Sunday, June 20

Arugula-Pecan Pesto

Serve over your favorite fresh pasta- i put mine over fettuccini and it was incredible!

1/2 cup pecans
2-4 cups fresh arugula (about a 1/2 lb)
3/4 cup EVOO
4-6 garlic cloves
1/2 cup Pecorino cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Toast pecans in oven at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, once cooled coarsely chop. Peel and crush garlic cloves. Combine pecans, garlic and arugula in blender/ food processor and pulse until thoroughly chopped. Once chopped, gradually add in olive oil, lemon juice, pecorino, and salt/pepper- blend together until smooth. Prepare pasta as directed, return pasta to warm preparation pot, add pesto sauce and toss together!

Sunday, June 13

Orzo Salad

Excellent as a side dish or an entree. Goes great with fish or chicken.

1 package dry orzo pasta- prepared as directed to al dente.
1 pint size container of cherry/plum tomatoes sliced in halves and quarters
1 medium purple onion finely chopped
1 bushel fresh basil, rinsed and finely chopped
1 package pre-crumbled reduced fat feta cheese
Juice of 1/2 lemon
5-6 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp salad vinegar
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 can sliced black olives
fresh pepper and additional kosher salt to taste

In small mixing bowl, whisk together 4 tbsp EVOO, 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp salad vinegar, 1 tbsp red-wine vinegar, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper (as desired).

Prepare orzo pasta as instructed above, then rinse in cold water. Place prepared orzo in a large mixing bowl, drizzle with 1-2 tbsp EVOO. Add in prepared vegetables; tomatoes, onion, and basil and black olives. Add in salad dressing mixture and toss ingredients together thoroughly. Add in feta cheese and toss thoroughly once more. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour before serving. (If salad seems dry after chilling add in 1 more tbsp EVOO and 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar. )

Sunday, June 6

Shrimp Linguini

Super yummy. Very easy.

3/4- 1lb peeled and deveined large shrimp (about 16-20 pieces)
1 package fresh linguine pasta (not the dried kind, the kind that has to be refrigerated)
Juice of 1 lemon, plus 2 lemon wedges (about 1 and 1/2 lemon)
1 cup white wine (the cheaper the better)
2 garlic cloves, crushed/ pressed
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp favorite fish seasoning (Magic or Old Bay)
Sprig of fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

In a Medium/ Large saute pan melt 1 tbsp butter and add garlic cloves over medium heat.  About the same time set the water to boil for pasta- fresh pasta cooks fast!!! Cook as desired then add generous amount of olive oil or butter once drained.

Add wine, juice of one lemon, and fish seasoning to saute pan. Bring to a rapid simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, add shrimp. Cook until done (will be pink and curled) about 4-6 minutes over medium heat. Remove the shrimp from the liquid in the saute pan, and place in a heat safe dish.

Turn heat up to medium-high on your sauce as to reduce it. Will simmer, darken slightly and pull away from pan rim slightly (about 3-5 minutes.)

Place linguine on plate and distribute shrimp, each plate gets 8-10 pieces, if cooking for two. Generously, but equally, distribute your reduced white wine sauce over the shrimp and linguine. Garnish with a dusting pf parsley, Parmesan, and your lemon wedges.

Serve with remainder of white wine!

Vegetable Noodle Casserole

This my own personal spin on a noodle casserole

1 medium- large zucchini cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 medium- large yellow squash cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 medium sweet onion coarsely chopped
1 small red pepper sliced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cups broccoli florets
1-2 cups portabella mushrooms sliced
1 crushed/ pressed garlic clove
1 bag whole-wheat egg noodles, prepared for firm texture
2 cups mixed Italian (or your favorite) shredded cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan
1 can Fat Free Cream of mushroom soup
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Salt & pepper
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp rubbed sage
Nature seasoning to taste.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a 9x13" casserole pan with oil (or use your favorite casserole pan/ oven safe pot).

Prepare egg noodles as directed for firm texture, drain, and place back in pot used to boil noodles.

Saute squash, broccoli, onion, and garlic clove over medium-low heat in vegetable oil for 10 minutes. Season as desired with suggested seasoning above. Add red peppers, carrots, and the mushrooms. Gently stir, and cover with lid for additional 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Leave covered. Do not over/completely cook vegetables.

In the pot containing noodles, add cream of mushroom soup, veggie broth, and milk. (the heat from the noodles should make the liquids mix together). Add in all of the vegetables and toss with noodle mixture. Stir in 1 cup of Italian cheese mix.

Transfer mixture into casserole pan (or leave in oven safe cooking pot). Will be fairly liquidy. Sprinkle remainder of the cheeses over top of casserole. Distribute bread crumbs over the top. Cover with Aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 10-15 minutes, or until cheese and crust have browned and the casserole is bubbling.


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