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.
You've heard of too many cooks in the kitchen spoiling something. Well, a few hands participated in this silly creation. Nora didn't seem to mind, though.
Ms. Food Face wears a green Vaudeville-style hat with a ribbon of hommus. It's jeweled with juicy raisins. She models Sweet-Pepper Orange lip-plumping gloss and peaks out behind a potato salad mask secured to her ears with tomato clips.
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.
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 made this for a lunch with friends last week, and since one of them called for the recipe yesterday, I thought I'd better make up the recipe and show the picture. The beauty of salads sometimes is that you can through anything into it and make it work. Moreover, it's very forgiving provided you have a great dressing. Also, I've loved having banana peppers on my patio because I can just cut the hot ones and add them to the salad instead of using crushed red pepper, which feels so "coarse" in what is mostly a soft and simple salad.
Recipe for Cucumber Couscous Salad
1 cup cooked whole wheat couscous
1 small-to-medium cucumber, thinly sliced (like on a mandolin)
2 banana peppers, sliced
1/4 cup sweet onion, diced (Green onions may work well, too.)
1 tomato diced
2 tablespoons dehydrated parsley
1 tablespoon fresh mint (or about 10 large leaves)
1/2 teaspoon herbed salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Drizzle olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
Combine ingredients in serving bowl. Stir carefully. Serve immediately or chill to marinate flavors
Um, yeah, minor problem here. Can't exactly remember the recipe for the curried cauliflower. I kinda threw it together in a hurry and on my own cause I didn't like what my cookbooks said. What I remember was my complete shock when of all the meals my dad ate with us while my mom was out of town, this was the only one he deemed "good". . .or at least the only one he commented on. And when given the choice of leftovers for lunch, he chose this one.
Recipe for Curried Cauliflower with Quinoa
1 large tomato, diced
3 tablespoons cilantro, more or less to taste
1 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 head cauliflower
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons water
1/2 salt (more at table)
Raisins to taste (and if you're Paul, that's a lot!)
Cook Quinoa according to package directions. (Better yet, cook enough for the entire week at one time and just pull some out of the fridge for this recipe.)
In a large pan with a lid, saute onions in a touch of olive oil on medium heat until they become translucent. Add the cauliflower and stir. Season with salt and curry powder, add water and cover to steam the cauliflower so it softens a bit, about 5-7 minutes. Stir occasionally to keep vegetables from sticking. Add quinoa to rewarm if necessary; stir. Serve topped with fresh tomatoes, cilantro, and/or raisins--especially golden ones!
As you know, a few weeks back we had a planting party. It stemmed from the need to have a friend water our container garden while we were out of town here and there over the summer. (Don't worry. We repay such favors.) But our friend thought it would be a good idea for her 2-year-old to see the planting process as well as water and harvest the results.
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.
The black bean burger recipe from Parents Magazine was so fabulous, I figured the recommended switch to chickpeas or garbanzo beans would also be a success. After all, we love the falafel recipe from a previous issue of the magazine.
Recipe for Dilled Yogurt Dressing
2 (heaping) Tablespoons plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon herb salt
Whisk together ingredients. Pour over and have extra on the side of wraps and salads. I have been using an herb salt we acquired on one of our trips. I'm sure regular table salt would work just fine.
When I originally put this recipe on the menu, I thought I was crazy. This is a really busy week for our household, and I was unsure that I would have the time to make them. However, my parents ended up being at my house at 2 o'clock this afternoon (with none of us having had lunch), and I needed to get something prepared. I had nothing else in my head that worked for the four of us; so, I cracked open my September 2010 Parents Magazine and got started. I did the burger part while my mom dealt with the veggies.
Recipe for Black Bean Burgers
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, quartered
1/2-3/4 cup oats (rolled, like "Old-Fashioned")
1 T chili powder
Salt, if necessary
Dash of Pepper, if desired
Combine all ingredients (starting with just 1/2 cup oats) in a food processor and pulse until chunky, but not pureed. (I did mine in batches as I have a mini one. If too wet, add more oats. If too dry, add water, broth, or my favorite--tomato juice!. Let rest about 20 minutes according to recipe. Think I only waited about 10. Mold into patties on a griddle set at 350. You can also do this on the stove. Grease the pan if necessary.
When you have foods, you naturally need to find a way to use them. I had an odd selection of items that led to the creation of this recipe. Luckily, my husband was rather impressed with it, and we both enjoyed it. A warning: It was very filling, and for a light Sunday afternoon snack, we were happy eating just half for each of us.
Recipe for Spinach Pesto Quesadilla
2 Large Flour Tortillas
1/2 cup Spinach Basil Pesto
1/2 large tomato, sliced
5 black olives, sliced in thirds
1/4 shredded Parm/Reg or Jarlsberg Cheese
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. Place one flour tortilla on the skillet. Spread basil evenly to the edges of the tortilla. Top evenly with tomato slices and olives. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover with second tortilla. Warm until light brown and crisped on one side. Flip over
and cook on the other side. Slice with a pizza slicer (on a cutting board so you don't mess up your skillet).
You might call this a replay, but it didn't matter because it went over so well. I made kabobs alternating in new particular order carrot slices, sweet potato slices, Redi-Burger chunks, sweet pepper slices, and chunks of onion. It is recommended to pre-cook the carrots and sweet potatoes. Grilled would have been much more fun, but I was running out of time. Instead, I brushed the kabobs with oil and broiled them. Hence the crisped skewers.
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.
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.
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.