Posts tagged ‘vegetables’

January 25, 2012

Minestrone

I could eat soup at almost every meal. I say almost, because there’s still brunch and breakfast to consider.

Propped, Prepped

One of my favorite parts about this recipe is the fact that for most people, a grocery trip might not even be necessary. I needed to pick up a zucchini (That’s right. Just one.), some broth, and pasta. THAT’S IT!! For me, that’s an incredibly short shopping list for something that’s a) so, incredibly delicious and b) SO much food.

Minestrone
Inspired by Cooking Light’s Slow Cooker

3 c dried Great Northern beans
5 1/2 c chicken broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large red onion
1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 medium carrot, chopped
32 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
2 c spinach
1 c kale
3 t Italian seasoning
1/2 t peppercorns, ground
1 c small pasta shells, uncooked (Aren’t you glad I didn’t make the MINIstrone joke?)
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Have Halved

In a slow cooker, pour in your Great Northern beans. Top with water. Two inches above the beans will be sufficient. Crank it up to high for two hours, until fork tender.

Pour chicken broth into a large dutch oven and turn heat onto medium.

Mince garlic, chop zucchini, and dice onions. Sauté all. Once browned and smelling delicious, add mixture to broth. The broth should be hot enough to look like this:

Add sautéed vegetables and carrots to the broth. Add tomatoes. Add spinach and kale.

Add spices. Mix together. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about two hours. Okay, you can simmer for about 30 minutes and get a similar effect, but the longer it goes, the more concentrated the flavors will be. After two hours (or until you don’t feel like waiting anymore) add your miniature shell pasta. Bring back up to medium heat, and boil the pasta in the soup. (Oh, the flavor!! The intensity!) Once the pasta is cooked through, the beans should be ready from the slow cooker. Add.

Spoon into a bowl (with or without a piece of crusty bread waiting at the bottom of the bowl). Top with Parmesan. Enjoy.

As a side note: Feel free to use beans from a can or precook your beans (as I could’ve/perhaps should’ve done) and add when you add the tomatoes.

This makes a LOT of delicious soup. After you add the pasta and the beans, be prepared to add more seasoning. Also, be prepared to freeze at least a portion. This is the gift that just keeps on giving.

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January 18, 2011

Pizza Night

The simplest meals– Ah, how delightful.

Pizza night is a wondrous thing. I would recommend that you use any and all delicious ingredients you have on hand. However, I always find myself buying ingredients excitedly for Pizza Night. Feta! Tomatoes! Kalamata olives! Spinach! Fresh mozzarella! Artichoke hearts! Mushrooms! Garlic!

Pizza Night

1/2 pound fresh pizza dough (You can pick these up at most local pizzatariums and a lot of grocery stores have started selling them! I only use half a round at a time, because there are only three of us.)
1 small clove of garlic
Marinara sauce or simmered down pasta sauce (Homemade or store-bought is fine.)
1 handful of spinach
1 medium-sized tomato
8 oz fresh mozzarella
2 artichoke hearts
4 kalamata olives
5 button (or cremini) mushrooms

Allow your 1/2 ball of dough to lose it refrigerator chill. Just sit it on the counter while you assemble your ingredients. But don’t let it to sit too long. You don’t want it to be stick-meister, clinger extraordinaire. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Stretch and form the dough into a pizza dough shape. Yep, we’re real professional around here. I don’t toss the pizza dough (anymore), but I do take a nod from the professionals: I stretch my pizza dough-draped arms gently away from each other then turn the dough 90 degrees, stretch again. Then 45 degrees. Stretch. 90 degrees. Stretch. So I’m evenly distributing the stretch.

Place on round pan or a cookie sheet big enough to accomodate your pizza needs or a pizza stone. Mince garlic and spread on dough.

Then spread the marinara.

Then the spinach. It’ll wilt not burn under the mozzarella.

I added the tomatoes next.

Oooh. Mozzarella. Fresh.

Slice it and put it on your pizza.

Then. Okay. Everything else.

Also, because your oven is super hot, I highly recommend taking the opportunity to roast some garlic.

Bake for about 18 minutes.

November 30, 2010

Oh, Salad.

Salad. For months now my thoughts about salads have not been kind. Ugh. All that effort for raw vegetables??? Boy, was I wrong. To all the bags of spinach and hearts of romaine, please forgive me for throwing you away after you just sat in wait in a crisper for weeks on end. I’m sorry!! I’m so very sorry.

Salad is terrific. Case in point:: today.

Oh, what a bounty I got when I went to the grocer’s today– vegetables, meats, dairies. I’m very excited about cooking. I think Thanksgiving renewed that for me. Thank you for all the support, family. Your encouragement meant a lot to me. More than I even realized before today. (I had a really hard time not spelling “toady” just now.)

Simply Chopped Tossed Salad
**A note:: You can substitute, add, or subtract anything you wish with this “recipe.” I love when that happens, because you can let your imagination work for you.

Vegetables::
Romain lettuce
Broccoli
Carrots
Celery
Cilantro

Rinse and chop each vegetable. Add to bowl.

Now, your salad bowl should be piled high with delicious.

In the bowl you’ll eat out of, mix your salad dressing. I used one of the simplest, most delicious dressings I know.

Dressing::
Dijon Mustard
Honey
Olive Oil
Freshly Ground Peppercorns

I think I used about 1/2 t each of mustard and honey and enough olive oil to make me smile (1 T??) and a little bit of pepper.

Then, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

Then, add your salad on top of that. Then, mix it all together.

And, yes, this picture is blurry. But no, I’m not going to give you another. Because I feel it necessary to convey my excitement over this delicious salad. Here you go, my excitement, in the form of a wobbly picture of some vegetables.