My mother-in-law, an artist, put this plate together. I'm so glad Nora likes asparagus. I was quite a deal older than her (by, like, 20 years) before I tried asparagus, and it's a big favorite of mine. Glad she's getting an early start.
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.
1 box pasta (Cookbook recommends Gemelli, but that isn't readily available here.)
1 bag green beans (divided)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, microwave green beans in a covered glass dish until almost cooked. Puree 2/3 of green beans in blender with remaining ingredients. Pour sauce into a large pan with almost al dente pasta and remaining green beans. Add pasta water for additional thinning of the sauce. Cook together until al dente.
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.
The Geometry of Pasta even got on the New York Times' radar in December. Besides being a truly beautiful and fun book to look at with its black and white renditions of the varieties of pasta you can and sometimes can't find at your local grocery store, it's filled with historical explanations like where the pasta got its name and when or how it was invented.
Notice I didn't say "Last Visit"? Perhaps it was my last visit for our overnight trip, but I hope I will never have a "last visit" to Moosewood Restaurant. Did I mention this place is in Ithaca New York? Do you know how far away our little house in Orlando is from upstate New York? I can dream, can't I?
This week's Splendid Table on NPR was a repeat of a previous show, but since Orlando's 90.7 just recently began to play the show, I happily listen to reruns because they're new to me. This time, two big vegetarian ideas: Watching your "cookprint," which is the footprint you leave when you cook. And cold soups, which are most often vegetarian. I encourage you to listen to the show, in part or in full, at Splendid Table.org.
Yesterday, I made only my second run to the Food Pantry at the College. I was meeting some of Paul's coworkers for lunch. They are becoming good friends and fans of Eat Like a Rabbit, too! Anyway, they saw the bags as Paul was lugging them into Student Services and said it was so nice of us to do the giveaway. I kept insisting, I did not do it on my own. It was a combination efforts from friends, too. And we all love helping out those less fortunate.
Last week was a surprising challenge due to the fact that I had a slight relapse and wasn't feeling up to playing around in the kitchen as much as I had desired. Paul had pity on me more than one night by eating bagels with carrot sticks or other veggies a couple nights and taking me out to eat one night. That being said, I have a much fancier menu planned this week just to pay him back for my slacking week and to allow my creativity to be uncanned for a while.
I'm so embarrassed. I can't for the life of me figure out how I missed posting this amazing recipe when I loved it so much and had it two or three times in a two-week period. Mollie Katzen's Eat, Drink and Weigh Less is all about making your meals as healthy as possible, which means skipping the fried Eggplant Parmesan. Although it messed up my jelly roll pan a bit (But do you really want your kitchenware to look unused?), this recipe went far in keeping the flavor and minimizing the fat.
Recipe for Simple Tomato Sauce
Blend one can diced tomatoes (mostly drained), two cloves garlic, and dehydrated basil in mini food processor until garlic is chopped. Add salt and/or fresh black pepper to taste. Heat in heavy sauce pan over medium low heat if necessary.
Yep. It's for real. I still like roasted red peppers. Only took me 28 years to learn this. This time I tried it chilled. Nope. Warm to room-temp is best. But still like it. Paul called it perfect. Wow! Don't think he describes much I make as perfect. Can I serve it every day?
My husband gave me a massage a few weeks back as a birthday present. While I was enjoying the pampering and assistance relaxing since I was still recovering from the very recent delivery, my folks came over and made me dinner.
1 large can whole tomatoes, drained (I prefer Muir Glen for best flavor
2 cloves garlic
1 large handful dried basil, crushed
1 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor. I have a small food processor and made two rounds. Chop to desired consistency. Some people prefer chunkier tomatoes. Dump sauce into a sauce pan and heat on low-medium. Stir to keep it from boiling over.
Note: Because the tomatoes were already salted, I left salt out of the recipe. You may want to add some salt if you have no-salt tomatoes. Or, you may want to try the sauce without any salt. You just might be surprised that you don't miss it.
Another Note: If you're of the non-wasteful type, do what I did and freeze the tomato juice. You'd be surprised what recipes call for it, and you'll already have it on hand! For example, when cooking beans from scratch, replace some of the water with some tomato juice. It increases the flavor. Or add it to broth in a soup.
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!
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.)
At least one of us is back from New York City, and I had a blast. (Paul comes home late tomorrow.) I can't wait to share all the photos and reviews of some really good food. Although, I'm sorry to say sometimes we only had two meals in the day because we were so busy being tourists.
Obviously, the dirty dishes pictured aren't from this past week. We dirtied very few additional dishes in our effort to empty out the fridge, which was lovely for my aching feet and tough work schedule this week.
Click on the photograph to go to Paul's Flickr page for a closer-up view of the monkeys. There's nothing like sitting in a boat having a picnic lunch and watching the monkeys watch you and wonder how they can get across the river to partake, too. We had quite a show. One of the best times was when a piroux came by with a dog and three adults. The dog watched us 'til he saw the monkeys. He got in really big trouble for barking and scaring them. Thanks, Connie and Jack for a great day!
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.
Although you can get a wheat pasta for cheaper sometimes, I purchased a box for $1 when it was on sale and thought it was a good idea to try it since we do like pasta a lot. Our first use was with a basic spaghetti sauce. I like to always make a basic spaghetti sauce when I am tasting a new pasta product.
Yesterday James, a new drug rep that I had not previously met, had lunch catered for the office. I suspect it could have been the best catering job we've ever experienced. It came from Sweet Tomatoes, and although I don't think much of them since they chewed me out for photographing their food, I can't say I was sorry for the delightful lunch. There were two ladies delivering the food, and I have never seen a faster set up and nicer arrangement of a meal for 60 people in our small kitchen.