Sunday, August 1, 2010

Heating Up The Kitchen

You've probably gotten the idea from other posts that our tiny NYC apartment kitchen gets really hot when we're cooking. The stove, the oven, the tiny space... it is not a pleasant place to be. But, even through the recent heat wave I've been trying new recipes. If you're trying to decide what to make for dinner tonight, here are a few suggestions:

Easy Cold Pasta Salad:
This is great because you can use your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand that needs to be used!

1/2 box Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Rotini pasta (whole wheat)
1 cup chopped mix veggies: zucchini, yellow squash, avocado squash, broccoli, haricot verts, and onion.
8 grape tomatoes
2 tsp evoo
Fresh ground pepper to taste
2 pinches Herbs de Provence

1. Cook the pasta, drain, transfer to another dish to cool
2. Drizzle evoo on top of pasta, add pepper and mix
3. Chop raw veggies, mix into pasta
4. Cool in fridge

The first night we used this as a main dish and added slices of Trader Joe's Chicken Sausages. I imagine it would work well with grilled tofu, too. The second night, I used the remaining pasta salad as a side dish. I love how it's so versatile. Plus, since this doesn't include any mayonnaise, it's great for picnics!

Veggie and Toasted Quinoa Platter:
I put this meal together using this recipe from the Healthy Tipping Point. It turned out to be a healthy and filling lunch.

This is all for one serving:

Toasted Quinoa (slightly adapted from Healthy Tipping Point)
1/3 cup dry quinoa
1tbs pure maple syrup

1. preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. wash and drain quinoa
3. mix quinoa and maple syrup
4. spread on baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
(Mine was done in a little less than 10 minutes, so keep an eye on it or it'll burn)

Mixed veggies and Russian kale
sliced veggies (eggplant, zucchini, squash, purple onion, avocado squash)
handful of Russian kale
grape tomatoes
fresh ground pepper to taste

1. Spray large skillet with non-stick cooking spray
2. Add sliced veggies and pepper, cook on medium heat
3. After veggies become a bit tender, add washed Russian kale and cover skillet
4. When almost done to preference, add tomatoes and cover for 2 minutes.

This meal is pretty simple, just plate it up, add a few dollops of hummus (I prefer Trader Joe's roasted garlic flavor) and you're ready to eat!

Summer Veggies and Bulgur
I've been trying to eat less meat lately, so this was an attempt to make a hearty dinner that Woody would enjoy without using meat! While I'm enjoying cooking for the two of us, he prefers to eat more meat than I do, so it's a (good) challenge to come up with meatless (and tofu-less) meals that will be satisfying for both of us. This one worked out well Thursday night.

Bulgur Wheat
I've heard bulgur is incredibly healthy, so when I saw it in the bulk bins at Fairway Market, I had to try it. Here are some stats from Sunnyland Mills:
A staple of the traditional Mediterranean diet for thousands of years, bulgur wheat is becoming increasingly popular in modern health food and vegetarian diets. Rich in "B" vitamins, iron, phosphorous and manganese, it complements the protein profile of legumes such as pinto beans and its "B" vitamins complement the folate in vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, broccoli or brussel sprouts.

Apparently there are several types of bulgur and it is often confused with cracked wheat. While they are similar, bulgur and cracked wheat are cooked differently. Unfortunately, I didn't know this when I bought something labeled "cracked bulgur wheat" and had to cook it by sight. Next time I'll find a version that is more definitive.

1 cup bulgur
1 and 3/4 cup water

1. bring water to a boil then add bulgur
2. cook covered and stir occasionally for 15-20 minutes
It should taste al dente, not mushy

I cooked these veggies like the ones in the previous recipe (it's my go-to method) but used zucchini, squash, Japanese eggplant, onion and carrots then added tomatoes for the last couple minutes (I like them soft, but not exploded!).

Red Kidney Beans
This is a super simple way to get some protein and fiber into a meal. I'm still a bit lazy when it comes to beans so I buy canned organic beans, drain and rinse them well to get rid of the extra sodium.

Corn on the Cob
Straight from the farmers market, just shuck the corn bring water to a boil and put the corn in the boiling water for 1minute to 1:30.

A spoonful of hummus brought it all together! The bulgur tasted great and I can't wait to do more with it. We have a good amount left to use with other meals!

workout stats -


gene said...

haricots verts. ooh-la-la! wikkid funny. all look deeeelicious.

Katie said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog today! I am SO glad to have found yours, and love the picture in your header.

Wish I could go on a run from Atlanta to NYC :-)

These recipes are perfect, as it is SO hot in the South right now, it is hard to get motivated to cook anything. These recipes look healthy and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

J said...

Looks so good! I love eating zucchini and corn in the summer!

Stacey said...

I love pasta with veggies, it's so good.

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner said...

All of these dishes are perfect for summertime. I love pasta salad like the one you made. So refreshing and tasty. Italian dressing is good on it too :)

Lindsay @ said...

I'm always into eating a cold veggie pasta. It's so easy to make a big batch of it for the week. I need to do that more often.

JLT said...

looks outrageously delicious.