Leftover Avocados ?… Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Sometimes I am terrible at judging how much produce to buy, I usually err on the side of too much. This has happened to me several times with avocados. Avocados have such a short window of perfect ripeness so I am sometimes forced to make something on the fly with my extras. This is how this recipe happened today at lunch. Now I may purposely buy too many avocados so that I can treat myself to this decadent creamy dish more often. Also depending on what type of pasta you use this dish is vegan friendly, and if your not vegan and/or don’t have almond milk in the house you can easily substitute cow’s milk.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

1 avocado peeled, and chopped, pit removed

3 T almond or cow’s milk

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/3 c grape tomatoes halved

2 c cooked pasta of your choice

more salt and pepper to taste

Place the avocado, milk, garlic, and salt in pepper in a bowl and blend into a puree with a hand held blender, or toss those ingredients into a regular blender until smooth. Toss with warm drained pasta and tomatoes, season with desired amount of salt and pepper and serve.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Easy comfort food with a kick !

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

2 lbs ground beef (use turkey or chicken if desired)

1/2 c chopped yellow onion

1/4 c chopped green pepper

2 t minced garlic

1 12 oz bottle of chili sauce ( I used Heinz)

1 6 oz can tomato paste

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T hot sauce

1/2 t salt

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t dried oregano

1 t mustard

1/2 c water

Brown ground beef with onions peppers and garlic over med high until meat is cooked through. drain off excess fat or liquid if needed. add chili sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, salt, cayenne, oregano and mustard, stir to combine and heat through, add water and stir. Turn heat down to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Serve on toasted buns, add arugula and shredded cheddar if desired.

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

Homemade Spicy Sloppy Joes

 

**Leftovers make great nachos, heat, spread on tortilla chips and sprinkle with cheese and sour cream

Fig, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese TOasts

Fig, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Toasts

 

I love figs, I didn’t used to. I thought all figs tasted like Fig Newtons. Then I tried a fresh fig, delicious, juicy and just the right amount of sweetness to be the perfect accompaniment to any kind of cheese. Unfortunately they are hard to find around here so when I do I buy some. I found them at Fresh Market the other day and made this delicious appetizer. I would also be great with a salad for a light, vegetarian dinner or lunch.

1 loaf French Bread

6 figs sliced into 1/4 ‘ pieces

1 c crumbled goat cheese

1/3 c pistachios crushed

2-3 T olive oil

2 T honey

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, slice the bread in half horizontally. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush with olive oil, sprinkle on the goat cheese and then place the figs on top and sprinkle with pistachios. Place in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes 0r until cheese starts to melt. remove from oven and drizzle with honey. Cut into slices for appetizers or halves for meal portions.

Fig, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Toasts

Fig, Pistachio, and Goat Cheese Toasts

 

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

This is a simple soup with natural ingredients that is big on flavor. Perfect for lunch or with a sandwich or salad at dinner. It is also vegan/vegetarian so it is a meatless Monday favorite.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

2t olive oil

1 yellow onion chopped

4 clove garlic chopped

6 cups sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 2″x 2″ pieces

4 c water

1/2 t dried Chipotle Powder ( found in the spice aisle, a little goes a long way )

1 lime zest and juice

1 t salt

Fresh herbs or arugula for topping if desired.

Heat oil in a 2 1/2 quart sauce pan over med high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes. Add potatoes, water, salt, lime juice, lime zest and chipotle powder. bring to a simmer, cover and cook 30-40 minutes. Let cool slightly by removing from heat. Add to blender in 2 batches if necessary and puree. Add back to pan and keep on low until ready to serve. Add chopped herbs or arugula if desired.

Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Pea Soup with Mint and Feta

Light and perfect for Spring. Great as lunch with a salad or a grilled cheese sandwich.

Pea Soup with Feta and Mint

2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 cups frozen peas

1/4 cup cream

1 T chopped shallots

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 T chopped mint

1-2 T crumbled Feta cheese

In a sauce pan bring broth to a simmer, add peas and shallot continue to cook for 4–5  minutes or until peas are cooked, add chopped mint, lemon juice and cream, cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and puree in blender. Re heat in pan if necessary.  Ladle into bowls and add crumbled feta. Makes 4 appetizer or 2 main course servings.

IMG_7389

 

Cheesy Poblano, Sausage and Grits Casserole

 

This casserole is great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner or for a potluck, don’t like it spicy, then use green peppers instead of poblanos.

Cheesy Poblano, Sausage and Grits Casserole

4 c water

1 cup grits (not instant or quick)

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 c grated sharp cheddar

1/2 c butter

2 eggs beaten

4 poblano peppers roasted and skin and seeds removed, cut into 4ths

1 package of smoked sausage cut into 1 ” rounds

1/4 c sliced green onions

In a large pan boil water, add grits and salt and stir, cover and reduce heat to low, cook for 5 minutes. Let cool slightly, add 2 c grated cheese, 2 eggs (slowly so they do not scramble, and butter, stir. Add 1/3 grit mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 pan, Layer the poblanos on to of the grits

Cover with another 1/3 of the grits and then a layer of the smoked sausage.

 

Cover with the remaining grits and then top with 1/2 c cheese and the green onions.

Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees, let cool to room temp before cutting if you want it to be cut into squares, if not the casserole will be runny (still delicious though, just serve with a spoon).

 

Perfect Tuna Salad, My Favorite Lunch

I know this is not glamorous or creative but it is the my go to lunch that I crave. It is delicious on bread or as shown here a top salad greens.

Perfect Tuna Salad

1 can of tuna drained ( spring water or oil is fine)

1/4 c mayo

1T red wine vinegar

1 hardboiled egg chopped

1 stalk celery chopped

2 T chopped onion

1/2 t dried dill

2-3 cups salad greens

cherry tomatoes (optional)

salt and pepper

Combine tuna, mayo, vinegar, egg, celery, dill and onion in a med bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on top of greens with tomatoes as shown or on any bread as a sandwich.

Pinspired: Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

I was looking for a starter to bring to a barbecue at my in-laws. It’s August and its hot as can be here in Florida so I didn’t want to do anything that required an oven. I was stumped so I went on to Pinterest,  and reviewed my boards, I had pinned this Summer Roll recipe from Williams-Sonoma awhile back. It seemed perfect but I have never made Summer rolls before, never used rice paper, so I had my reservations. I couldn’t come up with anything else though so I decided to go for it. I am glad I did. I have to say as long as you prep all the ingredients before hand and follow the instructions it’s pretty easy and the rice paper is much more forgiving that I thought it would be. My husband even rolled a few and had no trouble and he is not a patient man. They were so fresh and delicious, I will be making these again, and again. My only snag was my neighborhood supermarket was out of rice paper ( normally my market has it by the pre-made sushi/fish counter). I had to take a trip to the Asian market, but that was fine, they were super friendly and had several different kinds, their prices were cheaper than the supermarket too.

Cucumber and Avocado Summer Rolls

For the dipping sauce:

juice from 1/2 lime

2 T canola oil

2 T rice wine vinegar

1/2 Dijon mustard

1/2 soy sauce

1 t brown sugar

1/4 t red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl

For the Rolls:

1 package rice paper rounds (I used about 12)

1 head green leaf lettuce, washed, leaves left whole (not iceberg or romaine hearts, it needs to be soft and flexible)

1 bunch basil

1 bunch mint

about 2 c matchstick carrots (or carrots and shred them yourself)

2 haas avocados peeled and diced

2 T lime juice

1/4 t salt

1 english cucumber peeled and cut into matchstick like strips

Prep all vegetables. put into piles or bowl for easy access. For the avocado, toss with lime juice and salt to prevent browning. To cut the cucumber, cut into 4 pieces and then slice into planks

turn on its side

and then cut into thin strips

Get a large sallow pie plate or bowl and fill with warm water, must be big enough to submerge whole sheet of rice paper. Place a clean kitchen towel in front of the water and all prepped ingredients next to it. (I had not yet chopped my avocado in this picture)

Submerge 1 sheet of rice paper into water until pliable, place on towel, submerge 2nd sheet and place directly on top. Each roll will have a double ply of rice paper. Then Place one lettuce leaf on top of paper (tearing if needed to fit) the Horizontally , one row of carrots, one row of cucumber and one row of avocado, then place 2 mint and 2 basil leaves on top.

lift bottom edge of rice paper up and over the filling and roll once to make a tight cylinder. If paper sticks to towel, use water to wet fingers and gently pull off. Fold in the sides of the paper and continue to roll into a cylinder shape, place seam side down on a platter and continue rolling the rest of the rolls, place a wet paper towel between layers to prevent sticking.

Cut on the bias and serve with dipping sauce.

Pappardelle Pasta with Peas, Ricotta, and Mint

This is a quick, easy, and light pasta dish. Delicious as a weeknight dinner, a great addition to a brunch or terrific meatless option. If you want to please your meat eaters, try adding, crispy bacon, ham or prosciutto at the end.

1 package pappardelle pasta ( or your favorite shape)

1/2 to 1 c reserved pasta cooking water

1 1/2 c ricotta cheese

1 c frozen peas

2 T fresh mint

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t salt

crumbled ricotta salata or shaved parmesan for topping

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions, reserving 1 c pasta water before draining. Add ricotta, peas, mint and lemon juice to a food processor and pulse until combined, stir in salt and pepper.

Toss ricotta mixture and pasta together, add reserved cooking liquid 1/4 cup at a time until sauce is desired consistency. Serve topped with crumbled ricotta salata or shaved parmesan.