Friday, May 29

Early Summer White Sangria

Makes about 12 glasses
Total price: NY $6.76/NY $7.35
Price per serving: NY $0.56/NY $0.61

Early Summer White Sangria
This past weekend we had some of that back-of-your-neck-feeling-dirty-and-gritty summer weather that New York is famous for. Sangria, particularly this lighter white wine iteration, is just the thing to both cool down and take the edge off the concrete heat. Plus, what other alcoholic beverage comes equipped with a snack?*

Early Summer White Sangria
Sangria is also a delicious, summery way to stretch a bottle of wine without being a “spritzer” (ugh) or a “cooler” (double ugh). Personally, I think the best part is fishing out the boozy macerated hunks of fruit bobbing about in the beverage. All the more reason to make this at home: you might not feel like you can dig the tasty chunks out with your fingers in a restaurant or bar, but there’s no reason not to in your house or on a picnic. (Go ahead, slurp away and suck off the juices off your fingers while you’re at it!) When you compare the $6 a glass that this will run you in a restaurant with the around 50 cents a glass that this cost us, we're guessing that you'll become home-brewing sangria converts too. And I bet you weren't getting berries or peaches in that restaurant glass, now were you?

Early Summer White Sangria
  • 1 lime (NY $0.17)
  • 1 lemon (NY $0.25)
  • 1 orange (NY $0.34)
  • 2 ripe peaches (NY $1.01)
  • 1 pint strawberries (NY $2.00)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (staple)
  • 3 shots Cointreau or other orange liqueur (staple)
  • 1 bottle dry white wine (NY $2.99)**
  • Seltzer (staple*** or NY $0.59)

Early Summer White Sangria
Slice the citrus fruits into thin wedges, dice the peaches, and cut the strawberries into quarters lengthwise. Combine in a pitcher or jug with sugar and orange liqueur. Pour over bottle of wine, and chill over night or for several hours. When ready to serve, pour into glasses, spoon in some of the fruit, and top off with seltzer.**** If its blazingly hot out, toss in an ice cube.

Early Summer White Sangria

Adapted from Rachael Ray, 30 Minute Meals

* Do tell if you can think of any: I really want to know! I don’t consider a maraschino cherry or lime wedge to constitute a “snack”. And no bottom of the bottle worms either, got it? A snack is something one would *want* to eat.

** We used a Two Buck Chuck here. You don’t have to go quite that low, but really its not worth using a pricey bottle of wine in a sangria, what with all the citrus fruits and other stuff you’re tossing in with it. There is a time and place for nice wine, but really this isn’t it.

Early Summer White Sangria
*** This is a staple for us, as we make our own with one of these. Yes, that is an incredibly pricey gizmo used to make something that is quite inexpensive from the store. It’s not for everyone. But we’re pretty much seltzer addicts over here, and worry about the environmental impact of all those plastic bottles. This way we can guzzle as much seltzer as we like with worrying about the cost or the landfills. And, its shaped like a penguin. If you can resist that, you are a stronger person than I.

**** Since we took this out on a noontime picnic, we ended up using quite a bit of seltzer per glass because, as the LBUH put it, “We’re not having *that* kind of picnic!” Oh, FINE. Sigh.

Early Summer White Sangria
Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 81.4Vitamin A 2.1 %Iron 2.4 %
Total Fat 0.2 gVitamin B-12 0.0 %Magnesium 3.2 %
Cholesterol 0.0 mgVitamin B-6 2.4 %Manganese 19.1 %
Sodium 4.0 mgVitamin C 53.5 %Niacin 1.5 %
Potassium 164.7 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Phosphorus 2.0 %
Total Carbohydrate 9.6 gVitamin E 0.9 %Riboflavin 2.2 %
Fiber 1.8 gCalcium 2.2 %Selenium 0.7 %
Sugars 1.8 gCopper 3.5 %Thiamin 1.8 %
Protein 0.6 gFolate 2.4 %Zinc 0.8 %

Early Summer White Sangria

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Thursday, May 28

Poll: Artificial Sweeteners: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Inspired by a recent comment,* we wanted to ask you all:

Artificial Sweeteners: Love 'em or Leave 'em?

Artificial Sweeteners

Over here, our views fall in the options A-C spectrum, but we're curious to know your thoughts!

* And partially, we'll admit, because we're kind of excited that we've figured out how to actually code a poll.** Oooo, shiny new toy!
** Of course, NOW we need to figure out why the "After the Jump" message is appearing when there is no recipe or nutritional info...

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Friday, May 22

Stone Stock: Vegetable Version

Makes approx. 4 cups
Total price: NY $0.00
Price per cup: NY $0.00

Vegetable Broth
Remember that old kid's story about making soup from a stone? While the moral of the Stone Soup story is about sharing even when you don't have a lot and the value of community, I also always think of it as meaning "to make something from nothing." As they're now apparently predicting that unemployment is going to rise to nearly 10% by year's end (GASP!), making something out of nothing seems all the more timely.

As some of you have noticed, we make a lot of soups around here. In one of our most recent posts the most expensive ingredient was not the ravioli, the red pepper or the zucchini but the chicken stock! Considering that stock can be made at home from kitchen scraps, and that the cheaper store-bought broths are frequently criticized as being little more than salted water, that just seems like throwing money out the window. (Which, as you can imagine, we're not big fans of around here.) If we'd instead used homemade chicken stock from scrap, the cost per bowl for the Chicken Ravioli Soup recipe would have been a mere NY $0.88!

Thus, our quest to make stocks at home was born. We decided to start small, with veggie stock. (I don't know about you, but carcasses are something I need to work my way up to.) The result was less salty and more complex than broth from a can or box. (As you can see from the photos, the broth was also much darker in color than store-bought.) And it all came from items that we otherwise would have discarded. Ergo, "Stone Stock"!

Vegetable Broth
  • 1 gallon freezer bag or container full of vegetable scraps
  • 2 bay leaves (staple)
  • Several whole peppercorns (staple)
  • Several dashes turmeric (staple)
I started this experiment by collecting vegetable scraps in a galloon container in the freezer. All vegetables were scrubbed thoroughly (ok, not the onions) before freezing. Into the container went:
  • Onion peels (but not the papery skins or ends)
  • Parsley stems
  • A bunch of carrots that were close to turning
  • Eggplant trimmings
  • Red pepper trimmings (not the stems, but we did include the
  • seeded core)
  • Zucchini trimmings
  • Celery leaves and stems
  • Green pepper trimmings (ditto red pepper)
  • Yellow squash trimmings
  • A tiny bit of tomato trimmings
  • Potato peels (well scrubbed)
  • Basil stems
Vegetable Broth
You toss in almost any vegetable and herb scraps. Go easy on any broccoli, tomato, asparagus, cauliflower, brussels sprouts or cabbages as these can overpower the flavor. Dump your veggies out into a soup pot, and add enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Strain soup: pour out into a bowl through a sieve. Press down on the solids in the sieve lightly to extract all remaining liquid. Discard solids. Stock can be stored for future use by refrigerating or freezing.

Inspired by the many wonderful posts out there on making vegetable stock from kitchen, well, refuse.

Information omitted as this will vary depending on what you include. In general though, vegetable broth is very low calorie, fat free and should be chock full 'o' vitamins.

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Thursday, May 21

Whole Wheat Roasted Vegetable Calzones with Herbed Ricotta

Makes eight calzones
Total price: NY $ 9.64
Price per calzone: NY $1.20

There’s a pizza joint near where I work that advertises “Tuscan Roasted Vegetable Whole Wheat Calzones with Herbed Ricotta." Only, despite their laminated little placard, they DON’T actually herb the ricotta,* their filling is so liquid-y that the dough gets wet and soggy, and they charge nearly $7.00 each for what, in my mind, is an inadequate product. Result: a mini-quest to come up with a better calzone, at home, for less.

You can use almost any combination of vegetables in these: zucchini or red bell peppers both work well. You can also sneak some spinach into the ricotta as well, if you like your calzones just bursting with veggies or are afraid you may have recently contracted scurvy. We found some gorgeous looking basil at a decent price,** but if what you can find is too pricey or looking a bit peaked, Italian (that’s the flat, not curly, leafed kind) parsley works well too. (Don’t use quite as much if substituting parsley.)

  • 1 eggplant (NY $1.10)
  • 1 green pepper (NY $0.99)
  • 1 red onion (NY $0.54)
  • 2 small yellow squash (NY $0.79)
  • 4 tbsps olive oil (staple)
  • ½ cup chopped basil (NY $1.79 for one bunch)
  • 1 15 oz package part skim ricotta (NY $2.89)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano (staple)
  • Pepper (staple)
  • Optional: grated parmesan (staple)
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (free!)
  • ¼ oz packet active dry yeast (NY $0.76)
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour (NY $0.39)
  • 1 ¾ cups all purpose flour (NY $0.39)
  • 2 tsp. salt (staple)

First, start the dough. In removed bowl of your mixer, place the warm water, olive oil, yeast, and salt, and stir by hand to combine thoroughly. Allow mixture to sit for approx. 10 minutes. Meanwhile, attach the dough hook to the mixer. After the ten minute have elapsed, pour in the flour, and secure the bowl to the mixer. Turn on the mixer at a slow speed, and allow to work until the dough comes together and forms a ball. If some bits of dry ingredients remain attached to the sides of the mixer, add additional water, a teaspoonful at a time. (Know your mixer: if some bits remain stuck to the edges in certain areas that the mixer can’t reach, stop adding water, detach bowl from mixer, and incorporate by hand.)

Flour your work surface by taking a generous pinch of all purpose flour between your finger tips, and, gripping loosely, shake out over your countertop or other clean food-safe surface. Get any flour clinging to your hand out on to the surface by flicking your fingers at the counter as if to say “Poof! You’re a floured surface!” Knead the dough for approximately 5-7 minutes, until smooth, elastic and, well, dough-like.*** Oil a large bowl lightly with some olive oil, and place your dough ball inside. Roll the dough around inside the bowl to coat with olive oil. Cover with a clean towel or sheet of plastic wrap, and leave out on the counter to rise. Let the dough rise for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until its doubled in size.

Meanwhile, as dough is rising, prepare vegetables for your calzones. Preheat oven to 425. Chop the narrow end of the squash into rounds, about 1/3 inch thick. Slice the thick end of the squash in two lengthwise, then slice into half-moons, about 1/3 inch thick. Your goal here is to cut pieces of approximately the same size, so that they’ll cook evenly. So if part of the bulbous portion of the squash is a lot wider than the rest, slice that part a bit thinner. Cut the onion and pepper into half inch chunks. Slice the eggplant into pieces about 1/3 inch thick, then into about ½ inch squares. When you’ve chopped all the vegetables, toss them and the unpeeled garlic cloves with 1 tbsp olive oil, some pepper and salt to taste. Roast in the oven until lightly browned and eggplant is cooked through, re-tossing at intervals, about 45 minutes. When cooked, remove from oven and let cool.

While the vegetables are roasting and the dough is rising, prepare the cheese filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, chopped basil (or parsley), oregano, and a few grinds black pepper. If using, grate in a little parmesan cheese, 2 tbsps or so, and stir to combine. Pop the resulting mixture into the fridge to allow the ingredients to get acquainted with one another and make friends. Once the vegetables are done and cool enough to handle, fish out the garlic cloves and peel. Turn them into a bit of paste by chopping while simultaneously smooshing them against your cutting board with the side of the knife. Add resulting paste to ricotta mixture, stir to combine, and stick it back into the fridge.

Turn oven up to 450 degrees. After the dough has doubled, punch it. (Yes, you read that right: whack it with your fist, but just the once. No dough abuse, please. You’ll have the opportunity to have at it again later.) Turn out onto floured surface. (Poof!) Knead the dough a for a few minutes, then leave to rest for 20 minutes, covering either with the inverted bowl or with a clean kitchen towel.

Next, divide the dough into 8 roughly equal pieces. If some of your pieces are bigger than others, pinch off a bit from the large pieces, and stick it on to the smaller, rolling between your palms to incorporate.

Using a rolling pin, roll out**** each piece of dough to form a roughly 8 inch round. (Don’t fret if your rounds aren’t perfectly circular: you won’t be able to tell much with the finished product anyway, and its further proof that what you’re making is homemade!) Top half of each round with 1/8 vegetable mixture, and 1/8 ricotta mixture. Leave about a 1/3 inch border around the edge. (Do not pause at this point to, say, take photographs for your, say, food blog. The dough will start to shrink back up a bit as it sits.) Using your fingertip, lightly brush the edges of the round with water. Fold the dough over to encase the filling, and crimp close with the tines of a fork.*****

Transfer calzones to baking sheet, and bake at 450 degrees for approx. 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with marinara sauce on the side, and gloat that you’ve turned out a superior calzone to that of the over-priced pizzeria!

Dough recipe adapted from The Vegan Chef and How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

* I know, right? Even though its LAMINATED!
** I usually keep basil unrefrigerated, in a glass on the countertop. Here are some greatdirections for how to keep it even longer. I tried this, but don’t think the wholes I cut were large enough, as the leaves touching the bag appear to have gotten wet and spoiled. Has any one tried this? Any tips?
*** I like to remove my rings before kneading. Don’t go drawing any gossip-y conclusions based on the ringless state of my fingers in the photos above!

**** You hereby have my permission to count all this kneading, punching and rolling as “strength training”.
*****If desired, freeze any extra calzones prior to baking. When ready to eat, bake at 450 degrees for approx. 35-40 minutes.

Nutritional Facts
Amount Per Serving
Calories 356.4Vitamin A 10.4 %Iron 18.7 %
Total Fat 11.0 gVitamin B-12 3.0 %Magnesium 18.3 %
Cholesterol 19.1 mgVitamin B-6 15.6 %Manganese 73.5 %
Sodium 664.4 mgVitamin C 34.3 %Niacin 20.2 %
Potassium 519.8 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Phosphorus 27.2 %
Total Carbohydrate 51.8 gVitamin E 6.5 %Riboflavin 22.6 %
Fiber 6.9 gCalcium 20.6 %Selenium 55.3 %
Sugars 1.6 gCopper 12.6 %Thiamin 27.6 %
Protein 15.1 gFolate 24.6 %Zinc 13.8 %

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Friday, May 15

Suspiros (aka Meringues)

Approximately 20 large cookies*
Total price: NY $1.35
Price per Suspiro: NY $0.07

Suspiros, more commonly known as meringues, are a staple treat on the LBUH’s side of the family. Family lore provides two alternative theories as to how they became part of the family tradition. One version has it that when the LBUH’s mother used to make Buche De Noel for the Christmas holidays, she garnished the log with little mushrooms made out of beaten egg-white batter. The petite champignons turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, and far more so than the intricate and labor-intensive cake. Over time the decadent and time-consuming log got the boot, but the Suspiros landed a recurring role at the holiday table.

The other story is that these treats were introduced to the Stateside folks by the LBUH’s family in Colombia. Given the fact that they all call these tasty treats Suspiros (Spanish for “Sighs”), and not meringues, the LBUH’s guess is that story #2 holds more weight. As, however, my mother-in-law espouses the version of events recounted in story #1, I’m going with that theory, and I don’t care what kind of fancypants linguistic forensics you throw at me.

  • 3 Egg whites (NY $ 0.50) **
  • 1.5 cups sugar (NY $0.85)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (staple)
Beat egg whites and vanilla extract until the whites is beginning to stiffen and form tiny peaks.

Once the egg white/vanilla mixture is stiffening, slowly add the sugar and continue to beat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is not grainy.

Cover a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper*** and place spoonfuls of the batter onto the mat or paper**** .

Place the sheet in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours at 225 degrees. ***** When the suspiros are done, they will be firm, crunchy, and crumbly. If the centers are still chewy, bake for another 20-30 minutes.

Dust with coco powder or powdered sugar for extra presentation "WOW!" if you'd like.

* This is a really easy recipe to modify the size. We like to make one baking sheet of suspiros, and find that 20 fills the sheet (at least the way LBUH dollops them out), but if you want to make more (or less, but why would you ever want to do that?) the formula is 1/2 cup of sugar for every egg white. (So 2 eggs =1 cup of sugar, 4 eggs = 2 cups, you get the idea…)
**Depending on what you keep in your kitchen, this treat could be whipped up without ever leaving the house. We had to buy eggs, but had plenty of sugar and vanilla extract on hand.
* **Make sure you are using parchment paper and not wax paper. Wax + heat = mess you don’t want to clean.
**** If you want to make really fancy ones, you can use an HUH?
*****Basically we’re turning the oven into a kiln. We’re not baking the Suspiros as much as drying them out, ensuring that the egg whites are fully cooked and stay at the necessary 140 degrees for at least 3 minutes. Let’s try and avoid Salmonella, shall we? Because apparently we can’t trust food companies to do it for us!

Nutritional Facts
Approximate values per cookie

Calories 60.9Protein 0.6 gMagnesium 0.0 %
Total Fat 0.0 gVitamin A 0.0 %Manganese 0.0 %
Saturated Fat 0.0 gVitamin B-12 0.0 %Niacin 0.0 %
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.0 gVitamin B-6 0.0 % Pantothenic Acid 0.0 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0.0 g Vitamin C 0.0 %Phosphorus 0.0 %
Cholesterol 0.0 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Riboflavin 0.2 %
Sodium 8.3 mgVitamin E 0.0 %Selenium 0.1 %
Potassium 0.5 mgCalcium 0.0 %Thiamin 0.0 %
Total Carbohydrate 15.0 gCopper 0.0 %Zinc 0.0 %
Dietary Fiber 0.0 gFolate 0.0 %
Sugars 15.0 g Iron 0.0 %

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Wednesday, May 13

Cure-Whatever-Ails-You Chicken Soup with Ravioli

Makes 8 -10 servings
Total cost: NY $13.34
Cost per serving: NY $1.33 – NY $1.67

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Even though Spring has at last arrived, I seem to have caught this cold/flu thing that’s been making the rounds at my office, felling everyone in its wake. Thus, it seemed an appropriate time to post this recipe. I’ve been making this for years, both for myself and others, and I personally guarantee that it will make you feel much rejuvenated.

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Its spicy enough to pierce congested nasal passages, but the mellowness of the chicken broth and the cool mildness of the ravioli ensure that its not too much for tender throats and confused palates.* You’ll feel your sinuses clearing just from breathing in the aroma of the vegetables sauteeing, and your stuffed passages unclogging as you slurp the zesty and restorative chicken broth. Inhale deeply and let the recovery begin!

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
  • 1.5 tbsps olive oil (staple)
  • 3 cloves garlic (NY $0.10)
  • 1 large onion, such as Vidalia (NY $0.73)
  • 1 red pepper (NY $2.15)
  • 1 green pepper (NY $1.00)
  • 1 tbsp oregano (staple)**
  • 1 tsp dried basil (staple)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper (staple)**
  • Salt and pepper to taste (staple)
  • 6 cups chicken broth (NY $4.59)
  • 2 medium zucchini (NY $2.43)
  • 2 medium carrots (about 1.5 cups) (NY $0.75 for one bag)
  • 1 13 oz package frozen cheese ravioli (NY $1.59)
  • Parmesan cheese (staple)
Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Mince garlic, and chop onion and peppers. Heat oil oil in soup pot until fragrant, and add chopped veggies along with the spices and a few grinds black pepper. Cook until just tender, approx. 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the zucchini into half moons about ¼ inch thick, and peel and chop the carrots.

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Add broth to pot, cover and simmer approx. 5 minutes. Add carrots, cover, and continue cooking until the carrots are close to tender but still a bit crisp, approx. 5 minutes.

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Increase heat, bring to a boil, and add ravioli and zucchini. Stir to ensure ravioli are just submerged under the top of the soup, and, if necessary, return to a boil. Continue boiling until ravioli is cooked and just tender, approx. 10-15 minutes or according to package directions.
Adjust seasoning to taste, and serve in bowls topped with grated parmesan cheese.

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
* True story: back in school I cured my friend Ginger of the SARS virus with this soup. OK, fine, she didn’t *really* have SARS, but she was hospitalized and they thought for a while there that that's what she had and quarantined her and everything. And, if you’re going to insist on being such a stickler, it didn’t technically “cure” her of disease, but she *did* say she felt much better after the soup and that she liked it a lot. Happy now? You really know how to kill a good story, don’t you?

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
** As noted, I like the spices in this on the “so aggressive, you wouldn’t want to run into them in a back alley at night” side. All the better to clear your nasal passages with, my dear! If, however, the sound of that makes you nervous, or if you’re feeling so delicate that you think applesauce might be a bit of an adventure, drop down to approx. ½ a tsp red pepper, and 1 tsp oregano.

Chicken Soup with Ravioli
Nutritional Facts
Approximate values per serving

Calories 147.1Vitamin A 85.7 %Iron 10.8 %
Total Fat 6.2 gVitamin B-12 10.0 % Magnesium 4.7 %
Cholesterol 17.5 mgVitamin B-6 11.5 %Manganese 27.4 %
Sodium 1,267.1 mgVitamin C 94.2 %Niacin 26.2 %
Potassium 559.2 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Phosphorus 17.7 %
Total Carbohydrate 16.6 gVitamin E 3.9 %Riboflavin 8.9 %
Fiber 2.3 gCalcium 16.3 %Selenium 10.8 %
Sugars 3.1 gCopper 13.4 %Thiamin 4.8 %
Protein 7.3 gFolate 6.7 %Zinc 4.7 %

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Monday, May 11

Spaghetti Pie

8 servings
Total price: NY $11.93
Price per serving: NY $1.49

Spaghetti Pie
This is an adaptation of a recipe my mother used to make when I was kid, which she got off the back of a package of mozzarella cheese. The original called for jarred spaghetti sauce, butter, and hefty portions of full fat cheeses (surprising, a recipe calling for large quantities of cheese being promoted by a cheese manufacturer. . . ). I’ve updated this by adding spinach, subbing a quick homemade marinara for the jarred stuff, and taking a more restrained approach to the cheeses. (As you can tell from the pictures, its still plenty cheesy!)

Spaghetti Pie
This one’s great for kids as it ends up looking something like a deep dish pizza, and its less messy than regular spaghetti as the pieces get baked together: thus, no twirling is required and individual pieces can’t be pulled out with the fingers to be dropped on the floor, hung in the hair, or flung at the wall.

Spaghetti Pie
  • 8 ounces spaghetti (NY $0.85)
  • 2 large eggs (NY $0.33)
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese (staple)
  • 1 tbsps plus 1 tsp olive oil (staple)
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (NY $1.69)
  • 1 small onion (NY $0.59)
  • 1 clove garlic (NY $0.50 for one head)
  • 1 tsp oregano (staple)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste (staple)*
  • 1 10 oz package frozen spinach (NY $0.99)
  • 1 15 oz container part skim ricotta (NY $3.79)
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella (NY $3.19 for 7 oz unshredded)
  • Black pepper (staple)
Spaghetti Pie
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put water on to boil. Lightly grease a 10 inch pie plate with olive oil or cooking spray and set aside.

Dice onion and mince garlic. Cook in 1 tbsp olive oil until onions are just translucent, approx. 5-8 minutes. Add diced tomatoes with their juice, along with oregano and tomato paste

Thaw spinach, then drain in colander. Place ricotta in bowl and combine with spinach by removing small clump of spinach from colander, squeezing vigorously to remove remaining moisture, and then adding to ricotta. Add a few grinds black pepper and stir to combine.

Spaghetti Pie
Meanwhile, cook spaghetti until just al dente, drain and toss in large bowl with one tsp olive oil. Whisk eggs with a fork in a small bowl with 1/3 cup shredded parmesan. Toss with spaghetti. Add spaghetti to prepared pie plate. Shape into crust shape by using fingers to flatten center (ooo, smooshy and slimy!) and press up the sides of the plate. Add spinach-ricotta mixture to indentation in center. Top with tomato sauce and bake, uncovered, 25 minutes.

Spaghetti Pie
Top with shredded mozzarella and remaining shredded parmesan. Bake an additional 5 minutes, until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, let cool 10 minutes, then slice into 8 wedges and serve.

Spaghetti Pie
* If you buy tomato paste in a tube instead of in a can, it will last almost indefinitely. So if you’re checking out and the woman behind you asks why you’re buying the tube kind, you’ll have a better answer than the LBUH who replied, “Because that’s the kind She asked for.” (Of course, the woman who asked and the checkout clerk both seemed to agree that his was, in fact, a pretty darn good answer.)

Spaghetti Pie
Nutritional Facts
Approximate values per serving
Calories 196.0Vitamin B-6 5.1 %Manganese 18.9 %
Total Fat 9.3 gVitamin C 7.2 %Niacin 3.5 %
Cholesterol 72.4 mgVitamin D 1.6 %Phosphorus 19.0 %
Sodium 238.5 mgVitamin E 3.1 %Riboflavin 14.8 %
Potassium 195.0 mgCalcium 26.5 %Selenium 28.4 %
Total Carbohydrate 16.4 gCopper 4.8 %Thiamin 6.7 %
Protein 12.3 g Folate 16.1 %Zinc 8.9 %
Vitamin A 49.3 %Iron 7.7 %
Vitamin B-12 5.8 %Magnesium 9.3 %

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump

Monday, May 4

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup

Makes eight bowls
Total price: NY $19.98 (with extra cilantro & tortilla chips)
Price per serving: NY $2.49

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
I was so excited to see tomatillos pop up again in the produce section. (Really, I almost clapped my hands in the middle of a crowded market. Cue jaded New Yorkers rolling their eyes and swerving to give the crazy girl a wide berth.)

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
Tomatillos have a nice bright flavor that really pops when mixed with cilantro, beer, and thyme in this soup.

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
  • 12 tomatillos (NY $1.99)
  • 2 medium zucchini (NY $0.89)
  • 1 large onion (NY $0.63)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers (NY $0.22)
  • 4 cloves garlic (NY $0..30 for one head)
  • 1 bottle Mexican beer (NY $1.49 for Corona)
  • 1 lb. chicken breast (NY $4.99)
  • 2 tsps. dried thyme (staple)
  • 4 cups chicken broth (NY $2.39)
  • 1 bunch scallions (NY $0.50)
  • 1 lime (NY $0.50)
  • 1 ½ tbsps olive oil (staple)
  • 1 ½ tbsps ground cumin (staple)*
  • Salt (staple)
  • Pepper (staple)
  • Tortilla chips (NY $2.59 for 1 bag)
  • A few tablespoons cilantro, to taste (NY $0.99)
  • 2 cups cotija cheese** (NY $2.50)
Tomatillo Tortilla Soup IngredientsDirections
Prepare tomatillos by removing the husks, rinsing (they’ll be sticky!), and then chopping roughly.

TomatillosChop the onion and zucchini into pieces of about the same size as the tomatillos. Seed the jalapenos by slicing them open lengthwise, then using the tip of the knife to scrape out the seeds. (Be careful not to touch the seeds with your fingers. If you happen to by mistake, then be *really* careful not to rub your eyes with your hands.) Mince the garlic.

Tomatillos and Onions
In a large pot, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat, and add the chopped produce along with the cumin, some salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Meanwhile, slice the chicken into ½ inch wide strips and set aside.

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
Cook the vegetables approx. 7-8 minutes, until the onion is softened and yellow, and the tomatillos become saucy. (Truly, it’s a cheeky and impertinent vegetable. You’ll see!) Add the beer to the vegetables and cook until reduced by about half, approx. 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth and thyme, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove cover, reduce heat to medium-low, add chicken and cook over a low boil for about 6 minutes.

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
While soup is cooking, slice the scallions, chop the cilantro, and cut lime into small wedges.

When the soup is ready, ladle into bowls and squeeze juice from a lime wedge into each. Allow your guests to top as they please with tortilla chips, scallions and cilantro.

*I like this heavy on the cumin: goes easier on it if you’re not as rabid a fan.

**If you do not like or can not find cotija cheese, feel free to substitute Monterey Jack.

Tomatillo Tortilla Soup
Nutritional Facts
Approximate values per bowl
Calories 277.8Vitamin A 7.8 %Iron 13.0 %
Total Fat 16.0 gVitamin B-12 12.4 %Magnesium 12.4 %
Cholesterol 64.7 mgVitamin B-6 23.9 %Manganese 23.8 %
Sodium 733.3 mgVitamin C 19.2 %Niacin 51.7 %
Potassium 606.0 mgVitamin D 0.0 %Phosphorus 38.3 %
Total Carbohydrate 11.0 gVitamin E 4.4 %Riboflavin 16.6 %
Fiber 2.1 gCalcium 29.1 %Selenium 26.9 %
Sugars 2.8 gCopper 12.0 %Thiamin 6.8 %
Protein 23.2 gFolate 6.2 %Zinc 13.6 %

Recipe and Nutritional Information after the jump
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