Friday, October 8, 2010

The most Random Meals

A couple of weeks ago, my brother and my seester-in-law (sister with Natalia's accent) went to a Colombian restaurant in Brighton.  We got this appetizer of fried plantains with this amazing Colombian Cheese nestled on top.  When I saw plantains at the grocery store, I couldn't wait to recreate it! This isn't much of a recipe.  All I did was cut the plantains in half, fry them in vegetable oil, cool them and add a slice of cheese on top. So good!
On Tuesday night, I made Pumpkin Pasta, inspired by Rachael Ray.
Pumpkin Sausage Pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
6 links of chicken sausage, any flavor
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound whole wheat penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Handful of Arugula
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender. Add wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and Arugula.
I made this dish on Tuesday night. I also made Peanut Butter Fingers Pumpkin Spice Cookies which just involves half a Duncan Hines Spice Cake Mix with Pumpkin- about a cup.  Bake them for 15 minutes and thats it.
 I thought these were very cakey and needed a frosting... next time I will do that! But pretty cool to have cookies in two ingredients!

Tuesday night, we watched 30 for 30. Did anyone catch the 30 for 30 Series on ESPN? It was on the 2004 Boston Red Sox. Specifically the ALCS- American League Championship Series between the Red Sox and the Yankees where the Sox came back from being down 0-3 to win the series 4-3.  Remember this night?

This is the night of Game 7, where my team won 10-3.  Well, my friend Stephanie and I were at Cask n Flagon.  Which is the corner bar in that crowd picture.  ESPN cameras were also there and I got tons of calls that night saying people saw me on TV.  But this is before DVR so I never actually saw the footage, until now.  Do you see me??
It's the little thing in life that excite me! Anyway, watching this 30 for 30 brought back so many amazing memories.  That week was one of the best of my life.  That series- Red Sox vs. Yankees was the World Series for me!! It was life changing...

Moving on. I digress.
Wednesday night was my husbands birthday and we went out in the North End.  I'm planning a huge family dinner party on Sunday to celebrate so I will talk more about his birthday then.  In the meantime, want to see the most random meal I've ever put together in my life??

Well, it started with Grilled Vegetables.  I used my grill pan to grill eggplant, zucchini, summer squash and sweet potatoes.  After grilling the vegetables, I decided to make a lasagna with these veggies as the noodles.  This was a combination of two recipes I've made before- my Vegetable Torte and Zucchini Quinoa Lasagna.
After grilling those vegetables, I sauteed a number of other vegetables I had on hand. Tomatoes, Red Pepper, Red Onion, Kale, Cabbage, Eggplant.  I sauted them in olive oil with salt and pepper.
I also made Quinoa with Chicken Broth and then added tomato sauce.  I guess I added the quinoa to bump up the protein.
Then the layering process began.  In a baking dish, I layered tomato sauce with the grilled vegetables.
Then added the sauteed vegetables.
Then added the tomato sauce-quinoa.
Then I added a layer of cheese.  I used shredded Mexican blend cheese. Then repeat the layers.

And voila... certainly not the prettiest thing you've ever seen.  But it was so DELICIOUS!  I loved this dish and I'm actually looking forward to eating it tonight for dinner again!
Oh and here is my CSA from Week 14 & 15
Worlds biggest Apple. No?

Happy Long Weekend!!!


  1. That apple is huge! You could make a pie with it!

    I took your suggestion about the chicken sausage and bought two packages. I'm going to use it in spaghetti squash and regular pasta next week. Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. OMG I remember the 2004 ALCS sooooo well. Even though I'm from outside of NY, I grew up going to Red Sox games w/ my cousins so I've always loved them and hated the Yankees. Combine that w/ some good college friends from Boston. That series was amazing. And then we were in Boston for the world series b/c it overlapped the Head of the Charles. Completely Epic. And beyond cool that you were on TV :)

  3. Girl, love the pumpkin pasta idea; may make that this week. And you need to get on board with my Cake Mix Cookie Recipe; so tasty (and ok, there are 3 ingredients!)