Root Vegetable Pasta

This past weekend when we went to Farmer’s Market. My friend and I bought some beets and what we think is turnip (the vendor said it was not turnip and named it, but we could not understand it :D). However, so while wondering how to use them and after some pinterest search… found this Balsamic Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables recipe…. sounded yum…. just needed some parsnip and rutabaga and carrots. So after a visit to the grocery store was ready to roast some root vegetable. Yes root vegetables are better from fall to spring… but I did get the turnip and beet, so might as well try the others.

Root VegetablesThis is my first time trying turnip, parsnip and rutabaga….I was going to try 1 new vegetable a week…. doing 4 this week 😉 Following is the recipe for roasting the root vegetables. Only thing I did different was, cut all into chunks. I had only 2 beets, and used half of the rutabaga

BALSAMIC ROSEMARY ROASTED ROOD VEGETABLES

from Myrecipes

INGREDIENTS: Ready to Roast

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 3 small beets, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 turnip, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 small rutabaga, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

METHOD

Preheat oven to 450°. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a bowl. Add parsnip and next 4 ingredients; toss until vegetables are well coated. Add salt and pepper, and toss again. Place in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake at 450° for 15 minutes. Stir vegetables, and bake 15 more minutes or until slightly crisp and golden but tender.

Roasted Root VegetablesThe root vegetables taste yum…. I love the parsnip, turnip and rutabaga. Although the rutabaga’s were a little undercooked… next time I would maybe parboil them or cook them separately. My beets were a little bitter (yikes) I know back in India, we would always boil the beets before we ate them and if not well done they taste bitter….so maybe do the same for beets… parboil them a little or cook them separately. The balsamic caramelizes the vegetables just right…while keeping them crispy and yet flavorful.

So now I have these roasted vegetables… what do i do with them? I decided to make a pasta salad with them 🙂 I love my pastas.

ROOT VEGETABLE PASTA

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1 cup Roasted Root Vegetables (Balsamic or any other way. Use parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, sweet potato, baby potato, carrots)

Handful of spinach and kale (my local grocery sells baby spinach and baby kale mix, or you can use just spinach)

Pasta of your choice (I used Gluten Free Rotini)

Dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp chilli flake (Omit or lessen the amount if you don’t like heat)

salt, pepper as per taste

Feta Cheese

Method:

1. Make pasta as per your direction. Since I am making 2 servings, I just took 2 handfuls of pasta and put it in boiling water.

2. Mix the dressing ingredients and mix well.

3. When the pasta is done, drain (reserve some liquid just in case if you find the salad a little dry), and add it to the dressing. Toss well. Then add the roasted vegetables and the spinach and kale. Adjust seasoning as per your taste. Top it off with feta cheese and serve.

Roasted Root Vegetable PastaThis recipe is completely as per my taste buds…so you can completely change the recipe. If you roast vegetables without balsamic, then add red wine vinegar… I think it will complement the vegetables well and in that case add some Parmesan cheese.

I love the root vegetables and am thinking of trying them with some Indian spices–tandoori style or curry style!! Will experiment and share soon!! Until then enjoy the veggies and eat better!!

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Tomato-Bean-Pasta Soup

We are bracing for a “possible winter revenge” starting next week… while the weather people are unsure whether we are going to see snow, sleet or rain…. so while we wait for the cold weather… I decided to get on some with cold weather soup. I had pinned this soup a long time …. finally made it. This recipe is from Two Blue Lemons. She has some awesome recipes…. I follow her on FB as well… she not only shared what she makes, but also delicious recipes from other bloggers.

TBPSLook at the color…. I swear I did not do any photoshop 😀 it is the redness from the tomatoes….makes you want to gobble it down in one go. So here is the recipe:

Tomato White Bean Pasta Soup

Recipe from Two Blue Lemons.

Ingredients

olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne pepper (I did not have this so I used pinch of red chili powder)
1 28 oz. can tomatoes for a good cause (I bought crushed tomatoes)
28 oz. vegetable stock (I used 32 oz Swanson 1/3 less Sodium Vegetable stock)
1 can white beans, rinsed (I bought Cannellini Beans)
2 cups kale, chopped
1/3 lb. whole wheat chiocciole pasta (use your favorite GF pasta) (I used shell pasta)
parmesean cheese (optional)

Procedure:

1. Coat the bottom of a soup pan with olive oil, stir in chopeed garlic and onion, let cook until the onion is translucent – 5 minutes.

2. Add chopped carrots, herbs, cayenne, and salt – saute for 15 minutes.

3. Add jar of tomatoes, stock, and kale.

4. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes

5. While the soup is simmering, cook pasta until al dente

6. When the soup has reduced and is the thickness you like, add the pasta and beans, cook together for a few minutes to heat through. Taste and add salt and pepper

Serve with some grated/shaved parmesan cheese. I ate mine with a side of cibbata bread… Yum… The simple ingredients and flavor make this soup delicious. The beans and pasta make it really hearty. Absolutely worth trying and eating over and over.

TBPS1I think the ingredients can be switched out so easily…. you could add spinach, or some other kind of bean, pasta… So next time you get snowed in….or want a nice warm soup….try this delicious warmer! I am on bowl #2 while writing this post (blaming the run this morning for the hunger pang ;D)

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese

I have seen all these recipes that uses cauliflower for sauce or crust and have always wanted to try it. So when thinking about tonight’s dinner… I wanted some mac and cheese and lo behold I find a Cauliflower Mac and Cheese!!! The recipe is from Honey and Brie (linked below). Had to try!

CMnC6

Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

(Recipe from honeyandbrie.blogspot.com)

CMnC

Cauliflower-Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onions
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup half and half (or milk of choice) (I used 2 % milk)
1/2-1 teaspoon salt (depending on your taste)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 1/2 cups  you choice of pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

1. In a small pot add cauliflower and 1 cup water, and steam cauliflower until tender. Drain and add cauliflower to blender.

2. Meanwhile, saute onions and olive oil on low heat. Once onions become translucent add minced garlic and saute for one more minute.

3. Add onions and garlic to blender with cauliflower as well as half and half. Puree cauliflower mixture adding water as needed until mixture is smooth, then pour back into a pot on low heat.

4. Mix the two cups of cheese together in a bowl and add half of the cheeses, salt, and pepper and whisk until smooth.

5. Boil pasta as directed and drain once pasta is al dente, about 6-9 minutes. Add pasta to cheese mixture, mixing well, and pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish. Sprinkle remaining cup of cheese on top (I also added some Italian Bread Crumbs) and bake on 400 degrees until cheese starts to bubble and turn golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

6. Serve with crispy chopped bacon for an extra kick. —-I do not eat bacon…so I did not add this. SERVE HOT!

I love cauliflower…. so this was perfect dish for me…. there is a slight cauliflower taste…. but there is delicious creaminess without any flour base white sauce or sour cream or huge amount of cheese. I also added some red pepper flakes to add a little heat. I thoroughly enjoyed it as my dinner, have a big container for lunch and still have some left. This could be a perfect side dish….or an entree…. like I ate 😉

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Unfortunately I left my camera at work so had to use my cell phone to take pictures…. hence a little dark and pixelated!!! But I promise you it taste so much better than my pictures look 😀

Definitely worth the try…. so do try and let me know what you think.

Until next time,

Happy eating,

Cheers =)

 

Asparagus-Kale Quinoa Salad

Finally Summer is here :)) 2 months of vacation to rest up, get crafty and experiment in the kitchen 😀 I wil be honest, first day being home after 10 months of routine schedule is weird 😉 But I am looking forward to experimenting some yum foods and desserts in the 2 months!

Since my vaca just started, I am scarce of fresh veggies in my fridge (been lazy) but I did find some Asparagus, Kale, Scallions, and Red Pepper. I know the combination sounds a little crazy….but I promise, the end result turned out yum!! I decided to use Quinoa for grain…. Gluten free, Vegan friendly (if you do not put Parmesan cheese).

ASPARAGUS, KALE QUINOA SALADAKQSalad

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dry Quinoa

1 bundle of Asparagus

2 cups packed chopped Kale

3 Scallion Sprigs, chopped

1/2 cup peas

1/2 red pepper, chopped

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar (available at Olive Oil Specialty stores and online)

Olive Oil Spray, Salt, Pepper, Red Chili Flakes, as per taste.

Parmesan Cheese, grated (Optional)

 

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Cut Asparagus in bite size pieces. Spray with some olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 7-10 mins depending on the thickness. (Mine were done in 7 mins).

2. Meanwhile cook Quinoa as per package direction. 1/2 cup dry should make 2 servings of Quinoa.

3. In a pan, spray some olive oil and add the Kale with some salt and pepper. It will wilt. Saute till almost cooked. This will take 7-10 mins as Kale is a tough green. When kale is almost done add peppers, scallions, tomatoes and peas. Add chilli flakes as per your taste and add some salt and pepper (if needed).

4. Mix in the cooked Quinoa and add 1-2 tsp of the Sicilian Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar. Top it with some grated parmesan. Serve Warm.

AKQSalad1

The colorful combination of vegetables make it an inviting meal. Asparagus and Kale go perfect with Lemon, hence this white balsamic is the perfect flavor for this mix, making it a nice summer salad. It could also be a yum side dish for any Chicken or Fish. If you do not have Lemon White Balsamic Vinegar, you could just add good amount of lemon juice. I would not add any vinegar in such case as the White Balsamic has a smooth and sweet taste compared to any other vinegar (Distilled, Red or regular Balsamic) It was easy fairly quick to make and even quicker to gobble it all down 😉

Until next time,

Cheers =)

 

 

Southwestern Couscous Salad

My trial today is a recipe I pinned on Pinterest. Recipe is courtesy MyHabitfix.com (my understanding -it is a fashion website). They had a post on Easy Summer Salad recipes by Spoon Fork Bacon. It is a 3 Easy Summer Salad post for Salad Nicose, Southwestern Couscous Salad and Asparagus and Deviled Egg Salad.

The Couscous salad appealed to me a lot…. and with fall sorta coming in (leaves changing colors, cooler temps) ….thought need to try this before soups make their appearance 😉

 

SouthwesternCouscous

Southwestern Couscous Salad:

by SpoonForkBacon for Myhabitfix.com

Serves 3 to 4

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth (I used veggie broth-Kitchen Basics Unsalted Vegetarian Broth)
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (Did not have this so skipped it)
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup pearled couscous (also known as Israeli Couscous)
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup grilled corn kernels (from 1 small corn on the cob) (I did not grill…instead used regular boiled corn)
1/4 cup diced red onion
2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons cilantro, minced
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Place broth, paprika, cumin, chile powder, cayenne, and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. As the broth heats up, add oil to a medium saucepan and toast couscous over medium heat, about 3 to 4 minutes. (I added little salt to the broth as it was unsalted, that would help get some salt in the couscous as well.)

2. Pour the hot broth over the couscous, cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. When couscous is ready, uncover, gently fluff with a fork and allow it to cool.

3. Once cooled, add the black beans, corn, red onion, tomatoes, lime juice, and cilantro and gently fold together until fully incorporated. Season with salt and pepper and top with cotija cheese, if using. Serve.

VERDICT: It was yuummmm….. The flavorful couscous, beans, corn and veggies mix is delish. Cilantro and Lime juice give it super burst of freshness making it perfectly summery. I did not have Cotija Cheese but after eating this am sure it would taste awesomer with the cheese. It is easy and quick… only time u spend is waiting for couscous to cook which is barely 10 mins and cutting veggies…. it would be wonderful take-to-work-lunch or home lunch or side dish to an entree.

Until Next time,

Enjooooy!!!

Lasagna Roll-up: Chicken or Spinach

With my husband trying to eat better and me wanting to make sure he does not get bored of all Indian pulses, lentils and veggies, I have to keep throwing food suggestions. So today while I suggested something Italian…he threw back “with chicken” to me 😛 Thank Lord for Deli Chicken 😀 which I keep in my fridge a lot lately!! VOILA created Lasagna Roll ups… with Chicken for him and with Spinach for me 🙂

LasagnaRollups

LASAGNA ROLL-UPS:

16 oz Cottage Cheese- 2% milk fat

Seasonings of your choice (I used Sicilian Blend – dipping herb for bread)

Red Chilli Flakes, as per taste

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto –Homemade or store bought

Shredded Chicken (I used 1/4 pound buffalo chicken)/Spinach (depending on veggie or meaty)

6- No Boil Lasagna Noodles/Regular Lasagna noodles

Arrabiatta Sauce (I used Mario Batali’s)

Parmesan Cheese

Method:

1. If using No Boil Noodles, you will need to soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften so they are easy to roll. Otherwise, boil the lasagna noodles and let them cool. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.

2. Mix Cottage cheese, sun-dried tomato pesto, seasonings and chilli flakes. My seasoning had salt in it and cottage cheese have some too, so I did not add any extra. If you are making Vegetarian only, you can add some boiled, chopped spinach to the mixture at this point. My husband is not a spinach fan so I separated his before I added spinach.

3. Pat dry the noodle, put some cheese mixture, add the chicken (if using), spoon some arrabiatta sauce and roll tight. Place them in a baking dish laid with sauce. Spoon some more sauce over and sprinkle cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5-10 mins more, for cheese to melt. Serve hot with salad or bread.

NOTE: I would add ricotta cheese and mozzerella cheese as well, I just did not have any at home 😦

Verdict….  Came back to mine hot in oven (of course I shut the oven before I left :P)… Heaven!! Delivered some to hubbs at work since he is working late…. he shared with a co worker who asked for the recipe 🙂 yayy someone else liked it as well. I am sure hubbs liked it too… he is not the kinds to tell if something tasted yum… but if the container comes back empty…I will know he liked it and I can make it again.

I am just glad we will have alternative to Spaghetti when cooking Italian at home 😛

Until next time,

Cheers =)

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Pasta

In between I was totally off Pasta…SHOCKER!! I knooow… With my love for pastas and bread it is definitely shocking I did not want much pasta 😛 But now pasta love is back 😀 I loooove pasta salads for lunch… pick a pasta…add any veggies you want, add some home made dressing … YUM!! Stomach full..and happy!! While lately my bread intake has definitely gone down and that too eating healthier Ezekiel 4:9 Sesame Sprouted Whole Grain Bread Pasta has not been easy to quit…so after moving to eating Whole Wheat and now Quinoa pastas.. feel a little less guilty 😉

So while I love my Basil Spinach Pesto… I decided to try Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. Had bought a bag of Sun Dried Tomatoes from Costco (plain, not in oil). So 1 google search later…. I found Giada DeLaurentis’s Sun Dried Tomato Pesto recipe.SunDriedTomatoPesto

Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Recipe by Giada DeLaurentis

1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
2 garlic cloves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Red chilli flakes (my addition)
1/4 cup olive oil if using plain sun dried tomatoes
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor/blender till fine paste. It will stay in refrigerator for a week, stored in an air tight container.
Use this pesto as salad dressings, or put in pasta, use to make sandwiches or wraps!! Versatile little condiment… and nothing like making your own…. homemade is always yum!!!
Here is what I made using this pesto:
SunDriedTomatoPesto1
I cooked some Quinoa Pasta, took some of the pesto and added pasta water to make it liquid and added the hot pasta. But I wanted something else… so nothing some spring mix for perfect crunch and taste 🙂 Stomach, hear and mind …all satisfied 😎
Quick and Easy lunch idea isn’t it? Add some grilled chicken or veggies and make healthy dinner!!
Until next time,
Cheers =)