Posts Tagged ‘tomatoes’

Unrecipe Of The Week: Tomato and Roasted Chickpea Salad

September 13, 2016

img_5674

It’s hard to believe that summer is officially over. The weather in New York is hovering in the 90’s, the sun is shining, and the heirloom tomatoes are still readily available at the farm stands in Union Square. Before we have to go back to tomatoes that are vagely reminiscent of styrofoam, I’ll be eating as many of these as possible. One way I’ll be doing that is with this tomato and chickpea salad. The chickpeas get pan roasted and infused with flavor, thanks to a little cumin. Add a little parsley, some salt and pepper and a quick shallot vinaigrette and toss it all with the freshest, ripest little tomatoes you can find. It doesn’t get much simpler, or tastier than this.

Tomato and Pan Roasted Chickpea Salad:

img_5671

For the chickpeas:
Heat olive oil in a pan until glistening. Add a can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed to the pan and spread them out so that they are flat and all of them make contact with surface of the pan.
Cook over medium to meduim low heat for several minutes without touching them until the bottoms are browned and they are starting to blister. Add a healthy dose of salt, and shake the pan to allow the chickpeas to cook on all sides. Be careful not to burn them. Remove the pan from the heat, and add a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin, to taste. ( These are a great high protien snack, so consider making extra to munch on !)

img_5670

For the salad:

Mix the chickpeas with a pint or two of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, or several large tomatoes, cut into chunks. We used heirloom cherry tomatoes which come in  beautiful range of colors and shapes. Add a big handful of minced parsley, and season with salt and pepper.
Toss with olive oil, red wine vinegar and a finely minced shallot and enjoy!

We made ours in advance, and kept the shallot vinaigrette separate until just before serving, to avoid having the tomatoes marinate, but you can also mix it up in advance if you prefer.

 

Advertisements

Unrecipe of the Week: Chicken in Tomato Tarragon Sauce

February 1, 2016

Lately, I am facing the ultimate dilemma; trying to eat clean, and longing for something warm, hearty and a little more comforting. When I saw a photo of this on the New York Times cooking site, I knew I had to try it. It was quick, healthy and full of flavor, taking those boring chicken breasts to a better place. The sauce is good enough to eat with a spoon, and was perfect over pasta for the non-carb deprived members of the family. This one may become part of my regular dinner rotation this winter!

Photo via The New York Times

Photo via The New York Times

Chicken Breast In a Tomato Tarragon Sauce: (adapted from Pierre Franey)

Heat olive oil in a saute pan, and add 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper and saute for about 3 minutes on each side to brown, turning often.

Add a large diced shallot or two, and a few diced garlic cloves to the pan and saute quickly. Add a handful of chopped fresh tarragon (or 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon), 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar, 1/4 cup of drained capers, 1 cup of dry white wine and a couple of big squirts of tomato paste. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add a can of drained, chopped tomatoes(or pureed tomatoes for a saucier dish), and continue to simmer covered, for about 8-10 more minutes. Serve over pasta or zucchini noodles and enjoy!

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on Gourmly EcohabitudeLemonbar and Etsy

Download the HOMEMADE app

Eat Your Vegetables

October 23, 2015

4989100013_comp


We all know that we should eat our vegetables; specifically 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, or about 4 1/2 cups per day. The USDA suggests that 3 of those cups be vegetables. The problem is, only about 1.7 cups of vegetables are actually available to us to consume.

Of all of the vegetables and legumes readily available in the United States, a whopping 50% of them are potatoes and tomatoes. Lettuce comes in at 3rd place. Of these amounts, 1/3 of all potatoes and 2/3 of all tomatoes were sent for processing. With these statistics, it is no wonder that the average American thinks eating their vegetables means french fries and ketchup.

The federal guidlines perscribe a variety of vegetables in a rainbow of colors, including dark leafy greens, yellow and orange vegetables and beans all of which help us stave off heart disease, some cancers and strokes.

According to an article on NPR, only 13% of American adults were eating the recommended amount of vegetables each day. That number varied by region, with only 5.5% of those living in Mississippi getting their fill. California, thought of as a healthier state, had only 13% meeting the requirements.

A recent report by the USDA states that the U.S. needs to up its supply of vegetables by 70%, mostly in the vegetables other than potatoes, tomatoes and lettuce, in order to meet our nutritional needs. The real question remains, will the people eat them if they are more readily available? Unfortunately, the supply will not increase without the demand.  Many people stick to the few foods that they know, and have not developed a taste for other vegetables.

The CDC reports that since 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was passed, there are more schools serving two vegetables and more whole grains than previously. A Rudd Center study of kid’s food habits showed that they are eating more fruit, throwing away less vegetables, and eating more of the healthier entrees being served to them. Hopefully, these children will develop a taste for healthy vegetables beyond potatoes and tomotoes, and the demand for more variety will serve to increase the amount of these more nutritious vegetables grown in the United States. For now, it is a self fulfilling prophecy.

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Visit our shops on Gourmly and Etsy

Download the Homemade app to get home-cooked food in New York City.

Sun Protection From The Inside Out

August 3, 2015

We all know the importance of slathering on the sunscreen before going out for prolonged periods of time, but even short strolls in the blazing sun can do damage to our skin.

An article featured on Q blog this week points out the ways we can protect our skin from the inside out, by eating the right foods to help reduce the damage from UV rays.

Green Tea: 

The antioxidents in green tea have been proven to reduce the risks of cancer. According to Dr.Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, these powerful leaves “offer photo-protection from the sun’s radiation, blocking UV lights that cause skin tumors.” It is also associated with increased fat burning, so drink up!

Tomatoes:

1635400441_comp

These ruby red fruits are at their peak right now. The lypocene found in tomatoes not only increases collagen production thereby boosting elasticity, it also helps neutralize the harmful effects of sunlight.

Salmon:

4326400851_comp

Salmon contains high levels of vitamin D, which increases natural sun tolerance and is blocked by the use of topical sunscreens. Raw salmon (ala sushi and sashimi,) has even more vitamin D than its cooked counterpart.

Dark Chocolate: 

4093602146_comp

The flavinoids in dark chocolate improve blood flow by dilating the vessels, which provides protection when you skin burns.

While adding these protective foods to your diet is great, it does not replace the need for using a good sunscreen and a floppy hat when you are out in the sun.

Photos: Green Tea: Found Health

All others: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Unrecipe of the Week: Shrimp with Beans and Kale

March 23, 2015

I am always looking for something new to do with shrimp, especially something that doesn’t involve them being served over rice or pasta. I stumbled upon a recipe a few weeks ago, and apparently, how I remembered it and what it actually was were not quite the same. I guess that’s what makes an unrecipe work so well. It is a combination of delicous flavors that are prepared to one’s liking, rather than measuring out specifics.

This base is a wonderful vegetarian dish on its own. The cannelini beans give it some heft and are a great plant based protein. The garlic and onions add lots of flavor and the kale is healthy addition adding color, taste and lots of vitamins!

IMG_3938

Shrimp with Beans, Kale and Tomatoes:

Saute a small diced onion and a couple of diced garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent. Season with salt, pepper and a pinch or so of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like your food. Add some diced tomatoes and cook until the sauce starts to thicken a little. You can use fresh or boxed tomatoes.( We used a box of Pomi diced tomatoes.) Add strips of kale and a box or can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, or other white beans. Simmer until the kale softens and the beans are fully heated through. Adjust the seasonings and sprinkle with a big handful of fresh, chopped basil.

In the meantime, shell and devien about a pound of shrimp. Pat dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a pan until very hot. Cook the shrimp until slightly browned and opaque. This should only take a minute or two on each side.

To serve, spoon the bean mixture into bowls, and place the sauteed shrimp on top, and enjoy!

 

photo: indigojonesnyc instagram

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Slicing Tomatoes

January 27, 2015

4989100238_comp

We love tomatoes! In the summer, we can’t get enough of them, fresh from the farm stands. In the winter, the tomatoes we get tend to be a bit mealy at best, and like styrofoam at their worst.

At this time of the year, we resort to cherry or grape tomatoes, or fancier types, such as the kumato, or campari varieties. These little guys can easily be squashed under the blade of even a sharp chef’s knife.

Using a serrated knife, (aka a bread knife, or a steak knife) can make getting a clean slice from a soft tomato much easier. If you don’t have a serrated knife, use the tip of your regular knife to pierce the skin and get the slicing party started.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

Take a peek at our Tumblr.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page

Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

Unrecipe of the Week: Oops Soup

October 17, 2014

Sometimes the best laid plans go awry . Today’s dish really is an unrecipe: in fact, not only did I use the “little of this and a bit of that” method, I didn’t even intend it to be soup!

4093602735

It all began in the vegetable market, when I had a taste for something hearty, yet vegetarian. Autumnal flavors were on my mind, and zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and mushrooms sounded like a good start.

4270200255

I sautéed an onion and some garlic with the mushrooms, and added some italian herbs. Sounds good, right? Well, it all went astray from there. As I tossed chunks of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes on top of it in the slow cooker , I had some second thoughts. I wondered if 5 hours in the slow cooker might make them soft. I wondered if they might give off too much liquid. I added a can of beans to make the stew heartier, and hopefully thicken up what I realized was going to be a pot of mushy vegetables. I turned on the cooker and went about my business. When I came back a few hours later, I had just that: a pot of bland, starting to get quite mushy vegetables. They had given off quite a bit of liquid, but not enough to make soup. I added some stock and some canned tomatoes to the pot and let it cook it’s little heart out. When it was done, I pureed it into a rich, flavorful soup. It’s sort of a riff on a classic minestrone, and a little drizzle of olive oil and some grated Parmesan cheese provided the perfect finishing touch. All’s well that ends well!

1635400441

Winter Vegetable Stew Soup:

Dice one medium onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, and sauté them in olive oil until soft. Add some sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and start to brown. Add a healthy amount of dried oregano, basil and a bay leaf, and place in the slow cooker. Pile on chunks of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes. ( I used 2 zucchini, 1 medium eggplant and 3 large tomatoes.) Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add 1 can of beans, rinsed, ( I used chickpeas ) and set the slow cooker for about 5 hours. Check it a few hours in, give it a stir and realize this is going to be mediocre at best. Add a little vegetable stock, if necessary, and a can of diced San Marzano tomatoes. Let it cook until the timer goes off.

Puree the mixture, and taste to correct seasonings. If it is too thick, add a little more stock.  To serve, place in soup bowls, drizzle with a little olive oil, and a dollop of grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy, knowing that good cooks can salvage almost anything!

1831900019

Photos: Glasshouse Images

Check us out at indigojonesnyc at instagram.

Want to see what we have been pinning? Take a look at our Pinterest page!

Tweet along on Twitter.

To keep up with the latest, show us some “like” by liking our Facebook page!

What’s On My Mind This Week

August 7, 2014

After almost 10 months of traveling endlessly for work, I am back in New York for awhile and settling into my new, OLD routine again!

I am finding joy in the mundane things that I haven’t been able to do lately. Here are just a few of them:

IMA95659

Cooking and eating greenmarket fresh vegetables : I love vegetables and finding a variety of fresh, simply prepared produce isn’t so easy to come by on the road.

Many hotel restaurants don’t offer a lot of vegetable choices, and slathering them in butter, a creamy sauce or frying them doesn’t help matters. My current fixation is zucchini. It has become my main course when the family is having meat ( which I don’t like,) or pasta, ( which doesn’t especially like me!) In addition to spiraling it into noodles and eating it with my other current fascination, tomatoes, I am playing with it in zucchini bread, and instead of lettuce in a salad, among other things. I’ll keep you posted with unrecipes soon!

Old Paint Tin

Nesting: I am reveling in being home, and taking time to do some improvements. I shampooed the bedroom carpet, and am slowly reorganizing.  My sofa needs recovering, and the whole loft could use a coat of paint. I have been discussing this for months, but the current downtime is allowing me to look at fabrics and paint chips, and actually make it happen. I didn’t plan to do anything else, but yesterday I swatted a mosquito that had flown in through the kitchen window, and both the insect and the glass backsplash in my kitchen did not survive. I’m thinking of replacing it with mosaic glass tiles in neutral tones. Any ideas?

4286000182

Training…hard! I have been a gym rat for many years, but it’s not easy to keep up with a fitness routine on the road. Yes, there are hotel gyms, and I do run outside a little, but those workouts tend to be maintenance, not real training. Travel days and early morning meetings wrecked havoc on my schedule, and I have been finding my fitness level has slipped. I was lifting lighter weights, running shorter distances, and biking at lower wattages. I am back on a serious regimen, and feeling great about it!(Okay, a little sore, but energized!)

Slow foods: I got a slow cooker a long time ago, but lately, I am actually using it! I can prep everything early in the day and leave it cook while I do whatever else I need to do. It means that I am not scrambling to get dinner ready at 7, or slaving over the hot stove when it’s hot outside. So far, BBQ pulled pork and Bolognese sauce were a hit, and I popped my favorite coconut miso chicken with shiitake mushrooms in there a few hours ago. It smells great!

Rebooting: It feels so good to relax, reconnect with friends, and think about what’s next. I love what I do, and the busier I am, the happier I am. Yet, I have missed a lot of social events, kid’s milestones, and just sitting back and relaxing! It’s also giving me enough breathing space to think about what I really want to do next, instead of just taking on the next project blindly. I usually panic at this stage, but this time I am enjoying it. Before the craziness began, I was working on a new concept for Indigo Jones. Perhaps now, I can take it to the next level. I’m pretty sure that will be what I will obsess over next week! I can’t wait to be able to share it with you.

Finding balance: These days it seems like it’s all or nothing with me. I’m not retired and I do still have work to do. I need to find the balance between committing myself to it fully, and living a normal life. And that is what I intend to do.

photos: Glasshouse Images

 

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Peeling Tomatoes

July 15, 2014

 

1635400438This time of year, I can’t get enough tomatoes. The current bounty is a far cry from the mealy, styrofoam-like tomatoes we have around here most of the time. These ripe, juicy, deep red beauties are full of flavor and vitamin C.

I love them raw, baked, sliced, diced and sautéed.  Sometimes, it’s nice to take the skin off, and cook them down to a thick, rich sauce, to pour over pasta, chicken or spiralized zucchini ribbons.

The easiest way to skin a tomato, or other fruits and vegetables with a thin skin and fleshy interior, is to drop them into a pot of boiling water. You only need to leave them in the water for a brief time; less than a minute, before the skin cracks.
Remove them with tongs, and place them in a bowl. The skin should come off easily, leaving you with a naked, but still very much intact tomato. Be careful not to leave them in the pot too long, as they will begin to cook, and eventually fall apart.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Unrecipe of the Week: Pasta With Seafood + Marinara Sauce

April 3, 2014

This is a perfect unrecipe for those of us lucky enough to live near a place to get the freshest seafood, pasta made daily, and even a homemade marinara sauce in a jar. For me, it’s a quick trip to Chelsea Market.

4093602369

I purchase freshly caught Atlantic shrimp and scallops at The Lobster Place, one of New York’s very best fish markets. I sear them with very little seasoning, as the marinara sauce from Buon Italia is full of diced garlic, rich red tomatoes, and slick with olive oil, which coats Rana’s homemade pasta beautifully.

5045300047

Sure, this can be done with commercially jarred marinara sauce, and dried pasta with acceptable results. For a few extra minutes

(ok, maybe 15 extra minutes,) you can create the sauce yourself. It’s that simple. It’s that easy. It’s that good.

Shrimp and Scallops in a Spicy Marinara Sauce Over Pasta:

Clean and devein shrimp, rinse scallops and pat dry. It is important to get as much moisture off of the seafood so it sears and browns.( I figure about 1/2 pound of seafood per person )

White garlic from Lomagne

Heat olive oil in a pan and sauté 3 or 4 cloves of diced garlic until soft. Place the seafood in a single layer in the pan so that each piece touches the hot surface. Don’t over crowd the pan. If necessary, do this in batches. Flip it and sear the other side. This should only take a few minutes.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

This is our homemake pasta from a previous post.

Add a can or box* of diced San Marzano tomatoes and a liberal dose of salt. Add a little red pepper and lay a leaf or two of fresh basil across the top of the mixture. The leaves will wilt into the sauce naturally. Heat until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook briefly, and serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

*canned tomatoes are a good news/ bad news item. They are healthier, due to the higher levels of lycopine than fresh tomatoes, but their acidity makes the chemicals in the can even more harmful. Whole Foods carries San Marzano tomatoes in tetra pack boxes, which is a much healthier alternative. If you can’t find them, you can use Pomi brand, which has always come in boxes.

photos: Glasshouse Images

Like us on Facebook, follow us on TwitterTumblr, Instagram and Pinterest too!


%d bloggers like this: