Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Veggie Pasta

Here is a great pasta recipe using peak summer vegetables which are showcased in a light sauce that only takes 10 minutes to make!  This dish can be served hot, room temp or even cold as a satisfying pasta salad.  The longer this sits the better it tastes!

Serves 4

1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1 cup marinated artichokes, quartered
1 garlic clove, minced
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup black olives, halved
2 cups grapes tomatoes
1 corn on the cob, kernels removed with a knife
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup vegetable broth, water or white wine
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Start by bringing a pot of water to boil.  Heat a non stick pan on medium and add olive oil, let heat until glistening.  Add bell pepper and corn, saute 1 minute then add liquid and cover.  Let cook 2 minutes before adding the red pepper flakes, artichokes, garlic and tomatoes, let simmer 7 minutes covered.

Cook pasta as instructed on the package less 1 minute.  Add pasta to sauce and stir on heat until thoroughly combined, season with salt and pepper, top with parmesan cheese.  Pasta is ready to eat.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lassi

Summer is great because it opens an array of delicious fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorite things to make as a light breakfast or lunch during the warmer months are smoothies but, recently I've ventured into making lassis.  They are ultra refreshing and heartier than you would think because of the yogurt and soy protein powder added.

Here is my recipe for the basic vanilla lassi.

VANILLA LASSI

Serves 1

1/2 cup vanilla or honey greek yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
1 tbsp vegan soy protein (optional)
1 cup crushed ice

Substituting fruit, frozen or fresh, (measure using the same amount as you would ice) is a great way to add variety.  Traditional flavors range from sweet varieties such as mango and papaya to warm spices such as cinnamon and cardamom, and even salty savory varieties using plain yogurt, water, chilies and cumin. Brighten the flavors by adding fresh mint, lime or lemon juice and zest.

Some of my favorites combinations include;

- Strawberry Lemon; juice of half a lemon & 1/2 cup strawberries
- Mint Mango; 1 tbsp fresh mint & 1 mango
- Blackberry Pomegranate; 1/2 cup blackberries & 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- Coconut Lime; lime juice for orange juice and coconut milk, add 1 tbsp grated coconut

Thursday, June 16, 2011

We have tomatoes!


About a month ago, we discovered a tomato plant intertwined with bush in our front yard.  As of today, we have tons of grape tomatoes, green and red!  Take a look at our most recent bounty!


Since there are so many I have been making tomato salads almost daily.  Here are some of the recipes I have come up with.

ROASTED TOMATO PANZANELLA - Serves 2
1 cup grape tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, leave skins on
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1/2 cup marinated artichokes  
fresh mozzarella, diced, cubed, sliced, whatever you prefer
2 cups cubed crusty bread
3 tbsp olive oil or marinade from artichokes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a roasting pan; toss garlic gloves with olive oil, wrap with aluminum foil and roast for 20 minutes.  Add tomatoes, bell pepper and bread cubes; toss with remaining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Roast for another 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are almost completely soft.  


Once cooked, remove vegetables and bread cubes from roasting pan and set aside.  Mash garlic cloves and mix in with juices.  Toss with vegetables, bread and mozzarella.


This next recipe I make often because it is great to add to homemade gift baskets, have on hand for appetizers and even just for snacking. This recipe eliminates a lot of the unnecessary sodium you find in the jarred brands.


ITALIAN MARINATED VEGETABLES
1/2 pound fresh green beans, halved
half of a head of cauliflower, broken down into florets
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
1/2 pound brussel sprouts, first layer of leaves removed, halved
1 can artichoke hearts, quartered
1/4 cup green or kalamata olives, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup vinaigrette, recipe follows

                VINAIGRETTE

                1 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil

                ½ cup balsamic or red wine vinegar

                1 garlic clove minced or ½ tsp garlic powder
                ½ shallot minced or ½ tsp onion powder
                juice and zest from 1 lemon
                salt and pepper to taste     

Bring a stock pot of water to boil; blanch the green beans, cauliflower and brussel sprouts 3 minutes, and the carrots 2 minutes.  Drain and rinse each blanched vegetable with cold water at least two times to stop the cooking process and cool. 

Next, combine blanched vegetables, olives, artichokes, garbanzo beans and garlic with vinaigrette.  Store in an air tight container or sterilized mason jars at least 24 hours before serving.