Tag Archives: feta cheese

Roasted New Potato Salad with Lentils and Feta

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c baby spinach
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1/2 c lentils, cooked
  • 1/2 c feta cheese
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 tbsp sweet onion, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • dash salt
  • house vinaigrette du jour*

P1100487There was fresh spinach. There were potatoes. There were lentils in the refrigerator. With spring in what little prime it gets in South Carolina I didn’t want a hot meal, but it is because summer still isn’t here that I’m not sold on salads yet this year as a meal. What might draw that bridge o’er troubled waters? If you said “potatoes,” then you’re damn right I’m 1/2 Irish.

Wash, halve then toss your potatoes in olive oil, garlic, turmeric and salt. Put cut-side down on a pan and bake in a 400° oven for 40m. Let them cool for 5-10m out of the oven while you prepare a bed of spinach, onion and tomato. Top that with the halved, roasted potatoes… then top that with (cooked, drained, cooled) lentils and feta cheese.

I used some of our house vinaigrette du jour* on it — that’s just 1/4 what was left of our Good Seasons® red wine/olive oil dressing, more olive oil/red wine vinegar, some garlic powder, turmeric and asafoetida (lentils would be afoot). As far as salads go, this one gets 5 spoons both on the flavor and fullness front.

Fet-accompli!

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c broccoli florets
  • 1/3 c feta cheese in blocks
  • 1.5 c dry tagliatelle (bowtie pasta)
  • 1/3c olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1-? tbsp unsweetened almond milk

P1100313Simplicity is part of the song for this dish. Start garlic in oil on ML, reduce to L and let simmer until garlic pieces turn the lightest of browns; remove from heat. Take a small part of that and toss with broccoli, add a tsp plain olive oil and garlic/salt. Toss. Put on baking sheet in 400° oven for about 10m. Cook/drain pasta, put back in pot and add garlic olive oil and cubed feta. Toss. Add 1 tbsp almond milk and cover on L. Remove broccoli from oven, sprinkle with Parmesan and broil for 30-60 seconds. Take out and pour into pot with pasta. Toss and serve warm. 5 easy spoons!

Candy-Goated Crescents

In my pantry today:

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • 2 tbsp feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1/3 c blackberries
  • 4 tsp honey

It’s not Sunday morning, but breakfast felt like it with coffee, hot bread, fruit and cheese. Granted, I go into all of my “canned, refrigerated bread” purchases knowing that the amount of processing that goes into every can might turn my guts if I looked into it (so I don’t); though it is the poor man’s croissant I still enjoyed this with one pinky finger extended.

Roll out each crescent roll triangle and sprinkle a little feta inside before rolling and baking according to package instructions. When they come out, serve plates with 1/2 of your goat cheese and blackberries covered in 2 tsp of honey. Easy-peasy and 5 spoons!

Freshmaker for Two (or, “Not Every Salad Deserves a Post, but…”)

In my pantry today:

  • 3 c chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 c chopped fresh arugula
  • 1 c “zesty mix” microgreens
  • 1 sliced roma tomato
  • 1/2 sliced avocado
  • 2 tbsp Vidalia onion
  • 1 tbsp golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp feta cheese
  • 1/4 c homemade vinaigrette

Summer is near-upon us. I make a lot of salads in the summer. Now I will need to make a lot of salads with consciously varied creative interest for any and all who might Stumbleupon my blog. It seems like it would be hard to not get tired of salads, no? Right now I’ve got the CSA on my side with different weekly deliveries of glorious salad (and other!) potential. I am going to use it to my advantage tonight; it’s been a long day wherein I had to pay someone to tell me that I drank too much coffee. Instead of spending time in my kitchen I sat in waiting rooms without coffee. To be told that I drank too much coffee.

It’s true, it’s true; I just can’t believe I had to give what I saved yesterday on not needing new brakes instead to an Urgent Care. Who’s got two thumbs, one stomach fire and no health insurance? This dumb girl.

Seeing as how my afternoon was wasted, both in time and amount of coffee consumed, dinner had to be something easy… and salads, well, are pretty handy. If you do them right. If you don’t, you’ll be hungry an hour later and wishing you’d just ordered Chinese for the same payoff. The common misconception about salads is that they cannot be made a meal unless some manner of hot, delicious animal adorns their top. Not true. Just make sure you’re including ingredients that make up for the protein you might otherwise lack, and, hey guess what — vegetables have protein! There’ll be small quantities in the spinach and microgreens, a little more in the avocado and a good deal more in the feta and walnuts. There will be enough, via the combination of everything above, to make a hearty salad that rivals anything a “meat and three sides” plate could deliver. I always feel better about the choice I’d made for dinner after a good salad, and tonight’s was beyond the need for any exception: 4 spoons!

toFurst Time, Be Gentle

In my pantry today:

  • 1 package/block of extra firm tofu
  • 2/3 package whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 2 half-jars of spaghetti sauce from the fridge
  • 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 c Parmasean cheese
  • 1/2 c mixed shredded cheese
  • 1 tsp jar pesto mix
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper

First, pray. You have never before cooked with tofu and things might get crazy.

Carefully extract your block o’fu and place between two clean/paper towels for squeezing out the extra water. My plan going into this whole shebang was to simply make fried tofu. That is what the internet primarily suggests for extra firm. Maybe this block didn’t read its own label. This alleged “Extra Firm” crumbled into little bits and I was so not in the mood to make a simple scramble. This was my first time and I wanted it to be special.

And what’s more special than an Italian girl making lasagna, too, for the first time? Yes, I am ashamed to admit that. It’s very “40 Year Old Virgin” of me to have never, not once in my life made lasagna. That’s bad and I should feel bad.

So crumble that tofu with a fork and reserve a cup (for recipe below) before seasoning. Take your two ass-jars of sauce from the fridge and combine them, adding cayenne and black pepper. Then go to town on your tofu: add in the rest of your seasonings and feta/Prmasean. Fork it all, gently, to hell. Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a 6×6″ pan. Put in a layer of uncooked noodles and top it with a hearty portion of your tofu mixture. Do another sauce/tofu/noodles series and top with more sauce, a few extra crumbles of tofu and some shredded cheese. Cover and put in a 375° oven for an hour. Let it sit for a few minutes upon taking it out, then take that first bite and have a moment to remember that will stay with you the rest of your life. Go ahead, you deserve it. In fact, if you could shake your own hand while still holding that fork, you would.

Also in my pantry:

  • 1 c crumbled extra firm tofu
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 squares Ghirardelli 100% cacao baking chocolate
  • 1 c white chocolate chips

Put the tofu and sweetened condensed milk together in the food processor and allow them to make sweet, smooth love until silky. Pour into small pot, add broken chocolate pieces and stir over MH. When all is brown, pour into greased 1″ glass pan, sprinkle chips and press into the stuff then let set in fridge for a few hours. Then regret not putting it either into a pie shell or little serving cups as you take an otherwise-delightful spoon. This ended up tasting like dark-chocolate brownie batter and should have gotten put out to set in a proper pasture.

Ultimately, that lasagna was good enough to make it not goddamn matter about this dessert attempt anyway.

Li’l Matpe Cakes, or “U Rad!”

 

In my pantry today:

  • 3-4 c soaked-n-cooked black matpe beans (a.k.a urad)
  • 3 packets of Chick-fil-A salad croutons
  • 1 tbsp plain bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c safflower oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • Garam masala
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • Cayenne
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Leftover Basmati rice
  • Feta cheese
  • Sunflower sprouts ($4 Microgreens from the farmers’ market!)
  • Two packets of Zaxby’s Lite Ranch Dressing

First thing’s first — get a large bowl. In it, combine 1.5c of your beans (put the rest in the fridge for the not-too-distant future) and the following: egg, croutons, bread crumbs, salt, asafoetida and to taste: all above listed seasonings. Put the bowl contents into a food processor and pulse until the consistency-ish of what a ground beef meatball mixture.

It’ll be a little slimier in texture than that, for forewarning’s sake. But it will do the same thing as meatball mixture — make little balls! I made six, but feel free to experiment with ball size.  Heat oil until it’s at full M then add the balls. Press them a bit flat with a spatula. Let them cook until light-medium brown. Imagine Michael Jackson circa 1974; that color. Then flip them and do a double Jacko.

Remove them and put them into a covered dish (I put them on paper towels too). Put them in at 350° for 10m. While they’re in, mix the spices you put in the pattymush into your leftover fast food dressing packets (ultimately, this was about 2tbsp’s worth) and plate the rice. Remove the cakes. Arrange them artfully atop the rice, then also artfully top with sprouts, feta and a fork-drizzle of dressing.

Look here at how pretty this photo just prior to plating is. And see, now, what had happened was while I meticulously photographed this process from the beginning, we immediately dove into the plated results: food lust drove me from the camera and into the dish. I guess that means it was good?

[UPDATE]

I checked with my dinner companion. Her verdict: “I wouldn’t change a thing, except for maybe making them a little more moist.” And, dear readers, fear not: I had already edited this recipe before posting to exclude half the original amount of breadcrumbs used and adjusted the oven time. Watch those two aspects to ensure a moister texture!