Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Easy Salad and Warm Meal for the Winter

As anyone in the Midwest knows, we have had a heck of a snowstorm the last two days! Here is the meal I made Monday night in preparation of the big storm. As an appetizer, I made a caprese salad. This is an easy salad that is sure to impress.

Caprese Salad

Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Toasted Bread Crumbs

  1. Place your breadcrumbs in a toaster over or in an oven set to 350. Keep an eye on them!
  2. Slice your tomatoes and place on a plate.
  3. Slice your mozzarella and place over tomatoes.
  4. Tear up basil and place on tomatoes and mozzarella.
  5. Take your toasted breadcrumbs and sprinkle over other ingredients. 
  6. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the lot of it and enjoy!
Notes: Though I have to admit the tomatoes are better in the summer, this was a welcome break from a green salad. The breadcrumbs do a great job of soaking in that balsamic vinegar. Fresh is always best: I was lucky enough to have some leftover from another dish. To make your own breadcrumbs: add bread, splash of olive oil, italian parsley and parmesan cheese in the food processor and pulse. Or just bread and olive oil to keep it easier. ;)

For a main meal, Manatee and I resorted to one of our go-to meals. Spaghetti squash and whole wheat spaghetti with a robust marinara sauce. 

Now I can give you the ingredients that we used for this particular time, but to be terribly honest, it changes slightly every time we make it. Manatee and I both love eggplant, mushrooms and zucchini so those are always included but customize it to what you like.

Robust Marinara Sauce

1 really big can of diced tomatoes (or two 15 oz. cans)
2 small eggplants
1 16 oz pkg of mushrooms
1 onion
2 small zucchini 
2 small yellow squash
1 green pepper

2-3 organic chicken sausages
2 or 3 garlic cloves, minced
Splash of red wine
Couple sprays of olive oil spray
Italian seasoning to taste

Spaghetti Squash
Whole Wheat Spaghetti

  1. Cut up vegetables in large slices/dices.
  2. Spray large frying pan with olive oil spray and add all veggies and garlic. Splash on some red wine. Cover and let simmer until veggies start to get soft. This is when I start to boil the water.
  3. Add tomatoes and chicken sausages. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. This when I usually put the noodles in the water and put the spaghetti squash in the microwave. 
  4. Add spices to taste. Serve over spaghetti and spaghetti squash. 
More information about cooking spaghetti squash coming soon...

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