Grill Cheese Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato Salad
Grill Cheese Sandwich with Avocado and Tomato Salad

It’s a guilty pleasure to relax on a weekday morning on one of the year’s first warm days. The day started off with a run in the sun. After wards, a quick brunch was served before attending to daily tasks and jobs. It’s a weekday after all, a lazy one, too.

Grill Cheese Sandwich: Seed Reduction Bread + Sharp Cheddar cheese + Parmesan cheese + tomato slices + Basil Pesto
Salad: Green Leaf Lettuce + Avocado + Tomato Slices + Crumbled Goat Cheese + Chopped Green Scallions + Balsamic Vinegar + Olive Oil + Salt + Pepper + Lemon Juice
Faux Mimosa: Orange Juice + white wine

Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce, Peas, Zucchini and Chicken
Pasta with Creamy Pesto Sauce, Peas, Zucchini and Chicken

Promptly exiting the office at 5 p.m., I had to make a choice between two important tasks causing scheduling conflicts: going grocery shopping or working out. The local gym, free to the neighborhood, is open for two hours on three weekdays. Although, I’ve recently discovered running in cold weather is a refreshing activity, the gym is still needed on snowy days when the streets are icy. That free gym saves the budget from a yearly membership expense, because it is not needed in the summer. The recent snowstorm had enough power to close the gym, in which a few days of running were missed. It also delayed grocery shopping, and the fridge is looking bare. The eggs and the flour are gone, the pale bottoms of the drawers in the fridge are visible, and eating out is beginning to take a toll on the budget. Read more

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce over Pasta

Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce over Penne Pasta

In an effort to control our weight, we’re trying to eat dinner earlier in the day. After a couple hours of freelance work, I started grocery shopping at 4:30 p.m. to purchase a few vegetables and wine. Prepping dinner started close to 6:00 p.m. The evening’s schedule was to fix dinner, go to the gym for 30 minutes, return home to take a shower, reheat dinner and end the day with a glass of red wine. In reality, an Argentinian bottle of red wine was opened at 7:00 p.m., the coat was hung for the night and we sat down to a bowl of garlicky, roasted vegetable sauce over penne pasta. Lesson learned for the day: go grocery shopping earlier. This is a sauce that tastes better the next day when the flavors marinate over night.

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Got Time? Italian Turkey Meat Sauce (Bolognese Inspired)
Final Step: Plating the Food
Final Step: Plating the Food

Sometimes, a cook wants a day off. I recently had a morning of nothingness. It was a day meant for relaxing, watching a movie or a cooking show. Later in the day, I would meet the boyfriend at a coffee shop to go shopping. As much as I love to cook, I didn’t want to spend this rare morning prepping food. Reading one of the cookbooks, I decided to make a Bolognese Meat Sauce. Except this version will use turkey. Starting the sauce is easy, and it requires a few hours of cooking time with the occasional stirring. The sauce is traditionally made with tough cuts of beef and pork and slowly simmered to tenderness.

The prep work is easy (hint: Trader Joe’s sells a start kit of chopped onions, celery and carrots in the produce section). As the sauce slowly simmers on the stove for a couple hours, continue to have a relaxing morning. Watch television. Nap. Read a book. One hour before leaving the house to run errands; turn the stove off and let the sauce cool. Place it in the fridge before leaving the house. Run errands around the city. Come home a few hours later. Reheat the sauce. Proceed with the final steps of the recipe. Cook pasta. In 30 to 45 minutes, enjoy your fast meal.
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Veggie Chicken Soup
Vegetable Chicken Soup: This version made with shredded roasted chicken breast, organic canned plum tomatoes, butternut squash, bay leaves and fresh herbs (lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sage).
Vegetable Chicken Soup: This version made with shredded roasted chicken breast, organic canned plum tomatoes, butternut squash, bay leaves and fresh herbs (lemon balm, basil, rosemary, oregano and sage).

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmer’s market to pick up carrots, leeks, fingerling potatoes, zucchini and basil. The local grocery store yielded a few out of season tomatoes. The taste will probably be pale, but I’ll add a bit of balsamic vinegar to sweeten them back to their palatial sweet destiny. I’ve been consciously avoiding starches and sugar; justifying my consummation of a cornucopia worth of food. Below is a recipe for Veggie Chicken soup. It’s light and tasty until heavy Thursday arrives. Read more