Friday, May 21, 2010


One food I absolutely love is avocados. I love them on sandwiches, in soups, and salads. My favorite thing to do with avocados is make guacamole. Guacamole is always a crowd pleaser as well as good for a late night snack with friends. I have made guacamole several different ways but this recipe is my favorite. It is extremely quick and easy. This recipe can either be made with cubanelle or poblano peppers. Cubanelle peppers are a little more sweet, where as poblano peppers can have a little kick.


  • 1/4 of a medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium pepper, cubanelle or poblano, quartered
  • a handful & a half fresh cilantro, leaves & stems
  • 2 ripe avocados, cut in half & pits removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • dash of pepper

  1. Put the onion, pepper, tomato, and cilantro in the food processor. Pulse a few seconds until finely chopped.
  2. Cut avocados in half. Remove pits, then scoop the flesh into the food processor. Add in the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pulse for a few seconds until avocado is well incorporated.
  3. Scoop mixture into a bowl. Refrigerate for a half hour to forty minutes, then serve!

Tip: To keep guacamole from browning drizzle a little additional lime juice and cover with saran wrap.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vegetable & Turkey Meatloaf

This meatloaf was something I created to give ground turkey a little bit more flavor. This recipe is easy, flavorful, and healthy. Another perk is that the ingredients I purchased to make this recipe were fairly cheap. In this meatloaf I combined zucchini, mushrooms, garlic, bread crumbs, and feta cheese. I just love the taste of feta cheese when incorporated in meats. It is a salty cheese so there is no need to add salt to this recipe. Also the addition of the vegetables in this meatloaf keeps the ground turkey nice and moist, which can normally dry out very easily. My family loved this recipe and I hope yours does too! I served it with a side of garlic mashed potatoes.

The Ingredients

  • 8 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half again lengthwise, then slice into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 jumbo egg, beaten
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/2 teaspoon worcestershire
  • black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onions, mushrooms, and zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring veggies every now and then. After 5 minutes reduce heat to medium and sprinkle veggies with a little black pepper.
  3. Cook veggies 2 more minutes then add the garlic. Cook veggies for 2-3 more minutes stirring occasionally until tender, then remove from heat.
  4. In a large bowl add the ground turkey, beaten egg, worcestershire, and bread crumbs. Mix together until incorporated. Then add the veggies, and feta cheese and mix well.
  5. Put meat and veggie mixture into an ungreased, 1 1/2 quart oven safe dish. Pack down and form into a loaf shape.
  6. Put it in the oven uncovered and let it cook for 1 hour. Serve when ready, and enjoy!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pasta with Spinach & Tomato

One of my all time favorite quick fix meals is this easy pasta recipe. I normally make it before I have to work at the restaurant when I am short on time. While the water is boiling I prep the other ingredients. I typically use a pasta such as angel hair because it cooks quickly, and it is my favorite. While the pasta is cooking, I slightly cook the garlic and spinach which I then toss with the pasta and the remaining ingredients when the pasta is finished cooking. I just love the combination of the spinach, tomatoes, garlic and parmesan cheese. And for those of you that like a little heat, like myself, add a dash of crushed red pepper. This recipe is extremely quick, easy, and tasty. Perfect for anyone who wants something delicious in a short amount of time.

  • 1/2 of a box of angel hair pasta
  • 3 small-medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 3 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

  • parmesan cheese
  • crushed red pepper

  1. Heat a pot of salted water over high heat until boiling. Cook pasta according to package.
  2. While water is heating, mince the garlic, dice the tomatoes, and wash the spinach.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until a piece of the garlic sizzles. Add the remaining garlic and cook for 45 seconds. Be careful not the burn the garlic. Then add the spinach and stir. The spinach will start to wilt. Stir until most of the spinach is a little wilted. Then remove from heat.
  4. Drain the pasta and return pasta to the pot. Pour the spinach, garlic and olive oil mixture over the pasta. Add the tomatoes and toss. Spoon into bowls and top with parmesan cheese and red pepper if desired. Enjoy!

This will serve 2 people as a main course and 4 as a side dish.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eggplant Stew

My absolute favorite food of all time is eggplant. I could eat it anytime of year, with anything, or by itself. I often add eggplant to my pasta sauce, and order it on my pizza. The other day I saw graffiti eggplant at the grocery store. They are light purple, streaked with white, and are a little thinner than the aubergine eggplants. I have never seen them before so I had to try them. They have a similar taste to white eggplant. In addition to my eggplant I also picked up baby bella mushrooms, an onion, fresh basil, and a yellow pepper. I decided to throw all of my purchases together in a large pot along with some things I had at my house such as a can of crushed tomatoes, a medium tomato, olive oil, garlic, and a can of black olives. With these items I added some chicken broth and milk to make my hearty eggplant stew. Cutting the vegetables is most of the work. After that is done you just let the veggies simmer and reduce down. I also toasted some bread in the oven to dip in the stew. This dish was delicious and the leftovers were just as good the next day. The dish can also be eaten cold. Hope you like it!

  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 eggplants, (graffiti, aubergine, or white) chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1- 6oz can black pitted olives,
  • 1- 14 oz can chicken stock
  • 1- 2lb can crushed tomatoes
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • a dash of red pepper flakes
  • parmesan cheese
  • fresh toasty bread

  1. In a large heavy pot, add olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds. Add onion, cook about 30 more seconds, then add the eggplant. Turn heat down to medium and stir mixture every few minutes.
  2. Once eggplant is starting to cook add the mushrooms, pepper, crushed tomatoes, chopped tomato, and chicken stock. Turn mixture back up to medium high. Stir every few minutes. Once mixture is bubbling and veggies are reducing, turn it down to a simmer.
  3. Let mixture simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until are veggies are cooked through.
  4. Add the basil, olives, milk, and red pepper flakes. Stir in and let simmer about five more minutes. After that it is ready to serve. Top with some parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mussels in a White Wine Sauce

Last Wednesday was a great day for a few reasons. The temperature was about 88 degrees and I had nothing to do all day but spend it with my Aunt Leigh and my cousin Oliver. We spent the entire day playing outside. Oliver and I had several water gun fights to cool us down considering the high temperature. However, this day was also a little sad for me. Every week I had been staying with my aunt, uncle, and cousin a few days while taking a food writing class in New York City. Last Tuesday was my last class. I was enjoying all of the time I was getting to spend with them so I was sad it was going to end. That night we decided to do something special since it was the last night I was going to be there for a while. What we decided on was fresh steamed Mussels. I had been craving them for a while and wanted to try my hand at making them. Before my Uncle got home my Aunt and I cut and prepped everything so we would be ready to go when he got home. Our broth consisted of a lot of white wine, chicken broth, garlic, shallots, a little butter, and our favorite fresh herbs. We made four pounds of mussels for the three of us. It sounds excessive but they were so melt in your mouth delicious that we ended up only leaving maybe six or seven uneaten. Oliver even tried a mussel or two. With our mussels we had fresh bread, which is a must to dip in the broth, a side of garlic green beans, and oven fries. Everything turned out awesome. The mussels are extremely quick and easy to make and when cooked perfectly are to die for!

  • 4 lbs (scrubbed clean and debearded)
  • Discard any mussels that are all ready opened, but first poke the mussels with a spoon or fork, if it closes its shell it's still alive and is ok to eat. If not throw it out.
  • 3 cups dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large shallots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, torn
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn
  1. Heat up 2 tablespoons butter over medium high heat in a large pot. Saute shallots and garlic about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Then add 2 cups of the white wine and let cook for about 8 minutes. Add remaining liquid. Turn up heat so mixture is at a boil.
  3. Once mixture is at a boil, add in the mussels and cover. Cook mussels for 6-8 minutes, or until they are all open. The mussels can be prepared in two batches if you don't have a large enough pot. Discard any mussels that did not open. When mussels are cooked sprinkle them with the fresh herbs. Move to a serving platter a bowl and serve right away with fresh bread. Enjoy

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Grilled Fish with Fruit Salsa

This unusually warm April weather had me craving something light and tasty. Especially after eating very heavy and dense foods for Easter, and then of course the days of leftovers to follow. I decided I wanted to grill some white fish and create a fruit salsa. I headed off to the store to see what looked fresh in the produce and seafood sections. I choose kiwi, mango, red onion, lime, cilantro and tomatoes for my salsa, and red snapper for my white fish. I made the salsa first and set it in the refridgerator to chill. Then I marinated the fish, and prepared a side salad and sauteed zucchini to go along with my fish, while my grill was heating up. I grilled the fish for a few minutes on each side and topped it with the salsa, some fresh cilantro, and fresh squeezed lime juice when it was time to serve. The sweetness of the fruit salsa paired perfectly with the grilled fish. This dish would be perfect for kids who are not big fans of fish because the salsa covers up the fishy taste, while incorporating fruits into the meal. My family loved this recipe and I hope yours does as well!

Fruit Salsa
  • 2 kiwis, diced
  • 1/2 mango, diced
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Dice all ingredients. Put into bowl and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, torn
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl. Pour over fish, then sprinkle salt and pepper and let stand for 15 minutes.

  • 1 lb red snapper (or mild white fish of your choice) cut into 3-4 fillets
  1. Preheat grill to about 350-400. Spray rack with cooking spray.
  2. Place fish fillets on rack.
  3. Grill fish a few minutes per side until flakes with a fork. (cooking time varies depending on how thick the fish it)
  4. Once fish is done move it to a serving platter and top with salsa, and additional cilantro and lime juice if desired. Enjoy

Garnish (optional) fresh cilantro leaves
Lime Juice

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Creamy Pesto Pasta With Shrimp

Last night, after a long day of hiking I was craving something sinfully delicious. I decided I wanted to try to duplicate a creamy pesto pasta I had for lunch at an Italian restaurant a couple weeks back. The dish featured a creamy pesto sauce, pasta, and shrimp. My mother and boyfriend are always willing to try my creations so having them both around last night was the perfect opportunity to test out my recipe. I was very satisfied with the outcome and judging by their empty bowls, they were as well. I used frozen shrimp and homemade pesto but fresh shrimp and store bought pesto can be substituted. This recipe is simple, quick and delicious. Enjoy!

Creamy Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 1 cup half & half
  • 1 lb frozen shrimp (peeled)
  • 4 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 box Campanelle or Ditalini pasta
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped almonds
  • salt

For Garnish (optional)
grated fresh parmesan cheese

cubed fresh mozzarella


  1. Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Add 1 tablespoons salt to the water. While the water is heating, dice tomatoes.
  2. Turn water down to medium-high and cook pasta according to package. Add shrimp to the pot when there is two minutes remaining in the pasta's cooking time. Drain when done.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat half and half over medium heat. Let it get a little bubbly and slightly thickened. If it does not thicken on its own, whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour.
  4. Once pasta is drained stir pesto sauce into the cream. Then add almonds and parmesan cheese to the sauce and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Return pasta and shrimp to pot. Top with diced tomatoes. Pour pesto cream sauce over pasta and shrimp. Mix well. Top with fresh parmesan and mozzarella if desired. Serve and Enjoy