Tag Archives: vegetables

Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

Roasted Salad

I am so thrilled that it’s finally summer, but it seems I can’t give up my oven. Though I do have a grill, it’s an electric one. 😦 My local fire department does not allow grilling on balconies. But I still love summer veggies and have a tendency to buy too much. So, today, I decided to put some of those veggies to good use and make a salad. Since roasting is so easy and brings out the flavor so much, I decided to sacrifice personal comfort in my caricature-worthy tiny kitchen for the benefit of the salad.

Ingredients:
3 bell peppers (I used red, orange, and yellow)
1 bunch of asparagus
1/2 red onion diced
1 tb basil
Salt, pepper, olive oil, balsamic vinegar to taste

Steps:
1. Cut up the peppers in large chunks and clean the asparagus
2. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
3. Roast to your desired doneness at 425 degrees; I roasted the asparagus for about 5-6 minutes and peppers for about 15-20.
4. When the veggies cool, dress with a little bit of balsamic vinegar.
5. Add the diced onion.
6. Sprinkle with a little bit of basil

Roasted Salad Detail

Roasted Salad Detail

Voila! Ready to serve.

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Pasta Sauce – Vegetables Galore

Chunky Pasta Sauce

Chunky Pasta Sauce

I haven’t made anything pasta related in a while and figured it was time to get back to that.  So today I decided to make pasta sauce.  Additionally, I had a lot of vegetables in my fridge that I haven’t used up yet, so I figured it’s a perfect opportunity to use them.  This worked out really well since I like a really chunky tomato sauce.  And if you have kids, this is a great way to get them to eat vegetables.  This recipe can also be vegetarian quite easily – just leave the meat out.  With this recipe, use what ever veggies you like, in any quantity you like.  Here is what I did.

We're cooking now!

We're cooking now!

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Pasta Sauce Ingredients

Adding the meat

Adding the meat

Ingredients: 1 lb of ground turkey
1 very large carrot (cut into half moons)
2 red bell peppers (diced)
1 large white onion (minced)
1 zucchini (cut into half moons)
1 summer squash (cut into half moons)
3.5 oz of mushrooms (that was the size of the package I had. Use more or less)
3-4 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
2 cans of tomatoes (I used 1 can of Red Gold roasted garlic and onion and 1 can of Red Gold basil, garlic, and oregano)
Roasted tomatoes (optional; I had some on hand so I used them)
Tomato paste (I used about 3 oz, half of a 6oz can of Red Gold tomato paste)
2-3 tb of olive oil
Olives (optional, but I had some so I used them; chopped, about 2 handfuls)
Garlic powder
Paprika Salt, Pepper (freshly ground)
Flat leaf parsley (for garnish and for cooking, to taste)
6 bay leaves (3 for the sauce, 3 for the pasta)

See the parsley

See the parsley

All the ingredients cooking

All the ingredients cooking

Adding pasta to the sauce

Adding pasta to the sauce

Steps:
1. Saute the onion for a few minutes and then add the garlic.
2. Add the carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the rest of the vegetables and salt & pepper. Let cook for a few minutes (I put the lid on and let the veggies steam a little).
4. If you are adding meat, do it at this stage. I pushed the veggies to the sides of the pan and added the meat into the middle so that it can brown. I also season the meat at this point. Cook the meat until it’s all browned and thoroughly cooked.
5. Add bay leaves and parsley. Mix everything together and taste seasoning. This is when I add more salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and anything else that strikes my fancy.
6. Add the tomato products (canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and roasted tomatoes if you have them).
7. Put the lid on and let cook over medium-low for about 10-15 minutes.
8. Add the pasta to the sauce (which has been cooking in a separate pot, according to the directions on the box.) I serve it with a little bit of cheese grated on top. I used a very mild goat’s cheese.

I know you can't resist this!

I know you can't resist this!

Damlyama (Uzbek dish)

Damlyama

Damlyama

I’ve never eaten an Uzbek dish that isn’t tasty. They just don’t exist. This is also a layered dish. I guess we had a subconscious theme today with this dish and Nora’s Salad. So, here’s another finger-licking goodness and this one packs a TON of veggies.

 
 
Ingredients:
1-2 lbs of lamb
2 zucchinis
2 yellow zucchinis (summer squash)
2 large onions
4 or more tomatoes
2 large carrots
2 red bell peppers
1/2 – 1 eggplant
1 head of cabbage (remove core)
Spices (salt, cumin, freshly ground black pepper)

Steps:
1. Cut all vegetables into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the eggplant a little thicker otherwise it gets too soggy.
2. Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces. Salt & pepper the meat. Sear it over high heat, especially if the lamb has fat, put the fat side down so it can melt & brown-up what’s left. If the lamb doens’t have enough fat, add some oil while browning.
3. Layer the ingredients as follows:

  • Lamb
  • Zucchini
  • Summer Squash
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Carrots
  • Bell Pepper
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage

The main thing here is that the meat is on the bottom and that the cabbage covers everything. I don’t know if it matters what order the veggies are between the meat and cabbage layer.

Season each layer.

Cover with a heavy lid and cook on a low heat for about 1 and a half to 2 hours. If you like your veggies crisper, cook less, but make sure the meat is cooked.

As you can see in the picture, my dutch oven is a tad too small, so we had to improvise since the dish basically steams. So we put a serving platter on top and covered with the lid. In order to capture the steam, we put 2 clean kitchen towels around the rim.

Layer of Veggies

Layer of Veggies

Layer of Veggies

Layer of Veggies

Layer of Veggies

Layer of Veggies

 
 
 
 
 
 

I need a bigger dutch oven.

I need a bigger dutch oven. And a bigger kitchen

Finished Damlyama

Finished Damlyama

Lagman (Uzbek soup/sauce)

This recipe turned out very close to how I remember my grandmother’s Lagman.  Having grown up in Uzbekistan (Tashkent), we ate this somewhat often.  I love the food of the region and I try to reproduce some of it now.  There are many variation on Lagman, some have it really “dry” and more like a sauce, some have it more “wet”, like a soup.  Our version is the more like soup one.

All the chopping and slicing is very much worth the effort.

Ingredients:
1lb lamb (cut into small pieces, about 1-inch cubes)
3 TBLSP of extra virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
2 medium onions (diced)
4 medium-large carrots (diced)
2-4 bell peppers (diced) [I used 2 really large red ones]
3-4 tomatoes (diced) [I used 1 14-oz can of diced tomatoes]
4 medium potatoes (diced)
8 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
4-5 cups of stock [I used chicken stock but beef stock works absolutely great]
3 medium bay leaves
salt, pepper, coriander, and cumin to taste

Steps:
1. Saute the diced onion, carrots, and bell peppers.

Diced onion, carrots, and lamb

Diced onion, carrots, and bell peppers

2. Add the lamb, tomatoes, and garlic. Let this mixture cook until the meat gets browned.
3. Add the stock and bring to a boil.
4. Add the diced potatoes and the bay leaves and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Lamb, tomatoes, garlic, and bay leaves

Lamb, tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, and bay leaves

I add the salt, freshly ground black pepper, cumin, and corriander between each step. This way, the flavors can develop gradually and I can adjust as I go along. Also, you know your stove better than anyone, so adjust the cooking time to meet your stove’s capacity.

This must be serverd over noodles. I used spaghetti, but angel hair pasta works really well here too.

Lagman with Spaghetti

Lagman with Spaghetti

Lagman

Lagman in kasa 'касушка'