Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clean Out the Fridge Pasta!

So I knew I had enough of the makings for a pasta dish tonight. I just had to scrounge a bit and it was totally worth the scrounge! The end product was so darn good I need to remember to make this on purpose some time :-)

Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Pasta

1 head of cauliflower, broken into fairly uniform medium pieces
1 small eggplant, peeled and cut into large dice
3 cloves of garlic, minced
some olive oil
some crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
6 oz. whole wheat spirals
3 plum tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese
flat leaf parsley, chopped (4 sprigs)

Preheat oven 425

Prepare 2 jelly roll pans ( I use parchment paper for all my baking)

In large bowl toss cauliflower and eggplant with olive oil, garlic, red pepper, salt and pepper and divide between the two pans.

Roast 40 minutes-rotating pans and turning the veggies after 20 minutes.

During last 20 minutes of veggie cooking time, cook whole wheat pasta according to pkg directions--reserve one cup of pasta water-drain pasta.

When veggies are cooked, turn into pasta bowl, add pasta, chopped tomatoes and sprinkle on some Parmesan--add reserved pasta water to your liking depending on whether you want the dish wetter or dryer. I added maybe 1/4 cup water. Sprinkle on fresh parsley and offer more cheese at the table for those who are cheese heads.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pasta Tonight!

If you like goat cheese, then read on. I made a really really good pasta tonight. And, of course, many of the ingredients could be changed given your particular preferences. The pasta I made tonight included what I had: fresh tomato and 1 lb roasted asparagus--but many other veggies would work just as well.

6 oz. whole wheat spiral pasta

1 lb roasted asparagus--I had roasted this the night before (20 min at 425 oven-tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper) Chop asparagus in one inch pieces
2 plum tomatoes chopped
bunch of fresh basil sliced thinly
6 oz goat cheese (fresh--not the already crumbled kind)
olive oil
1/2 lemon
lemon zest
black pepper

Put the water on to boil. Cook pasta according to pkg.

In a large pasta tossing bowl, put the chopped tomato, the asparagus, crumble goat cheese on top, sprinkle with pepper, drizzle with olive oil, squeeze a half lemon over this mixture and add some lemon zest and sprinkle on fresh basil. Toss all this business around a bit.

When ready to drain pasta, save out a cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. Turn hot pasta into the bowl and toss with tomato/asparagus mixture. Add some of the pasta water to help make a sauce--the goat cheese will melt making a really nice pasta sauce--that is, if you like goat cheese. But if you don't like goat cheese--why are you reading this? Cause I already warned you in the first sentence.

Ok-this was really tasty!


Monday, May 20, 2013

Crock Pot in May!

I usually find that I think of using my crock pot in the fall and winter when I'm wanting some cozy dishes that cook all day. Today, it was 85 degrees here in Ann Arbor but I still pulled out the crock pot this morning for two reasons: I was going to be gone until right before dinner time and I wanted to make a slow baked dinner but didn't want the oven on all day heating up the kitchen. Crock pot to the rescue!

This is a pretty tasty chicken stew and is nice served over brown rice.

Artichoke Chicken and Olives

pkg of chicken thighs
1 can diced tomatoes
1 pkg frozen artichoke hearts
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup white wine
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup sliced Nicoise olives or 1/4 cup of capers, drained
1 red pepper, chopped
3 t curry powder
1 t dried thyme
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

In the crock pot, combine all the ingredients except the chicken and the red pepper. Stir well. Add the chicken and mix well to get it covered. Cover,  and cook on low setting for 7 to 8 hours. During the last hour, add the red pepper and turn to high and cook for last hour.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Greens and Goat Cheese!

Sometimes you find random things in the fridge and it's fun to figure out how to make it into dinner. So, I had some nice goat cheese, a bunch of kale and some spinach and I thought about trying to make some sort of crustless egg "thing"--I guess a quiche of sorts? The final product was pretty dang good and the ingredients could be switched around quite easily depending on what you have lurking in your fridge.

6 oz. goat cheese
2 oz mozzarella shredded
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 cups half and half
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
1 large handful of spinach
5 oz of deli ham chopped (not needed but I had some that needed to be used in the fridge)
5 green onions sliced
2 garlic cloves, chopped
oregano, dill, salt and pepper, dried red peppers

Need 10 inch pie plate

Preheat oven 350

In a large lidded skillet, heat some olive oil and put in the greens to wilt--(putting lid on pan can help them steam)--when the greens are wilted add the onions, and garlic and the spices-like a teaspoon of each. Stir and let that mixture cool.

Put eggs, yolks and half and half in bowl and whisk together.

To assemble, spray pie plate with Pam or whatever, put in the greens mixture (if greens mixture seems a bit wet, drain well) Next, sprinkle on ham (if using) then crumble on the goat cheese and mozzarella and lastly pour the egg mixture over all.

Bake 50 minutes.

Let cool at least 20 minutes as it will cut better.

I served with a green salad.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco De Mayo!

How about Tuna Tacos? YUM!

1 fillet of Ahi tuna

4 flour or corn soft tortillas
chopped romaine lettuce
chopped tomato
Mexican or Cajun spice mix to season fish
a little olive oil

8 oz of Greek yogurt or sour cream
a couple chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 T lemon or lime juice
1 T lemon or lime zest
1 t cumin
1 t salt

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and refrigerate a couple of hours before dinner.

Rub some olive oil on fish and season with spice mixture--taco seasoning, cajun--or salt and pepper-whatever you have around.

Grill tuna on hot grill 3 minutes per side for medium rare. I overcooked my fish a bit but it was still very tasty.

Spread some sauce on tortilla, add some lettuce, add some chunks of grilled fish and some tomato and then wrap up your savory little fish package :-)

I served with a side of rice and corn.