While I am ending a series of focusing on adding enjoyable bean recipes to your diet, in truth the discussion will never end. For beans or for any healthy foods to remain in our diet, we're likely to always be looking for yummy new ways to serve them. Here are just a few recipe take-aways. But remember, the options truly are endless.
I've linked to a few additional bean recipes. Remember, these are basic categories to show you how to add beans to your diet. There truly are endless options.
Tre Pupazzi or the Three Puppets is close to the top of my favorite Roman restaurants. It was a big deal when I learned we were planning on going there. I had very fond memories of my food. And for some reason I also remembered the decor, which hadn't changed.
I'm so inspired to cook this week. Could it be some fabulous looking groceries and great sales? Or could it be that my dishwasher is back up and running? Maybe it's just that my excitement in the kitchen goes in waves. Whatever it is, here's what I'm planning on cooking up for meals this week:
It's really important to me as we are trying out the pasta recipes to remember to have additional vegetables. It's easy to eat nothing but a giant plate of pasta, but it's so important to remember to add additional nutrients and fiber. So, you'll often see a salad with a variety of ingredients based on what I have on hand and what is already allocated for another meal.This is the most simple of pasta dishes, but it packs a very special punch.
Aglio y Olio Sauce
Adapted from: Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand & Jacob Kennedy
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup good olive oil (Our favorite is Trader Joe's.)
1/2-3/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
3 T flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
Saute garlic in olive oil just a minute. Do not let it change color. Add red pepper flakes, then drained pasta and up to 6 tablespoons of the salted cooking water. Saute together long enough to coat the noodles. Add parsley and serve.
The author recommends starting this pasta just 2 minutes before your pasta is done cooking. Also, you want to make sure you a) don't rinse your pasta and b) cook the pasta until just before perfection because it will still cook in the skillet.
It's rare that I serve just a salad for dinner. But one day a few weeks back, we had a big salad for our Sunday lunch. It had been so long that I actually announced that I loved it. Mind you, I make lots of side salads. But just a giant salad with every topping you can think of is a nice change.
My menu plan for Monday night required me to feed 20 for a church function. The only stipulation when serving is that it needs to be vegan-friendly because of allergies of some of the participants. I prepared the soup a day in advance because I didn't expect much time between work and the serving time. I was able to purchase the bread, lettuce, and cucumbers across the street and next door to my office, respectively.
I won a gift pack from Right at Home and SC Johnson! I was quite excited as I rarely win anything. Most everything in the box was something I would use regularly. . .except the Ziplock containers. We like glass. I took the freebie supply and this great post and came up with a foodie gift plan that I intend to use regularly from now on.
Ranch Dressing a la Claire
1 C mayonnaise
1 t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
¼ t celery seed powder
dash red pepper
1 t lemon juice
½ t sugar (optional)
1 t sweet basil
2 t parsley
1 t chives
¼ t salt or to taste
¼ C milk or ½ C milk
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing. This makes a good dressing for cole slaw.
Variation: 1,000 Island: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.
1 C sifted all-purpose flour
¾ t salt
¾ t Sugar (optional)
¼ C vegetable oil
2 T skim milk
Preheat oven to 475° (very hot), or according to recipe for filling. Mix flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Combine oil and milk in measuring cup and pour all at once over flour mixture. Stir with fork until mixed.
Shape into a ball, place on sheet of waxed paper, flatten, and cover with another sheet of waxed paper. Roll out with a rolling pin (dampen table top if necessary to prevent slipping) and peel off top paper. Turn dough upside-down over pie pan, peel off bottom paper, and fit dough into pan. Trim. If dough tears, mend without moistening. Flute edge. If crust is to be baked before filling is added, prick pastry all over with a fork and bake about 10 minutes. Cool before adding filling. If filling is to be baked with pie, do not prick crust, and follow directions of your recipe. (For a 2-crust pie, make double amount of pastry and divide into two balls.) Makes one 8- or 9-inch pie crust.
1 3/4 C sifted all-purpose flour
4 t baking powder
1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cream of tartar
1/2 C butter or margarine
2/3 C milk
Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar. Cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and stir with fork until soft dough is formed. Turn out on lightly floured board and pat or roll lightly until dough is 1/2 inch thick. Cut with floured 2-inch biscuit cutter. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Yield: 16 biscuits.
1 C sifted al-purpose flour
1 ½ t baking powder
1 ½ t sugar
½ t salt
¾ C milk
2 T cooking oil
Sift together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Beat eggs until thick; add milk and oil. Add flour mixture and blend until smooth. Pour 1 cup batter onto preheated grid. Close unit and bake until light goes off. Yield: 4 large waffles.
The week was winding to a close. We had been having a blast. BUT I was doing my best to keep Nora on her schedule (which meant getting up at 0530 in Denver, 0730 our time, while keeping up with Paul, Brent, and Tim and their late hours. Not that I'm complaining. I'm just pointing out that it is a bit of a challenge remembering all the events of the evening when we dined here.
Mix flour and salt. Blend oil and cold water with fork (lots of bubbles). Add liquid mixture to flour and stir. Roll dough between 2 pieces of waxed paper. Place dough in pie plate. Flute if you have the talent. Poke 5 sets of holes in the bottom of the crust with a fork.
For this use, I pre-baked the crust just about 7 minutes. For other uses, it isn't always necessary.
Recipe for Zucchini Filling
1 good-sized zucchini, thinly sliced
1/3 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup cheese, finely shredded and divided [my mom had the four cheese blend]
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt or more to taste
Saute zucchini and onion in olive oil about 5 minutes just to soften. Beat eggs, add seasonings, salt, and milk. Beat together. Layer onions and zucchini on pie crust. Top with half of cheese. Pour egg mixture over vegetables. Top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees until top is golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.
As I mentioned last week, we sat with my grandmother over Memorial Day Weekend while my parents went away. My grandmother has difficulty chewing, and I was looking for soft foods that would pack on much of the summer flavor, but not be too difficult for her to enjoy. The zucchini tart and accompanying salad really fit the bill. I've even made the salad again since then. The key is to have the freshest ingredients. It helps when it comes out of your own garden! I believe the fresher the ingredients, the less salt and pepper you have to add.
Recipe for Tomato Corn Salad
2 ears corn
3 Patio tomatoes
2 Tablespoons chives, chopped (or more if you've got it!)
Dash lemon juice
1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt
2 twists pepper grinder
Cook corn in microwave. My mom's took 1:30 for one. Peal the corn and stand the ear up in a bowl. With a good knife, cut kernals of corn off cob so they fall into the bowl. (This is easier than it sounds.) Dice the tomatoes. Add all ingredients together. Serve immediately or chill one hour before serving.
When you have stale bread, this is just one of its many uses. When I made these, the oven was already on, which made this an even more frugal and tasty treat. Also, I love that you can season with any dried and powdered herbs and seasonings of your choice. Plus, unlike store bought croutons, you can limit the added salt.
It's also a good idea that you can have as large or as small sized croutons you like and the amount is easily adjustable.
Recipe for Homemade Croutons
1 loaf bread, diced into bite-sized squares (I had a leftover Italian loaf.)
Spread out bread on a jelly roll pan and sprinkle with a small stream of olive oil. Stir to coat.
Sprinkle seasoning choices over olive oil. Stir again.
Bake on 350 degrees on middle rack for about 20 minutes, depending on thickness; stirring once or twice.
Unless salad recipe specifies otherwise, cool before topping salad.
Seasoning Options: onion powder, garlic powder, dried basil, dried dill, seasoned salt, plain, salt and pepper, dried rosemary, and many more!
So there was a bit of communication error and excitement last night when this meal was served that led to a photo only of the risotto and not of the salad. However, the salad is highly recommended, if you can be encouraged without a matching photo, make it while the strawberries are ripe. I'll be making it again myself and will be sure to include a photo next time.
Recipe for Strawberry Pecan Salad
1 head Living Lettuce
1/2 pound strawberries, halved
1 1/2 cups whole pecans
3/4 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
1/2 mini cucumber, sliced
Put agave nectar in small skillet and add pecans. Stir to coat. Toast nuts on medium heat, remove from heat and let cool. In large bowl add lettuce and arrange cucumbers and strawberries on top. Sprinkle with cooled pecans including any left over syrup. Top with cheese.
Use salad dressing link above, white balsamic vinegar, or skip the dressing completely!
What are your big plans for strawberry usage this spring?
We dined at Infusion Tea tonight even though it wasn't as early as I had planned. Even at 5 and 6 o'clock, there was a nice stream of diners at the restaurant, which is always encouraging. Generally a full restaurant suggests a good restaurant.
Well, let's start by apologizing for a complete lack of tweeting this evening. My phone was dead when I awoke this morning. (The brain is forgetting to charge it at night.) And I appear to have lost my travel charger. I didn't get home until after dinner to get the phone charged.
Our first night eating local started off pleasantly in at a great little restaurant on Orange Ave. in downtown Orlando. Virgin Olive Market used to be on Clay, and I think the change in location surely must have increased its exposure. There was a nice, steady stream of customers during our entire dining experience. Virgin Olive makes the grade in a couple of areas. First, it is a fast, very friendly, and significantly cheaper restaurant than the two restaurants it's sandwiched in between.
The concierge at our hotel needed to direct us to a reasonably fast dinner location. Paul said Italian pizza sounded good, and she made a reservation for us at Salute! on Madison Ave. and then directed us on the best way to get a cab to Carnegie Hall for a beautiful, but long performance of Handel's Messiah. (In case you never knew, the Hallelujah Chorus is not the end of the program, only of Part 2.)
Well, we're back from a lovely Thanksgiving trip to Star, Mississippi, and I'm happy to say we've brought a bit chillier weather with us. So, I cracked open my Moosewood Restaurant Soups and Stews cooking "deck of cards" this morning and laid out some recipes to investigate this week. We also have some leftover sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, and mashed white potatoes. So aside from a quick trip to Publix to take advantage of the sale that started on Friday, my time in the grocery store will be pretty limited.
This is another one of my mother's popular recipes. She makes her own ranch dressing. Because it doesn't have a strange aftertaste that sometimes comes with buttermilk ranch, isn't as salty, and can be made dairy-free, it's quite popular. In fact, I know people who don't like ranch dressing at all who each this dressing. It also works great as a dip. The dip in the photograph was slightly thicker because I didn't add milk due to known food allergies of the guest of honor.
Recipe for Ranch Dressing a la Claire
1 C mayonnaise
1 t onion powder
½ t garlic powder
¼ t celery seed powder
dash red pepper
1 t lemon juice
½ t sugar (optional)[I don't ever add this.]
1 t sweet basil, dried
2 t parsley, dried
1 t chives, dried or fresh
¼ t salt or to taste
¼ C milk or ½ C milk (optional or soy, if preferred)
Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, and dry ingredients. Add ¼ cup milk for dip or ½ cup milk for salad dressing.
For 1,000 Island Dressing: Add ¼ cup dill pickles, finely chopped and 1 tablespoon ketchup.
Sometimes, it's really hard to think of dinner. Sometimes, it's even harder to think of an entire week's worth of dinners! This is what happened yesterday. I had a lot going on. We had salad for lunch and leftovers and peanut butter and honey for dinner. (Hey, it's what the baby wanted!) However, today my mind got back on track surprisingly quickly as it all came to me while I was at work, and I actually have a meal plan for the week that isn't 100% salad and ice cream.
Just before school started, Paul's college had a nice dinner for staff and spouses. We really appreciated the fun, and I enjoyed meeting some of Paul's coworkers and even talking to people I've known longer than Paul has known them.