Sunday, August 28, 2011

Challenge #22 - Taste the Rainbow Part II

I always begin lunch and dinner with a large salad.  So I decided to see how many colors of the rainbow I could get in the bowl.  I came pretty close...I fell short for blue and indigo.  In the future if I were doing a salad with dried fruits and nuts, I could cover blue with dried blueberries.  Again I threw this together with what I had in the fridge as well as a couple of new things to try that I picked up at the farmer's market.  Of course there are many variations on this as well.
Red= Tomatoes, Radish (I guess this is red & white)
Orange= Carrots
Yellow = Peppers, tomatoes
Green = Tomato, Zucchini (I think this counts as green & white), Spinach (base of my salad)
Blue =
Violet = Cabbage, peppers (how amazing is the deep purple pepper! - yeah farmer's market)
Salad prep
I cut and diced and throw all the above on top of spinach with some garlic and lemon juice, mixed, and enjoyed.  Helpful tip, I pre-cut a lot of veggies so I don't have to do so every time I have a salad which I why the above picture shows a large quantity of some items. Result below:
Rainbow in a bowl Salad
I realize have have quite the variety of tomatoes here, so I think I am going to have to make a tomato salad with all the colorful varieties that are in my fridge! 

Challenge #21 - Taste the Rainbow - Part I

I have read from many different sources about the importance of eating a variety of colors to make sure you get a good variety of vitamins and minerals.  Using the idea of eating the rainbow is an easy way to make sure you have enough variety throughout the day.  So I decided to try to put the rainbow in a bowl (ROYGBIV) when I had fruit the other day...Here's what I did with what I had in the fridge.  Of course there are many many variations on this.
Red= Watermelon, strawberries, pomegranate seeds
Orange = Mango (My latest favorite)
Yellow = Pineapple
Green = Kiwi, Green Figs (I guess the figs covers  a few colors)
Blue = Blueberries
Indigo = Blackberries, Purple Figs (again I guess the figs covers  a few colors)
Violet = Concord Grapes (From the farmer's market - amazing!)
Result a beautiful bowl full of mother nature's art.
Rainbow in a bowl

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Challenge #20- Macaroni & Broccoli Re-Work

When I was a kid, one of my favorite things was macaroni and broccoli.  So I decided to re-create this the other week to make it work for my new way of eating.
The No's: white macaroni, oil
The Swaps: Soba noodles, lemon

Soba Noodles
2 cloves garlic
Head of broccoli
Juice of 1 lemon

Step #1: Steam broccoli and boil water for soba noodles
Step #2: In a pan, saute garlic and add steamed broccoli & oil soba noodles

Step #3: Juice 1 lemon
Step #4: Drain soba noodles and combine noodles, broccoli & garlic and toss with lemon juice.
Step #5: Enjoy.  I went with simple for this, but one could certainly use more veggies than broccoli.
Soba Noodles & Broccoli

Challenge #19 - More Eggplant - Stuffed Eggplant Boats

Eggplant is in abundance at the farmer's market.  So I bought some more the other day.  I used to make eggplant hollowed out and stuffed with bread crumbs.  So I took the stuffed eggplant idea and decided to stuff it with veggies instead.  This is also a quick and simple recipe.
1 Large eggplant
Diced carrots
1 large clove garlic
1 small shallot
1 small container baby bella mushrooms (diced)
Few spoonfuls of crushed tomato
Salt & pepper
Step #1: Saute garlic and shallots (I sauteed with butter) until begin to get tender. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Step #2: While sauteing, half eggplant & hollow out leaving about half and inch of eggplant flesh.  Dice up eggplant that has been removed. 
Step #3: Add carrots, diced mushrooms, & diced eggplant to shallots and garlic.  Saute until soft.  Add crushed tomato to veggies.
saute veggies

Step #4: Stuff eggplant boats with veggies
Step #5: Bake for about 20-30 mins. until eggplant boat is tender
Bake stuffed eggplant
Step #6 - Enjoy!  These were really delicious.  I originally thought about adding basil but did not.  I think this was a good choice.  I f I had added the basil I think it might have taken away from the great mushroom flavor that was dominant in the dish.  The crushed tomato was an after thought as I started cooking.  You only need a little, I think it was a wise choice as it helped to keep the stuffing moist when the eggplant was baking.
Stuffed Eggplant Boat

Challenge #18 - Eggplant Sandwiches

This is a pretty simple recipe.  I had some lovely eggplant & striped tomatoes from the farmer's market and wanted to do something a little different.  So I came up with these grilled eggplant sandwiches.  I ate a bunch of these for dinner with a large salad, but I think they would work well for appetizers at a party.
Goat cheese
Goatmilk butter (can use regular butter, oil, whatever for grilling)

Step #1: Slice eggplants into rounds.  Melt butter and brush small amount on eggplant rounds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Grill eggplant until soft and grill marks are present.
Step #2: To assemble, place grilled eggplant on plate, top with goat cheese, tomato, & basil. Place another grilled eggplant slice to finish "sandwich"

Eggplant Sandwiches
Step #3: Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Challenge #17 - Zucchini Flowers

Although I have known about zucchini flowers, I never actually had them growing up.  When I was at Wholefoods this weekend, they had them and I decided to pick some up and give them a try.  I came home and googled recipes to get some ideas of how people prepare them.  Various recipes from stuffing and frying to stuffing with veggies and steaming.
So I decided to take a few ideas and create my own that uses goat cheese and sauteing instead of frying to have something that works for me.
Zucchini Flowers
Zucchini flowers
Goat cheese

Saute garlic and spinach, season with salt and pepper.  While that's cooking, clean flowers including gently pulling back the petal and removing the stamen.
In a food processor, combine goat cheese, sauteed spinach and garlic until smooth and creamy.
Goat Cheese Stuffing

Carefully open the flowers and spoon in cheese mixtures.
 Reclose petals to seal the top.
Saute stuffed flowers in butter until soft.  Turning as needed.
Saute flowers
Serve and enjoy!
Stuffed Zucchini Flowers
Delicious and savory!