Monday, December 30, 2013

Vacation, day 2

We had brunch at Max Brenner's in the shopping mall at Caesar's Palace. I had a sandwich of apples, Gruyere cheese, prosciutto, and greens on a savory rosemary waffle.

I didn't make a dinner reservation for tonight because we had to make a 9:00 show, and I figured we'd grab a sandwich or burger on the way. That wasn't what happened. Instead we walked into Sushisamba at the Palazzo.

Vegetable tempura:

Wild mushrooms and croutons in broth with a poached egg:

And then Japanese Wagyu steak we cooked at the table on a hot stone:

Whoa. This was like eating meat-flavored butter.

Sunday, December 29, 2013


This week Good for Me is coming to you from Las Vegas! There will be no calorie counts.

Tonight's dinner was at Top of the World, the revolving restaurant on the 106th floor of the Stratosphere. A place that is more about the view than the food, but the food was good too.

Vegetarian platter (apologies for the blurry photo, low light plus no flash):

Left to right: vegetable napoleon - zucchini, portobello mushroom, winter squash, and kale in vinaigrette; quinoa and lentil salad with roasted onion on top; mixed vegetables (carrots, green beans, and turnips).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Celebration Day

One nice thing about celebrating non-traditional holidays is that they're not surrounded by an overwhelming cultural narrative, so you can celebrate them any way you like. Thus, my official Winter Solstice deep-dish pizza:

On the plate:

We concluded the celebration by welcoming the returning sun with some poolside fireworks:

Happy winter holidays to one and all! (Pizza recipe is here.)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mideast Style

Roast chicken spiced with coriander, cumin, and turmeric;  pita bread; feta cheese; homemade tzatziki sauce; olives; sliced tomatoes and cucumbers.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Night of the Living Eggplant

After an all-too-brief hiatus, it appears that eggplant season is once again upon us.

Eggplant parmesan with whole wheat spaghetti.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Catching up

It's been a busy month, between home renovations, a couple rounds of houseguests, and Thanksgiving - so I've been neglecting the blog. But here are some pictures I got over the past few weeks:

Tacos with shredded beef, homemade tortillas, guacamole, and salsa (the latter two made with farm box veggies):

A poolside mimosa:

Beef tenderloin with horseradish sauce, creamed corn, and tomato salad:

Tomato salad ready for its close-up:

A farm box omelette:

And a pina colada (also meant to be served poolside, but the weather that day turned abruptly threatening, and while I do like pina coladas, I do not especially care for getting caught in the rain):

I'll try to keep a little more current.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

More Caprese

For breakfast, on toast:

Italian style

Grilled chicken with caponata and caprese salad:

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 small eggplant, peeled and diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
Vinegar and sugar to taste

Heat olive oil on medium, add eggplant and cook for 10 minutes or until eggplant starts to brown. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 20 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Let the mixture cool to room temperature and add a small amount of vinegar and/or sugar to taste. Serve at room temperature. This was good as a condiment for the chicken, but usually is served with bread as an appetizer.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

Meeting the eggplant challenge head-on:

3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 jar pasta sauce
8 oz. shredded low-fat mozzarella
Bake eggplant slices at 400 for 20 minutes
Layer in pan starting with sauce, then eggplant, sauce, then cheese, ending with cheese
Bake covered at 400 for 45 minutes, then remove cover and bake for 15 more minutes
4 servings, 275 calories each

Monday, November 4, 2013

Still Life With Eggplants

Salad greens, one watermelon, two red bell peppers, assorted cherry tomatoes, two slicing tomatoes, five ears of corn, three bananas, a giant avocado, and two eggplants.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Moving into fall

Turkey breast smoked on the grill, and yellow squash gratin:

That took care of the yellow squash for the week. We also used up a butternut squash in another meal, which I neglected to take pictures of. It was butternut squash soup with green salad and bread.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Surfeit of Squash

Well, the onslaught of eggplant has dwindled to just one small one for the week, but I now have two weeks' worth of summer squash and three weeks' worth of winter squash that I'd better figure out how to eat.

Five yellow squash, three bananas, one eggplant, one watermelon, one butternut squash, salad mix, six cucumbers and - hooray! - a bag of cherry tomatoes.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Almost Nicoise

Salad for dinner:

Salad greens, green beans, baby potatoes, white beans, hard-boiled eggs, Nicoise olives, capers, and vinaigrette.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Summery sandwich

Eating up the veggies:

Goat cheese, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, fresh mozzarella, sauteed eggplant, sauteed yellow squash, marinated cucumbers on a crusty roll.

Monday, October 21, 2013

If It's Monday, This Must Be Eggplant

Veggie box:

Watermelon, acorn squash, green beans, arugula, baby salad mix, five cucumbers, two yellow squash, and an eggplant.

Sunday Night Pizza

Pizza time:

3 oz. prepared Publix pizza dough
2 oz. shredded part-skim mozzarella
Arugula, mushrooms, onions, and green olives
375 calories

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Not as scary as it sounds:

A bacon, arugula, and tomato sandwich.

It's Eggplantastic!

Eggplant stuffed with lamb, tomatoes, onions, and pinenuts:

2 large eggplants
1 pound ground lamb
Olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup pine nuts
Spices to taste
Tomato and pepper for garnish

Cut eggplants in half, salt the cut halves and let stand for an hour. Rinse and pat dry. Saute eggplants in olive oil for 10 minutes. Let eggplants cool. Toast pine nuts in a dry skillet and set aside. Add some olive oil to the skillet and cook onions over low heat until they are translucent. Raise the heat to medium and add lamb. When the lamb is browned add tomatoes, spices, and pine nuts. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.

Scoop out a small amount of flesh from each eggplant half. Stuff with lamb mixture. Top with a tomato slice and a pepper slice. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350, then remove cover and bake for 15 more minutes.

Served with carrot-yogurt salad and tomato, cucumber and feta salad.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Mac and cheese with a kick

Macaroni and cheese with green chiles:

1/2 pound dry macaroni, boiled and drained
1 can Campbell's condensed cheddar cheese soup
5 oz. milk
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
Mix all ingredients together in a casserole, then top with
1 tbsp melted butter mixed with 2 tbsp bread crumbs
Bake at 400 for 25 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and crumbs are brown

4 servings, 275 calories each

Monday, October 14, 2013

Veggie Box Day

Tasty treats from the farm:

A watermelon, a bunch of bananas, a bunch of arugula, an acorn squash, jalapeno peppers, squash blossoms, three cucumbers, two ears of corn, and two eggplants. When is eggplant season over?

Barbecue time

Pulled chicken (from barbecued chicken leg quarters) on a slider bun; potato salad; cole slaw:

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Out to Dinner: The Old Key Lime House

The weather's finally getting nicer here, so we ventured to a place where we could sit outside and relax. The food was nothing fancy- a turkey club with fries:

But this was the real star of the show:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

More eggplant

The veggie box this week was virtually identical to last week's, so no new picture. It's a challenge to use some vegetables, like eggplant, which I like but wouldn't ordinarily have two weeks in a row. This week's eggplant (served with chicken Italian sausage):

Eggplant rollatini with goat cheese and mozzarella

1 large eggplant
3 oz. goat cheese
3 oz. fresh mozzarella
Tomato sauce

Slice eggplant lengthwise into six pieces, approximately 1/3 inches wide. Spread out the slices on paper towels and salt both sides, let stand for 1 hour, then rinse and pat dry. Bake the eggplant slices for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Mix the cheeses together. When the eggplant slices have cooled, put 1 oz. cheese mixture at the wider end of the slice, then roll up and secure with toothpicks. Put the rolls in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with tomato sauce.

Makes six rolls, 85 calories each.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Turkish delight

Eggplant braised with tomato, onion and olive oil; yogurt and cucumber sauce; olives; steak kebabs; pita bread; borek with arugula and feta cheese.

On the plate:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fall Flavors

Even though the temperatures here are still in the 90s, October made me want a fall-type meal.

Roast chicken with fresh herbs, maple-glazed carrots, and spaghetti squash casserole.

Spaghetti squash casserole:
1 medium spaghetti squash
1/2 cup grated onion
4 oz. grated Cheddar cheese
6 oz. 2% plain Greek yogurt
10 oz. condensed cream of chicken soup (undiluted)

Cook squash for 10 minutes in microwave, then scrape strands with a fork into a large bowl. Mix in onion, 2 oz. cheese, yogurt, and soup. Put into a casserole and top with the remaining 2 oz. of cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Farm Fresh Fritatta

2 eggs
1/2 oz. goat cheese
1 cup sliced summer squash
1 big handful of arugula

225 calories

Monday, September 30, 2013

Veggies 4 Me

While folks up north are starting to enjoy apple cider and fall foliage, down here we're just getting started on the local growing season.

This year I joined a CSA called - I paid up front for a weekly box of vegetables starting today through next May. This is a great way not only to get delicious fresh produce, but to support local small farmers. I'm very excited to start cooking from the farm!

This week's haul:

Five ears of corn, three cucumbers, two yellow squash, a spaghetti squash, an eggplant, an avocado, and a bag of baby arugula. We'll see what good things I can do with these throughout the week.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Pretty Corny

Corn soup and grilled cheese sandwich with tomato:

Corn soup:

4 slices center cut bacon, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 ears of sweet corn, kernels removed
2 cups 2% milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside.

Add the celery and onion to the skillet and saute in the bacon fat for about 10 minutes, then add corn kernels, reserving 1 cup of kernels, and saute for 10 minutes more.

While the vegetables are sauteeing, simmer the corn cobs in the milk (break cobs in half if necessary to fit in pot.)

Discard corn cobs, and add sauteed vegetables, bacon, and milk to blender. Puree until smooth. Pour the soup into a pot, add the reserved corn kernels, and simmer until heated through. Season to taste.

Makes 4 servings, 175 calories each

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

Okay, not exactly Parmesan, because I didn't have any Parmesan cheese, only mozzarella.
I grilled the eggplant early this afternoon, so I could put the rest of the dish together very quickly.

1 eggplant: (1 lb. appx): 100 calories
1 cup marinara sauce: 200 calories
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella: 300 calories
Makes 4 servings, 125 calories per serving

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds and grill over high heat for about 7 minutes per side; let cool. Put a small amount of marinara sauce in a baking dish, add the eggplant rounds, top with more marinara sauce, then sprinkle each round with a generous pinch of mozzarella. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until the cheese browns. Serve with pasta.

1/2 cup whole wheat linguine: 100 calories
1/4 cup marinara sauce: 50 calories
2 tbsp. shredded part-skim mozzarella: 75 calories

Moving slowly back to reality

Still working my way through some leftovers from Saturday night, but just a little bit at a time.

Grilled sandwich:
3 oz. Publix sourdough bread
1/2 oz. prosciutto
1 oz. Manchego cheese
Fig paste and brown mustard
375 calories

3 oz. watermelon: 25 calories

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Out to Birthday Brunch: The Breakers

Because why stop at one celebratory meal of unrestrained indulgence when you can have two?

Prime rib with bearnaise sauce, spit-roasted chicken, brown bread with sour cream and caviar.

Lettuce with balsamic-fig dressing, cornichons, two kinds of pate, roll, roasted vegetables, Caprese salad.

Egg Benedict, slice of bacon.

Cheese and fruit.

Dessert I: Tiramisu in chocolate cup, key lime pie, chocolate raspberry mousse cake.

Dessert II: Petit four, pistachio macaron, chocolate truffles, chocolate-covered toffee.

Not shown: The glass of Champagne that our dedicated waiters refilled whenever it got close to being empty.

A spectacular meal in a gorgeous setting. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for this fabulous experience.

(Healthy eating resumes tomorrow.)