Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner…and then some

In the kitchen at Di's House

Meatless Monday – Eggplant with Gnocchi (plus catching up)

I bought eggplant at the Farmer’s Market this weekend, intending to make vegetable panini.  Then I thought pasta alla norma, and changed my mind again, remembering I have sweet potato gnocchi in the freezer.  I ended up making my own concoction, sauteeing cubed eggplant with onion, garlic, chard, adding fire-roasted tomatoes (I had half a can in the fridge), chopped garlic olives, and oregano.  We had kale and tomato salad on the side, with spiced nuts (garam masala, ginger and cayenne).  I mixed the eggplant with the gnocchi, it’s just separate for the photo.  I’ll make panini with some of the leftovers.


A few days ago I made homemade vegetable masala burgers, using a Trader Joe’s copycat recipe.  I served them on a flatbread, with avocado and tomato.  They weren’t as spicy as the real thing but still good.  I liked how the patty held together.  It made 6, so I froze the rest.


This morning I made a batch of granola from Jeanne Lemlin’s cookbook, “Simple Vegetarian Pleasures.”  The recipe is for cranberry almond granola, I substituted pecans and cashews, and didn’t mix in the cranberries.  I added way more goodies than the recipe calls for, so it’s not too clumpy.


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Kale and Onion Pizza

I made pizza with the leftover kale pesto, and added additional sauteed kale, onions, and garlic.  Since I’ve never made it before, I made one pizza with kale pesto, sauteed kale mixture, feta, roasted red peppers, and spinach feta chicken sausage.  The other pizza had Sockarooni sauce (Newman’s Own – my favorite), sauteed kale mixture, mozzarella, and spinach feta chicken sausage.  I was hoping that if one was “bad” then maybe the other would be “not so bad.”

DSCN2811With just the sauces…

DSCN2812And with the toppings

Actually the kale and other toppings had enough flavor, where I couldn’t really tell the difference between the pesto and sauce versions.  I liked the one with feta the best, though.


A lot of what I end up cooking is dictated by what bits & pieces I have in the refrigerator.  Like tonight, I finished off a jar of roasted red peppers, discovered I had feta from something else I’d made awhile back, along with the Sockarooni sauce.  I’m almost done with the kale and collards from the Farmer’s Market nearly two weeks ago.  Oh, I also topped the pizza with fresh sliced tomato, from the market.  I learned that from my husband, to add the tomatoes after the pizza comes out of the oven, vs. baking the slices.  It tastes fresher.

I got the pans at Dollar Tree, they are just the right size for my toaster oven.  I use it a LOT in the summer, when it’s in the 90’s and 100’s.  Every time I make pizza, I am reminded how much I love it.  Can’t wait to get more veggies at the market this weekend.

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Meatless Monday – Kale and Walnut Pesto

I still have kale and collards from last weekend’s Farmer’s Market.  Even though I cook a lot, it takes awhile to go through produce since there are only two of us.  Tonight we had kale and walnut pesto, on butternut squash triangolo from Trader Joe’s, with a chard salad.  I loosely followed this recipe I found online, only didn’t wilt the kale and used less lemon.  I remembered to save some of the pasta water to use to loosen up the pesto a little too.  I liked the pesto because it’s not as strong as basil.  I have a bunch leftover but I’m anxious to try it out as suggested here, like on hard-boiled eggs and also stirred into mashed potatoes.


The salad was chard, with a balsamic vinaigrette, cranberries and nuts.  I just used the dressing I had in the refrigerator instead of making more chutney dressing.  I was thinking that if I made this meal for one of those TV cooking shows, the judge would be saying how there is too much acid in the dressing to go with the bitterness of the greens, yada yada yada.  Or that you shouldn’t pair this with that.  Like I said, I just didn’t want to make a new batch of dressing when I already had some.  It still was good, though!

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Meatless Monday – Collard Wraps and Broccoli Soup

I found a recipe online using collard leaves as a “wrap.”  Right now I have broccoli, zucchini, collards, and kale from the local farmer’s market.  Last night, we had stir fry (with zucchini, kale, chard and broccoli).  I mixed the leftovers with rice and used it as a stuffing.  I had leftover Thai lime vinaigrette, which I used as a sauce.


I’ve had the broccoli since last week and it needed to be used up…which led to cream of broccoli soup (recipe from “The Joy of Cooking”).  Add a glass of kombucha, and dinner is ready!  I loved the collard wraps, I blanched a bunch of the leaves to try other fillings.


For dessert, we had rice pudding.  I had trouble with the crockpot, it would go from watery to overdone just like that.  I tried a water bath method, which worked better, but I still overcooked it.  I don’t want to open the lid constantly but it’s kind of necessary to stir the bottom of the bowl, to see how clumpy the rice is.


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Roasted Kohrabi

I have kohrabi and broccoli from a local farmer this week.  I’ve never had kohrabi until now, actually, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it until now.  My friend gave me a recipe for roasted kohrabi, it’s peeled, cut into slices, then roasted with olive oil & garlic, and parmesan cheese.  I added some broccoli and brussels sprouts, since they have similar or complementary flavors.


The recipe calls for cutting the kohrabi into halved slices, but I cut it into “fry” shape so everything would cook more evenly.  I had bowties on my mind, since I crocheted one this week…


…which meant, farfalle to go with the veggies.  I liked how all the veggies had texture, instead of being mushy.  Anything with garlic and parmesan is good, too.


Even though it may seem like I cook a lot, I’m really bad at cooking a bunch of things at one time and having everything be ready at once.  While we were eating the pasta, I had focaccia baking.  I make the dough in the bread machine, let it rise, then put it into a pan.  I’m going to make sandwiches with the leftovers.


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Meatless Sunday – Vegetable Masala Burgers

We’re meatless a day early this week because I have other dinner plans tomorrow.  Tonight’s dinner features lots of ingredients from Trader Joe’s.  We had kale salad, with the chutney dressing from last night.  The main course was vegetable masala burgers on naan, with a little mango chutney – all three things from Trader Joe’s.  I wish the store was closer.  The one I went to is in Plano, which is about 2 hours’ drive.  Now that summer is upon us, I’m thinking of seeing if some friends want to carpool to do a Trader Joe’s and IKEA run in a couple months.  I love the burgers, they are potato with veggies (green beans, carrots, corn), and Indian spices.  I thought they were salty, though, and would like to find a recipe to make a homemade knock-off.  I also want to find a good naan recipe.  These were fluffy enough where they made a good burger bun.


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Fresh Chard Salad with Chutney Dressing

Today was the weekly Farmer’s Market.  I’ve been going the last few weeks, to help out with the Sewing Circle, that makes market bags out of old t-shirts.  One of my new friends there gave me a recipe for chutney dressing.  She said it’s good on chopped swiss chard, with dried cranberries and nuts.  We have chard growing in my sister-in-law’s garden.  The leaves are so huge, I only needed one.


I didn’t buy any produce today because I have kale from last week, as well as kohlrabi and broccoli from the local food co-op.  We had the chard salad, along with steamed kale, kohlrabi greens, chard stem, broccoli and chicken, with a mild curry yogurt sauce (yogurt and Patak mild curry paste, in a 4:1 ratio, I used about 2 tablespoons yogurt and half a tablespoon curry paste).  The salad was wonderful.  The dressing would be good with spinach too.


Chutney Dressing

3 tablespoons wine vinegar3 tablespoons chutney (like Major Grey’s Mango, I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 – 1/2 cup oil (we used olive oil)
salt and pepper to taste

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