Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fresh Tomato Farfalle with Sweet Corn and Basil

(recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine, 2010)

1/4 cup lime juice
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. grated lime zest
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 lb. tomatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces (5 cups)
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup torn basil leaves
9 oz. farfalle pasta (I used fusilli)
1 1/4 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

Combine lime juice, oil, lime zest, and cumin in bowl.  Add tomatoes, chickpeas, and basil; toss to coat.  Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Add corn to pasta water 2 minutes before end of cooking time.  Drain, and toss with tomato mixture.

(Nice, fresh, flavorful salad.  I used an assortment of heirloom tomatoes for color variety.  Since I am currently reading the book Wheatbelly, about the unhealthiness of modern wheat, I used a rice & millet pasta, which tasted fine.  This pasta salad was perfect for work lunches.)

Cherry Arugula Salad with Almonds and Tarragon

(recipe from

2 1/2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, chopped
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. water
6 Tbsp. slivered almonds, divided
1/2 lb. cherries (about 2 cups), pitted and halved, divided
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon
5 oz. baby arugula
1 1/2 cups cooked whole grains (ie: barley, farro, wheat berries, wild rice)

In a blender, combine vinegar, shallot, mustard, water, 3 Tbsp. of the almonds, and 1/4 cup of the pitted cherries.  Blend until very smooth, about 1 minute.  Stir in tarragon.

Combine arugula, cooked grains, and remaining cherries in a large bowl.  Toss with the dressing and garnish with the remaining 3 Tbsp. almonds.

(This is a lovely salad.  I altered it quite a bit:  used tarragon vinegar in place of real tarragon, used onion powder since I didn't have a shallot, only had half the amount of almonds so I didn't blend any with the dressing...  Still it turned out nice!  Big cherry flavor.  I used barley as the grain.)  

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Peanut Butter and Greens Soup

(recipe from online, not sure where)

1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil (I use canola)
1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
6 cups vegetable broth
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bunch collard greens, cut or torn into strips or small pieces (I used kale)
1/3 tsp. cumin
dash cayenne pepper
1/3 tsp salt
1 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice

Sautee the onion and garlic in oil for about 3 minutes, or until onions start to turn clear and soft.  Add ginger and heat one more minute.  Add broth, tomatoes, greens, cumin, cayenne and salt and allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

Carefully add the peanut butter, and stir well to combine.  Allow to cook until the peanut butter is melted and incorporated.  Drizzle with lime juice just before serving.

(What a simple preparation, and unusual soup!  I brought this for work lunches, and it kept getting better and better each day.  Very light.  I liked to add a bit more cayenne to each serving.)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sesame-Peanut Noodles

(recipe from

Serves 4.

1 (8-oz.) pkg. 100% whole grain soba noodles
2 cups snow peas, strings removed (I used snap peas, and I roughly chopped them.)
2 Tbsp. roasted, unsalted, unsweetened smooth peanut butter or almond butter
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame tahini
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced green onions
3 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

Cook soba noodles according to package directions.  Add snow peas with 1 minute cooking time remaining.  Drain noodles and snow peas thoroughly.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, tamari, tahini and crushed red pepper.  Add a splash of warm water if needed to thin the sauce so it will coat the vegetables and noodles.  Add noodles, snow peas, carrots, bell pepper, green onions, and sesame seeds.  Toss to coat noodles and vegetables thoroughly with sauce.  Serve at room temperature or chilled.

(I actually doubled the sauce for this, I think because I had a little more vegetables than called for.  This is a simple salad, but it has a nice taste.  Perfect to bring for work lunches.  Nice for the summer.)

Desert Sun

(recipe from a magazine, I'm not sure which one)

"Summaiya Peterman has developed drink recipes for bars all over Manhattan, most recently the trendy Blue Water Grill.  This cocktail is among her summer favorites."

1 serving:

3 oz. Stolichnaya vodka
1 oz. Grand Marnier
1 oz. orange juice
Splash of lime juice

Combine the vodka, Grand Marnier, and citrus juices.  Shake and pour into a martini glass.  Finish with a splash of grenadine and serve.

(I made this in a pitcher for Ladies Night in my garden.  Joann, Alison, Ashley, and Kristen were in attendence, while Amy Casey joined us for a bit via wi-fi (!).  Since I don't have martini glasses, I served them in flutes, with an ice cube or two, and a splash of grenadine on top (found a lovely real grenadine with actual juices at Whole Foods).  Everyone agreed that these were VERY strong drinks.  And they looked like a sunset in a glass.  Cheers!)