Tag Archives: Healthy

Giada’s Pasta Primavera

12 Oct

The first time I had this was when the lovely Weesie made it for me – it was SO good that I just had to make it myself.  I’ve made it a couple times and every time, I love it.  It’s healthy and filling and delicious – what more could you ask for.  It’s perfect when you want something with a lot of vegetables.  Here it is:

  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
  • 2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
  • 2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips (I’m not a huge red bell pepper fan, so I used orange instead and it’s a great substitute)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (I used a little extra, of course)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
  • 1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (as always, a little extra cheese)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets.

Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.  Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste.

Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Whole-Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon

28 Sep

This post is brought to you by Giada and it is absolutely delicious.  I’ve made it twice now and absolutely love it.  Best of all, it’s not only delicious, it’s also healthy! Here it goes:

  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat spaghetti pasta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (as usual, I used a little bit extra)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 (4-ounce) pieces salmon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Add the garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Add the fish to the pan and cook until medium-rare, about 2 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. Remove the salmon from the pan.

Add the basil, capers, lemon zest, and lemon juice to the spaghetti mixture and toss to combine.

Set out 4 serving plates or shallow bowls. Place 1/2 cup spinach in each bowl. Top with 1/4 of the pasta. Top each mound of pasta with a piece of salmon. Serve immediately.

Bon Appetit!

Falafel

12 Aug

I apologize for posting 2 recipes in a row…but I couldn’t resist. This might be my favorite thing that I’ve made ever, and Matt’s too. It’s really quick to throw together and I almost always have the ingredients in my pantry. You should seriously make these, I promise you’ll enjoy.

Traditionally falafel is deep-fried, but this recipe cooks them up in a pan on the stove. And they are so delicious. Really, I don’t think you can go wrong with all the wonderful flavors, unless you happen to burn a few (which I did). This recipe comes from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen. It’s a really great cookbook – and all vegetarian!

Falafel
yields: about 24 balls

  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas (OK to use canned; two 15-oz. cans will provide the right amount)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup finely minced onion or 6 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup (packed)  minced parsley
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • A few dashes of cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Oil for frying

Rinse the chickpeas, and drain them well.

Combine all ingredients except flour in a food processor or a medium-sized bowl and process — or mash — until you have a uniform batter.

Add flour, and stir until thoroughly combined. You can cook the falafel right away, or store the batter in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for several days.

Heat a heavy skillet and add about 3 Tbsp. oil. When it is hot enough to sizzle a bread crumb on contact, drop tablespoonfuls of batter into the pan, flattening each slightly, like a small thick pancake. Sauté for about 10 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Add small amounts of extra oil to the pan as needed throughout the cooking.

Place the cooked falafel on a plate lined with paper towels and, if necessary, keep warm in a 300-degree oven until serving time.

This recipe is super simple and not too time consuming. Basically you just put everything in a bowl and mash it all together to form a batter. If you have the luxury of owning a food processor, it’s probably even easier. I just use a potato masher and it gets the job done.  I used canned chickpeas and scallions for my onions (they’re my favorite) and I used about 1/8 cup-ish dried parsley because I didn’t have fresh. I’m not sure if I had the heat up too high, but cooking the falafel for 10 minutes on one side doesn’t seem rightv- they burn. I’d say 3-5 minutes is more accurate. These cook quickly. The cook time is probably more of a personal preference. I like them more mushy than crispy, Matt liked the crispier ones.

I came out with 18 falafel balls, with two rounds in the pan. The overall cook time was probably about 15-20 minutes. We warmed up some pita bread and filled them with falafel, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers and topped it with a few dollops of  tzatziki sauce.

(Note burnt falafel…but Matt still ate it.)

It was a delicious and healthy dinner. We even had a few falafel balls left over that Matt ate for lunch the next day. I really want to have people over and cook this for them! This is one of the few things I’ve made that I’m confident is delicious. (I’m very critical of my cooking). Enjoy!

Roasted Pear-Butternut Squash Soup with Crumbled Gorgonzola

15 Jul

This soup is absolutely delicious soup.  It’s one of my favorite things to make in the fall and winter, but it’s so delicious that I can’t resist making it even when it’s ridiculously hot outside.  I got the recipe from one of the many, many cooking blogs/websites I follow on my google reader.  This one is called Eating Well.  The recipe on Eating Well calls for Stilton cheese, but the first time I made it, I couldn’t find that I opted to substitute in Gorgonzola.  It was perfect with this soup, so I’ve continued to make it that way.  The soup is even good without the cheese, but that’s really what sends it over the top.  Though it takes a bit of time (don’t decide to make this when you are starving), it’s pretty easy.  Here’s the recipe:

What you need:

  • 2 ripe pears, peeled, quartered and cored
  • 2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 1 large leek, pale green and white parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced and washed thoroughly
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2/3 cup crumbled Stilton, or other blue-veined cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives, or scallion greens

How to make it:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine pears, squash, tomatoes, leek, garlic, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread evenly on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 40 to 55 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  3. Place half the vegetables and 2 cups broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Puree the remaining vegetables and 2 cups broth. Add to the pan and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Cook the soup over medium-low heat, stirring, until hot, about 10 minutes. Divide among 6 bowls and garnish with cheese and chives (or scallion greens).

Most things I cook are relatively healthy and this is no exception.  According to Eating Well, it makes six servings, but sometimes mine doesn’t quite last that long.  If you can indeed make it into six servings, then the nutrition information is: 235 calories; 10 g fat (5 g sat, 5 g mono); 11 mg cholesterol; 34 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein; 6 g fiber; 721 mg sodium; 700 mg potassium.  Not bad at all.