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This summer is too hot for cooking. But a quick chop of veggies roasted for a few minutes in the oven, seasoned just right? Perfectly easy and delicious on a hot night.

roasted chickpea ratatouille _ raudette

Roasted Chickpea Ratatouille
via love and lemons

1 small eggplant (about 1.5 cups, cut into 1-inch cubes)
3 roma tomatoes, cut into 1 inch wedges
2 cups chopped zucchini/yellow squash
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 15 oz can chickpeas
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon white or red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
a few leaves of basil, sliced
(optional): cous cous, cooked millet or crusty bread on the side

Preheat oven to 425. Arrange the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, onions and chickpeas on a baking sheet (it’s ok if it’s a little crowded). Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat, then bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
Remove from oven. Drizzle the vinegar over the veggies and toss them with the minced garlic and a few pinches of red pepper flakes. Bake 5-10 minutes longer (or broil 1-2 minutes)… until the veggies are golden brown on the edges but still have somewhat of a bite (you don’t want them completely mushy). Remove from the oven and toss with sliced basil. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil, if you like. Serve with a grain or protein (pictured with cous cous).

Yum! Hubs whipped up this super easy and very delicious meal on a weeknight where I was needing a little TLC. I love the simplicity and bright, warm flavors. And the leftovers were great for days! I sliced up the chicken and ate it cold over the couscous for a refreshing and satisfying work lunch. Highly recommended for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

lemon parsley chicken with baked couscous_little spatula

Lemon Parsley Chicken with Baked Couscous
image and recipe via little spatula

3 chicken breasts
2 cups couscous
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, 1 zested
2 Tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly Ground pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place in heated skillet for 2 minutes per side. Add garlic and saute for an additional minute. Remove from heat. In a medium baking dish, place couscous with chicken broth, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste; stir to mix. Place chicken breasts on top of couscous mixture. Sprinkle with parsley and zest the lemon over dish. Place in oven for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Serve with additional lemon wedges.

Green Goddess. I never really tasted something that captured that for me until this dish. Lemony green goodness. I’m so looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. I imagine this is just as delicious cold as warm! I’ll be adding it to the list of possible pasta salads, coming to a summer BBQ near you!
{update: this is AWESOME cold and I will definitely be using it as a sauce on at least 10 summer pasta salads this year. Yum!}

broccoli feta pasta_raudette

Broccoli & Feta Pasta
via the kitchn

1 pound broccoli, trimmed and cut into large chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup feta cheese, divided
1 pound pasta

Cut the broccoli into small florets and steam on the stove or in the microwave with 2 tablespoons of water. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Set aside. Start your pasta water and cook to al dente (I cooked mine in the broccoli water).
While the pasta is cooking, heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Cook the onion and garlic until it just begins to soften then add the broccoli. Cook for several minutes or until the onion turns translucent. Add the parsley and cook until it’s well wilted. Pour in the lemon juice and simmer for about two minutes. Transfer to a blender and add 1/4 cup of the feta cheese and the 1/4 cup water. Puree until smooth, adding a drizzle of olive oil and a little more water if it sticks and turns to a lump. Puree until as smooth or chunky as you prefer. Taste and add any necessary additional salt and pepper. Serve over your pasta of choice with additional feta to taste.

Oh. My. I’ve always had a soft spot for sloppy joes, but mixing them up with taco flavor and toppings? Mind blown. And easily made vegetarian by swapping out the meat & chicken broth!

taco sloppy joes
Taco Sloppy Joes
via lemons for lulu

1 pound ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup chicken broth
14 ounces pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Sour Cream (and any other toppings you’d like!)
4 hamburger buns

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground turkey and cook until mostly brown. Add the diced onion and cook until the turkey has browned and the onion is translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and salt. Stir. Add broth and salsa. Stir. Add the beans and frozen corn. Reduce heat and cook for 10-15 minutes or until mixture has thickened.
Split each hamburger bun. Top each with turkey mixture, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, etc. Enjoy!

Finally! I’ve been meaning to try zucchini noodles for so long and after we finally picked up a spiralizer, I knew it was on. Love this for a meatless Monday! It’s rich and satisfying but not too heavy. Planned on making this with pork chops, but ended up just eating 2 giant bowls instead!

Creamy Red Pepper Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper & Chèvre Sauce
via GI365

2 roasted red peppers, about 8 ounces (fresh or jarred)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 pounds zucchini, ends cut off and spiralized or cut into ‘noodles’
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 ounces of soft goat cheese, (usually labeled chèvre)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

Add the 2 roasted bell peppers, 1 tablespoon olive oil, goat cheese and 1 teaspoon salt to the blender. Blend until smooth. For the zucchini noodles: heat a large, deep sided skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the olive oil, onion, and garlic; sauté for a minute or two until the onion is softened but not browned. Add the sea salt and zucchini noodles to the skillet and sauté using a pair of non-stick tongs to toss the noodles. Just as the zucchini noodles begin to soften, but before they start shedding water, add the sauce and cook just until the sauce is heated. Adjust the salt to your taste, and serve immediately with the freshly chopped parsley, grated parmesan, extra goat cheese, and freshly ground black pepper.

Coming home to this delicious meal after an exhausting day was so wonderful. I read recently about a chef that always keeps sausage in the fridge or freezer because it’s the perfect way start to any simple dish, packed with flavor. We ate this as is, but I bet it would be great served with rice or polenta! This recipe has plenty of kick, but I’m thinking about adding a few extra veggies, like bell peppers next time. Yum!

black beans and sausage

Black Beans and Sausage
via martha stewart

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound kielbasa or other smoked sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 medium carrots, diced small
2 shallots, diced small
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for serving
1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream), for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add sausage and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add carrots and shallots to skillet and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add black beans and broth and bring mixture to a boil. Add sausage, reduce heat to a rapid simmer, and cook until carrots are tender, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Serve with more parsley and a dollop of yogurt.