Monthly Archives: June 2011

24 Jun 2011 Bread and Tomato Soup

Adapted from Oliver, J. Bread and Tomato Soup. Downloaded from the web on 24 June 2011. 

Tomato and Bread Soup

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: While it is still too early for farmer’s market tomatoes here in New England, there are still good sources available for fresh and canned tomatoes to use in this recipe. Besides, I had some bread to use up 🙂 Besides being warming and very fresh tasting, I like this recipe because of its simplicity. Never mind that the proportions are metric (a little brain work is good for you!). Enjoy it now and then create it again when the tomatoes are perfectly ripe right off the vine.


500 g cherry tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
a large bunch of fresh basil, leaved picked, stalks finely chopped (separate the stalks from the leaves)
high quality extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
2 400-g (14 oz) tin (that’s cans to us) plum tomatoes
500 g or 2 large handfuls of stale good-quality bread (I used some leftover ciabatta)


1. Prick the cherry tomatoes with a fork and toss with one clove of garlic and about a quarter of the chopped up basil. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in a roasting tray and cook in the over at 180 c (350 F) for 20 minutes.

2. Heat a glug (Jamie’s term!) of olive oil in a pot and add the remaining garlic and basic stalks. Stir around and gently fry for a minute until softened. Add the canned tomatoes then fill at least one can with water and add that also (you may want to consider adding more water if the soup seems to thick). Break up the tomatoes with a spoon, bring soup to a boil and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Tear the bread into thumb-sized pieces and add them to the pot. Add the torn basil leaves, let the bread sit on top of the soup mixture at low heat for 10 minutes. By this time the cherry tomatoes will have finished roasting — pour them (basil leaves, tomatoes, juices and all) into the soup pot.

4. Give the soup a good stir — you are looking to achieve a thick, silky porridgy texture. Remove from heat, add an additional 6-7 TBSP of olive oil and divide between 4 bowls — garnish with additional basil leaves if you want.

Serves 4.

20 Jun 2011 Tatsoi/Bok Choy Fried Rice

Adapted from The Pod. World Peas CSA, project of New Entry Sustainable Farming Project. (June 16, 2011).

Bok Choy Fried Rice

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: This is the second year that Adrien and I have belonged to a local CSA, World Peas.  What a wonderful idea behind the CSA — new farmers are mentored and supported while they learn how to plan, grow, manage and market crops. Adrien has photographed some of the farmers — and through this project we’ve met some incredible people.

Our weekly share comes complete with a newsletter suggesting ways to use some of the bounty that we receive.  This recipe actually came from another CSA’s published cookbook, Asparagus to Zucchini. Advertised as an alternative lunch dish, I doubled it — left out the meat — and served it as a stir fry main dish. And found there was plenty leftover for the next day’s lunch too.


2 tsp peanut oil, divided (I used avocado oil because I had it)
2 tsp sesame oil, divided
14 cup diced carrots
ginger (diced), scallions
1 cup diced tatsoi or bok choy

(I added about a cup per person of fresh spinach)

1 1/2 cups leftover rice (I prefer brown)
1/2 cup leftover cooked meat – or substitute (I didn’t use this – more veggies!)
1 egg
chili garlic sauce (optional) and soy sauce

1. Heat wok over medium high heat. Add 1 tsp each of the peanut and sesame oil. Add carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the greens (bok choy and anything else you’re using) and stir fry for another 2 minutes.

2. Push veggies to the side of the pan and add remaining peanut oil followed by the rice, meat (if using), some ginger and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add some green onions.

3. Push the veggies to the side of the pan. Add the remaining sesame oil, and crack an egg into the center of the wok. Scramble it.

4. Once egg is cooked, break it up and mix into other ingredients. Add a little chili garlic paste if you desire and some soy sauce.

5. Cook for another minute or two and serve hot.

15 June 2011 Pea Ravioli

Adapted From O’Hara, Julie. Seasonal Sensations. Clean Eating Magazine. (Vol 4, Issue 5). June 2011. page 46.

Pea Ravioli

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: Now this was a delicious spring recipe — the fresh flavor of peas and the brilliant green color made it pleasing to the palate and the eye.  I suppose a purist would make the ravioli dough; that just not for me right now. I did however find making my own ravioli enjoyable and not that difficult to accomplish, even on a weeknight. I did not use chicken broth – preferred to make this vegetarian.


1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable (or chicken broth)
1- 1/4 cups fresh or frozen peas, divided
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup low-fat ricotta
5 TBSP grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided
2 TBSP chopped fresh chives (plus additional for garnish)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
32 whole-wheat wonton wrappers


1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add shallot and cook until soft and translucent – about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook additional 1 minutes, sitrring constantly.  Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup of the peas and simmer until just tender (2-3 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, remove the peas and shallots from the broth and place in a food processor.. Cover the saucepan to keep the broth warm and set aside. To food processor, add ricotta, 3 TBSP romano, chives and lemon zest. Puree, taste and adjust seasonings.

Making Ravioli

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

2. Bring a large pot of water to boil while you make the ravioli. Arrange a small bowl of water and baking sheet near your work area. Place 2 wonton wrappers in front of you; keep the remaining wontons under a towel to keep them from drying out. Place 1 TBSP of the pea mixture; dip finger in water and moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper. Place the second wrapper over the top and press together firmly to seal. Transfer to the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining materials.

3. Just before cooking ravioli, return reserved broth to a simmer. Add remaining 1/4 cup pease to broth and cook uncovered for about 2 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, add ravioli to pot with boiling water and cook for 2 minutes or until dough is al dente and ravioli rise to the surface. Remove with slotted spoon or skimmer (4 bowls) and divide broth mixture over all four bowls. Garnish with remaining Romano and garnish with chives.

Serves 4. Nutrition: Calories 414, 9 g fat, 68 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 21 g protein.

11 June 2011 Basil Shrimp and Peas

Adapted from Welland, Dianne. 14-Day clean eating meal plan. Clean Eating Magazine. (Vol. 4, Issue 5). June 2011. p 77.

Basil Shrimp and Peas

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: The idea of eating “clean” appeals to me – we try not to eat much of anything that has been processed and we try to eat more whole grain foods.  It is less expensive to make-our-own and keep out of the middle aisles of the food store.

A good substitute for the shrimp making this purely vegetarian would be baked tofu — something to pick up the basil and lemon flavors.


1/2 lb. cooked shrimped (shells removed)
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups cooked peas
1 cup shredded basic
2 tsp lemon zest
juice of one lemon
one onion
small amount of olive oil for cooking


1. Start the rice. I used 1 cup rice to 2 cups water. Begin by bringing the water to boil, add the rice, cover, reduce the heat to simmer and let cook untouched for 20-25 minutes.

2. Boil the shrimp (shell on) in water. When they are done, drain and set aside. Cook the peas (frozen or fresh).

3. Heat a small amount of oil in a deep fry pan, saute onion on low. Add the shrimp, lemon juice and lemon zest. Add in 2 cups of the peas – well drained. Just before serving add the basic to the mix.

4. Serve by either scooping up a serving of rice and topping with the shrimp mixture, or if mix the brown rice into the shrimp mixture, toss and enjoy.

Clean Eating claims this makes 2 servings — way to much for us. We made 4 servings out of this.

6 June 2011 Spinach Souffle

Adapted from: Welland, D. 14-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan. Clean Eating Magazine. (Vol 4, Issue 5). June 2011. page 80.

Spinach souffle

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: I spotted this recipe in Clean Eating Magazine and decided 25-plus years was enough time between souffles. Years ago, I watched Julia Child on television,  and I used to make a cheese souffle every once in a while.  Needless to say, the buttery base was quite a bit more heavy than this version.  This one seems a bit healthier.  It remains, however, a bit complicated for a fast fix on a weeknight; be sure to read through the entire recipe first!


4 eggs, separated
1 large white potato, peeled and diced
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced in 1/4-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
3 TBSP whole wheat flour
1 cup low-fat milk (we used Rice Milk)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
Olive oil cooking spray

Method (long, read through it first)

1. Add egg whites to a large mixing bowl and place in the fridge to keep cold. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and set aside at room temperature. Ensure that the over rack is in the middle position and preheat the oven to 375 F.

2. Fill a small pan with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add potato, return to boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain potato and add back to dry pot. Heat on medium-high heat for about 2 minutes until dry. Set aside.

3. Squeeze liquid from spinach and set aside. In large saucepan heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until softened – 1 to 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for additional 1-2 minutes.

4. SLOWLY whisk in the milk until smooth and mixture thickens – about 1-2 minutes. Add nutmeg and pepper. Gradually add cheese, mixing until incorporated. Remove mixture from heat. Temper egg yolks by adding about 1/2 cup hot cheese mixture to yolks, beating constantly. Then whisk egg yolks back into cheese sauce, beating constantly until incorporated and smooth (about 1 minute).

5. In the bowl of large food processor, add potato, spinach, and cheese sauce; puree for 30 seconds to 1 minute until smooth.

6. Remove egg whites from refrigerator. Beat with an electric mixer on high-speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes.

7. Use a spatula, gently fold egg whites into spinach mixture. Mix 8 6-oz ramekins with cooking spray. Fill each until about 1/2 inch from the top. Place directly on middle oven rack and bake 25-30 minutes or until well-browned.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.

Serves 8.  Nutrition: 177 calories,  8 g fat, 14 g fiber, 12 g protein, 14 g carbohydrates.

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