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Ravioli Day Roundup

Ravioli Day Roundup

It’s National Ravioli Day!  I get so excited about ravioli, it’s kind of ridiculous.  There’s just something so lovely about filling wrapped in dough.  Ravioli is particularly special, as it works so well with some of the best sauces out there (I’m thinking Alfredo, marinara, tomato sauce with vodka…you get the idea).  Did you know that the first written mention of ravioli occurred in the 14th century in Venice in the personal letters of a merchant?  Ravioli wasn’t served with tomato sauce, though, until the 16th century (because tomatoes weren’t introduced to Italy until then).  Prior to the 16th century, ravioli were served in broth.  If this doesn’t get you hungry for ravioli, I don’t know what will.  Maybe these ravioli recipes will do the trick.

Let’s start with Ravioli with Creamy Roasted Pepper Sauce from Confident Cook, Hesitant Baker!  The star here is the sauce – and it is such a quick sauce to make.  I’m holding on to this one for farmer’s market season when peppers are available in abundance.

Pumpkin and other winter squash is such a natural paring with ravioli.  Up your ravioli game by making these Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter, Sage, and Walnuts from What a Girl Eats

Pumpkin Ravioli with Browned Butter, Sage, and Walnuts

Rabbit and Wolves prove that ravioli doesn’t have to be made using cheese for it to be good.  These Vegan Broccoli Rabe Pesto Ravioli are a perfect spring ravioli option for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Vegan Broccoli Rabe Pesto Ravioli

This Carrot Ravioli with Broccoli-Ricotta Filling from Caroline’s Cooking is another great spring ravioli option.

Carrot Ravioli with Broccoli-Ricotta Filling

This Balsamic and Garlic Mushroom Ravioli from Krumpli combines the great flavors of balsamic vinegar, garlic and mushrooms and wraps it all up in a neat package of yummy!

Balsamic and Garlic Mushroom Ravioli

Next up is Orange and Pecorino Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter from Use Your Noodles.  This looks like such a light and refreshing ravioli – just imagine how that bit of orange zest in the ravioli would complement the rosemary brown butter.

Orange and Pecorino Ravioli with Rosemary Brown Butter

Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli (With a Kick) from Slow the Cook Down gets its kick from the addition of a finely chopped red chili.

Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli (With a Kick)

Kitchen Sanctuary’s Spicy Burrito Ravioli takes the traditional ravioli and gives it a great twist with the addition of burrito flavors.

Kitchen Sanctuary’s Spicy Burrito Ravioli

Butternut Squash Ravioli Bake from the Girl on Bloor is a great quick meal if you have squash or pumpkin ravioli already on hand.  Ravioli pairs well with all the ingredients in this one dish meal.

Butternut Squash Ravioli Bake

Last, but not least, if you are still craving even more ravioli (which I always am), here’s a beautiful dessert ravioli: White Chocolate Mascarpone Ravioli with Raspberry Sauce from Pinch Me I’m Eating.

White Chocolate Mascarpone Ravioli with Raspberry Sauce

I’d love to be eating this right now – I’m starting to feel inspired to do a three-course ravioli dinner, with a ravioli appetizer, a ravioli entrée, and a ravioli dessert.  Maybe for next year’s National Ravioli Day!

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

The February/March Cook the Books reading selection, Dinner with Edward, inspired my mini strawberry chocolate galettes.  Dinner with Edward, by Isabel Vincent, is a charmer.  It’s a quick read, filled to the brim with amazing food stories, menus, and inspiration.  But the heart of the book is the relationship between Edward, a retired gentleman whose wife recently died, and Isabel, a younger woman who goes through major life upheaval in the course of the book.  It’s a book about friendship and food, both of which cut across generations.  I really thought this one was, well, charming.

And so much food to choose from for inspiration (as you can see from my very sticky-noted copy)!  I initially couldn’t decide if I was going to try one of Edward’s potato recipes, or steak, or soup, or soufflé, or martinis, or chicken, or fish, or pork.  What I eventually landed on was being inspired by the apple galette that shows up around chapter three.  Strawberries are slowly making their way into season (as spring seems to finally be peaking around the corner here in the PNW).  I decided to aim for a version of the galette using butter instead of Edward’s recommended lard, and go for flavors that I love to share with friends.  Thus, I ended up with a dozen perfect mini strawberry chocolate galettes that my husband and I have been munching on all week long.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

These mini strawberry chocolate galettes would make a great Easter dessert.  They’d also be delightful as the final course for a picnic.  You can substitute other berries for sure – I’m definitely going to be making these again when raspberries are in season.  Galettes take all the loveliness of a pie and make it into a rustic, easy to make and bake treat.  They are completely free form, so all you have to do is make the pastry, roll it out, fill and bake.  I added a touch of dark chocolate and some sugar macerated strawberries and called it delightful.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Oh – and I’ll confess.  I did end up making a dry martini the way it was suggested in the book.  I think it may be the best martini I’ve ever had in my life.  If you are curious, check out either the book (which I highly recommend) or take a peek at my Instagram feed where there’s a photo of the martini and tips on how to make it.

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Mini Strawberry Chocolate Galettes

Ingredients

    For the Pastry
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • For the Filling
  • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Make the pastry by combining the flour, sugar and salt. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the flour, using a fork, your hands, or a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the flour. Add the water, a bit at a time and work into the flour/butter mix until it forms a ball. Refrigerate the pastry dough for 30 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, combine the sliced strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar and set aside to macerate.
  4. Use parchment paper to line a baking sheet.
  5. Melt the dark chocolate chips. Roll the chilled pastry dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use a round cookie cutter or similar to cut the dough into small circles.
  6. Spoon a bit of the melted dark chocolate into the middle of each pastry dough circle. Arrange several slices of strawberries on top of each and gently fold and pinch the pastry dough up over the strawberries.
  7. Place each mini galette onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If you are using an egg to wash, combine the egg with a tablespoon of water and beat until frothy. Brush the egg wash over the pastry dough for each galette.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until the galettes are light brown. Enjoy!
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cookthebooks

This recipe is linked up to March’s Treat Petite, hosted by Cakeyboi.  Treat Petite is hosted alternative months at Cakeyboi and The Baking Explorer, so be sure to check out both awesome blogs!

And to Novel Foods #29

And to the March 2017 Foodie Reads

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

Freezer friendly tropical turmeric smoothies blend the lush taste of mango, coconut, pineapple, and strawberry with just a hint of ginger and turmeric for a perfect breakfast or lunch pick me up.  Best yet, they can be made ahead of time (on the weekend during meal prep) and tucked away in half pint jars in the freezer.

It’s been awhile since I’ve made smoothies. For a period of time, it was a weekly affair – I’d even you-pick my way through various farms in Southern Oregon and freeze berries and other fruit for the sole purpose of making smoothies all winter long.  I loved having smoothies on hand throughout the week as part of my lunch.  Then we moved and I got out of the habit.  And then we (by we, I mean my husband) broke the carafe for our blender.  So much for smoothies.

I wouldn’t have given it much more thought beyond that of – once we move again, I’ll get around to getting a new blender.  However, I ran across an article on some foodie site not too long ago outlining all the ways to use an immersion blender, which I have and use all the time for soups.  One of those uses was to blend smoothies.  The light bulb went on. It’s time for smoothies again.

Sure enough, the immersion blender works great.  I put all the ingredients in a big bowl and just blended away.  I don’t know that this would work too well with frozen ingredients, but with fresh fruit, it’s perfect.

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

I’ve also been reading quite a bit lately about the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and been thinking about how to get more of this beautiful spice into my diet.  A smoothie seems the perfect vehicle for turmeric.  It’s not too overwhelming of a flavor and goes well with a sweet smoothie. I also used ginger to give these freezer friendly tropical turmeric smoothies a bit more zing.  The combination of mango, coconut, pineapple, strawberry, turmeric and ginger was perfect.  Working with the ingredients I had on hand, I was able to get three 8 ounce smoothies put away in the freezer for later this week.  I’ve still got freezer burritos on hand from last week, so when I do get back in the office later this week, lunch is all ready to go.

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

So, if you have either an immersion blender or regular blender, I encourage you to make these freezer friendly tropical turmeric smoothies.  You won’t be disappointed.

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

Freezer Friendly Tropical Turmeric Smoothies

Ingredients

  • 2 peeled and sliced mangoes
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 4 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender (or a bowl, if you are using an immersion blender) and blend until smooth.
  2. Enjoy!
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This post has been shared with the Recipe Showdown Cooking Game hosted by Binky’s Culinary Carnival in March. The ingredient this month is turmeric.

Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

This month, for Food ‘N Flix, I’m sharing freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos. I was inspired this month by the movie The Martian.  And while potatoes might have been an obvious one for this movie, I couldn’t resist, since they are without a doubt one of my favorite foods.  A favorite story definitely deserves a favorite food.

So in case you haven’t seen or read The Martian, it is, in short, an amazing story about the possibilities and beauty of science.  The book by Andy Weir came out in 2014.  I adore sci fi, having grown up on reading Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Robert Heinlein.  When I saw The Martian in the bookstore, I snapped it up quickly and spent a happy weekend lounging on the couch and reading it.

I was skeptical about how good the movie would be.  I’m a hard critic when it comes to movies that started as books.  It turned out that I also loved the movie.  Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut left behind on Mars after a dust storm forces a mission abort.  The crew of the Ares III mission believe Watney to be dead, so leave him behind.  This starts his journey of survival until the Ares crew comes back to rescue him.  There’s lots of NASA control room drama that goes on throughout, in addition to following Watney’s path to survival.  It’s such a great pop-some-popcorn-and-stretch-out-on-the-couch-with-the-dog movie.

Potatoes factor heavily into the plot line, as Watney survives by growing potatoes.  Now in fairness, I would imagine Watney would probably not ever want to eat a potato again.  I probably wouldn’t want to either, and I really love potatoes.  Still, I wanted to do a shout out recipe to the humble spud.  These freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos are one of my favorite foods.  You might have guessed that they can be frozen – which makes them a perfect breakfast or lunch on the go food.

 

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

I opted to use these pretty blue, red, and yellow potatoes.  I don’t really notice much difference in flavor between potato types.  That said, I love the fact that potatoes come in so many varieties, so tend to cook with a mix.

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

The potatoes get mixed with a chopped up onion and roasted until they are crispy.  It doesn’t get much better than this.

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos

I like to serve these with some salsa and some guacamole on the side (but wouldn’t you know it – none of my avocados were ripe when I made these).  I’m going to enjoy these freezer egg, potato and bacon burritos for lunch this week and imagine being on Mars.

Want to participate in Food ‘n Flix? Check out this month’s announcement post at http://adayinthelifeonthefarm.blogspot.com/ and drop by the Food ‘n Flix site to learn more!

Freezer Egg, Potato and Bacon Burritos

Ingredients

  • 8 small potatoes, washed and sliced into small chunks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 pieces of crispy bacon
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 8 large flour tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. On a parchment lined cookie sheet, combine the chopped potatoes, chopped onion, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once half way through the cooking time.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk, cumin, coriander and ground black pepper. Use a fork or a whisk to combine until the eggs are fluffy. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large non-stick or cast iron pan over medium heat. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and allow to set. When the eggs are nearly cooked through, fold and cook until they are fully set, gently scrambling. Set aside.
  3. To make the burritos, place 1/8th of the scrambled eggs in the middle of a tortilla. Put 1 piece of bacon on top of the egg. Put 1/8th of the roasted potatoes on top of the egg and bacon. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese on top. Roll the burrito by folding up the top and bottom and then rolling the remaining tortilla over the folded part.
  4. Roll the burritos in aluminum foil and freeze. To reheat, remove the aluminum foil and wrap the burrito in a paper towel. Microwave until warm and serve with salsa and guacamole if desired.
  5. Makes 8 burritos.
  6. Enjoy!
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Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I’m craving spring flavors like those found in this Kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve had too many days of gloomy PNW weather.  I love the rain, but found myself outside yesterday in the morning doing my best to soak up the few sun beams we got.  Our cats were positively ecstatic – two of three parked themselves on the cat tree right in front of the window and basked in the sun.  Even Daisy found a sun spot on the carpet and took a good long time warming her belly.  We are all seriously deprived right now.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche to the rescue.  I love the creamy texture of eggs and cheese in a quiche.  Kale is a versatile vegetable and can be a harbinger of both fall and spring.  While I love having kale in pasta dishes in the fall, there’s nothing better in the spring than a good bunch of kale sauteed and tossed into a quiche.  I used lacinato Kale or dinosaur kale because I love the deep green flavor it brings to dishes.  I sauteed it until it was soft and then drained and pressed out the excess moisture in a colander.  This helps keep the crust from getting soggy.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

I used a quick olive oil crust for this kale and Gruyere quiche.  I’ve been known to go crustless for my quiches, but this week just felt like that extra little touch might be in order.  One tip for baking the quiche – put the quiche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven.  This way, there’s no slopping of egg and milk into your oven.  Yes – I learned this the hard way.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

One advantage of using Gruyere cheese is that it melts so well.  I also tossed in a few red pepper flakes to add some heat.  I could have gone either with red pepper flakes or with nutmeg – either would create a nice flavor, but nutmeg is to autumnal for me.  I also used a bit of fleur de sel this time around.  Really, it’s a perfect early spring dish.  I’ll be eating this throughout the week with a quick spinach salad on the side.

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Kale and Gruyere Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • salt to taste
  • Olive Oil Crust
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Instructions

  1. To make the crust, combine the flour, salt, olive oil, and water in a small bowl. Combine with your hands until the crust holds together. Roll the dough out on a floured surface to the size needed for an 8 inch pie pan. Transfer the crust to the pie pan and refrigerate while you are making the quiche.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Saute the kale in the olive oil for 7 minutes or until it is wilted. Salt to taste. Drain and press out any remaining moisture. Set aside.
  4. Beat the eggs and milk together in a small bowl until frothy. Add the cheese, red pepper flakes, and ground pepper.
  5. Place the sauteed kale at the bottom of the chilled pie crust. Pour the egg/milk/cheese mixture over the top and redistribute the kale as needed.
  6. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust is lightly brown and the eggs are set. Enjoy!
  7. Makes 4 hearty servings.
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This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes: Meat Free Mondays.  Check out the great posts that Jacqueline posts each week!

This post is also linked up to #CookBlogShare hosted by Easy Peasy Foodie and Hijacked by Twins.

Hijacked By Twins
White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Whit Bean Avocado Wrap

Sometimes it’s good to have a quick lunch recipe on hand, like this white bean avocado wrap.  Looking at my calendar, I already know it’s going to be a very busy week, with just two days when I’ll have time for lunch at my desk.  As I was thinking about food prep this week, I also thought it might be a good time to do a little cupboard clean out.  We have plenty of rice, several cans of Great Northern White Beans, and a couple of avocados that are just ripe.  Toss in some cilantro and lime and throw it all in a tortilla and lunch comes together in a short period of time.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

I love jasmine rice.  It’s the perfect filler for my white bean avocado wrap.  It’s so light and fluffy and pretty.  You could definitely make these with brown rice as well, though I have to confess brown rice is not my favorite grain.  It’s so…grainy.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White beans get gently mashed and get spread on the tortilla first.  Avocado goes next and then rice covers it all. then it gets wrapped up and either wrapped in parchment paper or foil and goes into the fridge for the next day’s lunch.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

White Bean Avocado Wrap

The Great Northern White Beans add a great non-meaty, meaty texture to the white bean avocado wrap.  Serve with a spinach salad and a few mandarin oranges and you’ll be set for the day.

White Bean Avocado Wrap

Ingredients

  • 4 white or whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cans Great Northern White Beans or cannellini beans
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Gently mash with a fork, leaving some beans whole.
  2. Spread 1/4 of the beans on each tortilla in the middle. Split open the avocados and scoop out the avocado, 1/2 of each avocado spread on each tortilla.
  3. Add the chopped cilantro, the juice from the lime, and the salt to the rice and stir to incorporate. Heap 1/2 cup of the rice over the avocado and beans on each tortilla. Fold the top and bottom of the tortilla toward the middle, over the rice/avocado/bean mix. Fold each side in and roll so that you have a tight wrap.
  4. Enjoy! Serves 4 and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a couple of days.
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This post is linked up to Tinned Tomatoes Meat Free Monday.  Check it out!

It’s also linked up to Meatless Monday, co-hosted by Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands.

 

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins are my anecdote to winter weather, which I’ve had enough of to last me several years.  I know I’m not the only one feeling this way – it’s been a brutal winter across the US.  We do have tulips and daffodils poking their heads out of the ground finally.   I had a moment this morning where there was that elusive hint of spring in the air.  Still, I think real spring is about a month away still.  So for now, I’m going to spend lots of time fantasizing about tropical beaches and warm weather.

I have some very happy associations with the flavors in these muffins: macadamia nuts, coconut, and chocolate.  I lived in Majuro in the Marshall Islands for two years,  fourteen years ago this year.  I will never forget my trip to get there.  For one, I had never flown by myself before and I was absolutely petrified of flying as it was.  I remember the fear I felt getting on the plane to Honolulu, which was my intermediary stop between the US and there.  But I also remember landing in Honolulu and being so overwhelmed by how beautiful it was.  I was exhausted that first night, so went to the corner ABC store and bought a tuna fish sandwich, Maui chips, a papaya salad, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.  I flew back and forth through Honolulu during that two year time stretch, and that meal became my Honolulu ritual.

So anytime I’m feeling dreary here in the PNW, I’ll do my best to catch those flavors again.  Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins are a great way for me to lose myself to the sounds of the ocean and feel of that beautiful humid air in Hawaii.

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

 

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia coconut chocolate mini muffins

Macadamia Coconut Chocolate Mini Muffins

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Greek yogurt (plain or honey flavored)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts (unsalted)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (or chocolate chunks, chopped into smaller pieces)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Add the eggs, vanilla, and Greek yogurt and mix.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients a bit at a time until all the dry ingredients are combined.
  4. Add the macadamia nuts, flaked coconut, and chocolate. Stir to combine.
  5. Butter or line each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin batter into each cup. If your pan only makes 24 mini-muffins, you'll need to make two batches as this recipe easily makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until a knife or toothpick entered into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  7. Enjoy!
  8. Makes 36 - 48 mini-muffins
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This post is linked up to The Baking Explorer for February’s Treat Petite.  Check out both The Baking Explorer and Cakeyboi, the hosts of Treat Petite.

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad is a #FoodBloggerLove recipe.  What is #FoodBloggerLove?  Each year, The Pintertest Kitchen hosts #FoodBloggerLove, a great chance for foodies and bloggers to share the love around Valentine’s Day with another blogger.  This is my first year participating, and it’s been so much fun!  I was paired with Meadoe from Meadoe Out on a Limb.  Meadoe is a food and lifestyle blogger, so there are lots of great recipes for healthy food, as well as great fitness plans and tips, and parenting tips on her blog.  In addition, she’s got great tips for doing a 21 Day Fix, including lots of really tasty recipes.

Here are a couple of my favorites from Meadoe’s site:

Meatball Veggie Pesto Soup
Apple Crisp Parfait
Supreme Pizza Soup
Chocolate Protein Pancakes

I love that the foods, while healthy, also sound so incredibly tasty – I don’t think I’d miss my carbs and cheese with any of these recipes.

Meadoe is also on social media – check out her social accounts here:

Facebook
Pinterest
Instagram
Twitter

So when I got Meadoe’s name for the exchange, it included some information she wanted me to know, including that she posts easy, healthy recipes, in addition to stories from her fitness journey and posts about adventures in parenthood.  Her favorite recipes are soups and salads, but she hates onions.

This, and the health focus overall, inspired my macadamia lemon shrimp salad recipe.  I’ve been curious about the whole Whole 30 thing – by and large, minus the carbs, cheese and dairy, Clay and I eat a pretty healthy diet.  However, my lunches have been a little decadent here of late (I’m blaming the weather and the need for comfort food).  As spring is finally starting to peek around the corner, I think I’m ready for some healthier lunches.  So this week’s recipe is my inspired #FoodBlogerLove salad, which is Whole 30, quick, easy and definitely healthy.

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

macadamia lemon shrimp salad

Macadamia Lemon Shrimp Salad

Ingredients

  • 16 – 20 medium sized shrimp (I used frozen – you could definitely use fresh here and cook until they are done)
  • 1 package of mixed lettuces (spring mix or similar)
  • 1 chiogga beet
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • Juice of 1 lemon + lemon wedges for an additional lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice the chiogga beet into thin slices. Slice the radishes. Toss the lettuce, beets, and radishes in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Either cook the shrimp or thaw the frozen shrimp by running it under cold water. Once the shrimp is ready, combine with the chopped garlic and the juice of the lemon and set aside.
  3. In a small pan, melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the macadamia nuts and stir the nuts until they turn a golden brown. Drain and add to the salad.
  4. Plate the salad and add the shrimp to each plate. Squeeze a bit more lemon over the top and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serves 4
  6. Enjoy!
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If you would like to join up with #FoodBloggerLove next year, join the Facebook group here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/foodbloggerlove/

 

An InLinkz Link-up


This post is linked up to Kahakai Kitchen Souper Sunday.

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta is a great recipe for an indulgent breakfast treat or late day snack.  It’s also my entry for February’s Food ‘n Flix for the movie Pan’s Labyrinth.  (Food ‘n Flix is hosted this month by Katharina at Pretty Cake Machine).  Pan’s Labyrinth is a dark fairy tale directed by Guillermo del Toro.  The story takes place in post-civil war Spain in 1944.  There’s an undercurrent of political unrest and distress, and the film itself is a dark telling of a young girl following mythical creatures into the labyrinth.  I won’t spoil the ending, but suffice it to say, it doesn’t end well.  It’s one of those films that’s incredible for its filmography and story, but probably best not watched if you are depressed.

Both times I’ve watched this movie, I’ve done so kind of between my fingers – yep, I’m a wimp when it comes to dark movies.  Still, I was inspired to create my star anise panna cotta.  The inspiration came from the scene in which Ofelia encounters the Pale Man at a banquet.  Of course, much like Persephone going into Hades, Ofelia shouldn’t be touching any of the food at the banquet – and of course, all the food is beautiful and alluring (and of course, she eats something, thus jeopardizing her very future).  I was particularly drawn to the molded desserts, which got me to thinking about jello molds and the like – very old fashioned desserts.  The whole temptation and desire thing came to mind, too, especially since we are moving swiftly toward Valentine’s Day.

All of this led me to making panna cotta.  Panna cotta is a rich, creamy dessert that has that air of old-fashioned about it.  At first, I thought I might aim for a bright sauce for my panna cotta, but then decided to go a bit darker, landing on a star anise caramel for the sauce, which complements the star anise panna cotta nicely.

star anise panna cotta

star anise panna cotta

star anise panna cotta

Just in case you don’t want to try to get the panna cotta to cooperate coming out of its mold – this tastes just as good in a small jar.  It sets nicely, and you can just drizzle the sauce over the top, throw a lid on it, and call it an afternoon snack.

Star Anise Panna Cotta

Ingredients

    Brown Sugar Star Anise Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 star anise pods
  • Star Anise Panna Cotta
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 star anise pods
  • Star anise caramel
  • 1 cup sugar (either white or brown)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar star anise simple syrup

Instructions

  1. Make the brown sugar star anise simple syrup first. Combine the brown sugar, water, and star anise pods in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool for at least an hour (though for more intense flavor, refrigerate overnight). Remove the star anise pods.
  2. Make the star anise panna cotta. In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water. Bring the gelatin/water mix to a simmer and fully dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the heavy cream and the star anise pods and bring to a low simmer. Simmer for five minutes. Add the milk and sugar, and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Take the mixture off the heat and add the gelatin (it will have formed a gelatin pancake - just scrape the whole thing into the heated milk and cream and mix until dissolved). Remove the star anise pods and pour the panna cotta into individual ramekins or half-pint jars. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night.
  4. As the panna cotta sets, make the star anise caramel. Combine the sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat and stir occasionally for 7 minutes. Take off the heat and add the simple syrup. The caramel will thicken as it cools. If it gets too thick, microwave for thirty seconds or so.
  5. To serve, drizzle the caramel over the panna cotta and enjoy!
  6. Makes four servings.
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This post is linked up to Weekend Cooking – check it out!

 

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Triple mushroom and truffle risotto is my contribution to Final FantaFeast February, being hosted by Pixelated Provisions.  This month’s Fandom Foodies theme is all about the Final Fantasy video game.  So full disclosure here – I haven’t actually played Final Fantasy.  However, my husband is hooked on Final Fantasy XV, which is the most recent of the Final Fantasy series.  I watch sometimes as he plays, peeking over my I-Pad as I watch the latest episode of Top Chef, and have thought it looks interesting.  But not interesting enough for me to put down the I-Pad or the latest book I’m reading.

I am, however, fascinated by the role food plays in the game.  One of the characters, Ignis, is the chef for the group and throughout the game, players can unlock various recipes, as well as go to the market, and forage for food.  Uh yeah – that’s an awesome part of the game as far as I’m concerned. When Fandom Foodies put out the schedule of themes for this year and I saw Final FantaFeast February, I immediately started looking for the foods that Ignis cooks in the game.  And when I saw Triple Truffle Risotto, there was no going back.

So the top image is from the game and the bottom is my triple mushroom and truffle recipe.  Since I didn’t have access to funguar, alstrooms, and Saxham rice (all the ingredients to make the dish in the game), I opted to go with a mix of mushrooms for the triple part, as well as some truffle oil and truffle cheese.  I would have gone full out triple truffle, but $21 for truffle salt at Trader Joe’s was a bit out of even my this-food-is-for-my-blog-cost comfort zone.  I love the combination of mushrooms though – some maitakes, some oyster mushrooms, and some creminis.  Feel free to substitute out any combination of mushrooms here – this would be lovely with chanterelles when they are in season, as well as morels, and so on.

Risotto takes a bit of time to make – I usually schedule about an hour from start to finish, as I like to baby it along.  A long slow simmer of the rice and stock is the key to a lush creamy risotto.  I also tossed in a cipollini onion – and honestly, if you can find these in your market, I encourage you to use one to make this dish.  Cipollinis become caramel rich when they are cooked (and even better – when they are cooked in butter), making them a perfect complement to the mushrooms.

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

triple mushroom truffle risotto

I think my triple mushroom and truffle recipe would do Ignis proud.

Triple Mushroom and Truffle Risotto

Ingredients

    For the mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 types of mushrooms, chopped. (About 2 cups of mushrooms, total)
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • For the risotto
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine or dry Vermouth
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup truffle cheese, grated (or Parmesan or Asiago cheese)
  • Truffle oil to finish

Instructions

    For the mushrooms
  1. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the diced onion and saute until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and saute for a minute. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and salt, and saute until all the liquid has cooked off. Set aside.
  2. For the risotto
  3. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable or chicken stock to a simmer. Leave simmering.
  4. Meanwhile, melt two tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent. Add the Arborio rice and cook for a minute, stirring frequently. Add the white wine or dry Vermouth and stir until it is incorporated in the rice/onion mixture.
  5. Add the simmering stock, 1 cup at a time. Cook on a low simmer between each addition until the stock is mostly absorbed. This will take anywhere from 30 - 45 minutes. Continue to do this until all the stock is used and the risotto is al dente. Take off the heat and add the cheese and salt. Stir to incorporate. Add a dash of truffle oil.
  6. Portion into bowls and top each bowl with the mushroom mix. Enjoy!
  7. Serves 4
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This recipe is linked to Meatless Monday, hosted by Deborah (Confessions of a Mother Runner) and Sarah (A Whisk and Two Wands).  Take a look at the great recipes being linked!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also hanging out with some other really wonderful recipes on #CookBlogShare at EasyPeasieFoodie.

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