Friday, July 29, 2011

Cashew Vegetables

Broccoli, onion, red bell pepper, cashews, tofu, Hoisin sauce & duck sauce over brown rice

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Grilled Tofu & Vegetables with Cous Cous Mix

Rotini with Steamed Summer Squash & Basil Pesto

Tempeh Reubens

Risotto with Grilled Vegetables

Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas with Black Bean & Corn Salad

The first bounty of summer in NJ always seems to be the "three sisters" in the form of summer squash,  green beans and corn. I like them in many different combinations (See the recipe for Orichette with green beans, corn and Jalapeno). Here, the squash is grilled and the corn appears in the salad.

The grilled vegetables can be anything you have on hand. I had some green summer squash (zuchinni), a new onion - from the CSA share, and part of a red pepper. There was a big bunch of cilantro in the share as well - that is what inspired this pairing.

First - grill the vegetables. You can use your outdoor gas or charcoal grill, or an indoor grill (Like the George Foreman).If you can't grill them, you can roast them in the oven at 400 degrees or so. For any of these cooking methods, slice the vegetables 1/4 - 1/2 inch thick. I usually cut the zuchinni in half, then slice each half length wise (see below)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kitchen Sink Pasta

This dish is the epitome of my latest philosophy of cooking; take what you have on hand and make something really good to eat, which is only possible if you keep really good things around, like extra virgin olive oil, good cheeses, fresh herbs, and local vegetables.
First, I set a pot of water to boil for the Ziti, then I started a Vidalia onion and half a red bell pepper, sliced - not too thinly, in a pan with some EVOO over medium high heat

 I cut a small head of romaine into ribbons (this is a good use for lettuce that is starting to dry out a little - as some of the lettuce inevitably does when you get 3 heads a week in your CSA share for several weeks in a row), added that to the pan , and let it cook down. I also threw in one Tofurkey vegetarian Italian sausage sliced lengthwise and then into half moons (strictly optional - this dish would work just fine without it - but it gave a nice flavor).
 One more trip into the fridge yielded some Calamata olives and Feta cheese and I grabbed a can of navy beans from the pantry for some extra protein. I mexed those all in and heated everything through. Always save some cooking water when you drain the pasta - I added some here to moisten things up a little.

 Very tasty! I think it also would have worked well with goat cheese, if that had been in the fridge instead of Feta.  Seems like a lot of "stuff" in one dish, I know - but it all worked well together.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dinner on the Deck: Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches and Green Bean Salad

Recipes & How To - coming soon

Panzanella: My Version

THIS is why I LOVE summer. Jersey tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and basil cut from a pot on the deck.

 I use fresh bread - the best I can find - ciabatta or other Italian or French bread is fine. Tear it into bite size pieces. I like a bed of lettuce in the bowl - romaine or red or green leaf, (I used red leaf here) top with 1 cup torn bread, 1-2 ounces fresh mozzarella - cubed or something near that - 1 large perfectly ripe tomato cut into chunks goes on next, a couple of Calamata olives if you like - but not altogether necessary. Top with a handful of fresh basil - just cut is best - (I used purple basil here) shredded or whole - I like my leaves whole. Dress with salt, pepper, olive oil (I use just 1 tsp) and lots of good balsamic vinegar.
Delightful. MY favorite summer meal.

Cavatelli & Brocolli

Family Favorite and another quick supper. D. is practicing his cooking skills before leaving for graduate school. this is one of his favorite dishes. We had some broccoli in the share this week too.
I large head of broccoli, cut into florets - size up to you - we like them about 1 inch
1-2 bags of frozen cavatelli
4-8 cloves of garlic (we used lovely fresh garlic from the farm market)
salt & pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
How to do it
1. Put a pot of water big enough to hold the broccoli up to boil
2. While the water is heating: peel and slice the garlic - or cut each clove into quarters

then put the garlic in a heavy saute pan with some olive oil - we use very little - 2 tablespoons or so - but you can use 1/4 cup or more - cook over medium heat until the garlic is soft and golden brown
3. While the garlic is cooking - cut up the broccoli - and when the water boils throw it in the pot for 3-4 minutes - until it is bright green and still a little crisp
4. scoop the broccoli out of the water with a slotted spoon and add it to the pan with the garlic and oil - turn off the heat on that pan - keep the water boiling

5. add the frozen cavatelli to the boiling water and cook 5-7 minutes. While it is cooking, grate the Parmesan cheese.

6.  Drain the pasta - but reserve 1 cup of cooking water - add cavetelli to the broccoli, garlic and oil
6. Stir in some cheese, add pasta water to moisten - especially if you are not using a lot of oil
We keep the cheese and grater on the table for a little extra on each dish.

Ricotta Torta with Beet Greens and Spinach

Made the Torta from a modified Weight Watcher's Recipe

1/4 cup plain bread crumbs
2 tsp olive oil
2 small red onions, chopped
1 bunch of beet greens, chopped
1 small bunch spinach, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 16 oz container part-skim ricotta cheese (I buy Sorrento because it has no additives or thickeners)
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F
Spray a 9" springform pan with olive oil cooking spray and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
heat the oil in a large skillet, cook onions, stirring about 5 min until softened
stir in greens and garlic and cook until greens are wilted
while greens are cooking, combine ricotta, egg, salt pepper, and remaining breadcrumbs in a bowl, stir in the onion/greens mixture, then spoon into the prepared pan
bake until puffed and golden - about 45 minutes
It will puff up, then sink as it cools.

Served this with a Corn Salad from an Ina Garten recipe

 I used purple and green basil.

Quick Skillet Supper

Came home from work, fell asleep on the couch, now it's late and we're hungry -so I rough chopped a red onion and started it cooking in 2 tsp olive oil while I sliced a couple of zucchini
Threw the zucchini in to start cooking while I sliced three little yellow summer squash and cut a green pepper into 3/4" pieces 
Threw the yellow squash and peppers in with the rest of the veggies and stirred over medium high heat - while I opened a can of chick peas and quartered a handful of Calamata olives
When the onions were soft and the squash was soft but not mushy, I added the chick peas and olives and heated everything through
Last addition - about 3/4 cup of crumbled Feta Cheese and some shredded fresh green and purple basil.
Total time < 30 minutes.
Served this with leftover mashed potatoes, warm pita bread and hummus.