Baked Spinach and Portobello Flautas

“This is the remix edition; hot and fresh out the kitchen…” 

Baked Spinach and Portobello Flautas

I cannot for the life of me get that song out of my head. Inappropriately enough, the chickpea is LOVING it and dancing her face off every time I break into song.

Bounce. Bounce.

I’ve been making my Black Bean + Sweet Potato and Triple-Bean Flautas in such crazy heavy rotation that I couldn’t fathom adding a third musketeer to the mix.

Until now.… 

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14 Homemade Dressing Recipes to Shake Up Your Salad Game!

Get ready to spring into salad season with these tasty homemade dressings!

 14 Homemade Dressing Recipes to Shake Up Your Salad Game!

There are a really really ridiculous amount of salads in my near future. I took my comfort food cravings a bit too far these past few weeks [um, months? let’s not be modest here!] and it’s time to lighten things up!

I started pouring through my dressing database to make myself a little cheat sheet of my favorite homemade salad dressings and thought it might be fun to revisit my them here as well! As a bonus, most of these links have a delicious salad recipe accompanying them! Hooray Veggies!… 

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Mexican Baked Tortellini [for two!]

Don’t let it’s name fool you, this fiesta-fied tortellini bake can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled to feed your crew without the slightest extra effort. After whipping it up on the fly for lunch one day I knew I had to deliver this bad boy to you guys ASAP! It’s easy to make, even easier to customize, and just plain delicious.

Easy, cheesy tortellini with a twist! :: This feisty Mexican Baked Tortellini is quick, easy, and utterly delicious piled high with all your favorite toppings!

I can’t deprive you of this recipe a second longer so, instead of rambling and making you wait for the goods, lets dive on into the dish and then chat after! You’re welcome…. 

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Greek Green Bean Salad

This gorgeous greek green bean salad is fresh, crisp, and bursting with flavor! Helloooo delicious!

Greek Green Bean Salad :: This gorgeous salad is fresh, flavorful, and ridiculously easy to make! As a tasty bonus, it's ready in just 15 minutes! Score!

Wildly popular, green beans are available nearly year-round, but they’re at their absolute best in the Spring and Summer Months. Peaking around May-September, you’re going to want to have this recipe on hand when the price drops and the farmers markets and produce aisles are busting with beans.

For the perfect texture, softened and tender with a crisp snap, I started by blanching the beans in boiling hot water, followed by an ice bath. This blanching technique gives you beans that are their absolute brightest, without the slightest bit of wrinkling or mushiness. The hot water brings out the vibrant green hue while the icy cold water shocks the beans and halts their cooking process. This method is quick, easy, and delivers delicious results. If you haven’t blanched veggies before, you’ve got to try it!… 

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Fresh Garlic + Lemon Ricotta Flatbread Pea-zza

Toasted to perfection, this garlicky flatbread is topped with a lemony ricotta, a delicious whipped pea puree, and a hearty handful of fresh arugula. Finish it off with a drizzle of sweet balsamic glaze and you have a yummy appetizer that jumps for joy screaming “SPRING IS HERE!

Pea-zza! Toasted Flatbreads Topped with Lemony Ricotta and Garlicky Pea Puree

It’s almost here, that is. I think NC has one more cold front in it before it calms the eff down. I’m all for faking it for a few more days until Spring has officially sprung. Until then, let’s make some pea-zza!

This feisty flatbread is fresh and flavorful and, though it looks ultra fancy, it’s oh-so-easy to assemble! Both fillings can be made ahead of time, making this perfect picnic and party food or simply and easy no-fuss lunch…. 

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Cilantro, Pea, and Pistachio Hummus

Cilantro, Pea, and Pistachio Hummus

Hummina hummina HUMMUS! 

Every year when March rolls around I like to sneak in a little theme action onto the blog. It’s usually in the form of going green for What I Ate Wednesday and an excuse for me divert some of the attention away from the Shamrock Shakes and towards green fruit and veggies. This year I’m dying to take it a step further. What if all of my recipes this month were GREEN!?

Well you’d go absolutely crazy and run away, screaming, that’s what. But what if you didn’t? Meet me halfway and let’s go green from now until March 17th. Not only will this be a festive nod to St. Patrick’s Day but it will surely get a few more veggies on your plate, and that, my friends, is why I do this.

You can green your face and your beer all your want for St. Paddy’s but gosh darn it, let’s green our plates in the meantime. Deal? Deal!

You realize you had zero choice in the matter, right?

Let’s get GREEN!

Cilantro, Pea, and Pistachio Hummus



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Three Cheese Pesto Spinach Flatbread Pizza

alternate title: how to eat an entire 5oz box of spinach for lunch with out making a frickin’ salad.

Three Cheese Spinach and Pesto Flatbread Pizza for One

What happens when you top a garlicky flatbread with homemade creamed spinach, three kinds of cheeses, and pesto, glorious pesto?

Lunch; a really, really, ridiculously yummy who-needs-a-pizzaria lunch. Or dinner. Or a tasty snack for two if you have an particularly peckish significant other hovering over your shoulder. You know what? You could make this for breakfast and nobody would judge you. It’s just too good not to.

#teampizzaforbreakfast

#teampizzaforpizza

#whyonearthamihashtagingablogpost

#ihashtaggedandicantgetup

Sorry about that. The coffee made me do it. The BUTTERED coffee. Yes I’m still riding that bandwagon.  The conductor even let me blow the whistle. Hollaaaaa!

Three Cheese Spinach and Pesto Flatbread Pizza for One

Can we get back to the pizza before I embarrass myself any further? Thanks for understanding, let’s never speak of this again. Of the hashtags, that is. We MUST speak of pizza. Often.

Three Cheese Pesto Spinach Flatbread Pizza… for one!

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Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Parsley

Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Parsley tossed in a homemade feta vinaigrette

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes of a blog. Behind every blog we read lies an entire life behind the curtain, an entire world really. Some bloggers choose to bare it all, while some strive to keep things as structured and professional as possible. I fall somewhere in between. Sometimes you’re greeted with a the most random of rambles. Other times I show up food in hand, no questions asked and no explanation given, just a merry little reminder to eat your veggies and a recipe to help you do just that.

The less we reveal, the more things appear all neat and tidy… a perfect little blog wrapped up with a shiny bow. Right. Cause THAT exists. [spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist]

Life is messy, chaotic even. It’s crazy wrapped in awesome wrapped in a layer of WTF and a sprinkle of sweetness for good measure.

While I may be able to craft a crazy good veggie burger with my eyes closed and my hands tied behind my back, my house will always be slightly [and/or colossally] messy. There will be toys and books scattered throughout nearly ever inch of my home, toilet paper unrolled as a prop for a rager of a toddler dance party, and the sink will always house at least one dish. Or twenty.

You know what? I think I’m perfectly okay with that.

Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Parsley

The simplicity of this salad is the perfect offset for the chaos in my life lately. It’s full of flavor, packed with nutrients, and is so stinkin’ good that you’ll forget anything else exists outside for a bit.

The recipe makes a little more dressing than you’ll actually need for the quinoa, so get excited to drizzle it over a big veggie-loaded salad the following day or simply double this recipe. I’ve been dying to make it again but literally every time I cut open an avocado I get a pouty-lipped puppy face and wind up forking over the fruit.

sidenote: my favorite veggie? Totally a fruit! A giant berry to be exact. I don’t care what you call it just please someone plant a tree full of them in my yard so I don’t have to ration the yum.

Our days of splitting an avocado are long gone now that my little monkey will eat an entire avo in a sitting. Yesterday she ate two. TWO!  I’m rambling, eh? Let’s throw some confetti for those of you who are still with me and dive on into this simple summery salad.

Healthy Quinoa Salad with Tomato, Avocado, and Parsley… 

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Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Pesto Penne Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale

Painting my old wooden board blue was probably a mistake. I have a junkie-esque addiction to aqua and teal. I’m supposed to be mixing up my props and backdrops so my photos aren’t all carbon copies of each other, yet now that this board exists I can’t comply. I glance around my pile-o-props just long enough to keep up appearances, then grab the blue board. Every. Stinking. Time. I must be stopped.

Now I’m sure you’re shaking your head, thinking I’m being utterly dramatic but…

Blue Food Photography Board

The proof is in the pudding photo.

I should really start seeing other boards… but chances are you’re going to have to physically pry it from my hands and hide it from me to make that happen. In which case I’ll just make another! Hah!

Let’s stick a fork in me [metaphorically, people! put down the fork!] and get on to the recipe. Now THAT deserves to be forked.

Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale




5.0 from 1 reviews
Pesto Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 or 1.5 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups dry penne pasta
  • ¼ cup pesto [homemade or store-bought]
  • a handful [or more!] of fresh baby kale
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder [optional, but essential for me!]
  • any additional salt and pepper, to taste
  • parsley to garnish
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Coat squash with olive oil and lay flat on a baking sheet.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 30-40 minutes.
  4. Set a timer, measure out your remaining ingredients, and walk away.
  5. After about 25 min have passed, boil you pasta, cooking according to package instructions.
  6. Drain and return the penne to the pot, adding in the kale and pesto while the pasta is still hot. If you added extra veggies or just really love pesto, feel free to add a little extra into the pot! I won't tell! In fact, I'll join you!
  7. Reduce burner heat to lowest setting and stir to wilt the baby kale.
  8. Add your squash [which should now be perfectly roasted] and a hearty sprinkling of parmesan cheese and garnish with a little parsley for pizazz.
  9. Serve straight up or add your favorite pasta night extras for a balanced meal. Enjoy!
Notes
serves 2

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Vegetarian Triple Bean Tacos

Seasoned black beans, pinto beans, and crunchy taco-roasted chickpeas team up to take your taco game to the next level!

 Vegetarian Triple Bean Tacos

Vegetarian Triple-Bean Tacos

My love of tacos is one for the romance books, folks. Hot, steamy, and… errr I can’t finish that sentence without sounding like a total creep.

Paul and I made the mistake of watching too much Dave Attell and he has this charming little bit about doing naughty things to a sandwich that we shall never again speak of, and now we are constantly saying inappropriate things about our food. It’s bad. I should really just stick with my G-rated pal Jim instead:

I hate when I try to order a salad and my mouth says, "I'll have a double Quarter Pounder with Cheese." - Jim Gaffigan

and maybe throw in a little Ron Swanson action for good measure:

ust give me all the bacon and eggs you have. Wait, wait. I'm worried what you just heard was, "Give me a lot of bacon and eggs." What I said was, "Give me all the bacon and eggs you have". Do you understand?

Phew! That’s almost enough to erase the terrible, awful, no good, very bad stand-up act stuck in my head. Almost.

Oh, hello tacos, I didn’t forget about you!

Vegetarian Triple Bean Tacos

Though we’re both omnivores, Paul and I have refrained from buying ground anything for the past few months. If we can’d find meat that’s grass-fed, additive-free, and preferably local, there’s just no point. We’d just as soon wait for the opportunity to shop from a source we care about than pick up something for the sake of buying it. So when taco night rolled around I promised to whip up my famous Lentil Veggie Tacos. Only I was out of lentils… and mushrooms… and ohmygosh where are my pants!?

Kidding, but I did have to brainstorm a tasty new taco filling. Enter my awesome new Triple-Bean Tacos! I even caught the chickpea scooping some out of the bowl when I wasn’t looking. Huzzah! The smashed pinto beans hold the mixture together while the whole black beans and crunchy taco roasted chickpeas add flavor and texture. I love them! You’ll love them! Let’s make them, shall we?… 

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