Friday, July 31, 2009

Random And Delicious

I had a hard time finding inspiration last weekend. I was perfectly willing to cook, I just didn't know what to cook. That always drives me crazy. I have a millions recipes I want to try, but nothing calls out to me, nothing quite fits together into a cohesive meal. The biggest problem, is that while a bunch of things sound delicious, they're just not healthy enough or well rounded enough. I need my vegetables! I ended up doing a mixture of recipes I've been wanting to try, and experimenting on my own. Imagine that! Overall, it all came out delicious. Here's what I ate this week:
  • Pesto pizza, idea courtesy of my college roommate! I was lamenting on facebook that I needed to use up some pine nuts before they went rancid, and I was thinking pesto, but I just wasn't in the mood for pasta. She suggested pesto pizza. The girl is a genius! I made this pesto, courtesy of good ol' Martha. I've made pizza dough in the past, but I haven't found a recipe I've really liked yet (ok, I've only tried one so far). I really like the pizza dough they sell ready made at Trader Joe's. It's whole wheat. What's not to love? I sauteed some chicken marinated in lemon juice (and a little zest), rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Diced it up, and threw it on the pesto-ed pizza. Then I added some red onion I had caramelized. Aside: I didn't realize caramelizing onions is so easy! You just cook 'em low and slow until they get all sweet and delicious. Next, I put on some broccoli florets, but I didn't feel an entire onion and 3 cups of basil was enough vegetable. And then I topped it all off with a ton of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. It turned out to be the best pizza I've ever made. By far. The pesto was nutty, the onions were sweet, the chicken was lemony, and the cheese was, well, the best part of course! That's definitely one for my recipe bank!
  • Chicken meatballs with chipotle-honey sauce, courtesy of Noble Pig. The lady who writes this blog is my idol. She just up and moved to Oregon to run a winery. How awesome is that? Also, her balls are amazing. They are moist and flavorful with just a little kick. And the sauce! It's sweet and tangy and spicy. I couldn't eat enough of these. Our hippy grocery where we buy our meat doesn't have already ground chicken, but they were happy to grind some fresh for us when we asked. How nice.
  • Herbed summer squash and potato torte, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen. I had bought a big bag of tiny yellow, red, and purple potatoes at Costco. I was going to just mash them, but then I came across this recipe. This is one of those dishes that ended up tasting way better than I thought it would just from reading the recipe. Where did all this flavor come from? The ingredient sound simple enough. Almost boring! But the green onions, cheese, and thyme all married each other in the oven, and had a million flavor babies that permeated every bite. Seriously. It makes a ton, but it's good.
  • I had extra potatoes to use up, and extra squash, so I decided to put them together again. This time roasted in the oven with some rosemary and lemon. Potatoes really are a magical food. They take on flavor so well. I try not to eat too many because they're so starchy, but sometimes I just can't resist. I ended up throwing some of this in a frittata with some bell pepper, arugula, and some parmesan cheese. It was delish, except I think I put too much salt in. I was paranoid that Husband would hate it (because he's very sensistive to salt, and he has high blood pressure, so he tries to stay away from it), but he didn't think it was too salty at all. I think that first, the cheese probably added a lot of the salty flavor, and second, we've been eating out so little, and I've been cooking so much (and always low sodium), that I'm losing my sodium-loving touch! I guess that's a good thing.
  • Whole wheat no-knead bread, courtesy of Not Martha. This is it. The bread that I think will be my go-to bread. It's healthy (100% whole wheat flour, none of this half and half with all purpose stuff), and it tastes absolutely spectacular. I making sandwiches left and right. Left over king salmon (OMG, this was the best salmon ever we bought on a whim at the hippy store last weekend)? Throw it on some bread with some avacado and arugula. Toast with jam? Why use the store bought stuff? I think next time I need to make two loaves. Husband kept thinking he was entitled to some!
There may have been some muffins involved too, but I have to run and pick up my little one from daycare. Ahem, my dog that is. I'll tell you all about the muffins soon!


Kelly said...

Another good use for pesto that I just discovered: Pesto Chicken Salad! I had this in a restaurant (wrapped up in a sundried tomato wrap). They just used pesto instead of mayo. Delish!!

JuLo said...

Oh, that sounds good! Though I have to admit that pizza does sound yummier. Hehe. But a pesto chicken salad wrap is definitely something I'll have to try at some point! :)

the Provident Woman said...

That's what I hate about cooking, deciding what to cook. So once a week I make my family decide what the menu for the week is and I have to cook it.