Vegetables, vegetables! – 7/18/17

We have been kind of slacking off with our cooking since it has been so hot out. So I had a bunch of vegetables in my crisper that did not get used for the original meals I had planned. I did not want them to go bad so I made an all vegetables meal that I served in two courses.

First course, roasted cauliflower. I make this by cutting the florets off a head of cauliflower, putting the florets in a gallon plastic bag with two tablespoons of olive oil and some salt, mixing it all together and then putting the florets on a foil lined tray and cooking them at 550F convect for about 20 minutes. So delicious!

Roasted cauliflower

Second course, broccoli and cauliflower salad and pan con tomate. For this I made a vinaigrette with some celery seed and a bit of Splenda for a sweet and sour flavor and mixed it with some parcooked broccoli and cauliflower. The pan con tomate is a Spanish tapa. Toast or grill some artisanal type bread, rub the toasted bread with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Then take the cut side of a tomato and rub into the surface. Salt to taste.

Broccoli and cauliflower salad with pan con tomate

A healthy and heavenly dinner!

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Help! There’s too much food in my order – 7/17/17

Today is our anniversary and we spent the day up in the Sonoma Valley doing a little celebrating. We stopped for lunch and, Help! There’s too much food in my order!  For those of you who are trying to control your input, here is how I dealt with it.

Smoked turkey and mozzarella on focaccia with chickpea salad

First take the giant bowl of chickpeas off the plate. Next, take the top piece of bread off the sandwich. You don’t need that much bread plus it has a lot of the dressing on it. Remove one of the pieces of cheese. You can put all this stuff to the side on that little doily that was under the chickpeas. Spoon maybe a third of the chickpeas back on your plate. Take the bread and cheese doily and place it up-side-down on top of the remainder of the chickpeas. Finally, eat your lunch with a knife and fork. It will take much longer and be more satisfying. Also make a mental note that next time you eat here to order one sandwich and one side for the two of you!

P.S. If you are in a position to do so you can also ask for a take-along box and just put half the sandwich in it. This was not an option for me as we had no cooler with us.

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Tomatoes, tomatoes! – 7/16/17

As I mentioned we have a lot of tomatoes here. I am not sure what I am making for dinner tonight but tomatoes have figured prominently in breakfast and lunch. For breakfast I had a sliced Purple Cherokee tomato with a slim slice of sharp cheddar on a piece of toasted rye.

Purple Cherokee tomato with cheddar cheese on rye toast

Here’s a picture of one of her large tomatoes. We’ve used these for pasta sauce and on sandwiches so far.

One large sized sliced tomato

A note about our paper plate use. We have been using paper plates a lot since California went into a severe drought condition. We use a damp cloth to wipe them clean and then reuse them several times before disposing of them. It makes for way less water usage.

These slices went into a couple of BLTs we had for lunch today. The perfect BLT for me is two pieces of bacon, a large slice of tomato, light mayonnaise, Boston lettuce, and toasted white bread. I eat them open faced with the lettuce as a hand-hold on top. Yum!

open faced BLT sandwich

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Fresh tomato pasta sauce – 7/14/17

It is hot here and one thing that hot is good for is ripening tomatoes. Our daughter has been growing a lot of tomatoes in our town’s community garden. All sorts of types. She has some monster big ones, lots of cherry and grapes, and lots of heirloom species. Needless to say I am going to be highlighting lots of tomato meals.

She had used a slice off one of the big ones for a BLT so I had the use of the rest of it.

Penne with fresh tomato sauce

I boiled up some water for penne, sauteed onions and garlic, added some dried chile flakes and fresh oregano and when everything was ready combined everything with the cut up fresh tomatoes. That’s two vegan dinners in a row!

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Vegetarian balance meal – 7/13/17

Last night I had a burger and I am not apologizing but I do need to balance out that meal calorie-wise and ecologically. So tonight we made a vegan chickpea, ditalini, and vegetable stew. I make this frequently but I usually switch up the vegetables so it doesn’t get boring.

Chickpea, ditalini, and vegetable stew

Today’s vegetables are onions, green onions, bell pepper, mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, and kale. What a lot of goodness! I also have plenty of leftovers for lunch or maybe another dinner.

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Celebrating the Twelfth of July – 7/12/17

On the Fourth of July we were in the Shetland Islands which is part of the United Kingdom. Needless to say they do not make a big deal over our War of Independence! Not wanting to ever miss a holiday, we settled on tonight for our typical patriotic dinner. We had hamburgers and salad.

Hamburger and salad

A special thank you to our daughter who grew the wonderful tomatoes.

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Home on the range – 7/10/17

I am home again from my travels to Norway and beyond! I wish I could have posted more of what we had to eat while we were away but the WiFi did not lend itself to much in the way of posting.  I had to let my travel and personal blog take over.

So here we are just home late last night and I am thinking about what to make on this jet lagged Monday.  The best thing about having a set piece for Mondays is that I do not have to think too hard. It’s Chicken Monday!

Chicken breast with smashed potato salad and broccoli salad

John sous vide the chicken breast and I had mine with with BBQ sauce. Since it is really hot here, I steamed the potatoes and added the broccoli briefly towards the end of the cooking.I made a celery seed dressing for the broccoli and an olive oil dressing for the potatoes.

On a personal note, I gained four pounds during the vacation and now I know that I need to make healthful meals at home to counteract all the eating. I loved a lot of the food that we had on our special trip and I do not regret having eaten what  I did. There is no point in feeling guilty.

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