I just realized how pasta-heavy my posts have been recently. I guess I just feel into the pasta rut with my busy schedule as of late – but that’s no excuse for my lack of creativity! I am going to revamp my food planner later today and make sure there are fewer pasta dishes.
This recipe can be made in 20 minutes and is absolutely delicious (and cheap to make too)!
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (GF)
- 12 ounces, gluten-free pasta (I used rotini)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter (I used Earth Balance Vegan Spread)
- 2 Tablespoons EVOO
- ½ whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
- 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped
- 1 cup Vegetable Broth
- ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- ½ cup milk or soy milk
- ½ cup Parmesan Shavings or Rice Dream Vegan Parmesan
- Finely Minced Parsley
- Chopped Fresh Basil
- Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.
- Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)
- Heat 2 tablespoons EVOO back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the milk and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley & basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta.
- Serve in bowls with extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of basil on top.
I started my 200-hour yoga certification about two weeks ago thinking I had all the time in the world. Even though we all need that extra hour every day to get things done, I decided to go after something I have been dreaming about doing for about year – and it’s the best decision I have ever made. My days are busy, but not chaotic. I go to Ashtanga almost every day after work and spend a good portion of my weekend on the mat, as well. We are currently turning half of our guest bedroom into a mini yoga studio so I can practice when I have to work late or can’t make it to class for some reason. I have a feeling this will look totally adorable and I will post pictures once it’s ready.
With a full-time job, a house to take care of and a hungry boyfriend to feed, these last couple of weeks have been exhausting – I don’t know how people with kids do it! Hats off to you!
So far, these yoga classes have been an amazing experience, these teachers are inspirational and have put me in positions I never even dreamed I could do. In order to keep up with the things I enjoy (like cooking), I’ve had to make some compromises. I still fully plan on cooking as much as possible, but I realized I needed to find more convenient meals in order to keep up with my routine and ensure I eat a healthy, home-cooked meal as much as possible.
Even though more of my time is being absorbed since I started certification, I surprisingly feel more balanced. This dish is one that I pinned almost a year ago when looking for quick week-day meals. It’s a one pot dish, so you know that prep and clean up will be a cinch. This dish can also be made vegan easily by omitting the parmesan or substituting it with a vegan option.
One Pot Tomato Basil Pasta (GF)
- 12 ounces gluten free pasta (I used Rotini)
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with liquid
- 1 large sweet onion, cut in julienne strips
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves
- 2 large sprigs basil, chopped
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth (regular broth and NOT low sodium)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Parmesan cheese for garnish
- Place pasta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, in a large stock pot. Pour in vegetable broth. Sprinkle on top the pepper flakes and oregano. Drizzle top with oil.
- Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer and keep covered and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes or so. Cook until almost all liquid has evaporated – I left about an inch of liquid in the bottom of the pot – but you can reduce as desired .
- Season to taste with salt and pepper , stirring pasta several times to distribute the liquid in the bottom of the pot. Serve garnished with Parmesan cheese.
Yep, that’s it!
Quick-Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad (GF) (V)
1 pint red cherry tomatoes
1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 heaping tablespoon vegan pesto (same as normal pesto but with Rice Dream Parm)
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into chunks
- Halve the tomatoes and add them to a large zipper bag with the sliced red onion. Add the olive oil, balsamic, parsley, pesto, sugar, garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the bag, getting all the air out. Place into the fridge until ready for dinner.
- Place the iceberg lettuce in a large bowl and pour on the tomatoes. Toss and serve! (The dressing from the tomatoes becomes the salad dressing.)
I had a request to post vegan dinner recipes more frequently – a request that I was more than happy to accommodate. I love it when readers reach out and give you suggestions on what to post so keep the requests coming y’all!
This is my vegan and gluten-free take on Pasta Florentine:
1 pound gluten free rotini or penne
2 tablespoons vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup low-sodium broth, more if needed
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 bag baby spinach
2 cups grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- Cook the pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in the broth and wine, stirring to deglaze the skillet. Allow the liquid to bubble up, and then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point).
- Turn off the heat. Add the spinach, tomatoes and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything. Serve immediately.
Let’s be honest. Mondays can be frantic and downright terrible. I’m only being negative because I wish I was outside in this beautiful Arizona weather right instead of being stuck in a cubicle. I don’t think anything can compete with Arizona fall weather. Anywho, even though it’s cooling down out there, it’s still important to stay hydrated!
I have been sipping on water infused with cucumbers and lemon slices – super refreshing!
All you need is a mason jar, some cucumbers, lemons and well… water. Super simple!
The best way to start any day! Juice it up!
- 4 red kale leaves
- 4 dinosaur kale leaves
- 2 celery stalks
- 1 carrot
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 orange
- 1 lemon
- 1 apple
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup red grapes
Juice it all up. Drink it up and enjoy!
I have searched the internet high and low for the best french fry recipe. Whether I was making them fried in oil or baked in the oven, I never was fully impressed with the end result. I have been duped, just like the rest of you! The pictures on these recipe websites would portray a a hot fry with crispy skin – yet the recipe would never produce what was actually in the picture. I would just end up with greasy, flimsy fries. Super sad face.
That was until I stumbled upon a recipe by the Pioneer Woman that promised to deliver crispy fries. The secret? The double-frying process.
Yes, I know that frying anything isn’t necessarily good for you, but sometimes we need to indulge to nourish our souls – then hit the treadmill later! I made these on Saturday along with a veggie burger for myself and bacon-cheeseburgers for Nick – and I will fully admit that I did not hit the treadmill later that night. However, I do fully intend to make it to yoga tonight and the rest of the week, so let’s just call it a wash, okay? Okay!
I also opted to fry the potatoes in Sunflower oil instead of the usual canola or vegetable oils for a healthier fry. Sunflower oil is a mild-flavored oil that is chock-full of vitamin E. It is 80 percent monounsaturated and has a high smoke point, making it perfect for frying anything.
Perfect French Fries
- 5 pounds Russet Potatoes
- Sunflower Oil For Frying
- Sea Salt
- Peel and rinse the potatoes. Cut them into sticks by cutting the potato in four or five vertical pieces, then cutting each piece into sticks. Place them in a large bowl and cover with cold water, then allow them to soak for a few hours.
- Drain the potatoes with a pasta strainer. Place the sticks on paper towel-lined cookie sheets to absorb all the water in the potatoes.
- Pour sunflower oil into the dutch oven (about 4 inches high) and heat on medium-high until the oil reaches 300 degrees.
- Drop the potatoes in batches (this recipe makes about 4 batches) into the oil for about 3 – 4 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft. Transfer soft potatoes to paper towel-lined cookie sheets to drain the oil.
- Now crank up the heat for the oil. Once the heat reaches 400 degrees, drop the batches in again one-by-one until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy.
- Drain fries on paper towel-lined cookie sheets one last time. Sprinkle them with salt and serve.
New York Style Chopped Salad with Homemade Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing
- 3 cups Mixed Salad Greens
- 3 cups Bibb Lettuce
- 8 whole Romaine Leaves
- 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Grape Tomatoes, Halved
- 1 cup blueberries
- Sliced Or Diced Bell Pepper
- Avocado, Sliced
- Cucumbers, Halved Then Sliced
- 1 bunch radishes, sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
- Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing (recipe follows
- Lay out different greens and all the veggies in small dishes.
- Have a big stainless bowl with tongs. Have everyone build their own salad by throwing what they want into the bowl. Toss with dressing, then pour tossed salad onto a cutting board.
- With two knives, quickly chop the salad so that it’s chopped into smaller pieces.
- Transfer to a plate and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
Vegan “Honey” Mustard Dressing:
- 3 1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/3 Cup Agave Nectar Light
- 2 1/2 Tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- Black Pepper to taste
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl and serve.
Yummy yummy! It’s time for brunch! I always like to serve breakfast on sizzling platters to keep them piping hot from start to finish. The ones I use, I found at an estate sale for a screaming deal. Let’s just say I make fajitas more often now…
Breakfast Potato Hash
12 russet potatoes
Canola oil, for frying
Butter, for frying
1 large onion, cut into fine dice
1 green pepper, cut into fine dice
1 red pepper, cut into fine dice
1 yellow pepper, cut into fine dice
Salt and ground black pepperMethod:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the potatoes on a baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes.
- Place the hot potatoes on a cutting board and dice them into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-low to medium heat. Next, put a tablespoon of canola oil in the skillet. Add in some butter and the onions and saute until they start to turn brown. Next, throw in the cooked diced potatoes and the peppers. Salt and pepper the potatoes, then stir them around, slightly pressing/packing them in the skillet. Cook without stirring for 5 to 7 minutes. You want to make sure the pan is hot enough to crisp the potatoes. Add more butter to the pan as necessary for moisture.
- After several minutes, use a spatula to flip the potatoes over and cook on the other side for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Always use fresh eggs. If you can’t see the difference between the “thick” white and the “thin” white, the yolks will probably break in the pan. Always deliver the eggs to the pan with a custard cup or large spoon. Avoid cracking directly into the pan. When using a non-stick skillet cook in no more than an inch of water. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, poach in a deep saucepan containing at least 3 inches of water. Always acidulate the poaching liquid with either vinegar or lemon juice (1 tsp per each cup of water). Bring liquid to a boil, add eggs, then remove from heat and cover. How long you ask? It depends on how many eggs. I like my yolks barely runny so I’ll cook 4 eggs for 7 to 8 minutes depending on their size. Since more eggs will absorb more heat from the water, they will take longer to cook, so for large batches always include an extra “test” egg. Always remove eggs with a slotted spoon. Poached eggs can be refrigerated in ice water for up to 8 hours, then reheated in hot water. Do not re-boil.
I can’t think of a more enjoyable way to welcome the summer season than having a BBQ. Well, maybe reading a good book on a white sanded beach could rival it, but let’s be real!
In Scottsdale, the temperature is already in the triple digits and we’re getting dangerously close to record-breaking heat for this time of year – really 112 before it’s even summer?? We Arizonans may be in for a brutal attack this year.
To beat the heat, make something cool and refreshing to pair with hot and crispy bbq items. I like to make a salad of watermelon, tomatoes, feta and fresh herbs.
Doesn’t that combo sound delectable?
That’s because it is!
Watermelon, Tomato and Feta Salad
1 lb watermelon
1 lb red ripe tomato
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves
7 1/4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- Peel the watermelon and cut into bite-sized cubes.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters and toss in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with the fresh mint and basil leaves.
- Scatter the feta cheese and oregano over the top to serve.