Zoodles With Lemon Parsley Pesto, Tomatoes, And Shrimp

* – from Natural Grocers

INGREDIENTS

1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped Natural Grocers Brand Bulk Walnuts
1 bunch organic Italian parsley
2 teaspoons organic lemon zest from one medium organic lemon)
2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons Natural Grocers Brand Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 (16-ounce) package frozen peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 medium organic zucchini, spiralized
1⁄2 pint organic grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

DIRECTIONS

For the pesto

  1. Toast the walnuts over medium-low heat in a large sauté pan for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate and wipe the pan clean.
  2. Remove parsley leaves from the stems and add them to the bowl of a food processor. Discard stems. Pulse until the parsley is well chopped. Add the toasted walnuts, lemon zest, and salt and process until the mixture is uniform, scraping down the sides as necessary. With the machine running, slowly add the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Set pesto aside.

For the shrimp and zoodles

  1. Pat the shrimp dry with a paper towel and remove tails if desired.
  2. Heat the large sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the garlic. Sauté, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, flipping shrimp about halfway through cooking time, until the shrimp are pink and curled, 4-6 minutes total.
  3. Add the zoodles and cook for one minute, stirring frequently. Add the pesto and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and give the mixture one more stir to fully coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto. Serve immediately.

Note: If your pan is not large enough to hold all of the shrimp and zoodles at the same time, remove the cooked shrimp from the pan before adding the zoodles. Cook the zoodles for two minutes, stirring frequently. Combine the cooked zoodles, reserved shrimp, pesto, and tomatoes in a large serving bowl and stir to evenly coat the veggies and shrimp with the pesto.

Pasta with Sausage, Kale and White Beans

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America’s Test Kitchen 

INGREDIENTS 

Servings: 4
Start to finish: 1 hour
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, chopped fine
1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) orecchiette
12 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
1 ounce Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
Salt and pepper

 

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DIRECTIONS

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and cook, breaking meat into 1/2-inch pieces, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in onion and beans and cook until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, fennel seeds, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in broth and water, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Stir in pasta and half of kale. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer vigorously for 4 minutes. Place remaining kale in pot without stirring, cover, and cook until kale is just tender, about 4 minutes. Stir to incorporate kale and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is tender, 3 to 6 minutes.

Off heat, stir in Pecorino and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; serve, passing extra Pecorino separately.

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Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

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* – from Compassion Explorer

Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is a popular food in Bolivia. It’s a plant from the Andean highlands. The plant’s seeds are the edible, tasty part. They contain protein, which helps children grow.
 
Ingredients
 1 tsp vegetable oil
 1 onion, chopped
 3 cloves garlic, chopped
 1 cup dry quinoa
 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
 1 tsp ground cumin
 ¼ tsp cayenne pepper, optional for a spicier dish
 salt and pepper to taste
 1 cup frozen corn kernels
 2 (15-oz.) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
 ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, cooking until light brown, about 10 minutes.

2. Add the quinoa to the pan and pour the broth over it. Season with the cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper.

3. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa has absorbed all the broth, about 20 minutes.

4. Stir in the frozen corn and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in the black beans and cilantro and remove from heat. Let sit for a few minutes before fluffing with a fork. Serve hot or cold.

Avocado Toast

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Avocado Toast is becoming a popular thing these days. I love avocados and I try to incorporate them into as many meals as possible. Here is a recipe I found for avocado toast. I added a few things for my own spin on it.

Ingredients

  • One 8-ounce ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 slices whole grain or whole wheat bread
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or unsalted butter, softened
  • Flaky sea salt, for serving
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, optional

Directions

Mash the avocado with a fork in a shallow bowl until chunky. Season with fine salt and black pepper. * – I also added lemon zest 

Toast the bread until browned and crisp. Lightly rub 1 side of each slice with the cut side of the garlic until fragrant; discard the garlic. Lightly brush the toasts with oil, and season with fine salt and pepper. Divide the mashed avocado evenly among the toasts, and top with more flaky sea salt, more black pepper and red pepper flakes if using. * – I added a layer of sliced radishes for more crunch and topped it with scrambles eggs and chives.

Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

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Potato Topping

  • 1 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup milk, plus more as needed
  • ground white pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

Filling

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 close garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 leek, halved lengthwise, rinsed well and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter

For the potato topping, combine potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork. Drain, return potatoes to pan and place back on the heat just long enough for excess water to evaporate. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add butter, cream and milk and mash. Season to taste with salt and white pepper, then stir in egg yolk. Using an electric mixer at medium speed, whip the mixture until light and fluffy, adding small amounts of milk as needed for a smooth consistency. Set aside.

Preheat over to 400 degrees F and generously butter a 9-inch pie platter or 4 individual casserole dishes.

For the filling, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up beef with a wooden spoon, until nicely brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Carefully drain excess fat from the pan, lower the heat to medium and add carrots and thyme. Cook until carrots are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in Guinness, raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring often, until about half the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomato paste and leeks and cook until leeks soften and the filling has thickened, about two minutes longer. Transfer filling to the prepared pie plate.

Spoon potatoes over the filling as evenly as possible. Use a rubber spatula to smooth the potatoes evenly to cover. Brush the top with melted butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes develop a pale golden crust. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

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Hummus

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I like this recipe guide from Epicurious on how to make hummus. Its simple but delicious. I usually like to add red peppers or black beans. But of course Sriracha is always a must!

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Homemade Boursin Cheese Spread with Garlic and Herbs

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INGREDIENTS

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 small garlic clove, quartered
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Crackers or toasts (for serving)

 
PREPARATION

Combine cream cheese, butter, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add parsley and chives and pulse a few times until well combined. Pack mixture into a small bowl, ramekin, or glass jar. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes. Serve with crackers or toasts.

Cheese can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and chill.

Cooks’ Note
To add a citrus note to the cheese, incorporate 1/8 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest with the herbs. Or add 1/8 teaspoon (or more) freshly ground black pepper for a little spice.

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