Category Archives: Quick Weeknight Recipes

Steal My Sunshine

Summer Tomato Sauce

summer_tomato_pasta_sauce

Working a Farmer’s Market is fantastic, especially when there are leftover tomatoes at the end of the day!  Second tomatoes aren’t always the easiest to use, but if you are willing to put the work in when it comes time to cutting they are a fantastic (cheaper) option.  It also means getting a variety of types, so I indulged in some research to figure out what I had and what it would work as.  A quick google led me to realize that the Green Zebra would be a fantastic addition for a stew or a quinoa dish – and I was really craving some pasta.  This left me with some Cherokee  purple, yellow pear, and Virginia sweet all of which were perfect for the sauce I was hoping to create.  All I needed was to go to my herb garden and grab a handful of basil, and figure out where the missing vidalia onion was hiding.

Steal My Sunshine

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 lbs fresh tomatoes, cubed
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, diced
  • 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 lb angel hair pasta

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes before adding the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to help break the tomatoes down. Add the basil along with the chili flakes and the pinch of salt. Cover and turn heat to low.
  2. Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until not quite al dente. Drain, rinse with cold water, and then add the pasta to the sauce.
  3. Stir the pasta in to the sauce, making sure to fully cover. Allow to simmer for a final 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/steal-my-sunshine.html

By allowing the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce it was able to suck up every last drop of tomato goodness, and also gave the pasta a fantastic pink shade (this trick should also work with gluten free pasta!).  Joe topped his with some cheese while I kept mine on the naked side, though as with any pasta dish there is no right or wrong.  The only important thing is to make sure all the sauce is fully enjoyed otherwise it’s a total sauce foul!

I’m also sending this over to Franglais Kitchen – where this month’s Simple and in Season is being hosted.   Also sending a HUGE thanks to Chocolates and Tomato Farm for growing and harvesting such tasty treats!

and Let Live

Taco Bowl

Taco Bowl

Greeting!  Today’s dish is what happens when you leave a crucial item off of a shopping list – in this case taco shells.  While I first debated attempting to make my own shells, I then realized a much safer option would be forgetting about the shells and going for the taco version of a burrito bowl.  I used the usual cast of characters when it came to the taco “filling” and then tossed it all with some rice for a simple bowl of delicious.   As an added bonus the jalapeno came from my own garden, tho sadly I can not claim the tomatoes since this year I only have the cherry variety going – but maybe next year!

and Let Live

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 2 cups presoaked black (or pinto) beans
  • 1/2 cup black olives, halved
  • 1/2 cup crushed tortilla chips (optional)

Instructions

  1. Soak the brown rice in the water for 25 minutes, set aside.
  2. While the rice is soaking heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and toast for 3 minutes before adding the remaining spices, cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.
  3. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the peppers. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until onion starts to brown. Add the tomato, beans, and olives and cook for 5 minutes stirring as needed to break up the tomato.
  4. Drain the rice then place in a sauce pan along with 3 cups of water. Bring to a quick boil, then turn hit to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and then add to the vegetable mixture along with any remaining water.
  5. Stir well and cook for a final 10 minutes. Add the crushed up chips and give everything a final stir.
  6. Serve and Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/and-let-live.html

Sometimes it pays off to forget something as now I have a new quick dish that has all the taco taste – just minus the shells. Plus it uses up random scraps of food that might otherwise have been thrown away, which is a HUGE positive in my opinion.  The taco rice can be topped with avocado, sour cream, cheese, or salsa – whatever your taste buds desire!

Note: Saying extra prayers today for all the family and friends who lost loved ones in the horrible attacks 13 years ago.  I’ve written before about my own experience before here for anyone interested.

We are the

Watermelon Feta Salad

watermelon_feta_salad

Getting back in to the swing of things and also getting back in to the swing of /r/52weeksofcooking.  One of the weeks I missed was a tribute to melons, no other rules or restrictions just all about the melon.  I knew from the start I wanted to do something with watermelon, it’s hard to pass by a stand on the Eastern Shore and not be amazed by the size and number of watermelons they have for sale.  As an added bonus, I inherited half a watermelon a few weekends ago when Joe and I went out to the shore.  After a quick internal debate of gazpacho vs. salad, I decided to go with the salad since there was only half left and I wanted something edible at the end of the adventure. The first time I heard of a watermelon salad, outside of the typical fruit salad, was on Top Chef back when Richard Blais made his first appearance. I then had it for the first time a number of years after, at a friend’s baby shower. Recently I’ve seen it popping up on seasonal menus around the Baltimore area, including a rooftop BBQ hosted by a friend! There are a few different versions with the variation normally in the herb choice. Some use basil, others use mint, and some use both, because why not? I went with basil alone, but as with any recipe there is no one way to make it.

We are the

Serves 6-8, as a side

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, cubed or balled
  • 1 cup Feta, crumbled
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine the watermelon and Feta. Place in the fridge until 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Meanwhile stir together the basil and balsamic vinegar. 10 minutes before serving pour the dressing over the watermelon and gently toss.
  3. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then toss again, and Serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/we-are-the.html

This salad was fantastic!  I served it alongside my SRC recipe and it provided the perfect light and sweet contrast to the spicetastic dish.   I still had some watermelon left over, even after making another round of salad – and looking forward to sharing that sweet treat sometime next week!!!

and Love

Mustard Potatoes with Chickpeas

spicy_mustard_potatoes_chickpeas

It’s September!!!  That awesome month filled with birthdays, cooler temperatures, and Renaissance Festivals.  Since today is the first Monday in September, in addition to being the 1st of September, that means the month is starting on a high note with September’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club.  This month I was assigned Easily Good Eats, which is stuffed to the brim with delicious recipes – ranging from the sweet to the savory.  I had a rather difficult time figuring out what recipe to pick, at one point I had “narrowed” it down to 10 before realizing that two of the recipes I was drooling over would not be well received by the other member of this house (silly people who don’t like coconut!).    This left me with lots of bean recipes, which isn’t so surprising cuz vegetarians do love their beans.  I debated back and forth between her tomato chickpea pilaf and her spiced mustard potatoes with chickpeas before deciding on the mustard – it was so different from anything else I had tried that I had to give it a whirl.   Since the recipe is already vegan all I wound up doing was adding a bit more curry powder, which could be due to the variety used in her version vs. mine.   I also double the recipe since this was for two instead of one – which still resulted in enough for two dinners and two packed lunches!

and Love

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb butter potatoes, quartered and peeled
  • 2 cups presoaked chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ tablespoon mixed spice such as curry powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes in lightly salted water until tender but not soft. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  2. Heat a deep saute pan over medium heat and toast the mustard seeds for 2 minutes before slowly adding the oil and garlic. Cook for an additional minute, seeds should be lightly golden, before adding the potatoes and curry powder. Stir
  3. Keep heat on medium and cook potatoes for about 6 minutes on each side, allowing them to slightly caramelize. Once all sides have been cooked add the chickpeas and stir well. Cook for a final 5 minutes, stirring to prevent the potatoes from burning.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/09/and-love.html

 This recipe was fantastic!  Not that I had any doubts as anyone who has over a dozen polenta (!!!!) recipes obviously has fantastic taste.  For more fantastically delicious treats be sure to check out the rest of the recipes featured in this month’s Secret Recipe Club!

 For my regular readers, I’m in the process of writing up a post to go with my vagueblogging from last week – and it should be up shortly.   I’ve also been busy in the kitchen, so hopefully that will prevent any more 3 weeks absences.  August was a rough month but (fingers crossed) September will be better.

Paradigm Shift

Buddha Bowls

 buddha_bowl

Summer time and the vegetables are going crazy! Perfect time for a Clean Eating challenge thanks to /52weeksofcooking.   For the most part I try to avoid highly processed foods, including fake meats, but there is something to be said about the convenience that comes with those items.  However, this week I wanted to go all out, so I decided to all incorporate elements of raw eating in my recipe which is what lead me to making a buddha bowl.  A budha bowl is a (traditionally) vegan dish featuring raw fruits and veggies with a whole grain.  I decided to use brown rice, but quinoa and barley were also debated.

 

Buddha Bowl

Serves: Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups chickpeas, presoaked
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 ear corn, kernels sliced off

Instructions

  1. Toss the rice with the olive oil, vinegar and fresh herbs in a large bowl. Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes, then toss again and add more oil if needed.
  2. Place in a bowl and layer the vegetables on top
  3. Top with cheese (optional) or nuts (optional)
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/07/paradigm-shift.html

I was lucky enough to have tomatoes from my garden, along with all the herbs, while the corn comes from the Eastern Shore.  I tried to use all local ingredients but I couldn’t pass by the avocados at the store without grabbing a few.  I could easily eat one, or more, of those each day – they are simply fantastic!  At some point I want to try the fried egg in an avocado dish but a bit terrified of having raw egg and overcooked avocado.  Anyone ever tried it before? Any tips???

In gardening news – I have no idea where I am tomato wise!  Every day I go out I grab another handful and they are amazing.  I’ve also harvested four jalapenos, with another 4 on the vine.  However no eggplants yet – three stopped growing while a few more of showing some promise.  They are a smaller variety so not expecting massive veggies but thought they would be a bit bigger than their current state.  Fingers crossed the random chilly weather last week didn’t stunt them or something.