New Favorite

Spring Bliss Bowls

Spring Bliss Bowls are so yummy that I made it twice within two weeks. There were so many ‘wows’ in this recipe. Wow, I have NEVER used pesto on rice…it’s amazing! Wow, I’ve NEVER roasted radishes…they are delicious! I roasted all vegetables on the same cookie sheet and it worked fine. You can also add protein such as sliced chicken breast if you like. If you don’t like the vegetables in the recipe, change it up. Any combination of vegetables will be great. Go for it!

SPRING BLISS BOWLS

INGREDIENTS:

serves 4

1 cup short grain brown rice
extra virgin olive oil
seasoned salt and pepper
10oz. bag cauliflower florets, trimmed into similar sized florets
3 small golden beets, trimmed, peeled and chopped
1 bunch radishes, trimmed then halved or quartered if large
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed then chopped into 2” lengths
1/3 cup + 1/4 cup prepared basil pesto, divided (recipe recommends Buitoni-I used my homemade pesto)
2 Tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees then line two half sheet pans with foil, spray with nonstick spray, and set aside. (I used one cookie sheet vs. two).
  • Add brown rice plus 1-3/4 cup water, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of seasoned salt to a small saucepan with a tight fitting lid. (Refer to the cooking instructions on your particular bag.) Bring to a boil then place a lid on top, turn heat down to low, and gently simmer for 40 minutes. Taste – if rice is still crunchy, add 2 Tablespoons water then continue to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pot from heat then let sit
    and steam with the lid on for 7 minutes before fluffing and cooling slightly. Once slightly cooled, stir in 1/3 cup pesto.
  • Meanwhile, add cauliflower to a medium-sized bowl then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with seasoned salt and pepper. Spread onto one half of the first sheet pan then oil/season beets in the same bowl and spread onto the other half. Roast for 15 minutes then stir.
  • While the cauliflower and beets are roasting, oil/season the radishes then spread out onto one half of the second sheet pan. Roast for 10 minutes with the beets/cauliflower then stir. Add oiled/seasoned asparagus to the remaining empty half of the second sheet pan then roast with all the other vegetables for 10 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Breakdown of cooking times: Cauliflower/beets: 35 minutes. Radishes: 20 minutes. Asparagus: 10 minutes.
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup pesto to a small dish with chicken or vegetable broth then stir to combine.
  • Scoop pesto rice into four bowls then top each bowl with a quarter of the roasted vegetables. Drizzle with pesto sauce then top with 1 Tablespoon pumpkin seeds, if using, and serve.
  • For Meal Prep: Let all components cool then portion into containers, cover, and refrigerate. Microwave for 1-1:30 minutes or until warm then eat.
  • Notes
    I like to keep each vegetable separated in case they cook quicker or slower than the other vegetables.

Recipe adapted from IowaGirlsEats

New Favorite

OMG Scrambled Eggs…with Pesto, Bacon, Roasted Tomatoes & Peppers

OMG Scrambled Eggs were an experiment, a gamble that paid off.  ‘OMG’ was the first thought that came into my head when I took the first bite. Adding the coincidentally roasted fresh tomatoes and peppers was a fantastic addition.
I also made this recipe combining the tomatoes and peppers into the egg cups and loved them as well.
The recipe could be adapted easily to add more bacon, cheese, pesto or whatever floats your boat. Worth trying!  I may be dreaming of this tonight.

OMG SCRAMBLED EGGS

3 slices bacon, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 bunch swiss chard (or kale) stemmed and chopped
1 dozen eggs, whisked
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons pesto
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
roasted tomatoes and peppers (optional)
  • Sauté the bacon in a non-stick skillet until cooked about half way.
  • Add onions and cook through.  Drain most of the bacon fat off.
  • Add Swiss chard and cook until it wilts.
  • Add the eggs, salt and pepper, and pesto.
  • Stir the eggs often to assure they cook through.
  • Add cheese when eggs are about half way cooked.
Serve with warm roasted tomatoes and peppers.
MUFFIN EGG CUPS: Mix all ingredients together, including the chopped roasted tomatoes and peppers. Grease muffin tins and bake egg cups at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until done in the center and golden brown.
Family · Garden · Home · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Roasted Tomato, Sausage and Pesto Sauce

Fall brings the bounty of tomatoes, basil and much more. Older daughter, Megan, told me about a roasted tomato and pesto sauce she made. I tweaked it a bit to serve my tastes. I love the idea of adding pesto to a rich, red tomato sauce. It was delicious and definitely a new recipe for my collection.

ROASTED TOMATO AND PESTO SAUCE

1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups roasted tomatoes and peppers, cooled and blended (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
Cube of pesto (about 1/3 cup)
26.5 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or blended
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1 pound cooked pasta (I used bow tie pasta) and 1 cup of pasta water
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

  • Core and slice tomatoes. Halve and remove seeds from peppers.
  • Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a heavy cookie sheet (I line with parchment paper).  Drizzle with Avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Roast at 400 degrees until the edges of the vegetables start to char and are cooked through.
  • Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.
  • Cook and drain the sausage. Drain and set aside.
  • Sauté onions in olive oil and when almost cooked through, add the garlic. Continue to salute until garlic is cooked through.
  • Add roasted tomatoes and peppers, pesto, San Marzano tomatoes, water, basil and sausage.
  • Heat thoroughly.
  • Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir.  Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cinnamon Basil Pesto

Cinnamon Basil was a garden experiment that produced more than I expected. Now, what do I do with it?

I found this interesting Cinnamon Basil Pesto recipe and decided to try it in three ways:

  • Simple spread on a wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese (brie, gouda, etc.) and wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese with wafer/cracker and drizzled with honey

This fun experiment ended with the pesto, cheese and honey winning my vote

CINNAMON BASIL DESSERT PESTO

1/3 – 1/2  cup walnut oil
2  cups firmly packed, fresh cinnamon basil leaves
1/2  cup chopped almonds
1/2  cup flaked coconut
1/4  cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (1 oz.)
2   teaspoons raw sugar or packed brown sugar

  • In a food processor or blender combine 1/3 cup of the oil, the basil, almonds, coconut, cheese, and sugar. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary and adding enough remaining oil until of desired consistency.
  • If the pesto is not to be served immediately, divide it into three portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 1-1/3 cups pesto.
Garden · Vegan · Vegetarian

Fresh Garden Tomatoes with Homemade Pesto

Continuing on my lazy days of summer postings, let’s talk about tomatoes. Fresh garden tomatoes cannot be compared in any way to the mushy, tasteless tomatoes at the grocery store. Comparing the two is like comparing a beautiful rose to a dandelion. Wonder why that’s the case? Read this great article from the University of Illinois Extension office.

Unfortunately, I have regular visitors to my garden helping themselves to my tomatoes.  The silly bunny (that isn’t afraid of my Golden or Chihuahua) along with the neighborhood Raccoon are creating havoc with the tomatoes.  I find green tomatoes plucked from the vine laying on the ground.  I find large red tomatoes half eaten on the vine.  Have any of you had the same experience? This is the first time in over 20 years that I’ve had to fight for my own tomatoes!

Racoon

Garden Bunny 020-6x9

IMG_1486
My garden tomatoes violated by the critters!

My tomatoes have been slow to produce this year but I have enjoyed a few fresh tomato salads. This time a juicy sliced tomatoes paired with homemade pesto (basil also from my garden) was the salad du jour.

If you don’t grow your own tomatoes, visit a local Farmer’s Market soon and enjoy the harvest.

English: Photograph of tomatoes on a vegetable...
English: Photograph of tomatoes on a vegetable stall at Borough Market in London, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the pesto recipe, reference my posting, Pesto Schmesto.

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Caprese Pasta…OMG!

Caprese Pasta? With smoked mozzarella? OMG…I had to try this recipe found on Iowa Girl Eats. I rarely eat wheat pasta but this was worth the splurge!

CAPRESE PASTA

Serves 2-3

8 oz. bow tie pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sungold (cherry) tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper
2 Tablespoons pesto (reference Pesto recipe or purchase)
1 cup cubed smoked mozzarella cheese (or mini mozzarella balls)
extra basil leaves for garnish

  • Prepare pesto and set aside. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water until just under al dente then drain and set aside. Place an oven rack to the very top, then preheat broiler.
  • Heat oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add cherry tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, then toss and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add cooked pasta and pesto then toss to combine. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top then place skillet under the broiler until cheese melts. Using a pot holder, remove skillet from oven then sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Slightly adapted from Alexandra Cooks; and Iowa Girl Eats

Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Favorite · New Traditions · Vegetarian

Pesto Schmesto…on Pizza and Caprese Salad

Have I told you I love pesto?  Fresh ingredients and CHEESE…what’s not to like?  My basil did well this year and I’ve enjoyed a few batches of this tasty delight. This year I tried a recipe from Iowa Girl Eats blog.  After all, a recipe originating from a cook in my home state of Iowa gets my attention. I like her recipe because it’s small in proportions but you can double, triple, etc. based on your desired volume.

PESTO SCHMESTO

25-28 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 garlic clove
salt & pepper to salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Combine the basil, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in the food processor.
  • Pulse until finely ground.
  • Slowly stream in the olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Adapted from Pesto by Iowa Girl Eats

PESTO PIZZA

Udi’s GF pizza crust (or precooked crust of your liking)
Pesto
Thinly sliced zucchini
Slow roast tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes
Turkey or chicken (or omit for vegetarian pizza)
Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mozzarella)

  • Layer the ingredients on the pizza crust in the order given.
  • Bake per crust instructions until pizza is hot, cheese is melted.  YUMMMMM.

PESTO CAPRESE SALAD

Fresh sliced tomatoes
Fresh sliced buffalo mozzarella
Pesto
salt & pepper

  • Layer in order above and enjoy!