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.

Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Chorizo Sausage

I was in great debate about posting this blog. This sausage recipe is very delicious and the powers that be, suggested that it needs to be in my new cookbook:  Set the Table with Love, plant based recipes to make you look and feel great. So stay tuned for that recipe. But keep reading the Vegan Basil Pasta is delish!!

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I will share this amazing and easy Vegan Basil Pasta. Here is what making this pasta very special. One of my best friends gave me today this wonderful Kitchenaid food processor. I never had a big professional food processor. I know I cook a lot, but I am so primitive. I do everything on hand. I even make my pasta from scratch with no processor, but I think I am hooked.

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Vegan Basil Pasta with Soy Free Gluten Free Vegan Chorizo Sausage

Thanks Andrea for making my life easier. I love my new food processor.

 Vegan Basil Pasta

Ingredients
1 cups semolina flour

1 3/4 cups organic unbleached pastry flour

1/2 cup basil leaves

1 tbsp olive oil

3/4 – 1 cup room temperature water

Directions:

Place flours and basil in the food processor and pulse to combine.

While the food processor is running, drizzle in the olive oil.  Add the water 1 Tbsp at a time through the spout while the processor is running.
I used almost 1 cup of water. Remove dough from processor and place on a modestly floured clean surface, knead briefly until smooth. Rolling the dough into a ball.  Cut in half. Take one of the halves and  pass through your pasta machine as per its instructions, dusting with semolina flour as needed. Once the dough is thinned out to your preference, you can send it through your fettuccine attachment, dusting your pasta and the pasta machine with semolina flour, so it doesn’t stick .

If you do not have an attachment or a pasta maker, you can roll the dough with a dusted rolling pin with semolina flour. Take a pizza cutter or knife to cut into small strips. Place the strips on a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour, so that pasta will not stick together.

Toppings for the pasta:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup onions, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt

basil leaves ( for garnish)

Directions:

I sautéed the onions and garlic in a sauce pan. I added it over the pasta, with a few chili peppers, sea salt and basil leaves.

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.

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

I was shopping around in my favorite store, William Sonoma when I came across this large colorful pasta shells. They are called  Lumaconi pasta shells, shaped like the shell of a snail. They are hollow inside, and open at one end, closing in on itself at the other end. The colors intrigued me the most. I had to do something with them, but they could not be drowned in sauce. You must see the color. I decided to go with a vegan recipe, so this dish popped up in my head.  This dish is very beautiful and elegant. I served the pasta on top of a bed of the quinoa mixture. I drizzled olive oil all over it. Traditionally this type of pasta causes for sauce, but the olive oil and the lemon zest was just enough.

Enjoy! Remember to Always Set the Table with Love.

 

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Stuffed Lumaconi Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries and Green peas

Ingredients:

4 lumaconi pasta shells, they are very large, prepare according to package directions.

1 cup quinoa, rinsed well

1 1/2 cup water, for quinoa

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp dried fennel

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup frozen organic green peas

1/2 cup dried cranberries, good quality cranberries

lemon zest

Generous drizzle of the best extra virgin olive

Directions:

Cook your quinoa according to package instruction. Make sure to rinse it well. It will cook for about 15 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set aside. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions. While the pasta is cooking. Add the olive oil to a medium sauté pan, on medium heat. Add your onions and cook until soften. Add and stir in the garlic and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Do not burn the garlic. Add the fennel seeds. Allow the fennel seeds to get warmed up in the pan, for about a minute. Add the green peas and cranberries. Stir. Add the cooked quinoa into the pan with the aromatics ( onions, fennel and garlic) and the lemon juice. Stir. Remove from heat.

Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas
Lumaconi Stuffed Pasta with Quinoa, Cranberries, Fennel and Green peas

Take one pasta shell at a time and gently stuff in some of the quinoa mixture. On a plate add some of the quinoa mixture on to a dish. Place the stuffed shell on top. Drizzle a nice amount of olive oil and lemon zest on top of the entire dish. If you need sauce, you can make a nice lemon vinaigrette to drizzle over this dish as well.

Rustic Vegan Basil Pasta with Fried Rosemary, Garlic and Walnuts

This blog will be short, simple and elegant. Well, I think the pictures of the dish is very elegant.  One of my food perspectives is that, food doesn’t always need to be complicated to be full of elegant deliciousness. High quality ingredients and a little creativity, can have you creating some delicious and unique experiences for your family. This recipe is very fragrant, the vegan pasta is very silky in your mouth and the crunch of the garlic and walnuts balances the dish perfectly. I hope you enjoy it.

*I dried my pasta overnight and used it today to make this dish, but you can make the pasta and go right into making this recipe.

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To start use my Vegan Basil Pasta recipe to make the pastaVegan Basil Pasta

Here’s what I did and what you will need:

2 -3 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 large garlic clove

Fleur De Sel or Sea Salt to taste

Instructions:

Once the pasta is made, I sent it through the pasta maker, until it was think of enough to make lasagne. I laid the pasta out on my bread board with a dusting of semolina flour and left it on my counter to try dry over night. Of course it curled.  In order to avoid this you can hang it over a plastic cloth hanger with a clean white cotton dish towel over the inside of the hanger and place the pasta on top and let it dry over night.  I did not mind my pasta curling. It was going to be rustic anyway. I broke the pasta up in sections.

Add the pasta to a pot of boiling water. Let it cook for 2-3 minutes, homemade pasta doesn’t take long to cook.  Remove. Rinse. Drain and set a side. Add a little olive oil, so they pasta doesn’t stick together.

In another sauce pan, add 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add 2 or 3 sprigs of rosemary, stem and all. Let it cook for 1  minute. Use a grater to grate one clove of garlic into the oil and rosemary ( use the larger cheese grater part of the grater, you want slivers of garlic. You can also use a knife to cut thin slivers of garlic, as well. Add some sea salt and cook for another minute.

Once place the pasta in a bowl and pour the rosemary garlic oil over the pasta and top with chopped walnuts and pinch of the Fleur De sel.

Trottole Pasta with Sautéed Kale, Chick peas and Red Bell Pepper

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.

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Trottole Pasta with Kale Chick Peas and Red Bell Pepper

Trottole Pasta with Kale, Chick peas and Red Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

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.

Directions:

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.

Enjoy!

Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup and Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars

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.

Recipe Below:

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Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup with Campanelle Pasta

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Spicy White  Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola
Spicy White Bean and Kale Soup Dark Chocolate Cranberry Coconut Granola

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

Ingredients

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
Preparation:
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

Click on the link below

Set the Table with Love

SET the TABLE with LOVE cookbook IT’S HERE!

OKAY THE COOKBOOK IS FINALLY DONE. PLEASE GO CHECK IT OUT HERE:

 

SET THE TABLE WITH LOVE COOKBOOK

 

 

So I am almost done with my cookbook and I wanted to share a few pictures of the recipes that will be in the cookbook.  This book is all about how we Set our Tables with Love, for the ones in our lives we hold dear to our hearts. Some of us are vegan, vegetarians, lean meat eaters and raw enthusiast and yes some of us are all of them. That is me! I love Food!! I love eating all kinds of foods. My diet is mostly vegetarian and I love eating lean meats here and there. But I wanted to devote this book to food I have cooked for those I love in my life over the years. I have progressed in my education in using food to heal your life, I have included a few raw recipes and vegan recipes as well.

Food can heal our lives and taste delicious! Here is a few pictures of some the recipes in my cookbook. Set the Table with Love.

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I MADE PASTA ~ from scratch ~ What!?

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.

Playing with Dough
Playing with Dough

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Ingredients

3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 extra-large eggs
Directions
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

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/fresh-pasta-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback