Tag Archives: Adrien Bisson Photography

16 January 2014 A Basic Caprese Salad

2014-01-12-foodie-015The middle of winter is not necessarily when you expect to find tomatoes, is it?  These, though not vine ripened, did actually grow on a farm in Massachusetts. They are Ugly, an apt name for this variety, and they were delicious!

Basic Caprese Salad

  • Ripe tomatoes, washed and sliced at about 1/4 inch
  • Fresh mozarella cheese, sliced
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and pepper2014-01-12-foodie-066

Method

  • Wash and slice the tomatoes and arrange on a serving dish
  • Slice the cheese into rounds, put one round (or 1/2 a round, if the fresh mozarella is quite large) on each tomato slice
  • Top with a freshly washed and dried basil leaf
  • Drizzle with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Serve at room temperature or cold. Enjoy!

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13 January 2014 Roasted Root Vegetables

We visited a local market, Idylwilde Farms in Acton this week – one of my favorite places tImageo go. It is a place where high-end food products and wines can be found right next to the most beautiful produce imaginable. Our challenge this week was to find locally grown produce and, despite the fact that we’re right smack in the middle of January, we were able to do just that.

The parsnips and carrots are both from Western Massachusetts. One of my favorite winter veg side-dishes is, roasted root vegetables. Roasting brings out the sweetness of both the carrot and parsnips making this one satisfying treat for a winter meal.

Roasting vegetables, especially root vegetables, is a fairly simple process: hot (400 F) oven, chunks of cleaned veggies coated with olive oil, some seasonings of choice, and about 20 minutes. Here’s the “master” recipe for tonight’s dish:

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips  2014-01-12-foodie-055

  • About 3  large parsnips, cleaned, quartered and chunked (2 inch long chunks)
  • About 3 large carrots, cleaned, quartered and chunked (2 inch long chunks)
  • Good quality olive oil to coat. Tonight I used half basil infused, half good old EVOO
  • A couple of handfuls of herbs – tonight we used fresh rosemary, salt and pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400 F
  • Clean and cut the parsnips and carrots. Place in a large bowl.
  • Add the olive oil to coat generously.
  • Toss in the herbs and salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Spread in a single layer in a large baking pan.
  • Place in preheated oven and roast for 15-20 minutes. Test vegetables for doneness, remove from oven and serve.

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04 Jan 2014 Kale Chips

2014-01-05-foodie-022We finally got an opportunity to visit the Chelmsford Agway Winter Farmer’s Market this weekend.  Not only was a great excuse for breaking out of the house after the end-of-week snowstorm, it was reinvigorating to visit with and buy from local farmers and businesses.

And it was the perfect catalyst for getting both Adrien and me back on track with our food collaboration project, Four Nights a Week. Check out Adrien’s blog for more great photos.

This week the kale looked great so we bought a bunch from local farmer, 2014-01-05-foodie-013Jones Farms and some very tasty salsa from Town Farm Gardens in Brookfield, MA.

Kale Chips (adapted from many many recipes)

Ingredients

  • Bunch of kale
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse Salt

Method

  1. Thoroughly wash the kale leaves. Cut the thick spines off the leaves and rip into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Dry the kale (water and oil don’t mix). I used my salad spinner for this. Put the kale in a large mixing bowl so you can toss the olive oil and salt with the leaves.
  3. Drizzle on the oil – enough to coat (not drench). I’m guessing a couple of tablespoons were enough. Now sprinkle on the coarse salt.
  4. Spread the kale in a single layer on baking sheets. Don’t make the mistake of putting all the kale on one sheet or the leaves won’t crisp up.
  5. Bake at 325 F for 10 minutes or so — watch the leaves so that they dry and crisp but don’t brown.  Also, I know there are some bloggers recommending using a microwave, but I would not….. too easy for leaves to catch on fire.
  6. Take the pans out and let things cool off until you can handle. Serve and enjoy.

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05 August 2011 Cucumber Salad with Olives, Oregano, and Almonds

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen. Cooking for Two 2012. (2012) Brookline, MA: Boston Common Press Limited Partnership. p 74.

My Comment: Cucumber salads are the epitome of refreshing on hot summer days.  As a big fan of America’s Test Kitchens, I knew this salad would be perfection – a descriptor I would NOT have used with my previous iterations of this salad. Thanks to the chefs at ATK, here is a salad that has crunch and flavor.

Ingredients:

2 small cucumbers, peeled, halved length-wise, seeded and sliced thin
2 1/2 TBSP white wine vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp  lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 TBSP chopped, pitted Kalamata olives
1 small shallot, sliced thin
12 tsp minced fresh oregano
1 1/2 TBSP sliced almonds (toasted & chopped coarse) I omitted these

Method

1. Line baking sheet with paper towels and evenly spread cucumber slices on sheet. Refrigerate while preparing dressing.

2. Bring vinegar to simmer in small saucepan over medium-low heat; continue to simmer until reduced to 1 TBSP, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperatures, about 5 minutes. Whisk in oil, sugar, lemon juice, 12 tsp salt and pinch pepper until well combined.

3. add cucumbers, olives, shallot, and oregano to dressing and toss to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes, then toss to redistribute dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with almonds.  Serves 2.

Nutrition information (almonds included):

Calories (60), fat (3.2 g), Carbs (8.2), Fiber (3.9), Protein (1.0).  Hormonal carbs (Metabolic Effect = 3.3)


30 July 2012 Grilled Peppers Piedmontese

Have you ever noticed how your weekly food bill creeps up when you don’t menu plan?  In addition to changing the way we are eating so that we’re more conscious of hormonal carbs, this week I was inspired to do more meal planning when we realized our food bills were getting out of control.  This recipe from the Boston Globe Sunday magazine seemed a good fit for an interesting side –

Copyright © 2012. Adrien Bisson Photography.

and at 6.9 grams fat and -58.8 hormonal carbs (yes!) it’s right on target for eating metabolically. We served with a lean boneless skinless chicken breast which shared the grill and was simply seasoned with salt and pepper.

 

 

Grilled Peppers Piedmontese

Adapted from Reid, Adam. Out of the oven, onto the grill. The Boston Globe Magazine. July 29, 2012. p 16.

Copyright © 2012. Adrien Bisson Photography.Globe Magazine. (July 29, 2012). p 16.

Ingredients:

1 dry pint grape tomatoes (halved)
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 anchovy fillets, chopped
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil plus extra for drizzling if wanted
Salt and black pepper
3 TBSP chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise through the stem, membranes and seeds removed.

Method:

In a medium bowl, mix the tomatoes, garlic, anchovies, 2 TBSP oil, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste, the parsley and half of the basil.

Prepare a medium fire charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on high for 15 minutes (if using gas, adjust burners to medium).

Grill the peppers open sides down until the edges char (6-8 minutes). Turn the peppers, divide the tomato mixture among them, cover the grill and grill until peppers are tender but not collapsed, 15 to 20 minutes.

Arrange the peppers on a platter and drizzle with oil (I didn’t) and sprinkle with the remaining basil just before serving hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Serves 6.  PER SERVING: 328 calories. Total fat 6.9 grams, Total carbs 4.7 grams, Fiber 1.1 grams, Protein 62.4 grams.


01 Oct 2011 Cauliflower Gratin with Tomatoes and Feta

Adapted from Madison, D. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. (1997). New York: Broadway Books. p 281.

Cauliflower Gratin

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson Photography

My Comment: I seem to be having a bit of a time management problem these days – and our diet has suffered. The change of the calendar to October is hopefully going to provide some inspiration to reconnect with the important things – eating healthful foods made at home.  Deborah Madison provides this gratin which is a family favorite – we love the creaminess of feta and the saltiness of capers. Have I mentioned cinnamon is my favorite spice?

A note about nutritional information. I am no longer using Weight Watchers points, but through the Calorie Count website, can provide the information Weight Watchers and other nutrition-aware users to track food intake. Enjoy!

Ingredients

2 to 3 TBSP Olive Oil (less is more if you’re asking me)
1 onion, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1/2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1-15-oz can diced tomatoes (I use Muir Glen)
1 tsp honey
1 TBSP capers, rinsed
salt and freshly milled pepper
1 large cauliflowers (about 1-1/2 lbs) broken into florets
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 to 4 oz. crumbled feta
Parsley, finely chopped

Method

1. Preheat the broiler and lightly oil a 2-quart gratin dish.

2. Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, oregano and cinnamon. Cook until the onion is wilted – about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, cook for 7 minutes more, then add the honey and capers and season with salt and pepper. Slide the mixture into the gratin dish.

3. Meanwhile, steam the cauliflower for 5 minutes. Set it on the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the lemon juice over the top and add the feta. Place 5 to 6 inches under the broiler until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is beginning to brown – about 10 minutes.

4. Garnish with parsley and serve. (If you are assembling the gratin ahead of time, cover and bake at 400 F until bubbling – about 20 minutes and the finish under the broiler).

Nutrition Information: 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 40 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories

80

Total Fat 6.8g, Total Carbohydrates 4.9g, Dietary Fiber 0.8g, Protein 0.5g



25 Aug 2011 Shrimp & Avocado Salad

Adapted from Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: Fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p. 167.

shrimp and avocado salad

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

My Comment: I know, I know…. not strictly vegetarian. But once in a while I enjoy fish. Our CSA share this week included a bag of baby greens, garlic, and several beautifully ripe tomatoes. What could be better than fresh produce picked that morning?

There is something wonderful about the combination of lemon and tarragon; I think I’d enjoy this salad even without the shrimp.

Ingredients:

1 pound peeled & deveined shrimp
2 TBSP vegetable or olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced

FOR THE DRESSING

juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP chopped FRESH tarragon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup olive oil (I use about half that amount)

2 avocados
2 tomatoes
6 cups baby greens or torn lettuce

Method

 1. Warm oil in skillet, add the garlic and shrimp. Saute until the shrimp turns pink (2-4 minutes). Set aside.

2. Whisk together the dressing ingredients. Toss the cooked shrimp with about 1/4 cup of the dressing.

3. Peel and pit the avocado and cut into wedges. Cut the tomato into wedges. Arrange the shrimp, avocado, and tomatoes on the greens and drizzle on more of the dressing.

Serves 4. Nutrition: Calories 470. Fat 36.5, Carbohydrates 12, Fiber 7.7


22 Aug 2011 Summer Panzanella

Adapted from: Moosewood Collective. Simple suppers: fresh ideas for the weeknight table. (2005). New York: Clarkson Potter. p 108.

My Comment: This is one of my favorite parts of the summer – when all

Summer Panzanella

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson

 the tomatoes ripen at the same time 🙂 Not only do I have some heirloom tomatoes growing in my own garden, but we received some delicious orange-colored cherry tomatoes from our CSA and our neighbor shared some yellow and red cherry tomatoes too. What’s a cook to do except locate a tomato-friendly recipe and use them all up!

Ingredients:

1/2 loaf of crusty French or Italian bread (about 8 oz) (I used 1/2 of this amount)
4 tomatoes (see note above)
1 large ball of fresh mozzarella (about 5 oz)
1/2 red onion
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 cup pitted olives (used Kalamata)
1 TBSP red wine or cider vinegar
1 TBSP olive oil
salt and pepper (fresh ground)
Optional: extra vinaigrette

Method:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the bread in half lengthwise and place in the oven until crisp – 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and place them in a serving bowl: Cut to tomatoes and fresh mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups of tomatoes and 1 cup of mozzarella), peel and thinly slice the red onion, cut the basil leaves into thin strips and chop the olives.

3. Add the vinegar and oil to the bowl and toss well.

4. Cut the toasted bread into 1-inch cubes (7 to 8 cups). Add the bread cubes to the bowl and toss well. Let the salad sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the bread to soak up some of the juices. Add salt and pepper to taste (pass extra viniagrette on the side – but we found it didn’t need any extra dressing).

Serves 4.  Nutrition information: Calories 282, Fat 15.3 g, Carbs 23.9, Fiber 3.6


18 Aug 2011 Zucchini Tomato Curry

Adapted from Meatless Monday: Zucchini Tomato Curry. Downloaded from the web on 08/16/2011.

My Comment: Although this recipe filled our house with the delicious fragrance of cumin, coriander and ginger, the finished product – in my humble opinion – needs a tweak or two.  First of all, the zucchini rounds should be cut again so that they cook up faster. Or maybe I just need to by skinnier zucchini 🙂  We both expected a bit more of a sauce; not sure how to accomplish that. I served Adrien some basmati rice with his portion –  mine without. Note – the directions on Meatless Monday’s site left out the garam masala even though it is listed in the ingredient list, so if you use the download, be prepared to punt.

Ingredients  

zucchini tomato curry

Copyirght © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

1 TBSP olive oil for preparing the pan
2 tsp fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 TBSP garam masala (make your own, or I used Whole Foods brand)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper to taste
3 zucchini, sliced into rounds (see my comment above)
2 ripe tomatoes, pureed
juice from 1/4 lemon

Method

1. Place olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Add fresh garlic, ginger and onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until fragrant.

2. Add pureed tomatoes to the pan and stir until well incorporated. Season the tomato-onion mixutre with the cumin, coriander,  Garam Masala, salt and pepper (to taste). Mix well to ensure all seasonings are evenly distributed.

3. Toss in the zucchini and stir well to ensure the zucchini is thoroughly coated in tomato curry sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes (I think this should be a LOT longer), stirring occasionally, or until the zucchini is cooked through.

4. Squirt the 14 lemon over the curry. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serves 3. Nutrition information: Calories 108.3, Fat 5.6 grams, carbs 13.7 g, fiber 3.8 grams, protein 3.7 grams.


25 Jul 2011 Rice Noodle Bowl with Broccoli & Bell Peppers

Adapted from: Gadia, M. “Table for One“. Vegetarian Times (Vol. 36, No. 7). July/August 2010. P. 31.

Rice noodle bowl

Copyright © 2011. Adrien Bisson.

My Comment: This recipe was originally part of an article about cooking for one; sometimes I think cooking for just two is equally challenging.  It was easy to double – being a teacher I know my times tables :-)! It seems like it would be quite easy to vary the vegetables according to what is in season. This one looks like a keeper to me.

Ingredients

1-1/2 oz. dried rice noodles broken into 1-inch pieces
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar (or other healthy sweetner like agave)
1 tsp chile sauce (or to taste)
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic minced (if the chile sauce already includes garlic, skip this)
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup broccoli
1 TBSP chopped roasted peanuts (optional)

Method

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add broken noodles. Remove from heat and let stand 5 to 7 minutes or until noodles are rehydrated. Drain and discard water.

2. Meanwhile, whisk together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar or sweetener, chile sauce and 1/4 cup water in small bowl. Set aside.

3. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and stir fry 1 minute. Add bell pepper and broccoli and cook 1 minute more. Add soy sauce mixture , bring to a boil and cook 1 minute more or until bell pepper and broccoli are tender. Stir in noodles. Serve sprinkled with roasted peanuts, if using.

Servings = 1. Nutrition information: 311 calories, 10 G fat, 55 G carbs, 3 G fiber.


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