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Eat Your Greens Pasta

7 Aug

Here’s something about me you might not guess from all the baked goods I make: I like to eat healthy.  I exercise a ton, take omega-3 supplements, am always trying to eat enough greens (thus my daily kale smoothies); you get the picture.  I also like things to taste GOOD. I mean it – I LOVE food. I love eating.  I also love eating out, which often presents a decision crisis for me: do I eat healthy or delicious or sacrifice a bit of both.  There are the occasional restaurants where this conundrum doesn’t present itself, but the easiest place to eat is my own kitchen.

Greens

This homemade pasta fits the bill – it’s packed with greens (basically as much as I could fit in without the pasta falling apart) and tastes amazing.  Like homemade pasta should.

HangingPasta

I cooked it up with more veggies (surprise!) and made an awesome pasta primavera.  Just some green onions and an assortment of yummy veggies sauteed together, topped off with white wine, lemon zest, parmesan, and a little pasta water (not to mention the ubiquitous S&P). Oh yum.

Veggies2

You will need a stand mixer for this and either a pasta attachment or a hand-crank pasta maker. Alternatively, you can do this without a mixer, but I read somewhere that you have to knead so hard/long that your butt will sweat.  I recently experienced this making a batch of bagels without a mixer and it wasn’t pretty.  My arms were sore for days (we won’t even discuss the state of my clothing).

Above

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Apple Onion Tart with a Rosemary-Manchego Quinoa Crust

15 Apr

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for quinoa.  When cooked properly, the nutty flavor is marvelous.  And when cheese is added? Well, that is obvious.  This crust is delicious.

TartWhole

I made this recipe in tartlet form a couple weeks ago for a dinner party and liked it so much, I made it again so I could take pictures for you (and of course, eat it). This crust would also be delicious for a quiche or any other type of savory tart.  You can change up the cheese variety, or even, gasp, remove it.  Survey is out on whether I can turn this into a sweet tart crust – I’ll get back to you on that.

TartWords

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A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Menu, Schedule & Recipes

19 Nov

I’ve been MIA for awhile.  Between some pretty hard family stuff that both hubby and I have been dealing with and throwing him a rocking 30th birthday party (10 course appetizer/cocktail tasting for 18 – I promise a post on it soon), I’ve found little time for posting.  Now with Thanksgiving RIGHT around the corner, I figured I would try and squeeze one in now (or as it turns out, write an extremely long and detailed post, packed with information).

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday: good friends/family, incredible food, and fabulous fall weather (fingers crossed).  The truth is, I love an excuse to cook an excessively large meal and eat my favorite comfort foods.  Without a good pumpkin pie and some creamy mashed potatoes, it doesn’t feel quite right.  One college Thanksgiving when we were graciously hosted by an uncle, we had a beautiful gourmet dinner – that ended with me in tears (in private) missing the comfort of my favorite foods (and my family).  I’ve learned a lot since then – and figured out that I like to be the one to cook Thanksgiving dinner!  Each year I try to recreate that beauty and tastes from that dinner, flecked with the comforts of my favorite staples.

Trying out gluten-free has been a way for me to informally test whether any of my stomach issues are linked to a sensitivity.  It has also allowed me to get a bit more creative with my cooking.  The inspiration for eating GF was my sister-in-law who has newly been diagnosed with a gluten intolerance.  The diet change has completely changed how she feels. After a semester of working hard to eat safe in a college dining hall, I want to make sure she has a Thanksgiving feast filled with our favorites from years past.

I don’t like to post recipes that I haven’t tried.  That being said, I want to share the thought that is gone into planning this delicious menu. I’m going to share recipes I’ve tried, along with links to recipes for the gluten free changes I’m going to make. Hopefully this isn’t too late to help out someone with their plans!

Here is my menu, schedule, and a few recipes to try.

(Apologies in advance for any lack of pictures, old post pictures, or iPhone pictures… )

The Placemats:

I’m either using these:

(typed menu “cut and pasted” onto these Cake placemats)

or these:

(awesome downloadable pdf placemat with menu)

Both are using these two free fonts: Champagne and Engravers)

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Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Chickpeas

12 Oct

One of my favorite things to hear as someone tries something I’ve made is: “This is actually really good.”  I usually don’t like when people make a big deal about something I’ve made . I strive to make things delicious and, as often as possible, beautiful, and love for people to enjoy my cooking, yet praise makes me uncomfortable.  I’m most often cooking more for myself (the satisfaction of creating and feeding) than anything else. But that one phrase always makes me smile.

I know it doesn’t sound like a complement, but it is a major victory. It means I’ve turned something abhorrent (read healthy, vegetable filled, vegan, or even, gasp, gluten-free) into something pleasurable. And that is something to celebrate.

~

I can’t believe I only just discovered roasted chickpeas.  They are incredibly easy to make and are freaking delicious.  Simply rinse a can of chickpeas, pat dry, roast at 375 for roughly 40 mins, tossing once or twice, and then season with basically anything – sweet or savory.

They would be fantastic to just eat as a snack but I used them as a salad ingredient (to replace the crunchiness of nuts) and they shone. Seriously.  I immediately went and stocked my cabinet with cans of chickpeas so I can add these to the weekly repertoire.

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Asian Black Quinoa Salad

5 Oct

Cooking feeds my soul.  When I’m in the kitchen, I get into a groove where my body seems to hum.  Whether I cook with wine like Julia Child or just whip up something quick, something wonderful happens to me. I’m not sure if it’s the knowledge that I’m going to feed people good food or just the act of cooking; it vivifies me.

Sometimes, when I get home tired and hungry from a long day, my immediate thought is “takeout.”  Before I jump on this, I have to remind myself how much better cooking is for my body and mind. Quick and easy meals are a necessity for days like this, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.  It’s too easy to compromise health for a quick fix.  This dish took under 30 minutes and is filling enough for a main dish.  Not too bad. (Who am I kidding though – I love a good take out Asian meal…)

Although I’m trying out this gluten-free thing, I’m a huge fan of grains.  Quinoa, although technically a seed, feels pretty grain like and already has a steady place in our meal rotation. Obviously it will play a crucial role over the next few months and I hope to get more creative with its uses.  For now a salad is the perfect way to showcase this “grain” and the key is the punchy flavor.  This dressing is flavorful and low-calorie – hubby believes in putting fish sauce in everything and calls it “restaurant sauce.”  Although it creeps me out a bit, I do agree that it makes things taste pretty good.

ABlackQSalad

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