Monday, July 26, 2010

After Dinner Thoughts

Well...the mushrooms with angel hair pasta needed something more. I'm not sure what exactly, but it was fairly bland. As you can see from the photo, I added some yellow squash to the recipe. I also used 1 tablespoon sage and 1 tablespoon parsley. I used dry vermouth too. It was okay, just not spectacular or as good as I would have hoped.

The tomato bread salad, on the other hand, was just as yummy as it always is. I recommend it anytime! It really couldn't be any easier to make and oh so refreshing.

I won't be cooking next Sunday. Mom, Cindy, and I plan to do a little shopping and we'll pick something up for dinner. Have a great week! I can hardly believe this is the last week of July - whew, this summer is flying by!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I picked up some sliced baby portabella (crimini) mushrooms at the grocery the other day, they looked so nice and were on sale, even though I didn't know what I would do with them. Well, now I know. We're going to have a mushroom, garlic, and olive oil angel hair pasta dish. For a salad I'll make a tomato bread salad we've had in the past. I just LOVE the flavors of fresh summer produce. And, for dessert, Michael is making a peach pie.

I'm going to base the mushrooms on Mark Bittman's Pan Mushrooms recipe, although I'm thinking of using sage instead of parsley and I might add some capers to the mix. I also have fresh Parmesan on hand that we can grate over the pasta when ready to eat.

Here's the tomato bread salad recipe that I've used for several years now...

Tomato Bread Salad
2 pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
5 oz fat free croutons (I like the whole grain croutons, even if they aren't fat free)
1 small red onion
1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
2 small cans sliced black olives
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
4 oz crumbled feta or goat cheese

1- Place tomatoes, croutons, cucumber, onion, and olives in a large bowl, refrigerate.
2- Whisk the oil and vinegar together in a small bowl.
3- Just before serving, drizzle the oil and vinegar over the salad. Add cheese. Toss the salad well and let sit a few minutes.

Serves 6.

It's important to wait until just before serving to add the oil and vinegar, otherwise your "bread" will be too soggy. This is really a snap to prepare and umm umm good. I'll let you know how it all turns out.

After Dinner Thoughts

OMG - that was mighty tasty! The Greek Pasta Salad is one of my very favorite recipes ever. So simple, so refreshing, and soooo delicious! The only change I made was I used a can of (drained) small whole black olives instead of sliced; I think I'll use these in the future - it really added a more robust flavor to any bite with an olive. Below is a picture of the pasta and a nice picture of Mom and Dad.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Greek Pasta Salad

Whew! July is a REALLY busy month for us. It seems like there is something to do every single night - and actually there is! This Sunday we will be celebrating my mom's 70th birthday at my sister Cindy's house. I'm really glad for this. Cindy and Dave have a very nice pool and we'll get to spend the day keeping cool in the pool.

One of my very favorite summer salads is Greek Pasta Salad. It's quite easy to make and so very refreshing! I tend to make this recipe over and over and over again. It's also a great salad to take to a pot luck.

Greek Pasta Salad:
8 oz tri-colored rotini pasta, cooked to package instructions, then rinsed in cold water and drained
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 red onion, sliced into bite size slivers
3 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup or a bit more)
1 small can sliced ripe olives, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons oregano or Italian or Greek seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 oz crumbled feta or goat cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse under cold water and drain. Place in a large salad bowl or container. Gently toss in vegetables and olives. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, and seasonings; drizzle over pasta. Gently toss to coat with dressing. Sprinkle cheese over salad. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving. Makes at least 12 servings. makes my mouth water just to think of it. I'll be sure to let you know how it all turns out!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

After Dinner Thoughts

The pasta dish is going to be one of my very favorites, I can tell. It was delicious. If I were to change anything, I would add fresh mushrooms and maybe a splash of fresh lemon juice just to brighten it up a bit. Otherwise, this dish was perfect.

Dessert was okay. I'm not a fan of tapioca, I really don't like the texture. Everyone else, who does like tapioca pudding, liked it just fine. I made sure I got the serving with the least amount of tapioca in it. I must say, though, the strawberries and blueberries couldn't have been any better.

All in all, a very nice and light dinner. Mom, Dad, and I really liked it. Michael, on the other hand, didn't even try it because he thinks he doesn't like asparagus. Although, I don't know if he's ever tried that. But, I'll give him credit, he usually does try a variety of foods, and he did do the dishes.

Happy Independence Day to you all!

Next week is my birthday and I'm not cooking. I haven't decided where I'd like to go out to eat yet, but it will be somewhere new to me that is vegetarian friendly. If anyone in the St Louis area has a favorite restaurant recommendation that fits my needs, please leave a comment.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day

I started planning our Fourth of July Sunday dinner by thinking about dessert first. I came across a red, white, and blue patriotic dessert that sounds like it will fit the bill: Strawberry-Blueberry Tapioca Parfaits.

I want to use a package of frozen cheese tortellini I have on hand, but I don't want to make a pasta sauce. So, while browsing the Internet for tortellini recipes I found Spring Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes, Peas, and Asparagus. These are my planned changes: cheese tortellini for farfalle pasta; vegetable broth for chicken broth.

I'll have Michael pick up a loaf of dinner bread and we'll be all set. I'll be sure to let you know how it all comes out.

Oh - and speaking of letting you know how it comes out, I neglected to post after dinner thoughts on the bean burgers. They were quite yummy, just as before. If you make them, though, be sure to drain the beans before making the mixture. Otherwise you'll have to add more "fillers" like bread crumbs or oats or whatever you normally use because they will be too runny to hold their form as a burger. I'm going back into the original post to add the word drained to the ingredients list. Also, the roasted corn and cabbage salad was pretty tasty.

Happy Fourth of July!