Category Archives: Recipes

mushroom ravioli & recipe fails

Just when I start to think that someday I’ll be a good enough cook to be a personal chef in LA, I have a huge recipe failure and I’m swiftly brought back to my Minneapolis (and winter) reality.

(source)

Take the sun-dried tomato & mushroom alfredo I made recently. It wasn’t horrible, but it made me want to add mushroom ravioli to the menu the next week just so I could redeem myself. I thought I was being creative and heath conscious as well as finally getting around to using the Hoosier Mushrooms from Lori and the Buitoni Ravioli I received as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program. It was all going perfect in my mind – a nutritionist-ed alfredo sauce made with ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes and dried mushrooms over mushroom ravioli…

But when I tasted the sauce it needed something. So we added some 1/2 & 1/2, a few more spices and it tasted ok. I should have just given up then. Nixing the whole sauce idea all together would have been a good decision. But it was a decision I didn’t make and so mushroom ravioli with sun-dried tomato & mushroom alfredo it was.

When I tried the ravioli plain, I realized that it didn’t need ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes or more mushrooms. It would have been perfect with a drizzle of olive oil and some fresh parmesan cheese.

So I picked up some more Wild Mushroom Agnolotti, this time knowing it needed nothing but a sprinkling of cheese. And it was delicious with just that.

Sigh. I guess part of being a good cook is knowing when to leave good things alone – something I’ll be working on.

Advertisements

12 Comments

Filed under cheese, eating experiment, mastering the art of, pasta, product review, Recipes, Uncategorized

beef & vegetable noodle stir-fry

We often hear that eating healthy, fresh foods is too expensive and that it’s much cheaper and easier to pick up fast food on the way home then to make a meal at home.

One of my goals is to dispel this myth. Eating healthy doesn’t mean slaving away at the stove or breaking the bank. What it does take is some planning ahead, a little creativity and a love for great food.

The next time I make a stir-fry I’ll be reviewing a wok set sent to me by CSN Stores. CSN Stores has everything from dishes to dining room tables. Look for the review and a new stir-fry recipe coming soon!

Here is a meal that is well-balanced, comes together quickly, tastes great and costs $10.20 for four servings! ($2.55/person)

Even better? The pasta and vegetables were organic and the beef passes the Whole Foods Meat Quality Standards.

Money-Saving Tip: Add frozen veggies to your grocery list! They won’t go bad, they are often cheaper and have just as many nutrients as fresh ones!

Beef & Vegetable Noodle Stir-Fry – 4 servings

  • 4 oz whole-grain spaghetti
  • 16 oz bag of frozen Chinese Stir Fry Vegetables
  • 8 oz skirt steak
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sriracha (if desired)

Prepare the pasta as directed.

Heat large pan over medium heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add steak to pan and season with salt & pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.

Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Mix together soy sauce, sesame oil and sriracha.

Add the frozen vegetables to pan and saute for about 6 minutes, until cooked through.

Turn off heat and add pasta and sauce to pan. Toss to combine. Slice steak into thin slices and serve over pasta.


10 Comments

Filed under great meals, pasta, protein, Recipes, sriracha, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

4th of July Menu

Still need some menu ideas for 4th of July celebrations? Look no further! I’ve rounded up some of my favorite recipes along with others from the blog world!

Appetizers:

Guacamole with Basil & Shallots

Roasted Vegetable Cheese Spread

Cheese Filled Endeive Leaves from MommyRD

Main:

Chicken Satay with Coconut Peanut Sauce

Grilled Pizzas from Fake Food Free

Prosciutto Chihuahua Panini from Eating for England

Sides:

Artichoke Ravioli Pasta Salad

Greek Potato Salad

Arugula & Apple Salad

Lynn’s Cabbage Slaw with Mango from The Actors Diet

Drinks:

White Wine Mojito

Pomegranate Champagne – add some blueberries for the 4th!

Desserts:

Strawberry & Mascarpone-filled Cupcakes

Banana & Blueberry Popsicles – perfect for little ones – from Weekly Bite

What’s on your weekend menu? If you have some good recipes,  please share below with a link!  Have a safe & happy 4th!

7 Comments

Filed under antioxidants, appetizers, blog friends, cheese, cocktails, dessert, entertaining, fruit, great meals, in season, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains, wine

salmon burgers with greek salsa

I’ve decided that salmon burgers are my new freezer staple. I love the idea of having salmon once a week and having burgers in the freezer makes this so attainable. I can take them out as needed, they are ready in minutes and obviously very tasty.

They can be dressed up or dressed down, depending on the occasion. Greek salsa is on my “dressed up” side and is the perfect topping for the perfect burger. Try my orzo salad to round out the meal!

Greek Salsa – for 2 salmon burgers

  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp red onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp feta cheese crumbles
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • pepper

Combine all ingredients in small bowl and toss together. Set aside and split mixture between burgers.



9 Comments

Filed under cheese, pasta, Recipes, salad, vegetables, whole foods

blue cheese & olive pasta salad

My Mother is the Queen of pasta salads. Literally. She has enough pasta salads in her arsenal to get through the whole summer without repeats. Many of them are worth repeating however, so she’ll find a way to squeeze them in.

As a child, I remember being fond of some, like chicken curry pasta salad, and not so fond of others, presumably this one as I hated both blue cheese and olives at that young stage of life. Now I’ll take the blue cheese & olive combo anyway – fried, in a salad, a martini or preferably all three at the same time. 🙂

I’m finally starting to understand the great meal that is the pasta salad. Easy to throw together, tastes even better the next day and no oven required. Just thinking about pasta salads reminds me of summer dinners as a kid, eating on the porch. While I rarely eat on my balcony these days, I may just serve up a bowl of this and head out to the sun for a summer lunch worth dreaming about.

Blue Cheese & Olive Pasta Salad – 6-8 servings

  • 2 cups farfalle pasta (I used Barilla PLUS)
  • 6 oz can of black olives, halved
  • 2 cups green grapes, halved
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 oz blue cheese crumbled
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
  • juice of one lemon
  • salt & pepper

Cook pasta as directed. Set aside in large bowl and let cool.

Mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper until smooth in small bowl. When pasta is cool, add other ingredients and dressing to bowl. Toss to combine.

Refrigerate overnight if possible. Serve cool or at room temperature.

14 Comments

Filed under cheese, in season, olives, pasta, Recipes, Uncategorized, whole foods, whole grains

grilled vegetable crostini

A recipe for a grilled vegetable flat bread caught my eye while paging through Martha’s Everyday Food and like most recipes that catch my eye, I added it to the never-ending “list.”  But with my recent grocery bill woe’s and a loaf of bread already in the cart I decided that this would be a situation where a carb is a carb and it would be just as good on bread as it would a tortilla. I’ll end up with the tortilla version eventually because it just looks too delicious to pass up, but this was just as good on some chewy/crunchy bread and also made a great salad topping the following day.

The concept, like most of my recipes, is a simple one: grill a bunch of vegetables, top some great, grainy bread with them and finish with some feta crumbles if desired. Or, if you’ve already got some leftover grilled vegetables you know just how to use them!

Grilled Vegetable Crostini

  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 Portabella mushroom caps
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 small head of radicchio
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • loaf of bread

Cut up vegetables in pieces to grill. Spritz with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables in batches, flipping over after a few minutes one one side and removing after a few minutes on the other side, until slightly charred. Set aside to cool and then chop up vegetables in about 1 inch pieces.

Slice bread and spritz with olive oil. Grill bread if desired. Top bread with vegetable mixture and sprinkle with feta cheese.

7 Comments

Filed under appetizers, cheese, entertaining, in season, Recipes, vegetables, whole foods, whole grains

kogi inspiration

This sandwich was inspired by the Midnight Torta, a popular late-night sandwich from the Kogi Truck in LA.  Around 50,000 people follow the Korean BBQ tweets and show up all over LA for a chance at some food from the Kogi Truck. I have yet to experience the Kogi Truck so when I came across a recipe, I knew I would have to give it a try. And try it that day – there was no waiting with this recipe.

There were a few problems I had with this recipe however, the main one being that it calls for pork belly. I’ve searched high and low for this pork delicacy but have yet to have any luck finding it.  I even asked a local farmer if he had any, but alas, once again I was denied. “I just can’t keep up with the bacon,” he replied to my plea. Screw the bacon slices, I want a whole big slab of it! I’ve been looking for pork belly ever since a dinner in Denver but I’m not so sure that I’ll ever be able to find it. (If you know how to track some down, please fill me in!)

Originally, I was going to sub the pork belly with some bacon, which seems like the logical replacement, but when at the store I decided on a different direction. My pork of choice? Prosciutto. Cheese of choice? Graskaas. (Graskaas is a special spring cheese that is made from the first milking after the cows run and jump out of the barn to the pastures after the long winter. Apparently, cows, much like humans get overly excited for spring. Their happiness, in turn, produces an incredibly creamy, smooth and once-a-year cheese.)

This sandwich, while it certainly required napkins, had a variety of flavors, was filling, and pretty easy to throw together for a casual summer dinner. I’m starting to think that I may be able to survive without that pork belly after all.

Kogi Inspiration – 2 servings adapted from Food & Wine

  • 1 demi french baguette (the small one)
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices Graskaas Cheese
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 2 red onion slices
  • 2-4 green onions
  • 2 jalapeños

Grill onions and jalapeños until soft and lightly charred. Thinly slice green onions and jalapeños. Set aside.

Pre-heat broiler.

Heat large pan and spray with cooking spray. When hot add prosciutto and cook until crisp. Set aside. Add spinach to pan until just wilted, about 2 minutes, and set aside. Crack eggs into pan and cook until just set, 2-3 minutes.

Cut bread in half and then cut each piece lengthwise. Add slice of cheese to bread and broil until cheese has melted. Spread other side with mayonnaise if desired.

Layer prosciutto, egg and veggies on sandwich. Enjoy!

15 Comments

Filed under cheese, great meals, Recipes, restaurants, Uncategorized, vegetables, whole foods