Archive for September 3rd, 2012

provI have a great recipe to share with you today, the Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake which I found in Family Circle magazine.  Yes, I read Family Circle magazine.

I love baked vegetable dishes and have made many in the past and I am always experimenting.  The Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake caught my eye as it includes a can of cannellini beans as an ingredient and I am always trying to find uses for the cannellini beans I can’t seem to stop buying.

This recipe is super easy and lends itself to customization – as in using your preferred herbs, a different mix of veggies or cheese.  That said, I made it pretty much as presented here and it was nearly perfect.  Heck, put goat cheese on cardboard and I am in.

Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake (from Family Circle magazine)

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet onions
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), ends trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • 3 large summer squash (combination of zucchini and yellow squash), ends trimmed
  • 1/2 pound russet potatoes
  • 3 plum tomatoes
  • 4 ounces goat cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and halve onions; cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in beans, 1/2 teaspoon of the herbes de Provence and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Pour mixture into bottom of a 9 x 13 oven-safe casserole.
  2. Meanwhile, cut eggplant, squash, potatoes and tomatoes into 1/4-inch thick slices. (To speed things up, use food processor fitted with a slicing blade.) Toss vegetables with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 teaspoons herbes de Provence and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Arrange vegetables on top of onion-bean mixture in 1 layer; pack tightly.
  3. Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove foil and crumble goat cheese on top. Bake 15 more minutes. Cool slightly and slice into 4 servings.

Find the recipe for Provencal Summer Vegetable Bake on the Family Circle website here.  You may have to sign-up for a free account, but it is worth it, Family Circle has some great recipes and other helpful content.

Visit the Family Circle website here.

bentoIt’s back to school time (more or less) and kids all over America are begging for a new soft-sided lunch box with a decal of Justin Beeber or some such on it.  Meanwhile, middle-aged men are scouring eBay to see if they can over-pay for a vintage The Empire Strikes Back lunchbox from the waning days of the metal variety.

Me?  Well, I have started a new phase where I am trying to be disciplined about lunch so I don’t overeat or do what I tend to do – which is graze between the hours of 10am and 3pm…

To help me in this endeavor, I have taken to preparing my lunches in advance.  This way I can be more planful in what I eat and ensure I have nice variety of food and controlled portions.  It occurred to be that the perfect tool to help me with this was the traditional Japanese bento box, which I have been served many times in Japanese restaurants.  I always loved the little compartments and how everything is neat and perfect.

So I set out to find the perfect bento box and I thin I may have – the Modern Bento Box from Portland, OR-based Canoe.

About The Modern Bento Box from Canoe: “This modern take on the traditional Japanese bento box food container is more than an exercise in styling: the design improves on the original through a number of functional features that ensure foods stay in their place and arrive intact. The durable, high quality plastic body has a ‘soft-touch’ finish with two airtight containers, an adjustable separator, and a wide elastic strap. Microwaveable and dishwasher safe, the boxes are ideal for taking lunch to work, to picnics, or other events. Winner of Europe’s 2012 Red Dot design award.”

With this Bento Box (or multiple ones if my experiment does well) I can prepare my lunch and make sure I don’t stray, er, outside of the box.

See the Modern Bento Box and all the really neat products curated by Canoe here.

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