Easy Peasy Pesto

August 30, 2012

Pesto is such a flavorful condiment, I honestly don’t know why I don’t make it more often.  The variations on this basic recipe are endless and the fact that there’s no cooking involved in preparing it, makes it perfect for whipping up on a hot summer day.  It’s so versatile it can be used on pasta, fish or even a burger.

Tell me, what do you like to serve your pesto on?

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Pesto spread on wheat buns for Portabello Paninis

Basil Pesto

printable recipe

  • 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse the basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor until finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil and continue processing, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed, until the mixture forms a thick paste. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the Parmigiano. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

When my husband and I were on our honeymoon in San Pedro, Belize in May, we shared a delicious bowl of gazpacho at the Blue Water Grill.  It was our final night on the island before heading inland to San Ignacio –what a delicious choice for our  last meal! The refreshingly cool bowl of soup was welcome on the palate after a long hot day at the beach.  As soon as we returned home I immediately searched, and found, an amazing recipe for the chilled appetizer by Ina Garten.  This has definitely made it to the list of summer staples!

P.S.Be sure to check out more #BeatTheHeat recipes listed below from fellow members of the #SundaySupper community!

Gazpacho garnished with mango

Gazpacho

Printable recipe 

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber, halved and seeded, not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, I’ve alo used Vidalia, which is a sweet substitution
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups Mott’s Low Sodium Garden Blend tomato juice
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Garnish – fresh avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya, cubed

Directions

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped for a chunky soup.  Blend longer for a smoother version (we prefer chunky). After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill overnight before serving. Garnish with ripe avocado, mango, pineapple or papaya.

#BeatTheHeat Appetizers:

#BeatTheHeat Salads, Soups, & Sides:

#BeatTheHeat Main Dishes:

#BeatTheHeat Desserts:

#BeatTheHeat Drinks & Cocktails:

On Top of Old Smokey…

November 11, 2011

Not everyone {my fiance included} knows this old children’s song about the meatball rolling out of the door. I’m not sure if it’s because he grew up in the north, or just because I love food so much I grew up singing about it.  Anywho, if you have kids, it’s a supercute little jingle to sing when making and serving any dish involving meatballs. 

Lyrics to On Top of Spaghetti {sung to the tune of “On Top of Old Smokey”}

Although I serve this meatball dish on top of brown rice, this meatball and gravy recipe could certainly be served over spaghetti noodles, or you could finish cooking them in a traditional marinara instead of the gravy.  The link below suggests stuffing meatballs into a large pasta noodle, which also sounds interesting. Either way, this is sure to make a warm, comfort food dish that your family will request again and again.

Turkey Meatballs and Gravy

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • evoo cooking spray
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • s & p to taste
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch

Mix together turkey, onions, parsley and salt.  Shape mixture into meatballs and set aside. 

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and set over med-high heat.  When pan is hot, add mushrooms and saute 2-3 minutes, until tender.  Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside.

Add meatballs to hot pan and brown on all sides.  Return mushrooms to pan and add thyme and salt and pepper.  Stir.  Add 3/4 cup of broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer untilmeatballs are cooked through, about 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile, dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup of broth.  Add mixture to pan and simmer 1 minute.  Serve hot over brown rice (or pasta).

Greek on the Go

November 6, 2011

The Mediterranean Wrap on the menu at Jason’s Deli inspired me to throw this together at home.  It’s a healthy, and delicious, alternative to the everyday turkey sandwich.  It’s quick and easy to put together and travels well…so it’s great to take to work for lunch or to the park for a picnic.  I like to serve it with a Lemon Lentil Soup for an amazingly satisfying lunch.

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It's a wrap!

Mediterranean Wrap

  • Wheat tortilla wrap
  • Hummus, homemade or store-bought
  • Sliced deli turkey
  • Crumbled feta
  • Kalamata olives
  • Roasted red peppers

Lay the tortilla out and pile all the ingredients, to taste, on top.  Have fun with the ingredients!  I like to also add red onion, cucumber or julienned carrots.  Fold in two sides of the tortilla until they meet in the center then fold the bottom of the tortilla up to the center of the filling and roll until the wrap is tight.  I like to wrap with aluminum foil to help hold it together or secure with a toothpick if serving immediately. 

Monday Menu Plan

July 25, 2011

After a week indulging in she-crab soup {my fave!}, beer and cheese grits on Saint Simons Island, it’s time to get back to a healthy reality.  I decided to peruse some of my favorite cooking magazines for inspiration this week and came up with an especially waist-friendly menu filled with fresh veggies, fish and lean meat.

 
Weekly Menu

Weekly Menu

Monday:  Carolina BBQ Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries  {WeightWatchers Magazine}

Tuesday:  Fish Tacos {Saveur} with Spicy Southwestern Corn {Cooking Club Magazine}

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Raging Burrito

Friday:  Penne with Asparagus, Artichokes, Favas and Peas {Bon Appetit}

 What’s cookin’ in your kitchen this week?

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