Tag Archives: tomato

Goat Cheese Polenta with Turkey & Vegetable Ragout

Goat Cheese Polenta with Turkey & Veggie Ragu

This dish is pure comfort food if you ask me. It’s hearty enough for a cold winter’s night, but still light enough to be a great transitional meal when spring hasn’t quite decided if it wants to be hot or cold yet. The meat and vegetables make it both filling and nutritious. You will get a lot of leftovers out of this recipes, which is a plus in my book. I also thought that the ragout tasted even better then next day.

Polenta is not everyone’s favorite food, but I happen to really like it. I think it makes a great base for a meal and keeps amazingly well for leftovers. You can top it with just about anything. I really like making my polenta with added goat cheese. It gives it both a creamy and tangy bite that I think goes really well with tomato based sauces.

Goat Cheese Polenta with Turkey & Veggie Ragout

Ingredients

    For the Turkey Ragout:
  • 1 1/4 pound extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 (14 1/2) ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 medium onions, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • For the Polenta:
  • 1 cup quick-cooking/instant polenta
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, slightly crumbled
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For Serving (optional):
  • Pesto
  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef until brown. Drain off any extra fat.
  2. In the same skillet, heat olive oil. When heated add onions and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add in carrots, zucchini and garlic, along with undrained tomatoes, broth and salt and pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low-heat until all the vegetables are cooked through and tomato and broth have slightly thickened.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare polenta according to package directions. I recommend using low-sodium vegetable broth for extra flavor. When polenta is almost cooked through, stir in goat cheese and butter.
  5. Spoon polenta into individual serving bowls and top with ragout mixture over polenta. Top individual bowls with pesto and garnish with basil and freshly ground pepper.

Notes

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Shrimp Louie Salad

Shrimp Louie Salad

The Crab Louie has been a San Francisco classic since the early 1900s. Since there has been no crab around this kitchen since the infamous crab cake incident of 2011, I substituted the only shellfish that has yet to make an attempt on my life, shrimp! I’ve never actually had a shrimp/crab Louie before, so I don’t have basis for comparison, but this salad was delicious. It made an extremely enjoyable and beautiful lunch. It might seem like there are a lot of ingredients, but it came together very easily.  I definitely plan on make it again. I think it would be perfect for a fancy luncheon or if you have guests.

A traditional Louie salad involves hard-boiled eggs, but since cannot stand the sight or texture of egg yolks, I left them out. They definitely were not missed. I also used kalamata olives instead of regular black olives, mainly because they were what I had on hand, but they also provide way more flavor. Every other ingredient was fresh and crisp. Living in Southern California, we get amazing produce year round. Tomatoes and avocados are at their prime and we are still lucky enough to find great asparagus at farmers’ market.

The dressing is similar to 1000 Island dressing, but not quite. I read at least 20 different Louie dressing recipes and in the end just picked the ingredients that sounded best to me. I like my dressings on the tangy side and most of them sounded like they would be pretty sweet. I used chili sauce, which I think is super sweet to begin with, so I did not add any extra sugar. I also used dill pickle relish and more lemon juice than most called for. This helped to cut the sweetness (it still had some, but not too much) and thinned out the dressing. Gloopy dressing is never a good thing. I also added Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco and paprika for color and flavor.

Shrimp Louie Salad

 

Shrimp Louie Salad

2 servings

1 salad

Ingredients

    For the Louie Dressing:
  • 1 cup high-quality mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup ketchup or chili sauce
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons dill pickle relish
  • 1 Tabelspoon Worcestshire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Shrimp:
  • 12 shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tail removed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • For the Salad:
  • 1/2 head iceberg lettuce, finely chopped (almost shredded)
  • 1/4 pound asparagus, blanched
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, cut into quarters,
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced lengthwise thinly
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced

Instructions

    For the Dressing:
  1. In a bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place in fridge while cooking shrimp and assembling salad.
  2. For the Shrimp:
  3. Heat oven to 400F. Combine shrimp and all other ingredients in a small bowl or plastic bag. Toss to coat. Place the shrimp on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until shrimp are nice and pink. Let cool slightly while you assemble the salad.
  4. For the Salad:
  5. Divide lettuce between two plates. Divide the rest of the ingredients between the plates of lettuce. Serve with dressing on the side and enjoy!
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Shrimp Louie Salad

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

This soup is phenomenal. It might actually be one of the best things I’ve made recently. And it’s soup-er easy (sorry, just can’t resist a bad pun)! A bit of chopping and boiling and you have a delicious meal. The flavors are just amazing together. Granted paprika, onion and garlic are probably my favorite flavors, but really they were just made to be in this soup together.

The original recipe called for kalamatas. I ran out last week and much to my extreme disappointment, my Costco has decided to stop stocking them… At the rate I go through olives, kalamatas are just too expensive to be bought in any quantity less than Costco-sized bulk. I used green pimento stuffed olives and they were wonderful. Since they are so salty, I made sure to use low-sodium broth and didn’t add in any extra salt. It definitely was not needed.

I absolutely loved this soup. I definitely plan on making it again, hopefully the poor weather keeps up and it will be repeated sooner, rather than later. Even though this soup was great, I might make a few minor changes. I think the paprika could have used another flavor to combine with. I was thinking a bit of cayenne maybe or a squeeze of lemon perhaps or even a little drizzle of balsamic. Just a little addition could add a whole new layer of depth and deliciousness.

Smoky Tomato Lentil Soup With Spinach & Olives

Adapted from The Punk Post Kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 6+ cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 cups dried brown lentils (or green lentils)
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Fresh black pepper
  • 2 (14.5) ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach (or chopped spinach)
  • 3/4 cup roughly salty chopped olives (I used green pimento stuffed olives)

Instructions

  1. Heat oil a large soup pot over medium high heat. Saute onions in oil until translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and saute about a minute or so, then mix in the thyme and paprika.
  2. Add the lentils, broth, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to medium and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are almost tender. Add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for another 20 minutes or so, or until lentils are very tender. Add spinach and olives and stir frequently until spinach is wilted and velvetty. Add water or more broth to thin, if necessary.
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Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Red Lentil & Tomato Soup

Sometimes I get a bit indecisive when it comes to making certain meals. I try to make a rough meal plan every week mainly to make both shopping and blogging a bit easier on myself, but sometimes I just don’t stick to it. Despite my best efforts to plan ahead, sometimes I just don’t feel like what I had previously planned out. On this week’s plan I had both lentil soup and tomato soup. It’s been super cold here lately, so soup is in high demand. When it came time to make lentil soup for lunch one day, it just seemed kind of blah… I really wanted tomato soup, but it didn’t really seem filling enough. Then I got wonderful idea of putting the two together. I’m quite happy it did. The end result had everything I wanted. It was tomato-y and comforting and filling and hardy all at the same time.

If I had time (aka if I wasn’t starving for lunch at the time) I would have chopped up some more veggies to add to the soup. Carrots would be perfect in this soup. I did throw a couple large handfuls of spinach at the end to add some sort of vegetable and color (hard to see in the picture, but it’s in there). The green onions were a last-minute, impulsive addition and were amazing on top. The soup itself is completely vegan. I decided to add a couple spoonfuls of greek yogurt to stir in for a little extra creaminess, but it’s definitely not necessary.

Red Lentil Tomato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-28 ounce cans whole (or diced) tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • greek yogurt/sour cream, optional
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add onion to the pot and cook until soft, 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic, paprika and cumin. Cook 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  2. Add in tomatoes, juices and all. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. If using whole tomatoes: With a handheld/stick blender, blend the tomatoes and onions until mixed, but still slightly chunky.
  3. Bring heat back to medium-high and add in the broth and lentils. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Allow soup to simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are soft and have absorbed some of the liquid.
  4. When lentils are soft, add in baby spinach and stir until slightly wilted.
  5. Put soup in serving bowls, top with green onions and greek yogurt, if desired, and serve.
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Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad

This salad wasn’t really planned out. I set about making lunch one day, but was in one of those moods where nothing really sounded good. After hemming and hawing for a bit, I ended up grabbing several random ingredients. Anything I saw that seemed appealing at the time got put on the counter. Not surprisingly these basic ingredients are some of my favorites. Feeling accomplished about picking out items for lunch, I then realized I still had to figure out what to do with them. This salad is what ended up happening. Nothing too fancy, but delicious and filling nevertheless.

I don’t like overly oily salad dressing, so I just mixed lemon juice into the lentils instead of making an actual dressing. And olive oil  lemon dressing or a light vinaigrette could definitely be used on the lettuce or lentils if you like. If you are looking for something a little warmer for this time of year, the lentils could also be served warm with all the ingredients mixed in. If serving warm, I would leave out the lettuce and substitute a bed of sautéed spinach.

Lentil Goat Cheese Salad

 

Lentil, Olive & Goat Cheese Salad

4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Lentils:
  • 1 cup dried green, brown, or French lentils
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 bay leaf, 1 garlic clove, or other seasonings (optional)
  • 1/4 - 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Salad:
  • 1 head butter lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • handful of kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil (optional)
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled
  • bacon or pancetta, cooked until crispy and crumbled

Instructions

    For the Lentils:
  1. Wash Lentils in a strainer or colander. Pick over and remove any shriveled lentils, debris, or rocks. Thoroughly rinse under running water. Then transfer the rinsed lentils to a saucepan and pour in the broth/water. Add any seasonings being used, reserving the salt.
  2. Bring the broth/water to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes. Add water as needed to make sure the lentils are just barely covered.
  3. When lentils are done, remove from pot and allow to cool in a serving dish.
  4. For the Salad:
  5. While the lentils are cooking prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Divide lettuce onto individual serving dishes.
  7. When lentils are cooled, add onion, tomato and olives and top with lemon juice (and olive oil if using). Mix ingredients together. Crumble goat cheese and sprinkle bacon over the top. Divide the lentils between the lettuce plates and serve.
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Gluten-Free Calzones Two Ways

Gluten Free Calzones

Earlier this week I got it into my head that I really wanted a calzone. I can only remember having a calzone once before, but for some reason I wanted one now. Start to finish these took about 40 minutes to make, so definitely a good possibility for a weeknight dinner. The spinach and Boursin was definitely the favorite out of these two. The salami and olive calzone was good, but just had a lot of flavors going on. I served them with my favorite Casear salad and a little extra pasta sauce on the side for dipping; it was the perfect combination.

Since I wanted to be a quick and painless process, I cheated and used a box of Chebe Garlic Onion Breadstick Mix for the crust of the calzones. They had a recipe for mixing and using the crust which I followed, but I really wish I only partially followed it. Their recipe yield two GIANT calzones. There was absolutely nothing wrong with them, except that they were huge. We got 2 meals for 2 people out of each, but I think I would have preferred making four smaller ones. It is the same amount of food, but I think four smaller ones would make the leftover and re-heating situation much easier (and additional filling options).

Gluten Free Spinach & Cheese Calzone

Gluten Free Spinach & Cheese Calzone

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 1 (7.5 oz) package Chebe mix (or 1 ¾ cup flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TablespoonsOil
  • 1/4 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
  • For the Filling:
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion diced
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach, washed and stemmed if tough
  • Soft cheese (like Boursin or goat cheese), at room temperature

Instructions

    For the Filling:
  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add in onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Then add in spinach and cook until wilted.
  3. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. For the Calzone: Prepare Chebe mix according to directions on the box:
  5. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  6. Blend Chebe Garlic-Onion Breadstick Mix with 2 tbsp. oil, 1 cup shredded cheese* (optional; sharp or hard cheeses work best) and 2 large eggs. Slowly blend in exactly 1/4 cup water or milk*/milk substitute.
  7. Knead dough with hands until it is smooth.
  8. After mixing the dough, pat the dough into a think round. Split this round in half, and split the halves in half, to make four hunks of Chebe Bread dough approximately the same size.
  9. On a piece of wax paper, spread one of the rounds out to a very thin layer, using your fingers and the heel of your hand, or using a rolling pin. You want this very thin, but be careful that there are no holes in the dough. You don't want any of the fillings escaping from the center during baking.
  10. Flip the dough round on a non-greased baking sheet. Cover with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of filling and cheese leaving edges clear so that dough will seal.
  11. Flatten the next dough round per the instructions above. Flip the flattened round on top of the bottom round and the filling. Crimp the edges together with your fingers, being careful not to create any holes in the dough.
  12. Then, using the tines of fork, press the edges together all the way around the dough. If the fork sticks to the dough, dip it in cold water. This will secure the edges and give the calzone a finished look.
  13. Pop into a preheated oven at 375° F and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until nicely browned. (Suggestion: brush the outside with olive oil before baking.) Let cool about 5 minutes and serve.
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Gluten Free Salami & Olive Calzone

Gluten Free Salami & Olive Calzone

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 1 (7.5 oz) package Chebe mix (or 1 ¾ cup flour)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 TablespoonsOil
  • 1/4 cup non-fat milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (optional)
  • For the Filling:
  • Sliced salami or other cured meat of choice
  • Handful green olives, sliced
  • Pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic)
  • Grated cheese

Instructions

    For the Calzone: Prepare Chebe mix according to directions on the box:
  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Blend Chebe Garlic-Onion Breadstick Mix with 2 tbsp. oil, 1 cup shredded cheese* (optional; sharp or hard cheeses work best) and 2 large eggs. Slowly blend in exactly 1/4 cup water or milk*/milk substitute.
  3. Knead dough with hands until it is smooth.
  4. After mixing the dough, pat the dough into a think round. Split this round in half, and split the halves in half, to make four hunks of Chebe Bread dough approximately the same size.
  5. On a piece of wax paper, spread one of the rounds out to a very thin layer, using your fingers and the heel of your hand, or using a rolling pin. You want this very thin, but be careful that there are no holes in the dough. You don't want any of the fillings escaping from the center during baking.
  6. Flip the dough round on a non-greased baking sheet. Cover with a layer of salami, a handful of olives 1/2 cup shredded cheese and 1 cup pasta sauce leaving edges clear so that dough will seal.
  7. Flatten the next dough round per the instructions above. Flip the flattened round on top of the bottom round and the filling. Crimp the edges together with your fingers, being careful not to create any holes in the dough.
  8. Then, using the tines of fork, press the edges together all the way around the dough. If the fork sticks to the dough, dip it in cold water. This will secure the edges and give the calzone a finished look.
  9. Pop into a preheated oven at 375° F and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until nicely browned. (Suggestion: brush the outside with olive oil before baking.) Let cool about 5 minutes and serve.
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Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

When I was growing up, I always got to pick my birthday dinner. Apparently I was not a very creative* child because I only ever picked one of two things; chicken picatta or chicken parmesan. Both dishes remain two of my very favorites. My birthday is tomorrow, so I am once again faced with making this difficult decision.

I used turkey to made this, only because it was what I had on hand already and ground chicken did not entice me enough to make an extra trip to the store. Even with the turkey, these meatballs tasted exactly like the rich and flavorful parmesan dish that I love so much. I generally find making meatballs sort of gross (I wear gloves), but all things considered making meatballs were still easier than making traditional chicken parm with all the dredging and frying and cooking. I think I might be sticking with meatball in the future.

 

* – My lack of creativity can be further illustrated by the fact that my teddy bear’s name was ‘Teddy’ and my other favorite stuffed animal, which was a big bear, was named ‘Big Bear’. I was a very literal child.

 

Turkey Parmesan Meatballs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Adapted from Dinner a Love Story

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar storebought pasta sauce (I recommend Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic or Barilla Olive)
  • about 4 ounces fresh mozzarella (I used sliced mozzarella)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F, setting rack to upper third part of oven.
  2. In a large bowl, using your hands, gently mix together first 8 ingredients (turkey through egg). Shape into balls (somewhere between a golf ball and a tennis ball) and place a few inches from each other on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of your pasta sauce with olive oil. Brush this mixture on top of each meatball. Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove meatballs from oven, spoon some sauce on top of each meatball, and cover each with a slice of cheese. Broil another 3 to 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden. Heat remaining sauce in a small saucepan. Serve meatballs with sauce.
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Flattened Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

Flattened chicken with tomatoes, olives & capers

This has quickly become one of my go to recipes. I’ve made it several times now and I like it more and more every time. Then again, you could add tomatoes, olives and capers to pretty much anything and I would find it delicious, so I might be a bit biased. I also have to admit I really enjoy the fact that this recipe requires using a mallet. There is something about bash about chicken that is quite therapeutic.

It’s perfect for a quick and easy dinner (like 15 minutes and it’s ready, easy). I’ve made it both with canned diced tomatoes and fresh tomatoes and I hate to say it, but I might have liked the canned tomatoes more… The fresh tomatoes did not break down as well and the skins were kind of tough. I also found that I had to add a little more liquid to get a sauce going with the fresh tomatoes. I am a very saucy person, so when a dish has a sauce, I like a lot of it. If you happen to have super ripe and juicy fresh tomatoes, I wouldn’t worry about it, but if your tomatoes are kind of under ripe and sad, canned would probably be your best bet.

 

Flattened chicken with tomatoes, olives & capers

Flattened Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Adapted from BBC Good Food.

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup seasoned flour (I used garlic powder, paprika and black pepper to season)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large ripe tomato, chopped or 1/2-15 ounce can diced tomatoes, drained.
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • large handful Kalamata olives, chopped
  • splash white wine/dry vermouth or broth

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breast on to a flat surface and cover with plastic wrap. Bash with a rolling pin or mallet to flatten, then lightly coat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil and butter in a pan, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 mins on each side until crisp, browned and cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  2. Add the tomato, capers, olives and wine to the pan, season to taste, then bring to the boil. Bubble the sauce for 2-3 mins until the tomatoes are starting to break down, then spoon over the chicken.
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