A Delicious Healthy Main-Dish Salad

This was a wonderful dinner, paired with oat crackers from England.

Steam enough mixed vegetables (like cauliflower, green beans, carrots) for about 3 people (about 300 grams) and keep aside.
Cook separately shredded or tiny-cut beets for about 1 to 2 people by simmering them in some orange juice and a generous glug of olive oil (add water if you must but you don't want them to be watery), or open and drain a small or medium can and keep aside.
Hard-boil 1 to 3 eggs (10 minutes).

In a large bowl where you'll assemble the salad, first make the dressing:
Mix 1 Tblspn real French mustard
  1 Tblspn balsamic vinegar
  black pepper
Drain into a measuring cup 1 can tuna packed in decent oil (I'm pretty sure salmon would work well too) and then add olive oil to make about 150 ml of oil (if your fish is packed in water, just use all olive oil, but the fishy oil gives the best flavor).
Then pour the oil in a stream into the mustard mixture while you whisk.
Then stir in fish, above vegetables including beets, then gently
  1 small sweetish onion sliced thinly and separated into rings
  1 Tblspn capers
  a small handful of cilantro, chopped
Arrange on top 1 to 3 hard-boiled eggs sliced.

Adapted from Simon Hopkinson's Second Helpings of Roast Chicken 
Originally posted at previous incarnation of this site, when lived in Europe 

A Delicious Homemade-ish Pizza Dinner

Last night I had the tastiest pizza I'd ever made, if I do say so myself.

I very lightly brushed with olive oil the top and bottom of
  a premade pretty-much-whole-grain pizza crust for 6 to 8 people: I used Rustic Crust's Pizza Originale large-ish; their site is http://www.rusticcrust.com/
and placed it on a big cookie sheet.

I poured and spread over
  7.5 oz or so of premade pizza sauce (or just stir in oregano, salt, pepper, that sort of thing into tomato sauce)

Then in order I placed
  a generous amount of fresh garlic minced -- about 3 cloves
  a small handful fresh red onion slices
  a handful fresh tomatoes chopped (if they're very juicy, drain and use the juice for soup or something, not on the pizza)
  a generous amount mozzarella cheese grated (I thought I preferred sliced but this was lovely)
  a lot of fresh baby spinach leaves (about half a clam shell type package)
  a generous amount Parmesan cheese grated

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Bake 15 minutes. (Note if you don't want a vegetarian dinner, nice Italian sausage baked at the same time is nice.)

Serve with
  a fresh salad such as chopped cucumbers, carrots, celery, black olives
and that above sausage if you don't want a vegetarian dinner.

Supposed to serve 8 but for us it served at most 6!

Luscious Winter Squash with Herbs and Cheeses

Cube a winter squash that's the size of/e.g. a butternut squash (better yet, buy freshly cubed from the shop; I used pumpkin). Put it in a skillet with olive oil and some water, just enough for it to cook (add more water if you have to). Add:
a tiny bit of red chilies
1-1/2 tsp dried or fresh rosemary leaves

Simmer, covered, until almost tender. Add:
2 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/2 tsp dried oregano

When tender, mash just lightly, then stir in and cook another minute:
a big handful of basil (fresh only) thinly sliced

Then top with these that you've mixed together, turn off the heat, and cover and let sit a minute:
about 1/2 ounce Parmesan or another salty Italian cheese (I adore the sheep cheese Pecorino Romano), crumbled
about 1 ounce of a strong cheddar-type cheese (I love the British McLelland's Double Gloucester), grated
generous black pepper ground

Taste it; it might need a little salt ground over the top.

I think this could even make a delicious light vegetarian entree.

(very adapted from Jamie's Kitchen, from a recipe for pasta! his Sardinian Culurzones with Butternut Squash and Baked Goat's Cheese) 
(a re-post from the previous incarnation of this site)

Lentils in Red Wine with Mushrooms and Sun-dried Tomatoes

You'll need cooked beans for this recipe -- lentils or kidney beans work nicely -- so cook them or get a can. This is enough for a "sauce" for 1 can.

Put into a bowl and pour over boiling water and let them sit about 20 minutes:
a handful of dried mushrooms
a large handful of sun-dried tomatoes

Saute in olive oil until quite soft:
1 sweet onion or 2 shallots, chopped

the equivalent of 1 can cooked beans (lentils or kidney beans preferably)
1/2 cup red wine (I use the only delicious nonalcoholic I've ever found -- Billabong Red from Australia0
the above dried mushrooms and tomatoes and most of their liquid (not any grit though of course) (you might need to cut them up with scissors)

Simmer for about 15 minutes then add and cook just a few minutes; if it's soupy take off the lid for it to reduce:
2 tablespoons capers

Add just a little ground pepper if you'd like, and also if you'd like swirl in some more olive oil.

(Note I've tried, in turn, fresh mushrooms and fresh tomatoes, but they just aren't half as tasty in this.)

(extremely adapted from a fish and bean recipe in BBC Good Food magazine for February 2005)
(from previous incarnation of this site, when we lived overseas)

This Week's Cookbooks

...are to help me kick this cold or whatever I still have: fab recipes from The Longevity Cookbook for immunity, chicken soup from Save with Jamie.

I'm also crazy crazy busy, though my priority has to be taking care to get better! One of these weeks I'll explain at my moving site, http://walkingtocivilization.blogspot.com/ .

I'm off to make a fresh pineapple-ginger-parsley green smoothie from Longevity....

Good health to you!!!

Oooo, love this site! and this page has to do with the common cold! Hmm, a print from them may be just what our new home needs.... http://shop.webomator.com/retropolis/prints/retro_future_prints_got_your_health.shtml

Fish with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives

Lay in a shallow baking dish in order, and bake uncovered until fish flakes easily (I did it at 375 for 10 minutes). Serves 2.

a small handful sun-dried tomatoes (if not packed in oil, let soak in hot water 10 minutes then drain)
thin fish fillets -- frozen is fine (I actually just doctored up canned because that was all I had)
a tiny lemon's juice
a few black olives
a bit of parsley or another fresh herb cut up
a drizzle of olive oil

Extremely changed from an idea in the beautiful cookbook JE SAIS CUISINER/I KNOW HOW TO COOK by Ginette Mathiot

A charming cookbook from 1915

Welch Ways, by the famous cookbook authoress Marion Harland, has wonderful artwork and fun text....Free at http://twudigital.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16283coll8/id/50/rec/46 ! I didn't realize before how people would eat right at one of those wonderful tea trolleys!

Various Approaches to Easier Meal Planning, Part Five: The Cookbook Method

Simply use cookbooks you love that have easy recipes -- even better, whole meal plans and grocery lists.

Even better is something like this: There was a tiny cookbook I used in the early 1990s that tucked into my purse, that I would pull out on the bus on my way home in Manhattan and choose a recipe, and then get off the bus and tuck into the fabulous West Side Grocers? below our apartment to pick up ingredients. Unfortunately the grocers no longer exists, and the cookbook is no longer to our taste! But one could do something similar, and ever-changing, with recipes on cards...