Food made easy for busy moms.

Cucumber Tomato Salad May 4, 2011

Filed under: Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:53 am
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1 English cucumber peeled and sliced
3-4 vine ripened tomatoes chunked
1 tablespoon canola mayonnaise*
2-3 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

In a serving bowl add mayonnaise and whip with a wire whisk until smooth.  Start to incorporate in the vinegar until smooth and the dressing is the consistency that you want.  Add in cucumbers and tomatoes and lightly toss.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

*Canola mayonnaise has half the fat than regular mayonnaise and contains less preservatives and sugar than low fat or fat free mayonnaise.


Tomato Mozzarella Salad

Filed under: Salads,Vegetarian — alaskafoodmom @ 6:52 am
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This picture is an alternate to the recipe listed below. I couldn’t find cherry tomatoes or marinated mozzarella balls at the store. So, I did some substitution with whole tomatoes and a ball of fresh mozzarella cut up. Add in the fresh basil, omit the olives and drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the top. Still the same great recipe, just a bit different. Give both a try.

1 pint grape, cherry or heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 container marinated mozzarella balls, drained
½ cup whole pitted kalamata olives or quality Greek olive mix
2 bunches fresh basil sliced*
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar**
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Add tomatoes, drained mozzarella, olives, and basil to serving bowl.  If tomatoes are large, slice in half.  Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over ingredients.  Add salt and pepper to taste and lightly mix the salad.

*To slice the basil, remove the leaves from the stem and stack on top of one another.  Roll the leaf stack and run your knife through the stack to create ribbons.

**Aged balsamic vinegar is well worth the price that you will spend for it.  You want to look for balsamic vinegar that has been aged for a minimum of 10 years and expect to pay $15-$20 for a bottle.  This will be an ingredient that you will have in your cabinet for a long time and can make or break a dish.


Marinara Sauce

Filed under: Comfort Food,Pasta,The Basics,Vegetarian,What's for Dinner? — alaskafoodmom @ 5:57 am
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Homemade marinara sauce is very easy to prepare and can be made on the weekend to store in the freezer for use later.  This is a basic recipe and can certainly have other ingredients added according to preference.   Some additional ingredient ideas would be red peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, shredded carrot, sun dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, capers, and/or kalamata olives.

6 medium sized onions

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 – 32oz cans whole peeled tomatoes

1 large container fresh basil

1 head garlic

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large stockpot, heat up olive oil over medium heat.  Add chopped onions and cook until translucent.  In a blender, mix together the whole tomatoes with peeled whole garlic and basil leaves.  Blend until just mixed together.  Add to stockpot with dried oregano, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer on medium low heat for about 30 minutes.  Transfer sauce to prepared containers and allow to cool to room temperature before storing in the freezer.