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If I had a Valentine… what would I cook for him?

15 Feb

I love going out to dinner to a nice, fancy restaurant as much as the next girl… especially, if someone special is inviting.  But experience has taught me that on Valentine’s Day or around that date, it’s the WORST TIME to go out to dinner.  There may be some exceptions, of course…  but usually during this time, restaurants are extremely crowded, putting extra pressure on all the staff.

To me,  it’s more romantic to plan something special at home.  Make something you know you’re extremely good at and that you know your partner will love – for the awesome flavors, but also for the effort and care you put into it. Besides, when you have dinner at home… dress code is optional. ;)

Unfortunately, this year, I am spending Valentine’s weekend with a nice construction crew who’s remodeling my tiny, little kitchen into a very chic and modern tiny, little kitchen. And to top it all…  no romantic Valentine for me this year.

But… let’s play pretend.  If I had a romantic Valentine to invite over for dinner, what would I cook for him to let him know how much I care?

This is my menu…

Vegetarian Valentine 2015

Start with a Spinach, Arugula, Figs and Blue Cheese salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette

Main course would be the exquisite Baked Pasta with 4 Cheeses,  that usually floors anyone who has it for the first time.

On the side, and because we’re in Puerto Rico, I need to have sweet plantains with vanilla and cinnamon.

And for dessert, I would make a batch of Carob Syrup to dip some strawberries in…  I would even add a pinch of cayenne to keep things interesting.

 

Do you like my menu??  What are your go-to dishes if you want to show someone you care?

Roasted Tomatoes with Rosemary and Peanuts

22 Sep

I know this recipe might sound quirky… but it’s probably because it was “invented” by one of my quirkiest friends, Yanelis.  While we were in Paraguay, we were assigned a different day to lead the kitchen and design a menu for all of us who were traveling together.  This was one of Yanelis’ creations on his menu…

This dish was so popular that Yanelis actually made it 3 times…  well the third time I actually was the one who made them, using macadamia nuts instead of the peanuts.  And to be honest, I like them both (but maybe a little bit more the macadamia version)…

This is easy and delicious and will impress anyone when served at a table.  I usually plan for 2-3 tomato halves per person.  Or maybe 2 whole tomatoes per person so you make sure there’s enough for all.  I know I served myself seconds each and every time we made these.  Check them out.

Roasted Tomatoes with Peanuts and Rosemary

ROASTED TOMATOES WITH ROSEMARY AND PEANUTS

8-10 Roma tomatoes  – make sure they’re organic, without wax on the outside
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs dried rosemary
½ cup raw peanuts
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Half all the tomatoes and take off a very thin piece off the “bottom” of each tomato half, to make sure they stand and do not topple on top of each other when they’re roasting.  Place in a roasting dish cut side up one next to the other.
  3. Season tomatoes liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Sprinkle dried rosemary on top of tomatoes.
  4. In a large measuring cup measure the oil, honey and water.  Whisk well to combine and drizzle over the tomato halves.
  5. Roast in oven for about 45-60 minutes.  The tomatoes will cook, but maintain their shape.

 

Serve was a simple but tasty side dish…  I just liked them on top of whole grain rice and a salad.

Roasted Tomatoes with Rosemary, Honey and Macadamia Nuts

Roasted Tomatoes with Rosemary Honey and Macadamia Nuts

 

Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes

12 May

These are an updated version of my Mustard Roasted Potatoes… double the magic, double the fun with two times the mustard.  Dijon and Grain Mustard are my absolute favorite mustards and they make a zesty potato, worthy of celebrating the Moms in your life.

Great with a Tofu Scramble filled with tomatoes, peppers, onions and grape tomatoes.  Super colorful, super tasty and great vegetable-based protein too.

 

Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes

DOUBLE MUSTARD ROASTED POTATOES

2lbs red-skinned potatoes, cut in fourths
3 tbs Dijon mustard
3 tbs whole grain mustard
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbs Italian Seasonings
Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to taste
2 tbs Olive Oil and a little more to grease the baking sheet

 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the mustards, garlic, Italian Seasonings, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Double Mustard Potatoes - INgredients

3.  Add the cut-up potatoes to the bowl and toss to coat the potatoes well with the mustard mixture.

Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes

4.  Transfer the potatoes to an oiled baking dish, making sure the potatoes are in one single layer.

5.  Roast for 40-45 minutes until the potatoes are cooked thru, tender on the inside and crispy and golden on the outside.

Double Mustard  Roasted Potatoes

A new Salad to start 2014

18 Feb

This was a post I should have written to publish early in January. Well, it’s already early in February and this will have to do.

This salad was part of our first KarmaFree Cooking class last December. And what’s different about a salad you should ask… well, besides trying to instill into people’s minds the importance of eating a large green raw salad every day, we wanted to introduce some new and different ingredients people might not use raw in a salad. Can you pick them out in this picture here???

A New Salad

Scroll down to see if you guessed right…

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Raw pumpkin and raw beets… They’re usually eaten cooked, but these are sweet and delicious additions to any salad.

I know that all you folks who are going thru winter might not crave something cold and raw like salad when it’s cold outside… but eating a healthy portion of raw veggies each day will certainly keep the cold and doctors away.

Here are the components of our Salad:

Green leaf lettuce
Baby Spinach
Alfalfa Sprouts
Yellow Bell Pepper
Shredded Pumpkin
Shredded Carrots
Shredded Beet
Sliced Red Onion

Toss all the ingredients in your desired proportions together in a salad bowl. Dress with your favorite dressing. May we suggest a healthy serving of our Parsley Garlic Dressing.

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Parsley Dressing…. GONE!!!!!

May your winter be pleasant and your salad bowl is always full.

Recap of our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking Class – Love Yourself First

7 Feb

Last week we had our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking class and our theme was Loving ourselves first thru our Food. Sometimes, we only cook nice things when we’re cooking for others. But why not cook something nice even if it’s just us in the house??

Clase Cocina KFC - Feb 2014 2

The recipes we shared are old and new KarmaFree Cooking recipes that work well made just for one person, for two or for a crowd. These are simple, quick and delicious recipes that work well to make just for you on a solo movie night at home and just the same are not much more effort making for a large dinner party.

RECETAS - KFC2

 

 

Here was our class menu:

Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes over Brown Rice Pasta

 Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes - KFC2

Quinoa Pasta with Fresh Baby Spinach and Lemon Vinaigrette

 Pasta with Spinach KFC2

Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberries

 spinach-strawberry-salad-comp

Baked Sweet Plantains with Cinnamon and Vanilla

 Platanos maduros - KFC2

Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline

 Poached Pears - KFC2

Even though these were all recipes we had shared in the blog before, it’s never the same reading and making them on your own as seeing how I make them, after I have made them over and over and over again. Your words… not mine.

Plato Completo - KFC2

The class is not only about sharing recipes and techniques. We also talked about alternative pastas… we talked about my favorite olive oils and vinegars. We also talked about microplanes and rasps to grate lemon zest and how I do not like to rinse pasta after I drain it. We also shared how the same ingredients for the Marinated Tomates can be used in a bruschetta as an appetizer or skewered to make for a fancier passed hors d’oeuvre.

Tomates Marinados - KFC2

Pinchos de Mozz Tom - KFC2

I am so grateful for all of those who attended… we had a larger class this time around. Some repeats and some new students. I want to give a great shout out to Adriana from Great Food 360 who attended once again and contributed with the wonderful pictures. She rocks!!!

GRUPO - KFC2

Again to my lovely assistants Angie and Mom… who help me with the little things that keep the class rolling smoothly.

Hope you can join us for the next installment… Late April. Mark your calendars – Recipes to celebrate Mom. I am already planning the menu.

 

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