Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

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    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘Dinner of Herbs’

Winter Time Ideas

Posted by terrepruitt on November 1, 2014

It is winter time, although with the way the weather has been behaving the past few years I am not sure that nature knows how to respond.  Animals and plants do not have clocks and calendars, they react to their internal clocks and the way the weather is.  If it is warm they might not realize winter is on the way and they need to prepare.  If there is no water they might not be able to prepare.  If their homes or hunting grounds are being torn up because buildings or houses are being built they might even be at more of a loss.  But there are still a few fruits and veggies we might see during the winter.  Perhaps not all of nature is confused.  One is the delicata squash I recently mentioned.  A friend was over asking if we ate the skin.  She also mentioned winter squash and while I had heard the term before I never really paid attention.  It used to be in the same category to me as how things are classified.  I never paid attention to what is a winter squash and what is a summer squash.  I just buy what is in the store.  I have been receiving winter veggies and fruits in my delivery.  Perhaps more accurately described as fall fruits and veggies.  I have pomegranates, persimmons, and pears.  We have received chard, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and delicata squash.  What do you do with that stuff?

You know me.  If you have read one, you’ve read them all . . . I roast it.  Roasting is so easy.  It is easy, tasty, and time efficient.  Time really is the main reason why I love roasting.  Cut it up, oil it, garlic it, salt it and put it in the oven, then go do whatever it is you still need to do.  So easy.  But I can’t do that for everything.  Ok, with the squash I get “fancy”, I roast it THEN I stuff it, but c’mon . . . there has got to be other ways.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCATonight I made a stuffed pumpkin.  I didn’t have any ricotta so I used the Neufchâtel cheese I had left over from the chicken dish I made – documented in my post Leftover Rainbow Chard To The Rescue.  I think it might have even made it better.  I’m not sure.  I just didn’t want to buy a container of ricotta just for 2 ounces. So I just decided to use the Neufchâtel since I had bought 8 ounces of it and only used 2 ounces.  It was fine.

I do want to roast a pumpkin to make soup out of it, but what else do you do with all of these wonderful winter vegetables.  I have never gotten beyond my Fancy Toast when it comes to persimmons and I have about seven sitting on my counter right now.  What do you do with persimmons?  Can they be uses in a “salsa” or a chutney?

Can you use delicata squach for soup?  I also received some baby bok choy.  Read any of my posts?  If so, you know I LOOOOOOOVE baby bok choy.  It can be cooked and eaten by itself or added to just about anything.  YUM!!!!

I am just thinking you might have ideas that you could share.  Some tried and true, some favorite recipes that you might want to share.  I asked last year and I received a SPECTACULAR recipe I am going to share soon.  It is easy and yummy and one of those things you make that you just want to put on/in everything because it is so good.  You can eat it by itself.

So . . . what have you got?  What do you do with all of or any of this wonder winter produce we have?

 

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Leftover Rainbow Chard To The Rescue

Posted by terrepruitt on October 25, 2014

You might know from reading my posts that 1) I teach Nia in the morning and yoga in the evening on Thursdays  2)  On Thursdays I like to have dinner at the point of readiness at which it will only take a 20 minutes tops for me to have dinner on the table  3)  I cook a lot of ground turkey and use the same flavors/spices.  So, I was so excited that on Sunday I thought ahead to what I would cook on Thursday.  I found a recipe in my “Recipes I really want to try” folder.  Artichoke hearts are not something I think of using because I didn’t always like them.  The recipe I decided to try had them in it.  I was very focused on the artichoke hearts.  My plan kind of consisted of the fact that by the time I went shopping on Thursday we would need A LOT of things.  The weekend before we had been out of town so I let the fridge get rather empty.  So this trip I was going to be grabbing some staples.  I had added a few things to my list as I thought of them.  I was focused on the artichoke hearts, that DIFFERENT flavor.  The recipe I chose was a chicken recipe and when I glanced at it when scribbling out my list I thought the chicken was shredded.  My idea was to check the recipe again before I shopped on Thursday to see if it was or not.  If it was I could have used chicken I had, if not, I needed to buy some.  I got busy and didn’t check the recipe again and I just decided I could buy the chicken and use it if I needed it or save it if I didn’t.  Something came up Thursday morning after my Nia class so I arrived home after shopping later than I planned.  After putting away the groceries and having some food, I looked at the recipe – the SPINACH and Artichoke Chicken recipe.  I hadn’t bought spinach.  I hadn’t even put it on the list.  (EYE ROLL!)

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCASo click here for the recipe I was going to make.  The recipe I ended up making is below.  Just some slight adjustments. (Be sure to visit Dinner of Herbs for more yummy recipes!)

When I was putting away the groceries I noticed I had a container of “fresh” baby spinach that needed to be used.  There was about a handful of nice looking leaves.  I had also noticed we had our leftover Rainbow Chard.  I had cooked the Rainbow Chard as I usually do with onions and garlic and salt in some olive oil.  I had even added a bit of Worcestershire sauce to help over power the “green” taste.  So the chard was tasty.  I was just concerned that it would get too cooked after baking for 25 minutes.  But . . . I didn’t have the time nor the desire to go out to get spinach.  I needed to use up the chard anyway so . . . why not?

Also, the store I was at did not have the usual brand of chicken breast so I bought some that I have never seen.  They were quite large.

So below is what I ended up making.  I thought to take a few pictures while I was making it, but after I got home from class and was in get-it-on-the-table mode I forgot to take pictures of it cooked.  It was good.  I will be making it again . . . . next time with spinach and then who knows.  It seems any green you would cook would work.

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Chicken With Spinach, Rainbow Chard, and Artichoke Hearts

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied
garlic salt
handful of baby spinach, chopped
1.5 cups of cooked Rainbow Chard
2 6.5 oz jars of artichoke hearts, drained (save a little for the pan)*, and chopped
1/8 C sliced almonds**
2 oz Neufchâtel cheese
2-3 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Sprinkle garlic salt on both sides of each chicken breast.  In a large bowl mix the spinach, chard, artichoke hearts, almonds, Parmesan cheese, and powders.  Use two utensils to cut the Neufchatel cheese into the mixture.  Put the chicken in a 9X13 glass casserole dish.  Spoon the filling onto one side of each of the butterflied chicken breasts, then fold over.  Spoon any remaining filling onto each folded chicken breast, if you have enough put it all around.  Bake for at least 20 minutes . . . until chicken is cooked to your liking.

*I poured a little bit of the artichoke marinade on the chicken.
**Next time I am going to add more AND sprinkle some on top!

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCAThe chicken breast I used were so huge, I actually had to cook them for 40 minutes.  PLUS, I left them in the oven with it turned off for an additional 10 minutes while I prepared our plates with the rice I served.  I don’t think that the chicken I normally buy would require 40 minutes.

Neufchâtel is like cream cheese in that it has the same consistency, so it just didn’t stir into the other ingredients.  I had to “cut it in” with two utensils.  Basically you want to make sure there are no clumps of cheese.

The store I was at had only ONE brand of Neufchâtel cheese and I don’t know how authentic it is because it tastes just like cream cheese to me.  Perhaps on my next go at this recipe I will find a brand that I feel is more authentic.  I will do some research.

Sounds yummy, huh?  Don’t you think any green that you would cook would work?  If you make it with another green (kale, collard greens, etc) let me know.  Go wild!

 

 

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Bruschetta Pasta

Posted by terrepruitt on August 5, 2014

You may have read my post regarding how much I loved Dinner of Herbs eggplant bruschetta recipe. I said I could put the eggplant mixture on anything. Well, I actually bought the ingredients to make the bruschetta, I even remembered the bread! But when I arrived at home I looked in my refrigerator and realized I had some zucchini I needed to use. Plus I had some mushrooms I needed to use. So I decided this would be a great time to put the eggplant and tomato mixture with a little extra over pasta. So I am just adding zucchini and mushrooms to the way I made the bruschetta.  Here is what I made:

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Five-Vegetable PastaDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes

Ingredients:

–1 medium or large eggplant, cubed (very small)
–4 medium sized tomatoes, cubed
–1 lb of mushrooms, sliced or coarsely chopped
–2 zucchinis, grated
–3/4 of a large onion, chopped (tiny)
olive oil
two tablespoons of butter
garlic powder
onion powder
salt
pepper
sweet basil
balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese, as desired
1 package/box/container of pasta (I prefer linguine)

Heat the oven to 450°F.

Put the eggplant on a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil. Mix it up, then spread the eggplant evenly, in one layer (the eggplant I used was too large to be one layer), over the baking sheet. After baking for about 10 minutes, move the eggplant around on the pan.  After another 10 minutes, gently stir/toss the eggplant and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about an additional 25 minutes. Stirring or tossing if necessary to ensure even roasting. In between roasting the eggplant, spread 3/4 of the tomato out over a baking sheet. (I used parchment paper on the baking sheet.) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and onion powder. (Tomatoes are too delicate to be mixed as done with the eggplant.) Bake until the edge pieces are browning.  Stirring gently, if you want.  I ended up cooking the tomatoes for about 30 minutes.

Somewhere in between cooking the mushrooms and zucchini as instructed below, you might want to cook your pasta. I prefer my pasta hot. You can plan and cook accordingly.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classesWhile the other vegetables are baking, heat some olive oil and 1/2 the chopped onion in a pan. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper as desired (I use garlic salt) and cook to your liking (I like them a little caramelized). Remove from pan and set the mushrooms aside. Add two tablespoons of butter to the pan. Once the butter is melted add the grated zucchini. Cook the zucchini about 10 minutes on medium heat.

Once all the veggies are cooked to your satisfaction put half of the cooked and drained pasta in a large bowl, then add half of all of the cooked vegetables.  Add the basil, vinegar, any additional salt and/or pepper you desire.  Then add the rest of the pasta and cooked vegetables along with half of the raw tomato and onion.  Toss it all.  Taste it to see if you want more basil, vinegar, salt and/or pepper.  Put the rest of the raw tomato and onion on top. Serve the pasta sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

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This is the first recipe I wrote FIRST, then followed.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe as I was cooking, and noted them before posting.  I think layering the pasta, then veggies makes for easier mixing.  Of course, you can mix it anyway you’d like.  I loved this.  I loved the flavor as I did when I made the eggplant bruschetta.  What I would do next time is use 3 tomatoes instead of four.  The flavor of the tomatoes overpowered everything.  I am looking forward to having the leftovers, as I believe left over pasta is often better than the freshly made dish.  The flavors have time to meld.

This is an easy dish, there is nothing complicated about any part of the process, but with all of the chopping it is a bit labor intensive.  The separate roasting of the eggplant and tomatoes makes it a long process.  I didn’t want to roast them at the same time.  But if you chop while things are cooking . . . . .

I will probably make it again.

What about you?  Does it sound good?  Which of the vegetables is your favorite? 

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Dinner Of Herbs Eggplant Bruschetta

Posted by terrepruitt on April 29, 2014

I love eggplant.  I read a blog called Dinner of Herbs and she posted a recipe for Eggplant Bruschetta.  Yum.  I used to not like bruschetta because I didn’t like tomatoes.  But I like it now . . . well it depends.Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle Yoga  I like some bruschetta and since I love eggplant I thought I would like this.  As I was making it I laughed because she only listed amounts for two of the ingredients and it turns out I didn’t use the amounts for those that she stated.  Also, I had to laugh–yeah, right!–because I went to the grocery store on Thursday right after my Nia class.  I like to do my shopping while I am already out, so on my way home I stopped by the store.  My WHOLE reason for going was to get the ingredients for the bruschetta!  I even wrote them down.  But while I was there I thought of a few other things and completely overlooked one KEY item on my list.  I forgot the bread.  DUH!  Can’t really make bruschetta without the bread.  I used to think bruschetta WAS the bread.  Then I came to think bruschetta was the tomato mixture.  But bruschetta is the bread topped with the tomato mixture.  Eggplant bruschetta just has eggplant added to the mixture.

Since I like to run all my errands while I am already out I decided to wait to get the bread on Sunday after my rotation of teaching Nia at the YMCA.  HOLY MOLY!  My husband is under strict instructions to remind me never to go to the grocery store on a Sunday.  Geez louise.  I was there over an hour.  It was so crowded.  But I got the bread!  I got two different kind since my husband doesn’t really like bread and he really doesn’t like hard sourdough.  So you can imagine he doesn’t like TOASTED sourdough.  So I got him some wimpy soft bread and I didn’t even toast it.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaAnyway . . . for Dinner of Herb’s recipe I used a very large eggplant and I cut it up into tiny cubes.  Way smaller than she shows on her site.   I put garlic salt on it.  I roasted it for 45 minutes.  I only used three tomatoes for roasting.  I also roasted them with garlic salt.   Then I added a half of a raw tomato along with about two tablespoons of raw chopped onion to the mix of roasted eggplant and tomato.  I actually always thought that bruschetta was raw tomatoes so that is why I added some raw tomato.

So I loved it.  My hubby ate it.  As I said he is not a bread fan so he was not at all excited about it as I was.  I thought it was delicious.  I think it is so delicious I am going to make it again, but just the eggplant-tomato mixture and put it over pasta.

I am excited about this because – as I just said – it is something else to do for pasta, or heck . . . .anything.  To me it is that good that I would just make it as a “salsa” to put on chicken or pork.

I have to say that I did not take good pictures.  I was kinda in a hurry.  And if you take pictures of food, you know you can’t do it when you are rushed.  So . . . .sorry the pictures are not very appetizing, but if you like eggplant and if you like bruschetta you will love this!

Do you like bruschetta?  Do you like eggplant?  What other type of bruschetta do you make?

 

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