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.

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.

CSA Boxes

A CSA is Community Supported Agriculture.

In New York City you can get a CSA box delivered to your house or apartment via Fresh Direct instead of having to travel to an inconvenient location to pick up a CSA box and then schlep it home.

The photo below features a salad created with CSA box produce: red romaine lettuce, red oak leaf lettuce, greenhouse tomatoes, and french breakfast radishes.

You can buy the indispensable book Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.

I go running to this cookbook all the time in Greenmarket season.

Also in the box was kohlrabi and I’m going to make a recipe with this vegetable too.

The box contained yellow chard and baby red bok choy too.

greens

This is the spring table decor. A joyful table can put you in the mood to linger over your food.

I didn’t post the zucchini recipe. I realized I had posted a blog entry with this recipe years ago. It might be in the recipes category link on the right.

I will return in the coming week to topics I refer to in my upcoming non-fiction books.

Cooking Meals

Here it is the miracle product:

red copper

This is the Red Copper frying pan you can get in Rite Aid for $20 or so.

It’s easy to clean–you can’t use S.O.S. or Brillo–not a wool pad. Use dish detergent that you scrub with a scrubber sponge and then rinse off.

I had no idea the ubiquitous status of this humble frying pan.

Until I saw the woman who was the spokesperson for Red Copper hawking one of the baking pans for $59 on TV.

Everything cooks quickly in the pan featured in my photo. Eggs especially so you have to watch over them while they’re cooking.

If I remember right this Red Copper pan doesn’t use chemicals to make it non-stick. You can find non-stick frying pans that don’t have chemicals.

I would like to return here on the weekend with a seasonal recipe that I delight in cooking from June through September.

It features zucchini–my favorite vegetable.

I think Greenmarket season is a magical time of year for buying a bounty of fresh, local, and organic produce that you can cook with.

It’s true: the food you eat can boost your mood.

 

 

 

Budgeting for Food

People who hang out shingles as personal finance experts will tell you to allot only certain strict percentages to categories of spending like utilities and food and entertainment.

I say: that’s bull crap. You can absolutely spend more in one category as long as you cut down and reduce or halt spending in the categories that don’t matter to you.

Case in point: though I’m a single person I spend a ton of money on food each month. My contention is: it’s better to exercise and eat right even if that costs a lot–than to wind up in ill health and have to pay a hospital bill.

Now that the Greenmarket season is here I’m going to reiterate like I do every year: in New York City you can use food stamps to buy produce at Greenmarkets.

This is a great thing. Other people might judge a person who uses food stamps to buy expensive food. That’s not right. Poor people deserve to eat healthful food. Poor people deserve to be healthy too.

Wherever you live you might have an online grocer like PeaPod that delivers food. In New York City FreshDirect delivers food and household items.

This beats walking or driving to a food market, wheeling a shopping cart around, and standing in a long line. Plus you’ll use up a lot of gasoline making weekly trips to a food market.

I’m all for curbing or ending our reliance on foreign or other oil supplies.

In the next blog entry I’ll write about a miracle product that you can use to cook food with.

Nutrition Action

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I want to talk about food and nutrition again. We’re coming up on Greenmarket season in New York City. Here you can use food stamps at a Greenmarket and there’s even an incentive for doing so. I think you should if you get food stamps buy fresh produce at a Greenmarket this time of year. Or year-round if a market is available in the winter.

The pasta is fresh angel hair pasta. The mussels are Newfoundland rope organic mussels. I order from an internet grocery that delivers. I had splurged for Mario Batali tomato sauce yet won’t do that again–it cost a ton of money for one jar.

I sloshed the mussels in red wine. You can fill a large saucepan with just enough water and place the mussels in the water. The water shouldn’t be so high that it goes into the shells. Steam the mussels for 25 minutes or so. Pour the wine over the mussels halfway through.

One time I was eating mussels in a restaurant. As you might know I’m Italian. So I’m eating the mussels and the woman at the table next to me tells the young girl with her: “Italians love their mussels.”

I was astonished. There I was Italian and I’m eating mussels.

The table decor is the spring tablecloth and vase and candlesticks. I firmly believe in changing your table decor at the start of every season. It can give a lift to your spirits.

I eat mussels. I have muscle. I doubt the two are connected. Yet enjoying good food  can improve your mental health too.