Friday, June 26, 2009

A simple lunch

I suppose I should be writing daily posts here. I also suppose I should be highlighting gourmet vegetarian recipes. But...time goes by quickly and I don't always find myself with much time in the kitchen playing with food. One thing I love about summer is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables. Last night I grilled some over sized cherry tomatoes, asparagus and peppers. In the past, I've felt lukewarm about leftovers but not anymore. I couldn't wait to refrigerate my leftover grilled vegetables because I knew that this morning they would taste even better after soaking up the flavors of olive oil, garlic and sea salt. Oh, and did I mention the leftover mashed potatoes from last night too? How could I not whip up an omelet and mashed potato pancakes for lunch today? So quick and easy AND I'm getting all the yummy protein and vitamins that my body needs.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fresh tomato, basil and gorgonzola omelet with kale chips

Kale chips aren't just for snacking. I've been raving about the goodness of kale for quite some time now. I used to only use it raw in my green smoothies. But then my brother raved about kale chips and I now I whip up a batch quite often. This morning I decided to use up my last tomato and 2 eggs. The basil is growing like a weed outside and the Gorgonzola simply kicks ass. Of course, a bag of kale is always lurking in my refrigerator. While you're cooking the omelet, the chips are roasting in the oven. A perfect, healthy breakfast!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ravioli with herbed mustard sauce

I recently came across this recipe on line. I made it for lunch last week when my mother came to help me around the house. The original recipe calls for gnocci instead of ravioli and dijon mustard. I loved every bite of it but I realized that it was pretty filling due to the density of the gnocci and the kick from the straight dijon mustard.

Today I made it for lunch and I switched the gnocci with ravioli and the dijon mustard with dijonaise (Hellman's Brand). The result was a much lighter tasting version with a smoother tasting mustard sauce. This dish is so incredibly satisfying and is probably the easiest and quickest dish I've made to date. So far, it has become one of my very favorites.

Ravioli with Herbed Mustard Sauce

One bag of frozen ravioli
4 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons Dijonaise
4 Tablespoon whole milk or half and half
3-4 leaves of fresh sage, chopped finely
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
fresh black pepper
a few tablespoons toasted walnut pieces
Parmesan cheese

In a pot, cook ravioli according to directions. When finished, drain and divide on to serving plates.

To make the mustard sauce, melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat (DO NOT LET IT BURN). Add the mustard and whisk until blended. Add the milk, sage, pepper and half the chives. Let it all heat together.

Pour the mustard sauce over the ravioli and sprinkle with the remaining chives, toasted walnuts and a few shakes of Parmesan cheese. If I was making this for dinner, I'd probably serve it with some grilled cherry tomatoes and a loaf of french bread.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Curried Mango in Avocado

I've been waiting for the perfect day to make Curried Mango in Avocado. Today was the day. This is an adapted version that I found in Vegetarian Times. It's a gorgeous late Spring/early Summer afternoon and I just so happened to have several ripe avocados on hand. All of the fresh herbs outside of my kitchen are practically begging to be snipped and cooked with. This is such a colorful and flavorful dish. For someone who was once intimidated to cook with curry, I sure seem to be in love with it these days! I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to my beloved kale chips that went alongside the avocado.


1 large ripe avocado
1 large ripe mango, peeled and cubed (I used Organic Frozen Mango Chunks)
1/2 cup crushed banana or plantain chips
1 to 2 teaspoons of curry, or to taste
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
Juice of half a lime
1/4 cup (or a little less) fresh chopped basil

Slice avocado in half, lengthwise. Carefully twist halves apart and remove seed. Using sharp paring knife, cut crosshatch pattern into flesh, almost to skin, and spoon out cubes leaving 1/8 of an inch inside layer of avocado shell.

In mixing bowl, combine avocado cubes, mango cubes, crushed banana chips, curry powder, mayonnaise, lime juice and basil leaves together.

Mound the mixture in to avocado halves and sprinkle with a little more chopped basil.

FOR THE KALE CHIPS: break off some leafy bite sized pieces of raw kale and toss with A LITTLE olive oil (just enough to coat them). Sprinkle with sea salt, garlic, pepper and Parmesan cheese and place on a cookie sheet at 400 for about 9 minutes or until they start to brown slightly on the edges and get a little crispy.