Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Pasta al pomodoro

Trying out different variations of tomato recipes, in preparation for (hopefully) ALL those tomatoes that our garden will soon provide. Last week, we made marinara sauce. Tonight, I tried Pomodoro sauce. The ingredients are similar, however, Pomodoro sauce tends not to be blended.

So here we go.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, not drained (I ended up cutting the tomato piece very fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
approximately 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
approximately 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preparation:
1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add onion and garlic, approximately 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes plus juice, simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add lemon juice and spices including herbs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package direction.
3. Serve sauce over pasta with freshly grated Reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Pomodoro sauce

Pomodoro sauce

Pasta al pomodoro

Pasta al pomodoro

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Dutch oven risotto

So far…after checking numerous dutch oven recipe books…I have been rather disappointed by the lack of variety in vegetarian dishes for the dutch oven. However, there seems to be an abundance of meat dishes. In a dutch oven cook book from the 1950ties, one can even find a recipe for “oven-fried squirrel”–a recipe that reminded me of the “Hunger Games.”

In an attempt to introduce more variety to vegetarian/vegan dutch oven cooking, I was determined to use the https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/easy-no-fail-vegetable-risotto/ recipe as a start.

Hans and I tried it with a little backyard fire and during our recent trip to Canyonlands. Two of our friends totally approved of this recipe.

Ingredients (Makes 2 servings):
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup uncooked Arborio (short grain) rice
¼ cup sliced green onions, or regular white onion
1 vegetable bullion and 2 cups of water, another cup of water
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium (½ cup) Roma tomatoes, chopped
Grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Coat Dutch oven (8-inch for two servings) with 1 table spoon of butter. (This may be easiest after warming Dutch oven briefly in camp fire. Make sure that the lid is closed. After warming Dutch oven, remove from fire and spread butter.)

2. Place Dutch oven over camp fire. Melt 2 tablespoons butter; add rice and green onions. While stirring, cook onion and rice briefly. Add beans, water, vegetable bullion, and basil. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally. If mixture becomes too dry, add a little bit more water (approximately 3/4 cup of water).

3. Stir in tomatoes and continue cooking until rice is done. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.  (Note: vegan option possible, just use vegan butter and do not sprinkle with cheese.)

Dutch oven risotto

Dutch oven risotto

Health benefits:
* This recipe is low in fat, but bursts with flavor.
* In addition the beans are rich in vitamin C. (Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and bones. It is also an antioxidant that strengthens the immune system and helps fight infection.)
* The beans also have potassium and magnesium, which help regulate body fluids and maintaining muscle, bone, and teeth health, respectively.
* Compared to white long-grain rice, Arborio rice has more dietary fiber. Fiber can help with hunger control and may also lower the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamins C and E. They also contain beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Cooking enhances some of the health-giving qualities of tomatoes, particulary the effectiveness of lycopene (a bright red carotene).


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Easy, no-fail vegetable risotto

Afraid of making risotto? Or not having enough time to make risotto? Try this simple and fairly quick recipe for yummy risotto.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup uncooked Arborio (short grain) rice
¼ cup sliced green onions, or regular white onion
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth*
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves**
1 cup frozen cut green beans***
2 medium (½ cup) Roma tomatoes, chopped
Grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet until sizzling; add rice and green onions. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened (2 to 3 min.). Add vegetable broth and basil. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil (2 to 3 min.). Reduce heat to low. Cover; cook 15 min.
2. Stir in green beans. Cover; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed (10 min.).
3. Stir in tomatoes and remaining butter; continue cooking until heated through (1 min.). Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

* Substitute 1 vegetable bullion and 2 cups water
** Substitute 1 ½ teaspoons dried basil leaves.
*** Substitute 4 ounces (1 cup) fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Vegetable risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano

Vegetable risotto with Parmigiano-Reggiano


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Homemade Pizza

While I really love olives and mushrooms on my pizza, Hans does not like either on pizza. Luckily, I have found other ingredients we both like…and now we can share the joy of making pizza together and being able to consume the super-yummy result together.

Pizza dough
see recipe under: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/01/13/homemade-pizza-dough/

Pizza sauce
see recipe under: https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/perfect-pizza-sauce-accidental-find/

Toppings:
1/2 green pepper, sliced
2-3 tomatoes from the vine, sliced and seeded
fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
fresh oregano leaves, cut into small pieces
4 ounces goat cheese, cut into small pieces
top with additional shredded cheese (we like to use mozarella and italian shredded cheese)

Preparation:
1. Roll out the pizza dough. Spread pizza sauce on the dough leaving about 1/2 inch (or for the metric person 2 centimeters) on the edge uncovered.
2. Sprinkle with cheese. Add pepper and tomato slices evenly on the pizza, add the goat cheese, basil, and oregano.
3. Bake in preheated oven at 400 F for 13 minutes (or until it looks done).

Pizza--before baking

Pizza–before baking

Pizza--after baking

Pizza–after baking

Pizza 2_before baking

 

Pizza 2 after baking

Pizza with goat cheese


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Fresh Tomato and Asparagus Gnocchi

I love gnocchi, even the store-bought ones. This recipe uses fresh asparagus and tomatoes as well as gnocchi. How could one go wrong?! This recipe is very easy and fast to make. However, it could easily pass for a dish served in a fancy restaurant.

 

Ingredients (Makes 3 large servings)
1 pound fresh asparagus
1 (16-oz.) package gnocchi
½ medium sweet onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil (basil olive oil)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup fresh basil, chopped (7 frozen basil leaves)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano

Preparation (Preparation time approximately 30 minutes)
1. Snap off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Fill a 3-qt. saucepan three-fourths full with salted water. Bring the water to a boil; add asparagus and gnocchi, and cook 2 to 4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

2. Sauté onion in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in basil, salt, pepper, and asparagus mixture. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese; serve immediately.

Note: This dish stores well in an air-tight container and can easily be re-heated in the microwave.

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

Fresh tomato and asparagus gnocchi

 

Adapted from Yummly
http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Fresh-Tomato-and-Asparagus-Gnocchi-MyRecipes-262435

 

Healthful benefits:
* Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and E, beta carotene, magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
* Asparagus is a good source of folate, fiber, vitamin C and E.