Archive for June, 2008

Staple Dinners

Michael Ruhlman wrote recently about staple meals, and posited the question about what are staple meals in your family.  This is a meal that we eat in one form or another almost every week all year long.  While Michael’s is way prettier and more upscale than mine (plus he has a Donna to take gorgeous photos), there was alot of similarities to what we cook on a regular basis.  But then, chicken, veggies, and a starch is probably the ultimate middle America homecooked dining experience.

Bob del Grosso, however, is just being a show-off.  A show-off who I would like to have cook for me, but a show-off nonetheless.


Grilled chicken marinated in tomato-basil dressing  (tomatos, basil and garlic from my CSA).  My husband grills out boneless, skinless chicken breasts about once a week.  Usually BBQ style, but this dressing was so thick and delcious that I thought it would make a great marinade, which it did.

New potatos roasted with olive oil, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and fresh rosemary (potatos from Greenling).  Red potatos are more GI friendly, but even so, having potatos at all is a really big treat, I have them once a week at most.

Salad with romaine lettuce, carrot, black olives, feta, cucumber (from the CSA), sunflower seeds, and homemade croutons dressed with homeade Greek dressing. We have a fresh salad or fresh fruit with all weekend dinners (and most weekday dinners, at least the ones I cook).  This one had more goodies in it than usual because I had alot of stuff in the fridge to throw in a salad.  I made the croutons from leftover, stale sourdough bread, olive oil, salt, pepper, and bouqet garni.  They make store bought croutons weep with inferiority.

For dessert, I had a fresh plum, and the kids and hubby had paletas from the local paleta factory. 


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Tomato Basil Vinaigrette


This recipie comes from the April 1999 issue of Bon Appetit who got it from the Eastside Grill in Northhampton, Maine. Besides being used as a dressing it can be used as a marinade for grilled chicken.

So incredibly delicious, it is!

1 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes
1 cup (packed) coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves
1 cup olive oil

Blend first 6 ingredients and 1/2 cup oil in processor or blender. With machine running, add remaining 1/2 cup oil; process until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before using.)

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Sunday Linky Goodness

Fresh or dried?  Substituting dried herbs for fresh.

Get The Most Out Of GI Eating

Glycemic Index and Blood Sugar Levels

Fresh herbs (washing, storing, cooking with)

Foods to help boost your mood.



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Feta Pizza

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South Texas Meat Purveyors

First it was the tomatoes and now we are having a recall on ground beef.  While the recall doesn’t affect Kroger’s in Texas (yet, and hopefully not ever).  It’s another solid reminder of why it’s important to know where your food comes from.

This is a list of local meat purveyors recommended by the farmer who owns the CSA we belong to (who doesn’t produce meat himself).   These are all companies that he has personally worked with, and I trust his opinion.  I was pleasently surprised by the prices of the Fredericksburg Greassfed beef when I checked the site. Greenling offers local meat options as well, while there is an upcharge, it’s delivered right to your door!

Fredericksburg Grassfed Beef
Chuck and Teppi Schmidt – 830-990-9353

Loncito’s Lamb
Loncito Cartwright – 361-438-1289

Rasco Farm (beef)
Larry and Michelle Rasco – 20423 Ed Acklin Road
Manor, TX 78653 USA – (512) 294-6867

Thunderheart Bison
Hugh Fitzsimmons – 210-930-0841

Peach Creek Farms — Pork

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Tex Mex Squash Casserole


 This picture looks totally unappetizing, doesn’t it?  Fortunately it tastes much better than it looks.

ZOMG! Are you as tired of squash posts as I am of squash?  Since my husband has decreed himself The Hater Of The Squash I’ve been getting really creative to use it all up and have him eat it.   This casserole was also a winner and used of quite a bit of the little yellow buggers!

Close Your Eyes And Pretend It’s Veggie Enchiladas

2 pounds of yellow summer squash (or zucchini), copped

1 small onion, siced

1 can (7 oz) chopped mild green chiles

12 oz grated cheddar cheese (or monterey jack, or pepper jack, or queso fresco, or a blend)

1 8 oz carton of sour cream

1 1/2 cups tortilla chips (or enough to cover the top of the casserole), crushed (Whole Grain tortilla chips will be the most GI friendly)


Sautee the squash and onion over medium-high heat in a little olive oil until crisp-tender.  Add squash/onion mixture, green chiles, sour cream, and cheese to an oiled casserole dish and stir to blend.  Top with crushed tortilla chips and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350.

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Fallen Fruit and Other Free Foods

Usually, when diabetics talk about free foods, it is the foods that we can eat without fear of making our blood sugar go all wonky without worrying about proportions.

However this is about food that is literally free.  These guys had such a great idea.  They have created a website that documents all of the great edibles that are available in their LA neighborhood, either in parks are growing out into public areas.

This isn’t a new idea at all.  My grandparents, children of the Depression, had their own backyard garden as well as grape vines that wouldn’t die.  The grapes weren’t very good but my grandmother turned them into jelly every year.  They also picked fruit and nuts from the trees of anyone who didn’t want their bounty and would let them in the yard.  Those fruits also became jams and jellies and the nuts went into pies.

We are starting to think about food in this way again.  Now that the price of transporting our groceries has become so outrageously high, we are thinking about eating fresh, and local.  And we are remembering not to waste our bounty.

San Antonio has plenty of non-cultivated edibles growing on each block.  My work has me visiting homes all over town. Pecan trees are very plentiful out here, as are citrus fruit trees and other fruit trees, even pomegranates (my colleagues fight over who is going to visit the houses with pomegranates).  Because rosemary loves hot, dry weather many places landscape with it so it grows in massive quantities all over town.

As an experiment, I brought my camera on my walk down the street to pick up the mail and found two edibles in that short distance. (A year ago it would have been four.  The great freeze of 2007 killed my neighbor’s orange tree and my chili pepper bush). On my block alone we have


I did some reading on nopales and  was thinking that their fiber content would make them very GI friendly.  Then I found this article, which shows how adding nopalitos to your diet can lower the postprandial gylcemic response of diabetics.  Just adding the nopalitos to their breakfast, not even substituting it for something else.  Pretty cool, huh?


Pears, yum.  There are several hanging over into the public area by the mailboxes.  But I need to make friends with these people and gain access to their backyard.  Pear butter, anyone?


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