One of the (many) ways I show people that I care is cooking for them. I’ve had a few chances to thank DLS for being such a wonderful friend by cooking for him, and thought I’d share some of what I’ve made so far.
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After a day of apartment viewing, Shake Shack eating, and just general wandering around, being inside Eataly gave me the bright idea of making dinner to eat while watching the Pro Bowl. (Yes, that’s how long ago this was.) Because I was going to have to use his kitchen, I chose to use some shortcuts instead of making things from scratch as I might were it my kitchen (and pantry)… but see that dish above? Pasta with pesto and garlic bread. Simple and easy! The pasta shape is the one I had months and months ago during the cooking class I took at Eataly – it all comes full circle. (The pesto, pasta, green beans, bread, everything was purchased at Eataly. Moment of pride: the guy weighed the green beans and to my surprise, I hit .5 lbs on the nose! Nice!)
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Later in the same week, I headed over to make soup – which I love doing, especially in the cooler months – before checking out the Morgan Library (which is amazing, and you should totally go see if you can – it’s free admission from 7-9pm on Fridays, too!). I decided to make a simple soup – again, based on being in someone else’s kitchen – though I brought my own stuff this time (including my own knife, hallelujah, I dislike using someone else’s knife…). (Not sure I should mention this, but DLS has loudly complained that hanging out with me is making him fat – which I deny, because I’m not fat! and we eat about the same things! – but that guided my decision to make another vegetarian meal, this one incredibly low in fat and super high in nutrients. Yeah, it’s something healthy on this site that I made myself! Yay!)
In the picture – a container of homemade pesto that I keep frozen for whenever I want some – I really should freeze them in ice cubes and put it in a bag, but I didn’t think I had enough for that… garlic, an onion (in the sandwich bag on top of the boxes of frozen veggies, you can’t really see that it’s an onion), two boxes of frozen veggies, two Tetra-paks of Pomi diced tomatoes, and a bag of baby spinach.
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And a short while later – I would say had I made a smaller pot, it would have only taken about 30 minutes entirely. Oh, and do note that I got the idea for this simple, delicious and satisfying soup from dining at Panera. They have a vegetable soup topped with pesto that clocks in at 180 calories per serving, I believe (or whatever they give you the calories for on their board).
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To go alongside the soup – because while I would be perfectly fine eating two big bowls of soup (and still only ingesting what, 500-700 calories? depending on how much pesto I use), I would never feed another person just soup. Unless it were my child or immediate family (like, the fruits of my loins and the person who gave me fruit to bear; okay, that sounds weird), because I have this perception that food you feed other people versus ‘home food’ (what I eat at home) is pretty different… Anyway, so I sliced up baguette, toasted it, and topped it with this mushroom mixture I thought of off the top of my head (actually, it’s pretty similar to my linguine with clams recipe, minus clams). Pretty sure it was a hit, as DLS devoured his share and then went back for more 🙂
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Few cloves of garlic, minced
Two boxes of frozen mixed veggies
Two boxes of diced tomatoes
Bag of baby spinach (optional)
Pesto (store bought is fine, homemade is better 😉 haha)
Pinch of sugar
Heat a soup pot (big enough to fit everything in there! I’m lazy and don’t like transferring stuff between pans) over medium; add a bit of olive oil. When the olive oil is hot, add the garlic and onions. Once they’ve become translucent and fragrant, add the diced tomatoes and let come to a small bubble, then add frozen veggies. Let the veggies heat through – the soup will start to bubble a bit – then season to taste, adding the salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar. I like to add the spinach at the last minute – or to individual bowls only – as spinach tends to break down quickly and will become mushy via reheating, if you’re like me and make big pots of soup and reheat leftovers through the week. As it was, DLS had plenty of leftovers for the week!
Can of diced mushrooms
Minced clove of garlic or two
Fresh parsley, chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Melt butter in a pan. Add garlic; add drained mushrooms. Once heated through, add parsley, then lemon juice (and zest if you like!), toss to coat and then serve on top of slices of toasted baguette. Super simple and super tasty!
For those who are new to my blog (or started reading after the last recipe I posted, since I freely admit that while I make food for myself frequently, it falls under ‘home food’ so often that I rarely post about it), apologies – you may be confused because I don’t use measurements in my recipes. Everything is eyeballed or done to taste – which I consider one of the fastest ways to learn how to cook by feel instead of by the book. If you really want me to guess how much of each there was, ask in comments and I’ll respond, but no guarantees they’ll be that close… haha, sorry!
As always – HAPPY EATING!!!