This face reminds you of summer. Bleached hair from the sun (or at least lightened for us people with naturally black hair), sunglasses, sunburned ears because you forgot sunscreen on them, and thick layers of colored sunscreen on the nose and Chapstick on the mouth. Wait, do they have that fun green sunscreen from my childhood any more?
The real description would be rice pilaf, black olives, tomatoes, shredded zucchini, and a sugar snap pea.
This series is about how to use one pot or one crock-pot full or beans to make great meals for the remainder of the work week. When I made this list, I completely ignored the option of just eating them plain, like they do in Italy. There are just so many uses for white beans! They really can be fun to eat. Hope these ideas inspire you, too.
A few weeks back, I had a pretty nice supply of fresh spinach. I started looking for some recipes, and this one was quite out of my comfort zone, but I chose it because it could be made ahead and served at room temperature. This is a great recipe to help you fool your husband. It looks like you slaved away all day, but your kitchen is perfectly clean when he gets home because the food was made earlier in the day. I served it with a sandwich and hardly had any dishes to clean after dinner.
1/2 cup shaved Pecorino cheese (original recipe calls for feta)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried mint, crushed
1 teaspoon dried dill
Sallt and black pepper to taste
In your largest pan, saute onions on high until beginning to soften. Add zucchini and heat until cooked through and getting soft. Add sugar snap peas to defrost. Stir in rice and seasonings: lemon juice, herbs, and black pepper. Serve warm or place in bowl to serve at room temp. Top with shaved cheese.
8 oz. (one medium) Zucchini, shredded (medium hole)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
4 slices Fresh Mozzarella, 1/2 or less thick
2 Campari Tomatoes, sliced
4 or more Basil leaves
4 Ciabatta Bread squares
Salt, Pepper, and Balsamic Vinegar to taste
Slice ciabatta in half to open and make two sides for the sandwich. Warm if necessary.
In medium skillet on medium-high heat, cook zucchini in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until zucchini is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pull the zucchini into the middle of the pan and place mozzarella slices evenly apart on top of pile. Lower heat to medium or medium-low. The goal is for the mozzarella to melt and hold the zucchini pieces together to limit the messy-ness of the sandwich. The zucchini should brown nicely on the bottom, but not burn.
With a spatula, divide the zucchini into four parts and place on sandwich bread. Dress as desired with tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, remaining olive oil, and more salt or pepper.
With all the zucchini we had lying around the house for two weeks, I immediately was attracted to this zucchini cornbread recipe from the July Bon Appetit Magazine. I liked that it had some whole wheat flour in it. And I'm learning to really appreciate cornmeal for the extra iron and little crunch. I immediately started telling friends about it.
I'm no authority on this. I'm just sharing my journey.
While many moms do a great job of cooking ahead and freezing their food, I can't do it. Cooking is my outlet. When Nora naps, it's my time to play in the kitchen. I am the type of person who thinks all day about what we're having for dinner. After dinner, I start thinking about tomorrow's dinner. And with all that thinkin' ahead, you'd think I'd actually do some prep work ahead. Cause cleaning up the kitchen isn't so fun. And it's greener to just use that knife and cutting board once.
I've spent a little more time researching zucchini recipes than I had planned. The ones on the list are just the ones that appeal to me tonight. Who knows what I will want to do tomorrow and the remainder of the week!
We do have family in town, which means I will be dining with them for most lunches and will possibly not be home early enough to have dinner on the table before Paul gets home. So, I'm thinking fast and simple meals for dinners.
Sometimes, a picture is just worth a thousand words. And sometimes, it's so much more fun to look at pictures of a great meal than to read about it. So, I'll just describe the pictures briefly so if you go you'll know what to order and expect.
Eataly, is a newer spot in New York City where you can shop for fun, imported foods, and then head upstairs for dining--either overlooking the shopping or in a semi-private room with a curtain to draw. The benefit of the room? Warmer.
We got in at midnight last night from a 48 hour trip to Louisiana. My grandfather's baby sister passed away unexpectedly last week, and although it was nice seeing family I rarely see, I have been quite upset over the situation.
Luckily, I have little time to focus on sadness. This is finals week for the class I'm teaching. Plus, I have a special request series for EatLikeaRabbit.net that needs work to be posted next week. Then, there's Nora's swimming lessons and our little mommy-group holiday get together.
OK, first off, I don't have a grill. But you can get near it by cooking the veggies in a skillet over medium-hot flame. Secondly, I repeated this recipe a few days later as marinated vegetables. We didn't like it as well. Thirdly, I encourage you to really review my cost analysis. I knew it was a good week at the stores, but $3.00 to feed 5 people dinner is incredible! It proves you don't have to break the bank to eat healthy. It also highlights how much you can save by bringing your own lunch to work.
Recipe for Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas
5 Pita pockets, cut in half
3/4 cup Eggplant, diced
1/4 cup Onion, sliced thinly
5 Sweet peppers, sliced thinly
2 small Zuchini, sliced
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
1 teaspoon dried Herb of choice (sage, rosemary, or Italian blend, for example)
1 Small tomato, cut into wedges
5 (heaping) Tablespoons Hummus
Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high heat. Add onions, stirring until slightly softened. Add eggplant, zucchini, and peppers. When vegetables are starting to brown, season with herbs. Toast pita pockets if desired. Spread with hummus. Fill with vegetables. Garnish with tomatoes. (Although there's nothing that says you can't cook the tomatoes, too. As they cook down, they'll make a yummy sauce for the veggies.) Another idea, my father asked for his sandwich to be served with balsamic vinegar.
This was some Italian Ice we enjoyed a couple weeks back when friends were visiting. It was such a great little treat for a summer evening. . .a hot summer evening. All that being said, the big mistake I made last week was not focusing on summer-associated recipes for our dinners. This week will be different thanks to great deals at the grocery store and the realization that our summer is almost over. Let's all take advantage as long as it lasts!
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.
Last week we dined on our first zucchini and hope to have another one this week. It isn't a large haul, but it's enough for the two of us to enjoy. (We did eat the first one in pasta mixed with other veggies to serve to my parents as well.)
I'm sorry to say, this week is a little crazy. I don't have any brilliant ideas for food, but Paul and his sister went to the Maitland Farmer's Market yesterday to acquire a beautiful eggplant and some giant tomatoes. We'll be having excellent sandwiches and perhaps baked eggplant parm in the next couple of days.
My garden has not turned out as well as I had planned. But, I don't beat myself up. I'm new to this. It just kinda feels like a waste of money. I'm happy to hear advice if anyone wants to assist in my cluelessness.
I stepped outside my back door on Friday and to my surprise, I see positive changes in my little plants in our container garden. I was so excited, I called my parents immediately. I'm so glad to know that growing our own items really isn't as hard as I expected. In fact, it's quite a lot of fun. And what a blessing to watch the plants grow and change. I've included just a few pictures so as not to bore you.
Peacefood Cafe was recommended to us by Leigh at Marvelous Kiddo. She certainly has good taste! We loved our experience at the restaurant. It was amazing that there was always a line for a table during our entire lunch. Maybe that doesn't mean much in crowded New York City. Still, I've always maintained the belief that people being willing to wait for a table is a good thing.
Now that it's really cold in Florida, I feel like I can share these creative plasticware snowflakes from New York and fit right in. Especially since this morning it was about the same temp as it was in New York early December. What's up with that!
Note: Proportions of veggies and veggie-meat were what I had on hand. The beauty of such a recipe is that you can always add or take away or exchange. There is no wrong as long as you like what you are putting in the dish!
Place a medium to large skillet on medium-high heat. Pour in oil and add onions. Stir until onions soften. Add bell pepper, zucchini, and turkey. Stir to coat with oil. Let sit occasionally to brown sides of veggies and stir again. Veggie-meats do not have a minimum cook time. You only need the food to be cooked through (and the veggies tender, of course). Place tortillas on microwaveable plate. Spread vegetables evenly in center of wrap. Sprinkle with cheese and roll. Microwave 30 seconds to melt cheese OR while the veggies are cooking, place the tortillas on top of the skillet so they catch the heat from the cooking. Turn often to make sure all sides are warmed. Then, you don't have to microwave the finished product.
My day pretty much started by listening to Nigella Lawson's interview by Steve Inskeep. I was most amused by the interview, especially just before 7 on a Tuesday morning. Incidentally, if you've got the 7 minutes, the radio recording is much more entertaining than the written article.
Currently, we are all feeling a little sick to our stomachs--even my dad, and he's only eaten one meal with us in the last week (but we all got sick before today). Anyway, the last thing I want to think about right now is what I want to eat this coming week. Still, it will make me a much happier camper if I can just have something lined up. I'll type rather quickly and go distract myself by something other than food after this. Much of our ickyness is likely chalked up to the extreme heat and walking around a poorly air conditioned science museum with little water breaks all afternoon.