Skillet Seared Tomatoes and Quick Pickled Onion Salad

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  You ever make dish, completely on the fly, just to use something up (I have a lot of ripe tomatoes) with no real expectation, just because… Then have it be one of the best freaking things that you have ever made? This salad is one of those things.. maybe not the best thing I have ever made, but definitely the best salad I have ever made…. this week.

A salad compiled of all things amazing, taking just a few minutes to make and is the perfect balance of uber fresh with baby spinach, raw kale, and crunchy quick pickled onions. Then adding a touch of warmth with the sweet and juicy seared tomatoes and big chunks of creamy avocado.

I mean, for reals. …...Best Salad Ever !!!! (this week)

Now let's do this.

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 The Stuff. A big bowl of baby spinach and chopped up kale, a few sliced up roma tomatoes, some super thinly sliced red onion, half an avocado, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper.  Before you do anything, place the sliced onions into bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and add a few glugs of the red wine vinegar. You want the onions to sit in the vinegar for at least 5 minutes on the counter cause the longer they sit the more crispy pickly they get. (after eating onions like this, you will never want to eat them any other way) Lightly oil a skillet and preheat to a medium heat. Once the skillet is hot, sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper and  place tomatoes right on in, snugly, but not overlapping. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the bottoms start to brown. Flip and cook other side for another few minutes.Once the tomatoes are seared on both sides, remove them gently from skillet and toss them on top of the bowl of greens.

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Take the pickled onions and toss those right on top, with any of the residual vinegar, add dice and scoop the half of avocado and toss that on in as well.And now eat the best salad ever (this week).

Make the day good!

-C

Skillet Seared Tomato and Quick Pickled Onion Salad

Serves 2 as a side, 1 for a hungry eater

  • 2 large or 3 smaller roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a red onion
  • 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • salt pepper
  • 1/2 a ripe avocado 
  • olive oil (to grease pan)

Thinly slice red onion and place in a bowl.  Add vinegar into a and sprinkle with salt. Let sit on counter for at least 5 minutes, if not longer,

Slice tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick rounds and sprinkle with a pitch or salt and pepper.  Lightly oil a skillet and preheat it on medium heat. Once the skillet is preheated, stick the tomatoes on it (watch out for splattering tomato juice) Cook first side for about 3 minutes or until the bottom has browned, then flip and do the same for other side. 

One tomatoes are seared, place directly onto the greens. Now dump the pickled onions and residual vinegar on top. And  dice up  avocado and add that on top too. 

Now eat your salad, fork or fingers…  

And I know, ba-daaaamn. So good.

Banana Naner Ice Cream and Cookies and Cream Naner Ice Cream

 IMG_0424    IMG_1919 I figured now is a good time to get this recipe out there before we get to far into spring and summer recipes because there is going to be a lot of banana ice cream filled recipe coming and I figured its a good idea to have the basic banana ice cream recipe ready for people to refer too.  And because I made so much fantastic naner ice cream, I also made a cookies and cream naner ice cream for my sisters and the mister.

Comments that I got from my sisters and the mister when I made them this ice cream

-Sister one."I give this my sister seal of approval.. It's so good.  The first dessert you have made that I liked! (not including all the other desserts that you have made that I liked)"

-Sister two- "Wow.. it looks like ice cream and feels like ice cream and tastes like ice cream.. You should make me this ice cream!" (I was confused too because I was pretty sure I just made her some)

-The mister- "I am so excited for my new fly fishing pole!"

Ok, so the naner ice cream isn't new to the mister and he IS very much excited for his new fly fish pole. So excited that he forgot to tell me how amazing that I am and to thank me for making him a big bowl of yumminess. (It's ok, I forgive him)

And yes, this is probably one of the easiest, most delicious, healthy and amazing frozen dessert that you will ever eat. You will probably find yourself buying mass amounts of bananas and stocking the freezer until things just start falling out. (which is also ok because it's only bananas and you can't have too many frozen bananas)

IMG_2043   IMG_2049The stuff you need for this ice cream…. Nice and ripe bananas, peeled and then frozen* That's it.

To make it, place frozen bananas into food processor and hit the on button. Process the crap out of the namers until nice and silky smooth. 

*Note, the smaller the frozen chunks are , the faster and maybe a little easier for the blender to blend the naners into ice cream. So if you think of it, chop bananas into pieces before freezing or even after.

IMG_2054After all blended and smooth, either eat right away or scoop ice cream into a freezer safe container and stick in freezer. That's the banana ice cream…  And it is amazing and so so so so so addictive. I make a batch, think I am only going to eat a scoop, then find myself eating half of what I have made, but it's ok cause it's only bananas. 

Now for the cookies and cream banana ice cream..IMG_0428One batch of banana ice cream, either freshly made, still in food processor or made ahead and placed in a food processor and given a good pulse to smooth it up.

Add cookies in, crushing a bit beforehand and pulse till combined. IMG_0434Now you have cookies and cream naner ice cream…. and everybody is happy.

Scoop into a cup, a bowl, a freezer safe container, or directly into your mouth. Be careful…. You can still get brain freeze from eating naner ice cream too fast!

Keep it real hump day drum bum!

-C


Basic Banana Ice Cream

Makes one batch. Good for 3-4 servings

  • 4-5  ripe bananas peeled and frozen

Peel  bananas and stick in a freezer bag or container and freeze. When bananas are completely frozen, break into pieces and stick into a food processor or blender and puree until silky smooth. 

Eat right away or scoop into a freezer safe container for later.

Cookies and Cream Banana Ice Cream

  • 1 batch banana ice cream
  • 5-10 (depending on your cookie need) cream filled cookies like oreos or Trader Joe's Joe Joe's (These are gluten free)

In a food processor, blend banana ice cream with cookies.

Eat right away, with a utensil of choice in a container of choice.

Bowl licking is acceptable. 

Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup

IMG_0207 I'll let you know now, I am a make and eat soup all year long person. I can think of few things better then sitting outside, basking in the sun, hopefully with a light wind, a book in hand, enjoying a nice big cup of some good homemade soup. (Doesn't that sound so freaking lovely?) This soup right here is perfect for just that. Parsnips are the best, kind of like a big white sweet, yet starchy carrots. And cooked together with a little bit of light and lemony thyme, rich earthy turmeric and a couple more chopped veggie….. you got yourself a nice thick and fragrant bowl of happiness that fills you up without weighing you down. It's food you can eat that fills you up, leaves you feeling cozy, yet still wanting to hop on a bike or lace up the running shoes.  Hearty without the feeling of all the heaviness.

A perfect soup for spring! (or summer, winter, or fall)

IMG_0156The stuff. Parsnips, carrots, onion and garlic. Thyme and turmeric, salt and pepper. the tinniest bit of oil and water (water not shown)IMG_0171Chop all the veggies and the garlic, drizzle a dutch oven or a pot with oil, toss in the veggies. Add the turmeric, the thyme, and 1/2 cup of water. IMG_0185Sweet sweating the veggies. Turn pot on medium and cook until the water completely cooks out. When the veggies start to brown and stick to the pot, deglaze with water. Give a good stir and keep cooking. Repeat the deglazing process until the veggies are super soft and ready to blend. (I did this 4 times.. it only took 10 minutes)IMG_0199Add enough water to cover the cooked veggies. IMG_0206And now blend the heck out of it.. Go as smooth or chunky as you want. I blended as smooth as I could get with this crappy immersion blender. (Blender on loan until I finally decide on, and buy a new one)IMG_0214And there you have it. Scoop into bowls, add lots of cracked black pepper, and go to town. I made enough to save a bowl for later…  it didn't last for later. 

Soup so good. 

-C


Parsnip Thyme and Turmeric Soup 

  • 4 large parsnips
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 whole onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric 
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • water

Dice up the parsnips, carrots, garlic and onion and place into a large dutch oven or pot. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil,  sprinkle on the spices, salt and pepper and add about 1/2 cup of water. Turn heat on medium and start cooking down the veggies. Once the water evaporates and the veggies start to caramelize, deglaze pot with about a 1/2 cup of water. Give pot a stir, and continue to cook until water evaporates.  Repeat this 2-3 more times until the veggies are super soft and fragrant. 

When the  veggies are ready, add enough water to the pot to submerge the veggies. Bust out the immersion blender or dump into a blending device and blend until smooth (or the consistency that you want) Have a cup of water ready to thin out if needed. When blended, taste for salt and pepper, add more if you want, and cook on low heat until you are ready to serve.

Garnish with a lot of good cracked pepper

Eat from a vessel, use a spoon

Lemon Garlic Poppyseed Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

IMG_9245I was cleaning my spice shelf (I feel like I do this like once a week) and found some poppy seeds hiding behind some jars. Accidental spice findings happened more often the then one might think in my house.. I like to buy tiny baggies of spices with good intentions of using them, but because of their tiny size, I often lose them or forget about them due to that  tininess. But I usually find those tiny little bags, and when I find them, I try to use them right away..(I don't like having old spices around and no, I will not toss it) And it just so happened that I has a lemon in need of using.. and it was getting close to dinner time. I could wait and make lemon poppy seed cake or muffins, or just start dinner.   Then I was like, " I'll  just make lemon poppy seed pasta." And so I did. And of course it needed to have lots of garlic and some kind of vegetable to round out the dish, (I know tomatoes are fruit but you know what I mean)  

And the mister….He loved it. And I am sure you will too. How can you go wrong with lemon, garlic and poppy seeds all creamy and fragrant? You really can't,  Pus this recipe is so easily adaptable. It can be vegan and or gluten free..whatever you want it to be. 

So if you are looking for a  fast, delicious, and impressive looking dinner… look no further. You gots one right here!

IMG_9122Start by tuning oven on to 400 degrees. Chopped tomatoes  and sprinkle in oil and salt and stick in the oven. Do this first because the rest of the meal only takes about 10 minutes..So fast!!!

Choose your pasta and get a pot of water boiling and start on the sauce.. which includes, olive oil, lots of garlic, flour, milk(any kind you use), lemon zest a little lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. 

IMG_9143The sauce is pretty much a basic roux…

Crush the garlic and stick into pot with the oil. Let simmer for a few minutes until you can smell the garlic, which smells like heaven. Whisk in the flour and then gradually whisk in the milk. Keep on low heat and continuously whisk until sauce has thickened and doesn't run off a spoon. Add in lemon zest, the poppy seeds, and the salt and pepper. Mix it all up and turn off heat.

IMG_9157Once your pasta is cooked (cook however it says to on package), reserve about a 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Add the pasta water and pasta the sauce. (the pasta water helps the sauce and noodles canooddle together)

IMG_9181And its all mixed up just waiting to be served…and the roasted tomatoes!

IMG_9232Scooped into a bowl with a scoop of the roasted tomatoes and some chopped chives,  served with a couple wedges of lemon..just because.

And dinner is done….  and it took all of 15 minutes. 

Thank me later.

-C

Lemon Garlic Poppyseed Pasta with roasted tomatoes

  • 3 cups pasta (whatever you want..so it can be gluten free too) 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (use corn or arrowroot starch for gluten free)
  • 2 cups milk (cow, hemp, soy…any kind you use)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 roma tomatoes (optional but really good)
  • salt and pepper

Start by chopping tomatoes  and placing them in a skillet or baking sheet, sprinkled in salt and a little bit of olive oil, and stick into a 400 degree oven

Bring a large pot of water to a boil add you pasta…cook to the boxes instructions.

While pastas is boiling, crush garlic and add to a pot with the olive oil. Heat on medium low heat until the garlic is fragrant and slightly brown. Now whisk in flour and then whisk in milk. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens to where it doesn't run of a spoon. Add in the zest of 1 lemon, the poppy seeds and salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is done (should be around the same time the sauce is done) reserve about a 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta from the rest. Add water and pasta to the sauce and mix together.

Remove roasted tomatoes from the oven. Scoop pasta into bowls and top with a scoop of the tomatoes. (you can mix into pasta, but it will turn the sauce red and the tomatoes will fall apart)

Serve with a wedge of lemon and bring food to face!

ENJOY!