Monday, May 23, 2011

Pasta Salad

Every time I make this pasta salad it comes out a little really just depends on what I'm in the mood for mostly....I have been having this weird craving for super fresh, sweet veggies....I say its weird because I'm really a carnivore...I mean CARNIVORE (lols)....but I have been totally craving veggies lately.

This pasta salad is always a hit at parties, and sooo easy to make! I usually use penne or rotini, this time I used Trottole. I really liked this shape, it was really good at catching the dressing.  This recipe is pretty simple. Basically boil the pasta, add the veggies, and other stuff, add the dressing and mix.
For this pasta salad I used some fresh mozzarella that I added a little salt and pepper and balsamic vinegar to, black and green olives, cucumbers, red peppers, and green peppers. For the dressing, I usually use some sort of Italian dressing--usually the Kraft Italian, this time I used the Kraft Roasted Red Pepper Italian dressing. Put it all in a bowl and mixed it well. You dont want too much dressing, so start with about 1/4 of the bottle and keep adding a little more as you should be just enough to coat the pasta and veggies.

Alternatives: Sometimes I get a 1lb slab of ham, or turkey, or salami (get the deli to cut it in one big slice, rather than thing slices) and I cut it into chunks and throw it in the salad. Give this recipe a try, let me know what you think, and as always stay consumed!

After I was done, put it away in the fridge, then realized i forgot the tomatoes :P

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Pasta Risotto

This week's recipe comes from another one of my fav blogs. Dorie Greenspan calls this dish a pasta risotto, but even she admits that this isn't really a risotto--no need to stand at the stove for 20+ minutes stirring, stirring, stirring to achieve this distinctive "creaminess" of risotto. I of course, played with the recipe a little....added some green veggies (asparagus and spinach in this case since I had it left over from the pasta on Monday night).

As with most of the recipes for One Pot Wednesday, this is another easy one--pretty much stir fry some chopped onions, add broth, add pasta, boil, add cream and cheese, eat :) .....As I said before, this isn't really a risotto, its more of a cheesey pasta. In addition to the addition of the veggies, I replaced the marscapone cheese with an equal amount of creme fraiche that I already had (you can also replace it with 1/2 cream cheese + 1/2 whipping cream).....I also used Ditalani pasta, cuz they had them at the store, but any small pasta will do....

The variations of this are endless: bacon and leeks, mushrooms, chicken, many will seem like new each time you try enjoy and stay consumed!

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3¾ cups chicken broth (or 3¾ cups water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes)
1 1/3 cups tubetti (my preference) or elbow macaroni (traditional)
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
3½ tablespoons mascarpone

  1. Melt butter in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Toss in onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3.  Pour in chicken broth or water and bring to a boil; if you're using bouillon cubes, drop them in now and stir to dissolve. 
  4. Add pasta, stir it around, and let it cook at a steady simmer until it has absorbed almost all the broth, 20 to 25 minutes. (There should be just ¼ inch or less of liquid bubbling at the bottom of the pan.)
  5. Pour in cream and allow it to simmer for about 3 minutes, until it thickens slightly. 
  6. Stir in Parmesan and mascarpone, cook for 1 minute, and taste for salt and pepper (it should be generously peppered). 
  7. Pull the pan from the heat, cover, and let rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I Think its Spring!

I have been having a weird craving for asparagus, green leafy veggies, and peas....I think its mostly because the weather here has been so wacky....warm one day, c-c-c-cold the next and I am soooo ready for it to be warm and sunny so I thought this recipe might help spring to come quicker :)

This easy, delicious recipe is inspired by 101 cookbooks. This is my ABSOLUTE ALL TIME favorite cooking/food blog.....her recipes are always delicious and she focuses on natural, whole foods so its even healthier for you :)

This one was quick and easy to do...I think it took me 5 minutes to prep and about 5 minute to cook it....and it came out delicious and so "fresh" tasting. Instead of using pea shoots I used spinach because that was what was available at the store....I also added some peas. I had that leftover chives from last week's salmon sandwich so i added it to the eggs. I didn't add the avocado on top because its apparently now too expensive for me to buy avocado (well it was $2.49 for ONE avocado...which is ridiculous!!). I think next week I am going to go to the Chinese grocery store where fresh veggies are like 1/3 of the price as the regular American grocery stores and try this again with some rapini or pea shoots and DEFINITELY w/ some the meantime....this was pretty delicious.....give it a try and stay consumed!


8 ounces / 225 g cooked, leftover pasta
2 eggs
fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

3 big handfuls of sliced asparagus, and/or pea shoots, or tiny broccoli trees, or shredded greens - anything quick cooking and fresh

chopped avocado
chopped herbs

  1. Use your fingers to fluff up the leftover pasta a bit, so its not clumpy or stuck together. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl crack the eggs and beat them really well with a pinch of salt.
  3. In a big skillet melt the oil and butter over medium high heat. 
  4. If you're using a vegetable that might take longer to cook than others, add those to the pan - for example, asparagus or broccoli. 
  5. Add a couple pinches of salt, stir, cover, and cook for a couple minutes. Until the vegetables are bright, and just cooked. 
  6. Now stir in anything that just needs a quick flash of cooking - in this case pea greens, but chopped greens would go in at this point if you're using those. 
  7. Stir, and cook just until tender - a minute or so. 
  8. Pull about 1/3 of the vegetables out of the pan and set them aside.
  9. Now, add the pasta to the skillet, and toss well. 
  10. Once the pasta is hot, turn down the heat, wait a moment, then quickly stir in the eggs. 
  11. Stir well, then cover the pan, remove from heat, and let everything sit for a minute. 
  12. Uncover, give everything another toss, the egg should be cooked through. 
  13. Taste, and adjust the seasoning before serving. 
  14. Top with the reserved vegetables, and some chopped avocado.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

One Pot Wednesday: Coconut Chicken Casserole

Sorry for missing Wednesday last week.....I am trying really hard to post at least one recipe a week....but alas! Life gets in the way some times....This week I have an easy thai coconut chicken casserole. Its delicious and super easy--rich, chicken, and veggies all get cooked in one pot!

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 Chicken legs (I ended up using boneless skinless chicken breasts ~3 lbs)
1 can light coconut milk
1.5 cups of chicken stock
1-2 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste (depends on how spicy you want it)
1 cup Jasmine rice
2 red bell peppers (cut into 1 in pieces)
8 oz of fresh green beans

  1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. 
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Working in two batches, cook chicken until browned, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate (chicken will cook more in step 2).
  3. To pot, add coconut milk, broth, 1/2 cup water, and curry paste; bring to a boil, and stir in rice. 
  4. Add chicken (with any juices), arranging pieces in a single layer. 
  5. Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, without stirring, until rice is almost tender, 15 minutes.
  6. Scatter bell peppers and green beans on top of chicken mixture; cover, and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender, 8 to 10 minutes. 
Easy and Delicious! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Heaven on a Slice of Toast....

Actually....I think the toast is part of the heaven.....maybe I need a new title for this post...LOLS. Since I saw this recipe on the Bon Appetit site 3 weeks ago, I have been thinking about making just looked so amazing and delicious...and sure did live up to expectations!

The toast was crunchy and I brushed it with the Lime Olive Oil I bought in Pittsburgh and popped it in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes.  The oil gave it a delicious delicate lime flavor (without the tartness) and aroma.

I "cheated" a little and I bought the guacamole from Trader Joes and it was delicious!!

The eggs were buttery and creamy...I didnt cook them quite all the way so they are a little tiny bit runny, but really good.

The salmon adds that smoky savory flavor to the sandwich....This is definitely one of the best sandwiches I have had in a looooong time!

The eggs and guacamole and toast were soooo good by iteself, I think next time I might do it without the smoked salmon (since smoked salmon is a little bit expensive). Give this a try and stay consumed! :)


3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, divided
2 Tbsp. crème fraîche (optional, but it really does add to the creaminess of the eggs)
6 large eggs
2 Tbsp. (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 large or 8 small slices sourdough, whole wheat, or pumpernickel bread, toasted
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 oz. thinly sliced smoked salmon

  1. Whisk 2 Tbsp. chives, crème fraîche (if using), and eggs in a large bowl. 
  2. Melt butter in a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. 
  3. Add egg mixture and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. Cook, occasionally scraping bottom of skillet with a heatproof spatula to form large, soft curds, until just barely set, 3-4 minutes. Set aside.
  5. Place 2 slices toast on each plate. 
  6. Put avocado into a bowl, mash with a fork, and season with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 
  7. Spread mashed avocado over each slice of toast. 
  8. Spoon eggs over avocado. 
  9. Drape salmon slices over eggs
  10. Garnish with remaining 1 Tbsp. chives, and season to taste with pepper.