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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Baked Eggplant and Zucchini Fries with Honey Mustard Aioli

Hello. My name is Jamie, and I am addicted to french fries.

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I’m definitely a non-discriminatory addict. I love regular fries, shoe string fries, seasoned fries, truffle fries, wedge fries. Sweet potato fries hold a special place in my heart, especially when eaten at Sweetwater’s in Burlington, VT.  The best fries I’ve ever had are at Caseus in New Haven. Try them. They’re amazing.

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But I can’t just stuff my face with fries on the reg (oh my god how awesome would that beeeeee). So, I needed to be creative and come up with a healthy alternative. Thus, baked eggplant and zucchini fries were born. Baked instead of fried, and real veggies as opposed to potatoes. Because, lets be honest, potatoes are kind of veggie impostors.

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I was nervous, but I LOVED these zucchini and eggplant fries. Zukes and eggplants are pretty hearty veggies and they held their shape well when baked at the high temp. The aioli for dipping was clutch. The spiciness of the mustard went perfectly with the little bit of onion powder and lemon pepper that seasoned the fries. They were perfect.

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For my fellow fry addicts out there, you need to try these. They’re a perfect alternate for the real deal when you feel like you need to behave yourself.

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Recipe:

Prep time: 5 minutes | Bake time: 25-30 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Fries

  • 1 medium sized eggplant
  • 2 medium sized zucchini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

Aioli

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 425 º F. Slice eggplan and zucchini in to homogenous strips, about 4 inches long and about 1/4-1/2 an inch thick. Place on baking sheet, drizzle on olive oil and add seasonings. Mix by hand then distribute the fries evenly over the baking sheet, keep in them all in one layer. If some of them are overlapping, just put them on an additional baking sheet; if they’re layered, they wont be crispy! Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned and crispy.

To make the aioli, simply mix the mayo, honey, mustard and vinegar together until smooth. And dip away!