Pea and Pesto Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

Hold up. Just hooooolld up. Is it September? Have we already had a full week of it? I feel like I missed something… Like, summer.

photo 3

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall. It’s seriously my favorite of all the seasons. I’m super excited about it and have already begun experimenting in the kitchen (if you follow me on Instagram, you’ve been a getting sneak peak of what’s to come!). But it’s been 80 degrees here in New Haven, and I still have a few late summer recipes up my sleeve.

photo 4

Like this delicious pasta salad. It’s bright, fresh, versatile and oh-so-healthy. I had it warm, room temp and cold and it was super yummy each and every way. The peas and cannellini beans make it a hearty and filling pasta that could be a dinner OR a side! So many possibilities!

photo 2

As I squeeze in my last few summer recipes, I’d love to hear from you all… what do YOU want to see up on the blog this fall? What are you most looking forward to eating as the weather turns cool? This is the best season of all!!

photo 1

Recipe

  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente and drained ( I used fusilli, but any kind will work!)
  • 1 cup pesto (I used my own mint pea pesto recipe)
  • 1 (12 oz) box of frozen peas
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, mix  pasta, pesto, peas and cannellini beans. Sir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Top with remaining cheese. Can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled!

Advertisements

Pluot, Goat Cheese and Walnut Summer Salad

First of all, Happy Labor Day! I’ve made you the perfect salad to bring to the BBQ today. Because, if you’re like me, you totally need to bring something to, like, every gathering, ever. And this is a perfect last minute dish.

photo 4

Not to brag, but this miiiiight just be the prettiest salad I’ve ever seen. I mean, just LOOK at those colors! It’s to pluots. They totally make the salad special.

photo 3

What’s a pluot, you ask? It’s this crazy hybrid of plum and apricot. It’s a pretty pink little ball of sweet deliciousness, and it’s perfect here.

photo 2

Throw in some goat cheese and candied walnuts with them and it’s an amazing, refreshing summer salad (you could use regular walnuts, but, lets be honest, candied is always better). Oh yeah, and greens. Lots and lots of greens.

photo 1

All this salad needs is a simple, three ingredient dressing over the top, because the rest of it is just that good.  Seriously, If you’re in need of a salad for a crowd, today or any other day, this is a great option. You’ll be a very popular guest at any BBQ! Hope you are all soaking up the last of summer and enjoying a beautiful Labor Day!

Recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Serves about 10-15 people

Salad

  • 4 bags prepared mesculin greens
  • 2 plutos, diced
  • ½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup candied walnuts
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Toss all of the ingredients for the salad together in a large bowl. Whisk together ingredients for the dressing. Toss salad with dressing just before you’re ready to serve and add salt and pepper to taste.

Kale, Cranberry and Pecan Quinoa Cakes with Honey Dijon Dressing

I love cooking with my mom.

photo 2

We are, like, kiiiinnddddd of the same person. On so many levels. There she is on the right, so pretty!!  That’s Dee, one of our very closest family friends on the left (Hi, Dee!!)

1009681_618639744835458_96847765_o

Most importantly, we love the same food (priorities, right?). We eat healthfully, but are definitely prone to indulging every once in a while. Totes on the same page.

photo 3

Like the other night, still in our post-Basin Harbor food coma, we both wanted a light but filling dinner. I decided I’d whip up some quinoa cakes with some nice autumnal flavors and serve them on a bed of greens and add some killer dijon dressing (and the dressing was killer, really).

photo 2

These were FAB. The kale is super healthy and full of nutrients, and the quinoa is high in protein and left us nice and satiated. The flavors of the goat cheese, cranberries, and pecans hinted that fall is coming, which is always always a good thing.

photo 1

PS- Does everyone know that Dunkin Donuts is now serving Pumpkin Coffee again?!?!?Ok good, just making sure.

photo 3

This had minimal active time and came together so easily. The dressing on top was a prefect compliment to the mustard in the cakes. This may not be a man dish, but it’s a delicious dish, and I’m so lucky that my mom lets me make dinner for her every once in a while so we could try it out! These quinoa cakes will definitely be appearing in my (and my mom’s) kitchen again soon.

photo 1

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook/Active time: 15 minutes | Total time (including chilling) : 1 hour

Serves 2-3

Cakes

  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups shredded kale
  • ¼ cups scallions, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup egg whites (or 2 whole eggs)
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

To serve

  • Spinach and kale

Place quinoa and vegetable broth in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce to a simmer and heat until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid.

In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the scallions and kale and cook until kale has cooked down, stirring constantly.

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, kale and scallion mixture and the rest of the ingredients. Form the quinoa in to patties about 4 inches in diameter (I ended up with 5). Place in refrigerator to chill and set until ready to serve, about 30 minutes.

When ready to cook, heat remaining two  tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Place the cakes in the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, until side is golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium low, flip the cakes and press down slightly to flatten. Cook an additional 5-7 minutes until golden brown then remove from heat.

For the dressing, simply whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

To serve, place cakes over spinach and kale and drizzle with dressing. Enjoy!

Cucumber Melon Salad with Honey Lemon Vinaigrette

Um, has anyone else noticed how ridiculously hot it’s been lately?

photo 1

Like stupid hot. Like I-don’t-even-want-to-leave-the-comfort-of-air-conditioning-and-sit-on-the-pourch-and-drink-a-cold-beer-hot. And believe me, that’s saying something.

photo 2

When it’s that hot out, there are very few things that appeal to me to eat (again, that’s also saying something). I only want something cold, refreshing and only made out of fruits and vegetables. This salad was the absolutely perfect solution.

photo 3

The cucumber and melon both have a high water content and subtle flavors, making them prefect when the heat index is threatening dehydration. This light vinaigrette brightens up the melon and cucumber just enough without overpowering it. The red onion adds a hint of kick that I just could not get enough of. The salad tasted wonderful the second I made it, and fantastic the next night as leftovers.

photo 5

This is seriously the perfect summer dish, especially when the thermostat is hovering around 100º F. I know it will be appearing again and again in my kitchen. I highly suggest you try it in yours! Enjoy!

Recipe

Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

  • 2 cups cucumbers, seeds removed, cubed
  • 2 cups cantaloupe, cubed
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup goat cheese crumbles

Combine the cucumber, cantaloupe and onion in a large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour the vinaigrette over the melon and cucumber and gently toss to coat. Sprinkle on goat cheese and serve.

Lemon Rosemary Chicken with Sautéed Cherry Tomatoes

Oh, hello. I made you dinner.

Half of you out there are just like “Yessssssss”. The other half are like “What the heck, Jamie? Where’s my dessert?”. To the latter half,  don’t worry, dessert is coming. To the former, you’re welcome :).

photo 2

Honestly, I find making dinner really hard sometimes. I find photographing dinner even harder (see above and below, my apologies). Everyone I know works super late and/or crazy hours so the light is never right when we sit down. And I have a really hard time making guests or family wait to eat while I weirdly take pictures of their food. And I can’t make these dinners for myself. I just can’t. Nevertheless, I made you dinner and I’m so glad I did because making dinner, despite all of my complaints, is just so awesome. There’s nothing better than a home cooked, healthy meal with fun people. Not one thing.

photo 1

This Lemon Rosemary Chicken is really a classic to me. Baked chicken with bright, summer flavors over fresh arugula, served with lovely, sweet tomatoes is a hearty meal that satisfies your guests and reminds them of sitting down to dinner with their family growing up. Better yet, you basically throw the chicken in the oven and forget about it, so you can enjoy the group and not hover over the stove. Even the tomatoes take like, two seconds and require very little attention. So little attention is paid to the actual making of the dinner that I found time to take pictures before eating. Perfect.

photo 3

This is a great dinner to make if you’re throwing a small get together. You get a flavorful, beautiful dish and still get to enjoy the party. And take pictures, if you’re weird like me ;).

Recipes

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Bake time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes

Chicken

  • 2 ½ lbs boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning
  • ½ dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 large bag arugula, for serving

Tomatoes

  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken

Preheat the oven 450 º F. Arrange the chicken in a 9 x13 baking dish. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, rosemary, grill seasoning and salt. Pour over the chicken and evenly coat. You can even let the chicken marinate in the fridge for a few hours for a little added flavor if you have time! Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and add the white wine or chicken broth. Place the chicken back in the over and let roast for 5 more minutes. Serve warm, room temp or chilled over a bed of arugula.

For the tomatoes, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add all ingredients and stir until combined. Sauté about 10 – 15 minutes until tomatoes are slightly browned and the skins are bursting. Best served immediately, but also delicious as leftovers (this is a fact).