Monday, December 31, 2012

Rosso Frittata!

My dog is dreaming right now:)…She’s sleeping, and all of her legs are twitching and moving, and her face muscles are going crazy. Fascinating! I hope she’s dreaming of running on the beach…where I wish I was.
Well, one week down on the new holistic regimen for my UC flare. Unfortunately, I think part of this healing process is that you have to get worse before you get better…at least that’s what’s happening with me. As a result, eating — and just the thought of food — is the bane of my existence right now. Needless to say, cooking is not fun at the moment. We’re staying positive though. And one week down is One Week Down! Hooray! :/
bright flavors, textures, and colors!
What is a Rosso Frittata, you may ask? Well, rosso is Italian for “red” — at least, according to Google :)  So, my Rosso Frittata was a beautiful egg dish bursting with fantastic red veggies!
Here’s what you need:
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
7 mushrooms, sliced
6-7 sun dried tomatoes, diced
12 kalamata olives, sliced
3 eggs + 3 egg whites, beaten
chives, minced
check out the beautiful, airy center!
Preheat your oven to 350.  In an oven-safe frying pan, saute your onions in 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Let them soften, and then add in your mushrooms. Let them release their moisture, and then add in your pepper. After they’ve cooked for about 4 minutes, take your pan off the heat to cool.  Stir in your sun dried tomatoes and olives. While the veg is cooling, put your eggs in a bowl with salt & pepper and beat with a fork or whisk. Once the veggies have cooled a bit, pour in your eggs, put it back on the stove over low heat, and stir it until it starts to thicken. Then, stop stirring and let it sit! Once you see that it is starting to set, take a silicone spatula and run it around the edge. Then, put it in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the middle is cooked. Garnish with minced chives! Yum!
all those nutritious veggies bursting through!
With this delicious egg “pie,” I also served amazing Thyme Home Fries! Wow. These might be my favorite potato preparation, besides my Sweet Potato Crisps. :)
crispy and pillowy home fries!
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take 2 russet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Soak in cold water for 15 minutes. Then, drain and dry them as best you can. I wrapped them in a clean kitchen towel several times.  Place on an olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet and pour 1 1/2 tsp EVOO over top and toss to coat. Lightly sprinkle with s & p (you will add more later), and add in about 1 T chopped thyme and 2 minced garlic cloves and toss again. Bake for 40-ish minutes: stirring every 10 minutes until nice and golden brown: crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. When you take them out, sprinkle with more salt to taste.
This meal was so good. Easy to whip up, and even easier to eat! Well…figuratively.  There’s something so cozy and comforting about eating breakfast for dinner. But this is no diner’s “greasy spoon.” No ma’am. It is healthy, super flavorful, texturally wonderful, and aesthetically beautiful. Sometimes, on a lazy Sunday, it’s nice to put your PJs on early, cozy up, and have breakfast for dinner! :)
gorgeous mushrooms!
I couldn't have made this delicious dish without my nonstick pan! Here's the one I use:

Until Tomorrow!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta w/ Pollock!

What a beautiful Saturday in March! We’ve put a couple of bird feeders up outside on the patio, and its so fun to watch all the different birds come and eat! OK — I know I sound like a crazy bird lady right now…but when you’re stuck on a couch — sick — everyday, you begin to appreciate the little things…even birds:)
such wonderful flavor!
So tonight for dinner, I decided to try my hand at a Spinach and Artichoke Dip Pasta.  Spinach and Artichoke Dip is one of life’s most glorious foods. And it is absolutely NOT vegan. Your average S&AD contains pounds of cheese, mayo, sour cream…all combined to make a decadently delicious dip! So, needless to say, “vegan-izing” the dip would prove to be quite a difficult task.
packed with green nutrition!
Now, they do make vegan mayo and sour cream, but to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of consuming all those processed ingredients. We’re going for happy tummies here.  So, I tried to make this dish fresh, healthy, and as unprocessed as possible.
Here’s what you need:
3 big handfuls of spinach, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp white wine
1/4 cup veg stock
1/4 cup plain unsweetened almond milk
1 Tbsp Vegan Cream Cheese
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
Dash of nutmeg
Saute you onions in 1 tsp EVOO, salt and pepper.  After they soften, add in your garlic. Stir in your artichokes and let them cook for a few minutes. Deglaze with your wine. Let it reduce, and then add in your stock, almond milk and nutmeg. Let that cook for a bit, and then stir in your spinach, wilting it. Once it has wilted, stir in your cream cheese and Dijon mustard. Combine with your pasta, and re-season it with salt and pepper. I added considerably more salt at the end. Yum!
Look at that flakey Pollock!
Finally, with this yummy pasta, I served broiled pollock. This was our first time having pollock and my goodness was it fantastic! Lobsta Bakes‘ wild, ocean-caught pollock is so flavorful and delicious! It flakes so beautifully, and is a bit “meatier” than cod, but still just as tender and delicate. We will definitely be having this again! And let me just say, it is a rare and refreshing find when you come across a shop that treats you like family. It’s true. The guys and gals at Lobsta Bakes are so wonderful. They know I am sick, so they always ask my parents how I’m doing that day, or will package our fish up with a smiley face drawn on the butcher paper. Little things that elevate them from an amazing fresh fish supplier, to a genuinely wonderful shop full of friends. :) We need more businesses with the authentic character of Lobsta Bakes!
spinach and artichoke goodness!
This meal was delicious. Although it didn’t *quite* have the Spinach and Artichoke Dip gooey-stringy-molten-cheesiness that we all love; it did have outstanding flavor with fresh and healthy ingredients. You got the spinach and artichoke flavor with the slight creaminess from the cream cheese and the reduced almond milk and stock. The Dijon mustard chimed in with a little *zing,* rounding out the pasta. Truly wonderful.
Tools used: 

Happy Saturday!

Rockin' Roasted Vegetables w/ Broiled Cod!

I love a good storm. Pelting rain, riotous thunder, and a dazzling lightning show. Mind you, I like to *watch* a good storm from the safety of our home, snuggled up in a blanket. But none the less, I was delighted with a good thunderstorm right during dinner. It was like we had surround sound entertainment. And dinner tonight was wonderfully rustic, cozy, and comforting….perfect for Mother Nature’s temper tantrum outside.
So…Want to know how to make vegetables taste DELICIOUS? — Even RADISHES?? I’ll give you a hint……sloooowly heat them, allowing the veggies to release their natural sugars and caramelize. That’s right!! You roast them!!

I’ve roasted some veggies before, but I’ve never let them reach their full roasted glory. This takes some time…about 50 minutes to an hour. But the end product is absolutely magnificent.
Here’s what you need:
bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
red onion, in 1 inch chunks
1 sweet potato, in 1/2 inch chunks
5 carrots, in 1/2 inch pieces
9 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
3 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
fresh thyme, minced
beautiful asparagus!
Preheat your oven to 425. Get 2 cookie sheets, cover with tin foil, and spray with olive oil. On one sheet, put your asparagus, garlic, and onions. On the other tray, put the other root veggies. Spread in a single layer and spritz with Olive Oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. On the root veggies, sprinkle your thyme. Put your root veggies in the oven first — about 15 minutes before the asparagus. Cook for about 45-50 minutes, stirring and re-spritzing with Olive Oil after 20-25 minutes. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, and enjoy!
crisp, and light-as-air sweet potato chips!
Also with this amazing medley of roasted veggie goodness, I made my Sweet Potato Crisps. Oh my goodness, these little guys are addicting and SO yummy! Here’s what you do.
2 sweet potatoes — preferably in an even tube shape
Carefully slice your sweet potatoes with a mandolin into very thin slices. Place them in a single layer on an olive-oil-sprayed baking sheet. Spritz well with Olive Oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin! Bake in a 425 degree oven for 15 minutes, flipping half way through. Season with salt after you take them out. Get ready for your new favorite sweet potato dish!
Finally, with this veggie powerhouse of a meal, I served broiled cod! YUM! This is our favorite fish from Lobsta Bakes. Wild, ocean-caught, and fresh from that morning — flown in from Maine! It is flakey, buttery, and melts in your mouth! I broiled it with 1 tsp EVOO, salt, pepper, lemon zest and juice. Wow. Delish.
a plate full of nutrition!
This meal was super satisfying. Warm and comforting — like a “bear hug” on a plate! Like I was saying, there’s a certain magic that happens when veggies are allowed to slowly roast in a hot oven.  They release their natural sugars, which causes them to caramelize. — Who knew the humble onion could be sweet and decadent! Roasted veggies taste like an intense version of their flavor, with an underlying sweetness. So completely fantastic. And let me just say…radishes…when you roast them…become a whole different vegetable! Raw, they are spicy with a bit of a bite, but when you roast them, they become sweet, soft, and almost like candy! My dad….our resident veggie hater…loved them!! Score!
check out the beautifully caramelized onion!
And then the Sweet Potato Crisps. Wow. They require a little work, but they are seriously delectable! They are SO light and airy. They are exactly their name – crisp! Some of them have a little chew left on the inside, some are more crunchy, but all are absolutely Heavenly.
talk about a slow-food-movement:)
Finally, this meal was a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy. It was so beautiful, with the vibrant colors! Pink radishes, bright orange carrots, deep forest green asparagus, purple onions, burnt orange sweet potatoes, and snuggly-white toasted pine nuts! Mmm Mmm Good!
I couldn't have made these amazing sweet potato chips without my mandoline! This is such a great tool - and the one I use is particularly great because it has a hand guard! I learned the hard way that having a hand guard is very important:) Here's the one I use:

Have a great weekend, Happy Tummies! See you tomorrow!