Friday, September 30, 2016

Lazy Pasta

Autumn has come on with a will. Serves me right for saying it was too hot last week. We need the rain anyway.

Usually, when I'm feeling the crush of the day and just need something quick and easy, I make Sesame Noodles. A quick whisked sauce, some cooked pasta, and it's done. This didn't take any more time, and will probably go right into the weekly menu for me. The ingredients are things I usually have on hand and can be played around with a bit. Spinach is my favorite, but I think that an arugula mix would be a nice touch too. 

Lazy Pasta

1lb long pasta
1lb ground meat (I like turkey)
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp Zesty Onion Olive Oil
2 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil Garlic Ginger
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp Traditional Balsamic
¼ cup Chicken or beef broth

In a large pan with high sides, heat the Zesty Onion Olive Oil to medium high. Cook the ground meat until done and browned on all sides. Add the onions and continue sautéing until they are translucent and beginning to brown.

Turn the heat to medium-low and add the spinach and broth. Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente, drain and set aside. When the spinach is nicely wilted, add the pasta to the pot and toss well to coat.

Whisk the soy sauce and balsamic together to drizzle over each serving.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Herb Potato Salad

I don't know about you, but with the beginning of Fall, I was actually hoping for cooler weather. Silly me.

So this isn't really the season for potato salad, but if you can still grill outside, is the season ever really over?

Herb Potato Salad

7 cups white potatoes, peeled and chopped
8oz sour cream
2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp Italian Herb Olive Oil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the potatoes until tender, but still firm. 15 minutes. Drain and chill.

While potatoes are chilling, whisk the dressing together in a bowl. Pour over potatoes and toss gently.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Carolina Chickpea Slaw

As it gets cooler, don't let thoughts of coleslaw stay with summer! This is hearty enough for any time of year, and it has cranberries in it, so that's fall-ish.

Carolina Chickpea Slaw

½ large head of cabbage, finely shredded
1 medium bell pepper, shredded
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots cut into matchsticks or grated
1 cup broccoli florets, small
½ cup edamame
½ cup chickpeas
¼ cup dried cranberries

2/3 cup Olive Oil (Persian Lime is fun here)
2/3 cup White Balsamic
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. Stir often until well combined and very fragrant.

Place the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, and pour the sauce over it. Toss well to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until cool, at least 1 hour. This is even better if you make it the day before! 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup

I love pasta. I love the texture of the different cuts and the different mouth feel of different grains. I love finding the perfect cut of pasta to go with what I'm serving. But. I have never cooked pasta in broth before. Like most people, I cook my pasta in water, drain and rinse it. But this might be a game changer. Because while I love pasta, most of the time, it just tastes like pasta. The sauce does all the flavor work. But this time, things are different. There is no draining, so all that broth stays around and infuses into the pasta itself. And it's awesome.

I love this soup hot or cold. If you have it cold the next day, the broth soaks in even more and you can just eat it up with a fork. This is supposed to be a soup, but the starches from the pasta make it remarkably thick. I love the texture of it as is, but add another cup or so of broth if you want it to be thinner.

Aush: Afghan Noodle Soup

1lb pasta, small pieces
1 can red kidney beans
1 can white beans
½ cup tomato paste, about one small can
1lb ground beef or chicken
3tbsp – ¼ cup parsley, chopped
1 tbsp fresh dill
1 tsp dried mint leaves
2 tbsp Curry Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth

Heat the Curry Olive Oil to medium high in a large pan. Add the ground meat and the garlic and cook, stirring frequently until fully cooked and browned on all sides.

Add the tomato paste and vegetable broth to the pan. Bring the heat up to a high simmer and add the pasta. Simmer for about 6-8 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. If it absorbs the broth too fast, splash in a little more broth or water.

Drain and rinse both cans of beans. Add them with the herbs and stir until well mixed and warmed through.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bruschetta Salad

Bruschetta is such a great thing to make. There are so many variations and fun additions you can tinker with it as much as you like. I made this because I found a few pounds of tomatoes buried in my crisper drawer about to go off. Oops!

I used our Traditional Balsamic in this, but you could use almost any one that you like. Black Currant is very good on tomatoes as well, and Lavender.

Bruschetta Salad

2-3 cups finely diced or minced tomatoes
1 tablespoon Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
1 shallot, minced
1 teaspoon Prosecco Vinegar (optional)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
     2 tablespoons Garlic Olive Oil
     1 tablespoon Basil Olive Oil
1 small bunch basil, thinly sliced
4 cups chopped mixed greens
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients together and let sit for an hour or two to let the flavors meld together. Serve with chips or crackers and shredded Parmesan.

The Prosecco Vinegar is optional, but I love the bright pop that it adds to this.