During the summer months, we eat tons and tons of salads from the locally grown veggies that come in our CSA share. Lately, I’ve been making my own salad dressings to go with them and they’re delicious. Below are my two favorites recipes. Hope you enjoy!
Balsamic and Mustard Dressing
¼ cup balsamic vinegar* (the higher the quality, the better the dressing)
½ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (I prefer grainy, but smooth is fine)
1 teasppoon honey (agave will also work)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar and mustard.
2- Slowly pour in the olive oil and honey, whisking constantly until combined.
3- Season with salt and pepper.
1 cup olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
2 ½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 ½ teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1- Whisk together and shake well before serving.
Recently, we’ve been receiving eggplant with our CSA share. I never really know what to make with it so have been on the hunt for new recipes. We’ve made this twice and I must say, it’s delicious. However, it’s definitely not the most healthy so it’s a special occassion dish only. Enjoy!
Spicy Sausage & Eggplant Bake
1 large eggplant, cut into 1” square pieces
2 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 oz dry wheat spaghetti
1 cup red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ lb hot Italian turkey or chicken sausage (make sure to get the spicy kind), casings removed
1 ½ cups marinara sauce
2 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup 2% reduced fat shredded Mozzarella cheese
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
¼ cup seasoned bread crumbs
a few basil leaves for garnish, sliced (optional)
1- Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
2- In a large bowl, toss the eggplant cubes with one tablespoon of the olive oil and salt & pepper to taste until eggplant is lightly coated. Spread the eggplant in a single layer across the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.
3- While the eggplant cooks, fill a pot with water, salt it, and bring it to a boil. Cook the spaghetti al dente according to package directions and drain, reserving about 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
4- While the water boils/spaghetti cooks, pour the remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a large skillet or sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for a few minutes until onions are softened and almost translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden or plastic spoon, until meat is cooked through. Stir in marinara sauce and reduce heat to low.
5- When the eggplant is finished roasting, remove it from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 375. Lightly mist a 7×11 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
6- When the spaghetti is finished and drained, add it to the sauce mixture and stir to coat. Add the roasted eggplant and the crushed red pepper and stir until combined. Remove from heat for about 10 minutes. Mixture will still be warm.
7- Add the mozzarella cheese, ½ cup of the Parmesan, and the 1/3 cup reserved pasta water to the pasta mixture and stir until well combined. Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and the bread crumbs over the top. Place the dish in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the crumbs on top start to turn golden and the cheese in the pasta is bubbling throughout. Top with sliced basil leaves and serve.
Yields 6 (1 cup) servings
Image and Recipe
Lately, I’ve been on a cooking kick. The cold weather has me making soups, stews, savory sides and my favorite recent find, these stuffed portobello mushrooms (thanks Pinterest)! We enjoyed them so much, we’re going to make them again next week. I really like that they’re a super quick, easy meal for a weeknight and are packed with delicious veggies. I especially like the little zing the leek and lemon juice provided. Enjoy!
4 tomatoes (The most flavorful variety you can find)
4 large portobello mushrooms
4 cloves of garlic
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 medium onion
5 fresh basil leaves (I used about 10)
Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2- Warm olive oil.
3- Chop the onion and add to the oil. Stir until slightly golden.
4- Dice the tomatoes, leek and garlic.
5- Add the tomatoes, garlic, leek, and pinch of salt to the onions. Saute the ingredients until the leeks are tender and garlic is aromatic.
6- Sprinkle lemon juice into pan.
7- Dice the basil and add to the pan. Stir.
8- Spray baking sheet and place the mushrooms on the sheet with the bottom side up.
9- Spoon mixture evenly onto the bottoms of the mushrooms. Top with grated cheese.
10- Bake for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
11- Remove from oven, sprinkle on fresh parsley and serve.
That’s it! Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
During the holidays, one of my friends made homemade applesauce and it was absolutely delicious! I’ve made it a few times since, and I seriously don’t think I can go back to applesauce out of a jar! I hope you enjoy!
2 large navel oranges, zested and juiced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 to 8 apples)
3 pounds sweet red apples, such as Macoun, McIntosh, or Winesap (about 6 to 8 apples)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2- Place the zest and juice of the oranges and lemon in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core the apples and toss them in the juice. Pour the apples and juice into a nonreactive Dutch oven or enameled iron pot.
3- Add the brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, and allspice and cover the pot.
4- Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until all the apples are soft.
5- Mix with a whisk until smooth, and serve warm or at room temperature.
Image and Recipe: Food Network
Happy New Year! How are things going for you? I hope your holidays were delightful! I had a tremendously relaxing last few weeks that involved many, many fun times with friends; reading curled up under a blanket; eating, eating and more eating; enjoying new and old wonderful holiday traditions and simply disconnecting. It was perfect.
In the new year, Stephen and I are trying really hard to eat healthier, so, I’m also trying to expand my recipes. This got two thumbs up from both of us. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Creamy Avocado Pasta
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time:1 hour 10 minutes
10 – 12 small Campari tomatoes, quartered
3 – 4 tbsp olive oil
4 servings of fettuccine noodles
2 ripe avocados, seed and skin removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup pine nuts
grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 300º F.
Wash and quarter the tomatoes. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 1 – 2 tbsp olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Bake for 1 hour in the oven.
Ten minutes before tomatoes are finished, fill a large pot with water and a sprinkle of salt. Bring to a rapid boil. Add the dry fettuccine to the water and cook until al dente.
While the pasta is boiling, add 2 tbsp olive oil, avocado, garlic, salt and lemon juice to a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
Strain the pasta, and combine with the sauce in a large bowl, until all the pasta has been covered.
Add the roasted tomatoes, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Add some salt and black pepper to taste.