Pasta with Baby Greens and Mushrooms

Greenhouses are producing wonderful greens all over the south and two of our favorite things are sprouting: arugula and spinach! I thought this would be a great opportunity to use the truffle-infused oil I got over the holidays.

Pasta, I used gluten free spaghetti, but any shape will do

1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch aruluga
1 pint mushrooms
3+ cloves garlic
1/3 C olive oil or flavored olive oil, I used truffle infused oil
salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.
Saute mushrooms in oil with minced garlic. Saute on medium-low heat to avoid burning the garlic. While mushrooms are cooking through, rough chop spinach and arugula. Make sure it was well washed as spinach is often grown in sandy soil.

Drain pasta and toss with hot mushrooms and oil. Remove from heat. Toss in greens and allow to wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Dress with more olive oil if desired.


Green Curry Lentil Crepes with Yogurt Sauce

This is a fun entree or party food. The crepes are dryer and more sturdy than french crepes and can stand up to being a finger food.

For the Crepes:
1 C brown rice flour
1 C tapioca flour
4 eggs
1/2 C rice milk
plenty of pepper
1 tsp salt

Mix these in a blender. Scrape the sides of the blender pitcher and blend again to remove lumps and fully incorporate all the flour.

Heat crepe pan or skillet to medium high. Oil the skillet with a high temperature friendly oil like sesame, grape seed, or coconut oil. Pour about 1/3 C batter onto pan and rotate quickly to make a thin layer of batter over crepe pan. Flip when the crepe looks dry. If your crepes are thin enough, you do not need to cook them on both sides.

For the Curry Lentil Filling:
2 Cups cooked lentils, drained and rinse
2 TB green curry powder or paste
2 handfuls baby spinach

In a food processor, blend the lentils with the curry seasoning. Green curry is a blend of chili powder, green chili, ginger, garlic, cumin, lemongrass, and salt. You can make your own or buy a mix. There are many good green curry blends made from organic and fair trade spices.

Heat seasoned lentil mash over medium heat, stirring frequently. When it is heated through, remove from heat and stir in spinach. The spinach will wilt into the lentil mash. It may be easier to add the spinach in batches rather than all at once.

For the Yogurt Sauce:
I really cheated on this one. I just blended 1/3 C plain yogurt with a few squirts sriracha. You can use chili powder and salt to season your yogurt if you ran out of sriracha. But you should probably just go get more sriracha.

To Assemble:
Fill crepes with 3 TB lentil and spinach curry mix. Roll tight. Either cut into finger-food length and serve with yogurt on the side as a dipping sauce OR leave the crepes long and drizzle yogurt sauce over them for an entree presentation.

Spinach Lemon Pesto

We’re getting more fresh spinach from our CSA than basil. After last years seemingly unending basil harvest, I’m shocked that I miss basil. This should cure your winter pesto woes. This is a raw pesto. It can be heated with pasta or served with raw veggie noodles.

Served with Gluten-Free Pasta!

In your food processor

1/2 lb baby spinach, washed and dried
1/3 Cup evoo
1/4 Cup lemon juice

handful of pine nuts or walnuts, about 1/3 Cup

1-2 tsp salt
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Blend until smooth. It is easier to add the spinach in stages because it is so bulky. This keeps well in the fridge for a little over a week because of the high vitamin C content.

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 8:57 am  Comments (4)  
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Skillet Lasagna

Ditch the Hamburger Helper and eat REAL food. It’s okay to cheat and use a jar of organic marinara since there are so many yummy ones on the market now. This is a quick meal that’s perfect for hungry families.

1 Cup diced red onion
1 lb ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 TB Italian seasoning (salt free)
13 oz can spinach drained OR frozen spinach
1 jar marinara sauce (26 oz)
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 Cup mozzarella cheese

1 lb cork screw or penne pasta cooked al dente and drained (Tinkyada makes a fab, firm gluten-free pasta)


In your largest skillet or chef’s pan, brown ground beef and drain. Add onion, mushrooms, and dry seasoning. Saute until onions are soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and marinara. Heat to bubbling, about 7 minutes, to let flavors combine. Toss in pasta and mozzarella until fully incorporated. Simmer 3 more minutes to season pasta. Topp with paremsan and serve.

Great with a green salad or a fresh fruit dessert.

Sub mushrooms or veggie crumble for a hearty vegetarian meal!

Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Hot dip is a MUST for cold weather parties. This recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Just bake from frozen and serve. EASY holiday entertaining!

Yes, I got too excited eating it to photograph it.

In a large sauce pot combine

12 oz cream cheese

3 TB cesar dressing

16 oz frozen chopped spinach

3+ cloves garlic

2 oz parmesan

4 oz swiss cheese    

No need to thaw or drain the spinach. Just dump it right in. Heat over medium stirring constantly until cheeses start to melt. Then stir in

14 oz can  artichokes, drained, brine reserved — chop them or whip them through a food processor

1/2 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taste

Heat until bubbly. For a saltier and creamier dish, add back some of the reserved artichoke brine. For a tangier dish, use brine from a jar of banana peppers or  jalapeno peppers. Kick up the heat with a 4 oz jar of chopped jalapenos.

Transfer to a serving dish or a freezer-safe container. Serve immediately or store.

To reheat from frozen, place frozen dip into an oven-safe dish and cover with a lid or foil. Heat at 375 for about 30 minutes, stirring half way through. This dip can be reheated at any temperature to suit the other dishes that might be baking for your holiday party.

Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, sourdough bread, veggie sticks, etc. Makes a great spread on sandwiches to jazz up left-over turkey.

White Lasagna

I’m trying to use up my basil. The plant is out of control. The more we eat, the bigger it grows. Here is a delicious white lasagna that showcases fresh basil. To make this dish vegetarian, substitute garlic-sauteed  mushrooms and zucchini for the chicken sausage. This recipe is for an 8 inch square lasagna pan. Double it for a 9x 13 pan.

Gluten Free Lasagna

Gluten Free Lasagna

1/2 box gluten free lasagna noodles or other healthy lasagna noodles — no boil!

2 Cups fresh spinach

1+ Cups fresh basil

SO much basil

SO much basil

1 1/2 Cups mozzarella

4 spinach and feta chicken sausages

8 oz ricotta cheese

2 tsp powdered garlic

1 tsp Italian seasoning blend

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

olive oil

Steam sausages in a fry pan with 1/2 inch of water with the lid on. Meanwhile, oil your lasagna pan. Mix the spinach and basil in a separate bowl. Drizzle with about 3 TB of olive oil. Toss to coat leaves evenly. Mix up the ricotta with the garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a separate bowl. When sausages are done steaming, remove them from the pan and to a cutting board. Slice the sausages into thin rounds. De-glaze the pan with water so fluid is 1/2 Cup.

Layer 1/3 spinach-basil mixture, noodles, ricotta mixture, noodles, 1/3 spinach-basil mixture, sausage, pan juices (pour over evenly), noodles, remaining 1/3 of spinach mixture, mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees F uncovered for about an hour, until the top is brown and the bubbles are the side are rapid. Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes before slicing.

Published in: on September 23, 2009 at 9:07 am  Leave a Comment  
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Beech Mushroom Risotto with Spinach

Discover mushrooms outside the buttons and bellas. Beech mushrooms are either white or brown. They are tiny and cute and the texture is the thing to go for. They grow in a little clump that you can pull or cut apart. I prefer to pull to keep the grain of the stems in tact.

Risotto gets a bad rap as a “hard” dish. It’s easy. Really freaking easy.

Make the broth:

1 Cup of quality stock or 1 bouillon cube in 1 Cup of water ( when I run out of stock I use a wonderful herb bouillon that is vegan and salt free)

3 Cups water

3 TB dried parsley flakes

1 TB granulated garlic

1 TB granulated onion

Put all the ingredients in a pan and heat on high. Stir them around a little.  While this warms up…

Measure 1 1/2 Cups of arborio rice into a 4 qt pan. Turn the heat to medium high. Pour 1 Cup of the broth mixture in and stir rapidly.  Now, a lot of risotto recipes will suggest that all these things are at a certain temperature and bubbling point… blah blah blah… it’s bogus.  Just add a half cup of broth and stir then add in another half cup when that is absorbed.

After adding the 3rd full cup of broth, stir in 8-12 oz of beech mushrooms. Break the colony up before you add them to the pan. They don’t separate easily once they start to cook. After adding the rest of the broth, stir in about 4 cups of baby spinach— that’s 3 good handfuls or one of the little bags of pre-washed. Don’t measure spinach. When in doubt, add more.

Stir all this together. The spinach will wilt down so much, I promise it will all fit. The risotto will look creamy and delicious. But wait! There’s more!

When nearly all the liquid is absorbed stir in the last 2 ingredients

1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese

2 TB butter

Previously, there was no added fat in the recipe. Traditional risotto is finished with butter and cheese. This makes the dish very creamy and cozy and contrasts the spinach well.

Cooks note for whole meal prep: When I add my first full cup of broth, I put my chicken on the grill. I flip my chicken after the 3 cup of broth and remove the chicken after I add butter to the risotto.

Published in: on August 31, 2009 at 11:25 am  Comments (1)  
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