Tag Archive: easy cooking


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.

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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.

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 😉
leeks

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.

quinoa

Pasta 1 & 2

Kohlrabi, carrot & Kale over noodles

Kohlrabi, carrot & kale over noodles

I saw an interesting recipe in my weekly Fresh 20 plan (which I’ve been ignoring for a while) that involved kohlrabi stir fried with onion, garlic, edamame, carrots, and kale and served over noodles. Neither K nor I like egg noodles, so we made pasta instead. It was my first time eating kohlrabi. Meh. What intrigued me about the recipe was the seasoning: white wine, Dijon mustard & Herbes de Provence (or Italian seasoning :)!) and vegetable broth, with sour cream or Greek yoghurt added at the very end – that explains the whitish thing on the vegetables. It was a nice meal – very home cooked, and not too difficult to make.

I always cook more pasta than I need for a recipe, because it’s handy to have it cooked and use it for something else. I’ve been thinking about that white whine sauce without the yoghurt or sour cream, and K suggested pasta primavera would be a good use of left-over cooked bow ties (mainly because he doesn’t really like tomato sauce).

I also had left-over frozen edamamae, so, here we go, 5 easy steps to a yummy meal:

  1. Sautee frozen edamame, carrots and peas in a bit of grapeseed oil (I skipped the traditional onion and garlic at the beginning, because I’m tired of my house smelling of food).
  2. Chop some red bell pepper and cherry tomatoes.
  3. Mix up 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard with 1/2 cup white cooking (aka cheap) wine, Italian seasoning, and salt. Dump it in the pan with the edamame, peas, carrots, and red bell pepper. Simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add in cooked pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped olives and stir to warm them through, but do not cook the tomatoes.
  5. Sprinkle parmesan and fresh black pepper on top.
  6. (optional) get handsome black cat to pose with the meal and enjoy with some white wine (not the cooking kind, but I’m not judging!)
Pasta primavera in 5 easy steps.

Pasta primavera in 5 easy steps.

 

Stormy tacos

The snow storm made my husband and I rummage through the fridge and pantry to find dinner. So we came up with these tacos:

tacos

– refried beans on the bottom

– spicy fried potato cubes in the middle

– queso on top

I made a salsa “sour cream” out of Greek yoghurt, mayo, chopped tomatoes, and lemon juice (lime and cilantro would have been nice, but we didn’t have any).

The Greek yoghurt sauce would work well in a wrap, too – maybe with tomatoes and black beans for an easy summer lunch.

Anyway, it was yummy and we enjoyed collaborating on something other than research grants. 🙂