Balsamic Roasted Veggie and White Bean Pasta

Yesterday I shared an indulgent dinner and today I share a recipe that is LOADED with veggies.  In fact, you’ll feel good eating this dinner and serving it to your family.

Dinner starts by roasted all of the vegetables including broccoli, sliced mushrooms, red bell pepper, zucchini, squash, cherry tomatoes and red onion.

vegrainbow

The veggies were tossed with a mixture of balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, dried herbs, garlic, salt and EVOO before roasting at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.  While the veggies were cooking I went ahead and brought my pasta water to a boil so that it was ready when I needed it.  No one has time to watch a pot of water come to a boil.  I also prepped a batch of skinny pesto.

When the veggies were almost done cooking, I tossed the pasta into the boiling water and let it cook until al dente (about 9 minutes for gluten-free pasta).

As soon as the pasta was perfectly cooked, it was drained and then mixed with the white beans, pesto and parmesan before adding all the yummy veggies.

To serve, I sprinkled a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes over my portion.

veggiepasta

Another successful dinner loaded with veggies from the garden.

Not only is this a great dinner option but it’s perfect to make ahead and have for quick lunches throughout the week.  The portion size is large and the recipe makes a TON of food.

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BLT Lettuce Cups with Avocado

I’m fairly certain I could eat these lettuce wraps once a week during the summer and never grow tired of them.  It’s basically a BLT sandwich without the bread.  But don’t worry – you won’t miss the bread at all.  Especially if you add creamy, rich avocado.

This meal couldn’t be easier to prepare.  If you can cook bacon, you can make these wraps.  Cook your bacon and then crumble.  Dice your tomatoes (I used some cherry tomatoes from our garden, so I simply halved them).  Once the tomatoes are diced, mix with a little light mayo (Duke’s is the only mayo we know in the South).  Slice your avocado.

To assemble, carefully “peel” off the lettuce leaves from a head of iceberg lettuce.  Note:  I will probably use romaine or bibb lettuce next time.  Fill the lettuce leaves with the sliced avocado, in-season tomatoes and crispy bacon.  Sprinkle it all with a little salt and pepper.

bltlettucewraps

Just as delicious as ANY BLT you could ever eat.  It was messy and crunchy, salty but refreshing and totally addicting.

Don’t leave off the avocado!

 

Avocado and Lump Crab Salad

As promised, a crab recipe!  And this lunch or dinner option is naturally gluten-free, requires no cooking and is ready in a matter of minutes.  Double the recipe so you can have leftovers.

Sweet crab is jazzed up with zesty lime juice, a drizzle of EVOO, pungent red onion, and in-season tomatoes for a simple yet incredibly satisfying meal.  Season with salt and pepper and if you remember to pick it up at the store (fail), cilantro.  The crab mixture is served in an avocado half that adds the most perfect amount of creaminess to every.single.bite.

crabavocado

This recipe could not be simpler.  Perfect for hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and it requires minimal ingredients.  Splurge on high-quality crab, though.  Your taste buds will thank you.

 

Waffled Crab Cakes

Hey friends!  I hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday.  We spent the weekend at Ocean Isle Beach and it was glorious.  My brother + SIL + baby nephew were down with us and we enjoyed lots of sunshine, baby snuggles and delicious eats.  Yesterday as we were leaving the beach to head back home we made a pit stop at our favorite seafood “shack.”  I’ve been craving crab cakes ever since I saw waffled crab cakes on the SkinnyTaste website.  We grabbed a pound of crab to go and last night we devoured these tasty cakes.

Using the waffle iron is a fun way to make crab cakes and the best part is the crispy little edges.  These crab cakes are loaded with crab and very little “filler.”  Flavor is added with Old Bay seasoning, lots of chives and parsley, paprika and a little tabasco sauce.  And they are kept tender and moist with a little mayo (always Duke’s), mustard and egg + egg white.

The crab cakes take only about 3 minutes to cook in the waffle iron and I kept the warm in the oven while I made all the cakes.  I doubled the recipe to make sure we had leftovers for tonight.

crabcake

I served our crab cakes with a squeeze of lemon and sliced up avocado on top.

I’ve never been more excited to eat leftovers for dinner.

What’s Gaby Cooking Cookbook Club {skinnytaste FAST AND SLOW}

I have a new favorite weeknight cookbook thanks to Gaby’s March Cookbook Club.

skinnytastefastandslow

I have been a follower for the blog SkinnyTaste for years and I was excited when Gaby featured her as her cookbook of the month.  Over the past couple of weeks I’ve cooked several recipes and I’ve LOVED every single one.  Half of the cookbook is filled with quick-fix recipes and the other half is filled with slow cooker recipes.

slowcookerchanamasala

The Slow Cooker Chana Masala is a meatless slow cooker recipe that was the first recipe I cooked from the book.  The chickpeas are spiced with coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masalas and cardamom.  This recipe made awesome leftovers and I found myself eating this all week long.

lettucewraps

Last week I made Korean-Inspired Chicken Lettuce Wraps when my sister-in-law visited and they were the perfect quick-fix dinner after an evening barre class.  The ground chicken is seasoned with soy sauce (or tamari), sesame oil, brown sugar, crushed red pepper plus some garlic and ginger.  The lettuce is topped with cooked brown rice, the chicken mixture and then a sprinkle of green onions and sesame seeds plus sriracha if you like some heat.  These eat-with-your-hands wraps are delicious!  Incredibly light yet satisfying.

eggrollbowl

And finally, the Egg Roll Bowls I made for Big Guy and I last Friday night.  I picked this recipe because it only made two servings and since we were heading out of town I didn’t want a lot of leftovers.  The flavors are that of an egg roll but without the weird ingredients and greasy egg roll taste you might find at a Chinese restaurant.  The bowl includes pork (I used 93/7 beef), onion, napa cabbage, bok choy, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  The flavors come from soy sauce (or tamari), ginger, garlic, dry sherry and sesame oil  It was light but I loved that the portion size was huge.  I think we both loved the mushrooms the most.

There are so many recipes I have my eye on, including:

Spicy Seared Tuna Sushi Bowls

Slow Cooker Bahn Mi Rice Bowls

Spicy Lump Crab and Charred Corn Flaco “Tacos”

Slow Cooker Blueberry Slump

 

Have you cooked from any new cookbooks lately?

Baked Spaghetti Squash and Cheese

With all the rain and dreary weather, comfort food was a must earlier in the week.  Mac and cheese ranks pretty high up there on my list of comfort foods.

Cheesy and cozy.  Warms the heart and soul and satisfies your hunger.

Just like this spin on traditional mac and cheese using spaghetti squash instead of noodles.

I’m not going to lie and tell you that spaghetti squash tastes like noodles.  But it is delicious.

The best part about this dish – the portion size!  This dish could be served as a side dish but it was a fabulous meatless Monday main dish.

spagh squash

I halved, removed the seeds and roasted two small(er) spaghetti squash (from our SoCo Farm to Door delivery!) at 375 degrees for about 50 minutes.  Another option – cook your spaghetti squash in the slow cooker – I saw this on a recent The Kitchen episode and thought it was brilliant.

Once cooked, scrape out the strands of squash using a fork.

The squash “noodles” are mixed with an insane cheese sauce (I used half sharp white cheddar and half habanero cheddar from our SoCo deliver) and some spinach for even more nutrients.

(to note:  I used cornstarch instead of flour to make this dish gluten free)

The mixture is then baked in a casserole dish for about 25 minutes.  You could totally make the dish ahead of time and then bake before serving.

And I lied.  The best part wasn’t the portion size – the best part is that Gina {the blogger behind SkinnyTaste} “regrammed” my photo last night on Instagram.

I felt famous for about 15 minutes.

 

Stuffed Pepper Soup

There are so many ways to prepare stuffed peppers.  From quinoa to rice, ground turkey to beans, the possibilities are endless.

In my world (which is sometimes a weird place), the basic components of a stuffed pepper are bell peppers (duh), ground beef, rice, tomatoes, spices and cheese.

Stuffed Pepper Soup takes all the ingredients of the “traditional” stuffed pepper but throws it in a pot for a super comforting dinner.  When the weather starts to cool down, soups are a great dinner option because not only are they filling but they typically provide leftovers which are perfect for lunches or meals later in the week.

 

Another bonus – I think that making stuffed pepper soup is so much easier than actually stuffing peppers.

The soup starts by browning ground beef in a Dutch oven (gotta love the Le Creuset).  To the ground beef, add chopped peppers (homegrown!  I can’t believe it’s still producing veggies), chopped onions and garlic.  Once softened, add in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth (or chicken), dried oregano, salt and pepper.  Everything is brought to a boil and then reduced to a simmer for 30 minutes.

By the time the 30 minutes is over, your kitchen will smell amazing.

Once ladled into bowls, the soup is topped with a scoop of rice (I used a long grain white) and a sprinkle of sharp cheddar.

Seriously tasted like a stuffed pepper.  But so much easier to eat.  And each bite was full of comfort and warmth.

And the good thing about soup – leftovers!  This recipe makes a large pot, so if you’re a family of 2 like we are, you usually have leftovers from meals.  The leftovers are perfect for lunch or for dinner later in the week when you’re in a rush.

What’s not to love about this recipe?!?!?