Magazine Monday: Summer Vegetable Casserole

For me a great meal is all about the side dishes. A nice piece of meat is great, but how good are the potatoes on the side? I’ve constantly got my eye out for good side dish recipes, and this one from the August issue of  Food & Wine struck me as the perfect summer side dish. It’s packed with my favourite summer veggies; zucchini, tomatoes, peppers. And as a base, new potatoes!

I also got the chance to use some of the herbs I’ve got growing on the balcony. Everything has been going great, except for the parsley (weird, eh?). The recipe only called for thyme but I threw some oregano in as well, just for fun.

Summer Vegetable Casserole

  • New potatoes, sliced a 1/4 inch thick
  • Mushrooms
  • Plum tomatoes, sliced
  • Yellow peppers, sliced thinly
  • Zucchini
  • Red onion, sliced
  • Garlic
  • Fresh thyme and oregano
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parmesan, grated
  1. Toss all the ingredients together except for the parmesan.
  2. In a baking dish, layer the vegetables in the following order; potatoes, mushrooms, 2/3 of the onion and green peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, and finally the remaining onion and peppers.
  3. Top with grated parmesan.
  4. Bake covered in foil at 350 for 40 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400, remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes.

This was pretty tasty. The recipe is simple enough to let the flavours of the fresh summer vegetables shine through. Next time I make this I think I’ll add some goat cheese to the mix, or maybe a layer of ricotta and spinach, just to make it a little more substantial.

I’ll be sending this post to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Monday. For those of you who don’t know, Magazine Monday is a chance to get through all those magazine recipes we all have earmarked to make and then share your creations. Head over to her site to check out what everyone else is up to!

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Magazine Monday: Mini Tomato Chèvre Tarts

You may have noticed that my posts aren’t very challenge-like lately. I’ll admit, I haven’t worked as hard on this one as I did for the sugar free challenge. I think the rules this time around are too lax. Organic chips are still chips after all. All I really have to do is have a smoothie and go for a walk. How hard is that? I need a challenge that is actually challenging.

But I’m trying to shape up a little, starting with this post. The April 2010 issue of Chatelaine has a recipe for a Classic Tomato Chèvre Tart that really caught my eye. I’ve decided to make it challenge friendly by making the crust out of whole wheat flour and eliminating the sugar. I could have gone the extra mile and substituted the milk for something non dairy, but that seemed like overkill (and to be honest could have been disastrous). I also decided to make the tarts mini for easy office-lunch portability and for the cuteness factor.

These smelled soooo good in the oven. I could hardly wait to have a bite. And when I did have a bite, it was like a little bit of goat cheese heaven.

Bonus, this recipe is really easy to make, it took me just a few minutes to get the dough and the filling together.

I’ll be submitting this post to Cream Puffs in Venice for Magazine Mondays. Be sure to check her blog to see what all the other Magazine Monday-ers are up to!

Mini Tomato Chèvre Tart

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 150 g goat cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup snipped chives

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine flours, butter and salt with your hands until a it takes on a crumbly texture. (This can be done in a food processor too). Add liquids and stir till ingredients for a ball.
  2. Press dough into a muffin tin. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Combine eggs, milk, cheese , chives and salt and pepper in a bowl.
  5. Put some diced tomato in each muffin cup. Pour 1/3 cup of egg mixture into each muffin cup.
  6. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until filling is set.

Enjoy!

Spicy Chickpea Tomato Soup, a Magazine Monday Production

I’ve been reading food blogs (kind of obsessively) for a while now. I’ve stumbled across (and drooled over) posts from the Daring Bakers, the Tuesdays with Dorie people, and of course Dorie herself, oh and David too. I started reading them during my first sugar-free challenge as a way to vicariously satisfy my sweet tooth. Reading the descriptions of the foods and seeing all the beautiful pictures (see Tartelette) I felt like I was actually tasting all of the wonderful creations.

After a discussion of mojito cupcakes, my baking buddy cousin sent me this link with what she called the best looking recipe she’s found. The recipe sounds delicious (and is still on my list of things to make). So I decided to check out the rest of the blog. It turns out the author is one of the founders of the Daring Bakers, and she’s also come up with something called Magazine Mondays. Magazine Mondays were created as a way to go through all those magazine recipes we’ve got bookmarked but never actually get around to making. Every monday (well in theory every monday), you pick a recipe from the pile and tell the world about it.

I think it’s a great idea, and so I’m hoping on the bandwagon.

My first Magazine Monday Recipe is from the November 2007 issue of Martha Stewart Living. The switch from hot to kinda of coolish weather last week had me craving soup, so I made one of Martha’s.

Spicy Chickpea Tomato Soup

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups chickpeas cooked (or 1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes, including the juice
  • 1/2 cup drained jarred roasted peppers
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • sour cream or yogurt for serving
  • chives or parsley for garnish

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse garlic, chili, coriander and salt into a paste.
  2. Heat oil in a medium-sized pot and add garlic paste. Cook until softened.
  3. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, peppers and broth. Simmer for 15 minutes. Let cool slightly
  4. Using an immersion blender puree soup.
  5. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream and garnish with chives or parley.

I omitted the caraway seeds Martha calls for just because I don’t have any.

And I used chives from my “garden”.

They came back all by themselves this spring! (I took the picture at night to hide the horrible view from my balcony, I need to move!)

This is a very quick and easy soup. I actually found it tasted better the next day, the flavours seemed to have blended together a little more, probably because of the short cooking time. The peppers give the soup a little something extra, a very nice touch. The only issue I had was with the texture, maybe I didn’t puree it enough but I found the soup a little clumpy. I would definitely make this again.

Enjoy!