Posts tagged ‘Tomatoes’

October 10, 2011


Have I ever told you that I can’t follow a recipe to save my life?!  I can’t.  Absolutely not.

Tonight I tried.  Again.  I frequently enter dinner prep fully prepared to follow a recipe.  The cook book is out.  I have all the ingredients.  I am ready!


That’s how tonight started.  I was making a veggie curry dish from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cook book.  I bought ingredients that were very specific to this recipe.  Lemon.  Cauliflower.  Red bell pepper.  I even bought…ginger root!  Seriously.  I have never bought this in my life.  I’m not even a huge fan of ginger, but I thought if I wanted the full effect of the recipe, I better buy it.

As far as ingredients go, the only part I drifted on was the curry paste.  I happened to have some peanut sauce already in the house that I’ve been wanting to use.  HA!  I don’t know why this didn’t tip me off that I was yet again going to treat this recipe merely as a suggestion of what foods to combine and cook.


It’s was all downhill from there.  Don’t feel like peeling ginger and chopping garlic, eh, throw the big chunks in.  Wok too full to use all the cauliflower, oh well, just use half.  Green peppers from the garden that need to be eaten, ok, replace some of the red peppers with those.  Mistakenly think you have diced tomatoes, but you don’t, it’s fineeeeeeeee, use crushed.  Get my point?

I drift and I drift and I drift.  Eventually I have a completely different meal than what I set out to make.  Sometimes it’s a success.  Sometimes, not so much.

Tonight, huge success.


I’m going to call it….

Veggie Stir Fry with Tomato Peanut Sauce

Heavily inspired by Jamie Oliver.  And please do check out the real recipe.  It too looks delicious.

  • 1 red bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 green bell pepper, chunked
  • 1 medium onion, chunked
  • 1 banana pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb size piece ginger root, halved
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, pieced
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peanut sauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  1. Sauté all peppers and onion in olive oil until just softened.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and squash and sauté for a minute to begin to infuse flavor.
  3. Add cauliflower and chickpeas and toss everything to mix.
  4. Add peanut sauce, peanut butter, balsamic vinegar, crushed tomatoes, and water to make the sauce.
  5. Mix everything well, bring to a boil, and hope your pan isn’t  over flowing at this point!
  6. Reduce temperature and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are softened to your liking.
  7. Serve over brown rice with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a squeeze of lemon.

I’ll warn you, it’s lots of chopping and not a quick meal, but it’s worth it.  I didn’t think it was while I was standing and chopping, but I can tell you now, it is!  And if you’re like Steve, a self proclaimed “sauce man,” you’ll really love it.


So thanks Jamie Oliver, for your inspiration.  You helped me remember how much I like cauliflower.  You helped me learn how nicely ginger can compliment a sauce.  And you helped me realize that a splash of lemon juice at the end of a meal really can make all the difference.

I knew there was a reason I bought cook books!

Tell me about your recipe following abilities!  Do you follow recipes to a tee or use them for inspiration?


October 5, 2011

Protein Packed

It’s the easiest, fastest, and most delicious way to give a protein punch to your salad or sandwich.


I would love to tell you that it’s base is fresh Yeehaw farm chicken, but I can’t.  First of all, it hasn’t been a good year at Yeehaw farm for the chickens.  Some pests have been picking them off and not leaving any for us.  Sad, but it’s just a reality of getting your meat straight from the farm.  Second of all I wanted convenience.  What can I say.  I’m only human.  So…I used canned chicken.  Surprised smile


I try to do it only occasionally and make more health and animal conscious decisions the majority of the time.  It’s certainly an improvement on how I ate just a few years ago in college.  Hello dino nuggets and smiley fries!  I just couldn’t resist. Then I would add a side salad and call it healthy.   Oh the things some maturity, a decent paycheck, and a degree in nutrition get you!


So the good news about this salad topper is that it’s ready in 10 minutes flat.  It’s mostly a dump, mix, and eat kind of thing.  Sorry if you’re looking for gourmet.  You are not in the right spot.  Or does using crumbled feta count for gourmet?  In my head it does.

Protein Packed Greek Chicken Salad

  • 1 large can chicken, drained (or the equivalent cooked chicken)
  • 1 – 6 ounce plain Greek Yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 teaspoons dill (I used more, because I love it)
  • 1 grind sea salt (or to taste)

Mix and eat.  Makes about 4 servings.  About 10 grams of protein per serving!


I plopped mine on a bed of mixed greens, green peppers, and grapes.  I topped it off with granola for crunch.

So what kind of convenience foods do you allow in your house?