Just thought I would share a perfect summer salad. I thought I invented it but alas, found similar recipes on the internet. Mine was simpler and only had these ingredients:
- Roasted sweet potatoes — so easy to make, I just drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil, then bake at 375 (?) for about 40 minutes or until tender.
- Salad — I used a mixed bag of organic greens
- Black pepper
- Olive oil
Here’s the genesis of the recipe: My youngest suddenly decided that he hated sweet potatoes, after I had already roasted a large batch. I sliced a few and ate them with a drizzle of olive oil and salt. Then I decide to get more creative. I sliced the rest of the potatoes and added it to the salad, crumbling feta on top. For the dressing, I simply used extra virgin olive oil, salt and freshly ground black pepper. I had a feeling the salty feta would complement the sweetness of the potatoes and I was so right. Kid — you don’t know what you’re missing!
You know a recipe qualifies as simple when you can throw this together while still dressed in work clothes after a long day in the office.
My husband and I were both tired. We had dinner but nothing that I could bring for lunch. So I quickly sautéd a sliced yellow onion and sliced red bell peppers in a skillet (yellow onions first, let it sweat a bit, then add bell peppers, using extra virgin olive oil of course, salt and fajita seasoning to taste). In the meantime, I cracked 4 eggs, added Cotija cheese and fresh black pepper, and whipped it until everything was mixed well. When the onions and bell peppers were cooked, I added in the mixture and let it sit for a few minutes (until the bottom should be cooked). While the top was still a bit runny, I put it in the oven on Broil to cook the top.
That was it! In about 30 minutes, I was done and had two slices of frittata for lunch (heated for 45 seconds in the microwave).
Making soup from scratch sounds intimidating but you’ll be surprised by the simplicity of this recipe. Caldo de Res is a hearty Mexican beef and vegetable soup. We didn’t look up the recipe so my husband put an Italian spin to it by adding red wine, olive oil and peperoncino to the broth.
All you need is:
Beef Shanks ( 4 -5 pieces or 1 pound)
Russet Potatoes (cubed)
Cabbage (1/2 a head)
White corn ( whole, cut in halves; optional but I highly recommend it)
Yellow zucchini (very optional)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Peperoncino (I think the standard recipe calls for cumin?)
And all you have to do is:
1 ) Season the beef shank with salt and pepper. In a large pot, add olive oil and sauté the beef shank on both sides. Add enough water to fill about half the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Add potatoes, carrots, corn and cabbage. Cover with lid and let simmer for another hour.
2 ) Remove lid, stir, and simmer for another hour with lid off. We added zucchini at this later stage because it doesn’t require much cooking. You can also add cabbage at this point if you prefer. Just before eating, add chopped cilantro.
Tip: To make this dish last, on the 2nd or 3rd night, add arborio rice and/or Spanish beans to the pot and simmer some more. These additions make the soup more filling and tricks those who hate leftovers into thinking that it’s a new dish altogether. We also grated parmigiano on top for an even more Italian spin.
In my simple recipe series, I included pasta salad in a short post with two other salads. However, this dish is so easy and perfect for workday lunches that I thought it deserved its own post. I even made it healthier by using whole wheat pasta this time. The portions are quite large because I wanted to make enough for two lunches. Enjoy!
Whole wheat pasta (barilla, 1 1/2 cup)
Broccoli (3 – 4 florets)
Tuna (1 canned, packed in olive oil)
Red onion (less than 1/2)
Extra virgin Olive oil
1 ) Steam the broccoli. (It’s done when you can pierce it with a fork with a little effort but not too easily — don’t let it get too mushy!)
2 ) Cut the broccoli into smaller pieces and mix into a large bowl with tuna and chopped red onions. Drizzle more olive oil. Add salt and black pepper. Add a dash of cayenne and garlic powder. Mix all ingredients well.
3 ) Cook whole wheat pasta according to direction. Drain and rinse in colander. Note: Wheat pasta is very hardy so be sure to taste before draining. I like to cook it a little longer than package instructions.
4 ) Mix the pasta into the large bowl. Add more olive oil if necessary, salt, pepper, cayenne and garlic powder to taste. The cayenne is just to add some spice to the recipe and purely optional.