Tag Archives: fresh

Recipe: Pasta with fresh tomatoes

I found a recipe recently that looked amazing.  Of course, as usual, I changed it up a great deal.   But I thought I’d share it with you.

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

Serves 2

  • 2 ripe organic tomatoes (I used one huge organic heirloom tomato)
  • 1/2 teaspoons medium Himalayan sea salt
  • organic spaghetti or any pasta you like (I used Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 clove of organic garlic, smashed then diced
  • 1/4 cup organic basil, cut into ribbons
  • 2 TBS organic butter, cut into three or four pieces
  • Organic Olive oil, as needed
  1. Season the tomatoes with the salt and toss them well.
  2. Put a big pot of water on to boil.
  3. Set garlic aside for a few minutes
  4. Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it.
  5. Heat a teaspoon or two of the olive oil in a large saute’ pan over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook til just beginning to brown around the edges and soften. This takes a couple of minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook your pasta, drain it, put it back in the pot, and oil the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself
  7. Pour the tomatoes into a colander over the saute’ pan so that the tomato juice will drain into the pan below. Set the tomatoes in colander aside, in a bowl.
  8. Swirl the sauce to bring it to a simmer. Add the butter while continuing to swirl or stir the sauce. Keep the sauce moving until all the butter is melted. Add the basil, the pasta and toss to coat the pasta evenly. Divide the pasta two bowls and top with the tomatoes.

Other Ingredients Finished Dish

This recipe has a fresh taste that it impossible to beat!  It is light, it is vegetarian and gives you fiber and nutrients as well.


While I changed this up a bit, I do give credit where credit is due.  The original version came from Food52.com in the Genius Recipes section.

Great coffee doesn’t have to ruin the environment

In my Facebook feed today, a post emphasized the massive amounts of plastic that go into our landfills from the one-cup Keurig coffee machines.  It prompted me to write this post today.  You can still make a far more rich and flavorful single cup of coffee without a Keurig machine.  Yes, it may cost a bit more to start but I promise, it is a worthwhile one-time investment.

We bought our single-cup Italian machine 9 years ago, categorized as super-automatic. With proper cleaning and maintenance, I see no reason that this machine will ever die.  Plus it gives us the opportunity to try different beans while always brewing the freshest coffee available. Saeco Incanto Sirius This is an obsolete model, but it is still available online refurbished at a far lesser price than what we paid in 2006.  It is called Saeco Incanto Sirius, but there are many similar models by Saeco.  Plus there are also many similar models still out there that will give you the same great benefits.

The quality of the beverage you get is so far superior to what you get from the Keurig setup, it isn’t really close in comparison.

You can choose between many different beverages, many different strengths, from Expresso to ‘Shorts’ to Cafe Americano.  The cup warmer makes sure you aren’t pouring coffee into a cold cup.  The bean hopper isn’t overly large, so your beans do not become stale.  You see, this is a big difference between this type of machine and the Keurig style coffee machines.  You have to use their ‘k-cups’ which are of course plastic.  More mess for the planet.  Plus they contain coffee that was roasted and ground months, even years earlier, so fresh is never an option with k-cup machines.

Coffee is at it’s best within a week, perhaps two, of when the beans are roasted.  The best way to assure freshly roasted beans is to roast them yourself.  It’s not hard, it’s not expensive and it’s not complicated.  There are many sources on-line for the green beans and they have a very long shelf-life.  We don’t do caffeine so we buy decaffeinated green coffee beans.  IRoastSince we prefer a strong  European roast, I roast to a dark setting.  The roaster we have is perfect for the two of us.  We drink coffee mainly on the weekends so to roast a large amount would just be wasteful.  The roaster I’ve used for 9 years is  the i-Roast.  If it is no longer available, I’m sure there are others that are just as good.  I roast beans outdoors since the smell isn’t what you’d think.  It can be pretty nasty, actually.  It’s simple to pop this little beauty out on the patio and plug it in and let it go.  It has settings and a timer and makes it simple to roast beans properly.

Once they’re roasted, then I put them in a ventilated bowl or plastic bag and let them breathe for 24 hours before using or sealing.

The choice of beans is very wide.  There are also a number of companies that sell green coffee beans of all styles, types and origins.  Since we like a rich, dark roast AND decaf, GreenCoffeeBeansthe one we found that delivers for us is Decaf Hawaiian Maui Kaanapali Yellow Caturra. We buy these from Burman Coffee Traders and have found their quality and service to be consistent.

Of course both of the machines require proper cleaning and maintenance but then, so does your car, right?

The green beans require no special storage.  They do need to breathe and these inexpensive cloth bags allow that.  I keep them in a darkened pantry.  The cost of the green coffee beans, generally, is about half of what it costs for roasted beans.

This may sound like a lot of work, but if you REALLY like good coffee, this is the way to go!

You can find refurbished Saeco superautomatic machines of all designs, plus you might find other machines from other manufacturers that will do the trick.  But generally, European brands will deliver a far better quality machine, with a longer life and great coffee.


What’s for dinner? Go light!

I don’t know about you, but dinner to me really needs to be light.  I sleep far better with a light dinner and a lot of vegetables.  We so rarely eat red meat that if we should have red meat for dinner, neither my husband nor myself sleep well.  And then I won’t even go into the trials and tribulations of my gastrointestinal tract the next day!

My husband makes a healthy Caesar Salad that is the basis for many great meals.  We’ve tweaked this recipe for 14 years and it’s almost perfect!  CaesarSaladTonight, I’m baking fresh Yellow Tail Snapper and we’ll put chunks of it into the salad.   Below is the recipe and photo.    At one time, we added grilled shrimp but when I found I was highly allergic to shrimp (a favorite food since childhood), since then we’ve experimented more.  Now our go-to is either fresh fish, lobster chunks or chicken.




In a large stainless bowl wisk together:

Note:  All ingredients are organic

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground paper

1/4 tsp dried mustard

6 drops of organic Worcestershire sauce

1/2 lime, squeezed (lemon will do)

Scant 1/4 cup good quality organic olive oil  ( we love Oleo Beato)

1 heaping tablespoon soy-free Veganaise

1 small clove garlic, pressed (Remove the green center)

Hand tear an entire clamshell of Organic Girl  romaine hearts into appropriate size pieces, and add to the bowl.

Add about 1/4 cup of shredded mixed Italian cheeses.

Great as is or you can add fresh fish, shrimp or chicken.

Add croutons to taste (we use gluten free croutons)

Toss well.   Spoon onto chilled salad plate.  Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

It’s an entire meal!



Notes:  My husband reminded me of a few notes to add.

(1) The Veganaise is used in lieu of a whole raw egg, as a binder.

(2) The romaine I mentioned is what we use simply because it’s triple washed, organic and a measured 10 oz package.  No guessing as to the amount we’re using.

(3) The Worcestershire sauce we use is organic and vegan, meaning it’s without the fishy-anchovy element.

(4) You can always used shaved parmesan rather than shredded.