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RECIPE EXCHANGE RECIPE REQUESTS: There's been a request for a good French toast recipe. If you have a special one that adds fruit or something else to the basic recipe please send to Recipe Exchange. We are also looking for punch recipes for graduation op

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The Recipe Exchange is always looking for interesting vegetarian recipes. Here is one that is good to make, whether you are vegetarian or not.

Vegetarian casserole

1/4 cup butter

1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

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1 onion, chopped

1/2 pound barley

2 1/2 cups vegetable bouillon

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

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Heat butter in a skillet and sauté; the mushrooms until golden but still firm. Remove from pan. Sauté; onion until just soft. Add barley to the skillet and stir until light brown. Pour in bouillon, cover and simmer until barley is almost tender, about one hour. Add more liquid if needed. Return mushrooms to pan. Add cottage cheese, sour cream, green onions and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a baking dish and bake at 325 for one hour. Sprinkle with more parsley before serving. Makes 8-10 servings.

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Here is a different vegetable recipe to go with your Easter ham.

Vegetables au gratin

1 small head cauliflower

2 cups carrots, peeled and sliced

2 cups frozen peas

4 tomatoes, sliced

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Sauce:

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup half-and-half

1 cup vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Separate cauliflower into small pieces and cook with the carrots until just crisp-tender. Drain, saving the liquid to use in the sauce. Butter a casserole dish. Add the cooked vegetables and the peas. To make the sauce melt butter in a small pan. Stir in flour, then slowly add the half-and-half and stock. Cook, stirring until mixture thickens. Season to taste. Pour sauce over the vegetables. Arrange tomatoes in a circle around the edge of the casserole. Top with the grated cheese. Place under broiler for 5 minutes, watching carefully so top does not get too brown.

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A great variation on an old standby. This can easily be doubled.

Orange coleslaw

1 1/2 cups orange sections

2 cups shredded cabbage

1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon celery seed

Cut orange sections in half. Mix with cabbage and dates. Combine mayonnaise with salt, sugar and celery seed and stir into cabbage mixture until well-blended. Chill.

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Banana bread? Carrot cake? Neither. This is a cake that looks and is delicious. Combining bananas and carrots really works and the allspice gives it an added kick.

Banana carrot spice cake

2 1/4 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 1/2 cups sugar

2/3 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

1 cup mashed bananas (about 3)

1 cup finely shredded carrots

In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and allspice. Set aside. In a mixer bowl combine sugar, oil and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the flour alternately with the mashed bananas at low speed, then stir in the carrots, mixing well. Turn into a well-greased 13-by-9-inch pan and bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until it tests done. Frost with a cream cheese frosting or simply sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serves about 20 so it is good for an Easter crowd.

-- Holly Ebel

Do you have a special recipe you prepare and would like to share with others? Please send to Recipe Exchange, attention Food section, Post-Bulletin,18 First Ave. S.E., P.O. Box 6118, Rochester MN 55903-6118. You can FAX your recipe to 285-7772. You also mail e-mail recipes or requests to lifestyle@postbulletin.com.

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