Anotheryarn Eats

August 24, 2009

More salad

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , , — anotheryarn @ 10:38 pm

IMG_1281I feel like I’ve been eating a crazy amount of salads lately.  Not salads in the loosely defined sense, but the kid-salad sense where salad = green leafy things topped with more veggies.  (I always loved salads, I adored salad bars when I was a kid and didn’t think or worry about the reason the sneeze guard exists or is named as such.)  I used to eat a basic green salad with most dinners, and then as I got more into eating seasonally and buying more produce at the Farmer’s Market and less at the grocery store I stopped this practice.  Except of course when I crave a big green salad and go grab a head of trucked in romaine or red-leaf lettuce…  Anyway.  Friday night.  It got late.  There were too many choices in the fridge and something needed to be done.  So we had salad for dinner.  At um.  10 pm.  At least it was good salad, topped with carrots, radishes, tomatoes (mmmm tomatoes), homemade ranch dressing and homemade croutons.

Have you made homemade croutons?  They are delicious, the recipe we originally started using called for melted butter, but we have transitioned to using olive oil (honestly more out of laziness than worries about saturated fat).  This time around we used two thick slices of whole wheat sandwich bread and Penzey’s Salad Sprinkle for the herbs and spices (side note: Salad Sprinkle makes a disappointing popcorn topping, but decent crouton seasoning).  The bread type and the seasonings can change to suit your mood and salad.

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Croutons loosely based out of a red & white checked binder cookbook (I believe it is The BH&G New Cook Book)

Note: if you make them in a toaster oven watch closely because either the time or temp needs to be adjusted, we lost a few to burnt blackness

  • 2 slices bread, cut into 1/2″ – 1″ cubes
  • olive oil (handful, probably a tablespoon)
  • seasonings (garlic, salt, pepper, basil, etc for a few ideas)
  • opt. freshly grated parmesan

Preheat the oven 300 F.  Toss together the bread cubes and olive oil, until the bread cubes are coated nicely, sprinkle on your seasoning of choice (and parmesan if using) and toss to combine.  Spread out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake until golden and crispy, probably about 10 minutes, unless you use a toaster oven – then less.  Stir/turn/flip halfway through the cooking time.

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August 19, 2009

apparently I didn’t cook last week

Filed under: almost a recipe, thoughts — Tags: , , , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:25 pm

At least that is what my list and photographs tell me. But now as I recap for you, it sure seems like I did cook. Two meals on Tuesday, a simple meal on Thursday (pot of pinto beans), a summer feast on Sunday and desperation burritos on Monday (done by TheHusband since I was simply too famished to cook and he had happily munched on fruit all evening).


lunchTuesday, around lunch time, I didn’t want to cook (it was a trend) but needed to eat. So I decided to make make a quick bean salad. It started with a can of garbonzo beans, then I grabbed a small zucchini, make that two, that needed to be eaten – oh a quick saute in olive oil with some herbs (actually I’ve been using Penzey’s Mural of Flavor as my go-to lazy blend lately), then I decided to chuck in some kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes (see what did I tell you? boring to hmmm, this is pretty good). Hmm, I think this needs a little bit of tart, so I splashed the last of my red wine vinegar in the bowl and scooped myself up about half of it lest I loose control and eat the entire bowl. IM not generally accurate O this made two nice sized servings. I took the bowl and my laptop outside to enjoy the fabulous weather (high of 75) hoping it would inspire me to start writing – but it didn’t.

IMG_7144Tuesday night I decided that something must be done about our over-flowing fridge. I cleaned out all the icky leftovers (sigh, I hate when I don’t effectively manage our leftover consumption) and made a big mess of roasted vegetables as well as a potato-celeriac mash (woooo! that darn celeriac is finally gone). Does anyone happen to know if celeriac always floats when in water or was mine just really too old to cook? Trust me, you don’t really want a recipe for either of these things. This mess o’ roasted vegetables contained: summer squashes, onions, carrots, green beans and kohlrabi.

summerdinnerSkipping all the way to Sunday night, we made a very Summer Meal, if a bit on the yellow side. Corn on the cob (from the grocery store, because I was craving it), sauteed summer squash (yet again with that Mural of Flavor) and a big green salad (lettuce, cucumber, carrots, radishes all from the CSA and a tomato from the FM) topped with homemade buttermilk ranch dressing. This time I didn’t follow a recipe, and just sort of chucked stuff in, only grabbing a small measuring cup to get more or less equal quantities of sour cream, mayo and buttermilk. It also had garlic, salt, a handful of chives, a handful of dried parsley (oops, forgot that at the store) and black pepper. I did end up adding a bit more buttermilk to get it to a thinner consistency. We should have had green beans too, but that would have required a third pot, which seemed like two pots too many for such a simple meal and TheHusband declared corn, squash and salad enough food.

Finally on Monday, we had a late dinner of burritos, using some leftover beans and my thankfully already cleaned lettuce (with the usual tortillas, cheese, salsa and sour cream). Photos were forgotten as I scarffed down the food. Besides, a photo of a burrito is generally not so hot – all that white on my white plates.

July 19, 2009

Yummy Salad #2

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 2:14 pm

Tonight Thursday night it was hot.  And we were busy packing our vehicle for a speedy getaway tomorrow.  We skipped the grilled zucchini and just had salad.  I also finally took the time (and had the supplies) to make an awesome creamy dressing.  See, I can’t recall the last time we bought salad dressing, it might have been summer 2007 and that was because we had company in town.  But we rarely venture into creamy dressing land and were getting tired of vinaigrettes.  So tonight I made ranch dressing.  I sort of followed the basic idea behind everybody likes sandwiches zesty ranch, but not quite (I looked at 4 or 5 recipes before making mine).

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The salad really looked a lot like Tuesday’s salad minus the almonds – oh and with an important addition – radishes from my very own mini garden!  We also had some yummy garlic-parmesan bread from our favorite farmer’s market bread vendor.  And that blender holds the ranch dressing.  In the end our dressing had chives, parsley, garlic, a bit of lemon zest, lemon juice, dried dill, sweet paprika, salt and pepper for the seasonings.  Oh and I did 1/4 cup mayo, 1/4 cup sour cream and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  It made a very thin dressing but I like it that way.  If you wanted a dip I’d use more mayo and sour cream and less buttermilk.

Four ranch dressing recipes to choose from

Everybody Loves Sandwiches Zesty Ranch

Homesick Texan’s Buttermilk Dressing (she might call it buttermilk, but the ingredient list is very similar)

Simply Recipe’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

The Pioneer Woman’s Ranch Dressing

July 17, 2009

Yummy Salad take 1

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:23 am

Growing up I ate a green salad with dinner almost every night.  I love a nice big green salad and often start craving them after eating too much junk food, but as I work on eating more locally and seasonally I have eliminated the green salad side dish from our dinners (we still indulge the cravings though).  Bah humbug.  I want salad all the time, of course they are always better in the summer, especially if you managed to hit a sweet spot where it isn’t too hot for lettuce but the cucumbers and tomatoes are beginning to arrive.  The tomatoes I found at the farmer’s market were small but looked promising so I grabbed a few and then we didn’t eat them right away (what! why! oh yeah – ice cream sundae’s on Sunday and asian inspired on Monday).  Anyway, Tuesday came and we still had a lot of lettuce from last week’s share, so a big green salad was definitely on the menu to make room for everything else.  Luckily we also got two beautiful and delicious cucumbers on Tuesday too.  At first this salad looks a little plain, and I’ll admit it didn’t look very promising as I poured the dressing on but the toasted almonds were really all the embellishment that it needed (and a little bit of crusty bread didn’t hurt either).

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Salad composed of: CSA lettuce, CSA cucumbers, tomatoes, carrot and toasted almond slivers, topped with vinaigrette

October 21, 2008

October 17: Leftovers don’t feel leftover

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 4:47 pm

Leftovers don’t always feel leftover.  When I made the chard-cheese triangles I had so many that most of them went straight to the freezer.  Since then I’ve been pulling them out of the freezer two or four at a time and baking them in the toaster oven and it is great.  We break up how often we eat them so it isn’t one food overwhelming us and it makes a quick and tasty dinner or lunch without much hands-on work.  I grab a sheet of foil (it helps contain leaks), put it over the toaster oven rack, place up to 4 triangles on the foil and set the oven to bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Then I make salad while the triangles bake.

October 13, 2008

October 10: Tacos, tasty tasty tacos

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , — anotheryarn @ 11:04 pm

Tacos are a favorite in our house.  In fact we when go visit my parents it is almost required that they make tacos (they have even changed their dinner plans to accommodate our visit and desire for tacos).  My parents do tacos better, because they take the time to fry corn tortillas into wonderfully fresh, crispy and crunchy shells.  We do not take time to do that… yet.

Tacos are also great for our crowd of diverse eaters since it is a build your own dish.  I prefer to cook dried pintos or black beans and then mash them for refried beans (sometimes I actually use oil in the process).  We grate cheese, shred lettuce, chop onions, tomatoes and sometimes cucumbers; Salsa is a must and sour cream is a tasty addition.  I love guacamole or slices of avocado but we only do that if I find avocados for a good price (or have a wicked craving).  Everything is set out on the counter in individual bowls and people heat their tortillas on the stove and grab the beans sitting on the burner.  This dinner managed to use up our remaining lettuce, cherry tomatoes and one onion from our CSA share.

October 9, 2008

October 9: refashioning leftovers

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , , , , , — anotheryarn @ 11:50 pm

While I wasn’t overwhelmed by veggies this week but I was underwhelmed at the rate which we are eating my supposedly well-planned leftovers.  The trouchia/quiche that I thought had 4-6 servings was deemed to be 8 servings by TheHusband (and so far we’ve only eaten half of it).  The pasta bake has only been eaten as leftovers once as well.  While we finally made a dent in the trouchia/quiche, I think it is probably time to put the remainder of both dishes in the freezer.

I also finally started to use the lettuce we received during week 14 (and 13).  Did you know that you can revive wilty lettuce in a good soak of cold water?  You can, not all leaves will perk back up to their original state, but I’m always surprised by how well this trick works.  The other trick, to avoid wilty leaves is to store them in a closed moist but not wet manner.  Normally I would use a large ziplock with a papertowel, but when I refreshed the lettuce over the weekend I was out of paper towels and wanted to come up with a more re-usable method.  The usual suspect, my salad spinner, was still needed for other prep work, and my largest pyrex bowl already had tofu for potstickers in it.  Then I thought of my [former] unitasker, the round plastic cake server/saver; flip that sucker upside down and you have a huge bowl with a flat, sturdy and sealable lid.  I put a clean woven dishcloth on the bottom and then filled it with my freshly cleaned and dried lettuce.  Tonight I opened it up and the lettuce looked great.  Success (and washable too).

While I reheated 3 small slices of the trouchia/quiche in the toaster oven I made a salad with my refreshed lettuce, a beautiful red bell pepper from the farmer’s market, a cucumber hanging on by a thread and some cherry tomatoes (most of this stuff is just over a week old and still decent – a testament to how long produce can last if you get it really fresh and store it decently.  Then I made croutons from some leftover french bread bought on Tuesday for garlic bread.  Dinner was delicious.

October 4, 2008

September 22: Trouchia and simple salad

Filed under: Recipes — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 7:04 pm

Internet friends can be so awesome sometimes.  If it weren’t for them I would have never known about trouchia and might have dismissed it as yet another quiche-frittatta-like dish, instead I tried this recipe.  And it was delicious.  I think it must have been the fresh herbs, too often I forget to use fresh herbs (gasp!).  Of course I did actually substitute kale for swiss chard, I had two bunches to use up and I find myself subbing one green for another quite a bit around here.  Swiss chard instead of spinach, kale instead of swiss chard…  Since I had a bit more greens than necessary I used all eight eggs, doubled the garlic and threw in a little extra fresh herbs.  The only thing that I don’t understand is how stirring will help the egg-chard mixture set-up, I ended up with a lot of egg stuck to the bottom of my pan.  Luckily I was able to use a silicon spatula and slide it close to the pan without scraping any of the slightly burnt stuff and slide the trouchia onto a serving platter.  

I also had a bunch of salad greens left over from the night before I made a white wine and thyme vinaigrette and tossed it with the greens for a super simple, but yummy salad.  Sometimes I forget a salad doesn’t have to have oodles of ingredients to hit the spot.

Trouchia from Global Gourmet

August 11, 2008

August 6 dinner: Yet another salad

Filed under: almost a recipe — Tags: , — anotheryarn @ 11:15 pm

I am finally beginning to take charge of those big heads of lettuce in my fridge.  We had another salad as a meal tonight (with a side of zucchini basil muffins).  This time I decided I wanted to add garbonzo beans for the protein and we used the leftover tahini dressing, some radishes, a carrot, cucumbers and a sprinkle of raw pumpkin seeds.  It was a nice and quick meal (when the lettuce is already prepped and waiting in the fridge).

August 7, 2008

August 4 dinner: Salad and chard gratin

Filed under: almost a recipe, Recipes — Tags: , , , — anotheryarn @ 12:53 pm

I love big salads.  This salad was inspired by my memory of a salad at a little natural foods cafe in my college town (oh how I miss that cafe).  One of the new-to-me ingredients was raw grated beets.  So I saved one beet from the pink and green pasta.  And we needed to use up the huge head of lettuce from last week (not all in this salad, but at least I got it prepped and ready to eat) before Tuesday’s pick up which was sure to include another head of lettuce.  And I also started craving the tahini dressing that I could get at that natural foods cafe (all her dressing were so good, the owner started selling take-home containers of her dressings).

This salad started with romaine lettuce and is topped with grated carrots, grated beets, sliced radishes, sliced cucumbers and raw pumpkins seeds.  Then I made a tahini-lemon dressing (it was some tahini sauce from TJs, lemon juice and olive oil – the olive oil helped tone down the harsh lemon juice acid).  I still need to work on a better tahini dressing though.  Peeling the raw beet was much easier than I imagined, and I used the food processor for nice fine grated shreds and quickly rinsed it to avoid staining.

I almost forgot that I attempted to make this chard gratin.  But my version didn’t turn out nearly as pretty as The Wednesday Chef’s version.  For one thing, I didn’t have enough chard to even fill out my casserole dish (it barely filled half the dish).  Luckily it turned out to be a good amount for two.  Also I overcooked the chard so it was no longer a pretty green and had enough breadcrumbs, and milk added for the full recipe.  Oh well, it was still yummy enough.

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