Friday, July 27, 2007

Tomato and Bean Stoup

I just got done making this, and from what I can tell so far, it's pretty good. Here's the recipe:

This recipe is straight from the Food Network cite...Thanks Rachel Ray!!!!!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small zucchini, sliced
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomato
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (15-ounce) can small white beans or cannellini beans
1 (10 ounces) box, cut frozen green beans
Salt and pepper
1 cup fresh basil, torn or shredded
Grated Parmigiano or Romano, to pass at table
Crusty bread, to pass at the table
Add extra-virgin olive oil to the pot, 2 turns of the pan. Add garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, stir then stir in the onions, carrots, celery and zucchini. Cook 10 minutes, then add in the stock, tomatoes and beans. Bring soup up to a bubble and season with salt and pepper, to your taste. Simmer 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and wilt the basil into the soup. Ladle up the soup and serve with grated cheese and bread.

Some of the comments on this recipe are:
*Add ground beef to make it a bit more hearty
*Definitely use the basil AND the cheese
*Let simmer a bit longer than recommended to get the veggies a bit softer
*Some didn't like the amount of pepper flakes and reduced it a bit
*Add an extra can of beans (this is what I did)
*Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches
*Add pasta or left over chicken to 'hearty it up' a bit

I hope you enjoy!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Too much

There is far too much to blog about - so, my default will be posting a new recipe. I could have blogged about my students, who are once again driving me batty (not all of them, just ONE student in particular). This student NEVER looks at the course calendar, yet, will send me an email in a second to find out what is due for the next class session.....uh, yeah moron, try looking at your calendar BEFORE emailing your professor to answer your asinine questions. Sometimes I feel like I am teaching kids to walk, or better yet, potty train...but I digress.

I could have blogged about the rafting, or better yet floating trip and super soaker wars we had over the weekend near North Lake Tahoe with my sister and her husband, which was really fun, but I am thinking something a bit more exciting for our annual rafting trip.

I could also have blogged about the fact that I finally found all of my Victoria's Secret products from living at the townhouse in the Bay Area. I came across my Sweet Temptation and Love Spell Body Spray and Bath Gel - Oh how excited am I? Once, about 3 or 4 years ago I walked by a man who I worked with on occasion and was wearing Love Spell - - - he literally stopped me, asked me what scent I was wearing because he wanted to get it for his wife, and then said to me, "wow, I am blushing, I need to get out of here - I will be waiting outside". Apparently Love Spell works.

But, I shall not blog about all of that. Instead, I will post a recipe that I make at home. It was served at a restaurant near San Jose State where I used to teach classes. Oh how I miss working at San Jose State. If I had my choice, I would transplant San Jose State to Placerville, students and all. I loved working there. Anyway, here it is:

Bell Peppers
Eggplant (optional)
Salmon, Chicken, Beef, Tofu, Lamb (any meat that BBQ's well will work)
Rice (Jasmine or Basmati will work)
Butter (I use no cholesterol butter substitute)
Extra large bullion cubes
Balsamic Vinegar
Marsala wine

Veggies/Meat: Cut veggies BIG - maybe 1 inch pieces (leave the mushrooms whole), put them on skewers. Make sure you put the protein on separate skewers - meat and veggies have different cooking times. Spray with some olive oil spray, a little salt and a little pepper. Cook over on open flame until done.

Rice: Any type of rice will work, just allow for proper cooking time. I really like the herb and vegetable rice medley that is sold in a package at Trader Joe's - but I make it with plain white or brown rice. Any rice that you use, either cook it in chicken broth, or add bullion cubes (I use 2 cups of rice with appropriate amount of water and two extra large bullion cubes). In addition to that, I add a bit of country crock, extra calcium butter substitute. Shawn likes real butter, but then again, he likes butter on everything. :) You can add the butter either during the cooking process (which is what I do), or after it's done.

Sauce: I make a Balsamic reduction to spoon over the rice/veggies/meat. Dice shallots and saute on low heat until soft. Add balsamic vinegar and marsala wine and let simmer until it's reduced by about half (make sure it coats the back of a spoon). I don't have specifics on how much to put in the pan, but I add and taste as I go. You can't get the sauce wrong as long as you do it to your particular taste. Last time I made it I didn't reduce it enough, but I thought it was still good. I love vinegar. :)

Serve as follows: rice on the bottom of the plate, skewers on top of the rice, and spoon the sauce over the top.

If you do it right, it should taste really good, lower in calories and fat than you would get in a restaurant. This recipe is sure to impress your guests. It's simple and delicious!