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Monthly Archives: September 2010

If you hadn’t already heard, I had a bit of a lucky day. A lucky day worth $200 dollars. I won a contest from a website called http://www.chow.com it was called the Tweet What You Eat sweepstakes and at the time I was eating homemade pizza..so that is what I tweeted. Sure enough a few days later I got a direct message on twitter saying I was a potential winner. Was this for real? All I had to do was send my contact info..which led to notorizing an affidavit and then after I turned that in, a whole 3 days later I received a pre-paid visa card for $200. Holy Crap.
I thought about it for awhile about what I should get, but then I knew I wanted to get something that I had been wanting and might never get the chance to get unless I took advantage of my luck…so here she is.
Nope one photo is not enough…
I toggled back and forth between this Shun knife and a Wusthof Classic Ikon for a good 45 minutes while chopping up multiple potatoes and carrots at Sur La Table. They were both great knives, the same price,  but in the end, the Shun won me over when I sliced a carrot faster, and easier than I ever have before. I wanted the Wusthof, just because it was a Wusthof, but…I couldn’t deny it, the Shun just felt better in my hand. 
So thanks to my lucky day, I was able to get a knife I have been drooling over for a long time. 
I came home and tried it out on dinner. Loved it and am extremely happy with my decision. 
Good day. Good day indeed.

Millet…isn’t that the stuff you feed birds? Well yes…but guess what? You can eat it too. In fact, it is great for you. It is a good source of protein, fiber, and just overall deliciousness. I introduce to you…

Easy Mexican Millet

Ingredients
1 cup of millet
2 cups of water
2 tsp. Olive Oil
4 large tomatoes, Diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 fresh ears of corn
1 tablespoon of Cumin
1 Cup of Cilantro
Salt
Pepper

1.Bring millet and two cups of water to a boil. Cover and turn down heat until all water is absorbed. ( about 15-20 minutes )

2. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and add garlic and corn. Sauté for two minutes and then add tomatoes. Season lightly with salt, and pepper and add the cumin. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add the millet. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add in the cilantro and serve.

Enjoy!

I love Saturdays, but it is sad when they come to an end. How can Farmer’s Market day not be your favorite day of the week? All that fresh produce makes the best Saturday meal. Here is what the Farmers Market brought to our table this evening. 


Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salad
2 cucumbers, sliced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
1 bag of pea shoots
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt 
pepper
Slice cucumbers to about 1/4 of an inch thick. Place in the bottom of a flat based bowl. Sprinkle with salt and then add onion. Repeat until all of the cucumber and onion is used. Dice the tomatoes and toss with one tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours. Before serving toss the cucumbers with red wine vinegar and top with tomatoes and pea shoots.
Tempeh Stuffed Zucchini 
4 large zucchini’s, halved
cut zucchini’s in half lengthwise. Boat the zucchini with a spoon and save the centers for the ratatouille Brush with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Set aside and let cool.
For the Tempeh Stuffing
2 packages of tempeh ( I used Westsoy )
About 4 sprigs of thyme
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 tsp. Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp.  Red Chili Pepper Flakes
1 Jar of sundried tomatoes ( about a half cup )
Parmesan Cheese
Cut tempeh into smaller pieces ( bite size ) and place in a food processor followed by sundried tomatoes, garlic, paprika, and thyme. It should look like this…
Pulse until it looks like this…
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the tempeh to the skillet and saute for about 5 minutes adding salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to add more of the other seasonings if you so desire. 
Stuff zucchini with the tempeh mixture and tip with parmesan cheese. Place in the oven and broil for 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.
Ratatouille 
2 eggplants, small to medium
2-3 medium zucchini or summer squash of choice.
3 large bell peppers
1 red onion, diced
6 large tomatoes
1/2 cup of basil
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in a large skillet and saute the eggplant and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender then place on a large sheet tray to cool. Repeat this step with the onion, bell pepper, zucchini, and zucchini centers from the precious recipe. 
Grate the Tomatoes with a box grater. ( discard the skins ). Place the juice in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. When sauce has come to a simmer add the vegetables into the sauce. Stir in the Balsamic Vinegar and top with basil. 
And wallah! You have healthy vegetarian dinner with fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market. Support your local Farmers! 
Enjoy, and happy cooking!

There are two things that I have fallen in love with lately. Baba Ghanoush and Romesco sauce. Not only are they both super simple but they are SO good. Not to mention versatile. First I will show you how to make Romesco Sauce, and then perhaps Baba Ghanoush next week?









If you are wondering what to use this for there are a few recipes down below. Yesterday I tried it out with pasta. I just added a little basil to the processor and tossed it with some rotini pasta, sauteed summer squash and eggplant.

Happy Cooking!

It is hard to believe that summer is almost over. I am going to miss all the fresh summer fruit, abundance of corn, and tomatoes, and dining outside without freezing. The cooler nights tell me that autumn is near. I am looking forward to all of the winter squashes and apples, but I want to hang onto summer as long as possible. Here was tonights dinner

This is a newly discovered favorite of mine. It is so easy to make and yet so delicious. Goes great served with Pita chips or however you want to eat it!

Baba Ghanoush 
1 eggplant
3 Tbs. of Tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove of Garlic
Parsley or Cilantro about 1/4 cup
salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place eggplant in the oven for 15 minutes, turn onto other side and bake for another 15 minutes. ( 30 minutes total ). Take out of oven and let cool until it is cool enough for you to remove the skin. ( it’s not worth playing hot potato with. I know it sucks but be patient and let it cool ). Cut the top off of the eggplant and peel off skin. Cut into smaller pieces and place in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. Salt to taste.

There is nothing like good melons…no not those melons, get your mind out of the gutter. I am talking about a specific melon called a Sharlyn Melon. This is the juicest, sweetest melon I have tasted all summer long. Perfect for a chilled soup!

Sharlyn Melon Soup with pomegranate Juice
1 Sharlyn melon
Pomegranate juice
1 TBS. Honey
pinch of Salt

Cut Sharlyn Melon into one inch cubes. Place into a blender with other ingredients and blend until smooth. I used about a tablespoon of Honey but you might use more or less depending on your preference or how sweet the melon is. Chill before serving.
When serving place 1 tsp of pomegranate juice in the center and swirl into the soup.

What is a meal without a fresh Salad?

Asian Pear Salad with Toasted Walnuts
a good bunch of mixed greens ( enough to fill a large bowl )
1 cup of toasted walnuts
4 Asian Pears diced

Dressing:
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. Honey
1/2 cup olive oil

Combine together the ingredients for the dressing.
To toast the walnuts spray with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in oven at 400 degrees for about 6 minutes.
In a large bowl combine lettuce, pears, and walnuts. Toss with dressing right before serving.

Brown Rice with Tomatoes and Basil
1 cup of brown rice
2 cups of water
1/2 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of chopped basil
juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt
Pepper

Place 1 cup of rice, and 2 cups of water in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and cover until the rice absorbs all of the water. ( about 45 minutes ).
Once rice is done cooking pour out into large bowl and fold in tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over top toss again and serve.

Sauteed Summer Vegetables
2 red peppers
1 red onion
1-2 summer squashes depending on the size
1/2 to 1 eggplant
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup chopped basil
Chop onion and red pepper and set aside in a bowl.
Dice the squash and the eggplant and place into a separate bowl. Drizzle 2 Tbs of olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper.
Heat about another Tbs. of oil in a large skillet and saute onion and pepper until onion is translucent. Add in squash and eggplant. Saute until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the basil.

Portobello mushrooms are a magical. They are not quite “magic mushrooms” but they are magical in a way that even meat lovers will eat them and not miss meat at all.

The are delicious on the grill. Serve it over a little tomato relish and it is a party in your mouth.

Here is the finished product

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms over Tomato Relish

For the Marinade
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. chopped rosemary
1 Tbs. Chopped thyme
3 cloves of garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients together in small bowl. Place mushrooms gill side up on a baking sheet and brush with half of the marinade. Let sit for at least 20 minutes.
Place the mushrooms on a hot grill gill side down. Brush the tops with remaining marinade. Flip the mushrooms and grill until tender.

For the Tomato Relish
2 cups of finely diced tomatoes
1/4 cup of chopped basil
2 Tbs of olive oil
1 Tbs red wine vinegar
salt
pepper

Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl toss with olive oil and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Happy Cooking!





Kasha Stuffed Tomatoes with Romesco sauce

  • 4 Large tomatoes ( such as beefsteak or heirloom )
  • 2 fresh ears of corn (kernels removed)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 large red onion diced 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup uncooked medium roasted buckwheat groats (kasha)
  • 1-2 tbs. chili powder 
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
    1 cup shredded Jack/cheddar cheese or mexican blend 
    Directions:

    For the tomatoes:

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees

    Core and remove the insides of the tomatoes, by cutting off the tops, and cutting a circular shape around the edges. Spoon out the core; careful not to puncture the skin. ( kind of how you carve out the insides of a pumpkin ) Reserve 1/2 cup of the insides of the tomato for the Romesco sauce.

    Brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet. Bake in oven for approximately 6 minutes or until tomatoes have softened.

    Poor out any liquid in the tomato that is brought out by the heat and place aside.

    For the stuffing:
      • Combine beaten egg and kasha in small bowl; stir until coated.
      • Heat olive oil in a large skillet add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until onion is translucent.
      •  Add kasha to skillet with onion and garlic. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until kernels are separate and dry (1 to 2 minutes). Add in veggie broth and reduce heat. Cover and continue cooking until kasha is tender and liquid is absorbed (7 to 10 minutes). 
      • Once Kasha has absorbed all of the broth, stir in the corn, chili powder, Cumin, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in about 1/4-1/2 cup of shredded cheese.
      • Spoon mixture into tomatoes and place more cheese on top. 
      • Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese has melted.
      • Serve topped with Romesco sauce and garnish with cilantro. 
      Romesco Sauce

      Ingredients:

      • 1-2 slices of sandwich bread, toasted
      • A handful of almonds toasted in the oven at 400 for about 5 minutes. Approximately 1/4 cup.
      • 12 ounces of roasted red pepper. 1 Jar, or 1 3/4 cup.
      • 1/2 cup reserved tomato insides.
      • 1 large clove of garlic, minced
      • 2 Tablespoonsextra virgin olive oil
      • 1 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
      • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
      • sea salt

      Directions

      1. 1. Toast bread in toaster at lowest setting until surface is dry but not browned. Remove crusts and cut bread into rough 1/2-inch pieces (you should have about 1/2 cup).
      2.  


      1. 2. Process bread and almonds in food processor until nuts are finely ground, 10 to 15 seconds. Add red peppers, tomato, garlic, oil, vinegar, cayenne, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse, scraping down side of bowl as necessary, until mixture has texture similar to mayonnaise, 20 to 30 seconds. Adjust seasoning with salt and set aside.