Sisil, our basil plant, has been living in our apartment for some years. The seeds were giveaways from a Solar Decathlon house we visited in D.C. couple Falls ago. I took care of the plant since the beginning, but then I went home for 2 months. Since then hubby took over. One day when I wasn't home, he even drove back home on his way to the airport because he forgot to water Sisil. He had to catch the next plane that day, but that was a compilation of multiple unexpected reasons. Since then, he's been protective to Sisil, so watering it is a part of his routine. Sisil grows vertically rather than clumpy, Its leaves spread apart in each stems, too far apart for a basil plant. Since the weather is getting warmer and we are getting more sunshine each day, I pruned the plant leaving three-inch stems left. Hopefully Sisil will get fatter instead of taller. Hubby freaked out when he saw me holding the cut stems.
The pruning resulted in pesto basil for our dinner. I looove pesto basil. I can scoop it straight to my mouth. The topping is fresh shiitake mushrooms (it tasted much better than the dried ones), chicken, zucchini, and blanched broccoli. Can't wait until we can harvest our basil leaves again or getting them from our CSA farmer.
Fall just started but I miss getting tomatoes already. We've been getting a lot of greens, which I love too, but I miss those fresh organic tomatoes for pizza and pasta sauce. I've finished my last jar of homemade tomato sauce tonight. I'd been very busy since morning and didn't have much time to cook anything fancy. I am glad that I made tomato sauce and refrigerated it. Now I know what's on my list when we are getting tomatoes next summer.
Pasta with tomato sauce is one dish that both hubby and I can enjoy. My favorite sauce is pesto basil, but hubby isn't happy when I pour that over pasta. That's the reason I searched for tomato sauce recipe. I've used this sauce for pizza sauce and my friends loved it. I am glad I found this website.
So, my pasta plate consists of spaghetti, tomato sauce, brocoli, and roasted vegetables (sweet potato, kohlrabi, and white radish).
Hubby decided not to like eating arugula as part of salad. The taste and the smell is too weird to him. Since it is part of our CSA box and we have committed to eat whatever we get, I tried to find recipe that uses arugula as its main ingredient, instead of eating big chunk of it uncooked. I was happy when I found an arugula pesto recipe. I made plan using this pesto for our dinner. We had vegetarian night today. I added roasted portobello mushroom and boiled pinto bean to substitute meat. We are not a big meat eater, but we like to have a little meat, for flavor. I don't mind for not having meat once in a while, but he does mind. But portobello mushroom is very rich, he loves it and considers it as meat replacement.
Another non-Asian food that I've promised I can't believe this Javanese lady now like this kind of food. I remember back then when Pizza Hut and Mc.Donald was still a luxury for me. Whenever sist and I ate there, our stomach got upset before we got full. Then we swore not to eat there anymore. We came back not too long after that though That what happens to a pecel eater like me, who prefer peanut sauce to cheese sauce, hot sweet tea to coke *giggle . Living here in the US, my stomach gets accustomed to those dairy-rich kind of food. Yet, eating it everyday could be a different case :p
Ina bowl, mix: 1lb frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
15 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
2tsp italian seasoning
In a separate bowl, mix: 10.5 oz fat-free sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can sliced mushroom
5 fresh tomatos, cubed
2 yellow squash, sliced
1 can tomato sauce
Uncooked lasagna, approximately 18
Parmesan cheese or crushed crackers
Grease 9x13 inch pan with vegetable oil. Cover the bottom of pan with tomato sauce and chopped fresh tomato and place down a layer of the uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread half of spinach mixture, arrange 1/2 of squash, then spread sour cream mixture. Add layer of noodle, then the rest of spinach mixture, squash, and the rest of sour cream mixture. place one more layer of noodle layer. Pour the remaining tomato sauce. To omit tomato sauce (like I did), you could also divide the sour cream mixture into three, so the top layer is sour cream mixture.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 350'F for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese or crushed crackers, bake for 5-10 minutes uncovered.
Hubby told me that his first try of some food affected his perception of those certain food in his early coming to the U.S. He lived in a dorm that had unsatisfactory variety and quality of dining hall meals. However, meal plan was mandatory for residents of the dorms. That's when he first tried food other than food that he had in our country. When he went out for dinner with some friends, he said that he didn't like spaghetti, lasagna, nor casseroles. Understood experiences hubby had, his friend told him that the taste of the food at the dining hall was not how it's supposed to be.
Tried to force myself to cook dishes other than Indonesian and Chinese food, I cooked this food last week. Stuffed pasta is one of my favorite dish from Italian food galore. After finding this recipe randomly from internet, I marked off ingredients that were available in my fridge and substituted ingredients that I didn't have that has 'similar' function. Hubby liked it much. I think I have to stop saying how much he likes my cooking since that's the default. I need to inform it if otherwise happens
Adapted from Taste of Home
Ingredients: 20 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 package (12 ounces) frozen chopped spinach
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian diced tomatoes, drained
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry red wine or vegetable broth
Finely chopped rosemary
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, sautee chopped onion and garlic until translucent. Add spinach, add pinch of salt. Cook for about 5 minutes. Let the mixture get cool. Add Romano cheese to the mixture.
Drain pasta. Scoop a spoon of spinach mixture to each pasta.
In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, tomato sauce and wine. Spread about 1/2 cup sauce in an 11-in. x 7-in baking dish coated with cooking spray.. Sprinkle with rosemary. Arrange stuffed shells over sauce. Top with remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350° for 25 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake 8-10 minutes longer or until shells are heated through and cheese is melted.