Family Recipe: Baked Red Pesto and Roasted Veggie Pasta

This recipe is easy to make, and amazing. It uses Red Pesto, which has a tomato base. It’s warm, filling, and comforting.

The first thing you need to do is roast some veggies. Check my recipe here. I roast 5-ish lbs of veggies each week, so we usually have some in the fridge.

 

Baked Red Pesto and Roasted Veggie Pasta

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil salted water and cook pasta per package directions. As you drain, reserve some of the pasta water (about 1/2 cup).
  3. In a large baking dish (11×13) mix roasted veggies, pasta, red pesto, and add pasta water a little bit at a time, until all the pasta is coated. You may not need all 1/2 cup.
  4. Mix in 1/2 of the cheese.
  5. Smooth the mixture down into the baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes covered.
  6. After 20 minutes, top with the remaining cheese and continue to bake uncovered for 10-ish minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
  7. Serve with garlic bread and a green salad.

Serves 6-8. This re-heats well, if there are any leftovers.

Notes:

  • This dish is vegetarian, but not vegan. This is a vegan red pesto, but I’ve not tried it. To make it vegan, use a vegan red pesto and vegan Italian Cheese blend.
  • Pesto is not a nut-free product! If you have a nut allergy, be careful!
  • Feel free to use your favorite pasta (high protein, gluten-free, made from soy, etc). I do not recommend shirataki noodles- They have a weird texture and smell (seriously).

 

Recipe: Roasted Onion and Caramelized Onion Bisque

I saw a video online someplace (I want to say Facebook, but it could have been on Reddit too), and it showed how to make tomato bisque using freshly roasted tomatoes.

I was excited to try it since we’ve been getting tons of big tomatoes in our CSA box over the past two weeks and I had them sitting on the counter.

This recipe is simple, but it does involve a few steps and does take some time.

It’s worth it in my opinion.

Roasted Onion and Caramelized Onion Bisque

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 8-10 Tomatoes, tops cut off. If the tomatoes are not a uniform size, cut them in half /into large uniform hunks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can (approx 16 oz) chicken or veggie stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon each: Basil, Rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup half and half
  • dash red pepper flakes (optional)
caramelized onions…. mmmmm

Directions:

  1. Preheat Oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatoes/tomato hunks on an oiled-up baking sheet. Brush tomatoes with oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. Roast tomatoes for 35-45 minutes.
  3. While tomatoes are roasting, melt butter in a stockpot, and over medium/low heat saute onions. in the last 10 minutes of cooking the onions, add the garlic and stir frequently to keep from burning. You will need to stir frequently.
  4. Place tomatoes in with onions, and add stock, and all herbs/seasonings, EXCEPT the bay leaf and red pepper.
  5. Using an emersion blender, blend soup until it’s smooth.
  6. Now that soup is smooth, add bay leaf and simmer for 30-45 minutes on low.
  7. Add half and half, stir well, add red pepper if desired.
  8. Serve topped with croutons.
This is what roasted tomatoes look like in a lonely stockpot.

Note: If you don’t have an emersion blender, pour tomatoes and onions into a blender and pulse until smooth.

This recipe does not make a ton of soup, as most of my soup recipes do. This recipe takes time, but it’s so good. It’s worth the time and effort for sure.

I recommend my 4-way grilled cheese to go with this soup too!

Easy Recipe: Homemade Pico De Gallo (Fresh Salsa)

Time to Salsa!!

With the massive amount of super tasty local veggies and fruit we’ve been getting, I decided to make Pico de Gallo (fresh salsa) since we had all the ingredients in this week’s box.

This recipe is super simple and takes about 10 minutes from start to finish.

Pico de Gallo (Fresh Salsa)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chopped and deseeded tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and white membrane removed, diced
  • 1/2 red/purple onion diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, chiffonade (that means cut up into small ribbons)
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Toss all ingredients until the lime juice coats all of the veggies.
  3. Transfer into a container with an airtight lid.
  4. Store in the fridge for at least 4 hours. This gives the flavors to meld, and the salsa to chill.
  5. This salsa stays good in the fridge for 4-6 days, but it won’t last that long.

I love this salsa with zucchini chips or tortilla chips. Or in an omlet.

 

 

Frugal Recipe: Beef Machacas (Slowcooker recipe)

Look at the delicious marbling!

This is an easy recipe, and it is divine! You may already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen too!

It’s pretty flexible when it comes to the meat- You want a good roast with some marbling. Chuck Roast, Tri-tip, Round Roast, Rump Roast are all good options. This recipe cooks low and slow all day. Break out your slow cooker my friends!

Let’s dive into this beefy, delicious recipe!

Machacas

Imgredients

Directions

  1. In a heavy-bottomed cast-iron skillet or dutch oven, heat canola oil, add beef, and sear each side for 5-8 minutes. You want a nice brown crust on each side. If the piece is large, cut it in pieces to fit into your slow cooker.
  2. As the meat is searing, in your slow cooker pour frozen vegetables.
  3. In a mixing bowl, mix tomato sauce, salsa, and spices.
  4. Place the meat in the slow cooker, and pour water into the pan that browned meat. Stir and scrape off any browned/burned bits off the bottom of the pan. Pour that water into the sauce bowl and mix thoroughly.
  5. Pour sauce over meat and cook on low in the slow cooker for 10+hours.
  6. Pull meat out, and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker, and keep simmering on low until the sides are ready to eat.

I serve this meat with beans, rice, tortillas, Corn and Avocado Salsa, and a green salad. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, and you can freeze it as well. It’s also excellent in the morning with eggs in a breakfast burrito.

New Recipe: Baked Tortellini

00169 (1).jpgThis recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.

Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.

You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.

This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.

Baked Tortellini

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce.  I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend  you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
  • 22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
  • 2 Cups Italian Cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
  2. Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
  5. Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.

This serves 8-10 people as a main.

 

If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.

Recipe: Chicken Meatball Skillet

FullSizeRender(256).jpgThis recipe came to me, as I was staring into the fridge wondering what the hell I was going to do with all spinach my friend gave me.

I used a package of Aidell’s Chicken caramelized onion meatballs, but feel free to use whatever kind of meatballs you like (or make your own!).

Mix it up with whatever veggies you have on hand! Peppers or kale would be great in this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package chicken meatballs (about a dozen, if making from scratch)
  • 1/2 purple onion, diced
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.5 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (about 1 package)
  • 3-4 c. fresh spinach
  • Juice of 3 lemons
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 T. Thyme
  • 1 T. Rosemary
  • 1 T. air-dried shallots
  • 1 package pasta (I like ziti) cooked per package instructions
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, saute onion until translucent.
  2. Add garlic, and cook on medium/low until fragrant.
  3. Add meatballs, tomatoes, and herbs. Cook on medium/low, until meatballs are heated thoroughly.
  4. stir in lemon juice and zest. Scrape pan to remove any browned bits.
  5. Toss in spinach, turn to low, and cover with the lid. Allow spinach to cook down by about half- this takes only a few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat, stir in cooked pasta and cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper as needed,  and serve ASAP.

 

This is a great 1 dish meal! It’s very filling, but the acid from the lemon and the chicken meatballs keeps the meal feeling very light.

To make this dish Gluten-free: Use GF pasta and make sure your meatballs are GF.

To make this dish Vegetarian: Use meat-free “meatballs”

Family Recipe: Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce

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I’m always on a mission to add more fruits and veggies into our diet. My pasta sauce recipe is full of veggies: Onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, celery, fresh tomatoes.

And because I love meaty sauce, I can’t forget the 80/20 ground chuck!

I served it last night with both whole wheat pasta and Italian squash that I ran through the spiralizer (I have this one).

The kids aren’t too big on zoodles, but that’s ok. We paired our meal with a green salad (cucumber slices for the kids), and garlic bread (a family favorite).

 

Veggie Loaded Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs ground chuck or your favorite ground beef (don’t use super lean beef)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1/2 c. each chopped or diced: carrots, celery, bell peppers (I used red)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes 
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 t. Shallot pepper seasoning
  • 2 T. Italian Seasoning
  • 4 large zucchinis, spiralized, ends diced and reserved for sauce

 

Directions

  1. Brown meat in olive oil over low, breaking up meat as it cooks.
  2. Add onion, carrots, celery, bell peppers, and cook until soft and onions are translucent.
  3. Add garlic, cook until fragrant.
  4. Add fresh and canned tomatoes, and tomato paste.
  5. De-glaze pan with wine, add seasoning, and small pieces of zucchinis leftover from spiralizing.
  6. Cook on low for 2+ hours, stirring occasionally.
  7. To cook zucchini spirals, steam for 6-8 minutes, drain and serve right away!

 

This sauce freezes well too and gets better overnight in the fridge.  You can also use this sauce to make lasagna.

One Roast Chicken, Three Meals!

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I love roast chicken and veg. It is one of my favorite meals to prepare and serve. It’s dead simple, it’s impressive, and there are always leftovers to repurpose.

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So many veggies!
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Compound Butter

 

 

The other night I made a roast chicken with veg and I had enough meat leftover that I was able to stretch the meat into three meals: Roast Chicken and Veg, Chicken soup (use the directions for using a rotisserie chicken), and chicken enchiladas (this recipe, but I added 1 cup shredded chicken).  Here is my fool-proof recipe for a tasty meal.

IMG_5519.jpg
Bock Bock Bock!

Roast Chicken, Veg, and Gravy

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken, rinsed and plucked of any errant feathers. Remember to remove the bag of giblets
  • 1 stick of butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of each of the following: Rosemary, Shallot Pepper, Parsley
  • 2 cups of the following veggies, chopped into bite-size pieces: carrots, celery, zuchinni
  • 1 cup of the following veggies, chopped: onion (I used sweet yellow), shallots, red bell pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 T. corn starch (this makes the recipe Gluten-Free)
  • 1/2 c. water or chicken broth

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small dish, mix butter and Rosemary, Shallot Pepper, Parsley.
  2. Spread the butter mixture under the chicken’s skin. If there is any remaining, drop a dollop in the cavity and smear on the outside of the bird.
  3. Stuff the cavity with veggies, place chicken breast side down in a baking dish.
  4. Pour remaining veggies into the baking dish around chicken.
  5. Cover loosely with foil, and bake the chicken for 20 minutes per pound.
  6. About 20 minutes before the chicken is done, remove foil and finish cooking.
  7. Chicken is done when internal temp reaches 165 degrees (we have this meat thermometer)
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven, and allow to rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Remove chicken and veg from the pan and set aside.
  10. In a saucepan, heat the juice/pan drippings and 1/2 cup water or chicken broth.
  11. As the liquid comes to a boil, combine cornstarch and 1/2 c. cold water in a cup, whisk until lump free.
  12. As the liquid comes a rolling boil, slowly stir in water/cornstarch mixture and stir constantly until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat.

Serve the chicken, veggies, and gravy with mashed potatoes (or cauliflower).

There are no photos of after it came out of the oven. The locusts (aka the dinner guests) descended upon the chicken and carved it up.

Talk Back: What is your favorite meal to serve guests?