From our Food Goddess, TaMara:
I don’t know about you, but my last few weeks have been full of activities and work. Add to that an unexpected snow storm that created havoc on the roads today and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and short on time. So tonight’s menu is about simplicity and freshness. The snow and cold makes me long for fresh fruits and vegetables (and seed catalogs). I know good quality can be hard to come by this time of year, but I am tired of soups and stews, so I’ll do the freshest I can with the ingredients available. Nothing exciting about this pasta dish, except it is quick, easy and fresh. Substituting good quality canned diced tomatoes (maybe even roasted tomatoes) will work if you can’t find any decent fresh tomatoes. I can usually find local greenhouse tomatoes at the indoor farmer’s market, along with fresh dried pastas, so I try to get there when I can. For the salad, I look for anything that sounds like it might be a good addition: snow peas, jicama, grapes, peppers, even sliced apples, to add to several types of greens. A friend introduced me to Greek yogurt recently and I really, really like it. It’s smooth, creamy and works well as a dessert. I know blueberries and raspberries can be iffy when fresh this time of year (re: bland), not to mention expensive. I like frozen, organic blueberries that are small and taste almost like wild blueberries. Frozen raspberries are almost always better than any out of season fresh raspberry. I thaw them and serve with the yogurt and that works really well. So with all that, I’ve done my best to bring some fresh ideas to a cold winter’s weekend.
On the board tonight:
1. Tomato-Parmesan Linguine
2. Tossed Salad w/Lemon Thyme Vinaigrette
3. Steamed Asparagus Spears
4. Blueberries & Raspberries w/vanilla yogurt
Recipes and shopping list at the link.
(AnneLaurie adds: I’ve been a fan of reduced-fat Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream for years now, and I’m glad to see it appearing in local supermarkets other than Trader Joe’s. Although I tend to use it for stuff like ‘mix in a scoop of herbs, then toss it with hot freshly-drained pasta for a lazy meal.’ The kind of dishes where the back-of-the-box recipes recommends ‘onion dip’. )