Monday, July 19, 2010

Cold = no motivation

That's right. It's cold out. In July. So not helping motivation.
Ok, it's not frigid...just colder than my wardrobe is prepared for ;o) I decided to pass on tonight's KnockOUT Pilates class so I could get back in touch with my kitchen and crash early. On the menu: Israeli Couscous Salad (for lunch/dinner tomorrow) and a Roasted Potato Salad (for dinner tonight). Sometimes I like making two things at once :)

Israeli Couscous Salad
1/2 package Trader Joe's Harvest Grain Blend, cooked according to package directions
1/3 c smoked fontina, diced
1/3 c grape tomatoes, quartered
2 tbsp scallions, chopped
2 tbsp basil, chopped
1/8 c Monday Vinaigrette (see below)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before eating.

Monday Vinaigrette
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
splash balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
pinch salt

Whisk or shake ingredients together.

You like my creative dressing name? Seriously, random mix that ended up tasting pretty good. Will report back on how the couscous turned out tomorrow. I used the harvest blend because I thought I had a package of Israeli couscous in the cabinet, but no. I did not. Figured the harvest blend was the next best thing! I'm sure this would work well with just the couscous.

Tonight's main event was the Roasted Potato Salad. Last Sunday I picked up a handful of German Butterball Potatoes and I knew I wanted to roast them for a salad...I just never got around to it.
These cute little balls got cut in half and tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. The standard roasted potato recipe, minus garlic (because I forgot it). I roasted them at 350 for about 20 minutes before plopping them on my large salad
I'm not kidding when I say large. That's a mixing bowl.

I ended up tossing some little gem hearts, mixed greens, hearts of palm, grape tomatoes, fontina, japanese cucumber, scallions and avocado with the remaining Monday Vinaigrette and it went really well with the potatoes. Who knew it would work out so perfectly??

So here are a few things I've noticed since I started buying my produce at the weekly Fort Mason Farmers Market:
  1. Peaches and nectarines go bad faster than store bought ones. Must buy firmer ones to last me through the week.
  2. I will always have to stop at Safeway to fulfill my banana fix.
  3. Basil is plentiful, cheap, and has lasted me over a week.
  4. Everything just tastes fresher and better.
I realized this as I nibbled on some of my grape tomatoes. I've never had grape tomatoes that were this sweet until recently. Plus, they're not ridiculously expensive as the pints at the grocery store! My cucumber was equally delicious. I've had weird cucumbers before that tasted slightly bitter and this one definitely did not have that trait. I heart you, farmers market! Do you have a farmers market near you? Have you noticed any differences between the farmers market and grocery store produce?

I came home with some broccoli rabe this Sunday, so keep an eye out for its return! Very excited. I'm thinking an asian-y tofu stir fry for half the bunch and a simple garlic, olive oil and salt mix for the other half. Any suggestions? I'm hoping for non-pasta...trying to branch out from that broccoli rabe safety.

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