Tag Archives: basil

Spaghetti 2.0

13 Oct

IMG_1969Sometimes traditional recipes just need a little nutritional upgrade that doesn’t downgrade the flavor. Mangia!

Ingredients:

1 spaghetti squash

5 cloves garlic, skin on

4 heads of broccoli

1 lb ground bison (can also use grass-fed beef or turkey)

1 small yellow onion, diced

24 oz jar tomato sauce (I like Bionaturae brand)

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried basil

1/2 tsp sea salt

20 turns cracked black pepper

optional garnish: toasted squash seeds, fresh basil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°. Cut the top stem and bottom off of the spaghetti squash, then cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds (rinse and pat dry for later if you want to toast them), coat the skin with olive oil and lay each half cut side up on a baking pan. Also, coat the garlic cloves (skin on) in olive oil and place them on the sheet too. Roast for 20 minutes.

2. While the squash is roasting, chop the broccoli into florets and steam in a steam basket for 15 minutes. Remove and rinse with cold water to cool.

3. About now the timer will go off on the squash and garlic. Remove the roasted garlic and place the squash back in the oven for an additional 20-25 minutes or until done.

4. Then, brown bison (or meat of choice) in a large skillet pan. Drain grease. Peel the cooled garlic, mince it and add it to the skillet along with the diced onion, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Allow the squash to cool while the meat sauce is still simmering. Once cooled, use a fork to remove the spaghetti-like strands. Plate the spaghetti, then broccoli and top with the meat sauce. Add additional toppings such as the toasted squash seeds (the toasting method is described in this recipe) or fresh basil.

Serves 4-6

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Basil Walnut Pesto (pine nut and dairy-free)

23 Jun
Pesto!

Pesto!

Basil. Honestly, what’s not to love? Now is the perfect time to enjoy this beautifully blooming herb. I love it chopped fresh on sautéed vegetable salads and I love it in pesto. Since I’m allergic to pine nuts and dairy gives me a less-than-desired pubescent complexion, I opt for my own rendition–skipping the dairy, lessening the oil (most pestos are too oily for my taste) and adding in walnuts. Enjoy it drizzled on fresh vegetables, in place of salad dressing and topped on grilled chicken or scrambled eggs.

 

Ingredients:

1 cup walnut pieces

1/4 tsp garlic powder or 3 cloves finely minced

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 1/2 cups fresh basil

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lemon, juiced

 

Directions:

1. Place walnuts, garlic, sea salt and 1/2 of the olive oil in a food processor. Blend until smooth.

2. Add basil, the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice to the walnut mixture. Blend until smooth. Add more olive oil, salt and garlic powder if you need to reach your desired taste and consistency.

 

For more ways to eat healthfully and deliciously, visit my recipe page.

Fresh Herbs Any Thyme

23 Sep
My very own green goddesses.

My very own green goddesses.

I love going out to my garden and picking fresh cilantro for guacamole or basil for homemade pizza sauce. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have fresh herbs all year long to dress up your favorite dish? Here are some tips for year round herbs that trump grocery store dried varieties any day of the week.

Indoor Garden. Many herbs like oregano, marjoram, chives, basil, cilantro, thyme, mint, rosemary and lavender do wonderful indoors if started from seed or a starter plant. Invest in good potting soil and a nice clay pot (plastic doesn’t work well). Keep these green beauties trimmed, well watered and cozy in bright direct light and warm temps above 60°. If you are looking at bringing the outdoors in, it is best to transplant your herbs in September before the first frost hits. Cilantro and basil do not work well as transplant herbs, but the others do just fine. Again, place them in clay pots with good potting soil and slowly acclimate them to lower light levels before moving them indoors for good.

Dry Out. My dad dried basil last winter and it worked beautifully! All you need is some string and brown paper bags. First, clean and pat dry the herbs keeping leaves on the stems. Once herbs are dry, tie the stems together, place them in a paper bag and hang them upside down to dry for 4-6 weeks. Pick the dried leaves off the stem and place them in a tightly sealed container. Do not crush the leaves until you are ready to use them in your recipe. Crushing them will release their aromatic oils which adds all of the flavor and aroma to your tasty dishes.

Freeze In Fat. Freezing your herbs in a fat such as olive oil helps preserve the lovely oils that add so much flavor to your wintry stews. For this method, you’ll want to pick the leaves off the stems, wash and dry them in a salad spinner or pat dry with a paper towel. Place the leaves in a food processor with olive oil (1/3 cup olive oil for every 2 cups of leaves). Process the herbs until they are finely chopped and place 1 cup of the herb-oil mixture into a 1-quart zip-top bag and lay the bag flat in the freezer so the mixture will freeze in a nice, even layer. Use within 6 months by cutting off as much of the herb oil you need for pestos, soups, stews, salad dressings, hummus and more.

Farmer’s Market Frittata

5 Aug

IMG_1665Frittatas are my lazy answer to healthy and inexpensive cooking. I throw in everything but the farmer in this protein, vegetable and fiber packed dish. Got something from your local CSA and you have no clue what it is? Chop it up and throw it in a frittata. Why not?

Ingredients:

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, sliced

4 baby zucchini, diced

2 carrots, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb spinach, chopped (or 1 lb package frozen chopped spinach, thawed)

2 T fresh basil, chopped

1 T fresh oregano, chopped

10 free range eggs

8 egg whites, free range eggs (or 1 carton of organic 100% liquid egg whites)

black pepper to taste

sea salt to taste

coconut oil

Directions:

1. Sauté bell peppers, green onions, zucchini, carrots and garlic in coconut oil for 5-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Use coconut oil to grease an 9×13 glass baking dish. (That’s right, this is a super lazy frittata. No fancy “cooking it on the stove, then placing it in the oven.” Some may categorize this as an “egg bake.”). Preheat oven to 325°.

3. Whisk eggs and egg whites together. Add remaining ingredients, making sure sautéed vegetables have cooled so they don’t cook the eggs. Pour into glass dish.

4. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

5. Enjoy plain or serve topped with sliced tomatoes, avocado, kalamata olives or a touch of goat cheese.

Serves 4-6

Recipe courtesy of Stephanie Bell