Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil & Pecorino Romano

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino Cheese

This healthy and delicious vegetable side dish reminds me of summer! It is full of wonderful flavors…tangy lemon juice and zest, salty Pecorino Romano, fresh basil with a subtle buttery taste…not to mention the English peas and sugar snap peas! In just a few minutes you get a wonderful dish that everybody will love! This terrific recipe came from Williams-Sonoma.com.

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino Cheese

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino Cheese

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino Cheese

 

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil & Pecorino Romano

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon organic butter
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 pound English peas, shelled
  • ¼ cup water
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh basil, approximately 4 sprigs torn into pieces
  • Freshly grated pecorino romano cheese, approximately 1 ounce

Directions:

  1. Using a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the sugar snap peas and the English peas. Pour in the water. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cover. Cook for about 2 minutes. Uncover and stir on occasion, until water has evaporated. The peas should be tender crisp and bright green.
  2. Remove pan from heat. Grate 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Add the juice of ½ lemon and the zest. Then salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. Finally, add the grated cheese and the basil.

 

Sautéed Garden Peas with Basil and Pecorino Cheese

Healthier Mini Herbed Pommes Anna

Healthier Mini Herbed Pommes Anna

What I enjoy about cooking is finding delicious recipes and trying to make it healthier by reducing the amount of fat, salt, or sugar without sacrificing taste. In my “Mimi Herbed Pommes Anna,” I was able to cut the amount of butter in half and use a few tablespoons of healthier grapeseed oil to supplement. I prefer using this oil when I am cooking with temperatures over 400 degrees. I have to say this potato side dish is not only pretty to look at, but very tasty to eat! It has a lovely buttery-garlicky taste with a hint of thyme and a nice crispness, without all the calories and fat of the original recipe that I got from the Bon Appétit website. These Pommes Anna are a wonderful accompaniment to beef, chicken or fish

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) organic unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 12 to 24 small tender thyme sprigs +2 teaspoons coarsely chopped thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1½ pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or any small waxy potato) slightly larger than a golf ball, sliced very thin using a mandoline
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Line the bottoms of the muffin pan with parchment paper cut into rounds. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Using a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave oven. Add grapeseed oil and whisk together. Brush the sides of the muffin cups with the melted butter. Drizzle the bottoms with ⅛ teaspoon of butter. Place one thyme sprig in the center of each round. Add garlic and chopped thyme into the small bowl of butter. Place bowl in microwave and heat for a few seconds, until butter becomes fragrant with the garlic and thyme.
  3. Using the mandoline, slice the potatoes into very thin slices and place into a large bowl as you go along. Pour the herb butter and season with salt and pepper. Mix well to coat the potato slices. (I used just enough butter to coat, so I did have some leftover).
  4. Place potato slices in a circular pattern in the muffin cup, overlapping as you go along. Apply light pressure to the center to make compact.
  5. Cover pan tightly with foil and place on top of a baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tender with fork pricking. Take out of oven and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.
  6. Remove the foil and invert a foil lined rimmed baking sheet over muffin pan. Holding the muffin pan and baking sheet together, flip over so that the pan is on top. Gently tap the pan to release the potatoes. Remove the parchment rounds. Rearrange any slices that might have gotten out of place.
  7. Place in oven and bake, until edges and bottoms are golden brown and crispy for about 25 minutes.

Healthier Mini Herbed Pommes Anna

Healthier Mini Herbed Pommes Anna

Organic Beets

Organic Beets

On my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I purchased a one pound bag of organic beets. I hate to admit this, but I have never cooked beets before. I don’t why either, because I love to eat them. So I searched the Internet on how to cook beets. It was so simple. First, I trimmed the ends. Then I filled a saucepan with water and added 2 tablespoons of vinegar and simmered for about 50 minutes, until tender to the poking of a fork. The directions recommended the vinegar to prevent “bleeding,” but there was still a lot deep pink everywhere! I used many paper towels, so as not to stain anything!

Organic Beets

When the beets were done cooking, I rinsed them off and dried them using lots of paper towels. Finally, I sliced the tasty vegetable and they were ready to eat. I was amazed how delicious they were with no seasonings. They are so healthy for you too! Here is a list of some of the health benefits associated with them:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Boost your stamina
  • Fight inflammation
  • Anti-cancer properties
  • High in vitamin C, fiber, potassium and manganese

Organic Beets

I will be preparing my own organic beets from now on, especially when I can inexpensively and easily buy them at my local Trader Joe’s! They make a terrific snack all by themselves or a wonderful ingredient in salads!

Organic Beets

Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing

Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing

After a long enjoyable weekend of visiting with our daughter and attending basketball and football games in Ann Arbor, Michigan, it time to get back into my regular routine of working and blogging! I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I feel that I don’t eat enough vegetables and fruits. With that being said, I think it is only appropriate that today’s post is about a delicious and healthy carrot recipe I found in Health magazine, November 2015. Since there is only two of us at home, I reduced it in half, so I only roasted one pound of carrots! I recommend that you gradually add the salt, pepper and cumin, because I used much less. This is a simple, healthy and tasty vegetable dish that can be prepared with ingredients commonly found in your refrigerator and pantry.

Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing

Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic carrots, quartered lengthwise
  • ¼ pound shallots (about 3), quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon organic cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoons chopped pistachios, toasted (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Using a large bowl, toss together carrots, oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Place in baking sheet in a single layer.
  2. Roast for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with orange and lime juices. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with pistachios and cilantro. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Roasted Carrots with Citrus Dressing

Roasted Delicata Squash

Roasted Delicata Squash

For the last couple of weeks, I have been seeing this “new” squash, delicata, at my local Trader Joe’s. I did some research on it and decided to buy it this weekend. Delicata is a winter squash with yellow skin and green striations. The great thing about this squash is the skin is edible, so no peeling needed! It is an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin C and fiber. Since it was the first time my husband and I were trying this “new” vegetable, I prepared it very simply by roasting it with grapeseed oil, salt and pepper. It was delicious! The flavor and texture reminded me of a sweet potato. Another simple and healthy vegetable to add to our list of items we should eat!

Roasted Delicata Squash

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium delicata squash
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Cut off both ends of the squash. Cut in half lengthwise. Spoon out the seeds, then make ½-inch slices.
  4. Brush both sides with oil. Place on baking pan in a single layer. Add salt and pepper to taste. Roast for about 30 minutes, until golden brown. Serves 2.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Green Beans with Cilantro Pesto

Green Beans with Cilantro Pesto

Green beans are one of my favorite vegetables. When I saw the packages of Haricot Verts, which is French for green beans at Trader Joe’s, I had to buy some. I love this variety of the vegetable, because they are sweeter, longer, thinner and more tender than most American varieties. I thought they would taste delicious with the cilantro pesto recipe that I had seen in America’s Test Kitchen, Fresh Cooking, 2015. The Test Kitchen used the pesto in a cold bean salad, but I used it in a hot steamed vegetable side. Along with the cilantro, it has fresh lemon juice and toasty walnuts and garlic. My husband and I found this dish to be very tasty warm, but we think the cold salad version would be terrific too!

DSC_0053Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2½ cups cilantro leaves and stems, trimmed
  • ½ cup organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 green onion, sliced thin
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds green beans, trimmed

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat, toast walnuts and garlic in a medium skillet, stirring often, until fragrant for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. After the garlic cools, peel and chop coarsely.
  2. Using a blender or food processor, process cilantro, oil, green onion, lemon juice, walnuts and garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Pesto can be made up to 2 days in  advance.
  3. Steam the beans until tender crisp. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss with the pesto and serve immediately. Add salt to taste. 6 to 8 servings.

Green Beans with Cilantro Pesto

Organic Garlicky Broccolini

Garlicky Broccolini

Broccolini is a cross between regular broccoli and Chinese kale, so it is a very nutritious vegetable. I have seen it many times at Trader Joe’s, but I have always been a little hesitant to buy it. When I came across the “Garlicky Broccolini” recipe in America’s Test Kitchen, Cooking Fresh, 2015, I decided to buy it! For me, steaming my vegetables, then quickly sautéing is a foolproof method for cooking vegetables and that’s exactly what I did. This healthy and easy vegetable side has my favorite flavors of garlic and Parmesan cheese with the extra “kick” of the red pepper flakes!

Garlicky Broccolini

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound organic broccolini
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Trim the broccolini by cutting off 1-inch of the ends. If the stalks are thicker than a ½-inch, split the stalk bottoms in half about 2-inches from the ends. This will help the broccolini cook more evenly and the tips won’t get over done.
  2. Steam the broccolini, until they are bright green and stalks are tender crisp. Place the steamed vegetable in a plate.
  3. Using a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the broccolini and toss. Add salt to taste. Transfer to serving dish and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 4.

Garlicky Broccolini