Here’s another really beautiful appetizer it is my leftover risotto balls. These are very simple to make and they are absolutely gorgeous, especially when you pair it with my sun-dried tomato pesto. I am just going to get to the recipe here, so you can get back to make the evening more magical.
3 cups cooked risotto
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup Italian seasoned fine dry bread crumbs
Sundried Tomato Pesto:
2 cups sun dried tomatoes, drained, if packed in oil
1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, crushed under a knife and peeled
Directions: 1 Using lightly greased or wet hands, shape leftover risotto into 1-inch balls. Return balls to the baking pan. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until balls are completely chilled.
2 In a large skillet, heat 1 cup oil over medium-high heat. Roll rice balls in beaten eggs, then in bread crumbs to coat.
3 Cook rice balls, one-fourth at a time, in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown, carefully turning once. Using a slotted spoon, remove rice balls and drain on paper towels. Keep warm in a 200 degrees F oven while cooking the remaining rice balls. Once all the balls cooked plate them with a side of sun dried tomato pesto.
Sun dried tomato pesto:
Process all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade until the mixture forms a coarse paste. This pesto will keep in the fridge inside an airtight container up to one month.
I love this dish, because it is one that brings beautiful memories of me sitting in my friend’s garden, enjoying a nice glass of Pinot Noir, along side her olive tree, with yummy crusty bread on the side, lots of laughs and a few tears. One of my favorite memories, is just watching the hummingbirds flying around and allowing ourselves to just be in the present moment.
This recipe is a wonderful alternative for a “Meatless Monday”, it can also be a great vegan recipe, just omit the parmesan cheese. The flavor is in the red bell peppers, garlic, onions, basil and fennel. This is one you will want to make with your family over and over and again. If you have balls left over, please freeze them, they do great in the freezer.
I hope you enjoy it just as much as we do and maybe it will be bring fond memories for you, when you Set the Table with Love for those special people in your life. Enjoy! 🙂
Millet and Red Quiona Balls
1 cup of Millet
1/2 cup of Red quinoa
4 cups of water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves ( minced)
1/2 cup onions diced
1/2 cup of red bell peppers, diced
1 cup of parmesan cheese, if vegan omit the cheese or use a vegan cheese instead
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1. In large deep sauce pan add the 4 cups of water. Allow it to come to boil. Add millet and red quinoa. Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Turn down the heat to medium low simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes. Stirring occasionally. You want a nice fluffy mash potato like texture. This makes the balls easy to roll up.
2. Add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to a sauté’ pan and sauté’ the garlic, onions and red bell peppers, cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to season the veggies. Add the sauté’ vegetables to the mixture along with the dried basil, fennel seeds and the cup of parmesan cheese. Taste and season with the black pepper and sea salt, as needed.
3. Stir completely, incorporating all the ingredients. Wet your hands
slightly and roll the mixture into medium balls. You can put the balls in the fridge to harden for about 30 minutes. This will help the balls to hold together when you are browning them in the sauté pan.
4.Once the balls are firm, add the remaining olive oil in a sauté’ pan and sauté’ each ball until golden brown on each side on medium heat. Add goat cheese, basil and lemon zest for garnish, if you desire.
Makes 20-25 small millet and red quinoa balls
Simple Marinara Sauce
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.)can crushed tomatoes
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
2 1/2 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tsp of sea salt
2 tsp. organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
1 bay leaves Directions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute garlic until tender.
Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato puree, basil, oregano,sea salt (or to taste), organic cane sugar, red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 40 minutes.
Serve the Millet and Red Quiona Balls on top of the Marinara Sauce.
Use pieces of basil as garnish with a little lemon zest.
I am so excited about Mother’s Day! I hope you are thinking of ways to encourage the beautiful Mother’s in your life that has birth you physically, spiritually and both. I have a few recipes today I want to share with you that will make this Mother’s Day very special. It’s not too late and these recipes are super simple and Yum Yum approved. Enjoy them and make sure to Set the Table with Love. Happy Mother’s Day. 🙂
Five Cheese Italian Muffin Frittatas
2 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil ( 1 tbsp for greasing the
pan and the remainder for sautéing vegetables)
1 medium onion diced, medium
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
the same size as the onions
1 garlic clove, diced, small
8 large eggs
1 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp. of black pepper
1 tbsp. of Italian dried seasoning
4 ounces Sargento Five cheese blend,or your favorite blend
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, to top frittatas
1 ounce of parmesan cheese to
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with olive
oil, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in a saute’ pan. Add diced onions, peppers, and
garlic. Cook until onions are transparent, not caramelized.
3.Whisk eggs, salt, black pepper, basil together in a bowl. Mix
cooked ( make sure they are cooled, are you will have scrambled eggs) vegetables and cheese into egg mixture. Spoon about 1/4
cup mixture into each muffin cup. You want the mixture to go
about halfway up the muffin pan cups.
4. Add 2 sliced cherry tomatoes on top of each frittata.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until frittatas are set in the middle
and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
6. Once cooked you can garnish each one with parmesan cheese.
~ If you have an issue with diary, you can leave the cheese out or
use your favorite vegan blend.
Since this is Mother’s Day add some, fruit, a card and her favorite flower and your golden.
I love this dish, because it is so flavorful and filling. The pasta is so huge so you do not need to eat a lot of it. If I had a spa I would serve this to my customers. Yes I would serve them Pasta, baby. This pasta is amazing and you only use 1/2 cup per serving and you can share it with someone else. The pasta dish is also load with kale and 1/4 cup of chickpeas, onions, garlic and red bell peppers. Delish.
It’s the New Year and with this dish, you can still eat pasta. If the pasta thing is a big deal, use less and add more kale instead. This will be hopefully a nice go to for lunch or dinner. I suggest lunch you can burn it off throughout the rest of the day. Bon A petit AND Set the Table with Love.
Trottole Pasta with Kale, Chick peas and Red Bell Peppers
1 cup Trottole Pasta.( I found this at Kroger’s the Private Selection brand, super cheap like $1.79)
Follow pasta instruction on the back of the packaging.
Ingredients for the sauté :
2 cups chopped green kale
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried garlic
sea salt ( to taste)
dash of red pepper flakes ( to taste)
Instructions for the pasta:
Cook the pasta based on the products directions. Drain, rinse and set the pasta aside in a bowl.
TIP: Add a little olive oil over the pasta while it is still hot to help it not stick together.
Now the good yummy flavorful stuff.
Add the oil to the pan over a medium heat and sauté the onions until they are transparent, add the red bell peppers and sauté for 1 minute or two, add the garlic and cook until the onions have a nice light golden brown color. Add the kale and all the seasonings and sauté until the kale is soft not withered, about 2 minutes. Toss everything together in your sauté pan. Add everything to the bowl of pasta and toss to incorporate all the ingredients with the pasta. I love olive oil, so I drizzle just a bit more at the end. You can also add a little more salt or red pepper flakes if you like.
I know. I know. I do a million things, but one of the things I love the most is teaching people how to look and feel great, through nutrition, exercise and a healthy mind. Today was a busy work day. I got up and taught my yoga class, the class mantra today was, ” I release what doesn’t serve my greater good.” Very powerful class. We hold onto to so much in our lives that doesn’t serve us, God or the ones we love. Why not just let it go with lovingkindness. When we clear up space within in ourselves the right stuff comes in naturally.
Here is where my personal chef bliss comes into play. I love my clients, because they want to know how to Set their Tables with Love by eating and feeding their loves ones with natural, organic whole foods. Today I took one of my clients to Sprouts to shop for quick, easy whole food meals for two. We bought food for snacks, breakfast and lunch/dinner. I created meals for her that are all natural, organic and whole and they will last her family for over a week for a little over a hundred bucks.
You can do this. You can shop local and buy what is in season and it eat homemade gourmet meals on a budget. The reality of it is this, foods that are in season and local are cheaper and much healthier for you. The best part you are supporting our local farmers and community.
Today we made several meals she can freeze and prep easily since she has a three month old gorgeous son.
I made and prepped her dinner for tonight and for tomorrow.
Here’s her menu for the week:
Turkey Tuscan meatballs, Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup, Organic skinless chicken thighs ( grill these for salad or just keep them whole), Fish two ways, Lemon Pepper and Parmesan Crusted and she loves to snack we made Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars from scratch. We used freezer bags to separate the meals.
The soup and granola bars were so good I made some for myself.
Dark Chocolate Chip and Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars
2 cups gluten free oats
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup cranberries
1/3 cup dehydrated coconut flakes
1/3 cup brown rice flour
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt ( to taste)
2 organic eggs
1/4 cup organic honey
3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
Preheat oven to 350.
Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix together. In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, eggs, honey, coconut oil
( make sure oil has cooled before adding eggs). Add the dry to the wet and stir until the mixture is easily crumbly. If it is too sticky add a little more brown rice flour. If it is too dry add a little water.
Once you have the mixture well incorporated. Pour the mixture into a 13×9 baking pan coated with cooking spray. Press the mixture into the baking pan. Bake 15-18 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Score surface with shallow cuts to make bars. Cool on wire rack then finish cutting into bars. If you need more sweetness drizzle them with honey after they have cooled.
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
1 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups of chopped kale
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth ( low sodium)
1 can (15 ounces) white beans, (cannelloni beans)
1/4 cup Campanelle pasta ( or any hearty pasta you prefer)
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp of dried basil
1/2 tsp of oregano
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper
Sauté, stirring, until onion is tender and transparent. Reduce heat to medium-low.
Add kale and garlic; cover and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining
ingredients; cover and cook for 20 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
This recipe and many more like it can be found in my cookbook, SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE on Amazon.com
Yes. My dear friend gave me her Italian grandfather’s pasta maker to try my hand out with making pasta from scratch. I felt so special to have this machine. She has never used it and wanted someone to have it that would appreciate it. This bad boy is straight out of Italy, even the direction. But I followed the pictures to show me how to assemble it, pretty easy. Here are a couple of pix of the pastas I made today. I used a very easy pasta recipe. This recipe came from Mario Batali. But the stuffed ravioli and spaghetti with organic meat sauce is mines. Will post soon.
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
Mound the flour in the center of a large wooden cutting board. Make a well in the middle of the flour, add the eggs. Using a fork, beat together the eggs and begin to incorporate the flour starting with the inner rim of the well. As you incorporate the eggs, keep pushing the flour up to retain the well shape (do not worry if it looks messy). The dough will come together in a shaggy mass when about half of the flour is incorporated.
Start kneading the dough with both hands, primarily using the palms of your hands. Add more flour, in 1/2-cup increments, if the dough is too sticky. Once the dough is a cohesive mass, remove the dough from the board and scrape up any left over dry bits. Lightly flour the board and continue kneading for 3 more minutes. The dough should be elastic and a little sticky. Continue to knead for another 3 minutes, remembering to dust your board with flour when necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature. Roll and form as desired.
Note: Do not skip the kneading or resting portion of this recipe, they are essential for a light pasta