I’ve been having a lot of experimental soup recipes lately. Hearty, hot, and wholly un-publishable, they’re messy and tasty and completely dependent on what we have in the refrigerator. I kind of feel like everything I’ve been making lately is pretty experimental, actually. Tasty, of course (especially when I’m hungry and its venturing into past-dinner-time), but not the kind of thing I really think is ready to share with anybody on here. For instance, I tried egg drop soup today… and I think it will definitely make its way on here soon, but not the one I made today.
But one experiment that I really do want to share with you is this fabulous tomato sauce I made last week. I didn’t expect this tomato sauce to be something special, in fact I didn’t even take many pictures, but lordy be was I happily surprised. It was completely experimental and completely dependent upon the random stuff we had in the fridge and the pantry, but it turned out to be so flavorful that I must post it here for posterity. It didn’t make a huge batch because I only had a few tomatoes, so unfortunately I don’t have any of it left. In fact, I used it all up in two days. First, it was mixed in with some rice and then the next night it was the star of a polenta lasagna (another that will have to be re-worked and shared later). Basically, I gobbled it all up as quickly as I could.
So I’m going to share this recipe with its approximate measurements because I didn’t take special care to be exact. But have no fear, a little extra oregano or a little less salt is something that is a) easily fixable, b) highly adaptable, and c) all up to your special preferences. This is not a recipe that relies on a specific exacting ratio of tomato to onion (in fact, I didn’t even have fresh onion! I used dried minced onion and it worked just dandy). This is simply a recipe that has flavorful ingredients that work together to make a divine tomato sauce. No difficulty, just deliciousness.
|Quick and Easy Tomato Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 3 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 48 mins
- 3 cups diced tomato
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp minced onion
- Dice your tomatoes and put in a saucepan on medium-high. Stir as you’re assembling the other ingredients.
- Add the rest of the ingredients. As the tomatoes release their juices and the mixture begins to boil, taste it and see if you like the herb/spice balance. Adjust to your liking.
- Continue to let the mixture boil down and reduce, approximately 30 minutes or until you have a thick, chunky tomato sauce.
I used heirloom tomatoes because that’s what I had in the fridge- they were absolutely divine, but so would be most any tomatoes I’m sure!
I don’t have a food mill, so I made this an easy, chunky recipe and left all the skins and seeds in the tomatoes when I diced them. If you wanted to make a smoother recipe, I’d suggest using a food mill or even utilizing the food processor. Personally, I was extremely pleased with the more chunky sauce.
I added a few notes to the bottom of the recipe about kinds of tomatoes and the methods for preparing the tomatoes. Basically, what I’m trying to say is I used what I had on hand. I had heirlooms, so I used them. I don’t have a food mill, so I didn’t use the food mill I do not have. It’s back to my ever-lazy, but resourceful, philosophy: make do in the kitchen! (wow… now that I’ve read that over, I’m going to admit that that’s not the note I wanted to end on… I’ll choose better words next time haha)
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Lunch, Sauce
Tagged Chili Powder, Cumin, Diced Onion, Heirloom Tomatoes, Onion, Oregano, Sauce, Tomato Sauce, Tomatoes
Welcome once again to another installment of the Thursday Stash here at the Drunk Squash!
This week we’re straddling summer and fall, and I’m clinging to the summer vegetables (and fruits I suppose) for as long as I’m getting them!
We have a big handful of Red Russian Kale,
Some skinny, deep purple eggplants,
Colorful, plump heirloom tomatoes,
Some hilariously furry edamame,
A big beautiful watermelon,
Some salvaged corn (that I liked setting up mugshot-style),
and these weird things that I have no idea about!
They’re round, a light yellow color, and smell like salad. And we just can’t figure out what the heck they are. If you have any ideas do tell! And I’ll definitely share information when I cut one or both open.
I’m hoping to make some fresh salad with the corn, utilize some of the chard as burrito wrapping, and maybe make a roasted eggplant and tomato dip? I have a tasty pepper and eggplant dip from last week to share with you too… so prepare yourself!
I’m slowly but surely making my way back into school (and soon work), so that means easy-peasy meals are the go-to choice. Rules of easy-peasy meals?
1. No shopping for specific ingredients, must make do with what is already in the kitchen. (I usually live by this rule, helps me be creative!)
2. There should be as few steps as possible: Chop, saute, plate!
3. Utilize already-cooked items (such as rice from last night’s dinner or beans I simmered on Sunday)
4. If something has to cook for a while, it should not have to be watched or stirred or pampered. Stick it in the oven and let it do its thang.
5. Prep time should be less than ten minutes and cook time less than an hour… aka “I’m hungry now, where’s my fooood???”
To be honest, these are rules I generally always follow for my own sanity in the kitchen. Yes, of course sometimes I get that cooking bug and spend an entire evening or afternoon in that little space, but for the most part I’m not the world’s most involved cook. I’m utilitarian and I’m busy busy busy.
So today I want to share a delicious, but definitely easy-peasy meal idea. It’s not radical, but this version of a taco salad makes use of one particular component that was new to me. I had seen in the past that Averie of Love Veggies and Yoga had a nut “meat” that she used in tacos. I’ve never had the chance to try it, so I figured that this taco salad would be a perfect opportunity. I urge you to check it out with your next taco or taco salad.
|Spicy Vegetarian Taco Salad
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Bring some easy components together to make a perfect, filling meal after a tiring day.
- 1/2 cup uncooked rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- olive oil, enough to bring the ingredients together in the food processor
- Rest of Filling
- 1 onion
- black pepper
- chili powder
- 2 cups lettuce, chopped
- 1 cup cooked beans
- First, put your uncooked rice in your rice cooker, add water and spices and set to “on.”
- For Averie’s “meat,” add all ingredients to your food processor or blender and blend until you get a thick, “meaty” mixture that somewhat (but not too closely) resembles the kind of ground beef taco meat you might make in for a traditional taco salad. Don’t over-process, you still want it to be chunky.
- Dice your onion and 3/4 of it to a pan with a drizzle of oil and a dash of salt, black pepper, and chili powder. You can also add your beans at this point so that they can get some flavor.
- You want to keep the heat on medium and cover until the onions become glassy.
- Finally layer your chopped lettuce in a bowl, add the bean/onion mix, the taco “meat,” and the rice.
- Add some uncooked pieces of diced onion on top, and decorate with tortilla chips (which you can also pan fry yourself!)
So if you’ll notice, I made pretty good on my promise to follow the 5 rules of easy-peasy meals. (Yeah, the prep time is a bit longer than 10 minutes, but it’s an estimate! Maybe your chopping is faster than mine.) In Averie’s original recipe the meat called for both almonds and walnuts. However, I only had walnuts, so I adapted the recipe to my kitchen. Also, I didn’t have sundried tomatoes. I stuck some in my dehydrator, then realized that I didn’t want to wait that long, so I just added them to my “meat” as they were and worked with a new, wetter texture than was initially intended. I still think it tastes wonderful, but I left “sundried tomatoes” in the recipe above because I think it could be EVEN BETTER with them.
In short, the easy-peasy rules just illustrate the different ways that you can be an adaptive (and lazy) cook. And they work pretty well for me
Posted in CSA, Dinner
Tagged "Meat", Beans, Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, Lettuce, Onion, Rice, Taco, Taco Salad, Tomatoes, Turmeric, Walnuts
I am so excited to share this recipe with you, it is soooo good! When I saw my newest stash of CSA goodies, I wasn’t really sure how I was going to use everything, but I knew that I wanted to really take advantage of the mini watermelon and the heirloom tomatoes. They were so colorful and delicious looking, so I started thinking about salsas and salads. Then, through Foodgawker I found these two blog posts, one on Fresh From Eva’s Kitchen and the other on Citron et Vanille. Each one has a recipe for a watermelon-tomato gazpacho. It was kind of the direction I was going in, but even better!
I’m a huge soup lover, though usually during the winter months. I love the way the flavors mingle together and create an easy-to-eat warming meal. I love creamy soups and water-based soups, I love soups that are pureed and ones that have big chunks of food. I love ‘em all, any way they’re simply divine.
Gazpacho, is a wonderful summer treat. It has the benefits of all of those intermingled flavors, yet it cools you off in the heat! Perfect! I loved the idea of mixing tomato and watermelon and taking advantage of all of the juiciness both fruits have. I also thought that the sweetness in the watermelon would balance well against the acidity in the tomato.
Then, however, I remembered all of the peppers that came in the box. I decided to roast some peppers and add those into the gazpacho as well to add some depth to the soup.
In the end, the recipe turned out easy and delicious. I topped the soup with a little bit of goat cheese and then slurped it all up. It’s definitely a rich, sweet gazpacho, so I would suggest pairing it with some bread. Enjoy!
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 30 mins
A rich, sweet gazpacho- the perfect way to cool off on a warm afternoon.
- 1 large tomato
- 1 medium tomato (I used an heirloom and a plum tomato)
- 1 mini watermelon (or 1/2 medium watermelon)
- 2 Flamingo Peppers (or bell peppers? I don’t know the difference)
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds, then place them skin-up on a baking sheet and roast them until their skins turn black.
- In the meantime, you can de-skin the tomatoes (or leave them with their skins on) and cut them into chunks..
- Also, cut out chunks of watermelon, remove the seeds, and add them to the tomatoes in a bowl.
- At this point you can add about a tablespoon of olive oil and pepper, salt, and dill to taste. Let all of the flavors sit.
- When the peppers’ skins have turned black, remove them from an oven and place them in a sealed plastic bag to build up steam.
- When the peppers have cooled to the touch, remove the skins and cut into chunks. Add to the tomatoes and watermelon.
- Either with an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the majority of the soup. Leave about 1/4 of the total amount chunky so that your soup will have some texture.
- When you serve the gazpacho, sprinkle the top of the bowl or cup with goat cheese.
Posted in CSA, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Soup
Tagged Baby Watermelon, Bell Pepper, Flamingo Peppers, Gazpacho, Heirloom Tomatoes, Plum Tomatoes, Soup, Tomatoes, Watermelon