September 15, 2011

My maternity leaves begins now...

With only 5 weeks until the expected arrival of my second child (a boy), I'm going to taking some time off from posting recipes. I may post one here or there but won't be doing any weekly postings for awhile. That is, at least until I get bored of eating the frozen meals I'm going to try and make over the next few weeks for after the baby comes.

Thanks, as always, for checking my blog!

September 8, 2011

Week 50, Recipe 1: Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

  • I made this the night before. It's so easy! Roast the tomatoes while you're cleaning up the kitchen then get everything simmering while you enjoy the rest of your evening. Let the soup cool a bit before pureeing then store in fridge until ready to reheat.
  • Recipe from Annie's Eats
  • 3 lbs. ripe tomatoes, halved with seeds scooped out (use a spoon or your fingers to scoop out pulp)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28 oz.) can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Combine the tomato halves, ¼ cup of olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss well to combine. Spread the tomato halves out on a large baking sheet. Roast the tomatoes for 35 minutes.

2. In a large pot over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the butter and heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 7-10 minutes.
3. Add in the canned tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, basil, thyme and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, 40 minutes.
4. Once slightly cool, use an immersion blender, blender or food processor to puree the soup until completely smooth.

Week 50 Notes

  • Summer is winding down so I'm roasting fresh veggies left and right to take advantage while I can!

Week 50, Recipe 2: Jalapeno Burgers

  • A tasty twist to a regular burger.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1-2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-2 dashes hot sauce (if your jalapenos didn't pack enough punch)
  • Toppings: lettuce, sliced cheese, avocado, tomato, red onion, etc.
  • Buns
1. Mix all ingredients except last two in a large bowl. Shape into oval patties, about 3/4-inch thick.
2. Brush both sides with canola or vegetable oil and grill, covered, over medium heat about 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
3. Serve on toasted buns with desired toppings.

Week 50, Recipe 3: Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Pizza

  • Recipe from a relative's website. Thanks Sarah!
  • This recipe comes together quick. Especially if you've remembered to put your frozen pizza dough in the fridge to thaw the night before!
  • Two medium eggplants (I didn't have enough so I used zucchini as well but next time I'll just use eggplant), sliced 1/4-inch thick and cut in half or into fourths (depending on how large your eggplant is)
  • 2 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz shredded mozzarella (or use thin slices of fresh mozzarella)
  • 1/2 freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
1. Preheat your oven broiler and set pizza stone on bottom rack to preheat (if using). Toss halved tomatoes with salt and minced garlic. Set aside.
2. Toss eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Arrange on a greased baking sheet 8 inches under broiler. Broil for 3 minutes then toss and broil another 3-5 minutes.
3. Remove eggplant to a bowl and then broil tomatoes with garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add to eggplant and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
4. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface and place on a greased baking sheet. Top crust with mozzarella then eggplant and tomatoes and Parmesan. Bake for 10-15 minutes, sliding onto the pizza stone after the first 5-6 minutes if using.

Week 50, Recipe 4: Roasted Vegetable & Beef Lasagna

Photo by Jennifer Gavic (my picture was blurry)

  • This was a good lasagna and a great way to use extra zucchini. Makes great leftovers too!
  • Freezes well.
  • The original recipe, from Southern Living, is vegetarian but I added 1/2 lb ground beef. Either way is good!
  • You can roast the veggies ahead of time and refrigerate until you're ready to assemble the lasagna.
  • 4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 lb.)
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1 medium-size red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium-size yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 jar marinara sauce + 1 small can crushed tomoates in Italian seasoning (or with basil and garlic)
  • Lasagna noodles (about 8-10 oz) or enough for 3 layers (approximately 12 noodles)
1. Preheat oven to 450°. Bake zucchini, mushrooms, and garlic in pan coated with cooking spray 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring halfway through. Repeat procedure with bell peppers and onion. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Toss together vegetables and salt in a bowl.
2. In another bowl, stir together ricotta, egg, 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Mix marinara and crushed tomatoes together in another bowl.
3. Spread about 1 1/2 cups sauce in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 3-4 noodles, about 1 1/2 cups sauce, one-half of ricotta mixture, and one-half of vegetable mixture. Repeat layer again (noodles - sauce - ricotta - veggies) then top with remaining noodles and remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan.
4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and golden. Let stand 10 minutes

Week 50, Recipe 5: Ravioli (or pasta) with Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes

  • This was packed with flavor! I used cheese ravioli but it would be just as good with a pasta of your choice - penne, linguine, etc.
  • I love figuring out ways to use zucchini while it's in season and this recipe did the trick. I used two medium zucchini but could have used 4 medium.
  • 1 package frozen cheese ravioli or 16 oz pasta of your choice
  • 3-4 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • About 1 1/2 lbs cherry tomatoes, halved (or left whole if small)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 c. chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Fresh shredded Parmesan, about 1/2 c.
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Toss sliced zucchini and tomatoes with garlic and about 5 tbsp olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and place on a greased baking sheet. Roast 20-25 minutes or until zucchini is lightly browned, stirring once halfway through.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions and reserve 1/2 c. cooking liquid. Drain pasta and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil in a large bowl.
4. Remove zucchini and tomatoes from oven and poor reserved 1/2 c. cooking liquid over veggies. Scrape veggies off pan to loosen brown bits. Add veggies, basil and Parmesan to pasta and toss to mix. 

September 1, 2011

New posts next week!

I've been lazy at trying new recipes this week. We did have a Roasted Veggie Lasagna and Super Stuffed Burritos with zucchini, fresh corn, and black beans but other than that we did BLTs and had a pancake and egg night (with the first five eggs from our 2 chickens!).

Next week I'll post the lasagna and burrito recipe along with Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Pizza, Jalapeno Burgers, and Garden Vegetable Crustless Quiche (assuming those recipes turn out good!).

Have a great weekend!