So many delicious things come in small little bowls. Olives are one of my favorite snacks and I put them in sauces and dishes quite often since they have healthy fats and taste so darn good! I use olives and their brine as a salt replacement in soups on occasion for a unique flavor or I top them with a spoonful of olive tapenade as a garnish. Olive tapenade is a marvelous multipurpose medley of salty, lemony goodness.
For this kalamata green olive tapenade, I mixed a variety of green olives with kalamata as they each have a unique flavor. Blended together, they are simply heaven! Combined with a touch of lemon, capers and parsley, a mixed olive tapenade is an easy go-to dip for veggies or a spread on crackers or sandwiches.
I recently found a super fun recipe book called Not Your Mama’s Canning Book which has me all inspired to venture out beyond the typical jams and tomato sauces. I’m totally going to try canning this olive tapenade for easy gift giving and ready-to-go, no prep appetizers!! Wish me luck 😉
- 1 cup mixed olives (kalamata, nicoise, picholine, etc)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or try a combo of parsley, basil and oregano)
- sprinkle of black pepper
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until desired consistency.
- Use tapenade as a dip or spread for appetizers. Also delicious as a soup garnish or on meats, pizza, sandwiches and burgers!
Yowza. The past few days have been a struggle. The wonderful hubby was traveling most of the week and lucky me managed to find the last remnants of old construction trash (previous owner’s) that had been discarded in our grove of trees… by getting a nail halfway imbedded into my foot. My daughters have been amazing helpers since I’m hobbling around and can’t put continuous weight on it just yet. It’s been a good excuse to make easy meals and this easy enchilada sauce. This sauce is just a few simple ingredients and will take you 5 minutes to make leaving no excuse not to make it.
I do make a more authentic style enchilada rojas sauce which I’ll post in the future but this one has all the taste in significantly less time leaving you with the ability to have a fast easy meal on the table in less than thirty minutes. This easy enchilada sauce is perfect for smothering over enchiladas, used as a taco sauce, as a marinade for steaks or chicken and for amazing huevos rancheros!
- 2 cans organic fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3-4 chilis in adobo sauce
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (or you can use 1 small clove, minced)
- pinch of cumin
- salt to taste
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
One of my favorite soups from when I was a kid was a vegetable beef and barley soup… from a can of condensed soup, of course, as that was the trend. Packed full of wholesome ingredients, and none of the bad, it’s a hearty healthy meal.
Vegetable beef and barley soup is easy on the budget as you can use the less ideal cuts of beef (like round steak) diced into bite size morsels or stew meat. Since these cuts of meat tend to be more tough, I put them in a slow cooker with the vegetables for a few hours to soften into tender melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Then, I add the remaining ingredients and continue to slow cook another few hours until all the ingredients have melded together and the barley and vegetables are tender. The resulting taste is a perfect blend of earthy and nutty goodness in a comforting bowl of bliss. Barley is a gluten containing grain (less so than wheat) so if you need to stay gluten-free, you can substitute Asian barley (also called Job’s tears) or arborio rice for a similar taste and texture.
- 1-2 pounds stew meat or other beef cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup turnips, parsnips or potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1-2 cups celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste if needed)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen green beans, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup peas
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon marjoram
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- ½-1 cup tomato sauce
- ½ cup barley, Asian barley or Arborio rice
- 4 cups beef or vegetable broth
- water if needed to achieve desired consistency
- Place beef, turnips, celery, carrots, onion, garlic and salt in a slow cooker and stir to combine.
- Cook on low about 4-5 hours until meat is fully cooked and begins to become tender.
- Add remaining ingredients and continue cooking 2-4 hours until barley is tender.
- The barley will make the soup much thicker as it cooks so if you need to add water, do so as it's cooking until you reach your desired consistency.