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one-pot creamy pasta

Happy Friday, friends. 
The recipe I’m sharing today is not my own.  It was in Martha Stewart’s magazine a few years back.  It was one of those pull-out recipe cards. 

I must admit, I didn’t think much of it when I saw the recipe, but a snowy afternoon with limited ingredients in the house led me to try it.
Holy cow batman!  Is at as good as fettuccini alfredo?  Nope.  Pasta, cream, cheese butter garlic..  not much can compare with that. 

Was it amazing? YES!

Was it easy?  YES!  Easier than making a box of kraft mac and cheese ( which, btw.. it also kind of amazing it it’s fake orange cheese nostalgic way ☺️) 
Here’s the original recipe for One pot orecchiette, chickpeas and olives

Admittedly, I’ve followed her recipe to a tee… but I’ve also used it as a guideline to play a little. 
Here’s her original recipe, just subbing the kind of pasta I used 

12 ounce dry pasta ( I had bow ties, so I used bow ties) 

* note..  many companies make ‘no bake’ pasta these days.  For this recipe, just use your regular pasta.  I haven’t tried it with GF pasta, but I’d imagine it would work, just keep an eye on it and add more water if  needed) 

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted ( you can buy them pitted.. don’t fret )

3 cloves garlic, smashed ( or 1 tsp garlic powder ( make sure not garlic salt) 

Sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried

3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil 

2 TBSP tomato paste ( buy the tomato paste in the tube.  It’s in the canned tomato isle.  Believe it or not. Whole Foods has one of the least expensive tomato paste tubes.  I believe Trader Joe’s also has one) don’t pay more than 3 bucks for it

( optional.. but I always use in any soup or stew.. small piece of Parmesan rind) 

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Sea salt

Ground pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( I also added a bit on cheddar ends that I had in the fridge )

2 cups baby greens 
Place everything up to cheese in a stockpot. 

Add 5 cups of water 
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, stirring occcasionally. Check pasta in 12-15 minutes ( thicker pasta will require longer.  Check at 15 min to see). It should be mostly cooked, with just a slight bite to it. 

Turn off heat, but leave pan on burner 

Add the cheese, replace cover for 5 min so the cheese can melt. After 5 min, stir and if cheese still needs longer to melt, cover for additional 5 min.  Discard rosemary sprig, if used. If sauce seems a bit thick, stir in a bit more water until you get a creamy consistency 


Serve with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes 


Please try this!  I have a lot of friends who are just learning to cook.. a lot of girls just on their own, either senior year in college or just out on their own.  This is a great recipe to start to learn to cook 

You can assemble in the morning and add water and cook when you get home from work
You can play with the ingredients…sub out broccoli crowns and cooked chicken for the chickpeas and olives

Or chopped red pepper and cooked sausage for the chickpeas and olives

Or ground beef and onion,  and pepper jack cheese for a Tex-mex flair

Or you can eliminate the cheese to make this vegan. 
Full credit of this recipe goes to Martha Stewart.  I just wanted to share it because it is insanely easy and tastes like it took a lot longer than it did to make. Try it! 
Enjoy!
Ps…. happy birthday to my long-time friend, Laurie! 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🍷🍰😘

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brown sugar chicken 

I told myself I was going to post more.  I take the pictures, I think of what to say, and I never actually do it.  I made this recipe at the beginning of last month. While scrolling through photos, I came across these and decided to share.  This is perhaps the easiest chicken dish I’ve ever made. This simple dish has so much flavor.  My husband devoured it and I wish I had made more…

Brown sugar Chicken

Serves 2

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 shallot, peeled and sliced 

2-3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Salt and pepper 

Pine nuts for garnish ( optional)   

Start by seaoning chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

In a cast iron pan, heat the coconut  oil over medium heat 

  
    Sauté on each side for about 5 minutes.  

  
 

Add shallots and let cook for a few minutes.
  

Add butter and brown sugar;  stir together, turn heat to low and cover. 

  

Cook for 5- 20 minutes ( depending on thickness of chicken) internal temperature should be 165. 
  
Serve chicken with the sauce and pine nut garnish ( if using) 

It’s crazy how much flavor this dish ☺️
my neice had asked me awhile ago to share some simple recipes with great flavor.  I think this fits the bill perfectly!  
enjoy 😎

low fat creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto

friends, I have to tell you… I absolutely love  soup.  I could seriously eat it 365 days of the year. 

I woke up in a healthy cooking mood this am.  I headed to the store unsure of what I was going to make and I saw a beautiful display of carrots and then I knew! I remembered that the  very first dish I made at Johnson &Wales was a carrot soup. So I decided to make my own version! 

vegan creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto 

 

( makes 2 servings, it can easily be doubled) 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

3 carrots

1 small fingering potato 

1 garlic clove 

A few gratings of fresh ginger  

1 tsp turmeric root 

2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth 

1 cup light coconut milk 

Sea salt and pepper 

In a Dutch oven, melt coconut oil.  Peel carrots reserving peels for Stock ( I keep empty freezer bags in my freezer and add to it daily. When they are full I’ll make either a veggie stock or bone broth, depending on what I have in hand ) 

Roughly chop carrots and potato ( no need to peel the potato 😉)

Add to coconut oil and sauté.   Stir a little bit, but not too much, you want the sugars in the carrots to get a little carmalazation ( color=flavor) 

  

When you can see color on the carrots, crush garlic and add, stir once then immediately add 1 cup broth.

Grate the ginger into the soup ( my good friend, Cindy told me that if you keep your ginger in the freezer it’s easier to grate and won’t go bad —-genius! —) 

Add turmeric, salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer until veggies are tender.

 

   Let cool then add to blender ( alternatively you could us an immersion blender, but I find my blender results in a silkier soup) 

Add another cup of broth and blend until smooth. 

Return mixture to pan and stir in 1 cup coconut milk

  

Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust accordingly .  If soup is too thick, add a bit more broth to make it to your liking. 

lemon-parsley pesto 

1 handful fresh parsley

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 garlic clove

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil 

Sea salt and pepper 

Blend well in a tabletop blender 

  

  

To serve, swirl the pesto atop the soup and garnish with slivered almonds ( pepitas would have been my choice here, but since I had almonds, they won!) 

  

I’m quite sure this soup will be just as tasty cold as it was hot….  I’ll check back in 😎

parmesean-crusted chicken

howdy, friends.  I’m a little sad today. 

Remember last week when I shared These pics?

Well, Mother Nature seemed a bit angry last night 

  

 My veggie garden 😢. With tomatoes I started from seed indoors 3 moths ago  

 My new perennial garden 

 

I have 15 hydrangea that look like this 😢

I’ll spare you the rest of the details. 

My good friend over Celia over at River Cat Chili know a thing or two about gardening and she has assured me that although my plants look like poopsticks, that many of them will rally 🙏🏻🙏🏻

In the meantime, to make me feel better, I’m going to share with you a simple Chicken dish that is very easy and full of flavor

parmesean -crusted chicken ( not to be confused with my chicken parmesean recipe ) 

  

Chicken breasts

Mayonnaise ( I always use Hellman’s) 

Grated Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and pepper 

Lemon slices for garnish 

Preheat oven to 359 degrees

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper 

Using a brush ( or your hands) spread mayo on both sides of chicken 

  

Roll in parm

  

Place in a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes until internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees. 

Remove from pan and let rest for 5 minutes. 

Yeah… It’s that easy.  And uber tasty 😁

I like to squeeze a little bit of lemon juice and serve on greens ( that used to live in my garden 😓😓😓)

  

  

And a little side of sweet potatoes 😎

Enjoy, my friends! 

Oxox

one pot roast chicken with vermouth sauce 

hiya friends! 

I’ve been roasting chickens for what feels like my whole life…..  It’s such a homey meal and I’m positively addicted to Making bone broth with the leftover bones.

But the mess after roasting a chicken. Oiy. Vey. The cleanup was never something that I look forward to. 

For about the last year, I’ve been roasting a tad differently, and it’s worked great for me, cleanup is almost nothing, and well, it’s just awesome 

ONE POT ROAST CHICKEN WITH VERMOUTH SAUCE 

1- 4-5 pound chicken, giblets removed

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

2 carrots ( no need to peel) rough chop 

1 celery stock, rough chopped ( I didn’t use in this recipe, but I usually do ) 

Sea salt and pepper 

Flour ( I like brown rice flour ) 

1/2 cup dry vermouth 

1/4-1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth 

Meat thermometer ( under 10 at most stores) 

**Cast iron skillet 

Start by preheating over to 425 degrees.   

Salt and pepper both inside and outside of chicken 

Place all veggies in cast iron skillet 

  I’ve thrown in a few over ripe tomatoes here….  Not necessary, but added another layer of flavor. 

That’s the fun part of this recipe.. Use what you have, make it your own.   You can add fennel bulb, parsnips, lemon, Potatoes..  Herbs..  Have fun with it! 

Place seasoned chicken on top of chopped veggies, strategically placing so that there is a little bit of space underneath 

  

Place in preheated oven and roast for about 20 minutes, until crust looks brown and crispy.   Turn temp down to 325 and continue to roast until thermometer inserted in deepest part of thigh ( without touching the bone ) reads 165. ..  

( juices Should run clear, not pink,from where you insert thermometer) 

Using potholders, remove pan from oven.  

 

* here’s a napkin for you * 😉 

Let rest for a few minutes, then carefully transfer chicken to cutting board, allowing it to rest longer. 

Making the sauce…….  

Using a slotted spoon, remove veggies and set aside. 

Drain all but about 1-2 tablespoons of accumulated fat. Add flour and using a fork or whisk,  mix flour and fat together until it looks crumbly.  Stir mixture continuously for about a minute, 

Turn heat off, add vermouth slowly mixing the whole time, then turn heat back on to medium, and allow to thicken. Add broth a little bit at a time, until desired thickeness. 

  

(Ps… You are  Cleaning the pan as you go!) 

You can serve the sauce like this, but for a smoother sauce, strain through a fine-mesh strainer, using a spatula to get out every last bit . 

  

Cut the chicken breast off each side In one pieces, then slice vertically.   Remove wings and legs. 

Serve with sauce and veggies! 

Finished photo here

Simply rinse your cast iron skillet under warm water, using a brush to remove any last bits, wipe down with a pair towel and brush with a little bit of oil.   

Cleanup done! 

***. Cast iron skillets…  

Ove my years I have used many different kinds of cookware,   In my opinion, there is none superior to the same thing our grandparents used, cast iron. 

They are inexpensive, ( under 20 at your local hardware store) 

They do need to be seasoned, but this is easy and once you do it properly, you should rarely have to do it again 

You can also find them at yard sales ( I would love to have know this magic earlier, because I would have treasured a cast iron skillet from either mine or my husbands’ grandparents ) 

Don’t let rust on a pan at a sale  scare you! You can easily scrub it off, and re season.  A cast iron skillet should last forever! 

Never ever, ever use soap on the skillet.  This is so important . 

Seriously….  This might be the best 20 bucks you’ll spend in your kitchen! 

Save all of your bones and scraps… Next up.. Fail-proof stock! 

healthy broth bowls

Hi friends! I’m here to share a quick, easy and oh so convenient recipe with ya’ll.

I’m seeing more and more broth bowls these days. Basically, it’s a flavorful broth with other ingredients added, such as pretty much anything.

Bone broth in particular ( stock made with a base of bones) is actually really good for you! The collagen extracted from the marrow of a properly made stock is good for your skin, your hair, nails, joints.. The list goes on and on.

I saw a restaurant advertising their new bowls the other day and decided to take a crack at it myself. 

( links to beef and chicken stock recipes below ) 

I usually have chicken stock in the freezer, so I defrosted and went at it

I started by layering ( in a ball jar )

2 scallions, chopped
1/4 cup baby spinach, chopped
2 lemon slices ( I love me some acid)
1/4 cup kelp noodles ( don’t be afraid… I’ll tell you more in a second )
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms ( I’m not crazy about raw mushrooms, so I sautéed mine in a bit of coconut oil. It’s your bowl, do what you want!
Splash of shiracha sauce ( omit if you don’t like heat )

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Simply layer the ingredients in a ball jar.

Add hot stock and stir. You can feel your body getting healthier with every nourishing bite!

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Have fun with this… You can add peas, sprouts, noodles, beef, chicken, tofu… Whatever you want. If you put the broth in a separate jar, and close both with a lid, they are great for on the go.. Just heat broth and pour over!

They are also uber easy to prep a whole bunch at the beginning of the week!

Now.., about those kelp noodles.. Don’t be scared. A friend of mine ( hi Suzette! ) ordered these at a restaurant a few months back. Reluctantly, I tried them

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They actually have no flavor.. Just texture. Why add them you ask? Because a full cup of these are only 15 calories!

I contacted the restaurant to get the exact brand and found them on amazon. I’m trying to add the link but WordPress is being poopie… The brand I like is Sea Tangle.

While they are made of kelp, which is also healthy ( I take daily supplements). The outer part is stripped in these noodles, so the nutrition is not abundant. But if you are looking for a super low calorie ( free on ww) noodle, this is it.

If you just don’t want to go down this road ( although I do encourage you to try ) you could sub rice noodles, just prepare them first… You could added cooked pasta, rice… Whatever you want!

I haven’t made beef stock since culinary school, but I bought some bones today and will be making tomorrow .

I just finished my last prepped jar as I’m typing this, and I’m looking forward to trying a different spin on them this week… Red pepper, beef and onion, perhaps? Mushroom, beef with a splash of red wine for the beef burgundy flavor?

I’ll let you know what I chose.

If you try these, let me know what you think!

And if you want me to show you how to make chicken stock… I’m happy to share that as well!

Ciao, friends!

Basic beef stock recipe

Chicken stock recipe

gnocchi in a lemon-ricotta cream sauce with prosciutto and spring peas

so… Did I grab your attention?

I posted a picture on my personal Facebook page the other day promising the recipe to my friends.

Since ya’ll are my friends, I’m sharing with you too!

This all started after a disappointing gnocchi dish a few weeks ago while out celebrating a friends’ birthday.

Also responsible is me going to trader joes while very hungry. BIG mistake!

But this recipe came as a result of the trip, so everyone wins!

Trust me… You want to run out and get the ingredients today. This is amazeballs!

1 package gnocchi ( you can find it at most grocery stores near the dried
pasta)

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup ricotta cheese **
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 cup fresh PEAS ( Tjs has a good sized bag of shelled peas for 4 bucks… If you can’t find fresh, use frozen petite peas)
2 – 3 slices Parma prosciutto
Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley to garnish

(This whole meal can be made in 15 minutes )

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile, In a skillet, over medium heat melt butter and olive oil ; add shallots and reduce to low. Season with salt and pepper. After about 5 minutes (shallots so start to wilt) add wine, stir to pic up any loose bits in the pan and simmer until liquid is decreased by half. Turn off heat.

When the water is boiling, add gnocchi. Stir. They should cook within 3-5 minutes. Test one. If it’s tender, add the peas and let cook 1 minute. carefully remove about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid and reserve.

Drain gnocchi and peas and set aside.

Tear up prosciutto and add to now empty stockpot with a tiny bit of olive oil. They should start to crisp up.

Add ricotta directly to procuitto as well as the lemon zest and juice. Return gnocchi and peas back to the pot as well as the sautéed shallots and any remaining juice . Cover for 1 minute so that the ricotta warms up, then stir, adding reserved cooking liquid a little bit at a time until nice and creamy ( you may not need all of the liquid)

Season with salt and pepper

Serve in a large bowl and garnish with Parmesan and parsley.

Enjoy!

***. There are varying degrees of quality when it comes to ricotta

In a recipe such as this, it’s important to use a high quality cheese.
Most ricotta in the grocery store by the pre-packaged cheese are full of things that make it the consistency of jello. Yuck.

Many stores now offer fresh ricotta in the gourmet cheese section. It’s more expensive, but worth every penny.

You could attempt to make it yourself as I did HERE
It’s easy and fun, I promise!

Or, if you are lucky enough to live by a trader joes, they carry a fabulous… Almost as good as homemade whole milk ricotta for under 4 bucks! I should take stock in this cheese. I could easily live on it for the rest of my life!

Ciao! Go make this!

IMG_3436-3.JPGRelated recipes

Sweet pea salad with goat cheese

a perfect week night meal

hi friends.

how have you been?  tough week for me, but I’m rallying thanks to some awesome family & friends 🙂

 

Ya wants a recipe? cool beans… I have one for you 😉

 

A few weeks ago I posted THIS quiche recipe. And truly, it’s awesome. It’s decadent. It’s worthy of my Easter table.

 

Let’s face it .. ANYTHING with pie crust is worthy. Yes? yes.

Which is why the recipe that I have to share with you tonight ( although still worthy of my Easter table) is just a little bit  easier to fit into a week night dinner line-up…  there is no crust 😉 Really? Really.

 

this recipe is thanks to my mother-in- law. She shared this with me when we were first married, and 10,000 years later, I still make it.

 

MANY years ago( like 165) when Scott and I were first married we had almost no money. He was in school still and I was a hairdresser and I picked up a shift or two waitressing when I could. Our grocery money was whatever I had earned in tips that week.. good or bad.. It’s what we lived with. Most weeks our budget ( for the 3 of us) was in the $30 range.

 

Ramen was good…. Boxed Mac & cheese was good. store brand spaghetti and jarred sauce were our friends.

I remember once, we bought a huge jug of peach wine. That just lasted us almost a year… ( who WERE we?) oh yeah… young and poor 😉

 

Funny thing is, the jug of wine came in a box  and I still havet that box… Scott’s Dungeons and Dragons stuff is still in there.

 

You think I’m kidding?

I could make this up if I tried.

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I did not use pepperoni in this quiche… I used broccoli & red pepper… and garlic gold in place of garlic salt

 

 

a sprinkle of salt and pepper 🙂

 

 

 

 

pour mixture, then top with a bit of extra cheese

 

cheese is good. I called it.

 

 

I. KNOW!  RIGHT???  yum!!!!

 

so there ya have it folks…. inexpensive, quick and easy….

 

as the kids got older, I found myself throughout the week chopping up extra veggies each night ans saving them so that whatever night I made the quiche, I would pull out all of the veggies & they could ‘ make their own’ pie.

 

 

one last note.. since I brought up the D& D stuff I have to share that he actually took me on a date once to play D&D.

 

who was  I??

 

much love, friends…

 

oh one last thing.. if you follow me on Fb then you already know that Celia is the winner of the dryer balls.   I’m loving rafflecopter.  IT keeps track of all entries and is completely auto mated when it picks a winner….  That will make it easier for me to give ya’ll more stuff 🙂

 

 

xoxooxox

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