two skinny jenkins


090610 – Grilled Tofu Sandwiches
090610, 10:16 pm
Filed under: BBA Challenge, DINNER | Tags: , ,

Triple Decker Dinner Sandwich

This was one GREAT sandwich.  I find it hard not to like something that includes cherry tomatoes.  for someone who has not worked with tofu much, it was pretty easy, too.  And yes, that is a delicious Mojito in the background!

  • toasted Casatiello (or whole wheat bread)
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2/3 C cherry tomatoes for puree + 1 C halved for sandwiches
  • romaine lettuce (better yet – fresh basil) for sandwiches
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 swigs balsamic vinegar + some for marinade
  • EVOO
  • dried basil
  • onion powder
  • chili powder
  • S + P
  1. Marinade slices of tofu in balsamic vinegar and olive oil for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Make tomato puree by pulsing cherry tomatoes + tomato paste + garlic clove + basil + dash of onion powder + swig of balsamic vinegar in immersion blender
  3. Toast the Casatiello slices (or whole grain bread) and spread with tomato puree. Grill slices of firm tofu in olive oil until browning and crispy.
  4. Layer tofu in the sandwich with lettuce (or fresh basil) and sliced cherry tomatoes. Season with black pepper and a tiny sprinkle of garlic powder and mild chili powder. Amazing hot or cold.

recipe thanks to: http://rowenarecipes.wordpress.com!



090522 – lasagna(e) nite
090523, 7:22 am
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Lasagna

Joe’s family came to visit this weekend, and that makes 5 of us in our little apartment.  so instead of our usual pizza Friday, we opted for lasagna(e).

Joe found a very well rated recipe on allrecipes.com and adapted it a bit to meet or taste.  Basically omitted the sausage, added some spinach, and tweaked the spices.  In the end, it is a very similar lasanga to my Uncle Tom’s recipe, but a better sauce.

  • 1 3/4 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 C minced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 T white sugar
  • 1 1/2 t dried basil leaves
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t fennel seeds
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 4 T chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 boxes frozen spinach, thawed (or 4 C fresh spinach)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a Dutch oven, cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices, then spinach. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over spinach, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.


090520 – pasta fresca
090520, 8:39 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

Joe's Pasta

So now that Carolyn is working I’ve got to carry my own weight on the dinner front. Tonight I tried to copy my favorite thing from Noodles & Co., pasta fresca. Mine didn’t turn out quite as good as theirs, but it definitely has a lot less oil.

I found a few similar recipes on-line and mashed them together.

  • 2 cups pasta (farfalle works best, but I ran out so I mixed in some angel hair)
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 3 or 4 roma tomatoes
  • spinach
  • feta or parmesan cheese
  • balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil
  1. To start, cook the pasta and set it aside.
  2. Mince garlic and red onion.
  3. Cube roma tomatoes.
  4. Once the pasta is done, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Mix in the pasta, tomatoes, garlic and onions. Cook together for about 2 minutes. Then add 4 or 5 handfuls of spinach, 2 tablespoons  balsamic vinegar, and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Cook together until the spinach just begins to wilt. Serve with parmesan or feta cheese.

It turned out reasonably well, it certainly didn’t taste just like pasta fresca, but it was pretty good. The balsamic was a bit too subtle, I think I’d probably use a couple extra tablespoons next time and a bit more olive oil as the pasta stuck to the pan a bit.



090513 – lasagna
090513, 10:08 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , ,

lasagnaAt long last… my ‘famous’ lasagna recipe!  A few people have been, ahem, pestering me to post this one.  It tastes better than it looks – promise!

this was originally my uncle’s recipe and i had to improvise the quantities.  He is one of those cooks who magically throws ingredients together and makes it come out just right.  I think this tastes a like his, but was a tad watery, probably from the frozen spinach i used.

  • 1 lb ground beef (we use Laura’s 92% lean)
  • 1 T evoo
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 32 oz. cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 t fennel seed
  • 1 t mustard powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 2 t basil
  • 1 T salt
  • 2 t sugar
  • 4 C spinach (i used frozen- it was all i had on hand)
  • 15 oz. ricotta cheese
  • 1 T thyme
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (no boil) lasagna noodles
  1. brown ground beef in a large saucepan, rinse and drain.  heat oil in the saucepan and saute garlic and onion.  before adding the tomatoes, slice them into chunks using a sharp knife in the can.
  2. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  3. add the tomatoes, fennel, mustard powder, onion powder, basil, salt, and sugar and bring to a boil.  stir in meat and continue simmer.
  4. mix ricotta cheese, thyme and 1/3 C of mozzarella cheese.
  5. layer, starting with sauce, then noodles, ricotta mixture, and spinach.  Repeat, finishing with noodles, then sauce, and remaining mozzarella cheese.  I like to sprinkle a little exra basil on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.


090507 – chickpea pasta + parmesan pull-aparts
090507, 8:57 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , , , , ,

090507 - dinner

THE PASTA – is a Shape Magazine dish, which i adapted in a few ways.

  • 8 oz. farfalle pasta
  • 2 T evoo
  • 4 C baby spinach
  • 1/3 C packed golden raisins (not just for color – the flavor is better)
  • 1 3/4 C chickpeas (approx. one can)
  • 4 oz. feta cheese (about 1/2 C)
  • 1/2 C thinly sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • S + P to taste
  • chopped walnuts if desired.
  1. cook the pasta to al dente.  drain, drizzle with the olive oil and toss to coat.
  2. while the pasta is still hot, add spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, and raisins.  put the cover back on to help the spinach wilt a little.
  3. when the pasta has cooled, add the feta and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with walnuts if you like.

THE PULL APARTS – recipe was found on gourmet.com – and they were just as good as i had hoped.  Joe observed that they taste a lot like cheeze-its, but have the texture of a bialy.

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon mild honey
  • 2/3 cup warm milk (105–115°F), divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus 2 Tbsp for sprinkling
  • 1 1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 T unsalted butter, cut into T pieces and softened
  • 1 tablespoon water
  1. Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in mixer bowl and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.Whisk together flour (2 1/2 cups), cheese, and salt, then mix into yeast mixture along with remaining 1/3 cup warm milk at low speed. Increase speed to medium and beat in 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. Beat in butter, 1 Tbsp at a time, until dough is elastic, about 2 minutes.
  2. Scrape dough into center of bowl and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp flour. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  3. Punch down dough (do not knead) and turn out onto a floured surface. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball by cupping your hand and pushing dough against work surface as you roll in a circular motion. Arrange rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9- by 2-inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel (not terry cloth). Let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled and dough fills pan, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
  5. Whisk together remaining egg with water and brush on tops of rolls. (You will have leftover egg wash.) Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Loosen edges of rolls from pan with a sharp knife and invert rolls onto a rack, then reinvert and cool at least 20 minutes.


090504 – baked olive chicken
090504, 9:37 pm
Filed under: DINNER | Tags: , , ,

straight from the oven chicken, brn rice + mango salad

this chicken is sooo  good.  we found grape tomates on sale at the store yesterday and this recipe was the first thing that we both thought of.  the mangos were also on sale (50¢ apiece!) and made a good salad with spinach, feta, and almonds.


recipe posted on 090407



090418 – asparagus pasta
090418, 9:46 pm
Filed under: DINNER, LUNCH | Tags: , , ,

img_3273

Last week Carolyn bought two bunches of asparagus, we ate one as a side with chicken but had one bunch left. We’re racing a triathlon tomorrow, so we wanted something high in carbs but we needed to use the asparagus before it went bad. This pasta was the logical choice. I’ve made it before, and it is tasty and super quick.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 3 cloves of garlic – minced
  • 1/2 box of pasta, we use angel hair
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes – petite diced is the best
  • olive oil
  • dried basil

Get your pasta water boiling in one pot.  In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over med-high heat. Once hot, put the minced garlic and about a tablespoon of dried basil (fresh would be better if you have it) in the skillet. Cook the until the garlic is golden brown.  Once brown, turn the heat down a bit and pour in your cans of diced tomatoes. They have a lot of juice and will taste better if you let it cook down a bit, about 10 minutes.

Once your water is boiling, put in your pasta. You want to put the asparagus in with the pasta with about 4.5 minutes to go, so watch the timer. Cook the two together until the pasta is al dente and the asparagus is done, but not mushy. Drain in a collander and the pour into the skillet with the tomatoes and garlic. Mix well and serve with grated parmesean.




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