Thursday, July 30, 2009

Need ideas

Yesterday I noticed that I've basically become a vegetarian. I think in large part it has to do with living alone and not wanting to cook large amounts of meat for one person. But there's also health and environmental benefits to not eating meat that are pretty important to me.
I wouldn't say that I've sworn off meat completely, I still eat it when other people make it for me and will occasionally order it out, but for the most part, I don't really miss it.
But I do notice that my vegetarian culinary skills leave something to be desired.
I eat a lot of veggie burritos, quesadillas, pasta.... I do have a recipe for lentil chili that I LOVE (can't remember if I've posted it here yet. If not, stay tuned...)
But I could really use some new meatless options in the repertoire so please, share your faves!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Plans for tonight

I'm planning on a Martha-style evening tonight.... I need to bake off a loaf of bread for sandwiches this week and I'm thinking some homemade granola is in order. I've been researching some different recipes, but I'm curious what people like in theirs (in terms of add-ins- fruit, nuts, etc.)

Leave a comment, let me know your faves!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Farmer's Market Pasta

Summer is definitely in full swing here in the garden state! I made a pilgrimage to the local farmer's market the other day and man, I was in heaven! Peaches and blueberries and tomatoes, oh my!
Anyway, I probably went way overboard, but it was so much fun. I get really excited about fresh, local produce. So last night, I started realizing I needed to do something with it. I wasn't in a particularly creative frame of mind, so I decided to just do what I love doing most: Chopping vegetables. Don't ask me why, it's my favorite task. There's something hypnotically soothing about it. So anyway, I came up with what I'm calling farmer's market pasta. It was super yummy and crazy filling... extremely healthy too! I'm not giving proportions because, to be totally honest, I didn't measure anything. Plus, it'll vary depending on the number you're cooking for. So here's what was in mine:
Whole wheat pasta
olive oil
cannellini beans
Crushed red pepper
Green bell pepper
Shredded Mozzarella

So here's what I did. Started out sauteing onion and garlic in a little olive oil. (I didn't use much. You end up gaining some liquid from the juice the tomato.)
Add diced up zucchini and bell pepper and continue to saute until veggies soften. (I went super light on the bell pepper because I think the flavor can kind of take over if you're not careful.)
Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Add beans (note: these, I didn't get from the farmer's market. They came from a can. But I needed some protein). Toss in a diced up fresh tomato and season a little more. Allow to saute for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, the pasta should be cooking, forgot to mention that part, I think.
Drain the pasta, and toss into the veggie mix. Just before serving, toss with shredded cheese. Awesome. Tasted like summer to me.

Now, one note. These are the veggies I used because they are what is currently fresh locally. Clearly, this is not a hard and fast recipe, so feel free to change it up based on the veggies that are local to you (I'm all for eating local whenever possible!) And by all means, please post a comment and tell me about what you used in yours!