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Vegetarian

Spicy Sesame Noodles with Cashews and Basil

These noodles form a delicious, light summer meal when accompanied by a salad. The cashews add a crunchy touch and scallions, ginger, radicchio and basil add some bite. I recommend making them a few hours before the meal so they can sit in the sauce and fully absorb the flavors. Serve warm or cold with a sprinkling of sesame oil and ground cashews on top. This is a modified recipe from Epicurious that I found while browsing for a way to use up my extra basil… It’s very quick and uses a lot of pantry items so no need to really buy a lot of groceries; it also keeps very well so it’s a good week night dinner!

1 tablespoon peanut oil {I used sunflower oil, any vegetable oil should be fine}

2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons Asian sesame oil {Kadoya is the best brand}

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon (or more) hot chili oil {I used Sriracha}

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or fresh angel hair pasta {I just used store bought, dry angel hair and it was delicious}

12 green onions (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped roasted peanuts {I used cashews}

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh Thai basil leaves {I doubled this amount}

Radicchio, Cucumbers and other vegetables (maybe bell peppers or tomatoes) to toss

16 oz ground chicken {I added this to the original recipe for some protein}

Heat peanut oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl. Add next 6 ingredients; whisk to blend.

Marinate chicken in mixture of soy sauce and/or Ponzu sauce before cooking. To cook, heat some oil in a sauce pan and pour meat and sauce in, stir over medium to high heat until thoroughly cooked. Cover  and place to the side while preparing the rest of the dish and mix in at the end.

Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly and transfer to bowl with sauce {do this as quickly as possible so they don’t stick to each other!}. Add sliced green onions and toss to coat noodles. Let stand at room temperature until noodles have absorbed dressing, tossing occasionally, about 1 hour. Stir in peanuts and basil {as well as radicchio, bell peppers etc.}; toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve at room temperature.

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Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini with Rotini

Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini with Rotini

This is a lazy dish that ends up tasting quite delicious and is also easy to improvise with. You can try grilling the zucchini and eggplant with almost and herb you have on hand and they make a nice addition to a pasta dish when you don’t really want to cook something labor intensive. This was the last zucchini from our backyard and I was determined to use it well! You can even just lightly salt the zucchini and broil and it will taste delicious…

1 Zucchini / 1 Eggplant (or two small ones) / 4 Garlic Cloves / 2 tablespoons Oregano / 2 teaspoons Red Pepper Flakes / Olive Oil / Parmesan Cheese / Rotini / Pesto sauce

Preheat oven to broil. Slice the eggplant and zucchini and lay on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Chop garlic finely and and mix in bowl with oregano, pepper flakes, and enough olive oil to make into a light paste. Add salt and ground black pepper to taste. Brush herb mixture onto vegetable pieces. Place tray into oven on shelf far from broiling plate (otherwise they will burn quickly). Broil for 10 minutes. While veggies are in oven cook pasta and add sauce (I just used store bought pesto for this because I was lazy…). Remove vegetables from oven and place onto pasta, sprinkle with parmesan and serve!

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Sweet Corn and Avocado Relish

Trader Joe’s

Sweet Corn and Avocado Relish

Sweet Corn and Avocado Relish

This is a really fast and easy dinner along with some cheese quesadillas or on its own. It’s also really delicious with hamburgers or anything that could use a nice side salad.

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

4 cups fresh corn kernels (about 5 ears) {or one bag Trader Joe’s roasted corn kernels)

1 tsp sea salt

3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 avocados

1 large red bell pepper

4 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and seeded {or chili pepper flakes}

4 scallions, white and light green parts, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute corn with salt and pepper, about 5 minutes {less if you are using the Trader Joe’s}. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, set aside to cool. Dice avocado, bell pepper and roasted poblanos into 1/4″ pieces. Add to sauteed corn along with scallions, red wine vinegar, and reminaing 1/4 olive oil. Mix well and let sit 20-30 minutes to blend flavors.

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