Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Roasted Farmers Market Veggies

If you're new to cooking or have just never tried roasting vegetables, you'll love this. It's so easy, you'll wonder why you've never done it before.
I didn't have a vegetable plot this year; I was hoping to sell my house. Well, that just gave me a good excuse to go to the farmer's market. I could stay there all day! I love the smells, the colors, and the activity. Running into a few friends and neighbors along the way is a bonus. And nothing is more wonderful than the fresh bounty this great Earth has to offer.

1 medium zucchini, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium summer squash, cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
1 pound fresh asparagus, cut into bite-size pieces
1 red onion, cut into bite size pieces
3 T. olive oil
1-2 t. fresh chopped thyme (feel free to substitute your favorite herbs or add to these)
1 T. fresh chopped parsley
1 t. fresh, ground,sea salt
1/2 t. fresh, ground, black pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large roasting pan, combine all vegetables.
Add the olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper.
Toss and mix to coat.
Spread in a single layer.

Roast for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned and fork tender.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Monday, August 24, 2009

Herb Dill Dressing

Words straight from my mother's mouth and maybe yours too!
But I don't think I'll have to make the same threat for you to like this dressing!
I enjoy making my own salad dressings. It's so fast and I feel like a real chef! This one can be used many ways but is especially good on a shrimp salad or poured over baked fish as a sauce.

Herb Dill Dressing:
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. water
2 T. chopped fresh basil
2 T. chopped fresh dill
1 t. finely chopped garlic
1 t. Dijon mustard
1/2 medium onion, sliced

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse lightly so as not to pulverize the onions. It's best if there are some small pieces.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mediterranean Chicken Salad with Bulgar Wheat

You'll need to think ahead for this salad. The bulgur wheat takes time to prepare and if you don't have leftover chicken, there's cooking time involved there, too.
For the bulgur wheat, follow directions on the package, but make sure it has cooled for at least 30 minutes and is completely drained. Here's some directions I have found for proper preparation:
Combine bulgur wheat and boiling water in a large bowl, stir, cover and allow to set for 30 minutes up to 1 hour (until bulgur has completely softened). Wash and strain out any excess water and return bulgur to the bowl.

Now let's begin:
1/2 c. low-fat, low-sugar prepared Italian dressing
1 T.cayenne pepper sauce
1/2 T. dried mint leaves
1/4 T. mustard powder

Whisk together the Italian dressing, pepper sauce, mint, and mustard powder in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to use.

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 C. prepared bulgur wheat
1 1/2 c. diced cucumbers
1 1/2 diced tomatoes
1 c. minced green onion
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
Romaine lettuce leaves

In a medium skillet, cook the chicken in oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is tender and no longer pink. Turn often to brown evenly. Then move the chicken from the skillet. Cut into bite-size cubes. Allow the chicken to cool, then refrigerate until fully chilled. (I like to use leftover, chilled, grilled chicken)
Combine the chicken with the bulgur, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, and parsley in a bowl. Serve over the lettuce and drizzle with the dressing.

Fat...........8 g
Sat. Fat......1 g
Sodium......279 mg
Cholesterol.45 mg
Fiber.........4 g

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Baked Tomatoes Italiano

The tomatoes are almost ready to be harvested, and I'll bet you're going to have a full bounty this year. If you're like me you always plant more than you need. You might want to save this recipe for a cool day since you have to turn on the oven (and those days are just around the corner.) You decide what herbs to use. I like the basil and parsley combo, but it's really up to you; feel free to mix and match!

3 large vine-ripened tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs) cut in half
1/4 c. minced fresh herbs (basil, parsley, marjoram)
1/2 c. dry grated bread crumbs
1/2 c. shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
Pinch of freshly ground sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Zucchini Ribbons

A quick recipe to prepare for a vegetable dish to balance out your meal.

4 medium zucchini ( about 1 1/2 lbs.) sliced lengthwise into ribbons
2 T. grated Parmesan, cheese
2 T. fresh dill, chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 t. red pepper flakes

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the zucchini to the boiling water and cook for 30-60 seconds, or until tender-crisp. Drain.

Transfer the zucchini to a serving bowl. Add the Parmesan cheese, dill, oil, and red pepper flakes. Gently toss until the zucchini is coated.

Fat.......5 g
Sat. Fat..1 g
Sodium....62 mg
Cholesterol.2 mg
Fiber.....2 g
If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Homemade Pizza Dough

As promised, here is a good pizza dough recipe. It takes a little time and planning ahead, but is so worth it.

1 pkg. yeast
3/4 c. warm water
3 c. bread flour
1 t. salt
1 T. olive oil
1 t. honey

1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a mixing bowl.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients in order and mix in mixer at speed 2 for 10-12 minutes.

3. Place in a slightly greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth, then let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Divide into two equal parts and roll into pizza crusts. (Sprinkle board with a small amount of flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking to the rolling pin.) Makes 1 large pizza crust or 8 individual crusts.

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories

Friday, August 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza Sauce

Caution: Possible High Fat Zone!!!!

I love making my own pizza. It has quite a different flavor than the ones I get from the pizzeria, but that's what makes it unique. I change my sauce each time according to whatever herbs I have on hand.
I like to make a traditional American style pizza, as well as experimenting with other flavors. Sometimes I make Mexican pizza using regular pizza sauce but adding hamburger browned with taco seasoning, Cheddar/Jack cheese, black olives, green chilies, and onions. When the pizza is OUT of the oven, top it with dollops of sour cream, lettuce, and fresh chopped tomatoes, if so desired. But beware, the sour cream adds calories and fat. To lighten this up, use low-fat sour cream. You could also add guacamole, but now we're talking serious calories. Try layering plain avacado slices on after baking is completed.

Make a barbecue chicken pizza with leftover grilled chicken and red onion. Use barbecue sauce in place of the pizza sauce. Mozzarella is great with this one!

I'm sure you must have had ham and pineapple pizza. Yum! How creative are you with your pizzas?
Send me some of your favorite recipes and share with my readers.

Here's a great pizza sauce recipe made with lots of fresh herbs for that real homemade pizza taste. Plan ahead. It needs to simmer for quite a while.

1/3 c. salt pork
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 carrot, diced
12/ celery stalk, diced
1 1/2 c. tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 c. tomato puree
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. basil
1 bay leaf
2 garlic cloves
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1 ham hock

1. Saute salt pork in a saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute, but do not brown.

3. Add the tomatoes, and tomato puree, thyme, basil, oregano, bay leaf, garlic, pepper, salt, and sugar.

4. Add the chicken stock and ham hock.

5. Simmer slowly for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until desired consistency has been reached.

6. Remove bones and bay leaf and blend with an immersion blender or food processor. Makes 2 cups.

Next I'll share a very good pizza dough recipe. Come back tomorrow!

If you like this blog, please look for my other blogs:
Thyme for Herbs
Happenstance House
Tickling the Ivories