Pasta with Romesco Sauce

I had this pasta with romesco at a restaurant near my house so I was determined to learn how to make it! I found a recipe for romesco sauce and put my skills to the test and low and behold, it was just as amazing! I feel like romesco sauce is a healthier, much quicker, version of old fashioned tomato sauce.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

pasta with romesco sauce

Ingredients

1 lb pasta of your choice
2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity olive oil

Directions

Boil water, and once it is boiled add a good amount of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes.

Grind the almonds in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily.

Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

romesco sauce

Once the pasta is cooked, strain and then add the romesco sauce to the pasta and stir. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/romesco-sauce-recipe.html

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Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

I love brussels sprouts. I will eat them all year round! I also love balsamic vinegar, I put it in a lot of things (including chili). I saw this recipe and knew I had to try it. I added shallots because I wanted to add a depth of flavor and love the sweetness of the shallots and knew it would balance out the vinegar.

Sautéed Brussels Sprouts

sauteed brussels sprouts

Ingredients

1 (10 ounce) package shredded Brussels sprouts (you can buy them at Trader Joes)
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large (12-inch) saute pan and heat it over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots until soft and tender. Add the butter and the remaining olive oil. Add the sliced Brussels sprouts, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and saute them, stirring frequently, for about 4 to 5 minutes, until tender but still bright green. It might look like a lot of Brussels sprouts when you add them in the pan, but just like spinach, they will cook down. Once tender, turn off the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar, season to taste, and serve hot.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/sauteed-shredded-brussels-sprouts.html

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

Pasta can get boring but I love finding new and exciting recipes to spice up boring ole pasta. This recipe is a keeper!

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

spicy garlic and anchovy farfalle

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the extra-virgin oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy paste, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the breadcrumb mixture, cooked pasta and half of the cheese. Add in the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/1181/spicy-garlic-and-anchovy-farfalle

Greek Marinated Chicken

I love the fresh flavors that this marinade brings to the chicken! The marinade is so easy and I traded in whole chicken pieces for chicken breasts to make the cook time quicker.
Greek Marinated Chicken
greek marinated chicken
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • ¼ bunch fresh parsley
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breasts
Directions
  1. To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, minced garlic, oregano, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper in a bowl. Zest 1 lemon into the bowl. Also add the juice from half of the lemon (about 1-2 Tbsp). Stir until the ingredients are well combined. Roughly chop a big handful, or about ¼ bunch, of parsley and stir it into the marinade.
  2. Add the chicken breasts and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for 30 minutes.
  3. After marinating for 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees in preparation to bake the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish (9×13). Bake the chicken in the preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.

Recipe source:  http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/06/greek-marinated-chicken/

Fiesta Fish

Yes this fish looks fancy, it is also so delicious! Don’t let the long directions steer you away from this fabulous fish! It is so light and refreshing and I bet it would be even better if you grilled the fish!

Fiesta Fish

fiesta fish

Ingredients
1 lb whitefish of your choice (I used Sole)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
paprika
Drizzle of olive oil

Onion and Jalapeño quick pickle:
1 cup fresh ruby red grapefruit juice
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small Spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced

Avocado and Mango Salsa
1 Hass avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1 small ripe mango, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup chives, chopped

Directions
Onion and Jalapeno quick-pickle:
Whisk together the juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and jalapeno, toss to coat and let sit at room temperature while you bake the fish.

Preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle each side of the fish with salt, pepper, paprika, and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake until cooked through (about 20 minutes).

While the fish cooks, make the Avocado Mango Salsa:
Put the avocado and mango in a large bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the remaining1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, the parsley, chives, and salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.

When the fish is done cooking, coat the fish in the pan with most of the onion and jalapeño mixture and let it marinade for 5 minutes. Save a little to add onto the plate before serving.

To assemble, add the fish to the plate, add some onion and jalapeño mixture on top of the fish, and finish with a scoop of avocado and mango salsa. If there is any juice left to the onion and jalapeño mixture, drizzle that on top as well.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/tirado-de-mahi-mahi-recipe.html

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

I took my favorite healthy comfort food and turned it even more healthy! These lettuce wraps are the best way to add healthy to your diet while still getting the protein and yumminess you deserve.

Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Lettuce Wraps

buffalo chicken quinoa lettuce wraps

Ingredients

1 head of Boston, Bib, or Butter Lettuce
1 cup quinoa (measured uncooked)
2 cups water
3/4 lb boneless, skinless, chicken breast, cut into cubes or strips
1/2 cup Sambal (or any hot sauce)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups shredded carrots
2 Avocados
1 tsp salt
Chives-chopped (optional)

Directions

In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Bring to a boil, cover, and then turn heat to low. Cook until all the water is absorbed. It usually says on the quinoa package how long to cook it until.

While the quinoa is cooking, make the buffalo sauce. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, hot sauce, and salt. I usually use Sambal chile sauce for my  “hot sauce,” so feel free to use any hot sauce you like. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Heat a skillet over medium high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and add chicken to saute until cooked through. Add half of sauce mix, saute for two minutes and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes or until cooked through. For me, its easier to cook the chicken breast whole first, then after its cooked cut it up.

Now its time to assemble! Take 1 piece of lettuce, add the quinoa to the center, and a couple pieces of buffalo chicken on top of that. Then add a little shredded carrots and a couple pieces of avocado. Top with chopped chives if desired, roll up and serve!

Recipe source: http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/08/02/chicken-quinoa-lettuce-wraps-with-peanut-sauce

Buckwheat with Lemon-Parsley Pesto

My husband grew up on buckwheat so we decided to give it a try. We found this barley recipe and decided to use buckwheat instead. Adding pesto, pine nuts, and a little red pepper flakes makes this side dish a must-try!

Buckwheat with Lemon-Parsley Pesto

buckwheat with lemon parsley pesto

Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat
2 cups parsley
1 garlic clove
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

Cook 1 cup of buckwheat as the label directs; transfer to a bowl.

Pulse 2 cups parsley, 2 tablespoons each olive oil and toasted pine nuts, 1 garlic clove, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a food processor until smooth.

Add the mixture to the buckwheat along with 2 more tablespoons toasted pine nuts and 1 tablespoon lemon juice; toss. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little something extra.

TIP: If the mixture is too sticky, just add olive oil until your desired consistency.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/barley-with-lemon-parsley-pesto.html

Crab and Lemon Aioli Bruschetta

My favorite new appetizer!! I love having crab in the summer, there is just something so light but meaty about it! Mixing the crab with the lemon aioli definitely makes this app what it is!

Crab and Lemon Aioli Bruschetta

crab and lemon aioli brushetta

Ingredients

Toasts:
1 ciabatta loaf, cut into 12 (1/2-inch thick) slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
Crab:
8 ounces lump crabmeat
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Aioli:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 large lemon, zested
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

For the toasts: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer on a heavy baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of the bread with the oil. Season with salt and bake until light golden, about 10 minutes. Cool for 1 minute, and then rub the toasts with the cut side of the garlic.

For the crab: In a small bowl, gently combine the crab, lemon juice, chives, and salt.

For the aioli: In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon zest, salt, and cayenne pepper.

Mix the crabmeat with the aioli mixture and place on top of the toasts.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/crab-and-lemon-bruschetta-recipe.html

Parmesan Baked Chicken Strips

This has become a staple in our household. We like to call them “Grown-up chicken nuggets.” Baking the chicken instead of frying, and a little special spicy ketchup brings these chicken strips to the next level!

Parmesan Baked Chicken Strips

parmesan baked chicken strips

Ingredients
1 lb chicken tenders, or chicken strips
1 1/4 cup panko, bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten cooking spray

Spicy Ketchup
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 tbsp – 1/4 cup Sambal chili paste (or any hot sauce), I recommend you taste as you go so it’s not too spicy
1 tbsp Dijon Mustard
Pinch of Salt

Directions

Combine all the ingredients for the Spicy Ketchup and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare a baking sheet by adding a wire rack on top of it and lightly coat with cooking spray.

Add the panko to a shallow dish and mix in the Parmesan and coarse salt. Drizzle the oil and mix well. Set out the flour and eggs both in separate dishes.

In small batches, coat the chicken in flour, shaking off any excess, dip in egg, and lastly coat well with panko. Transfer to the rack. Bake the chicken until desired tenderness, about 12-14 minutes, turning when halfway through. Serve nuggets with the Spicy Ketchup.

Recipe Source: http://rasamalaysia.com/baked-chicken-nuggets/2

Roasted Veggies with Chipotle Cream

For a light and healthy dish, try this vegetarian concoction. Adding a spicy cream takes this dish to the next level!

Roasted Veggies with Chipotle Cream

roasted veggies with chipotle cream

Ingredients

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
One 1-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes (3 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Chipotle Cream:
1 cup greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tbsp Chipotle “mayo” (vegan mayonnaise, I used Just Mayo)
1 teaspoon of Sambal (chili paste)
1 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray or line with parchment paper.

For the vegetables: Toss the zucchini, bell pepper, squash, oil, cumin, oregano and salt in a medium bowl. Spread the mixture in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the vegetables are golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

For the cream: Mix the greek yogurt, lime juice, agave, paprika, sambal, and “mayo” until smooth in a small bowl.

Spoon the vegetables onto a plate and serve with a dollop of the chipotle cream. I served on top of tortilla chips but feel free to serve in a crunchy tortilla, or simply on their own.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/roasted-vegetable-tostadas-with-chipotle-cream-recipe.html