Thursday, November 18, 2010

Farro and Roasted Acorn Squash

This recipe came on the bag of Farro I have. Every time I take out something from the cupboard, the recipe just stares at me. I finally decided to take action.

Farro and Roasted Acorn Squash
Modified slightly from recipe on back of Eartly Delights Italian Pearled Farro bag

1 cup farro
1 t. salt
2 1/2 cups water
2 vegetable bullion cubes
1 acorn squash, peeled and diced into 1/2" cubes (okay if larger, just adjust cooking time)
1 white onion, cut into 1/8ths
1 1/2 T thyme
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 T balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup walnuts
1/8 cup goat cheese

1. Heat oven to 350F.
2. In sauce pan, combine farro, salt, water, and bullion cubes, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 mins.Toss squash
3. combine squash and onion on a rimmed baking pan. Combine olive oil, balsamic, and thyme in a small bowl, mix, and then pour over squash and onions. Give them a good stir, then roast for 20 mins in oven (adjust time if your squash is cut into large chunks, or if you just like more roasted veggies)
4. During the last 5 mins of baking, spread walnuts on a baking sheet, and place in oven to roast them.
5. Combine farro and squash mix in a bowl, and garnish with feta and walnuts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

(Almost) Naked Juice Orange Mango

I was inspired to make my very-own naked juice when I saw how few ingredients there were on the label. You'll need a juicer for this (and a blender). On the label it says mango and banana puree, and apple and orange juice, so I blended and juiced those fruits together (respectively). There's also 'natural flavors', so that could be anything. Overall, I didn't have quite the same texture as naked juice, nor the same flavor. I believe I added too much banana (compared to theirs), and I'm almost positive they sifted some of the pulp out of their banana-mango puree (but not enough so it counted as juice... I don't know the technical regulations on that). It turned out pretty well, it was fun to make, but I don't think I'd make it again. Too much work for little return. It's, alas, easier just to buy the pre-made naked juice.

Yeay dishes!
Mango-banana puree
apple-orange juice

Orange Mango (Almost) Naked Juice


1. Combine banana (I used 1/3 a banana) and mango (peeled) in blender, and blend until pureed.
2. Place orange slices (peeled) and apple slices (cored) in juicer, and juice.
3. Pour juice from juicer into mango-banana puree, and blend until smooth.
4. Enjoy! (chilling optional)

Spicy Vegetable Soup

This is a pretty basic soup, but delicious none-the-less! Great use of veggies, delicious, low-cal, and as spicy as you want it. If you want more interesting soup, try adding spices that won't be over-powered by the sriracha sauce (or don't add the sauce if you choose to add other spices).
^^ Size of pan you want to use
White and translucent onion/garlic/celery mix

Cute little bullion cube! I searched so long for vegetable bullion... Thank you new downtown grocery store!

Spicy Vegetable Soup

1 T. butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 white onion, diced
6 stalks celery, sliced 1/2" thick
5 small potatoes, cubed
6 small vegetable bullion cubes
sriracha sauce (to taste)


1. Heat the butter in a large pan over medium heat.
2. When butter is melted, add garlic, onion, and celery. Sauté all until white and translucent.
3. While the veggies are sautéing, microwave the potatoes for 2 mins 30 sec on high heat.
3. When sautéing is done, add 8 cups water, the bullion cubes, and the potatoes to the pot. Set on high heat. Let the broth reach boiling, then turn off heat.
4. Add sriracha sauce to taste. (I added 2 T. to my soup)
5. Let soup cool for a bit, then serve. Top with cheese tortellini if desired

Vegetable fajitas

This is a dinner I make whenever I have onions and bell peppers at the same time. It's so easy and delicious. I like my fajitas veggies to be super limp, so I cook them for a long time. If you like your veggies more firm (and less caramelized), simply adjust the cooking time. If you like yours spicy, or more flavorful, feel free to chili powder, jalapeños, or any of the other spices that come in fajitas powder mixes. I personally like to have plain veggies for fajitas, so I only add salt.

Vegetable Fajitas

1 zucchini
2 bell peppers (one green, one yellow)
3/4 white onion
2 T. olive oil
spices (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat.
2. Slice all veggies length-wise.
3. Once pan is up to heat, place vegetables in pan, sprinkle with salt (and optional spices), cover with lid, and let caramelize for 40 mins or so, stirring every 5-10 mins.
4. Remove from heat, and serve with fajitas tortillas and toppings

Avocado, tomato and pesto-mayo grilled cheese

This is pretty much the most epic grilled cheese I've made in my entire life. Super, super delicious. It came out of an effort to clean out the fridge.

Epic Grilled Cheese


1 ripe tomato, slices (I used heirloom)
1 ripe avocado
2 T. pesto-mayo-sundried-feta sauce (equal parts)
2 oz. Irish cheese
2 slices English muffin bread
butter for spreading
a pinch of salt

1. Heat skillet on medium heat. Then, butter both bread slices on one side, spread the pesto-mayo spread on the non-buttered side of one, then layer the tomato, then the cheese on. Place other on top.
2. Once grill is hot, place sandwich on grill, cooking each side until golden brown (1 min per side)
3. Cut avocado in half and remove pit. Sprinkle the pinch of salt evenly between the two halves, and then, with a fork, mash inside the skin (saving you a dirty bowl).
4. When the sandwitch is done cooking, take off heat. Carefully, so as not to disturb the layered ingredients, open the top and layer the avocado mash ontop of the cheese (using a spoon to dish out from avocado skin). Place top bread slice back on, and enjoy.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes

Tonight was the MAA (math association of America) club Poker Tournament which I and one other member planned. It was so much work! But definitely worth it. We had a great turnout. Beside ordering pizzas, we had chips, sodas, fresh veggies with dip, grapes, and, at my suggestion, homemade deserts from the members! I dislike processed deserts (overlook the oreos in this recipe), so I thought having everyone make something would be a great way to get variety and give everyone an excuse to cook! For my desert, I decided to make this super tasty recipe I found.

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes
Adapted from Handle the Heat

42 Oreos (regular-sized package)
2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 275F. Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until all cream cheese is out of its shape.
2. Beat in sugar. Then the vanilla extract.
3. Next beat in the eggs, followed by the sour cream. Add the pinch of salt.
4. Crush 12 of the cookies, and then fold that into the mixture.
5. Line regular-sized cupcake tins with cupcake papers, and place one oreo in the bottom of each cup. Fill each cup up to the top (there should be just exactly enough mix). Bake all for 30 mins, turning halfway through the baking.
6. Refrigerate mini cheesecakes for at least two hours, to let set up.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Carrot Cream Pasta

This is a delicious pasta dish, using pretty standard pantry ingredients. I generally don't go out of my way to buy heavy cream, but recipe just looked so good when I found it, I went ahead and made a store run. I was not disappointed!

Carrot Cream Pasta

Adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

1/3 cup heavy cream
1/6 cup Irish cheese (or Parmesan), grated
1/2 lb. shaped pasta
1/2 lb. carrots
1 T. olive oil
1 t. Thyme
dash salt and pepper
1 large clove garlic (2 medium cloves)

3/4 cup pasta water, reserved

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Slice carrots into equal sizes. Mince garlic. Combine carrots, garlic, oil, salt and pepper onto roasting pan. Toss until carrots are evenly coated. Cook in oven for 45 mins.
2. Set pot of water to boil. Once carrots are done, start to cook pasta to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, blend heavy cream, cheese, and carrots together.
3. When pasta is done, drain pasta, reserving 3/4 cups pasta water. Slowly add water to carrot blend, until desired consistency (I prefer thick). Add pasta and carrot-cream mixture back into pot, stir, and serve with additional cheese on top.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Annie's Rice Pasta and Extra Cheesy Sauce

Annie's rice pasta is probably my favorite annie's mac-and-cheese like product I've tried thus far (and I've tried many different ones). The reason for this is, the sauce is premixed and comes in a packet. The other sauces were my source of disappointment for the Annie's product. This is a pricey item, so I would not recommend for those on a budget, but if you need gluten free foods, this is a quick and delicious dinner.