Friday, July 23, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Primavera

This was so tasty! What a yummy dish to use up whatever fresh veggies you might have on hand from your garden, the farmers market or the grocery store. Try different veggies than the ones in the ingredients. I didn't put in any carrots or tomatoes, but added some green beans which roasted up really nicely too. This is a wonderful summer meal!

Roasted Vegetable Pasta Primavera

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini, cut into thin strips (I used 1 which was plenty)
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips (Also used only 1)
2 red or orange bell peppers, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 T dried Italian herbs
1 lb. bowtie pasta
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, Romano or Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss all of the veggies, except the tomatoes, with the oil, salt, pepper and herbs to coat. Transfer the veggie mixture onto 2 greased baking sheets. Bake until carrots are tender and vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total. While the vegetables are baking, cook pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Toss the pasta with the vegetables and cherry tomatoes, adding some of the cooking liquid if needed to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and a splash of balsamic vinegar if desired. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Moroccan-Style Chops

I'm always looking for something different to make and these pork chops were something different that turned out really tasty. The grilled meat had such a yummy, mildly spicy taste. Not hot, but Moroccan-style spicy :) I didn't make the sauce to go with them, but I'm sure that the cucumber-tomato sauce would have been a delicious addition to the grilled pork chops. I just knew hubby wouldn't touch the sauce. We loved the chops though!

Moroccan-Style Chops From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine
3/4 cup plain yogurt
3 T orange juice
2 T sliced green onion
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
8 lamb leg sirloin chops, cut 1" thick or 6 pork loin rib chops, cut 3/4" thick
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup plain yogurt
hot cooked couscous or rice
Fresh cilantro (optional)

For marinade, in a bowl, combine the 3/4 cup yogurt, orange juice, green onion, coriander, salt, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. Arrange chops in a shallow dish. Pour marinade over chops. Cover; marinate in refrigerator overnight.

For sauce, in a bowl combine onion, tomato, and cucumber; stir in the 1/2 cup yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until serving time.

Remove chops from marinade, reserving as much marinade as possible. Grill lamb chops over medium coals, uncovered for 14-16 minutes or to desired doneness, turning once and brushing often with marinade. For pork, grill, uncovered, directly over medium-hot coals for 12-14 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once and brushing often with marinade.

To serve, arrange chops on dinner plates with couscous or rice, if desired. Pass sauce. If desired, garnish each serving with cilantro.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Caramel-Banana Muffins

These muffins are so good! It is a unique recipe that I got from Midwest Living magazine and the combination of the crunchy pecans, the sweet caramel and the bananas is so tasty. They taste more like dessert than a breakfast food!

Caramel-Banana Muffins From Midwest Living Magazine
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 T sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 3-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 medium banana, peeled and mashed (1/2 cup)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 T caramel-flavored ice cream topping
1 medium banana, peeled and thinly sliced (optional)
1 T butter, melted

Line 12 regular size or 6 jumbo muffin cups with paper bake cups. In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 T sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter and 2/3 cup sugar with electric mixer until well combined. Add egg and beat well. Beat in the mashed banana and vanilla until combined.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the banana mixture, beating on low speed until just combined.

Stir in 1/4 cup of the pecan mixture. Spoon half the batter into prepared muffin cups (1 rounded tablespoon for regular size muffins, 2 for jumbo). Drizzle 1/2 tsp caramel topping over batter in each cup. Top with remaining batter. If you like, top each with 2 thin sliced additional bananas (I didn't do this step). Drizzle with a little melted butter and sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.

Bake in a 375 degree oven 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Serve warm, drizzled with more caramel topping, if you like.