Spring Pasta Salad

Today really felt like SPRING! So amazing outside!!!!! While we were playing outside I got the idea to make a pasta salad! It just felt right, so seasonal and perfect! LOVE!
I normally make things on a large scale but this was just for my kids’ lunch and husbands’ dinner 😉 So if you want to make this bigger, double or triple the recipe! This salad will taste great right away but also will get more tastier as the flavors get to mingle in the fridge! Yum!

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Spring Pasta Salad

1/2 a box of pasta (1/2 pound) elbow or other
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup bell peppers, diced
1/2 a cucumber, diced
1/2 a can of black olives, quartered
1/2 a can of chickpeas
1/2 an avocado, chopped
1/8-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/8-1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste

1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to the pox.
2. While pasta is cooking prep and chop all the veggies and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and give a good stir.
3. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and cool for a few minutes. Then add to the bowl and stir to incorporate.
4. Chill further and enjoy!

And here it is as lunch for my littles 🙂 Fun!!!

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Tomato-Vegetable Pasta Sauce

This is a basic outline for creating a quick sauce that includes lots of veggies and can be done with most of the veggies you happen to have in your home. We used onions, broccoli, carrots and corn but I bet cauliflower, peas, squash, spinach, eggplant, peppers and mushrooms would all work great! 🙂 Perfect for CSA’s! We chopped all the veggies up small as we were using a food processor for the fun of pushing buttons. The kiddos were LOVING this and the before and after veggies, but this also helped everyone eat more veggies too! Love that! Super easy and fun to make your own sauce! Enjoy!!!

Tomato-Vegetable Pas

Tomato-Vegetable Pas2

Tomato-Vegetable Pasta Sauce
1 can 28 ounce crushed tomatoes
2 onions, chopped (or in our case in food processor, the kiddos LOVED to press the buttons)
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2 ears of corn, cut from cob
1 tablespoon of sugar
bit of fresh basil, cut (we only had a bit but you can add more if you have it!)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
dash of dried basil (I only had a little bit of fresh basil, so wanted to add a bit more)
dash of oregano
2 teaspoons of salt
dash of garlic powder
dash of cumin
1 lb pasta (we used gnocchi tonight, but that is just because the kids pulled it out of the pantry and requested :))
*(optional) greek or soy yogurt

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and cook onions for 5 minutes. Add broccoli and carrots and cook stirring occasionally another 5 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, corn, sugar, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and spices (reserving the fresh basil till 5 minutes before serving).
2. Simmer for a few minutes or up to a half hour depending on when your pasta is done or when you want to serve dinner 🙂
3. While sauce is simmering cook the pasta and combine when done.

*Optional – add greek or soy yogurt to the sauce for extra creaminess.

Super Fast Avocado Pasta

I am all about cooking with the kiddos whenever possible 🙂 Today for lunch we made our Avocado Pasta, similar to This One that I make for them normally that they love, but this time we did it all in one bowl (and a pot) 🙂 They loved it and were even super happy to take turns mashing (and tasting!) Lunch was deelish but cooking together and smiles around (and green mouths!) makes it that much sweeter!

Super Fast Avocado P

Super Fast Avocado Pasta
2-3 servings
Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegan, no cook/raw sauce

2 avocados
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Flax seed oil
12 ounces- 1 lb of pasta (we used Trader Joes Fresh Rice Pasta – made it even faster, cooks in 2 minutes!)
ground black pepper, to taste
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut

  1. Boil water and cook pasta in a large pot
  2. In a bowl combine avocado, garlic, lemon juice, oils, salt, basil, pepper and oregano. Mash with a fork till creamy.
  3. When pasta is done, drain and mix with sauce.  Garnish with tomatoes. Serve immediately. YUM!

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese: Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum!

So this was awesome!!! We are lucky that our kids eat a ton of veggies but this was still an awesome way to serve them! Everyone loved it! Enjoy this tasty and super healthy dish!

Cauliflower Mac & Ch

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese – Healthy Vegan Cheese Sauce Yum! 
Gluten-free, Vegan

1 cauliflower, cut into florets
handful of baby carrots
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, or to taste
1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
pasta of choice (we used GF penne pasta)
Fresh parsley, for garnish

  1. Add cauliflower & carrots in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a low boil. Once boiling, cook for another 8-9 minutes until super tender. Drain.
  2. At the same time boil water for pasta and cook as instructed by package. Drain when done.
  3. In a high-speed blender (we use a Vitamix) blend the cashews and a 1/4 cup of water for 30 seconds. Then add the cooked and drained cauliflower & carrots, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Blend until a super smooth.
  4. Add sauce & pasta into a pot and stir, till just combined. Salt, to taste
  5. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top

Creamy Avocado Pasta

Sometime you just want a home cooked meal but haven’t planned anything and haven’t gone shopping to cook. The kids are always well fed but sometimes we get left a little behind 😉 This is a great meal that took literally the time to boil pasta to create with all ingredients I always have at home. Super simple and deelish, the best!

Creamy Avocado Pasta

 

Creamy Avocado Pasta
4 servings

2 avocados
Juice of 1 lemon + lemon zest to garnish
1-3 garlic cloves, to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup Fresh Basil or Spinach
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lb of pasta
ground black pepper, to taste
Pine nuts, for garnish

  1. Boil water and cook pasta in a large pot
  2. In blender or food processor combine garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and process until smooth. Add avocado, basil, and salt and blend until creamy
  3. When pasta is done, drain and mix with sauce.  Garnish with lemon zest, black pepper and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

CSA Love – Garlic Scape Pesto

We are LOVING our first summer being part of a CSA. A super awesome surprise box of beyond fresh veggies every week 🙂 What a great present to have! Before joining the CSA I had never had a garlic scape before. Garlic scapes are the beautiful bright green stems and unopened flower buds of garlic. I heard that if you place them in water, their flowers are beautiful!! (but then your house will also smell of garlic!). They have a mild-strong garlic flavor, depending, and can be used a variety of ways, often times just in place of garlic itself. You can find them early summer at farmer’s markets and they are quite the gem!

I decided to try making a pesto with them. I ended up adding a bunch of baby spinach to tame down the powerful garlic flavor, but in the end it was DEELISH! We used it to make pesto pasta, sautéed greens (from the CSA), as a condiment in wraps and even the babies Loved it as a dip with baby carrots. Image

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup pignoli nuts + some for garnish
  • 1/3 cup finely grated parmigian (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Puree everything together, scraping down the sides to incorporate everything.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with pignoli nuts. Simple and delicious.

For Pasta – Just boil 1 lb of pasta and combine with Pesto.

For Sauteed Chicory – Boil Chicory for about 5 minutes to remove some of the bitterness and then saute with pesto. Amazing!! A CSA Fave!!!

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For Baby Beet Greens – Chop up, saute the stems first till they soften a bit and then add the greens and mix with pesto. (enjoy the beets with this or on their own)

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Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

It’s been a while since I made zucchini noodles. They are so easy and so nutritious and such a light and quick meal. You need the spiralizer, but it is such a fun and inexpensive addition to your kitchen, so an easy investment. I have always loved these noodles because they are raw, vegan, deelish and healthy, but my sister loves them because they are gluten-free and still has that fun pasta meal feel to them. So awesome for everyone!

I love love love the Pinenut Parmesan. I have used it with so many different dishes as it is so versatile and deelish!

Check out these other Zucchini Noodle dish ideas 🙂

Amazing Raw “Peanut” Sauce and Zucchini Noodles, Raw Zucchini Noodles and ‘Peanut’ Sauce II, Raw Sweet & Spicy Sesame Noodles, Lemon Basil Pesto & Raw Zucchini Pasta, Raw Zucchini Noodles with Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes and Zucchini Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.

Raw Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Spinach Sauce

Pasta
2-4 zucchinis, spiralized

Creamy Spinach Sauce
4 cups spinach
1 small garlic clove
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp thyme

Blend in high speed blender until very smooth.

Pinenut Parmesan from Raw Crisp Caesar Salad Recipe

1/2 cup pinenuts
1/2 cup whole cashews or macadamia nuts
2 teaspoon good oil or fresh water
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
pinch dried garlic granules or powder
pinch Celtic or sea salt

First process macadamias and cashews until ground. Then add the pine nuts and process briefly. Follow with the rest of the ingredients and process until well mixed.

Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with Pine Nut Parmesan. Serve & Enjoy.

Eggplant Caponata over Pasta

I always love a bright and vibrant caponata as part of a anti-pasto platter. I figured why not cook one up and use it as a sweet sauce for pasta instead of just a dip. It came out super lovely! I also added garbanzo beans to make it a more substantial and complete meal.

You could also just serve this as a dip with pita wedges or chips.

Eggplant Caponata over Pasta

1 lb angel hair pasta, cooked
1/4 cup golden raisins
1-2 large eggplant, stem removed, and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of canola oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 tomatoes, diced and seeded
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons capers
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

  1. Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside.
  2. Pour the canola oil into a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the eggplant cubes and cook for 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Turn heat down to medium and pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the skillet. Add shallots and cook until soft, stirring often, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 45 seconds. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the eggplant back to the skillet and the garbanzo beans. Add the vinegar, raisins, and capers, stir cooking for 2 minutes to cook down the vinegar. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in the parsley. Let it cool slightly before serving over pasta.

Before adding the garbanzo beans

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is one of my ultimate comfort foods and I am always up for trying out different vegan versions 🙂 I love that this recipe uses 20 ounces of squash for the sauce so you “sneak” in the veggies and help make it a creamier sauce without needing extra vegan cheese. (although we didn’t really skimp on that:))  Check out Cheesy Baked Penne with Cauliflower (one of my fave versions ever!) and Quick, Easy & Healthy Vegan Mac & Cheeze (I also used winter squash in this one).

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch
Serves 8

• 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
• About 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
• 1 pound whole-wheat or brown rice elbow macaroni
• 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
• 2 cups soy, rice milk or almond milk
• 8 ounces vegan Cheddar cheese, shredded
• 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) vegan cream cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoons powdered mustard
• 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Oil a 2-quart casserole dish; set aside.
  2. In a 4- to 6-quart stockpot over high heat, combine 3 quarts of water with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salt. Bring the water to a boil, add the macaroni, and cook according to the package directions.
  3. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the squash and milk, stirring and breaking up the squash with a spoon until the squash is defrosted. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and whisk in the Cheddar, cream cheese, mustard, cayenne, and the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of salt.
  4. When the pasta is done, drain it, then return the pasta to the pot. Stir the cheese sauce into the macaroni. Transfer the entire mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle with more cheese and salt and pepper and then bake for 20 minutes.

Bring on the troops!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

We had such a super lovely week of vacation! We spent most of the week out in Sag Harbor relaxing, cooking, practicing yoga with the amazing Colleen Saidman at Yoga Shanti, hanging out with my wonderful sister & brother in law and their adorable twin girls and just generally taking it super easy. (I’ll post some of our other super quick vacation recipes soon!)

We then headed out to Northport to stay with our friend Lisa Dawn. She has a beautiful studio there, Project Yoga, that I was honored to be teaching at this weekend. Such a sweet and blessed space. We spent the rest of the time there at the beach and of course cooking a little more 🙂

As many of you know, I love onions! We bought the most beautiful onions at the Farmers Market in Northport and I wanted to use them right away. Lisa had this amazing Vegan Pesto from Delpozzo at the farmers market so it was just a perfect quick and easy beach meal to throw both these together with quinoa pasta. Easy Peasy!

The pesto was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Basil, Garlic, Pinenuts, Tofu, Salt and Pepper. Super easy! I have never tried tofu in the my pesto and this was out of control amazing! I usually make my pestos with olive oil, pinenuts (or sometimes other nuts), salt and pepper -occasionally I will add some nutritional yeast. I always like to try new things of course, so I am excited to experiment with this one soon myself.

Caramelized onions are one of my favorite things ever. They come out so sweet and deelish!! All you have to do is cook them down and the sugar in the onions make them super sweet. Yum!

Carmelized Onions and Pesto Quinoa Pasta

 

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3-6 onions (depending on how much you love onions and if you want some for leftovers)
  • 4 ounces of quinoa pasta
  • 2-3 ounces vegan pesto
serves 2

To caramelize the onions, just peel and chop the onions. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add the onions, stirring. Continue to let the onions cook for a while, stirring occasionally to make sure the onions don’t burn. You can either cover the onions with a lid and let their liquid cook themselves down or for a browner more caramelized version, keep the lid off and the liquid begins to evaporate as the onions begin to brown, just make sure you are stirring frequently to prevent them from burning. You can cook both versions for about 10-20 minutes till you reach your desired color and texture.

After you get the onions in the pan, boil the pasta water. Add the pasta and cook according to instructions.

Then simply combine the onions, pesto and pasta with a bit of salt and pepper and Enjoy 🙂

I kept the cover on for the onions, so they are not as brown, but they are soft and super sweet!

I LOVE it when it says Vegan on it!! So Special!!!

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