Monthly Archives: July 2013

Roasted Cauliflower with Cumin and Lime


I love, love, love roasting just about anything. Roasted Lemon Cauliflower is one of my favorite snacks, and this version of it – lime instead of lemon, a little cumin – takes it to a whole other level. It’s a perfect, super healthy and delicious snack. Plus, the health benefits of cumin!!! Who knew.

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH CUMIN AND LIME (serves 4 as a side or snack)
– 1 large head cauliflower
– 4 limes, juiced, zest of 2
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 2 tbsp cumin (don’t let this scare you)

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Chop up the washed cauliflower. The easiest way to do this is to cut the cauliflower in half, then into quarters. Then, cut away the middle part (the stem, I guess). The florets should fall away on their own, pretty much mess-free. Add them to a big bowl.


3. Juice and zest 2 of the limes, then add the cumin. Mix to combine. Add the olive oil. Mix it all together and toss it with the cauliflower until it’s well-coated.


4. Lay the cauliflower in one layer on a roasting sheet. Put into the oven and cook for approx. 30- 40 minutes, or until roasted golden brown. Flip it every ten minutes, squeezing the juice of 1/2 a lime over it each time.


5. Serve as a snack or an appetizer (we had this with Roasted Red Grapes with Thyme. I told you I liked roasting things).


Hostessing is my all-time fav.

— AND, just want to give a HUGE congrats to Mario & Katie and the rest of the crew from What The Fork food truck! They made the top 4 for LIVE with Kelly & Michael‘s “Truckin’ Amazing” nationwide Food Truck competition! It’s been so cool to watch their amazing progress over the last year. Vote for them here. Congratulations guys – you make Scranton proud!


Tortellini Salad with Red Bell Peppers, Parsley, Parm and a Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade (and also, “Cousin weekend”)

Cousin weekend. <3


Every summer my cousin Erin and her husband Brian host our little group of cousins on my dad’s side at their weekend place in Brigantine, NJ.  We’re all super into cooking, so the weekend is usually a little bit schmorgasboard, a lot bit Erin’s amazing margaritas, beach, boating, catch-up, recipe swap. It’s one of my favorite weekends of the year and this year was no exception.  Even when the power went out (in AC. In the casino. Slot machines were the only thing that didn’t miss a beat).

My contribution was a Tortellini Salad – it takes about 10 minutes to make, keeps really well, and is something you can bring to the beach with you since it won’t go bad if it gets a little warm. I used to eat a version of this all the time when I lived in Bozeman, Montana – their Co-Op Market made this and I loved it – until I realized I could throw it together myself. This even passes the K. Haggs test, which for all of us who know her particular eating preferences, is saying a lot.

TORTELLINI SALAD WITH RED BELL PEPPERS, PARSLEY, PARM, and a LEMON-ARTICHOKE TAPENADE (makes an enormous bowl that will be a good side dish for 7 cousins over 2 days)
– 2 packages tortellini, cooked per directions
– 1 red bell pepper, diced
– 3 tbsp. flat leaf parsley, chopped (approx.)
– thickly grated fresh parm

Lemon-Artichoke Tapenade
– 2 cans artichoke hearts, drained, and chopped pretty thoroughly
– juice of 1 lemon
– solid 3 glugs of EVOO (or more, if the tapenade is too dry)
– freshly cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

1. Cook tortellini per directions. Drain and let cool completely. You can toss the tortellini with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking together.

2. Chop up the artichoke hearts, add to a small bowl. Some people pulse this all together in a food processor, but I like the little chunks of the artichoke hearts that you get by chopping them.


3. To that bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon, then the kosher salt & pepper.



4. Add the EVOO & stir well to combine. Taste & adjust. You want the EVOO to kind of bind everything, not have a pool of it in the bottom of the bowl.

5. Chop up the bell pepper & parsley.


6. Add artichoke tapenade to cooled tortellini, mix well to combine. 

7. Add the red bell pepper, parsley and parm. Stir well to combine. Add kosher salt & pepper if necessary.


Weekend highlights:

Boating on the “Cheeky Monkey”. Brian’s playlist for these rides, every time, just knocks it out of the park. Can you link to Spotify playlists from here? If anybody knows how, let me know and I’ll share the one I copied from him.

Margaritas everywhere (the one in the mason jar came with a “two drink max per person” rule):


Erin’s gorgeous garden – this is seriously one of my favorite spaces in America. She does such a beautiful job with it – there are hummingbirds everywhere, you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of the Secret Garden.


Beach – first time this summer!


Revel Casino  – unreal space




“Snacks”
 


Drive in and out – sunshower, Philly without traffic, dumplings from one of my favorite Philly Chinese restaurants, that perfect moment on the way home with the sun shining and a great song on the radio, when you feel like everything is right with the world.


Thanks Erin & Brian – I love you guys & I’ll see you soon!  xoxo



Italian Tortellini Soup

 I used to live on this and tuna melts in college. I’m not 100% sure why, but I think it probably has something to do with the fact that 1. I wasn’t cooking at all back then 2. This took about 5 minutes to make, 3. it was super cheap and 4. I got to use Sprinkle Cheese instead of the good parm (sorry Mom). The Italians call this “tortellini en brodo”, but even though I’m half Sicilian, we’re sticking with Italian Tortellini soup. It’s great no matter what you call it.

ITALIAN TORTELLINI SOUP (single serving)
– 1 15 oz can chicken broth
– 1/2 – 1 cup frozen tortellini
– Sprinkle cheese (somehow this just holds up better in the soup than fresh parm, probably from all the preservatives. The DELICIOUS preservatives, that is! Oh, college.)

1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken broth almost to a boil.


2. Add the frozen tortellini and stir, then cook according to directions – but undercook them a little, since they’re going to continue to cook in the broth even after you take the soup off the heat.

3. When tortellini are ready, they’ll float to the surface. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl, and let cool.

4. Stir in some sprinkle cheese and enjoy!



Chopped Chicken Salad with Summer Nectarines, Avocado & Feta in a Basil Vinaigrette

This is, clearly, the summer of salads.  It’s been so hot out lately that I can’t even think about turning on an oven, so here we are.  You can get pretty creative with salads – for this one, I had some leftover grilled chicken, and the rest was in my refrigerator. It was delicious. You can sub peaches for nectarines, but make sure they’re pretty ripe, because crunch of the nectarines was perfect when paired with the creamy avocado, the grilled chicken, the saltiness of the feta and the sweet punch of the basil vinaigrette. It doesn’t keep well (at all) so make as much as you’re going to serve at a time.

CHOPPED CHICKEN SALAD WITH SUMMER NECTARINES, AVOCADO & FETA IN A BASIL VINAIGRETTE (serves 2-4)
– 2 nectarines (or peaches), chopped
– 1 large grilled chicken breast, chopped
– 1 avocado, chopped
– 1/4 cup crumbled feta
– couple basil leaves, chiffonaded

Basil Vinaigrette (makes more than enough, so just use however much you need)
– 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
– 1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
– 2 tsp. honey
– 6 tbsp. EVOO
– little kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

Ready for this? It’s super complicated.

1. Chop up the nectarines/peaches/avocado into pieces roughly the same size (approx. 1/4 inch), add to a bowl.

2. Add the feta, mix gently to combine and not bruise the avocado.

3. Combine the vinegars and the salt/pepper, then the honey, then the EVOO & the chopped basil.  Put a lid on it and shake it up (that doubles as life advice).


4. Top the salad with the dressing just before serving, then gently combine.  Top individual servings with the extra chiffonaded basil.


— It was hard for me to concentrate while writing this because I SWEAR TO YOU, STINK BUG BUZZING SOMEPLACE IN MY SUNROOM, I WILL FIND YOU AND YOU WILL BE MINE.  

Breakfast Bake: Leeks, Smoked Salmon, Cheddar & (a little) Cream Cheese

So…I guess you can make things that are full of eggs, and still have them be kind of healthy?  This recipe uses local/organic eggs (mostly whites), leeks (which are one of my favorite foods), cheddar, smoked salmon for some flavor, cream cheese, dill, etc. It was delicious, looked pretty fancy, and actually kept really well for a couple of days. And, was surprisingly really light – not to mention carb-free – for how much went into it!


BREAKFAST BAKE: LEEKS, SMOKED SALMON, CHEDDAR & (A LITTLE) CREAM CHEESE (serves 4-6)

– 12 eggs – 5 yolks & whites, 7 whites
– 2 bunches of leeks (white parts only), washed and cut into half moons
– 1/2 vidalia onion, cut into half moons
– 1/3 C. smoked salmon (approx. 4 oz), roughly chopped
– 1/4 c. milk
– 1 tbsp dill (or less, if you don’t love dill as much as I do)
– 1 c. grated cheddar
– 1 tbsp butter
– 3 tbsp. cream cheese, cut into little dots
– kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375.


2. Wash the leeks – these are kind of tough to clean, because all the dirt from the ground gets in between the little sections. The easiest way to clean them is to lop off the green parts and the very end of the white parts, cut them in half lengthwise, and submerge them in water for a little bit, kind of flipping through the sections of them as if they were a deck of cards. This will loosen and release any dirt hiding in them.


3. Over medium heat, melt the butter. Chop the onion and the washed leeks, then add to the pan when butter is melted and cook until wilted, approx. 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add eggs, smoked salmon, cheddar, dill, milk, salt & pepper. Mix to combine well.
pre-mixed

5. Lightly grease a larger pie pan or casserole dish (either with butter or cooking spray), then add the leek/onion mixture to form a base for the Breakfast Bake.


6. Add the egg mixture on top of the leeks, and kind of bang around the pan so the mixture gets in between the cracks of the leeks and onions, and combines with everything.

7. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, until it starts to set. Remove from oven and dot with the cream cheese. Put back into the oven and bake for another 30 minutes or so, or until the dish is set and fluffy.


8. Remove from oven and let sit to cool for 15 minutes.  Cut and serve. We had this with a Shaved Asparagus Salad, and it was a perfect little brunch.  Happy 4th of July!









50,000


Thank you. This blog has been one of the coolest/best things, by far, that I’ve done over the last year, and the response to it has been so amazing. Back when I really started doing this last winter, I never imagined I’d reach 50,000 hits. I know I’ve taken some time off lately, but I needed to work through some stuff and get back to me again. I’m so happy to be back.  Thanks again, to all of you.
xo

Watermelon, Feta & Arugula Salad with Basil and Red Onion

It’s the summer of salads! This is so easy, so pretty, and so tasty too. I know the 4th of July is on Thursday, so if you wanted to throw in some blueberries you could make a red, white, & blue (and green) salad for wherever you’re going to celebrate. This is a crowd pleaser – sweet watermelon, tangy feta, peppery arugula. Yummo.

WATERMELON, FETA & ARUGULA SALAD W/ BASIL & RED ONION (serves approx. 6)
– 3 cups of watermelon, cubed
– 10 oz. baby arugula
– 1/3 c. crumbled feta
– 1/4 red onion, cut into slivers of half moons
– 2 tbsp EVOO
– 2 tbsp balsamic
– small handful of basil, chiffonaded (is that a word? the verb of “chiffonade”? Oh well, it is today)
– kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper

1. Cut the red onion into slivers, then soak it for approx. 15 minutes. This takes some of the “bite” out of the onion, so it doesn’t overpower the other flavors in the salad.


2. After it’s finished soaking, pat the onion dry, and then in a large bowl, combine it with the arugula, watermelon, basil & feta. I’ve found the easiest way to cut watermelon is to cut off the bottom (so you have a little stand), then cut it in half. Then, cut the green parts off around the sides, using downwards cuts.

Like so.

 


3. In a small jar, add the balsamic, then a little kosher salt & pepper. Then, add the EVOO, and mix together well.


4. When ready to serve (this gets kind of soggy if you mix it too far in advance, so add the dressing just when it’s ready to go out to the table), top the salad with the dressing. Mix everything gently together and serve. Preferably dining alfresco with your wonderful family.

 


— I’m big on the post-scripts lately, I know, but I just want to thank MY FRIEND Klob for believing in Andwhatiate.com so much and for his very generous donation.  You’re my favorite and I’m putting that on the internet for everyone to see!  Thank you my friend. I owe you dinner – I’ll cook.