Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vegetables Diablo

A most beautiful collection of red onion, red pepper, green zucchini, yellow squash, and mushroom, this grilled or broiled veggie combo is one of my absolute summer go-to's. Photo-ed here with sauted chicken.

back with the Diablo marinade in a flash - it's not hard nor spicy.

Spinach, Black Olive, Zucchini Pasta Algi Olio

OK Fans, I did it!  I made Barbara's famous dish... pasta algi olio with veggies. 

So simple, and if my kids liked the veggies I used, it might have been a hit with the fam.  E won't eat black olives, Jacob won't eat spinach or zucchini, and Jenna won't eat zucchini.  Ahhh... stumped from the get go - but I planned for that and made them plain pasta agli olio with a side of fresh carrots and peppers. 

So, here's the gameplan:

8 ounces pasta (2 oz per person)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 small zucchini
1 bag spinach
15-20 black olives, sliced

Boil water in a large pot for the pasta - salt it for speed!
in 1 tbsp olive oil, soften the two zucchini which are sliced into nickle-thick slices - don't over soften - maybe 5 minutes.  Then, add the black olives, then the spinach and stir, bringing the zucchini to the top (use heat on both sides of your spinach to wilt it faster).  Add another tbsp of olive oil to help speed up the melting/wilting process.
when the pasta is done, drain it well, then add it to the top of the veggies, and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the pasta - stir/fold/mix the pasta and veggies and plate - top with parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Whitefish served on a bed of Chickpeas and Spinach

A while back we made a fish that I believe we baked in foil with tomatos and white beans, it was awesome. I really like pairing a light fish with a protein packed and a bit heavier bean. I think it is an unlikely and uncommon combination, but nontheless, it was fun and easy to make and recieved rave reviews. The nutrition was through the roof So since Kim and I also loved the pasta with chickpeas and the hummus, we decided to pair whitefish(or any kind of light fish-orange roughy, tilapia) with garbanzo beans(chickpeas)
4 peices of whitefish
10 ounces fresh spinach or frozen
1 10 oz can of garbanzo beans
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup white wine

preheat oven at 350
in a bake pan place fish
coat with olive oil, white wine and salt and pepper
bake for 15 minutes or until fish is flakey
heat skillet with 2 tablespoons oil on medium, add garlic and saute 5 minutes
add spinach and lower heat to low
put lid on pan and stir occasionally until spinach is wilted
add garbanzo beans and salt and pepper, heat another 5 minutes and removed from heat
evenly devide spinach mixture onto 4 plates and place a peice of fish on each bed of spinach and serve.

Pork Tacos With Pineapple Salsa
These are the pork tacos that I RAVED about after having them with my Forever Friend in Iowa last week.  I wonder if it's ironic to anyone else that we had pork in Iowa :-).  Anyway, these are fairly simple, and the cooking time of the pork is dramatically reduced because you slice the tenderloin before you grill it.  WoW!  Rocket Science, No, but a GREAT time saver for this meal!

Made in three separate steps, the ingredients are as follows:


1/4 cup lime juice
2 tbsp pineapple juice
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper (or a grind of fresh!)
3 TBSP olive oil
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (more if you like!!)

2 cups drained diced pineapple chunks
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

1 pork tenderloin, about 1 1/4 pounds, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 package small corn tortillas

Mix dressing ingredients first (add cilantro after the other ingredients are well blended or shaken) -
Next mix salsa ingredients AND 2 or so Tbsp of the dressing - let sit to flavor
Combine remaining dressing and sliced pork in bowl or bag to marinate (refrigerated) for 15 or so minutes.
Heat Grill, then place the sliced pork on the grill and cook for about 6 to 8 minutes
Remove meat from grill, slice into strips and serve on heated corn tortillas (corn tortillas should be heated for about one minute under a wet papertowl to improve their pliability)
Serve Taco or Fajita style, piling a few strips of meat and a generous serving of salsa onto your own corn tortilla.
I'm not usually a fan of corn tortillas, but with this dish, they really go well!  Besides, most corn tortillas are pretty naturally made - corn, lime, and water.  Pretty simple recipe.  There must be something to the pork and corn and Iowa thing!  :-)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pretty Summer Strawberry Spinach Salad

Here's a recipe for a great summer salad that I got from a good friend who is a great cook - and very discerning with which recipes she uses. She has that ability to look through magazines for a long time to find the perfect recipe - then reproduce it from the recipe with precision each time. A lot of the time I improvize or substitute even from a recipe when cooking (not when baking) thus I don't have the precision she does. I envy that of her - maybe consistency is a good thing. Here's the salad, folks!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

1 package Strawberries $1. 99
1 red onion .30
½ head lettuce (or ½ bag iceberg lettuce).40
1 bag baby spinach $1.99
3 kiwi

¾ cup mayo
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/3 cup sugar
¼ cup milk

Prepare dressing and chill. Slice onions into thin rings. Slice strawberries and kiwi. Mix onions, lettuce and fruit. Add dressing right before serving.

Bacon, Pineapple, Ham Pizza

So here's a true favorite of our family's. Like most people we love pizza, but I can really grow tired of sausage pizza, cheese pizza, even deluxe pizza... so then it's time to get gourmet! That's just what I needed to do last night after a great weekend of camping with my parents and my Mom's side of the family - and a long drive!
So, this is a 'za you can find on menu at all sorts of pizza restaurants, AND, we made our own crust...

Crust $1.10
3/4 cup whole wheat flour .20
1 cup white flour .20
1 packet yeast 40
1/2 cup beer (room temperature - NOT straight from the frig) .30
1/2 cup water

in a medium/large mixing bowl combine flours and yeast. In a one cup measuring cup, measure approximately 1/2 cup beer and 1/2 cup water. You'll be trying to achieve about 110 degrees for this cup of liquid, so use appropriately temperatured tap water to achieve this 110 degrees to activate the yeast. 110 is approximate. It should feel warm to your touch, but not hot. Hot will kill the yeast from the start. Add the water and stir to mix - knead mixture with a spoon in the bowl for about 2 minutes

this is a sticky dough!! Let sit for 5 to 30 minutes.

Then, line pan with cooking spray and if available, corn meal. dump the ball of wet sticky dough into the pan and add a tablespoon or so of flour - work into a crust with your finger tips, adding flour as needed to keep your fingers from sticking (you can put flour in the bowl that you mixed the crust in to put on your fingers - that way you aren't sticking your pizza doughy hands into the big bowl or bag of flour). Once a crust is formed, poke many many many times with a fork to prevent it from developing air bubbles under the crust during the initial bake.

bake WITHOUT TOPPINGS for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees

spread the following ingredients on the pizza:
1/4 cup barbeque sauce .15

1/2 can crushed and well drained or tidbits of pineapple .40
2 oz sliced/diced ham ,20
6 strips crumbled bacon .60
1/2 cup mozarella cheese
(I also added 1/4 cup feta)
black olives optional

bake an additional 12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Depending on the size of your pan, your crust will be quite thin, but very tasty.

June 27-July 3

Here's What to buy for the end of June... produce season!  Let's get shopping


- Any item you can get here!

Assumed Items
Olive Oil
Garlic cloves

Aisle One
Yeast Packet
BBQ Sauce
Apple Cider Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Black Olives

Mozzarella Cheese
Blue Cheese

2 cans Pineapple Tidbits
Corn tortillas
2 cans Chick Peas

Red Onions
Lettuce (iceberg in a bag or one head)
3 kiwi
Lime juice
2 plum tomatoes
Jalapeno pepper
Zucchini (4-6 mini or 2 small)
Yellow squash (1 small or 2-3 mini)
Mushrooms (8 oz)
Colored Peppers (2 peppers)

Roast Beef Deli Meat (look for lower Sodium)
Bacon or Turkey Bacon
Pork tenderloin about 1 ½ pounds

1 ½ pounds Chicken Breast Tenderloins
White Fish of Choice

Bread for Brushcetta – French or baguette
Wheat Flour
Beer (preferably old and warm)
Poppy Seeds

Cooking Ideas - June 27-July 3

This will bring us to 26 weeks.
We still have ideas for what to make - and we're still enjoying this blogging and being organized about getting good, healthy food to the table.
Here's the menu for the week...

Pineapple Bacon Pizza
Strawberry Spinach Salad
Pork Tacos
Fish with ChickPeas
Balsamic Viniagrette Roasted Veggies with Grilled Chicken
Spinach, Black Olives, and Zuchinni algi olio
Bruschetta Tapas Evening