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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Simple Summer Suppers, part 1 of ?

I am finding total joy in my "discovery" that a home-cooked meal doesn't have to be complicated. It is even possible with a very loving toddler clinging to your leg. Or even one-armed, if said toddler insists on being held. Although this is true year-round, it just seems to have clicked for me this summer. Anyway, I love saying "simple summer supper."

1. I've already confessed to a fluid definition of home-cooked. I say if part or most of it is homemade, you win!
2. Vegetables actually taste really good with very little fuss! (Especially when you buy them already chopped up!)
3. Fresh fruit as dessert.

Here are a couple of my favorites from the last couple weeks.

Spinach Tortellini with Zucchini, Peas & Pesto

    • Store-bought fresh pasta.
    • Store-bought jar of pesto. (I know, but I just planted my basil.)
    • I did chop the zucchini myself. The peas were frozen.
    • Microwave the veggies while the pasta boil.
    • Then toss everything together.
  • It is as green as it is good!
  • Sidebar: I thought $4 was steep for the teeny bag of tortellini, but it plumps way up & the veggies stretch it out. It made 5 meals - dinner for 3 the first night, then lunch for the munchkin the next day, and lunch for me the day after.
Mustard Roasted Cauliflower

  • I served this side tonight with a frozen pasta bag. Still easy night, but the side made it special. It definitely outshone the Macaroni Grill - like the sun v. a lightbulb!
    • Preheat oven to 425 F
    • Open bagged cauliflower & dump on cookie sheet (covered in foil in this house) 
    • Cut extra large pieces so they are all fairly uniform
    • Drizzle with EVOO, top with fresh ground pepper & kosher salt, one time over with ground mustard
    • Pop in the oven roughly 40 minutes
  • I swear somehow this turned into tender, delicious, buttery insanity. I could have eaten dog biscuits for my main dish.

(Disclaimer, this picture was available on Food Network. The recipe was my own creation though. I need to learn about food photography.)

I am currently obsessed with this as a dessert. My daughter loves it and also has a great time squishing it in her hands. Thus, I usually reserve it for a bath night treat.
I'd also like to try watermelon gazpacho and/or a watermelon mohito. Any recipes? Please share!


  1. I'll have to try the roasted cauliflower. I have one rolling around in my crisper :) I usually steam it with cajun seasoning sprinkled on top. One of my fave ways to eat it! Have you tried roasting broccoli? I love it! I mix with pine nuts, roasted red peppers, a roasted garlic & lemon mixture and sometimes feta cheese.

  2. I love roasting broccoli! I do a very similar combo, but I like balsamic on mine. We also just do plain with S&P, EVOO. I have trouble when I try to roast combined cauliflower and broccoli. The broccoli cooks way faster!