Thursday, September 3, 2009

summer lunch, autumn dinner

Warm days and cool nights are starting to inspire a slight seasonal shift in my cooking.
Yesterday, I had a simple, summer-y lunch of grilled veggies over greens.
Peppers, zucchini, onion and some eggplant tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled on skewers. (This was left over from dinner earlier in the week)
Toss this over some greens and drizzle with vinaigrette.  I do a pretty basic one with about 1/4 olive oil, 1T red wine or balsamic vingear, 1T brown mustard and salt and pepper to taste.
Of course, you can always toss in some grilled chicken, shrimp, tofu.....whatever you fancy!

Dinner dipped into some more fall-like ingredients and preparation.  I had some odds and ends of vegetables to use up, and some garden tomatoes that were less than perfect, so I decided to roast them all.  Roasted vegetables have got to be one of my favorite things-especially tomatoes (even winter tomatoes are redeemed when roasted).  Again, no fancy preparation.....just toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet or glass pan. Bake at 375 to 400 (I have a hot oven).  Baking time varies from 10 min to 40 min depending on the vegetable.   Last night, I had one sweet potato, 2 beets, 4 hot peppers and a few not so pretty tomatoes, but they made quite a lovely platter in the end.

Comfort food is starting to call to me, so I made a warm quinoa salad to accompany our veggies.
-sauteed 1/3 of a medium onion in 1T olive oil
-added 1 cup quinoa
-added 2 cups water
-brought to a boil, then turned down to simmer
-simmered about 15 minutes until all liquid was absorbed and quinoa was soft.
-added 1/3 cup chopped apricots and 1/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts.
yummy......warm dish of healthy nuggets!

Cooking is a real pleasure for me, but I'm also rather lazy about it.  I sometimes look at recipe books, but I usually don't have the patience to buy all the ingredients needed for that particular recipe AND then follow the recipe.  I prefer to buy whatever looks good at the store or market (or whatever is on sale), then see what I can do with it once I get it home.  I also will not do any fussy dishes......easy prep, basic ingredients-that's what I'm about in the kitchen.  This also means that my recipes are usually estimated, so if you have any questions about recipe specifics, please feel free to ask.  Hopefully, my postings will inspire you to experiment with your own combinations.  

Can't wait to see what looks good at the market tomorrow!

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