Monthly Archives: July 2014

Cousin Zamy’s Romanian-style Grilled Tomato Salad

When I was in Israel this spring, I was treated to a wonderful dinner at my cousin Zamy’s house in Netanya.  There was one dish, in particular, that I could not get enough of, a grilled tomato salad that was an accompaniment to the barbecue.  

Like my father, Zamy is from Romania. They share the trait of being the consummate welcoming host, loving to feed their guests sumptuous foods.


Zamy was gracious enough to send me the recipe.  I have been waiting for the tomatoes in my garden to be just right to make it myself. He told me that not only does it go with barbecue, but it is also a tasty addition to cheese sandwiches or omelets.  So we had a nice light summer dinner of cheese omelets and Zamy’s grilled tomato salad.


Cousin Zamy’s Romanian-style Grilled Tomato Salad

4 big tomatoes (from the garden)

6 big cloves of garlic (from the garden)

1 onion

2-3 hot green pepper (Depends on the sharpness you want) (from the garden – I had jalapenos, so that is what I used)

4 Tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp Salt 

1/2 tsp ground black pepper 


a. Roast the tomatoes and the green peppers on a Grill facility ( at medium heat) until skin is charred or easy to peel.


b. Remove the peel from the tomatoes and the green peppers and chop them on a cutting board.


c. Peel the onion and chop it finely on a cutting board.

d. Peel the garlic and crush it with a garlic press. 


e. Mix all the ingredients and add the olive oil, the Salt and the Ground black pepper.


Bon appetite


Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 2 Comments

Carrot Salad Pita

I have been making this lunch dish for years, but this is the first time I have been able to make it with my own carrots; I am very excited!


Stuffed into a pita, it makes a refreshing and healthy lunch.


But is it equally good as a side salad with a meal.  It is perfect for a picnic or cookout.


The key when using it in a pita is to not fill the pita until you are ready to eat.  It is a moist salad and would turn the pita soggy if they were packed together ahead of time.

Carrot Salad Pita

Adapted from Better Than Peanut Butter and Jelly by Marty Mattare

1 small can pineapple chunks packed in juice, drained (you can also use mandarin oranges)

4 – 6 carrots, grated, depending upon size (from the garden)

1 cup raisins

1 cup walnuts, chopped

2 – 3 tsp canola oil

2 – 3 splashes of cider vinegar

6- 8 whole wheat pitas

1/4 tsp Kosher or sea salt, or to taste


In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, carrots, raisins, walnuts, oil, and vinegar.


Mix well.  Add salt to taste.


Divide and stuff into pitas just before serving.


Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Carrot Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

I can’t resist using my vegetables in baked goods.  Our freezer is already filled with 3 different versions of zucchini (or pattypan squash) bread, so what is next?  This carrot poppyseed bundt cake.


My carrot harvest has been the best I have ever had.  They look good, they taste good.

20140719-132513-48313674.jpgThis version of carrot cake combines the carrots with poppy seeds rather  than traditional carrot cake with nuts.  This also uses a lemon icing, I have seen versions of this with a honey cream cheese icing; that would also be good.20140719-132339-48219437.jpgI had a partner in making the cake, my “top chef” was back in the kitchen with me.  He told me he is an expert at using the hand mixer. And he is pretty good at it…20140719-132338-48218334.jpgHe is also just a lot of fun to have in the kitchen with me. 20140719-132337-48217928.jpg

Carrot Cake Recipe

from Roots, by Diane Morgan

3 c. all purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

2 t. ground cinnamon

1/2 t. ground nutmeg

1/2 t. ground ginger

1/2 t. fine sea salt

2 c. granulated sugar

1 1/2 c. Canola oil

2 t. vanilla

3 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

3 c. peeled and finely shredded carrots (from the garden)

1/4 c. poppy seeds

2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

5 Tbsp fresh Meyer lemon juice (I could not get Meyer lemons so I used regular lemons)


To make the cake: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a bundt pan amply with nonstick cooking spray, preferably one designed for baking (with flour)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour through salt.  In another large bowl, beat together the sugar, Canola oil and vanilla for two solid minutes.20140719-132338-48218643.jpgThen add the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each egg.20140719-132338-48218971.jpgAdd half of the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture and combine on low speed and repeat. Add the carrots and poppy seeds and combine on low speed or just stir in until flour has dissolved. Don’t over-mix.

20140719-132339-48219889.jpgGently fold into the prepared bundt pan, smooth the top.\20140719-132340-48220548.jpgBake for 1 – 1.25 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean or cake is firm but slightly springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.20140719-163756-59876642.jpgLet cool for one hour in the bundt pan. Then, use a knife to loosen up all of the sides. Do this carefully and thoroughly if you want it to release cleanly. (This is a lot easier with a silicon cake pan like the one I used). Let the cake cool completely.


Make the glaze:  Whisk together the confectionsers’ sugar and lemon juice until the sugar is dissolved.20140719-163756-59876963.jpgDrizzle the glaze evenly over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides. Cut into wedges to serve.  Enjoy!20140719-163757-59877377.jpgServes 12

Categories: Cammy's Cooking Adventures, Carrot, Dessert, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Baked Almond Zucchini (Pattypan Squash) Crisps

This was a fun little snack.

My pattypan squash are coming in strong, just like zucchini typically do.  There is more than we can possibly eat. So I am looking for new and creative ways to use them.


These crisps are a slight adaptation of the Low Carb Zucchini Oven Chips from It is best to use small squash for this, so that they are large potato chip size after baking.


My making of this dish was interrupted by a stupid mistake and accident.  To get nice 1/4″ slices, I was using my mandoline. But I was being careless, I did not use the vegetable holder and ended up with 5 stitches in my sliced open finger.  A lesson now learned…ALWAYS use the protective vegetable holder when using a mandoline.


So, 3 hours later, I returned home and made the chips as an after-lunch snack.


Baked Almond Zucchini (Pattypan Squash) Crisps

adapted from

1/4 cup almond meal

1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp low-fat milk

2 small pattypan squash (or zucchini), about 2 1/2 cups, sliced 1/4″ thick

Cooking Spray


Heat the oven to 425F. Spray an oven-proof wire rack on a cookie sheet.  Spray with cooking spray.

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stir well.

20140713-143345-52425489.jpgPlace milk in a shallow bowl.  Dip the squash slices in the milk and then into the dry mixture. Place the slices on the wire rack.

20140713-143346-52426142.jpgBake for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp.  Enjoy!20140713-143347-52427059.jpg

Serves 2 – 4.





Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Tags: | Leave a comment

Mediterranean Turkey Wrap

I had a long week with a lot of driving, including 1 day when what is normally a 3 hour round-trip became a 6 hour round-trip.  So, by the end of the week, I was too wiped out to spend the effort to cook dinner. Time for a wrap – a Mediterranean Turkey Wrap inspired by Krystina Kalapothakos on her blog Kouzounas Kitchen.


It is an easy, tasty wrap that uses the cucumbers and tomatoes from my garden.  Yes, the tomatoes are finally ripening! Dinner was fast, fresh, tasty, and surprisingly filling. The pictures below are from my wrap, my husband’s wrap was filled more heavily.

When I went out to the garden to harvest the veggies, I was greeted by our friendly backyard bunny.


Not only did he watch me while I harvested, he was waiting for me by my back porch.  Then, when I walked close, instead of running away he jumped onto the porch and let me stand 4 feet away.  I think he is getting a bit too comfortable. At least, with all the clover in the yard, he has been leaving my garden alone.

Mediterranean Turkey Wrap

For each wrap:

1 whole wheat flour tortilla

2 – 3 Tbsp hummus

1 or 2 slices roast turkey

Thinly sliced cucumber (from the garden)

Thinly sliced tomato (from the garden)

Chopped Kalamata olives

Sliced roasted red pepper


Spread the hummus on the wrap. (the wrap holds together even better if you apply it to the entire wrap, I just wasn’t that hungry)



Top one side with turkey, tomatoes and cucumbers.




Add the olives and red pepper.


Roll up from the filled side first.  Pin with toothpicks and cut in half.





Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Recipe, Sandwich, Tomatoes | Tags: | 2 Comments

Tomato Sauce with Not-So-Hidden Veggies (Carrots & Patty Pan Squash)

My 5 year-old announced that the only vegetables from our garden that he will not eat are carrots and zucchini (or patty pan squash). On the positive side, that means he is willing to eat everything else.  On the other side – it is now my challenge to figure out how to get him to eat these veggies (aside from in carrot cake and <a title="Zucchini Bread" href=" Continue reading

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian | Tags: | Leave a comment

Pasta Primavera with Roasted Carrots, Squash, Garlic and Peppers and a Garden Update

It is July, and the garden is starting to really come to life.  It is green and lush. So, I decided to give you a tour. The front of the garden has garlic, parsnips, and strawberry plants.  Then leeks, carrots, eggplants, chives and the last few kale plants and a jalapeno plant.  on the right are the pole beans.20140706-141557-51357982.jpgThe middle of the garden has a row of okra, edamame and swiss chard, then tomatoes with parsley in between the plants.20140706-141557-51357585.jpgOut of sight are basil, green pepper, patty pan squash plant, lima beans and pumpkin plants.  At the back of the garden are sweet potatoes, more limas, and cucumbers. In the background are out raspberry bushes.20140706-141558-51358877.jpg Harvests are getting interesting…20140706-141559-51359392.jpgAnd useful for dinner…20140706-203147-73907282.jpgThose are the vegetables that went into the Pasta Primavera with Roasted Carrots, Squash, Garlic and Peppers.20140706-203148-73908804.jpg

Pasta Primavera with Roasted Carrots, Squash, Garlic and Peppers

inspired by Giada de Laurentiis’ Pasta Primavera

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips (from the garden)

1 large green pattypan squash or zucchini, cut into thin strips (from the garden)

2 small yellow pattypan squash, cut into thin strips (form the garden)

1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips

5 cloves garlic, sliced thickly (from the garden)

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs

2 Tbsp baby leeks, cut into 1 inch pieces (from the garden)

1 pound radiatorre or other shaped pasta

1/2 cup shaved Parmegiano reggiano


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables, except the leeks, with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets.20140706-203147-73907613.jpgBake about 15 – 20 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes, then finish roasting until the vegetables begin to brown. Place in a large bowl.20140706-203147-73907985.jpgMeanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, add reserved cooking liquid to moisten, if needed. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste.20140706-203148-73908341.jpgSprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately. Enjoy!20140706-203148-73908804.jpgServes 6.

Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Leeks, Main Dish, Pasta, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Clean Out the Fridge Fried Rice

My garden is starting to produce summer vegetables, finally!  So it is time to clear out the other, miscellaneous vegetables that are in the fridge.  First there are the vegetables left from making other dishes: fresh english peas from a dish I made last week, a zucchini that had been waiting to be made into zucchini bread, celery and red onion.


Then there are the items that need to be eaten because the “good stuff” is now ready in the garden: carrots and scallions.


At the farmers market today, I picked up some sprouts since I knew I would be making fried rice.


And of course, there are Farmer Kim’s eggs, don’t know what I would do without those.


Fried rice is one of my favorite dishes to make when I have a variety of veggies around; everyone likes it, and it is a great mix of vitamins, minerals and protein. And…it is quick, so it is great for a weeknight, after a day of work and we are running around to kid activities (this night it was indoor soccer).


Clean Out the Fridge Fried Rice

2 Tbsp canola oil

1/2 cup fresh English peas (from Highland Orchards)

1 large zucchini, sliced (from Highland Orchards)

2 carrots, sliced on the bias

2 stalks celery, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, chopped

3 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup sprouts (from Taproot Farm)

2 eggs, beaten (from Farmer Kim)

3 – 4 cups cold cooked rice

Soy sauce to taste


Heat a large wok over high heat, add the oil. Add the carrots, zucchini and peas, stir fry for 2 – 3 minutes.


Add celery and onion, stir fry another 2 minutes.


Add scallions and sprouts, stir fry 1 minute. Push the vegetables up the sides of the wok.


Add the egg in the center and scramble until cooked.  Mix together with vegetables.


Add the rice and cook until heated through.


Add soy sauce to taste. Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4


Categories: Carrot, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 3 Comments

Kale and Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs

It has been a strange spring in my garden.  The vegetables that usually grow well, such as sugar snap peas, were basically failures and the ones I usually struggle with, such as cauliflower and the kale below, have done well. So dishes I had been looking forward to making will have to wait until next year as I have switched over to focusing on dishes made with my more bountiful vegetables.

20140619-203203-73923361.jpg I am thoroughly enjoying these “new” crops.  The lacinato kale is a real treat.  For this dinner I combined them with sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic and thyme for a colorful hash.


I topped the hash with a couple of poached eggs and hot pepper sauce.  With some toasted bread from our local bakery, it was a fun breakfast for dinner.


Kale and Sweet Potato Hash with Poached Eggs

(Inspired by vegetable and greens hash with poached egg, Cooking Light, March 2014)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 large red onion, sliced

1/2 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

3 cloves garlic, minced (from the garden)

2 bunches lacinato kale, de-ribbed and chopped (from the garden)

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Tbsp white vinegar

6 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

Red pepper hot sauce, if desired


Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until tender and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.20140619-203204-73924078.jpgAdd the garlic and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring, until fragrant.20140619-203204-73924436.jpgAdd sweet potato and about 1/4 – 1/2 cup water.  Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil.20140619-203204-73924787.jpgWhen the water boils, add the vinegar, reduce heat to a simmer and add the eggs, one at a time (crack them into a small dish then transfer to the water) and poach for 3 minutes.

Add the kale to the skillet and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes.  season to taste with salt and pepper.20140619-203205-73925167.jpgTo serve, divide the vegetable among 3 plates, top with 2 eggs each and flavor with hot sauce, if desired.  Enjoy!20140619-203205-73925844.jpg


Serves 3.



Categories: Breakfast, Kale, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Sweet Potatoes, Vegetarian | Tags: | 1 Comment

Kebab-e Kubideh (Persian Ground Beef Kebabs)

4th of July weekend…time for grilling!

One of our favorite things to grill is Kebab-e Kubideh or Persian ground beef kebabs.



As you can probably tell from my posts, we do not eat much meat for dinner.  And very little of that meat is beef, perhaps it is once a month.  So, when we do eat beef. it needs to be something that is a real treat, and that typically means it is a Persian dish.  Check out some of the other Persian beef dishes:

Khoresh Gol Kalam (Cauliflower Stew)

Khoresh Karafs (Celery Stew)

Gheimeh (Beef and Split Pea Stew)

Persian Macaroni

Qormeh Sabi (Green Vegetable and Beef Stew)

All of the stews have one thing in common; the beef is second fiddle to the vegetables.  The stew is built around the vegetable, and the beef add the protein.  Not so for the kebabs, these are all about the beef.  The tomato and rice are the supporting players.

In making the kebabs this time, we were not able to use our outdoor grill (for reasons too frustrating to discuss); but not to fear, they could also be made using the oven broiler.  No, it is not as cool as cooking them on the outdoor grill, but it still works.20140624-210538-75938886.jpg

Kebab-e Kubideh
1 lb ground beef
1 large onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg, beaten (from Farmer Kim)
1 tsp turmeric
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tomatoes

In a glass bowl, using your hands, mix together beef, onion, garlic, egg, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for several hour or overnight.

Form the meat into long ovals and spear through with a heavy metal kebab spear. Place on a plate or grilling pan.
Spear the tomatoes as well.


Grill or or use the oven to broil, turning after 5 – 9 minutes.

Cook an additional 4 – 5 minutes, until done.


Serve with rice, one of the tomatoes, and sumac for sprinkling. enjoy!


Serves 4.



Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Tomatoes | Tags: | Leave a comment

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