I usually cook with recipes. I often make changes, but I like having a plan… a starting point. Recently, I’ve been improvising more. Instead of buying ingredients for specific meals, I’ve been making meals based on the ingredients I have.
One of the dishes I threw together this week was a frittata with smoked salmon, wilted greens, and shallots. It was easy to make, tasted great, and was easy to reheat the next day at work!
Smoked Salmon and Wilted Greens Frittata
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
2 cups mized greens, coarsely chopped
1-2 ounces smoked salmon, coarsely chopped
4 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
optional: cheese and/or fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sautee pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add greens and cook another 1-2 minutes, until the leaves begin to wilt. Toss in smoked salmon, and cook 1 minute. Pour in eggs and cook until eggs start to set, 3 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and cook 10-12 minutes, until eggs are fluffy and coked through. Season with salt and pepper, slice, and serve.
**I garnished my plate with slices from 1/4 of an avocado.
This week is Bay Area Dance Week, so in addition to my usual jobs and classes, I’ve had extra rehearsals and shows. Quick meals have been very much appreciated!
Within the past few years, a really great grocery service has opened here in Charlottesville (and now serving Richmond and Northern Virginia, too!). Relay Foods sources their groceries from local vendors, including farms and bakeries as well as bigger grocery stores. You order online, and pick up at locations around town (or pay more for delivery).
I have known about and deeply respected Relay for a while now, but I had not ordered from them until last week, when I remembered that Relay makes it possible to get produce and meat from local farms when the City Market is not in session.
Carnitas taco with cabbage slaw
Perusing the Relay site for my first order, I was inspired by the wide selection of local pork, and decided to make carnitas, my husband’s favorite Tex-mex meat. Carnitas means “little meats” and is basically just slow-cooked chunks of pork that are often shredded once they finish cooking.
After a year and a half in Charlottesville, we have developed a little “crew” of friends, made up of two other young married couples. It’s been so nice to have a got-to group for casual dinners, drinks after work, game nights, and TV show viewings. Since I ordered more than enough pork for two, my husband and I invited a few friends over for a lovely Saturday dinner to help us enjoy our feast! I set up a taco bar and let everyone assemble their own plates.
You can find my recipe for both carnitas and the cabbage slaw over on Cotter Crunch today, where I helped Lindsay out with a guest post.
Tuesday night, one of my girlfriends came by for dinner, giving us some much needed time to catch up! I needed a quick vegetarian meal, given that she doesn’t eat meat, and I didn’t have much prep time available. She had the brilliant idea of making tacos!
I prepared a lot of little things, and ended up serving a taco bar of sorts.
Vegetarian Taco Bar
Corn tortillas, warmed
Amped Up Black Beans**
Red onion, chopped
**Recipes posted below.
Guacamole, Chopped lettuce and onions, Roasted Veggies, Black Beans, Cheese, and Tortillas
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
Toss vegetables with oil and spread on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until lightly browned and tender, 20-25 minutes.
Such beautiful colors!
Amped Up Black Beans
1 15-oz can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 Garlic cloves, minced
Dash of Cumin
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until warm, stirring occasionally.
Black beans and other goodies
3 Avocados, peeled and cored
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
Dash of Cumin
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Juice from 1 Lime
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.
Meat, sour cream, pico de gallo and/or salsa, and cilantro would also be nice additions to this taco bar.
Everything came together easily, tasted wonderful, and left me with some nice, colorful leftovers! I made some awesome salads using the remaining roasted vegetables and guacamole. I think this will need to become a regular event at my apartment! Maybe next time we’ll add margaritas…
Please excuse my absence last week! The campaign I was working on more or less took over my life. Now that the election is over, I’m back! The past few weeks, my diet has been terrible. There have been multiple … Continue reading →
I went “home” to Texas last weekend for a quick visit with my parents and grandmother. I had not been to Texas since October, and I didn’t want to wait until the holidays, so I squeezed in a short trip … Continue reading →