Recent Recipes

I seem to be doing a poor job of keeping up with posting about what I’m cooking, so once again I’m defining “recent” to mean “I don’t think I’ve blogged about this one yet.”

Acorn Squash Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce
Very tasty, and a little lighter than your usual lasagna. This is a bit on the labor intensive side, but you can definitely roast the squash ahead of time if that makes life easier. This also freezes beautifully. I actually made two of these (and gave one away) because it’s not that much more work to make two lasagnas.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili with Sweet Potatoes
Pretty good, but on the mushy side. You can probably get away with adding the beans halfway through the cooking period, which would keep them a little firmer. I realize that the whole point of a slow cooker recipe is that you probably aren’t home, so if that’s the case you could start with dried beans soaked overnight and rinsed well.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza
Delicious. But it’s a Smitten Kitchen recipe, so one expects nothing less.

Egg Salad
I made this ham salad recipe last year, and noted that I thought the dressing would be great on egg salad. It was.

Asian Cold Noodles with Chicken and Peanut Butter Sauce
This is really good, and more importantly – it’s really good cold or room temperature. No microwave required! I’ve made this a couple of times with different combinations of veggies. I like to make sure I have a pepper, but I’ve also used broccoli and snap peas with great results. I make it with thin spaghetti and it’s just fine, and I’m not sure I’d notice a difference using the egg noodles. It makes a lot, but it keeps well and if you don’t mind eating the same (yummy) thing for lunch all week, you’ll be set.

Spicy Chickpea Salad
I believe I made this twice this summer to take to barbecues, and it was a big hit both times. The leftovers are great filling for a pita sandwich.

Basil Chicken with Olives and Tomatoes
This was my own invention tonight, and I thought it was pretty good. It’s one of those meals that makes me really feel like a cook, because I hadn’t planned any dinners for this week and really had no idea what I thought I was going to eat. (I had eggs and toast last night.) But if you’ve got a well-stocked pantry, it’s the work of a few minutes to explore the fridge and cabinets to see what catches your eye, and which flavors go together. For example – this came together because I had half of a giant chicken breast in the fridge, but hadn’t thought to marinade it before it was time to make dinner. Some nice bright flavors made up for that!

1 chicken breast
basil puree
handful of grape tomatoes, rinsed & halved
a few black olives, halved

Slice the chicken on the diagonal. Heat a frying pan over medium high and add a spoonful of basil puree. When it starts to frizzle, add the chicken, flipping it over almost immediately so both sides get coated in the puree. (Add more if necessary.) When the chicken is almost cooked through – if you work quickly, you’ll have barely enough time to slice your tomatoes and olives – add the tomatoes and olives. Allow to saute until the chicken is done. Serve over pasta, rice or couscous — I had mine over Israeli (pearl) couscous that I cooked with chicken broth, oregano, basil and crushed red pepper. I grated some parmesan over the top, but if I’d had any I would’ve used feta.

As a side note, the basil puree is a great thing to have on hand. It keeps really well in the freezer or fridge! (You’ll just need to let it warm up if you want to use it as a spread or a dip.) The last couple of summers I have grown giant basil bushes and at the end of the season, turned almost every leaf into this stuff. I freeze it in little tupperwares and use it on bread or turn it into something pesto-like by adding some parmesan. It’s also a wonderful addition to pizza. It’s what I’m going to miss the most about not having a space to garden where I’m living now.