Thursday, February 28, 2013

Fettuccini with Butternut Squash and Sage

Squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love that you can turn it into almost anything, savory or sweet. This is a savory squash dish. So, so, savory. You can use any kind of hard, crumbly cheese you want with this. It is good with parmesean, but I love the extra nutty taste of asiago combined with the squash and sage. Yum!

Fettuccini with Butternut Squash and Sage

1 pkg fetuccine
20 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 tbsp vegetable stock
5 tbsp grated asiago cheese
4 tbsp Blood Orange Olive Oil
2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 tbsp crushed walnuts
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the squash in the blood orange oil. Until slightly soft. Set aside.

Cook the pasta. Drain, but reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid.

Heat the oil to medium low. De-stem the sage and add it to the oil. Stirring occasionally, cook about 6 minutes. Edges should be curled.

Remove the leaves to paper towels. Add the stock and the garlic. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Add the cooked pasta, squash, walnuts and cheese. Toss to coat. If it's too dry, add a the reserved pasta water one tbsp at a time.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with fried sage.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Spicy Sweet Candied Pecans


I thought that this would be good. But I didn't think that they would be super good!

Time to make another batch, because this one is all gone.

Spicy Sweet Candied Pecans

1/2 cup Pecans
1 tbsp Chocolate Balsamic
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tsp sugar
red pepper flakes

Put the pecans in a saute pan over medium high heat. Toast for about a minute. Sprinkle on the sugar and spices, except the red pepper. Keep toasting, stirring constantly.

Everything should be very fragrant. Stir in the balsamic and the red pepper and stir around for another half minute or so.

Serve warm or chilled. If they last that long.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Honeydew Melon with Bacon and Balsamic

Tonight has been a late night at work and I really don't feel like cooking. Since I also don't want to get take-out, I either have to starve or, well, cook something.

I decided on this snack/meal. It's great for any time, but tonight, it is dinner.

Honeydew Melon and Balsamic Vinegar

1/4 honeydew melon, sliced, seeds removed
2-3 strips thick cut bacon
2 tbsp Traditional Balsamic

Broil the bacon  for about 2 minutes, flip them and broil for another minute or two. You can remove this step by using pre-cooked bacon. Crumble it over the melon and stream on the balsamic.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Herbed Honey Chicken

I love honey and herbs together. The combination of sweet and savory is just magic on the tongue. Extra veggies are just a bonus.

Herbed Honey Chicken

4 chicken breasts, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup curly parsley, chopped
2 bell peppers, red or orange
1 medium red onion
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped basil
2 tbsp Basil Olive Oil

Heat the olive oil in a pan to medium high heat. Add in the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Next comes the onions. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and peppers. Saute for an additional 8 minutes. Everything should be starting to brown and getting nice and fragrant.

Add in the basil, parsley and honey. Stir to combine.

Cover and let simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve with brown rice.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oatmeal Raspberry Bars

I made oatmeal cookies for dessert on Christmas. Since they had to be vegan and I wasn't prepared, they spread an awful lot. I thought it would've been easier to have just made oatmeal bars and that would have been that. So that got me in the mood to make oatmeal bars, with a nice thick jam layer on top...

Of course, I've been busy and I have only just gotten around to making them. Two months too late. Or you could argue that I've got great timing since raspberries are perfect for Valentines Day!

Whichever it is, Happy Valentine's Day!

Oatmeal Bars with Raspberry Balsamic Jam

3/4 cup Vanilla Olive Oil
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 cup oats
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole wheat flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper, or use a pan with a lift out bottom.

Combine the sugar, olive oil and the egg in a large bowl. Stir until smooth.

Slowly add in the dry ingredients. I like to start with the spices and baking soda and end with the oats.

Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake. About 25 minutes.

Cool slightly then remove from the pan. Spread the Raspberry Balsamic Jam over the top and cut into squares.

Raspberry Balsamic Jam

3/4 cup raspberry jam, seedless
2 tbsp Raspberry Balsamic

Warm the jam slightly in the microwave or over the stove top. When you can stir it, it's ready.

Pour in the Balsamic and stir well to combine.

You can always make extra of this, I love it on toast!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Penne with Sardine and Fennel Sauce

I've made some easy recipes, but this has got to be one of the easiest.

The only thing that would have made it easier is if we sold precooked pasta too!

Penne with Sardine and Fennel Sauce

Penne Pasta, cooked
Sardine and Fennel Pasta Sauce
Wild Porcini Sea Salt

Cook the pasta. Drain and place back in the pan. Toss some of the pasta sauce in with it and cook on low heat for about 2 minutes so the sauce has time to get hot. 

Pour into bowls and serve with Porcini Sea Salt sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Florentine Mac and Cheese

This is far and away my favorite mac and cheese. My favorite part is that this can be made with so many different substitutions I can modify it to suit anyone I know.

My friend's kids are allergic to lots of things. But they definitely can't have milk. The vegan version is underneath the picture.

Florentine Mac and Cheese

8 oz small elbows or other pasta
1/2 - 1 cups very chunky tomato sauce
2 cups spinach
2 tbsp Garlic Olive Oil
1 cup cheese shreds
1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp french fried onions
Salt and Pepper

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Rinse in cool water and put in an oven safe casserole dish.

Heat the oven to 350degrees.

In a small saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium high heat. Add in the spinach and a little salt. Stir in the tomato sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the spinach is completely wilted. Combine in the dish with the pasta.

In a small sauce pan, heat the butter until it is melted. Put in the cheese shreds and slowly stir in the milk and a pinch or two of black pepper. Heat, stirring often, until all the cheese has melted and the sauce starts to thicken. About 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce into the pasta mix and stir until the sauce is evenly distributed. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and fried onions.

Bake for 10 minutes. The top should be toasted and the Parmesan should be melted.

Vegan Florentine Mac and Cheese

8 oz small elbows or other pasta
1/2 - 1 cups very chunky tomato sauce
2 cups spinach
1 cup chopped vegan cheese, 
          I like Daiya brand wedges, 1/2 cup cheddar, 1/2 cup jack style
1 cup soy or almond milk
2 tbsp vegan butter, like Earth Balance
2 tbsp nutritional yeast 
         or ground almonds
2 tbsp french fried onions
Salt and Pepper

Everything is cooked the same as above. When you are getting your ingredients, watch the french fried onions, some have more 'stuff ' in them than others. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Lemon Beef with Spinach

Can you believe I still have parsley left over? I think I'll be through with it after this!

And while I know that this isn't particularly Super Bowl-y, I think that it's fast enough and easy enough to make for a crowd if you wanted to scale it up a bit. Have fun tomorrow!

Lemon Beef with Spinach

1/2 lb beef strips
2 tbsp White Peach Balsamic
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1 bag spinach
1/4 cup chopped bell peppers, red and orange
1/2 bunch green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp Meyer Lemon Olive Oil, divided

Set your oven to broil.

Toss the beef strips in the White Peach Balsamic. Use 1tbsp of the olive oil and lightly grease a baking pan. Lay out the beef strips and broil for 4-6 minutes, turning once.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a pan to medium high heat. Saute the red onion, bell peppers and half of the green onions for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and parsley toss to coat. Let the spinach wilt, another five minutes.

Assemble, with the spinach on the bottom and the beef on top. Toss the rest of the green onions on just before serving. And maybe a teensy bit more White Peach Balsamic.