Provençal Vegetable Soup

by Sara on August 25, 2011

Provençal Vegetable Soup

This soup helped me clear my refrigerator of a lot of CSA produce that was hanging out, begging to be used. Well, kind of – I still have most of the produce, it’s just now in soup form.

ingredients for pistou olive oil
pistou Pistou

But a lunchtime vegetable soup I can eat all week long sounds good to me! In fact, I’ve still yet to tire of it, and I’ve eaten it several days in a row.

A word of warning – this makes a gigantic batch of soup. Frankly, I don’t know what Ina was thinking when she said it serves 6-8, unless she meant half a dozen football players. I’ve already served 6 bowls, and it seems I’ve barely put a dent in it.

potatoes sliced leeks
adding the saffron adding the haricots verts


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Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad

by Sara on August 24, 2011

Recently, after an afternoon of shopping, a friend and I stopped at TGI Fridays for an early dinner. To say I was hungry was an understatement; I was near the point of gnawing on my arm. With it being summer, I wanted a fairly light meal full of vegetables, but also filling enough to get me through the night. The pecan-crusted chicken salad jumped out at me immediately: chicken coated in one of my favorite nuts (yum!), lots of romaine and mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, a smattering of blue cheese, a sprinkle of dried cranberries for a bit of tartness, mandarin orange wedges for sweetness, and celery to provide a fresh, crisp contrast.

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Roasted Pepper & Goat Cheese Sandwiches

by Sara on August 22, 2011

roasted pepper & goat cheese sandwich

I love sandwiches, but it’s all too easy for me to get stuck in a sandwich rut, only mixing up the cheese type and a vegetable or two. Most lunches consist of turkey, cheese, sprouts, tomato, sometimes cucumber and/or bell peppers, on some sort of sandwich bread or roll. Tired of having the same old thing over and over, I recently hauled out my cookbooks in search of inspiration. Well, I found it.

In this case, it’s a sandwich I’ve actually made (and enjoyed) several years back, before I’d even heard of food blogs.

prepping ingredients

I took a big shortcut, having a jar of roasted red peppers just begging to be used. I also made a trip to Trader Joe’s, as I really enjoy their ciabatta. I find that too often, grocery store versions look a little sad. TJ’s ciabatta looks rustic from the outside, and when sliced has all of the nooks and crannies I want in my bread.

ciabattasliced ciabatta

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My Favorite Bolognese

by Sara on August 18, 2011

pasta bolognese

It’s time to toot my own horn.

When the end of the heat wave seemed near, I had a craving. I wanted cool weather comfort food, and only pasta bolognese would do. I suppose Ina is also partly to blame, since I had just watched her episode for Weeknight Bolognese, and pasta just sounded GOOD.

bite of pasta

A quick weeknight version sounded interesting, but I had the time to devote to cooking. I didn’t need to get dinner on the table in less than an hour. In my world, a good meat sauce is worth the time and effort. So I took a spin on the Internet, and checked out many, many recipes to see how they compared to my own meat sauce.

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