Tag Archives: tomatoes

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

roasted vegetable pasta with tomatoes, zucchini and yellow pepper

Roasted Vegetable Pasta (Photo by Alice Henneman)

While I enjoy cooking, I like lingering over a meal of good-tasting food even more! When I received, my latest CSA box from Pekarek’s Produce, I was originally going to create some type of roasted tomato sauce with the cherry tomatoes. Roasting adds an extra layer of flavor to foods.

Then, I thought again … and decided why not roast the zucchini and yellow pepper also. And, only have to cook once to enjoy all of these foods.

And that’s what I did … it was so easy and so delicious! Here are the directions …

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Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad

CSA box from Pekarek Produce

This week’s CSA box from Pekarek Produce (photo by Alice Henneman)

Fresh produce tastes so good you don’t need to add a lot of spices and seasonings to give it flavor. I didn’t even use a recipe for our meal last night for a “Fresh Veggie Pasta Salad.” Here’s what I did and how it turned out ….

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Clean out the Fridge before Leaving Town Chopped Salad

chopped-salad-2

I’m leaving town for a few days and didn’t want any of the foods I’ve been receiving from my farmer, Pekerek’s Produce, to go to waste. I described in more detail how to make a chopped salad in an earlier post. Basically, you chop up some veggies into about the same size pieces, unless they’re already small like sweet corn kernels or peas; then toss with your favorite salad dressing. I decided to see if this might be the solution for using most of my remaining vegetables. My husband gave it a thumbs up … it was definitely a tasty solution!

Guess the number and kind of vegetables that went into my salad ….

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Corn, Tomato, Green Pepper Salsa

corn, tomato, green pepper salsa

Photo by Alice Henneman

Corn, eggplant, green beans, green pepper, cucumber Community Supported Agriculture boox

Photo by Alice Henneman

I just received another Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box from my farmer, Pekarek’s Produce. I couldn’t wait to make this recipe I found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl” website for Fresh Corn Salsa. Read on to see why I liked it so much and a link to the recipe …

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Chopped Salad

chop-salad

Chopped salad made with fresh veggies left in my fridge (Photo by Alice Henneman)

Sometimes you’re left with a “bit of this” and a “little of that” of fresh produce in your fridge. What to do?

To the rescue … a chopped salad! I made mine with tomatoes, lettuce, cabbage and green bell peppers. Here’s what I did plus some more ideas for chopped salads …

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4-Ingredient Guacamole with Tomato

guacamole

Fresh from the farm or garden, tomatoes are one of my favorite summer foods. My husband and I especially enjoy them in this 4-ingredient guacamole recipe I created. I’m always smiling when I get some tomatoes in my CSA Box from my farmer, Pekarek’s Produce!

(NOTE: If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have noticed I reduce recipes to the simplest procedures and shortest list of ingredients that still yield delicious, nutritious results to help you eat healthy every day. You’ll see in my photos how these recipes look when served in everyday dishes without any fancy trimmings.)

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Cabbage, Tomato and Corn Salad

cabbage-corn-tomato-salad

Cabbage, Tomato and Corn Salad (Photo by Alice Henneman)

Cabbage, Tomato and Corn Salad is a recipe inspiration that came to me when I looked at the foods in this week’s Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box from my farmer, Pekarek’s Produce that included these foods. Though this recipe makes 4 side-salad servings, my husband and I liked it so well, we ate the whole thing for lunch.(These foods would also be currently growing in gardens and available at farmers markets.)

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Cooking Local, Seasonal Foods – Week 3

csa-box-week-4

Week 3 CSA basket (Photo by Alice Henneman)

What shall I cook this coming week from my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box?

Check my blog through the coming days to discover what my husband and I will be eating! The recipes I offer are made with as few ingredients as possible and ones you probably have in your home. Plus, I’ll give you tips for making tastier recipes and how to care for your produce.  For starters, here’s a video showing how to make Roasted Tomatoes from my Extension College Joanne Kinsey, Rutgers Cooperative Extension, followed by a link for downloading the recipe. Continue reading

Cooking Local Seasonal Foods – Week 2

csa-week-2

What my farmer brought me in my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share this week.

Follow along as I show you what I made with these local, seasonal foods I received from my farmer this week:

  • Radish
  • Tomatoes
  • Small green onions
  • Radish
  • Cucumber
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Sugar snap peas

Radish Mouse

Radish Mouse

radish-mouse

Directions

These little creatures are a whimsical way to eat radishes. Cut the tip off the stem end and you have a white nose. Cut a very thin slice from the bottom to help stabilize the mice; proceed to cut the slice in half for the ears. Make a small notch in the radishes near the nose and insert the ears.

TIP: The ears can fall off rather easily. I placed a spoon in the dip so any displaced ears ended up on plates instead of in the dip bowl. Added benefit: People can double-dip from their plate!

Source: Recipe developed by Alice Henneman, MS, RND

Relishes with Onion Yogurt Dip

Make a quick dip by mixing 1 part mayonnaise to 3 parts Greek-style yogurt (for example, I used 1/3 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup yogurt). Mix in some finely sliced green onion. Since the onions were small, I added two of them. A bit of the stem served as a garnish for the dip.

I like using yogurt in dips as it adds extra calcium and protein to snacks. Let the dip refrigerate at least one hour so the flavors can blend. This dip was mixed the night before I used it and made the perfect accompaniment to the kohlrabi, cucumbers and radishes.

raddish-mouse-dip

Tuna and Lettuce Salad

I tossed lettuce, tomatoes, radish, cucumbers and kohlrabi with an oil and vinegar salad dressing. Tuna mixed with mayonnaise and chopped green onion topped the salad.

tuna-salad

Egg Salad Sandwiches

For the perfect hard-boiled eggs for my sandwiches, I used these directions for Classic Hard-Boiled Eggs from the American Egg Board. Since there are just two of us in our household, I usually buy only a 6-pack of eggs at a time. If you’re wondering how long to keep eggs, check out Cracking the Date Code on Egg Cartons.

I chopped the eggs, mixed them with some mayonnaise and thinly sliced one of the green onions into the mixture. Served on toasted whole grain bread with a bit of the lettuce, this was the perfect light sandwich for a noon meal.

TIP: Hard-boil extra eggs when cooking eggs for this recipe. Hard-boiled eggs in the shell can be refrigerated up to one week; store in a clean container, not the original carton.

egg-salad-sandwich

Tomato Topped with Egg Salad

Remember those extra eggs I recommended hard-boiling? I made some more egg salad and served a scoop of it on a tomato on a plate lined with lettuce. Tuna salad also makes a good topper for tomatoes.

tomato-egg-salad

Pasta Salad with Fresh Veggies and Eggs

Here’s another way I used some of the eggs I hard-boiled earlier during the week. Cook pasta according to package directions. Use about 2 ounces of dry pasta per person, which equals about 1 cup cooked pasta. The amount need not be exact … if you don’t have a kitchen scale, check the total ounces of pasta in the package and and use proportionally an amount equal to two ounces. For example, if there are 16 ounces of dry pasta, you would need 4 ounces for two people or about 4/16 or 1/4 of the total amount of pasta in the box.

Run cooked pasta under cold water to stop the cooking process.

Next, I mixed the pasta with all the remaining veggies from my CSA share (radish, kohlrabi and cucumber) and some cubed cheese together with an oil and vinegar type salad dressing. I chopped two eggs for my husband and me into wedges, saving the best-looking wedges to place on top of the salad. The rest were mixed in with the salad.

Refrigerating the salad (covered with some plastic wrap) for about an hour before serving helped meld the flavors.

pasta-salad

Foods in my CSA share are courtesy of Pekarek’s Produce. 

Celebrating National Farmers Market Week

My purchases at my local Farmers' Market this week

My purchases at my local Farmers’ Market this week

August 3 – 9 is National Farmers Market Week! If you’ve never visited a Farmers Market, this is a great week to check one out! A variety of fruits and veggies are in season.

This is one of my favorite recipes that I look forward to making every summer.

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

 ingredients

  • 8 ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 red onion, Spanish onion or sweet onion, chopped
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1/2 inch diagonal slices

directions

  1. Combine tomatoes, garlic, onion, basil and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  2. Arrange bread on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake about 5 to 7 minutes until it begins to brown slightly.
  3. Remove bread from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
  4. Serve the tomato mixture in a bowl with a serving spoon and let everyone help themselves. Or place some on each slice of bread before serving. If adding the tomato mixture yourself, add it at the last minute or the bread may become soggy.

alice’s notes

If you’re short on time, the tomato topping (minus the basil) can be made earlier in the day and refrigerated. Wait until you’re ready to turn on the oven for the bread before chopping and adding the basil. Set mixture aside at room temperature while the bread is toasting.

So … check out a Farmers Market. You’ll be glad you did! The U.S. Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of Farmers Markets through the United States that may help you locate a market near you.

Old Cheney Road Farmers Market, Lincoln, NE

Old Cheney Road Farmers Market, Lincoln, NE