Amy Koren-Roth is the Founder of Taste of Troy Food Tours, walking culinary and historical excursions offered in both Albany and Troy, with stops in five local restaurants. During the crisis, Amy has put together Mother’s Day gift boxes featuring handmade foods from her favorite vendors and makers. Click here for info.
We asked Amy for some of her favorite go-to meals, and here’s what she sent.
Since I was in high school, I have been drawn to cooking. Salads have always been a fun way to pull from what is in the kitchen and pantry. Half the members of my household are vegetarian and I mostly cook vegetarian to make it simpler. My cupboard always has canned beans, pre-cooked lentils, a variety of cheese, different vinegars and fresh produce. I find preparing food very meditative and many of my recipes are a basic plan open to options of what is on hand.
Warm Lentil, Roasted Vegetables and Cheese (Halloumi or Goat Cheese)
Wash, cut assorted vegetables (cauliflower, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, winter squash, assorted sweet peppers, onions, garlic etc.), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or lightly oiled, don’t crowd them. Roast in 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, flip vegetables and switch the trays, continue for another 15 – 30 minutes. Wrap whole beets in aluminum foil and roast along with veggies, leave in oven once veggies are done, turn off heat and leave until tender.
Warm package of vacuum-sealed pre-cooked lentils in microwave (2-4 minutes). Place on chopped fresh greens (romaine, spinach, massaged kale etc.). Arrange roasted veggies on platter with lentils and greens. Peel and slice beets if using. Arrange on platter.
Grill haloumi cheese slices in lightly greased skillet to brown on both sides, or slice soft goat’s cheese and coat with egg and breadcrumbs and lightly brown in skillet, or sprinkle with crumbled feta.
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds (if you have them) or roasted nuts. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Serve.
Arugula, Pear, Walnuts and Shaved Cheese
Wash arugula, press in a towel or spin in a salad spinner. Place on a platter. Toast walnuts at low temperature (200 degrees) for 5 minutes or so or warm on low heat in a skillet. Core and slice ripe pear into ¼ slice from stem to base. Place slices on bed of greens. Use a vegetable peeler to get thin slices of Parmesan or Asiago cheese. Thinly slice red onion to toss on top of all and sprinkle with walnuts. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil to serve.
Roasted Zucchini Half Moons with Garlic, Served with Pasta or Roasted Spaghetti Squash
Wash and slice zucchini down the middle length wise, cut into ¼ inch slices. Lightly Sprinkle with kosher salt and let sit in a colander for at least 30 minutes. Toss with olive oil (1/4 cup to 2 lbs of zucchini). Roast in 450 degree oven for 12 minutes. Add 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, flip zucchini over, and roast for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.
If using spaghetti squash, cut in half, scoop out seeds and roast in 350 oven, cut side up on baking sheet for about 1 hour . When skin is tender to the touch, remove, and let cool 10 minutes. Use a fork to scrape out the flesh, it will separate into strands, like spaghetti.
Alternatively, boil water and cook dried pasta (our favorite is bow tie but any short shape will do.) Toss zucchini with either spaghetti squash or bow tie pasta.