My Lox Rocks!

Last week, I made my first attempt at homemade gravlax. This salt-sugar-spice cured salmon is usually found on a cream-cheese-schmeared bagel with red onions and capers. I decided to try a few other preparations for my hot pink creation.

Omlette with Lox and Greens

Omlette with Lox and Greens

Collard Wrap with Lox, Spaghetti Squash and White Bean Hummus

Collard Wrap

Lox, Cucumber and Cilantro Bites

Lox, Cucumber and Cilantro Bites

Now it’s time for me to start planning for the best meal of the year; THANKSGIVING!!  I’ll be making lots of inspired vegetable dishes, some tasty, roasted salmon (I am from the Northwest, after all!) and possibly having TWO Turkey days!  We shall see…

Come back soon for a Turkey-related Frequently Asked Friday.  Until then, have a delicious day!!

Posted in Breakfasts, DIY, Fish and Seafood, Leftovers, Snacks | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Frequently Asked Friday #3

This week’s question: What time is dinner?
*A confession, I made this video last week, before I had the “answer”. But there’s more information than just that answer! Just replace the word “soon” with the word “now,” and you’ll be up to date!

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Now, we’ll never know…

If you’re here in California, you’re well aware of Prop 37. This initiative would have required “labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways.” When I went to bed last night, the result was stil “too close to call”, something I had a very hard time believing. This morning, I was disappointed to learn that the measure was defeated. HOW? Genetically modified advertising!

Last month, polls showed a mere 25% of likely voters wouldn’t choose to label these items. And then, the ads rolled in. A barrage of corporate-cash-fuled TV and radio ads, brought to you by some of the worst offenders, worked their way into the state’s psyche and un-did the measure’s 60% majority.

“The “No on 37″ campaign amassed more than $45 million,* with the majority of funds coming from chemical and junk food companies. Major contributors included Monsanto ($8.1 million), DuPont ($5.4 million), PepsiCo ($2.14 million), Dow ($2 million), BASF Plant Science ($2 million), Syngenta ($2 million), and Bayer ($2 million).”
*From truefoodnow.org, The Center for Food Safety

FYI, Most corn and soy products are already genetically modified, in this country.  Buying organic is a good start in avoiding GMO’s, but many of these modifications have been made so that the produce doesn’t require much along the lines of pesticides, so again, we many never know.  But the concern has been raised and I’m sure this isn’t the last we hear about this important topic.  61 other nations already have the right to know what’s been done to their food, why not us?! I’m simply flummoxed.

What do you think?  Leave your comments below.

On a lighter note, you can now enjoy the meals I’ve made, on your own!
Farmer’s Market Frugal, by ME, is now available, world wide at Amazon.com!!
This cookbook has a story. My Boyfriend and I wanted to save some money and improve our health, so we spent a month buying as much of our food as possible at the farmer’s market. How did we do? Buy the book and find out! You can get it for the Kindle, in a few days, or as paperback NOW!

30 Days to Prove You Needn't be Wealthy to be Healthy

Aaah.  Now I feel better.

Have a delicious day!!

Posted in Market Haul, News and politics, YUM | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Frequently Asked Friday #2

This week’s question: “How do you stick to just $20??”

Check it out!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7SLdPun2Vw&feature=g-upl

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Don’t Be Afraid!!

Welcome to Cold and Flu season!! Here, in Southern California, the temperatures are finally beginning to feel like Autumn…is just around the corner. But, the stuff that makes us sick is here already. Whenever I start to feel a cold, sinus infection or general case of the “crud” coming on, I like to make a little concoction my mom used to give me when I was sick. I call it her “Kill Anything Broth”.
Ingredients:
3-5 cloves Garlic, smashed
2-3 inch chunks fresh Ginger, sliced thinly or smashed
2 Lemons, peel large strips of zest, then cut in half
3 quarts Water
Honey, to taste (no Eye of Newt)
In a saucepan, place water, ginger, garlic and large strips of lemon zest. Bring to a boil, and then simmer on medium heat until reduced by half.
Pour yourself a mug of this, squeeze in the juice of the lemon and as much honey as you like.

Variations:
For a sore throat- omit the lemon juice at the end, it would make the broth too acidic to soothe your throat, but the zest will provide some vitamin C, that will help put you on the road to recovery. Also, add extra honey.

For a sinus infection- If you’re over 21, you can throw in a shot of whiskey to help dry out your sinuses. For the non-drinkers, spice it up with some grated horseradish. Some extra honey may be in order, to make it easier on the palate.

Why do these ingredients work?
Garlic is, of course, one of the kings of the herbal kingdom. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means it’s not prone to creating superbugs, like targeted pharmaceutical antibiotics can. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Honey is soothingly hydrating and Lemon, of course provides Vitamin C which has astringent properties that help clean up anything that ails you.

Whenever I start to feel any hint of a cold or illness coming on, I make a big pot of this stuff (making 2 or 3 times this recipe), so I can have it on hand at the drop of the hat. I keep a couple pints of it in the freezer, so if I’m caught sick without one of the ingredients in the house, I’m still prepared.

Now, you’re prepared to scare off many of the nasty bugs that may come your way this cold season!

What are your favorite ways to keep yourself well during the year?  Leave a comment below and share.  Who knows who you’ll be able to help…

Be well and Happy Halloween!!

Posted in Colds and Flu, DIY, Health, Nutrition | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Frequently Asked Friday #1

FAF #1
Click above for my first video answer to your purrsistant questions! Enjoy!!

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Saving Money while Eating Well

“Every time you enter a grocery store, you’re being marketed to. There are free samples, bright colors, enticing aromas and lots of noise – all designed to steer you away from the path of best nutrition. The more often you enter these establishments, the more often you’re exposed to all the stuff you needn’t be buying. So how do I avoid it?

Start Fresh

By doing the first leg of shopping at the farmer’s market, I’m front-loading my grocery haul with fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, even fish, all in season, all recently harvested and responsibly raised.

Get Cheap

Next, I’ll visit the least expensive store on my list. Around here, that’s Trader Joe’s. By the time I get there, I’ve already picked up lots of fresh stuff, so their largely pre-packaged produce section is a non-issue. They do, however, have a lock on better choices, when it comes to dry and frozen goods or specialty items, at very reasonable prices. If I need anything not available at TJ’s, Ralphs (our local Kroger affiliate) is the next stop. Their prices on staple items aren’t as low as TJ’s, but there are a few things I like to get there.

Finish with a Flourish

I’ll finish my shopping at the most expensive store, like Whole Foods (a.k.a. “Whole Paycheck”). By the time I get there, I’m usually tired of shopping, starting to feel how much money has left my possession and I only have the patience to pick up exactly what I truly need.”

~An excerpt from Farmer’s Market Frugal

During our Farmer’s Market shopping experiment, I learned a number of things; most importantly, the fact that old habits die hard. For me, that means I’ll do anything to find good deals on amazing organic produce. For The Boyfriend, that means shopping based on what’s on sale, regardless of quality. How did I handle these proclivities? For my organic obsession, I first made sure to have a current list of the “Dirty Dozen” the “Clean Fifteen” on hand. When I know which foods are best to buy organic and which are less likely to harbor high levels of pesticides, I’m able to keep my haul on the less-expensive side.

For Sean, when buying meat in the store, instead of going straight to the item of the week, I began going to the clearance section. Usually, because these items are more expensive, the few grass-fed or responsibly raised meat items tend to end up there by the time we usually shop. When I get these meats home, I break up the haul into portions and freeze the majority of them. This way, I have a nice sampling of proteins for my man, without breaking the bank. That doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally pick up a couple Foster Farms whole chickens when they’re on sale…they’re just handy to have around (see below).

Sunday Suppers at Home

This past weekend, I had a new idea. Now that I’ve finished writing my first cookbook (YAY!!), I can start cooking with a new topic in mind. Eating at home is beneficial for many reasons. It saves money, you know what you’re eating and a family dinner is a great way to touch base and stay connected. For the most part, Sean and I dine together every night, unless he’s working late. Even then, I’ll have a snack or a cuppa tea with him when he comes home and sits down to his dinner. On the weekends, we like to have one or two friends come over and share this meal with us, and that’s when I really like to show off! I can make a special meal, share nutrition and health tips with our friends and we can listen to the music we’ve both been working on and get some feedback. From this, the new book idea was born. Twice a month, for 6 months, we’ll be hosting dinners for a friend or two (we don’t have that many chairs!). I’ll be writing the recipes for the whole meal, taking note of any health or nutrition questions that come up and including a few songs to go with each menu.

This past Sunday, we shared supper with Joe and Angelique. I roasted a chicken, baked some bread, made some grilled veggies and made crispy roasted potatoes (thanks for finishing those, Sean!)…and finished the evening with that sage-y baked apple from last week’s blog post. After dinner, we enjoyed some discussion about nutrition and health and rocked out in our little studio and this idea grew out of that.

Wanna see what we had? I didn’t photograph the potatoes, but the chicken, bread and salad kindly posed for their close ups…


Herb-rubbed and roasted chicken / Tomato, Garlic and Plain “Stecca” or Stick-loaves, from Jim Lahey’s recipe in the book, My Bread.


Bitter greens salad with Pears and Pecans. The “greens” consist of Radicchio, Escarole and the tops from a stalk of Brussels Sprouts. The salad was dressed with a garlicky vinaigrette that was blended with hot sauce and cashews.

Can you see me?!

This week also initiates a new weekly feature: Friday FAQ’s. Until now, I’ve been quite video-impaired. We never had a video camera in the house when I was growing up, so it’s never been a normal household item for me…even after all those years working on TV! Now that I know how to use my laptop, my regular camera or even my phone to make little movies…well, watch out world!

What questions do you have for me? They could be about food, health, nutrition, cooking in the woods, why I’m still a Mariners fan…Whatever! Leave a comment below and you may just see your question answered on an upcoming Friday.

Have a delicious day and I’ll see you on Friday!

Posted in Baking, Cool People, Dinners, Market Haul, Nutrition, Poultry, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian | 1 Comment

My Argument FOR a Nutritional Approach to Multiple Sclerosis

When I was diagnosed with MS, my doctors immediately asked me one question: “Which medication will you be using?” This is a major element of MS culture. Back then, in 2000, it was the ABC drugs; Avonex, Betaseron and Copaxone. All three of these required the patient to inject the medication weekly, every other day or even daily – depending on which drug they were on. There are now other options, but they’re still meant to be taken for the remainder of the patient’s life. Immediately, something about this irritated me. I was 23 years old, just starting out in the world and petrified at the concept of having to give myself shots for the rest of my life. I decided to try Avonex, the once-weekly injection. If I had to do these shots, the fewer occurrences necessary, the better.

After a few months, I got the hang of it and the drug began to help. I was sleeping better, my symptoms remitted and I’d created a system that allowed me to fit the injections into my life with few interruptions. About two years into the protocol, however, I began to have some painfully intrusive side effects. My joints became swollen and achy, insomnia and I got to know each other quite well, nausea became a daily visitor and my weight ballooned to an uncomfortable level. I felt like I had the flu four days a week, and couldn’t fit into my clothes anymore – talk about adding insult to injury!

By this point, I’d left my office job in favor of doing background work on a TV program. I’d moved to Los Angeles in 1998 to pursue an acting career and I felt that wasting time, stressed out in a cubicle may have been what pushed my body into revolt after nearly 3 years. One of the perks of the TV job was the Summer Hiatus. Having nearly two months off every year meant I could have time to assess my life and make adjustments where I saw fit. Shortly before this hiatus, my boyfriend and I had quit smoking. We’re both singers, so smoking didn’t help anything. My roommate at the time was still a smoker, so during hiatus, I spent as much time as possible outside of the house. This meant taking two 2.5 mile walks each day, around the neighborhood, going to the farmer’s markets as often as I could, buying plants and planting seeds for the new lifestyle I wanted to create.

When the weight started to (verrry slowly) come off, I decided to take initiative and make some more changes. After researching the ABC meds, in depth, I realized how damaging the side effects could be in the long term. MS is an inflammatory disorder of the nervous system. The symptoms can be very much like the side effects I was having with Avonex, and after the first year of treatment, I began having symptoms again, just as debilitating as the initial ones that led to the diagnosis. So, I decided to wean myself off the medication. Immediately, my body began to shrink back into my favorite clothes, the pains and flu-like symptoms disappeared and though I was nervous about the possible outcome of any future MS attacks, I felt much more comfortable in my skin again.

Shortly after I’d moved to LA, my doctor had told me I had a “problem with dairy.” She didn’t explain exactly what that problem was, but through process of elimination, I’d discovered that casein, a milk protein, was my issue. This explained why even during my moments of veganism, eating artificial cheeses (many of which include this protein) still gave me eczema. This inflammatory skin condition often indicates that there is some unresolved inflammation inside the body. So, I gave up all dairy products; cow’s milk, sheep’s milk and even goat’s milk cheeses and yogurts (cheese and yogurt being the only dairy products I’d consume) were all off-limits. I dropped the last of the excess weight (and more), the rashes went away and insomnia left me alone. When hiatus was over, I returned looking great and feeling even better!

In the years since making all these baseline changes, I’ve had a few moments of weakness around cheese (Humboldt Fog, blue-veined goat’s cheese, in particular!), which always lead to an eczema outbreak. I’ve had some success with homeopathy, making those outbreaks less severe and the few MS attacks I’ve had far less impactful than they would’ve been before. I’ve also found new ways of managing the MS attacks, which involve nutritional supplementation. Last year, during and extremely stressful few months, I lost vision in my right eye. It took about three days for my vision to go away completely, but when I had to start missing work, I panicked. I called my doctor, who gave me the emergency number for an ophthalmologist she knew dealt with MS patients. She calmly asked me what I was doing for the MS and advised me to double up on my Omega-3’s. Four days later, I could see!! Nothing that other doctors had prescribed had ever worked so fast or so thoroughly.

So, what foods were key to my transformation? I’d started with Dr. Andrew Weil’s 8-Weeks to Optimal Health protocol. It’s a fabulous entree into the anti-inflammatory lifestyle. However, whenever I’m faced with “8-Weeks, 21-Days, 6-Months-to-Whatever“, I look at it as a finite program, one that will end and release me back into my former habits. After getting off the ABC-med-mill, I couldn’t afford for this lifestyle to end. Sometime around week-6, after I’d added some new wellness tools to my arsenal, I decided to go it alone, using Dr. Weil’s program as a reference. I was buying most of my food at the Farmer’s Market and preparing it very simply, in order to experience the flavors of these items, fully. Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables …and a little fish. That’s mainly what I’ve been eating to keep my body is happy. Olive oil, salt and pepper were my main adornments and the food was cooked on a grill pan or baked with lemons and herbs. I’ve never been a huge fan of steamed vegetables, so greens were sautéed lightly, with olive oil and citrus juice or veggie broth.

Since then, my MS “attacks” have dwindled to, at most, one per year, and I hesitate to refer to them as “attacks” anymore. They’re now much milder and I’m proud to say, I’m mostly asymptomatic.

Here are a few recipes I started making when I made the big dietary changes. They’re still in regular rotation and keep me feeling fine.

Grilled Porcini

This is the simplest recipe I could possibly offer. The only problem? It’s super-seasonal. As nutty and Autumnal as the flavor is, fresh Porcini only tend to show up in the spring and early summer.

Ingredients:

Porcini Mushrooms

Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil

Heat grill pan to medium. Slice mushrooms from top to bottom, about ¼” thick, trying to keep them intact. Brush one side with a thin layer of olive oil; sprinkle with a little salt and even less pepper. Place porcini on the hot pan, and oil and season the other side. When the grill marks are to your satisfaction, flip the mushrooms and finish cooking on the other side (1-3 minutes). That’s it. This is my favorite way to prepare these seasonal gems. Their rich, nutty flavor is highlighted and their meatiness brings some sassy umami to your meal. I’ve served them next to a salad (I don’t want the dressing to get in the way of their deliciousness) and as a side dish for the next recipe.

Herb-Stuffed Salmon

Ingredients:

One small sockeye or coho salmon, head and bones removed

2 Cloves Garlic, pressed or diced finely and divided

1 Lemon, zested and sliced into rounds

1 c. chopped Herbs (sage, parsley and tarragon, combined)

1 Shallot, small dice

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°. Make three slashes in the skin of the salmon on each side, and season the exterior with salt, making sure some gets into the cuts. Season the cavity of the salmon with salt and pepper. Combine one diced/pressed garlic clove with half the lemon zest and 1 tsp. olive oil. Coat the cavity of the fish with this mixture. Combine the herbs with the other garlic clove and the shallot. Fill the cavity with the herb mixture, sprinkling any excess over the exterior. Lay lemon slices in your baking dish, and place the salmon on top of them. Place any extra rounds on top of the fish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. This recipe also works well with Trout. My mouth is watering as I write this! This is a dish I like to make at Thanksgiving, replacing the lemon with an orange. It’s a Seattle thing J

Autumn’s Apples

This can be a dessert or just an extremely succulent snack. This recipe is written for one serving, but you can adapt it for more.

Ingredients:

1 medium Apple (Granny Smith, Fiji, Rome…whatever you love)

2 Tbsp. Butter (or your favorite substitute)

3 large, fresh Sage leaves, sliced or torn

2 Tbsp. slivered, sliced or crumbled nuts (I like pecans, almonds or walnuts)

A squeeze of lemon juice

Salt, just a pinch

Black Pepper, coarsely ground

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut apple in half, horizontally, and scoop out the seedy center with a melon baller. Squeeze lemon juice over the cut sides of the apple, to prevent browning and set the apple aside in a baking dish. In a small skillet, melt the butter. When the foam is gone, add the sage leaves. When the sage is almost crispy (their sizzle will have slowed significantly), add the nuts and season with salt and pepper. When the nuts have begun to brown, remove the pan from the heat and spoon this filling into the apple halves. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 20-35 minutes (depending on how soft you want your apple). Finish with more black pepper, if you like, and enjoy!

*You could also bake the apple without the filling, and add it at the end. The nuts and sage won’t get as dark as they are in the picture.

What dietary measures do you like to take to manage your health?

Which recipes will you try to decrease inflammation in your own body?

Let’s keep this conversation going!

Posted in Baking, Breakfasts, Dinners, Fish and Seafood, Nutrition, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Happy New Year…

I know, we’re almost in the final week of January, but this is the first you’ve heard from me in a while, so here we go!

When we were last in touch, I was heralding the arrival and cuisine of Autumn, my favorite season. Well, as per usual, life leapt up and got in the way of most of my most enjoyable activities until the holiday season rolled around. Though it was busy, it was incredibly fun and interesting; fueled by visitors from near and far, culinary feats of mimicry and invention, new freedoms and life lessons – these all contributed to an eventful year’s end.

Some culinary highlights? I thought you’d never ask!

On December 10, The Boyfriend and I went to Bar Toscana for dinner. They’d opened one year prior, to the day, and I hadn’t been in a while. Sean ordered one of their beautiful thin-crust pizzas and I got their smoked salmon/grapefruit salad. In that order. It was an extremely busy night at the Bar and the kitchen seemed really backed up, so I used all my willpower to refrain from finishing my salad before Sean got his food. By slowing down and really savoring this meal, it gave me the opportunity to figure out exactly how to replicate this refreshing repast.


Smoked Salmon & Grapefruit Salad, My Way

This simple salad is made special with delicate grapefruit segments and unique with zucchini ‘noodles’ snuggling with the friseé lettuce. It’s dressed with a simple vinaigrette, made with grapefruit juice, sherry vinegar Dijon mustard and Olive oil. The toast points just made it feel a bit more like lunch.

Due to the delayed arrival of Sean’s pizza, Chef Luca brought out an extra dish that has given us a new comfort food to pine for! He bestowed up on us a plateful of super-creamy polenta with a rich, meaty wild mushroom sauce, adorned with a dusting of pecorino. Lord. Have. Mercy. Though we were already satiated, we made this extra dish disappear in an instant! SOOO GOOOD! So, of course, I had to try to make this at home! I already had all the ingredients…


Polenta with Mushroom Sauce, My Way (Pecorino is on the side), and a Citrusy Kale Salad

Before having this in the Bar, Sean claimed he didn’t like polenta…even though he’d had it many times at home in different forms. What does that mean? Whatever. Now, this is polenta in our house.

A couple weeks later, Christmas showed up. Though we went to the big family dinner on Christmas Eve, I had to do it all over again…of course, it’s me! Jeremy joined us once more, and Sean’s sister Jaki was staying with us, so our table was once again filled with conversation as well as deliciousness.

The Menu

Hors d’oeuvres

– Three Cheeses that disappeared fast; Manchego, Camembert with Wild Mushrooms and the omnipresent Humboldt Fog

  • Spiced Walnuts
  • Blue Corn Chips and Homemade Salsa
  • Cucumber cups with spicy Scallop Ceviche
  • To drink: Prosecco, Raspberry Bellini

    The Main Event

    – Turkey Breast Roulades with prosciutto and basil

    – Roasted Vegetables

    – Stellar Salad

    -To drink: Cocobon , Magistrate Cabernet Sauvignon

    Dessert

  • Caramel Apple Pie


    Cucumber cups with Scallop Ceviche


    Our Dinnertime Wine Selections


    The Turkey Roulades, baking away…


    Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes


    Caramel – Apple Pie… it runneth over ;-J

    So, that was Christmas; the final feast of the year. I know I was ready for a steady diet of sprouts and water after all the indulging I’d done since Thanksgiving.

    After the New Year arrived, our focus was on vegetables, and lots of them. Even Sean was tired of meat, eggs and cheese by the time the ball dropped. That was fine with me! Bring it on!

    In general, we’ve been having veggie-packed meals ‘all year long’, as it were. But, we had loads of potatoes around, making it a little difficult to keep meals light, but I managed to avoid having them every night…somehow…


    Colcannon & Pan-Roasted Asparagus, with Apple-Walnut Slaw


    Colcannon Cakes, with leftover Slaw


    Smoked Salmon/Frisee Crostini, adorned with FingerLime ‘Caviar’


    Orecchiette with Kale and Wild Mushrooms

    Now, obviously, many of these meals aren’t as Spartan as I’d have liked, but these lunches and dinners were usually the only substantial meal I’d have in a day… I may really still be full from the holidays! But after a couple weeks of these comfort-food meals, I went to the Sunday West LA Farmer’s Market. Here’s the haul:


    Kholrabi: $2

    Brussels Sprouts: $2

    Olives: $5

    Broccoli, Cauliflower, Cilantro and Green Garlic $7

    Total: $16!!

    So far, from this haul, I’ve made a smooth, deceptively rich broccoli soup from a recipe I found on knowthecause.com. I’ve also been finishing off the leafy greens I’d bought on my last market visit. Check out this Arctic Char and Green Ribbons. The Kale and Chard from the previous market run were hearty and delicious combined with this crispy skinned Arctic Char….just an afterthought!


    As happy as I am to be back in the blogosphere, I’m not going to promise anything in particular… well, I’ll promise one thing: In my quest for balance between Delicious and Nutritious, I’ll always share my findings.

    Be well.


Posted in Christmas, Cool People, Dinners, Fish and Seafood, Leftovers, Lunches, Market Haul, Nights Out, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian, YUM | 1 Comment

So Happy Together

Okay, I know I said I’d be devoting each post to one specific type of produce, but when so many featured ingredients work so well together…this is what happens! The evolution continues!!

My favorite band of Summer Superstars are today’s focal point; Squash, Peppers, Heirloom Tomatoes and Eggplant. When I have more than one of these players in the fridge at once, they tend to find themselves next to each other on the plate. The Squash in my fridge at the moment is round, dark green, creamy and called “Eight Ball.” I got a big bag full of them at the West LA Sunday market. My peppers are more varied. Also from Sunday in West LA, I procured a mixed bag of chilies; Anaheim and Ancho…plus another bag of vibrant Thai Bird Chilies. On Saturday at the Pico market, I also picked up a bag of Padron Chilies… Yes, things are gettin’ spicy ’round here!

The Heirloom Tomatoes I got at the Saturday market at Pico and Virginia are called ‘Red Zebra’. These sweet, Summer beauties have streaks of orange, red and golden hues and were so fragrant on the way home, I had to devour one in the car! SOOO YUM. My Eggplant haul included two young Globe Eggplants, two bright purple Chinese Eggplants, and a gaggle of firm, round, green-streaked Thai Eggplants. Berry, berry good (yes, Eggplants are berries…)! Throw in some Tomatillos, and we’re so in business…


Fabulously Fiery Thai Bird Chilies (The green ones are hotter than the red!!)


Grilled Eggplant rounds, topped with Smart Simple Gourmet’s White Bean Salad, resting atop an Heirloom Tomato/Chili sauce


Rotini in a spicy Tomatillo/Padron Chili Sauce


Pan-Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini, topped with an Heirloom Tomato/Chili sauce…


A spicy snack of shrimp, Padron Chilies and pretzel crackers, with all the Tomato/Chili sauces


A salad, adorned with marinated Chicken Strips and Oven-Dried Red Zebra Tomatoes…


A super-spicy, savory relish of Anaheim, Ancho and Thai Bird Chilies


A smooth Tomatillo/Avocado salsa for my Daiya Quesadilla…


A Grilled Eggplant sandwich, with a spiced-up BBQ sauce…some more Heirloom Tomatoes would’ve made this even more amazing!


Leftovers ahoy! Pan-Roasted Eggplant, atop a Zucchini/Chili Slaw, dressed with a Tomatillo/Chili sauce…all that, on toast J

So many combinations, so many meals and snacks!

There’s a hint as to what Summer Superstar is coming next…a few photos back… Can you guess which item(s)? Don’t be surprised if you see lots of Heirloom Tomatoes next time, I just bought a sackful today! Also, remember to keep track of which layout you like best! I’ll be featuring two more options after this.

Enjoy the flavors of Summer while they last; and with the tardy onset of the season, that may be for more than a month to come! At today’s market, a friend pointed out that while the bounty of High Summer is still quite plentiful, Autumn’s finest is already starting to appear. I can’t wait to see what happens in the kitchen!

If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you’re in for a great treat. The Good Food Festival is coming soon to Santa Monica. You can learn lots about your produce, where it comes from and what to do with it! That’s my kind of Festival!

Until next time, have a Delicious Day!

C@

 


Posted in BBQ, Dinners, Leftovers, Lunches, Poultry, Raw, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, YUM | Leave a comment