Monday, August 31, 2009

Alfredo with Sauteed Vegetables

{Meatless Monday}

This is not what I intended to post tonight. I have been trying to get my Tomato-Zucchini Tart made so that I can share that delicious summer recipe with you...hopefully in a day or two! So for now, I will post this super easy dinner and I'll also post the recipe for the fresh peach pie that I ate for breakfast, lunch, and dinner lie!

I have decided that I LOVE angel hair pasta...I think it's because there is a better ratio of sauce to pasta in my opinion. So I boil up some angel hair (4 min.!), pour on some warmed up Ragu Alfredo Sauce, and then top with sauteed peppers, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Then I finish it off with some fresh parmesan cheese. We really love how these flavors mix and mingle...and I can have this dinner on the table in 15 minutes flat!

This picture was taken in the early summer when our beautiful spinach was coming out of our was absolutely mouthwatering with some of Brianna's Poppyseed Dressing on it. I am so excited that my hubby just planted Spinach for a fall crop...can't wait to pull out my Brianna's again!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fresh Peach Pie

Make and bake one pie crust. (I have been making my crusts with 1/2 whole wheat flour and they are so much more flavorful than all white...try it!)

Peel and slice enough peaches to fill pie crust. (I normally make the sauce first and then slice up the peaches while I am cooling the sauce.)

To make sauce: Blend enough peaches for 1 cup puree. Add one cup water. Place in saucepan over medium heat. Combine in small bowl: 2/3 cup sugar and 4 T. cornstarch. Stir into puree and add 1/8 tsp. cinnamon and 1/4-1/2 tsp. almond extract (to taste). Cook, stirring, until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Stir cooled sauce into sliced peaches and fill pie crust. Refrigerate up to 4 hours to let it set. ( I often serve it just falls apart a little bit, but still tastes like HEAVEN!)

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream flavored with a few drops of almond extract. Or just eat it is seriously, hands-down, my FAVORITE pie in the world. The only problem with it is this: It tastes just like a fresh, healthy I can't stop eating it!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Book Recommendation

I have been reading this book...and loving it!

Much to my children's chagrin, it is changing the way we eat and the way I think about my food budget and shopping/cooking habits.

The more I read this, the more I love vegetables (and fruits too!)

Anyway...I highly recommend it if you are interested in learning about why exactly the "Western Diet" is so bad for our health...and what you can do about it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Spinach Phyllo Pie

{Meatless Monday}

This is a recipe from Martha Stewart Everyday Food. I've never made anything like this...never bought Phyllo dough before. (The package actually has phyllo in parentheses under the idea why they do that!)

Here's what you'll need:

2 T olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 pkg. (20 oz. each) fresh baby spinach (I used frozen from our garden)
1 cup crumbled feta (4 oz.)
1/4 cup golden raisins, chopped (you will not see these in my photo--I HATE raisins!)
20 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed and cut to 8x12 if necessary

In a medium pan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until golden, about 4 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min. Transfer to large bowl.
Return pan to heat. Working in batches, cook spinach until wilted, about 1 min. Drain spinach and let cool. Press out moisture and roughly chop. Add spinach, feta, and raisins to bowl with onions and season mixture with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 350*. Unroll Phyllo. Place 1 sheet on a work surface (keep remaining sheets covered with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying); brush with oil. Lay another sheet on top and brush with oil. Repeat until you have 10 layers of phyllo. Spread half of filling lengthwise down middle of phyllo stack. Roll into a log, brushing the seam with oil before sealing. Brush log with oil. Using a sharp knife, make 8 diagonal cuts on top. Repeat to make 2nd log.

Place logs, seam side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Bake until deep golden brown, 40-45 minutes.

Cut into slices along slashes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

You can see my two logs look very of them I folded in thirds and one of them I rolled up....take your pick!

My two oldest kids and I thought these were very yummy...but my husband just thought they were OK. I would have liked some finely chopped walnuts in these, but I was all out.

Now I can't wait to make some Baklava with my leftover phyllo!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gnocchi with Summer Vegetables

{Meatless Monday}

This is a recipe I got out of Martha Stewart Everyday Food...I LOVE that magazine. They have so many great vegetarian ideas (and way too many scrumptious desserts)!

Some people might not know what gnocchi is...first of all, I am almost 100% positive it is pronounced "nyo-kee" with a long "o" sound. It is an italian pasta made out of potato, egg, and flour. It has a squishy texture...but I have always loved it.

I actually bought gnocchi this time because I thought it HAD to be better than the homemade gnocchi I've made before. But my family actually said they prefer the taste and texture of my homemade whole-wheat gnocchi. (Sometime soon I will post my Pesto Gnocchi recipe and I will show how to make the homemade gnocchi.)

Here are the ingredients: (I forgot to take the picture until after, so ignore the empty gnocchi container and the remainder of the tomato : )

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
2 zucchini or summer squash, quartered and sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
course salt and ground pepper
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (I just used our garden tomato and diced it)
1 pkg. (15-16 oz) gnocchi (recipe called for frozen, but I could only find it in the dry pasta aisle)
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 Tablespoons Romano cheese (I just used grated Parmesan)
1 Tablespoon butter
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

In a large skillet, heat oil and add squash and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until squash is tender, 4-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook gnocchi in a large pot. Drain gnocchi--reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid--and transfer to skillet with veggies. Add enough pasta liquid to create a sauce. Remove from heat and stir in basil, cheese, butter, and lemon juice.

I really liked the fresh taste of the basil and lemon. I will admit that only one of my kids really liked it...but that was more on account of all the veggies than the gnocchi, because they have all eaten my gnocchi before.

When I make this again, I will probably toss in some mushrooms...because I think everything made with vegetables is better with mushrooms in it!

Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Minute Southwest Salad

{Meatless Monday}

This is a super easy and quick dinner that we love. It is especially yummy on warm summer days. These are the ingredients:

Romaine lettuce (or your favorite)
Flavored Black Beans (these were just a "seasoned" variety, but normally I use S&W Caribbean Style)--slightly drained, but not rinsed
Diced Tomatoes
Crushed Chips
Ranch Dressing

Layer all ingredients and top with chips and ranch. Very fresh and yummy!!

p.s. I promise that I will post some more "casserole" type recipes soon...but really, who wants to be inside cooking during the summer??

Saturday, August 1, 2009

On Vacation!!

I forgot to post before we left...there was barely enough time to get all 7 of us packed and ready for the trip! I am missing two Meatless Mondays while I'm gone. And though I thought about being really on top of things and getting recipes up before I left, it just never happened! So I'll have a new Meatless Monday up on August 10th!! Hope everyone is enjoying their last weeks of summer...I know I am! The weather is PERFECT here in Oceanside! Have a great day!