Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Italian Stallion (x2)

Tonight brough me another Chopped-style challenge...what to make when my cupboards are bare...

It's two days before I get paid and I'm trying to use up what I've got on hand.

Tonight, my basket contained:
  • Wheat pasta
  • Garlic
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Basil infused EVOO
  • Heavy Cream
  • White Wine
  • Parmesan
  • Fresh Parsley
Boil 1/2 a package of wheat noodles in salted water until not quite el dente - drain


Saute 2-3 cloves chopped garlic until fragrant and tender in 2T EVOO. Add 3/4 can tomatoes, S&P and simmer for 1-2 mins. Add 1/2 pint heavy cream, 1/2 C white wine and a 1/4 c fresh, chopped parsley - bring to a boil. Add the not quite el denta pasta and simmer and toss until sauce is reduced. Top with parm and fresh chopped parsley. Voila!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Italian Stallion

For the last two nights, I took a pseudo trip to Italy! I normally don't cook Italian-style food because I'm too scared of the carbs! However, thanks to the Create channel, yay for public broadcasting, I learned that carbs are actually not that bad for you! In fact, they make you feel full so you don't get hungry 20 minutes after eating! On the other hand, a high protein diet is only good in regulated quantities, because your body can only absorb so much protein before it turns the remainder to fat....good to know...good to know. So, I'm not a preacha, only a blogga, but I do believe that everyone should eat food that tastes good and is good for you, whenever possible... and as local as possible for that matter, but this was not the inspiration for my post, but rather, just a, I digress...

My philosophy to food: Add as much fresh, natural, local, tasty and green elements as possible! 

Tonight, I made Wheat Pasta with Roasted Chickpeas, Almonds and Parmesan.

I got the recipe from However, I did adapt it tsuit my tastes (which if you ask me, is a stellar element to the recipe, but if you don't have time, is easily for-go-able) by combining the chickpeas and chopped almonds and then roasted them at 400 degrees for about 35 mins until crispy. I also added a little s&p, garlic powder and Italian seasoning to the mix before roasting (I just combined in a bowl and tossed before putting it on the pan and into the oven).

What I love about this recipe is that it is so easily adaptable to a variety of flavor profiles. For instance: Doesn't the dish almost have an Asian look? Why not try adding cilantro vs. parsley? Why not add a little fish sauce to the chicken stock or better yet, why not use some Asian-style buckwheat noodles and eliminate the glucose factor? This recipe is delicious as it, but is also easily adjustable to fit any pallet. Buon appetito!

Pizza ala Chopped

Last night, I had was engaged in one of my most favorite cooking activities...the Chopped factor. That's right, I look forward to rummaging through a nearly bare fridge in hopes of combining left-over elements into a flavorful, elegant dish. One of the best ways to do this is by "doctoring up" a frozen cheese pizza! For this non-stress dish, my basket contained a frozen cheese pizza, left-over spinach and feta chicken sausage, yellow onion, fennel seed, garlic infused evoo, garlic powder and S&P. I just combined all ingredients, sans pizza, in a bowl...arranged on my frozen pie and tossed it into the toaster oven. Hint: add a little honey to the mix to get a caramelized finish! Top with any fresh greens you have or serve a salad on the side for a complete meal in about 30 mins or less! :) 

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