Tag Archives: veggie

Another Fun Double Date Night In

Tonight was another random, last minute, double date night in. Our friends Leigh and Nate’s anniversary was yesterday, so I sent them an email and told them we should get together again soon. They suggested tonight, so we said sure! They came over for a healthful Lasagna (we use the recipe on the back of the Barilla No Bake Lasagna noodles box and substitute ground turkey for the beef/sausage; plus, every time it says to add meat, add meat AND veggies–we used 1 c. frozen spinach, 1 small zucchini, 1 small yellow squash and about 8 chopped baby carrots). Plus they brought garlic bread and we made a salad (see below).

Green Salad with Carrots in the center, surrounded by a Caprese Salad of roma tomatoes, mozzarella, capers and chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and your favorite vinegar and sprinkle with salt & pepper or your favorite seasoning grinder. Yum!

For dessert, we had a rich cup of French Roast coffee and Double Chocolate Torte (gluten-free vegan recipe from Oh She Glows). Even the dessert is full of good-for-you stuff, don’t knock it before you’ve tried it. Seconds will be had…guilt-free! Delicious chilled, at room temperature, or my favorite way–frozen!

picture courtesy of Oh She Glows

After dessert, they ended up teaching us two new games. If you hadn’t noticed, games are one of our favorite things to do. We played a lot of games during our dating years, especially Settles of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Scrabble and Dutch Blitz. We even had game nights that we co-hosted weekly during our first couple of years of marriage. Six years later, the frequency of games has decreased, but we still enjoy board and card games quite a bit.

Last time Nate and Leigh were here, they taught us Dominion, and it became a fast favorite, to the point we “had” to buy it and have played it for date nights multiple times since then (good for 2 players). Tonight, they taught us Small World and 7 Wonders–both are very good games!

“Risk”-esque game of conquering territories. Only 9 turns per player, but has a bit more of a learning curve than 7 Wonders and takes a bit more time with strategizing.

A fast-paced, easy to learn game for 3+ players, with multiple strategies and outcomes.

Thank God for like-minded friends and lasting memories of fun nights together! And Happy Anniversary, Nate and Leigh!

Recipe: Organic Veggie Omelet

Organic Veggie Omelet with Homemade Hearty Sourdough Toast

Serves 2.

Ingredients:

  • organic olive oil (mist or about 1 tsp.)
  • 1 medium organic carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 c. organic red onion, diced
  • 2 large organic silver mushrooms, chopped
  • 8-10 organic grape tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
  • 5 organic eggs
  • 1/4 c. organic whole milk
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 2 oz. of your favorite cheese (we used gouda with mustard seed)
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh organic parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2-4 Tbsp. fresh organic cilantro leaves, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Spray omelet pan with organic olive oil. Heat to medium heat.
  2. Add chopped veggies and sautee for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, beat eggs and milk together with salt and pepper.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low and pour eggs over veggies.
  5. Add cheese and let cook through for 5-7 minutes. (Tip: Run your spatula along the outside edge of the pan to release eggs from edges of pan; tilt pan towards released edge so the liquid egg on top runs under the portion your loosening.)
  6. Fold in half or scramble.
  7. Top with freshly chopped cilantro and parsley.
  8. Serve hot.

Not seen: Fresh hot coffee and my friend Shannah! So good to hang out with her! When I plated our breakfast, Shannah remarked, “Yum! That looks like something I’d see on a blog I read.” She was referring to my blog. So, of course, I had to take a picture. 🙂

After our brunch, I met my friend Jan at the gym for her first post-baby workout! She was so excited to finally be released to workout and I was so excited to have my workout buddy back! 🙂 Now for some chicken and black bean chili in a leftover sourdough bread bowl and off to run Saturday errands before Bryan wakes up for our evening meal.

Getting My Smoothie On! (Mar. 4, 2010)

Yields 4 servings.
Blend the following:
2 c. fresh spinach
1 c. plain low fat yogurt
1 c. cranberry juice
1 frozen banana (roughly chopped)
1/2 c. pineapple
1/2 c. frozen blackberries
1/3 c. frozen raspberries
1/3 c. frozen blueberries
12 baby carrots (roughly chopped)
1/4 c. sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. flaxseed
3 Tbsp. agave nectar (or honey)

So good! I make my smoothies the night before and just give them a
shake the next morning so I can drink one on the way to work. I know
veggies in the drink sound weird, but they totally hide under the
berry flavor and give you extra vitamins and minerals!

Bon Appetit!

For those interested in the nutritional info, check it out on my SparkPeople page (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detail.asp?recipe=976448).

You can also add 8 dried plums (prunes) to this for a little extra sweetness. If you do, that’s an extra 40 calories/0 fat/11 g carb/.4g protein per serving.

Roasted Veggies with a Twist & Dip (Mar. 3, 2010)

I had some veggies leftover in my veggie drawer that needed to be used so I didn’t waste them. So, what did I do with them? I roasted them, of course! 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes = deliciousness!

This time, I used the leftover ingredients from my veggie boullion (see Feb. 9th’s post for recipe) and added potatoes to it. I had 2 leeks, 1/2 fennel bulb (plus some fennel leaves), 4 garlic cloves, 1/2 small bag of baby carrots, and 4 potatoes. I chopped everything up so the pieces were roughly the same size, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper, and let the oven do it’s thing. I was nervous about the fennel. Every time I’ve seen it used on a cooking show, they compare it to licorice (which I hate). It does have a licoricey smell when you’re chopping it, but when roasted with everything else, it adds a nice texture and color to the mix.

Dip in ketchup or, if you like a thinner dip, you could use sour cream and a ranch dressing packet. If you’re more adventurous, make a Greek yogurt dip! My recipe below is like a tzatziki sauce with cheese. Mix all ingredients till smooth.

6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. dill weed
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped finely
3 green onions, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped finely
1 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
Salt & pepper to taste

Enjoy!

Baked Penne with Roasted Veggies and Chicken (Feb. 11, 2010)

Here’s another healthy favorite:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Chop vegetables into bite size pieces:
1 red pepper
2 zucchini
2 summer squash
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 leek

Place on baking sheet (I use large stoneware bar pan from Pampered Chef) with:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Toss vegetables in oil gently and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes (or until tender).

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta for 6-7 minutes (needs to still be hard on the inside; it will finish cooking in the oven):
1# whole wheat penne pasta

In a large bowl, mix:
1 large jar of Ragu Organic Original Marinara Sauce
1 c. ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded part skim mozzarella
1 1/2 c. frozen peas, thawed
3 c. pre-cooked, cubed chicken (optional: without the chicken, this dish makes a great side dish or vegetarian meal)

Drain pasta and add to cheese/sauce mixture. Add roasted veggies. Toss gently and pour into greased 9×13 pan or large casserole dish.

Top with:
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. butter, cut into small pieces (placed on top of Parmesan to make a nice crispy topping)

Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes.

Serves 12. Could also be used as a side dish for a large party.

It is SO yummy!

What’s In Season?

I found this handy chart posted at http://www.good.is/post/seasonal-food-chart/. It’s originally from FrugalforLife.blogspot.com. Blue signifies fruit is in season during the marked months. Red signifies vegetables that are in season during marked months. Thought this would be helpful to pass on. Produce is found at its best prices and quality when it’s in season. Out of season vegetables are typically raised in hothouses and forced to grow rather than being grown in more natural environments. When produce is out of season, you may consider purchasing frozen fruits or vegetables for a more economical approach. Frozen produce has the same nutritional quality as fresh. Steaming is the best way to heat frozen produce without releasing its nutritional qualities. Many people overcook frozen vegetables; a tell tale sign of this is water that turns the color of the fruit or vegetable (at that point, you’d literally have to drink the water to make it nutritious). Regardless of whether you buy fresh or frozen, it’s always good to have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day! And who wouldn’t want to? They’re delicious!

Roasted Potatoes, Etc. (Dec. 27, 2009)

My favorite way to eat vegetables is roasted. It brings out the natural sweetness in them. Preheat oven to 450F. Gently wash vegetables and dry. For potatoes, you can just rub olive oil over the entire potato and sprinkle with salt, or chop into fries or cubes, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. Bake for 45 minutes. If you like, sprinkle potatoes with cheese and bacon for the last 5 minutes. Serve with ketchup or sour cream.

I love red potatoes and sweet potatoes done this way. Other vegetables that work well include carrots (one of my all time favorites), onions, garlic, zucchini, summer squash and mushrooms.

This will be dinner tonight!