my brain isn’t going yet!

Have you cooked with Red lentils before?  The lentil is not exactly red, I’d call it orange and it becomes golden bright yellow with cooking.  What is great is that it cooks up in 30 minutes and that is with stove top method.

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There’s the greens again!

If you wanted to use your instant pot it takes 10 minutes under manual high pressure with a 10 minutes of natural release.   ‘Because Red Lentil soup is fast cooking  you can do it all in your cast iron skillet too.  First, saute the onion and garlic add in the red lentils (not the split peas!!), vegetable broth, put on a lid, let it simmer on low heat.  Now here is where the options come in.  You can add in fresh  ginger, curry powder or garam masala seasoning to make dhal,  that is if you are going for Indian flavors.

Or, you can just put in lemon juice, add in a bit more garlic and lemon pepper and of course with either recipe at the end finish it off with organic baby power greens.  The fresh lemon juice gives this dish a much needed bit of zest on a winter day.   Of course you can toss in some other veggies while the red lentils are cooking, such as sliced carrots, red sweet peppers and celery.  Those will give added color to your soup.  This soup is very thick more like a stew.  It will thicken more with sitting and you can serve it on top of jasmine coconut rice (yummy) or riced cauliflower.  Ok, I’d love to know what options you come up with.. and don’t mistake split peas for red lentils!  lol!

healthy soup, easy soup, easy lentil vegan soup
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Red Lentil Soup

Easy, healthy red lentil soup that is ready in 30 minutes. 

Course dinner, Soup
Cuisine American, Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 1-1/2 cups each

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth* for instant pot directions use 3 cups only broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-1/2 cups, packed coarsely chopped baby power greens (baby kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and juiced zest lemon first then juice it

Option choose either: Indian Seasonings

  • 1 inch fresh grated ginger or 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder or 1-1/2 teaspoons garam masala seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Or Choose Lemon Garlic Seasonings

  • 2 extra cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper I like Trader Joes lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Sauté onion with coconut oil in 10-inch cast iron skillet add in minced garlic, sauté for 15-30 seconds more.

  2. Add organic vegetable broth, red lentils, turmeric and your choice of seasonings; add in any optional ingredients, put on lid, simmer for 30 minutes on low.   

    healthy soup, easy soup, easy lentil vegan soup
  3. Add in chopped baby greens, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Serve alone or over coconut rice or riced cauliflower.   Enjoy!

    healthy soup, easy soup, easy lentil vegan soup

optional ingredients

  1. 1/2 cup sliced carrots

    1/2 cup chopped organic red pepper, de-seeded

Recipe Notes

If cooking in Instant  saute onion and garlic with coconut oil on Saute function for approximately five minutes, turn off.  Add broth (only 3 cups), red lentils, turmeric, choice of seasonings and any optional ingredients. Seal lid, set manual setting for 10 minutes with natural release for 10 minutes. Add in chopped baby greens, lemon juice, stir and enjoy!

An Instant Pot will save you 10 minutes, I know that's not alot for this recipe, but it sure will get save you a ton with many other recipes and you can get rid of your slow cookers too!

Cast iron skillets are a cooks best friend...well at least they are some of my best friends in the kitchen, they are a work horse, you cook, bake and pass them on to your grandkids!  These skillets are pre-seasoned so they are easy to take care of. 

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below to Pinterest!

healthy / easy/ lentil /vegan soup

Red Lentil Soup

 

Anti-inflammatory/ Breakfast/ Drinks/ Gluten Free/ vegetables

Green Fuji Smoothie

Green Smoothie for weight loss, Green Smoothie recipes for energy, green smoothie, smoothie with organic greens,

Hello and Happy New Year to you my friends!  It has been too long and I have missed you!   I don’t know about you, but I have eaten more yummy food that I didn’t need and not enough salads, soups, protein smoothies and exercising over the holidays.  So if you are like me, it’s time for back to basics, lean-eating, fit in your jeans exercise.

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Ingredients..hmm is it good?

It is hard for me to want to get out and walk when there are limited daylight hours to do it in. Work tends to take up most of those hours.  But really that is an excuse isn’t it?  My friend Tracey has started using an elliptical daily.    Even five minutes of jump roping is helpful.  Eating lean this time of year is best.   Eating more salads, vegetables, healthy soups or a protein smoothie.  And no, the smoothie is not a milkshake or frappuccino :), oh, darn it!

I tend not to do as many smoothies in the winter, but it is such a great way to get in fresh veggies in my diet, especially first thing in the morning.

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See? This is all it takes!

I wanted to try a different one than I have shared with you previously.  This smoothie, Green Fuji Smoothie is thus named because I used an organic Fuji apple in it. I wanted a green smoothie that was primarily veggies. There is avocado in it to keep you full and a bit of protein too.  Because of the apple no other sweetener was needed.  Do you think little kids would like it?

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Hey, who’s sneaking in the pic?

I would think the bright green color may be a put off for some kids. My grandson loved it!  In fact he kept going back to drink it, so that’s how he ended up in the pics 🙂

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what? he is back! Sneaking another sip 🙂

Where did you spend New Years Eve and New Year’s Day?   Some of my girlfriends and I went to Santa Cruz and Capitola. It is a lovely beachy area to start off the New Year.  We took long walks along the beach and heralded in the New Year at ShadowBrook Restaurant in Capitola.   If you have never heard of ShadowBrook- check it out online.  It has a fascinating history and it is a very unique dining experience.   You get to go down to the dining areas in a cable car.  There are different dining rooms all unique and built at different time periods in the last almost 100 years.   The food was outstanding!  I would suggest trying it if you are in the area to be sure and have a meal there and meander around.

The protein in this smoothie I used collagen but a scoop of pea protein powder would be just as great or leave it out all together.   I will be avoiding a lot of fruit in my winter smoothies as that adds a lot of sugar even if it is not refined sugar.   I listened to a very interesting podcast by a Dr. Mark Gordon who is an interventional endocrinologist, even though this particular podcast was related more towards traumatic brain injury he talked about refined sugar and how terrible it is for our bodies, especially to prevent aging and any autoimmune disease!  So, here is a year to focus on lean eating, daily exercise and connecting with family and friends.

What is your focus this year?  I hope you try out this Green Fuji Smoothie and like it as much as my grandson did!  Enjoy!

Green Smoothie for weight loss, Green Smoothie recipes for energy, green smoothie, smoothie with organic greens,
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Green Fuji Smoothie

Organic greens, fuji apple with bit of protein makes a refreshing smoothie that tastes great and is so good for you!

Course Breakfast
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 heaping cup organic baby greens
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1 organic fuji apple, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons juice of 1 fresh lemon (approx 2 tablespoons)
  • few (optional) fresh mint sprigs
  • 1 scoop collagen powder or protein pea powder
  • 6-8 ounces water
  • 3-5 ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Put all the ingredients in high speed blender (I used Ninja blender)

    Pulse to puree, drink immediately Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

I used Ninja Blender,  it is not expensive, yet it has features such as high speed blending that are like the very expensive blenders.  

 

I used Collagen powder, but to keep it vegan or vegetarian use pea protein powder, I'd suggest for this recipe just one scoop of either plain or vanilla. 

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items. It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog. Thank you so much!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

Green Smoothie for weight loss, Green Smoothie recipes for energy

Green Fuji Smoothie

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May all your days be..

Cheery and bright and all your Christmases and whichever holiday’s you are celebrating be amazing!  Oops, it doesn’t quite rhyme does it?  Heee! Hee!  I wish you the very best of the Holidays, healthy, fun-filled with laughter as that makes every day bright!   Here are a few of my favorite recipes that you may like to make this holiday season.

I’m making a big batch of black bean chili in my Instant Pot right now.

Betty’s Black Bean Chili

Fancy a pumpkin recip?  Check out the free cookbook pumpkin recipes.

Its so easy!!

Seared brussel sprouts and Pomegranate, I’ll be making the big batch version except roasting them whole for Christmas Eve dinner.

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Seared Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranates

Artichoke Spinach Patties-I’d suggest make them into fritters and serve as a horsd’oevre.

Riced Cauliflower recipe, artichoke spinach dip recipe, vegetarian patty recipe, artichoke spinach Dip patties.

Artichoke Spinach Dip Patties

Do you have some mango’s?  Make the Mango french toast and add a garnish of pomegranate seeds.

Easy Mango French Toast with Mango Syrup

Mango French Toast with Mango Syrup

Whatever you make, whatever you do have a healthy and laughter filled week!

Desserts

Salted Caramel Buttercreams

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I promised you the caramel buttercream recipe, I had never made buttercreams before this year.  Of course, I had to make them a couple of times because, well I was just testing them the first time and those got gobbled up and I really didn’t get accurate pictures so oh, horrors they were made again!

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Ingredients for Salted Caramel Buttercreams

Hmmmm.. now where are they?  Well, family and fortunately my son, Aaron decided to take the leftovers to work so I may have to make so more.. 🙂

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Blending up ingredients!

I found a general buttercream recipe on Land ‘O Lakes website that I adapted. And my buttercreams didn’t look as perfect as theirs did but that’s ok.  This is about yummy and easy and fairly quick, not 5 hours to make one buttercream look fabulous. Wouldn’t you rather be eating them than making them look perfect?   And I apologize but this does take longer than 30 minutes but I thought with the holidays sometimes you want to take a bit of time making something right?

Salted Caramel Buttercreams recipe, buttercream recipe

yum! Salted caramel!

You can make the buttercreams plain or different flavors using natural flavoring or extracts.   I divided the buttercream in half mixed in some salted caramel sauce and the others I added some natural raspberry flavoring.  That was  go around one of the recipe.  The last batch I did all salted caramel buttercreams.

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Here’s the scooper again ! It makes it so fast to create them!

Some other ideas besides salted caramel; would be to add minced toasted almonds or pecans or vanilla bean paste.  You can add a bit of matcha powder and mint extract.

Salted Caramel Buttercreams recipe, buttercream recipe

See? Already to get dunked in the dark chocolate

These make a great gift or a sweet treat for so many holidays, like Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or birthdays.

You can either use silpat like I did to put them on or parchment paper or even wax paper will doHere is another recipe to use the cute little 2 teaspoon size scooper you purchased for the lemon truffles.     Since I had purchased the slightly bigger one (1-1/2 tablespoon sized) my buttercreams were a bit bigger.

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This is how I did the chocolate coating it went quickly this way.

You will get more buttercreams out of yours than I did.  It will also depend on how many buttercreams you’ll end up with if you mix in the Easy Salted Caramel Sauce that you made earlier this week or other flavorings into your batch. 

See the pic of using the spoon to put on the chocolate coating?  It is so much easier and bit quicker than having each buttercream on a fork and then carefully dipping it the chocolate.  Ok, I really hope you make some of these buttercreams and I would love to know which flavors you choose to make.  Please let me know in the comments ok?   Enjoy!

There are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items.  It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog.   Thank you so much!

Salted Caramel Buttercreams recipe, buttercream recipe
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Salted Caramel Buttercreams and other flavor options

An easy yummy recipe for Salted Caramel Buttercreams and other flavor options for buttercreams. 

Course Dessert
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce (or optional flavorings below)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Coating:

  • 2 cups Guittard Dark Chocolate Chips or mix dark and bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening

Instructions

  1. Combine butter and cream cheese in bowl. Beat at medium speed, until smooth. Add either salted caramel sauce or other flavoring below, continue beating until well mixed and smooth.

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  2. Beat at low speed, gradually adding powdered sugar, until well mixed. (If mixture is too soft, cover and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to form balls.) I didn’t need to refrigerate them.   

  3. Using 2 teaspoon or tablespoon scooper make balls, place on silat or parchment sheet lined cookie sheet.

    Salted Caramel Buttercreams recipe, buttercream recipe

Coating:

  1.   Melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat in small saucepan stirring until smooth. 

  2. Using a tablespoon put chocolate over each buttercream to coat. Or using a fork dip each buttercream into small container of chocolate.  (I found using tablespoon faster).   Add garnish. Refrigerate for 30 min to set (if needed or place in cool place to set. Enjoy! 

    Salted Caramel Buttercreams recipe, buttercream recipe

Recipe Notes

use Maldon sea Salt Flakes to decorate the ones that are salted caramel; chocolate shavings, bits freeze dried raspberries, sprinkle matcha powder… ok you get the idea.

*************

other flavor options (omit salted caramel sauce)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1/2 teaspoon raspberry natural flavoring

1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder + 1/4 teaspoon mint extract

1/4 cup toasted pecans or almonds, minced

2 tablespoons Medaglia D Oro powdered espresso

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

candy recipes homemade easy, homemade buttercreams

Salted Caramel Buttercreams

 

Desserts

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

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Have you searched for an easy caramel sauce?  So many of them you have to have exact temperatures, a candy thermometer and hurry up and do this then that..forget about it!… I want easy!

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Just 4 ingredients!

I also was not willing to have corn syrup in the recipe or other non-natural ingredients.  Four ingredients and the fourth is Maldon Sea salt Flakes.  Do you know about Maldon Sea Salt Flakes?  They really look like large flakes, perfect for salted caramel buttercreams.  You will see them in the next post.  

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See? You want to put the sugar in bottom of saucepan

Of course, you can use  other sea salt or kosher salt.

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sugar is clumping and melting this is fine it will dissolve

This recipe makes one cup of luscious salted caramel sauce.  You can double the recipe that will work too.  This is wonderful caramel sauce, keep it in your refrigerator and take it out for a drizzle on your morning latte or drizzle on vanilla bean ice cream..

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see the amber color?

.You could also put it in cute jars and give it as Christmas gifts!  I make it for my housekeepers.  I love to treat the hard working women that come to clean to a little break.  I make them latte’s whichever kind either decaf or regular, I set up a little coffee station for them with nice spoons, nutmeg, cinnamon and yes the caramel sauce.  Wouldn’t you want to be treated that way?

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Added the butter it is bubbling

I was working on salted caramel buttercreams that were dipped in combination of dark and bittersweet chocolate.

Well, I had some of the chocolate left over (in a pan double boiler style) so I poured it out on some parchment paper, tossed some toasted pecans on top and drizzled some of the caramel on it and there was some quick as a wink chocolate bark.

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Ahhh! see it is ready!

Once it has cooled,  just broke it up and well, those little leftovers did not last long!

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Chocolate bark, toasted pecans and easy caramel drizzled on it.

Here is the caramel recipe and the chocolate bark recipe too.  Hope you don’t mind that the bark does not have portions it truly was leftovers, but such yummy leftovers! It was sitting out on the counter and hmm it disappeared really quick!

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Dark Chocolate, toasted pecans and caramel drizzled-yum!

Oh, you want the recipe for the buttercreams?  Sure I can get that to you too in a couple of days. What do you like to use your caramel with?

Enjoy!

Easy salted caramel sauce, caramel sauce recipe, caramel recipe
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Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel sauce that is easy to make and is ready in less than 10 minutes! 

Course condiment, Dessert
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Maldon Sea Salt Flakes or use other type sea salt or kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Put sugar in heavy medium saucepan.  Heat the sugar over medium high heat (7/10) whisking it s it begins to melt.  It will first form clumps this is fine, keep whisking.  The clumps will melt.  

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  2. Once the sugar has melted, keep cooking but don't need to whisk, the sugar will reach a medium amber color.  Keep close eye on it- it will only take a few minutes for it to melt and get medium amber (5 min).  If it gets really dark it may taste burnt so golden or medium amber is best.  

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  3. Turn stove down to medium heat, add the butter, whisk it until completely melted. it will sizzle and bubble, stir this quickly, turn off the heat, remove pan from stove.  

  4. Slowly pour cream into the caramel, it may once again bubble up like crazy this is fine.  Whisk until cream all incorporated and caramel sauce is smooth.   Add the Maldon sea salt flakes and stir to blend. 

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  5. Let caramel cool for a few minutes before you pour it into a canning jar or other tempered jar.    Refrigerate once cooled, for up to 1-2 months.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

For 1 cup of sugar recipe use a medium size saucepan as the butter and cream bubble up!  If you are doubling the recipe be sure your saucepan is 2-3 quart size.  

There may be  affiliate link which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the item(s).  It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog.   Thank you so much!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

Easy salted caramel sauce, caramel sauce recipe, caramel recipe

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Anti-inflammatory/ Gluten Free/ Side Dish/ Vegan/ vegetables/ Vegetarian

Seared Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate

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Hey there friends,

How is your holiday shopping going?  Do you have parties and get togethers that you are either putting together or taking food for?     Here is a recipe that will take more time to purchase the ingredients than it will to make it.  It is festive and unique.

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All but one ingredient..which one is it?

Have you roasted brussel sprouts before?   Yum… they become sweeter and if you add garlic with them the aroma of the roasted garlic is so-so delicious!  With this recipe, I suggest you buy the already sliced brussel sprouts “shaved”  ones from Trader Joe’s.  It will make this recipe super fast and you don’t have to turn on your oven.  What Betty? How do you cook them if you don’t roast them?   The shaved brussel sprouts will be very quickly seared in your cast iron skillet over a high heat.

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coarsely chopped pecans

I tried this recipe two different ways and if you are not making a huge quantity you can do it all in one skillet.   Please don’t shy away from the garlic, it really adds a fabulous dimension to this recipe.

After you sear the brussel sprouts and toast your pecans, in the same cast iron skillet (literally 5 minutes or less) you add a couple splashes of pomegranate juice, let that sizzle for a moment and finish it off with pomegranate seeds.  Tah-daa!

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Can you smell the toasting pecans?

Of course that will leave you with a lot of leftover pomegranate juice, no worries, let see, add it to some seltzer or club soda or add it to champagne or make a pomtini.

Seared Brussel Sprouts with pomegranates is delicious and unexpected, colorful and festive.   Don’t wait for a holiday… go try it today! Good grief, I sound like a cheezey ad… sorry about that, I just get excited to share new ideas with you. 🙂

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See the blackened edges of the brussel sprouts?

Of course, I didn’t just make Seared Brussel Sprouts, this chocolate bark with caramel, pecans and maldon salt flakes made it’s way into the kitchen and our mouths… I’ll tell you very soon how to make it too along with caramel buttercreams… yes, it truly is the season!

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Adding Pomegranate juice to seared brussel sprouts

PS if you want to use whole brussel sprouts, I would roast them in the oven which of course which will take 30-40 minutes but smell yummy.  Then reduce the pomegranate juice down to half and finish off the dish as you would with the rest of the easy recipe.   How do you like to use pomegranates either juice or seeds?

Enjoy!

 

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Seared Brussel Sprouts with Pomegranate

 Festive, quick and easy side dish of shaved brussel sprouts that are seared with toasted pecans and pomegranates.

Course Side Dish, vegetable
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 5 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 4 cups shaved brussel sprouts (1 Trader Joe's bag of shaved brussel sprouts)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

To Toast Pecans (if not already toasted)

Instructions

  1.  Put pecans into dry cast iron skillet, toast over medium high heat, watch closely so they do not burn it will take approximately 1 minute.  Once toasted, pour out pecans, set aside.  

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  1. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over almost high heat, once oil is hot add the shaved brussel sprouts and minced garlic, stir a few times, the brussel sprouts will have blackened edges.  

  2. Once brussel spouts are blackened approximately 3 minutes, add pomegranate juice, let it sizzle for few seconds and remove from heat, toss with the toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds and kosher salt. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Recipe Notes

For large crowd and/or if you are using whole brussel sprouts, roast your brussel sprouts in the oven.    To Roast Brussel Sprouts- toss brussel sprouts in oil and minced garlic, roast at 425 minutes for approximately 30-40 minutes until able to prick with a fork.   

Reduce pomegranate juice in half by heating in saucepan or skillet.  

Add the pomegranate reduction to roasted brussel sprouts, toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds and kosher salt.  Enjoy!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

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Quick, holiday side dish

There are affiliate links in this post, which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price of any item you buy; but you do not pay any more for the items.  It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog.   Thank you so much!

 

Desserts/ Gluten Free

Lemon Truffles

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Do you love lemons? And truffles?  I sure do!  Lemons have such a fresh scent to them, they remind me of early spring even though they are a winter fruit.

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Ingredients

A few years a childhood girlfriend of mine, Debbie shared a recipe for lemon truffles with me.  I revised her recipe and now I’m sharing it with you.   If you make food gifts for Christmas, birthday’s or other holiday’s this would be a great gift.

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straining lemon cream into chocolate mixture

Ok, you can nibble on some too!  I made the lemon truffles a couple of different times and different ways to figure out the easiest method for you with the least ingredients. Yes, I had to taste test them too.  🙂

Very important to use great quality white chocolate, not the bark or coating.  Guittard’s choc-au-lait works great.

I have a grocery store, Winco that has tons of bins that you can get all sorts of dried fruit, beans, grains and candy.  They had large hard lemon candies that were perfect for the coating part of the recipe.

This recipe is easy, active time is about 30 minutes, 20 minutes to let the lemon zest steep and there is refrigerator time of one hour to firm up the truffles before rolling.   The one thing that will speed up the process is to have a small scooper for the truffles.  I found one on Amazon that was just a bit bigger than I would have liked I ordered it and then later I found the correct size on Amazon and that is the one I am linking to.

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This pics a bit blurry as I was stirring; see some clotted bits its ok; keep stirring a bit more- it will smooth out.

A 1 tablespoon size is a good size for the truffles or you can use this scoop that is two teaspoon size.  Just a bite or two of the lemon truffle richness is all that is needed, ok maybe two truffles 🙂 Of course if you have a large melon baller that will work too.

Either zester will work for the lemon zest in this recipe it doesn’t matter if the zest is fine or thick, I used my Victornox zester.

If you happen to have Meyer lemons, do use that for the zest,(yummy yummy!) I didn’t have any so I used regular lemons.

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Rolling truffle with fork in coating. And see who is watching?  The Christmas village people 🙂

I tried Lemon Truffles with and without using a natural lemon flavored oil.  The lemon flavor is a fun addition but it is not necessary at all. You get a great lemon flavor with the zest and without the lemon flavoring.  The mini paper baking cups I found at Michael’s Craft Store or you may find them at HomeGoods or on Amazon.

Oh and I found candied lemon slices at Trader Joe’s.

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See the details of the lemon decorations?

I cut a couple of them up for the decorative top to the lemon truffle.  The rest of the candied lemon slices I am enjoying in my evening cup of tea.

Enjoy!

truffles, easy lemon truffle recipe, Christmas truffles, how to make truffles, lemon candy, lemon dessert recipe
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Lemon Truffles

Lemon Truffles perfect to make for any occasion, easy to make and takes only 30 minutes of active time.  

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup Guittard choc-au-lait chips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch kosher salt, (omit if using salted butter
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, strained

Powder Coat

  • 7 hard lemon drop candies, pulverized
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Put lemon zest and cream in small saucepan, heat until bubbly, turn off heat, cover and steep for twenty minutes. 

  2. Put chocolate chips, butter and salt in double boiler.  Strain cream into the chocolate mixture. Stir until melted.  Blend in lemon juice. Stir, chocolate may appear clotted, stir more and it will smooth out.  Put in bowl, chill for 1 hour or up to overnight.    

  1. Blend pulverized lemon candies (pulverize in blender) with powdered sugar in small bowl.  

    Using 1 tablespoon scooper or melon baller scoop chocolate and then roll in coating.  Place in mini candy cups.  Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If weather is warm -refrigerate lemon truffles.  

 

These are affiliate links which means I will get a tiny percentage of the purchase price but you do not pay any more for the items.  It helps to defray the cost of the Dash of Wisdom blog.   Thank you so much!

PS- want to save this recipe for later? Save the picture below this to Pinterest!

 

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Lemon truffles

Brunch/ Dinner/Supper/ Gluten Free

Crisp Potato Latkes

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Some like it crispy and some like it thick- which way do you like themOh, you want to know what I’m talking about?  Potato latkes 🙂  I had so much fun testing out different ways to make potato latkes. yes, I have made them before but they tended to be more gooey.

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So what is not in the picture?

First, let me tell you a bit of a story… far away truly, unless you live in Latvia it really is far away…my father’s ancestors lived.  My grandfather, Kirsh (sounds like Chris) was chosen as the most likely to succeed in the family to come to America all by himself as a young man.   His family pooled probably all of their money and sent him.  We did not know many details of his family as we were growing up.  Fortunately my cousin, David, my niece Ashley and others have researched and figured out that we are Jewish!   So it is my duty then to learn how to make yummy crispy potato Latkes don’t you agree?

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Twist the dishtowel, squeeze it, great! you did a super job!

One thing I learned is that latkes were not always made from potatoes.  It depended on where my ancestors lived as to what they used.

Do you ever flip through magazine while you are waiting in line at the grocery store?  I did some time ago and came across a recipe for Potato Latkes using potato starch instead of flour.   That’s is all I remember about it but the purpose of the potato starch was to keep the exterior of the latkes crisp.

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Can you stir this for me please? I need to take a picture!

And by using potato starch -they are gluten-free!  Of course if you don’t have potato starch you can use flour, panko bread crumbs or cassava flour.

First, start with a starchy potato, which would be a russet potato.  If you can get a kennebec potato, bingo!  I have rarely seen a kennebec potato except maybe in a gourmet grocery in St. Helena.  Kennebec potatoes are used in the restaurant industry to make french fries because they are high in starch so the fries are crispy!  We can make do with russet’s ok?

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already to fry!

The most important thing to do so that you don’t end up with a gooey potato latkes is once they are grated to drain them by wringing them out in a clean dishtowel.   It is fun to add some colorful veggies to the latkes too.  They don’t just have to be potatoes, right?

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beginning to sizzle!

For these, I added shredded brussel sprouts and grated carrots.   Any vegetable you use, if it has any moisture in it, it should be added to the bowl of grated potatoes and drained in a dishtowel.    If you are making these for Hanukkah blue and white are the traditional colors so, maybe purple potatoes with russets?  Just a guess, I don’t know of naturally blue food.

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sour cream, uncooked rest of potato latkes… behind the scenes

Christmas brunch add in grated beets and brussel sprouts or grated broccoli. Easter, carrot and something green, like the brussel sprouts or broccoli. See how fun these can be?  Also, keep the grated thickness of your veggies the same size. I kept the latkes small, a heaping soup spoon sized for each latke. If you like yours thicker don’t flatten them.  I tapped them down once in the hot cast iron skillet to flatten it. If you are making these for a big crowd make them on a flat griddle so that you can cook a lot of them at once.

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Behind the scenes, thank you Michael for the planks!

Once you make the latkes eat them as quickly as possible.  Eat them with sour cream ‘n chives or with applesauce, or hot sauce 🙂

Traditional Latkes have grated onion, I tried minced garlic, onion or just dried parsley, sprinkle cayenne pepper and the plainer latkes I liked the best.   Ok, my friends, try them and let me know which techniques you have used to keep them crispy and which other veggies you have tried, ok?

Oh, ps I thought you would enjoy seeing a couple of pics that are behind the scenes, what is going on outside of the focused area!   Enjoy!

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Potato Latkes

Crispy Latkes that are made with russet potatoes and other veggies for a colorful addition to your brunch menu.

Course Breakfast, brunch, dinner
Cuisine American, jewish
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 4 -3 latkes each

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups russet potato(s), peeled, grated 12 ounce size potato
  • 3/4 cup total choice of: carrots, brussel sprouts, beets, grated
  • 1/3 cup grated yellow onion, (optional)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch* *can use panko bread crumbs or flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons Avocado or mild flavored olive oil

garnish options: Sour Cream with chives/scallions or applesauce

Instructions

  1. Mix grated potato and other veggies in mixing bowl add kosher salt stir well,

  2. put grated veggies onto a clean dishtowel, twist the dishtowel ends together and wring the liquid out of the potato and veggies, do this twice

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  3. Put wrung out potato and veggies in dry mixing bowl, add eggs, potato starch and seasonings, mix well.  

  4. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over medium high heat; when skillet hot, put heaping soup spoon sized (3 tablespoon size) portions of latkes on hot skillet, press down latke, turn once golden crispy approximately 2 minutes, turn on other side, once golden remove from skillet.  

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  5. Add more oil to skillet as needed to fry all latkes, be sure oil is hot before adding latkes to skillet. 

  6. serve immediately.  Enjoy!  

Recipe Notes

Tip:  be sure potatoes and other veggies are grated same thickness. Can use large size grater on food processor. 

 If using pre-sliced brussel sprouts this works because there is very little moisture in the brussel sprouts.

 

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Crisp Potato Latkes