Friday, June 26, 2015

Parmesan Ricotta Gnocchi

I love gnocchi. Little pillows of buttery happiness. Sometimes I do crave the carbs. Especially pasta. Ooooh pasta. Anyway this Parmesa Ricotta Gnocchi is quite easy to put together and amazing.

Parmesan Ricotta Gnocchi

Makes 4 servings

2 cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBSP black pepper
1/2 TBSP Salt
Your favorite sauce to serve with

Prepare a baking sheet with lightly floured parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together the ricotta, eggs, salt and pepper until the mixture is uniform.

Add the flour in two batches until the dough is soft and still slightly wet.

Flour a surface and turn the dough out of the bowl. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll each into a 1″-1 1/2″ rope. Make sure your hands are well floured as well. Using a bench scraper or a floured knife, cut rope into 1″ pieces. Place on the prepared and floured baking sheet making sure they are arranged in one layer.

If not cooking right away, make sure they are covered with a clean kitchen towel.

To cook, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the gnocchi and give it a stir to make sure they are not sticking together. I recommend doing this in 2 batches. They should take no longer than 3-4 minutes to cook through. Lift out of water with a slotted spoon and throw right into the sauce or pan depending on how you are serving the gnocchi.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Parmesan Garlic Bread Recipe

I have been wanting to try a pull apart bread recipe for a while now. And well I finally succumb to temptation. This recipe felt like kismet as I had all of the ingredients in my pantry. Well all but one. Probably the most important one. But my back up ingredient worked just fine. I didn't have pizza dough. Nor did I have the time to make one. So I used a store brand Pillsbury dough. I used the large tube of giant biscuit dough. It was so buttery. Really easy to put together. I threw in a three cheese Italian blend as well for more cheesiness. Very tasty.

Parmesan Garlic Bread Recipe


1 pizza dough recipe
2 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, minced
1½ cups grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup parsley


Preheat oven to 425º F. Cut pizza dough into about 2 - inch pieces.
Melt butter in a medium skillet. Roll each piece of pizza dough in the melted butter and arrange in the skillet. Once all pieces have been arranged, mix together garlic, cheese, and parsley. Sprinkle mixture on top of pizza dough bites and bake in the oven until the pizza dough has cooked through and the cheese begins to melt, about 12 - 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Prep time does not include rising time for the pizza dough recipe.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I love zucchini and feta together. So I was excited to try this Israeli couscous and zucchini salad with feta, mint. It was refreshing yet filling. The creaminess of the feta worked well with the slight bitterness of the raw zucchini. Perfect summer salad.


1 cup water
1/2 cup uncooked, dry Israeli couscous
2 small zucchinis
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
½ cup small cubed feta cheese
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt and pepper, to taste


In a large saucepan, bring 1 cup of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the couscous and cook for 10 minutes or according to package instructions, until tender. Drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
While couscous is cooking, spiralize the zucchinis, using Blade A. Trim the noodles and set aside.
Also, while couscous is cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the dressing and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the zucchini noodles. Let cook for 2-3 minutes or until softened, heated and cooked to your preference. Pour the cooked zucchini into the large mixing bowl and add in the mint and feta. Pour in the dressing and toss to combine.
Serve immediately.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai

I adore shrimp pad thai. The variety of flavors and colors. But I am trying to cut back on the amount of carbs. It is a struggle and a learning experience on how to reteach myself to eat. More protein, the right type of protein, minimal carbs, more fresh fruits and veggies. So I was very happy to find this recipe
for Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai. I've had cooked cabbage before but as a stuffed cabbage, or in borscht and of course cole slaw. The dish was easy to put together, and tasted even better than traditional pad thai.

Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai


2 oz or about 2 tbs tamarind paste
1/2 cup boiling water
4 tbs coconut sugar
3 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 small-medium bell pepper, julienned
2 medium carrots, julienned
8 scallions, chopped (white and green parts divided)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 medium sized head cabbage, sliced into "noodles"
3 eggs, beaten
1 lb wild caught shrimp
sesame oil, or coconut oil
salt and pepper

For serving

crushed peanuts
bean sprouts
crushed red pepper


Add tamarind paste and boiling water to a bowl. Allow to sit and soften while you prepare vegetables and peel shrimp.
Press the tamarind paste through a fine mesh strainer, scraping with a spatula or back of spoon. Discard remaining fibers.
To strained tamarind paste add coconut sugar, vinegar, and fish sauce. Stir to dissolve coconut sugar.
Heat a wok or large pan to high heat and add a bit of oil. Season peeled shrimp with salt and pepper and add to wok, cooking just until opaque. Remove from pan and reserve.
Add a little more oil, and add white parts of scallions and minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds and add carrots, grated ginger, and a pinch of salt. Cook for several minutes and add bell peppers, cabbage, sauce and green part of scallions. (add half of the bean sprouts now, if using) Stir frequently and cook until vegetables begin to soften, 8-10 minutes.
Slide vegetables to one side of wok or pan and add beaten eggs. Let set for a minute and then scramble, incorporating into the vegetables. Add cooked shrimp and toss to combine. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a serving dish and serve with peanuts, cilantro, lime, bean sprouts, and crushed red pepper.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Fiesta Salad

This was a delicious recipe! I think the dish can be either a salad or a chunky dip. So easy to assemble. Healthy and tons of flavor. Think of this Fiesta Salad for your next gathering!

Fiesta Bean Salad


2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp extra virgin olive
1 tsp cumin
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup minced red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 medium avocado, diced


In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lime juice, oil, cumin, crushed red pepper, and salt.

Add the black beans, chickpeas, tomato, onion and cilantro; mix well. When ready to eat, gently mix in avocado and serve right away.

Makes 4 1/3 cups.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa is a really great and healthy salad that combines a lot of different flavors. And one of my favorite salad dressings, carrot and ginger. It is such an easy recipe. It will leave you full and happy.

Carrot Miso-Ginger Cucumber Noodles with Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas, Kale, Avocado and Red Quinoa


For the miso-ginger carrot dressing (makes 3/4 cups):
1/2 large carrot
1 medium shallot, minced
2 tsp minced ginger root
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup + 1 tsp canola oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1/2 tbsp water
For the rest:
1 large cucumber, Blade A
1/2 cup chickpeas
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 avocado, insides cubed
1/8 cup red quinoa
3 cups chopped kale


Place 1/4 cup of water with 1/8 cup of red quinoa in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiled, cook for about 10 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy when forked with a knife and water has fully absorbed into the quinoa.
Combine the ginger, shallots and carrots into a food processor and pulse until carrots are minced finely. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until creamy. Set aside.
Place your cucumber noodles, quinoa, kale and 1/2 cup dressing into a bowl and toss to combine thoroughly.
Put the noodles and kale into a bowl and top with sunflower seeds, avocado, and chickpeas. Enjoy!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti

I was trying to replicate my mother's recipe of pasta with meat sauce and this recipe for Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti intrigued me as everything cooks in the crockpot. I didn't have to do much work for it and the results are wonderful. The cream cheese really does make the cheesy creamy.

 Crock Pot Crock Pot Creamy Spaghetti
1 lb. spaghetti noodles, broke in half
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
4 oz. cream cheese
3 (24 oz.) jars traditional spaghetti sauce
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese
1 c. chicken broth
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dried Parsley for garnish

Preheat Crock Pot to HIGH. In a large skillet brown beef. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. When beef is no longer pink, drain if necessary. In bottom of Crock Pot, pour 1 jar of sauce. Lay spaghetti noodles on top of sauce. Add beef and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. With fingers, break up cream cheese over meat. Pour 1 jar sauce over top. Cook on HIGH for 2.5-3 hours. Stir. Add chicken broth and last jar of sauce. It will be very thick. If you like a thinner consistency, add more chicken broth. If pasta isn't tender, cook 1 additional hour. Stir well before serving. Garnish with parsley if desired.*NOTE* My pasta was perfectly cooked after 2.5 hours. I turned the heat down to Keep Warm until serving. If it dries out, you can always add more broth and stir.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Oven Baked Salmon Recipe with Parmesan Herb Crust

Besides vegan's and allergies I don't understand how anyone can't like fish or seafood. True some fish and seafood have a stronger taste than others, but I can say I enjoy it. Plus healthy. And if one can't there are a lot delicious herbs and spices that can make eating fish and seafood enjoyable. Such as the recipe for Oven Baked Salmon Recipe with Parmesan Herb Crust. I added some onion salt and paprika for extra seasoning. We paired it with the carrot salad. It was so flavorful! A keeper.



1 salmon filet, about 2 pounds, left whole

Parmesan Herb Crust:

3 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup chopped parsley
½ cup chopped Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425º F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil for easiest cleanup.
Place salmon, skin side down, onto lined baking sheet. Cover salmon with another piece of parchment paper. Bake salmon for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and remove top piece of parchment paper. Top with garlic, Parmesan and parsley mixture. Return to oven uncovered and allow to bake until registers 135º F when checked with an internal thermometer probe. The Parmesan cheese should have melted and lightly browned..
Allow to rest about 5 minutes and serve.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Marakesh Carrots

When I was a little girl carrots were one of my favorite snack. I would eat the outside until I reached the sweet center. My children are a big fan of baby carrots. They eat it like candy. So I was excited to try Joy The Baker's recipe for Marakesh Carrots. I only omitted the dates. Because I hate them. Will you forgive me? I added a splash of balsamic vinegar too.  I ran out of feta(hey we love feta), but I would like to try adding it the next time I make this salad. Oh and I will!

Marakesh Carrots 


4 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
7 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
4 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons olive oil
zest and juice of 2 limes
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


In a large bowl combine the carrots, garbanzo beans, chopped dates, green onions, cilantro and chopped pistachios.
In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, zest and juice of limes, cumin, nutmeg, turmeric, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the carrot mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in the feta cheese and toss lightly. Serve immediately or cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Friday, June 05, 2015

Roasted garlicky brussel sprouts

I'm trying hard to pair just vegetables with protein or vegetables as a main course like a dinner salad. I saw some beautiful looking Brussel sprouts(ask me a few years ago and those words would have not come out of my mouth) and decided to roast them with minced garlic and olive oil. I combined the three ingredients and roasted at 400 for 15 minutes. It was wonderful and simple dish. 

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Roasted Parmesan Broccoli

Growing up we didn't eat much broccoli. My mother only made it one way and I didn't really care for it. I was surprised as I normally love her cooking. So I am surprised I even like broccoli. Luckily my children love broccoli. But only steamed. I was happy to find this recipe for Roasted Parmesan Broccoli and as the Cookie Rookie says the wheel isn't being reinvented. The dish is simple but fabulous. We paired it with a roasted sweet pepper and boneless pork chop. 


Serves: 4-6


24 ounces broccoli florets
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup grated parmesan, divided
Juice of 1 lemon
2 lemons, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 425F
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine broccoli, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic, juice from lemon, and half of the parmesan. Toss to combine all the flavors.
Arrange broccoli in a single layer on the baking sheet and place lemon wedges around as you see fit.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until tender
Remove from oven and sprinkle with the rest of the parmesan. Squeeze lemon wedges over broccoli if desired. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Artichoke Antipasto Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I love antipasto but the meat and cheese aren't really healthy, so I was please to find this Artichoke Antipasto Salad with Basil Vinaigrette that uses just the vegetables. True the veggies aren't fresh but there is a nice pickled taste to it that I enjoy. The salad went great with grilled boneless pork chops.

Artichoke Antipasto Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
(Makes 8-10 servings, or make a smaller size if you prefer; recipe created by Kalyn and Jake when I had that big basil plant in my window and wanted a new idea for usingBasil Vinaigrette.)

Salad Ingredients:
33 oz. jar large artichoke hearts packed in water (I used artichoke hearts from Costco, or use several jars to get about this many artichoke hearts.)
12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
6 oz can (drained weight) black olives
1/4 red onion, cut into very thin slivers

Basil Vinaigrette Ingredients:
(Read more here about making basil vinaigrette. ) 
2-3 T finely chopped or pureed fresh basil 
6 T low-sugar purchased vinaigrette dressing
(For Paleo, Gluten-Free, or Vegan, make sure you're choosing an approved dressing.  I love to make this with Le Parisien Vinaigrette, which is only sold in Utah and surrounding states.  Another good choice is Newman's Own Olive Oil and Vinegar Dressing.)

Drain artichoke hearts into a large colander placed in the sink. Combine the finely chopped basil and vinaigrette dressing to make basil vinaigrette. 

When the artichoke hearts are well drained, remove them from the colander and drain the roasted red peppers into the same colander.  Cut artichoke hearts into halves and arrange them so they cover all the surface of a large platter.

When roasted red peppers are well drained, remove them from the colander and drain the olives into the same colander.  Pat the red peppers with a paper towels to dry the surface; then cut the red peppers into strips.  Cut the red onion into thin slicers.  Arrange the onions and then the roasted red peppers over the artichoke hearts, then add the drained olives on the top.

Drizzle desired amount of basil vinaigrette over the salad and serve.  This salad can sit out for an hour or two on a buffet table.  It was also delicious as leftovers, eaten cold from the fridge!

I think there are lots of other things that could be good as an ingredient in this salad.  If you try an experiment that works, please leave a comment and let us know what you added!

Monday, June 01, 2015

Vegan Caesar Salad

I am still trying to add to my recipe index of recipes that fill me up but also taste great. And this recipe for Vegan Caesar salad does just that. I think I may even enjoy it more than regular Caesar salad. It is easy to throw together flavorful, has great crunch and it is so healthy for your.

Vegan Caesar Salad


For the salad:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled, Blade C
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 packed cups chopped kale
For the dressing:
1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 large cloves garlic
1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
For the chickpeas:
1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed, patted dry
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt and whisk together. Add in the chickpeas, toss to coat, and then drizzle with the olive oil. Toss again to mix. Place the chickpeas out evenly over a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes or until crisp, shaking the pan half way through.
Twenty minutes into baking the chickpeas, place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the sweet potato noodles and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and cook, uncovering occasionally to toss, for 5-7 minutes or until sweet potato noodles are cooked through. Set aside in a large bowl when done.
While the sweet potato noodles cook, place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a high speed blender and pulse until creamy. Taste and adjust (more tang? more lemon! more spice? more pepper! more flavor? more dijon!) Set aside.
When sweet potato noodles are done, wipe the skillet clean. Coat with cooking spray and add in the kale. Sautee for 3 minutes or until the kale is warmed up and slightly wilted, seasoning lightly with pepper and add to the large bowl with the sweet potato noodles.
When the chickpeas are done roasting, prepare the salad. Pour the Caesar dressing over the kale and sweet potato noodles and toss to combine thoroughly. Portion onto four plates and top with spiced chickpeas. Serve immediately.

Friday, May 29, 2015


My mother is the queen of omelets. She would not just make a plain omelet. Or cheese omelet. She would add potatoes sometimes. Or tomatoes and feta. Or mushrooms and green beans. This Shakshuka recipe I stumbled upon reminds me of her tomato and feta omelet. I was excited to make it. As it reminded me of not only her feta and tomato omelet but also a red pepper and tomato dip she makes called Ajca. There are many varieties of Shakshuka. It is a heavy meal but can be enjoyed at any time during the day. I would recommend lots of pita bread or toast to sop up the delicious vegetable juices. 


Adapted from the NY Times


    3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

    1 large red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

    3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    1 teaspoon ground cumin

    1 teaspoon sweet paprika

    ⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or to taste

    1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped

    ¾ teaspoon salt, more as needed

    ¼ teaspoon black pepper, more as needed

    5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

    6 large eggs

     Chopped cilantro, for serving

     Hot sauce, for serving


    Heat oven to 375 degrees.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook gently until very soft, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne, and cook 1 minute. Pour in tomatoes and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; simmer until tomatoes have thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in crumbled feta.

    Gently crack eggs into skillet over tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until eggs are just set, 7 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with hot sauce.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Korean Bibimbap

I adore Asian cuisine. Such diversity of smells, flavors, colors and textures. My favorite however is Korean cuisine. BBQ in particular. I love the heat as well. But I decided to give this recipe for Korean Bibimbap a try. It was the Bulgogi sauce that pulled me in. The recipe was quite easy to pull together despite having a few different steps. And the spicy as well as flavor level did not disappoint.

Korean Bibimbap


For the Korean Bibimbap:

3 cups cooked sticky rice (1 1/4 cups dry rice)
8 ounces loose leaf spinach or chopped kale
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (oyster, shiitake, or cremini)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1 inch segments
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 eggs
Beef Bulgogi Recipe (for non-vegetarian)
Salt and pepper

For the Gochujang Sauce:

1/2 cup korean gochujang sauce (found at Asian markets or Whole Foods)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame seeds


Cook the rice according to package instructions and set aside.
Place the spinach in a pot and add 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 cup broth, and 1 teaspoon sesame seeds. Salt and pepper. Then cover and bring to a simmer. If wilted, remove from heat and keep covered. If not wilted, stir and cover again for 3-4 minutes.
Place one teaspoon of sesame oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and garlic. Saute for approximately 10 minutes to cook and reduce. Salt and pepper to taste. Then place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover to keep warm.
In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the gochujang sauce and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet, then place back over medium heat. Fry 4 eggs (maybe 2 at a time) on both sides keeping the centers soft, 1-2 minutes per side.
When ready to serve, place a heap of warm rice in four bowls. Arrange the wilted spinach, sautéed mushrooms, shredded carrots, bean sprouts and green onions around the rice. (If adding the Beef Bulgogi to the Bibimbap, arrange around the rice as well.) Then top with a hot fried egg and drizzle with gochujang sauce. Serve warm!