Monthly Archives: September 2012

Broccotta Casserole (Or, “Where DID I put my camera?!”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1 c quinoa (cooked)
  • 1/4 c rice (cooked)
  • 3/4 c ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 c shredded cheese (jack/colby/mozzarella blend)
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp dill
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

Broccoli, you say? With ricotta cheese, you say?And while there is rice in the dish, there is little and this isn’t just one of those “sauce over rice’ numbers you’re all so used to seeing from me. Actually, I’ve never made a broccoli casserole before (did I say that out loud?) so this was largely an effort in adventure. There was a head of broccoli in the fridge, and ricotta cheese that’d been sitting on the top shelf unopened for two weeks. There was (ass usual) onion and garlic. There was leftover quinoa and rice. Really, didn’t this build itself?

Start your finely diced onion and garlic in olive oil on ML then turn to dicing the broccoli into whatever sizes your palate dictates; set aside. In a bowl, mix together ricotta, beaten egg, garlic paste and a pinch of salt; set aside. Now that the onion and garlic are becoming soft, stir in the turmeric for that fun bright yellow color for which I would like to become the poster child. Stir in dill and let sit for a minute while you begin building within the pan’s walls.

Lay broccoli florets across the bottom and layer in the quinoa/rice mix. Go to the stove, fetch the garlic and onion and gently fold everything together. Sprinkle 1/4 c of shredded cheese on that. Layer the ricotta/egg blend over it all and sprinkle the top with remaining shredded cheese, black pepper and breadcrumbs like some kind of otherworldly pot pie crust. This is a good vegetarian fall dish that’s hearty, filling and feels decadent. 4 spoons!

Now, about fitting into something for that wedding I’m having in two weeks./squee

 

 

 

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Engaging in Other Activities

So I never did write out the recipe for that Dal Makhani I made the other night (how could blogging not be priority #1 in a person’s life!?), and then I used then leftovers of that to smother roasted zucchini boats stuffed with a garlic and kala jeera Basmati pilaf. I wrote recipes for neither of these dishes, which is a damn shame. I’m going to blame a lot of my absentmindedness on the fact that my mind is bamboozled by one new ring on my finger. I am engaged to the amazing woman who changed my life for the better in more ways than I know could be counted; yes, you should be so lucky — she is a yoga instructor who, from the beginning, began improving my health and accompanying me on the dietary forays on which I have jaunted. In addition that and knowing the longest word in the English language,* she’s an actress and singer. Not kidding. #ftw

*pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Grape-elling With Sweet Reality

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c red grapes
  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1/4 c white sugar
  • 1/3 c white wine
  • 1 c water
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal (any type but instant)

So those grapes that seemed so delicious and friendly because of that sale rack on which they so leisurely reclined? Yeah, over several days the entire bag has gone into just about every room in the house with the best of intentions and I cannot live this lie any longer. Time for a crumble.

Slice the grapes in half but not the blueberries. Put in a cold pan with corn starch mixed into water and white sugar (I have not opened this bag of sugar in nearly a year you guys), add wine and bring to a low boil on M. Reduce heat to ML and stir until thick. Mash together the last four ingredients above to make the topping and dollop on the grapes/blueberries; bake in a 350° oven for 25-30m and serve some hot then serve some cold — 4 spoons!

 

Relatively Well-Adjusted Salad

In my pantry today:

  • 2 small heads “artisan lettuce”
  • 1 large slicing tomato
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2/3 c feta cheese
  • 6 small red potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
  • 1.5 tsp blackberry preserves
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Greek seasoning

This will be the kind of pretty damn shame that comes with the camera disconnect — how aesthetically pleasing I could make a photo of a salad! The cacophony of colors and textures! And a salad with potatoes, now! I mean, that is both delicious and visually appealing… just take my word. Or click here for another happy salad with potatoes I done diddly made.

Scrub and poke the taters and rub each with olive oil and salt. Before individually wrapping each in foil, throw in a sliver or three of fresh garlic. Bake at 300° for too long until they’re soft to the fork. Split each open and arrange on lettuce, tomatoes and onion. Top with the above sweet sesame vinaigrette and feta cheese, then prepare yourself for a salad without a tutu on. 5 spoons!

 

 

Meatless v. Meatloaded

In my pantry two days ago:

  • 1/5 c black beans
  • 1 ear corn, kernals removed
  • 1/2 c Rotel® tomatoes
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida

This sounds a lot more complicated than it is — just mince your onion and garlic, saute on ML for a 10-20m then turn heat up to M and when the pan gets there, add a dash of vinegar and honey. Reduce heat to L and let sit for another 5m or so before you begin adding in beans and tomatoes. Mix seasonings with broth and corn starch, add to pan with corn and turn heat to M until a first few bubbles  pop. Turn heat to L and let rest for 10-15m before serving over (you guessed it!) rice with a little cheese on top for good measure (to remove the  vegan option on this already hearty meatless number). 4 spoons!

*It is of importance to me that on this day I also purposefully overcooked beans so that there are two more portions in the freezer for easy later use.

 In my pantry today:

  • a roll of pork sausage

So dinner the other night was excellent and meatless. Today — blame the steroids, because I’m not above doing that — I wanted to smell a big, cheap-ass tunnel of pork browning on my stove. After I met the odor quota, some was bagged for freezing, some grease reserved and then this:

  • 3/4 c browned ground sausage
  • 1 c leftovers from above (sans rice)
  • 2 c penne pasta

Toss all that together. NOM. 5 spoons!

*Also of note this week was the blanching, chopping and subsequent freezing of 10 giant tomatoes.