I love Pad Thai.  I think I have cut out a million recipes for Pad Thai from various magazines over the years.  One day I was at the market and saw some rice noodles and I really wanted to buy them; but, I wasn’t sure what I would make with them.  Then, I noticed recipes on the back of two different boxes one for Pad Thai and and another for a stir fried rice noodle dish.  I thought I could follow the Pad Thai recipe on one box and add the homemade sauce on the other box.  Last night, I was dying for some Pad Thai.  I got the two boxes out, mixed the recipes, added the ingredients I had on hand, and presto — lazy person’s Pad Thai was born.  I call this a lazy person’s recipe because it is really easy to make and it includes ingredients you probably have at home already.

The first step is to soak 1/2 pound of rice noodles. I used a fairly thick rice noodle.  The box for the noodles said to soak the noodles for 20 minutes in hot tap water.  That didn’t seem to work; so, I added boiling water and let the noodles soak for 30-40 minutes.  They were still stiff when I took them out of the water; but, they loosened up a lot when I stir fried them with the veggies at the end.

Next, make your sauce.  The sauce is made of three ingredients:  fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar.  This is why I think of this as a lazy recipe.  Many Pad Thai recipes include tamarind paste and other ingredients that I know I will use once and then forget until they go bad and I have to throw them out.  If you like Thai food; then, fish sauce is a good thing to have on hand.  It adds a nice saltiness that is a bit like that secret briny salty flavor you get from melting anchovies into a sauce.  It is inexpensive, it doesn’t go bad, and it is a good flavor enhancer.

Then, stir fry your veggies in a bit of oil.  If you are using broccoli, snap peas, carrots or other long cooking vegetables then stir fry for a few minutes then add a 1/4 cup of water and allow the veggies to steam until they are tender.  If you are using baby spinach or other quick cooking vegetables you can add them at the very end of the recipe.  After your long-cooking veggies are almost done, add cubes of firm or extra firm tofu.

Add one to two slightly whisked eggs.  Allow the egg to firm up and then scramble it with a spatula.

Add your softened rice noodles. Stir fry the noodles until they soften.  Then add the sauce and stir fry for another minute.  Add fresh chopped cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts, slices of lime.

Enjoy!  This isn’t the most authentic or most complex-tasting Pad Thai; but, it is easy and versatile.  You can add other vegetables.  You could take out the tofu.  You could add fresh mint, bean sprouts, chopped scallions or try other nuts.  Have fun!

Lazy Person’s Pad Thai

Adapted from Thai Kitchen & Taste of Thai recipes

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon brown sugar

a couple of handfuls of broccoli florets

a couple of handfuls of snap peas, thinly sliced

4 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and dried and cubed

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/2 pound of thick rice noodles

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, chopped

2 limes, sliced into 8 wedges

1.  Soak rice noodles in boiling water from 30-40 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.

2.  Make sauce — mix fish sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a small bowl.

3.  Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add broccoli and snap peas (or whatever firm vegetables you like — carrots, etc).  Stir fry for a minute or so.  Add 1/4 cup of water and let the vegetables steam in the water for a few minutes.  Add the tofu and stir fry it for a few minutes.  Add the eggs let them set for a minute or so.  Then, scramble the eggs with a spatula until they are fully cooked.  Add the noodles and stir fry them until they are just limp.  Add the sauce and mix it with the other ingredients for almost a minute.  Add cilantro and peanuts (and quick cooking greens like baby spinach — if you like).  Serve each portion with two lime wedges.  Note:  You could also add bean sprouts and/or chopped scallions at the end as garnishes.

I don’t really like fish; but, I love noodles and veggies. My husband brought home some Ahi tuna the other night. So, I made up a dish that made us both happy. I had just bought some dried soba noodles, carrots, and avocado. I was thinking maybe something Japanese. I consulted my favorite Japanese cookbook Everyday Harumi:  Simple Japanese Food for Family & Friends by Harumi Kurihara and came up with this dish.

It looks complicated; but, it is really easy.  The first thing I did was make the banno sauce.  To make the banno sauce:  In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of mirin to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 2-3 minutes over low heat to burn off the alcohol.  Remove from the heat and add 1 1/2 cups of soy sauce and one 4-inch piece of kombu seaweed.  Cool and refrigerate.

Then, I turned my attention to the Ahi tuna.  I heated up my gas grill to 500 degrees.

I brushed grape seed oil on both sides of the fish.  You can also use vegetable oil.  Then, I rubbed a lot of kosher and black pepper on each side.  I grilled the fish on direct heat for 2 minutes on each side.  You want to watch the fish; because, you want to make sure it stays nice and pink in the middle.  I let the fish sit for a bit after I cooked it.  Then, I sliced it thinly against the grain.

Then, I boiled the soba noodles according to the instruction on the packet.  That took about 8 minutes.  I tossed the noodles in grape seed oil to make sure they didn’t stick together.  I thinly sliced the carrots and sliced the avocado.

I placed everything neatly on the plate and we had a great meal.  Feel free to substitute other vegetable or even use baked/grilled tofu instead of the fish.  I think cucumber would be really good in this dish.

Banno Soy Sauce

from Everyday Harumi by Harumi Kurihara

Ingredients

1/2 cup mirin

1 1/4 cups soy sauce

4 inch piece kombu seaweed (dried kelp), wiped of any salty deposits

In a small saucepan, bring the miring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook for a further 2-3 minutes over low heat to burn off the alcohol.  Remove from the heat and add the soy sauce and kombu.  Cool and refrigerate

Grilled Ahi Tuna

Ingredients

2 large Ahi Tuna steaks

grape seed oil or vegetable oil

kosher salt

black pepper

Heat the grill to 500 degrees.  Brush the steaks with oil and both sides.  Rub a generous amount of salt and pepper on both sides.  Place the steaks on direct heat and grill for 2 minutes on each side.  Let fish rest for 10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.

Many years ago, my husband and I were in Cleveland in the summer.  We went to this coffee shop called Arabica, near the Case Western Campus, that had the best iced coffee.  We told the barista that we loved the coffee and she said that they cold brewed the coffee using the Toddy method.  As soon as we returned to Michigan, we began to investigate the Toddy method.  It turns out that it is really easy and the Toddy maker is very inexpensive ($40).

The Toddy brewing container is designed to hold one pound of coffee and nine cups of water.  To make the Toddy, you add a stopper and filter into the bottom of the white plastic container.  Then, add two cups of water.  Then, add 1/2 pound of coffee.  Then, slowly pour five cups of water over the roughly ground coffee beans.  Add the water in a circular motion.  Then add the rest of the ground coffee.  Finally, wait five minutes then slowly add two more cups of water (in a circular motion).  Do not stir.  You can lightly tap the grounds with the back of a spoon.  It will seem like the water and coffee is going to spill out.  Don’t worry — it won’t.  Cover the top with plastic wrap and let it sit on your counter for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, take the stopper out of the white plastic top part and let the coffee flow into the glass jar.  The Toddy is very concentrated — go easy with this stuff.  I use about 1/3 ice, 1/3 Toddy, and 1/3 water then a splash of soy milk.  You can play around with these ratios; but, please water the Toddy down — it is very potent.

If you don’t feel like buying the Toddy maker — you can make iced coffee by soaking the beans and water in a huge plastic container and then straining it through cheesecloth.  The Pioneer Woman explains how to do this on her website at http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/06/perfect-iced-coffee/.  I haven’t tried her method.  However, The Pioneer Woman is one of my idols and I trust she can make a good iced coffee.

Cold-Brewed Iced Coffee

(Toddy System Method)

Ingredients

1 pound coarsely ground coffee

9 cups of water

Equipment

Toddy system

1.  Assemble Toddy System.  You just follow the directions that come with the system.  To start, put plug and filter in the bottom of the white plastic top.  Put top white plastic part on top of the glass jar.

2.  Fill and Brew.  Add 2 cups of water into the brewing container (the top white plastic part).  Then, add 1/2 pound of ground coffee.  Slowly pour 5 cups of water over the grounds in a circular motion.  Add the remaining 1/2 pound of coffee.  Finally, wait five minutes and then slowly add 2 cups of water in a circular motion.  Do not stir.  Lightly tap the topmost grounds with the back of a spoon.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 12 hours.

3.  Serve.  Release the stopper from the brewing container and all the coffee to flow into the glass jar.  This coffee is very concentrated — go easy.  I add 1/3 cup of coffee, 1/3 cup of ice, and 1/3 cup of water to my drink along with a splash of soy (or milk).  If you like more milk/soy you can use less water or ice.

4.  Store.  Put the top on the glass jar and put in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

I love the Pioneer Woman!  If you have not seen her blog, food network tv show, or cookbooks, I highly recommend that you check them out.  I like her recipes because they are good, easy, and she shows you step-by-step how to prepare the food.  On her blog she posted this recipe that she called, “Tortilla rollups.”  To me, they look like sushi if it were turned into a sandwich.  These are super easy to make, healthy, and really cute.  I am always looking for a quick lunch or snack recipe; and, this works well for both.  These take about 10 minutes to make and can be modified based on what you have in your fridge — as long as you have tortillas and cream cheese (or some other sticky spread like peanut butter, hummus, goat cheese, etc.).

So, first cut your veggies into matchsticks.  I used carrots, cucumbers, and turkey the first time I made these rolls.  I used carrot, cucumber, turkey, and avocado the second time.  Avocado was really good and held the roll together.

Spread cream cheese (or hummus, or peanut butter, etc.) on a large tortilla.

Place veggies, turkey, or whatever you have on the side of the tortilla.  The Pioneer Woman placed her filling in the center of the tortilla.  I tried that method and it worked as well.  The idea is to get a lot of filling into the tortilla (without breaking the tortilla) so that it is nice and round when you slice it into rolls.

Roll the tortilla as tightly as you can — like when you roll up your sleeping bag to try to get it back into that tiny sack it came  in — that tight.  At this point, The Pioneer Woman put it in the refrigerator for one hour.  I don’t usually have one hour to wait; so, I tried refrigerating it for 30 minutes — that worked well.  I also made one roll that I didn’t refrigerate at all — that worked as well.  But, if you have time, stick it in the fridge for a little while.  The roll is firmer and sticks together better if it has been refrigerated.

Slice into pieces.

Enjoy!  Feel free to improvise based on what you have in your fridge.  Let me know if you come up with some good combinations.

Sandwich Sushi

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

Soft cream cheese

Large flour tortillas (1 tortilla makes 6 rolls)

Turkey, shredded or thinly sliced length-wise

1 carrot (per roll), peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 cucumber (per roll), seeds scraped out and cut into matchsticks

1 avocado (per roll), sliced

Spread cream cheese on to a tortilla.  Add veggies and meat to the side or the middle.  Roll tightly and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes – 1 hour.  Slice into 6 pieces.

My son isn’t a very good eater.  I read this article in the New York Times about this woman who lets her sons pick a dish to cook once a week.  I thought that might be a good way to get him to eat more.  I was reading Food 52 digest and I came across a recipe for baked pasta with cheese and tomatoes.  I modified the recipe to make it more pleasing to a young palate  — I took out the gorgonzola and added more mozzarella cheese so it would be gooier.  I discussed the recipe with my young chef and he approved.

The other thing I liked about this recipe is that children can make most of this dish with a bit of adult help. First, we boiled 1/2 pound of penne — any other short noodles would work. I drained the pasta. Meanwhile, the Junior Chef mixed a cup of cream, 1 cup of chopped canned tomatoes, 1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s Quattro Formaggio mix which equals 6 ounces of a mix of shredded parmesan, asiago, fontina, and provolone), 1/4 pound of thinly sliced mozzarella cheese, and a pinch of salt.  We poured the mixture into a small baking pan and let it cook at 500 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Junior Chef dotted the top with some butter and a bit more sliced mozzarella.

I took it out of the oven after the cheese looked bubbly and light brown.

The Chef was very pleased with his work.

I really enjoyed cooking with my son.  It was nice for him to have something to do while I was making dinner.  And, he was very proud that he could make dinner.  I may make this a weekly event.  Maybe next week, I can convince him to put some more vegetables into the lasagna — maybe some spinach or broccoli.  We’ll see.

Crazy Mixed-Up Lasagna

Adapted from Food 52 — Al Forno’s Penne with Tomato,Cream & Five Cheeses

Serves 4 (can easily be doubled)

Ingredients

1 cup of heavy cream

1 cup of chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree

6 ounces of a mixture of shredded asiago, fontina, provolone (like Quattro Formaggio from Trader Joe’s)

2 tablespoons of ricotta cheese

1/4 pound thinly sliced mozzarella cheese

a pinch of kosher salt

1/2 pound penne

2 tablespoons of butter, sliced thinly

1.  Heat oven to 500 degrees.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

3.  In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the pasta and butter.  Reserve a few slices of mozzarella.  Stir well to combine.

4.  Cook the pasta according to instructions on the box.  Drain the pasta and add it to the mixing bowl, toss to combine.

5.  Place mixture in a small baking dish.  Dot with butter and the reserved mozzarella, and bake until brown and bubbly on top, 10-12 minutes.  Keep on an eye on this while it is baking; because, baking times may vary.

This week the Edamamemonster visited a local preschool to do some cooking with a classroom of 2-3 year olds.  I tried to find a good recipe; but, it is hard to find a recipe that children this young can do by themselves.  So, I invented fruit pizza.  The idea is to spread some low-fat cream cheese on a tortilla, add some finely chopped fruit, and sprinkle with shredded coconut and/or sesame seeds.  Then, a grown up helper can cut the pizza into slices.

I used low-fat cream cheese (you could also use strawberry cream cheese or other flavors to add flavor and color).  I finely chopped strawberries, grapes, and watermelon.  I also put out blueberries.  The kids had a lot of fun!  They were really proud that they could make a pizza all by themselves.

The fruit pizza can easily become a fruit burrito by rolling it up.  This is a fun and safe activity for preschoolers.  I think older kids would also have fun making this healthy snack.

Fruit Pizza

Ingredients

Finely chopped fruit

Shredded coconut

Sesame seeds

Tortillas

Cream Cheese

Materials

Paper plates

Plastic knives

Saran wrap

Masking tape or stickers (to write names on)

Permanent Marker

Knife

1.  Put the cream cheese containers on a table with a plastic knife in each container.  Put the fruit into bowls and put them on the table.  Put the shredded coconut into bowls.  Put spoons in all the bowls so that the children can take the fruit, coconut, etc out and put it on their pizza.  Put a paper plate on the table for each children.  Place a tortilla on each paper plate.

2.  Let the children put the cream cheese on their tortillas and put fruit, coconut, and sesame seeds on their “pizza.”    Take a knife and cut the pizza into slices.  Put the child’s name on a sticker or masking tape on his/her plate.  Cover with Saran Wrap.

I couldn’t avoid making Matzo Brei this year.  The editor of Bon Appetit had an article about it.  Then, the grocery stores started stocking matzo for Passover.  I couldn’t resist.  Matzo by itself is pretty bland; but, if you add a bit of egg, fry it in a bit of vegetable oil, and sprinkle some sugar on top, it is really good.  I used the recipe from Bon Appetit; because, I don’t have a written recipe.  My Bubbie didn’t believe in using measuring cups or spoons or writing recipes down.  The Bon Appetit recipe makes a pancake type of fried matzo.  My Bubbie and my Mom made more of a scrambled matzo; so, that is what I did.

I took 5 matzos, ripped them into 1/2 inch pieces, and soaked them in hot water for 30 seconds.  This was enough for 4 people. If you want to make more just add more matzos.  I then beat 5 eggs (you need one egg per sheet of matzo) in a large bowl and added a bit of salt.  I drained the matzo and added it to the egg and salt to form a chunky batter.

I heated 2 tablespoons of vegetables oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Then, added the matzo batter in a single layer.  The rest of the process is very similar to scrambling eggs.  Let the batter sit for a minute or so and then keep stirring until the egg is cooked.

Top with sugar, jam, maple syrup — whatever you like.  We always had sugar sprinkled on ours.  I guess I don’t use sugar very often; because, when my daughter ate her matzo she said, “Mama, this salt tastes really good.”

Enjoy!

Matzo Brei

from Bon Appetit Magazine, April 2012

4 servings

Ingredients

5 matzos

5 eggs

salt

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil

sugar, maple syrup, or jam for drizzling on top

1.  Break the matzo into 1/2 inch pieces and soak in hot water for 30 seconds.  Drain the matzo.

2.  Beat 5 eggs in a large bowl, season with a bit of salt.  Add drained matzo to the bowl; mix until combined and a wet batter forms.

3.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the matzo mixture in a single layer.  Let the matzo mixture set for a minute or so.  Then stir around the mixture until the egg looks cooked.  Sprinkle with sugar, jam, or syrup.  Serve.


It is raining, it is cold, and I keep reading about hot pots on two of my favorite Japanese food blogs — The Japanese Food Report and La Fuji Mama.  I tried to make a traditional Japanese Sukiyaki with beef and vegetables.  I didn’t really like it.  I think I overcooked the beef.  Then, I decided to work with food that is more in my comfort range — vegetables, noodles, and tofu.  I found various recipes on the internet and looked around my kitchen and came up with this recipe.  It turned out really delicious.  And, it is very versatile; so, think of this as a good recipe to use to just clean out your refrigerator.  It also is good to make if you are cooking with people that have strong opinions about what goes into their meals (i.e. people on special diets, kids, etc.); because, you could make a couple of small pots of  this soup and let everyone put what they like in their pot.

I started by chopping and slicing all the vegetables I had in my refrigerator.  I think it is important to have some mushrooms (here I used fresh shiitakes) and some onion.  The other vegetables are optional and can vary based on what you have and what you like.

I also drained and cubed some firm tofu.  Soft tofu would also be good.  You can add any other protein you like. If you are using leftover meat that has already been cooked — add it at the end to just heat it up.  If you are using uncooked meat, add it at the beginning with the mushrooms and onions.

Boil four cups of water with four tablespoons of light soy sauce, two tablespoons of mirin, mushrooms, and onions.  Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 5 minutes.  For extra umami, you can add a piece of kombu (dried seaweed).  The kombu is optional; but, if you can find some (Whole Foods, Japanese market, etc.) it adds a nice texture to the soup.

Add your the rest of your vegetables.  I also added some dried rice noodles.  Let it simmer until the noodles and vegetables are cooked.  Season with salt to taste.  Simmer for another minute and remove from the heat.

Enjoy!

I sprinkled a bit of shichimi togarashi on my soup.  Shichimi togarashi is Japanese seven flavor chili pepper.  It typically contains:  red chili pepper, black and white sesame seeds, orange peel, ginger, Sichuan pepper, and nori.  It really adds a lot of flavor to this soup.

I liked this soup so much that I made it again the next night.  I was out of fresh shiitake mushrooms; so, I used dried shiitakes.  I added a piece of kombu, udon noodles, and roasted chicken.  I soaked the kombu and dried shiitakes in warm water for about 20 minutes in the pot before starting the soup.  I kept the soaking water in the pot and took out the shiitakes to stem and slice them.  I returned the mushrooms to the pot with some onions (and the kombu that was left in the pot).  I simmered this for 5 minutes.  Then, I added my remaining vegetables, the pre-cooked udon noodles, and the roasted chicken.

A bit of shichimi togarashi sprinkled on top.  Delicious.  I am looking forward to further experiments using this basic formula.  This soup is quick, delicious, easy to make, and a good use of leftovers.

Slurp-o-licious!

Vegetable Sukiyaki

Note:  Feel free to substitute other vegetables, noodles, and meat into this dish.  If you are using meat that has already been cooked, add it at the end with the noodles to just warm it up.  If you are using raw meat, add it at the beginning with the onions and mushrooms.  Roasted chicken worked well in this dish.

Ingredients for 2 servings (you can double this recipe)

1 cup fresh or dried shiitakes (soaked in warm water for 20 minutes), sliced

1/2 cup of chopped kale (or bok choy or chard or nappa cabbage)

1/2 cup of sliced red pepper

1/2 cup of tofu (cubed)

1 small onion, sliced

a handful of dried rice noodles or udon noodles (or whatever noodles you like)

4 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoon of mirin

kosher salt

Shichimi togarashi (optional)

1 piece of kombu, rinsed, dried with a towel, and soaked in warm water for 20 minutes (optional)

Boil 4 cups of water with the soy sauce, mirin, mushrooms, onion, and kombu (if using).  Let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Add red pepper, kale, tofu, and noodles.  Let simmer again until the noodles are soft.  Season with some salt.  Cook for another minute.  Remove from heat.  Remove kombu.  Season with shichimi togarashi.

I am about half way through the Whole Living 2012 Challenge.  At this point, I really want a savory snack.  I was browsing through the Whole Living snack recipes and came across this recipe for roasted spiced chickpeas.  They are crunchy, salty, and savory.  I never imaged that chickpeas could taste so good.

First, you get your ingredients together.  For this recipe, you will need a can of chickpeas (garbanzo beans), vegetable oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, ground hot paprika, and kosher salt.  If you don’t have all these spices on hand, and you just want to buy one spice instead of many, I would recommend substituting garam masala.  Garam masala is an Indian spice mix that is a great all purpose spice mix to have around.  I often stir fry some veggies and add garam masala to make a curry.

Next, in a medium bowl, mix the drained and rinsed chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, 1/4 tsp of ground cumin, 1/4 tsp of ground coriander, 1/4 tsp of ginger, 1/4 tsp of ground hot paprika (use less paprika, no paprika, or sweet paprika if you don’t like spicy food), and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt.  Mix well so that the spices are evenly distributed over the chickpeas.  If you are using garam masala — use 1 tsp of garam masala instead of the cumin, coriander, ginger, and paprika; but, still add kosher salt.

Spread the seasoned chickpeas out on a rimmed baking sheet.  Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  Shake the chickpeas occasionally while they are cooking.

Let cook slightly and eat.  They don’t look like much; but, they are really good.  If you are entertaining, this would be a great thing for people to nibble on while you finish cooking.  They are also so easy that you could throw them together for an afternoon or evening snack.  Try them!  You will not believe they are actually good for you.

Roasted Spiced Chickpeas

from whole living

Note:  You can substitute 1 tsp of garam masala for the cumin, coriander, ginger, and paprika.  You can also skip the paprika, lower the amount, or use sweet paprika, if you don’t like spicy food.

Ingredients

One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground hot paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the chickpeas with the oil, spices (or substitute 1 teaspoon of garam masala for the cumin, coriander, ginger, and paprika), and salt until evenly coated.  Spread on a rimmed cookie sheet.  Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy, about 30 minutes.  Let cool completely.  Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

My husband and I just finished week 1 of the Whole Living Challenge.  During the next 21 days, we can’t have alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, gluten, or dairy.  During week 1, we could only eat fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats (oils, nuts, and seeds).  I discovered that the best way to make a vegetable taste meatier and more satisfying is to roast it.  I’ve known this for awhile; but, this knowledge really came in handy this week.  I made a variety of salads with roasted vegetables and a lot of kale chips.

I made this beautiful and delicious salad by roasting some peppers, corn, and tomatoes.

I just chopped the peppers; then, threw the rest of the vegetables on a tray.  I sprinkled olive oil on them and a bit of salt.  They roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

I put the vegetables on a bed of mixed spring greens and drizzled extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it.  Then, added a bit of salt and pepper.  I also sliced up some avocado and put that on top.  The avocado added a nice creamy texture and richness to the salad.

Later on, I had some kale chips for a snack.  Ok, they are not potato chips; but, they have a nice crunch and saltiness and make a good, healthy snack.  I bought a bag of pre-chopped kale from Trader Joe’s.  You can buy regular kale and chop the leaves off the stem and then slice the leaves if you don’t want to use pre-chopped kale.  During this week of non-stop chopping and preparing of vegetables it was nice to have something that was already chopped that I could just throw in the oven and roast.

I put the kale on a pan, drizzled some olive oil on it, and added some salt.  It roasted in the oven for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.  Do you see a pattern?  Basically, any vegetable can be drizzled with olive oil, salted, and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees.  Broccoli & cauliflower take about 8 minutes and also taste great roasted.  So, the basic idea it roast some vegetables, put on a bed of lettuce, add an avocado and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and some type of vinegar.  Add salt and pepper and eat. You will be surprised at the endless combinations you can put together.  And, you will be surprised at how good your salad will taste.  This is especially good if you eat it while the vegetables are still warm.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

1-2 ears of corn

1 container of cherry tomatoes

6-7 red, orange, or yellow pepper (chopped into quarters, seeds and membranes removed)

salad greens

1 avocado (pit removed, sliced)

extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar or whatever you like)

salt & pepper

1.  Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Place vegetables on roasting pans.  Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are done to your liking.

2.  Put roasted vegetables on a bed of greens.  Add sliced avocado.  Drizzle with oil and vinegar and salt and pepper.

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale (stem removed, leaves sliced) or 1/2 bag of pre-chopped kale

olive oil

salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place kale on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle salt to taste.  Roast for 12 minutes.  Add more salt when chips come out of the oven if desired.