Category Archives: summer sides

Cherry Tomato + Squash Crumble

I have been making this easy summer squash and cherry tomato recipe about once a month for the past two summers and although it’s technically fall you can still find a summer squash and some (or a giant bowl full) of cherry/grape tomatoes at a store or farmers market. Right? Right.20131020-220306.jpg

This recipe is simple and can either be a main dish (as I eat it) or a side. It’s a little cheesy and has a crispy breadcrumb crust, so what’s not to like. I make this on days where I only feel like going through a few steps to cook dinner. I’d categorize this as one of our “what we’ve been eating lately” dishes.

Tomato & Squash Crumble
serves 4-6 // adapted from Vegetarian Times
Ingredients:
1 small yellow onion, chopped (1 cup)
½ lb. small yellow crookneck squash, diced (2 cups)
3 cups cherry tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated parmesan or Gruyère cheese
Salt + Pepper

Topping
1 ¼ cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 Tbs. finely chopped parsley

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Mix breadcrumbs and parsley together. (If you don’t have parsley, you can also use Italian seasoned breadcrumbs… I do this often.)

2. Spray a non-stick skillet with some cooking spray, add a little olive oil if you want and put the heat on medium-high. Add onion, and cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until beginning to brown.

3. While the onion is cooking, chop the squash into small pieces. Stir in squash, and cook 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and garlic, and cook 2 minutes more, or until tomatoes are warmed through. Season with salt, if desired and add about half of the cheese. Mix and then transfer mixture to prepared baking dish.

4. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Spread breadcrumb mixture over cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.

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So delicious. So easy.

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Cabbage Salad

It’s been a few months… we’ve been eating, but I haven’t been blogging. Here is an easy, summer dish that doesn’t require an oven or stove and is something we’ve been eating lately. Thanks, heat wave!cabbage salad 1

Cabbage Salad with Raman Noodles
Ingredients
1/2 head of cabbage
4 green onions
¼ cup toasted almond slivers
1 sheet of dry, crushed Chinese Raman Noodles (Ty Ling has the best raman noodles, don’t use those Top Raman ones, they are fried and bad for you!)

Dressing:
1 Tbsp cup canola oil
1.5 Tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1.5 tsp. Sugar
Dash salt and pepper

Directions:
1.Wash the cabbage half, then shred cabbage by just slicing it as you would lettuce or anything else (this is a super easy process).

2. Chop up the green onions, root to tip.

3. Mix dressing, taste, add more of what you think you need (I like this very vinegar-y!) and then pour over and mix to coat cabbage. Add green onions, crushed raman noodles and almonds, mix again!

3. Let it sit in the fridge for about 1 hour. The noodles get a little less crunchy and soak up the dressing.IMG_0408

SO EASY, right? If you have both a regular green cabbage and a red cabbage, this would look very pretty with both colors, so use 1/4 of each. This is such an easy and very budget friendly side dish to bring to a summer party, but we usually have this for dinner. We often eat this as the main dish with whatever is around as a side dish. OR just eat a bowl of this and walk somewhere for an ice-cream desert. Genius.

Gallo Pinto (Costa Rican Rice and Beans)

IMG_3625We just got back from a vacation in Costa Rica (Playa Flamingo to be exact, go book your trip now!)  where we spent a week in the ocean, hanging at a resort pool (complete with a swim up bar), having beach bonfires, doing yoga with an ocean view and having all sorts of adventures with a bunch of our pals. The reason for the trip was that our friends Nate + Sarah decided to get hitched in the paradise you see in the picture above. Geniuses.

It was great and so was the food. We ate rice and beans as a part of almost every meal for a seven days and when we got home the first thing Brent wanted to do was recreate the recipe, so we did.

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Gallo Pinto
adapted from Vegetarian Times

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups cooked brown or rice
  • 2 cups cooked or canned black beans, drained, rinsed and liquid reserved
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1-2 tablespoons Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce (or Salsa Lizano if you are lucky enough to have it or want to buy it on Amazon.com)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime (or more, to taste)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, and add onion. When onion starts to turn a little translucent, add garlic, and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until onion is golden brown.
  2. Stir in 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the onions and garlic.
  3. Add in the cumin, coriander, ginger with to the onions and garlic, mix until incorporated.
  4. Stir in rice, beans and seasonings, combining well. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid from canned beans, if desired, to make the rice a little more moist, or as the recipe says “dirty.” I did this and it did bump up the flavor a bit.
  5. Cook until heated through, and add lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add another tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce or Salsa Lizano to the mix if you feel like your beans are missing a little seasoning. I only used 1.25 tablespoons and I thought it tasted great.

The original recipe called for an additional cup of rice, but I wanted a more even bean to rice ration. If you want to add that additional cup, just add an extra tablespoon of worcestershire or Salsa Lizano. I also used brown rice and it tastes great (and is better for you) I also really like squeezing a bit of lime over the beans after I re-heat them. Feel free to top with cilantro or green onion too.

My view today is of clouds and city, not of beaches and palm trees,  but at least I can eat this at work and pretend I’m back in Costa Rica… right?

Greek-ish Cous Cous, revisited.

Another backyard party is in my near future, and I just need to remind you about the deliciousness that is my Greek-ish Cous Cous. This is one of my go-to recipes, because I usually have everything on hand, and everyone pretty much likes it. It’s lemon-y and summer-y.

Will these pictures entice you to get up and make this dish?

Greekish-Israeli Couscous Salad: The Ingredient List
1 box Israeli Couscous (Trader Joe’s brand is the best)
3-4 T red onion, diced
2 T italian (flat-leaf) fresh parsley, chopped small
2-4oz crumbled feta cheese
1/2 a lemon’s juice
2-3 T red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt + pepper

Directions

1. Mix lemon juice, vinegar and a tad bit of salt and pepper together in a bowl. If you like olive oil, go ahead and add about a tablespoon to the mix.

2. Follow cooking instructions on the Israeli Couscous box.  Add cooked couscous to the bowl containing the dressing. Toss with the vinegar/lemon juice and let it cool down for about 20 minutes in the fridge. I like to stir it around a few times to make sure there is enough dressing on the thing as the couscous will absorb the dressing as it cools.
3. Add the onion, parsley, and feta cheese. Add more lemon juice/vinegar if needed. If you have any other veggies (tomatoes! cucumbers! olives!) that you like, throw them in!

You can also try to use 1 serving of Trader Joe’s brand Ancient Harvest Grain blend, I like it even better than plain Cous Cous.