Tag Archives: Tomato

Fall Fun

It certainly has been a while. Oops! Summer somehow came and went in a blink of an eye. In that time, I managed to do a good amount of cooking and not write about it. I’ll have to take the time to post a summer recap.

As for this past weekend, fall has come upon us and a few friends and myself decided to take advantage. We drove about 45 minutes outside of DC to Homestead Farm in Poolesville, MD to go apple picking! The day was absolutely gorgeous.

There were endless rows of Sun Crisp, Fuji, and Cameo apples that we wandered through and filled our baskets with. At one point we found a ladder, which meant access to the untouched apples on top of the trees! And beautiful pictures like this:

We even found the perfect teacher apple!

I ended up with a beautiful bounty of 16 lbs of mixed apples, 2 butternut squash, and a box of the most delicious yellow grape tomatoes I’ve ever tasted (I had to stop my friends from eating them all in the car- they were that good!).

That night I wanted something easy for dinner, so I threw the tomatoes into a frying pan and added in some red grape tomatoes from the grocery (not nearly as flavorful as the farm-fresh ones).

This was a simple saute with olive oil, sprinkled with dried basil and ground black pepper, and finished off with some minced garlic. I topped some spaghetti with the colorful fresh tomato ‘sauce’ and chowed down. It was delicious!

I hope everyone has the chance to go apple picking at some point this season! All the produce was fresh and fantastic. Expect a lot of apple recipes to come!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Greek Quinoa Salad

I meant to post this recipe a while ago (2 months ago, in fact), but clearly life got in the way. Between work and friends and everything else, I have been so busy and have sadly neglected the blog a bit. However, I am back and have cooked a lot in the lapsed time! This means many posts to come. This recipe for Greek Quinoa Salad is the one I made when my girlfriends came over a few months ago for wine night. It is fresh and very herbsious, which I love. It has very fresh notes when you bite into a cucumber or tomato, and a nice tang from the calamatta olives. I highly recommend making a large batch of this: it is great to much on as a snack or bring for lunch throughout the week (and nothing is better than having lunch prepared a week in advanced when you work!).

Greek Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

2 Cucumbers, diced

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

Scallions, diced

1 can chick peas

½ cup chopped calamatta olives or black olives

Handful of chopped fresh parsley

Handful of chopped fresh basil

Crumbled feta cheese

2 cup Quinoa

4 cups chicken broth

½ cup Olive oil

½ cup Red wine vinegar

Juice of one lemon

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp coriander

1/8 tsp turmeric

1/8 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

Mix all vegetables and herbs in a large bowl, set aside.

In a saucepan heat over medium/high a tablespoon of olive oil add the quinoa and a little bit of each of the spices (last 6 ingredients), sautee for about a minute and add the chicken broth and fresh lemon juice. Heat on high, when it comes to a boil, crack the heat down to a simmer and cover the pot (from this point, cook according to your quinoa box’s directions).

While it’s simmering whisk together 1/2 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of vinegar with salt and pepper (to taste). Pour the dressing over all of the vegetables and mix them together.

When the quinoa is done fluff it with a fork and let cool.

Mix the quinoa in with the vegetables.

To serve: top with the feta cheese

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday Wine Night

Earlier this year, a small group of my girlfriends decided we wanted a regular gathering every month or so. Thanks to Jordy, ‘Wednesday Wine Night’ began in the Fall! The idea is simple: every 4-6 weeks a different person in the group would have everyone over, serve wine, and prepare some offerings to snack on. Though I am allergic to wine, and we do not always meet on a Wednesday, this has been a great way to have a relaxing night with girlfriends. This past Monday the group came over to my apartment, which I took as an opportunity to try and wow everyone with my food. The menu consisted of:

  • Homemade sun-dried tomato hummus with veggies
  • Herb crusted sweet potato bites
  • Greek quinoa salad
  • Roasted red pepper pizza with a splash of balsamic
  • Lots and lots of wine & desserts

Thankfully, my wonderful friends loved the meal! I had been nervous about the pizza because it was the first time I used a real pizza pan, but the crust came out perfectly crisp. Everyone enjoyed the sweet potato bites because they were something tasty and different. One of the best compliments to the chef was when a few people asked for the recipes! Most importantly, everyone had a great time with each other chatting about life and nibbling the food.

For now, feast your eyes on some photos from the evening. Recipes to come individually!

Herb Crusted Sweet Potato Bites

Greek Quinoa Salad

Roasted Red Pepper Pizza

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Christmas Dinner

It has become tradition in my house that I cook a Christmas Eve feast. For the past few years I’ve made a variation of the same meal. The main dishes on the menu this year were bruschetta, baked ham with cloves (I used a half butt), roasted garlic smashed potatoes, sauteed string beans with slivered almonds, and a sugar free key lime pie (my father is diabetic). And now, our eyes can feast:

Bruschetta

Roasted Garlic

Sauteed String Beans with Slivered Almonds

Baked Ham with Cloves

Graham Cracker Pie Crust

Slice of Sugar Free Key Lime Pie

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tabbouleh with Chicken (Or Tofu)

What is Tabbouleh? I bet most of you have no idea what I am even talking about. Well, let me tell you. Tabbouleh is a Levantine (originally from Lebanon) wheat salad. I have traveled to the middle east and have always had many friends from the region, so this is a dish I started enjoying early on. It is super simple, and the light lemony flavor is GREAT for summer time!

 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1 cup bulgur wheat

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)

Olive oil

Kosher salt

1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in, skin on

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup minced scallions, white and green parts (1 bunch)

1 cup chopped fresh mint leaves (2 bunches)

1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (1 bunch)

1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and medium-diced

2 cups halved cherry tomatoes

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the bulgur wheat according to package directions. Add the lemon juice, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 1.5 teaspoons of salt to the bulgur as it sits and cooks. Set aside for about an hour to let cook through.

*Next, rub chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the over for 35 minutes, or until just cooked. Again, set aside and let cool off.

Remove chicken meat and dice into medium pieces and add to the bulgur wheat. Then add scallions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. At this point, you MUST taste the dish to see if it needs more seasoning! The most important thing when cooking is to taste your food! Make sure it is seasoned to tasted. You can either serve immediately or refrigerate and serve cold. The longer the Tabbouleh mixture sits, the flavors will intensify and improve.

 

Cool, refreshing Tabbouleh can be used as a side dish or a main dish. When I know I am cooking for a vegetarian and meat eating audience, I love to use this dish! Follow the same directions, but serve the chicken or tofu on the side and allow guests to help themselves.

*This step is easily replaced with Tofu! Cut extra firm tofu into cubes and sprinkle with the same seasonings. Roast in the oven until crispy and use in place of the chicken.

My interpretation of Ina Garten’s Chicken with Tabbouleh

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Oven Roasted Red Snapper with Tomatoes and Black Olives

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients:

Red Snapper Fillets

Can of Crushed Tomatoes

Can of Black Olives

Any seasoning you like such as Dried Basil, Dried Oregano, Dried Parsley, Salt, Pepper, and Dried Thyme

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place Red Snapper in a glass baking dish. Season fish, pour can of tomatoes over fish, and add more seasoning. Spread olives over top. Bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes until fish is cooked through.

This is a great fish dish. Very flavorful, and you can season it as much as you want. Serve with rice pilaf and a fresh vegetable for a nice meal. This recipe is very simple and most people will like it because it does not have a strong fishy flavor.

Tagged , , , ,

Greek Shrimp & Couscous

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ingredients

·         1 (10-ounce) package couscous

·         2 teaspoons olive oil

·         1 pound frozen shrimp, thawed, peeled and de-veined

·         1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes  with green pepper and onion, drained

·         1/2 cup Greek black olives, pitted and chopped

·         1 tablespoon dried mint leaves

·         1 teaspoon garlic and herb seasoning

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         Salt  and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a medium saucepan, cook couscous according to package directions. In a separate pan, add olive oil and shrimp. Add tomatoes, olives, mint, garlic and herb seasoning, and oregano. Simmer for about 3 to 5 minutes to cook shrimp and heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour over couscous and serve.

Recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/robin-miller/greek-shrimp-and-couscous-recipe/index.html

This was very delicious and simple. I made this dinner with my roomate and we both enjoyed it. We used a can of diced tomatoes but not with peppers and onion. As a side dish we had roasted broccoli which is very simple.

Broccoli:

Cut broccoli into small pieces and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle EVOO and sea salt or kosher salt over broccoli and put in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until done to your liking (personally, I think it is best when it is slightly burned).

Tagged , , , , ,

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan

Ingredients

·          4 slices whole-wheat bread (1-ounce each)

·         1 teaspoon dried oregano

·         1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

·         4 teaspoons paprika

·         1/2 teaspoon salt

·         1/2 teaspoon black pepper

·         2 egg whites

·         1/2 cup skim milk

·         1/2 cup all-purpose flour

·         4 (6 ounce) skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness

·         Olive oil cooking spray

·         1 jar good-quality marinara sauce (about 3 1/2 cups)

·         3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

·         2 tablespoons (1/2-ounce) shredded Parmesan

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the bread in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed, about 25 to 30 seconds. Put the crumbs on a baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. (You will wind up with about 1 1/3 cups toasted crumbs.)

In a medium bowl, toss the crumbs with oregano, garlic powder, paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and milk together. In a third bowl stir together the flour, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Dip each piece of chicken, 1 piece at a time, in flour, shaking off excess, then egg, then bread crumbs, shaking off excess.

Increase oven temperature to 400 degrees. Place breaded breasts in a glass baking dish and spray on each side with cooking spray, about 5 seconds total per side. Bake breasts until cooked though and crumbs are browned, about 15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbling.

This recipe was WONDERFUL! I honestly think this is one of the most delicious dinners I have ever made! It was simple and so rewarding. To make things simpler, rather than making my own bread crumbs I bought Italian style Panko bread crumbs. Though they are seasoned I still added the seasoning from the recipe. A tip for breading the chicken: use one hand as a wet hand, and the other as a dry hand. This means only touch the egg with one and the flour and bread crumbs with the other. Also, I did not add milk to the egg mixture. Lastly, I used 2 cups of shredded mozzarella rather than the amount in the recipe. Highly recommended, this is a must-make recipe!

Recipe found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/chicken-parmesan-recipe/index.html

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Langoustines & Spinach Pasta

This is  a recipe I came up with when fooling around in the kitchen. It was really easy to make and very yummy.

Ingredients:

Extra Virgin Olive oil

Pasta

Package of frozen Langoustines

One lemon

Minced garlic

Package of frozen spinach

Mrs. Dash Italian blend

Pepper

Directions:

Bring water to a boil to cook the pasta

In a large skillet pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom let simmer on a medium heat

Add two teaspoons of minced garlic

Chop defrosted spinach and add to the skillet

Strain pasta but do not rinse

Add langoustines to the skillet

Squeeze juice from one lemon into skillet

Add pasta to skillet

Toss and serve!

Tagged , , , , ,

Caprese, Garlic Basil Shrimp, & Orzo

On the menu:

Caprese salad (mozzarella, tomato, basil)

Garlic Basil Shrimp

Orzo

Roasted green and yellow zucchini

The recipes:

Caprese Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 large beefsteak tomatoes
  • Large block of fresh mozzarella
  • A few leaves of fresh basil

Directions:

Slice mozzarella and large tomatoes into even pieces. Layer tomato and mozzarella on plate alternating. Rip some fresh basil leaves and place on top. When eating drizzle some EVOO and fresh black pepper.

Garlic Basil Shrimp

Ingredients:

·   2 tablespoons olive oil

·   1 1/4 pounds large shrimp

(20 to 25 per pound), peeled and deveined

·   3 garlic cloves, minced

·   1/8 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

·   3/4 cup dry white wine

·   1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves

·   1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

·   Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl.

Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil remaining in skillet and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add wine and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in basil and tomatoes and season the sauce with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Return the shrimp to pan and cook just until heated through

From the Food Network website athttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/garlic-basil-shrimp-recipe/index.html

Orzo

Buy pre-packaged orzo and follow instructions on box

Roasted green and yellow zucchini

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash zucchini. Cut off both ends and half each zucchini width-wise. Quarter each zucchini length-wise and place on a large baking sheet. Lightly drizzle EVOO over zucchini and season with kosher sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place in oven and let cook until slightly burned looking (check after 20 minutes until done).

Comments:

This makes a really great dinner. The caprese salad is delicious, easy to make, and really impresses guests. If it is too bland in flavor you can add a dash of balsamic vinegar. The shrimp turned out really great and I love the recipe. I will definitely make this again. However, I didn’t love the orzo. It worked with the shrimp, but pasta would probably be better. Lastly, the zucchini is great because they are very simple to make and super flavorful.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: