KALE/CABBAGE SAUTE

Now, here’s a crowd-pleaser (sautéed kale/cabbage) that can be had at any meal. I did; and my palate was reintroduced to a crispy, tasty and nutritious treat. This delicious side was just what I needed to add to my breakfast and supper meals.

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WENT RED!! #FRIED RED TOMATOES/AVOCADO DIP

Needed something to quiet and satisfy the craving within. What do you know? Bobby Flay came to my rescue. Stumbled on one of his Brunch shows. One of the items on the menu was fried red tomatoes.

Decided to create my version as I had the main ingredients on hand (red plum tomatoes). Sliced them up about an inch, sprinkled a pinch of salt for flavor as well to draw the excess fluid. These were then placed on a sheet of paper towel in order to absorb fluid.

Made an egg wash consisting of egg/milk/dollop of sour cream. This was seasoned with a pinch of salt. Also, did a mix of cornmeal/flour/cheddar cheese/squeeze of honey/pinch of salt/black pepper.

PREPPING FOR RED FRIED TOMATOES
PREPPING FOR RED FRIED TOMATOES

Placed tomatoes in egg wash for a few minutes. Then in cheesy cornmeal mix. These were then fried in a combination of hot canola and olive oil on both sides until they were crispy.

Served red fried tomatoes with an avocado dip. Oh, my red fried tomatoes were crispy and mouth-watering; just what my taste buds needed. Thank you, Bobby Flay.

POLENTA (TURNED CORNMEAL) WITH TWIST

Got a little excited. And, when I do, culinary storms are liable to develop. First, it started out with my fresh, nutritious, and satiating coconut. It was a good one; full of creamy goodness. It brought back island (Jamaican) memories. Decided to use a portion of nature’s milk in a polenta (turned cornmeal) dish.20160804_083037

FRESH COCONUT MILK WITH HUSK
FRESH COCONUT MILK WITH HUSK

As polenta simmered under low heat, a few leftover loose corn bits were tossed in. These still carried a crispy bite.  At the end of cooking process, an input of assorted sharp cheddar cheese was added. This slowly melted and became part of this mouth-watering dish. Already, I was salivating.

But, I wasn’t  finished just yet. I had a sweet contrast taste in mind. I placed my delectable polenta (tun cornmeal) even over the top by adding dices of roasted pumpkin. Now, that was an excellent choice.

PUMPKIN FOR ROASTING
PUMPKIN FOR ROASTING

I SEE SIGNS OF A #GRILLED CORN SALAD

In my neck of the woods (So. Florida), the temperatures are climbing. Without a doubt, the calendar might say otherwise; but, the sizzling days of summer have arrived and so are the crispy corns of summer.

Decided to honor one of summer’s wholesome foods by grilling a couple corns on the cob.

GRILLED CORN ON THE COB
GRILLED CORN ON THE COB

As I removed the kernels, I had to pull myself away from the sweet and crispy treats. I  nibbled on quite a few as they made their on the chopping board. These will be added into a warm bed of assorted veggies  consisting of:

  • mini sweet peppers of assorted colors
  • onions
  • scallion
  • celery
  • grape tomatoes

Then, I will season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I will make a slightly sour and sweet dressing made from honey and a splash of vinegar along with finely chopped parsley.

I’m excited. Summer is here in my kitchen!

ONE OF SPRING’S APHRODISIAC FOODS #ASPARAGUS

The flirty days of spring are once again in our midst. Gone are the cold and dreary days of winter (well, except for some territories). Spring is the time when we store the bulky clothes and adore ourselves with  light and easy clothes.

And, when we go light on our garments, we can’t help but to simultaneously do so with our diets. The marketplaces remind that it’s spring as well. Some of the signature produces for the season are: green peas/beans, okra, and of course asparagus.

One of the great advantages of buying seasonal is that the prices are relatively competitive. Thus, I got somewhat of a ‘steal’ with one of my favorites (asparagus).  It is said that these spears help the body to produce hormones like testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone which in turn circulate to the bloodstream.

I made a quick blanche with some of my spears. To blanche is to cook quickly in liquid (water, oil, broth, etc) and then cease the cooking process in an icy bath. In addition, blanching brings out the natural hues in produces.

After drying my long and slender asparagus, I dried on a dish clothe and placed same in  garlic-flavored olive oil. As you can observe, they retained their brilliant green that says ‘spring’.  Moreover, they were crispy and delicious.

 

 

EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Thunderstorms couldn’t keep me away from my kitchenette. In fact, it was the opposite. You see, rainy weather lures me to my cooking range. And, that’s what it did this evening. Originally, I was planning on Chinese delivery; however, my culinary mind sent me searching for supplies (well, food).

The first thing that caught my eyes were my vine-ripe tomatoes. Those super-red and over-ripened fruits/veggies were begging to be rescued. So, I did. I rinsed same and retrieved for my other ingredients:

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE

Eggplant parmesan was on my mind. However, I didn’t have the cheese of the hour. Moreover, there was no fresh basil. I did not allow that to damper my dish at hand. Decided to improvise and made my style, Eggplant with Feta cheese. Bought the cheese on sale for sometime; maybe a couple of months and stored the reserve in the freezer.

First, I made a home-made tomato sauce with my vine-ripe tomatoes. I softened finely chopped onions in olive oil. Then, chopped tomatoes, crushed garlic, thyme, dried basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, squeeze of honey and a splash of red-wine vinegar were added. I allowed these ingredients to simmer on low heat while I attended to my purple boy.

HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT
HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE FOR GRILLED EGGPLANT

Grabbed my chopping board and went to ‘town’ with my big purple boy (eggplant).

SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING
SLICED EGGPLANT FOR GRILLING

Slices were seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper. I fleetingly thought about placing them in an egg wash, sprinkle bread crumbs and pan-frying. But, decided to employ the use of my grill pan. This move (grilling) saved me quite a few calories from pan-frying.

GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE
GRILLED EGGPLANT ALONG WITH HOME-MADE TOMATO SAUCE AND FETA CHEESE

I was ready for action. Grilled eggplant slices were plated and fresh home-made tomato sauce was spooned on each slice with a sprinkle of the briny feta cheese. Didn’t have fresh basil in-house. I didn’t allow that to rain on my ‘parade’. Instead, I used thinly sliced kale I had on had.

FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH
FINISHED EGGPLANT WITH FETA CHEESE DISH

I was super-happy. I served a few slices with a few roasted spicy jerk wings and sweet potatoes.

EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES
EGGPLANT/FETA CHEESE ALONG WITH ROASTED JERK WINGS AND SWEET POTATOES

 

NATURE’S BOUNTY #ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

I can’t complain. The autumn (Fall) season has emerged in my kitchen in a huge way. It has doled out  some of earth’s finest in the form of root vegetables. Thus, I treated them one of the favorite ways I like. I decided to roast them. Roasting is perfect for these veggies as it brings out the nutty and natural sugar within. Moreover, I know that these vegetables are filled with nutrients that are beneficial for the body.

So, it was with glee that I grabbed my baking sheet  and embarked on a culinary process. Some of the veggies that were included were:

  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
ROOT VEGETABLES FOR ROASTING
ROOT VEGETABLES FOR ROASTING

Vegetables were drizzled with canola oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper. Then, for extra flavor of spices, I added a sprinkle of paprika and cinnamon to carrots and sweet potatoes. These were placed in a heated oven of 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then then were given an additional 10 minutes at 420 degrees.

I couldn’t help myself; had a serving of summer’s favorites (loose grilled corn). I made extra during the summer and stored same in freezer. I did a rapid defrost in the microwave oven and added same to a quick pan-roast of small bell peppers and onions.

SMALL SWEET BELL PEPPERS IN SKILLET
SMALL SWEET BELL PEPPERS IN SKILLET
BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS AND LEFT-OVER GRILLED CORN
BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS AND LEFT-OVER GRILLED CORN

These were added to the oven roasted root vegetables. Each bite of the carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes was smooth and sweet. The corn still kept the sweet/crispness and the fennel had a beautiful licorice taste that went very well with all the other veggies.

OVEN AND PAN-ROASTED VEGETABLES
OVEN AND PAN-ROASTED VEGETABLES

All these roasted vegetables will be used a side dish for upcoming entrees.