Categories
Sauces/Dressings/Broth Vegetarian

Fennel Frond and Almond Pesto

When you cook fennel, do you throw the fronds away? If so, break that habit – stat! It’s not just the fennel bulb that is delicious, the fronds are also pretty amazing. Some people use the fronds to add a little extra oomph to salads, but have you ever considered making fennel frond pesto? 

Pesto is one of those foods that can be created using ingredients that are often thrown away, like fennel fronds. If you’ve never ventured outside of making traditional basil pesto, it’s time to expand your pesto horizons. 

This fennel frond and almond pesto is so fresh, clean, and earthy. It adds so much depth and flavor to pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, seafood, chicken, and veggies. And because you probably usually throw away those fennel fronds, it’s sort of like getting a free meal. A super delicious, healthy meal that your family will love.

Ingredients:

3 c. fennel fronds, rinsed and stems removed 

¼ c. almonds

2 cloves of garlic

⅓ c. olive oil

¼ c. Parmesan cheese, grated

Juice from one lemon

Salt and red pepper flakes

Combine the fennel fronds, almonds, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are mixed together. Add the oil a bit at a time and process until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. Season with salt and red pepper flakes and mix together again. 

Use in pasta, on fish, chicken, pizza, sandwiches and as a dip for veggies or crackers. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freeze.

Categories
Pasta Vegetarian

Pasta with Lemon, Fried Leeks, Peas and Goat Cheese

This light and veggie-filled pasta is bursting with all kinds of delightful springtime ingredients that will certainly make you smile when you taste them all together. This pasta with lemon, fried leeks, peas, and goat cheese boasts all of the fun flavors of delicious, carby pasta but with a much smaller calorie load. 

The surprisingly-small amount of goat cheese added into the pasta creates a creamy and satisfying taste without the guilt. The strong flavors of the leeks and onions are complemented by the sweet peas and tangy lemons. This delicious pasta dish is perfected with fresh herbs and sharp Parmesan on top. All of those ingredients work together to get you a ton of flavor bang for your taste buck. And it’s all ready in under 30 minutes. 

Ingredients:

8 oz. fettuccine or linguine

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 leeks, halved, cleaned and sliced

2 green onions, sliced

1 c. peas

Juice from ½ lemon

2 Tbsp. chives, chopped

2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

2 oz. goat cheese

Salt and pepper

Parmesan,for topping

Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain. Reserve ¼ c. pasta water.

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the leeks and green onions and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Add the peas and heat through until they are bright green, about 1-2 minutes. 

Add the cooked pasta and pasta water to the skillet and toss. Add in the lemon juice and goat cheese and continue to toss until the ingredients are mixed evenly throughout the pasta. Season with salt and pepper and mix again. 

Place the pasta in a large serving bowl. Top with parsley, chives, and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Chickpea Summer Wraps with Hummus Dressing

If you’re craving a super-fresh veggie wrap that is satisfying, flavorful, healthy, and takes basically no time to make, skip the trip to the expensive sandwich shop and make this instead. The warm, soft tortilla and the crisp, clean veggies are perfectly married thanks to the meaty, hummus-flavored chickpeas and tangy cheese that tie all of the flavors and textures together. 

This vegetarian wrap is perfect for a work-ready lunch or a quick and easy dinner that would be great with a side salad or some hot, salty french fries. If you prefer a vegan version, just omit the cheese. With or without cheese, these hummus-coated, garlicky chickpeas are divine and make this wrap very special indeed.

Ingredients:

2 large tortillas or wraps

1 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 small tomatoes, diced

2 green onions, sliced

1 avocado, sliced into thin strips

½ cucumber, chopped

Handful of spinach 

¼ c. hummus dressing

2 slices of baby swiss cheese or vegan cheese

Salt and pepper

In a small bowl, combine the chickpeas with the hummus dressing. Season with salt and pepper as needed. 

Heat the tortillas or wraps until they are warm and pliable. 

Cut each cheese slice in half and spread out over the middle of the tortilla. Place the chickpeas lengthwise in the center of each tortilla. Top with tomatoes, onions, avocado, and spinach. 

Add more hummus dressing and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Fold the sides in and then roll like a burrito. Cut in half and enjoy!

Categories
Vegetarian

New Mexican Hatch Chile Relleno

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not December. It’s Hatch chile season, and that is truly an exciting annual event. Once you get sucked into Hatch season, holiday food pales in comparison. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating Hatch chiles, do yourself a favor and try them. They are worth the hype, trust me. 

As soon as the season kicked off around here and the bins of Young Guns chiles appeared in our local stores, I was right there with a huge cart buying literal cases of these green beauties. I have been making many of my favorite green chile dishes, but the crown jewel is the ridiculously delicious Hatch chile relleno. 

These crispy, yet tender, cheese-filled peppers are so good that you will not be able to stop thinking about them, which may be a good thing during chile season. They’re inexpensive and easy to make, and everyone loves them. So be like me, and buy cases of these. Roast them and save them up for winter, because there’s only one Hatch season per year. 

Ingredients:

6 large Hatch chiles (or poblano peppers), roasted, peeled and seeded

6 strips of your favorite cheese: Muenster, queso asadero, Oaxaca cheese, Monterey Jack, or any other favorite

1 c. flour

3 eggs

2 c. frying oil

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Green chile, red chile, salsa, cheese, cilantro, green onions, or any other favorite toppings

If you need to roast the peppers, preheat the oven to broil. Place the chiles on a lined baking sheet and broil them for 5 minutes. Flip them over and broil them until they are blistered and blackened (but not burned). 

Place them in a glass bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let the chiles rest for about 10 minutes. This will make them easier to peel. Carefully peel the skin off of the chiles, make a slit in each one lengthwise and remove the seeds. Set aside. 

Stuff each chile with the cheese very carefully. The chiles are a bit fragile after roasting, so be gentle. If they tear a little, it’s no biggie. You can place toothpicks through them to hold them together if necessary. Just don’t forget to take the toothpicks out prior to serving! 

Prepare the oil for frying by heating it in a deep, large skillet over medium high heat. Set a paper towel-lined plate next to the stove so that you can place your chiles there to drain after frying. 

While the oil is heating up, combine the flour, salt, and pepper on a large plate. Set aside.

Separate the egg whites and yolks in separate bowls. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Whisk in the yolks until they are well combined. Season with a little salt and pepper and whisk one more time. 

To batter the chiles, roll each one in the flour mixture and then dip them into the egg mixture. 

To fry the rellenos, carefully place two at a time into the hot oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until they are browned and crispy. Turn them over and cook 3-4 minutes on the other side. Place them on the paper towel-lined plate to drain. 

To serve, place the chile rellenos on a plate and serve smothered with red or green chile; or if you prefer, alone with your favorite accompaniments on the side. Enjoy!

Categories
Vegetarian

Low-Carb Cabbage and Egg Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce

Do you ever really crave peanut noodles but you’re currently “behaving” and trying to eat healthier? Maybe you’re really burned out on zucchini noodles and spaghetti squash, but you REALLY need to get those veggies in? Well, this low-carb cabbage and egg stir fry can help you stay on track, eat your veggies, and satisfy your craving. And eggs are included, so there’s no problem fitting in your protein boost. These peanut-sauce covered veggies are so good, you may momentarily forget about the missing noodles. 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. olive oil

4 c. shredded cabbage

½ c. shredded carrots

½ red bell pepper chopped

¼ c. green onions, sliced

¼ c. peanuts

3 eggs

Two-Minute Peanut Sauce 

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the cabbage, carrots, and red peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the green onion and cook for one more minute. 

Make a space in the center of the skillet and scramble the eggs. Stir to mix the veggies and eggs quickly. Add the peanut sauce and heat through for about one minute. Divide into bowls and top with peanuts and additional green onions, if desired. 

Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Squash Blossom and Goat Cheese Frittata

Squash blossoms are one of those things that are ubiquitous in backyards during the summer. Many of us like to grow squash because it can pretty much grow everywhere. The squash blossoms that show up on these amazing big-leafed plants are not only beautiful, happy flowers, they also tell us that our harvest is coming soon. Most people never think about picking and eating the blossoms, but they are one of the most delicious, tender parts of the plant. Who knew you had such a delightful ingredient growing in your yard?

There’s a trick when it comes to harvesting squash blossoms: you want to eat the male flowers and leave the female blossoms on the plant because those are the ones that produce your food. How do you know the difference? The male flowers have long, skinny stems attached to them and the female flowers have a bulb-like protrusion underneath the flower. Simply find the male flowers, cut them below the flower, remove the spindly pieces under the flower, and get rid of the stamen (it’s bitter). Run the flowers under cool water to clean, and they’re ready to be eaten. It’s that simple!

This squash blossom and goat cheese frittata is full of drool-worthy summer ingredients that are perfectly matched. The richness of the shallots and zucchini paired with the eggs and the tender sweetness of the blossoms and goat cheese are fuel for future daydreams about this meal. This frittata is simple and fast to make, but tastes like absolute heaven and looks pretty fancy, which is a nice little bonus.  

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 c. zucchini, chopped into small pieces

6 eggs

½ c. milk

6 large squash blossoms or 8 small 

2 goat cheese

¼ c. green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 

Combine the eggs and milk together in a bowl and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper and combine again. Set aside. 

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet and cook the shallots and zucchini together for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. 

Make sure the shallots and zucchini are fairly evenly distributed in the skillet and then pour the egg mixture over the top. Allow the eggs to cook for about a minute until it begins to set around the edges. Then, take a rubber spatula and run it around the edges of the skillet so that the frittata doesn’t stick to the edges. Cook the frittata for another 3-4 minutes, or until the eggs are fairly set on the bottom. 

Remove from the heat. Arrange the squash blossoms in a circular pattern on the top of the frittata. Crumble the goat cheese and sprinkle evenly on top. 

Place the frittata in the oven and cook for about 10 minutes. Keep a close eye on it, though, because you want to make sure the top is set but you don’t want it to be overcooked! Once the top is set, remove from the oven and allow the frittata to rest for about 5 minutes. 

Top with green onions, slice, and serve! 

Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Breakfast Calabacitas (Mexican Zucchini and Corn with Eggs)

Calabacitas have been on my mind a lot lately because the garden is in full production mode and I have lots of fresh veggies, especially squash, tomatoes, and peppers. These ingredients just so happen to make up one of my summer favorites: calabacitas.

I can’t seem to get enough of them right now, so it’s not totally shocking that I began craving them at all hours of the day, including breakfast. I thought to myself the other day, “why aren’t calabacitas commonly served at breakfast?” So I fried up some eggs and topped calabacitas with them, warmed up some tortillas, and what a magical breakfast this was! Not only is this breakfast super tasty, it’s also very healthy. This breakfast will definitely be served up in my house from now on!

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 poblano pepper, diced and seeded

1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, diced and seeded (optional: if you like heat)

1 15 oz. can of corn, drained

2 roma tomatoes, diced

2 large zucchini, diced (can also use yellow squash)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp. New Mexican chile powder

¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano 

½ c. water

½ c. sour cream

¼ c. cotija cheese or shredded cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Garnish with cilantro, green onions, or any other favorite toppings and serve with warm tortillas

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, poblanos, and serrano/jalapeno peppers. Cook for 2 minutes until soft. Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, cilantro, chile powder, cumin, oregano and cook for 5 minutes. Add water and cook until water is reduced and vegetables are soft, about 5 more minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the sour cream and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. 

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Fry the eggs. While the eggs are cooking, divide the calabacitas onto four plates. When the eggs are cooked to your liking, top each plate with a fried egg and season with salt and pepper. Enjoy hot!

Categories
Sandwiches Vegan Vegetarian

Greek Marinated Tofu Pita Sandwiches

Pita sandwiches are one of my favorite things to make for dinner because they’re always full of delicious toppings and flavorful fillings. I happen to be a fan of using baked tofu in them because it’s yummy, full of protein, vegan, and very inexpensive. This Greek marinated tofu is full of all of the same flavors you would recognize from chicken gyros or Greek marinated chicken: garlic, lemon, olive oil, and spices – but it’s vegan. No yumminess is sacrificed by the vegan-ness of this sandwich, I swear. 

I like to serve this tofu on a warm pita with all of my favorites: hummus, tzatziki sauce, fresh veggies, and feta cheese. If you follow a vegan diet, you can eliminate the dairy or use vegan dairy alternatives to create your masterpiece.  

Ingredients:

1 package of extra firm tofu, drained

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. olive oil

Juice from one lemon

3 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. dill

Salt and pepper

Serve with:

Warm pita bread

Tzatziki sauce

Hummus 

Feta cheese

Cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, onions

About 30 minutes before marinating, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu. 

Cut the tofu into slices and place in a glass bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix together very carefully with your hands. Marinate at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tofu slices on a lined baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the slices over and cook for another 15 minutes or so, or until the tofu is lightly toasted and a bit crispy around the edges. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Serve on a warm pita with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Categories
Vegetarian

Wild Mushrooms on Toast with Picante Provolone

I have been obsessed with mushrooms lately. This year in Colorado, wild mushrooms are abundant and foragers are finding tons of morels, chanterelles, and porcinis in our forests. I spent the entire weekend hiking and mushroom hunting, and they are everywhere. I feel like a kid on a treasure hunt out there, and since I adore mushrooms, the rewards are better than gold. I am learning so much about different types of mushrooms, and it’s all so exciting for my food-obsessed mind.

You don’t have to live near a bumper crop of mushrooms to make this amazing wild mushroom toast, but if you do . . . you’re in luck. More and more stores are carrying gourmet mushrooms, so they are becoming so much more accessible for cooks. This recipe for wild mushrooms on toast with picante provolone is swoon-worthy. The delicate, earthy mushrooms cooked in butter, garlic, garlic, and herbs are heavenly on their own, but when you top some crusty bread with the mushrooms and add a deliciously strong cheese, you’ve got a flavor masterpiece. 

Be on the lookout for more mushroom recipes soon. I’m out there hunting, and I’m not stopping until I’m a mushroom expert. Or at least until the season is over. 

Ingredients:

2-3 slices of crusty bread

1 8 oz. package of mixed wild mushrooms (I like Chef’s Sampler by Mycopia), roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. butter

¼ c. dry white wine

3 tsp. Herbes de Provence

3-4 slices of picante provolone 

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to broil. 

Toast the bread very lightly until it is very light tan. Set aside on a lined baking sheet.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, Herbes de Provence, and white wine and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until the wine has mostly cooked out. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. 

Top the toasted bread slices with the mushroom mixture. Add cheese slices to the top of the mushrooms. 

Broil in the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bread is browed. Keep an eye on the mushroom toasts because oven temps can vary. Enjoy hot!

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Watermelon and Cucumber Salad with Feta

Ahhhh, summer: the season for fresh, crunchy, water-filled fruits and vegetables that make your body feel so hydrated and your mouth as happy as a pup at the dog park. Watermelon and cucumber happen to be two of my favorite refreshing summer treats, and they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Maybe better.

This vibrant salad combines the sweetness of watermelon, cucumber, and mint with the salty tanginess of lemon and feta cheese (and just a tiny bit of salt). And it’s just plain delicious. Enough said. 

Ingredients:

4 c. watermelon, cubed

2 c. cucumber, quartered

Juice from ½ lemon

2 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped

⅓ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Salt to taste

Add the watermelon and cucumber to a large serving bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice in and mix. Add the mint leaves and feta cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and mix together. Serve chilled.