Pizzoccheri

pizzocheri

This time around I’ll use more cabbage.

The Pizzoccheri recipe is  from thekitchn.com. The link will take you to the recipe since it’s kind of long so I won’t repeat it here. The recipe might be copyrighted.

You can print the recipe up from thekitchn.com.

It calls for pasta, potatoes, and cabbage.

I used bionaturae organic 100% whole wheat chiocciole.

You shred the cabbage in strips.

I bought a mandoline–is that what it’s called–a kind of slicer in a housewares store years ago. This might help shredding the cabbage into strips.

There you have it: a tasty meal you can make year-round on weeknights.

Strong is the New Beautiful

Strong is the New Beautiful by Olympic gold-medal skier Lindsey Vonn is the number-one fitness book I’ve ever read.

I urge you to go out and buy this book or install it on a device.

Turn to page 156 for this gem alone which makes it worth buying the book:

“The more muscle mass you have, the less likely you are to die early from any cause, according to research.”

Lifting weights twice a week and doing cardio once or twice a week can be all that’s needed to get a person in peak condition mentally and physically.

You might be turned off by the photos of Lindsey Vonn without clothes on. Yet if you ask me she poses that way to show women of all shapes and sizes that we’re beautiful just the way we are.

After winning Gold, Lindsey Vonn interacted with celebrities and started to question if she was beautiful because she had a muscular build. She wasn’t stick-thin like the women who are movie screen idols.

What Lindsey Vonn wrote bears repeating here because I’m living proof of what she speaks: you can gain a few pounds from lifting weights and drop a dress size.

Indeed, I didn’t lose any weight when I started strength training. However, I did drop one pant and one skirt size.

I’ve fit into the same size pant and skirt for over 5 years now. No–I didn’t lose weight I actually gained a few pounds. Yet I fit into a smaller size.

The secret is to not give up after only two months. It takes one year at least of consistent, dedicated strength training to see significant results that will last.

The number on the scale really shouldn’t be a woman’s concern in this regard.

As it is, I’m muscular not skeletal thin and I prefer to have muscle.

This summer I will be posting here photos of meals and recipes that readers can try at home.

It’s Greenmarket season–my favorite time of year.

I will also be posting lists of exercise motivation tips and other fitspo as it’s called for fitness inspiration.

Swiss Chard Dinner

2017 swiss chard csa box

This was a weeknight dinner.

The Swiss chard arrived in a CSA box. I bought the chicken like that from an online grocer. The pepper jack cheese was accidentally packed in with the groceries.

The cheese slice is only 80 calories and has calcium and if I remember 9 gm of protein.

The chicken was precooked and arrived in a plastic container.

I sauteed the Swiss chard in olive oil until it was soft not totally wilted.

Perfetto: a summer dinner that takes only about 10 minutes to cook.

I will return early next week with a recipe for pizzocheri. It’s an Italian pasta dish you make with cabbage. I have a photo for that meal too.

Garlic Scape Dressing

garlic scape dressing

I received another CSA box with an unusual produce item that looked like scallions with a tiny green bulb at the end.

It was fortuitous: at a Greenmarket I found the item featured in an egg frittata sample to taste. I brought home the one-page recipe for the garlic scape dressing.

The person I served the salad to claimed the dressing I created was the tastiest he’d ever tasted.

This recipe is from thespruce.com:

Garlic Scape Dressing

Ingredients:

2 garlic scapes, coarsely chopped

2 green onions, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon honey

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard or similar brown mustard

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

dash salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions (see my clarification below this):

In a blender, combine the garlic scapes, onions, honey, mustard, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. With blender on low, slowly add the olive oil until well blended.

Makes 1 cup.

The trick is to add a little olive oil, PUT THE LID ON the blender, and turn the blender on low. REMOVE the lid, pour in a little more olive oil, put on the lid, and repeat.

I couldn’t figure out which button on my blender was the “low” option so I used the puree button to blend the olive oil into the mixture.

Listen: using lemon juice by squeezing real lemons is preferable to using the lemon juice in a plastic container. The store-bought lemon juice contains sulfur dioxide.

Real lemons are plentiful in produce departments at food markets so I recommend buying lemons instead of the juice in a plastic container.

This salad dressing recipe takes about five to seven minutes to create. It’s a quick and easy recipe for salad dressing you can use with summer salads.

I happen to think that red leaf lettuce is delicious. If you ask me it tastes better than the usual ho-hum spring mix salad greens.

Organic or not, I urge you to give red leaf lettuce a try in the summer. One head of lettuce can sometimes last a single person two days.

Forget iceberg lettuce.

Chilled Avocado Soup Recipe

Here’s a photo of a dinner where I created a chilled avocado soup recipe:

avocado soup

The salad is easy to make with red leaf lettuce.

In the summer, I run to butter lettuce and red leaf lettuce because they’re tasty. Just add colorful tomatoes, onions, and radishes. Even olives and chickpeas can be used.

The shrimp I cooked are from a shrimp scampi recipe I found in a Food Network magazine years ago.

Chilled Avocado Soup

1 large avocado

1/2 cup plain yoogurt

1 1/2 cups milk or cold vegetable stock

salt and pepper to taste

  1.     Peel avocado. Cut into large chunks.
  2.     Place the avocado in a blender and add the yogurt. Blend until creamy.
  3.     Turn off the machine. Scrape down the sides.
  4.      Add the milk. Blend for 15 seconds.

You can season the soup with salt and pepper. It can be garnished with some tomato salsa, chopped fresh herbs, or chopped green onion.

This isn’t one of my favorite recipes yet I repeat it here because readers might like it better than I do. The recipe is quick to make. The soup is a cool version of soup to have in the summer.

The recipe was found in The Jumbo Vegetarian Cookbook which is a collection of recipes for teens.

 

Mashed Potatoes Recipe

I buy a CSA box–a Community Supported Agriculture box–that is stocked with produce.

The latest offering featured dried chili peppers, mint, parsley, and thyme, two potatoes, and red leaf lettuce. I couldn’t tell what the other produce item was–it was a thick green frond. Not like Swiss chard–it was thicker and harder.

I figured out how to make mashed potatoes. The good news is you don’t need a recipe for them to come out right. It’s nearly foolproof so here goes:

For one person:

Peel two potatoes. Cut them into chips and cut the chips in quarters.

Boil the potatoes in water in a sauce pan with the water covering the potatoes.

Boil for about 40 minutes. Drain the water from the saucepan.

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes until there are barely any lumps.

Pour in milk slowly from a measuring cup. Use a teaspoon or tablespoon to beat the potatoes.

Use a tiny amount of milk and add more milk as you go along.

Once the potatoes are as creamy as you’d like them:

Serve with butter and if you’d like you can salt them.

Voila: an easy recipe for mashed potatoes.

As you’ll see below I served them with a parmesan-crusted chicken cutlet.

I’ll be making another recipe for chilled avocado soup and will return with a photo of the soup.

It’s summertime–and the living ISN’T always easy. Yet if you ask me it’s a wonderful season for cooking from recipes. The abundance of fresh and tasty produce is a cook’s delight for at least the next six months.

mashed potatoes

Beautiful Day

It’s a beautiful day here.

Sunny and warm.

I’m testing the WordPress app.

There’s nothing better than plein air typing.

Van Gogh liked to paint outdoors because of the curative effect of the air.

I urge everyone to go outside in the sunny weather.

Being near water also has a curative effect.

Do wear sunscreen though.

Have a beautiful day!