The kids and I enjoyed a creative lunch today, using a variety of olive oils, an aged balsamic vinegar, Parmesan seasonings, cheese, basil, lettuce, red onion, orange bell peppers, tomatoes and marinated cucumbers, paired with freshly baked tomato basil or rosemary baguette slices. Hummus and avocado sauces would have also been a great addition. Needless to say, the kids had a great time experimenting with presentation and trying new combinations.
Marinated Cucumbers – Use balsamic vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper
Posted in Avocados, Basil, Bread, Garlic, Grains, Lettuce, lunch, Marinated, Red Onion, Red Pepper, Rosemary, Sandwiches, Tomatoes, tomatoes, Vegetarian
1 Eggplant, peeled and chopped
1 Orange Bell Pepper, chopped
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
4-8 oz Mushrooms, chopped
4 Celery Stalks, chopped
half head Bok Choy, chopped
1-2 TBSP Cooking Oil of Choice
0.75-1.5 TSP Ginger Powder (Note: Use 2 TSP fresh Ginger if you have it.)
1 TBSP Sesame Seed Oil
1 TBSP Honey (optional)
1 cup Dried Rice (Jasmine is pictured here)
1. Cook rice according to directions and set a side, covered.
2. In a large skillet, add 1 TBSP cooking oil, eggplant, garlic, and onions, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add peppers, celery, fresh ginger*, and mushrooms, and cook for 8-10 minutes.
4. Add juice of half of a lemon, ~1 TSP ginger powder*, salt, pepper, and bok choy. Turn off heat. Stir mix to bury bok choy, allowing it to steep.
5. Add 1 TSP sesame seed oil.
6. Pour rice into a large bowl. Add 1-2 TSP sesame seed oil, dash of pepper, juice of half a lemon, 0.5-1 TSP ginger powder, and honey. Mix well.
Posted in Bok Choy, Brown Rice, Cabbage, Celery, Eggplant, Garlic, Ginger, Mushrooms, Onion, Rice, Vegetarian
1.5 cups Brown Rice
3.75 cups Water
2 TSP Chicken Base
1 lb Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 small Onion, Chopped
1.5-2 cups Tomato Basil Sauce
Salt and Pepper as desired
Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.
Makes 4-5 servings.
Note: You could easily hide other vegetables in this dish, either cut small or pureed. Pumpkin and winter squash would be easy to incorporate.
2-3 pints Sungold Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
1 large or 2 medium Heirloom Tomatoes (or 5-6 Roma Tomatoes), sliced
1/2 Onion, chopped
2-4 oz fresh Basil
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped or crushed
dash Italian Seasoning
2 TSP Oil
1/2 cup Water
Combine tomatoes, water, oil and salt in pot and cook on medium-high for 15 minutes (or until tender). Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Allow sauce to cool. Blend sauce in a blender or food processor until desired consistency. Pour sauce back into pan and cook for 10+ minutes. Serve over pasta of choice.
Do you ever find yourself with leftover veggies from a meal and wonder what you’re going to do with them? Well, that was the situation for me a couple of nights ago after hubby made dinner. He only used half an eggplant, half of the potatoes he had prepared, and then reminded me we had zucchini and yellow squash crying for my attention. “No worries,” I thought. I’ll just cook them up and find something to put them into later. And that’s exactly what I did.
A mixture of veggies such as…
1 half Eggplant, peeled
1 Potato, sliced
1 Yellow Squash, sliced
2 Zucchini, sliced
3 Tomatoes (I used Heirloom Ugly Tomatoes)
4-6 Garlic Cloves, sliced or crushed
1 small Onion, chopped
half cup Ketchup
a lot of Cumin
32 oz Black Beans, cooked
Salt as desired
Brown Rice, Cooked
Veggies to decorate your dish
To start, combine all veggies and garlic into a skillet and cook thoroughly. After they are soft and fully cooked allow them to cool. Once cooled, add ketchup and puree the veggies until they reach a desired consistency. (Some like their tomato base to be chunky, others like it smooth.) Place the tomato base into a skillet or sauce pan and add black beans. Bring bean mixture to a simmer and add cumin, salt, and cilantro if you have it. Place black beans over brown rice and decorate.
Needless to say, my kids took over with my plate and decorated it for me, giggling the entire time. The best part is that they also ate their entire meal never realizing I had hidden veggies inside.
Posted in Brown Rice, Cilantro, Cucumber, Eggplant, Garlic, Onion, Peppers - Green Bell, Peppers - Jalapeno, Peppers - Poblano, Potato, Red Onion, Rice, Romaine, Squash, Vegetarian, Yellow Squash, Zucchini
Are you looking for a new pizza crust? We decided to try a new style of pizza crust and found this recipe by Emeril Lagasse that turned out great!
Here’s the recipe from FoodNetwork.com:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
1 cup cornmeal, plus more for dusting pizza peel
In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add the 1 cup of cornmeal and all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not too sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.
Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.
Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6
Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.
1. We prefer our cornbread recipes to have a sweeter taste than this yielded, so next time I would add 2-3 TBSP honey.
2. We placed the dough in a moist and hot microwave oven for the rising step. (You can create this environment by first boiling 2 cups of water in the microwave for ~2-3 minutes. Then quickly place the bowl of dough in the microwave and shut the door (leaving the microwave off). It works wonderfully and cuts the rising time down to 30 minutes instead of 2 hours.)
3. We cut our dough into 4 equal pieces and rolled out mini pizzas. They each measured approximately 8 inches in diameter. We found 8 minutes at 500 F was plenty of baking time on a baking sheet.
4. This would be a great crust to infuse some herbs into the dough, such as sun-dried tomato, basil, rosemary, etc.
5. We topped our pizza with tomatoes, basil, and sweet bell peppers. Don’t be afraid to be creative too.
Posted in Basil, Corn, Garlic, Grains, Herbs, Mushrooms, Onion, Pizza, Rosemary, tomatoes, Vegetarian
Half Head of Cabbage
Half Bunch of Kale
1 lb Baby Purple Potatoes, baked and quartered
2 cloves Garlic
1 can Black Beans, rinsed
Saute onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Add cabbage, black beans and potatoes and continue to saute for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add kale, salt and pepper. Allow to steep for 5 minutes before serving.
Note: This is a very filling dish.
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You’ll Need: 28 oz Diced Tomatoes (undrained) or 6-8 Roma Tomatoes, diced 1 Onion, chopped 4 cloves Garlic, chopped/crushed 2 cups Carrots, chopped 4 Celery Ribs, chopped 2 cups Green Beans 1 head Cabbage, chopped 4 Yukon Potatoes, chopped 0.5 … Continue reading
I have to admit, for nearly 2 years I’ve been giving most of my avocados away simply because I wasn’t a fan just yet. Yes, I knew about their health benefits and how necessary they were in my diet, I just hadn’t fallen in love with them yet … and for some reason the thought of a slimy green fruit kept me away. BUT, last summer I decided I had to find a way to adjust my senses and mental block. Now, I’m making a dish of fresh guacamole 2-4 times a week… and eating the entire dish! In fact, today my husband asked what the lime was used for (already knowing the answer). I had to admit I failed (again) to save him some. LOL. It is safe to say I have overcome my avoidance of avocados and am now facing a healthy addiction!
Here’s my recipe:
1 Avocado, diced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
2-3 thin slices of Red Onion, diced
2-3 slices of Red/Yellow/Orange Bell Pepper, diced
1 TBSP fresh Cilantro, chopped
dash of Salt
dash of Pepper
Combine all ingredients (except lime) in a bowl and mix. Squeeze lime over the mixture and continue to stir a few times. Serve.
Tonight’s quick fix was an inspiration from our box.
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
1 head of Broccoli
0.5 bunch of Kale, chopped
1 Yellow Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, chopped
1-2 tsp Stir-fry Sauce of choice
Salt and Pepper
1 can of Black Beans, rinsed
6-8 servings Brown Rice, steamed
Brown onion and garlic in skillet.
Add peppers and continue to stir occassionally (5 minutes).
Add broccoli spears and stir occassionally (3-5 minutes).
Add kale, black beans, salt, pepper and sauce. Remove from heat and stir occassionally (3-5 minutes).
Serve over brown rice.
Note: While making this dish I searched for cashews, but came up empty handed. I kept imagining a homemade cashew sauce with roasted cashews in the dish. When that dream failed I added the black beans and stir fry sauce. I guess we have another recipe to post when I attempt version 2. 🙂