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.
Nick loves alfredo sauce. In fact, I can’t remember a time when we went to an Italian restaurant and he didn’t get some sort of alfredo dish. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for my waist line) I do not share the same adoration for this sauce.
Since Nick is such a good sport about trying out my little experiments, I compromised with him and made a dish that incorporated this sauce. I recently discovered gluten-free tortellini, so I decided to make a hearty pasta bake.
I’m going to warn you, this is NOT the healthiest of dishes – I had a small portion with a big salad .:)
Baked Tortellini (GF)
-1 pkg. gluten-free cheese tortellini, uncooked
-3 cups homemade Marinara sauce
-1/2 cup water
-1/2 jar Alfredo four cheese sauce (All “Classico” sauces are gluten-free!)
-1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
-1/2 cup shredded Smoked Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In 3 quart glass baking dish, layer tortellini and marinara sauce. Put water into empty sauce jar, close lid, and shake. Pour this mixture over the tortellini.
Spoon Alfredo sauce over the tortellini. Sprinkle with cheese.
Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer, until tortellini is tender and cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
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.)
Mac n’ Cheese Alton Brown Style (GF)
1/2 pound gluten free elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons gluten free all purpose flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes. Make sure it’s free of lumps. Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika. Simmer for ten minutes and remove the bay leaf.
Temper in the egg. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.
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.
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.
There is something about these hot, HOT Arizona summers that just get me in the mood for a crisp, refreshing fruit salad.
When I was little and still living in New Jersey, my grandparents used to take us to pick strawberries on those humid summer days. We would make fruit salads, desserts or just eat those succulent berries all by themselves. Ahhh the good old days.
I pulled this recipe from one of my favorite down-to-earth chefs – Ree Drummond 9aka the Pioneer Woman). I realize she makes hearty, cowboy recipes that aren’t exactly the healthiest things to put in our bodies, but she will throw in a salad or fruit dish every now and then.
Her recipe calls for a sugar and water mixture to sweeten the recipe up, but I just like to use to some freshly-squeezed orange juice to kick up the antioxidants and Vitamin C levels.
This dish would make a great dessert or side dish as any BBQ. In fact, I’m eating it right now for breakfast!
Pretty Fruit Salad:
- 1 green apple, cubed
- 1 pint of strawberries, chopped
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 1 orange, juiced
- A couple of mint leaves, chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss together. Refrigerate until cold and serve. Great as leftovers!
Nick and I attended the Scottsdale Culinary Festival back in April, and I must say, some of the dishes we sampled were quite tasty. One thing that Nick and I both enjoyed was the Macaroni and Cheese with Green Chilies served up by the Zulu Caffe.
That small sample left such a savory taste in my mouth that I felt compelled to make my own version of their mac and cheese. This recipe is really tasty and highly addictive – you have been warned.
Green Chile Mac (GF)
- 8 ounces gluten-free penne/macaroni
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons gluten-free flour
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup green jalapeno salsa
- 1 can (4 ounces) mild chopped green chile peppers
- 2 to 3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno peppers, canned or fresh, optional
- 8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, about 2 cups
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 2-quart baking dish.
- Cook macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and rinse well.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Stir in flour and pepper until well blended and bubbly. Gradually add the milk, stirring constantly. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Stir in salsa, chile peppers, and cheese. Cook, stirring, until cheese is melted. Taste and add salt, as needed. Combine with the drained macaroni; stir in cilantro, if using. Spoon into the prepared baking dish.
- Combine 2 tablespoons melted butter with the bread crumbs and sprinkle over the macaroni and cheese. Sprinkle lightly with paprika.
- Bake for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned and bubbly.
To be honest, this recipe was supposed to be a slaw – but my clumsy self broke the shredder attachment on my food processor (BIG surprise – not). So, in a panic and in desperate need to use up my 2 lb bag of brussels sprouts and the head of radicchio sitting in my crisper, I decided to turn this slaw into a salad.
This slaw or salad is a great addition to any bbq or pasta dish. Here is my recipe:
- 1 1/2 tsp. plus 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more, to taste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed and fibrous stems removed
- 1 small head radicchio, quartered and cored
- 2 Tbs. cider vinegar
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. whole-grain mustard
- 3 Tbs. maple syrup
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Shred the brussels sprouts and radicchio. Transfer to a large bowl and stir to combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and maple syrup. Slowly whisk in the 1/4 cup olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
- Add half of the dressing to the brussels sprout-radicchio mixture and toss well to combine, adding more dressing as needed. Let stand for 15 minutes to slightly wilt the brussels sprouts. Top with the pecans and serve immediately.