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Archive for the ‘Lunch’ Category


Delicata Squash Tart - Meatballs&Milkshakes

Frequently when I make ravioli or another stuffed pasta, I have leftover filling. This is a great way to use it up, but it’s also an incredibly easy appetizer for parties or when you need a snack in a hurry. I have made this before with mushrooms and there are endless variations. It’s also another reason I always keep puff pastry in the freezer.

Delicata Squash Tart

1 cup delicata squash ravioli filling

1 sheet puff pastry

1 tablespoon thyme leaves

1/4 cup grated mozzarella

Spread the filling across a defrosted sheet of puff pastry that you have laid out on parchment paper. Sprinkle the thyme and mozzarella across the top and bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes until it gets browned on the edges and the mozzarella bubbles and browns. Let cool a few minutes before cutting.

Delicata Squash Tart - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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We survived the hurricane without any damage beyond getting a little stir-crazy, so I have to feel pretty grateful. We didn’t lose power or have any terrible flooding, but all we could do for days was watch the damage on TV. Of course, one of my first plans of action was to get to work on hurricane food.

Naturally, my first inclination was for mac & cheese, which was so delicious that it was gone before I could take pictures. For those curious, my mac & cheese is basically my tuna noodle casserole without the tuna. Next up, tomato soup and grilled cheese. I had some cherry tomatoes that were ready to be roasted, and combined them with some canned tomatoes to round out the soup. Perfect cold, rainy weather food. And it’s always a good time for a grilled cheese.

Roasted Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

1 pint cherry tomatoes

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 sprigs thyme

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes, crushed or pureed

1 cup red wine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 slices whole grain bread

3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

thin slices apple, a tablespoon apricot or fig jam, etc (optional)

Roast the cherry tomatoes with half the olive oil and half the thyme at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in the remaining olive oil for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the tomato paste and allow to rust for another minute or two. Add the roasted tomatoes, canned tomatoes, sugar, and wine. Allow to cook together for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the grilled cheese. You may choose to puree the soup with a stick blender, but we wanted it chunky this time.

Toast the bread in a pan with olive oil or in a toaster until light brown. Add the cheese and any toppings you may like. Cook in a saute pan with a little olive oil or butter until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted. Make sure to flip halfway through and a lid can sometimes help the cheese to melt. Use medium heat so that the bread does not burn before the cheese has finish melting. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting, so that the cheese does not run out.

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If you’ve noticed that my posts have slowed down, it’s because we’re planning a move and I’ve been sidetracked on that project… but the upside is that I’m getting creative with recipes to use up pantry and freezer ingredients.

This week, I made veggie burgers to use up lentils and breadcrumbs in the pantry. Of course, fresh breadcrumbs would be so much better, but that wouldn’t use up the ones sitting on the shelf. The nice thing about veggie burgers is that you can really adapt the flavors to whatever you like. I added in a chopped chili pepper that was growing in our garden, and they are really spicy! I topped them with some sriracha mayo because they can always use some moisture (although I had ketchup on mine because I’m just not a mayo fan).

Veggie Burgers with Sriracha Mayo

1 cup cooked lentils (mine were leftover from a previous dinner, so they had diced carrots and onions in them as well), mashed a bit

2 cups diced mushrooms

1/2 onion, minced

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 chili pepper, minced

1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs (or dried, but fresh are better)

2 eggs, beaten

2 tablespoons goat cheese

1 tablespoon mayo

1 teaspoon sriracha

Pickles

Saute the onion in a little olive oil to soften. Add the garlic, chili pepper and mushrooms and allow to soften and start to brown. Remove from heat and add to lentils in a large bowl. Add in the breadcrumbs, goat cheese, and eggs and stir to combine. Refrigerate for an hour, until cold.

In a small bowl, combine the mayo and sriracha and stir together. Reserve for topping.

Form mixture into patties and saute in some olive oil for 2 minutes on each side, until browned. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, until they are cooked all the way through. Serve on a toasted bun with the topping of your choice.

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This is a pretty traditional way to use up leftover pasta, and it’s scalable to however much you have leftover. It’s best when you can make a nice thin layer and get the whole thing really crispy, although this time I tried it with an extra egg to make it more frittata-like (I prefer it a little thinner). You can use any kind of leftover pasta, but it works best with long pasta rather than something like penne. I’ve made this several times since starting the blog, but it always seems to disappear before I can take pictures!

Spaghetti Frittata

Leftover spaghetti

Enough eggs to coat the spaghetti but not soupy

2 tablespoons sage (or another herb), chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper

Scramble a couple eggs and pour over the spaghetti in a bowl. Stir it around, and if it doesn’t coat all the pasta, add another egg one at a time until it does. Add any herbs you like and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a frying pan with the olive oil, and press it until it goes all the way to the edges and is evenly distributed.

As it cooks, continue to occasionally press down to make it crisp. It will start to brown around the edges, and you can flip it over (with or without a plate on top to help). Let it brown and crisp on the second side and then remove to a cutting board. Slice into wedges and you can even add a side of some marinara sauce if you have it lying around.

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We’ve been having corn all summer, but this was the first time I decided to put some into a pasta dish. We took some leftover grilled corn and cut it off the cob, combined it with sweet end-of-summer cherry tomatoes and anchovies, and it was a perfect weekend lunch. The sweet corn and tomatoes combined with the salty bite of anchovies made the perfect complement to a light salad.

Grilled Corn Linguine

1/2 box linguine fine or your favorite long pasta

2 ears of corn, grilled in their husks, cut off the cob

2 cups cherry tomatoes

6 anchovies

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil with the anchovies for 2 minutes. The anchovies will start to break up and the onion will soften. Add the corn and tomatoes and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add a little pasta cooking water. Add the linguine and cook for the final minute together.  Add the parmesan and the olive oil and toss to combine.

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I found a recipe for avocado toast in a Bon Appetit cleanse a while ago, and it quickly became my favorite snack, breakfast, or lunch. I adjusted the recipe a little to balance the tartness of the lemon with some honey. Make sure to allow your avocados to ripen, they should be just a little pliable when you give them a squeeze.

Avocado Toast

1/2 avocado, mashed

1/2 lemon juiced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tasblespoon honey

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 slice of bread, toasted

Combine the avocado, lemon, olive oil, honey and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on the toast and enjoy!

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This summer we seem to be having an endless string of 90+ days, which makes it a challenge to find light and delicious dishes that don’t make me sleepy. My ideal meal in weather like this is a light salad or fruit/vegetable along with a few bites of something really tasty like a grilled cheese. Balance between veg and cravings.

This salad has crisp, refreshing watermelon paired with feta, which is a lighter cheese that works well in summer. Add a little fresh lemon juice and mint, and you have a great starter or light lunch for these hot days.

Watermelon and Feta Salad

2 cups cubed watermelon

1 cup cubed feta (your favorite variety)

3 tablespoons chopped mint

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 scallion, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine the watermelon, feta, mint, and scallion in a bowl and toss. Squeeze the lemon over and drizzle the olive oil. Toss again to combine and serve!

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Capellini (angel hair) is not used very often because it quickly becomes a gluey mess. The trick is to pull it directly out of the pot into this olive oil sauce and toss. I only use it in situations like this with a fresh, uncooked sauce because you don’t want to be messing around with it too much. It goes straight from the water to the sauce to the plate.

Capellini complements the fresh, simple flavors in this dish because it’s light and soaks up the sauce quickly. Of course, it relies on the best, most flavorful tomatoes and basil, so make sure to not refrigerate your tomatoes. I don’t particularly like raw garlic, so I always quickly saute it but feel free to use it raw if you like it. Use the good extra virgin olive oil in this one too, because it doesn’t get cooked at all.

Capellini with Tomato and Basil

1/2 box capellini

1-2 tomatoes, diced (preferably on-the-vine or other very fresh tomato)

2 garlic cloves, minced (optional: saute in a tablespoon of olive oil for one minute)

1/2 cup basil, julienned

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

Cook the capellini in salted, boiling water according to package instructions. Meanwhile, combine the tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Add the cooked capellini with a little of the cooking water and stir to combine. Add the basil and cheese and toss. Serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a little more cheese on top.

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Sometimes I realize the fridge is empty but the store is so far away….those are the times I look to the pantry to figure out what I can piece together. I usually have a can of Italian tuna, which is a great way to get some protein into what would normally just be starch-based. Add some Sicilian staples like pine nuts and currants along with some onion and garlic from fridge scraps, and a meal takes shape. This off-the-cuff meal ended up being a favorite for the week!

Sicilian Pantry Pasta

1/2 box linguine or other long pasta

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 onion, chopped

2 anchovies

1/4 cup currants soaked in a couple tablespoons of sherry or wine

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino

1 can Italian tuna, drained

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon parsley, chopped

Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water a minute short of package instructions.

Meanwhile,  saute the onion, red pepper flakes, and anchovies in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, until the onion softens. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the tuna, pine nuts, and currants. Add the pasta and a little of the pasta cooking water.

In another pan, toast the breadcrumbs in a tablespoon of olive oil until they start to turn a little brown. Add most of the grated cheese and toss to combine. Pour the toasted breadcrumbs over the pasta and combine. Serve immediately with the rest of the grated cheese and parsley sprinkled on top. Optional, drizzle a little extra olive oil over the top to finish it.

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This is another recipe that I thought needed some new pictures. Crepes aren’t much more effort than pancakes, but I like them so much more. You can fill them with whatever you like; my favorite is nutella and strawberries.

I thought we needed something special for breakfast over the weekend, and crepes immediately came to mind. I’ve never made them before, but I’ve definitely made a lot of pancakes. I pulled out my copy of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” and I took Julia’s basic dessert crepe recipe.

Crepes inspired from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons Triple Sec or Grand Marnier

1 1/2 cups flour

5 tablespoons butter, melted

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours if possible, up to a day.

Using a little butter or vegetable oil, just enough to very lightly coat the pan, pour a 1/4 cup of the mixture into the pan and swirl it into one even layer. This must be done quickly before the batter sets, and you need to have the heat down pretty low. I pick the pan up off the heat when I do it so that I can tilt to swirl. Once it starts to bubble up and become slightly browned on the bottom, it’s ready for a flip. 1 minute on the other side and it’s done. Fill with anything, we used nutella, peanut butter, nutella with strawberries and bananas, and lemon curd. And we even tried 2 with cheddar and pecorino and they were fantastic!

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