Making every bite count

04 June 2007

I love summer, and vegetables!

Summer makes me happy, and it makes me want to eat vegetables. Farmers markets are starting, everything's in bloom, and I have one, tiny, green tomato growing from my lone tomato plant. My dill is back from the verge of death, and my parsley is still clinging precariously to life. There is hope for me and my brown thumbs yet.
I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," about a year of eating locally. I've been inspired, but how can I ultimately eat locally and grow my own food if I can barely keep one plant alive. Sigh.
For now, I'm paying attention to the origin of my food. Bananas and pineapple are out. Those refrigerated tropicals are the Hummers of the food world, she writes.
Tonight I made a healthful pasta, with produce that was trucked in from all over the world. I'm making efforts, but it's hard. So I'm being patient.
This pasta feels like summer to me, fresh, warm and a jumble of goodness. It's still too early in the season to get these vegetables locally-grown, but that's OK. Baby steps.
Mmm, and to make this pasta a bit decadent, I added a bit of Bulgarian sheep's milk feta that Fred and I bought last weekend at the Mediterranean store at Findlay Market.
Pasta with potential
1 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 c onion, chopped
1/3 green pepper, minced
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
3 c fresh spinach
handful black olives, chopped
1/4 c feta with brine
red pepper flakes to taste
1 t oregano
black pepper to taste
2 c whole-wheat pasta
Boil water, add pasta. Cook as directed. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add garlic and cook until golden. Add onions and continue to cook 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Add green peppers and cook another 2-3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, cook for a minute and add spinach, oregano and peppers. Cover with a lid, turn off heat and allow spinach to wilt.
When pasta is done, add to pan, along with olives and stir well. Top with feta and more oregano, if desired. I served it with tofu.


Sunday I marinated firm tofu in 1/4 c red wine, 1 T garlic, 1 t oregano, a pinch of salt and a few twists of black pepper. The tofu came out a rich violet color, which is a strange shade for protein. Tonight I patted it dry and cooked it in a tablespoon of olive oil in my beloved cast-iron skillet. Crisp on the outside, creamy but firm on the inside, with tons of flavor.


Oh, and you'll notice that I was eating with chopsticks. A great diet tactic: Eat with chopsticks. It takes you longer to eat, so you'll eat slower and notice when you feel full.

1 Comments:

At 17 June, 2007 17:43 , Anonymous Katie said...

You need to go on Top Chef!!!!!!

 

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