Feta Fettucine

One of my go to meals this summer – reminds me of spanakopita – a savory greek pastry dish with feta and spinach – but this is the pasta version. 

Ingrediants
One box of good quality fettucine
Extra virgin olive oil
One 5oz box of spinach (which actually cooks down a lot, so if you like more spinach go for 10 0z)
One large block of feta cheese in water (organic whole milk really tastes the best)
Seasalt
Black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
Chicken cutlets (I used 4 small for 2 people – adjust accordingly!)

  • Wash and steam the spinach until wilted – drain and set aside in a large serving bowl
  • Boil a pot of water and cook fettucine according to directions
  • While pasta is cooking, heat evoo in a large saute pan – salt and pepper your chicken – cut into large strips and saute in EVOO until done
  • Drain pasta,reserving 1/4 cup pasta water and place in bowl with spinach.  Pour pasta water over pasta.
  • Drizzle pasta with about 1/2 cup olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with seasalt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes – mix together
  • Crumble that fresh feta on top – mix again
  • Add the chicken – mix again
  • If you love basil as much as I do, add a pile of chopped basil ribbons on top – serve and enjoy!I also served up a side of tomato salad – chop tomatoes, add red onion, basil, parsley, salt, pepper, olive oil and some yummy flavored balsamic vinegrette!

Drop the Beet

Did I mention that I love juicing?

The star of the show

I have to give credit where credit is due… BJ named this one

Drop the Beet

1 golden beet
1 cup of green grapes
2 large apples
1 lemon
2 large carrots
  • Press through juicer – drink up! Best way to get your veggies and fruits, surprisingly sweeter than you would think

Cooking Yesterday Away

Fall is sneaking around the corner – I feel it when I wake up.  I immediately need a blanket because the breeze from the open windows is still rolling in.   I see it in the stores when I pass displays of pumpkin spice coffee (mmm I purchased my first batch yesterday).  I decided to start yesterday morning off with a fall treat to chase away the chill from the rainy day.  

Baked grapefruit – so simple – so good

Baked Grapefruit

1 grapefruit, ruby red or golden
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Sprinkle of brown sugar or cane sugar
Drizzle of good vanilla syrup

Preheat the over to 400 degrees.  Cut the grapefruit in half.  Drizzle with vanilla, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake for about 8 minutes until the top looks slightly darkened.  Enjoy

My Favorite Knife - Furi coppertail - Thanks mom 🙂

 
I love dinnertime – it’s the end of the day – time to come together with friends or family.  Last night was BJ’s (my fiancé) first night home from traveling for work and I decided to cook him a healthy meal.  A look at the menu: Lemon panko chicken cutlets, Greek pasta salad, and I had a special juice request to fill, which I decided to call “Drop the Beet” but I will include that in a later post! 

Greek Pasta Salad

 1 box of rotini pasta
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 handful of black olives, diced
Half of a small red onion, peeled and diced
3 roma or plum tomatoes, diced
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup nayonaise (vegetarian version of mayonnaise)
Sea salt and pepper
Block of Feta cheese
2 generous handfuls of Italian parsley

  • Cook pasta according to directions.  In the meantime, dice green pepper, red pepper, olives, onion, and tomatoes.  Add to a large bowl.
  • Whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup nayonaise (vegetarian version of mayonnaise).  You can, of course, use real mayonnaise.  Add some sea salt and black pepper.
  • Drain and cool the pasta.  When cool enough, add to the bowl with diced vegetables.  Pour the olive oil mixture over top and mix thoroughly.  If it still looks dry, add some more olive oil.   Now for my favorite part – the parsley – rip off two generous handfuls from your bunch of parsley, chop real fine, mix into the pasta.  Top it all off with sea salt and pepper – and, for the best part – add some fresh crumbled feta cheese to bring this together.  Love, LOVE, fresh feta cheese.  Cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

Lemon Panko Chicken Cutlets

Two tablespoons olive oil
One and ½ cups of panko bread crumbs
Two eggs, beaten
One tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
Six chicken cutlets
Sea salt and pepper
Lemon halves

  • Heat the olive oil in a pan; my personal favorite would be all-clad
  •  Beat together the eggs and Parmesan cheese in a large bowl.  The Parmesan seems to give the eggs a better consistency and helps the mixture stick to the chicken.  Pour the panko crumbs into another large bowl.
  •  Rinse and dry chicken cutlets.  Dip cutlets into egg mixture, and then dredge both sides of the chicken into the panko.  Place the chicken aside.
  •  When the oil appears to shine, but is not yet smoking, place the chicken cutlets inside.  Cook for four minutes on each side, or until completely cooked through.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and immediately sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and squeeze a liberal amount of lemon juice over top.  Serve.  

Cayenne Chickpea Soup

Delicious, spicy, heart healthy, hearty chickpea cayenne soup - that was a mouth full to say, and a delightful mouthfull to eat

I am what some may consider a bit of a health nut or picky eater – I wouldn’t say I disagree.  With the return from summer vacations and a few indulgences, as well as this week off from work, I decided to dedicate this week to healthy clean eating and exercise.  I prefer using organic products in my cooking (insert comment about picky eater here).  Not only does the food taste better, but in all reality it is better for your body.  I like my food with no antibiotics, pesticides, or growth hormones thank you very much.  Not only was this soup made with all organic food products, but it was also (mostly) vegetarian, it would have been completely vegetarian if I could have resisted topping my bowl of soup with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese, but a healthy girl can only be so good, you know?  The garbanzo beans packed a punch of protein in this soup, and the cayenne pepper adds that strong spice that also kicks your metabolism into high drive, or so I have heard/read, and it can’t hurt to try!

You will need:
2 tablespoons of quality olive oil
1 organic red onion, peeled and diced
3 organic carrots, peeled and diced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Three 14 oz cans of organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
Two 32 oz boxes of organic vegetable broth or chicken broth
One 28 oz can of diced tomatoes with juice
1 Tablespoon of cayenne pepper (if you like things spicy like me go for 1 1/2 to 2 Tablespoons)
3 bay leaves
Sea salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese to top

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  Add the red onion, carrots, garlic, and thyme.  Give the vegetables a stir and let them heat through for a few minutes until they appear translucent and the aroma fills the kitchen. 

Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes in their juice, bay leaves, and cayenne pepper.  Give another stir.  Add the vegetable stock and season with salt and pepper.  Turn the heat up and let the soup come to a boil.  Reduce heat and let the soup simmer for twenty minutes. 

Fish out those bay leaves and toss them away. Ladle soup into a bowl, let cool slightly, and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Feel free to add some hearty toasted whole grain bread, and enjoy.