Saturday afternoon I stopped by my favorite little produce stand on the side of the road by the campground. I couldn’t resist grabbing a few juicy tomatoes.
I used the tomatoes and cumber to make a summer veggie bowl. Here’s the basic recipe:
Hot & Cold Rice Veggie Bowl
- sliced squash
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped cucumber
- leftover brown basmati rice
- pine nuts
- olive oil
- zest and juice of one lemon
- olive oil
- splash of apple cider vinegar
- pinch of dried oregano
- salt & pepper
- one small minced garlic clove
Directions: Heat a splash of olive oil over medium in a large pan. Cook squash and asparagus with lid on for about 5-7 minutes, checking and flipping as necessary. Meanwhile layer cucumber, tomato and cold rice in a bowl. Mix dressing ingredients in a separate container. Once asparagus and squash are tender and slightly brown, remove from heat and chop into bite-size pieces. Add pine nuts to the heated pan and cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Place everything in the bowl and give it a good stir. Yum!
The man-version on bread
His and her summer veggies
(I’ve decided to lay off the bread for a while… summer travels have contributed to a few extra pounds)
What’s cooking in your kitchen this week?
Summer sun means juicy ripe tomatoes and fresh fragrant basil leaves. Toss them together with a simple vinaigrette, quinoa, pine nuts and a few extra greens for a tasty salad that’s easy to make and take on the go.
Click here for the recipe that inspired this combo. I used Ari’s dressing and basic proportions to piece together this salad, which served 2:
- 2 cups cooked quinoa (leftover from the previous day)
- 2 tomatoes chopped
- 2 cups CSA greens
- 1 cup basil
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
Chopped salad leaves and basil mixed together with tomato chunks
I packed this yummy dish to bring to a yoga workshop in Philadelphia led by Alex Holmes. She’s an amazing teacher and if you are ever in the area I highly recommend taking her class. She’s a former dancer who studies under Shiva Rea. Alex teaches a flow style that’s graceful and fun. This workshop was about sequencing your own yoga classes in a creative way that makes sense. It was an awesome opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and share ideas. I taught part of the sequence last night it was a hit with my yoga students.
Happy Weekend! Any plans?
My little nephew turns nine today and he’s flying in from Florida with my brother. M, his boys and I are bringing balloons and signs to the airport to greet them off the plane. Can’t wait to surprise him!
Fresh and Fast Vegan by Amanda Grant is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookbooks. Amanda delivers on the title’s promise and I love that she doesn’t use processed foods, tofu or fake meat. It’s all veggie and all yummy! The other day I made a baked casserole that I classify as vegan comfort food.
Nobby farmers’ market potatoes
Interesting hues inside
Eggplant and Potato Bake (serves 4)
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes
1 large eggplant, cut into thick slices
salt and pepper
(I just love the short ingredient list!)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bring a pan of water to a boil. Meanwhile cut a small x into the bottom of each tomato. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Once the water in the pan is boiling, drop the tomatoes in for 30 seconds. Remove tomatoes with tongs and place in ice water. (Step-by-step instructions on how to peel tomatoes can be found here.) Bring the water in the pan back to a boil and add potatoes. Simmer in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain, peel and seed the tomatoes. (I squeeze them over the sink.) Roughly chop and set aside.
Drain the potatoes and then return them to the pan. Dry them out over low heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Mash them into a smooth puree. (This makes a delicious side dish on its own!)
Saute the eggplant slices with olive oil in a pan or grill on a griddle for five minutes on each side.
Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the bottom of a shallow ovenproof dish. Cover with the tomatoes and then spread the potatoes on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.
Warm & mushy
What are your favorite comfort foods?
Mine are mac and cheese and mashed potatoes.
Do you make a “grown-up” or healthy version of any comfort foods?
I do love regular old gooey mac and cheese as well as creamy mashed potatoes, but there was something so fresh about using garlic and olive oil instead of butter and cream.
Spain is separated into 17 regions and each one has their own language, traditions and foods. In Barcelona menus and signs are printed in Catalan, which is a language that falls somewhere between Spanish (known as Castilian) and French. One of my favorite experiences was the cooking class I booked from the internet before leaving home. On the day of our lesson we ran through the maze of streets in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter until we found the hidden corridor with the cooking school. Our instruction in Catalan cooking began with a market tour led by two Spanish chefs. We learned all about local products as well as market scams (fresh fish should never be piled up, they should be spread out over ice). Eating seasonally is a way of life for Spaniards. Cherries are three Euros per kilo in season and 100 Euros per kilo out of season (a kilo is about 2 pounds). It’s the same for much of their produce. Happily it was tomato season while I was there.
A visit to Boqueria Market:
Freshly laid unpasteurized eggs
I came back for a strawberry mango coconut version the next day
The cooking class menu: gazpacho topped with idiazabal cheese and a parsley walnut pesto, potato tortilla (which is kind of like an omlette), seafood paella and Catalan cream (a Spanish creme brulee).
Traditional Catalan bread
Toast the bread (stale bread can be used). Leave the peel on one garlic clove and cut it in half. Scrape the open end over the toasted bread a few times. Cut a tomato in half. Rub the just sliced part on the bread so that the juice and seeds spread on the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and then cut bread into strips. Enjoy at any meal.
A shot of gazpacho
Ibiza, Spain is known for gorgeous people, sandy beaches and an ultra laid back attitude. After four days of dancing until (almost) dawn I understand its reputation as party island. Between pitchers of cava sangria on the beach, listening to house music at Space and eating carbs galore I tried to balance things out with a few seasonal veggies. The average day in Ibiza went something like this: wake up around noon, eat lunch and then hit the beach. Return back to hotel for afternoon siesta at 6, dinner at 11 (p.m.!) and then dancing until… Sleep and repeat.
A modern interpretation of gazpacho made with beets and red fruit
A warm mushroom salad so delicious I got it two days in a row
Bread and tomatoes Ibiza style
Exercise happened the European way (lots of walking) and my sneakers and workout clothes stayed in the suitcase. The room had a mini fridge so my boyfriend and I were able to eat in a few times. We kept it simple with fresh ingredients.
More pics from Spain tomorrow… Have a great day!