‘What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.
More toast! I’m challenging myself to come up with more interesting toast toppers for June, thus, #ToastedTuesday ! With the weather warming, these are great meal ideas beyond breakfast…despite my quest for different breakfasts every day! I went savory and for this breakfast, I’d totally eat this for lunch or dinner! It is practically summer! Eat all the basil/pesto!
There aren’t really local tomatoes around these New England parts yet, but I’m chomping at the bit for gooooood tomatoes. Mine were fine, but I’m glad the burrata was steller and the pesto was addictive!
Italian Toast with Burrata, Pesto, & Tomato
Ingredients: (for 2)
2 slices of good bread
2 tablespoons pesto
1 tomato, sliced thin
1 small burrata ball (or fresh mozzarella)
Toast the bread to your likeness.
Spread on the pesto and sliced tomatoes. Then slice the burrata and place on top of the toast.
Sprinkle with pepper & kosher salt and serve immediately.
Ohh yes. This is the perfect way to start the day. Burrata is softer and filled with a luscious cream for a gooey center. It is perfectly mild and creamy to contrast the pesto and crunchy toast. I was surprised to find it at the grocery store, but can’t wait for the farmer’s market go get it from local cheese folks.
I thought the salt was necessary and used a rosemary seasoned salt. This felt special, despite it taking only 2 minutes to make. Go ahead! Make a Wednesday special!
(today is Mr. J’s birthday so stay tuned for his special Birthday Burger! We’re on year 6 of this tradition: here are the years past, get caught up! Happy happy birthday to my always-taste-tester!!)
This broccoli salad is a staple with our fam and is over due to be blogged! It is crunchy the light dressing is just enough for the raw broccoli. It is still pretty good the following day, or easy enough to make just enough for a few servings…or a lot.
Broccoli Salad (serves ~6)
1-2 heads of broccoli (about 2-3 cups)
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2/3 cup raisins (or dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries)
Chop the broccoli into bite size pieces.
Whisk together the dressing of mayo, sugar, and vinegar.
Mix together the broccoli, dressing, and raisins. Let it come together in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or 4 hours before serving.
I love this one. I used 1 1/2 broccoli heads and thought maybe there wasn’t going to be enough dressing, but it was perfect. Mr. J most often makes this and thought the ratio would be right. He advised it often looks like not enough but to toss it together and wait till dinner. (I do the same with pad thai and too much dressing isn’t great on that either!)
It is a good one to prep in advance, even if just mixing up the dressing and chopping the broccoli. I’m all about working to prep dinner in advance. I’d totally shake up the dressing and in the morning before heading to work.
The little one wanted to help so I was going to have him put the chopped broccoli into the container, but he was only in it for the snacks. He munched the broccoli & raisins and whisked the dressing with me. We got this from my mom and we keep it on a regular rotation through the summer.
Ohh so good. I looove mushrooms but I get there not everyone’s fav. I found a nifty mixed mushroom pack and whipped up a mushroom spread. I wanted some texture but a spread to get some flavor in each bite without whole mushrooms. I’m psyched to have leftovers for toast, or burgers, or whatever!
Truffle Mushroom Spread onto a Grilled Cheese (for 2 & leftover spread)
4 oz mushrooms (mine was a mix of crimini, shiitake, & oyster)
1 oz butter
1 oz olive oil
1 teaspoon truffle oil
1 teaspoon mayo
4 slices of bread
2-3 slices white American cheese
1-2 slices Fontina cheese
Saute mushrooms, butter, oil and truffle oil over medium low heat with a generous sprinkle of salt & pepper.
Pulse half in a food processor a few times to chop then scoop into a bowl. With the 2nd half of the mushrooms in the food processor, add a dollop of mayo and salt & pepper and pulse more into a smaller chop. Add into the bowl and mix together with the coarsely chopped mushrooms. Make in advance & refrigerate until serving or make and enjoy right away.
In the pan where the mushrooms cooked, heat to medium with a little olive oil.
Assemble the grilled cheeses with mushroom spread on one slice and the duo of cheeses on the other. Spread a tiny bit of butter onto one side and butter side down into the pan. When it is in the pan, spread the other side with a bit of butter.
Cook 2 minutes on each side, until cooked to your liking and all the cheese melts. add a cover to the pan to help melt the cheese before the bread toasts too much.
Let sit for 3-5 minutes. Flip once on the cutting board before cutting. Seriously, give it a few minutes before slicing.
Enjoy! Serve with some greens tossed in balsamic. The decadent and gooey grilled cheese with a little tang of the balsamic greens is perfect. I loved how oozy this was. I have some awesome wheaty & nutty bread but used oatmeal bread. American cheese provided the melt factor and the fontina provides a nutty flavor which is strong enough to stand up to the truffle oil and butter. Loved it.
Specialty grilled cheeses make great dinners for speed, variety, and this is not your lunchbox sandwich. I’m ready to put this spread on everything. Can you imagine butterflying a pork loin and stuffing with this spread and some spinach? Ohh yeah.
I was wanting something beyond pasta with sauce and was thinking I’d make some tweaks to up the veggie quotient. I used wheat pasta. Gasp! I never do that. Never. This was a good spot to do so. You can’t even tell here – otherwise, I really wouldn’t have.
Veggie-Loaded Baked Pasta
Ingredients (for 5-6 servings):
28 oz can Kitchen Ready tomatoes
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 sweet potato (fully cooked)
1 large zucchini, diced
1/2 pound wheat pasta (penne, ziti, rigatoni)
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup ricotta
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
In a large pot, add in the canned tomatoes, Italian seasoning, garlic, and mashed sweet potato. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Chop then roast the zucchini in a single layer on a sheet pan, drizzled with olive oil for 20-30 minutes – until golden. Stir a few times & leave the oven on.
Bring salted water to a boil for the pasta. Then cook to al dente, according to the package. When cooked, mix about a cup of the tomato sauce into the pasta.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Spoon a cup of sauce onto the bottom, add a 1/3 of the pasta, then sprinkle with spinach and zucchini.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella and a few spoonfuls of ricotta.
Spoon half of the remaining pasta on top, then add remaining spinach, remaining zucchini, half of the shredded mozzarella, and remaining ricotta.
Top with remaining pasta and some more sauce (reserve the remaining mozzarella for the last few minutes of baking).
Bake 40 minutes, covered.
Remove the cover, top with remaining cheese, and bake about 5 more minutes, until melted.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
I loved this! Count ‘em: sweet potato; spinach; zucchini. Plus wheat pasta. It is delightfully cheesy and flavorful without seeming veggie focused. The sweet potato thickened the sauce and added a bit of sweetness. It was leftover from the little one and I popped it into the freezer awhile back…not even sure what I was going to do with it!
Gnocchi is a fav to have stashed in the freezer for speedy dinners, such as this! I made a really quick sauce and really focused on this dinner being meatless and flavorful!
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
17 oz frozen gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon garlic
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/4 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
Drizzle the tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper then roast in a 400-degree oven for 15 minutes, until they blister and pop.
Boil salted water and add in the gnocchi. Cook until they float.
In a large skillet, melt butter and add garlic, and cream cheese to a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and add in the tomatoes and the gnocchi when cooked.
Simmer and stir in the basil. Cook for about 5 minutes to thicken and reduce a little.
Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan.
I loved the slight creaminess from the cream cheese but the lightness from the broth. I think this is a good trick to keep up my sleeve!
Tip 1: use a slotted spoon to scoop the gnocchi out, then there’s no colander to clean. Tip 2: I had a bit too much sauce so I used the slotted spoon to dish the pasta so the excess sauce stayed in the pan.
I’m obsessed with the “bowl” concept for dinners. Do not get me started about the smoothie bowls…those I do not get it. I was wanting falafel and thought making it as a bowl over a bed of couscous instead of as a salad would be fun and winter comforting instead of cool and summery. I looove this for a weeknight dinner or as a build your own!
falafel (mix prepared as instructed – I bake mine! or warm frozen ones, or make your own)
couscous (prepared as instructed)
roasted red peppers
white beans or chickpeas
creamy caesar or greek dressing
Make or heat your falafel and cook the couscous.
Chop the cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and mix in a little Italian dressing.
Spoon couscous into bowls and top with falafel, roasted red peppers, beans, hummus, and cuke/tomato/feta.
Drizzle with caesar dressing. Enjoy!
I loved this for a bite of this with a bite of that. I’ll totally make these again. The dressing/sauce seemed necessary to bring it all together. A bite of this, and a different bite of that was so fun. Falafel is also a great item to make in advance to speed it up!
I’ll see you after Christmas! I’ll have some tasty treats to share…one celebration is cheese fondue I’m hosting, another is a day of appetizer grazing! I’ll be prepping for the NYE celebrations with family for bfast/lunch/dinner/and treats! Stay tuned and follow along on insta!
I’m back! I was just too crazy to blog during my busiest time at work. I’m proud to say it was a success and now I’m super ready to embrace the season! I made this Creamless Tomato Soup as a super quick lunch that I thought was especially nice after a filling holiday weekend. There isn’t any cream or bread to thicken this soup and the white beans add that element with the bonus of some protein. Now you just need a grilled cheese!
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1, 28 oz can Kitchen Ready tomatoes
1, 15 oz can white beans, rinsed
salt & pepper
2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 cup red wine, optional
Saute the garlic in a little olive oil in a heavy pot, over low heat for about 2-4 minutes.
Add in the tomato paste, kitchen ready tomatoes, white beans, and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Blend either with an immersion blender, or carefully labeled into a blender or food processor.
Return to the pot and add in the oregano. Cook for another 5 minutes on low.
(Optional: add in some veggie stock or water if too thick.)
Serve and enjoy!
I think the herbs make this soup.
Some of the most delicious things are not photogenic. This broccoli & cheddar risotto was so good but totally looks like rice-a-roni or something. I have looooved the pressure cooker and it is so great for risotto. It simmers opened for 4 minutes, then cooks for 6 minutes. Add a few minutes for getting to pressure and releasing the pressure. Done! Or, you could always make rice chop up some broccoli and add some cheese. Whatever works for you!
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 white onion
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup water or white wine
salt & pepper
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups shredded cheddar
Cook the risotto in a pot or in a pressure cooker, as you normally would: (Here’s my method via pressure cooker) or (Here’s my method in a pot).
I added in the broccoli to cook with the rice.
While is it hot, stir in the cheese.
At first I was disappointed the broccoli came apart, but then it was pretty great for a very evenly creamy bite. The texture was in the rice, and it was so unbelievably creamy. The little one was into it and it is still pretty addicting as leftovers!
Every veggie can benefit from some prosciutto! I loved the hands-off-ness of this side for a fresh & salty side. They’re just so easy and could easily pop onto the grill. I baked them since they were going with some seared scallops which were cooking inside anyway.
Asparagus spears (I doubled them per prosciutto slice)
Trim the ends of the asparagus and preheat the oven to 375-degrees.
Wrap the asparagus in prosciutto at an angle. (I doubled the asparagus per prosciutto slice).
Bring the balsamic to a low boil in a small pan for about 5-8 minutes until it gets thicker.
Bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway. Cook until the asparagus gets tender and the prosciutto crisps.
Remove the balsamic from the heat and allow to cool to room temp where it will become syrupy.
Drizzle with balsamic reduction & enjoy!
It isn’t really asparagus season but I was wanting this and it was great. The little one gobbled some and had scallops for the first time!
I was totally inspired by this lunch-lady-dude on Next Food Network Star when he made maple bacon creamed corn to top with a crab cake. I wish it were time for local fresh corn, but we’re not quite there yet. Instead, this is the snazziest freezer-side-dish ever.
We grilled some chicken to serve over this sweet and smokey creamed corn. I couldn’t believe it…the little one gobbled almost a whole chicken thigh! He tends to choose the fruits/veggies/carbs over chicken but we just keep serving it. He had some regular corn and some of this maple bacon creamed corn.
The creamed corn took the same amount of time to cook as the chicken. Perfect!
2 slices of bacon
1/2 yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups corn
3 tablesoons of water
1/3 cup milk or cream
2 tbs maple syrup
Pan fry the bacon.
While the bacon is cooking, chop the onion and add the onion pieces and butter to a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Let the onions cook until soft & translucent ~8 minutes.
Add in the corn (mine was frozen), the water, syrup, and the milk.
Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5-10 minutes.
If using frozen corn, remove about 1/3 – 1/2 and blend or food process it a little bit. Break it down a bit without totally obliterating it. Fresh corn will likely break down a bit on is own.
Add that back in, stir, and then add in the crispy bacon.
Stir while cooking another minute or two. Serve and enjoy!
I loved the sweet maple-y bacon flavors with spiced grilled chicken. It was a quick & unusual side dish for us with some pretty easy grilled chicken thighs. I like a new thing to go with something hands-off/no-stress/straightforward other foods. It would have been ideal to have a sharp & peppery arugula salad with this, but this was what we could make happen. This family dinner outside was glorious.