Sunday, September 20, 2009

Zucchini Pie

Really easy and full of flavor. Would make a great brunch item.

Zucchini Pie (adapted from

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

3 Cups grated Zucchini

½ cup chopped Onions

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 teaspoon freshbasil

Fresh Thyme

Saltand Pepper to taste

2 Eggs beaten

2 cups Mozzarella cheese grated

1 can refrigerated Crescent rolls

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive in skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, onions, and garlic cook until tender.Add parsley, salt, pepper, basil and thyme to zucchini mixture, stir.In a large bowl combine beaten eggs and grated Mozzarella cheese, mix well. Add the Zucchini mixture to bowl and stir gently.Separate Crescent roll dough and place into an ungreased pie pan, to form a crust. Press the perforations together to prevent the zucchini mixture from escaping.Pour Zucchini mixture evenly into the crust-lined pan.Bake for about 20 minutes (or until knife inserted in center comes out clean)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eggplant and Potato Curry

Eggplant and Potato Curry (adapted from
5-6 baby eggplants, cut into halves or quarters
2 potatoes, cut into quarters
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons oil
Cayenne Pepper
Curry Powder
In a deep pan, heat the oil on a medium flame until hot.
Add the onions and spices and sautee until soft and transluscent.
Add the eggplant and potato and mix well. Sauteefor 2 minutes.
Sprinkle water on the vegetables and mix all well.
Cover the dish and cook untilthe vegetables are almost done. Check occasionally.
Remove the cover from the dish and stir. Cook until done. You may need to add more water.
Garnish with chopped, fresh cilantro leaves and serve with hot Naan -- we buy pre-made frozen Naan at an Indian store. It's really good and it saves a lot of time.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Dinner

Jake enjoying his Iowa sweet corn smothered in butter, parmesan cheese, pepper, and salt.

Lean steak, sweet corn on the cob, and the best damn kale I've ever made.

A close-up of the sauteed kale I have perfected!
Sauteed Kale (perfected!)
2 Cups kale
olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
a handful or two of pine nuts, toasted
a few splashes of sherry or a wine of your choice
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
Blanch kale and drain. Heat oil in sautee pan and add kale, garlic, sautee for 2 minutes; add kale, pine nuts, sherry, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper; sautee for 5 minutes.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fried Zuchini From the Garden

The beautiful plant.

A tiny little zuchini right next to the one I picked and fried up.

How beautiful is this? I grew it!!!

Getting ready to get dipped (in egg and milk mixture) then breaded with italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.

The finished product.

Want to see more pics of my garden? Click here!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spanakopitas and Orzo

A family favorite of ours is Greek spanakopitas (spinach pies, if you prefer an easier way of pronouncing). Spanakopitas are time consuming to make but are totally worth the time because they are so gosh darn good; crispy phyllo outside, spinach, dill, onion, and melted feta in the inside. HEAVEN, I tell ya. Get the recipe here.
Orzo is such a great pasta and it's super versatile. Tonight, I prepared another family classic with it; orzo, tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta cheese, lemon ( I use the juice of 2 lemons), and olive oil. Normally, I would put fresh basil in this salad, but the basil we bought at the store somehow was no where to be found!!! I added some fresh dill instead, worked just fine. :-)
(The mouthwatering inside of the spanakopitas)
(Fresh and flavorful orzo salad)

(The crispy outside of the spanakopitas)

(Angel food cake out of the box, so what!)

SPICY Bean Tacos

These were good, not great, just good. If I make them again I plan on cutting back the amount of chipotle peppers in adobo (the flavor was good but they were too spicy for Jake's taste) and replacing that flavor with taco seasoning spices (cumin, chili powder, garlic, and a little cayenne pepper)
Instead of sour cream (which we love), we used plain yogurt and it tasted almost as good as sour cream, I'm not kidding. :-)
Spicy Bean Tacos (
8 whole-wheat tortillas, 7 inches each
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic , minced
2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped, plus more for serving (optional)
Coarse salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 cup store-bought green salsa, plus more for serving (optional) - I omitted this
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed - omitted this
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap tortillas in foil, place in oven, and warm while you prepare the filling.
-In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic; cook 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in beans, chipotle, and 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper, simmer 5 to 7 minutes until slightly thickened and hot. Add salsa (if desired), corn, and lime juice; cook until heated through.
-Unwrap tortillas; spread yogurt over one side. Top with the warm bean mixture, cilantro leaves, lettuce, and cheese. Fold tortillas over and serve 2 per person with additional salsa and chipotle, if desired.

I couldn't resist posting this pic of Grace. How cute is she?!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Gado Gado (gah-doh gah-doh)

Last week my friend Alison and I went to the Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa's book sale. This book sale was dreamy--a HUGE room full of all sorts of wonderful books--we were in heaven. Among the books were lots of great cook books (YAY!) and I happened to pick up The New Moosewood Cookbook. If you don't own this cookbook walk, nay, RUN to the nearest bookstore and get it!!!
The first recipe I made from the Moosewood was a traditional Indonesian dish, Gado Gado. The Moosewood describes it quite perfectly:
"An Indonesian extravaganza: Yello rice on a bed of spinach, covered with vegetables, tofu, and hardboiled eggs. A gingery peanut suace gets drizzled over the top, and crucnhy, flavorful "final toppings" add a delightful finishing touch. AND IT'S ALL QUITE EASY-EVEN FOR BEGINNERS! HAVE FUN WITH THIS!"

Start with a bed of spinach and yellow rice (just add tumeric to your boiling rice to make it yellow)

Then top with veggies, tofu, and eggs.

Finish by drizzling with the most awesome peanut sauce ever and top with coconut flakes and crushed peanuts. There will seriously be a party in your mouth. This is a MUST try meal for my food lovin' friends. :-)
Peanut Sauce (The New Moosewood Cookbook)
Makes 2 cups
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water
4 tablespoons cider vinegar (I used rice vinegar and it tasted just fine)
2 tablespoon soy sauce
Crushed red pepper to taste

- Put everything is a blender (I used a hand blender) and puree until smooth. If it's too thick, add a little extra water.

- Drizzle over your Gado Gado. ENJOY!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kitty Cat, Tofu, and Cous Cous

Pictured above is our new kitty, Grace (I've taken to calling her Grace Face). We adopted her on Wednesday and we absolutely adore here! She's the sweetest little thing who loves to cuddle, have her belly rubbed, and sleep with us in our bed.

We were a little worried about Grace and Arlo, but so far things are great with them. Grace loves to sleep in the basement so when she's hanging out down there we get Arlo out of her cage. During the day we keep the door to Arlo's room shut; I don't even think they know that the other one exist.

For supper I made marinated tofu and served it over a bed of blanched and sauteed kale. We had yukon gold potatoes with red onions as a side.

Marinated and Baked Tofu

( I didn't measure my marinade ingredient, so amounts are an estimate)

Tofu, drained and cut into card deck sized pieces

3 tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon Sesame Oil

1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar

1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

Garlic, chopped

- Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and garlic and pour over tofu strips. Marinate for 30 minutes or longer for even better flavor.

- Bake tofu in oven for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees.

The other night I prepared an awesome Cinnamon Moroccan chicken with cous cous. The recipe can be found here on I added pecans to the apple and golden raisin mixture and mixed it in with the cous cous. I seriously could've eaten an entire gallon of the cous cous, it was that good!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

This Evening Rocked

This weekend has done an amazing job of lifting my spirits and awakening me. The temperatures soared to the mid-60s and beckoned many Iowans outside to enjoy the beautiful weather. I went for a jog with Alison in the morning, enjoyed an Irish meal at my employees house in the afternoon, and relaxed with my amazing husband this evening. Jake and I cooked up some sesame encrusted tuna steaks and garlicky green beans with almonds. We enjoyed our meal outside and lingered for a bit while drinking wine and beer over great conversation. Does it get much better than that? I don't think so.
Pictured above is the really tasty sauce we put over our tuna steaks (see recipe below)

Searing our tuna over white hot flames.

The finished product was quite beautiful and really tasty.

Sesame-Crusted Tuna with Carrot Ginger Sauce(

1 medium carrot (2 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh peeled ginger (about a 2-inch piece)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts separated)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 to 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
Coarse salt
1/2 cup sesame seeds, preferably mixed black and white
4 tuna steaks (each 6 to 8 ounces)

-In a blender, combine carrot, ginger, scallion whites, vinegar, sesame oil, tamari, 3 tablespoons canola oil, and 1 tablespoon water. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides of blender jar as necessary (add up to 1 tablespoon more water, if necessary, to adjust consistency). Season with salt.
-Place sesame seeds on a rimmed plate. Season tuna steaks with salt, then press both sides of the steaks into seeds to coat.
-Heat remaining tablespoon canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook fish in skillet 1 to 2 minutes per side for medium-rare (if steaks are particularly large, cook them in two batches).
-Serve fish topped with sauce and sprinkled with reserved scallion greens.

CHEERS! to an amazing evening.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Filling (and really darn good) Pasta

A few weeks ago I whipped up a lunch with some random things I had in the refrigerator and pantry and I came up with a tasty little pasta dish that had kale, chickpeas, olive oil, and garlic in it. Tonight, I recreated the dish but added a spicy/zesty red sauce to it. One word: AWESOME!

That bowl of goodness you see above contains:
Whole Wheat Penne
Crushed Red Tomatoes w/ olive oil, crushed red pepper, crushed garlic, salt and pepper
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Boil penne noodles.
-Sautee kale and chickpeas in olive oil with garlic and salt.
-Combine crushed tomatoes with olive oil, red pepper, crushed garlic, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat.
-Toss everything together with the pasta and grate fresh parmesan cheese on top.
Beware: This is a very filling meal!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Awesome Tuna Salad and a 20k Run

I have officially signed up to particpate in a 20k race on May 30! My friend Alison and I are doing it together. and we're using a 12-week training plan that officially starts tomorrow. I'm excited, nervous, and a tad bit crazy for spending money to run 12.4 miles!! I can't wait to share my training journey with my blog readers.

On to supper....

This tuna salad was WOW! I got the recipe inspiration from a recipe.
This is a protein-packed meal containing both northern white beans and tuna. Served over a bed of spinach leaves, it's a filling yet really healthy meal.
Tuna and White Bean Salad

1 package tuna

1 can northern white beans, drained

2 stalk celery, finely chopped

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

1 cup green beans

fresh basil - to taste
~1-2 tablespoons olive oil

~1 tablespoon white basalmic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Spinach or another yummy green
Cook green beans in boiling water for 5 minutes; drain and rinse with cold water then chop into bite size pieces.

Combine all ingredients and mix together. Serve over a bed of fresh greens.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Fever

A beer and grilling--it doens't get much better than that.

Add some ribeye steaks (seasoned with salt and pepper only)

Grilled zuchini, eggplant, and green beans

And, you have yourself one delicious spring-time meal. We Iowans cherish our 50 degree days in early March. :-)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I have managed to catch the sick germs that have been floating around work and I feel miserable. When I feel miserable all I want is as big bowl of healthy soup. A couple years ago my Aunt Connie and Uncle Mike gave me a recipe book called The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup. All of the recipes in the book look amazing and it was hard to choose one to make. I finally settled on a classic Italian Ribollita.
"Ribollita is like minestrone, but includes beans instead of pasta. In Italy, this is traditionally served ladled over bread and a rich green vegetable."

This soup is full of good for you veggies and lots of flavor. The recipe calls for pesto and lucky for me I had a few pesto cubes left in my freezer (you can see the little guys in the picture above) You can find my pesto recipe here.

I sauteed some arugula and spinach to serve the soup over. The arugula added a great peppery taste. Kale would also be a great addition. Rather than serving over bread, I just served the bread on the side.

The soup was perfect and made me feel better (at least for a little bit).

Ribollita (Adapted from The Cook's Encyclopedia of Soup)

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 celery stocks, sliced

1 large zuchini, thinly sliced

Green beans, trimmed

14 oz. can crushed tomatoes -- I used fire roasted

2 tablespoons pesto

3 cups vegetable stock

14 oz. can Northern White beans or Cannellini beans

Salt and Pepper to taste

- Heat oil in large saucepan or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, garlic, celery, and onion and fry slowly for 10 minutes. Add the zuchini ad green beans and fry for 2 minutes longer.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, pesto, stock, and beans and bring to a boil. Lower the hear, cover and simmer for ~ 25 to 30 minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve over greens.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

All By Myself

Jake's in Iowa City for the annual Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice (the journal he was on in Law School) symposium so I have the house to myself tonight; it's taking me back to the days of living on my own and having to cook supper for only one person, which, in my opinion, is hard to do. I had quite a collection of veggies in the fridge so I decided to roast some up (my favorite thing to do with veggies) and throw them over a bed of spinach, arugula, and quinoa. I really love arugula but have a hard time finding it around here. Luckily, Dole began making a really great arugula and spinach mix that is now available at my local grocer! I don't think I've mentioned arugula in any previous posts so here's the down low on the stuff: high in vitamins A and C and contains barely any calories (2 calories/half cup!) PRetty SUPER! P.S. It's a great addition to pesto!!

After posting, I realized I've never given a good SHOUT OUT to quinoa (quickly becoming a kitchen favorite in our household). While doing my food research I found that quinoa is a seed that is a relative of leafy green vegetables. Who would've thought? We always have a bag of quinoa on hand. It's easy to cook, it taste wonderful--nutty, and creamy and crunchy at the same time--best texture ever! Find out more about this magical little seed by clicking here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Texas, Y'all

The beautiful River Walk in San Antonio. Every city with a river should have something like this.
El Mercado. I so wish I would've bought one of the dogs. How great of a conversation piece would that have been?!

Dancing in the oldest dance hall in Texas located in Gruene (the cutest little Texas town)
Outside of a great pottery store in Gruene. I bought a clay bird there.

The restaurants in Texas are all big and decorated with all sorts of great stuff.

Someday when I have lots of money saved I'm going to open a restaurant like the one above; antique store/restaurant.
More of the antique store/restaurant. Everything in this pic is for sale(except the table)

A Texas sirloin. YUMMY. Obviously, my SUPERfoods diet was not sustained on my trip to Texas.