Tag Archive: Cooking


Roasted vegetable polenta lasagna

polenta roasted vegetable lasagnaI love root and other roasted vegetables. For this recipe, I roasted potatoes, turnips, parsley root, carrots, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and grape tomatoes. I use an olive oil balsamic vinaigrette with a bit of Dijon mustard and herbs for the roasted vegetables.

I then layered polenta slices with the roasted vegetables and poured on top a kicked-up béchamel sauce (made with some white wine, Dijon mustard, sage, and parmesan in addition to the usual stuff).

Granted, dicing and roasting vegetables is a bit laborious, but I am in L.O.V.E. with this dish.

I wonder what it would taste like if I used Thanksgiving stuffing instead of polenta…

This is inspired by a dish I ate at Duc des Lombards in Paris – where the béchamel sauce had a much heavier mushroom taste, and the other vegetable was spinach. We listened there to the lovely Cyrille Aimee – enjoy the song below, and may every day be a good day!

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Simple savory bread pudding

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We barely beat a major snow storm on the way back from vacation and found ourselves snowed in with no time to stock up on groceries – with the exception of a gallon of non-organic (gasp!) milk picked up at a gas station on the way home from the airport.

We probably have a month’s worth of food in the pantry anyway, but this simple dish was inspired by a 10-day old baguette I found on the counter. I mixed it with some stuffing, a chopped bell pepper, shredded gruyere cheese and left-over vegetable stock in which I melted a bit of butter. Warm, savory, and easy.

Tropical French toast

I improvised one day and ended up with this delicious baked French toast with pineapple, mango, coconut and raisins. I added some sliced almonds so it would contain something healthy 😉

Here’s a tip for kicking up any cake and French toast recipe a notch: add orange or lemon zest to the batter (or egg and milk mixture, for French toast).

I also love making French toast with tart cherries (I get dry ones at Sam’s Club) and dark chocolate chips.

I have not yet tried a savory French toast, but I look forward to something with sun dried tomatoes, parmesan, and spinach.

What are your favorite French toast combinations?

French toast with pineapple, mango, coconut, and raisins

French toast with pineapple, mango, coconut, and raisins

Rosemary!

This summer I have discovered how much I love fresh rosemary. Here are 2 easy ways to use it:

Make a dressing with honey, balsamic vinegar, fresh rosemary and salt. Drizzle on any bread (sandwiches, paninis, etc.).

The second is inspired from the amazing St. Honore Boulangerie in Portland. It is a white bean and rosemary spread. I recreated it at home by mixing, in a food processor, butter beans, olive oil, with rosemary that I had crushed with salt (just like you would do the mint leaves for a mojito). It makes a wonderful dip or spread for sandwiches – I love it more than hummus! Here is a white bean, rosemary and lemon dip recipe.

Rosemary balsamic with honey

Rosemary balsamic with honey

Green summer soup

This soup is smooth, creamy, cooling and refreshing – perfect for a hot summer night!

Pea, avocado, cucumber and mint soup

Pea, avocado, cucumber and mint soup

Blend:

  • frozen peas (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 small cucumber
  • handful of green leaves (spinach or kale)
  • 4-5 mint leaves (very important!)
  • salt to taste
  • vegetable broth (or water)

I sprinkled some cayenne pepper on top for contrast and to offset the coolness of the soup. Served with lime flavored tortilla chips.

I believe I might have invented this, but I am sure there must be similar and more precise recipes out there 🙂

Pearl couscous salad

Pearl couscous, lots of parsley, tomato, cucumber, bell pepper & cooked beans.

Lemon parsley dressing.

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Rainbow Thai salad

 

 

This came about out of the need to use up halves of various vegetables left in the fridge and eat a healthy dinner. I used:

  • mango (not too ripe)
  • carrots
  • red cabbage
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • cilantro
  • mint (no matter what, do not miss the mint! It adds tremendous flavor.)
  • peanuts (regular and chili lime peanuts from Trader Joe’s)

I was going to make a yogurt curry dressing, but I discovered I didn’t have any ginger, so I improvised by mixing a bit of lemongrass paste from a tube with yogurt, salt, and a drop of Dijon mustard. The dressing was very light and tasty!

Of course, the best part of Thai food is the peanut sauce… and we like it so much I figured K would eat veggie protein (Quorn chickenless chicken) if it’s doused in peanut sauce.

Thai salad 1

 

It worked! Here is the salad, served on puffed rice (rice noodles, rice, or quinoa would also work), with the veggie protein on top.Thai salad 2

This salad is inspired by the quinoa with mango and curried yogurt one from Epicurious.

 

 

 

 

 

For reasons I can’t quite explain, because I don’t know that I’ve had it before, I was craving Swiss chard. I found some recipes online, and used them as inspiration to saute the chard in a white wine and mustard sauce (the Internet didn’t say that, but it did teach me how to cut and prepare it) and, when done, I added in some cooked beans, chopped cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese. There are some interesting recipes out there with pine nuts and red currants (!) but I had some polenta left over and wanted something more savory.

I served it between two slices of lightly pan-seared polenta. (Confession: yay for instant polenta – I still can’t deal with the real stuff, but this is tasty enough for me.)

polenta swiss chardNote to self: here is another interesting recipe to try this winter: swiss chard and brown rice gratin

 

The mustard in the braised leeks (Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian) is awesome, Jenny’s balsamic roasted brussel sprouts on top. And the tempeh was really yummy – slightly browned then smothered in barbecue sauce. Store-bought polenta. Organic, FYI 😉
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The veggies were grape tomatoes, red bell peppers, and cucumbers. I made a light dressing out of lemon juice, olive oil, parsley and cilantro. Some good marinated olives would have added a nice kick.

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