Avocado Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, and Fromage Blanc

You may think that pasta with summer squash doesn’t sound very seasonal. But somehow in the Bay Area, it is! My garden is still growing tomatoes and squash, even if not at a very fast rate.

I was craving this bright pasta, not only because it’s delicious, but I love that the colors are aligned with the holidays. It’s basically a present to anyone’s tummy because, for one thing, the avocado sauce is phenomenal.

If you have time to make this 30-minute pasta during this crazy holiday week, I highly recommend it! If summer squash isn’t available, you can use zucchini.

Pro Tip: Feel free to substitute queso fresco or greek yogurt for fromag blanc.

Avocado Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, and Fromage Blanc

Time: 30 Minutes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1 lb small summer squash or zuchinni, quartered vertically, sliced into ¼-inch wide wedges
1 tbsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
4 tsp garlic, roughly chopped, divided
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup basil or epazote leaves, packed
4 garlic cloves, whole
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1 cup fromage blanc
4 green onions, light and dark green parts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
24 oz fresh pappardelle pasta
Pecorino cheese, for grating

To Garnish
Basil leaves, roughly chopped
Red pepper flakes
Grated pecorino cheese

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add tomatoes, squash, thyme, and 3 tsp garlic to a baking sheet in a single layer. Toss with 2 tbsp olive oil to combine. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Roast vegetables for 25 minutes, turning halfway through, and continue cooking until the tomatoes have burst and the squash is tender.

In a small saucepan, heat ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, basil leaves, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes over very low heat (below a simmer) for about 20 minutes, until the garlic is golden. Allow basil oil to cool.

Add avocado, fromage blanc, 2 tbsp olive oil, green onions, 1 tsp chopped garlic, lemon juice, ½ lemon zest, and ½ tsp kosher salt to a food processor. Pulse until the sauce is smooth.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pappardelle and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Return pasta to the pot.

To the pasta, gently stir in the avocado sauce, basil oil, and roasted vegetables. Add ¼ cup reserved pasta water at a time if necessary to thin the sauce.

Add pasta to plates and garnish with chopped basil leaves, red pepper flakes, and pecorino cheese.


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Cheesy Chickpea Pasta with Spring Greens, Tomatoes, and Olives

What's better than making pasta with your own olive oil and home cured olives? Not much! Except maybe making pasta with garden grown spring greens and red pepper flakes. In another year or two, our caper plant might even produce fruit, which will make this recipe homemade times a million!

Last Christmas, my family and I went out olive picking near my sister's house in an abandoned orchard along Folsom, CA's Pioneer Express Trail. Between the six of us who foraged for these Mission olives, we picked at least 40 pounds, and didn't even make a dent in any of the lush trees! My husband Adrian and I took half of the bounty, determined to cure olives successfully for the first time and make our own oil.

After week of some intense labor where we pitted olives by hand for days, Adrian fashioned his own olive oil press, and we processed every last olive we picked! By the end of January, we had a few jars of the yummiest olives and olive oil, although a little less oil than we hoped. Next year we'll just buy a press!

The whole process was quite a labor of love, but we are so proud to be able to use our olives and oil in our home cooking. 

My pasta recipe below was the perfect medium for our homemade/homegrown ingredients. I used Banza's chickpea rotini pasta, which is gluten-free, and was actually very impressed how well their pasta mimics wheat pasta! The chickpeas add tons of additional protein and fiber and have less net carbohydrates than traditional pasta. [Full disclosure: Banza sent me free product to sample]. An addition of spring greens from my garden (kale rabe, kale greens, and watercress) made this pasta not only extremely yummy, but pretty darn healthy!

Whether or not you're making this recipe with your own home-cured olives, you will certainly enjoy it! The flavors are on point and the pasta is so very comforting.

Cheesy Chickpea Pasta with Spring Greens, Tomatoes, and Olives

Time: 20 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 oz Banza Chickpea Rotini
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (28 oz) can whole peeled tomatoes
2 oz canned anchovies in olive oil
½ cup mission olives, halved, or Kalamata olives
3 tbsp capers
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
8 oz mixed spring greens, such as kale, rapini, watercress
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated, divided

Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add rotini and cook until al dente, about 6-7 minutes. Drain and return the rotini to the pot. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, anchovies with oil, olives, capers, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Simmer the sauce for four minutes, crushing the tomatoes with a spoon. Slowly add spring greens to the sauce and stir until all of the greens have wilted. 

Transfer pasta to the skillet and gently toss with ¾ cup parmesan cheese. Reduce heat to low and stir until pasta and cheese are well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.

Serve pasta in bowls and garnish with remaining parmesan cheese.


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Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Tofu with Bok Choy

Aren't stir-fry recipes the best?! I love them because you have all of your ingredients prepped and ready, and then you toss them into the pan for a few minutes, and bam! Dinner is done!

I wanted to go vegetarian for my weeknight stir-fry recipe this week. Knowing that mushrooms and tofu make for amazing meat substitutes, that are healthy to boot, I added them to the mix with all of my favorite ingredients from Chinese cuisine, including five-spice, mirin, and sesame oil. Served over a bed of rice, with bok choy, this is definitely a stir-fry recipe to hit the spot!

Stir-Fried Mushrooms and Tofu with Bok Choy

Time: 25 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 tsbp hoisin
2 tsbp sesame oil, divided
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp five-spice powder
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
12 oz cremini or shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
14 oz tofu, drained, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch Chinese chives, roughly chopped
8 birdseye chilies (optional)
3/4 lb bok choy, stemmed
1 tbsp peanut oil
Steamed rice, to serve

Directions
In a large bowl, stir together light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, mirin, hoisin, 1 tbsp sesame oil, honey, five-spice powder, ginger, and garlic. Add mushrooms, tofu, chives, and birdseye chilies, and stir to combine. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

Add 4 cups water 1 tbsp sesame oil to a large wok or Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add bok choy and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until bok choy is still crisp, but tender. Transfer to a platter and toss with hoisin sauce. Keep warm.

Wipe out the wok and heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and tofu mixture and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender. 

Serve stir-fry with bok choy over steamed rice. 

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Koshary: Egyptian Rice, Pasta, and Lentils with a Tomato Garlic Sauce

Egyptian Koshary! I love to travel through food because I can’t possibly travel around the world as much as I want to. One of my Instagram friends is an aspiring chef from Egypt. We talk about food often and he’s as passionate as anyone about cooking. So when he asked me to make Egypt’s most famous street food, it was a no brainer. This stuff is full of carbo-loading deliciousness, and is also vegan! Although Adrian did try it with a fried egg, and that was super delicious as well. I definitely plan to eat this a few nights in a row before a race if I ever run another marathon again, haha. But it’s also bringing back some memories from Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations episode in Cairo, and between that imagery and this good stuff,  I feel like I"m almost there, right now. Many thanks to my buddy for the suggestion! 

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Koshary: Egyptian Rice, Pasta, and Lentils with Tomato Garlic Sauce

Time: 1 Hour
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained
4 tbsp vinegar, divided
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup basmati rice, washed to remove excess starch
2 oz spaghetti
1 cup macaroni
1 cup brown (or green) lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups canola oil
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, minced
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Directions
Add chickpeas, 2 tbsp vinegar, coriander, cayenne, cumin, and ginger to a large bowl. Stir to combine and set aside.

Prepare your rice in a rice cooker, or alternatively, in a medium saucepan, bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add basmati rice and stir. When water returns to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cover for 15 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork and transfer to chickpea mixture, stirring to combine. 

While rice cooks, combine lentils and 4 cups water in a medium saucepan with 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer stirring occasionally, until lentils are al dente and almost tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and transfer to bowl with rice and chickpea mixture. Stir to combine.

Bring a pot of boiling salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and macaroni, and boil for 9-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, add flour and season with salt and pepper. Lightly coat onion slices in flour and set aside on another plate. 

In a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion slices and fry in batches until brown and crisp, being careful not to overcrowd skillet. Remove from skillet with tongs and blot on paper towels. Set onions aside and reserve 2 tbsp oil.

Heat reserved oil in another medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add minced onion and cook until soft, about 6 minutes. Add tomato sauce and vinegar and simmer until sauce reduces, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide pasta between bowls. Top with rice, lentil, and chickpea mixture. Ladle over tomato sauce and garnish with fried onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and maybe even a little extra vinegar if you’re into that! Oh, and maybe a little chili garlic sauce or sriracha :)

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Ethiopian Yellow Split Peas with Kale & Spicy Red Lentils

 

I’m not sure if I’ve said this already, but I really LOVE Ethiopian cuisine. Okay, maybe I did tell you in an earlier post [HERE], but I can’t express my crazy addicted love for it enough. One thing I like best is that the vegetarian dishes, which are vegan when omitting the spiced butter or substituting with vegan cheese in the salad, are just as yummy as the meat dishes.

So below I present to you Misir Wot and Kik Alicha, two dishes I like to cook side by side. While split peas may be a dish you hated as a child, know that these are the delicious gourmet kind, cooked in a lovely turmeric onion sauce. I added kale because there’s a lot growing in my garden, and it’s always fun to add extra greens when possible. But who doesn’t love spicy red lentils? Misir Wot’s flavors are actually really similar to Doro Wot (Chicken in a Berbere Sauce with Hard Boiled Eggs), and you won’t miss the lack of meat at all.

What about the protein content, you might ask? Oh, that’s right. The protein in split peas is highly absorbable and red lentils aren’t half bad! Combine them with injera, which is made from the Teff, and your amino acid profile is even more complete. Plus, by eating legumes, you’re upping your fiber, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium intake, while lowing your intake of saturated fat! Eating yummy legumes like these will go a long way to lead you to good health.

Are you ready for the recipes yet? I’m already hungry for these dishes again, even though I only devoured them a few hours ago! Don’t forget to visit my earlier post link above for tips on acquiring some of the ingredients and making your own injera!

 

Misir Wot, Spicy Ethiopian Lentils

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 yellow onions, finely minced
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
½ cup olive oil
3 to 5 tbsp berbere spice mix (less for mild)
½ cup diced or crushed tomatoes
1 cup dried red lentils, sorted and rinsed
4 cups water
½ tsp Ethiopian Cardamom
½ tsp salt
1 tsp Niter Kibbeh (Ethiopian spiced butter), optional
4 to 5 Injera rounds (Ethiopian bread), for serving

Directions
Heat a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and sweat without oil and being careful to not over-stir, for about 10 minutes. Cook onions until golden brown, lowering heat if necessary. Stir in garlic and ginger and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add olive oil and berbere, and sauté over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until the mixture reaches a paste consistency.

Stir in tomatoes, lentils, and ½ cup water to the onion mixture and bring to a simmer. Over a 15-minute period, add about ½ cup of water every 2 minutes, until all 4 cups of water are absorbed. Lower heat and cover, simmering about 10 minutes longer. Add cardamom and salt.

Test the lentils for doneness. Continue to cook about 10-20 minutes longer, until lentils are soft, but not overcooked. Remove from heat and serve over injera!

 

Kik Alicha with Kale

Adapted from Ethiopian Fire & Spice by Fetlework Tefferi
Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

Ingredients
2 cups yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
1 cup yellow onions, chopped
1/3 cup hot water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tbsp ginger, minced
½ tsp Alicha Kimem, optional
½ tsp turmeric
½ bunch kale, sliced into 1-inch strips
2 tbsp garlic (5-7 cloves), minced
4 to 5 spices Injera (Ethopian bread), for serving

Directions
Soak split peas in hot water for 15 minutes.

Sweat onions on low heat in a covered saucepan for 2 minutes. Do not over-stir. Add 1/3 cup of hot water, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes. Add water and olive oil, and sauté for 3 minutes longer.

As the water evaporates, continue to make sure the onions do not dry up or change color. Add ¼ cup hot water, 1 tbsp ginger, and a pinch of the turmeric. The sauce should have a soup like consistency. Keep covered and continue to cook for 4 minutes.

Add the split peas and mix well into the sauce. Add 2 cups of hot water, cover, and cook. After about 2 minutes, when the split peas are tender, add alicha kimem for additional flavor. Add garlic and the remaining 1 tbsp ginger. Stir the peas, scraping the bottom of the pan to avoid sticking. Add water as needed. Add remaining turmeric, reduce heat to medium. Cover and continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the peas are tender. Stir frequently, ad make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

Slow Cooker Indian-Style Black Eyed Peas with Coconutty Green Beans

 

I love slow cooking on occasion with recipes that really hold up well in my Crock-Pot. I’m usually inspired on mornings when I have a little time on my hands (like an extra 20 minutes to prep the ingredients and wash the dishes utilized), and I know my night will be either super busy, or one where I want to just sit back, relax, and worry little about cooking.

These Slow Cooked Indian-style black-eyed peas hold up really well in a Crock Pot! They are vegan, delicious, and just the right amount of spicy. The coconutty green beans on the side are an added bonus (nearly as good as your Christmas bonus each year), and perfect served with steamed jasmine rice and naan (if you have the calorie budget for it). I ran 9 miles this morning, so my plate was pretty full, but from my estimated dietitian guess, I think this whole platter has less than 650 calories. So plan this next week on one of your less busy mornings, if you get a chance, so that you have a little less cooking to do than usual in the evening.

 

Slow Cooker Indian-Style Black Eyed Peas with Coconut Green Beans

Hands on Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 7 Hours
Serves 8-10

Black-Eyed Peas
2 medium tomatoes
3 cups dried black-eyed peas
4 medium serrano chilis, halved
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp light brown sugar
8 cups water
1 14 oz can unsweetened coconut milk (light if preferred)
1/4 bunch cilantro, leaves roughly chopped, for garnish
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve (optional)
Naan, to serve (optional)

Coconutty Green Beans
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1 bunch fresh French-cut green beans
1.5 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne chili powder

Directions
Heat a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, prepare an ice-water bath. Cut an X on the bottom of each tomato and add to water, boiling for about 45-60 seconds, until fully blanched, and skins appear loose. Add tomatoes to ice-water bath and peel and quarter when cool.

In a food processor, combine tomatoes, serranos, garlic, onion, and ginger and process to a fine paste.

Spread out black eyed peas on a large cookie sheet or platter and sort through. Add to colander and wash thoroughly.

Add black-eyed peas, onion-chili paste, salt, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and sugar to a 5-quart slow cooker. Pour water over and cook on high for 6 hours. Test for doneness, add coconut milk, and keep warm (or cook a little longer on high, uncovered, if needed) while preparing remaining ingredients.

Prepare green beans by adding olive oil to a medium skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 5-6 minutes, until soft. Stir in green beans, cover, and cook for 10 more minutes.

Remove lid from skillet and add shredded coconut, salt, turmeric, and cayenne. Add additional olive oil if needed, stir occasionally, and saute for 10 minutes, until greens are tender and dark green.

Ladle black-eyed peas over rice with green beans and naan on the side.

Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Chilies and Corn

 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the healthiest tacos you have ever seen! These vegetarian tacos with mushrooms, corn, and chili peppers are tasty and full of textures that will please even the most stubborn meat eater. You can probably taste the flavor from here, but if you’re not sure, these tacos have all that roasted yumminess you’d expect with an additional scrumptious bite from the corn and mushrooms.

Adrian and I left a note on our recipe a while back that these tacos are also the most gourmet tacos that we make, and we still agree. So now it’s your turn to tell me, are these on your list for Taco Tuesday yet? It’s only Friday now, so you have plenty of time to prepare!

 

Mushroom Tacos with Roasted Chilies and Fresh Corn

Serves 4
Time: 30 Minutes

Ingredients
3 Anaheim and/or poblano chili peppers
1 poblano chili, charred over gas flame, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 ear corn, kernels removed from cob (about 1 cup)
Olive oil, about 2 tbsp, divided
Sea salt
1/2 white onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, minced
12 corn tortillas
6 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed, roughly chopped
1 tbsp fresh epazote leaves, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup feta, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup Roasted tomato salsa, divided
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
Char chilies over gas burner on all sides. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool. Peel (do not wash) and cut into 1/2 inch dice.

In a small bowl, add corn, 1 tsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

Heat a large dutch oven or heavy skillet over high heat. Spread out corn in pan and roast for about 30 seconds until slightly blackened. Set corn kernels aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, and reserved chilies and saute, until onions are soft and begin to brown, about 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, lightly fry corn tortillas and blot on paper towels.

Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil to the same pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add the reserved chilies, corn, and feta, and stir in epazote. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, spoon about 1/4 cup vegetables onto each tortilla. Dollop with salsa, cilantro, and garnish with parmesan. Serve immediately.

Purple Cauliflower Soup

 

Utilizing different varieties of every day foods can mix things up and make cooking more fun and enjoyable. Case in point: Purple Cauliflower Soup! I eyed four different varieties of cauliflower at the store last week with colors ranging from white, to yellow, to green, and purple. Without having a recipe in mind, I grabbed the purple variety without hesitation because I felt like I needed more anthocyanins in my diet at that moment. We all know that feeling when we’re yearning for one pigment over another, right?

Haha, okay, so if you don’t know what anthocyanins are, they’re a pigment that belongs to the flavanoid class of molecules, and tend to make foods look red or purple (think blackberries or cranberries). But what’s really cool about them is that they might be antioxidants and could potentially fight cancer. We don’t have enough studies to prove this yet, but at least know that eating different varieties of fruits and vegetables can provide you with diverse chemical compounds to keep you healthy in the long run.

Want to know the coolest thing about my recipe below? Sprinkling lemon causes a chemical reaction that transforms the anthyocyanin pigment from purple to pink! So if you have kids (or just want to entertain the child within you), have fun getting a little artsy at home with this easy, delicious, and absolutely healthy meal!

 

Purple Cauliflower Soup

Time: 50 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 large head purple cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 medium shallots, chopped
5 garlic cloves, chopped
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea salt, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon, to garnish
Olive oil, to garnish
Smoked paprika, to garnish
Chives, to garnish

Directions
In a large saucepan or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Add cauliflower, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered for 25-35 minutes, or until cauliflower is soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Puree soup immediately with an immersion blender or let soup cool for a few minutes before pureeing in batches with a food processor or a conventional blender. Ladle soup into bowls and serve with drizzled lemon, olive oil, smoked paprika, freshly ground pepper, and snipped chives.

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Tacos Los Tres Amigos

 

I’m calling this recipe Tacos Los Tres Amigos because I like consuming tacos in threes. Sometimes I go over my calorie allotment and just eat a little less for my next meal. And that’s totally okay! It’s adapted from a delicious recipe by Rick Bayless. I’m not quite sure anymore, but I’m pretty sure he’s the one that introduced me to the really interesting and yummy herb epazote. Using epazote is optional here and you can use more cheese to make up for the omission. It is available at many Mexican grocery stores, so if you have those in your area, definitely check them out! It’s funny because before I was growing it in my garden, I had to trek a few miles to the store to buy it. But last year when I stayed in Baja California, it was growing wild everywhere. In any case, I’m always curious about new things and if you are too, don’t miss out on this one!

 

Tacos Los Tres Amigos

Servings: 8-12 Tacos
Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1.5 lbs small boiling potatoes, halved
3 tablespoons olive oil + additional to fry tortillas
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
6 medium fresh poblano chiles, roasted and peeled
Salt
8 oz crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese such as feta or goat cheese
16 leaves epazote, chopped (optional)
8-12 corn tortillas, lightly fried in olive oil

Directions
Simmer the potatoes in salted water to cover until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool under running water, peel and cut into 1/4-inch dice.

Heat the oil in a heavy medium-size skillet over medium. Add the onion and potato, and fry, stirring regularly to ensure that nothing sticks to the pan, until the mixture is richly browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are browning, seed the chiles and roughly chop. Stir them into the potato mixture and season with salt to taste. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the cheese.

Fry corn tortillas in olive oil over medium heat. Fill with potato filling, fold in half, and serve with your favorite hot sauce.

A Pasta Recipe for Slow-Pokes Like Me: Spaghetti with Sautéed Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

 

Lately I’ve been cooking a lot of quick meals, even though that’s not necessarily my style. Many of my friends know me as the home chef who essentially slaves in the kitchen for hours on end, and it’s not because I make over-complicated food. I’m just pretty laid back and bring a super relaxed attitude with me wherever I go, which works great for those braises that take a few hours in the dutch oven anyway.

But a slow-cooking home chef has to get food done quickly sometimes, right? Otherwise how would I ever have time for clients and work, let alone the gym, or runs on along the beach? So below, I present you with a quick and delicious pasta on this night that I’m going to the gym. Faster home chefs could probably piece this one together in 20 minutes, but I over-estimated the time to 30-minutes for slow-pokes like me!

I think it’s important for people to know that healthy food is an achievable feat even for the busiest of us. This meal could probably be in your belly faster than running out last-minute to pick up fast food for your family. What was the clean up like? For those of you with a fast food addiction, don’t let these two pans overwhelm you. My clean up was was finished in less than 10 minutes. Dinner  + clean up in 40 minutes is proof that we can simplify and “healthify” our lives at the same time. Sometimes it just takes a little meal planning and thinking ahead to do so.

 

Spaghetti with Sautéed Sweet Potatoes and Ricotta

Serves 4-6
Time 30 min

Ingredients
1 lb spaghetti
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 lb sweet potatoes (2 medium), cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
3 shallots, sliced
1.5 tbsp, fresh rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup ricotta
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste

Directions
Cook the pasta per package directions. Reserve 2/3 cup cooking water, drain pasta, and set aside.

In a large pan, or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, and cook stirring every 1-2 minutes to avoid scorching the sweet potatoes, about 8-10 minutes. Add rosemary and shallots and cook until potatoes are tender, 3-5 minutes longer.

Add cooked pasta and reserved water to sweet potatoes. Stir in grated parmesan. Serve pasta with a few dollops of ricotta, and season with salt and pepper to taste.