Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stuffed Peppers

Now that we are in March, I am dreaming about warm weather, gardening, and fresh vegetables. It doesn't help that I am going through old photos, reminiscing about last summer. The hubby instead wants to spend tonight catching up on the Walking Dead. Needless to say, these photos are a lot nicer to look at that than exploding guts and rotting corpses on television.

Spring/Summer 2012
First CSA bundle
Pickled jalapenos
Yoshi and his ball
Carrot on the run
Eggplant bounty
We received many varieties of peppers and squash from the CSA last year and grew some in our garden as well. I made this one night when my fridge was overflowing with veggies. I can't wait for the CSA to start again come Springtime.

Stuffed Peppers
4 large peppers (red or green) or patty pan squash, tops and seeds removed
1 lb ground turkey or beef
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup of cooked rice
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 tsp of cumin or to taste
salt and pepper, to  taste
small bunch of beet greens, chopped, or greens of your choice
large handful of cilantro, chopped
feta cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roast peppers for 15 minutes. If roasting patty pan squash, roast for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside.
Saute ground meat, onions, jalapeno and garlic until cooked. Add tomatoes, rice and tomato sauce.  Add cumin, salt and pepper. Add beet greens and cook until wilted. Remove from heat. Add cilantro. Stuff peppers with meat filling. Sprinkle top of peppers with feta. Cook in oven for 5 minutes.

Salmon Nicoise Salad

Last month, I had a few girlfriends over for Galentine's Day. I decided to make tomato basil soup followed by salmon nicoise salad. This was an easy meal that didn't require too much work. I am sure you could make the sauce ahead of time. It came out yummy and I will definitely be making again.

Getting the salmon ready
While I finished prepping, Yoshi entertained the ladies. We had a great time chatting and sipping wine.

Yoshi and our friend Andrea
Salmon Nicoise Salad
2-3 lbs of salmon fillets, skin removed

For the sauce:
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp mayonnaise
4-5 tbsp lemon juice
large bunch of  parsley, chopped fine
2-3 green onions, chopped
small bunch of dill, chopped fine
salt and pepper

roasted red potatoes
green beans, sauteed in olive oil with minced garlic, salt and pepper
mixed greens, dressed in your favorite balsamic vinaigrette
boiled eggs, sliced
red onion, sliced thin
cherry tomatoes
pitted kalamata olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce. Add to the top of the salmon. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Assemble plate with potatoes, green beans, mixed greens, eggs, red onion, capers and olives. Top with salmon fillet and enjoy :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beet Soup with Three Legumes

We are so glad to have signed up for a CSA this year. Since it is only the two of us, we opted for a half share and it has been more than enough food for us. It is so nice to get a surprise bundle of fresh produce every week. There is only one vegetable that we are still trying to love...



We are trying. We really are. We love beet greens. I add them to pasta, soup, I even made beet greens ravioli. But those beets...

At least, I have this recipe. It is delicious and a great way to ease you into beets. And the garnish is soooo good. It adds a nice kick to this hearty soup. Make sure you add a little bit of garnish with each bite of soup. 

Do you have a favorite beet recipe? Send it my way :) ...please!

Beet Soup with Three Legumes:
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
4 medium beets, peeled and diced
1/2 cup brown or green lentils
1 cup cooked chickpeas
3-4 cups chopped beet greens
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 bunch scallions, choppped

3 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt (optional)

Place beets, lentils, and 8 cups water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add kidney beans and chickpeas and simmer for 15 minutes. Add beet greens and 2 tsp salt. Simmer until greens tender, about 5 minutes. Add scallions and cook for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off heat.

For the garnish, melt butter in a small saute pan. Add onions, tumeric, cayenne pepper and cook until onions soften, about 15-20 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls. Top with garnish and yogurt.

Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup and Roasted Vegetable Panini

Every few months, my mother and I will meet up to do some shopping and have lunch at the Nordstrom Cafe. I can't help it but I get the same thing every time I go: tomato basil soup with a roasted vegetable panini. So yummy.

I decided to make a copycat version. The results are delicious. It does take some time because you have to roast the vegetables but the soup and sandwich are so close to the original, I have to stop myself from making this every week.

Nordstrom's Tomato Basil Soup
adapted from
3 tbsp olive oil
6 medium sized carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tbsp dried basil
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 28 oz cans peeled, whole tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup light cream
salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and carrots until beginning to soften, about 10 minutes. Add basil and garlic, stirring frequently, until vegetables have softened.
Add tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off heat and puree with an immersion blender (or allow to cool a bit and use a regular blender).
Over low heat, slowly stir in light cream and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a yummy panini.

Roasted Vegetable Panini
Sliced Harvati cheese
Ciabata bread, slice in half lengthwise
balsamic glaze (I used Colavita Balsamic Glace)
baby spinach
Garlic aioli  (I used this recipe from allrecipes
Oven dried tomatoes (2 tomatoes, sliced and placed on a baking sheet, roasted at 275 degrees for 30 minutes, turned halfway)
Roasted red and orange peppers (three red and orange peppers, cut into thick slices and roasted at 400 degrees for 45 minutes)
Drizzle a bit of balsamic glaze on one slice of bread, add baby spinach, cheese, one layer of tomatoes and one layer of pepper. Spread some garlic aioli on a slice of bread and top off your sandwich. Press in a panini grill. Enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pink Sauce with Shrimp and Broccoli

With the weather warming and no AC, I look at my oven with distaste. During the warmer months, I usually look for recipes that can be made quickly and will not heat the whole house while cooking. This is one of them.

I love pink sauce. It is my favorite! What I don't like is the heavy cream that pink sauces call for. Most recipes call for 1-1.5 cups of heavy cream and pouring that much heavy cream into my food gives me the heebie-jeebies. I was interested in substituting yogurt for the heavy cream. Cassie at had a recipe that sounded delicious. I tweaked it a bit for my own taste and it was super tasty.

This recipe makes A LOT of food. It was like the never-ending pasta bowl at the Olive Garden. Using plain Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream really cuts down on the fat. I did use a bag of peeled and deveined shrimp so this recipe could not be made easier.  I had some broccoli in the house and used that instead of spinach. Since I love me some spinach and pasta I will have to add it next time.

Pink Sauce with Shrimp and Broccoli
Adapted from

one 1 lb box of angel hair (my favorite) or spaghetti or your favorite pasta
1 tbsp of olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 can of sliced mushrooms or 8oz container of button mushrooms, sliced
16 oz bag of raw medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce (or more if you like more saucy)
1/2 cup of 0% plain Greek yogurt
the florets of one medium head of broccoli, boiled for 5 minutes and drained.
salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to the directions.
Heat oil in a large pan. Saute garlic and red pepper flakes until garlic softens, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes or 5 minutes if using fresh. Add tomatoes and shrimp and cook until shrimp is opaque. Turn heat to low. Add marinara sauce and broccoli and allow to heat through. Add yogurt and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spicy Indian Eggplant

Oh the glorious crap!

I called the local dairy farm to see if they have cow manure for sale for our garden. They do. 5 bucks for 3/4 yard bucket. That is a whole lot of crap. About three large wheelbarrows full.

My husband Jared and my dad when to pick up the load. Despite it being fermented manure, our yard exudes farm smell. I don't mind it much. Jared feels nostalgic of his grandfather's farm. I think my neighbors have been giving us dirty looks.

Yoshi thought all this playing outside was great.

Yoshi thanking my dad for helping with the garden.
Nonetheless, I am excited to get my garden going. I have my seedlings started and most are looking good. I even planted butternut squash seeds I saved from winter cooking that have sprouted and are looking healthy.  I also have zucchini, sweet basil, dark basil, lots of cherry tomatoes, carrots, green beans, green peppers, jalapeno peppers and of course, my favorite, eggplant.

We love eggplant. It is so versatile and can be incorporated into many dishes. This meal is so easy and requires no salting or roasting to remove bitter juices. Enjoy!

Spicy Indian Eggplant
2 tbsp olive oil
one eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
one medium onion, diced
three garlic cloves, minced
one tsp minced ginger
one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
one heaping tbsp of tikka paste
plain yogurt (optional, but not in my house)
cilantro leaves (optional)

Heat oil. Saute eggplant, onions, garlic and ginger, stirring frequently until softened. Add can of tomatoes and tikka paste and stir. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Serve over rice or couscous. Add a dollop of plain yogurt and some cilantro leaves.

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I am notorious for not eating a healthy breakfast.

I usually drink coffee and eat a sweet treat. Like a girl scout cookie. Or the leftover hard ends of brownies I baked the night before. There may have been a morning I ate a snack-sized candybar for breakfast (don't tell my mother).

My husband on the other hand eats a bowl of organic oatmeal with flax with a banana as well as some yogurt with fruit. Every morning, I get the lecture that cookies or cake isn't for breakfast. I sigh and continue chewing on my cookie as crumbs cling to my monkey pajamas.

So I was on a mission to find a recipe that was fairly healthy, filling, and yummy (i.e. included chocolate). That is, when Roni at GreenLiteBites posted this recipe for The Most Amazing Bowl of Oatmeal EVER!, I was skeptical but I had all the ingredients at home and decided to try it.

Guess what?
She was right.

This is super delicious! The small amount of chocolate chips is all that is needed to make this a decadent and yummy dessert...ummm...breakfast. It might not seem like a lot of chocolate but a little goes a long way as it melts into the oatmeal. Pure awesome. And it only takes about 5 minutes to make!

Banana Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
from GreenLiteBites
1/2 cup of Old Fashioned Oats
3/4 cup water
pinch of salt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
1/2 tbsp chocolate chips
Place oats, water, salt and peanut butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until water is absorbed and oatmeal is gooey, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add mashed bananas and mix well. Add chocolate chips and stir. Enjoy!