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Posts Tagged ‘garlic’

Don’t let it fool you.  This pasta has heat.  It’s reminiscent of spaghetti aglia e olio but with a lot of veggies and minus a bunch of olive oil. Sounds healthy right?? It’s great with whole grain pasta, and  if you minus the cheese it would be a good diet alternative.  I’m not getting rid of the cheese though.  Go Me!

To cut down on the heat, reduce or remove the red pepper flake.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1/3 pound spaghetti noodles (about a quarter sized bunch)
  • 6-8 ounces of sliced mushroom
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (I used Roma)
  • 6-7 cloves of garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups of fresh spinach
  • 2/3 cup canned artichoke quarters
  • 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend

In a medium pot, bring your water to a boil. Once boiling, add in your pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, heat up two tbsp of olive oil and saute the mushrooms.

When the mushrooms have browned slightly, pour in the onion slices, separating the rings while stirring. Cook for 4-6 minutes, to soften the onion.

Add in the chopped tomato, and the last tablespoon of olive oil. Cook until the tomatoes begin to break up, about 5 minutes. Add in the spices and garlic and stir.

Once the garlic is cooked (about a minute) add in the spinach.

Toss until wilted. Add in artichoke hearts and set aside.

Once the pasta is finished, pour 1 cup of pasta water into the vegetables. Drain the rest of the water from the pasta.  Toss the pasta and vegetable mixture together.

Now comes the big choice…  to stir in the cheese before, or to serve sprinkled on top.  Umm yeah, I do both.

Enjoy!!!

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I feel like I should enlarge this picture so that you can see the yumminess of this burrito better.  You can actually see it.  Really. I’ve even used the potatoes as a side dish. No tortilla needed. Brings back memories of my sister and I standing around the kitchen with our bowls of cheesy potatoes, too busy chowing down to say a word.

To my vegetarian friends, you can omit the bacon completely, or use tofu bacon, which works great too!!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-6 burrito sized flour tortillas
  • 1/2 lb of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 potatoes diced into 1/2 inch cubes (about 3 cups) I used a mix of russet and yellow rose
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced, or pushed through a garlic press
  • 1/2  tsp garlic salt
  • 1  8oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 1-1/2-2 cups of shredded cheddar (I try to use extra sharp)
  • pepper to taste

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • sliced green onions
  • salsa
  • guacamole
  • sour cream

Start by heating your oil on high heat in a nonstick pan until shimmering.

Stir in the potatoes and fry until they are starting to brown a bit,  about 10 minutes. Stir in you onion.

Cook the onion for 4-7 minutes or until the onion has softened but hasn’t browned, then stir in the garlic.

Cook for about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant but hasn’t browned. Lower heat to medium and toss in the garlic salt, tomato sauce and water ( If you’re adding hot sauce, put it in now) and cook stirring occasionally for 6 -8 minutes until the water has been absorbed.

Turn off the heat. Immediately sprinkle on bacon crumbles, and the shredded cheese.

Aww yeah!

I’m subconsciously hearing Barry White right now. That’s what these burritos do to me.

Put a lid or plate over your pan to help the cheese melt.

It shouldn’t take long.  Just 4-5 minutes. And…

You can see the yumminess! You could stop now and serve this as a side dish.  Or you could make a burrito.

Heat up a flour tortilla until softened.  I have gas burners so I cook the tortillas directly on the burner flipping them until they are hot. Using a pan is fine too. Whatever is easiest.

Notice the burn spots on the tortilla?? That’s flavor!!!  Top your tortilla with about 1/2 cup of the potatoes, and add whatever extras you like.  I’m putting on some more cheese ( you know me!!) and some sliced green onions.

And if you don’t know how to roll a burrito…

Ready to eat!!!!

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This is one of my Mom’s famous recipes.  It’s always made when there’s a bunch of family around for dinner since it’s quick, easy and inexpensive to make.  Did I mention it’s also really good?

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb sirloin or london broil thinly sliced
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic minced or squished through a garlic press
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 5 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4-6 sandwich rolls

Optional ingredients:

  • sauteed garlic mushrooms (2 tbsp butter, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 cups slices mushrooms)
  • cheese (OF COURSE!!!)
  • sauteed spinach
  • caramelized onions

So I’m making this sandwich with both the mushrooms and the cheese because it’s so good, but it doesn’t need it. Really. It’s really good with just the roll and steak. And for my vegetarian friends, it’s actually great with just mushrooms and cheese!

To get started, mix your meat strips with garlic salt and 3 minced or squished cloves of garlic. Set aside.

Then squish 2 cloves of garlic into the mayonnaise and mix.

In a nonstick pan, melt two tablespoons of butter.  Toss in your sliced mushrooms and sautee.

After approximately 6-8 minutes, when the mushrooms are almost fully cooked, add in 1-2 mince or squished cloves of garlic, and sautee until the garlic is cooked, another 1-2 minutes. Put into  bowl and set aside.

In the same pan, start cooking your beef strips…

Brown the strips, and I don’t mean lightly brown.  You want them to have a little color like this-

Set your beef aside in a bowl and wipe down the pan, since you’ll be using it one more time.

Now for the rolls…

Make sure your pan is hot (medium high heat), then spread the garlic mayonnaise thinly on the split rolls.

Grill the roll split side down, pressing on the crust of the roll with a spatula to make sure the mayonnaise make full contact.

Looks good doesn’t it!

Now lay on a layer of meat…

Now, you could stop here. It’s so good with just the steak and the roll.  But being the person I am…

of course I add mushrooms…

and cheese.

Type to you later people.  It’s lunchtime!

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Basil “Pesto”

The reason I don’t like calling this sauce a true basil pesto is that it’s missing a main ingredient.  I don’t add pine nuts.  I’ve tried pesto with toasted pine nuts, with a small amount of pine nuts, with walnuts even (which is good!) but was still not happy.  The nuts seem to take away the from the flavor of the basil, which is the showcase of this sauce.  So I just stay away from them. I use this to make creamy pesto dressing, pesto bread, pesto lasagna, pizza…  so I figure I better post this recipes as the base to many!

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of basil leaves
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup of olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan or Italian cheese blend
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter

Pick all the basil leaves from the stems. Inspect your basil to make sure there aren’t any critters living on there. I had a bad experience with aphids on basil once. Gently rinse of the leaves and dry on a paper towel.  You don’t want to bruise the leaves.

Stuff all your basil, garlic, salt, and olive oil into a blender or food processor.

Blend for 20-30 seconds or until he garlic is completely chopped up and you have a bright green slurry.  It may take longer than 30 second depending on the blender you’re using, and it may need more olive oil. Drizzle oil in as needed up to 2/3 cup of olive oil.

Once your garlic and basil are all chopped up, add in cheese and melted butter.

And pulse 5-6 times to blend the cheese.  Store refrigerated in a mason jar (the glass isn’t porous and

doesn’t stain) but make sure the top is completely covered by a thin layer of olive oil to prevent spoiling.

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Nothing celebrates spring like a bright plate of pasta chock full of veggies.  I find myself craving this every year as the fields turn bright green with new foliage. It always makes me think of my friend Trina, and trips to Alexander Valley for wine tasting. Oh, the days when I didn’t have kids…    OK,  enough with the daydreaming.  At least there’s still the primavera. PS:  T- I miss your little water-tower house!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice (Fettuccine is the norm, but I didn’t have any so I used farfalle in this recipe)
  • 16 stems of asparagus, woody end snapped off
  • 2 small zucchini (6-7 inches long)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 tbsp butter, separated into tbsp sized pats
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 4 tomatoes, preferably Roma or Plum but whatever is on hand will work
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press (which is my personal favorite way!)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, or Italian cheese blend
  • 1/2 cup of loosely packed basil, chopped
  • the juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 large bowl of ice water

This will make enough for 6-8 entrée sized servings, so beware! You can always cut the recipe in half.

Put two pots on the stove with 3-4 quarts of water and 1 tbsp of salt in each. Start prep work while bringing the water to a boil.

I cut up the vegetables in a specific way to speed up the cooking process. Be sure to keep them separated since they are initially cooked separately. Start with the asparagus. I cut two inches of the tips off, then slice in half lengthwise along the remaining stalk, and in half again as shown in the picture below.

As for the zucchini and carrots, take a peeler and press down a little while making your peeling motion in order to get a slightly thicker peel.

Then stack up the peeled strips and cut them in half lengthwise.

If you buy whole mushrooms, slice them!!!

Once your water is boiling, drop in the asparagus and boil for 45-60 seconds.

Then remove using a slotted spoon and plunge immediately into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process.

Ta-dow. Once it’s cooled down (about a minute) remove from the cold water with a slotted spoon (you’ll need the water for cooling down the other cooked veggies) and put into a colander to finish draining.

Next cook the zucchini for 30-40 seconds

then plunge into the ice water, repeating the cooling down and then draining process. Next are the peas for 30 seconds, remove, cool-down and drain, and then the carrots for  1-1/2 to 2 minutes. I bet you can guess how you cool these down.  Once all veggies are cooled and drained, you should end up with a big and beautiful bowl of color. Take a look!

Purty!

Cut an “x” into the tips of your tomatoes like so –

and put into the boiling water.  Cook until the “x” on the end just starts to peel back or split, then plunge into your ice bath to stop the cooking process.  They should look something like this –

The skins should slide off pretty easily. Use the peeler on any stubborn pieces of tomato skin.  Now cut out the stem and chop them up.

Now is the time to cook your pasta. Pour it into the second pot of boiling water and stir to prevent sticking.

You can finally dump out that boiling veggie water from your first pot, and rinse it out since we’re going to use it to make the sauce while the pasta is boiling. Yep, we’re only using two pots to make primavera. How great is that!

Put 3 tbsp of butter into the dry pan and saute your mushrooms until lightly browned. Add in the chopped tomatoes.

Cook until the tomatoes start to break up about 8-10 minutes.

Check you pasta. If it’s done, drain and set it aside. If not quite done, continue to boil.

Add in the last tbsp of butter and your garlic to the mushroom mixture.

Cook until the garlic has mellowed, approximately 3 minutes. Turn down the heat to low, then add in the cream and half of the parmesan cheese (Save the rest of your cheese for sprinkling on top!) and stir until the cheese has melted and blended in with the sauce.  Simmer for an additional 3 minutes stirring until the sauce has slightly thickened. Set aside off of the heat until your pasta is done.

Pour drained pasta and veggies into the sauce and stir until completely combined.

Stir in basil and lemon juice and serve! Of course I sprinkle mine with more cheese due to my dairy addiction.

Join me.

I’m a dairy pusher.

Cut to 3 minutes later.

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Bored with the same old side dishes?  My Hubs was too. I’d mention green beans, and he would cringe. I had to get a little crafty, and thank goodness it paid off! This is one of his new favorites.  Add a protein and some potatoes into this mix and you have a full skillet meal.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion, chopped or sliced

8 oz mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb fresh green beans, ends trimmed (frozen will work too)

2-3 carrots, cut carrot stick style (or into rounds or whatever!)

2/3 cup water

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

2 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a garlic press

pepper to taste

Melt on medium high heat your butter and olive oil in skillet until butter is foaming. Add in onion and mushroom and sautee until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add in 1 clove of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, which only takes another minute. Pour into a bowl and set aside.

In the same skillet add, green beans, carrots, water, onion powder, salt and remaining garlic.  Simmer, covered for about 4 minutes. Remove the lid and finish cooking until water is mostly evaporated, another 4 minutes or so.

Pour the mushroom mixture back into the skillet and stir until everything is combined. Season with pepper and more salt if needed, and serve!!

This is also pretty darn good with a fresh herb mixed in, like basil or thyme, or rosemary, parsley… the list goes on!

Sorry!!

I will update with photos asap…

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