Friday, June 14, 2013

Simple Spinach Pasta with Tomato and Basil Sauce with Asparagus

This is one of my quick go to dishes. It can be done in 15 minutes and only takes 3 ingredients. I know this particular brand of pasta sauce isn't the healthiest, but the taste of it far outweighs the bad. Anyways, you are eating pasta made out of spinach and that's plenty healthy enough. Humph!

If you want a spicier version of this, Giorgio Baldi makes a great arrabiata sauce. If you never heard of Giorgio Baldi, then OMG you have to check out the restaurant in Santa Monica, CA. BEST ITALIAN FOOD EVER!

SERVINGS: 4 normal people if you use the whole box of pasta

1 Box De Boles Organic Spinach Spaghetti Style Pasta with Artichoke Inulin
1 Jar Giorgio Baldi Tomato and Basil Sauce (Whole Foods, Erewhon)
1 Bunch Asparagus
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper

1. Bring a pot of hot water to boiling and add salt. Break spaghetti over sink in half and put in pot. Cook for 7 minutes or until preferred texture.
2. Fill pan with half an inch of water and put on high heat. Once it starts boiling add asparagus or any other vegetable of your choice and cook until tender. Add salt and pepper.
3. While spaghetti is draining, add red sauce to pot and swirl it around. Then add spaghetti and you are done!

-Cooking veggies in a pan with a little bit of water works just as well as a steamer and its so much easier.
-Don't ever try to fit pasta into a small pot of water, it will turn out sticky and gunky. It's a general rule in cooking that you never want to "crowd" the pan and this goes with pots as well.
-Depending on the size the asparagus you most likely have to cut the bottoms off or peel them if they are really thick.

Vegetarian Lentil Burgers with Tropical Fruit Salsa

This one takes a little longer than what I'm used to, but it's worth it (about 2 hours).

SERVINGS: 4 normal people, 6 small children.

1 Can Lentils
1 Cup Onion Chopped
1/4 Cup Carrot Grated
2 tsp garlic minced (tsp=teaspoon)
2 TB tomato paste (TB=tablespoon, comes in a can)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
3/4 Cup Cooked Bulgur
1/2 Cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Egg Whites
1 Egg
Coconut Oil (or any high heat oil)
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper

1/4 Cup Pineapple Chopped
1/4 Cup Mango Chopped
1/4 Cup Tomatillo Chopped (looks like a green tomato with a leaf covering it)
1/4 Cup Cherry Tomatoes Halved
1 Lime
1 Jalapeño minced

1. Rinse and drain lentils. Put half the lentils in a food processor and process until smooth. Put both in a bowl.
2. Heat pan med-high heat with coconut oil. Add onion and carrot, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato paste and all spices. Add this mixture to lentil bowl. Add bulgur, panko, eggs to bowl and stir. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
3. Put all salsa ingredients in a bowl and squeeze lime juice on top. Put in refrigerator until end of recipe.
4. Heat oil in large pan over med-high heat. Divide the mixture in half and make into patties. Cook 3 minutes on each side and then repeat with other half of mixture. Serve with salsa.

-Take out the ribs and seeds of the jalapeño if you don't like spicy.
-To take the outside skin off the tomatillo, rinse it under hot water. Then peel it back like a banana taking the stem off last.
- Use the grating attachment of the food processor for the carrot. It's like the best thing ever. If you don't have a food processor, just use a cheese grater, but please be careful.
-I cook the bulgur in vegetable broth and add salt and pepper. It makes the whole burger taste better.
-In fact, add salt and pepper to everything you put into this dish.
-Add salt to the salsa, the salt actually makes it taste sweeter.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Open Face Vegetarian Quesadilla

This is a pretty quick meal to prepare, about 15 minutes. I chose to make it open face because I was too impatient to wait the extra few minutes to flip the quesadilla.

SERVINGS: 2 Very Hungry People, 5 LA Girls + mini dog

1 Package Udi's Gluten Free Tortillas (Can be found in Freezer Section)
1 Avocado
1 Can Black Beans Drained and Rinsed
1 half Jalapeño Pepper Minced
1 Handful of Fresh Cilantro Chopped
1 Cup Sliced Cremini Mushrooms
1 Cup Baby Spinach
1 Bell Pepper Chopped Ribs and Seeds removed
1 Cup Shredded Almond Cheese
Seal Salt or Kosher Salt
Ground Black Pepper
1 Lime Halved

1. Warm up the tortillas on a pan set at med-high heat and put aside.
2. Heat pan on med-high heat and add 1 TB of EVOO. Add mushrooms, spinach, and bell pepper to pan and cover. Cook until spinach leaves are wilted.
3. Mash up avocado and black beans into a bowl. Mix in jalapeño and cilantro and set aside.
4. Turn on the pan with the tortillas on med-high heat. Add the almond cheese, then avocado mixture, followed by the mushroom mixture on top. Squeeze lime juice on top and you are done!

-When picking an avocado it should have a little give when you lightly squeeze it.
-If you can handle spicy, leave the seeds and ribs in the jalapeño, otherwise take it out.
-To clean mushrooms, just wipe with a damp paper towel. They absorb everything so don't rinse them.
-Roll the lime on the counter with some pressure. This will release the juices.
-Again, get an electric salt and pepper mill! It's a game changer.
-Season each ingredient before or as soon as it hits the pan. It really does make a huge difference.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Healthy Homemade Gluten Free Pizza

Hey Guys! I know it's been a while and I've finally caught the blogging bug again. Going through a financial rough patch right now, so bear with me, as most of my posts will be homemade meals. Hope you will enjoy it! I'm new to writing recipe directions; so if you have any additions or questions, please comment below.

I've recently come to suspect that I may have a gluten intolerance :( so until I can get tested from an allergist, I am trying to stay away from gluten. Oh well, as long as I'm not allergic to bacon, I will live.

SERVINGS: 2 normal people, or 4 LA girls

EVOO (cold pressed seems to taste better)
1 Pack Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust (contains 2 crusts and can be found in freezer section)
1 Can Pizza Sauce (I used Muir Glen Organic Pizza Sauce)
1 Package Mozzarella Almond Cheese Shredded (I've only seen it at Whole Foods and Sprouts)
1 Pealed and Thinly Sliced Zucchini (so it looks like a pepperoni slice)
1 Diced and deseeded Tomato
2 Giant Hand Fulls of Baby Spinach
1 TB Dried Oregano
Sea Salt or Kosher Salt
Crushed Black Pepper

1. Toast the pizza crust on one side in a pan on med-high heat for a few minutes, then set aside.
2. Heat EVOO in a pan on med-high heat. Add all the veggies and season with Salt and black pepper. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
3. Toast the other side of the pizza crust in a pan on med-high heat. While it's in the pan, add the pizza sauce, add some cheese, the veggies, and more cheese. Heat until melted. To speed the process up, cover the pan.

-Always season everything!
-Use more salt than you think you need.
-Taste everything each step of the way.
-If you can afford it, organic is always best.
-Get an electric salt and pepper grinder. It's like going from a PC to a MAC