Feeling Chef-like

Hello wonderful readers!

I saw we had a lot of new visitors yesterday, welcome!  I’m so glad you’ve decided to join us.  Please feel free to comment on the blog and tell us about your gardening or culinary experiences!

Today I thought we could skip the lesson and just talk about food!  Though it may be the hottest day of the year, I thought I’d share with you some delicious hot recipes.

A Cool Swim on a Hot Day (From Google Images)

Though I am not a vegetarian, I’d love to share some tasty veggie options!  If you need meat, add some chicken!

Italian Vegetable Stew (Recipe from 25 Years of Favorite Brand Name One Dish, Published 2006 by PIL, pg 290)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 jar (1 lb, 10 oz) Light Pasta Sauce
  • 3 Tb Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box (10 oz) couscous
  1. In a nonstick skillet, heat a little oil over medium heat and cook zucchini, eggplant, onion, and pepper, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes, or until veggies are golden.
  2. Stir in pasta sauce and cheese.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 10 minutes.
  3. In the mean time, prepare couscous according to box instructions.  Serve vegetables over couscous.

Courtesy of Google Images

For someone who wants a challenge, try this one:

Ratatouille Pot Pie (same cookbook, page 310)

Courtesy of Google Images

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green or yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can Italian stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups shreeded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 package refrigerated pizza dough
  1. Preheat over to 425F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat until hot.  Add eggplant, onion, bell pepper and garlic.  Cook 10 minutes or until eggplant begins to brown, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Cook, uncovered, over medium low heat for 5 minutes.  R
  2. Remove from heat; stir in balsamic vinegar.  Let stand for 10 inutes, then stir in 1 cup of the cheese.  Transfer mixture to ungreased 11×7 inch casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  3. Unroll pizza dough; arrange over top of casserole.  Make decorate cutouts with a small cookie cutter if you want.  Spray dough with nonstick cooking spray.  Back 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and vegetable mixture is bubbly.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Remember, cooking should be fun, so add your own fresh ingredients and try new things!  Always use fresh food if you have access to it.  Tomatoes directly off the vine always taste the best.  Eggplant, onion, and bell peppers can all come directly from your garden.  Try using a jalapeno pepper from your garden instead of red pepper flakes (but test the hotness first)!  Use fresh herbs if you have access to them, but know that you’ll have to add more in volume than dried herbs.

I hope you are all staying cool today, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

As always, Happy Gardening!

Adrienne W.

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