Monday, July 26, 2010

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Zucchini

SUPER easy to make, incredibly delicious to eat, and rivals most restaurant offerings...

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Roasted Zucchini
8 oz. Rotini style pasta (I used Ronzini Smart Taste)
14 oz cooked and completely peeled shrimp (tails OFF)
2 medium zucchini, chunked
1 TBSP olive oil
5 medium roma tomatoes, chunked
1/2 cup prepared pesto sauce (or more to taste)
parmesan cheese for sprinkling on top

Boil pasta in salted water. Place shrimp in bottom of collander, and then when pasta is done, pour over shrimp. Once drained, return pasta and shrimp to pot you cooked
pasta in.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees
On a foil lined cookie sheet, lay out zucchini in an even layer, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Roast in oven until you see the amount of char you like, I usually do anywhere from 8-10 minutes. Broil for a minute or so, if the zucchini isn't charring quickly enough without overcooking.

Place the tomato chunks on a lined cookie sheet also, but only roast them for about 5 minutes, until the skins begin to pucker. Do not drizzle with olive oil, or add salt.

Once roasted vegetables are done, add them to the pot with pasta and shrimp, add the prepared pesto, and serve! Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and ENJOY!!

Healthy and delicious, super quick dinner idea. Make it tonight!

Friday, July 23, 2010

German Cottage Cheesecake...YUM!

Modern and healthy upgrade to an old family recipe! THIS is definitely one you NEED to try! SO, so good!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Bottom layer (not really a crust):
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup ground walnuts
1/2 cup ground flax seed
3 1/2 whole graham crackers
4 TBSP butter or margerine
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 TBSP milk
***finely grind the walnuts, flax, flour, and grahams in food processor. Add remaining ingredients to make a thick batter. Grease a 9x13" casserole pan, and spread batter evenly over bottom.

Cheese topping:
2 cups cottage cheese (I used fat free)
1 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
few dashes salt
***mix well, ensuring eggs are well incorporated into mixture. Pour cheese mixture over bottom layer, and bake for 35-45 minutes depending on oven. Watch during last 10 minutes to make sure not overdone.

Frozen Strawberry Compote:
2 cups whole, unsweetened, frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp thyme
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar

Let ingredients set in food processor to soften for about 20-30 minutes. Then pulse until you get a finely diced texture. Spoon over the top of warm German Cottage Cheesecake and ENJOY!

Delicious! Moist, cheesy, berry goodness!

Brendan approved! He ate 3 whole pieces! ...And I LET him, does that make me a bad mom?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Corny Crusted Scallops

Some days I feel like I should be on the show Chopped on Food Network...but knowing me, I'd cave under pressure and not be able to think! Well, so I had a pound of frozen scallops, and never cooked them before. I also had a little Kix cereal left in the HUGE box in my pantry, and it wasn't enough for a serving. So I put on my thinking cap, and came up with this:

Corny Crusted Scallops
1lb thawed, rinsed, and patted dry scallops
1 TBSP olive oil
3/4 cup Kix cereal
15 plain corn tortilla chips
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
***Drizzle scallops with olive oil and mix until all pieces are coated. Blend remaining ingredients (all dry) in food processor until you have fine crumbs. Place crumb mixture in a large zipper top bag. Toss the oiled scallops in with crumb mixture until evenly coated. Then place scallops on a lined cookie sheet, and bake at 475 degrees for about 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Asian Vinaigrette Reduction
2 TBSP brown sugar
1 TBSP honey
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger (depending on tastes)
1 tsp ground garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
!! I totally MEANT to add the zest of a half of an orange to my sauce, but if it sounds good to you, by all means ADD IT!!
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Simmer and stir until reaches a syrupy consistency. Drizzle LIGHTLY over scallops just prior to serving. This sauce would be nice over salmon (any fish really), chicken, or pork chops. ENJOY!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

How to make Hummus


2 cups garbanzo beans
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tahini
2-4 TBSP lemon juice
1-2 tsp sesame oil
1 TSBP minced garlic
salt to taste
1/4 - 1/2 cup water if needed to alter consistency
blend in food processor until smooth, feel free to make it uniquely yours by adding spices you like. I personally like to add about 1/4 cup salsa, 1/2 tsp chili powder, and 1-3 tsp cumin (depending on my mood). YUM!

Please excuse my frumpy appearance in this video...I wasn't expecting to like it and post it, so I didn't put any effort into looking pretty! ****This was a test video to see if I could talk while cooking, the inspiration from which was taken from The Next Food Network Star tips, and any cooking show really. I love to cook, but lack the knowledge and experience with my culinary skills to pull it off professionally. Even though it is my dream to have my own cooking show, I know I need to learn a LOT more before I can ever attempt to travel down that road...but I am not afraid to try! I love to try new things, so no recipe is scary in my book :)