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
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
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.
Sandwiches needed a new twist in our home, so we pulled out the hummus and cheddar cheese, sliced a tomato, cut the red onion and washed some romaine. Everyone customized their own lunch. Some wanted hummus and no cheese with all the works. Others wanted cheese and no tomato. Honest, the options are endless and the kids are enjoying a break from peanut butter and honey or almond butter and jelly. Roasted/Grilled eggplant works well on these sandwiches too.
There’s something Summer-Y about fruit salsa, and who doesn’t enjoy a little treat of cinnamon and sugar?!? This pair is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Fresh Fruit Salsa:
Simple substitute strawberries for pineapple in our Sweet Salsa recipe.
Lightly spray cookie sheet with oil. Place tortilla shell quarters on sheet. Lightly spray the tops of the shell quarters and sprinkle a cinnamon sugar mixture on top. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for 8-10 minutes. Note: Less is more with these chips. If you add too much cinnamon-sugar mix they will caramelize while baking and take on a scorched flavor. Go light and you’ll be safe.
With ripe peaches sitting in my kitchen, I couldn’t help but get a little creative. I started with a peach and pineapple salsa to garnish dinner and then added it to a bed of greens for an added side dish. Not only did it present well, the flavors sang SUMMER like nothing else.
Pictured above is a Sweet Salsa Salad featuring peach and red onion slices on a bed of romaine, sprinkled with fresh cilantro, olive oil, fresh lime juice, salt and pepper, and garnished with a spoon of Sweet Salsa. If you skip the salsa and cilantro, you can easily substitute basil leaves (as described in Martha Stewart Living June 2011, page 158).
In a bowl, combine the following:
3 ripe Peaches, chopped
1/3 large Red Onion, chopped
1/3 bunch Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 cup Fresh Pineapple, chopped
juice of 1 Fresh Lime
1 TBSP Olive Oil (not extra virgin)
dash of Salt
dash of Pepper