Tag Archives: easy

Snow-Day

It’s the last weekend before Christmas. Original plans included a holiday party this evening, complete with friends from near and far, food, drinks, and a dessert buffet, supplied by my guests.

However, the weather has changed all this. The Northeast is expecting a Noreaster, and even though the snow isn’t coming down too hard just yet, the weatherpeople are starting we can get up to 8-10 inches. Yikes.

I’m not a snow person at all- I commute daily in my car, I hate the cold, etc. And due to the weather, our plans are a bit up in the air. We might have some guests this evening, and a small spread will be prepared.

In anticipation of anywhere from 2 to 20 guests, cleaning is in order. After a good cleaning session, don’t you want something that’ll fill you up? I’ve been craving ratatouille since the beginning of this week. Here is my easy recipe for this filling, healthy meal. Best part is that I could set it to cook while I finished up cleaning the bathroom. Multitasking!

Quick and Easy Ratatouille

1 eggplant, roughly chopped into chunks

1 half of green pepper cut into strips

1 zuchinni, sliced not too thin not to thick

1 onion chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed and minced

1 Tbsp dried parsley

1 large can of diced tomatoes, about 16oz.

1 handful of spinach

olive oil, salt & pepper

1. In a medium sized Dutch oven, heat up olive oil. Sautee onion for one minute, add garlic and sautee another 2 minutes until aromatic.

2. Add peppers and zuchinni, sautee with onions and garlic, making sure to coat all the vegetables. Add eggplant and sautee for 2-3 minutes until tender.

3. Add tomatoes, be sure to drain most of the juice as the tomatoes will create a nice broth for the stew. Add dried parsley and season with salt and pepper.

4. Let simmer covered for about 10-15 minutes. Add spinach to pot, cover and let it wilt for about 5 minutes.

I like to eat it topped with fresh mozzarella and a nice chunk of French or Italian bread slathered with butter. So very quick and easy and perfect for this snowy day.

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Meatless Monday: Curried Chickpeas and Couscous

My SO isn’t a fan of eating when meat is not the central protein. I’m working on that slowly. It’s hard because he’s not exactly meat and potatoes.

Not saying that this dish will be of any interest to him. When SO works Monday evenings, I take advantage of the empty nest and plan on vegetarian. Mondays at work usually consists of me playing plenty of catch-up, but I try to make time to look up something to make.

Today, not so much. My sinuses are indicating that I might have something else brewing below so I took the day to work at home. This didn’t excuse bossman to give me an impossible assignment, when all I really wanted to do was lay down. Eleven hours of work later (you don’t quite have the advantage of ducking out when you want to when you work at home), I want something quick and easy.

This is wholly inspired by Channa Masala, a dish that’s special to me because it was one of the first vegetarian dishes I learned to cook while in college, when I ate mostly vegetarian (not the world’s greatest but you know).

Curried Chickpeas and Couscous

1 can of chickpeas, drained

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/2 tsp Cumin

1-2 Tbsp Curry powder

3/4 cup Couscous

1. Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Add onions and cook until tender. Add cumin and cayenne pepper and fry until fully incorporated.

2. Add chickpeas and season with salt and pepper. I didn’t add too much salt because I didn’t drain the chickpeas.Sprinkle curry powder on top, combine.

3. Add diced tomatoes and bring to boil. Let boil for about 2-3 minutes, then throw in couscous. Remove from heat and let stand until couscous is cooked, 5 minutes tops.

Eat with yogurt or a side of bread or on its own. My first batch I added 1 Tbsp of Curry Powder but found that I wanted more. The amount if subject to your own taste preference.

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plan on plantains

I forgot how much I enjoyed plantains. Growing up I was scarred for life as I ate one raw. I’ve just recently started to enjoy them again, especially when fried and eaten alongside something really meaty and substantial, like shredded pork or chorizo and beans.

I found an easy and tasty wait to prepare plantains in the May 09 issue of Food and Wine. Sooo easy! And plantains are sooo cheap. At my local supermarket they are like 3 for a dollar sometimes.

Find the recipe here: Tostones

And here are some pictures from my Tostone making:DSC01491

DSC01492DSC01496

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