Penne Pasta with Sweet Peas Roasted Tomatoes Mint and Lemon Zest with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Yes! It’s winter and our bodies are craving those wonderful comfort foods, like l a big bowl of chili with jalapeno and cheddar cornbread or some creamy mac and cheese, but it’s good to give the digestive tract a little rest, even in the cold wintry months.

Today I was missing summer, so I decided to make this wonderful pasta and salad dish. I used one of my new favorite gluten free pastas, brown rice penne fromJovial Foods I love the nuttiness of their pasta and it holds up to it’s form.

This recipe honors a few of spring and summer’s produce, mint, lemons and sweet peas. I roasted some cherry tomatoes to give it a nice burst of smoky citrus flavor and a few pieces of mint leaves with a bit of lemon zest, well just say, it’s summer in your mouth.

The Green Apple Mint salad makes a wonderfully refreshing side. I love making my own vinaigrettes and this balsamic mint dressing could be one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy a bit of summer in these recipe.  Make sure you stay warm and Set the Table with Love.

pastaandsalaad
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Penne Pasta 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Jovial Penne Pasta

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup organic sweet peas

2 tbsp lemon juice

lemon zest

mint leaves, for garnish

cracked black pepper and kosher salt to taste

drizzle of good Extra Virgin Olive oil

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a baking sheet. Spread them out into one layer and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft. Once roasted set aside.

Add penne pasta to a pot of salted boiling water. Cook according to package direction. Drain and place back on the stove on low heat, add peas and lemon juice. Allow peas to just heat up and remove from heat.  Add pasta, peas and roasted tomatoes into a bowl, add lemon zest, mint leaves and gently toss. Drizzle with some good extra virgin olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

salad1
Brown Rice Penne Pasta with Peas and Roasted Tomatoes with a Green Apple Mint Salad

Green Apple Salad

Ingredients: 

1 medium green apple

Bib lettuce or your favorite leafy greens 🙂

Cranberries

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds

Baby mint leaves, as garnish

Instruction:

Cut the apples, as desired. Gently tear the bib lettuce into desired pieces and place in a bowl, top with the cut apples, cranberries, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. Add drizzle with the Balsamic Mint vinaigrette.

Balsamic Mint Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon finely minced shallot

3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Place the shallots in a small glass jar with a secure lid.  Add the balsamic vinegar, the salt and the pepper. Pour the olive oil into the jar. Put the lid on the jar tightly, and shake vigorously, and add to the salad right before serving.

 

 

 

WHEW! Life has been an Adventure! Food. Birthday Celebrations. Cooking Demos for Charity. Cover Girl. WOW!

Wow, May was a month of major surprises and lots of fun adventures. So, forgive me for just now posting. Boy, I did miss you guys, but let’s sit down for a moment. Do you have your favorite cup of tea? Great, because I have so much to talk about! Well, where do I begin? FOOD, of course my dear, food. I was asked back again this year to be one of the chefs to do a cooking demo on the big stage at Taste of Town Brookhaven for this year’s charity event to benefit LifeLine Animal Project.

18581766_10154704493653613_7753467838284729935_n

It was amazing and the best part, it was my birthday and I got to cook in front of this incredible audience and they all sung happy birthday to me, by the lead of celebrity and award winning DJ, Yvonne Monet, she was the Mcee for the evening and we jammed out as I did my cooking demo. I made my Cilantro Lime Shrimp with an avocado and pepper salsa.

1560464_10151948881633613_175548227_n
Grilled Cilantro Lime Shrimp with an avocado and pepper salsa

Along with a wonderful Basil and Mint Berry Salad. The music was pumping and the crowds were jumping and it was just a big party. The next day my friends threw me this amazing dinner party at my favorite restaurant, St.Cecilia Atlanta, best pasta and fish in Atlanta.

IMG_7113.0

IMG_2624
Birthday at St.Cecilia

IMG_2623

 

072b8bd4673513570be36cacf49b50a3
St.Cecilia
24717639
St.Cecilia

Now this is a condensed version of my birthday month, also had a pre launch cookbook cooking demo at William Sonoma and my bestie brought the most beautiful birthday cake from my new favorite dessert place,Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery.

348s
Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery
blue-rooster-right-behind
Blue Rooster Bake Shop and Eatery

I also got a chance to go to the filming of my friends new Food Network show and it was so much fun! I even got an opportunity to be part of the filming. The theme was the Great Gatsby. One of the coolest date nights with my hubby. He looked amazing in his tux.

IMG_1263
Great Gatsby
28474467-03B2-401A-A3F3-8525A44C793F
Great Gatsby

Okay, whew! I am not done yet, tons of lunches and spa times, but the coolest thing was to be named Best Self Atlanta Magazine‘s  2017 Over 40 and Fabulous Cover Girl, check out the articles here and read about all of the winners this year.  A big THANK YOU to the staff of Best Self Atlanta and our amazing photographer Sawyer Photography

It has been a month, but I have been playing around with some new and delicious recipes for you guys to try, will post soon.  I want to just give a big shout out to the month of May and how amazing it has been for me. Recipes coming soon and oh my, what will June bring.  Enjoy this little gallery and remember to Set the Table with Love.

18622595_10213258079665900_761180076366852509_n
Best Self Atlanta Magazine Cover Girl
Best Self Atlanta Magazine Cover Girl
Best Self Atlanta Magazine Cover Girl
1a4db616dd62ba1ca0bc919bd5f9f1c1_L
Best Self Atlanta Magazine Cover Girl