Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beets Me!

I always have this delicious salad in my refrigerator, I eat it ALL the time.  It's quite the popular pot-luck dish, if you're in need, and what's our favorite word, people?  E-Z!  Wicked easy, as my Boston-bred hubby would say, (but he doesn't like beets, who IS this man?!)  I made this up, here 'tis:
First, you roast the beets.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  I use large beets, and I generally roast three at a time.  Place them in a baking dish with about an 1/8 inch of water on the bottom, salt, and cover with tin-foil.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the beets, they're ready when a fork easily pierces them.  Take them out and let them cool.
At the same time, make two cups of quinoa.  (Read the package, it's 2 to 1, come on, even I know this!)
Once the beets have cooled, the skins will peel off very easily with your fingers, and, just f.y.i., your hands WILL get beet red.  Gotta get dirty!
Dice the beets, dice cucumbers, chop some dill, smash some walnuts, crumble some feta cheese, and add all of this to the quinoa.  I mix in some olive oil and either red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar, but any favorite salad dressing will do, salt and pepper, toss it all together and chill.
I eat this with a scoop of tuna, some grilled chicken, a veggie burger or turkey burger, it's really yummy and satisfying, also very enjoyable on it's own, you choose.  I dare you to not keep whipping this up!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hi my name is Leslie, and I'm addicted to...

Our spicy, tomato, veggie morning juice
Is this gorgeous or what?!
Okay fine, GUILTY, I actually follow things that Gwenyth Paltrow likes, uses, and passes along to her followers, but there are SO many chefs that swear by the VitaMix, I just had to indulge, and SWEET BABY JESUS, it's astonishing.  It can do so much, (yes, peanut butter), and WAY more than I know or have experimented with thus far, but there's something I make every morning for my family, juice.  It's awesome, you can sneak in greens and things that a lot of kids won't touch with a ten foot pole, AND it's not a juicer, so it's beyond easy to clean, but it's more than a blender because it purees the hell out of everything.  Whether it be a fruit smoothie or a juice, you can put so much in that's not detectable, even cabbage, blech, and no one's the wiser.
This particular juice consists of:
4-6 Tomatoes
1/2 Carrot
Bunch of Kale
Bunch of Spinach
Couple Slices of Ginger
One Stalk of Celery
2 Splashes of Cholula Hot Sauce
2 Tablespoons of Chia Seeds
Blending in "Lincoln Park After Dark" nail color
The whole family wakes up and enjoys a juice
Obviously, I'm not THAT vain, because this here is me in the morning for all to see.  Oy.
Oh, and cleaning this sucker, all you do is put in some water and a squirt of soap, hit the blender, (don't forget the top!), let it run a minute and rinse her out.  HELLO!  She's not a cheap machine, but I believe it's a great investment, one that'll be around a long time.  It's got a 5-7 year warranty, and I recommend calling Vitamix directly rather than buying it in a store, because they're so helpful, have great deals, and shipped it to me FREE!  (You may be getting the point that I love FREE!) 1-800-848-2649.

Friday, November 5, 2010

MacBook vs. Marinara

I have the most delicious, easiest roasted tomato sauce for y'all, but first, a story reflecting my profound moronicness:
Henry and I were skyping with my mother, and I was telling her about this amazing tomato sauce I made.  I explained it to her, but she wanted to know what happens to the tomato skins, so I said, "Oh wait, I'll show you, LIVE!"  So I got the tupperware from the fridge, opened the top, and tilted it toward the camera on my very PRICEY MacBook Pro.  Yes, that's right, I poured the sauce all over my computer keypad.  ALL OVER IT!  Henry proceeded to dip his fingers in it and lick it, (because it IS that delicious, even on a Mac), and I ran into the kitchen to get something to lift it into, all the while trying not to pee in my pants I was laughing so hard, (as was Grammy in Michigan).  Thanks GOD she's a thick sauce, so there was no liquid damage, just chunks of thick tomato sauce.  This may very well be the stupidest thing I've ever done, and believe me, there's a lot of competition for that spot...
IN ADDITION, may I just give a shout-out to the lovely and talented, MATT, at the Apple Genius Bar, who replaced the entire keyboard and mousepad on my laptop F.O.C!!!  (Free of charge)  I think my story made his day, but I didn't ask any questions, I just thanked him effusively, validated my parking, and snuck out of there.
Vanessa,with her two boyfriends
And now, the recipe, brought to me by my step-son's amazing girlfriend, Vanessa:
Before the oven

After roasting
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take about 3 pounds of grape tomatoes, spread them onto a baking dish, about 15 inches wide, add about 12 whole, peeled cloves of garlic.  Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper, some fresh oregano, or whatever spices you so desire, and a little bit of olive oil, maybe 1/3 of a cup or less.  (You don't need very much olive oil because there's already quite a bit of water in the tomatoes.)  Roast for a 1/2 an hour, then pull the dish out and turn the tomatoes and garlic over with a spoon, roast for another 1/2 an hour.  done.  Blend.  FINITO!!!  I'm telling you, this shit is DELISH!  Of course you can put it over pasta, chicken parm, or whatever you like.  She's a thick sauce, so if you like it a little less so, just add water.  Give it a go!