Friday, November 4, 2011

Food For Thought ~ Green & Blue Food

I remember as a kid my mom saying, "Put a rainbow on your plate."  Green salad, red tomatoes, yellow cornbread, white chicken breast off the grill with a splash of magenta bbq sauce!  That was how she encouraged us to eat a variety of fresh foods and to have a diverse selection of nutritious eats at each meal.

Every now and then those words come back to me ... especially during my un-inspired meals when I bring to the table blah foods.  Recently when I served the family rice, chicken and french bread, I was tempted to give everybody a generous squirt of ketchup in an attempt to at least provide two colors to eat from!

Today's Food For Thought will help you add two colors to your dinner:  Green and a dash of Blue.


Fried Green Tomatoes
(This is my "guess and by gosh" recipe ... it turned out tasty!)

2 very green tomatoes, no pink on them
1 cup Panko, Japanese-style bread crumbs
2 eggs, well beaten
1 cup flour
Pinch of coarse salt
Olive oil

In the same way that you bread eggplant or chicken, prepare three dishes:  one with the beaten eggs, one with the flour and salt and one with the bread crumbs.  Eat about 1/2 inch of oil in the pan.  Cut the green tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices.

When the oil is hot, dip each slice of tomato in the flour, then the egg and finally in the bread crumbs.  Be sure to get each slice well coated.  Cook in the hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and let some of the oil whisk away.  I then stacked them in a casserole dish and slid them in to the oven at about 190 degrees to keep them hot until they were ready to be served.  The sharp taste of the green tomatoes coupled with the crispiness of the bread crumbs made this a dish worth making again!

Penne with Pesto, Blue Cheese and Walnuts
(This recipe is from The Dinner Doctor - with a few tweaks.)

16 oz. box of penne pasta
1 cup walnuts, toasted*
1/2 cup pesto, from the store or homemade
1/4 blue cheese
1/2 pound broccoli or asparagus spears

* To toast the walnuts, put them in a dry skillet and cook over high heat until browned a bit, stirring constantly.  Remove them from the pan immediately to stop them from burning.

Prepare the pasta according to the package directions.  During the final 5 minutes of cooking toss in the broccoli or asparagus.  (I chose broccoli this time as it was from our garden ... and it needed a delicious dish to be showcased in!  Asparagus is equally scrumptious!)

In a small bowl combine the pesto and blue cheese.  Use a fork to mash the blue cheese and incorporate it into pesto.

When the pasta and veggies are finished, drain thoroughly.  Return this to the pot and add the pesto mixture.  Toss well and serve immediately.  Top with toasted walnuts.

Those delightful fritters on the side are made from zucchini from our garden.  Here's how...

Zucchini Fritters
(This recipe is from Food Network Magazine, July/August 2010 with a few adjustments.)

2 small zucchini, grated
2 tsp. salt
4 scallions, chopped
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup flour
Olive oil

Place the grated zucchini in a colander in the sink and toss with the salt.  Let the zucchini drip into the sink for about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch of olive oil in a skillet.

In a medium bowl, combine the scallions, egg, cheese and flour.  Squeeze the excess water from the zucchini and add to the bowl.  Mix well.

When the oil is hot, spoon about 1/3 cup of the fritter mixture into little mounds in the oil.  Flatten with a spatula and let cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.  Drain on paper towels and season with a pinch of salt.  Delish!

Apple Slaw
(This recipe was inspired by one in Food Network Magazine, October 2011 ... with a variety of tweaks!)

4 apples, chopped (I chose Granny Smith)
1 large head endive, chopped
1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted
1 cup blue cheese
Vinaigrette (below)
Coarse salt and ground pepper taste

3 T. honey
2 T. rice vinegar
1 T. dijon mustard
2/3 cup olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper taste

Whisk together the honey, vinegar and mustard.  Add the oil slowly, whisking well.  Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the apples, endive, walnuts, blue cheese.  Add enough vinaigrette to coat.  The tart apples with bitter endive and rich blue cheese was a delightful mouthful!

Enjoy your rainbow plate today!


  1. They all look so good! I wish I had some big tomatoes so I could try them fried!

  2. I made your Fritters and my hubby loved it! Thanks Morgan for sharing your yummy recipes. I also wanted to say that YOU are the inspiration so to speak to why I am writing again and taking chances for God...the reason I am adding to the Beauty. THANK YOU!! -Dionne

  3. Thank you, Dionne ... what sweet words! Your encouragement keeps me plugging along, too! I know God will bless your willingness to step out and follow His leading!


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