October 1, 2012
I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays. The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually. This tortellini dish literally blew us away. I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.
I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish. It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese. This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.
Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley
- 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp. cayenne
- 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
- 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
- 1 cup thawed frozen peas
- 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
- 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese, grated
In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.
September 2, 2012
The topic we were given for this week’s #SundaySupper was inspired by the Labor Day Holiday…and the cookout that comes along with a three-day weekend. I made these portabello paninis. Oh my God. These sandwiches are so delicious, you’ll want to eat five. And they are so easy, you won’t believe it. Simply whip up a quick batch of pesto, grill a few portabellos, place them on buns slathered with goat cheese and pesto…and WaLa! They’re ready to go back on the grill for about five minutes and dinner is served! To make them even easier, and so you can spend more time enjoying the long weekend, prepare the pesto ahead of time.
- 4 tbs pesto
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 4 medium portobello mushrooms, stemmed and wiped clean
- 4 soft, round, whole wheat rolls
- 8 tbs goat cheese
Heat the grill (or a panini maker, if making indoors).
Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put them on the grill (or press) and grill for about four minutes.
Meanwhile, open the whole wheat rolls and spread pesto on the bottom half and dollap the goat cheese on the top half.
Once you pull the portabellos off the grill, place them on the pesto-smeared bun and place the goat cheese-smear bun on top. Spray the top and bottom sides of the bun with olive oil (I love to use my Misto) and place back on the grill for about five minutes. If grilling, flip the burger about halfway through so the buns get grill marks on both sides.Pull off the grill and serve! (And try not to let everyone know how little effort it took to make such a delicious dish!
Check out all the Labor Day inspired recipes from the #SundaySupper community below!
Starters & Snacks
Salads & Sides
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?
- 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.
- Linguine with red pesto, Ulysses & the Pillars of Hercules (kitchen-memories.com)
- Parsley “pesto” pasta & blogging about cooking (twospoons.wordpress.com)
- Asparagus Pancetta Pesto Pasta (jennieism.wordpress.com)
August 6, 2012
I’ve started preparing lunch for the ladies in the office, for a nominal fee, and this was a hit last Monday. The egg whites and cottage cheese make it so light and fluffy, but all the protein keeps you satisfied until lunch times A vegetable soup (I made Cream of Tomato) or side salad rounds it out to a light and yummy #MeatlessMonday lunch.
For you Weightwatchers members out there, this recipe slices into 10 servings and at just 3 points a serving, you don’t feel guilty about diving into this healthy twist on a breakfast casserole!
- 1.5 cup egg whites (I used egg white substitute)
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 cups shredded, reduced-fat cheddar
- 1.5 cups shredded, Mexican-blend cheese
- .5 cup 1% milk
- .5 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- .5 tsp salt
- 1 (16 oz) carton low-fat cottage cheese
- cooking spray (I use my Misto)
- 4 cups sliced zucchini
- 1 medium baking potato, diced
- 1 small Vidalia onion, diced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 handful button mushroom, sliced
- .5 cup chopped fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat eggs and egg whites until fluffy. Add ¾ cup cheddar and ¾ cup Mexican cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt and cottage cheese. Heat a large pan over med-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add zucchini through mushrooms and saute 5 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and parsley to egg mixture. Pour mixture into 3qt. casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheeses. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, the drop the temperature to 350 and continue to bake another 35 minutes. The casserole will be browned on top when ready. Let sit and cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. The leftovers are great re-heated, so this recipe makes for a filling breakfast, or lunch, throughout the week!
- Meatless Mondays: Baked Vegetable Lasagna (centerforlivingpeace.wordpress.com)
July 30, 2012
I’ve had several people ask me for a good quinoa recipe lately, and this is the one I always recommend. The lemon gives it a refreshing, summery taste and the mixture of toasted pine nuts, kale and quinoa give it a surprising heartiness that leaves you feeling full. It’s great on its own, or alongside a tasty wrap to round out a healthy lunch. This recipe is a great guide, because you can swap out different ingredients to change up the taste…use almonds or walnuts instead of pine nut, sub feta or cubed mozzarella for the goat cheese or even use a different grain, such as Farro, for the base. The combinations are endless while staying healthy, delicious and budget-friendly.
Kale & Quinoa Pilaf
- 2 cups salted water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 bunch kale, washed and sliced into 1” ribbons
- 1 lemon (Meyer, if you can find them) zested and juiced
- 2 scallions,chopped
- 1tbs roasted walnut oil (you can use evoo or sunflower oil, but the walnut oil really has a great flavor)
- 3 tbs toasted pine nuts
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
Bring the salted water to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and lower the heat to simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, then top with chopped kale and re-cover. Simmer 5 more minutes then remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine lemon juice and zest through goat cheese in a medium bowl. Head back to the stove to check on the quinoa. It should have absorbed all the liquid and you should be able to fluff it with a fork. Mix the kale in with the quinoa, then pour over lemon/oil mixture. You can serve immediately or chill overnight and have for lunch the next day. It’s great served warm or cold!
- Superfoods 101 & Not Your Everyday Greek Salad (healthygirlandthecity.wordpress.com)
July 16, 2012
I’ve really gotten into this #Meatless Monday thing once I realized what positive benefits it reaps…both to the individual and the environment. Not to mention, having a meat-free day also saves a few pennies. This veggie quesadilla was a Monday evening hit a few weeks ago. I served it with a Chilled Avocado Soup for a tasty and nurient-packed dinner. You don’t have to stick to the veggies listed, either. I think it would be great with caramelized onions, sliced bell peppers and/or mushrooms.
Corn and Black Bean Quesadillas
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped onion
- 1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (10 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 8 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and corn, then add sugar, salsa, and pepper flakes; mix well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.
- Melt 2 teaspoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the skillet, sprinkle evenly with cheese, top with some of the bean mixture and top with fresh cilantro. Place another tortilla on top, cook until golden, then flip and cook on the other side. Melt more butter as needed, and repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
December 15, 2011
I may have mentioned that I adore Hugh Acheson. As a UGA alum, I remember when he opened Five & Ten and I fell in love with his perspective on supporting local produce just a few weeks ago. Not to mention his beet and carrot salad. I tweaked the original recipe a bit by roasting the veggies and subbing cilantro for parsley and it still made for a delicious side for the Bison Burgers we had for dinner last night.
Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad
For the salad
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound organic carrots, sliced
- 2 beets, cleaned but not peeled
- ¼ pound goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup Cumin Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- 1 cup pulled fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil and wrap the beets and carrots with it after drizzling with evoo and salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
After the beets cool, peel them using paper towels to rub off the skin. This is easier when they are still warm. Chop the carrots and mix in a bowl with chopped beets. Crumble the goat cheese on top and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette and ½ cup of the cilantro to the beets and carrots and toss. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette, the remaining cilantro and toss. Drizzle with a touch more of the vinaigrette.
For the vinaigrette
Makes ¾ cup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan and then pulverized
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the Dijon mustard in a bowl and whisk in the olive oil, then the lemon juice and the sherry vinegar. Add the cumin and the mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The vinaigrette will last for 10 days in the fridge.
December 8, 2011
I have become obsessed with Mediterranean Wraps for lunch, so I thought I would try making my own hummus since the pre-made stuff can get expensive. Plus I heard homemade tastes better (doesn’t it always?) Well, they were right. Especially if you start with raw chick peas and soak them for a couple of days. Homemade tastes better and you can make a batch faster than you can say pita bread.
You can change up the flavor of the hummus by adding roasted red peppers, like I did here, sun-dried tomatoes, olives or even lots of extra garlic and lemon.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
- 1 cup dried chickpeas
- 1/2 cup tahini
- juice from 1 squeezed lemon
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon + 1/8-1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 roasted bell pepper
- olive oil
2. Wash the chickpeas several times, until the water is transparent. Soak them in clean water over night with 1 tablespoon of baking soda. Then, wash it, and soak again in tap water for a few more hours. The grains should absorb most of the water and almost double their volume.
3. Wash the chickpeas well and put them in a large pot. Cover with water, add the rest baking soda, a bay leaf and NO salt. Cook until the grains are very easily smashed when pressed between two fingers. It should take around 1-1.5 hours, during which it is advised to switch the water once again, and remove the peels and foam which float over the cooking water. When done, sieve the grains and keep the cooking water.
4. Put the chickpeas into a food processor and grind well. Leave it to chill a little while before you continue.
5. Add the tahini and the rest of the ingredients and go on with the food processor until you get the desired texture. If the hummus is too thick, add some of the cooking water. It should be thinner than the actual desired texture.
Serve with some good olive oil and chopped parsley.
December 7, 2011
At second glance, I questioned if Paula Deen got her her hot little hands on the original recipe. I mean, vegetable oil for frying and 11 TABLESPOONS of butter?!? Since when did Paula start fixing tofu???
After I got over the amount of oil and butter in the recipe, I realized it looked like a great dish with a lot of yummy flavors, so I may as well give it a shot. I tweaked it a bit with the addition of green bell pepper, decreased the amount of serranos (I mean, eight?!? I guess Bobby Flay got his hands on this, too) and I lessened the amount of butter, reflected below. I just can’t consciously tell people to put 11 tablespoons of butter in their food.
It turned out to be an extremely flavorful dish that I will definitely make again. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!
Black Pepper Tofu
- 1 3/4 lbs firm tofu
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 stick of butter
- 12 small shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 serrano chili, thinly sliced
- 12 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
- 3 tbsp sweet soy sauce
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 4 tsp dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- 16 small and thin green onions, cut into 1 1/4-inch segments
- I green bell pepper, julienned
Start with the tofu. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan or wok to come 1/4 inch up the sides and heat. Cut the tofu into large cubes, about 1 x 1 inch, then add to the hot oil. (You’ll need to fry the tofu pieces in a few batches so they don’t stew in the pan.) Fry, turning them around as you go, until they are golden all over. As they are cooked, transfer them onto paper towels.
Remove the oil and any sediment from the pan, then put the butter inside and melt it. Add the shallots, chiles, garlic and ginger. Sauté on low to medium heat for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ingredients have turned shiny and are totally soft. Next, add the soy sauces and sugar and stir, then add the black pepper.
Add the tofu to warm it up in the sauce for about a minute. Finally, stir in the green onions and green bell pepper. Serve hot, with Jasmine rice.
November 30, 2011
Not only is spaghetti squash super good for you, it’s super delicious! I’ve always heard of baking this winter melon and using a fork to fluff out the spaghetti-like interior to use as a base for marinara, or anything you’d put on top of pasta, but quite frankly, I was a little bit skeptical. Until last night.
I now have a new favorite winter staple! It’s so easy to prepare, tastes delicious (think really al-dente pasta) and is loaded with nutrients. The topping for the “spaghetti” really made it shine and I will definitely be experimenting with this versatile fruit again in the near future!
Mediterranean Style Spaghetti Squash
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 tablespoons evoo
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (I used two Roma tomatoes)
- 1 red bell pepper, choppped
- 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons sliced kalamata olives
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 40 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and red bell pepper in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
- Remove vegetable mixture from heat and add feta and olives.
- Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in two serving bowls. Top with the vegetable mixture. Serve warm.