What to have for dinner? It was not quite so swelteringly hot as a few days ago and our pantry and freezer are full. We have a neighbor who has given us beautiful tomatoes and a dinner salad came to mind. I perused a variety of cookbooks, mostly French, to see what comprises a Salad Niçoise. Here is my version. With salads the amounts are not critical as it depends on how many folks are to be served.
For two servings I used the following:
one heart of romaine
one large tomato
12 or so kalamata olives
2 hard boiled eggs
3 snack peppers, one red, two orange
2 small potatoes, steamed
about 1/4 cup crumbled feta
one can albacore tuna
Divide ingredients and place pleasingly on the plates. I mixed up a simple Dijon vinaigrette for the dressing finishing with a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt.
These aren’t really recipes but comments on throwing ingredients together to make meals. Yes, I suppose that is what makes a recipe. Anyway the amounts of the vegetables in the following meals will be entirely up to you and what you have and want to use.
This is a bunch of tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms served over egg noodles. My Hubby likes egg noodles. When he makes pasta he cooks bunches of it. He does this for tuna-noodle in the summer and with spaghetti which then becomes his spaghetti pie. I try to cook just enough for the meals I am planning.
I have vegetables delivered weekly from Imperfect Produce. You can google that and see if it would be right for you. I may have mentioned it in a previous blog but am not sure. So I had a bunch of tomatoes that arrived green. I let them sit on my counter for a couple of weeks and they did turn red. Meanwhile I had 3-4 other tomatoes in a weekly delivery. And the mushrooms have been very nice lately. I am still trying to put more vegetables in our meals. We’ve done a lot of big roast ups of whatever vegetables are on hand but Hubby has let me know that he is done with broccoli!
6 or so smallish tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
8 ounce package white mushrooms
Italian seasoning to taste
Egg noodles or pasta of your choice
Grated Romano or parmesan cheese to serve
Boil water and cook the noodles. This will take 5-8-10 minutes depending on how al dente you like your pasta. You can use whatever pasta you have on hand. This might be nice with bowties.
Slice the garlic and sauté in oil or butter. Slice mushrooms and add to pan. Roughly chop tomatoes and add them to the skillet and stir together with a few shakes of the seasoning. The garlic will take about 3 minutes; the mushrooms add 5, and then the tomatoes for about 5 more.
Drain the pasta. We put our pasta in the bowls and then add the tomato mixture. Serve with grated cheese. Enjoy!
The cookbook in the title was written by Sarah Wilson, copyright 2015.
I have this book on my Kindle and find reading recipe books on my iPad more fitting than on the Kindle device. I was looking for sugar-free recipes for baking. This book is more about eating whole foods, eating the whole food, eating real food, and food that is good for the gut. There are many interesting recipes. I will be making the bone broth in my slow cooker soon. I found beef marrow bones at the grocery store.
This recipe is for a pasta/marinara sauce that uses no tomatoes. I was thinking of cooking ravioli the other night and Hubby says to go light on the tomato sauce. We are of the age that what we used to eat does not treat our bellies very well. Tomato sauce is one of those food items that we eat sparingly, even though tomatoes are good for you. So I think it would be a cool thing to give this recipe a try. So I did. The only variation from the book is that I used canned beets, not a fresh 14 ounce large beet from the produce section. I looked but the beets were small and canned beets were more economical. And my olive oil was not extra virgin, and I used dried oregano instead of fresh, and store-bought vegetable broth instead of home-made.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 14-ounce cans of beets (not pickled), drained
2 celery stalks, coarsely grated
3 carrots, coarsely grated
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (she states this is for the umami flavor)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Not wanting to coarsely grate and finely chop the various veggies, I put them all through the grater attachment of my food processor. This may not have been necessary for the canned beets but I did so anyway. If you don’t do that you will need to grate and chop the shallots, garlic, beets, celery, and carrots. Cook these in the olive oil for about ten minutes until the shallots are clear. Then add the sea salt, oregano, and the stock and bring to a boil. Then cook this at a simmer for 15 minutes until all the veg are tender. This I did not time seeing as how the canned beets are already cooked (aren’t they?) and I had thoroughly shredded the vegetables in the processor. So I left these on the stove for about ten minutes while I cleaned and dried the processor and other beet touched kitchen surfaces.
Now this gets transferred to the blender and the kalamata olives and lemon juice is added. I had thought of using an immersion blender but Hubby informed me that one attachment foot was broken and would shoot food upwards. We’re cooking with beets here people so that could be a big mess! So I got out my blender and poured the whole pot of red stuff into it. No one told me to let it cool a bit. So the lid wanted to fly off and the knob in the lid got sucked down tight into the lid. No real harm done. After the initial blending, I re-blended the sauce half at a time. This made just about 5-6 cups of sauce.
This does taste like a marinara sauce. I think using fresh oregano would have brightened up the flavor. I served a cup of this over the tortellini we had for supper. It appears a little pinkish but not overly much. I now have two pints in the freezer for future use.
I have completely adapted a recipe that called itself Provencal Chicken Saute. It did not use Herbs de Provence so I don’t know why it called itself Provencal. What follows is my version. And it is not a saute, but a bake.
8-10 chicken thighs, skin off
a bit of olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2-3 minced cloves garlic
14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
Herbs de Provence
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup sliced Kalamata olives
Spray a roasting pan and put in the chicken. Sprinkle this liberally with Herbs de Provence. Bake in oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile put a bit of olive oil in a skillet. Heat on medium and add the garlic and diced onion. Stir and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the can of tomatoes and basil and broth. Bring this to boil and let reduce slightly. This took about 5-8 minutes or so. Remove from heat and stir in the olives. Spoon this on top of the chicken at the 30 minute bake mark. Put back in oven and bake another 10 minutes.
I served this with egg noodles and a salad. The olives give this a nice saltiness and the tomatoes give a bit of sweetness.