Tag Archives: weeknight

Meatless Monday: Emmer Fettuccine With Beans

Farro is a great grain, loaded with fiber and nutrients. Here at Al Dente HQ, we are big fans of emmer —  a type of farro which can be grown in fields outside of the Mediterranean and Middle East.

In the case of this pasta, the field is in Tompkins County. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Emmer Fettuccine With Beans

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Tuesday Dinner: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

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At the risk of repeating myself, Pinterest does two things around here:

  1. It drives traffic to this site.
  2. It makes it helps me organize which recipes are on deck.

We’re going to focus on the latter here for now. I have six Pinterest boards and five of them are food related. One is a catch-all of miscellaneous food things. One collects all of the recipes from here. Another collects all of the desserts. A third features my restaurant reviews. And, finally, there is the Things I Want To Cook board. It’s where I toss recipes for later use. It replaces the little slips of paper that would pile up next to the stove, collected from skimming food magazines at Barnes & Noble. Now, I save the recipe for later, use it for meal planning and open up Pinterest for recipes each night. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Meatless Monday: Eggplant with Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Eggplants are fickle little things. It’s a vegetable that does not taste good raw and it’s absolutely useless standing alone. It needs to be stewed, smothered in sauce or served with something to dip it in. The eggplant is nutrient rich, loaded with potassium and folates. And there is nothing finer than a good, slow-cooked eggplant parmagiana.

As a kid, my parents would pickle and jar eggplant to use in salads or other dishes. My favorite thing to do with them was to take a large spoonful of pickled eggplant and put it between two slices of Italian bread. Not the sexiest sandwich in the world, but full of garlicky, vinegary goodness. But I digress. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Eggplant with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard Casserole

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When I was in elementary school, there was no President’s Day. There was Lincoln’s Birthday and Washington’s Birthday. As is the case with most holidays, these days served one basic purpose for me as a child: no school. Somewhere along the way, these two days morphed into one federal (not national holiday) called President’s Day. Apparently, this is a phenomenon observed only by some area’s of the country. I’ll let Valerie Strauss of The Washington Post explain:

In the early 1950s, there was a movement led by a coalition of travel organizations to create three-day weekends by moving the celebration of some holidays to Mondays. One of the suggestions was to create a Presidents’ Day between Washington’s birthday and Lincoln’s birthday, which was a holiday in some states. A few states tried the new arrangement, but it was not universally adopted across the country. 

The National Holiday Act of 1971 passed by Congress created three-day weekends for federal employees by moving the celebration of some holidays to Mondays, although states did not have to honor them.

So, today, though the federal holiday is marked on the third Monday in February, there is no agreed-upon name, no universal agreement on who is being celebrated, and the use of the apostrophe in the name is varied: Sometimes it isn’t used at all (as in Presidents Day), sometimes it is placed between the last two letters (President’s Day) and sometimes it is after the last letter  (Presidents’ Day).

So, what we’re talking about his a bogus holiday that was brought on by the tourism industry. Great. Continue reading Meatless Monday: Goat Cheese and Swiss Chard Casserole

Meatless Monday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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“You won’t eat broccoli cheddar soup, will you?”

It’s a question I posed to The Wife on Sunday (SIDE NOTE: For those of you new to Al Dente, those related to me by marriage, blood and otherwise are referred to as The Wife, The Kid, The Sister, et al . They have been dragged into this blog by me, so they receive the anonymity that they deserve.) as I prepared the grocery list. I have never seen her eat broccoli cheddar soup before while out to a restaurant, so I thought it was worth the question.

“Yeah. I’ll eat it, as long as it isn’t made with Velveeta.”

Continue reading Meatless Monday: Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Wednesday Dinner: Pasta With Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Parmesan

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If I were to look back at my childhood and make a list of the reasons why I was overweight, the regular consumption of pasta would be in the top five. I make pasta once a week here at Al Dente HQ. Macaroni, frozen or boxed, was the basis of at least two meals a week as a kid, and may have been found in soups or other dishes that popped up during the same seven-day span.

I have cut pasta out of my diet totally in the past (namely during The Weight Loss Story), but it makes it very tough to feed The Wife and me. Plus, I like pasta. Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Pasta With Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, and Parmesan

Tuesday Dinner: Tomato and Sausage Risotto (or Why I Hate Pinterest)

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Melissa Hebert Meola, Martha Stewart accolyte and author of the Domestic Putterings blog, posted this to her Pinterest wall “Feed Yourself Why Not” last week. In my search for dinner ideas, I came across it and repinned it to my Pinterest wall “Things I Want To Cook.” Pinterest is fascinating to me, especially as the only heterosexual, naturally-born male in America that actively uses it. It’s a fantastic driver of traffic to Al Dente, and I’m grateful for that. It has led to more dinners featured on this blog than I can count.

It’s also everything I hate about people. Continue reading Tuesday Dinner: Tomato and Sausage Risotto (or Why I Hate Pinterest)

Wednesday Dinner: Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Avocado Cream Sauce

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Last summer, The Wife said she was avocadoed out. I was probably making one dinner a week using avocado cubes, slices or mash. Wednesday marks the first dinner of the summer where avocadoes were involved.

This really worked out to be a very nice summer dinner. Avocadoes just do not taste the same when there is snow on the ground. Same with lime. Limes taste better over ice, not when it is falling from the sky.

I’ve been having a problem cooking pork lately, in that I have been undercooking it. The Infrared grill has been a tough tell for doneness, especially after a week cooking on a conventional gas grill in Delaware. The Wife does not particularly care for rare pork (it really doesn’t bother me), so I bit the bullet and picked up an instant-read thermometer. Between that and the fact that I cut the tenderloin into medallions, we were fine tonight.

Continue reading Wednesday Dinner: Pork Tenderloin Medallions with Avocado Cream Sauce