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.

 

 

 

French Lentils with Cherry Tomatoes over Grilled Romaine Lettuce

This dish was inspired by how beautiful I think french lentils are. I love cooking with them. The whole their texture very well and that make any dish look incredibly elegant. I have made soups, stews and salads using french lentils. I would like to share this grilled salad recipe I made over the summer. It was a true winner. Very light and loaded with vegan protein. I always looking for ways to incorporate more vegan protein in my families diet. I believe this one hit the mark. I hope you enjoy it as well.

 

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French Lentils on wilted Romaine Lettuce
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French Lentils on wilted Romaine Lettuce

Ingredients:
1  cup onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3 tablespoons olive

2 cups French lentils

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 tbsp  Madrecita Salt Free Garlic Herbal- Seasoning ( a must have)

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp sea salt  or more to taste

4 romaine lettuce leaves, Large

10 -12 cherry tomato, halves

French Lentils and Grilled Romaine Lettuce
French Lentils and Grilled Romaine Lettuce

Directions:
Place a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil. When hot, add chopped vegetables, and sauté until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 6 cups water, lentils, thyme, garlic seasons, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium.
Simmer lentils until they are tender and have absorbed most of the water, for 20 to 25 minutes. Drain any excess water after lentils have cooked. Check the seasonings. Add more no salt garlic seasonings or salt, if needed. I usually add more of the garlic seasonings at the end to build the flavor of the dish, if needed.

I used my George Foreman grill. Heat up the grill and add oil to the grill. Remove the leaves from the head ( make sure they leaves are dry) and add salt to each leaf. Add the leaves to the grill and allow to cook for about 2 minutes, until they have a nice char on them. Remove from the grill and place on a platter. Take the lentils and add them on top of the leaves and garnish with the cherry tomatoes.  Serve immediately.