Showing posts with label olives. Show all posts
Showing posts with label olives. Show all posts

Jun 22, 2017

mediterranean burger

Happy Thursday! A bit of recap: if you haven't yet entered to win The Vegan Air Fryer cookbook by JL Fields, why not enter now? Contest ends June 26, 2017, and is open to US residents. Enter HERE.

This week's sandwich is another burger, but this one features a homemade patty. I was in the mood for something Greek or Mediterranean and something with olives and sun-dried tomatoes. And speaking of air fryers, you can pan fry these or air fry them.

This version of Mediterranean Burger (as I am sure there are quite a few!) features a tzaziki type of sauce, meaning it is yogurt and cucumber based.

The patty is made with white beans, kalamata olives, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley and oregano. It features a lot of those familiar flavors from the region. It's actually a simple burger to put together.

The binding is dried bread crumbs and I was pushing the envelope in this case because I wanted to see how much is too much crumbs. It turns out the limit lies between a half cup and three-quarters cup, depending on the moisture of your beans. If you add too much the burger goes from being too soft to being so dry that it crumbles.

The burger has some delightful pops of flavor because of the minced sun-dried tomatoes and olives and it gets a hefty kick because of the garlic in the sauce. Enjoy!

Mediterranean Burger
Makes 4 burgers 

Tzaziki Sauce:
1/2 cup shredded cucumbers
1/2 cup vegan unsweetened yogurt
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons minced fresh mint or 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and black pepper

1 3/4 cups cannellini beans
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup parsley
1/4 cup kalamata olives
4 halves sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
Sea salt and black pepper
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (not panko)

4 burger buns, toasted
Sliced tomatoes
Slices red onions
Baby spinach

1. Sauce: Squeeze the moisture from the shredded cucumber using your hands. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, tahini, herb, lemon juice and salt and pepper, to taste, a small bowl. Mix well and set aside. 
2. Patty: Add the beans, garlic, parsley, olives, tomatoes, oregano and salt and pepper to a food processor. Pulse until only a few beans are left discernible. Remove to a bowl and add the breadcrumbs. Set aside for 5 minutes and check if you need to add more crumbs. Don’t add more than a few tablespoons more. Season to taste. Form the mixture into 4 patties that fit your bun and air fry or pan fry. 
3. Assemble the burgers: bottom bun, spinach, onion, tomato, burger, sauce and top bun. Serve immediately. 

© 2017 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Sep 28, 2016

roasted garlic chickpea pizza

Last week I shared with you my Refrigerator Dough recipe. This week I'm using it to make a garlic-lover's pizza. I am a garlic lover and often times I hold back when writing recipes, but this one is full-on garlic and I make no excuses or apologize. #sorrynotsorry

Let me start by saying that if you haven't made this dough and have it handy in the fridge, you are missing out on easy meal times. The dough can be made into flatbreads, rolls, focaccia, pizza and even frybread. Check it out HERE (video) or HERE (printable) and whip up a batch; it lasts for up to 7 days!

This pizza boasts whole roasted garlic, a garlic sauce and garlic sauteed chickpeas and artichokes. It also has sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives and arugula, to round things out.

I roasted the garlic in the air-fryer and it was ready in about 8 minutes! And without any oil! I was thrilled.

The garlic sauce is a quick cashew-based aioli that is blended with some of the roasted garlic, before the remaining garlic gets thrown onto the pizza.

Like I've said before, the dough is ready when you need it and it is very easy to roll. If it is giving you any problems, just let it warm up for 15 minutes, while the oven is preheating.

A well-dressed pizza is always a welcome sight!

Bake it until it is golden brown and crisp. Top with arugula and more ailoli and you are all ready to enjoy a classy pizza night.

Roasted Garlic Chickpea Pizza 
Serves 4

Garlic Aioli Sauce:
1/3 cup raw cashew pieces
2/3 cup non-dairy unsweetened, plain milk (plus more as needed)
2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vegan lactic acid (optional)
4 cloves roasted garlic**
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Chickpea Topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 (15-ounce) can artichoke hearts, drained
8 garlic cloves, sliced 

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 pound Fridge Dough or other pizza dough
Vegan shredded cheese (optional)
Roasted garlic**
4 soft or oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
12 kalamata olives, chopped
1/2 cup arugula

1. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 475-degrees F. Use a pizza stone if you have one. Remove the dough from the fridge to warm. Combine the cashews, milk and nutritional yeast in a small saucepan. Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Transfer to a small blender and add the lemon juice, lactic acid (if using), garlic and salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding a few tablespoons of milk as needed. Taste and adjust seasoning and set aside.
2. Chickpea: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chickpeas, artichokes and garlic. Cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes, but do not burn the garlic; stir often. Season with salt and black pepper. Set aside.
3. Pizza:  Combine the pizza sauce with 2 tablespoons of the garlic aioli. Divide the dough into 4 (or 2). Roll or spread the dough on a parchment paper, out to about 1/4-inch thick. Spread a thin layer of tomato-aioli sauce. Add cheese, if using. Top with the chickpeas, sun-tomatoes and olives. Bake for 6 minutes on a baking sheet or pizza stone. Remove the paper from under the pizza, using tongs or a spatula if needed. Continue to bake until golden brown, about 7 to 9 more minutes. 
4. To serve, cut into slices, top with arugula leaves and more sauce. 

** Roasted Garlic. Divide a garlic head into the cloves; do not peel. Air-fry for about 8 to 14 minutes at 330-degrees F. Check the garlic after 8 minutes; if it is soft it is ready. Do not burn. Alternatively, pan-fry the garlic with the paper on. Use a dry cast iron skillet and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning. Peel the garlic when cool. 

© 2016 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.


Aug 11, 2015

marengo bowl

Because Vegan Bowls (AmazonB&N) is so close to release (September 15!), I can't seem to get bowl dishes off my mind. Although this recipe, Marengo Bowl, is not in the book, creating more and more bowl foods these days seems to be my norm as they are easy, complete - in terms of starch, vegetable and protein - and convenient.

I am a sucker for re-creating classic recipes as authentically as is vegan-ly possible, and Marengo is no exception to this self-imposed rule.

Legend has it that Chicken Marengo was created to celebrate Napoleon's Battle of Marengo in the 1800's. After the victory, Napoleon's chef searched the village for ingredients fit for his highness and found chicken, eggs, crayfish, tomato and wine. Napoleon loved the dish so much that he insisted on eating it before each battle, believing it would bring him good luck.

So the legend goes. How much truth there is in the story is debated by historians, but the dish does exist and I am here to make it into a vegan culinary dream.

The most difficult aspect of this dish to veganize is the fried egg, which is served sunny side up as the egg yolk adds a "sauce" to the chicken stew. I decided to use a quick vegan Hollandaise sauce to add that extra sauciness and flavor.

While the mushrooms (if we are to believe the original tale) were added much later, it has become synonymous with Marengo. In addition to regular mushrooms in the stew itself, I decided to add grilled trumpet mushrooms (also know as king oyster mushrooms) because they are substantial and have a light reminiscence of seafood flavor - not as much as the regular oyster mushrooms, but very adequate in replacing the crayfish, or shrimp that is a popular addition these days. If unavailable, use protobellos.

Get the recipe below and don't forget to enter to win Kittee Berns' amazing Ethiopian cookbook, Teff Love, HERE.

Marengo Bowl
Serves 4

Hollandaise: 3 tablespoons vegan mayo 2 tablespoons unsweetened plain vegan milk 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice ½ teaspoon dijon mustard ⅛ teaspoon ground turmeric Pinch cayenne Sea salt and ground black pepper Sautee: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, sliced thin 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 garlic cloves, sliced ½ teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 bay leaf 8 ounces crimini or button mushrooms, quartered 1 cup dry marsala or sherry 1 (15 - 18 ounce) can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand ½ cup water ½ cup sliced black olives Grill: 4 trumpet (or king oyster) mushrooms, trimmed and cut into ½-inch thick slices 2 teaspoons olive oil Cooked rice, as needed 2 tablespoons minced parsley. 1. Hollandaise: Combine the mayo, milk, juice, mustard, turmeric and cayenne in a small microwave-safe bowl. Whip with a whisk to combine and season with salt and black pepper. When needed, warm in a microwave in 20 second intervals until heated through. 2. Sautee: Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, chickpeas, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and cook until the onions and chickpeas are lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the onion and beans and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the mushrooms. Cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half. Add the tomatoes, water and reserved onions and beans and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes. Add the olives and a 2 to 3 tablespoons of water if the sautee is too dry. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. 3. Grill: Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Combine the trumpet mushrooms, olive oil and salt and black pepper, to taste, in a medium bowl. Toss to combine. Grill the mushrooms until tender, 3 minutes per side in the covered grill pan. turning the mushrooms a quarter turn after 2 minutes. 4. Assembly: Serve the sauce over the cooked rice in shallow bowls. Garnish with a few slices of grilled mushrooms, hollandaise sauce and parsley. Serve.

© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Apr 12, 2015

dump dinner: pasta puttanesca

After a bit of research into what dump dinners actually are, I've discovered that there are basically four kinds of "dumps:"

1. Slow cooker meals
2. Pressure cooker meals
3. Oven meals
4. Stove-top meals

In each instance, the ingredients ideally go straight into the cooking vessel and after heat and time, out comes a meal ready for the table.

The distinct omission in these kinds of recipes is the lack of flavor development that comes with something like sauteing, for instance. You just cannot get the same flavor from an onion that you merely boil instead of cook in a bit of fat. 

Since I am not cooking with oil for the time being (trying out the Forks Over Knives, Engine 2 Diet and McDougall plan) I figured this is the best time to try my hand at real, true Dump Dinners. That means no sauteeing and everything goes in at once.

Making a dump pasta dinner was my next challenge. Instead of cooking everything separately, I made this meal entirely in the oven. If any pasta dish is great as a dump meal, it would be Pasta Puttanesca. This dish is a tomato and olive based pasta meal.

I used white pasta here because I just wasn't sure how the meal would cook up, but since this went really well, I will make subsequent pasta dishes with whole grain pasta instead.

In my recipe I used extra firm tofu, but I am recommending baked tofu instead, although you could omit the tofu completely; the recipe is flexible.

Without further chatter from me, below is my take on the pasta dish in true dump style.

Pasta Puttanesca
Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes for assembly and pre-heat, 5 minutes of sit time
Cook Time: 50 minutes

1 (15 to 18-ounce) can whole tomatoes, undrained
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 (4 to 5-ounce) jar kalamata olives, drained
2 tablespoons drained capers
2 tablespoons tomato paste or ¼ cup tomato concentrate
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¾ teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
10 ounces pasta (increase broth to 3 cups if using whole wheat pasta)
1 (10-ounce) package baked tofu, cut into ¼-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
2 tablespoons minced parsley, optional

1. Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Transfer the tomatoes to a large oven-safe pot, breaking up the tomatoes as you add them. Add the broth, olives, capers, paste. oregano, salt and black pepper. Stir well to incorporate the tomato paste into the water. Add the pasta, tofu and garlic. Make sure all the pasta is submerged in the liquid. Cover the pot tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
2. Uncover the pot carefully, stir the pasta and continue to bake until the pasta is tender, about 20 more minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parsley, if using.

Quick Tip: Preheat oven while you chop and assemble the dish.

© 2015 Copyright Zsu Dever. All rights reserved.

Pin it!

Jan 5, 2013

greek chopped salad + pickled onions and creamy dressing

The beauty of a chopped salad is that you get to have everything that is in the salad in every single bite. And the joy of a chopped salad is that you personally prepare every single of those bites as you dice all of the ingredients. 
A bowl of love. 

The roasted pepper here is freshly roasted. I love the aroma the house assumes as a fresh pepper is being charred. And really, it is so easy. This recipe calls for a roasted red pepper. You can use jarred, but the time it takes from stove-top burner to bowl is just enough time to cook the pepper yourself.

 Roast the pepper on your burner, turning it a few times until it is charred, throw it into a bowl, cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and allow it to steam for 15 minutes. Remove wrap, place pepper on wrap and, using your hands, peel and seed. Place pepper in the now empty bowl. Head to the sink to wash your hands (not the pepper!), return to the plastic wrap, fold it over a few times and toss. Chop pepper.
 See how simple? 

That gorgeous pink-ish red onion on top of the salad is quickly pickled, thereby removing the "bite" of a raw onion, and is ready by the time your salad and pepper is also done, around 30 minutes.

The dressing here is a cross between creamy-style and a vinaigrette --- really the best of both kinds of dressings.

The "feta" is homemade. It is turning out better and better each time I make it, so look for the recipe real soon. Incidentally, it is raw, using the same technique that rejuvelac-inspired raw cheeses are based on, so just use one of those raw cheeses (or any creamy cheese - diced Daiya Wedges would be great!) as your feta replacement.

The salad is packed with protein, including beans and kale, in addition to cucumbers, olives, tomatoes, romaine and carrots.

We loved this salad!

Cost Breakdown

lettuce, kale: $3
cuke, tomato, onion, carrot: $3
dressing: $1
beans: $2
olives: $.50

Total to make 6 servings:

Nov 11, 2012

loaded nachos

Back in Texas, before we were vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter, David was supremely fond of Chili con Queso, cheese sauce with chilies. Having grown up near the border, he tends to be particularly fussy regarding Mexican-style food - especially this cheese sauce. 

I have been working on making a cheese sauce that does not utilize commercial brands of cheese such as Follow Your Heart and Daiya and still tastes like cheese; this is just what I have come up with. David was extremely happy and satisfied with this recipe, and if you have fond memories of creamy, velvety, cheese sauce, I encourage you to give this a try. 

The sauce is great as is, but because he was a dedicated fan of the Chile con Queso, I made this version with diced tomatoes and diced chilies. 

 The recipe uses roasted red peppers, which have a tendency to mold before being used all up, so after giving this recipe a try and deciding that it will be a regular meal ingredient, measure out your three tablespoons portions into ice cube containers or just mounded on a cookie sheet. Freeze and move the frozen mounds of red pepper into a freezer bag. Thaw a portion a bit before making a batch of the sauce and you won't again be reaching into your fridge only to find ruined red peppers.

We wound up licking the bowl clean and making it a requirement that the kids learn how to make this in order to ensure them a more delicious future. The sauce is easy enough to make and truly worth the effort.

Cost Breakdown

beans: $2
chips: $3
olives, onions, jalapeno, lettuce, avocado: $2.50
sauce: $2
tomato and chili: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Feb 1, 2012

enchitaco + enchinacho

Enchiladas are another one of those meals that everyone always wants at our house. I know if they get it as often as they wish for it, they'll get tired of it - and then there goes a tried-and-true.

So I put another spin on the enchilada, while making it easier to make, to boot. For some reason my family has not been so hot about tacos; another of those over-made meals, I suppose. Or maybe I just haven't jazzed it up enough. I blame this on them, too. Whenever I have the slightest variation in an old favorite, I get called on the carpet, "It's not the same!"

Not that that ever stops me.

This variation of the enchilada is to make it into a taco, hence Enchitaco. I cooked the beans with the enchilada sauce, melted some cheese (Daiya) into it at the end, layered it into a hard taco shell, added lettuce, tomato, olives, sour cream (Tofutti) and a bit more sauce.

This was so well received that when we ran out of hard shells, we made Enchinachos - same idea, but layered onto warmed tortilla chips. By the time I got the camera set up again to take a pic of it, it was all gone. I should have photographed the empty plate, but that would have been just plain mean.
 Oh! man was this good!
 Isn't there some football thing coming up? This is a great version of the nachos if you're thinking of feeding anyone. 

Cost Breakdown

oil, onion, flour, spices: $1
tomato sauce: $2
beans, corn: $5
Daiya, tofutti: $3
nacho chips or shells: $3
olives, lettuce, peppers: $2
Total to make 16 tacos:

Dec 30, 2011

peruvian stew with walnut and pepper sauce

With the New Year so close, I thought I would dig into my new cookbook collection and give a sample of a few of them, especially if you are new to veganism. 

As you must know, one of my absolute favorite authors is Bryanna Clark Grogan. No surprise, I am sure that she is a favorite among many of you as well, being such a pioneer in vegan cooking as far as I am concerned. She was one of the first ones who made vegan delicious for me and introduced me to many techniques to make vegan successful. 

A few of my first books were:
 Simply Heavenly  by George Burke - yes, I still own my one copy that I was lucky enough to buy before it went out of print again. Simply Heavenly was my first successful introduction to seitan. 
New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook by Hagler and Bates, with their simple and rustic recipes. It is a perfect segue into veganism. 
Then came Bryanna, and I knew for the first time that year that our family was going to be okay.

Since then, Robin Robertson, Tami Noyes and Isa Chandra are among my super stars of cooking. You really can't go wrong with any of them. 

New Year, New You, and no excuses.

My first cookbook in my international week line-up is Bryanna's new one - World Vegan Feast.  The first thing I noticed about this book is that she has ingeniously included some (most?) of the recipes from her Vegan Feast Newsletter. Love it! 

I made the first international (aren't they all that, though??) recipe that jumped out at me, Peruvian Stew with Pepper and Walnut Sauce, mainly because it uses aji pepper paste. I have 25 pounds of dried aji peppers and love using them simply anyway it is remotely appropriate. 

This dish was delicious and unusual! It makes a lot of sauce and I advise you to double the potatoes in the recipe. We still have some of the sauce left over - which isn't a problem if you can make more potatoes right away, however, at the dinner table, it is not so optimal. Trust me, make extra.

The sauce is beautifully thickened, flavorful with walnuts and parm cheese (recipe is in the book). This is poured over Crispy Tofu and boiled potatoes. I roasted my potatoes, but that is totally optional and more than likely not at all authentic. 

This and 197 other recipes await you.

Sep 7, 2011

muffoletta salad

Central Grocery store in New Orleans is the site of the first Muffoletta sandwich, said to have been invented by Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. In the late 1800's there was an influx of Italian immigrants who found their homes in New Orleans and became sort of Creole-Italians. This sandwich is mainly known for its olive salad, but the bread the sandwich is traditionally served on is itself also known as a mufuletta, a close cousin of the focacccia bread. 

Legend has it that Salvatore's grocery customers would buy some meats, cheeses, olive salad and bread and eat them individually, the ingredients balancing perilously on their knees. Salvatore offered to slice the bread and layer everything into it. And so was born the Muffoletta Sandwich. 

Since this sandwich has earned quite a bit of popularity and since Tami and Celine have the sandwich world well in hand, I decided to convert this sandwich into a salad. The Olive Salad part of this salad is the main component and well made ones are sought after with gusto. My Olive Salad is bursting with green and black olives, pimientos, sun-dried tomatoes (not authentic), garlic, capers, pickled cauliflower and carrots, pepperocinis, olive oil and herbs. I couldn't let the bread just disappear; I made fresh croutons with some Italian bread, laced with plenty of garlic and oregano. 

The Muffoletta Salad is vegan cold cuts, Follow your Heart cheeses, pear tomatoes, grilled onions and the Olive Salad covering shredded lettuce. The dressing is the olive salad itself with the acid coming from the pickled fruits and the olive oil providing the body. Julienne everything, even shredding the lettuce, and you are transported to the Central Grocer, circa 1906, sitting with Salvatore, enjoying a new rendition of his now-infamous sandwich, inhaling a bit of history with each bite.  

Cost Breakdown

3/4 of olive salad: $7.50
lettuce, tomatoes: $2
FYH cheese and Yves: $4
pine nuts: $1
bread: $.50
Total to feed 6 people:


Mar 3, 2011

italian big bowl

What do you get when you mix Post Punk Kitchen with American Vegan Kitchen?

One fabulous week of Tami's recipes!

PPK has been hosting Cookbook Kitchen 2 - cooking from cookbooks each week for a total 12 weeks. I have been holding out to join during AVK's turn and here it is.

First up is Italian Big Bowl.

This is the prime place to use the pasta sauce to infuse flavor into the noodles. Just add the noodles to the sauce along with a cup or two of the pasta cooking water and cook the whole thing together for a few minutes. This pasta contains sausage (I used Gimme Lean), fennel seeds, tomato paste, red peppers, olives, capers and I threw in some spinach leaves.

De-licious! Like most of Tami's recipes, this is another one that is fast and simple.

Cost Breakdown

sausage: $3
tomato, garlic, olives, capers, veg. broth:  $2
pasta: $3
spinach, spices: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Jan 21, 2011

vegan hero

Who's your Vegan Hero?
Ones that pop to mind might be quite numerous - Marcus, Singer, Camp, Espinosa, Watson, Clark-Grogan, Robertson, Noyes, Messina, Moskowitz, DeGeneres, Newkirk, Baldwin, Barnard, Chavez, Harrelson, Harper, Hannah, Hynde, Kucinich, Lewis, Lyman, Mackey, Piraro, Pitt, Portman, Walker, Wynn, Weird Al, Mills, and the list goes on and on...

Today's lunch held the ideal of a hero plainly in sight by using all vegan ingredients. The cheese is Follow Your Heart sliced thin, the meatless cold cuts are Yves, Tofurkey and Smart Deli. There is avocado, veganaise, mustard, tomato, pickles, sprouts, lettuce, onion, bell pepper, olives, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar on this bad-boy. The bread should have been whole wheat, but Whole Foods was out and the kids needed lunch.

Really terrific looking and tasting. Remember, we eat with our eyes first and this sammich wouldn't have been the same had it been cut before the diners had a chance to see it.

Cost Breakdown

cold cuts: $5
FYH cheese: $3
veganaise, mustard, v&o: $1
veggies: $3
fruit: $2
bread: $2
Total to make 5 servings:

Dec 9, 2010

roasted tomatoes and olives pasta

You know you've crossed some sort of fast-food, canned-soup, frozen-meals border when your teen is demanding a home cooked meal. I have been admittedly reluctant to reenter the kitchen since the MoFo and last week's Teen Dance we hosted. I made so much food that David and I wound up buying a freezer. Okay, so it was an excuse, but it is certainly helpful to have the extra space.

Without hesitation, my daughter wanted Pasta Puttanesca, my son wanted Pasta with Spaghetti Sauce and the youngest one was craving Mama's Bean Soup. Since I felt a wee-bit guilty at my laziness, I granted all of them their meal choices - something I do not typically do and do not recommend anyone do so either. Bad habit.

Tonight it wasn't too much of a stress though. I had a 2# container of cherry tomatoes and a wonderful jar of olives sitting in the fridge (the olives, not the tomatoes). I roasted the tomatoes on 450 until they got a little charred and released their juices. I tossed them with crushed red pepper, olives, pasta and some of the reserved pasta water.

Good tip: always reserve a cup of the pasta water in case your dish needs some more liquid. The starch in the water also helps to thicken the sauce.

Traditional Puttanesca contains capers and anchovies as well, but I know my kids didn't want the extra pungency (replace the anchovies with some miso when you toss it all together), so I skipped the capers and miso. In other words, this isn't a typical Puttanesca but instead a very easy, very delicious, very quick weeknight meal.
 A great way to get back in the kitchen.

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $2
tomatoes: $4
olives: $2
Total to make 4 servings:

Oct 19, 2010

italian rice casserole

Italian Night

Having to come home pretty late, I needed to plan something that would be easy and pretty hands-off. I cooked an Italian rice casserole full of vegetables: onion, garlic, pepper, spinach, olives, chickpeas and green beans.

After all the vegetables were chopped and the garlic, onion, chickpeas and peppers were sauteed, there was nothing to do but add the rice, the rest of the vegetables and stock. I baked it for 40 minutes and dinner was on the table without a whole bunch of hassle. The taste was pretty nice, too, so this was a success as far as I was concerned.

Cost Breakdown;
rice: $1
green beans, spinach: $3
olives, onion, garlic: $1
peppers: $2
chickpeas: $2
Total to feed a family of 8:

Sep 25, 2010

italian casserole

This meal somehow got moved from its intended night to the next day. Funny how things like this can happen at my home...

This casserole is mostly like a layered potato dish, but without milk or cheese (nondairy, of course). Instead it has fresh tomatoes, olives and an herb paste - garlic, basil, parsley and oregano - topped with fresh bread crumbs.

I have to say that fresh bread crumbs are the way to go - just take a few pieces of bread and grind them in a food processor or blender. It tastes so much better than dried crumbs.

As for the casserole, it was a refreshing dish, with the fresh tomatoes and herbs, but the kids weren't that into it.

It didn't have the big, bold flavors that I expected, but I was still pleased. A bountiful bowl of fresh crisp salad was just the perfect accompaniment to the creamy potatoes.

Cost Breakdown:
potatoes: $2
tomatoes: $2
olives, garlic: $1
herbs: $2
bread: $.25
Total to feed a family of five:

Sep 2, 2010

pasta puttanesca

We had Italian tonight.

I made Pasta Puttanesca alla Vegan. Literally it means 'pasta of the streetwalker,' to be kind. It is traditionally a salty and tangy dish of olives, tomatoes, anchovy, olive oil and garlic.

I replaced the anchovy with miso (an idea from Bryanna Clark Grogan) and skipped on the olive oil - I am reducing my family's processed fat intake - olive oil included. That does not mean that olives are off the cutting board since olives are a whole food.

I used to be conservative with the processed fat in our diet, moving it completely out of our kitchen, but since I started the blog, I've noticed it has crept back in. I am not opposed to whole fat - nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut - but the processed stuff we can do without.

The pasta is a brown rice spaghetti. This is such a simple, quick and flavorful dish.
 I love it and wish my family received it a little better.

Cost Breakdown:
tomato: $3
pasta: $3
olive, miso, capers: $3
bread: $3
Total to feed a family of 5: