Pesto Pasta w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus

12 Apr

I couldn’t get too far into the Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition without some asparagus.  It’s one of my favorite springtime staples!  Sun-dried tomatoes don’t last too long either and I refuse to waste food, so finding a recipe that called for both became essential (we used sun-dried tomatoes with our meatballs the other day, remember?).  I’m loving this new series and I hope you are, too!  It’s been really fun hunting around, looking for yummy new recipes.  I’ve added a bunch of new ones to my permanent rotation.


 

Pesto Pasta with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Baked Asparagus (from Damn Delicious)

  • 8 oz. medium shells
  • 1 lb. asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/3 c. julienned sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/2 c. basil pesto
  • 1/3 c. diced mozzarella cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • 2. T. olive oil
  • 1 egg

Preheat the oven to 425*F and bring a large stockpot of water to a boil.  Place the asparagus in a single row on a baking sheet, drizzle in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then toss them around to coat.  Bake the asparagus for around 8-10 minutes, or until it’s tender but still crispy.  Cook the shells according to the instructions.

While the asparagus are baking, prepare the sun-dried tomato and basil in a large mixing bowl.

PestoSunDriedTomato

When the asparagus have finished baking, let them cool down. Then, cut them into 1″ pieces.

Asparagus

I added shells into the pesto mix as soon as they were finished cooking, along with the 1/3 c. of diced cheese.  This way the cheese would get all melty and delicious.

Mozzarella Cheese

 

Then, mix everything together into a glorious medley.

PastaMixture

I ate mine with a fried egg on top because that’s what Chungah suggested in her post.  Always listen to Chungah because her food really is damn, delicious.

Pasta Sundried Tomato Asparagus Pesto Fried Egg

No, really.  It is.


Baked Turkey Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Spinach

10 Apr

It’s time for another round of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  One of my favorite things about spring and eating seasonally?  The greens.  All of the greens.  I can’t get enough!  Spinach, chard, collard greens, kale, broccoli rabe – I want it all.  I had a few cups of leftover spinach this week after stuffing my face with spinach salads.


 

Baked Turkey  Meatballs w/ Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach (from I Thee Cook)

  • 1/3 c. shredded onion
  • 1/4 c. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 2. T. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. pepper
  • 1 t. dried basil
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or chicken – either is fine)
  • marinara sauce
  • 2 slices provolone cheese

Preheat the oven to 350*F.  Place the first nine ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Stir together with a fork.

MeatballMix

Then, add the ground turkey and mix gently with your hands.  Ground turkey and chicken tend to turn to mush pretty easily, so be careful not to over-mix.  Roll into the size of your choosing and place on a greased cookie sheet.

rolledmeatballs

I cooked mine for 18 minutes.  When the meatballs are done. let them rest for a few minutes and turn the broiler on high.  I moved mine to another dish for some reason (not sure why), added a bit of sauce to the top of each one and then placed provolone .

Toppings

Broil until browned to perfection.  :)

BakedChickenMeatballsSunDriedTomatoSpinach


Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

3 Apr

It’s the first installment of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  I thought I would start with something seriously simple: mushrooms and onions.  Mostly, I was just craving them and they happen to be on the list.  STILL COUNTS.  I’m still working on perfecting a few other recipes that I can’t wait to share!


Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

Porkchops Balsalmic Veggies Gorgonzola


  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/2 t. salt, divided
  • 3/4 t. pepper, divided
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. small red potatoes, halved
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. tomato paste
  • 1 t. dried thyme (or 1 T. fresh thyme)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 oz. baby bellas, halved
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola

Preheat oven to 425*F with a large casserole dish inside (yes, we want to preheat the casserole dish, too!).

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add 2 T. of oil to the preheated pan and sprinkle porkchops with 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper on both sides.  Brown on each side for about 3 minuets, then remove from the heat and let rest.

porkchops

 

Reduce heat to medium high, then add the halved potatoes to the oil – cut side down.  Cook for 2-5 minutes (depending on the size of the potato), until the potatoes are browned.

redpotatoes

Remove the pan from heat and prepare the mushroom mixture.  Whisk 1/2 t. pepper, 2 T. olive oil, balsamic, and tomato paste in a small bowl.  Combine 2 T. of this balsamic mixture with the mushrooms, onions, and thyme – toss to coat.  Add the mushroom mixture and potatoes to preheated casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir the mixture, then cook for another 15 minutes.

roasted veggies

Place the pork chops on top of the veggies, return the dish to the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes or until the pork chops are done.  Remove the pork from the pan and let it rest, then mix in the 1/4 c. Gorgonzola and parsley into the veggies.

roasted veggies with garnish

Before serving, drizzle the remaining balsamic mixture over the pork chops and garnish with more parsley.

PorkChopsBalsamic2


Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition

12 Mar

I’m trying a new series on the blog this year and I’m really excited about it!  Around Western PA, the snow is melting and the daffodils trying their hardest to force spring into existence. I thought it would be an appropriate time to roll out a seasonal recipe spotlight.  I hear the same thing from a lot of people: “I want to eat locally and seasonally.”  Seems simple, right?  Just hit up the local farmer’s market, grab some veggies, and done?  It is and it isn’t…

You might be interested to know that not all the veggies sold at your local farmer’s market are local.  Or seasonal actually!  While I’ve gotten plenty of resistance with this tactic, I don’t ever hesitate to ask my local farmer’s market vendor if they are re-selling produce or if it’s home-grown.  I’ve touched a few nerves over the years, but I don’t see anything wrong with expecting transparency from a grower.  I’m not a snob about it and it doesn’t stop me from purchasing out-of-season food (farmer’s have to make money during he slow seasons, too!), but I like to know as much as I can about the food I buy.  If you want to eat locally, make sure you ask if you’re eating locally.  Either way, you’re supporting a local food producer/grower/vendor – but educate yourself about what you’re buying and why.

If you’ve ever grown your own food, you know that some things don’t just spring up year round.  In Western PA, there is a very limited amount of seasonal product that’s available from March-April.  It’s still early spring and that means LOTS of greens, but it also means some staples like broccoli, carrots, beets, mushrooms, rutabagas, and turnips.  There are some things I usually pass over because they seem a little intimidating – like artichokes, kohlrabi, even endive is a mystery to me.  Well not this year.  This year I’m embracing all the things I’ve never embraced before.  That’s what 2015 is about, remember?  So this year, I’m not only embracing local, seasonal eating – I’m going to try as much of the produce that my region has to offer!

March-April in Western PA:

Artichoke, Arugula, Asparagus, Beets, Beet Greens, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Broccoli Rape, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Cardoons (not sure I’m this adventurous yet!), Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Chicory, Collards, Cress, Dandelion Greens, Endive, Fava Beans/Greens, Fennel, Garlic, Kale, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard Greens, Onions, Parsnips, Pea Shoots, Radishes, Rutabagas, Scallions, Spinach, Sprouts, Sunchokes, Tatsoi, Turnips

If you have been curious about how to work with any of the ingredients found in this list, shoot me a comment and I will make sure I find a great way for us to get comfortable with them.

Keep an eye out for the new series on Twitter and Instagram, I will be posting under the hashtag: #springeatsSFTS

Seasonal-Eats-Spring-Edition

Hoisin-Lime Glazed Salmon with Crunchy Bok Choy Slaw

10 Mar

Half marathon training is in full swing and things are going pretty great!!  I’ve either got a stress fracture forming in my left foot or tendinitis, so I’ve been trying to be very calculated with my training runs.   I’ve been pulling back a bit the last 2 weeks, getting in my as many miles as I can, and taking walking breaks when I’m starting to feel pain.  So far, this has been working and I’m feeling confident moving forward.  I’ve got a 5K on deck this weekend per my training plan, so we will see how it goes!

Side note: Can you believe how amazing 40 degree weather feels?  I mean, I’m ready for shorts and flip flops and there’s still piles of snow all around.  I absolutely cannot wait until it’s warm enough to get my grill on!  In the meantime, I thought I would leave this recipe here, it was absolutely delicious, healthy, and made for some great leftovers!

Hoisin-Lime-Glazed-Salmon

Hoisin-Lime Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy Slaw (from Cooking Light)

  • 2 c. thinly sliced bok choy
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced carrots
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced red pepper
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 1 t. dark sesame oil
  • 1/2 t. Sriracha
  • 1/4 c. dry roasted, unsalted cashews
  • 2 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1 T. fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1 clove pressed garlic
  • 4 salmon filets
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • 2 c. cooked jasmine rice

First, preheat the broiler to high WITH a sheet pan in the oven – you want to preheat the pan as well as the oven.  While the oven is preheating, prepare the dressing for the slaw by mixing together the rice vinegar, sesame oil, and Sriracha in a small bowl.  Place the prepared bok choy, carrots, and red pepper in a large bowl and set this aside for now.

Once the broiler is preheated, place the salmon filets on the preheated sheet pan.  Spray them with some cooking spray or lightly coat them with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt.  Place in the broiler for six minutes.  While the fish is pre-cooking, combine the hoisin, lime juice, and garlic in another small mixing bowl.  After 6 minutes, remove the fish from the oven and brush the salmon with half of the hoisin mixture.  Place back in the broiler for another 4-6 minutes (until desired doneness), then brush the remainder of the hoisin glaze.

While the fish is resting, toss the bok choy slaw with the vinegar mixture and add in the cashews.  Serve with jasmine rice.

 

Oh, and did I mention that the leftovers make freaking awesome tacos for lunch the next day?

Salmon Tacos

 

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