Orecchiette Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes, Parmesan, Mint and Lemon Zest

So in the state of Georgia we all felt last week that Springtime was coming a little early, that wasn’t the case, of course. But that doesn’t mean a girl didn’t get inspired by the warm days to whip up something little and refreshing.

This is one of my favorite spring/summertime pastas to make. Don’t get intimidated, it’s a pretty simple pasta recipe. I found this one on Martha Stewart’s website, it is wonderful with my roasted tomatoes. The mint and lemon zest, just says summertime in your mouth.

The great thing about making this pasta is you can use your imagination to create other version of it. I love to add chickpeas, sautéed kale or spinach to the recipe with a little bit of parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes. Let your imagination go wild and while you are at remember to Set the Table with Love. 💕

Ingredients:

2 cups semolina flour, plus more for baking sheet

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup water, divided, plus more if needed

Directions:

1. Mound semolina and all-purpose flours and salt in 3 separate piles on a large, clean work surface.

2. Using your fingers, swirl ingredients together until combined.

3. Gather flour mixture into a pile, and create a well in center. Pour 1/2 cup water into well.

4. Gradually incorporate flour mixture into water using your fingers.

5. Once all the water is absorbed, continue adding water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until mixture begins to form a dough.
6. Start to gather and knead dough, working it until no dry flour remains on work surface.

7. Continue to knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

8. Divide dough into 16 equal portions, and cover them with a clean, damp kitchen towel.

9. Roll 1 portion of dough into an 18-inch-long rope.

10. Use a knife to cut and drag a 1/3-inch piece of dough from end of rope facing you — a grainy wooden cutting board helps grip the dough.

11. Holding knife at a 45-degree angle to work surface, press and roll dough toward you.
12. Unfurl each piece of dough over your thumb in the opposite direction to form a concave shape, and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lightly sprinkled with semolina flour. Repeat with remaining dough. Orecchiette can be stored at room temperature in a single layer overnight; cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Ingredients

4 pints cherry tomatoes

Good olive oil

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Sea salt

1 cup Parmesan cheese

12 -15 mint leaves

Lemon zest

Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle at the end

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Toss the tomatoes lightly with olive oil on a sheet pan. 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.

3. Transfer the tomatoes to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Add in a little pasta water to help make a sauce, then add in drained pasta, lots of parmesan cheese, olive oil, mint leaves and lemon zest and gently toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Winter Detox Soup

This is simple and super easy! But here’s the twist. You eat this soup for breakfast!! What?!! Yes, breakfast. Soup for breakfast has incredible health benefits.

Having soup in the am helps with better digestion and elimination. When we are cleansed from the inside , we have more energy and our immune system is able to function better. This will help us ward off all those yuckies that our kids lovingly bring home to us.

Here’s a few benefits:

1. They are quick and easy, especially when you are in a hurry. Pour it in a Yeti thermal and go.

2. They are loaded with lots of nutrients,. A super easy way to get what you need all at once.

3. They help with digestion, because of the high fiber content and the liquid from the broths, which also helps with elimination.

4. The options are endless. You will never get bored with soup.

5. You feel fuller longer, because they are nutritionally dense.

So, why not?

Here’s my go to:

Ingredient:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ginger, powder

1/2 cup onions, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon ginger, peeled and chopped

1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

2 sprigs of thyme, remove leaves to use in the soup

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 large zucchini, chopped

1 large yellow squash, chopped

1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets

1 /2 cup red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup kale, finely chopped, fresh or frozen

32 fl oz. Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Directions:

In a medium pot or Dutch oven add the olive oil over medium heat. Next add all your spices, stir and cook the spices for 15 seconds. Add the aromatics and sea salt and pepper, ginger, garlic, onions, red pepper flakes and thyme leaves , stir and cook for 1 minutes. Add the vegetables except the kale, Stir and cook for 5 -7 minutes, until the pot starts to get brown pieces at the bottom. Add the broth, stir and taste. Adjust seasonings, add more of the previous seasoning, to taste , plus add more salt or pepper, if needed. Turn up the heat and bring everything to a boil. Then turn the heat down to medium and allow to cook for 20 minutes, until the carrots and cauliflower are soft, but still has some crunch. Add chopped kale and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.

Beet Salad with a Parsley and Walnut Pesto drizzled with Orange Vinaigrette

I adore beets. They are loaded with lots fiber, vitamin C and they help with inflammation in the body, which mean they are good for you, but they also taste amazing. I love to add beets to my salads, smoothies, and they are awesome sautéed, roasted or just raw.

Today I was craving a salad, but not the lettuce type. I looked in my fridge and remembered, I bought diced beets already marinated from my favorite beet company, Love Beets ! They made this salad easy to make, because everything is seasoned and ready to assemble. I just had to slice the red beets.

I wanted this to look a bit fancy, so I used one of my metal rounds to assemble the dish, but you can easily, slice your beets, top with the pesto and drizzle some of your orange vinaigrette on top and toss. However you decide to do it, just remember to Set the Table with Love.

Beets Rock!!!

Ingredients:

1 pack of Love Beets diced marinated golden beets

1 pack of Love Beets marinated red beets thinly sliced

For the Parsley walnut pesto:

Ingredients:

1 cup shelled walnuts, about 3 1/2 ounces

2 cups chopped parsley, about 1 bunch

1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese or if vegan nutritional yeast

3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:

1. Put the walnuts, parsley, cheese, garlic, and salt in a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then pulse again.

2. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running just long enough to incorporate the oil, about 20-30 seconds.

Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredient:

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Pinch of salt

Directions:

In a small jar with a tight-fitting cover, combine the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, honey and pepper. Cover and shake well until combined. To store, refrigerate for up to 1 week. Shake well before serving.

Place your metal round on a pretty plate. Inside the round, layer the thinly sliced red beets, then top with the diced beets, stacking them on top of the red beets slices, until you have no space left. Add some pesto, then start the process over, until you end with a layer of pesto on top of the golden beets. Place on fridge to set for 30 minutes. Gently remove the metal round and drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve immediately. 💕

Spicy Orange Ginger and Garlic Cauliflower with Orange Ginger Cauliflower Rice

This week it’s all about the cauliflower.

Here’s the recipe, running out for an event, but wanted to share this with you guys. Always Set the Table with Love.

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets

• 2/3 cup water

• 1/3 cup cornstarch, plus 1 teaspoon

• 1/3 cup flour

• 3 tablespoons coconut oil

• 4 cloves garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup onions, minced

•. 1 teaspoon ginger, minced

• 1 large orange, zest only

• 1/4 cup orange juice, from zested orange

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

• 2 teaspoon sweet chili sauce

• 1 teaspoon brown sugar

• vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS

1 In a bowl, whisk together the water, 1/3 cup of corn starch, the flour, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

2 In a sauce pan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, minced garlic, ginger and onions, orange zest and juice, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar. Bring to a slight boil.

3 Stir 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 1 tablespoon of water until dissolved. Whisk into the sauce and reduce heat to a very lower simmer.

4 Next, heat the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan to 375 degrees.

5 Coat each cauliflower floret in the flour mixture.

6 Carefully place each floret into the hot oil. Fry each piece until golden brown – about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on a paper towel lined baking sheet.

7. Toss the cauliflower in the sauce mixture, pour into a bowl and spoon the remaining thick, hot sauce over top. Garnish with some cilantro or sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onions, (optional).

Serve immediately.

Fruit Skewers with homemade Chocolate Sauce and Yogurt with Fruit and Honey

Getting kids eat fruit and vegetables can sometimes be a bit challenging, but I believe these two dipping recipes will have them coming back for more. Keeping it simple and getting your little ones involved is the key. Whenever I pick up my grandkids the first thing that they ask me is, Gigi what are we making today? The second question is, Gigi what can I do to help? I noticed raising my boys, whatever they were a part of baking or cooking they would eat it all up.

This recipe is simple and will not take lots of time. You start with a skewer and their favorite fruit, cut up the fruit into bite sizes pieces, potatoes but big enough to place on the skewer. Allow them to pick which piece goes first. You can even talk about the health benefits of the fruit or where bananas truly come from. Now the dipping sauces:

Open up a container of plain yogurt. Chop up pieces of their favorite fruit. Add the fruit and yogurt in a bowl, drizzle with honey or maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon. Stir and let the kids spoon some over their fruit skewer.

Next the chocolate sauce, this can be done two ways, first the non dairy recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

4 oz. semi sweet chocolate bark

1/2 cup heavy cream

INSTRUCTION:

1 Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2 Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3 Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4 Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using as your dipping sauce.

Non Dairy Chocolate Sauce

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup of non dairy milk (I used vanilla almond milk)

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/2 cup of good quality cocoa powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, milk, and maple syrup. Stir and bring to a very gentle simmer.

2. Slowly whisk in the cocoa powder and continue to cook on a low simmer for about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Let cool, pour into a bowl and let the dipping commence. You can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few weeks.

Chocolate Sauce ( Ganache)

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces chopped dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop the chocolate and add it to a large heatproof bowl. Set aside.

2. Pour the heavy whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl (I like to use a glass measuring cup) and heat in the microwave for about 45 seconds-1 minute. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t bubble over in the microwave.

3. Pour the warm heavy whipping cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes. Start whisking slowly in the middle of the bowl, and continue whisking in one direction until the mixture is smooth and well combined.

4. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before using it to dip for it drizzle over your skewer.

Easiest Stovetop Maple Granola on top of Sweet Potato Pie Oatmeal

Who doesn’t love granola ? Okay, put your hand down, Lol 😂. But for us granola lovers, here’s a keep it simple and a bit sweet easy recipe.

You can also find this recipe and others delectable pictures of yummies on my Instagram page Life with Lisa Washington:

Easiest Stovetop Granola: Maple Granola with Pumpkin Seeds: #nutfree

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup gluten free old-fashioned oats, not instant

1 tablespoon virgin-coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of molasses

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

A pinch of clove

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract Pinch of sea salt

Instructions

1. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add seeds and oats. Toast for 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oats are golden and the seeds are fragrant, but not burnt. Add oil, maple syrup, molasses , vanilla, and salt, mix well to coat the oats. Cook 1 additional minute while string.

2. Remove from the heat and spread on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Allow to cool completely before adding to an airtight container.

Easy Sausage, Potatoes, Peppers and Onions

It’s back to school and here’s an easy recipe that will be a go to for you and your family. I love making this for my family because it’s quick, healthy and fills their bellies. When school starts back we all are in the grind of life, adjusting to a new school year schedule. There are footballs practices, ballet rehearsals, music recitals and a thousand other things we have to focus on, so let dinner be one thing, you pour Love into, but not lots of time. But hey it can taste like it. 😉

Note: A short cut here for this recipe is to precooked the potatoes the night before or use frozen potatoes. I prefer to precook fresh potatoes the night before, fresh ingredients really does make a difference. If you do, cook them until they are mostly tender and not mushy. They will cook later in the recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-5 Sweet Italian Turkey sausage links

10 medium red potatoes, cut in half

1 large yellow onion, sliced

3 bell peppers, any color, sliced into strips. I used what was in the fridge.

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth

1 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Sea salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Add the red potatoes to a pot of boiling water, cook until mostly tender, they will cook in the saucepan with the sausage and peppers later. Drain and set aside.

*If you are using precooked potatoes or frozen, skip this step above.

While the potatoes are cooking, Poke each sausage a few times with a paring knife or fork (this helps release steam as they cook).

In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add sausages and brown gently and slowly. Cook for 3- 5 minutes, turning occasionally to gently brown on all sides. (They should not be fully cooked.) Once browned, remove sausages to a plate. Set aside.

Increase heat to medium high. Add onion and pepper slices. Toss to coat in oil and sear vegetables until slightly blackened, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add vegetable broth, to deglaze the saucepan, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon to release bits. Simmer the vegetable broth until reduced by half.

Add Italian seasoning. Stir well to combine. Add sausages and the potatoes. Add salt to taste and gently toss. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until potatoes and peppers are soft and sausages are cooked.

Broccoli and Parmesan Cheese with a twist

This is a simple recipe, but it has a twist. Instead of using water to steam the broccoli you use vegetable broth. It gives the broccoli so much flavor. In a sauce pan add a bit of oil on heat the stove on medium heat . Toss in 2 cups of broccoli florets. Stir the florets around in the pan to help coat them with the oil. Add in a 1/3 cup of low sodium vegetable. Place the lid on top of the pan and allow to steam until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and add parmesan cheese on top, place lid back onto the pan to help the cheese melt. Serve immediately. Enjoy

Back to School Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Today I had the opportunity to do a television segment for Fox 5 Good Day Atlanta, because back to school is upon us and we want to give our kids a healthy start to the new school year. Well, I got you covered. Try out some of these recipes with your kids and see how going back school can be a fun and tasty experience for the whole family.

Here’s a few tips to get your kids into eating healthy:

1. Show the new ways to eat fruit and veggies: peanut butter on celery, hummus and red pepper slices, coconut milk with berries popsicle sticks

2. Get them involved in the process. Let them come up with healthy recipes ideas that incorporates more veggies .

3. Plant a garden.

4. Let them explore new fruits and veggies once a week. They don’t have to love it, just be open to trying new things.

5. Make eating healthy fun and not a chore. They are exploring and getting to know how to make good eating choices. So keep light.

If you want to check out the television footage just click this link: Good Day Atlanta Healthy Breakfast ideas .

Remember to always Set the Table with Love as you head into the new school year. 💕

Good Day Atlanta

Naleyla’s

Mango Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 Cup Mangoes, fresh or frozen, chopped

½ cup frozen blueberries

1-cup organic orange juice

A pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Add all the ingredients to the blender. Blend and Enjoy.

Serves two happy little campers 

As a school snack or for the lunch box add this smoothie into a thermos keep drinks cool.

Coconut Chocolate Chip No Bake Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1-½ cup raisins

½ cup maple syrup or (honey if not vegan)

½ cup creamy salted natural peanut butter or almond butter

1 cup roasted unsalted almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup mini chocolate chips or (cacao chips, if vegan)

2 cups rolled oats, gluten-free, for any sensitivities

Directions:

1. Process raisins in a food processor until small bits remain. You are looking for ”dough” like consistency.

2. Place the oats in a large saucepan with a tablespoon of liquid coconut oil and toast for 3 minutes on medium

heat. Add all the spices and stir.

3. Place oats and raisin “dough” a large mixing bowl – set aside.

4. Warm honey and nut butter or sunflower butter, if there is a nut allergy, in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir

and pour over oat mixture and then mix, breaking up the raisin “dough” to disperse throughout.

5. Once thoroughly mixed, transfer to an 8×8-inch baking dish or other small pan lined with plastic wrap or

parchment paper so they lift out easily.

6. Press down firmly until uniformly flattened. I use another piece of parchment paper over top of the granola and smooth flat with a spoon.

7. Cover with parchment or plastic wrap, and let firm up in fridge or freezer for 20 minutes.

8. Remove bars from pan and cut into bars of your desire. I cut them into small squares or 2 inch logs. Store in an

airtight container for 3-4 days. If you freeze them they will last longer and you can pop them out the fridge and add

to your kids lunch boxes each morning or as a great after school snack. Note: IF THE BARS ARE TOO CRUMBLY,

ADD A LITTLE WATER TO MAKE THEM STICKY. IF TOO STICKY AT MORE OATS.

Fruit and Granola at the Bottom Yogurt Cups

Ingredients:

1 small 4 oz. Mason jar with lid or 4 oz. BPA free recyclable plastic cup with lid

¼ cup granola

Few strawberries and frozen blueberries, or any fruit of your choice. I love to add frozen fruit, because it will keep the yogurt cool.

¼ cup Greek yogurt

A drizzle of honey, maple syrup, cacao chips or granola to add on top as garnish

Directions:

Add the granola to the bottom of the jar. Top with your favorite fruit, then top with greek yogurt and garnish as you desire.

This is a great lunch box recipe and after school snack. For school I would suggest using a BPA free plastic cup with lid, instead of a jar class.

This is for the Sweet Potato Lovers~ Sweet Potato Hash and Toast

Who doesn’t love sweet potatoes?  Yes. Everyone does! Okay I just going to pretend that everyone does. The rest of you guys will be converted after this post! LOL.

So here it is, sweet potatoes are not only nature’s little candy, because they are super sweet, but they are loaded with nutrients. Here are a few benefits why you should eat sweet potatoes:

  1. Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  2. They are high in antioxidants
  3. Need a brain boost, sweet potatoes helps with brain function.
  4. They also are known to help enhance you immunity
  5. They promote vision health.
  6. Need to drop a few pounds, they also help with weight loss.

I know you are thinking about trying them now, with those impressive health benefits, but if you are not totally convinced, check out these two awesome recipes. The recipes below are vegan and plant based, but you can add an egg to them to boost your protein, if you are vegetarian or eat meat. The best thing about both recipes is that you can get super creative.

Sweet potato toast is the new craze out there, if you are trying to cut back on the bread. I love this new take on toast.  The toppings are endless, you can go sweet or savory.

Sweet potato toast is simple to make and you make several slices of the toast and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days and pull them out when you need them and add your favorite toppings. Here’s the easy recipe:

 

blogfood1

Sweet Potato Toast

Ingredients
1 large sweet potato

Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil
Sweet Potato Toast : Sweet ~ Almond Butter, Granola and Cherries Savory ~ Avocado, Smoked Paprika and Olive Oil

Instructions:

OVEN 
Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper to help prevent sticking.

Peel the potato. This is optional. I peeled the the ends of the sweet potato off, cut the potatoes in 1/2 inch slices.

Bake until the slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with your favorite toast toppings.

Store any leftover sweet potato slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. To reheat for an easy breakfast, just add to your toaster on the medium setting to heat up, remove and add your favorite toppings.

TOASTER

Ingredients
1 sweet potato, cut into 1/4 inch slices

Instructions
Peel your potato and add it to your toaster. It may take you three times to cook and toast the sweet potato completely.  Every toaster is different, so you will know it is done when the sweet potato is tender and brown on the edges. Remove it from the toaster and add your favorite ingredients: nut butters, avocado, jams, jelly, granola, nuts, apples slices, whatever, you get creative.

blogfood
Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash

Sweet Potato and Poblano Pepper Hash  

Ingredients

1 large organic sweet potato peeled and cubed
1  small red onion, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 poblano peppers, diced
1 small red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow pepper, diced
1 cup broccoli pearls
1 cup of black beans
1 handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
a pinch or two crushed red pepper, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onions and peppers and cook for about 2 minutes until they begin to soften, add the sweet potato, broccoli pearls, salt,  and crushed red pepper. Cover and cook about 5 minutes, until the potatoes begin to soften. Add beans and cook for about 3-5 minutes until the beans are warmed up.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.  Top with cilantro and garnish with lime ( optional) .

 

 

 

There’s more than one way to use vegetable skewers

How can you take 4 prepackaged vegetable skewers and make several meals?

What I love about using the skewers is they have all my favorite veggies, big plump portobello mushrooms, crunch red bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and red onions. The first day I marinated them in a balsamic glaze with olive oil and herbs and paired it with a red quinoa vegan tabbouleh. The next day I took the two of the vegetables skewers and took off the vegetables and sautéed them in olive oil, herbs, sea salt and cracked black pepper. I put the veggies in a bowl, add kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, banana peppers and chickpeas. I added a little olive oil, balsamic glaze and toss. I chopped some fresh parsley over top and you have your second skewer meal. I took the last one and made a simple stir fry with eggs.