My 5 year old son has never had lasagna. His dairy allergy has prevented it all these years. I am always on the mission to see if I can created an equally delicious dairy free alternative to “normal” foods. In the past fake cheese has not been enjoyable for me or for him. I may be able to choke it down if he liked it, but if he doesn’t even enjoy it what’s the point. We recently bought some Teese “cheese”. I started with the Nacho sauce (another food he had never eaten) and was shocked to find it actually tasted good to my cheese loving palate. The next time we were at Whole Foods we picked up the mozzerella and the cheddar. I am a fan. Finally a faux cheese that I can enjoy and don’t have to make to meals or have my little one feel left out. I made enchiladas with the cheddar and that will have to wait for another day, but he was excited for those too. So thank you Teese!
Oh it’s delicious! Easy! And leaves leftovers- if you don’t go for 2nds and 3rds- for later meals! This whole meal cost $3.45 and will feed 4. Yep, that’s right.
First you need to make polenta (or hominy if you want white fries vs yellow). Then grease a 9×9 baking pan and pour the polenta in. Chill. While that’s chilling. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Take 3 delicata squash, cut off the ends, halve them, clean out centers. Then slice into 1/2 inch moons. Toss in olive oil, salt, and pepper and place on a single layer on a large baking sheet. Cook for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and melt in your mouth tender. While that’s roasting start your gravy. Melt 2 T butter, add 3 T flour, mix into a roux. Add 1 cup stock, stirring as you mix. Bring to a strong simmer and let thicken while you heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a deep sauce pan. While that is heating move onto the polenta that is now chilled. Cut into 9 pieces (3×3 each). Then grease a baking pan with olive oil. Put each piece on baking sheet. Drizzle over top some olive oil. Put in oven and flip in 8-10 minutes, cooking for a total of 16-20 minutes. While that is cooking, slice a whole white onion into 1/16 inch slices with a mandolin or sharp knife. In small bunch fry onions until golden brown and drain on paper towel. Those should be finishing right as everything in the oven is finishing and within 35-40 minutes you have an amazing dinner! You can feed this to company and they will be wowed. My kid loves this dinner.
In the hot months I tend to eat less meat and crave fruits and vegetables and with the abundance of summer squash right now it was time for one of my son’s favorites “Squash Fritters”. They have been renamed over the years, first it was Squish Fritters, which led to tonight’s “Squitters”.
So easy to make, so easy to make a large batch and fridge or freeze, and pleases even the pickiest of eaters. This is a dish the kids can help with so be sure to include them!
You need squash. Any variety of summer squash in any combination is good. You want the equivalent of 6-8 medium to large zucchinnis. Shred them either using a box shredder or food processor. Using a clean dish towel squeeze all the excess liquid out. *I have tried this with paper towels, don’t risk it just use a dish towel.
Put the squash into a large bowl. Add 2 eggs. 3 T flour. Salt and Pepper. Mix with a fork. *note this can be done with sauted greens, other veggies mixed in…get creative!
Heat 2 T oil in a saute pan. Scoop with fork on hot oil and flatten with fork. Cook for 3-4 minutes until browned and flip for 1 minute more. Drain on a paper towel lined plate or rack.
Eat immediately or reheat in the toaster later. My son likes to dunk them into marinara sauce that I make with our garden tomatoes, but any pasta sauce works.
Sooooooo easy. Sooooooo delicious.
Slice some summer squash. Above is pattypans and summer squash, but zucchini would be find too, or any squash kissed with the summer sun. Saute it in some olive oil. While that is cooking puree, food processor, whatever some garlic scapes, green onion (green only), honey, salt, basil, and drizzle olive oil in while it blends. It can still be chunky. I make large batches and keep in my fridge and/or freezer. Slice and dice some tomato, put in a bowl and lightly drizzle some balsamic vinegar over and fresh ground pepper. Let rest. Grab a handful of arugula. Now to assemble just put squash down in heap first on plate, then arugula, then tomatoes, then top with a light drizzle of the puree. Serve. It would be great over angel hair pasta also, but sometimes pasta is just too heavy in the summer.
For the granita….4 cups of berries pureed then strained to remove seeds. Add to 1 cup water with 1/4 cup sugar dissolved. For the above I used 3 cups raspberries and 1 cup blueberries. The raspberries give it the beautiful color. Using a large plastic container, pour in mixture and let freeze for an hour. Take a fork and make circle motions through the mixture, make sure your scrape down the sides. Continue to do this every half hour until mixture is frozen and formed ice crystals. The finer shave the prettier it is, so don’t forget about it! I make peach, apple, and fruit can be made into a granita. And soooooo good. I even eat it for breakfast on really hot days.
Sunday Pork Tenderloins with Madeira-Fig Gravy
Monday Tuscan White Bean Burger with Cucumber, Tomato, Okra Salad
Tuesday Steamed Eggplant with Chickpeas and Herbed Yogurt
Wednesday Fresh Tuna Salad with Green Beans
Thursday Mushroom and Okra Perlo
Friday Pasta and Peas
Saturday Zucchini Blossoms with Microgreens
2 pounds pork tenderloins
1 pound tuna steak
4 oz slice prosciutto
2 large shallots
4 yellow onions
1 bunch scallions
1 pound fresh figs
1 cup kalamata olives
1 pound okra
1 large cucumber
1 large Japanese eggplant
1/2 pound green beans
2 bunches arugula
8 oz cremini mushrooms
3 poblano peppers
10 oz baby peas
20 zucchini blossoms
Red Wine Vinegar*
All Purpose Flour*
Self Rising Flour
1 can navy beans
1 can chickpeas
Red chile flakes*
2/3 cup plain yogurt*
1 c Medeira
1/4 c pistachios*
dry white wine
*marks ingredients from previous grocery lists. check stock levels.
Carmelize onion and roast garlic for Monday night’s dinner. 4 hard boiled eggs and blanch green beans for Wednesday night’s dinner.
Don’t forget to keep your tails for stock!
Pork Tenderloins with Madeira-Fig Gravy
1 c dry Madeira
1/4 c red wine vinegar
6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
12 sprigs fresh thyme
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 pounds pork tenderloins
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp pepper
3 T unsalted butter
2 lg shallots, finely diced
1 tsp sifted flour
1 pound fresh figs, trimmed and quartered
Pour Madeira and vinegar into a gallon size locking food storage bag, add the garlic, thyme, and 1 tsp salt. Seal bag and agitate to combine. Add pork tenderloins, reseal with as little air inside as possible, and turn several times to coate. Marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, turning bag every 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 450 and position rack in top third of oven.
Transfer tenderloins to a cutting bard, reserving marinade, and pat meat dry with paper towel. Brush tenderloin with 1 tsp of oil, and season with 1 tsp of salt and pepper. Heat remaining tsp oil in large skillet over high heat until it shimmers. add tenderloins and sear turning occasionaly until nicely browned, about 5-6 minutes.
Transfer tenderloins to a plate and pour off any remain oil in the pan. Add the butter and shallots to pan, stirring until butter has completely melted, and the add remaining 1/2 tsp salt and flour. Cook until shallots have softened and are fragrant, about 3 minutes. Then add figs and reserved marinade , and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low. Add tenderloins to skillet, and nestle among figs. Transfer skillet to oven and roast, turning meat once, for about 12 minutes for medium rare or 16 minutes for well done.
Remove the skillet fom oven and let tenderloins rest on a cutting board, loosely covered with foil for 5 minutes. Then slice tenderloins into 1/2 inch thick medallions and arrange 4-6 medallions per plate. Spoon a ladleful of the fig gravy over each serving.
Tuscan White Bean Burger with Cucumber, Tomato, Okra Salad
1 onion, peeled
4 T 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 head garlic
1 can navy beans
3 sage leaves, minced
1/2 c sliced, pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 c toasted bread crumbs
salt and pepper
8oz okra, trimmed, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds
3/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 T Dijon mustard
1 T 1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
1 lg cucumber, peeled, trimmed, and cut into large matchsticks
3 T finely chopped scallions, white and green parts
1/2 tsp pepper, plus more to taste
*Cut the onion in half through the stem and then slice in 1/8 inch thick half rings. Heat 2 T olive oil in saute pan over medium low heat and add onion, turning to coat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally and lowering the heat if onion begins to burn, until carmelized, about 30 minutes.
*Meanwhile, roast the garlic. Break head of garlic into cloves, Toss in 1/2 tsp of oil and spread on baking sheet. Roast at 300 for 25 to 30 minutes, shaking the pan frequently. Cool and peel.
Preheat oven to 375.
In food processor, puree 1/2 c of beans w half of garlic, half of onion, egg, and half of sage.
Chopp remaining onion and garlic coarsely and place in a mixing bowl. Add remaining beans and coarsely mash with a fork or potato masher. Fold in pureed bean-egg mixture, remaining sage, olives, and lemon juice. Fold in bread crumbs. It will be a wet mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into 4 patties. In a skillet heat 2 T oil over medium high heat. When hot, add patties and cook until browned on each side, 6-10 minutes. Transfer to oven and bake 12-15 minutes, until slightly firmed and cooked through.
Scatter the okra in a single layer in a large skillet. Cook over medium high heat, moving pieces frequently, until okra is just browning around the edges, about 8 minutes.Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl, and sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over it. Set aside.
Set a strainer over medium bowl. Core tomatoes, cut them in half widthwise, and using finger tease seeds out of cavaties letting them drop into strainer. Discard seeds. Chop tomatoes.
Add the mustard, vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to tomato water, and whisk until mustard is completely incorporated. Add olive oil in a thin stream whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified, thick consistency.
In a large bowl, toss cucumber with tomatoes, scallions, black pepper until combined. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss until evenly coated. Season to taste.
Divide out salad and sprinkle a handful of toasted okra over each portion.
Serve beside burger.
Steamed Eggplant with Chickpeas and Herbed Yogurt
1 eggplant, peeled lengthwise in stripes and cut crosswise in 1/2 inch slices
2/3 c yogurt
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 T chopped dill
1 T chopped mint
1 tsp lemon zest
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1/4 c pistachios
In a steamer basket set over (not in) boiling water, cook egglplant until just tneder but not falling apart, about 5 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, oil, salt, lemon zest. Fold in dill and mint. Fold in chickpeas. Add lemon juice to taste.
While eggplant is warm, add it to yogurt mixture, tossing to coat.
Serve chilled with 1/4 c chopped pistachios over the top.
Fresh Tuna Salad with Green Beans
2 bunches arugula, remove stems and wash/dry
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters
1- 1 pound tuna steak
7 T olive oil
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 pound green beans, blanched
1/2 c Kalamata olives, pitted, sliced, soaked in 2 T olive oil
Prepare grill with medium high heat.
Put arugula in a large salad bowl with plenty of room fo tossing. Arrange tomatoe wedges in greens. Arrange eggs on top of salad.
Brush tuna with olive oil and grill tuna for 3 minutes per side.
Slice tuna into thin strips and arrange on salad. Add vinegar to olives and mix, season. Then poor over salad. Toass and serve immediately.
Mushroom and Okra Perlo
8 oz cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
8 oz okra, stems trimmed, pods sliced in half lengthwise
3 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 tsp salt
3 T vegetable oil
2 yellow onions, diced
1 c basmati rice, rinsed and drained
3 T chopped garlic
2 tomatoes, diced, with liquid
1/4 tsp crushed red chile flakes
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1/4 tsp pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 c dry white wine
2 c vegetable broth
Heat oven to 375 with rack in top third of oven.
Toss mushrooms, okra, poblanos and 1 tsp salt together in a mixxing bowl. Set aside.
Pour oil into heavy bottomed dutch oven or ovenproof pot, over medium high heat. When oil shimmers andd onions and 1 tsp salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until begin to become golden in color, about 6 minutes. Add rice and garlic and stir constantly for 2 minutes, until rice smells toasty and garlic begins to brown. Add tomatoes with liquid, chile flakes, thyme, pepper, and bay leaves. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, utnil tomatoes are well incorporated and beginning to dissolbe. Add wine and broth.
In thirds, gently fold mushrooms, okra, and poblanos into pot. When liquid returns to a simmer, cover the pot and place it in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes without opening the door.
Transfer pot to a trivet, but leave it covered (DON’T PEEK!) and undisturbed for 10 minutes.
Pasta and Peas
4 T butter
4 oz slice prosciutto, cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 onion, chopped
10 oz baby peas
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 pound pasta
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan, to serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
In a saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add prosciutto and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add peas and cook just long enough to cook them through. Add parsley and season to taste.
Boil dried pasta according to package.
Drain pasta and transfer to bowl. Toss with pea mixture. Serve with grated Parmesan on top.
Zucchini Blossoms with Micro Greens
2/3 c self-rising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 T olive oil, plus more for frying
1 egg, beaten
1 c ice water
20 zucchini blossoms
salt and pepper
lemon wedges, for serving
Sift flour and baking powder together in a bowl and add 1 T olive oil and egg. Stir in enough water to make a batter with consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste
Pour a shallow layer of olive oil into a large skillet and heat over high heat until very hot. Dip zucchini blossoms briefly into batter then add to oil and cook, in batches, for 2-4 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
Serve immediately over microgreens, sprinkled with a bit of salt and lemon wedges.