Hide the Salmon

I found this recipe on the The Lean Green Bean.  It is one of those recipes that you immediately know was put there, just for you.  No ego here….

It has so much of what I like, salmon, spinach, eggs, tomato and feta cheese.  How could I not think, it was just for me?  It is perfect and actually, after making some changes that meet my family’s needs, it was perfect.  If you have a moment go over there and see the original recipe.  I do want to make it that way but I took a shorter route which is what I mean by my family’s needs.

I presented my husband with the plate which is a colorful presentation and he happily was eating.  I wondered out loud, if I should have put the salmon on the bottom or the spinach.  His head popped up and he said, “Did you say salmon?  Is there salmon in this?”  He prodded the vegetables and sure enough, he found the salmon.  He asked, “Why did you hide the salmon?”

Hide the Salmon  (adapted)

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red pepper, chopped

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 cup frozen spinach

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 piece of salmon, cooked

3 – 4 eggs

4 slices tomato

1/2 cup Feta cheese

Heat  the olive oil in a large skillet over medium hear. Saute the pepper and onion  for  8 minutes.  Add the spinach (Defrosted) and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Push the vegetables aside and drop the eggs in the free side of the pan and let them cook to your liking.  I turned ours over but either way is going to be delicious.

I, also put the cooked salmon slice in the pan to heat up.  Yes, I used a very  large skillet.

Now is the creative part but I am not creative so do as follows:

I used a square soup bowl which may work better than a round one.  These are the layers.

Salmon on the bottom

Spinach, onions and bell pepper on top of salmon

Cooked eggs on top of spinach layer

Sliced tomatoes with feta on the very top.

This is a delicious combination.  My husband commented on the many flavors.

Thanks to the Lean Green Bean.

This is linked to Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday         Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party    The Gathering Spot            All My Bloggy Friends    Trick or Treat Tuesdays

I Will Tell You a Story

Sunday was a 25 hour fast.  It is the second most serious fast day in Judaism.  Usually, we break the fast on an omelet with cheese.  When I asked my husband, what he felt like having, he asked if I would mind making spaghetti pie.  It sounded so right to me.  I make it without meat so it is not a heavy dish.  I was planning on using light cheeses and a plain filling.  Sounds good.

I put up the water for the noodles, cooked them, and went to drain them.  I drained them right into the soapy water.  Klutzy me.

While the pasta was cooking, I made a filling of eggplant, onion and tomatoes from the garden.  I stayed away from seasoning since we were looking for more to the bland side.  As it turned out, the tomato flavor is strong when it is a “real” tomato, just picked and ripe.  I had the filling for the spaghetti pie but no crust.  On another day, I would have very likely cooked more spaghetti but, I was grumpy, tired and hot but not hungry.  I was not in the mood to cook it again and I found a way to blame it on the good husband who wasn’t even in the room.  How do we do that?  Maybe, you don’t.  I did.

Bottom line, my filling became the main course.  We took some leftovers out of the refrigerator.  I had potato salad, Oriental spaghetti salad and a yummy egg salad.  A little bit of this and a little bit of that made for the right meal to break our fast.  That is making the best of what one has.

We had the same kind of happening on Saturday, our Sabbath.  At the last-minute, two more guests joined us for dinner.  I usually cook tons of food for the Sabbath but this week, because of the fast that began Saturday evening as the Sabbath ended, I cut way back and made just enough.  It is truly amazing, whatever food, there was, seemed to expand so that everyone had plenty to eat.  Honestly, I can’t figure it out.

I also had to feed the extra guests before the fast.  Keep in mind, we do not cook food on the Sabbath, so it had to be something ready to eat.  I don’t panic when these things happen but before a fast, I have to admit, I was concerned.  We all had to fill ourselves to get through the next 25  hours with food or drink.  Again, we had enough and I think everyone was full.

I do want to share this eggplant dish with you.  The tomato was the dominant flavor of the dish.

The Dish That Wasn’t

1/2 eggplant cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1 – 2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 large tomato, chopped

1/4 cup chopped cheddar

Heat olive oil in large skillet.

Put eggplant and chopped onion in skillet and keep gently mixing them around.  The eggplant browns quickly.

When onion is translucent and eggplant, slightly brown(about 6 minutes), add the chopped tomato and cheddar cheese and cook for an additional 2 minutes until tomato is hot  and cheese is melted.  If  you would like the tomato to really permeate the other ingredients, cook for another then minutes.

You could fill a taco or tortilla with this.  You could use it as a filling in a spaghetti pit.  You could use it in a sandwich.  You could use it as a sauce for rice, pasta or meat.  Feel free to spice it up.  I would have if we weren’t purposely keeping it bland….it really wasn’t.

 

As you can see, the photo, is not clear.  This is still in the skillet.  I apologize but I think, at least, this gives you an idea of what it looks like.

Mini Veggie Pizza Toppings

There is a pizza crust to go under the toppings but the fun is in the topping.  I keep, mini pizza crusts, in my freezer, for the times, we want pizza for dinner.  The two of us eat two each with a heaping bowl of salad.  What I started doing, was making two pizzas with one type of topping and a the other two with something different.  It makes the meal more interesting and enjoyable.

Tonight, we had a more traditional pizza with tomato sauce,broccoli, onions, Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.   The other pizza had carrots, radish, spinach with ricotta, Parmesan and Cheddar.  This is a nice change from pizza as we knew it, a few years ago.

For two mini pizzas……

Pizza 1

1/4 cup Marinara sauce for each of the two pizzas

1 teaspoon chopped onion for each

sprinkle of Parmesan for each

1/4 cup chopped broccoli for each

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Lay out the mini crusts.  Pour marinara sauce on two of the crusts.  Cover with vegetables and cheese.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and bake completed pizza for 10 – 12 minutes or until cheese is browned.

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Pizza 2

1/3 cup Ricotta cheese for each of the two

1/4 cup thin sliced carrots for each

1/4 cup spinach

1/8 cup yellow tomato

few thin sliced pieces of radish

1 teaspoon of Parmesan

1/4 cup of cheddar cheese

Cover crust with Ricotta leaving a small space at the edge that is plain crust.

Spoon spinach on Ricotta.  Top with carrots, tomato and radish.

Sprinkle Parmesan and grated cheddar cheese.  I grate right onto the pizza.

Bake in the same manner as above.

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This is linked to

Hearth and Soul Hop     Slightly Indulgent Tuesday      Fat Tuesday         Naptime Creations Tasty Tuesday Link Party    The Gathering Spot      Delicious Dishes      All My Bloggy Friends      Trick or Treat Tuesdays      Kids in the Kitchen       You’re Gonna Love it Tuesdays   Keep it Real Thursdays

Three Cheese White Pizza with Spinach

Although, we are on summer vacation, I decided to go into work today, to go through some new books, for my class.  I spent a few hours there, went shopping and came home exhausted.  I am not used to putting in the work time, I guess.

I really didn’t want to cook and checked out the refrigerator.  I found some leftovers which I planned to let hubby have.  The light went on and I remembered the mini gluten-free pizza crusts, I had gotten, last week.  Why have leftovers when we can have Three Cheese White Pizza with Spinach?  How foolish would that be?  Nothing much easier than pizza when the crust is already made……

I had printed up a recipe from Brenda’s Canadian Kitchen which she just posted, yesterday.  You should go over there and see her photo of a whole pizza opposed to my minis.  She has a lot of good recipes to check out, as well.  The original recipe came from Cooking Light, June 2012.

I almost always have fresh baby spinach, in the house, but today, I didn’t so I used frozen.  It probably, is not as good, but the frozen did a great job of subbing for the fresh vegetable  and was delicious.

Three-Cheese White Pizza with Spinach  (adapted)

4 mini gluten-free pizza rounds

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 large shallots, sliced

2 cups baby spinach or 4 cups frozen spinach

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese 

2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup)

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

On a baking sheet, lay out mini pizzas.

Place shallots in olive oil in a large skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat 1 1/2 minutes. Add 4 cups spinach; saute 2 minutes. Set aside.

Combine cheeses in a bowl.

 Spread cheese mixture over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Bake at 500° for 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is lightly browned.

Top with spinach; bake an additional 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven and take a big bite.

This is linked to Gluten Free Recipe Linky   What’s Cooking Wednesday @ The Kings Court IV;  Lil’ Luna Link Party @ Lil’ Luna   Recipe Box Linky @ Bizzy Bakes; Whatcha Whipped Up @ DJ’s Sugar Shack;  Real Food Wednesday          Beyond the Peel  Gluten Free Wednesday       Cast Party Wednesdays  Works For Me WednesdayGood Recipes Online

Italian Cauliflower Bake

I came across a recipe for an Italian Zucchini Bake and planned to make it for dinner with a main course salad.  Off I went to the kitchen and pulled out all of the ingredients and set them, on the counter.  I, then went to get out the zucchini, but the cupboard was bare.  No zucchini.  What is a woman to do?  

Substitute, of course……  Now, what to substitute?  What is like zucchini?  Nothing came to mind.  I thought onions and I knew, I would love it but I would probably  be the only one.  I jumped to tomatoes and I do want to try it but it was too far from zucchini.  Then, I noted the fresh cauliflower just sitting there, crowding the shelf and I knew, this was it.  My Zucchini Bake became an Italian Cauliflower Bake and I even used pizza cheese to keep to the theme.

The recipe came from  Jam’s Corner, a brand new blog to me and one, I want to visit often.  There is something about the spirit of the blog that speaks to me.  I bet, you would like it too.

Italian Cauliflower Bake

2 cups chopped cauliflower

1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves  garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Parmesan
1/8 cup  chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup  shredded  Pizza Jack cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
 Method:
  1. Saute garlic, onion and cauliflower in olive oil until tender
  2. Meanwhile, chop the basil and parsley.
  3. When the cauliflower mixture is done, remove from the heat.
  4. Whisk the egg, basil, parsley, tarragon, Parmesan cheese and salt together in a large mixing bowl. After mixing well, add the cauliflower mixture, cream cheese and the Pizza Jack cheese. Mix well.
  5. Add the mixture to a greased 1 quart baking dish  and bake at 350 for 25  minutes or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let it cool slightly.  Cut into wedges and enjoy.

Too Hot To Cook Omelet

 

The hot weather almost prohibits cooking.  I locked myself in our bedroom, closed the door, turned on the air conditioner and lay down.  I don’t think, I moved for  30 minutes.  It was still hot, oppressively hot, but I was pretty sure, I would throw together something simple so we would have dinner.  Who could eat that much, anyway?

An omelet was what I had in mind but the new me automatically thinks vegetables so my omelet had to have eggs.  This is where the mandolin came into play.  What a difference.  It is not that chopping vegetables is hard work but the mandolin makes them fly from its blade into the skillet.  I took anything, I could find that was already cut or that I had an abundance of.  Yellow squash, green pepper, tomato, carrots, onion, all fell into the pan which had a little vegetable broth in it, enough to cover the bottom.  While they cooked, I made a smoothie to go with it.  Funny, how a smoothie fills me up. 

Both of us were full, after the combo omelet-smoothie dinner.  I guess hot weather is made for dieters.

Veggie Omelet

Ingredients

1 cup vegetable broth, no salt

5 eggs, beaten

1/4 onion sliced thin

1/4 green pepper, sliced thin

1 yellow squash, sliced thin

1 tomato, mushed up to get the juice into the pan to mix with the broth

1 carrot, thin sliced

1/2 cup broccoli florets, broken into smaller pieces

1/2 cup Mexican blend cheese

Procedure

Heat 1/2 cup broth in medium skillet.  Keep on low flame until you are ready to add vegetable.

Slice vegetables into broth and raise heat to medium.

Add the rest of broth as the original liquid evaporates.

Cook 3 – 4  minutesThe rest of the broth will evaporate in that time.

Add the eggs and cook slowly for about 3 minutes.  Top with cheese, pushing gently down so it is inside slightly.  Cook until top is firm and flip.  Cook other side of omelet for two minutes or until slightly browned.

How To Rush A Meal

The decision was made – salmon would be for dinner.  We love salmon and I wanted to make a side that we care about as much.  That meant pasta or potatoes and the latter won out.  I had the desire for comfort food and that meant potatoes and cheese.  There is something about noodles or potatoes that fills me up emotionally.

When I opened the refrigerator to get the cheese, I saw a little fresh cauliflower left, less than two cups.  That is when the recipe took a turn, for the better, in my opinion.  That is also when the alarms went off …….roaring symbols in the background.  I had about twenty minutes to get dinner on the table and ten minutes prep and probably an hour bake time.  Not going to happen……

You might ask why I had to get dinner on the table in twenty minutes.  Hubby and I have a humorous Q and A.  He calls, when he is on his way home and I ask him, when he will be home.  He gives me an exact time, like 5:23 or 7:16,  My goal becomes getting the meal done by that time.  I usually don’t but I give it the college try.

I am not being totally honest.  When I get home from work or home from shopping, I check my email and the blog.  You are bloggers.  You know how time flies when you are doing these.  It repeats itself, daily…..good intentions and bad timing.  When, I finally get into the kitchen, if I haven’t prepped, in the morning, I move very quickly.

Tonight, it mean cutting potatoes to be close to hash browns, chopping onions, shredding cheese, measuring and solving problems.  Here is my recipe and I will share how I cut down the time, not to 20 minutes but to something more reasonable than 60.

Creamy Cauliflower Potato Bake

4 medium potatoes (I had Idaho), sliced with a mandolin

2 cups cauliflower, broken into little pieces

salt and black pepper to taste

1 onion, chopped

1 cup vegetable broth, more if needed

1 cup light sour cream

2 cups Mexican cheese or cheese of choice

1/4 cup fresh chives or 2 teaspoon dried chives

1 – 2 cups crumbs (taco, corn chips, bread, cracker – your choice)  I used tortilla chips

Procedure

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spray a casserole or baking pan with olive oil.

Layer chopped onions on the bottom of pan.

Place paper thin potato slices (the mandolin took no time to make this happen) on top of the onions.

Cover with sour cream and mix everything slightly.

Cover with half of the cheese and again mix slightly.

Pour cauliflower pieces on top and once again mix gently.

Add remaining cheese and give it a slight mix.

Finally, cover with crumbs and spray olive oil on top of crumbs.

Now the way, I made this happen.

Put the casserole or baking dish into a microwave for about 10 minutes, depending on the power of your microwave.

It will be very hot when you remove it so please  take care.  Place it in the 400 degree oven.  Bake, starting to check at 10 minutes.  The top will turn a golden brown when it is done or should be done.  If the potatoes are not cooked through, microwave for another few minutes.

I did not care if the cauliflower cooked through.  I like it crisp and it gives a little crunch to the dish.

This was delicious and went well with the salmon and a tossed salad.

This is linked to  Frugal Food Thursdays       Recipe of the Week – Anything Goes     See Ya in the Gumbo     Seasonal Inspiration    Muffin Monday   Yummy  Inspirations Breakfast     My Meatless Monday  Mop it Up Mondays    Breakfast Ideas Monday   Mix it up Monday     Mealtime Monday Recipe Link  Melt in Your Mouth Mondays      Mangia Mondays      On the Menu Monday

Grilled Cheese Out of the Box

I was looking through all those fabulous grilled cheese recipes from the Crazy Cooking Challenge and I was “plotzing” for one.  A foodie doesn’t simply explode from desire; she acts upon it.  As a foodie in good standing, there was no doubt, we were having grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Then, I had a real dilemma, looking at link after link of grilled cheese sandwiches, how would I choose one, to make, for us?  It didn’t help to explore recipes to find, I wanted to make each one, I peered at.  Not very practical.  I spent time between grilled cheese with tomatoes, inside out grilled cheese, grilled cheese with avocado and even chocolate grilled cheese……..uh huh……chocolate.  What is a girl to do?

This girl shut down her computer, marched to the kitchen, open the refrigerator and took out corn tortillas.  Huh?  What happened to the grilled cheese sandwiches?  Did I give up?  Follow me through my journey. 

The table slowly filled up with food items, the tortillas, Mexican cheese combination, slice tomatoes, some leftover caramelized onions, black pepper and lots of love for my creation to-be.  At this point, it is easy.

Grilled Cheese Tortillas (makes 2)

Ingredients

4 small corn tortillas

spray olive oil

1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese

1/2 cup caramelized onions

1 tomato, sliced thin

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Procedure

In a large skillet with spray olive oil, on medium heat, toast one side of each tortilla.  When slightly browned, remove and put aside.

If you do not have caramelized onions, sitting around, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and cook onions, slowly until caramelized (about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.)  (OK, I know you don’t have caramelized onions, just sitting in the refrigerator.)

Take the two tortillas, you have not browned and put them on the skillet.  ( piled everything on it, on the skillet)  Put tomato slices on bottom tortilla, covered with cheese, onions, black pepper and more cheese.  Cover with browned tortilla and cook on a low heat until cheese is melted.   ( I ended up putting it in the microwave for a minute since it was not melting properly.)

You have reached your destination.  Serve with a creamy soup or large salad.  We only ate one because, I had some other interesting dishes, I served.  I would think, one could easily eat 2 or more.

Now, we have a new recipe for grilled cheese or at least, new to me.  If you have  a recipe for a grilled cheese tortilla, please share it with me.

This is linked to Full Plate Thursday       Frugal Food Thursday  

Pennywise Platter       $5 Dinner Challenge

Mexican Egg Cups

I love egg dishes made in separate serving pieces.  I spend time, experimenting with different combinations.  One of my favorites is with potatoes and a white cheese.  I have made these with other than eggs such as mac and cheese.  Everything seems to taste better in small packages.

Today I decided to use spinach in my ‘concoction’.  Only a few ingredients are necessary.  I called this Mexican because I used a combination of cheese that is titled Mexican.

Ingredients

Spray olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup frozen spinach, drained and squeezed to get out water

4 eggs 

1/2 cup sour cream minus 1 tablespoon or plain yogurt

1/2 cup Mexican cheese.

Procedure

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray 4 ramekins.

In a medium bowl, ( used a 4 cup measuring cup), whisk eggs and sour cream.

Stir in cheese and spinach.

Season.

Pour egg mixture into greased ramekins. and Bake for 30 minutes.  Mine doubled in size but that didn’t last long.

Cheese Puffs

I decided to “really” cook for myself, this morning.  Breakfast is a funny meal.  I rarely bother to make anything more complicated than eggs, yet this is my favorite meal.  Maybe, that is why, we have breakfast for dinner, so often.

Cooking for myself does not mean complicated or time-consuming.  This was neither but it does take the resolve to stay in the kitchen and mix and bake.  It means shredding cheese or chopping it small.  It means, having your smoke alarm beeping and scaring your neighbors and it means cleaning cookie sheets and bowls.

Despite this, these are a treat and I am glad, I have some extras.

Cheese Puffs  (adapted from Taste of Home – Comfort Cookbook)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or Gluten-free
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded Gouda
  • 1/4 cup spicy mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon honey mustard
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  • In a large saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and cayenne to a boil. Add flour all at once and stir until a smooth ball forms.
  • Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny.
  • Stir in cheese and mustard.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  (I forgot Parmesan.)
  • Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cold. Yield: 4 dozen.

This is linked to See Ya In the Gumbo  Hearth and Soul      Cast Party Wednesdays