Creative Cooking – Covid Coping – July One-Bite Salads & Pasta

I don’t remember the main dish — appears to be something Italian, but obviously the little salads were fun and photogenic.  Sliced daikon radish, sliced cucumber, sliced cheese, and sliced tomato, with some dressing to drizzle on them.

Creative Cooking – Covid Coping – July Asian Spoon Bites

Left to right, I call these bites:
1. Shrimp Louie (salad shrimp mixed with Vegenaise, and pickle slices from our garden a couple of years ago. All eggs are courtesy the neighbor’s hens.)
2. Ham & Cheese with a little sprig of parsley from the garden
3. Caprese Salad (except it’s not basil, it’s beet greens)
4. Deviled Ham (everything left after I made all the other ones, chopped up and mixed with Dijon mustard)
5. BLT (the “lettuce” is micro greens from the garden)
6. Ham & Egg over a tiny hash brown.
Sliced onion strewn around, plus some pickled garlic.

Creative Cooking – Covid Cooking – July

Shrimp Louie, simple and elegant.

A fun presentation of simple fried fish and rice — made to look like Nigiri sushi.  I seasoned the rice with rice vinegar and agave nectar, so it would taste somewhat like sushi rice, then formed it into little squares.  I seasoned the fish with some soy sauce and plum sauce to sort of resemble the flavor of Unagi (smoked eel nigiri), and laid it all on a bed of shredded daikon radish.  A few leaves of micro greens and a bowl of Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) finished the platter.

Kefta Mkaouara and Jasmine Rice — Moroccan Meatball Tagine.  Mini meatballs cooked in a zesty tomato sauce, and topped with eggs.  Traditionally cooked in a Tagine, I used my old Corning Ware dutch oven.  Mmm mmm good!

Cold fish 3 ways — Lox (thin sliced smoked salmon), sardines, and tuna & cheese salad (just tuna, cubed cheese, and Vegenaise).  Served with gluten-free crackers, sliced zucchini, butter lettuce leaves, and seasoned Greek yogurt.

Creative Cooking – Covid Coping – June Roast Duck & Panzanella

Roast Duck is pretty straight forward.  I think I might have stuffed this one with chopped apples and onions, but not positive.  Panzanella is an interesting salad.  It’s layered like lasagna, with bread (gluten-free for me) and roasted bell peppers, and tomatoes, olives and pearl mozzarella, topped with basil.  I’m a real fan of Giana De Laurentiis, so I make a lot of her recipes.  Give this one a try.

Creative Cooking – Covid Coping – June How I Make My Spaghetti Sauce

Using my Corning Ware dutch oven that I’ve had for probably 40 years, I start off with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and half a pot of chopped onion and mixed bell peppers.  I cook them for several minutes to soften, then drop in a pound and a half of the leanest ground beef.  (This time I also used some ground pork, which in hindsight I should have cooked first and added after I had drained it.)  Break up the ground meat and cook it completely.  The vegetables get a little softer in the process.  Then I add chopped mushrooms and garlic, and all the Italian seasonings.  Then a can of chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.  (I prefer using crushed tomatoes, but didn’t have them this time.)    Then I put the lid on, and let it simmer for up to several hours.  Or you can eat immediately if you’re in a hurry.  For me, I pour the sauce over either gluten-free pasta, or spaghetti squash.