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Ideas, suggestions and thoughts on my favorite topic.

Meat, Potatoes and Veggies – Summer Style June 8, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Grillin',Salads,Side Dishes,The Herald Columns — lindsayrose @ 3:01 am

In the winter, when I think of meat and potatoes, the image of a roast with a hearty gravy, cooked along with some potatoes and carrots is the image that comes to mind. 

However, in the summer, meat, potatoes and veggies means something very different.  Our summer version of this meal tonight was something different, a concoction of foods that we came across mostly by accident, but that made a delicious meal.

Yesterday, I ran to Lowe’s to grab just a few things, and happened to see a Shady Brook Farms turkey tenderloin on sale for only $5.  It seemed like it would be a waste not to buy it, so I threw it in my basket.  It was a Rotisserie flavored tenderloin, and when Ross grilled it tonight, he added some Thomas’ sauce while it cooked.  It tasted absolutely wonderful. 

Yesterday, I met my sister at her house before we headed to the Brad Paisley/Dierks Bentley concert (which was amazing, by the way).  One of her patients lives on a farm and had given her a whole bunch of yellow squash.  I cut it up tonight and put it on a cookie sheet.  I sprayed it with canola oil cooking spray, sprinkled it with salt, pepper and basil, and baked it for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  I added some fresh sliced tomatoes that my in-laws brought over to us today, sprinkled it with freshly grated parmesan cheese, and baked it for about 5-7 minutes more.  It was so super tasty.   I could have eaten twice the amount that I made.

Instead of wintry baked potatoes or mashed potatoes, we had potato salad.  I’ve used this recipe in my column before, but in case you missed it, here it is.  It was the perfect potato-ey touch for this delicious summer meal!

Potato Salad

2 ½ pounds potatoes

3 eggs

¾ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

3-4 stalks green onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons sweet relish

1 teaspoon paprika

 

Peel potatoes partly, boil until tender when pierced with a fork.  Boil eggs until hard boiled.  Cool potatoes and eggs in fridge. 

Dice potatoes and eggs to desired size.  Add mayonnaise and sour cream, mix well.  Add green onion, salt, pepper, mustard and relish.  Mix well.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Chill before serving.

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A Great Day with Summer Deliciousness April 17, 2009

Filed under: Entrees,Grillin',Life,Pasta,Salads,Side Dishes,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 1:44 am

Today was a great day.  “Spring Break” this year hasn’t felt like much of a Spring break since I’ve had some work to do everyday so far.  Today was the first day of the week that I didn’t have any work to do (well, I had to clean the bathrooms, but that’s just life).  I had a good morning at home getting things cleaned and organized.  I got 4 bags of clothes to Haven which I have been meaning to do for months.  They are so appreciative there, it makes you feel like you’ve really done something helpful!  After that small errand, I headed to Emily’s to meet up with her and her girls.  We had a great lunch at Fresh Choice.  Hailey and Leah were little ladies and entertained me with their napkin artwork and silly stories.  After lunch we headed to Dairy Queen.  Emily and I have been taunted for weeks by the ad for the Midnight Truffle Blizzard.  It was sooooooooooo good, but very, very rich!  After dessert, we all headed to get our hair cut which was so much fun and felt so good after 5 months without one!  On the way home, we stopped at Consign Design Boutique and I purchased my first 2 maternity outfits, for just $37!  I can’t wait to wear them!

After a busy but wonderful afternoon, I headed home to fix dinner.  Last week at the grocery store, I grabbed a pork loin roast just because it looked good.  I figured we’d throw it in the crock pot with something or other and call it a meal.  Well, when Ross suggested grilling it, there was no way I was turning him down!  I started my morning with searching for a good marinade recipe and starting the process.  The recipe I found was on cooks.com and is called Grilled Marinated Loin of Pork.  We loved it.  The honey and cinnamon add just the right amount of sweetness, and it came out perfectly tender.  Along with it we had a pasta salad that we first made and blogged about last summer, Spicy Vegetarian Peanut Noodle Salad.  It was even better that we remembered, and went perfectly with the pork. 

Today was a fun, beautiful day, and the sunshine, the carefree schedule and the awesome summer meal made me feel like summer is finally on its way.  I am so happy!

 

Making the most of leftovers November 24, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Salads — lindsayrose @ 3:18 am

This was, I do believe, the best meal we’ve ever had with leftovers.  I cleaned out the fridge today and it made me sick to throw out as much food as I did.  I feel like I am pretty good about bringing leftovers to work for lunch, but often times I just can’t finish them all, and even more often containers get trapped in the back of the fridge and I don’t even realize that they are there until it is time to throw them out. 

 

In my post from this morning, I described our Greek dinner from last night.  Tonight, we took the leftovers and made Greek salad.  I bought some chicken tenders and marinated them in the leftover Greek dressing.  Ross made more tzatziki sauce and we used that as dressing.  All I had to do was chop up some lettuce, red onion, tomato and green pepper.  Ross grilled some flatbread for dipping in the tzatziki on the side since we love it so much. 

 

It was absolutely delicious, very healthy, cost efficient and satisfying. 

 

I took a picture because it looked pretty, but I really shouldn’t do this.  I always wish I hadn’t.  I am way too OCD and it is annoying to me that the pita in the front right is sticking out so far.  Yes, I know this doesn’t matter, but it bugs me.  I am putting it in here anyway, but I had to mention that for my other OCD readers (you know who you are… Emily…).

 

Greek Salad

 

Greek Night! November 23, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Salads,Vegetarian — lindsayrose @ 5:12 pm

Last night, Kara and Mark came over for dinner.  We’ve been in a trend of having themed dinners together, so I had to come up with something good.  Luckily, Kara told me that she’d been craving Greek food, so knowing that Ross makes the best tzatziki sauce in the world, Greek Night was the obvious choice!

 

Usually when Ross and I make Greek food, we make pitas.   The main ingredient in these is chicken, and since Kara doesn’t eat meat, that one was out.  The idea of a pita with just lettuce, tomato, cheese and tzatziki just doesn’t do it for me, although Kara would probably have been fine with it.  I decided to try a new dish that I’ve only had in restaurants before… moussaka.  Moussaka is kind of like a lasagna, but really not like it at all.  It involves layers of eggplant, potatoes and other veggies along with some red sauce and a bechamel sauce on top.  Many variations of this recipe include meat, but it can be easily left out. I’d never made it before but figured I’d give it a try.

 

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com for Vegetarian Moussaka.  A few notes on this recipe:

  • I always read the reviews of the recipes on this site, and while these were all rave reviews, most of them said it took a long time and involved a lot of work.  It really isn’t bad.  It’s just the slicing of the vegetables, allowing time to salt the eggplant and then browning the veggies.  Some people said that they roasted or grilled the eggplant and potatoes and that cut back on the time.
  • After I salted the eggplant, I was very stupidly in a rush and forgot to rinse it before I browned it.  LUCKILY I decided to take a taste of it before I assembled the meal and I gagged.  It was SO salty.  Not even close to edible.  So, I had to go back to the store and start over with the eggplant.  Luckily the dinner guests were family so it didn’t matter that I was in the middle of the most chaotic moment of meal preparation when they arrived.  It put me way behind schedule!
  • The recipe calls for canned lentils – in place of meat I am assuming.  I have never seen canned lentils before.  I looked just to be sure, but they were nowhere to be found in our grocery store.  We bought a bag of dried lentils and put them in a pan, covered them with water and boiled them for 2-3 minutes.  The recipe also calls for 1/2 of the juice from the canned lentils, but I just made sure I got a lot of the tomato juice from the can of whole tomatoes in there and it was fine.
  • I love cheese, especially feta, so I think I would put more feta in next time.  That’s just me.

 

Overall, it was really good!  It was a nice  change and not too heavy, but still filling.

 

I made a salad to go along with this.  Everyone in my family hates olives, so I suppose it wasn’t a traditional Greek salad, but it tasted good to me.  I used romaine lettuce, sliced some cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, green pepper and lots of feta.  I found this recipefor Greek salad dressing and I think it is my new favorite dressing.  Another wonderful thing about allrecipes.com is that you can change the calculations of the recipe to make it the number of servings you need it to be.  The original recipe is for 120 servings!  It was good, but not that good!  I adjusted it for 8 servings and this is what it came to be:

  • 1/3 cup and 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/2 cup and 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Mix all together, shake vigorously and store tightly covered at room temperature.

 

Kara made Baklava for dessert, which was by far the best part of the meal.  I don’t know what recipe she used, but I will find out!

 

Swedish Meat Dumpling Soup November 13, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Salads — lindsayrose @ 12:55 am

Tonight’s dinner was super good.  It is a recipe from Rachael Ray’s 365: No Repeats cookbook (#125 to be exact).  This is easy to make and had a really great flavor.  To sum it up, saute some celery, carrots, onions, mushrooms and bay leaves, add some flour, then some chicken stock and beef stock (the combination of the two gives it a veal stock flavor according to Rachael) and let it come to a boil.  Meanwhile, mix some ground veal (I used ground beef, Ross wasn’t sure about ground veal and I didn’t see any at the store anyway) with some breadcrumbs, an egg, some mustard and nutmeg.  Let those cook, then add some egg noodles, let them boil, remove it from the heat and add some sour cream.

The flavor of this was really good and a little bit different from what I expected.  I actually wasn’t sure it would have enough flavor, but it really did. 

Swedish Meat Dumpling Soup

1 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter cut into pieces
1/2 lb mushrooms thinly sliced
2 celery ribs thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 med onion thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
2 tbs flour
2 cups beef broth
1 qt chicken broth
1 lb ground veal or a mix of ground beef veal and pork combined
2 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 egg beaten
1/2-2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 lb egg noodles[med or wider]
1 cup sour cream
2-3 tbs chopped fresh chives or dill
2-3 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Melt butter and olive oil together
Add mushrooms celery carrots onions and bay leaf
Cook until mushrooms are tender and the other veggies begin to soften
Season with salt and pepper add in the flour and cook another minute
Whisk in the beef and chicken broth
Cover the pot and bring to a boil
While the soup comes to a boil mix the veal with the mustard egg breadcrumbs nutmeg salt and pepper
Roll the meat into small balls 1″ in diameter tops
Remove the lid from the pot and add the balls
After 2-3 min stir in the noodles and cook 6 min more
Turn off the heat and stir the sour cream into the soup
Adjust seasonings
Discard bay leaf
Serve soup with sprinkle of chives or dill and parsley.

 

We had this with a Dole Distinctively Salad mix.  I love these, and I think this one is my favorite.  Here is the description from the Dole website.

Description
The Distinctively Dole Perfect Harvest Salad Kit is a ready to eat complete salad with 40% MORE lightly sweetened, dried cranberries and crunchy diced almonds.  Served on Fresh Field Green lettuces, With DOLE’S OWN Apple Cider Dijon Vinaigrette Dressing.

 

Mmmmmmm.

 

A Yummy Salad September 30, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Salads — lindsayrose @ 12:51 am

Wedding chaos has kicked into high gear!  It is officially less than a week until the big day, so things are a little nutty around here.  My friend Elizabeth is coming tonight to help with some stuff and we threw together a big salad to just grab while we worked.  I don’t like salad unless it has tons of good stuff in it.  Here’s what we did: 

 

Spinach leaves

1 cucumber, diced

1 carrot, sliced

1 tomato, diced

cheddar cheese, shredded

2 hard boiled eggs, diced

2 green onions, sliced

1 rotisserie chicken, chopped

 

Pretty basic, super easy, fairly healthy and really, really good!

 

A Little of This and a Little of That September 10, 2008

Filed under: Entrees,Life,Salads — lindsayrose @ 12:16 am

We have been making a very conscious effort to grocery shop a little smarter the past few weeks.  Since we do love to cook… and eat, it can be very easy to get a little carried away when shopping for food.  We’ve been trying harder to stick to our original plan from when we first moved in together:  to sit down on Saturday or Sunday, plan all of our meals for the week around our schedule and grocery shop for those ingredients.  We started out strong last year and then life got crazy and we slipped.  We’ve been much better about it the past few weeks and are saving ourselves hundreds of dollars per month.  Nice!

 

With our wedding coming up in only 25 days (!!!!!), we are trying even harder to save money.  There are a bunch of little things here and there that we need to spend money on before the wedding, so we need to save in other areas.  Ross had the great idea of buying a whole chicken at the grocery store this week.  We will get three meals out of this chicken that cost only a little over $5!

 

On Sunday, I boiled the chicken.  I put it in a pot and covered it with water, added a few stalks of chopped celery, 3 carrots cut into chunks, a sliced onion, a few bay leaves, a palmful of peppercorns and some salt.  I brought it to a boil, turned it down, covered it and let it slowly boil for about 90 minutes.  Some reviews I read online said the flavor is better and the meat remains more moist if you let the chicken cool in the broth, so that is what I did before I put it in the fridge.  Yesterday, I pulled all of the meat off of the bone and set the broth in a separate container in the freezer.  I can’t wait to make homemade chicken noodle soup out of this broth next week.

 

Tonight for dinner we had Hot Chicken Salad, a recipe we’ve made before and really enjoyed.  It tasted delicious, and one of the great things about it is that it makes enough to have lunches for the week.

 

Tomorrow or the next night we will make Chicken and Dumplings, which will be perfect if we have rough weather coming through.  There is nothing better than a good comfort meal on a rainy night.  More on that after we make it!

 

So, there’s our 3 meals with our $5 chicken.  It’s been awhile when we’ve had so many tasty things for such a bargain.

 

One more note:  For dinner last night I made Kielbasa with homemade German Potato Salad.  I was pretty disappointed with it.  It wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t like it was supposed to be in my mind.  If anyone has any good recipes for a homemade German Potato Salad I would be oh so happy!  Now I have a craving that just wasn’t satisfied.  Thanks!