Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil

On August 30, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Cavatelli is an often forgotten pasta. You probably don’t recall what it looks like when you see it on a menu, but when you see it you go “oh yes, I’ve had that before.”  It doesn’t have a familiar shape like bowtie, fusilli, or penne pasta. Cavatelli is great for sauces that are oil based, like this simple pasta dish that makes for a great lunch or quick dinner on any weekday.

Cavatelli with Vegetables and Olive Oil
Serves 4

1 lb Cavatelli pasta
1/4 cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1 bell pepper, small bite-size diced pieces
1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
fresh ground pepper to taste

Parmigiano Reggiano, additional to add to pasta for serving

Cook the cavatelli pasta in a pot of boiling water.  If using fresh, cook for 2-3 minutes. If cooking dried, follow the instructions on the package. Drain pasta when finished.

Pour half of the olive oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat. Add the red onion, garlic, and bell pepper cook for 3 minutes. Add the drained pasta to the saute pan, remaining olive oil, grape tomatoes and Parmigiano Reggiano then cook for a minute more.  Before serving add the Italian parsley and pepper.

Sprinkle each dish with Parmigiano Reggiano, if you desire, and serve with a piece of sourdough bread.

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Vegan Superfood Bowl for #SundaySupper

On July 4, 2015, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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Bowls are a great way to enjoy vegan cooking. They can include anything.  If you have some vegetables leftover from the prior weekend’s Farmer’s Market finds, a bowl is a fantastic way to use your remaining vegetables.  They’re also easy to travel with whether that includes a meal for lunch at work, a day at the beach, or to bring along for long road trip so you can avoid fast food.  Packing a vegan bowl is easy and simple.

This week I wanted to experiment a bit with dressing.  I also wanted to incorporate something known as superfood.

So what are superfoods?

I wondered that too and did a little research to learn more.

In it’s simplest form a superfood is basically any food that is good for your health.  Well that seems pretty broad and inline with most of what I eat. There must be more to it than that, right?  There is more. Foods that are dense in nutritional content are considered superfoods. Examples include ingredients like hemp seeds, chia seeds, seaweed, and many other foods are rich in nutrients in a compact size.

There is no agreed upon definition when it comes to superfoods. That issue has been a key criticism from many who are quick to attack the term superfood as simply a marketing term, chosen be a few savvy companies who use the term to sell products using a small amount of a superfood as a way into questionably better health.

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I’m not a nutritionist nor do I pretend to be one like The Food Babe.  I honestly don’t really care about the use of superfoods as a nutritional edge.  The reality is most of the superfood products use so little of the superfood ingredients that the benefit is likely very small, if there is any real benefit at all.  Even this recipe uses only a small of amount of superfoods like maca powder and hemp seeds.

What I do know is that the recipe here is good for you. It uses only real foods and is loaded with fresh, unprocessed, organic ingredients.  You really can’t go wrong with this dish.  Is it super?  Maybe.  I know it is super in taste and that’s what is most important to me and my family.

 

Vegan SuperFood Bowl
Server 4

2 cups dried farro
8 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

4 red beets, 1-inch diced cubes
1 purple bell pepper, cut into strips
2 japanese sweet potatoes, 1-inch diced cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch kale, rough chop
3 carrots, peeled and grated into long strips

For dressing

¼ cup almond butter
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven at 375 degrees.

Bring water to a boil and add dried farro and salt. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20-25 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed by the farro. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork while adding olive oil.

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Meanwhile, place the beat, jicama, and bell pepper on a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil and add salt and pepper. Place in preheated oven and cook for 20 minutes.   Remove from oven and set aside. Should be ready about the same time as the farro.

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Make the dressing by placing all ingredients, except the water, into a VitaMix or blender and blend. Add half the water and blend. Continue to blend and check consistency then add more water as necessary. It should not be watery or paste-like. You want a smooth and creamy dressing.

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Place a generous spoonful of cooked farro in each serving bowl. Add some chopped kale and carrots to each bowl. Then divide the roasted vegetables between bowls and keep ingredients separated. Drizzle the dressing in each bowl then serve with some rustic bread and butter.

Enjoy!

 


 

Want more great food that will travel recipes? Checkout this week’s Sunday Supper posts from some really great food bloggers.

Adventurous Appetizers

Destination Desserts

Mains in Motion

Sightseeing Sides

Traveling Treats

More Tips

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more greatSunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

 

 

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Bean Succotash

On October 6, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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One of my favorite food shows of recent is PBS’ The Mind of a Chef.  Season Two is now on Netflix and I am working my way through the season which features Southern Chef Sean Brock. It’s been a great second season especially after an amazing Season One staring David Chang.

The first episode shows Brock and another chef making a variation on succotash that uses boiled peanuts and ends with a lemon ricotta the mixture is pilled on top of.  It looked amazing and I figured I’d do a version of it after I found some fresh lima beans at the South Pasadena Farmers Market last week. I had also picked up some bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes and a hatch chili pepper.

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Whole Foods also had some fried shelled peanuts I used instead of boiled.  Overall, I liked how the dish turned out and would definitely make it again.  I even had leftovers and brought just the bean mixture, without the ricotta, to the beach and had it with some crackers for lunch.

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Bean Succotash
Serves 4

2 cups fresh lima beans
1 15 oz can of white beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shelled peanuts, fried or boiled
1 hatch chili or poblano, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons peanut oil
8 oz. fresh lemon ricotta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Place the hatch chili, tomatoes and bell pepper along with the olive oil into the oven at 400 degrees and roast for 45 minutes turning occasionally to get char marks around the pepper and chili.  Remove and let cool.

Cook the fresh lima beans in boiling water for 3 minutes.  Remove and place into a mixing bowl to cool.  Shell the peanuts and drain the white beans. Add the beans to the bowl and add the peanuts, except 1 tablespoon.  Crush the tablespoon of peanuts and add to the bowl.

Dice the roasted tomatoes, bell pepper and chili and add to the mixing bowl.  Add the peanut oil and toss in the bowl to mix adding some salt and pepper to taste.

Plate the dish by spooning out a circle of ricotta cheese and spoon on the bean and vegetable mixture.

NOTE: If not using lemon ricotta, just squeeze the juice of one lemon and mix with the ricotta before platting. You must use fresh ricotta, not the container stuff that has no flavor.

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Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake

On February 15, 2014, in Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a recipe from the kitchen. Sadly 2014 hasn’t been the year of focusing much on my blog as I planned. Perhaps this first post of 2014 will change that and get me back on track as there is so much going on as we are getting ready for the boys to turn 8 next week and I’ve been having fun trying some new dishes out too.

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This was a Pinterest find from my wife’s collection. There’s a wonderful simplicity in this dish and versatility. It could easily be made as a main course, like we did the past week, or used as a chip dip.  With loads of gooey cheese and vegetables mixed with quinoa and an enchilada sauce, the dish can be enjoyed several ways.

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Full Recipe: [Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake]

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#SundaySupper Louisiana Sloppy Joe’s

On September 9, 2012, in Featured, Recipes, by Chris Baccus
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It’s officially football season with the start of the NFL this past week and college football last weekend.  Whether you are hosting a tailgate, barbecue or just hanging out at home with family watching the game, food is an important part of football season.

One of my favorites is sloppy joe’s. However, I’m not a fan of the traditional ketchup and water flavored sloppy joe’s served by most places and found in just about every 1970’s cookbook. I prefer a bit more flavor and use tomato paste and dijon mustard along with with several spices.

For the meat, I went with J&J Grassfed beef that is sold here in California. They have a vendor at the South Pasadena Farmers’ Market I frequent most weeks.  The rest of the vegetables also came from the same Farmers’ Market.

Louisiana Sloppy Joe’sServes 4

1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups water
6 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the ground beef, onion, garlic and bell pepper over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until the meat is cooked.  Add everything else besides the water and bay leaf. Stir and cook together for about 2 minutes.  Add the water combining everything and then bringing to a gentle boil. Finally add the bay leaf then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Serve with hamburger buns, potato chips and some fruit.

Enjoy the game!

For more #SundaySupper Recipes this football season:

The Football Tailgating Menu Lineup

Pre Game Warm-ups:

On the Sidelines:

Main Events:

Overtime:

From the Cooler:

Wine Pairings by Wine Everyday

Please be sure you join us on Twitter all day for this special football season Sunday Supper Event. We’ll be chatting it up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll share our Football Tailgating Menu!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

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Moving to a new city has its challenges even if it is one you’ve lived in before, though 20 years ago. One challenge is finding where to buy local, grass-fed meat. The La Canada Farmers Market has one of the better reputation ranches at its event every Saturday morning.

Novy Ranch sounded similar to Burgundy Pasture Beef Ranch where we used buy our meats when we lived in Dallas. Both are smaller ranches that supply to some decent local restaurants and raise grass-fed Angus cattle.  So I was excited to finally get a chance to try Novy Ranch.

The vendor at the Farmers Market does not sell precut kabob meat; though, he recommended a lean steak that I later cut up into large cubes. The meat was promising. I’m not yet ready to say it is as excellent as Burgundy Pasture Beef, but it is a decent local choice that’s only 10 minutes from our house every Saturday morning.

Mint Marinated Beef Kebabs with Garlic Sauce
Serves 4

2 lbs kabob meat
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup packed mint, finely chopped
1 lemon, juice and zest
2 garlic cloves, finely diced

1 onion, large cuts
1 bell pepper, large cuts

Combine the oil, mint, lemon, and garlic in a shallow dish that you can cover to marinate the meat.  Place the meat in and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or throughout the day.

Heat grill to about 300 degrees. Combine the meat cuts alternating pieces of onion and bell pepper on kabob skewers. Place kabobs on grill and cook turning a few times for about 10 minutes.

Serve with rice, garlic sauce and even some hummus if you have some around like I did this evening.

Enjoy!

For the Garlic Sauce, I recommend this recipe: Garlic Sauce. However, today I went with an excellent store bought one from Fresh ‘N Nova found at our local Whole Foods.


For more #SundaySupper inspiration checkout the recipes from some great bloggers!

Labor Day Cookout Recipes:

Starters & Snacks

Main Dishes

Salads & Sides

Drinks

Desserts

Wine Pairings

  • Labor Day Cookout Food And Wine Pairings by ENOFYLZ

Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper. We’ll be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite cookout recipes!

All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us throughTweetChat!

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