Archive for September, 2008

What I’m Eating: Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

I have kind of a problem with pasta sauces. I never seem to have enough tomato-based sauce, because it all just slides off the pasta and I have half of it left on my plate when I’m done. Cream sauces are delicious, but often seem too heavy, especially if I have just pasta and a flour-based sauce. I need some contrast in the dish. So when I found a recipe for tomato cream sauce using diced instead of pureed tomatoes, I got excited. And it turned out just as delicious as I’d hoped. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
3/4 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter

Preparation

In a saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and continue to boil 5 minutes or until most of the liquid evaporates. Remove from heat; stir in whipping cream and butter. Reduce heat and simmer 5 more minutes.

Notes

I combined the sauce with about half a pound of rotini and a small head of steamed broccoli. It was, for me, a nearly perfect sauce-to-substance ratio. The pasta and vegetables were coated in sauce but not swimming in it. The broccoli and diced tomato pieces added a little acidity and freshness. I am quite happy with the way this turned out and will definitely be making it again. Did I mention that it’s also fast and easy to make? Commenters on Allrecipes recommend serving it with grilled chicken or Italian sausage.

My protein for this week was a lentil salad that was not nearly as successful, at least partly because of mistakes I made during preparation, so I will probably try again later to give it a fair chance. My first mistake was not try out the lentil recipe I posted before, but I didn’t end up making it to the farmer’s market and the grocery store tomatoes were just not up to my standards. For years I thought I hated raw tomato, but it turns out what I hate is raw watery, yellowish tomatoes. I need a really good dense roma tomato if I’m going to be eating it raw.

Advertisements

Comments (1)

First Guest Recipe!

I’m really glad to get initial encouragement from people, especially since last week was a little overwhelming for me. But I managed to rest and relax a little this weekend, and I’m feeling much better. So now, here is a recipe! I was going to try to cook it myself before posting, but while I did get time for some cooking this weekend, this one just wasn’t in the works. But I think it looks pretty great, so here is Helena’s suggestion:

I’m writing because I recently discovered a great and easy recipe that has two fantastic advantages. Since I have a very hectic work schedule, I often make quick meals that don’t include enough vegetables or protein. Now and then I start to feel tired, and really crave vegetables or steak as part of my body’s desire to get me back into balance. The following recipe is great on both fronts – tomatoes for the veg (ok, fruit, but still) and lentils for the protein.

Lentil Salad with Tomato and Dill

Ingredients

1 cup dried lentils (preferably small French lentils)
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 lb tomatoes, diced (2 cups)
4 large scallions, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

preparation

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan with lentils, garlic, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until lentils are just tender, 15 to 25 minutes. Drain in a large sieve, then transfer to a large bowl.

Toss hot lentils with tomatoes, scallions, dill, basil, vinegar, oil, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste.

notes

You can prep everything for the salad during the 20 minutes the lentils are cooking, so it’s fast.

For the budget conscious:
– You can get 2 salad runs out of a bag of lentils < $1
– Olive oil, vinegar, and garlic (minced, in a huge jar) are staples that are usually in the kitchen, but their prices don’t work out to much per round of the salad
– The tomato content is 2-3 depending on size, so typically less than $2
– Green onion content also < $1
– The herbs are the priciest part, but if you grow your own basil and dill, they’re FREE!
So if you grow your own herbs, you can probably put a round of this together for less than $5. With my (small) appetite, I generally get 4-6 meals out of this, but even for hearty appetites getting 1-2 meals, that’s pretty cheap.

I prefer my food a bit spicy, so I kick this up with a little extra black pepper and some dried red pepper flakes.

I recently served this at a dinner party for 6. With the other dishes, people took small enough portions that there was enough left over for 2 very satisfying meals (I’m a one-dish kinda gal when I’m eating alone, so that’s enough for me, but as a side the portions would be smaller and the freshness of it mixes well with either light or rich main courses – at the party I served it with goat cheese and scallion stuffed breaded chicken roulades – yum!). This salad also packs well for lunch at the office that doesn’t require reheating.

So there you go. I think this sounds simple, cheap and delicious, and I’ve got most of the ingredients already. I’ll probably look for fresh tomatoes at the farmer’s market this weekend and make some for my lunches next week.

Comments (1)

Fruit and Spice Granola

Yogurt, fruit and granola is one of my go-to combinations when I’m just not sure what I want to eat. Fruit and dairy products almost never go wrong with me, and a good granola provides a satisfying complementary crunch and spice. Whole milk yogurt in particular is delicious and gives me the energy I need to keep going when I don’t have a lot of time to figure out a more elaborate meal. Store-bought granolas frequently have things like coconut or almonds that I don’t like, and of course are not cheap. So this summer I experimented with this recipe a bit. You need an hour or so to make it, but then afterward you have plenty of delicious granola to use on the fly.

You can find the original recipe on epicurious, here is my modification.

Ingredients

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pecans
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1 cup honey
2 cups mixed dried fruits (I tend to use raisins and cranberries)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a large bowl stir together oats, nuts, and spices. In a small saucepan melt butter with honey over low heat, stirring occasionally. Pour butter mixture over oat mixture and toss to combine well.

Spread granola evenly in 2 shallow baking pans and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, stirring frequently and switching position of pans halfway through baking, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Watch carefully during the second half of baking, to prevent burning. Add dried fruit to granola and mix. Leaving the mixture to cool without stirring will produce chunky granola, stirring as it cools will make the chunks much smaller.

Notes

I changed the oven temperature to 325 because the granola was burning at 350. The extra honey makes the finished granola form more chunks, as does leaving it to cool without stirring. You can of course adjust all the proportions to taste, add back the coconut if that’s your thing, and use whichever nuts or fruits you like. That’s the beauty of a recipe like this. I found the base recipe that seemed most appealing, and then adjusted it for my own taste.

If your bank account is up to it (mine, sadly, is not at the moment) I particularly recommend a good Greek yogurt with the fruit and granola. Greek yogurt is amazing.

Leave a Comment

Hello World!

Hello, and welcome to Delicious At Every Size, a recipe blog for food without judgment or guilt. To learn more, take a look at my answers to questions you may or may not have. I’m a newly-fledged grad student, so I may not have a lot of time for regular posts, but I will be cooking for myself regularly, and I already have a list of tried-and-true recipes to share, so I’m hoping for the best. I’d also absolutely love to have co-bloggers, the more community the better. If you’re interested in becoming a co-blogger, or if you just have a recipe or two you’d like to share, please contact me!

Comments (5)