Category Archives: Dinner

Pesto Gone Wild – Starring Avocado and Spinach

I am a huge fan of Pesto. I love it with pasta, in sandwiches on pizza, with eggs…the list goes on and on.

What I love most about pesto is not only the various ways you can use it, but also the various ways you can make it.

This particular pesto recipe features avocado and spinach as the star ingredients.

Avocado, spinach, fresh basil, garlic, olive oil, lime juice and Parmesan...mouth is officially watering after listing the ingredients in this pesto recipe.

This pesto literally brightens up your meal. The beautiful color makes any dish you prepare with it more appetizing. We tossed it with spaghetti and grilled chicken and it made for a very springy meal. Don’t be fooled, it’s actually quite heavier than you would think. The creaminess of the avocado makes it feel like a real pasta sauce.

And all you folks with nut allergies, you finally have a pesto you can enjoy!

Aye Carumba, Chimichurri!

Ahhh Chimichurri. The smell of Chimichurri takes me back to the good ole days when me and the hubs were living in Buenos Aires. We didn’t know much about anything when we first moved there, but what we did know is that every restaurant we went to served chimichurri. And it was oh so good.

Italian Parsley, Cilantro, Fresh Oregano, Garlic....have I got your attention?!

The reason Chimichurri is so awesome, is because it tastes fabulous with everything. Grilled Chicken, Bread, Steak, Empanadas, Grilled Veggies, Salads, Pork Chops…the list goes on and on. And it’s fast and easy. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and you have yourself a flavor packed condiment that rocks any meal.

Thank You Argentina, you are genius.

When Life Hands You A Pepper, Stuff It!

Oh Oh Oh Oh Oh, Oh Oh Oh Oh
You got the right ‘stuff,’ pepper.
You’re the reason why I write this blog.

I realize I might have just dated myself with this NKOTB reference, but the opportunity was just too good to pass up.

Beautiful colors, fantastic flavors and great nutritional value. These Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers really do have the right stuff. They are perfect for spring time meals and simultaneously act as cheerful table decor.

The first step is to remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers. You can cut the peppers horizontally or vertically, whichever way you prefer. I did both to add a little dimension to the presentation.

The key to tender peppers is to blanch them for 4-5 minutes before you fill them. Place the peppers in salted boiling water and remove them carefully with tongs.

Now for the filling: sauteed onions, garlic and jalapenos accompanied by black beans, corn, enchilada sauce, Mexican rice, seasonings, cheddar cheese and any leftover bell peppers you have.

Pack the filling into the pepper, bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes and you have yourself a gorgeous meal!

It's actually quite a filling meal. Puns aside, I was stuffed!

It May Be Hot Outside, But It’s Chili Up In Here!

I won’t lie, I’ve been waiting until it gets warm outside to post this Chili blog entry so that I could use this title. So worth the wait.

This is the perfect, no fuss no muss, too tired to cook an elaborate meal, surprisingly healthy, one-pot Chili recipe. Throw all the ingredients into your slow cooker in the morning, and come home to a satisfying and delicious meal.

Chili

There are no subsequent pictures, because that’s how easy this recipe is :). Enjoy!

Meatballs!…not to be confused with the Snookie and Deena variety

These meatballs have very quickly become a favorite in our household. They are so full of flavor it’s hard to believe that they’re on the healthier side of meatballs…you heard me.

The fresh herbs in this recipe is really what makes these meatballs special.

Basil, oregano, parsley, onions, garlic, parmesan...how can they NOT be delicious!

A secret and unusual ingredient: soaked bread in the place of bread crumbs.

Roll the meatballs into the size of golf ball. I love how the color of fresh herbs pops so well!

To cook the meatballs, I let them simmer in marinara sauce for about 30 minutes. This cooking method makes them so moist and flavorful (and helps with the healthy factor).

We usually use the sauce on top of spaghetti, but I think they would taste pretty delicious on a sub as well.

So what makes this recipe healthier than normal meatballs? 2 main things. We are using fresh whole grain bread in lieu of breadcrumbs and there’s no oil! But you’d never guess based on how tasty these babies are :).

A Little Gnocchi

Decadent, delicious and simple…yes simple.

There are several recipes online but I wasn’t too impressed by the bare minimum and in my opinion, bland ingredients that are included in most gnocchi recipes. Adding just a few flavor boosting ingredients (hello garlic, chives and pesto) made this Homemade Gnocchi with Mascarpone-Pesto Sauce really special and most importantly, still really easy!

Mash the garlic and chives into the potatoes.

Add just enough flour to form fairly stiff dough.

Roll the dough into 1/2 to 3/4 inch 'snake like' pieces.

Cut the Gnocchi into 1/2 to 3/4 inch pieces using a serrated knife to add some shape.

Shape the Gnocchi by using a fork. Push each piece of gnocchi lightly onto the backside of a fork.

The ridges on the Gnocchi will help catch the sauce.

This is a picture of the gnocchi post boiling. Drop the pieces of Gnocchi in boiling water and wait for them to rise (about 3-4 minutes) and scoop out of the water. You'll have to drop the gnocchi into the boiling water in batches.

Wah-Lah! Home Made Gnocchi with Mascarpone-Pesto Sauce

The best part about this home made gnocchi is that is that you can make it ahead of time and freeze it! Then you just have to boil them on they day you want to serve it. Great for dinner parties!

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