Monday, September 30, 2013

Whole Wheat Pasta Is The Way To Go

On the Menu
  • Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Herbs
  • Valencia Pasta Salad

Angelique
Yeah now that mom is on this no "Wheat Kick", she'll soon start trying to find alternatives for our favorite pasta salads.  And I'm here to tell you, I ain't going for it, there is no substituting wheat pasta.
Mom
You see you just naturally assume that I'm going to try to find a substitute for pasta, but believe it or not, I agree with you, there's no substituting pasta.
Angelique
You're saying that now, but wait until the holiday time rolls around and you start feigning for mac & cheese not to mention your cranberry apple stuffing!
Mom
Gosh, you certainly know how to burst a person's bubble. I wasn't even thinking that far ahead, I guess I'll just cross that bridge when I get to it.
Angelique
Well now that I know you are not going to alter our salads, let me add that with almost any salad, you can always add grill chicken, shrimp or any fish/meat of your choice.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce



 Penne Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes & Herbs
6 Servings
Ingredients 
1 pound penne pasta
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ bunch scallions, sliced
½ cup garlic cloves, roasted, sliced
1 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 stalk fresh sage, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup vegan mayo

Method
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta then bring the pot back up to a rapid boil and stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit 6 – 8 minutes covered and undisturbed (see package for actual cooking time).
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl.  While pasta is still hot, stir in the salt, cayenne pepper and olive oil, mix thoroughly then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Once pasta is cool, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Valencia Pasta Salad
6 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound bow tie pasta
½ cup garlic cloves, roasted, sliced
1 head broccoli florettes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
½ bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
3 - 4 chicken breast, baked or grilled, diced
For the dressing:
½ cup olive oil
½ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 - 2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method
In a large pot, bring 8 cups of water to a boil, add pasta then bring the pot back up to a rapid boil and stir.
Cover pot, turn off the burner and let pasta sit 6 – 8 minutes covered and undisturbed (see package for actual cooking time).
Drain pasta in a colander then transfer to a large bowl. While pasta is still hot, stir in 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil, mix thoroughly then refrigerate until pasta is cool.
Meanwhile season chicken breast with salt, pepper, granulated garlic and onion powder.
Bake in a 350 degree oven or grill. Using a thermometer, cook until internal temperature reaches 166 degrees.  Let chicken cool then cut into 1/2" pieces.
For the dressing: In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix together the oil, vinegar and seasonings. 
Once pasta is cool, mix in the garlic, broccoli, tomatoes, parsley and chicken add ½ of the dressing and return to refrigerator until ready to serve.
Add additional dressing at the time of serving.




Saturday, September 28, 2013

Sunday Dinner September 29, 2013

On the Menu
There's a chill in the air and it time for those delicious fall soups.  Here is our first fall Sunday dinner menu hope you and your family enjoy.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients 4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 gallon Vegetable Broth

Method
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds  Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise Brush the inside of the potato & squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done.  Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher. Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat.  Add mashed vegetables to the broth.  Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly.  Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally.  If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot.  If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot.  Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed.  Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.

 Turkey Meatloaf
 8 Servings
Ingredients
3 lbs ground turkey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ teaspoons salt - Divided
1 tablespoon granulated onion
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon rosemary, ground
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 stalks scallions, sliced
4 ounces tomato sauce - divided
Method Note:Ground turkey is very bland and requires a lot of seasoning, that is why we are going to season it and let it sit overnight.
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Place turkeys in a large bowl add the Worcestershire sauce and mix thoroughly by hand.
Add 2 teaspoons of salt and all of the dry seasonings and mix thoroughly.
Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate and let mixture marinate overnight.
In a small sauce pan, heat the oil and add the onions, peppers, garlic and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt.  Sauté until all vegetables are wilted.  Remove from heat and let vegetables cool down.
Once vegetables are cool, add them to ground turkey mixture along with the parsley, scallions and 3 tablespoons  tomato sauce.
Mix all ingredients thoroughly by hand.
Place mixture in a loaf pan, top with the remaining tomato sauce and lightly sprinkle Italian seasoning over the top.
Bake in a preheated oven uncovered 45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and cover it tightly with aluminum foil.
Let loaf rest covered for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to complete the cooking process and allow the juices to settle.

8 Servings
Ingredients
2 pounds green beans, trimmed, halved
1 bay leaf
1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
½ teaspoon sea salt

Method
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add beans and bay leaf, cook for 5 minutes. Plunge beans into ice water; drain and discard bay leaf.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, onions and chili peppers and sauté 30 seconds.
Add beans; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes, tossing frequently. 
 
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4 Servings
Ingredients
1 head garlic
Olive oil
2 pounds organ red potatoes or yams, scrubbed and diced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ - 1 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup of the cooking water

Method
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Slice off the very top of the garlic head. Drizzle head with olive oil and wrap in foil.
Place on a sheet tray and bake until tender and fragrant, roughly 35 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool.
Remove the garlic by mashing it out of its casing.
Place potatoes or yams in a large stockpot and cover with cold water. Add bay leaf and granulated garlic bring to a boil.
Cook until fork tender remove the bay leaf and drain reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
Place all ingredients in an electric mixer affixed with a paddle and process on medium speed until mixture is to your desired consistency. Do not mix too long because potatoes will become gummy.
Taste for flavor and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Serve immediately.
 

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Lasagnas

On the Menu

It's fall and a little chilly out there so it's time for some comfort food. Just like Mac & Cheese, there is really no such thing as a healthy lasagna but sometimes it's okay not to eat healthy.  Just don't over do it.  I cut my left over lasagna into serving sizes wrap it in plastic wrap then foil and freeze it for up to 6 months.  Just like the frozen lasagna you buy at your super market, only healthier (because it contains less additives and preservatives) and a lot tastier.

Soulful Eating!
Angelique & Joyce




Wild Mushroom Lasagna
8 Servings
Ingredients
1 pound lasagna noodles
3 ounces dried, wild mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup onions, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
8 ounces shitake mushrooms
8 ounces crimini mushrooms
1½ teaspoon sea salt - divided
1½ teaspoon black pepper - divided
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
8 ounces fontina cheese
8 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces parmesan cheese
1 egg
16 ounces mozzarella cheese
Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook lasagna noodles al dente, toss with olive oil to prevent sticking then cool on sheet pan
Rehydrate dried mushrooms in hot water, drain and mash out excess water.
Heat oil in a large sauce pan then saute the onions; garlic and all of the mushrooms sprinkle with ½ teaspoon each sea salt, pepper and granulated garlic.
Mix together fontina, ricotta and parmesan cheeses, eggs, 1 teaspoon each salt and pepper or S & P to taste and 6 ounces of the mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
Spray the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan or lasagna pan with oil:
1.    Layer noodles on the bottom of the pan.
2.    Spread on a layer of the cheese mixture.
3.    Spread on a layer of the mushroom mixture.
Repeat these layers then end with a layer of noodles, topped with remaining mozzarella cheese.
Cover with foil and bake 46 minutes. Remember everything is already thoroughly cooked; you just want the cheese to melt and the layers to be heated all the way through.
Uncover and bake another 16 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.
 
 Turkey Sausage Lasagna
8 - 10 Servings
Ingredients
2 lbs turkey Italian Sausage
28 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 pound lasagna 
1 ounce olive oil
                                               
Method:                    
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cook lasagna noodles until al dente, toss with olive oil and cool on sheet pans.             
In a large sauce pan brown the turkey sausage until almost done then add marinara sauce and allow it to cook until it’s a thick sauce.                  
Remove from heat and place it to the side.
Set aside enough mozzarella cheese to put over the top of the lasagna.
Mix together the ricotta and remaining mozzarella cheese.                
In the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan or lasagna pan:
  1.      Spoon in enough sausage mixture to coat bottom.
  2.      Add a layer of lasagna noodles.
  3.      Spoon on sausage mixture. 
  4.      Spoon on the cheese mixture.
Repeat the process ending with a layer of lasagna topped with mozzarella cheese.        
Cover with foil and bake 46 minutes. Remember everything is already thoroughly cooked; you just want the cheese to melt and the layers to be heated all the way through.
Uncover and bake another 16 minutes or until the top is lightly brown. 

 8 - 10 Servings


Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
½ teaspoon sea salt
1teaspoon pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
2 quarts Marinara Sauce- Divided
16 ounces ricotta cheese
8 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese
32 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large saute pan, heat oil and saute onion
Add ground beef, salt, pepper granulated onion and garlic.
Once brown, add 1 quart and 3 ½ cups of marinara sauce and allow to simmer 20 – 30 minutes or until sauce thickens.
Combine ricotta, parmesan and ½ of the mozzarella cheese.
In the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch pan or lasagna pan:
  1. Spoon in enough meat sauce to coat bottom.
  2. Add a layer of lasagna noodles.
  3. Spoon on meat sauce. 
  4. Spoon on the cheese mixture.
  5. Sprinkle on a layer of mozzarella cheese
Repeat the process ending with a layer of lasagna topped with the reserved ½ cup of marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. 
Cover with foil and bake 46 minutes. Remember everything is already thoroughly cooked; you just want the cheese to melt and the layers to be heated all the way through. 
Uncover and bake another 16 minutes or until the top is lightly brown.