Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese
When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was. With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium). It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science! Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot. The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).
For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale! To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red. I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be. All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!
Black Beans and Rice
I though fall had arrived – last week the air had that familiar crispness to it and the humidity was starting to drop to a more tolerable level. However it appears that Mother Nature isn’t quite ready to say good-bye to the warmer temperatures making me glad I was lazy in leaving my tomato plants outside “just in case”. This resulted in a few more cherry tomatoes, and another jalapeno – all of which joined together to make today’s delicious dinner. The other ingredients are all pantry staples, which means the dish came together in record time which was another bonus since things were a bit insane towards the end of last week (eek Holiday cleaning!!!!). I was able to toss everything together and let it cook while I attempted to knock a few more rooms off my seemingly never ending cleaning list.
Just another meal justifying my love for beans and rice – such basic ingredients that can be tweaked in so many different way to create the perfect meal. We both topped ours with some “pico de guac”, recipe for which will be up later this week! Joe also grabbed some chips to go with his while I decided to go with some extra tomatoes, either option being perfectly acceptable!
Sweet Potato Corn Stew
I mentioned in a post last week that I recently received a LARGE amount of tomatoes from Chocolates and Tomatoes Farm. Today’s post shows were the vast majority of those tomatoes wound up – in a delicious stew perfect for /52weeksofcooking’s stew theme. Since the tomatoes were all seconds I knew that I had very limited time to use them, and while the sauce took care of a fair amount, I still had a few pounds left. With the clock ticking I decided to improvise and figure out what I could make with the little produce left in my fridge. A sweet potato, the last of our Eastern Shore Corn, and a bunch of fresh herbs – perfect for a hardy soup. Plus the weather has taken a clear turn for the cold so no worries of overheating the kitchen! I debated roasting the tomatoes before hand, but decided that one-pot clean up was the right answer.
I served this stew with some French Honey bread, which is staple this time of year – along with my favorite Apple Cider Bread. This stew also included a variety of tomatoes, including the green zebra variety I mentioned the other day!
Note: For all my Jewish friends (and family), L’shannah Tovah!
Summer Tomato Sauce
Working a Farmer’s Market is fantastic, especially when there are leftover tomatoes at the end of the day! Second tomatoes aren’t always the easiest to use, but if you are willing to put the work in when it comes time to cutting they are a fantastic (cheaper) option. It also means getting a variety of types, so I indulged in some research to figure out what I had and what it would work as. A quick google led me to realize that the Green Zebra would be a fantastic addition for a stew or a quinoa dish – and I was really craving some pasta. This left me with some Cherokee purple, yellow pear, and Virginia sweet all of which were perfect for the sauce I was hoping to create. All I needed was to go to my herb garden and grab a handful of basil, and figure out where the missing vidalia onion was hiding.
By allowing the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce it was able to suck up every last drop of tomato goodness, and also gave the pasta a fantastic pink shade (this trick also works with gluten free pasta!). Joe topped his with some cheese while I kept mine on the naked side, though as with any pasta dish there is no right or wrong. The only important thing is to make sure all the sauce is fully enjoyed otherwise it’s a total sauce foul!
I’m also sending this over to Franglais Kitchen – where this month’s Simple and in Season is being hosted. Also sending a HUGE thanks to Chocolates and Tomato Farm for growing and harvesting such tasty treats!
Greeting! Today’s dish is what happens when you leave a crucial item off of a shopping list – in this case taco shells. While I first debated attempting to make my own shells, I then realized a much safer option would be forgetting about the shells and going for the taco version of a burrito bowl. I used the usual cast of characters when it came to the taco “filling” and then tossed it all with some rice for a simple bowl of delicious. As an added bonus the jalapeno came from my own garden, tho sadly I can not claim the tomatoes since this year I only have the cherry variety going – but maybe next year!
Sometimes it pays off to forget something as now I have a new quick dish that has all the taco taste – just minus the shells. Plus it uses up random scraps of food that might otherwise have been thrown away, which is a HUGE positive in my opinion. The taco rice can be topped with avocado, sour cream, cheese, or salsa – whatever your taste buds desire!
Note: Saying extra prayers today for all the family and friends who lost loved ones in the horrible attacks 13 years ago. I’ve written before about my own experience before here for anyone interested.
Mexican Corn Dip
It’s the first Monday of the month which means that once again it’s time for the Secret Recipe Club!!!! I was so excited to see that I had been partnered up with Jessie – aka The Vanderbilt Wife. After all, how can you not like a blog that sponsors so many amazing charities! For the longest time I was planning to make her delicious peach cake, which would have been perfect for my pit fruit entry but I couldn’t move past a certain dish with “magically delicious” in the title. I’m a sucker for a good dip, as evident from past secret recipe club posts, and since I was hosting a day of board gaming I just couldn’t pass up her Corn Dip. The only change I made was to up the spice level since everyone attending enjoys things on the hotter side.
Yes – this recipe is magically delicious and magically quick to put together! While most of it was killed the day of serving there was just enough left to serve on top of some chilaquiles the next evening. The corn dip added the perfect crunch along with a bit of heat which was perfect. I also took advantage of some local “early corn” at the market, instead of the canned corn – and while it’s a pain to cut the kernels off I’m a sucker for local produce. I also tossed in a green pepper for color and extra crunch, which worked perfectly with the corn and tomatoes. I served this dip hot and cold, and both ways was a hit!
Speaking of local produce I’ve now harvested three cherry tomatoes, with another 40+ on the horizon, and one jalapeno. At last check there were 10 (!!!) fairy eggplants growing and fingers crossed will be able to pick some this week! The cold snap we had the other day also brought some life back to my arugula so maybe that’ll give up another harvest? So far so good – just have to hope the weather continues to cooperate. Thanks again for stopping by for another awesome SRC!
Spicy Kale and Tomato Sauce
It seems the end of one growing season is already here as I look outside to see lots of wilted greens that weren’t picked in time. I’m hopeful that the farmer’s markets but have some for at least the next week or two – but soon I’ll be forced back to the grocery store in order to get one of the staples of my diet: kale. It wasn’t too long ago that I was living a kale-free existence, unaware of this amazingly healthy and tasty treat. Now that I know it’s there – I essentially add it to everything! It adds the perfect crunch with just a hint of bitter, which is perfect for me since I’m allergic to the more common acids (aka citrus). I also understand that kale is not for everyone but I firmly think that’s just because everyone hasn’t tried kale!
I served this sauce over some whole wheat pasta but spaghetti squash or polenta would also work well. What’s next? Kale cookies? Kale Cake?? Probably not, but I plan to continue this love affair as long as possible – unless I turn my skin green in which case I might back off.
Now for other gardening news: first red tomato has been picked! There is one more that’s on the verge of ready and another 3 dozen or so close behind. I’ve also jumped up to 8 fairy eggplants and 5 jalapenos 🙂 I have a feeling July is going to be a delicious month!!!