Posts Tagged ‘veggies’

Spaghetti a la Yukiko

With all of this cold, wet weather we’ve had here in Chicago this summer I find less and less motivation to run to the markets as often as I like. With the need for a complete and satisfying dinner the other night and the lack of a market visit my wife told me she’d clean out the fridge and cupboards and cook up something delicious. I have to say, her spaghetti didn’t disappoint.

She found a can of tuna and always does something beautiful with it. So that was the protein. There were some pea pods, orange peppers, onions, mushrooms, and carrots in the fridge. She also found some heavy cream that we hadn’t used yet (she was going to make a quiche a couple of nights before, but cheesed out on it). We always have angel hair pasta on hand, so her dish was written.

She first cooked the tuna in a little oil to give it a little texture on the outside. After removing the tuna she cooked the veggies and then added the tuna back in along with the cream. Not sure if she added any alcohol or not, but whatever she did it worked. Toss it with the noodles and serve with cheesy garlic toast and a cold beer. Oh, and we had two little Juliette Tomatoes that were ripe from our porch garden, so we each ate one.

This dish was made using leftovers so it’s hard to figure what it cost. I would imagine that each plate probably cost us no more than $2.50.

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Back porch garden

I wish more people would utilize their outdoor spaces more efficiently. I know that outdoor space is precious in cities like Chicago, but look here at what my wife and I did. Our space is only 3.5 feet by 5.5 feet. Since it’s also one of two exits there must be a clear path according to fire code. That didn’t stop us from planting a few veggies and a few herbs to enjoy throughout the summer (come winter we can move the herbs onto our window sills). We have three types of basil; Thai, Spicy Globe, and Sweet. We also have Juliette Tomatoes, Japanese Eggplant, and Rutgers Tomatoes.

So far we’ve enjoyed basil almost every day. I swear those things grow like weeds! It’s just too bad we can’t grow any “weeds” in our makeshift garden. We already have one eggplant that’s almost mature and a dozen little eggplants on the way.


The Rutgers Tomatoes are growing better than the Juliettes, but we’ll get a nice yield from both. It shouldn’t be too much longer before we’re enjoying our tomatoes.


The best part about all of this is that we used all-natural organic soil free of pesticides and chemicals. We keep them watered accordingly and the fruits should taste much better than anything storebought. There’s also some satisfaction in eating something that you grew yourself. I just wish everyone took advantage of little opportunities like this. You’ll end up helping the environment in numerous ways; less produce bought from Big Ag, a notorious pollution machine. It also saves money as purchasing seeds or sprouting plants along with soil costs a lot less than produce at the supermarket. Using organic soil also ensures that your plants will obtain full nutrient capacity. It just makes sense people!

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