Tag Archives: basil

Creamy Tomato-Basil Soup

Creamy Tomato-Basil SoupFor a long time, if you asked me what my absolute favorite meal was, I would reply, “Grilled cheese and tomato soup,” without any hesitation.  Now, I have always loved a grilled cheese and still do, with a passion, in fact.  But over the years, I realized that the other half of that duo was just not holding up its end of the bargain. I would dutifully make my can of tomato soup to go with my sandwich, and while it kind of worked as a counterpoint to a perfectly toasty, cheesy sandwich, it mostly just sucked.  I know this is impolitic of me, but regular tomato soup is just so boring.  The terrible mediocrity of it is what made me give up on the idea that grilled cheese and tomato soup was, indeed, my favorite meal.  Something that most closely resembled ketchup water had no place in any of my favorites lists.

And then… dun dun dun. Continue reading


Filed under Soups and Stews

Simple Tomato Salad

Simple Tomato Salad

I hate to complain. I really do.  I know I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record, because I probably went into a thing about pumpkin-flavored stuff last year, but really. Can we stop oohing and ahhing over pumpkin spice lattes?  

I get it.  Some people like pumpkin.  Some people are really into fall and this signals the beginning of fall for them.  But, people.  There are still peaches at the markets.  And eggplants.  And tomatoes.  Beautiful, sweet, juicy tomatoes that will no longer be here a month from now.  Can we just take a moment to revel in these things while they’re here?  Because, I hate to break this to you, but, um… that’s not real pumpkin in your drink.  It’s pumpkin-flavored syrup.  Available any time of the year.  In January, you’ll still be able to drink mocha-peppermint-cranberry flavored caffeine, but good luck finding tomatoes that take your breath away or a peach that will dribble its sticky juices down your chin.

Simple Tomato Salad

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Filed under Gluten Free, Salad, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

I don’t know about where you live, but around Chicago it’s been a pretty freakishly hot summer.  I’ve been effectively using the baby as an excuse not to leave the air-conditioning pretty much since June, and I’m sorry to say that my poor garden has gone completely neglected.  The tomatoes were left cage-less (hmmm… cage-free tomatoes, maybe there’s a marketing spin there…) , there was not a chip of mulch to be found until last week, and everything is looking fairly sad and withered-looking.  Except of course, the mint and parsley, which I’m convinced could grow out of the cracks in our sidewalk.  As sad as I am about the lack of beautiful homegrown tomatoes, which I’ve been looking forward to since we finished the last of the tomatoes last year, there is a bright side.  And the bright side is this quinoa tabbouleh.

Tabbouleh is a middle-eastern herb salad typically made with bulgur.  I’ve always really liked tabbouleh, ever since my mom would buy it at the fancy-pants grocery store, Treasure Island, when I was a kid.  This was back in the early nineties, and things like tabbouleh weren’t exactly available in the usual chain grocery stores, so it was a treat.  And I kind of felt pretty grown up eating it.  Something about the fresh herb flavor with a hint of garlic and lots of big lemony tang still brings back memories of the stuff mom used to buy at Treasure Island.  However, I’m sure this is so much better than that stuff ever was. Continue reading


Filed under Gluten Free, Salad, Side Dish, Snacks

Fresh Basil Pesto

Seems I’ve been so distracted going on and on about the waning summer months that I almost forgot about one of the absolute best things about the end of summer… the bounty that comes from my teeny tiny little garden.  Sure, there are hardships that come along with all of this produce.  For instance, I swear I would never even look at a zucchini again if it weren’t for a certain recipe that I will share with you in the next few days.  (Trust me, it’s worth the wait.) And, as much as I love tomatoes, there is only so much salsa, tomato sauce, and tomato sandwiches that one small family of two people and pooch can consume.  It’s a rough life, guys.
But the one thing that I can never get enough of from my garden is basil.  Sure, it helps with all those tomatoes- you know, for the marinara sauce, the caprese salad- but in my mind, the real purpose of growing tons of basil lies in one magnificent little word: PESTO. Continue reading


Filed under Gluten Free, Other, Pasta