Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

New Twist on Pesto

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Happy Meatless Monday! I had too much cilantro and arugula hanging out in my fridge. It’s also in the 40’s today. (Um, what’s up, Mother Nature? It’s basically June.) I really wanted a dinner that’s hearty and warm. I whipped up an Arugula Cilantro Pesto to top some ravioli and sweet potato pasta to combat this chilly, rainy weather. The fun part about this recipe is that it’s really a place to start. You start with these basic proportions and add more cilantro and/or arugula as needed, some lime juice here or there and maybe parm; it’s all to taste. It’s the perfect meal prep and now I’ll add it to my freezer to use this summer!

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Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Very Decadent, Yet Very Easy Vegetable Risotto

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I love risotto. I think it’s really fun to make and almost a cathartic process with all the adding, mixing and stirring. It’s been a bit chilly in Boston (or at least I think so after coming from beautifully sunny weather on Sanibel Island), so this seemed like the perfect time to post Vegetable Risotto using zucchini, butternut squash and spinach. To stay in a true vegetarian nature, I used homemade vegetable stock, but have also used homemade chicken stock, which adds just as much flavor (see notes for how to). You’d never know cream or milk haven’t been added in. Mixing in freshly grated parmesan cheese still gives the risotto a decadent taste without being over-the-top and the butternut squash almost melts down to add a creamy texture to the risotto. Can I have seconds yet?

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Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

The Easiest, Simplest Omelet

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I found myself making easy, simply omelets in the mornings to use up copious amounts of veggies in my fridge and have been experimenting with different combos. Place omelets are satisfying and oh-so-filling. I’d like to call this one the Simplest Omelet because I found myself making it again and again. I tossed in carrots and spinach with a dash of grated parmesan. I really like sweet, savory and spicy combos. The cranberry or cinnamon raisin English muffin touches on the sweet, the parmesan in the omelet is savory and sriracha adds the spice. Plus, this is a 5 min. breakfast — winning!

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Another Kale Recipe, but in a Creamy Ricotta Quiche

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I had some leftover ricotta after making Spaghetti Squash Lasagna, and ricotta adds a whole new level of creamy to this quiche. The nutmeg complements the ricotta, parmesan and kale perfectly. You can definitely add a crust to this quiche, especially if you’ll be serving this that day or eating leftovers the day after. When I make this for the week, the crust is too soggy 4 days out and doesn’t keep well. With a crust or without, either way, Kale Ricotta Quiche is yummy in my tummy.

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Entrée, One Pot Dish, Seafood, Vegetarian

Loving this Lobstah Pastah

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Thank God for Maine lobstah — Lobster Tortellini with Sautéed Summer Veggies. I kept it simple with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, red pepper and parmesan. This would also work well with some butter and/or fresh parsley. The heirloom tomatoes were bursting with flavor and color — the perfect addition and perfectly in season. Because the lobster was leftover from the Fourth of July and already steamed and picked clean, this dish was super easy to assemble.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Meal Prep, Vegetarian

Spring Forward with this Spring Quiche

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It’s almost summer and I’ve been procrastinating writing these parts a wee bit — the descriptions. I made this Spring Veggie Quiche a handful of times during May. I like making quiche crustless unless I’ll be able to consume it in all its glory within a day or two before the crust soggily breaks down. Making the quiche crustless results more like a large omelet, but it retains all of the flavor. Asparagus, zucchini, squash and tomatoes are abundant in the summer and spring. Roasting the veggies enhances all of their natural flavors to be juicy and tender. Tossing them into a quiche with sharp and pungent parmesan only makes things better.

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Dairy-Free, Entrée, Gluten-Free, Italian, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegan, Vegetarian

Blissfully Stuffed After Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

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These Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers are when you want something satisfying without the sensation that you just swallowed a brick; they’re like a hearty salad that is way more fun.  I’ve seen these gracing the pages of Instagram and Pinterest, and turned to the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY for inspiration. (They’re dedicated to the vegetarian movement.) The resulting roasted bell peppers were quite tender and juicy. I topped with tomato sauce for some added flavor. I also made wayyyyy too much quinoa veggie filling and “recycled” it with chicken sausage and over sautéed baby spinach. I definitely want to try a carnivore version — ground turkey? BBQ chicken for the summer? Southwestern beef? I see a Thai version and a Mexican version being taste-tested in the near future.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian

The Easiest Eggs & Toast…Maybe Ever

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After reading BuzzFeed’s “19 Breakfasts You Can Make In A Mug,” I wanted to test out their idea for eggs. Seemed simple enough. With it being so hot and muggy this summer, I haven’t been too inclined to make eggs and have the stovetop emitting so much heat. I was skeptical, but then again my Banana Bread in a Mug turned out just fine. Also surprising, but I’ve never made avocado toast before. I know, right? Who am I? It was beyond good. Seasoned with sea salt and red pepper flakes for a small kick, I’m seriously in love with avocado toast. I must have been living under a rock. The eggs in a mug turned out to be deliciously simple. I tossed in egg whites, chopped baby spinach and Parmesan. You can really add whatever you’d normally want in your omelet to have the perfect Eggs in a Mug with Avocado Toast. This truly was a 5 minute breakfast!

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Gluten-Free, Salad, Side, Vegetarian

Breezing through a Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

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Bet you can’t guess where I found my inspiration for my Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Pistachios and Cranberries recipe — Pinterest (obviously). I’ve come to like Brussels sprouts. For Thanksgiving at my dad’s parents’ house, I would go to their garden, bursting with late fall veggies, and my task would be to pick the Brussels sprouts to have for Thanksgiving dinner. Of course I would painstakingly pick them, but I would never eat them; I didn’t even get to enjoy my labors then, but I love this salad; it’s light, different, innovative and totally tasty. I made a few changes — I served this raw instead of cooking everything in a skillet. I like the crunch and flavor of the Brussels sprouts this way. Plus, transforming them from their solid form to a shaved one, you wouldn’t know you’re eat Brussels sprouts. For some color, my mom thought shredded carrots would make a nice addition. The pistachios are a decadent and unusual crunch, the parmesan — flavor and the craisins and fig balsamic (a local purchase from Ithaca) — a needed sweetness to combat and balance the salad’s earth tones.

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Entrée

Pasta & “Pasta” Pairings for Pumpkin Sauce

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Ok, I promise — this is my last pumpkin recipe, but does it really count as new if I’ve previously posted this recipe? I love this Creamy Pumpkin Sauce; it’s quite easy to make and sure to impress. Maybe you’ve already exhausted that original spaghetti squash pairing idea or maybe you just have no idea what to do with the sauce in general or with its leftovers. Not a fan of spaghetti squash? Try these tortellini pairings below. Love spaghetti squash? Make the below recipes swapping tortellini for spaghetti squash. (Discover an easy way to cook spaghetti squash here.) Not a pasta fan? Just use sautéed kale and/or spinach as a substitute for anything pasta. No matter the way you choose to prepare this, you honestly can’t mess up because any combination is delicious. As a possible contender for holiday dishes or entertaining, here’s two options to transform any meal (pasta or not) using the creamy pumpkin sauce:

  • Creamy Pumpkin Sauce Tortellini with Tuscan Kale, Browned Chicken & Roasted Purple Cauliflower
  • Creamy Pumpkin Sauce Tortellini with Rosemary, Delicata Squash, Baby Spinach & Cherry Tomatoes

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