Roasted Vegetable Tomato Sauce over 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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Cranberry Salsa

Canned cranberry sauce looks gross to me until I eat it with the rest of the holiday meal. I prefer the Cranberry Salsa compared to a homemade cranberry sauce. This recipe is a dish that refreshes the palate in between the starchy flavors of mash potatoes, squashes, and stuffing. Use the food processor for the cranberries only. The various sizes of the other ingredients gives this dish a slight crunchy contrast to mushy textures. With flavors such as orange, ginger, and mint, I find this cranberry dish complements many holiday meals. It’s a healthy sidekick to a roasted turkey. Alternatively, serve it with tortilla chips.

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Got Time? Italian Turkey Meat Sauce (Bolognese Inspired)

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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Vegetable Chicken Soup with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil Pesto

This week, being conscious of our expanding diets, I visited the farmers’ 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 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.

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