"Ben-Hur" Themed Dinner - Part II
In the second part of the movie is the famous chariot race scene. This is what I used to base the theme of my dinner.
What says chariot race better than wagon wheels. First up, pasta salad using wagon wheels. Pasta salad is a fantastic food to make because you can use anything you want. The one I make uses the pasta, tomatoes, onions, orange sweet peppers, black olives, cucumbers, and pepperoni. My trick to pasta salad is: once the pasta is cooked put it in a bowl with onions. This allows some of the strong onion taste to disappear. I also put some of the dressing (I use a balsamic vinaigrette) on the hot pasta. The pasta absorbs the dressing. Once the pasta has cooled, I put in the rest of the vegetables and the pepperoni. I add salt and pepper to taste and more dressing if needed.
The other part of this meal was based on the chariot scene as well. Ben-Hur raced a Roman, Messala, who believed in the glory of Rome. To go with this sort of Roman theme, I made Italian Meatball Burgers which are based on a Cooking Light recipe. These are one of our favorites because I make them one night for burgers and another night during the week I use the burgers in a spaghetti sauce. With life being busy, this meals gives us lots of leftovers. The only addition to this recipe is I put in chopped onion in with the meat mixture as well as add a little steak sauce for a binder. If you enjoy sausage sandwiches or meatball sandwiches, you will enjoy these burgers.
I am still on my crusade to stop using processed foods, and this is one meal where I can accomplish that. One thing I have found that helps is freezing fruits and vegetables in the summer. I still have a ton of blueberries, tomatoes and jalapenos in the freezer, which helps. Next week is Fat Tuesday, so I most likely will be using some of my frozen tomatoes to make a meal.
Chow for Now,
The Oracle of Eating