But I’m Not a Housewife!

Domestic Bliss, Eventually

Archive for Recipes

Recipe: Beet Salad With Kidney Beans and Romaine Lettuce


Beet Salad1

As promised, here is the recipe for the roasted beet salad that my husband and I ate a couple of times for lunch last week. The beets were based on Mark Bittlman’s recipe, which he shares in a video: Beet Salad With Garlic Walnut Sauce, and in and article:  A Divorce for Beets And Goat Cheese .

Bittman’s Recipe:

Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

2 pounds red beets, about 4 large, trimmed of greens

1/4 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

Salt and black pepper to taste

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves, for garnish.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets well. While still wet, wrap them individually in foil and place on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. Bake beets, undisturbed, for 60 to 90 minutes, until a thin-bladed knife pierces each with little resistance. (They may cook at different rates; remove each one when it is done.)

2. Meanwhile, put oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. When it is warm, add garlic and cook until fragrant and beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Add walnuts and continue to cook until they begin to color, about another 4 minutes. Let mixture cool slightly and then put it in a small food processor; process until you have a relatively smooth paste. Add orange juice to taste and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper.

3. After beets have cooled, peel off skins. Slice beets into wedges or cubes and toss with dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning, garnish with parsley and serve.

Yield: 4 servings.

Beet Salad 3

I followed his recipe (without using measurments) until I got to the orange juice part – I had unwittingly drank the last of our orange juice that morning, so I used a splash of white wine vinegar, and some of that fig flavored basalmic vinegar that I used for my Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad the other day. I just kept adding olive oil and the two vinegars until it tasted right and there seemed to be enough of it to cover the beets. Next time I’ll add the walnuts last though, because it turned out a lot more nut-buttery than I would have liked. 

Meanwhile, I was also baking sliced whole wheat pitas with olive oil, salt, and garlic powder. These turned out great. They are nice served warm and chewy, or baked until crisp, like the ones you buy at the store.

To assemble the salad, I mixed up a regular vinaigrette in a cup, with a fork (this contains about 2 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar, in this case white wine vinegar, salt and pepper or cayenne), and tossed it with the chopped romaine lettuce. Then I added a layer each of kidney beans and beet salad. It may sound like a lot of work for a salad, but I kept the beets in a tupperware and we ate it for lunch several times. I must say, I was pretty proud of myself for throwing this together while my husband was napping, and then for having it ready to assemble the next day when he unexpectedly came home for lunch! Go Jess!

Beet Salad


Advertisements

Recipe: Whole Wheat Linguine With Leeks, Kale, and Gruyere

My husband and I don’t exactly need incentives to eat kale (one of the world’s healthiest foods). We eat it at least once a week, often more. But I do need incentives to cook, and as you know, my husband has gotten me interested in The New York Times Dining & Wine and Fitness & Nutrition recipes. So yesterday, when he texted that he had to work late, but still hoped to work-out, and hinted that we should eat “pasta & kale,” I knew he was referring to the Times recipe that he had pointed out to me last week.

04recipehealth_600

I wanted my photo to look more like the above newspaper photo, but my husband commandeered the spoon and stirred it up (thus melting all the little cheese cubes) before I could grab my camera. But anyway, here is our version of the Buckwheat Pasta With Kale from The New York Times Recipes for Health. It is simple – whole wheat pasta with kale, leeks, fresh sage, and gruyere and it was really, really good. 

Whole Grain Pasta With KaleThe actual Italian buckwheat pasta is really hard to find, so I chose this imported, organic, wheat pasta:

Luigi Vitelli Pasta

The recipe suggested substituting soba noodles or whole wheat fettuccine noodles, but I decided that this Italian whole wheat linguine would be less mushy and wheaty. Ooh, it was a good choice. I found them at our favorite grocery, Sunflower Farmer’s Market.

Finally, here is the recipe from The New York Times:

Buckwheat Pasta With Kale

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or omit butter and use 2 tablespoons olive oil)

2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced and cleaned

4 fresh sage leaves, cut in thin slivers

Salt, preferably kosher salt, to taste

3/4 pound kale, stemmed, washed thoroughly, and cut crosswise in strips

Freshly ground pepper

2 ounces Parmesan, grated (1/2 cup)

2 ounces fontina or Gruyère cheese, cut in 1/4 inch dice

3/4 pound buckwheat pasta (pizzoccheri or soba) or whole wheat fettuccine

1. Begin heating a large pot of water. Meanwhile, heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and sage, and cook, stirring often, until the leeks begin to soften, about three minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt, and continue to cook, stirring often, until the leeks are tender, about five minutes. Remove from the heat.

2. When the water comes to a boil, add a generous spoonful of salt and the kale. Boil for four minutes, until tender but still bright. Using a slotted spoon or a skimmer, transfer to the pan with the leeks and stir together. Keep warm over low heat.

3. Bring the water back to a boil, and add the pasta. Cook al dente (soba will cook quickly, usually in under five minutes, while pizzoccheri and whole wheat fettuccine will take longer). When the pasta is al dente, add 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the pan with the kale and leeks, then drain the pasta and toss in the pan or in a warm pasta bowl with the leeks, kale and the cheeses. Serve at once.

Yield: Serves four to six

Advance preparation: You can make the dish through step 2 several hours ahead. Remove from the heat, then reheat when you cook the pasta.

Still not sure what kale is all about? Our favorite variety of Kale is Lacinato, or Dinosaur, Kale. You can read more about it at these sites:

The Herb Companion and Renee’s Garden.

Delicious Comfort Food: Sesame Wheat Berries and Pea Greens

Sesame, Soy, and Onion Wheat Berries

As you know, Tim has been eating wheat berries for breakfast for a while now, and we thought we’d try this simple dish from this New York Times video by Mark Bitman, The Minimalist

Tim brilliantly reminded me about the pea greens that we had left over from our last Chinese take-out and this was my lunch today. Delicious! Oh, for those of you who are curious, but don’t want to watch the video, to make this comfort food (I like it best as a late-night snack), add sesame oil,  soy sauce, and sliced green onions to cooked wheat berries.  It’s brilliant!

Sesame Wheat Berries and Pea Greens
Sesame Wheat Berries

Pea Greens

Potatoes With Dandelion Greens


Pots with Dandelion Greens

My husband recently turned me on to a particular food writer at the New York Times, Mark Bittman, who has a collumn called The Minimalist. In it he creates simple dishes in a few minutes accompanied by four minute videos to prove it. He also has a blog called Bitten. You, my devoted readers, know I’m having a hard time feeling motivated to cook, and his foods are delicious and easy, with just a few ingredients. Score!

Below is the link to the recent article and video about potatoes with dandelion greens, which stayed on my husbands mind for days.

The Greening of Mashed Potatoes

The photos are of dinner a couple of nights ago, just in time for St. Patty’s Day. Tim made the potatoes with dandelion greens, which have a mild, almost sweet flavor – it’s hard to believe there was actually a green out there we had never tried before!  I ate them with veggie sausage patties (which Tim slightly overcooked, but what’re’ya gonna do – at least he cooks when I clearly don’t want to!) and Tim ate them with some kind of German sausage.

And if you’re interested, the Dining & Wine and Fitness & Nutrition sections of the New York Times, are definitely worth your regular perusal. Cheers!

Pots with Greens

Blog Confession Number Three: Someday I Hope to Cook Again

I’ve really fallen off the cooking wagon. I guess I’m just incredibly overwhelmed. I’ve been having trouble sleeping at night and I’m having chronic tension headaches. My headaches are confined to the muscles of my scalp – for those of you who aren’t sure if there really are muscles up there, I assure you – they’re there! I suppose this is an improvement over the excruciating jaw that pain I used to get when I let stress overtake me, but it’s still no fun. I think I need a new pillow.

Moving on, I was up in the night again tossing and turning and I felt really overwhelmed by life.

Wait, before I regale you with the thoughts that press on me in the night, let me continue with the original purpose of this post: I want to start cooking again. I’ve found a couple of recipes on new blogs (new to me) that I’m interested in trying. 

Tico Tilapia with Gallo Pinto, by My Sphere of Domesticity ~This one is nice because fish is the only meat I eat, but I need courage to buy it and cook it. It helps to know that others are doing it too.

Cake aux Olives et au Jambon, by Dedene of Soyez le Bienenvenue Chez Moi, in yesterday’s post: How much do I hate housework?, ~ I like this because it’s a quick bread and has olives in it. I’ve been craving olive bread. Don’t eat ham though….

So I’ll be sure and let you know if I ever, ever make these dishes. (Let’s hope so.)

Back to my insomniac worries. It’s always something you know? We’ve gotten two tickets in the past two days because I didn’t realize that my car registration was expired. ARGH! (Now we are cleverly parking the car in back of our house where the cops can’t see it, take that! – We used to park there all the time until we realized that we would rather park on the street and avoid our crummy neighbors, than park in our shared lot.) We already have stupid bills that we shouldn’t even owe, because try as I might, I just can’t NOT get screwed over by phone and cable companies! They hate me! The bills are just growing and growing and I’m not working full time….

But then I decided I’m not going to let this defeated feeling drag me down. One thing I’ve learned in life, that I find hard to remember, is that life is equally horrible and wonderful at the same time all the time. It’s really your choice which side of it to see. 

So I choose to bring my self back up! I choose to believe that life is really very easy! I mean, I get to wake up most days and choose what to do with my day. The whole bill thing is simple, really – start paying them off! Spending money on bills doesn’t have to feel this terrible. I can apply myself and work out a budget, I do have a master’s degree for goodness sake!

And on that note. I don’t have to feel dragged down about the state of my kitchen, or the fact that I don’t cook anymore. I choose to be positive. I’m going to clean and I’m going to cook….someday.

My Husband Cooks: The Deconstructed Pesto!

I’ve been meaning to post pics of Tim’s Deconstructed Pesto for weeks. When counting my blessings, I note how lucky I am to have a husband who does half of the cooking. One of my favorite of his creations is his Deconstructed Pesto:

The Deconstructed Pesto

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • tagliatelle, fettuccini, or linguini 
  • cherry tomatos, halved
  • pine nuts, toasted
  • six heads of garlic, roasted*
  • fresh basil, roughly chopped 
  • freshly grated asiago or parmesan cheese
  • freshly cracked pepper

Method

1. Cut off tops of garlic heads and roast them in the oven for 45 mins to an hour. Squeeze out the roasted cloves and keep them whole.

2. Saute the garlic in olive oil for a minute then add chopped tomatoes and chopped basil. The oil will infuse with garlic flavor and the tomatoes will release enough juice to caramelize into a sauce for the noodles. Add salt, pepper, and a bit of grated cheese as desired.

3. Meanwhile cook the noodles in boiling, salted water and toast the pine nuts in a small pan on medium to low heat (don’t let them burn!).

4. When you are happy with the consistency of the sauce, toss in the cooked noodles and toasted pine nuts. 

5. Serve when mixed thoroughly, topped with shredded cheese and cracked pepper.

Eat this with a tossed salad and garlic bread as you wish. Perfect for a night when you want a cozy restaurant meal at home!

*My husband insists that the roasted garlic is the whole point of the dish. You could certainly do with fewer heads of garlic, you could also just mince some garlic and saute it in the olive oil and forget the whole roasting thing. The choice is yours.

Success in the Kitchen Again!

indianmeal21

It seems like every couple of weeks now I manage to squeeze in a couple of yummy dinners to please my husband when he gets off work. I mean, something other than Annie’s Homegrown mac and cheese and kale, which is our in-a-hurry standby.

The first meal I made stemmed from a desire to use a butternut squash without using sage. I also had some cauliflower and was in the mood for a curry. So instead of flipping through the phone book to look for Indian restaurants that my husband could swing by on the way home, I found this recipe for Curry-roasted Butternut Squash and Chickpeas with a Cilantro Lemon Yogurt Sauce. To round out the meal, I found this recipe for Curried Cauliflower. I left out the coconut milk, though, and just sauteed onion and garlic in olive oil before adding curry powder and the cauliflower. Then I finished off the meal with short grain brown rice and, of course, kale. Some of the chickpeas got very toasty (which leads me to believe that one could make toasted curried chickpeas for snacks) and I may have been a bit heavy handed on the curry, but it was very good, and the sauce was a perfect complement to cool down the dish. Tim ate it with chicken.

indianmeal

The next meal stemmed from a desire to face my fears and buy some fish from the supermarket. I’ve bought fish before, but it’s by far a natural thing for me to do at this point. I do love to eat fish, though – it’s the only meat I eat. The next problem to solve, was what to eat for sides.

zuccprov2

My husband agreed to eat mashed potatoes if I left the skins on and I had zucchini in the fridge, but I wanted to do something different, yet easy with it. The following mouth watering meal is a combination of these recipes found on Allrecipes.com: Easy Lemon-Pepper Blackened Salmon and Baked Zucchini de Provence.

I chose this zucchini recipe because I knew we had herbs-de-Provence, which we sometimes put on chicken breasts for my husband (I almost typed “on my husband’s chicken breasts!”). We also had bread crumbs in the cupboard and a hunk of Parmesan cheese which I grated. Perfect!

And finally, what made the salmon recipe especially good was that my husband recently bought fresh green peppercorns – they come in a jar like capers, and they are yummy – I’ll post a pic sometime if you’re interested. I think it was my favorite meal yet. Feast your eyes on this:

salmonzucc

Now it’s my turn to sit back and be served a lovely dinner. My husband stopped by his favorite deli on the way home to buy lots of foodie treats and he was inspired to make his “deconstructed pesto pasta” for dinner. Score! But currently I’m eating a snack of cottage cheese and apple sauce, because when hubby cooks, we tend to eat very late.

Cheers!