Leftover veggies

After indulging on some delightful Taramosalata from a lovely little Greek Restaurant close to my house, I decided to check out the fridge to see what might need some attention, i.e. dying/rotting veggies 🙂

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Two lonely tomatoes and a couple of courgettes (zucchinis) were crying for attention so I thought a simple Ratatouille was in order.

I sliced the courgettes and tomatoes, then I went the yard and got some fresh oregano and basil.

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I placed the chopped tomatoes at the bottom of my glass pyrex, layered the courgettes and tomatoes, added the crushed garlic, seasoned with salt, lots of black pepper, oregano and basil and then drizzled some basil infused olive oil.

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Baked it in a 375 Deg F oven for about 40 minutes and I have to say that I was very temped to have dinner again, all I needed was a french baguette and I would have been set. But I fought temptation and now I have some delicious veggies for lunch ❤

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Isn’t it great how you can spend 10 minutes in the kitchen with 2 leftover lonely veggies and end up with a delicious meal?

For the love of lemons…….a fab carb free yummy salad!

After I posted the recipe for my imitation version of the”Lemon Caper Capellini Salad” one of my blog readers made a comment that they made my salad and used basil instead of parsley and zucchini noodles instead of pasta!

So tonight I am going for that same version but with an “Andy” twist “……

For this I used:

  • 4 zucchini’s
  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1/8 cup of capers
  • juice from 4 lemons
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste ( love lots of black pepper)
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 4 kafir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Started by putting my zucchini’s through my handy dandy spiralizer.

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Then I proceeded to boil some water seasoned with salt, garlic powder and 4 kaffir lime leaves. The kaffir lime leaves infused some lovely thai lime flavor into the zucchini noodles. Don’t have any but happen to have a lemon or lime tree, use those leaves instead, they are very aromatic!

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I let the zucchini noodles boil for just 2 minutes, any longer and you will have zucchini mush, 1 minute will give you an all dente texture.

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As soon as I got them out I placed them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

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Whilst they cooled down, I squeezed the lemons, mixed the juice with the olive oil, salt and pepper and put that to the side.

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I quartered my cherry tomatoes, chopped up the cilantro and got my capers.

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Now all that’s left it to put this delicious lemony Zucchini healthy salad together.

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Add the tomatoes, cilantro, capers and top off with the lemon vinaigrette, give it a toss and kaboom, there we have it, if you love lemons, you will love love this guilt free salad!

Bon Apetite!

Freezer Diving

Sunday morning, sky not happy, looks like it will be yet another rainy day in steamy hot South Florida.

I find that these kind of days are great to do the kind of stuff that you hate to do when you could be sitting by the pool sipping a cocktail 🙂

I decided that enough time has gone by since my last Freezer Diving and OMG, the treasures I found that I didn’t know I had.

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Either I was on a spinach kick, or I cancelled some kind of spinach project or maybe they was just a buy 2 for the price of 1 offer, but I found that I had way too much frozen spinach.

Luckily I also found a box of Puff Pastry that once again, I have no idea why I bought it!

Spinach + Puff Pastry spells out – PASCUALINA which translates to Spinach Pie. Of course I had to do it with an Andy twist for various reasons.

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First my son won’t eat eggs so I left out the traditional hard boiled eggs, and then I added a lot of spices that are not part of the original recipe.

So the long of short of it is, that I still call it Pascualina but the taste is nowhere near it. Pascualina has a clean simple taste to it and my version is full of Chinese five spice, red pepper flakes, red curry powder, dash of soy sauce and goodness knows what else I added…..

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There is a Greek version of this dish called Spanakopita which is very similar and full of spinach yumminess made with Phyllo pastry and ricotta and feta cheese!

If you know me well enough, I follow a recipe the first time round and then I change it to tickle my taste buds in different ways. As long as you follow the main basics, the rest is up to your imagination!

Once I had my spinach concoction tasting the right way, I placed one of the puff pastry sheets at the bottom of my pan….

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topped it off with the spinach mixture….

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and then placed the remaining puff pastry sheet on top  and gave it a quick brushing with and eggs and sugar mixture.

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Into at 400 Deg F oven it went for about 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is nice and golden.

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This dish can be eaten warm or cold, now its time to enjoy a some of it with the family.

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4 Vegetarian Snacks and Nibbles

Still on my vegetarian kick, going on week 2 and suddenly down quite a few pounds so thinking I will be sticking to it for now~

So today I made the following vegetarian snacks and nibbles:

Cucumber Salad – I love having this as a snack, as a side dish and I have to confess I have had it for breakfast too!

  • Cucumbers
  • Japanese Seasoned Rice Wine
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sesame Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Peeled the cucumbers and sliced them on my handy dandy mandolin.

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Then I added some sesame seeds, salt and pepper and here is the tricky part as I don’t measure (we call that “al tum tum where I come from”), added in some Japanese seasoned rice wine (about 1/4 cup) and a drizzle of sesame oil.

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Place in bowl, cover and place in fridge, I think its the best cucumber salad ever 🙂

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Courgette (Zucchini) Spaghetti with home grown veggie sauce

I started by putting my courgette’s through my spiral slicer and then chopping up the little ends to use in my veggie sauce.

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Boiled some water and threw the courgette spaghetti in for just a minute to give it a quick flash cooking, too much cooking turns it into mush! Drained it and drizzled a bit of olive oil into it and put it to the side.

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Placed some tomatoes in a blender and gave them a quick swish and then threw them in a pan with some onions, fresh basil from the yard, my chopped up courgettes, garlic and seasoning and a dollop of sour cream. Once everything was nice cooked, I tossed the spaghetti into the sauce. Added some cracked red pepper and dinner and lunch for tomorrow is ready.

Salt and Vinegar Chick Pea snacks

Found this recipe for salt and vinegar chick pea snacks and decided to give them a go.

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  • 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed ( recipe calls for just 1 but I thought I should make more out of the first batch) I kept the rest of the recipe the same
  • 2 cups of white vinegar
  • salt and cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil

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Place chickpeas, vinegar and a dash of salt into a pot, as soon as it boils remove from the heat and leave them in the warm vinegar for 40 minutes.

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After the 40 minutes have gone by, drain them and place in a baking pan, seasoned with more salt and I decided to give them a spicy kick so I gave them a good dusting of cayenne pepper.

Preheat oven to 400 Deg F and bake for 40 minutes.

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Recipe got a seal of approval from the family, wonderful healthy snack that replaces items like salt and vinegar chips ❤

Black Rice Salad

This is another favorite, black rice has a nutty flavor and had a bit more body than regular rice.

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  • 1 cup of black rice
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • dash of salt
  • Chopped cilantro
  • chopped mint
  • chopped tomatoes
  • small chopped yellow onion
  • One Lime Juiced
  • Sesame Oil

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Add all the above ingredients to the rice once its cooled down and there you have it, the tastiest rice salad ever! Even my daughters boyfriend tried it and liked it which is an extra special seal of approval as he doesn’t eat as much weird stuff as we do!

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Healthy meals can be tasty too……

I acquired a special respect for Tofu a few years ago. Coming from what I call cow country (Uruguay), I never thought I could enjoy a dish if it didn’t have some kind of meat on it. Don’t get me wrong I still LOVE my meats but I have come to appreciate and really enjoy a lot of vegetarian meals too!

So tonight for dinner I made some Honey Sesame Tofu baked sticks on a bed of Vegetable Quinoa.

For this I used:

  • Extra Firm Tofu
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the tofu into even sticks and mix the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl. Dip the pieces of tofu in the sauce and lay them out on a non-stick baking sheet. Pour any leftover sauce on top of the tofu.
Bake for 40 minutes until the outside is golden and the edges brown. Turn once halfway through baking.
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Then I made some Quinoa with mushrooms, onions and carrots and served the tofu with it.