I have been busy cooking! And spending time in the kitchen. One of the big differences of eating healthy and eating quick meals is the time factor. There is alot more prep time with healthy eating. But our family is discovering early in this project, it is worth it!! At least some of the time.
A few nights ago I prepared Bistro Bow-Tie Salad. This salad, along with the bow-tie pasta, had Kalamata olives, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and had a vinegar based dressing. As the pictures will tell the story, the boys had a hard time getting down the small plate that I insisted they eat before I popped a Home Run pepperoni pizza in the oven for them. They are being great sports! Actually, I had a blast watching them eat. The faces were hilarious!
I think this face was about the time he told me how disgusting it was!
"Am I done yet?"
Some of the comments I heard while they struggled through their meal was: “oh, good, only 343 recipes to go”, “not breathing, not breathing, not breathing!”, and “that was disgusting! (I think that was after Caleb ate his first olive). But they did it, they finished up the plate and then were quickly rewarded with their pizza. I assured them that most of the recipes they will love and AFTER they were done eating the salad, I confessed that I didn’t really like it that much either. I am not fond of ‘sour’ salads. But it was ok, but it is a recipe I don’t plan on making again. So, in the boys opinion, that was a failure.
Bistro Bow-Tie Salad
Now for the success. Today I spent the day making a Chicken Stock so I could have the base for the Asian Stock. Along with the Chicken Stock the Asian Stock had wonderful flavor that came from a variety of ingredients: star anise buds (another food I now know what it is!), fresh ginger, tamari sauce, garlic cloves, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Oh, yum! Caleb’s first bite prompted this comment: “this is amazing, can we have this again?” All three of my guys liked it and ate every bit and I didn’t have to bribe them with pizza this time!
Asian Stock (with chicken & stir-fry)
This is great fun! I am enjoying cooking and it makes me so happy when I watch the boys eat a meal that is so healthy!
Also, because of popular demand (actually my mom and step-dad, thanks guys!) I am going to post the recipe for the Portobello Sandwiches I made the other day. If ever you want a recipe let me know and I will be glad to post it!
Portobello Mushroom Club
2 large portobello mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed
1/4 cup Italian Herb Vinaigrette (or your favorite herb dressing)
3 slices provolone cheese
1 (6 x 6-inch) piece focaccia bread or 1 kaiser roll
3 jarred roasted red peppers, drained well (be sure to use these, they really add alot to the sandwich)
Handful of arugula leaves, washed
Marinate the portobello mushrooms at room temperature in the vinaigrette for 20 minutes. Grill the mushrooms over coals or on a gas grill over medium heat for 5 minutes per side until nicely browned. This may be done one day prior to making the sandwiches. You may also broil the mushrooms 3 inches from the broiling element of your oven for 6-7 minutes per side until lightly browned.
Half the focaccia or roll horizontally and place the cheese on one piece of the bread. Cut the grilled mushrooms into one inch thick slices diagonally and arrange them over the cheese. Place the peppers over the mushrooms and top with the arugula. If you like, sprinkle a little vinaigrette over the arugula and close up the sandwich.
Italian Herb Vinaigrette
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tsp. dried Italian Herbs
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes
2 sprigs parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
Place the olive oil, vinegar, rosemary leaves, Italian Herbs, pepper, red chili flakes, parsley and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process for about 30 seconds or until well blended. Or mix the ingredients in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer or by hand with a wire whisk.
There you go! These are worth making! Great sandwiches!
Looking forward to the next recipe: Falafel Balls! That should be interesting!