Tag Archives: mains

Cold-be-gone Spicy Vegetable Soup

DSC_0058Happy Holidays! We are in California visiting family and friends for the holidays for the first time in a looooong time. Last year we left for Thailand the day after Christmas so we didn’t come home for the holidays. It’s nice to be back. It’s nice to be cold for the first time in, um, years.DSC_0035DSC_0039DSC_0047DSC_0049

But maybe because it’s been cold, or maybe because it’s been rainy, or maybe because of all the planes and the driving and the family and the excitement.. Brett has a cold. Boo! So I made some soup. Because soup, it helps. It helps warm your bones. It helps mend things that are broken and makes colds feel better even if it doesn’t quite help you kick them to the curb. So. In case you have a cold too, here’s some soup for you. So you don’t have to be sick on Christmas.

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My Favorite [ridiculously easy] Pasta

Oh, hey there, November! When did you get here? How did you sneak up on me like that? How did my little brother just turn twenty-freaking two? How is Thanksgiving next week? I had such grand plans. They involved butter, sugar, and lots of practice. They used egg whites and whipped them to peaky perfection. And purple sweet potatoes and coconut milk. And getting me to like brussel sprouts. So many things I had planned! And yet, here I am. Trying frantically to clean out my refrigerator to make room for a turkey that can feed eight. and three pies. And how many sides? I lost count. 

So if you are finding yourself in the same boat, with November flying by without you being entirely prepared for it, lacking motivation to do grocery shopping before the epic bender you’re going on this weekend, and your refrigerator stockpile slowly dwindling in the face of what you know is going to be a pie-turkey-potato-green bean EXPLOSION next week, this one’s for you.  Continue reading

Fully Homemade Lasagna

I’m not 100% sure about this, but I think lasagna is my favorite pasta dish. Ever. I want to say it always has been. But unfortunately, I was a rather fickle child known to tell horrendous lies just to get out of eating food I decided I didn’t like for whatever reason. Like, uh, I told my family I was allergic to spaghetti one time. Immediately after polishing off my slice of pizza. [people, those are exactly the same ingredients..] I was a weird kid. But anyways. I’m pretty sure I’ve always liked lasagna, and now I’m sure I LOVE it with all caps. Like, LOVE love. big time.

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Handmade Noodles

Homemade noodles were  one of those bucket-list things for me. Which probably makes me a pretty boring person considering most people have awesome! fun! exciting! things on their bucket list, like, I don’t know, skydiving or swimming with sharks. Me? I wanted to make noodles. But I don’t have a pasta machine. I have one teeny tiny, low, wood laminate counter. And a rolling pin. And some determination. And I made noodles.

Turns out they shouldn’t have been relegated to my bucket list, they should have been on my do-this-right-now-like-immediately list. Which means you should probably put them on yours too, because, uh, they are awesome. And really not hard at all. Seriously! It just takes one tiny counter. And a rolling pin. and some determination, in the form of arm strength. But not a lot of strength. I mean, shoot, I did it. Also, they taste like no noodles you’ve ever had before. Unless you, unlike me, eat at fancy restaurants where they actually make fresh pasta. Or unless you, unlike me, have discovered the joys of fresh pasta eons ago and think I’m waaay behind the times. I generally am. But I’m catching up.

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Pasta with Walnut Sauce

We Love Nick. What’s that? You have no idea who Nick is? That’s okay. I have a feeling you love him too, you just don’t know it yet. Nick is my cousin’s fiancée, and also our friend. Because we like him. So, well, you probably don’t know him. But let me tell you about him: he gave me this recipe. It was delicious. And deliciously easy. I think that’s all you need to know for now.

Do you know how awesome walnuts are? Um.. they’re like one of those superfoods people talk about a lot these days. They’re one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat and they are really high in omega-3-fatty acids which, if you didn’t know, make you smarter. Fact. Or something like that. Anyways, this sauce is mostly walnuts which means this pasta is ridiculously healthy for you. Another win. Because it means you can eat giant servings of it for several days in a row and feel really good about yourself. And have an extra-large milkshake for dessert. It’s called balance, people.

So. Grab yourself a bag of walnuts (okay, I know they are kind of pricey. But you can get a three pound bag at costco and eat walnuts for the rest of forever. Just make sure you keep them in the freezer so they don’t go bad.) And let’s say a silent ‘thank you’ to Nick for this kick butt pasta sauce recipe. Thanks Nick!

ps. check this recipe out on the Magic Bullet Blog too!

Walnut Pasta Sauce (courtesy of Nick. and also his mother, whose recipe this really is. I think. I adapted it only slightly.)

So not only is this recipe ridiculously easy to make (like, blend and dump easy) and ridiculously healthy for you, but it is also vegetarian and could oh-so easily be made  gluten free. I’ll mention below what you can sub out to make it so!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts, toasted until deep golden brown (you can do this in a 375 degree oven or on top of a stove, tossing them often, just watch them carefully if you do it on the stove so you don’t burn them. But don’t skip the roasting step! it’s what brings out all the nutty flavor of the walnuts)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup half and half (you could use milk or cream or whatever you have. or even a non-dairy alternative.)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • a large 1/4 tsp italian seasoning
  • 3 tsp fresh squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 lb linguine, fettuccine or other pasta; cooked and drained (if you use brown rice pasta, this recipe is gluten-free. Ta-da!)

These are the instructions as they were given to me: Blend first [11] ingredients. Dump onto pasta.

I’ll add that you should then mix it well and serve it with some wine. But that’s just me. 

Savory Grilled Chicken

I wasn’t there to witness the inception of this chicken, but from what I understand, it probably took place after several beers, and was basically the result of, well, whatever was in our friend’s cupboards at the time. But as it turned out, Brett and his friend Paul (is it cool if I mention you by name, Paul? I’ve done it twice now so I hope it’s okay.) made quite a tasty little marinade in their state of questionable inebriation. Good on you, boys.

What’s in it? Well, basically everything you  have sitting in your cupboards right now. Yep. Somehow when you take all that down and throw it on top of some chicken thighs and then let those thighs take a nice long bath, and then slam those down on a nice and hot grill you end up with crispy, crunchy, juicy, altogether yummy piece of chicken you’ll be glad to have at your next bbq.

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Curried Pumpkin Risotto

Many things happened to get me to this here recipe that I’m about to share with you. And they happened in such a way as to make me say, oh, jeez, it seems like fate that I must make this. NOW. So I did. Boy, howdy am I glad I did.

Firstly, I love pumpkin, and do not understand why it is relegated only to the time between Halloween and Christmas. That’s just not fair. Plus, you can do more with pumpkin than just pie, right? Secondly, I saw this recipe on Frugal Feeding’s blog and it made me drool. Thirdly, we went vegetable shopping in Chinatown and the pumpkins were ridiculously cheap. And finally, I got a nifty new gadget in the mail  last Saturday. Boom. Kismet. (right? is that what kismet means?) So, with my pumpkin in my hand, my inspiration in my mind, and my (magic)  bullet on the counter, I set to work in making my own pumpkin risotto.

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