Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thinking of warmer times

Remember back in the summer, when we went on a long hike up a mountain in tee shirts and shorts?  Remember when we came home and sipped on cold beer and cool wine?  Remember when we made a fantastic dinner filled with fresh ingredients?

Well, those days are in hiatus until June.  However, I try to bring some summer memories into the kitchen in the dead of winter just to keep our spirits up.  Recipes usually come out differently when the temperature is 15 rather than 85, however, we still end up saying "delicious!"

Last night I served a warm vegetable pasta dish with a side salad.  I started with garlic-lemon infused olive oil in a pan with mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes.  I boiled 1/2 bunch kale then drained and added it to the pan.  I boiled 1/2 box of whole wheat spaghetti and added this to the mix.  I topped our bowls with feta cheese (cheese makes any dish amazing!).

This pasta reminded me of the summer when we got bunches and bunches of kale from our vegetable share.

Tonight, we ate leftover veggie pasta alongside a winter version of the zucchini tomato gratin.  I started with regular olive oil in a medium heat pan with most of one red onion (sliced) 3-4 sliced mushrooms, one sliced zucchini, and 3-4 chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I'm kind of obsessed with these right now!).  I took1-2 cups of bread crumbs and toasted them in a 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes.  Once the veggies were soft and bread crumbs were crunchy, I split the veggie mixture in half, leaving half in the pan.  I spread them evenly on the bottom of the pan and topped with half of the bread crumb mix and a hefty sprinkle of mozzarella cheese.  I topped the cheese with the other half of the veggies, the rest of the bread crumbs, about 1 tbs. of dried basil, and more cheese.  Then I baked the whole darn thing at 350 for about 25-30 minutes.  

Watch so it doesn't burn!!

So a little different, some would say less fresh than the summer version, but still incredibly healthy and awesomely yummy.

What's your favorite summer recipe?  How can you alter it to make it a runner-up in the winter?

Combine with a free-weight or band exercise at home.  Hit biceps, triceps, back, chest, and shoulders.  Add a few squats and lunches to hit the caboose.

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