Wednesday, September 14, 2011

August BJP, Italian Goddess Pin and a Recipe

I finished my August Bead Journal Project, Italian Goddess Doll Pin, over a week ago, but hadn't had a chance to scan her. She's reminiscent of the rest of our trip to Europe.

I choose her colors of browns and greens for both the olive trees and grapevines, which were everywhere in our travels. Her face is a coconut button for all the palm trees we saw, which surprised me. I used a heart because I really love Italy. It's such a warm and welcoming country. The metal piece at her midline is an earring I found, on a Sunday morning, at a Farmer's Market and flea market in Panzano-in-Chianti, a small village near where we stayed in Montefioralle. 

We stayed for two weeks in the Chianti area of Tuscany, Italy. It was all about medieval towns, olive oils, and wines. Yum!!! The sightseeing was spectacular and the food incredibly fresh and delicious. It was difficult coming back to the States and buying tomatoes, even organic and heritage ones.

Since we've been home, I've been doing more work on my cookbook for cancer survivors and people with celiacs disease. Here's a recipe I developed while in Italy, which will be in the book.

Vegetable Montefioralle

The first night at our rental in Montefioralle, Tuscany, I didn’t know what to make. I had bought lots of vegetables, which were all so gorgeous at the Farmer’s Markets in both Lucca and Panzano. I went through what I had, picked out some things and made this. I served it over quinoa. It made a lot, so we had it for several meals. For another meal, I put it over rice pasta. A winner all around!

Serves 6-8

Olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 large leeks, sliced thinly
2 shallots, sliced thinly
1 large or 2 med cloves garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes, diced
½ green pepper, diced
1 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1 inch chunks
1 zucchini, sliced in half, length-wise, and sliced
3 sun dried tomatoes, sliced
Greek Seasoning (the Spice Hunter -
     or use your favorite spices
Sea Salt
Dried basil
Dried oregano
Vegetable broth
Fresh oregano and basil


1.  Have all the vegetables cut and ready to cook.
2.  Put 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a deep pan and add the onion, leeks, and shallots.
3.  Saute until starting to brown.
4.  Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
5.  Add the rest of the vegetables and the Greek Seasoning, sea salt, dried basil and oregano to taste.
6.  Add the vegetable broth as needed to keep the vegetables cooking and not sticking to the bottom of the pan.
7.   When the vegetables are tender, add the fresh oregano and basil. Stir a couple of times and serve.