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Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Irish" Veggie Pasta

Since have been trying to eat a bit more healthy in 2011, I am challenging myself to use more vegetables and less fat in my cooking.

We love pasta, but coming up with a way to include this in our menu is challenging. Then I rememebered a pasta dish we had when I was in Ireland, and decided to try to recreate it. I couldn't recall everything that was in it, but two unusual items stayed in my memory: green beans and chick peas (garbanzo beans). The sauce was tomato based and slightly spicy, but it was the odd combination of vegetables that made it memorable.

Using up some extra vegetables in the refrigerator, I created this ! Ray made a really beautiful thin linguine which was the perfect match to this sauce.

Irish Veggie Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 cups beet greens (or any green) chopped
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 quart chopped tomatoes (we used home canned)
1 can chick peas (about 1 1/2 cups), drained
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pound fresh pasta, linguine or angel hair work best
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut in thin strips
Freshly grated parmesan

Start pasta water to boil and salt liberally. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions until tender. Add red pepper and continue to saute until tender. Add beet greens, and green beans, and stir until all are tender. Add tomatoes, chick peas and spices and stir until heated through. Turn to simmer. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes until al dente. Add pasta to the sauce pan, toss to combine and top with fresh basil and parmesan.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Healthy Food for 2011

We are going to try to eat healthier in 2011. Since we already eat pretty well, the challenge will be in portion control, and lightening up the use of butter, cream and other high fat item.

I read about a smoked tuna stuffed portabello appetizer, and thought I could make it. I gave Ray a hand-held smoker for Christmas, so we tried it out here. After doing so, we realized it would be better to smoke the dish after cooking, so here is the recipe. It tasted fine without smoke also, since I know not everyone has access to a hand-held smoker !

Smoked Tuna Stuffed Portabellas with Red Pepper Sauce

1 large can white albacore tuna in water
2 portabello caps
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup calorie free mayonnaise
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 cup shaved parmesan

1/4 cup roasted red peppers
1/3 cup calorie free mayo
1/4 tsp dill
Dash or two of Tabasco

Clean portabellos and rub lightly with olive oil and salt. Mix together the remaining ingredients and pack tightly inside the mushroom caps. Bake in a 400* oven for about 1/2 hour.

While baking, add sauce ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth.

When mushrooms are done, place under a large bowl and add applewood smoke. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until smoke dissapates. Spread sauce onto place and place smoked mushroom on top.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Baked Eggs with Cream Cheese

So I wanted to make an unusual egg dish for breakfast on New Years Day. I used to love a dish at LePeep in Denver that had scrambled eggs, with cream cheese and dill. So here is a very simple version, and it was YUMMY ! You can even add some smoked salmon, if you like !

Baked Eggs with Cream Cheese

2 tablespoons onion, diced fine
2 tablespoons butter
3 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons water
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dill weed
shaved parmesan

Preheat oven to 350.Saute Onions in butter, and divide into two separate ramekins and spread butter around to coat. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave about 30 seconds, until soft. Let cool a few minutes, and add eggs, salt, pepper and dill weed. Whisk together until combined and pour into ramekins. Top with shaved parmesan, and bake approximately 15 minutes until puffed up and no longer jiggly in the middle.

Enjoy !