Simple and beautiful

I know I promised to share by project last week, but after making two dozen spanikopita triangles and a huge crowd of stuffed cabbage in spicy red sauce, I was pooped. Not to mention the week I spent stressing about school and staying up all night…. so the minute I roasted my last ribeye stuffed cabbage, I was out like a light on the floor…. My puppy woke me up when she came over with her prickly little whiskers to sniff my face and check for doneness.

Clearly, in such an incapacitated mental state of frenzied studying and frenzied cooking for stress relief…. I took 1 picture. 1. Out of 4 hours of cooking… 1 single picture. So it works wonderfully, that I didn’t love either recipes I concocted. So, until they are perfect? I will withhold!

I do have tons of new recipes that I’m playing with…. port reduced portabellas, perfect ribeye steaks, pilaf, wheatberry salads, and RICOTTA GNOCCI! but, until I get my law school brain sorted out and my pictures uploaded and edited, you’re stuck with….. broccoli.

Now, this is not rocket science, nor is it the most brilliant recipe. However, this is a wonderful way to get a full serving of greens and have a healthy lunch that uses up some leftovers!

Butter Braised Broccoli

  • 1 bunch of fresh green broccoli, washed and chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 small onion, peeled and sliced thinly in half moons
  • 1 left over boiled potato
  • 2 tablespoons of butter (or if you are like my boyfriend and think butter will kill you, that fake stuff in the tub or olive oil with a sprinkle of salt is fine)
  • 1/4 cup of wheatberries, bulgar, or any other whole grain that you have easily on hand *
  • options: any other left over vegetables, or a poached egg
  1. Heat a fry pan, toss the broccoli in with a few tablespoons of water and cover until the broccoli is bright and tender.
  2. Once the water has evaporated, add the butter over high heat until the broccoli is toasted
  3. Lower the heat and add onions and other vegetables and whole grains (as you use) and stir until hot
  4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, cracked black pepper and salt to taste
  5. Enjoy!

My last version – I omitted the wheatberries and used a small potato I had knocking around in my fridge with the onion. I ate this with a little wedge of toasted bread.

Easy Tomato Sauce

(Whole wheat pizza with Easy Tomato Sauce, mozzarella and artichokes)

A while back there was a recipe for tomato and butter sauce that everyone was raving about. It was simple – tomatoes, butter and an onion. The result was a velvety sauce with the richness of the butter just shining through. It is a good recipe. It’s easy and all you need to do is stir. As a law student, I like easy recipes that stay delicious through multiple meals and that store easily. So, this recipe was my go to for quite some time. I used it on pasta, pizza, eggs, whole wheat tortillas, you name it.

However, like anyone who spends a lot of time puttering around the kitchen, I believe that there is always room for improvement. So I changed the recipe, but I didn’t want to spend more time stirring or chopping so only added one ingredient and condensed the steps so that I could put this sauce up, study, and when I’m finished reading my sauce is done. I love things like this, the kind you can set up and leave alone while you do your work. It makes me feel like I’m doing more.

This sauce freezes beautifully and pairs well with just about anything. I freeze 1/2 cup portions and toss it with fresh pasta as needed. I noticed that full cup portions are a little too hefty for me, and the 1/2 cup keeps me in check. I might run a lot, but not enough to burn 2,000 calories of tomato and carb.

Easy Tomato Sauce

  • 2 cans of 28oz of whole tomatoes, try to find cans that are lined and BPA free
  • 2 medium sized yellow onions, peeled and halved root to tip
  • 7 tablespoons of salted butter, sliced in 1 tablespoon increments (I have a feeling you could get away with as few as 5 tablespoons of butter and still have a great sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups of good red wine (I wouldn’t open a good bottle of wine just for this sauce, but if you have a cup or two left over from your last bottle – the kind that is too good to chuck but too aired to save – this is the place to use it right up)
  1. Begin to heat your pot and pour in the tomatoes. (I like using my Le Creuset for this project). With a pair of kitchen shears, cut each of the whole tomatoes into 3 or 4 pieces.  I find that by cutting apart the whole tomatoes you can skip the pureeing and the squishing of the tomatoes during the cooking process.
  2. Add the butter, wine and onion. Stir until the wine is incorporated well.
  3. Cover the pot and lower the heat to just below a simmer.
  4. Set your timer for 2 hours.
  5. Read, do homework, clean your bathroom. Periodically (say every 30 minutes) take a peek and stir your sauce so nothing sticks to the bottom of your pot
  6. After 2 hours has elapsed, stir your sauce thoroughly, mashing any large bits of tomato that haven’t broken down (or leave them if you like more texture).
  7. Remove the onion halves from the sauce. The original recipe tells you to discard this. But as a poor as a church mouse and gaining debt by the minute law student – I make use of every single thing I can. Put the onion in a glass dish and store for later. I served the onion sprinkled with a little balsamic vinegar, heated with slices of buttered, crusty baguette at a wine party. It was delicious.
  8. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. I found that with the delicious addition of red wine that no other seasoning was necessary.