A little something extra….

At Reagan National airport, which I frequent on my way to or from my corporate HQ, there’s a takeaway joint at the Jet Blue gates that for some reason never has the ability to cook the hot food on their menu. And because I’m usually on the last flight of the day and am starving by the time I get through the heinous security line where pre check is only a distant memory, I usually will need to eat something before my flight. Even if it’s cold. Hence the “love” salad, named by vendor not me.


You have your peppery arugula, you have your tomatoes (yellow ones here,just because)

Then you add your mozzarella and for an added treat, the joint always tosses the salad with some cooked pastina, the little star shaped pasta favored as first pasta for babies. Always makes me smile.

Add some basil, EVOO, and balsamic and toss. If you’re in the airport add a bottle of water and find a corner of an almost empty gate by a charging station and enjoy!

Just Another Meatless Monday…

We had really fallen off “ye olde healthy option wagon” while I was home for the two week yoga pant vacation, so in an effort to right the ship, or should I say wagon, I did some cooking over the weekend to get ready for the work week. 

 
Carrots, onions, red lentils, curry, turmeric, cardamom and veggie broth turn into curried lentil soup. Once cooked down, I hit it with my trusty mix stick and add about a tablespoon of cream right before service. You can make as spicy, or not, as you want.

  
I had half of a bag of French green beans, that were about a second away from getting schlammy, so I threw them into another pan with lashings of lemon, red pepper flakes and some olive oil. The Hubs was snacking on them off and on, the ultimate compliment… Would be great with some crumbled feta cheese.

 

  
Lastly, the darling of the “but it could be steak” delusional hoax, currently front and center on every cooking site and recipe list…behold the roasted cauliflower. I’ve made it hundreds of times, and have never had a leftover, but I was inspired by a half hour with Lidia Bastianich, on Saturday afternoon, and ginned together this “bagna cauda” or “hot bath” of a sauce for the cauliflower featuring lemon, olive oil, capers, bottled artichokes, some onions, garlic and basil. I wasn’t  too sure on Saturday, but a couple of days in the fridge got the flavors to settle in nicely.

   
   
 
The little bit of leftover sauce might just get tossed with some rigatoni, arugula salad, Parmesan strips and maybe a few cannelini beans! “Hmmmmm, tastes like steak…”

 

It’s Not the Same…

  

It’s good, but not the same….as the one you could make in the middle of summer with your own arugula, basil and tomatoes. You know, the kind of tomatoes that are still warm from the sun? And basil that perfumes the whole house when you crush it? 

I had all the ingredients for a classic caprese salad. Toss the arugula with some lemon juice and olive oil, add tomato, a soft pillow of mozzarella or burrata       ( pictured)  and a “paste” of basil and olive oil.

I don’t know about you, but I’m jonesing for July!

Just Another Meatless Monday

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I’ve been meaning to try this recipe for avocado pasta for a long time. I made it the other nite as a side for some pan roasted salmon with wilted baby kale and spinach.

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But it is ridiculously easy and satisfying way to prepare pasta and will absolutely be enough for a meatless entree, especially if you use whole grain pasta, and add a big salad. Drop diced avocado into your food processor with as much minced garlic and fresh basil as you like. Add about a tablespoon of good olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

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As Jamie Oliver would say, ” give it a whazz” until smooth, and toss with your cooked spaghetti. Reserve some pasta water in case you need to thin it out a bit. No cream, no butter, but very rich tasting! The Hubs loved it but reports that it doesn’t make the best leftover for microwaving, so make just what you will eat at one sitting!

Stop the madness…

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Still buying spaghetti sauce??
Stop right now! It’s zippity do dah easy to make your own. Sauté some garlic and basil and other Italian herbs in EVOO, stir in tomato paste and a can of crushed Roma tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I added fresh crushed red pepper and about 1/2 tsp of sugar to take the bite out and then finish with a pat of butter. Start to finish, less than 15 minutes!