Monday, September 27, 2010

Roasted Tomato Soup

Nothing hits the spot like a bowl of steaming hot soup on a chilly day.  This roasted tomato soup from 101 Cookbooks does just that but I’ll have it even when it’s not cold out – it’s that good, although my love for tomato-based products probably has something to do with it too.  While roasting the veggies might take some time, making the soup itself is simple and fast.  All you need is an oven and a blender and you’re good to go. 

Have it alone or try dipping with a Panini like the Wuz and I did when we made it for the first time.  I’d imagine adding cannelli beans, kale, and orechiette topped with grated parmesan would make a decent light meal too.

3 large tomatoes
2 small onions
1 red bell pepper
½ green bell pepper
5 unpeeled cloves of garlic
2 to 3 cups vegetable broth
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with wax paper for the vegetables.
2. Quarter the tomatoes, onions, and bell peppers.  Place on the baking sheet with unpeeled cloves of garlic.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 to 40 minutes (you’ll know they’re ready when the tomatoes have wilted down and the garlic is soft enough to squeeze out).
3.  In small batches place roasted veggies in a blender and pour in some broth.  Blend well and pour into a pot.  Repeat with remaining veggies and broth. You can use water if you’re short on broth. 
4.  Heat soup in pot and season if needed.  Add parsley before serving.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Spinach Fettuccine with Salmon, Basil, and Lemon

This is perfect pasta for lunch that I’ve adapted from Giada’s recipe I found on  The combination of lemon juice, zest, basil, tomato, and avocado makes a super fresh and light dish that won’t weigh you down the rest of the day.

1 lb. spinach fettuccine, cooked and tossed with olive oil
~1/2 lb. salmon
1 large tomato, diced
1 large avocado, diced and mixed with a little lemon juice to prevent oxidation and browning
1 lemon, juiced
The zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch basil, cut chiffonade style*
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

*To chiffonade the basil roll up some leaves and cut into thin strips.  This might sound and look fancy but is easy do to!

1. Salt and pepper the uncooked salmon.  In a pan over medium heat cook the salmon with olive oil.  Use a lid to cover the pan for faster cooking.  Break the salmon up into bit size pieces in the pan, removing skin if any.
2. In a large bowl toss fettuccine, salmon, tomato, avocado, remaining lemon juice, zest, garlic, and basil.  Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and more if needed.  Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Kale

These mashed potatoes are perfect with the Country Style Ribs my boyfriend Yohan made.  I found this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and absolutely loved it but the only changes I made were adding in the roasted garlic and cheese.  Think of fluffy potatoes (yes, with no butter!) infused with roasted garlic, mozzarella cheese, and bits of sautéed kale.  I had always thought of kale as tough, unappetizing greens used as a garnish but this is quite the contrary.  Not only does it taste good when prepared properly but it is also high in calcium, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta carotene.      

5 to 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
3 lbs potatoes
½+ cup milk
½ cup mozzarella, shredded
1 bunch kale, large stems cut and discarded
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Place garlic cloves inside a foil packet and roast for about 30 minutes.  The garlic will have a paste-like consistency when they’re done and you should be able to squeeze them out. 
2. Peel potatoes and cut into cubes.  Boil potatoes in a pot until fork tender.
3. Meanwhile, finely chop the kale and sauté over medium heat until it wilts.  Season with salt and pepper.
4. Place cooked potatoes and roasted garlic in a medium bowl.  Pour in some milk and start mashing with a fork.  Continue adding milk and mash until potatoes are fluffy.
5. Mix in shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper.

6. Fold in sautéed kale (note: stirring too much can turn the potatoes slightly green).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Country Style Ribs

This is a guest blog post by none other than my boyfriend Yohan! Enjoy!

To a barbeque fanatic it's pretty sacrilegious to suggest boiling ribs, but when you're short on time and don't have hours to kill smoking your 'que, then boiling is the way to go! This recipe is quick and easy, taking roughly 2 hours for pretty decent ribs.

Barbeque Sauce
Once again, can seem like heresy but I like to mix 2 parts store-bought bbq sauce with 1 part ketchup and add spices as I see fit. I like my sauce a little spicy so I usually add a fair bit of red chili pepper flakes. Add pepper and a minced onion and you're good to go!

Ingredients for the Pot
-2 cloves of garlic
-2 tbsp. of oregano
-2 tbsp. of garlic salt
-1/2 an onion

Bring a pot to a rolling boil. Put ribs (~3 lbs) and spices into the pot. Turn down heat to simmering for 1.5 hours. Prepare the barbeque sauce and brush onto ribs in casserole pan. Cover pan and place in oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Enjoy!

*Note: I personally prefer beef ribs when they're available, but this recipe works for both pork and beef.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Creamy Mac Slaw

This is a creation my boyfriend and I made just a few days ago when he made ribs for dinner (ribs post coming soon!).  My boyfriend came up with the name “mac slaw” because it’s a cross between macaroni salad and cole slaw.  Isn’t he creative? It’s very much like the traditional macaroni salad you have at BBQs but with crunchy cabbage, sweet corn, and a little kick from togarashi, a Japanese red pepper seasoning. 

Togarashi* is usually sprinkled over udon noodles but our friend Chris showed us that it’s also delicious with Japanese mayo on corn on the cob, and this is what inspired my boyfriend to come up with a deconstructed “Japanese style corn on the cob” salad.  Let the salad chill in the fridge to let the flavors combine before eating; it makes a big difference in bringing out the spicy togarashi.  I can imagine substituting paprika or cayenne pepper for it, in case you don’t have access to a Japanese grocery store.

*S&B Foods carries two different types of togarashi: ichimi and nanami.

Serves 4-5

½ lb. macaroni, cooked
½ package pre-shredded cabbage
about ¼ cup light mayo
about 1 cup sweet corn, cooked
salt and pepper

1. In a medium bowl mix macaroni, cabbage, corn, and mayo.  Add the mayo in little by little, until all the ingredients are lightly coated.  Add more if desired.
2. Season with salt, pepper, and togarashi.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to let flavors combine.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins

When I have a craving for a baked dessert it’s usually not a muffin that pops into mind.  I prefer a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie or a berry tart but there’s just something about banana nut muffins with chocolate chips that calls to me.  Maybe it’s the moistness of the bananas in the muffin, or it could be the textural and flavor combination of toasted walnuts and chocolate.  Whatever it is, these muffins don’t get old!

The recipe I used is from with a few tweaks here and there.  I figured less sugar would be just fine since chocolate chips were going into the mix, and I added some chopped walnuts on top of each muffin before sending them off to bake.  Oh, and a word of advice.  Let them cool completely before eating.  The Wuz and I couldn’t wait to eat them once they were done but this was not a good idea.  They were just too hot and didn’t taste quite right.  So for all of you who might do what we did: be patient, and it’ll be worth the wait!

Makes about 10 muffins

3 to 4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup white sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 egg
¾ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
½ cup chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.  Line muffin tin with muffin cups, or lightly grease muffin tin.
2. Mash bananas using a fork.
3. Mix sugar, oil, and egg until goopy and light yellow.  Add in mashed bananas, walnuts, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips.
4. Add flour, salt, and baking soda.  Mix well.
5. Spoon mixture into muffin tin.
6. Bake (about 20 minutes) until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cooking with Angus All rights reserved