Spinach, Dill and Fontina Frittata; Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes with Shallots; No – Knead Bread

by Jennifer

Spinach from our CSA…woo hoo!  That smallish bag turned out to be 8 somewhat-packed cups, which of course cooked down to maybe over one.  Better yet, it turned my friend Melissa, who served as chef’s assistant tonight, into a spinach devotee (another woo hoo!).  This dinner serves 4, along with No – Knead Bread on the side.

Spinach, Dill and Fontina Frittata

  • 2 TBS unsalted butter
  • 8 cups fresh spinach, stems removed, roughly torn in half or in quarters depending on size
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 large eggs, preferably Omega 3 – fortified, organic, and happy
  • 1/2 cup half & half, or whole milk
  • 1 TBS fresh chopped dill
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2/3 cup diced fontina cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Melt butter in a 10” heavy skillet that’s oven-safe.

Add spinach in batches, tossing until wilted.

Add scallions and cook with spinach for 2 – 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, half & half, dill, salt and pepper.  Stir the fontina cheese into the egg mixture,

then pour into the pan, stirring to distribute the spinach and cheese.  Let cook on the stove for another 3 – 4 minutes, until it’s bubbling, then slide pan into the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes, or until the center is solid when jiggled,

then broil for 2 minutes or so, until the frittata is puffed and golden.

Sauteed Cherry Tomatoes with Shallots – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 – 3 minutes.

Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.

Add remaining ingredients and cook for another minute more;  serve warm.

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Pasta with Garlic, Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella; Braised Bell Peppers

by Jennifer

This dinner was terrific and fairly easy to put together.   Get the peppers started and then go to work on the pasta.  Serves 4.

Pasta with Garlic, Herbs and Fresh Mozzarella – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 lb. dried twisty pasta, such as gemelli or fusilli
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2.5 oz. package basil, chopped
  • 1 packed cup of chopped parsley
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup packed small arugula leaves

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente;  before draining reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.

While the pasta is cooking, combine the garlic through sea salt in a large serving bowl.

Just before the pasta is finished, add the vinegar and arugula to the bowl and toss well.

Add the hot pasta and 1/4 cup cooking water and toss well.

Braised Bell Peppers – adapted from Eating Well magazine

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 large red peppers, cut into strips
  • 2 large yellow peppers, cut into strips
  • 1 large onion, sliced vertically
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil on a large skillet over medium heat.

Add peppers through salt and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes.

Stir in water and tomato paste,

bring the mixture to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.

Stir in basil, vinegar and pepper, and serve.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes, Creamy Cole Slaw, and Potato Chips

by Jennifer

The Sloppy Joes are an adaptation of a recipe found in Soy! Soy! Soy! by Jeanette Parsons Egan, and are delicious.  My oldest son, who has forsworn tofu and tempeh “until I turn 18”, actually had two helpings!  Though I have fond memories of eating tator tots with traditional Sloppy Joes as a child, we’re currently fans of Utz reduced-fat potato chips.

Tempeh Sloppy Joes – serves 4 – 6

  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped celery
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb. soy tempeh, crumbled
  • 15 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • couple dashes of hot sauce
  • Whole wheat hamburger buns

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Saute onions, green pepper, garlic and celery until tender, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Stir in the dry mustard and thyme, cooking for 1 minute.

Add tempeh through hot sauce, lower heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 – 20 minutes.

If it’s too thick for your liking, add a little water.  Serve on hamburger buns.

Creamy Cole Slaw – adapted from Bobby Flay by way of Foodnetwork.com

Serves 4.

  • 10 oz. package of finely shredded green cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, finely shredded
  • scant 2/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 TBS sour cream or non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS grated onion
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together mayonnaise through pepper.

Toss with cabbage and carrot in a large bowl until well-combined.

Japanese-Style Soup Your Way; Stir-Fried Soybeans with Garlic and Chile

by Jennifer

Similar to make-your-own tacos, this make-your-own soup is fresh, delicious, and a lot of fun to put together, especially for kids.  I completely credit the idea to my friend Amy.  This is a vegetarian version, but you could add shredded poached chicken or cooked shrimp, too.  I prefer soba noodles but the rest of my family prefers udon noodles (or, you could have both….).  Serves 4.

Japanese-Style Soup Your Way

  • 6 cups vegetable or not-chicken broth (I used Not-Chicken Soup which I’d frozen earlier)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 slices peeled fresh ginger, each about the size of a quarter
  • 1 3-4” piece kombu, rinsed (optional)
  • 8 oz. package soba noodles or 8 oz. udon noodles
  • red pepper, julienned
  • fresh bean sprouts
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • enoki mushrooms, sliced off their base
  • optional:  ponzu sauce, shredded chicken, cooked shrimp, small cubes of soft tofu

Simmer the broth, garlic, ginger and kombu for 20 minutes;  remove and discard garlic, ginger and kombu.

While the broth is simmering, prepare vegetables and place in separate bowls for everyone to help themselves.  Cook noodles according to package directions;  drain and briefly rinse in cool water.

Divide noodles among bowls, ladle broth on top, and let everyone choose their additions.

Stir-Fried Soybeans with Garlic and Chile – from Gourmet magazine

These are incredibly addictive, and spicy;  I’ll admit my kids enjoyed plain edamame tonight while my husband and I ate this entire recipe ourselves!  This makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.

  • 1 lb. frozen edamame in the shell
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp minced garlic

Cook edamame in boiled unsalted water for 5 minutes;  drain.

Combine soy sauce through red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat.  Swirl in oil and then add the ginger and garlic, stir-frying until fragrant, about 15 seconds or so.

Add edamame and stir-fry until they start to brown in spots, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add sauce and stir-fry until well-coated and the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne, Cauliflower with Capers

by Jennifer

Tofu is not just for Asian cooking!  The sauce can be made up to a day ahead.  After cooking the cauliflower in the skillet, wipe it clean and use it to pan-fry the tofu.  This dinner serves 4.

Tofu Steaks with Tomato-Olive Sauce over Whole Wheat Penne – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 13.25 oz. package whole wheat penne
  • 3 TBS olive oil, divided
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 14 oz. package extra-firm tofu, pressed if you like, sliced into 4 equal portions and patted very dry

Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

In a large skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat, then add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and let sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

Add olives and let cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and add parsley and black pepper.  If you’re not making the sauce ahead and would like to only use one skillet, transfer sauce to a smaller pot to keep warm and rinse out pan to use for the cauliflower and then the tofu.

Cook penne according to package directions until al dente;  drain.  Meanwhile, heat 2 TBS olive oil over medium heat in the skillet until it shimmers.

Add tofu and cook, turning once, until both sides are golden brown, about 4 minutes or so per side.  Divide penne among 4 plates, top with a slice of tofu, and top that with sauce.

Cauliflower with Capers – adapted from Cooking Light

  • 1 lemon, sliced in half cross-wise
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp capers, drained
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Fill a large pot about half-way full of water, add 1/2 lemon, and bring to a boil.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and discard lemon half.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then cook the cauliflower for 6 minutes, until crisp-tender and slightly charred in places.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

Transfer cauliflower and garlic to a bowl and add the juice of the remaining lemon half, parsley, capers and salt, tossing well.

Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza; Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts

by Jennifer

Saute the fennel and onion first, then set aside, wash out the pan, and use it to cook the asparagus.  While the fennel and onion are cooking, roll out the dough, chop the olives and hazelnuts, and whisk the dressing.  The asparagus can be served warm or at room temperature.  Serves 4.

Fennel, Onion and Olive Pizza – adapted from Cooking Light

  • about 1 lb. pizza dough (I used the grilled pizza dough recipe;  remember you can make it up to 2 days in advance)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 medium bulbs fennel, cores removed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup bottled pizza sauce or marinara sauce
  • generous 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • cornmeal for pizza paddle

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil, then add the fennel through pepper and cook, stirring frequently,

until browned and tender, about 15 minutes.  Prepare grill.

Roll out dough to a (roughly) 14” circle;  transfer it to a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle (or rimless baking sheet).

Slide dough onto grill and grill for about 3 minutes, or

until distinct grill marks appear on the bottom and the top is all puffed.  Slide the crust back onto the paddle and turn it over so the grilled side is up.

Spread the sauce over the crust, leaving about an inch border all around.

Spread the fennel-onion mixture over the sauce.

Sprinkle the cheese over the mixture,

then scatter the olives.

Return to the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Asparagus with Orange Dressing and Toasted Hazelnuts – adapted from Gourmet magazine

  • 1 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • juice from 1/2 orange
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cook the asparagus in a wide saucepan of boiling, salted water for 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender.  Drain asparagus and arrange on a platter.

While the asparagus is cooking, whisk together the zest through pepper.  Drizzle dressing over asparagus, then sprinkle with the hazelnuts.

Broccoli and Cheddar Skillet Flan, Broiled Red Peppers and Tomatoes with Caper Vinaigrette

by Jennifer

Broccoli and Cheddar Skillet Flan – adapted from Gourmet magazine

Serves 6.

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • freshly ground black pepper, salt to taste
  • rounded 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 1 lb. shredded frozen hash browns
  • 10 oz. frozen chopped broccoli, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, milk, pepper, salt, nutmeg, Cheddar cheese and 3 TBS of the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

In an oven-safe 10” skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are golden.  Swirl the oil around the sides of the pan,

then add the frozen hash browns and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Spread the potatoes over the bottom and sides of the pan,

then arrange the broccoli on top.

Pour over the egg mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the filling is set.  Turn the oven to broil and broil until the top is puffed and golden brown.

Broiled Red Peppers and Tomatoes with Caper Vinaigrette – from Gourmet magazine

Serves 4.

  • 2 large red peppers (should equal 1 lb.)
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 large tomatoes (should equal 1 lb.)
  • 2 TBS drained and rinsed capers
  • 1 TBS red-wine vinegar

Slice each pepper lengthwise into 8 pieces;  toss all pieces together with the oil in an oven-proof, shallow dish.  Broil the peppers 4 – 5 inches from the heat for 25 minutes, stirring 2 – 3 times.

Meanwhile, gently combine the tomatoes, capers and red-wine vinegar.

When the peppers are tender, add the tomato mixture and gently toss to combine.

Broil for another 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are warm and a little soft.  Serve warm or at room temperature.