Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Heirloom Obsession

It continues... As I keep discovering the unique flavors of the heirloom tomato, I'm enjoying not using canned versions of tomatoes more and more! Last night I made this pizza using the dough recipe from my recipe post from June 2010. This sauce is a slight variation of the previous post, only this time I blended the tomato to a pulp using a hand blender/mixer.
Proportions perfect for one pizza:

1) One large red heirloom
2) 2-3 mini green heirlooms (to add more tartness, optional of course)
3) 2 large cloves garlic finely chopped
4) 5-10 medium sized basil leaves chopped
5) 1/4 of a large red onion finely chopped
6)2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
7) 1 tsp dried oregano
8) sea salt to taste.
9) black pepper (optional)

1) Chop tomatoes into cubes. Combine in mixing bowl, use hand blender to blend tomatoes to a pulp. Add oregano and black pepper if desired.
2) Heat olive oil in saucepan. Add Garlic, Sautee for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add onion. Further sautee until nice aroma appears (4 minutes)
3) Add basil, allow to wilt.
4) Add tomato pulp mixture to saucepan. Allow to simmer several minutes (~10 min) until sauce is at desired consistency. Allow some of the natural water to evaporate for a thicker sauce.
5) Add sea salt to taste
6) Drizzle over fresh homemade pizza dough and add toppings as desired :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Seasonal summer healthy eats

On the run? No time? Try this very simple low-sodium pita pizza. Prep time? 10 mins. Bake Time? 5 min. Satisfaction? enormous! You'll love how this brings out the flavor of the fresh heirloom (only available in the summer, so take advantage NOW!) combined with the mild creamy jack cheese!


-1 medium size purple-red heirloom tomato
-1 mini green heirloom to use as topping
-1 large clove garlic finely chopped
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-handful of fresh basil leaves
-handful of Tillamook Monterey Jack cheese
-sea salt & italian seasoning if desired

Method: Chop heirloom tomato into small cubes. In frying pan, heat olive oil. Add chopped garlic, sautee for a few minutes. Add chopped tomato- continue to stir mixture until mixture becomes saucy to desired consistency, and finally add the fresh basil and allow it to wilt. Add italian seasoning and a pinch of sea salt if desired. Top on whole wheat pita, sprinkle jack cheese and a few small chopped green baby heirlooms for texture. Bake at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes. This recipe is good for 2 pita pieces.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

A Complete Meal

I'm a big fan complete meals- meaning the majority of food groups are encompassed into one dish! Saves a ton of time on making multiple dishes :) For a vegetarian like myself, I do feel that this indian dish can just be eaten on its own- It has everything one could want,its very filling, and has a great flavor. I have to again credit my father in law for this recipe- I'm sharing it with you with a few modifications.

This dish is called "Aloo Shimla Mirch". The main staples in this recipe are: Red Pepper, Potato, and Paneer cheese. Just a little warning- this dish can be quite spicy. However if you do not like the spice, feel free to omit the red chili powder and the green chilis. Or just use one or the other. Tonight, I prepared this dish and served it with Brown Basmati Rice (from Trader Joes), and a Cucumber Raita ( Shredded cucumber mixed with yogurt and cumin powder/black pepper/mint powder). Bon Appetit!

Aloo Shimla Mirch (Red Pepper, Potato, and Paneer in a spicy sauce)

1 Large Red (or Green!) pepper (Shimla mirch) cut into 1 to 1.5 inch square pieces

3 small yellow dutch potatoes (trader joes carries them ) boiled and cut into same size cubes as red pepper. Make sure they are tender, but not mushy.

Cubed Paneer Cheese- The quantity is up to you. Alternately, you can substitute broiled tofu cubes for those conscious of calories. In my recipe, I used half a block of paneer as sold in my local indian store.

½ large yellow onion finely chopped

2 roma tomatoes cut into small cubes.

1 green chili finely chopped (optional, feel free to leave out)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves (optional for garnish, I did not use)

1 inch cube ginger peeled and finely chopped

1 tsp fresh lime juice (I squeezed half a lime in )

3 tbsp yogurt (I used lowfat organic from trader joes)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 tsp chili powder (skip it if you do not want it- dish tastes great without as well)

¼ tsp garam masala powder

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

¼ tsp ground cumin (Jeera)

1 tsp salt

10-15 raisins

10 whole cashews

4 tsp water

1 tsp amchoor (mango powder).


1. Blend water, yogurt, turmeric, cumin, red chili powder, garam masala, cubed tomatoes, and salt. I use a handblender to do this to make a nice, smooth orange sauce with no visible tomato chunks.

2. I use a nonstick dutch oven for ease of cooking. Heat oil, add yogurt/spice mixture in and stir until the oil separates and a mesh-like texture forms.

3. Add ginger, green chillies, onions, raisins, cashews, and stir for ~5 minutes.

4. Add potatoes, and red pepper. If mixture looks too dry, add additional small amount of water (1-2 tbsp). Mix well and cook covered on medium heat for 7-8 minutes.

5. Sprinkle mango powder, and lime juice and stir. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

6. Serve with rice and raita