Tag Archives: Lunch

I Gotta Write This One Down

I came back from an afternoon of vegetable shopping at the green grocer and was starting to put my haul away when it struck me. The ingredients that I had would make some ‘Whole Foods worthy’ assorted cold salads for later in the week.

Three different salads, all restaurant qualty stuff!

At the top of the photo is the lentil salad, which was simple, simple, simple. I bought more of Trader Joe’s steamed lentils to toss in to the deep freeze, but why do that? I added:

Diced- celery, sweet white onions, sweet red bell peppers

Minced- flat leaf Italian parsley and garlic

Dried spice – basil and oregano

S&P

House made white balsamic with fresh garlic vinaigrette

All of the above was to taste, just chop and toss into the bowl, give it a mix up and refrigerate overnight.

To the right of that is a take on what I saw on one of my fav TV programs, America’s Test Kitchen. Curried Chicken Waldorf Salad (shhhhh don’t tell DH he claims to not like this). I had some poached boneless-skinless chicken thigh meat (the same way they did in the hyperlink from ATK) in the `ridge, HMMM, just expand on that. I added some curry powder from the spice aisle to a small amount of `mayo to bloom the flavor. Next into the mixing bowl was:

Diced – apples, celery, sweet white onions and tart dried cherries

S&P

Finally some crushed slivered blanched almonds. Into the `fridge with this one as well.

Lastly, the Tuna Salad. To a can of tuna packed in water (drained), I added:

Diced – celery and sweet white onions

Chopped – pitted black olives

Dried spices – garlic powder, cayenne pepper and chives

Minced – flat leaf Italian parsley

Some dill pickle relish and `mayo (not too much, DH claims to hate mayo as well, so long as he doesn’t see me making it, he’s okay). Oh and S&P to taste. Stash this into a container and it’s time for a chill down.

These three gorgeous concoctions where served atop a bed of mixed baby greens with some chopped: English Cucumbers, Sugar Plum tomatoes, Sweet white Onions, Sweet Red Bell Peppers-dressed in the same vinaigrette as the lentils (I always have a mason jar of it in the `fridge). I portioned them out with a 1 ½ Tablespoon disher (small ice cream scooper). That is restaurant quality stuff… I make good food!

ALOHA!

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I’m Getting Ready!

I took my Mother grocery shopping the other day, and you know how I like to shop… I LOOK at stuff. Mom, well, she has her list and goes up and down the aisle like a drill sergeant; not paying any attention to anything but what she knows and needs. When I pulled out my camera and started to take photos of stuff that I WISH  we could eat, she was all… “what are you DOING!” (sssshhhh, I haven’t told her that I have this blog) I told her that I was taking pictures of stuff that I am putting on the list.

Mom: “what list?”

Me: the list of things that we’ll have once we’re off of our diet, I mean different way of looking at food

Mom: “oh, that’s nice dear”

Well, she buys EVERYTHING that I wanted and said, “I’ll try it and let you know how it is”.

Thanks Mom.

Sometimes You Just Want Breakfast

That’s right. I love breakfast foods, anytime, any meal, my husband, not so much. He feels that one must eat breakfast before 10 o’clock in the morning. BUT, if you sell him on having Italian for dinner, he’s in, all in.

I was watching one of my recorded food programs on the DVR the other night and Lidia Bastianich made frittata three different ways. The smart gal that I am, I figure DH would eat that for dinner, right? This dish can take on any twist or turn that you can think of, or leftovers you might have in your ‘fridge. I had some leftover chicken Italian sausage, roasted sweet red peppers, mushrooms with garlic and one stray green onion. (SSSHHHH, don’t tell my husband, but I also had some ricotta cheese left over and threw that in too).

Once again, this one is not really a recipe, but I would say more of technique.

Depending upon the size of your pan and the number of folks you want to feed is how many eggs you want to use. For the two of use, I use 6-8 eggs, whisked together with some S&P in a large bowl and a 10 inch non-stick-oven-proof skillet with some olive oil heated on the bottom over medium heat. Pour in the eggs and put in whatever ‘goodies’  you like. I just plopped the cheese in a teaspoonful at a time randomly in the eggs mixture. Let this all cook, undisturbed until the eggs are about halfway set, but keep an eagle eye on the bottom so as not to scorch. Sprinkle some grated parmesan cheese (SSSHHHH) over the top and pop the pan into a preheated oven at 350⁰ and bake `til just set and the top browns, about 5 minutes, maybe, it depends on how thick your mixture is. Don’t overcook it though, give it a jiggle to see, because you don’t want a rubbery, nasty hunk of yuk. Carefully slide the beauty onto a plate and slice.

No, we didn't eat this all in one sitting!

No, we didn’t eat this all in one sitting!

Isn’t that a looker?  Serve warm or at room temperature. This makes a very nice breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner selection. Pair with what you like, a green salad, toast, fruit, the sky’s the limit, and you might have leftovers again, or not…

 

I’m Not Going To Try It, You Try It

When I went to the green grocer the other day to replenish our fruit and vegetable supplies, I spied some Rapini or Broccoli Rabe. Normally, I go right past it because it’s so terribly expensive, even by mainland standards. Back home in Hawaii, fresh fruits and veg that came from the continental United States are shipped in. They’re tasteless and I think way over priced. But these bundles looked like they had just been laid out, still warm from the sun, there wasn’t even any pricing on them yet. I made an inquiry as to the cost, not bad at $3.99 per pound. I figured we’d give it a whirl. I had seen an extremely simple dish on some TV program, it couldn’t be that difficult.

Whole Wheat Penne pasta with Chicken Italian sausage and Broccoli Rabe

This was as easy as pie (which I wish I could eat, but alas, not yet). I did a search on the WWW and found that this can be a bitter vegetable and that a quick boil would fix that. So that’s what I did. I washed and drained the entire bunch. I thought that if it was too much for the two of us, I could just save the leftover cooked veg for lunch. I cut the stalks into large pieces, maybe three to four inches long; boiled them in salted water for about 3 minutes, drained and set it to the side.

I took that same Dutch oven and browned and crumbled 2 chicken Italian sausages from Sprouts (love that place); added 3 cloves of minced garlic along with a small pinch of red pepper flakes and set that all aside.

In the meantime, I had another pot of whole wheat penne pasta boiling to just shy of done; reserved a coffee mug of the water before draining that off.

I tossed the cooked broccoli rabe and the pasta in with the sausage, added some the pasta water to deglazed those nice brown bits in the bottom of the pot, gave it all a good mix up and served with a drizzle of EVOO and a flourish of grated cheese (shhhh, don’t tell anyone, it was just a little).

My American-Italian husband has always felt that greens are not to be served with a pasta meal. Well, a pasta meal to him is ONLY rigatoni and red sauce, a meatball or two, some hot sausage and if you want to give him Chicken Parm and/or Braciole he wouldn’t turn it down. He loved the dish, I WAS SHOCKED!!  As well as full and satisfied.  That was very, very delicious.

DH: Why haven’t we had this before?

Me: Well…

DH: We should have this again, it’s really good!

Me: Sigh…

ALOHA!

I Think We Can Eat This

Yeah, um, I was looking through all of my recipes the other day, trying to figure out something ‘new’ that I can add to our diet, I mean new way of looking at food. I have this three-ring binder in my kitchen cabinet where I collect/adapt dishes from people that I’ve met or websites, or TV programs, what have you.

I shared with you my SIL’s recipe for potatoes, well this one is from that same trip back East at Thanksgiving a few years back. It was a really awful day and she put on this yummy smelling pot of bubbling goodness that was done in no time flat. I was thinking that maybe we could eat this without the sausage and rice. HMMM, wait a minute. I’m pretty sure that I saw turkey kielbasa in the market. Maybe we can have this after all.

Quick Gumbo

Quick Gumbo

4 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped

2 large Celery stalks, diced

½ C. White Onion, diced

2 Carrots, diced

2 Garlic cloves, minced

2-15oz. can diced Tomatoes

2-4 C. Chicken broth (I use 2, depends on how soupy you like it)

8 oz. frozen Cut Okra

½ tsp. dried Thyme

2 Bay leaves

¼ tsp. Cayenne

6 Green onions, chopped

2 lbs. boneless-skinless Chicken, cut into large bite sized pieces

1 lb. Kielbasa, sliced

Sauté until crisp-tender the peppers, celery, carrots, onions and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the olive oil. Stir in the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes, until the chicken is done.

Serve with steamed rice (that is of course if you’re eating rice).

**you can add 1lb. of cleaned shrimp at the last 5 minutes or so, be careful not overcook them.

*** we like our soups a bit on the thicker side, so I tightened the broth up at the end with a slurry of about 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons of corn starch and some cold water; stir it into the pot as it’s still boiling, let cook for a few minutes.

I also added a last minute sprinkle of chopped green onions tops for brighten up the flavor.

This recipe will serve 4-6 people hungry people, it’s a full pot, that’s for sure.

Last Day!

Yesterday was the last day that DH and I could eat whatever we wanted, well, within reason of course.

We started out our day with BACON and eggs with a slice of Italian bread as toast and a small bowl of strawberries. I only had 4 slices of BACON  left in the `fridge, so I figured that it wasn’t worth heating up the oven just for that measly amount, so I put them on some paper towels and into the micro for a few minutes, perfect! After a quick wash up, off we went to run errands. We had to wait for a bit for some paint that we needed to be mixed, so what does my smart and handsome husband see but Luke’s Italian Beef a few doors down.

We had eaten here once before, when we first moved to the mainland from Hawaii. We ordered an Italian Beef and an Italian Sub. This shop serves up Chicago-style Italian Beef, different from what I’ve had in Pennsylvania, where DH is from. Even the hot peppers are different, VERY HOT, so I asked for them on the side. The sub was on a nice roll, not the Amoroso rolls from Phillie, but good.

For dinner, we just had a mixed plate of all of the leftovers from the past few days. I figure, we might as well finish this stuff off, we want having anything white again for a while.

LUNCH!

It may not be hot wherever you are, but for us here in the desert southwest, Summer is upon us in full force. It’s HOT!  So what do we do? Well, there’s no beach to run to, so the next best thing is the pool, YEAH BABY! DH and I spend probably about 2-3 hours at our community’s pool and fitness center after breakfast most days. We try to get back home about lunch time and have something on the light side.

LUNCH!

One of our favorite warm weather mid-day meal is Tyson Crispy Chicken strips and an array of chopped raw veggies. When our nephews (Heh Jake and Jack) were visiting with us last month, we bought the jumbo sized bag of Tyson Chicken Nuggets, which we still had left in the freezer, so I figured, same thing right?

Love that Hidden Valley Ranch

Now, I’m a dripper, I like to dunk my vegetables in some sort of creamy dressing, which drives my husband up a tree, it’s the smell that gets to him.

Noh Brand Hawaiian BBQ Sauce

Something else I like for dipping is Noh brand Hawaiian Barbeque Sauce, (yup, it’s from Hawaii) IT’S ONO~LICIOUS (really tasty)! It has this nice smoky, tangy, sweet, savory, plain `ole rock your mouth flavor. It’s great on the nuggets.

Sweet Chili Sauce

If you can find Sweet chili sauce in your area, try it, and not just as a dipping sauce. It makes a wonderful glaze on roast chicken!

Okay, so that’s three different dips that I put into small ramekins on my plate; for DH, NONE! That’s right, he likes his naked, no sauce, no condiments other than loads of freshly cracked black pepper, so that’s his plate you see above.

ALOHA!