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Creamy Red Pepper Pasta

29 May

Creamy-Red-Pepper-Pasta-2

We rented our place last week so I’m finally able to cook again! These short weeks really throw me off. I work best when I have a regular schedule. Normally I go to the grocery store on Monday morning, but we were gone for the holiday so I had to go today. Really strange for me. On top of everything, Michael is going to San Francisco on Friday which threw me off even further. So now I’m off my schedule, Michael’s leaving and I have to start packing up our house. Yay for me!

Creamy-Red-Pepper-Pasta-3

This recipe was born from a state of complete disarray. As I said, I’m kind of a mess and needed something delicious and easy. Honestly, this couldn’t be any easier.

Ingredients:
Serves 2
2 red peppers, roasted, seeded and peeled
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
3 tbsp fresh basil, julienned
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and roast until well charred. Remove from the peppers from the oven and cover with a large pot. Allow the peppers to steam for 10 minutes. Seed and peel the peppers.
    2. Cook the pasta according to package.
    3. Add the peppers, mascarpone cheese, both garlic cloves and 1 tbsp olive oil to a blender. Mix until well combined.
    4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and saute until tender. Remove from heat.
    5. When the pasta is just about cooked, add the sauce to the pan with the asparagus and warm over medium heat. Add the drained pasta and toss until well combined. Add the basil and toss.
    6. Top with parmesan cheese and some fresh basil.

As always, enjoy!

Creamy-Red-Pepper-Pasta-1

Veggie Quesadillas

22 May

Veggie-Quesadilla-1

This week has totally gotten away from me. We’re showing our condo and it’s really hard to cook when you have people visiting your house all evening! These veggie quesadillas are a quick and delicious meal when you don’t have a lot of time to cook, wash and put away the dishes before someone comes over. I used the same spice mixture from my fajita recipe, sprinkled some chihuahua cheese on top, threw them on the Griddler and had a great meal before I knew it!

Veggie-Quesadilla-2

Ingredients:
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
1 large yellow pepper, cut into strips
1 large orange pepper, cut into strips
1 onion, cut into half moons
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas
1/2 cup shredded chihuahua cheese
Sour cream and guacamole (optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine 3 tbsp of oil with the turmeric, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper and stir to form a paste.
  2. Add the peppers and onions to the spice mixture and toss until peppers and onion are well coated.
  3. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spiced peppers and onions to the pan and saute until soft. Once they are soft, add the mushrooms and saute for another 3 minutes.
  4. Turn the Griddler to high or heat a pan over medium heat.
  5. Fill half a tortilla with the vegetable mixture, sprinkle with cheese and fold in half.
  6. If using the Griddler: Place the folded tortilla on the Griddler, close the top and cook until cheese has melted.
  7. If using a pan: Place the folded tortilla on the pan (you may need to hold the top down) and cook until the tortilla is golden brown on the bottom. Flip the tortilla over and cook until the cheese has melted.
  8. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  9. As always, enjoy!

Pesto Paninis Two Ways

15 May

Mushroom-Pesto-Panini-1

These paninis were a play on the most unbelievable tomato mozzarella sandwich that I picked up from Whole Foods in Boulder. It had the most incredible pesto mayo. You could eat with a spoon, honestly. Being the healthy person that I am I decided to make my own without the mayo. I whipped up some of my pesto, pulled out the Griddler and voila, paninis! The paninis two ways is a result of Michael’s strong dislike of tomatoes. He had the panini with the portobello mushroom, spinach and onions, while I had the tomato, spinach and onion version. I kind of wish that I had added a mushroom to mine because it would have been out of this world.

Spinach-Tomato-Onion-Panini-2

Ingredients:
Makes 2 sandwiches
2 slices tomato
1 grilled portobello mushroom
1 cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 red onion, sliced thin
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Choice of bread
pesto

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill pan, Griddler or panini press to medium heat.
  2. Spread the pesto on one half of the bread. Top with two slices of tomatoes (if using), mozzarella, 1/2 cup of spinach, mushroom (if using), and onion. Spread pesto on the other half of the bread.
  3. Place the sandwich on the Griddler or panini press and close. Cook until the cheese is melted. If using a grill pan, grill until there are grill marks on the bottom piece of bread and then flip the sandwich over. Grill the second side until the cheese melts
  4. Mushroom-Pesto-Panini-2

    As always, enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Covered Cashews

25 Apr

Chocolate-Covered-Cashews-2

We made it back to Chicago! Isn’t it awful when you get home and there is no food in the house? That’s how these little bits of deliciousness came to be. I had chocolate left over from the Thin Mints and wanted to use it up. So I popped open the bag of cashews, tempered the chocolate, dumped the cashews in and voila chocolate covered cashews!

I didn’t make a lot of these, so you may have to adjust the amounts of ingredients based on how many you want to make.

Chocolate-Covered-Cashews-Side

Ingredients:
1 bar of dark chocolate, broken into pieces
1/4 cup raw cashews

Directions:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break half the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 second and stir. Continue to microwave for 20 second increments and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the rest of the chocolate and stir to melt. Microwave in 20 second increments, if necessary.
  3. Drop the cashews a handful at a time into the chocolate. Cover with the chocolate.
  4. Place the chocolate covered cashews onto the baking sheet. Once all the cashews are covered in chocolate, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the chocolate has hardened

As always, enjoy!

Thin Mint Inspired Cookies

10 Apr

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Stacked

I finally realized that the best part about making your own Girl Scout cookies is that you can have them all year long! Amazing, right? My mom loves thin mints so I was inspired to try and make a healthier version of these cookies. Luckily these came much easer than the Do-Si-Dos.

I learned the microwave tempering technique on The Barefoot Contessa. It is so much easier than melting the chocolate over a double boiler and you don’t run the risk of burning the chocolate.

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Bite

Ingredients:
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp stevia
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp + 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 tbsp milk of choice (I used Almond Milk)
1/2 cup milk chocolate, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325o.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, stevia, vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  3. Add the flour and baking powder to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Add the milk, one tablespoon at a time and turn to medium speed for 3 minutes. The dough will begin to form a paste.
  5. Take one tablespoon of the dough and roll into a ball. Press the ball flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough. Bake for 25 minute, rotating the baking sheet 180 degrees half way through.
  6. While the cookies cool, break half the chocolate into pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 second and stir. Continue to microwave for 20 second increments and stir until the chocolate is melted. Add the rest of the chocolate and stir to melt. Microwave in 20 second increments, if necessary. Stir in 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract.
  7. Coat the cookies in the melted chocolate and place onto a plate lined with parchment paper. Once all the cookies are coated, refrigerate until the chocolate hardens.

Homemade-Thin-Mints-Plate

As always, enjoy!

Creamy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

9 Apr

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Asparagus-Pasta-Plate

I think I love this pasta so much because it has fresh mozzarella. I could eat this amazing cheese all day and never get sick of it. In order to prevent gorging myself on cheese, I don’t make this dish very often. Typically when I make this pasta I use Pacific Creamy Tomato Soup but this time I tried making my own version. It turned out really well but it’s not worth the hassle. Just use the pre-made soup.

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Asparagus-Pasta-Side

Just a warning, this makes a lot of sauce. But you can freeze the leftovers.

Ingredients:
1 onion, diced
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
4-6 roasted red peppers, cut into strips (you can use jarred roasted red peppers)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup fresh mozzarella, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 box Pacific Creamy Tomato Soup
1/2 cup fresh basil, julienned
1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. In a saute pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until clear.
  3. Add the asparagus and cook until easily pierced with a knife. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the soup and red peppers. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the peas. Simmer until the sauce is hot.
  5. Combine the sauce with the pasta. Mix in the diced mozzarella and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

As always, enjoy!

Roasted-Red-Pepper-Asparagus-Pasta-Top

Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

8 Apr

Roasted-Garlic-Salad-Dressing

I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of weeks ago and she asked if I could do a post about salad dressing. She had been looking for a dressing without unknown ingredients and was left without a whole lot of options. So off to the kitchen I went to work on a healthier salad dressing.

Just a word of warning, reduce the amount of garlic if you want a more subtle garlic flavor. I felt like the garlic really developed once I put it in the refrigerator.

Ingredients:
1 single serve 2% plain greek yogurt
1 head roasted garlic
1 tbsp honey
9 shakes Italian Seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp water or more, as needed

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400o.
  2. Peel off the outer layers of the garlic and cut about 1/4 inch off the top. Place the garlic on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  3. Once the garlic cools, squeeze the cloves into a blender along with all the ingredients except the water. Blend until well combined.
  4. Add the water and blend until you have your desired consistency.

As always, enjoy!