Dragonfly Home Recipes

Recipes, Photography, Musings

Month: April 2016

Roasted Radish Medley

The gorgeous colors in this roasted radish medley reflect its deeply satisfying taste. Radishes, baby beets, carrots, and Cipollini onions are roasted in a sauce of honey, olive oil, wine vinegar, and garlic.  Roasting brings out a mellow flavor in the vegetables, especially the radishes.  The lightly sweet flavors from the carrots and onions are balanced with the distinctively earthy taste of the beets.

It feels good knowing that these vegetables, grown in the earth, contain lots of vitamins and  minerals to infuse my body with good energy.  And the bright colors make them fun to work with.  I know there are many people who don’t like radishes or beets.  But when they are roasted in this flavorful sauce with their mellow flavors released from the roasting, and the melt-in-your-mouth texture, they really are delicious, especially when eaten warm, right out of the oven.

beets radishes and carrots 2I adapted this recipe from one I found in the May/June issue of Victoria magazine.  I find that magazine so inspiring, with its beautiful photographs and stories about women who follow their dreams.  I only changed a few things in my recipe–I used orange carrots instead of white, and used baby beets instead of Chioggia beets.  Also, I used white wine vinegar instead of Champagne vinegar, and my cooking time ended up taking a few minutes longer.

raw radishes and carrots 2I find that I really enjoy working with vegetables.  As I was peeling the skin off of the onions, I was thinking, you can’t really be in a rush to do this job….but then I realized how often I am in a rush–either in a true hurry to get somewhere on time, or a self-imposed rush  to get more and more done.  I let go of that feeling for a few minutes and peeled the onions, noticing their smell and their texture, and paid attention to the pretty pink hues of the beets and radishes as I washed them.  I noticed that the beet stems look like roses.  That the stripes in the beets are amazing.  In the middle of a day and evening full of obligations and schedules, there was a window of time when I was present with the beauty of nature.

beet roses 4I am still working on posting some meals that can be ready quickly, or made ahead of time to be eaten when hungry people get home from soccer games and track meets….That is also part of my family’s reality.  But for today, I am sharing a recipe that gave me a meditation with the vegetables, and made me feel more in touch with our beautiful earth (and with myself too).  If you have a 20 minute window of time (plus about 25 minutes for while the vegetables roast), I highly recommend it.  I hope you all have a great weekend! This week, Fiesta Friday is co-hosted by Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau and Scarlett @ Unwed Housewife, and I look forward to checking out some inspiring posts over there!raw radishes and beets and carrotsroasted radish medley on tray 1roasted radish medley in white bowl 2

Roasted Radish Medley

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: about 20 minutes of prep time, about 25 minutes for roasting
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Ingredients:

  • approximately 1 pound of radishes, washed and trimmed, with about 1/2 inch of the green tops still on, cut in half length-wise
  • 3-4 medium-sized carrots, washed and peeled, cut in half length-wise and then cut in half width-wise
  • 8 ounces of Cipollini onions (you can also use pearl onions), peeled and blanched
  • 4 baby beets (or 2 small Chioggia beets, if you can find them), trimmed, washed, and halved length-wise (it helps if the beet pieces are about the same size as the radishes, so the roasting time works for all the vegetables)
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • black pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a small bowl, place the honey, olive oil, minced garlic, white wine vinegar, and melted butter.  Whisk to combine.

In a large bowl, combine the radishes, carrots, blanched onions, and beets.  Pour in the honey mixture and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.  Spread the vegetables on the baking sheet in a single layer, cut side down.  Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

Roast in your 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm. Enjoy!

This recipe is adapted from one in the May/June 2016 issue of Victoria magazine

Citrus Nut Bread

Orange zest and a half cup of lemonade infuse this bread with a subtle zing, balanced by the creamy flavors of walnuts, pecans, and milk.  Moist and subtly sweet, this citrus nut bread is a tasty snack, with nutritional benefits from the nuts and orange zest.  Savor a slice with a cup of coffee or tea, as an after-school snack, or even just grab a piece on the go.  Some may like to spread cream cheese or jam on a slice; I like it just as it is.  There is something joyful and energizing about citrus flavors.  As we wait for seasonal fruits to become ripe here, citrus can do wonders to tide us over.  Though it takes almost an hour to bake, it takes just a few minutes to zest some orange peel and mix up the batter.

DSC_1155This recipe is adapted from a favorite orange walnut bread recipe in one of the many cookbooks I have collected from various churches over the years.  Once I got started making the bread, I realized I didn’t have the orange juice the recipe called for.  I also didn’t have enough walnuts.  My husband suggested I use lemonade instead of the orange juice, and I used a combination of walnuts and pecans.  The bread turned out great! I actually like it better than the traditional orange walnut bread.  The lemonade gives it a sunny flavor and such a pretty, delicate color.

citrus nut bread on bench 2The making of this bread helped soothe my nerves.  I made it a day or so before my daughter was to leave on her overnight class trip to Chicago.  I know she loves this bread, and making it for her made me feel like I was giving her an extra hug before she waved goodbye and hopped on the bus.  It is true that food can express love in ways that words sometimes cannot. I look forward to hearing all about her trip when she gets back!

citrus nut bread on porchMeanwhile, spring marches on with warm days and cold days, bright sun, rain, and wind.  The key is to dress in layers, since it changes so quickly!  The scene around us is becoming more colorful by the day.  After the browns and grays of winter, it feels good to see such bright colors.  Our cherry trees are starting to blossom! Bright yellow dandelions decorate bright green grass.  I hope you are all having a great week!cherry blossomscherry blossoms against blue sky

Citrus Nut Bread

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Time: about 15 minutes prep time, plus about an hour for baking time
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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of lemonade
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten slightly
  • 1 tablespoons of orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of a combination of walnuts and pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to combine.  In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, lemonade, butter, egg, and orange zest.  Add those ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients.  Stir gently until just incorporated and a batter forms.  Stir in the chopped nuts.  Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan.  Bake in your 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden and the top cracks just a little.  Test to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  When the bread is done, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy!

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

Superfood quinoa is combined with fruit, nuts, almond milk, and natural flavorings to make up a delicious, healthy, energizing breakfast.  Mix and match the fruits and the nuts, add more toppings if you wish! These breakfast bowls help keep me sane on busy mornings.  They can be thrown together quickly and are packed with protein and flavor to start your day in a positive way.

Made up of ingredients many of us keep on hand, these breakfast bowls are easy to make in the morning when your brain is not fully awake, yet once they are eaten, they provide the body and brain with lots of high-quality energy.  To make things even easier, you can cook a batch of quinoa ahead of time, and then in the morning, warm up the desired amount on the stove in a bit of almond (or regular) milk. Then just add the desired flavoring (maple syrup or honey and vanilla), fruit, and nuts, and you have breakfast.  If you are cooking the quinoa that morning, just use twice as much liquid (water or almond milk) as you do quinoa, and simmer it for about 15 minutes, until tender.

There are endless combinations you can use for this type of breakfast bowl–in this post I am just sharing two basic and easy ones that I enjoy, because sometimes the most simple recipes are the most accessible and helpful in our everyday lives.

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl 4Our mornings are still chilly at this time of year, so a nice warm bowl of quinoa with fruit and nuts is comforting and cozy, as well as delicious and healthy.  Spring comes in fits and starts here, rarely smoothly.  Following our spring snowstorms we had a major heat wave, and now it’s back to damp, foggy weather today.  The spring peepers have started, stopped, and started peeping again at least a couple of times in the past couple of weeks.  They say that after the peepers have started and stopped peeping three times, then spring is finally here to stay.  I have lost count, but we must be about there.  Our lilac bushes and cherry trees have little buds on them.  A birch tree we thought was dead has just sprouted tiny little leaves!

banana quinoa breakfast bowl 6With spring comes soccer for our kids, which means full schedules and lots of muddy laundry, mixed with lots of fresh air and fun.  I get a chance to spend time with my fellow soccer moms, who are some of my favorite people on this earth.  Last night they helped me identify some recipe ideas to develop in the coming weeks, since we are all in need of quick, energizing foods and spring crock pot ideas to help us get through these active times with grace and vitality.  I have lots to work on!

dried berry quinoa breakfast bowl editNo matter what the weather is–cold or hot, damp or windy, have you noticed how good the spring air smells?  It is full of the promise of new life and new experiences, while at the same time waking up long-buried emotions and bringing back memories from past springs.  No wonder spring is such an emotional time! That’s why it’s important to have a good, stabilizing breakfast.  I hope you all have a lovely weekend! I’m sharing this post with Angie’s Fiesta Friday, co-hosted this week by Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju and Cynthia @ eatmunchlove.

Two Easy Quinoa Breakfast Bowls

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 15 minutes
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For Quinoa with Dried Berries and Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoon of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • a handful of dried cherries or dried cranberries
  • a handful of chopped pecans

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with desired amount of dried cherries or cranberries and pecans. Enjoy!

For Quinoa with Sliced Banana and Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked quinoa (follow the package instructions for cooking, or gently warm up one cup of leftover quinoa in some milk)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of almond milk (or cow’s milk, if you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • a handful of chopped walnuts

Directions:

Spoon 1 cup of cooked quinoa into a bowl.  Moisten it with the desired amount of milk.  Stir in the maple syrup or honey and the vanilla.  Top with the banana slices and the desired amount of chopped walnuts.  Enjoy!

 

Radish-Herb Spread

The fresh and bright flavors in this radish-herb spread will liven up any cracker or piece of bread.  Crunchy radishes, savory chives and dill, and creamy Greek yogurt combined with Feta cheese make up this delicious spread.  Add excitement to a lunch or take it to a party, and indulge in some garden freshness and protein-rich goodness!

I am so enjoying radishes this spring.  They are like a breath of fresh air, and they add life to everything they touch.  This radish-herb spread is no exception.  The fresh radishes and herbs, combined with the tangy creaminess of the yogurt and cheese, make it full of flavor, yet not too heavy.  Spread it on crackers or bread, or use it as a dip with tortilla chips and vegetables.

radish spreadThere has been a lot going on since I last posted, including two spring snowstorms, two weekend getaways for spring break, and a birthday for my son, among many other things.  While most people around here prefer to go south for spring break, we went on two mini vacations, first a couple hours west, and then a few hours northwest.  And while it would have been nice to lie on a beach in a bikini in the sun, sitting in an outdoor hot tub while the snow swirled around us and landed in our hair was truly exciting and refreshing.

Walking through the snow along Lake Michigan on a cold sunny day, while the waves crashed majestically beside us, was beautiful and invigorating. Sometimes the most memorable times occur during the most challenging weather, and sometimes you don’t need to get very far away to feel like you are in another world.

And now the weather is turning warm, finally.  Warm enough that we can start thinking about our gardens again, which brings me back to radishes.  They are just so refreshing and invigorating, much like a cold walk on the beach.  And they look like jewels.  I have been adding them to salads a lot lately, and now this delicious spread.  And the chives are from our very own garden–one of the few plants that thrives in the early spring–snow, frost, or shine.

radish spread with vaseThe natural beauty of fruits and vegetables continues to amaze me, and maybe that’s partly because the seasons are always changing, and the plant life reflects the seasons. I always feel so contemplative, so wistful, when my kids have birthdays.  Growing children are such poignant representations of the passage of time, the cycle of life, always changing.  I hope you all have a great weekend! Savor the spring!  There is a Fiesta Friday going on at Angie’s, co-hosted this week by Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Ashley @ Too Zesty, and I am sharing this spread with the talented bloggers there!radish spread in sunny windowradish spread in sunny window 2radish spread 2-1

Radish-Herb Spread

  • Servings: about 2 cups of spread
  • Time: about 15 minutes
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup of traditional, unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4 radishes, finely chopped

Directions:

Wash and finely chop the chives, dill, and radishes. In a bowl, stir together the Feta cheese and the Greek yogurt.  Add the herbs, radishes, and salt.  Stir again to completely combine. Adjust the seasonings if desired.  Use the spread on crackers, bread, or as a dip for tortilla chips and vegetables.  Enjoy!