First Tuesday Recipes: January 2021

Happy New Year! I’m eager to begin sharing some of my favorite recipes with you for the next twelve months! As many of you know, I share three recipes on the first Tuesday of each month. I welcome recipes from readers, so if you have one (or more) you’d like to share, please email me at amymreadeauthor[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll be happy to include your recipes (with credit, of course).

What would you like to see?

And speaking of sharing, if you have any suggestions for posts you’d like to see, please let me know either by email or down in the comments below. My goal is to make this blog as responsive as possible to reader wishes, so any and all input is welcome and appreciated. I do a reading round-up on the last Tuesday of each month and a worldwide blogfest of good news on the last Friday of each month, but otherwise my Tuesday posts are yours to help create. So reach out and let me know what you’d like to see!

Let’s Get Cooking!

The first recipe I’m sharing this month is one I serve my family every New Year’s Day. It’s chock-full of flavor and calories and always gets the new year off to a delicious start. If you’ve resolved to lose weight, well…it’ll have to wait until January 2nd. The loco moco is a Hawaiian comfort dish often served with a scoop of macaroni salad. You can (actually, you should) start making this dish a day or two in advance. There’s very little hands-on work.

Kalua Pork Loco Moco

Lots of servings

5-6 pound pork butt roast

1 T. Liquid Smoke

1 T. salt

hot cooked rice (I make this a day or two ahead of time and reheat it)

eggs (1-2 for each person)

brown gravy (I also make this ahead of time. You can use your favorite recipe or just a mix or jar from the grocery store—we use a mix)

Place the butt roast in a slow cooker. Pour Liquid Smoke over roast, then sprinkle with salt. Cover and cook on low for 20 hours (this is not a typo), flipping about halfway through cooking. Shred with two forks and return to slow cooker.

Prepare 1-2 eggs for each person. They can be prepared any way you like, but we like ours over easy.

Place 1-2 scoops of hot cooked rice in a shallow bowl. Scoop desired amount of pork over the rice. Top with the egg(s) and pour brown gravy over the entire thing. Serve with a side of macaroni salad, if desired.

The leftover pork is great in omelets and/or sliders and/or tacos.

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If you eat the loco moco on January 1st as we do, then you’re going to want something much lighter after that. My suggestion? A salad that checks the boxes on flavor, ease, and nutrition.

Spinach Salad with Pears and Walnuts

4 servings

3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 c. sherry vinegar

1 shallot, minced

1/2 t. honey

salt and pepper to taste

8-12 cups fresh baby spinach

4 firm, ripe pears, cored and chopped

1/2 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped

bleu cheese crumbles (optional, but I always add them)

Combine oil, vinegar, shallot, honey, and salt and pepper in a medium-sized jar with a lid. Shake dressing vigorously.

In four shallow bowls, divide the spinach. Top the spinach in each bowl with 1/4 of the pears, then with 1/4 of the walnuts. Crumble bleu cheese on salads, if desired. Shake vinaigrette again and pour the desired amount over each salad. Store the rest of the dressing in the fridge.

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The last recipe for January is another comfort food that goes well with vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. It’s especially good with curry, no matter you like your curry. And it’s even good as a dessert—just sprinkle it with a handful of chopped mango.

Sticky Rice

2 c. Arborio rice

1 1/2 c. canned unsweetened coconut milk (not coconut cream!)

1/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 t. salt

Cook rice according to package directions. Shake coconut milk very well before measuring. In a small saucepan, warm coconut milk, brown sugar, and salt. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add milk mixture to rice and stir gently. Serve as a side dish or dessert.

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Remember to email me or comment below with recipes and suggestions for blog posts! I’m eager to hear from you.

Until next time,

Amy

First Tuesday Recipes for November

It’s that time of year again…the time when the calendar is in fast-forward from Halloween through the New Year. It’s a busy season, but try to slow down every now and remember to be thankful!

This week I’ve got a breakfast recipe that’s simple and delicious, a side dish, and an easy weeknight soup using convenience ingredients.

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Favorite Oatmeal

One serving of plain oatmeal, prepared according to package directions

1/4 c. half & half

1 banana

1 T. (or to your taste) brown sugar

Prepare oatmeal as directed. Place in a bowl. Pour half & half over oatmeal, but do not stir. Slice banana onto top. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize the sugar until golden and fragrant. Stir and enjoy!

If you don’t have a kitchen torch, place the oatmeal in a broiler-safe bowl, layer ingredients as above, and broil until sugar is golden and bubbly. Keep a close watch on it!

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Baked Acorn Squash with Brown Sugar and Sour Cherries

This recipe comes courtesy of Chef Ed Daggers of the Atlantic City Country Club, with his permission.

3 med. acorn squash

2/3 c. dried cherries

1 c. frozen tart red cherries

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1 t. grated lemon peel

1/4 t. nutmeg

1/2 t. salt

1/4 c. lemon juice

3 T. butter

Cut each squash in half and discard seeds. Place squash, cut side up, in two 13 x 9″ greased baking dishes.

Combine the dried and tart cherries, brown sugar, lemon peel, nutmeg, and salt. Spoon into squash halves. Sprinkle with lemon juice and dot with butter.

Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, or until squash is tender.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

1 pkg. Uncle Ben’s Long Grain and Wild Rice original recipe (discard spice packet)

1 c. water

2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth

1-2 carrots, shredded

10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

onion flakes

1 can cream of chicken soup

8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese

In medium saucepan, bring rice, water, and chicken broth to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until rice is cooked.

Add carrots, broccoli, and onion flakes; simmer for 5 minutes.

Add canned soup and cream cheese; simmer until thickened.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy