Month: January 2016

Lemon and Ricotta Pasta with Roasted Veggies 

  

This recipe started off as a roasted veggie Lasagna and then I realized I used my tomatoes for the chili I made last week. So I had roasted veggies and ricotta and then I had some lemon and veggie pasta. Threw it all together and it was deliciouso. 

I’ve always been a fan of the lemon and ricotta flavors. It’s light, creamy, and refreshing. This is definitely a great summer dish. 

I have been obsessing over this Italian market by my Job because they have the best local produce, fresh meats, homemade cheeses and bread. It’s the best hidden gem I have ever found. Nothing like an authentic Italian market and local produce.

Ingredients 

    • 2 zucchinis
    • 3 plum tomatoes 
    • 1 can of artichoke hearts 
    • 3 cloves of garlic 
    • 1 box of your choice pasta
    • 1 container of ricotta (I used fresh ricotta from the market) 
    • Juice of 2 lemons 
    • Zest of 1 lemon 
    • 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese 
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • 1 cup of reserved pasta water 
    • Italian seasoning 
    • Fresh basil ( I didn’t have any but I would recommend it) 
    • 1/2 cup of olive oil 
    1. Cut your veggies and mince the garlic 
    2. Place them in a bowl and coat them evenly with olive oil, sprinkle of Parmesan, pepper, and Italian seasoning (I always salt my veggies after roasting them because if you salt it before it brings out the moisture) with tomatoes and zucchini if you salt them before it tends to get mushy. 
    3. Roast your veggies on a baking tray evenly spread out for about 25 minutes 
    4. Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water
    5. Reserve 1 cup before draining completely 
    6. Add your ricotta, lemon juice, seasoning, lemon zest, parmesean, and the rest of your olive oil
    7. Toss in your veggies and enjoy! 
    8. I made some baked chicken with mine. I marinated my chicken over night in Italian dressing and baked it in the oven for 20 minutes along with the veggies     

    Banana bread pancakes 

      
    🎤Maybe we can sleep in

    Make you banana pancakes

    Pretend like it’s the weekend now🎤 

     I really hope you sang that as you read it, because I sang banana pancakes by Jack Johnson while making these hehe. We are Preparing to shovel our cars out today so I made hearty whole grain banana bread pancakes and French toast for my man. Dessert for breakfast is a must on Sunday’s or any day really. If you haven’t tried  yet, I suggest you do. 100% whole grains and filled with flavor. You can use this mix for so many things, they even have a ton of recipes on their website which I can’t wait to try all of them! You’re also doing a good deed when you purchase their products because part of the sales goes to grizzly bear and wildlife conservation. Yay for animals and pancakes 🐻🌲🌳. Anyway to make these decadent pillows of pancakes you will need 

    🍌 1 banana 

    🍌 1 cup of @kodiakcakes mix 

    🍌 1 cup of vanilla @califiafarms almond milk ( you can use water but I think almond milk adds a nice flavor) 

    🍌1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

    🍌 teaspoon of cinnamon 

    🍌 teaspoon of brown sugar 

    🍌 tablespoon (or more if you like) of chopped walnuts 

     

    Mix all of your ingredients, put em on your griddle or pans, sing banana pancakes, top with  syrup and bananas and walnuts and enjoy every last bite!

    Tuscan white bean and orzo soup 

     We all know how crazy this winter has been, from short sleeves on Christmas to a blizzard on its way. To prepare for the blizzard I whipped up some healthy and hearty Tuscan white bean soup. There are a ton of variations to this so I created my own. Feel free to get creative with yours and use whatcha got in your fridge or pantry!

    This combines Tuscan flavors and savory Italian spices with some white beans, veggies, and orzo in a vegetable broth. It’s so yummy and there’s nothing better than cozying up to a hot bowl of soup on a cold day.

    You can make a big pot of this and freeze it for later. I cook for myself so I always have a ton of leftovers and I love freezing them for the future!

      
    Ingredients 

    • 1 can of white cannelloni beans 
    • 4 carrots
    • 4 celery stalks 
    • 2 cloves of minced garlic 
    • Medium white onion (I used red because I ran out of white) 
    • 1 32oz box of organic vegetable broth (feel free to chicken broth if you have that) 
    • 1 bag of spinach 
    • 1/4 cup of orzo 
    • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
    • Salt and pepper to taste 
    • 1/2 teaspoon of thyme 
    • Teaspoon of Italian seasoning (I used a mixed fresh Italian herb seasoning from a local Italian market) 
    • 1 can of tomato paste 
    • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 
    1. Dice up your carrots, celery, and onion 
    2. Heat your oil in the pot 
    3. Cook your garlic until it has a light brown color to it
    4. Add your celery and carrots until they are tender and start to sweat, about 10-15 minutes 
    5. Add your vegetable broth
    6. Then add your tomato paste
    7. Dice up your spinach and add to the pot to cook down 
    8. Drain your canolenni beans and add to the pot 
    9. Add your orzo, it isn’t going to look like enough but trust me it soaks up that liquid pretty fast
    10. Add your spices 
    11. Let the orzo cook until tender 
    12. Pour into a bowl, top with parenesean cheese and serve with a good crusty garlic bread
    13. Sit on your couch in a blanket and warm up to a cozy bowl of soup

    Ahi Tuna Stack

    FullSizeRender (2)Ahi tuna has to be one of my favorite meals/appetizers. I LOVE sushi and any kind with tuna is my go to. I always order tuna tartake and seared tuna out, and that gets so expensive. So I took it upon myself to attempt to make my own seared tuna. I was terrified to make it myself because I like it rare, but I did it anyway.

    Here’s what happened. I ate this tuna stack at a restaurant and I honestly can’t remember where I had it, but I never forgot the presentation I fell in love with it. I’ve seen the shrimp stack before and I just think it looks so fancy  and colorful. So I wanted to make it. I thought this was going to be so difficult but in all honestly it was SOOOOO Simple.

    You can’t make a good seared tuna without putting it in a screaming hot cast iron pan. I just moved into my apartment not too long ago and we have an electric stove that I despise. I hate the coils because everything cooks so unevenly and then the oil or whatever you’re cooking with goes to one side of the pan and it drives me absolutely nuts.

    Yeah with that being said I went out to this new cooking gadget store and bought myself a cast iron pan. They are the most amazing pans and I am thrilled to make more meals with it, so stay tuned friends.

    Ingredients

    • 1 tuna steak, make sure it is fresh and has a nice bright color to it
    • 1/2 cucumber
    • 1/2 avocado
    • 2 tblsp of olive oil
    • 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice (or any kind you like)
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • ginger powder
    • garlic

    For the sauce 

    • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
    • tablespoon of Siracha
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic
    • dash of ginger
    • sesame seeds for garnish
    • green onion for garnish
    1. heat olive oil in a cast iron pan and get it screaming hot until you can see the steam.
    2. season your tuna steak with salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger on each side ( do it to your taste)
    3. sear your tuna for about 30-45 seconds on each side
    4. dice your half of cucumber and avocado
    5. cook and measure your rice
    6. for the stack I used a rocks glass, but if you have a can you can cut it to make it work.
    7. fill your rocks glass with some sesame seeds and then your tuna
    8. the layer the cucumber and avocado
    9. the pack the rice on top firmly
    10. place on a plate and remove it slowly
    11. mix all the ingredients for your sauce in a bowl and spoon it over your stack
    12. sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions and dig in!

    IMG_4613FullSizeRender (3)

    Chicken Apple Sausage Breakfast Sammy 

      
    I’m sure you’ve seen the commercials for Dunkin donuts chicken Apple sausage sandwich. It sounded SO good to me, so I took it upon myself to recreate it at home. 

    In my opinion, Dunkin donuts “eggs” really freak me out. They’re such an odd texture and they even look fake. 

    You gotta admit, there’s nothing like a REAL egg with a nice runny yolk. You don’t get that with Dunkin. 

    This sandwich was super easy to make. You will need the following 

    1 package of chicken Apple sausage, I used an organic all natural brand I found at whole foods. 

    Your choice of bread, I used a whole grain bagel thin 

    1 slice of cheddar cheese 

    1 egg cooked how you like it, mine was sunny side up 

    Cook and assemble. Really simple. Enjoy 😍🍳🧀

    On Loving an Addict

    addiction.jpgThose of you who have an addict in the family, as your friend, or significant other can relate. It’s so hard to love someone with an addiction and not let it bring you down and mess you up. You’re always waiting for a phone call, a text, day in and day out,  that they’re back in the hospital, jail, they’ve overdosed, they need money, a ride, a place to stay, anything. You can love an addict, you can try and save them, but you can’t save them. They destroy you. Even if they don’t mean to, they can and they will.

    Nothing will mess with you more than loving an addict. You saw the person they used to be before the addiction, before the mess. You love that person you once knew. You will want that back each and everyday. You will try to help them, do everything in your power to stop their addiction. But let me tell you this, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want the help.

    They will blame you for certain things, they will blame everyone else but themselves for their addiction. (until they come to realize it’s them with the addiction and no one’s fault but their own) This will mess with your head. You will think all of these thoughts in your head, “what did I say?” “what did I do?” “what could have I done?” “If I said something different, they wouldn’t  have used again” “It’s my fault”. These thoughts will keep you up at night. They will haunt you.

    It’s not your fault, remember that. Don’t blame yourself, no one makes someone an addict besides themselves. The more you reach out, the more you try and help the more painful it becomes. The pain of knowing you can’t take their pain away, you can’t make them stop being an addict. That pain of knowing you may never get the person you once knew back.

    The immense fear you feel on the regular has almost become part of your personality.Whether it’s fear of them overdosing, fear of them losing a job, fear of them lashing out and abusing you, fear of them getting involved in the wrong place at the wrong time, fear of them never changing. There’s always a constant fear of something.

    With fear comes worry, worry of how you’re going to explain to whoever about their addiction and worry you may not have an excuse. Growing up with an addict I was always worried the kids in dance class or school would find out that my father was an addict. I always worried when I would get called down to the office for pick up unannounced because my dad was in jail or he was in the hospital. That worry going to school the next day and getting made fun of or asked questions because your neighbors saw your family arguing and police cars in front of the house. That worry when you don’t hear from them in a long time;  the only thoughts in your head are where are they, are they dead, do they even care about me anymore, are they ever coming back? That worry when they’re in the hospital because of an overdose, or they’re going through withdrawal. That worry you’re going to get hit, that worry that there’s going to be an argument when you get home, that worry that you may never see your parents again and be taken away by child services. The worry that you won’t have a ride home from dance or sports because your dad used again and forgot about you. The worry they will get in a car and get into an accident and hurt themselves or someone else. The worry that they will hurt themselves.  The list goes on and on. The worry goes on and on.

    You constantly find yourself on edge, on guard. You find yourself looking for all the signs, are they slurring their words, are they stumbling, are they passed out, etc. You find yourself waking up in the middle of the night to check if they’re still breathing and have a pulse. You find yourself to be a part time investigator. Snooping through their stuff, checking all their hiding places. You make yourself crazy. But you’re not, you know its all happening again. You know the signs when you see them.

    You know what it’s like to be lied to right to your face, but you can’t find the energy to fight back. You know you want to help them so bad and get frustrated when they just won’t listen. You know what it’s like to lose someone standing right in front of you. You know what it’s like to miss someone who is always there. You know what it’s like to be just so lost in your own head and think why, to be confused all the time because you see the person they could be, the person they used to be. You know how it feels to be functioning in everyday life but mentally you’re not even there. You know what it’s like to put your life on hold to help them. You know what it’s like to make up excuses as to why you’re crying or why you have bags under your eyes because you haven’t slept. You know what it’s like to put every bit of energy to keep the person you love out of harms way.You know what it’s like to research every possible answer, every rehab, every program, anything and not find answers you’re looking for.You know what it’s like to become so frustrated at them because they will never understand. You know what it’s like to cry yourself to sleep at night and force yourself to go to work or to go to school. You know what it’s like to have your phone glued to your hip because you’re always waiting for “That call”.

    Sometimes you find yourself wishing the worst, for it to be over, for it to stop. For everything to just end because you can’t physically and emotionally take it anymore. You think about what it would be like if none of this happened to you. You feel angry, sad, frustrated, and exhausted all at the same time.

    You know what it’s like to argue with everyone in your family or with friends about what to do and what is best for them. You feel like you’re going to explode when someone tells you addiction isn’t a disease. You know what it’s like to be known as “the child of an addict”, “the parent of an addict”, “the spouse of an addict” “the friend of an addict”. You know addiction all too well for someone who isn’t an addict.

    You know what it’s like to try and figure out what’s enabling and what’s helping them. You know what the weight of the world feels like and you’re wondering if you can even carry it around anymore.

    You know what it’s like to care too much, to want to have that person you once knew back, and that can destroy you.

     

     

     

     

    Banana Bread Chia Seed Pudding 

      
    Continuing my chia seed obsession this week with banana bread chia seed pudding. I love banana bread it’s just so comforting and flavorful. Cinnamon, bananas, nuts it’s the perfect combination. 

    You will need 

    1/4 cup of chia seeds 

    1 banana 

    1 teaspoon of cinnamon 

    1 cup of almond milk (I used vanilla) 

    Handful of chopped walnuts

    1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 

    1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup

    Dash of nutmeg, set overnight in the fridge and grab and go in the morning !