Posts tagged ‘spinach’

Pasta, Veg, Veg, Veg, Dairy, Fruit

Menu: Mini ravioli with squash, shells, and parmesan shavings * chopped roasted eggplant with red and yellow bell peppers and basil * sauteed spinach * ricotta-yogurt blend with blueberries

Really more of a Thursday kind of supper, where I’m cleaning things out and/or trying not to have to go to the store, but there it was a Saturday and we had no meat or fish thawed or ready in the fridge and it was time for dinner and we are trying not to call Mangia Pizza in these circumstances.

I’d been to the farmers market, so once again I had lovely small Italian heirloom eggplants. I roasted them in a 400-degree oven for 40 minutes, along with a red and two yellow bell peppers. I found half a box of dry-pasta mini-ravioli stuffed with squash next to a quarter-box of shells (why I kept a quarter-box of shells instead of cooking it, I have no idea), and cooked them together (same cooking times). The vegs finished roasting and I peeled and chopped them together in a bowl with olive oil, a splash of balsamic, and a handful of basil from the patio, intending to use them to dress the pasta. Then I remembered the parmesan shavings, so decided to toss those with the pasta instead and serve the eggplant and peppers beside for mix-as-you-go-if-you-like. And so I did.

Finished the meal out with another batch of sauteed spinach (same as the last seven times you’ve seen it here); quick, easy, nutritious, delicious.

For dessert, I came across the end of a small tub of part-skim ricotta, and mixed it with the end of a big container of Brown Cow vanilla yogurt. Served it with blueberries and it was also interesting, though next time I might drain the yogurt a bit first as the dairy mixture separated out just a little towards the end.

About to head to the grocery store to replace all of the used-up-the-tail-ends ingredients above, plus purchase marinade ingredients for either lamb chops or steaks for Sunday dinner…


June 29, 2008 at 4:01 pm Leave a comment

Poultry, Starch, Veg

Menu: Chipotle-stuffed turkey burgers * sweet potato oven fries with chipotle ketchup * sauteed spinach

Ground turkey
Sea salt
Chipotle peppers in adobo

Mix pack of ground turkey with sea salt and garlic. Shape into patties; cut in half horizontally and place a small chipotle in the center. Grill until done. During last few minutes. add reduced-fat Mexican cheese on top to melt.

Cook sweet potato oven fries according to package (I used Alexia frozen ones; 425 for 20 minutes).

Chipotle ketchup:
Chop two chipotle peppers in small bowl; add some of adobe sauce. Mix with tomato ketchup to taste; add 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.

Heat 2 T olive oil in large non-stick skillet/wok, on high. Add baby spinach; saute until wilted. Grind sea salt and garlic over.

Would I make it again?
Not quite the same way. The chipotle was too hot, though M liked it a lot. I might stuff cheese with the chipotle. I might just use the chipotle ketchup and leave out the pepper entirely. I’d also wanted to make a jicama-Granny Smith slaw or other salad, but ran out of time and energy. Big afternoon at work, pretty tired. So glad to sleep in in the morning.

June 28, 2008 at 1:14 am Leave a comment

Fish, Legumes, Veg, Veg

Menu: Roasted salmon with green chile salsa, cherry tomatoes, and pepitas * Pink-eyed pea salad * Sauteed spinach with sea salt and garlic

(All the pieces of this supper have appeared before.)

Preheat oven to 450. Place remainder of Saturday’s farmers market cherry tomatoes (red and gold) in bottom of a small glass baking dish with drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat. Place 2 salmon filets atop; spread Austin Slow Burn Salsa Verde over; sprinkle with roasted pumpkin seeds. Bake 17 minutes.

Pink-eyed peas
Reheat last of leftovers for M; have last of leftover at room temperature fr me.

Sauteed spinach
Heat 1 T olive oil in bottom of deep non-stick skillet or wok. Add 1/2 large tub baby spinach; stir. Grind garlic and sea salt over; stir-fry/saute.

June 27, 2008 at 12:44 am Leave a comment

Fish, Veg, Veg

Menu: Roasted salmon with dijon mustard * roasted eggplant with garlic and roasted red pepper * sauteed spinach and tatsoi * red potatoes * dessert: vanilla yogurt with blueberries, extra blueberries set aside for Bailey the lab

Heat oven to 450. Roast whole red pepper and whole small Italian heirloom white eggplant from Tecolote Farm for 30 minutes. Remove; set aside to cool. Slide in a tray of small red potatoes for 30 minutes. Peel eggplant and pepper. Mash eggplant in bowl; dice roasted pepper and add with splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and several grinds of sea salt. Place salmon filets in glass baking dish; spread dijon mustard over; bake in 450 oven for 10-12 minutes (while potatoes finish). Saute spinach and tatsoi in large nonstick saute pan or wok with a drizzle of olive oil on high heat.

This was based on a previous salmon recipe (that 450 cooking temperature impressed!) and a note I read somewhere that I can’t remember about roasting smaller eggplants whole for eggplant relish and baba ganoush. It worked. It was moist and delicious, not a bit bitter. The salmon impressed all over again. No soundtrack; I was cooking in between e-mails. No sustenance; we’re trying to be a little healthier. Would I do it all again? Well, I might play a little music… but otherwise, I would do this exact dinner all over again as soon as I hit the Tecolote booth at the farmers market.

June 19, 2008 at 2:18 am Leave a comment

Beef, Veg, Leftover Pasta

Menu: lime-tequila marinated flank steak * sauteed spinach * rewarmed trecce dell’orto pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes

In glass oven dish, combine 1/4 c rice vinegar, 1/4 c tequila, 2/3 c olive oil, 1/3 c lime juice, chopped garlic, crushed red pepper flakes; add flank steak, cover tightly, and marinate several hours in refrigerator, turning occasionally. To cook: heat grill pan over medium-high; grill steak 4 minutes per side, rotating one-quarter turn without flipping after the first two minutes; flip to cook on other side at 4-minute point; rotate one-quarter turn.

Saute spinach in olive oil with fresh-ground garlic and sea salt.

Rewarm pasta.

June 18, 2008 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

Fish, Noodles, Salad

Menu: salmon with hoisin-chili sauce * soba noodles with mushrooms and spinach * cucumber salad

Last night, I was really looking forward to the leftover Accidentally Amazing Black Beans. This afternoon, swamped by work, I forgot about that, and compiled a grocery list. On the way home, I stopped at our new H-E-B and picked up two nice little salmon filets. I knew I had the rest of a large tub of fresh spinach leaves, and while I was wandering around H-E-B thinking about what to have with salmon and spinach, I came across an end-cap freezer display of Central Market “Exotic Mushrooms in Cream Sauce” and remembered that there was a packet of soba noodles in the pantry.

(Central Market is the Whole Foods concept of H-E-B, our terrific Texas grocery chain. Central Market has specialty and organic groceries, but you can also buy Splenda and Coke. Central Market just absolutely rocks, as does H-E-B, whose community involvement should serve as a role model for businesses everywhere. Meanwhile, H-E-B has started marketing Central Market-brand products in its regular stores. Perfect cycle.)

Hoisin Salmon
2 salmon filets * 2 T hoisin sauce * 1 tsp chili garlic sauce * 1 tsp soy sauce
Preheat oven to 450. Put filets in oven-safe pan, skin-side down. Mix remaining ingredients; spoon over, and spread across surface of fish. Bake 10 minutes per 1-inch-thickness of fish (tonight I did it for about 7 minutes).

Soba Noodles with Mushrooms and Spinach
Exotic Mushrooms in Cream Sauce mix (includes Nameko mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms; heavy cream, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper)
Fresh baby spinach leaves
1 bundle soba noodles

Cook mushrooms according to package. Boil noodles according to package directions. Drain noodles; add to mushrooms in large saute pan. Add spinach; cook and mix. Splash in a few shakes each of soy sauce and sesame oil, and a drib of juice from a jar of pickled ginger. Stir; let simmer or stay warm on low.

Cucumber salad
1 pickling cucumber, sliced thin * Drew’s Thai lime salad dressing

Cook’s sustenance
Vodka-tonic (really really must pick up that Plymouth)
wasabi rice crackers

Cook’s soundtrack
Coldplay, “Clocks”
Jack Constanzo, “I Love Paris”
Bill Lloyd, “All at Once You Unzipped”
Fountains of Wayne, “It Must Be Summer”
XTC, “Happy Families”
Shuggie Otis, “Island Letter”
Journey, “Separate Ways”
Patsy Cline & The Jordanaires, “Always”
Alejandro Escovedo, “Velvet Guitar”
Bananarama, “Robert DeNiro’s Waiting”
Coldplay, “Proof”
Caetano Veloso, “The Man I Love”
Derek & The Dominoes, “Bell Bottom Blues”
Zero 7, “Distractions”

How did it turn out?
Delish. The salmon done at the higher temperature was moist and tender (until now, I had been cooking it longer at a lower temp). The soba noodles were terrific, and I could imagine that they would also be good cold.

Would I make it again?
Yes. I make salmon frequently and will do it at the higher temperature for the shorter time from now on. And the soba noodles were tasty and should be good left over. I’ll be tussling with M to see who gets the last leftover Accidentally Amazing Black Beans and who gets the soba.

June 12, 2008 at 1:41 am Leave a comment

Pork, Pasta, Veg

Menu: butterfly pork chops * roasted beet salad * trecce dell’oro pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes * sauteed spinach * peaches with vanilla yogurt
Wine: Peter Lehmann 2005 Barossa shiraz

With a crisper drawer full of kale from the farmers market, I’d found a recipe in The New Best Recipe for Kale with Lentils. To go with, I was thinking of some kind of Indian chicken… a yogurt or tandoori kind of recipe… and then our dog got heatstroke and the hours slipped by and it was too late to marinate anything. Time for a quick Plan B.

I’d roasted chioggia beets from local market vendor Tecolote Farm yesterday, for a salad I do based on one in Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu… roasted beets, an herb, a nut, a cheese, always with fresh-ground salt, pepper, and garlic (I have a grinder for dried garlic), a kind of vinegar, and a kind of oil. The combinations can be a lot of fun. I picked up butterfly center loin pork chops at H-E-B, and had a bag of trecce dell’oro (golden braids) pasta, so thought I would do something vaguely Italian.

Pork chops:
2 butterfly center-cut pork loin chops
olive oil
fresh-ground salt (to lightly cover chop surface)
fresh-ground pepper (to lightly cover chop surface)
fresh-ground Italian herb blend (to lightly cover chop surface)
fresh-ground red pepper flakes (just a bit)
2 dozen cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle slight amount olive oil in bottom of cooking pan. Place pork chops in; grind seasonings over. Turn over; repeat. Scatter cherry tomatoes around and on top. Bake 40-45 minutes or until pork reaches internal temperature of 160-165.

Roasted beet salad
4 beets, greens and tail removed
leafy herbs (choose one like mint or basil; tonight I used basil)
nuts (choose from walnuts, pine nuts, pepitas, hazelnuts; tonight, walnuts)
crumble-able cheese (choose from feta, blue, even tiny mozzarella pearls; tonight, feta)
specialty vinegar (choosed from balsamic, champagne, cane syrup, white wine, etc.; tonight, balsamic)
oil (choose from olive oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, etc.; tonight, olive)
fresh-ground salt
fresh-ground pepper
garlic (fresh-ground, very finely diced)

Preheat oven to 400. Wrap each beet individually in foil; bake 45 min to 1 hr. Let cool; peels will rub right off. Cut into quarters; slice each quarter in thin slices. Toss in bowl with salt, vinegar, oil, and garlic. Add nuts, cheese, and herbs to taste. Will change anyone’s mind ever about beets.

Trecce dell’oro pasta: Bring water to boil; boil 12 minutes. Toss with butter or olive oil and fresh basil cut in chiffonade. (An amazing technique that works on leafy ingredients from basil to collard greens; stack leaves, roll tight like a cigar; slice thinly across roll to create lovely thin ribbons.)

Sauteed spinach: In large saute pan or wok, heat a drizzle of olive or other oil on high. Add fresh spinach (for 2, somewhere between 6 and 8 oz); quickly stir. Grind fresh salt and/or garlic over. Continue to stir as if stir-frying. Entire cooking process takes 2 minutes at most. No other ingredients needed, though various vinegars can be quite good. I’ve used everything from mirin and soy sauce with rice vinegar, to lemon juice, to balsamic, to nothing else.

To plate: Pork chop, spinach, pasta, each in a separate pile; roasted cherry tomatoes atop pasta. Great eaten individually or mixed. (I am a one-thing-at-a-time girl; M likes some of everything.)

After dinner, take the recovering dog for a short, slow walk down the block and back. Come back; peel and chop peaches, drizzle with vanilla yogurt. Enjoy, but not as much as if they were Chilton County peaches (a whole nother post).

Chef’s sustenance:
Vodka-tonic with lime (note to self: pick up gin)

Chef’s soundtrack:
Flaco Jimenez, “Sorry Boy”
Professor Longhair, “Big Chief”
Bill Murray, “More Than This”
Moby, “Novio”
Journey, “Send Her My Love”
Sia, “Breathe Me”
The Pogues, “Love You ‘Til The End”
Marty Robbins, “That’s All Right”
The Holmes Brothers, “And I Love Her”
Suzanne Vega, “Ironbound/Fancy Poultry”
Crowded House, “Don’t Dream It’s Over”
Johnny Cash, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”
Paul Simon, “She Moves On”

How did it turn out?
The pork was a little tough, but the flavors were good. I don’t know whether I overcooked it (I was careful about the internal temp) or if it’s just the meat. Anything with a farmers market ingredient was terrific… fresh, fresh, fresh. The beet salad, the cherry tomatoes… the definition of the flavors.

Would I make it again?
This is a recipe I vary up frequently. Cherry tomatoes either are roasted or sauteed to mix with pasta. Pork chops take all kinds of seasonings.

Note: Tecolote Farm is a great example of a local farmer struggling to make it work. There was an article in the Austin American-Statesman a couple of weeks ago about how overuse of water in their area (to water playing fields) could cost them everything. I feel absolutely obliged to buy something from them every week now. And their plight makes me think twice about the length of my showers.

June 9, 2008 at 2:02 am Leave a comment

Some of my cookbooks

In no order except for how they appear in my LibraryThing cookbook catalog: True Women Cookbook: Original Antique Recipes, Photographs, & Family Folklore, Janice Woods Windle (1997) * Made in Texas; H-E-B's 100th Anniversary Cookbook (2005) * The Texas Cowboy Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos, Robb Walsh (2007) * The Silver Palate Cookbook, Julee Rosso, Sheila Lukins (1982) * In the Land of Cocktails: Recipes and Adventures from the Cocktail Chicks, Ti Adelaide Martin & Lally Brennan (2007) * Braise: A Journey Through International Cuisine, Daniel Boulud (2006) * Moosewood Cookbook : Recipes from Moosewood Restaurant, Mollie Katzen (1977) * Crescent City Cooking: Unforgettable Recipes from Susan Spicer's New Orleans, Susan Spicer (2007) * Saveur Cooks Authentic American: By the Editors of Saveur Magazine, ed. Colman Andrews (1998)

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