I’ve been basking in a little last minute Labor Day laziness before the first day of school on Wednesday. I went home for the weekend with my sister to be. No cooking on my part this weekend – but some dining out at a restaurant in Utica I’ve wanted to try for some time now, called The Willow. Although a very late dinner (we were the last to leave at 11 pm!) it was well worth the wait. Utica is known for a dish called chicken riggies (I’ll post a recipe sometime soon – when I cook it and can take a picture of the finished product). This restaurant had seafood riggies, a different take on the classic, and I substituted linguini for riggies and was so glad I did – maybe not the lightest meal but oh.so.indulgent.
We saw the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” – I highly recommend it, if you are a female, and like those quality love/family movies that might just pull a tear or two from your eye. Yes, I did bring my market tote – filled with goodies from my favorite Utica health food Store – Peter’s Cornucopia. Every time I go to my fiancé’s home, his family indulges me (sometimes on a daily basis – they are wonderful) by taking me to this health food store. My sister to be took me this time – and I snagged a local health magazine which listed the “dirty dozen” foods containing high amounts of pesticides, and therefore organic versions are highly encouraged – I’m going to list them for my fellow health conscious eaters!
Sweet bell peppers
Now that we have discussed the dirty dozen, let’s take a moment to celebrate the dirty martini! Our drink of choice, because sometimes a good girl likes to get a little dirty – at least in the cocktail arena. Sip and savor.
Almost every time I visit Utica – I leave with this Loubyeh, also known as green beans in tomato sauce. There are a few different spelling versions so I went with my gut and took the spelling from my favorite Lebanese restaurant. I did the prepping of the pole beans, but my mother in law (to be!) did the cooking. It is delicious and nutritious, served over rice, or even standing on its own. Recipe goes something like this…
½ yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Large bowl full, maybe 8 cups, of fresh green beans, or pole beans (If you are desperate, perhaps in the winter months, frozen green beans will do… but are not as tasty…)
16 oz can of tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper and allspice (optional)
- Heat some olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan – maybe two turns of the pan.
- Saute chopped onions and minced garlic until translucent.
- Pour in the can of tomato sauce.
- Add salt and pepper, I personally like the addition of crushed red pepper flakes and a sprinkle of all spice. Stir to incorporate.
- Add the green beans – cover the pan and cook on low for about 30 minutes.
What I haven’t done a lot of this week is cooking – my goal is to get back on track with lots of cooking, juicing and exercising this week – hoping that will zen me out from this busy week of starting school. I’ll be posting some new recipes – and as soon as I have some extra time I plan on fulfilling my promise of delivering a kiddo friendly recipe for my friend Amy and her little ones! I’ll also be looking forward to a special fitting on Wednesday, and a Friday night out for a friend’s birthday bash.