Tag Archives: tomatoes

Lasagna Soup OR It’s Superb Owl day and neither of us are giving a single care.

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Over the past 5 weeks, our household has experienced H1N1, sinus infections, bronchitis, and strep throat. Fevers, chills, cough syrup, too many antibiotics. Here we are, beginning February–and Henry woke up with a fever. My cough is returning. I am bone deep tired of being sick. With that said, it’s been a great winter. Wonderful holiday trips to Alderdale and Bellingham. Work at my high school has been going exceptionally well, considering the change in our grading system. Things are plugging along. I am feeling rather optimistic…so much so that I just got done painting my fingernails. And now I am actually doing a blog post. Henry is on hour four or five of homework and I am considering starting dinner.

I chose this recipe based solely on the pictures. Drool.  I mostly followed it. I can’t wait to eat it!

It’s simple. I tweaked it a bit–I thought the addition of spinach at the end would lighten it up a bit and make it more healthy. Now I only wish I had bought some french bread to go with it! ImageImageImageImageImageImage

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White Bean, Zucchini, and Heirloom Tomato Gratin

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My left hand is on fire from making the sriracha. And now it’s worse after making this gratin. I have no idea why.

In other news, I have been looking for healthy and inspiring things to pack for lunch. Something that inspires me to actually pack it in the morning instead of getting a burrito from down the street. This is pretty and healthy. I was so proud that I brought it into the living room to show Henry, who was playing Minecraft.

But seriously. I feel like I am dying. A slow, fire is creeping up my left hand kind of death.

Ingredients:

  • two heirloom tomatoes, large, sliced
  • one large zucchini
  • one can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 twig of rosemary
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil

Method:

Saute onions until golden. Salt and pepper. Add minced garlic, rosemary, minced, and beans. Saute briefly, then add stock. Reduce for a few minutes.

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Start by placing your beans into a deep casserole dish.

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Add one layer of tomatoes, salt and pepper them, and drizzle with olive oil. Add another layer of tomatoes, this time, adding the cheese on top. Add one more layer of tomatoes, salt and pepper, then add the zucchini in a nice layer. You can do whatever permutation of layers of vegetables as you have the vegetables, creativity, and patience for.

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Bake in the oven at 350 until bubbling and slightly brown on top.

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Giada’s Meatloaf (tweaked) and Rachael’s Orzo (tweaked)

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Everyone in my household is out of sorts today. One out of the four of us is smiling, sweet, and caring. The rest of us need a reset button.  Good thing there’s always tomorrow.

Today would have been my mother’s birthday. I didn’t have a very good relationship with her, and she was a very broken woman, but over the past couple weeks, I have caught a glimpse of her in my daily activities. The good parts. Like the flash of a smile or perfume on a breeze, these good memories come and go and make me wonder if I just imagined them in the first place.

I spent a great deal of my life trying to not be like my mother. Every thing I did was an act of defiance, a protest. I was determined to never have kids, because she had kids and she hurt us. But time smooths over rough edges and life rarely happens according to plan or protestation. One day, I stopped running from my mother’s nature and nurture (or lack thereof), embraced the stepkids at my feet, wiped sticky faces, scolded, read a book, danced, and cooked for this family I never planned for.

I still fold towels like she taught me. And I can make a damn good meatloaf.

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That being said: here’s a meatloaf recipe. And an orzo recipe. It’s what for dinner!

Giada’s Meatloaf, also known as Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sundried Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 1/2 onion, diced fine
  • garlic, diced fine
  • 1 cup plan bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup diced feta cheese
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp pepper

Method: Mix it. Form it. Bake it at 375. It’s really good.

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Rachael’s Orzo, also known as Cheese Orzo

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups orzo
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • fresh basil and dried oregano
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan

Method: Saute onion and garlic. Add liquid and bring to a boil. Add orzo. Stir well to make sure it doesn’t clump at the bottom. Add oregano and salt and pepper. Cook pasta in liquid until the orzo soaks up the stock and sauce. Finish by stirring in cheese and basil.

 

Chipotle, chocolate, and porter chili

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I made steak last night and wasn’t terribly thrilled with it. It was a large package from Winco and I had quite a bit left over this morning. Henry suggested tacos, but I kind of wanted to completely repurpose the steak because I wasn’t in love with the marinade I made. I figured the spices would make it palatable. To my surprise, this chili is the best I’ve made. Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 cans of beans (I used kidney and black)
  • 1 large (28 ounces, I think) can of Muir Glen (crushed, fire roasted) tomatoes
  • 1 box of (low sodium) chicken stock (32 ounces)
  • 1 pound of hamburger
  • some leftover, medium rare cooked steak from last night, chopped
  • small handful of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • a few glugs of chipotle hot sauce
  • “some” chili powder
  • “some” Mexican Oregano
  • “some” cumin
  • “some” salt and pepper
  • 12 ounces or so of Porter

Chop, mince, open cans, pour, brown, drain, sweat, combine, and simmer for hours. Hours.

Amazing. I’ve never put chocolate in chili before. Try it. Please.

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Chiles Rellenos con Camarónes, Chorizo, y Arroz

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I never thought I’d be looking to Guy Fieri for an idea on how to tie together shrimp, chorizo, and peppers. I knew I was going to stuff these peppers–but hadn’t figured out a way to tie it all together. So, I won’t say that I was inspired but he was able to practically put together the disparate parts swimming around in my brain. The boyfriend and I went kinda crazy at Winco today. Shrimp, chorizo, feta cheese, poblano peppers, eggplant… it’s going to be a busy cooking weekend.  My way of celebrating making it to spring break.

On to the stuffed peppers…

Here is the link to the Fieri recipe.

Deviations:

  • Using brown rice
  • Feta cheese–cotija would be more authentic, but I just like feta.
  • No wine used
  • Tomatoes used in the rice
  • Roasting the peppers, first, then sweating them and peeling the membrane off the outside
  • Not using jalapeno.
  • Using enchilada sauce

Ingredients:

  • tube of chorizo–oh, dear Lord, how I hate cooking with chorizo. It’s slimy, greasy, and doesn’t ever look quite right. But please give it a chance. I’m glad I did.
  • an onion
  • cumin
  • 1 pound of shrimp
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • feta cheese
  • lime
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Brown the chorizo as best as you can. It’s kind of a yucky process. I’m sorry. Drain it when it gets mostly cooked through. Add diced onion, diced tomatoes, and red bell pepper. Saute for a bit. Add one cup of brown rice and saute for a couple minutes.  Add chicken stock and cook rice until tender.

In the meantime, crank your oven up to nearly 500 degrees. Take four poblano peppers and set them directly on the rack. Turn them over with tongs every few minutes, until the the peppers are blistered and black.  Take the peppers, throw them in a bowl, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Take your shrimp, douse them with lime juice, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper.

When the rice is done, halve the shrimp and throw them in the rice. Turn the heat off and let the residual rice heat partially cook the shrimp. Add half of a crumbled block of feta cheese.

Take the peppers out of the bowl and peel the blistered skin from them. Cut a slit in them and rinse the seeds out under running water.

Grab a can of enchilada sauce. Spoon some in the bottom of a casserole dish. Take a spoon and carefully overstuff your peppers. Place them in the casserole dish and cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce. If you’d like, reserve a handful of shrimp, slice them in half and lay them on top of the stuffed peppers. Cover in the rest of the crumbled feta cheese.

Bake in the oven on 400 until done.

Serve with tortillas and beans.

Chicken Piccata

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Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • flour
  • egg white
  • some combination of white wine, chicken stock, and lemon juice (I wasn’t happy with the ratios I came up with. I didn’t change Giada’s recipe much, but the sauce was just too sour for me. The boyfriend says it tastes like normal piccata sauce, but…)
  • 1/4 cup of capers
  • 1/4 of an onion, minced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • spaghetti
  • ricotta
  • parsley and basil

Explanation:

So, I started by pan frying the chicken breasts, after dredging them in the egg white and flour. When they were mostly done, I took them from the pan and rested them on a plate. Then, I sauteed the onion and garlic in the pan I fried the chicken in. I also added a bit of the dredging flour to the pan after the onions were soft. Next, I added the lemon juice-wine-stock combination, along with the capers. I reduced the sauce, tasted it, and wasn’t terribly excited with how sour it was.  I scowled and pouted a bit,  but the boyfriend insisted that it tasted like it was supposed to.

While the sauce reduced, I boiled some pasta. When it was done, I added a few tablespoons of ricotta and the herbs to the noodles, along with a few tablespoons of the piccata sauce.

With the sauce finished, chicken resting, tomatoes out of the oven, and pasta made, I plated everything. I’d definitely make this again. I think I prematurely freaked out about messing up the meal before I even finished it. I ended up spooning some of the sauce over the chicken that I sliced and it was actually pretty delicious. As long as I didn’t drench everything in that sauce, it was fine. More of an accent than anything–a pungent brightness that tied everything together.

Ricotta Stuffed Roma Tomatoes

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  • 4 Roma tomatoes, cut in half, length-wise, seeded
  • 1 heaping teaspoon (maybe closer to a tablespoon) ricotta cheese per tomato half
  • 2 T chopped herbs (I used parsley and basil)
  • salt and pepper
  • two cloves garlic, minced
  • one egg yolk
  • breadcrumbs
  • olive oil

Cut, seed, stuff tomatoes. Top with breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil. Roast at 400 degrees until done.