Meat Stuffing (for Zucchini or Bell Peppers)

This recipe is adapted from how my mother used to make it.  The measurements are not exact because a lot depends on how thick you want the stuffing to be and how much seasoning you like.

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz can tomato sauce
saltine crackers
dried basil
black pepper

  1. Brown hamburger and onion.
  2. Add tomato sauce.
  3. Crumble in saltines until stuffing holds together.
  4. Season to taste with basil, pepper & salt.
  5. Stuff into parboiled or roasted zucchini (split & seeded) or par-roasted bell pepper halves.  Top with cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 F for about 20-30 minutes or until heated through and cheese it melted.
  • Precooking the zucchini or bell peppers makes sure the vegetables are done when the stuffing is. Otherwise they will still be hard while your stuffing is getting burned.

Split Pea Soup

from my daughter, Marissa Davis Hefner

2 cups dried split green peas, rinsed
2 cups chopped carrots (not necessary to peel them)
2 cups chopped celery (don’t forget the leaves)
1 head cauliflower, chopped

  1. Add all ingredients in a large pot, pour over enough water or broth to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook until peas are tender, about an hour. As long as you cook on low with a lid, it is difficult to overcook this.
  3. When peas are tender, the soup will be a bit chunky – you can blend with an immersion blender or regular blender to a consistency of your liking.
  4. Season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder – or any other seasoning you like.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese, sliced green onions, chopped ham or bacon… it’s very versatile.
  • You can substitute 16 oz frozen cauliflower.
  • You can also pour everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • I like to add a bay leaf, dried thyme (1+ tsp), and a pinch of cayenne while cooking – these are the seasonings used at Pea Soup Andersen’s.
  • I don’t usually salt & pepper while cooking – some folks don’t want salt & my daughter Alycia does not like pepper.  I like smoked salt & fresh-ground pepper on mine.
  • If the soup is too thick, add water or broth. 

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese & Toasted Walnuts

Adapted from EA Stewart

3 cups salad greens
1/2 cup walnuts
4 roasted beets, peeled & sliced
2 ounces goat cheese
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Toast walnuts at 400 for 5 minutes. Lightly chop and set aside.
  2. Divide the greens between 2 salad plates.
  3. Arrange beets in an overlapping circle on top of the greens.
  4. Sprinkle with walnuts.
  5. Crumble goat cheese over the greens, beets, and walnuts.
  6. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste
  • Serves 2

Zucchini and Onion Koftas

adapted from Spice Goddess / Bal Arneson

vegetable oil
1 cup chickpea flour
3 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp cardamom seeds, crushed
1 medium onion, cut in quarters & thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini, grated (about 3 cups)
a pinch of salt


  1. Combine chickpea flour, yogurt, garam masala, cardamom seeds, onions, zucchini and salt into a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Drop appx 2 Tbsp mixture into oil, press slightly to flatten and fry until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Add more oil to skillet as needed.
  4. Drain on paper towels.
  5. Serve hot.
  • To avoid using a lot of oil to deep-fry, I made this into “pancakes” rather than fritters.
  • I did not use the green onions or pomegranate seeds listed in the original recipe.
  • I prefer the spice seeds to be crushed to spread the flavor thru the dish a little more. If you prefer, you can leave them whole as Bal Arneson does.
  • The flavor may vary a little depending on the garam masala mix being used.
  • You can substitute all purpose or whole wheat flour for the chickpea flour, but the texture will not be as crunchy.

Sweet and Tart Slaw


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups cabbage, shredded
2 cups  carrots, shredded
1 lg Granny Smith apple, quartered & sliced thinly
1 med turnip, shredded
5 lg radishes, halved and sliced thinly
2 green onions, sliced thinly


  1. Beat oil, vinegar, honey & pepper until well blended.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, toss to coat.
  3. Cover & refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving (can be served after 1 hour, but the additional time allows the flavors to blend more thoroughly).
  4. Makes 8 cups.
  • Keeps well – even better the next day.

Tempura Vegetables

This is a very light, crispy batter.

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp oil
1 egg
1 cup ice water
2-3 ice cubes
assorted veggies
1″ deep hot oil for frying


  1. Mix dry ingredients. Add oil & egg.
  2. Just before using add ice water & ice. Batter should be fairly thin – will make a thin coating on veggies.
  3. Dip veggies in batter & drop in oil.  Do not crowd in pan.
  4. Cook until pale golden brown – if they get much darker they will be burned. Fish out the crumbles – they are tasty, too!

eggplant, sliced 1/4″ thick
zucchini, sliced 1/4″ thick
onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
sweet potato, sliced 1/8″ thick
mushrooms, whole or quartered – should be about
1″ diameter
broccoli florets
cauliflower florets
bell pepper, sliced 1/4″ thick

You can try other veggies. Batter is also good for shrimp or chicken.

Roasted Beets

These are one of my new favorites – I can’t get enough of them. Roasting beets give them a deep, sweet taste that can’t be accomplished by any other method.
Recipe adapted from What’s Cooking America.

Fresh whole beets (any size, preferably with greens)
Olive Oil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in middle of oven. Wash and scrub the beets to clean off any dirt. Trim off the leaves (leaving a small amount of stems) and roots of the beets. Leave the beet whole unless larger than your fist – if this large, cut in half. Save the stems & leaves to use for another recipe.
  2. Cover a large baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place prepared beets, in a single layer, on top. Toss lightly with some olive oil to coat the beets. Cover with aluminum foil and fold together to seal.
  3. Roast for 1 to 2 hours (depending on the size of your beets) or until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. Remove from oven and take off the top foil. Set aside to cool enough to handle. When cool, rub the skin off. They should peel easily by hand, but you can use a paring knife if you want.
  4. Serve hot or cold.
  5. Store in refrigerator.
  • You can eat the stems at the top of the beets or discard them.  I think they are very tasty.
  • If you use heavy duty foil, you can wash & reuse it.
  • I tried using the plastic bags the beets came from the market in for “gloves” when I was peeling the beets, but my hands got too hot, so I took them off.  Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to wash beet stain from your hands with soap & water, but it tends to stain under your nails for a few days.


Roasted Turnips with Parmesan

Adapted from

2 lb turnips (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Drizzle turnips with oil. Place  on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Mix cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over turnips.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  5. Arrange turnips in a single layer and roast until golden on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
These did not get crispy, but they are very tasty.